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Description : Incandescent
The rumble of a motorcycle wakes me from my sleep, stirring the once peaceful night. Reaching out to Zane, my hand finds the coolness of the empty sheets.

“Zane?” I whisper into the darkness. Looking toward the red light of his alarm clock illuminating the otherwise pitch-black room, the clock numbers blink incessantly.

A shiver of alarm runs through me as though ice just replaced my spine. My heart beats double time, the rhythm now matching the rapid blinking of the clock. Something doesn’t feel right.

Grabbing my robe from the end of the bed, I wrap it around myself and creep out of the bedroom in search of my fiancé.

“Zane,” I whisper again as I walk down the long darkened hall.

The burning stench hits me first, its strength potent enough to overpower my taste buds. A wave of heat blankets me as it takes a moment to register the dangerous flames dancing before my eyes. The front of my four-bedroom home burns rapidly, engulfing everything in sight.

I stand fixed, mesmerized by the bright orange cinder, as if the seductive blaze calls to me.

The house shudders; the explosion knocks me off balance, forcing me down to the shaky ground. Dazed, I drop to my hands and begin to crawl my way to the back door, the hallway now swallowed by the blackened smoke. The open flames lick out as I force myself to the only available exit.

Reaching the door, my fingers close around the brass handle. The metal singes my skin but doesn’t stop me in my escape. Panic stirs when the handle doesn’t turn. Frantically, I pull harder, wrestling with the lock.

Inky darkness fogs my view as I struggle to fill my lungs. My breathing labors, my fight slowing.

I don’t want to die.

Chapter One


Three years later.