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The Hotter You Burn

The Hotter You Burn

Description : The Hotter You Burn
HARLOW GLASS STOOD on the porch of a hundred-year-old farmhouse that had more character than most people, waning daylight wrapping the structure in its loving embrace. Exterior walls once covered in chipped cream-colored paint that revealed crumbling, weathered wood now boasted new slats of paneling and a fresh coat. The broken seal on the bay window had been replaced, no more sheets of moisture collecting between the panes. Ivy used to climb all the way to the roof, but every stalk had been cut down.

She scanned the driveway. No cars.

She listened at the door. No suspicious sounds.

A smile stretched from ear to ear. After months of bad luck, something had finally worked in her favor.

Here’s hoping it lasted.

Trembling, she inserted her key in the door lock. Hinges whined as the thick, wooden entrance brushed open, homey scents—fresh bread, vanilla and some kind of caramelized fruit—wafting out and making her mouth water. Her empty stomach grumbled and twisted painfully.

“Hello,” she called.

No one cried out a startled rebuke.

She shut the door with more confidence and entered the living room, breathing a sigh of relief. I’m ba-ack.

Her childhood home creaked out a wee, and for a moment, one of her favorite memories played at the forefront of her mind: Martha Glass pushing the sofa to a new angle, while Harlow straddled one of the arms, pretending to ride a bucking bronco. Her dad hadn’t been home to sneer insults, thank God—you’re pathetic, you’re stupid, you’re such a disappointment—so a relaxed, almost giddy atmosphere had pervaded.

But the cherished recollection withered against the depressing heat of realization. This might be Harlow’s childhood home, but it no longer belonged to her; technically...