GENRE: MG FANTASY
12 year old Amelia travels between parallel worlds and befriends a boy she soon suspects is behind the destruction of several of the alternate realities.
My dog Rigby is dead. But I stare over at the maple tree like maybe she’ll run out from behind it anyway.
I kick at a clump of leaves, then slowly rake them into a pile.
“Amelia, you okay?” Dad asks. He drops a bag of leaves to lift me in a hug, rubbing his scratchy chin against my face.
My little sister Gracie glances over, but she’s only making sure no one catches her texting. When Dad lets me go, I spot a tennis ball in the leaves. Another reminder of Rigby. The smell of smoke comes from the chimneys of houses along our street on a cold gust that whips the tree branches. Mom isn’t watching, so I hurry to snatch Rigby’s tennis ball and shove it in my sweatshirt.
“Going to the bathroom,” I say. The second the basement door closes and I’m out of sight, I sprint to the first floor and up another flight of stairs to my room.
I hide the tennis ball in my secret box under a pile of sweaters in my closet, then collapse into my old green chair in the corner. I feel empty—like most of me went with Rigby when she died.
My cat Eleanor leaps from the boards and bricks I’ve stacked to make a bookcase and prances across the room to jump in my lap. She touches her orange and black paw to my face. She’s the only one in my family who understands.