GossamerBy: Renita Pizzitola
I am grateful to have such wonderful friends and family who have stood by me every step of the way. I'd like to thank Gossamer's very first fan, my mom, for her encouragement to see this through. My sister, Daphne, who has been listening to me make up stories for years–I learned from the best. Nikky, Katie, Allison and Crystal–thanks for keeping me young enough to write YA. It's hard to believe we are all grown up, but when we get together it never feels like it. My husband for putting up with my often under-appreciated sense of humor. My wonderful kids, Emily and Corbin, for always being patient while I finished “just one more” page. Reagan and Jessica–my amazing critique partners–thank you for your help and support.
I would also like to thank everyone at Lyrical Press who helped make this dream a reality. Especially my extremely patient editor, Abby Rose. You have helped shape Gossamer into what it is today–one comma at a time–and I cannot thank you enough.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
W.B. Yeats, The Stolen Child
I walked among the trees, careful not to trip over the stubborn oak roots that refused to stay hidden underground. My hands trailed against the bark as I passed each tree, the rough texture gratifying beneath my fingertips. Although the forest was dim, occasionally a tiny bit of sunlight would peek through the canopy. A beam would shine before me, and I could see the dancing of tiny particles, their sparkling reminding me of pixie dust.
I slowly inhaled letting the earthy scent fill my lungs. My body hummed to life with the woodlands. Somewhere in my subconscious, I knew this was a dream. After all, I had been having it for as long as I could remember, but the dreams always seemed so tangible. I was in no hurry to get where I was going, not that I actually knew where I was going, but like always, the pull was there, tugging me toward something. The fear of the unknown should have scared me, except I didn’t care where I eventually ended up, because honestly, it felt like it was pulling me home.
I knew there was something different about him from the moment I first saw him. His crystal blue eyes drew me in with such force, such velocity that for a second nothing existed in the world but the two of us. As his long, graceful strides brought him closer to me, the air began to tingle. Somewhere, in the distance, I heard my name called. I didn’t want to take my eyes away from him. I couldn’t take my eyes away from him.
Again, someone called. My treacherous gaze flicked in the direction of the sound, and then as if someone flipped a switch, the sensation vanished. The moment ended, life resumed as normal and the electricity surrounding me disappeared. Just like that I craved more and when I sought him out to fill my addiction, he was gone.
“Kylie? You okay?” Lexie’s large brown eyes looked at me with concern. “Do you feel okay? Your face is flushed.”
I took a deep breath, willing myself to snap out of it. “I’m fine. I felt a little dizzy for a minute there. I skipped breakfast and it probably just caught up with me.” I attempted a convincing smile.
She studied me a second longer and conceded. “Walk me to class. I’m trying to avoid you-know-who.” She rolled her eyes and looped her arm through mine, dragging me alongside her.
“You and Dylan still not speaking, I suppose?” Dylan was Lexie’s on-again, off-again boyfriend. Currently they were off, but by tomorrow it would not surprise me if they were blissfully happy again. Personally, I found it insane. When I fell in love, I wanted the real thing, not just some flighty romance.
The halls of Brentwood Preparatory School were already clearing as we made our way to third period English Literature. There were a few bangs as lockers were hurriedly shut and several squeaks on the linoleum as the remaining students hastily made their way to class. Lexie and I were in no rush. As seniors, we knew tardiness was frowned upon but we had long since stopped caring. As we reached the classroom, I reluctantly pulled my maroon blazer over my tailored white shirt and adjusted my navy blue skirt. Mr. Lewis was a stickler for the dress code.