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a sci-fi novel by Jenna Moreci

Chapter One

The Young Chimera

Every detail of that day was vividly imprinted on her memory. The breeze was gentle, the air ripe with the scent of freshly cut grass and the heat of Indian summer. The sun was setting in the distance, painting the sky with streaks of pink and orange like the swirls of her favorite sherbet ice cream.

Eve was only eight years old: a little girl with bouncy brown curls and a fresh California tan. She sat in her front yard, the blades of grass tickling her toes as she hunted for ladybugs, snails, and any other critters she could find crawling through the sod. Her aunt was watching her from the kitchen window, as she did every weekday afternoon until her parents arrived home from work. They would be home soon--with pizza, no less--and in that moment, Eve knew it was going to be a good evening.

A single ladybug crawled down her arm, across her palm, and onto the tip of her index finger, where it launched itself into the sky, quickly fluttering away with the breeze. Eve's eyes followed the insect until they caught sight of something else: a small blue car gliding up the street. Her parents were coming. She sprang from the lawn, her knees and bottom stained green from the turf, and skipped along the sidewalk toward the corner of her block, where she stood and waited. The car stopped at one stop sign. Another. She could make out her mother in the driver's seat--her mom waved and smiled. The moment was perfect, as if taken straight from the pages of a children's picture book. If she could have frozen time in that instant, she would have done so in a heartbeat.

And a split second later, a fiery red truck hurtled through the intersection and smashed into the little blue car.

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a sci-fi novel by Jenna Moreci