I am NOT a superhero.
This was the only thought I could muster when a cupcake with fangs launched itself at my head.
“Evie, duck!” The voice rang out through the sugar-laced air. “And whatever you do, don’t stop filming!”
“I’m on it, boss!” I yelped. I bobbed out of the cupcake’s path and flung myself behind a counter, my tailbone colliding with the floor of previously pristine bakery Cake My Day. That floor had been a spotless expanse of ivory up ’til about fifteen minutes ago, when a posse of demons leapt through their portal of choice, assumed pastry form, and started acting like a bunch of assholes.
On a bright summer day in the year eighteen hundred and twelve (by the gentile reckoning), a girl left her mother’s house -the little house where had been born- and went to the brambles on the far side of the forest to gather the small summer strawberries that grow in the shade. These were the best kind of berries, tiny and soft, and the girl crouched in the bushes, staining her lips and fingertips red: one for her mouth, one for her apron, and so on and on.
At first the girl was sure that she must be imagining things. She was far from the village here, far from the road, and she alone knew of the berry bush.
Surely no one else would come to this place.
But she was not imagining things.
Late one night she whispered me awake.
This was long before they came for Her – before Reverend Sanders and his boy pinned me down and prayed the words over me and ripped Her straight from my soul. It was during the best years, back when I was thirteen and it was just me and Her always, and I thought it always would be.