Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 60,000
Hanley can’t decide which is worse: that she’s harboring a fugitive, or that she’s in love with one. It all started when a stranger with a secret made his home in her garage.
The third step down holds my fate in its hands. There, the padding beneath the beige carpet is almost non-existent. The supporting boards and beams creak with age. I learned these facts the hard way back in 8th grade, after my parents discovered the word “curfew,” and once again earlier this year when I was too excited, too drunk, too something
to remember the Third Step Rule.
Tonight I don’t forget. I clutch the wooden banister and pass over Third Step onto its silent neighbor, Fourth Step. I pause and listen. It takes a long second before the familiar chainsaw of my dad’s snoring sounds again. I’m in the clear for now.
I tiptoe down the remaining stairs. The front door is before me, freedom within reach, but that door creaks and groans too much for my needs. I inch through the foyer in the direction of the well-oiled garage door.