Sixteen-year-old Dulcie foresees death at first touch. After glimpsing her classmate Anselm's drowning, she reluctantly befriends him, as he’s the one person who doesn’t think she’s “cursed.” Dulcie then discovers Anselm’s also the only one whose fate she sees repeatedly. Together, they test whether they can change her visions. If not, Dulcie will have to tell Anselm the truth she’s been hiding: he dies much sooner than he thinks.
When I peel off my leather gloves, my creased ivory skin catches the sun for the first time in twenty-four hours. Nerves hum in my now exposed fingertips. The last of the steam from my chicken tenders evaporates as the hundred other students on the concrete terrace huddle away from me in cliques.
Raised voices at the next table stiffen my spine. It’s those environmentalist kids; maybe someone littered.
One of them stands: tall, skinny, jean jacket. He glances at his friends, uncertain, then over to me.
My gaze drops to my food, my appetite gone.
The table shudders when he sits, fidgeting. “Dulcie? I’m Anselm. Remember me from English last year?”
I stand, snatch up my things. When I swing one leg over the bench, the tray slips.
Anselm grabs my hand, steadying my lunch.
Everything fades to a swishing, muddy blue.
He floats, unconscious, in murky water, blond hair rippling over his head. His faded jean jacket drifts open as he dies.
When he’s alive again, he’s still holding my hand.
The tray crashes onto the table as I recoil.
He chatters away with the same face that I just watched die: no wrinkles, no grey hair, same jacket. Young. His eyes widen, bright green. “… if you did see it? It’s not bad or anything, right?”
Drip, drip, drip. The last of my Coke splashes on the concrete.