In a world filled with people, Gabby is uniquely alone. The tiny sparks she sees in her mind represent the people around her, but she doesn't know why she sees them. A chance encounter leads her closer to answers she's struggled to find and into a hidden society where fur is optional.
Discover werewolves and young women with unexplained abilities in Hope(less).
I knew the locations of the people around me as if my head came equipped with a giant fish finder. When I focused, a vast darkness opened in my mind. Instead of blips on a radar, tiny sparks of light shimmered, matching the location of people in the area immediately around me. The colors of the lights, always a yellow center and dark-green halo, never varied. Except for me. My spark had a vibrant orange halo, making me unique and alone. Always alone...
I stood at the entrance of the park while the bus pulled away with a screech of hydraulics. Dusk had already settled, casting shadows. Before walking my usual path through the park, I opened my senses to make sure it was as deserted as it seemed.
Though no sparks decorated the darkness in the area around me, I kept my senses open. The void was endless, but my sight did have a maximum distance. So I monitored the area around me as I walked the path and started thinking of the homework I still needed to do.
Distracted, I didn’t at first notice the pale blue light with a bright green halo lingering near the pond. There had never been a color variation before. My steps slowed. Perhaps this new color meant I could see something other than humans, maybe animals. As interesting as that would be, the idea of my sight suddenly changing worried me. What if it wasn’t an animal? What if it was someone like me? I could keep walking, and whatever the spark was would never know I saw it. But, I was too curious and hungry for answers to walk away. I stepped off the path to investigate.
The lawn muffled the sound of my approach. Near the edge of the pond, I spotted a shadow moving. It was much too large for an animal. I moved closer. The shadow continued to move, and in an instant, I identified the shape. A man. I froze in shock. He stood close to the water’s edge.
His presence didn’t freak me out as much as the lack of the normal yellow-green life-spark. In its place shimmered the oddly tinted spark. I’d actually found someone like me‒a person who had a uniquely colored life-spark. Excitement built even as caution reined me in. What could this odd coloring mean? I’d never run into any variations before. Stay or run? Investigating a color I thought could be an animal was one thing, but approaching a strange man in a dark park? Not the best idea...yet my curiosity won.
As I edged closer to the grove of trees, I recognized the older man. I’d bumped into him, literally, a few days ago at the hospital. The man, who had kind brown eyes, a friendly smile, and grey hair, had apologized for bumping into me and continued on his way. That’s why I remembered him.
Typically, men didn’t just continue on their way after seeing me because, along with the ability to see those life-sparks, I also had a certain pull. Just on men. From adolescent to grandparent, I unwillingly drew them to me. The degree in which I affected them varied. Some just studied me like a puzzle that needed solving, but forgot about me as soon as I disappeared from sight. For others, I became an obsession.
I crept forward as I watched the man sit and remove his shoes and socks. But, I stopped when he began unbuttoning his shirt. What was he doing stripping down in the park? Given his apparent age, perhaps he suffered from some type of dementia. Maybe he thought it a good place to take a swim.
When he stepped behind the trees for a moment and reemerged completely naked, I began to think he might have more serious issues than dementia.
Still debating whether I should call out to him, I gasped when his silhouette collapsed. I automatically moved forward, thinking he had fallen. My feet covered some of the distance between us before I saw he had dropped into a low crouch with his fingers touching the ground. I skidded to a stop so abruptly the grass tore up beneath my feet.