Another fragment cut from a work in progress. The protagonist discovers a strange symbol apparently scorched into the grass of her lawn. Given that this symbol appears in the location where her mother reportedly died, she finds the symbol – most clearly visibly from the third floor tower of her home – both ominous and intriguing.
Gingerly, I approached the flat expanse of lawn stretching on that side of the house. At one time, I seemed to remember a garden there. That was a long time ago, however, and now the smooth square patch was covered with over-long grass like everything else in the yard.
“Do you really want to do this?” I asked myself. But I kept walking, so obviously, some part of me did. That, or I was too exhausted to know any better.
The patterns I’d seen from mom’s studio weren’t as obvious up close. I had to bend and brush some of the grass aside to see any vestige of the strange marks. Once I did, however, I pulled my hand away in shock. The ground wasn’t just a little discolored. It was scorched. In a long, arcing line maybe an inch across, the grass was burned down to its roots.
None of the grass on either side of the line was even singed. That made no sense. I wasn’t even sure it was possible. I ran my finger along the dry, dark earth. My whole arm tingled like I was gripping a live wire. I jerked away, reflexively shaking my fingers. The sensation seemed to cling to them even after I withdrew.
Around me, a wind gusted up, whipping suddenly through the grass. The great bare branches of the oak creaked, and the heavy wind chimes on the porch clanged like alarm bells. I stood at once, my hair blowing wildly around me. The wind was coming from the northeast, the direction of the cemetery. Maybe that didn’t mean anything, but I hurried to the front porch anyway, an uneasy feeling roiling in my gut.