• Madeline Walz

Day 10: Your character picks up a locket or a frame. Explain its contents and their significance.

While this story takes place before the events of Beneath Which Sky, it may be best read after reading the book.

October 2, 2039

Waukesha, WI

Everything felt alien: the light through the window, the noises outside, the way he had to pretend to communicate. Every morning when he woke up, he thought it had all been a dream. Surely his parents would come in soon to make sure he was up. But when he opened his eyes, it wasn’t true. He was still stuck in this strange place. Home was still gone forever.

Little by little, he was learning this world’s language. He was figuring out how to fit in. That didn’t make the pain go away. He was still homesick. He still woke up at night calling with his mind for his mother, before remembering that she would never again come running when he had a nightmare. There was no one left who knew him.

Arkeda rolled onto his side and stared at the framed photo next to the bed. As the tears welled up again, he grabbed the photo, hugging it to his chest.

That was how Dominique found him an hour later, curled on the bed, tears soaking the pillow, holding tight to all he had left of home.