Original Post

TITLE: Reta Morse and the Sinister Shadow
GENRE: Young Adult (Fantasy)

A bang on the door made Reta Morse jerk.   A huge pencil line cut across the drawing of a warrior she’d worked on for two days.  Groaning, she dropped her sketchbook, marched over to the door, and ripped it open.

Nobody stood there.

Very funny, Ryan, she thought.  Reta leaned out onto the porch, ready to throttle her friend for ruining her drawing.

A blue piece of paper fell from the door handle and landed facedown.  Reta picked it up and flipped it over.  It was probably another flyer from the Tri-County Knitting Club-

Stay away from downtown today.  You’re not who you think you are.

Someone had scrawled the message in handwriting almost as bad as a doctor’s.

Reta read it again.  It made less sense than the Algebra test she’d taken last week.  You’re not who you think you are?

Reta crammed the strange note into her pocket and looked up and down the street.  Whoever had knocked couldn’t have vanished too quickly.  Her eyes landed on the street corner.  She jumped back and her heart stopped.  That cereal must have been more magical than it said on the box, she thought.

It could have been a trick of the pale morning light, but the man standing there looked like a solid silhouette.  He rubbed a shadowy hand over his hair and shifted on legs clad in tall jackboots.

Her mother spoke from behind her. “Reta?  Who was it?”

The shadow man turned and bolted around the corner.