Sixteen-year-old Addie Flamma has normal goals for a sixteen-year-old: graduate from high school at the top of her class and attend the perfect college, despite growing up under less than ideal conditions. As a minor living in foster care, however, Addie wants more than that; she wants to find out who her parents are and why she has been cursed with serious health problems. Haunted nightly by the same recurring dream of a magical fire that loves her like a mother, Addie just wants answers. Little does she know that she is about to receive them.
During the middle of a presentation in chemistry class, Addie suffers a major seizure. After she lands in the hospital with a concussion, she is given a rare African plant extract in her IV drip known to help adolescents with her type of medical conditions. Miraculously cured by the unique plant only known as ashes of life, Addie returns to school and resumes her job at a shelter for the needy. But when she is drawn to a mysterious boy seeking a hot meal, he changes her future with just four words.
In this young adult tale, mysteries and secret destinies lay hidden underneath Addie’s dream life, leaving her to wonder whether she or fate will have ultimate control over her future.
Magical fire, displaying more colors than anything Roy G. Biv could offer, swirled around me as if it were ready to play a game. It wrapped around my arms, legs, and body engulfing me in its beautiful splendor. The warm wind it stirred blew against my face gently like a caressing hand. The fire didn’t burn. It would never burn me. It loved me like a companion, and it brought me more happiness than anything the world could. I could tell because it followed me and clung to me. It always did. The power it gave me made it my best friend. But, it never lasted. The fire, my sweet colorful fire, swirled one last time around me before it began to dissipate. It lapped at my arms and legs then my hands and feet. It encircled my fingers and toes as if to say goodbye before it settled on the ground and then faded completely away. My fire was gone, but I was left warmer than before, as if I had just gotten into a smoldering black car with black leather seats in an effort to escape an even more blazing summer’s day. As always though, it felt unexplainably great. But, it never lasted. The warm, fiery feeling raced away from me like my fire did only it was slower. They all left me. They always disappeared. At least, it never lasted.
I slowly opened my eyes and blinked to allow them to adjust to the awaiting darkness. Going from the brilliant light of my dreams to the bleak darkness of my room always irritated my eyes and me, too. I enjoyed having that dream every night, but I hated waking up from it. That dream meant something to me, something important that I couldn’t explain. I felt that I knew how to explain it while I was asleep and dreaming, but, as soon as I woke up, I forgot it. It escaped me like the fire and the warmth had every night I could remember. I decided not to dwell on it as usual. There was no reason to dwell on things that you couldn’t really change. I rubbed the dream and sleep away, pushing the sheets from me. I got out of my bed and rose to full height. I stretched and groaned as well as popped my bones. Feeling refreshed, I admired the softness of the carpet as I made my way to the window beside my bed. I knew that the sun had not risen based on the darkness of my room and my routine. For some reason, I woke up every day before dawn. I didn’t know whether my subconscious loved the scene of a sunrise or if I just had trouble sleeping, but I always was able to enjoy the sunrise every morning. I opened my curtains and noticed the lack of sun in the sky proving that I was right. The sky was becoming a brighter shade of indigo. There were still stars in the sky. The place where the sun would rise was a light baby blue, but I knew it was about to become grapefruit pink then continue to change color until the sun was above the horizon. It was so beautiful to watch. I always had faith that my days would be well, but witnessing the sunrise never ceased to “brighten” my day. Ha! A pun! I chuckled to myself at my unintentional humor. This morning was going to be great. I could tell.
Chelsey Guy is a new author who has been writing novels since she was twelve. When she isn’t writing, she is reading with a vanilla chai at her side. She currently lives at home in Columbus, Georgia.