Dead Anyway

Emily Odell doesn't have the best life. When a hurricane hits and kills the family she loves, it's even worse. In the aftermath, the item left in the rubble she's most interested in is a business card. Weird much? Well, the card has the address of some crazy old gypsy lady on it, and Emily gets the idea that this woman might have something to do with the odd fact that everyone in the house but her died. Meeting the gypsy has a death curse involved, and Emily is determined to make the last days of her life the most memorable. But will she have enough time before death?

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13. Car

What a blissful sleep, I think when I awaken. Dreamless, deep, warm. And next to Maxwell. Maxwell. The name rings in my ears until last night's memories flood into my mind. I roll over and see Max isn't there. My eyes fall upon the clock. Six thirty. Who gets up this early? I sit up and the smell of pancakes wafts into my nose. The den door is open. Either someone checked on me or Max left it open. I climb out of bed and realize that I have no clothes. I have nothing. Not since the hurricane. I wander down the hall into the kitchen and see Max playing Call of Duty on the Xbox. Angela, my new best friend, is working the waffle iron in the kitchen. Dear God, I love waffles. Waffles are my drug, IHOP is my dealer, the scale is the police, dieting is my prison. "Oh, you're awake," Angela says, looking up from the mouth-watering batter. She puts three jumbo waffles on a plate and drowns them in syrup, topping them with a dash of whipped cream and a strawberry. How did she know my favorite way to eat them? She passes me the plate. "You must be starving," she comments. I start to panic when I remember the beef stew's condition, but then I am relieved to see it's a just-add-water mix. I mean, how can you really mess it up? I scarf down breakfast and then join Max on the couch. "Good morning," he says plainly. "And to you," I mutter. He drops the controller and stares at me. "Look, Emily, I'm so sorry," he blurts. I wrinkle my eyebrows. "For what?" "For being such a jerk last night. I love you, and I can't control love." I pause a moment, then lean in and kiss him right on the lips, not making out, just a delicate touch of our lips. Angela simply raises her eyebrows. "You'd better not let our mom see you doing that," she scolds. I shrug, and Max kisses me again, more deeply now. When he pulls away, I ask if I can use his car. "My car is your car," he replies. "But may I ask why?" "I need to go shopping, and to that house in Houma again." He nods and gives me one more kiss, then goes back to his game. I hug Angela on the way out to the glorious car. I don't tell Max that I don't technically have a license yet. Sure, I've driven my fair share of cars, but I never took the test. So, yes, I can drive. I hop into the Cadillac and adjust my (oops, I mean Max's) mirrors. I back out of the driveway slowly.

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