Katy has always lived in York. She knows it's busy streets like the back of her hand. So when strange events begin to unfold, and the very streets she knows as home begin to turn against her, she begins to realise that no matter how familiar a place is, it will always hide secrets... and some of those secrets are staring you right in the eye.

(For the City of Bones competition)


4. The Hardest Decision

“Swapped?! What does that even mean?!”

      “Tell me girl, did you see yourself, like you were looking in a mirror, just before you were taken?”

      Katy’s eyes widened, “Well…yes.”

      “Okay girl, you listen to me. There are things in this ‘ere world you could never imagine. Places, people, creatures, wonderful things and dark things. And just one of those crazy, unbelievable things is this. Every city, every town, every village, it has, let’s say…a reflection. An identical city that exists alongside it. Everything is the same, everyone. Every single person on your planet has a double. A doppelganger. One lives on one side of the mirror, the other lives on the other. You die, your doppelganger dies. Simple as that. But the two can never cross over, never meet. One enters the other’s world, the other has to either leave their own world forever, or both must die. That’s what’s happened to you. Your doppelganger, and from what I know of it her father too, they went and swapped over to your side. The Void, that’s your black fog you were on about, that’s what intervenes. Most of the time it just stays put as a barrier between the two sides. But if someone swaps, it’s the Void’s job to clean up. So they got you and your dad, and they brought them over this side.”

      “How…how do you know all this?” whispered Katy, unable to take it all in.

      “I watch.”

      “But, I need to get back. Here, it’s horrible! There’s dead bodies everywhere, and-“

      “Yeah. Here’s the deal. Over this side, terrible things are happening. The dark things are seeping through the cracks in our world, evil, monstrous things with demon souls. They’ve always existed, but before now, we’ve been able to keep them away, like in your world. Only they’ve started finding their way in. And once they mark you as prey, you’re dead meat. More and more people, they’ve been crossing over to your side because they’ve been marked. It’s their only chance of survival. And my guessing is, that’s exactly what happened to your doppelganger and her dad.”

      Cold dread flooded Katy’s veins. “Oh.”

      “Now, I can help you call on the Void, get you and your dad safely home, but your safety has a price. That poor girl and her dad, they’ll die if you send ‘em back. You both try and live on your side? You both die. You stay here, and you’ve saved two lives. But you’ll be hunted until you die.”

      “Your choice.”



(but in regard to the City of Bones competition, the end)

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