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Title: Shadows of Destiny
Genre: YA fantasy
Taylor took one long, deep breath before opening the door to her own personal hell.
Two dozen heads turned to look at her as she walked in, then the whispers began.
"Why doesn't she just stay home?" one girl said.
“I swear, I shiver every time I look into her eyes," a boy whispered.
“Then don’t! I bet she’d curse you,” his friend said next to him.
A few students laughed.
Taylor ignored the snickering, she was used to it. She walked past the staring eyes with her head held high. She wouldn’t acknowledge them. Wouldn’t show how they affected her.
Sitting at her desk, she carefully pulled out an envelope, but flinched when she heard a grunt from behind her. Turning her head slowly, wary, she saw a pretty blonde girl smiling at her.
"Yes?" Taylor asked, realizing the girl was trying to get her attention.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Go right ahead." Taylor responded, annoyed. She hardly expected a sleep over invitation.
"What's it like having a murderer for a father?" the girl said more loudly, her smile never leaving her face. Taylor didn’t recognize this girl. She realized she must be new in town, already jumping on the bandwagon. She learns fast, Taylor thought.
A dozen responses ran through Taylor's mind, "What's it like being a total…"-- no, no need for another trip the office. "It's great! He taught me how to skin a human right before he died. I really like your pigmentation, by the way." She held back a laugh. But then she stopped and really thought about the question.
"I don't have a father," she finally said.
That really was how it felt most of the time. Her father died when she was 4 years old, now at 17 it's like he never existed. He's just a ghost. All he's ever been able to do is haunt her.
The bell rang to signal the start of class, cutting her riveting conversation with the girl behind her short. Mr. Macintyre, a large man with a bushy gray beard, stood to face the class. He began babbling on about some famous historian.
It didn’t take long for Taylor’s thoughts to float away from the teacher in front of her to the students surrounding her. She couldn't for her life figure out why people hated her the way they did.
Even when she was 4 years old she had heard the whispers, saw the looks. Sometimes she wished she had been younger, like her brother Caleb, when her father died. Young enough that she couldn’t remember. Then she could have escaped the nasty rumors that followed their family after the crash. But then she wouldn't remember her father's kind eyes.She didn't believe for a second what they said about him. Caleb didn't have that luxury. At least she knew if her father wasn't the monster they made him out to be, maybe she wasn't either.