First 250 Words
Title: The Lion Within
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
By: Rachel A. Dillon
Insects were scattered across the outside of the shower curtain. Renna ignored them, and focused on the inconsistent stream of water splashing her head. The shower would only last a few minutes, and her lengthy mane of hair took most of the water to clean. She had her mother’s thick locks, and despite the inconvenience, she wouldn’t dream of cutting it short. Every time she brushed it she reminded herself, like a mantra, she wasn’t her mother. Only five more showers in Kenya, she thought, and then she, and her dad, would return to California to start her junior year in high school.
The last soap suds rinsed away just before the water ran out. After two years in Africa, Renna had the timing down to the second. She grabbed her towel and tapped the curtain. Bugs took to the air or fell to the ground. All but one departed, an insect the size of Renna’s pointer finger. She tried to flick the straggler off multiple times but it wouldn’t budge. With her usual curiosity she moved to the other side of the curtain to take a closer look. The beetle was bright purple with long antennae. She’d never seen one like it. She leaned in to admire its textures. Paper thin, iridescent wings were folded across its flat back.
It tilted its head to look at her and then took flight, bouncing off her cheek.
Startled, Renna shrieked, and fell backwards hitting her funny bone against the wooden divider