January 30th. My small town was blanketed in heavy fog and the air felt different than usual. Everything, and everyone, slumbered on, breathing rhythmically almost. The silence was punctuated by the occasional rumble of automobiles as they drove past me.

I was walking up the bridge leading home, past the bus stop and the picnic benches a stone’s throw away from it, when I happened across a little girl. If not for her curious appearance—sleeveless unruly, waist-length hair straight out of The Ring—and the fact that she was on her own, I wouldn’t have given her a second glance.

“Arabella Dyer,” I called out to her like I’d known her all my life. I didn’t. I didn’t even know where that name came from, but from the moment I set eyes on her, the name unburied itself from the back of my mind and latched itself onto her. “Are you lost?”

“No,” she said…

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