: The Companionship of Stone :
an excerpt by Melanie Rae Thon
Almost twilight and Daniel Sidoti still believes he might find the missing boy and pull him from the river. He feels Kai’s cold body inside his own, cold water running through them. Kai Dionne, seventeen years old, almost a man, six feet tall, but only 146 pounds, a child willing to die to save an animal. Talia! The boy’s last word rang stone to stone down the river. He could be anywhere, wet and wandering in the woods or trapped by ice under the surface.
So long ago it seems: gold light spilled through trees, morning light diffused by thin fog, illuminating frost on fine needles. Ice popped as sun sparked, fractures radiating from the hole where Kai leaped to save the dog and both plunged, swept under. Beautiful girl, silky blue in shadow—Talia returned to shore hours later, eyes dull, heart silent.