For now enjoy this beautiful sketch and this (unedited) teaser.
The Uncaging by Sarah Dosher - Coming Summer 2014
I could feel you before I saw you, the hair on the back of my neck bristled with every breath you took. My heart pounded in my chest forcefully trying to escape the lonely confines of my hollow chest. Your footsteps finally made crunching sounds in the sand. The first thing I saw was your blue eyes glowing with reflections from the moonbeams dancing across the ocean. Neither of us said a word, I was frozen with pizza half way to my mouth and you stood there smiling. I don’t know how many minutes passed but it was long enough that the awkwardness slowly weakened. I’d never experienced that before, an uneasy silence growing comfortable all by itself.
You held out a drink for me to take. I hesitated and felt my brow crinkle in confusion. “You forgot it.” You said and your voice was calm and airy.
“I forgot?” I puzzled.
You pointed back across the resort toward the pizza stand. “Left it sitting on the counter.”
I looked down at my pizza, the plate, and the napkins. Everything I’d brought with me, no drink. I laughed too loud at my silliness and looked back to your face just in time to see you blink rapidly in an uneasy nervousness. But as my laugh faded your smile returned.
“May I?” You asked and gestured toward the empty spot next to me. I hesitated but you’d expected as much, your hand reached to my face but paused to see if I would shy away from it – I didn’t. Rough fingers skimmed across my skin, trailing from my earlobe to the center of my chin. “It’s okay. I don’t bite…hard.” You joked and gave me your best non-predatory smirk. The warmth of your hand left my face and my skin screamed in protest at its loss.
You tilted your head back the way you’d come, “If you want, I can just leave you alone.”
Your blue eyes filled with sadness. For the first time you looked normal, not like the dream man I’d seen the past few days. Your façade of perfection crumbled and I could see the tiredness appear on every inch of your body. You still didn’t look like anyone else here, no cheesy tropical print shirts or fake leather sandals. The crisp linen shirt you paired perfectly with pressed khakis and canvas shoes gave the illusion you wanted everyone to buy, just like I had believed, but in that moment I thought I saw the real you. The creases from worried anguish clearly etched in your brow and bright eyes that held dark secrets pulled me in even tighter.
“You just got here.” I spoke softly, almost as afraid you’d stay as I was you’d leave.
“Right choice.” You winked, as you façade moved right back in to place. “Stay it is.”
I inhaled deeply, counting as it took you three breathes to walk from my side of the bed around to sit beside me. You moved so close I could feel the warmth of your body wash over me and I yearned to learn closer, feel it deeper.
“The nights are so much better, it’s too hot in the day.” You spoke without a care in the world, like by my side was where you’d always been.
I glanced at you from the corner of my eye, afraid if I looked at you straight on you’d disappear. You were beautiful. Your lips looked full and soft, I wondered what they felt like. There was a small, white scar under your left eye that added to your air of mystery. The planes of your face were rugged, you were older than I’d guessed. Too old to be sitting under the night sky with me.
“The stars are so clear, beautiful.” I said as I turned my gaze upward.
“Not the most beautiful thing here tonight though.” You said and moved your hand to rest on the thigh of my crisscrossed legs.
Heat of embarrassment rushed over me, so hot I was surprised we both weren’t dripping with sweat.
“Are you supposed to go home soon?” You asked.
“Tomorrow.” I admitted, still watching your hand as it rested so easily on my leg. “I don’t want to go home. It’s too hot and I don’t want…” I let my sentence trail off, I didn’t want to admit I had to go back to school. You made me feel alive, grown. What if you found out I wasn’t?
“Don’t want what?” You asked forcefully as your hand dug into my leg causing me to flinch slightly.
I shook my head quickly, “It’s just so hot at home.”
You ducked your head timidly and slowly slid your hand higher, “You’d rather go somewhere cold?”
“Sure, I’d love that. I’ve never really been anywhere with much snow. Just once or twice a year at home, but it’s usually just like an inch. We did go snow skiing when I was young, but I barely remember it.” I could feel myself getting flustered the more and more I talked, I wanted to shut up but for some reason my mouth just kept moving. I curled my lips under the edges of my teeth and bit down so hard there was faint metallic taste. “Are you from somewhere cold?” I finally blurted out.
“I am,” you stated. “Maybe you should just come home with me.”
I laughed, “But I don’t even know your name.”
“And if you did?” You raised your eyebrows at me and I felt a rush through my entire body.
“Well then maybe…you know, I, if only…” I stuttered and then wanted to slap myself for sounding like a stupid child that couldn’t even talk.