Girl in Amber

Girl in Amber
by Melody Sage

Sparse houses that once belonged to farms lined the highway like knots on a rope indicating leagues at sea. Forests of thin white pines and silvery poplars engulfed the old fields. Wanderers had to be mindful of rusted barbwire hidden in the grass.

In the ditch, Amber and Billy picked fistfuls of weeds for their mothers: daisies, yarrow, and Queen Anne’s lace. Pale, frilly flowers that smelled medicinal.

They lived a mile apart and rode their bikes every afternoon to meet at the river. In actuality, it was a metal culvert with a trickling stream, but they called it a river. The water cascaded into the depths of a clear, glint-flecked, ale-colored pool. Like a diorama or a slide on a microscope, it was all the more captivating for its miniature scale, a kingdom of dappled light.

They had collected grayed wood and car parts to make a shelter. Inside, they kept supplies—bottles of iced tea and rain-swollen paperbacks. They harbored an elaborate fantasy, one they were almost too old for, that someday they would run away together and live there.

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