I’m pulling pieces of the manuscript before revisions, so these selections may change in the published version.
Selena stopped next to a neon cowboy hat advertising roast beef sandwiches and lifted her face to the night sky. Light pollution from the city cloaked most of the stars, although a few planets pierced the haze. The moon, waxing her way to the Milk Moon of May, begged for a song.
Selena sniffed the air as a precaution. No danger mingled in the hint of rancid grease from fast-food franchises, a rotting Dumpster, or the dog droppings someone hadn’t scooped. A smoldering cigarette added to the potpourri. Faintly, indiscernible to most humans, lilies of the valley leant their fragrance to the night.
Selena resumed her jog. College town, the area around Warwick College, was safe enough. Still, she remained alert, her nose, her ears, and her eyes at the ready. She’d been careless once. Never again.