Nova had always seen sounds, represented in shapes and colors in the air. That’s what synesthesia was. The doctors had explained it as a type of cross-wiring somewhere in her brain, allowing diﬀerent senses to overlap or change roles. They’d made it sound like no big deal, but she didn’t have to go to school with the doctors. She did have to go to school with kids who had no idea what she meant when she told them their voice looked sharp or purple. She’d made the mistake of thinking she was normal. That she belonged. She’d made the mistake of letting people know who and what she was.
The darkness shifted to reveal a man’s face inside a black hood. His eyes glittered. Menace radiated from them. The shadow shifted again, and a fold rose, a pale arm sheathed inside. The lamp light reﬂected along the surface of something gripped in a tight fist. Nova’s scream erupted from deep in her chest, sending shards of red, yellow, and white in every direction. They crashed against the walls like waves.