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  • Writer's pictureAuthor K.L. Hall

Professor Zaddy: A Potomac Falls Novel Sneak Peek

© K.L. Hall and, 2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K.L. Hall and with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.

This is an unedited snippet.


The Student


Ava Newman 


“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?”

The phone trembled in my clammy hand as the operator’s voice crackled through the receiver.

“I-I’m a West Bridge University student…and t-there’s a f-fire!” my voice quivered as I stumbled over my words. “P-please s-send help!” 

“Okay, calm down. I need you to stay on the line and tell me where you are. Is the fire on campus? 

“Yes. On the north side of campus.”

“I’m putting in the request right now to have the Potomac Falls Fire Department and campus police dispatched to your location.”


“Stay on the line, okay?”


“What’s your name?”

“Ava. Ava Newman.”

“Okay, Ava. Can you describe the fire for me? Is it a small fire or a big one?”

My heart galloped like a wild stallion against my ribcage. “The flames are huge, and the smoke is thick.”

“Are you inside the building?”

“No. I-I was walking on campus, and I saw the flames.” 

“Do you know if there is anyone inside?”

The crackling symphony of flames surrounding me amplified, drowning out my sobs as 

I watched the flames dance with an insatiable hunger, licking at the walls that pulsed with secrets I knew I had no choice but to take to my grave.

            “I-I don’t know.” 

“Ma’am are you hurt?” the operator probed.

I looked down at my bruised wrist. “No.”

Like silver tears, raindrops cascaded from the sky, attempting to quench the inferno. But the fierce orange and yellow flames persisted, their dance intensified by the downpour. I inched further away from the building as the thick smoke billowed, obscuring my vision and setting fire to my lungs. It clung to my skin and clothes.

A few minutes passed before my ears piqued by sirens wailing in the distance. It was a hopeless symphony. They’d arrive to see there was no one to be saved. The darkness tightened its grip on me as negative thoughts crept up to the forefront of my mind. Will they arrive and think I did this?

In that suspended moment, I found myself trapped between worlds: the one where I was just a college student trying to make it to graduation day and the other where I was a witness to an unspeakable horror. My skin prickled with fear, and my senses heightened as the sirens grew closer. I couldn’t unhear their gurgling breaths, their final pleas for forgiveness.

“Ava, are you still there?” the operator questioned. Her voice cut through the fog, drawing me back to our conversation. 

“Y-yes,” I whispered. “I’m here.” 

“Good. Stay with me. The authorities are almost there. Do you hear the sirens?”

“Y-yes. I hear them.”

I waited, wrapped in the silence as raindrops collided with the searing heat. My heart thumped in sync with the approaching sirens. The taste of tragedy lingered on my tongue as I wondered how many lives would unravel once the news spread like wildfire across campus. The darkness held its secrets, and I was one of them. There was only one pressing thought replaying in my head as the firefighters arrived: how the fuck did I get myself into this?

Coming May 8th!



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