Monday, November 8, 2010

Need a name for the book!

Usually I have no problem naming my books....until now.
I just can't seem to come up with a name for the YA I'm currently working on.  So, if anyone has a suggestion or two, please let me know!

Here is the first chapter for your enjoyment:



Death, it is an inevitable part of life. For some, it is a means to an end where as for others it is an unavoidable terrifying prospect everyone must face. Every life comes to an end at precisely the right time.

It was autumn in Dayville, Connecticut. The sun was shining on that Saturday afternoon and a slight chill floated on the gentle breeze that swirled about, gently rustling the turning leaves in the trees as they faded from green to vibrant shades of yellow, red, and orange.

No one suspected it, but a dark cloud lingered and edged its way closer as time went by. I took the antique style pocket watch from my vest coat pocket and looked at its face. The second hand ticked; its sound available to my ears alone.


Only four more minutes and it would be time to collect him.

I strolled leisurely along the sidewalk that led into the park. Delight filled screams emerged from the children playing as they climbed, ran, and swung. It would end all too soon.

I spotted him as he flew out from the tunnel of the slide and into the loving arms of a young lady that waited for him at the bottom. His blonde hair caught the afternoon light; it looked like a golden halo. He smiled with his heart, his cherub cheeks filled with laughter, and his corn flower blue eyes danced with joy as only a small child’s could.

It was taking the young ones bothered me. There was so much that they had yet to experience…and never would. I, myself, had never had any of it. Part of me hungered for the human experience instead of watching from the sidelines.

The female stood, carrying the boy in her arms. With their backs turned, she walked with him to the bench where their belongings sat. Gently she sat him down and tugged of his shoes. She tipped them over, emptying out the fine grains of sand that filled them. He squirmed, eager to get down and head home. It was his fourth birthday. Cake would be waiting for him when they returned.

“Hold still Jake,” I heard her tell him as I walked up behind them.

She brushed off his shocks, put his feet back into the shoes, and tied the laces. Her hands were delicate and her fingers nimble.

“It’s my birthday, Aamira!” he told her gleefully for the twentieth time that day.

“I know,” she responded. “You’re a big boy now.”

Love for the little boy filled Aamira’s voice. She stood, picked up her purse, and held out her hand for Jake to hold.

It was the beginning of the end.

Instead of taking it, he slid off the bench and bolted down the sidewalk and towards the street.

“Jake! Stop right there!” she yelled after him.

He didn’t listen. Jake giggled as he ran, excited to head home.

Aamira didn’t waste any time. She raced after him.

A squat looking man with a bulging stomach walking a dog let Jake race by as he stood watching it all take place. He could have stopped what was about to happen had he reached out for the child…or had he moved out of Aamira’s way when he saw her running after the small boy. His poodle jumped on her the leash became tangled in her feet, causing her to fall. She scrambled to get up.

Standing, she called out after the boy yet again. He never stopped running.

She was gaining ground on him.

Aamira reached out to grab him, missing his shirt by a mere inch. Jake jumped off the curb and headed for their red brick metallic Pathfinder parked on the opposite side of the street.

A heart rendering screamed ripped through the air.

I was beside the boy as he looked down. Then he studied the silver car that had tried to veer to the side. It had not been enough. There was nothing to be done for it.

I held out my hand to Jake. His small hand grasped mine and he looked up at me.

"Do I get to go home now? I want my Mommy and Daddy." His voice shook slightly, not quite grasping what had happened.

"Yes," I told him, "to your new home. You parents will meet you there later."

"What about Aamira? I want her to come with me now."

I shook my head.

Jake looked at his elder sister. "I don't want her to cry." His lower lip pouted.

I did what I swore I'd never do. For the first time, I looked at the one left behind.

Aamira was sobbing. Tears streamed down the gentle slopes of her cheeks as she shook her head vehement as if it would change the outcome, refusing to accept her new reality. In her arms she cradled the boy.

She looked up and she saw me, truly saw me standing there. Her stormy glistening grey eyes pierced mine. She became real to me in that instant, no longer an invisible casualty of my job. Her eyes, I knew those eye and her soul from a time before, but from where?

I breathed her in. Her hair was the color of hazelnut with streaked with honey, her sun-kissed skin still warmly glowing from the summer sun, her lips were pouty ripened raspberries, and the smell of her skin was nothing I could compare it to. I had never smelled anything before that moment. I had to know what it was. I had to know...her.

It disappeared in an instant.

She was back to looking at the small lifeless body in her arms, rocking him gently on the sun warmed pavement.

A crowd of people had gathered around. Sirens wailed in the distance.

"I don't want her to cry," repeated Jake as he tugged on my hand.

I tore my eyes from the weeping angel and returned them to Jake. I understood the sadness in his eyes.

"She won't cry forever," I told him. "One day she will be with you again."

Right then and there I wanted to trade his soul for hers. I would have if I could have done anything about it.

'She should be dead,' I thought longingly. She had to die, I wanted…no, needed…her to die. Perhaps in her death, I would be made whole.

“It’s time to go now,” I told him.

Death, it is an inevitable part of life. For some, it is a means to an end where as for others it is an unavoidable terrifying prospect everyone must face. Every life comes to an end at precisely the right time.

Death is immortal. I am immortal. I am death.

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