Thursday, November 16, 2017

Have you ever...

Looked at a deep lake and wondered if there were creatures at the bottom?

Maybe that's just me.

That's what led me to write my fantasy YA fiction, Underwater. Check out an excerpt here:



When I called my sister’s name into the darkness, my mother didn’t even peer through the kitchen window. She was too focused on being mad at my dad to concentrate on anything else. Besides, in her mind I was a thoughtless brat—which I was—and how would she know that there was a mermaid with a vendetta running around outside.
Except for the moonlight flickering on the choppy waves of the bay, the night was pitch black. I scanned the darkness, trying desperately to see something. Anything. The swish of Evey’s ponytail. The bright white of her softball practice shirt. The silvery glimmer of Isolde’s skin as she bolted through the trees. Surely I’d spot some of that…she had to be naked if she was in human form. Oh, great. This night just got better and better.
“Stay here,” Saxon said when we hit the bottom of the ramp.
“As if.” I yanked my gloves out of my pocket and jerked them on. “Is she going to hurt my sister? Be honest with me.”
He pulled his face into a grim scowl, and a small vertical line appeared between his eyebrows. He shook his head and lowered his voice. “I don’t know.”
“Then don’t tell me to wait here.” I rolled toward the tree line at the head of the trail. “Evey! If you’re out there, answer me!”
The sound of a twig breaking up the path halted my breath. Saxon was behind my chair in an instant. We sat motionless and perfectly quiet for one second, then two, then three, then…
A streak of silvery nakedness—all arms, legs, and a cape of long wavy hair—leapt from the brush and took off down the trail. Isolde’s voice filled my head, and by the way Saxon grit his teeth, he heard it too.
You’d better find her before I do.
Gasping, I shoved my wheels with every ounce of strength I had. I must have been running on adrenaline, because I hit the root in the ground with a slam and bounced right over it as if it were little more than a toothpick in the dirt. My wheels caught momentum quickly, thanks to the downward slope of the trail, and I was able to keep sight of Isolde’s hair flying out behind her running body.
Saxon’s voice screamed through my head. Luna, no! Wait!
“Evey, where are you!?” I shrieked, grunting as I pushed my wheels. I was about ten feet behind Isolde, and could see her silvery skin through the trees. My heart throbbed in my chest so hard, I was pretty sure my clavicle would splinter, but I didn’t stop to catch my breath. I just assaulted my wheels again and again, pushing myself further down the trail.
Evey. My sister was out in the woods because I’d run my mouth and embarrassed her, and now she had a lot more to worry about than a bruised ego. Letting my guilt propel me, I bound around a massive pine tree and made a grab for the end of Isolde’s hair.
“Dammit!” I hissed to myself when I missed, terrified tears stinging the insides of my eyelids. It was one thing to mess with me, to try to drown me, but threatening to hurt my sister? Now Isolde and I had a real problem. I was going to throttle her myself.
With a crunch and a rustle, Isolde jumped off of the trail and into the brush.
“Come back here and face me!” My voice came out rough and jagged. My lungs burned as I pushed forward, but I didn’t slow down. “Evey! This isn’t funny anymore! Where are you?”
“Geez, what?” Evey stepped out from behind a thick-trunked cedar tree. She was wiping tears off her face, and my already strained heart gave a squeeze. She turned in the direction of Isolde tearing through the bushes. “Who’s that?”
I’ll get her! Stay with your sister! Saxon jetted past me and sprinted into the dark thicket.
“OK!” I rolled to a stop at Evey’s feet and hunched over in my chair. My arms burned, and my fingers were stuck in their clenched position.
“What’s OK? What’s wrong? Where’s Saxon going? Was that Declan in the woods? Are you OK?” Evey’s questions were coming out like bullets, and I had to hold up one of my cramped hands to stop her.
“Mom…and Dad…are at…home.” I wheezed in between gulps of air. “I’m…so glad…I…found you.”
“Of course you found me. I wasn’t hiding from you.” She wrapped her arms around herself. “Well, maybe I was.”
“You need to go home.” I swallowed another pull of air and pushed my sweaty bangs back from my face. “It’s dangerous out here.”
She ignored me and peered into the trees. “Seriously, who was it? They weren’t wearing a shirt.” I saw slivers of Evey’s scandalized frown in the moonlight that cut through the trees. “Apparently people get naked a lot in Pend Oreille. Who knew?”