YA Indie Carnival : Fiction Round Robin

A big thank you and a round of virtual *cheers* to fellow carni K.C. Blake for coming up with this fun idea and also for coordinating all of us! Thanks K.C., check out her fabulous books here!

What’s a fiction round robin? Well, we decided to have some fun and send one paragraph of one of our stories, could be from a new release or a WIP, and we sent it down a chain of carnis to write a story, one paragraph at a time, based on the first paragraph of our story. It was a blast when I got my story back and read how  the carnis took it in a whole new direction :) Here’s the first paragraph of my WIP and the story the carni’s wrote followed by a little bit from the original story:

At sixteen, Liz slept with the mask like most babies sleep with blankets. It had been her source of strength since a grandma she never knew sent it to her on her twelfth birthday with a note that said, The Fairy Queen, XXOO Isolde Richaleau. And so, Liz kept the mask hidden from everyone. From every guardian, poser mom and dad, from her case worker, her teachers and from people who tried to find a way in. Liz knew long ago that the only thing she could control were her dreams and those became more and more vivid as she grew.

It was all she could think about lately. What made it worse was that in every dream, she could see the boy’s eyes, full of pain and sadness behind the mask. There was something else about him she couldn’t quite nail down, but she didn’t want to think too hard on it. No reason to dwell on dreams. Not when she had plenty of her own secrets to keep.

“Seriously, are you all right?” Maggie asked, nearly running in her attempt to keep up with Liz’s long strides.

“I’m fine Mags,” Liz replied.

“Did you see the new boy today?”

“What new boy?”

”I don’t know his name or anything. But he’s a little strange.”

“In what way?” Liz asked absentmindedly as they entered their classroom. Liz took a seat, not really caring either way about Maggie’s answer.

Maggie slid into the seat beside Liz and responded under her breath, “I guess you’re about to find out.” She nodded towards the teacher’s desk where a guy was handing their teacher the obnoxious florescent yellow paper required for all new students. Liz lifted her gaze from her desk to see what Maggie was talking about. The guy was tall, over six feet even with his shoulders hunched over. He wore faded, ragged-out jeans and a black tee shirt that was either vintage washed or washed so many times it now looked vintage. His hair was dark, nearly black, and hung straight down the side of his face to his cheek bone. There was something about his profile that felt familiar but Liz knew they’d never met before. She continued studying him, not hearing Maggie trying to get her attention nor the ringing of the tardy bell. The boy turned to face the classroom and froze. Liz brought both hands to her lips to stop the scream from exploding out of her mouth. She may not have known the boy, but she recognized those ice blue eyes.

‘Oh my God! It can’t be,’ Liz thought. ‘How can this possibly be happening?’  The new boy’s painfully sad eyes were the very ones she’d been dreaming of every night for weeks…the ones she craved after she awoke each morning.

Liz fought the urge to run straight into his arms and hug herself into his chest. She was so close to taking the first step that she could already feel the hair tickling her ears as he lifted her high and swung her around, drowning her in love and happiness. The relationship of her dreams was always natural and wonderful.

The reality facing Liz was exactly the opposite. She could tell by the disdain he bore into her that the last thing on the planet he wanted was for her to be anywhere near him.  In fact, she suspected he wanted her to pretend he didn’t exit.  With tears clogging her throat and a great effort, she did just that.

After class ended, Liz began gathering up her things, shoving them almost violently into her bag. She could swear she’d been able to feel his eyes on her the entire time Mr. Slone rambled on and on about the American revolution. Once the teacher had welcomed Jack to the class, Jack had slumped some more and taken a seat in the back of the room. She had to get out of there.

Liz felt her fingers tighten around the strap of her backpack as she slung it over her shoulder and made for the exit. She was stopped by a tap on her shoulder. Turning, she nearly fainted when those familiar blue eyes met hers. “We need to talk,” Jack said. Jack, the guy she really didn’t know except for in her dreams. Jack, the guy who’d looked at her with such hate at the beginning of class.

 Maggie shot Liz a look, but it was too hard to focus on anything past the guy blocking her way. Maggie took the hint, though Liz wasn’t sure being alone with Jack was a good thing. But he was right–they did have to talk .

She had to get to the bottom of this, of the incessent dreams, the odd pull she felt to a different life just before waking each time, and here at last was someone who clearly knew more than she did. Someone who wouldn’t think she was crazy.

“You don’t know me do you?” Jack said, his voice deeper than she had expected.

Liz wasn’t about to let this strange boy, no matter how many appearances he made in her dreams, get the upper hand. He didn’t have to know that she was absolutely clueless. Undeterred, she stared into his eyes and hissed, “You’re unbelieveable. You come to my school. You stop me in front of my friends. I owe you no explanation. Tell me what you’re doing here.” 

His laugh echoed off the walls as he walked away.

Liz raced outside, hit the sidewalk and kept going, determined to put distance between her and the boy of her dreams.  Only it wasn’t that easy.  A red sports car pulled up beside her.  It was Jack.  

“Get in,” he said. “We need to talk.”

She opened her mouth to refuse even as her hand reached for the door.  Before she knew it she was sitting next to him.  Tomorrow’s headline hit her mental eye.  Girl disappears in the new hot guy’s car.  She giggled.  He sent her a nasty glare as the car pulled away from the curve.

”You think this is funny, Kalihanna?” he asked.  “We all agreed on three months.  You promised to be home last week.


Home?  What was he talking about?

” It’s my turn!”

The truth hit her like a steel beam to the face.  This wasn’t her life.  This wasn’t her world.  They were immortals living in another realm, and they had agreed to take turns being human just to get a taste for it before they destroyed this planet.  Bile rose in her throat.  Plans had changed.  She was not going to give this new life up without a fight.  Maybe she could get ‘Jack’ on her side.

“You have no idea the pull of this place,” Liz said staring at his profile, shifting her gaze down to places she dared not look before.

“We were warned,” Jack said.

“Yeah, well, good luck with that. I can’t wait to get out of here. Took you long enough,” Liz said, knowing she was about to break all the rules so that she could stay and never leave Mags. Never leave the one place in her existence that made her feel…normal. She’d help the Earthlings defend themselves when the time came. They’d be powerless against the killing machine.

Jack slowed the car down and turned into the forest preserve beside Liz’s house. He parked in a small lot and stared into the forest gripping the steering wheel tighter. He turned toward me and his ocean blue eyes met mine. They went wide like someone had stabbed him in the back.

“It’s too late. It’s already begun,” he said.

“Liz? Hello?”

She shook her head and gave her friend a quiet smile.

“What’s wrong with you today?”

“Sorry,” she mumbled. “I didn’t sleep well.”

“Again?” Maggie’s nose wrinkled. “Dude, you should invest in some sleeping pills or something.”

“I’ll be okay. I just need to figure out what to do next.”

“What do you mean?”

“Nothing.” Liz gathered her books and followed her friend to class, her mind ticking over with vivid images of a black robed magician, a golden sword and a boy with a mask just like hers.

I hope you enjoyed the story. Just for fun, I’ve posted a little bit from the original story here:

At sixteen, Liz slept with the mask like most babies sleep with blankets. It had been her source of strength since a grandma she never knew sent it to her on her twelfth birthday with a note that said, The Fairy Queen, XXOO Isolde Richaleau. And so, Liz kept the mask hidden from everyone. From every guardian, poser mom and dad, from her case worker, her teachers and from people who tried to find a way in. Liz knew long ago that the only thing she could control were her dreams and those became more and more vivid as she grew.

Liz had yet to experience any magic in her life until the day the mask and the note arrived. Magic doesn’t need to be the kind that comes in sparkled spells and drastic changes. The kind of magic Liz felt that day was simply one that warmed her cold heart. A connection. To family. Someone did survive. And this magic began to grow. Her family’s destiny would claim Liz. In fact when the note appeared she wished she could have turned back time. But no mortal can do such things. We have to live the life the fates have given us. And the fates had been cruel to Liz. Too cruel.

Isolde did survive the night of March 14th, but just barely. And when she was strong enough she went looking for Liz. She’d find her precious granddaughter before she drew her last breath, in hopes of saving her from suffering the same fate as her mother. A curse that had been passed down to all the Richaleau women. Liz would be no different.

It was the mask that was on Liz’s mind as she sat in the principal’s office. Again. “You know why you’re here this time?” Principal Madden sat on the front corner of his desk, all conversational-like.  A look of sympathy in his eyes, but the way he was perched there and the way his jaw clenched she new he wouldn’t cut her a break. His typical routine. Warm and fuzzy then, slam. Kind of like good cop, bad cop all rolled into one person. He seemed skidso. In a weird way, she liked him.

Mr. Madden got off his half-butt perch, rounded the corner of the desk and sat at his chair with his hands crossed. “Liz, we have you down on our rolls as Liz Wilson. That’s you. Now, until I have any official notification that your name is any different, that’s what we’ll call you here at school. You can call yourself whatever you like at home.” He opened and closed his hands as he spoke.

Trouble was, and Mr. Madden knew it, Liz never really did have what you’d call a home.  That was the problem. The closest thing she had to a home was her name. Last week Liz rode her bike and started her search in the microfish section of the library downtown. A real kind lady there helped her fill in the blanks about her family’s fate. The library was the closest thing to a home Liz had. The librarian knew all about the family’s tragedy, apparently it was legendary. Wilson was her father’s name and on account of what happened and all, she was going to do all she could to forget about her father.

“It’s called common usage, Mr. Madden. I can call myself anything I want as long as I notify you. Now, I could insist on calling myself something new every month, if I like. But I’m not going to do that. I’ve officially changed my name to Elizabeth Richaleau, but you can call me Liz. Just because you don’t know my rights doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.”

Thanks for stopping by. Click here for more fun at the YA Indie Carnival Fiction Round Robin! [The participating carni’s will have Fiction Round Robin with links to their blogs on the left]

Click here to see what’s new at the carnival this week.

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