Monday, April 20, 2015

YA Gets Real: Love Triangle

I watched from my spot on the couch as Gavin and Xander strummed on their bass and guitar. We’d been hanging out a lot since we met a few weeks back. I had met Gavin first, who introduced me to Xander, and both... well, they had asked me to choose between them. They were band mates and best friends, and both had crushes on me.

If I chose one over the other, it would ruin their friendship. To make matters worse, I felt the same about both of them. They were fun, silly, and made me happy. They also did everything together—Gavin and Xander were a pair. Even though they said they wanted me to choose, I became sick at the thought of it.

I crossed my arms as Gavin started laughing, still wrapped up in my own uncertainty.

“You really need to get that chord right.” Gavin shook his head.

“Oh, and strumming one note over and over again is so challenging.” Xander arched his eyebrow.

“Guys?” I interjected. Lately, these little fights had been getting worse. Each wanted to look like the better option; I was going to ruin them. “It’s been cool watching you play, but maybe I should get going.” If I left now, they’d make up, get over whatever spat this was, and go back to practicing.

“No, we’re fine, Beth.” Xander took off his guitar and leaned it against his amp. “I need a break anyway before Peter gets here.”

“The ever-elusive drummer?” I teased, standing up from the couch and stretching.

“Yeah,” Gavin said, clearly annoyed. “He’s too busy with…” He shrugged. “Actually, I don’t know what Peter does. We should get something to drink at least.” Gavin yawned and started towards the stairs just as a brown haired, tall, slender guy descended.

“Don’t know what I do?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow. Peter, I assumed. “Get you guys drinks, obviously.” He held three bottles of soda, and his eyes landed on me. “Though, I didn’t realize I’d need a forth one.”

“This is Beth,” Xander introduced me.

I smiled up at Peter. “It’s fine. I’m just about to—”

Peter shoved the bottles into Gavin’s hands so fast that Gavin almost dropped one. “I’ll get you a bottle. Any preference to flavor?”

Gavin and Xander exchanged a long glance with each other.

“Orange?” I shrugged, trying to play it cool.

“Cool.” Peter turned and headed back upstairs.

Gavin rolled his eyes. “Late, as always.” He handed Xander a cherry cola and put the lemon lime one on the coffee table. The basement room was cozy, perfect for their practice. The worn couch provided the perfect spot for me to do homework in the afternoon, and a nice break from being in my own house.

“Sometimes I don’t think he takes this as seriously as we do.” Xander let out a long breath as he twisted the top off his soda. “I mean, he’s late every single time. He doesn’t practice much outside of here. But I don’t know another drummer that could replace him.”

“Yeah,” Gavin agreed just as Peter came back downstairs.

Peter held the orange soda out, a wide grin on his face. Our fingers brushed as I took it from him. Green and blue seemed to swirl in his eyes as ours locked together. I swallowed, shocked at the shivers running through my spine. Now I knew why I couldn’t choose between Gavin and Xander; neither of them felt like this.

“Sorry it took so long,” he said in a low voice.

“No, I think you’re just in time,” I said back, smiling. With those words, I had made my decision.

---

These posts are silly, parody posts of some scenes that can be found in YA tropes. These fun shorts should make you smile on your Monday morning.

I love YA books, as a reader and a writer. Still, there are some tropes that deserve to become real. While these stories are still fiction, they provide an alternative, possibly more realistic, version of scenes from stories we love.

Monday, April 13, 2015

YA Gets Real: Chosen One

“Jude,” he snarled, grabbing a hold of my wrist. I shook him off and crossed my arms, glaring daggers at him. He pressed on, unabated. “We need you, whether you want to come to terms with it or not. Without you, the entire world as we know it ends.”

I rolled my eyes. “I hardly think the entire world will end. People will find a way to move on after the society crumbles and the war ends.” I shifted my stance. “Or are you telling me that you believe this is the only way to live?”

Beltrov looked me up and down, debating what to say to change my mind. He couldn’t; I had already decided on my future, and none of it involved him or the outlaws.

“If you don’t save us, no one will,” he whispered, his voice pleading. Now he was trying to prey on my emotions. Everything he had said since I had met him had been a lie—a manipulation in attempts to get me to complete his dirty work.

“Look. You can wield the sword, so can I. Who cares if it glows blue when I hold it? There’s no difference. It’s still a sword. No magic, just a blue light.” I sighed, shaking my head. “I’m not doing this. I don’t want to risk my life for a future I don’t believe in.” I wasn’t playing the reluctant hero card, because I wasn’t a hero. I hated this whole thing—the war, the society, the outlaws. I wouldn’t take part in any of it.

“Maybe,” I said, gazing into his gray eyes dulled from years of battle. “Maybe you should join me instead, ever think of that?”

He barked out a laugh. “On a farm. In the middle of the woods.”

I nodded. “It’s much safer than… this.” I gestured to the hollowed out shells of buildings around us. Debris littered the ground. The society was collapsing, thanks to the outlaws. And if I didn’t get my hands on some seeds fast, food would go soon after. “I’d rather not starve to death.”

“We’ve been working towards this our whole lives!” Beltrov exclaimed, kicking at a rock in the ground with disgust written across his face. He gestured wildly, as if that would clue me in on some secret I didn’t already know. “How can you walk away from this?!”

I jabbed a finger into his chest, getting so close to his face that he had to look me in the eyes. I growled, “You’ve been working towards this. You decided that you needed to find me, the chosen one. But look, Beltrov, while I’m flattered by this... prophecy, I will not risk my life. I will not be part of your war.” I shook my head. “This is not life, but destruction.”

“It’s a means to an end.”

“You say that, but I think my method works better.” I shrugged, glancing towards the mountain peaks in the distance. A two day walk, three tops, and I’d find the little, isolated village. I’d find peace. I’d live. Why couldn’t Beltrov see that? “Look, if you win the war, you can come find me in the mountains with the villagers.” I stood on my tip toes and kissed his cheek. “Good luck, Beltrov. Maybe we shall meet again.”

“Jude…” His voice barely came out as a whisper. I pressed my eyes closed and turned away from the ruined city. “But you have the sword’s power... We need you.”

“A blue glowing sword is hardly a reason to stay.” I marched out of the city, refusing to glance back. I feared if I did, I would give into the pitifully sad expression on Beltrov’s face and join his unending war against the society.

---

These posts are silly, parody posts of some scenes that can be found in YA tropes. These fun shorts should make you smile on your Monday morning.

I love YA books, as a reader and a writer. Still, there are some tropes that deserve to become real. While these stories are still fiction, they provide an alternative, possibly more realistic, version of scenes from stories we love.

Monday, April 6, 2015

YA Gets Real: Information

These posts are silly, parody posts of some scenes that can be found in YA tropes. These fun shorts should make you smile on your Monday morning.

I love YA books, as a reader and a writer. Still, there are some tropes that deserve to become real. While these stories are still fiction, they provide a more realistic version of those tropes we know and love.

---

"One hundred and fifty years ago, the Book of Richette disappeared from the caverns underneath the Crowned Empire. With the Secret Coven of the Black Forest searching for it, we had to form the Sisters of the Eternal Circle to battle against them. The war has raged for years, since the Sisters are the only ones who have access to the Library of Counsel. Without access, there's no hope for the Secret Coven to get the Book of Richette back."

"The Prophet of Alzard predicted that the Book of Richette would reappear on the First Moon of the Rising Tide when Lilith was born. We had no idea who we were looking for at the time, just a girl named Lilith. But then we found you, Daughter of the Second--"

"Whoa," I interrupted, holding up my hands. "Okay... whoa, slow down." I shook my head, my brown hair tumbling around my face, framing my cheeks.

Richard tilted his head to the side and blinked slowly, something he did when he was confused. I guessed the... What was it? Sisters... of the... Whatever, growing up as part of a warring magical group trying to defend some magical thing didn't give him the necessary people skills to understand that I needed time to process all this information. Especially if I was expected to save the world.

"Okay." I pressed my eyes closed and breathed in a sharp, deep breath. "Can you... write this down? Make an outline or a diagram or something?" I peeked my eyes opened and saw a frown on Richard's face. "Look, I'm not going to understand any of this unless I have it in writing. Honestly, it's so confusing, I don't even know how you understand any of it." I patted him on the shoulder. "Give me the essay tomorrow, and I'll read it on my own time."

I stood up and started to walk out of the dank, underground secret lair. I paused at the bottom of the circular stairs. Turning, I forced a pleasant smile. "You know what, don't give me an essay. Give me the notes, the bare minimum, and then we'll talk. See you later, Richard." I blew him a kiss and walked up the stairs, out into the open air.

Monday, March 30, 2015

YA Gets Real: Vampire

These posts are silly, parody posts of some scenes that can be found in YA tropes. These fun shorts should make you smile on your Monday morning.

I love YA books, as a reader and a writer. Still, there are some tropes that deserve to become real. While these stories are still fiction, they provide a more realistic version of those tropes we know and love.

---

Laura Roerck and I had been dating for six months. In that time, our relationship had been next to perfect, down to the night we opened up the most private parts of ourselves to each other. She had always been a little left of center, with jet black choppy hair, bright red lipstick, and pale skin. Her complexion matched the alternative lifestyle I lived, being in an underground band. Everyone said we were perfect together.

Everyone except Laura.

With two months to go before we graduated, most people were planning for prom. Laura, however, planned an extravagant date for us. She took me out to the nicest restaurant in our two stoplight town. Mid-dinner, mid-laugh, she reached across the candle-lit table and grabbed my hand with hers. Her fingers were cool to the touch.

"Kev..." She let the word trail off her tongue like she always did. It made my skin ache with desire to feel her, touch her, brush my lips against hers. "I need to talk to you about something. I know you wanted me to go to Lakeview College with you--"

I shook my head. "Laura, don't. We've talked about this. Even if you want to go to Frankford, it's not that far away. An hour tops. We both have cars; we can make it work." I forced a smile onto my lips, squeezing her hand gently in mine.

She pressed her eyes closed, her lips down-turned. Her brow furrowed into a stricken expression, and she breathed deep. When her eyes opened again, it was almost as if she was staring through me. "We can't."

My heart shattered. The pieces split my arteries, and my body flooded with blood, bursting my veins with icy hollowness. "We can," I repeated, as if those two words would be enough to make us stay together. I had never met a more beautiful girl in my life. No one understood the almost co-dependent relationship I had with my band mates.

The insults of years shot through my brain. High school had been a nightmare, until Laura moved to town. She got it; she got me.

"Why?" The word came out from my lips without my permission.

She sighed. "Do you want the truth? Because I'm scared you'll never look at me the same way again." Her head shook as she absently ran her fingers through her hair, a nervous habit. I waited for her to meet my eyes, and once she did, I nodded. "You know how Sophia ended up in the hospital for treatment?"

I nodded. Everyone knew Sophia's story, but I had no idea what that had to do with us.

"Well, she had all those cuts on her wrists because of me." Laura looked down at her fingers. She intertwined them very carefully with mine.

"I don't understand."

"I fed off of her."

I dropped her hand from mine. "Fed," I echoed, feeling numbness spread through my limbs.

"I'm a vampire." She looked at me, her eyes staring deeply into mine.

My heart skipped several beats, and I had to swallow to stop the bile rising in my throat. "A vampire."

"Yes." Laura nodded once, succinctly in confirmation.

"Okay," I said, chewing the inside of my lip. "Okay. Maybe you're right. Maybe we should take a break. You can go to your college; I'll go to mine..." My heart tried to escape out of my rib cage. "It's fine. Right? I mean... if you're... you know, and I'm me, then clearly, this will never work. I'll uhm... I'll see you later. Okay?" I stood up, stumbling backwards against the chair. It slid out from under me and smashed against the floor. Everyone in the restaurant turned towards us, all eyes tracking my movements.

"Kevin, we can talk about this. It's not a big deal." Laura frowned.

"But you wanted to break up." I stumbled over the words, righting the chair with shaking hands. "I think you were right." If Laura was telling the truth, I could very easily become her blood bag. If she wasn't, then she was crazy.

Laura's hand snaked out, snatching mine with a fang-like grip. "You can't tell anyone."

I stared at her fingers curled around my wrist. "If I told anyone, no one would believe me." I shook her off. "Good luck, Laura. I hope... that you get what you need." Frowning at the calloused sounding words, I strode towards the door. No wonder why she understood me.

She was just as insane as me.

I pushed the door open and was greeted by warm, humid night air. A vampire. Had I just been transported into some teenage drama? I shook my head and made a note to ask Sophia what really happened once she got back to school. Vampire, sociopath, or compulsive liar, there was no way I could handle dealing with any of those for the rest of my life. I would be better off alone.

Monday, March 23, 2015

YA Gets Real: Protection

These posts are silly, parody posts of some scenes that can be found in YA tropes. These fun shorts should make you smile on your Monday morning.

I love YA books, as a reader and a writer. Still, there are some tropes that deserve to become real. While these stories are still fiction, they provide a more realistic version of those tropes we know and love.

---

I opened my eyes to darkness, but the hair on my neck crept upward as I felt eyes on me. My body froze, panic welling inside my chest. Asleep in my bed at home, I should have been safe, but that thought didn't quell my rising anxiety.

Reaching out from the warmth of my covers, I flicked on the lamp on my bedside table. I blinked several times, grabbed my glasses, and shoved them on. I nearly screamed when I saw the outline of Roger Kennedy standing on the other side of my room.

"What are you doing here?!" My voice was a harsh whisper. Roger was one of those guys who was hard to ignore. Try as I might, he was in all of my classes. As far as I knew, he was harmless, not the serial killer type. But still, he was in my bedroom in the middle of the night.

Roger shrugged, a sheepish smile stretching across his lips. His smile was framed perfectly by his sharp cheekbones and strong jaw. "Watching you sleep."

I widened my eyes and twisted my lips, shocked by his blunt confession. "Obviously, Roger. But... why?" I pulled the covers farther up my chest, covering the straps of my tank top. If I screamed right now, how long would it take my dad to get here? And would he murder Roger? Did I want to witness Roger getting the biggest ass kicking of his life?

Maybe.

"Because I feel like... you need to be protected."

I frowned. "From you?" I glanced around the room. "Because clearly, you are the only one here right now. Watching me like a total creep."

He held up his hands, shaking his head. "Sorry, Elisa. This isn't going as I planned."

"How did you plan it? For me to stay asleep the entire time?" My jaw dropped. "Roger... have you done this before?"

"Only once or twice." He shrugged. "You know, you're very sexy when you sleep."

"Okay, that's it." I pointed to the open window behind him. The window he had apparently climbed in earlier. Note to self: I must keep that window locked from now on. And maybe tell my dad. Restraining orders were a reasonable thing to get if someone climbed into your room in the middle of the night, right? There had to be some law against that? "Get out." I narrowed my eyes.

"You don't understand. I need to--"

"Out, Roger!" I threw the covers aside and got out of bed. I crossed the room and shoved him towards the window before he could even blink.

"Okay! Okay. Just... give me a second." Roger inched towards the window frame. He looked back at me, his brown eyes smoldering beneath his long lashes. "You know, you were supposed to feel... good that I was watching out for you."

"Go. Now," I growled.

Roger sighed and shook his head. "Only because you want me to, Elisa." He lifted one of his legs over the window frame. "See you tomorrow in school."

My eye twitched, not wanting to think about seeing him ever again.

He jumped and a second later, he shrieked from the ground. I rushed to the window and stared down at Roger with wide, unbelieving eyes. His leg twisted away from him at an awkward angle.

"Why on earth didn't you climb down?!" I hissed. It was the second story, not a particularly easy jump.

"Help me?" His voice was weak as he tried to shift his weight. A grimace passed over his face, making his hair look darker.

"Fat chance of that happening. You were watching me sleep, Roger."

"Yeah, but now my leg is broken because of you." He reached down, gasping out a pathetic breath.

I blew my bangs out of my face.

"Elisa, if you save me, we'll be linked together forever." He glanced up at me with watery eyes. "That's how this works. You save me once, and I give you my undying love."

"Dad!" I screamed, turning away from the window.

"No, Elisa. Don't get your dad, he'll never under--"

"Dad! Roger Kennedy was watching me sleep and now has a broken leg outside my window." I marched into my parents' room with a scowl on my face.

My dad had flipped on his light, his hair a shaggy mess around his ears. He reached for his police issued gun. "I'm going to kill him," he grumbled.

"I think a restraining order and a broken leg are sufficient for now." I shrugged. I heard Roger's groan from all the way down the hall. I leaned against my parents' door frame as my dad got out of bed. "He probably needs to see a psychologist too."

My dad grumbled something incoherent, picked up the phone, and called for an ambulance. After he hung up, he turned to me. "What did he say to you, Elisa? Why was he here? Did he touch you?"

"What? No! No. He was just saying something about love, needing to protect me and all that. You'll make sure he gets help, right?" I took a step back as my dad crossed into the hallway. My mother, never one for being interrupted mid-sleep, mumbled something about being careful and passed out. "I mean, since he didn't do anything other than..." I shuddered. I didn't realize being watched would be so... creepy.

"I'll make sure he gets help." My dad growled as he shrugged on his police jacket over his t-shirt. He would have looked official if it weren't for the plaid pants. "But we're getting that ruddy alarm system now. Your mother can't argue with me this time. Stupid Kennedys. Stupid..." He continued to mumble as he walked down the stairs and outside to greet the broken intruder.

I sat on the stairs and waited. It would just be a matter of time until Roger Kennedy got whatever help he needed. With any hope, he'd be out of my life and my bedroom forever.