Squeeel!! My publisher, J. Taylor Publishing, gave the green light to the authors of the soon-to-be-released YA anthology, ONE MORE DAY, to share the first 500 glorious words of their short stories. That means I get to share Dragon Flight!!!! Are you ready? A few words of caution…keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times and don’t look down.
I grip the handles of the harness and squeeze my eyes tight as the coaster tops the three-hundred foot lift.
Oh, geez. What was I thinking? I hate heights. I hate things that go fast. Not a great combo for rollercoaster riding.
My pulse thumps in my throat as the metal beast curves to the left. I squeeze my eyes so tight they hurt. Oh, no. Here we go. Here we go. The scream hangs in my throat, waiting for the drop.
It doesn’t come. The steel dragon jerks to a halt, with me in the front row and nowhere to look but out and down.
What? No, no, no. We’re not supposed to stop! I’ve watched this ride a gazillion times. It never stops. I picture the track in my mind. Up, around, down, flip, corkscrew, insanity, heart attack. One and a half minutes of terrifying scream time. No. This can’t be happening! Why? Why now? Why did I get on this ride?
The answer sits in the seat next to me. Dean McCall. Damn his tall, dark-haired good looks and jewel-blue eyes. I’ve crushed on him since sophomore year, ever since he showed up in Mr. Wilkins’ history class wearing a pair of oh-my-God-nice-butt jeans and a Halo game T-shirt. I tried then not to salivate like Pavlov’s dog, but it was useless. Not much has changed since, as I’m pretty sure I just about melted out of my skin when he cornered me by the popcorn stand and asked if I wanted to ride Dragon Flight with him. Me! Book nerd extraordinaire.
So what if he waited for Grad night to notice me ? No one’s perfect, right? I gulped, mesmerized by his hypnotic eyes and charming, spearmint smile, and uttered something intelligent like, “Uh-huh.” Of course, my insides turned all gooey, and my heart struck up a crazy fast Congo beat because I’m such a feet-on-the-ground kind of gal. My brain shouted, Speak, you dolt! Tell him no. Tell him you’re afraid of heights. He’ll understand. Instead, I shook my head and said, “I-I … okay.”
Major face palm, but really, I had no choice. It was Dean McCall, and if I turned him down, I’d look like a moron in front of everyone who was anyone. Besides, who better to face my fears with than the cutest guy to ever walk the halls of Newbury High? Now, as I sit stranded at the top of this freaking ride, I’m beginning to question that logic.
I press my head back against the coaster’s seat. Get a grip, Amber. Breathe deep. You’re okay. You’re strapped in. You’re not going anywhere.
My eyes spring open.
What was that?
I fight back the urge to scream.
The harness releases and lifts off my shoulders, its movement stopped by the belt latched to the seat. I squeak like a frightened mouse and clutch the restraint tight to my chest, my knuckles as white as the moon staring down at me. Oh, God, I’m gonna die.
So, what do think?
One More Day
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Target Reader: Young Adult
What if today never ends?
What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?
Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.
In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.
How do we restart time?
How do we make everything go back to normal?
The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could,maybe, happen today.
What would you do if this happened … to you?