Hey, folks. Thanks for stopping by WYAB to check in on me. I have to tell you, I’m feeling a bit shaky. The accident a few days ago has left me feeling a bit numb. So tragic. Did you see the signs on the walls of the school when you came in? The kids are calling today “THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW”. What a positive message in light of all that’s happened. I just hope Eric Brighton can shed some light on the events. He should be here any moment
[knock at door]
Oh, there he is. Pardon me.
[I open the door]
Hey Eric, what’s up?
Hey Ms. Keller Ford. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ma’am.
Oh, please, It’s Jenny. Come in and sit down.
Umm, yes, Ma’am.
[I walk to my desk and gesture for him to sit across from me]
Thank you for coming to my office to talk to me. It’s been a pretty crazy past few days, huh?
Yeah, I think it’s gonna take the school a little while to get over all this… I mean the newspapers and television cameras and stuff. It’s an awful lot to take, you know?
Are you okay? The events on the football field must have scared you a bit.
Wow, yeah, it was a little nuts. There was fire and debris everywhere. It’s amazing no one got hurt.
Did you think you and your friend, Maya –[I flip through my pad] , I’m sorry. I don’t have a last name….”
Oh, Maya? Pearson. Her name is Pearson, Ma’am.
Thank you. Did you think you and Ms. Pearson would escape the tragedy alive?
Well, I kinda didn’t even think about it, ya know? It all happened too quickly.
Can you tell me anything about Maya Pearson. Rumor has from other student’s she’s a little touched, if you know what I mean.
Hey, come on. That’s not nice. What kind of interview is this? Maya’s cool, and she’s my friend. If you gotta problem with her, then hey, I’m out of here.
Now don’t take that personally. It’s just one hears so much during times like these. I just want to make sure I have the right picture in my mind of her. How did the two of you meet?
[He blushes] it’s kind of embarrassing, really. I used to be a bit of a geek. The kids ragged on me all the time. I got pushed down during recess once in elementary school, and Maya helped me up and told off those jerks. It was, like, great. I’ve kinda had a thing for her ever since, but I never had the guts to tell her until the other day.
You know, I spoke with head cheerleader Kelly Jorganson about what happened. She told me you guys are an item which makes me wonder what you were doing with Miss Person on the roof of the building when the accident happened. That is where you were, correct?
Well, yeah. It was really weird, you know… We saw this bright light in the sky, and next thing I know Maya is racing toward the booth like a mad demon. I mean, seriously, I must have been dreaming or something, because dude… she was zooming. I followed her up to the top, and by the time we got up there, everything just went crazy. I mean the flames and the heat…
Flames and heat?
Huh? Yeah, the explosion. What did you think I was talking about?
[His eyes widen]
Dude, the freaking world was coming to an end. Do you really think we’d be up there… umm, well… You know… it’s none of your business.
I see. Tell me, Eric, do you see yourself as a hero?
Hero? Nah. I mean, it was the right thing to do, right? I couldn’t just stand there when all those people needed help. And all I really did is help people away from the fire. Now, those firefighters, they were like mad demon dogs out there… jumping into the fire and saving people. They were the real heroes—saving the people stuck inside.
Where was Maya?
She was with the firefighters. She brought people to me, and I lead them away.
She was in the fire with the rescue workers?
Well, no, she couldn’t have been, right? She didn’t have any fire-gear on. She’da gotten hurt. Right? [His brow furrows as he looks to the floor]
According to the police, they’re looking for a mysterious man who goes by the name of Edgar. Apparently your friend, Maya, was seen with him several days before the accident. Do you know anything about him? Do you think he and Maya had anything to do with the accident?
Hey, now, don’t be blaming Maya for anything. She was with me the whole time. And I’ve never heard of this Edgar person, but I did see her with someone earlier that afternoon, but I thought it was my imagination ‘cause he like, disappeared, and that’s impossible, right?
Tell me, Eric. How would you rank yourself in school? Top of the class?
Ha! Lady, you’re quacked. Nah, I kind of get by. Maya is actually tutoring me in math. She’s the bookworm, not me. I wish I could do better at school, but you know, it’s hard to study with track practice and all.
Has the accident changed you in any way?
Well, I sure won’t look at a football field the same again. [Smiles] You know, it’s weird. All those people were there to enjoy themselves, and they almost died. It’s like a miracle that they didn’t. It’s almost like they had a guardian angel there, looking out for them. As far as changing me, I guess you could say that you never know what might happen, you know what I mean?
Is there anything you’d like to add that might shed some light on the accident and your friend Maya? Do you feel as if you’ve been given a second chance at life?
Well, I never really felt like I was in danger. The fire was as hot as He… well, it was really hot, and I did get a burn or two.
[He flexes his hands]
Come to think of it, those burns healed really quickly. Anyway— I don’t think anything will change really. I mean, I’m the same person, right?
I’m not sure, Eric. After witnessing something like that, I don’t know if any of us will ever be the same.
[I stand and walk around the desk]
[Eric stands]. “Yes Ma’am. Is that it? May I go?”
“Yes, Eric. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. We’ll be in touch, okay?”
I close the door behind him pick up the phone. “Emily, find out what you can about Maya Pearson, then find her and bring her to me. We need to talk.”
If you want to learn more about Maya’s and Eric’s story, you’re going to have to pick up your copy of THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW by Jennifer M. Eaton. It’s a highly explosive tale, one that will make you happy you’re on this side of the pages.
A little about Jennifer:
Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance. Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.
While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.
Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist… what more can you ask for? Writing help did you say? Well, sure! Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans! http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
Her contemporary sweet romance, Paper Wishes is currently available in ebook format. The Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology. Each title is available from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.
Paper Wishes: Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.
Last Winter Red: In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world. What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in. Available as part of the Make Believe anthology.
The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it, she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)
You can find her at any of the spots below: