Sunday, June 18, 2017
1st 5 Pages June Workshop- Mainero Rev 2
Name: Maria Mainero
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Supernatural
Title: THE LIFE YOU STOLE
Kelsey’s plans for a perfect senior year with her newly-landed boyfriend, Dave, go up in flames the night he crashes his car after drinking. With Dave banished to an aunt’s farm for the summer, Kelsey wishes she’d warned him of her eerie premonition.
Despite Dave’s strict terms of probation, Kelsey is determined to resume their relationship when they return to school. But she wishes Dave hadn’t appointed himself personal protector to Calvin, left brain-injured and an amputee by the accident. She can’t forget her dreams that predicted Calvin’s fate, or the feeling of danger she gets when she sees his secret artwork—a comic book series depicting himself as a bodyswapping Angel of Death, and Dave as his arch-nemesis.
Accusing Calvin of a supernatural revenge plot won’t win Dave back, so Kelsey joins his efforts to make amends, hoping to find proof of her fears. But when Calvin successfully takes over her body, his story become horrifyingly real.
Now, Kelsey’s stuck in Calvin’s body, struggling to convince Dave that the girl he’s falling for is a deadly threat. To stop Calvin’s ultimate revenge, Kelsey must learn her own power and the truth about what happened the night of the accident.
The first weekend of the summer before senior year, and my boyfriend of two weeks might break up with me. No biggie. In eight solid years of experience with Dave, as a friend, he’s never let me down.
As a boyfriend?
Maybe I let him down.
“He’ll be here,” Darcie promised as I scanned the parking lot for Dave’s truck. In front of us, the long concrete breakwall stretched out into Caseville Harbor, where Lake Huron rippled with tiny waves, blue and glassy, under the rosy setting sun.
At the end of the walk, a pile of large boulders in the water, and voices. “It’s just Kelsey and Darcie.” I ducked through the railing and stepped over lapping water to the first rock. Just Kelsey. Not someone they wanted to see. Like Dave.
On the large center rock Queen Bree and her clone Cate perched like pink and blonde flamingos in a flock of jocks and other seagulls. “Hi all!” I forced confidence into my voice, and squeezed in on a rock with Darcie. One of the guys tilted a beer can in our direction. “Thanks,” I said, as Darcie held up her hand to decline. This was a mistake. What if Dave did let me down? The icy aluminum in my palm made me shiver.
“Too early for shorts in Michigan,” Darcie commented.
“They’re not shorts, they’re capris,” I pointed out, scrunching up my self-pedicured toenails in Parlez-Bleu Francais.
“You’re explaining fashion to someone who wears black jeans and flannel to the beach,” Bree remarked, to laughs from her loyal subjects.
“Oh, we were supposed to wear pink?” Darcie asked, looking Bree and Cate up and down. “The day I do, kill me. Slit my throat, drench me in my own blood and bury me in a garbage bag. A black one.”
The girls exchanged an eye-roll, but Darcie didn’t care. I sipped my beer slowly, the way Dave taught me at my first high school party. “Just drink a sip or two,” he told me. “Hold it for a while, then put it down somewhere. You can do that all night long, and never get wasted.”
No matter how many beers I abandoned, he always claimed I was buzzed when I tried to flirt with him. Always said he’d never take advantage of me. I always pretended to be grateful for that. Welcome to the friend zone. Our friendship was too important to screw up with a relationship. Yeah, he really said that. But for one wonderful week, I thought I proved him wrong. And then I proved him right.
“Just talk to him,” Darcie kept telling me on the drive up to Caseville. That’s what I dreaded. I knew what he’d say. This was a mistake, let’s just stay friends. I knew what would happen, the awkward conversations, the gradual distancing.
I knew what I’d feel. I was feeling it already, waking up from unsettling dreams where Dave refused to listen to me or take my side. But Darcie was right about one thing. I couldn’t avoid him any longer.
“Look who’s coming,” Jarrod said from the lookout rock, where he sat watching for the police or harbormaster. I knew from his voice it couldn’t have been Dave, but my heart still thumped in anticipation as I stood up.
The thumping rang in my ears and my breath stopped. Not Dave. Calvin. Calvin Baker. Slouching as he came towards us, in his denim jacket, with his scruffy dark hair obscuring his eyes. Just the way he’d looked in my dreams.
He wasn’t supposed to be here. He belonged with the stoners and the losers. Not with us. Not in my dreams.
Darnell hopped past me across the rocks, meeting Calvin before he was in earshot. The two of them walked towards the parking lot, talking. I took a breath, fighting off the panicky, adrenaline-charged feeling I’d been waking up to every day.
“What’s wrong?” Darcie’s voice came through all echo-y. I turned. Everyone was watching me stand and stare like a slack-jawed loser. I sat down abruptly.
“Nothing,” I said. I wanted to tell Darcie about it, but not in front of everyone. It was awkward enough that I dreamed about the loser, I didn’t need Bree making snide comments about it when Dave showed up. Thankfully, Darnell came back alone, and settled in with the other football players. A lighter flickered and a smoky sweet smell drifted towards us. Darcie coughed.
“Walk with me?” I suggested.
We scrambled back to the breakwall away from the others, and leaned on the blue metal railing. The last sliver of sun sank into the water as I watched.
“I had a dream about him,” I said.
“Dave?” she asked. “He’ll be here soon, I promise. Don’t worry.”
Don’t worry. How could she be so sure? “He was in it too. But I mean Calvin.”
“Calvin? What’s up? You seem freaked out.”
“I dreamed he died in a car accident.”
“Ooh, that is freaky.”
“But then he showed up at school, and everyone was all excited he was still alive. Hugging him and everything.”
“Let me guess.” She raised pinched fingers to her lips and inhaled.
“It’s not that funny,” Darcie said, snickering.
“Oh my God.” I giggled and wiped my eyes. “I’ve been obsessing, thinking it’s some kind of premonition or warning, and now you tell me I psychically predicted a toke.”
“Kelsey Jones—Weed Psychic,” she proclaimed. “It’s a gift.”
“A stupid gift,” I said. “I was obsessing, because in the dream, when he came back, it wasn’t him. I knew it, but no one would believe me.” Dave wouldn’t believe me. That was the most frustrating part, and why I couldn’t seem to shake it off. Why do you have to make everything a confrontation, Kelsey? Dave’s dream-voice accused me.
“Who was it?”
“That was weird too. . . . “
“Sa-weeeet!“ Jarrod called out, standing up. “Check out Dave’s ride.”
Under the lone parking lot light, Dave’s height and short blond curls were unmistakable as he got out of a gleaming red convertible. He set the car alarm with a beep-beep and blink of headlights, and headed out to us.
People swarmed past us and surrounded him, asking if he’d traded in his truck for the Camaro. “Just trying it out,” he said. His dad owned the car dealership, and I could tell everyone wanted to check out the car, or get a ride, but Dave didn’t offer.
He walked past me and Darcie with a friendly “Hey,” and headed out to the rocks. Somehow, Darcie made sure we ended up sitting across from him, where I tried to analyze his brief glances in my direction as he cracked open a beer.
“I can’t wait to ride in that,” Bree cooed at Dave. “Is that one of the cars for the parade?” She couldn’t let anyone forget for a second that she’d won the Miss Atwater crown. I didn’t know how I was going to stand being on the dance team with her all summer, listening to her fake laugh and her fake friendliness. Darcie kicked me gently, like that was going to inspire me to speak up. I gulped another big swig from the beer.
“Look who’s back,” Jarrod muttered.
It was Calvin again. My spine tingled and Darcie and I exchanged glances. “Hey,” he said, making his way through the railing. “My ride ditched. Need a ride back with one of you.”