So this week, I figured out how to YA-ify AFTRLYF. Yay. This has been something that’s been bugging me for a while. People tell me it sounds YA, that it’s paced YA, that Tia sounds YA, that my queries sound YA, but I had put Tia mentally at 26 and her brother at 16. I’m still a little worried that Tia is out of “school” and both she and Sam are focused on their jobs, but even in the New Adult contest, where I focused on her job (and of course the angel murder), I was told it sounded too YA. But anyway, I figured out what to do with their ages, so I’m going to be working on that for a while. I’m still working on Taylor-Made, it’s just going slowly.
First scene from AFTRLYF:
As the cold steel of the knife slipped between my ribs, I had only one thought. Oh, gods, this is going to create so much paperwork.
The knife’s owner stared with wide, frightened eyes. No doubt he hadn’t actually planned on using the knife in his mugging attempt, but I had been in too much of a hurry to find my own victim to pay attention to which way his weapon was pointing.
Note to self: Pushing past your mugger proves to be fatal. Next time be more careful.
“Relax, kid.” With one tug on the wooden handle, I pried the blade from my gut and dropped it to the ground. A carving knife. Obviously, there hadn’t been much foresight on this mugging attempt. “Don’t have a heart attack. You haven’t killed anyone tonight.”
The scrawny teen stared at the wound–even in the dim light of this downtown San Diego alley, we could both see the lack of blood–then at the knife on the ground. He hugged his quivering body and clutched his arm. “Wha–”
I ignored him, sifting through my options. I could let him go. Even if he told someone, who would believe him? But if he told the wrong someone, there’d be Hell to pay.
Then again, if I reported him to the Waiting Room for memory modification, I’d have that paperwork and another mark on my record. While erasing his memory was clearly the right choice, plenty of my colleagues would sidestep the rules for such a minor blunder. It was more than jealousy that led me to suspect some of those perfect records were obtained by ignoring the cases that could blemish them. Since he was the only one around, what harm could there be in letting him go? What was he going to say? “I’d like to report this non-murder I committed a block away from Broad.”
Not until I looked back at him did I realize I had another option. The punk’s shivering had become more pronounced, and he had fittingly turned as white as a ghost. But the glowing, black symbol that had appeared on his forehead caught my attention more than his body language. The sun cross, a cross inscribed in a circle. Like the passing of the seasons the symbol represents in the human world, it informed me that this human was due to pass. It’s The Symbol–or my symbol, I wasn’t sure what others saw–of Death.
“W-w-what are you?” he finally managed.
I removed one of my black gloves and touched him on the shoulder, making sure my finger glanced his bare skin through the hole in his sweatshirt. “Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine.”
His body fell to the ground, but his spirit stayed behind. “I told you to relax,” I said. Pulling out my cell phone, I dialed 911, and put on my best frantic voice. “Hello? There’s this guy in an alley off of Broad Street. I think he had a heart attack or something. Could you send an ambulance?”
The operator told me to stay on the line, but I hung up anyway. It wasn’t as if they could trace my call. You know those fake 555 numbers they use in movies? My cell phone actually used one.
“What did you do to me?” the guy asked, staring at his body.
“Nothing. Your time was up. Let’s get going. I have a busy night.”
“But who are you? What are you?”
“I’m an Angel of Death.” I took his hand so I could teleport us to the celestial plane. “You can call me Tia.”
In music news, I have recreated all the playlists on my netbook from my iPod that aren’t somewhere online (my novel playlists are online). This means if my iPod battery dies, like it’s threatening to, I won’t lose those.
Yesterday I didn’t hear very many songs, but all of them were good. “Bad Before Good” by Day One, “Bad Boys” by Gloria Estefan, “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter (which I was kinda having, so it fit), “Bad Horse Chorus” and “Bad Horse Chorus (Reprise)” from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog, “Bad, Bad Boba Fett” by The Great Luke Ski, “Badaboom” from The Fifth Element, and this next one:
Currently on iPod: “Ball of Confusion” from Sister Act 2
(What’s weird is all of those except “Bad Boys” is somehow tv or movie related for me, and as “Bad Boys” played, I thought, “This could be a Trouble song.”)
Lots of love,