by Keira Des Anges
Leanna Matthews enjoys flying below the radar. She does well in school, has a few close friends and hides the fact she’s an astral-traveling telekinetic. But there’s no escaping her creepy dreams or Simora, the bizarre little spirit lady, that suddenly pops out of nowhere to warn her against keeping secrets and predicts an encounter with a sinister evil. For the first time in forever someone…or something…is on to her.
But life turns around when Leanna meets Piper one sunny afternoon. She’s inexplicably drawn to him, almost as if she’s been waiting for him to come. Forbidden to have a boyfriend Leanna throws caution to the wind, lying to her family and friends to be with him, while ignoring Simora’s ominous message.
Yet Piper has a secret of his own. He is on a mission and Leanna, unwittingly, is the key.
One of the fringe benefits of astral traveling is never using doors, and when Leanna walked straight through the wall into the brightly lit hallway, the hustle and bustle of the day seemed all but forgotten. Various medical personnel marched determinedly to their destinations and Leanna quickly dodged a team of doctors rushing down the corridor and the hysterical woman behind them. She moved out of habit really; even if they bumped her they’d simply melt right through.
She stopped by the nearest nursing station hoping to hear news on her aunt. But to her disappointment, the staff proved useless. They were more interested in Nurse Johnson’s fling with the new anesthesiologist than discussing their charges. Her mother was a medical professional; Leanna knew nurses were an integral part of the medical team. But these guys were worse than an episode of Grey’s Anatomy! Eventually bored of their gossip, Leanna made her way to the opposite end of the floor.
“Hey, Leanna!” Her name rang out clearly as she passed by the waiting room door. “Over here!” said the voice.
Startled, Leanna turned around to peek inside. Three people sat in the small, blue waiting area. Two women whispered animatedly to one another and a stoic looking man held a magazine, although his eyes seldom moved across the page. They didn’t see her, so Leanna wondered who just called.
Then she saw her.
A little Indian woman, no more than four feet in stature sat in a green and purple, wing-backed armchair in the middle of the room grinning and waving madly at her. She looked no more than thirty years old and was dressed in shimmering gold from head-to-toe with a sheer, golden scarf draped over her bright, oval face and jet-black hair.
Tiny glittery shoes peeked out from beneath the frock and sparkled as brightly as Dorothy’s red slippers in the Wizard of Oz. Leanna thought she even resembled a munchkin, in a cute sort of way. Like Auntie, she seemed more real than anyone else in the room and her smile grew larger as Leanna approached cautiously.
“Don’t worry sweetheart, I don’t bite,” she said. The little lady patted a second green chair embossed with bright purple and orange polka dots, which mysteriously sprang out of nowhere, and Leanna sat down.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” she beamed, greeting Leanna like a long-lost friend and clapping her hands excitedly. “I’m so glad you finally came!”
“Waiting for me? Why? Who are you?” Leanna asked, not quite sure she should be talking to her in the first place.
“Oh my! You don’t know me do you?” she giggled childishly. “I’ve been with you so long I sometimes forget you don’t remember.”
“Remember?” Leanna asked now thoroughly confused. “I’m sorry, what are you talking about? We’ve never met before,” she said apologetically.
“Oh Leanna, trust when I say I have been with you all of your earthly life, before and beyond,” the lady corrected. “Until now you haven’t seen me because it wasn’t time. But I have been with you as promised and kept watch over you. Which, I might add, has been quite a task considering your little adventures,” she said smiling again, taking some of the sting from her words.
Leanna frowned, studying the peculiar, little lady in the shiny clothes. She didn’t know why or how, but she did look vaguely familiar, like she might’ve seen her around; possibly in a dream. Somehow, Leanna sensed there was more to the story than that.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
By day, Keira des Anges has the distinct pleasure of assisting teenagers with disabilities find employment, empowering one life at a time. By night, she is a chew toy for her dog and cat and avid reader of anything spooky, magical and totally out of this world. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband and two kids.
A Cheer Mom’s Perspective on Writing
I am a mother and a wife, a writer and an employee, and squished somewhere in-between, I am a cheer mom. My daughter has participated in all-star cheerleading for the last few years and is currently on a level 3 team. I spend approximately 3 or 4 days a week watching her and a group of talented young ladies work on their tumbling skills and perfect their routine. It isn’t easy; we are on the road for at least 40 minutes each way, but it’s definitely worth it. Cheerleading is great exercise, it fosters discipline and the camaraderie between the girls is invaluable.
So what in the world does cheerleading have to do with writing? Well, not much in the conventional sense. But when you spend as much time in the gym as I do, you kind of start to notice things; and I’ve seen some pretty unique correlations between cheering and the development of a good, solid story.
First, there are many elements to a cheer routine, but I am going to primarily focus on the stunt group. The stunt group is comprised of 5 positions: The flyer, two bases, one back spot and a front spot. The flyer is the person thrown in the air. The flyer’s job is to remain tight, yet, flexible at the same time while maintaining a keen sense of self-control and awareness of her surroundings.
The flyer, like the main character of a story, is the one everybody sees. The flyer is the most visible, and when tossed in the air or on top of the pyramid, she is in the spotlight and must put on a good show. The same holds true for the protagonist who is in the forefront and the star of the book. This character keeps the story moving and must be interesting enough to keep the reader engaged. If not, like a shaky pyramid, the story topples to the ground.
The bases are primarily responsible getting the flyer into the air and ensuring she safely makes it back down. They are the supporting characters in the story who assist the protagonist along the way and make the journey more interesting. Bases usually hold the flyers feet in a specific way, depending on the stunt. Likewise, the supporting characters interact with the protagonist in various ways. Sometimes this support is healthy, and sometimes it’s not. Like bases, the secondary characters often assist with our protagonists rise and fall, or vice-versa.
Now the back spot assists the flyer in stunts, and more importantly, provides security once the flyer is in the air. Depending on the stunt, the back spot grabs the flyers waist or butt during the routine and when the flyer comes out of a stunt the back spot’s job is to support the flyers back. This character isn’t as noticeable as the supporting characters, but they are an integral part of the tale, nonetheless. But I find the most interesting characters don’t always have the biggest storylines. They are remarkable because they tend to have a huge impact on the protagonist’s life and sometimes it’s short and sweet.
Last but not least is the front spot. This position isn’t used all the time, but they generally support the flyer’s ankle or wrist support for bases. They are the characters who make an appearance and are noticeable, yet, aren’t necessarily a driving force.
Like cheerleading, a good story is a team affair. The plot may be terrific and the protagonist interesting, but it may just fall flat if the secondary characters aren’t properly developed. In cheerleading, the flyer doesn’t soar without the support of the stunt group. They are all interrelated and responsible for the success and failure of the routine. Likewise, a memorable story is much more robust and tends to fly when accompanied by a set of characters the reader can’t seem to forget.