Wednesday, May 16, 2012

YA Indie Carnival: Graduation Scenes

Usually when the Carnival gets specific like this I don't have anything to share, but I do today.  Werewolves Rule just so happens to have a graduation scene.  Former vampire Jack finally gets to graduate.  He's been looking forward to this day for over a decade.  Now that it's finally here, it's nothing like what he expected.

Unfortunately the school put them in alphabetical order, so he didn't get to sit next to Silver.  He was in the front row, and she was somewhere near the back.  When 'acting' principal Ian Carver called his name, Jack reluctantly stood.  His eyes automatically swept the crowd, and he realized he was searching for his family.  The daydreams of graduating, of how it should be, had brainwashed him.  His mom would have been crying.  Tears of joy.  Perhaps his father's eyes would have misted over with pride.

Jack moved forward on legs that felt like rubber to accept the long-awaited piece of paper.  His hand reached for it even as a familiar face caught his attention.  Billy.  Jack tripped over his own feet as he crossed the stage.  A few students chuckled in the background, and Ian raised a curious eyebrow.  Worried that hunters in the room might see his brother and go after him, Jack kept moving.  He took the diploma and shook Ian's large hand before continuing on to the other side of the stage as if nothing important was on his mind.

Jack risked another quick look at the rear of the auditorium.  Billy stood near the exit.  He nodded once at Jack before using the door.  That was it.  He walked out, and Jack experienced a clausrophobic rush of panic.  Was Billy going to wait outside for him?  Was he ready to come home?  Did he need to talk to Jack about the changes warping his mind and body?  Or was he going to disappear again?

Forgetting about wanting to see Silver graduate, Jack ducked out the side door as raced around the building as fast as he could without using vampire-speed.  His heart pounded so hard he could hear it.  Arms and legs pumping, he ran until he made it to the parking lot.  Quickly he scanned the area.  No sign of his brother.  He was too late.

Billy had vanished into the dark night.  Out of breath, Jack bent over, hands on his knees as he struggled to regulate his breathing.  Heavy emotions clogged his throat.

"Looking for me?" Billy asked over his shoulder.

Jack jumped and whipped around, uncertain is his brother was there to finish him or just to talk.  Billy looked good... for a werewolf.  He hadn't shaved in at least a few days, and there were purple smudges beneath his eyes, but he was in one piece.  That's what counted.  Relief flooded Jack's body.

"You came," he said in a dumb statement-of-the-obvious.

"Yeah. I was in the neighborhood."

"Are you ready to come home?"

Billy's mood immediately darkened.  "I can't."

"What are you talking about?  There isn't a full moon anymore.  You're fine now, right?  We can find Jersey and kill him before you morph again."

"You don't get it."  Billy shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans.  He shifted from foot to foot, full of untamed energy.  "The moon doesn't matter.  I can't be near you.  Even now I'm thinking about ripping your throat out."

The vehemence in Billy's tone made Jack take an awkward step backwards.  But you should feel like your old self again.  What's going on?"

"I don't know!"  Billy snarled at him, flashing teeth that still seemed a bit too sharp.  "Every time I get close to you I want to kill you, and I'm afraid I won't be able to control it for much longer.  I need to go."

Billy did a one-eighty and manuevered around cars in the parking lot until he was on the other side.  Now he could cross the football field, take a few back roads, and disappear into the great wide open.  It was possibly that this would be the last time Jack ever saw his brother.  That's why he kept his eyes on Billy's retreating figure, unblinking, afraid to miss a second.

When Billy reached the fifty-yard-line, he stopped.  Jack's breath caught.  Hoping Billy had changed his mind and was going to return home with him, he waited.  His hands balled into fists as he silently prayed for a miracle.  Slowly Billy turned and beckoned to Jack with one hand.

The sound of applause made Jack hesitate.  His gaze swung to the huge brick building.  Silver was inside, probably wondered why he'd left.  They could be getting close to her name now.  He didn't want to miss seeing her graduate... but he couldn't leave his brother hanging.  She would understand.  She knew how much family meant to him.

Mind made up, Jack sprinted across the parking lot. 

When Jack got close enough to hear his gruff voice, Billy said, "I would tell you that you're far too trusting and need to work on your gullibility issues, but it's too late for that."

Jack blinked.  "What are you talking about?"

"I didn't come to see you graduate, moron.  A friend of yours asked me to lure you away from your bodyguards."

Friend?  It had to be Jersey.  Billy gestured to someone over Jack's shoulder.  The sound of rushing wind met Jack's ears with disturbing familiarity.  He turned, his anger replaced by cold fear.  It wasn't Jersey Clifford.  Blaine had returned to kill him.

Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.Heather Self4.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga6.Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
7.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 8.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
9.Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series10.Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
11.Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey12.M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping
13.Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler14.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
15.Melissa Pearl, Author of The Time Spirit Trilogy
16.Courtney Cole Writes17.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
18.Ella James19.Maureen Murrish


Bryna Butler said...

good cliffhanger!

K. C. Blake said...

Thank you.

Always leave them hanging. lol