Contest Winner!
Contributor
Written by
Amy Lignor
December 2011
Contributor
Written by
Amy Lignor
December 2011

Hey everyone! A few great bits of publishing news.  My latest short story won the Goodreads writing contest for YA fiction; Tallent & Lowery -13 - the first in the adventure series did so well as an eBook that it is headed into print; and, my new YA series - The Angel Chronicles - is being introduced to the world by Tribute Books in February!  I want to thank everyone for the support and all the kindness readers have shown.  If you would like to read the short story...here it is!

 

Until Next Time,

Amy

 

Meet The Reaper

 

I always said I would die in snow. God, I hated that stuff. Pounds and pounds of icy-cold crap that everyone in town called ‘pretty’ and ‘lovely.’ There was nothing pretty about it. And that old adage about sitting in front of a roaring fire with the one you love, looking out at the beautiful deer standing in the Norman Rockwell snowfall, is a bunch of crap that some writer made up to set a romantic scene. Frankly, a palm tree, an island, a hot guy, and a margarita with one of those fun little umbrellas would’ve been far more romantic.

But…here I am. The motorcycle underneath me is sputtering; even the metal body is sick and tired of being out here in the cold, not to mention the middle of nowhere. This is my hometown - a speck on the butt of humanity. Talk about small and boring. Besides the cars rusting, there’s not a whole lot of adventure to be found in these woods.

I glance over and see the little orange balls - the pumpkins sitting in their patch waiting for the kids to come and choose. Yup. Not even Halloween yet and the little would-be jack-o’-lanterns are already being covered with a blanket of snow that is SUPPOSED to wait for at least Christmas to get here. The graveyard is on the other side of me. The old, broken rock wall sits there, a sad bit of protection for the bones. The 19th century headstones are falling apart, lined up like an army just waiting to be summoned from their graves to take the rest of us out. Of course, even they don’t want to come out in this.

It’s too bad I wasn’t looking ahead of me instead of at the souls who were supposedly resting in peace. If I had, I might’ve seen the black sheen of ice peeking up from underneath the white blanket. I also would’ve seen the headlights come around the corner doing eighty miles an hour. But…all I ended up seeing was the tree - the big old oak that’d been the site of many accidents over the years. Hell, even some of my high school friends had bit the big one on this curve. And now…I was going to join them.

The impact was brutal. Now I know what a quarterback feels like when nine of those big guys sack him. Oddly enough, I stood up, and tried to get the helmet off that was now caved in and stuck to my head. I watched the car careen across the road and slam into the rock wall. The door opened with a squeal that sounded like my mother’s scream when I hadn’t taken the garbage out like she asked me to do six times in a row - it was that harsh. A body rolled out. Talk about long, flowing hair. If he stood up, he’d probably look like one of those Grecian soldiers ready for battle. But he stayed there, in the snow, curled up in a little ball. He looked like he had made a comfortable bed in the wintry slop, and was resting until the dawn. I walked a bit closer to see. Of course! Turns out my murderer WAS the star quarterback.

When the sky lit up it wasn’t with fire from the smoking car, or a bright light from up above - it was blue. A dark blue that seemed to shimmer and turn the bright white snow into an ice-cold ocean. The figure that suddenly appeared just stood in the graveyard looking around. The robe was black and tattered; the face was nonexistent, except for a pair of yellow eyes that seemed to go back and forth between the long, flowing blond hair resting in the snow bank, and me.

I struggled to get the helmet off, but I couldn’t. I tried to run, but it was like my feet were stuck in the ice. The creature’s scythe shone in the blue light. Yup. This was him. I always thought it was just another writer’s imagination, but it seems that the Grim Reaper I had heard so much about was real. Of course I knew he wasn’t here for me. After all, I was seventeen and, except for my bad attitude, I hadn’t done anything really sinful yet. So I waited for that burst of white light everyone always talked about. I figured if the dark dude was real, there must be some kind of angel waiting to take me up.

The Reaper looked at the figure covered in white and the mess of blond hair, and then marched right over to me. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t get the damn helmet off. Grabbing me by the arm, I just…disappeared. The darkness surrounded me and I was simply no longer a part of life.

Too bad I didn’t get to stay for a couple of seconds. Only then would I have known that the angel did exist. Apparently he was just new on the job and went to the wrong place. Of course, when we met later on I didn’t blame him - everything looks the same in this town so it’s easy to get confused. He had looked at the blonde hair, too, thinking it was ‘the female’ in the snow, and reached out to bring ‘her’ up. Unfortunately, he had the wrong one…and so did The Reaper. And you will not believe how pissed off his boss was.

But, let’s just say, my world got a whole lot more exciting!

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