The YA Scavenger Hunt is TOMORROW!
|Cool, right? I LOVE GREEN.|
Tomorrow I'm hiding an exclusive interview with Rives...somewhere along the hunt. Last Spring I hid an exclusive scene. Just to whet your #YASH appetite, here's that scene! It's one of the last scenes of NIL, seen through Rives's eyes.
Enjoy, and come back tomorrow! I'll have a giveaway too!:)
**originally posted as part of last Spring's #YASH*
FOR #YASH EYES ONLY! :)
As y’all may know, NIL UNLOCKED is both a sequel and a companion novel to NIL. NIL UNLOCKED picks up on the island of Nil where NIL leaves off, but NIL UNLOCKED is told from a new character’s point of view: Rives, who was Thad’s Second in Command on the island. (NIL UNLOCKED is actually a dual POV like NIL—the other POV in NIL UNLOCKED is Skye, another new character you’ll meet soon. :D) Below is a bonus scene I wrote just for the #YASH—it’s Thad’s last moments on Nil, as seen through Rives’s eyes. **Spoiler Alert** The following scene contains spoilers about the ending of NIL…so if you haven’t read NIL yet, be warned!:)
Day 241, Nearly Noon
I was the definition of a third wheel.
Not that we had a Dictionary here on Nil. Hell, we were lucky to have food. Grammer paled in light of survival. But, if things worked out, I’d be catching back up on my English lessons sometime in the next 124 days.
That was a big if.
If I caught a gate, if I didn’t die first. If I got seriously lucky.
Right now, I just hoped Thad got lucky, but the odds weren’t good. He had exactly one noon left.
Based on the sun’s position, he actually had less than an hour.
I’d spent the last few hours hanging back, alternating between watching Thad’s back and trying not to watch at all. Watching Thad and Charley this morning ranked up there with getting my finger stitched without anesthesia as a good time. Thad’s expression was a potent mix of hurt and anger and raw desperation that I couldn’t fix, no matter how badly I wanted to. Charley wasn’t much better, but to give the girl credit, she had the tough act down. She didn’t show her desperation like Thad; instead Charley strode forward with fierce hope, chin set, shoulders back, every step showing off the Nil badass that she was. Then again, she still had time.
It’s easy to be tough when time is still on your side.
Time is never on our side, I thought. Not here.
Pay attention, I told myself.
It was Nil rule number one.
I glanced back at Thad. He’d stopped, and the pain scarring his face broke something inside me. I’d almost been there, once. Not again. Never again, definitely not here.
Charley stopped beside him and taking his hand, she smiled.
Like their shadow, I braked too. Keeping my distance, I looked away. Looked around.
No gate, yet.
Wrapped in themselves, the pair barely acknowledged me, which brought strange relief. Thad and I were cool; so were Charley and I. I’d said my goodbyes last night. At this point, I had no interest in being drawn into a conversation where I had nothing to say—as if I’d be able to talk with the weight of Nil on my chest. In minutes I’d lose the best friend I had here, one way or another, and I’d had enough Nil funerals to last a lifetime.
Dammit, Nil. I looked around, again. Please send a gate. Please give Thad a ticket home.
Beneath my feet, the ground shifted, then stilled. A small jerk, more like a wake-up call. Around me, the air went slack.
Exhaling the breath I’d been holding all day, I looked back at Thad. Charley was shaking him like a rag doll and pointing over his shoulder. Sure enough, a gate shimmered a few meters out from the two, but Thad didn’t see it; he stood frozen, staring at Charley like a man about to jump off a sinking ship. Then the gate winked out.
Time rushed back in, filling the vacuum the gate left behind.
The three of us stared at the spot where the gate vanished, like if we all stared hard enough, it would come back, like a bad April Fool’s joke.
To my complete shock, it actually worked. Either that, or Nil was having too much fun to quit now. A second gate flashed a few meters past the first. Charley spotted the second gate at the same time I did. Her face lit up like a holiday tree.
Charley shook Thad again, and then he woke up. Or gave up. Given the next few ridiculous minutes, it was a toss-up.
“NO!” Charley’s agonized scream hung in the still air.
I froze, shocked by the whisper in my head. I knew that voice; I’d ached for that voice. I’d let that voice go—or at least tried to.
Out on the rocks, Thad laughed. He threw his fist in the air like he’d won. His laughter echoed across the open black rock, like Nil thought is was a joke too.
The scene slowed, a weird warp of Nil ghosts, past and future.
Charley was gone.
Thad’s time was up.
Rives! Talla whispered again. On your left.
Stunned, I whipped around, half-expecting to see her, knowing I wouldn’t because I buried her. Six feet under in Nil dirt.
No Talla, but I couldn’t miss the massive grizzly barreling our way—or the gate rising from the ground.
Thad wasn’t looking. He was shouting now, screaming at the Nil sky, faced raised to the heavens even as he chewed out Nil. Nil answered, shaking the ground with a vengeance.
“Thad!” I shouted. “On your left!”
He spun, saw the gate, and took off, sprinting all out.
That day was the first time I heard Talla’s voice, but not the last.
How had I let Nil in my head?
How had I let Nil in my head?
--end of bonus scene--
Yay! Come back tomorrow for this Fall's #YASH!