Thursday, 26 October 2017

Sandgirl’s Dream by Chrissy Moon





17-year-old Kayla lives in a town of cryptic identities, old mythological family backgrounds, and hundreds of secrets. Like most teens in Idyllwild, California, Kayla is Lyzicc – a human-looking child of two mythos beings, and a generation away from the darkness and magic of ancient lore.

Her mother, a former siren who sang men to their death – as well as her father, Der Sandmann of folklore – are inexplicably sucked into a sand sculpture one morning, leaving Kayla worried and confused.

Hale, the boy she’s seeing, and his fraternal twin, Collin, invite her to stay with them in their vast underground kingdom during her parents’ absence.

Added to this is an estranged best friend, an adopted little sister with a secret even she doesn’t even know about, a possibly-insane mythos grandfather (Father Time), and the fact that her new boyfriend’s mother wants to kill Kayla because of an ancient pact, you can bet her junior year in high school will finish with heartache, enchantment, and maybe even love.


Excerpt:

      One of the biggest slaps to the face that afternoon was that, after my parents’ disappearance and learning they were probably just taken by relatives for an emergency meeting, and after the mind-numbing education of the difference between Hades and the Ante-Kingdom, we still had to go to school. Well, at least according to Hale.
      At this moment though, I was experiencing a different sort of challenge. I was struggling with that uncomfortable question we all have to face at some point in our lives.
      Which direction should I burp in?
      I didn’t see a whole lot of solutions to my little problem, but I’d just have to improvise.
      We’d stopped by a fast-food place on the way to school when we saw that we probably wouldn’t get back in time for lunch. Feeling especially thirsty and hungry that day, I asked for an extra large soda, and to show off in front of the guys, I finished it in less than 5 minutes.
      I don’t know what in the world made me think that guzzling down a carbonated, sugary beverage at the speed of light would impress them. I don’t even think they noticed, so all it really did was make me terribly uncomfortable for my first class of the day, which was fifth period.
      Anyway, to make matters worse, I wasn’t in Government anymore with Howard Strayke, a great teacher and friend who couldn’t care less if you talked while you worked or cussed out loud, since he himself had been known to drop f-bombs during lectures. That semester had ended and my many classmates and I were now in Economics. There was a teacher shortage so we had to merge into one giant student lump for that class.
      I didn’t have anything against the idea of an economics class. I understood that it was important to learn how to handle money, or something. But my econ teacher was Mr. Jolston, and he was the opposite of Mr. Strayke in so many different ways.
      First, he was one of those teachers who was so strict and controlling, he wrote everyone’s names on their test sheets and gave them to us that way, instead of passing out blank test sheets and have everyone write in their own name, like we’d all been doing since we were kindergarteners. He was the kind of teacher who would tell us where exactly to place our backpacks and what items were allowed on our desktops. When we raised our hands to participate in class, our arms had to be sticking straight up with our hands flat and not curled, and our other arm had to be on top of our desks.
      Collin got in trouble when he flat-out asked the teacher, “Will we also need your express written consent to scratch our own butts?” Only he used a more colorful word in place of butts. Mr. Jolston had kicked him out of the class for the rest of the day, but as far as the rest of us in class could tell, that was more reward than punishment.
      Little bubbles of air kept wiggling up my throat every couple minutes as I sat in class now, trying my best to look like I was paying attention. So far, I’d been successful in swallowing these belches away, but they kept coming back with a vengeance. At times like this, I was very happy that I was in the back where at least not everybody in the junior class could see me or in this case, smell me.
      Still, there was someone sitting directly in front of me and kids sitting all around me. Mr. Jolston managed to fit about 40 desks inside his room and have ample space between rows, but as I’ve learned, regurgitated air that contained the combined smells of cola, hot dogs, and stomach acid can unfortunately travel pretty damn far.
      “Now, it seems as though nobody discussed the subject of investment to my satisfaction in yesterday’s homework. I won’t lie – I’m disappointed. To highlight this matter for you all, I’ve made another work sheet for homework tonight, and this time I want more discussion from each of you.”
      There were a lot of groans, which made Mr. Jolston frown, and at that point, the groans promptly stopped.
      I put my head down on the table and released a tiny burp toward the floor, figuring that was the only place it would remain undetectable. I waited a few moments, my ears sticking out like antennae, listening for sounds of disgust from the people around me. Satisfied that I hadn’t been found out, I slowly picked my head up and tried to pay attention in class.
      Oh god. Another little gas bubble was already shooting its way up my esophagus.
      “Ms. Isbethrie?”
      God, no. Not now.
      He nodded at me, which for him was almost the same thing as a smile. He didn’t have a reason to hate me yet, as I don’t typically mouth off to a teacher unless I have a perfectly good reason to. “Mr. Howell doesn’t seem to know, so I’m hoping you can save the day. What’s the difference between a bond and a share?”
      I immediately glanced at Miran Howell, who looked flustered and a little embarrassed. Miran was super nice and extremely cute, but he had some days that made you think he’d fallen out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
      Of course, I had my dull moments, too.
      “Uh…a bond is something that you…get…from a bank. Like a loan?” I tried to swallow down a burp, praying I would at least be half-correct in my response. More importantly, I hoped Mr. Jolston would take his eyes off me and leave me to belch in peace.
      I heard a laugh being stifled, and looked out of the other corner of my eye to see Ellington stuff his fist in his mouth, trying not to crack up. Then he shot his hand up in the air to volunteer to answer the question.
      Mr. Jolston sighed. Ell was definitely brilliant, close to genius I’d say, but our teacher didn’t like him because of his tendency to cause trouble. He didn’t like any of the guys, to be honest. If I were fearless, I would tell Mr. Jolston to stop picking on the guys just because he was jealous that he was obviously never cute, popular, or maybe even liked very much at all.
      I watched Mr. Jolston’s inner turmoil as he apparently struggled with the choice of letting Ell answer the question correctly, or torturing more students who obviously didn’t know the difference between a bond and a freaking share. After a moment, he sighed again and said,       “Yes, Mr. Burke?”
      Ell put his hand down. “A bond is when the government borrows money from you. It can take up to 30 years but you will get your money back regardless. A share is when you invest in a company, so the money you get depends on how well the company does, which is obviously riskier than a bond.”
      Mr. Jolston pursed his lips together in acceptance. “Thank you, Mr. Burke.” He walked around for a moment with his hands behind his back. “I think it’s pretty obvious that most of you are not learning anything or living up to your potential. Now, listen carefully, class. Do a lot of reading tonight in your textbook and convince me in your homework that you understand the review questions at the end of the chapter.” He paused to look at Miran, then glared at me. “This means you, Ms. Isbethrie.”
      I nodded and opened my mouth to respond, but a deafening belch punched out of me instead.
      Everyone laughed. I put my hands over my mouth and gasped, looking at Mr. Jolston and terrified as to what he was going to do. “I’m sorry! I meant to say, yes…Mr. Jolston.”
      His head moved a little bit as if he’d chuckled, but it didn’t show in his face. “Thank you for that…enlightening speech, Ms. Isbethrie.”
      I bit my lip and slouched down in my seat. When all eyes were off me, I grew bold and looked up at Hale, but as usual I could only see the back of his blond head. I wondered how this little incident would affect any future conversations about me that he would have with his friends.
      Hale’s friend: Hey, Hale. I want to tell you about my new girlfriend. She has almond eyes, soft brown skin, hair that smells like a summer breeze, and a singing voice that’ll knock your socks off. Aren’t you seeing a new girl too? What’s she like?
      Hale: Oh, you mean Kayla? She’s real gassy. Thanks for asking.
      So many times I wished I were more feminine – shorter, for starters. Being clumsy didn’t help either. I’ve seen those dainty girls who walked around school as elegantly as if they were accepting an Academy Award. Tripping on your own feet and falling butt-first on the cold hard ground wasn’t quite the same.
      And lastly, this gassy stuff has got to go. I’ve had enough of it. My mom used to tell me it was my food choices that did it.
      Oh. My mom. I missed her already.




Author Bio:

Filipino American Chrissy Moon is passionate about learning languages, American history, and ancient civilizations.

A mom to a grown son as well as an 8-year-old son, Chrissy loves absorbing stories of all kinds, whether they’re from television or video games, and ranging greatly in genre.

Referred to as ‘bubbly’ by her author pals, she loves reading her friends’ fiction books as well as nonfiction related to women’s rights and civil rights.

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