Band of Turquoise
a free short story by Kit Campbell
Alice pulled her sweater closer as she moved into the graveyard. Stray, dead leaves swirled at her feet, and a band of turquoise lay heavily on her wrist. She resisted the urge to play with it, in case that broke the limited protection it gave her. She did not know how much time she had before Amy would realize she had gone, before the turquoise would no longer hide Alice’s whereabouts.
Fear caused her to move faster than she would otherwise. Her goal was the center of the graveyard, a statue of Death standing over his prey. Rumor said the statue had been there since the very beginning of the cemetery, if not before.
In the twilight, the graveyard was empty of other people--living ones, at least. Gravestones rose out of the darkness only to be wrapped back in once Alice had passed. The statue was unmistakable when she found it. She only hoped the rumors were true. She would not get a chance to try again.
The library in my elementary school was half the size of a classroom, but as full of books as they could make it. Still I’d read nearly every book in it before I escaped to middle school and more books.
In middle school and high school, I read a book a day most days. I read through the middle school library in just over a year, and the kind librarians let me into the high school section early so I wouldn’t starve for books. On a rare trip to the county library I looked like a contestant in one of those “all you can stuff in the cart in ten minutes” contest winners. When I got home I always needed help with my stack of treasure—especially since I was generally eyebrows deep in the first book while I tried to carry the rest.
In those years, pretty much if I wasn’t reading, I was writing. I had an old electric typewriter on a table in my room, and a bunch of notebooks for when I needed to hide somewhere else (and a 35-acre farm full of places to do the hiding!) and I loved to write the stories that I couldn’t find to read. (Stories I can now identify as self-insert Hardy Boys fanfic? Yeaaahhhh…there might be a reason that stuff wasn’t in the library.)
I turned Grave Touched in to my editor on Jan. 1st, and have been between projects since then. I wanted to work on something, anything, so I started thinking about what I could work on until my edits on GT hit. I decided to write a novella in the Reaper Girl universe and resurrect a languishing novel that needed a rewrite (but only on Sundays. It's a long story). I also wanted to start Fey Touched book 3, Ever Touched, sometime soon so there would hopefully not be three years between it and GT. With me so far?