Authors: Emily Goodwin
|Beyond the Sea|
|Beyond the Sea |
|CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012)|
After the brutal and mysterious murder of her sister, Melia is forced to leave her life as and merrow and live on land, pretending to be human. Feeling very much like a fish out of water, Melia struggles to fit in and to accept that the Pacific Ocean she loves so much may never again be her home. Melia is unable to hide her fins from outsider Jamie Forester, who possess the gift to see into the Otherworld. Jamie—and everyone she knows—views her ability as a curse, isolating her from the rest of society. Melia sees the curse as a gift…and a way to find out what really happened to her sister.
Eighteen year old Peter Anderson thinks college is the most extraordinary thing that will ever happen to him, until he meets Melia. He is immediately bewitched by her beauty and spirit, sensing but not seeing that there is more to her than meets the eye. Caught up in Peter’s affection and human affairs, Melia is too distracted to notice the darklings surfacing from the depths of the ocean. It isn’t until a body is found that Melia realizes parts of her old life have come back—with a vengeance. If Melia stays with the humans she has grown to love, danger will certainly find them. But going back to the sea with a killer still on the loose isn’t a choice she’s ready to make.
Peter and Jamie are quick to defend Melia, willing to risk life and limb to keep their friend safe. But nothing can prepare them for the truth they learn about merrows and all of the darkness that lies beyond the sea.
Beyond the Sea
by Emily Goodwin
2012 Emily Goodwin
I would like to thank everyone who helped make this book possible; those who helped with research, encouraged me to keep writing, took countless pictures of the Pacific Ocean for me, and listened to my theories about merrows and mythology. I owe a big thanks to my editors and beta readers for doing the ‘dirty work’.
You guys are awesome.
To my husband. I love you.
Jamie Forester was different. Always was, always would be. Like her two sisters, she had light brown hair and fair skin. Unlike her sisters, she dyed her hair dark and didn’t go tanning. Also unlike her sisters, Jamie was shy, quirky, and a day dreamer. She preferred the company of books; she read more than she spoke. She didn’t like crowds and wasn’t good at making friends; Lacey Parker had been her only friend since freshman year. She spent Sunday mornings volunteering at the animal shelter and never stayed out late partying (as if she’d ever gotten invited).
She wasn’t athletic, she wasn’t artistic, and she couldn’t carry a tune to save her life. Jasmine, her older sister, was the star of the family. She was smart, pretty, had perfect hair, perfect skin and was an exceptional violinist; it made her parents’ dreams come true when she got that acceptance letter. But even with her off at Princeton, Jamie still felt the cold draft of her sister’s shadow lingering around the house.
She was only two years into her biophysical chemistry degree, and Jasmine was already ahead. Plus she was dating Andy, a ‘super hot’ junior majoring in neuroscience.
Jamie’s little sister, Jill, was two years younger than Jamie. She was tall, thin, pretty and popular. She was the kind of person you either wanted to be friends with or hated. She was fun, flirty, and good at getting her way. And she was cunning, never letting anything or anyone stop her from getting what she wanted. Jill had a new boyfriend almost every other month and had racked up more dating experience in her first year of high school than Jamie ever had in her entire life.
It wasn’t the giant academic shoes to fill or being a forever caterpillar to her sister’s social butterfly that made Jamie feel so alone. In fact, she had a talent too, one rarer than anything her sisters could do. But it was that very talent that isolated Jamie from not only her family- but from most of society.
Jamie had been six years old when her grandpa died. Her family had flown out to Memphis, her mother’s hometown, to stay with her widowed grandmother. The day after the funeral, and Jasmine and Jamie were playing in her grandmother’s small flower garden when Jamie suddenly felt the atmosphere change. Screaming, she ran for the house thinking it would storm. The air always felt like that before a storm. She reached for her mother, needing a reassuring hug to make everything better. After some comfort and a promise that the clear, blue sky would not suddenly turn gray, Jamie pulled away from her mom.
“Why did grandpa change his hair?” she asked, causing her mother, aunt and grandmother to look at her with pressed lips and shake their heads. Of course, they all thought she was thinking of how strange he looked in his coffin, his gray hair plastered over his stiff skinned head, but Jamie protested.
“It’s black. And long.” She pointed at a detached garage, filled with old parts. Restoring cars had been her grandpa’s favorite hobby. “He’s wearing a red shirt and keeps walking in and out of the garage. He won’t answer me.” She frowned, big tears welling up in her eyes.
It was amazing, comforting, and a blessing then. To see the spirit of her grandfather after he had just passed brought closure to the family.
It was a curse now. A curse Jamie hated. A curse her mother no longer wanted to believe in. It was scurrilous, unfair, and cruel. It followed Jamie everywhere she went. She tried to get rid of it. She tried to ignore it. But she couldn’t; it was part of her. It grew with her, evolving in an obstinate fashion. It suffocated Jamie, disturbing her sleep, distracting her studies, refusing to let her socialize…
The ghosts were one thing. Tolerable, even. After all, no one could deny that she saw her grandfather’s spirit. When The Dark Man started haunting Jamie night after night, her parents began to worry. And when she said faeries lived in the garden, they took her to therapy. She eventually learned to just keep her mouth shut. A year passed. She stopped taking the medication. Another year passed, everyone seemed to forget the whole ordeal.
Jamie’s mother blamed her shyness on the fact that they were a military family and moved frequently, just knowing Jamie would grow out of it, when she went to high school. When she got a boyfriend. When she went to college. But Jamie knew it wouldn’t go away. Ever.
Lacey was overweight. She had stringy, thin hair; she was an easy target. And she was the most caring person Jamie had ever met. They became instant best friends, and she believed Jamie since day one. They spent countless nights holding séances, scouring antique stores for ‘magical’ items, sneaking into abandoned buildings in hopes of finding something haunted, and visiting every public garden they could in search of more faeries.
Yes, the entire school thought they were weird. But it didn’t matter because they had each other. They understood each other, knew what it was like to be the odd one out. Aside from Jamie’s abilities to see into the Otherworld, Lacey was just like her. They liked the same food, the same movies, the same music. Both adored Harry Potter, both longed for a magical land to hide away in. Both had fathers in the military. Both had older sisters they would never live up to. They were both going to go to the community college and major in social work. They were going to make a difference in the world, to help unfortunate souls like themselves.
Their senior year would be the best one yet, they just knew it. They had elaborate plans for every long weekend and every holiday break. They saved up all summer to go on a road trip in the fall, to eastern Oregon to visit the Painted Hills. There just had to be magic hidden there, and they would find it.
Jamie should have known the trip would never happen. She started getting a bad feeling a week before Lacey came over crying in the middle of the night. Three days from then, her family was moving to South Carolina. The girls kept in contact, promising to stay friends forever. Lacey made new friends while Jamie didn’t. Lacey got a fresh start, Jamie was stuck. Stuck being the school weirdo, stuck being alone.
Their internet conversations grew fewer and fewer until it was a rare occurrence. For the next two months, Jamie’s mother took her out on Friday nights. They went shopping, ate dinner at every restaurant in San Morado, and saw movies together. They even joined a Tae Bo class. Jamie loved her mother and enjoyed spending time with her, but she knew how much of a feeble excuse hanging out with your mom on a Friday night was for a social life.
Even Jill had to point it out. “You know Mom only takes you shopping in hopes you’ll stop wearing those ugly black clothes,” she stated one Friday night as she checked herself out in the shared bathroom mirror. Jamie knew it was true. Her mother felt sorry for her, was worried about her. She knew her mom was trying to make her happy. Jamie didn’t want to be that pathetic girl anymore. Little did Jamie know that what made her so different would be the catalyst to change everything.
It was Wednesday afternoon. Jamie sat in the back of Mr. Thomson’s chemistry class, tapping her pencil absent mindedly on the table as she tried to figure out her formula. Since Lacey moved, she had no lab partner. It took her twice as long to do the assigned projects, but she didn’t mind, as it gave her an excuse to not talk to anyone. She heard the door open but didn’t look up from her book. The class was nearing the end and everyone was chatting away.
Then the energy shifted. She shot her attention to the front of the room. She noticed her just before the rest of the class did. A hush fell over the room.
“Class, this is Melia VanBurren. Let’s make her feel welcome,” Mr. Thomson said, curiously looking at his new student.
Melia smiled nervously at the class. No one spoke.
“Well, Melia, dear, there are two empty seats in the back.” Mr. Thomson waved at Jamie. “Take your pick.”
At the table next to Jamie sat Peter Anderson. She glanced over at him, taking in the glossy eyed way he stared at Melia. Jamie used to have a crush on Peter. Tall, tan, blonde and muscular, it wasn’t hard to see why. A rim of navy circled his sky blue pupils, Jamie noticed a while back. Girls often spoke about getting lost in his dreamy eyes. He hung out with the popular clique but seemed different from them. Nicer perhaps, not so much of a follower. Peter’s lab partner and former girlfriend, Janet Williams, was out sick today, leaving the seat next to him available.
Jamie couldn’t stand Janet. Janet was overly tan to the point of being orange, wore too much makeup and really lacked all natural beauty. She dressed flashy and was overly confident. She tricked you into thinking she was hot, and never hesitated to put anyone beneath her-literally and figuratively. Jamie’s mother once told her bullies were really sad and lonely on the inside. Well, if that were true, then Janet must have missed out on a lot of hugs as a child.
Melia slowly walked down the aisle of lab tables, her heels softly clicking on the cold, tile floor. Jamie looked down as Melia stepped in between her and Peter’s table, sure she would choose the latter.
“Can I sit here?”
Jamie’s head snapped up. “Uh, s-sure.”
“Thanks.” Melia smiled. Her voice was smooth, alluring, calming. “I’m Melia.”
“Jamie,” she said nervously. She eyed Melia up and down. The girl was freaking gorgeous. She was tall and thin, but not wispy thin. Her breasts were large enough to make Jamie jealous and her white dress hung off her body in an incredibly flattering way, accentuating her flat stomach, narrow waist and curvy rear end. Her legs were long and lean; her feet nestled in expensive, silver Jimmy Choos. Melia sat, tucking her hair behind her ear and looking curiously at the chemistry book. Gold streaked her brunette locks, which, by the way, fell down to her middle back in loose curls. She smiled again at Jamie, flashing captivating sea green eyes and flawless skin. She only wore mascara.
She looks like an eff-ing Sports Illustrated swimsuit model,
Jamie thought bitterly, already planning on calling Lacey to vent as soon as she was able, well, if Lacey would answer this time. Melia set her bag on the table. Jamie knew it was designer, like the rest of her ensemble, and knew it cost more than she made all summer.