Authors: Michelle Madow
Part Three in the Transcend Time Saga
Published by Dreamscape Publishing
Copyright © 2012
is a work of fiction. Though some actual towns, cities, and locations may be mentioned, they are used in a fictitious manner and the events and occurrences were invented in the mind and imagination of the author. Any similarities of characters or names used within to any person past, present, or future is coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles or reviews.
To the fans, for loving these characters and this series as much as I do. Your enthusiasm and encouragement means so much to me, and I appreciate it more than I can say. I cannot thank you enough for showing me that there are people out there who care about the stories I create. I shared a little piece of myself with you through my writing, and you all enjoyed it, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
Four years ago, I wrote the first chapter of
and handed it in as homework for an Intro to Creative Writing class I was taking in college. It was the first time since elementary school that I had shared my fiction with anyone I knew, and I was absolutely terrified. Thank you to my teacher of that class, Bruce Aufhammer, for surprising me by saying you thought that chapter was “the best piece handed in out of the entire class.” I didn’t expect such positive feedback, and hearing it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to my classmates, who convinced me that other people would be interested in Lizzie and Drew’s story. I will never forget that moment. Your enthusiasm for that first chapter led me to write this entire series.
Thank you to Twila Papay and Phillip Deaver, for taking me on for an Independent Study in my senior year, even though you had never worked with a young adult fiction writer before. Having more time for independent work that semester helped me grow as a writer, and I appreciate your belief in me.
Without the support of Tiffany Ashmawy, Kaitlin Webster, and Alicia Bhambhani, I might never have finished my first novel,
. The three of you believed in me, and because of that, you made me believe in myself. Even though we live far from each other now, I will always remember that. You are incredible friends, and while we don’t see each other as much as we did in college, you remain the closest friends I’ve ever had. Thank you for your friendship—it means the world to me!
To my mom, Anne, my dad, Richard, my brother, Steven, and my grandparents, Phyllis, Paul, Lois, and Selvin—the support and belief you have shown me since I declared that “I wanted to be an author” in my junior year of college has been amazing. I know it’s not a “normal” career goal, and I am infinitely lucky to have a family that is standing by me as I go for my dreams and trek through the tough world of publishing. Not a day goes by when I don’t appreciate that. I love you guys!!!
Christine Witthohn, you were the first person in the industry to believe in
, and I will never forget that. I hope you enjoy the conclusion to the series!
Throughout this journey I have met some incredible book bloggers, and without their help spreading the word, this series never would have reached as many people as it has today. Specifically, Giselle from Xpresso Reads, Jennie from My Cute Bookshelf, Michelle from Book Briefs, and Tiffany from For Those About to Read. I wish I had enough room to include every blogger who has reviewed my books! Also, a special shout out to Amanda from Book Love 101 for the incredible trailers she created for
Lastly, to Ahjah Richardson, Barbara Kaylor, David Madow, Donna Knight, Fred LeBaron, Joanna Royer, Keelie Dutka, Lauren Setzer, Marshall Madow, Misty Durkee, Sara Avakian, Sharon Diggans, Taylor Knight, and Yoko Madow—thank you for your support of the Transcend Time Saga!
The Transcend Time Saga
“I can’t believe you’ve never made s’more’s before,” Drew said, jabbing a marshmallow with an iron s’more stick and handing it to me.
“Not all of us went to fancy summer camps when we were younger where we made s’mores and sang Kumbaya around a campfire.” I laughed and took the stick from him. Luckily we weren’t sitting outside—New Hampshire at the end of November wasn’t conducive to that, and I hated the freezing cold. Instead, we sat in front of the fireplace in Drew’s living room, surrounded by a bag of marshmallows, a Hershey’s chocolate bar, and a box of graham crackers.
The living room was huge, probably as big as half of my house, and being in there felt like being back in time. The furniture was French antique, and the hardwood floor was covered with a woven Turkish rug. I loved curling up my toes and feeling the softness of it underneath them.
With the fire blazing and Drew sitting next to me, I felt happier than I had in years.
“That wasn’t all what my summer camp was about,” Drew said as he prepared his marshmallow on the stick. “We also played sports, and did color war.”
“What’s color war?” I asked.
“My camp colors were blue and buff, and at the end of the summer we were assigned to one of the colors as a team,” he explained. “We would do cheers and play games against each other.”
“I have a hard time picturing you cheering for a color team.” I laughed.
“I got into it when I was younger,” he said. “You should have seen it. I put zinc on my cheeks and everything.”
“You’ll have to show me a picture,” I told him.
“I will later,” he promised.
I looked into his dark brown eyes, the light of the fire reflecting against the flecks of gold inside them. After everything we’d been through in the past few months, it was hard to believe we were here now, making s’mores and talking about our lives.
When I first saw Drew, he seemed so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place where we’d met. I felt a connection to him, but I was dating Jeremy at the time, so I couldn’t act on it. I also couldn’t act on it because for the first two months after we met, Drew pretended he wanted nothing to do with me. He dated my best friend, Chelsea, and avoided interaction with me as much as possible.
I didn’t understand what I’d done to offend him so badly, and it hurt to be treated like that. But as much as I told myself that I shouldn’t want anything to do with someone who acted that way, I couldn’t dislike him. The undeniable connection I felt toward him wouldn’t allow it.
Then I started having flashes of memories from a life long past—a life I’d lived in Hampshire, England in 1815. A life I’d shared with Drew.
Or a life I
have shared with Drew, if I hadn’t suffered an untimely death in a carriage accident, destroying any chance we had to be together in our past lives.
Because I, Lizzie Davenport, an average high school junior at the Beech Tree School in Pembrooke, New Hampshire, have been reincarnated. It’s still strange to think about. There are days when I wonder if it’s actually possible, that I have memories of a life lived in a time so different from my own.
Then I see Drew and I know the love we share is stronger than just this life—it runs all the way from the past into the present.
Our love wasn’t the only thing that still existed from the past—the tragic end I’d suffered back then was trying to happen again as well. But after I narrowly avoided death in the present when I stopped Jeremy from getting us into an awful car accident that would have paralleled the carriage accident in the past, Drew came clean to me about why he’d been determined to avoid me. He thought if he didn’t allow us to be together in current day, it would have prevented the past from repeating, and stopped my death from happening again.
His avoiding me didn’t work. Seeing Drew for the first time made my memories of the past bubble to the surface, and after a vivid flashback at the Halloween dance, I approached him about what I was seeing. He confirmed that yes, we were together in the past, although he hid his knowledge of my death. At first I was angry he withheld such important information, but now I understand why he did it—knowing that you died young and might die young again is tough to process.
Since I stopped the accident from happening again, we were now safe to be together, without having to worry about my possible death. It was relaxing to be able to enjoy my time with Drew. The two of us could finally be normal teenagers.
Well, as normal as teenagers can be after realizing they were reincarnated to have another chance with their one true love.
I held the stick with my marshmallow over the fire. The marshmallow hovered over the flames, the edges turning light brown. Drew took another approach, shoving his straight in. A few seconds later, he brought it out and blew out the fire surrounding it. The outside was charred crisp.
I had no idea how he could think that tasted good.
“What’re you thinking about?” he asked, squishing his blackened marshmallow between the graham crackers. Even though it was burned on the outside, it was gooey and soft on the inside.
“Just about everything that’s happened,” I said, rotating my marshmallow to evenly distribute the heat. “I still feel terrible about Chelsea. She had no idea about the history between us, and now she hates me …” A lump formed in my throat, and I swallowed it away. Drew was my soul mate, but Chelsea was my best friend.
At least she was my best friend until Drew and I told her we were together. Now she refused to be in the same room as me. Thinking about how I’d betrayed her made me feel sick. But I couldn’t just not be with Drew, the person I’d been reborn to spend this life with. Anyway, Chelsea’s reasons for wanting to be with Drew were superficial. All she seemed to care about were his looks, and her fascination with his growing up in New York City. It was like being known throughout school as “Drew’s girlfriend” was more important to her than being with him and getting to know him.
What made me feel terrible was that I handled it wrong. I should have been honest with Chelsea about my feelings for Drew from the start.
But I couldn’t change the past, so I had to focus on moving forward.
“She’ll get over it,” Drew assured me, draping his arm around my shoulders. “You just need to give her time.”
“Speaking of time,” I said, “We need to make sure I’m back home by 10:00. Curfew on school nights and all.” I glanced at my watch, squinting at the face of the clock when I saw it said 5:15. The sun had set hours ago. “That’s strange,” I said.
“What?” Drew asked.
“My watch stopped.”
“It probably needs a new battery,” he said.
“But I got the battery replaced last month.”
“Maybe you got a bad battery.”
“Yeah.” I shrugged, unable to come up with another reason. “That must be it.”
Since my watch wasn’t working, I checked the time on my phone. 9:20. Drew and I had thirty minutes together before I had to drive back so I got home before curfew.
“We’ll get it fixed after school tomorrow,” Drew said. “Okay?”
“Okay,” I said, my thoughts returning to where they had been before noticing my watch had stopped. “I keep thinking about Chelsea, though. She’s not the kind of person to forget about how we hurt her—even if neither of us did it on purpose. What if she never wants to be friends with me again?”
“If she doesn’t want to be friends with you anymore, then she doesn’t deserve your friendship,” Drew said. “Besides, you have other friends. You were telling me the other day how you wanted to spend more time with Hannah, and you and Keelie are hanging out now, too. Both of them are nicer than Chelsea, anyway.”
“You would know,” I said. “You dated her.”
“Hey.” Drew nudged me with his shoulder. “I thought you were over that.”
“I am,” I said. “And I know you never loved her. I just …”
“Wish I had been honest about everything from the beginning,” Drew finished my sentence. “I’ll say ‘I’m sorry’ a million more times if that will make you forgive me.”
“I’ve already forgiven you,” I said honestly, looking into his brown eyes with the familiar flecks of gold around the pupils. “I love you too much to not forgive you.”
“And I love you, too,” Drew said, touching the silver heart bracelet he gave me yesterday. “Always and forever.”
Drew helped me make my s’more, although unlike his, I didn’t put a bar of chocolate in mine. I’m one of the few people—okay, the only person—I know who doesn’t like chocolate, or sweet foods in general. Jeremy thought it made me a freak of nature. I was only tolerating the marshmallow, which was a big ball of sugar, because it was fun to cook in the fireplace.
Drew remembered how I didn’t like chocolate in my past life, either, and he thinks it’s cute. I’m not sure how not liking chocolate can be cute, but to him it is.
I didn’t say anything as I ate my s’more, surprised that I liked it. This was definitely something I missed by going to a church art camp instead of an outdoor sports camp like the one Drew attended. Once finished, I wiped my lips to make sure there wasn’t any gooey marshmallow stuck on them.
“I think my mom is dating someone,” I said, stabbing a second marshmallow with the s’more stick.
“Is that a weird thing?” Drew ate his burned marshmallow right off the stick. Apparently we were done making them into marshmallow/graham cracker sandwiches, and were now eating them straight. It was less messy that way, and the good part was the marshmallow, anyway.
“Not weird,” I said. “She dates sometimes. But it’s never anything serious, and she always tells me about the guy she’s going out with. I’ve gotten run-downs on all her past dates. But she’s being so secretive about whoever she’s seeing now, and I can’t help but wonder why.”
“You should ask her,” Drew said, like it was the simplest solution in the world.
“Yeah.” I rotated my s’more stick to cook the other side of the marshmallow. “I will.”
Drew reached for the bag of marshmallows to put another one on his stick. Then I heard a strange sound from the chimney—like something was trying to come through. A frantic flapping, followed by a loud squawk that sounded like a bird.
I didn’t have time to ask Drew what was going on before a huge black crow slammed into the fire.
I yanked my s’more stick out of the flame and backed up on the rug, with no idea what to do. The bird’s feathers caught fire, combusting around its body, its eyes panicked. I wanted to reach in and help it, but I couldn’t put my hand in the flames. Plus, the bird had stopped moving. I had a feeling it was past the point where it could be saved.
Then a sickening smell filled the room—burning flesh. I covered my nose with my hand, not wanting to breathe in the aroma of death. I felt like I was going to be sick. I wanted to look away, so I didn’t have to see the painful last moments of the poor animal being burned alive, but I couldn’t pull away from the grisly scene. All I could see was the crow’s hollow eye socket staring at me. Blaming me. Like it was saying, “You’re next.”
I shook the thought away—it made no sense. Why had I thought something so gruesome?
“Go into the kitchen.” Drew’s voice entered my panicked thoughts. “I’ll take care of this.” He grabbed my shoulders and forced me to look away from the dead bird in the fire. But not seeing it didn’t erase the smell. Cooked flesh. Burning feathers.
The overwhelming aroma of death trapping me, leaving me no room to escape.