Monday, March 21, 2016

{Blog Tour} #StrangeLit: Darkest Dreams



Excerpt, Majesty

Jay E. Tria

Once I got over the initial shock of seeing a ghost, I started noticing the details.

Firstly, ghosts were not naked. Neither did they wear all white, or the last clothes they were wearing on

the day of their death. That often repeated assumption planted gruesome images of victims of car crashes and

preys of murder in my overly vivid imagination.


Majesty died in her room, pulled out from sleep by a wretched pain in her skull and

abdomen—hypovolemic shock, the doctors called it, triggered by internal bleeding—but her ghost was not in

pajamas. She wore what looked like her favorite printed silk scarf, a blue cashmere sweater, and a pleated

skirt. I could not make out shoes though. The floating made it impossible. Her outline was blurred at the

edges, the shape ending down her legs where her feet should be. I shuddered, deciding I really didn’t need to

know about spirit shoes.

Secondly, ghosts were at the peak of health. Apart from the fact that they’re dead, that is.

I took note of all of these things as I hobbled around my room, trying to get dressed while keeping an

eye on Majesty. I had rushed to the common bathrooms for a shower because she won’t shut up about my

human need to be clean, and burst back into my room not fifteen minutes later. My heart sagged in relief to

find her still here, her shimmering image floating idly around my square space.

“Will you come to class with me?” I asked as I stuffed my feet into socks, then boots.

She had her hand over my curtains. She moved her fingers over it, the fabric shivering when her

forefinger came too close. She pulled back. “Probably not.”

“It’s Statistics day! I mean I’m not taking it anymore, but the class would still be there. You should

totally go. Professor Grayson would love to see you.”

Majesty’s lips pulled up to a small smirk. “You really think that’s the way to get me out of here?

Statistics?”

I shrugged. The sentiment card was worth a try. “Can you only visit me here? In my room?”

“It does seem like it.” Majesty closed her eyes, listening to that sound again that to me was only silence.

“Yes, it does.”

Why? I wailed in my head. But there were more pressing questions. “Where will you go?”

“Here. There.” Majesty opened her eyes and smiled.

In any other day before her death, I would’ve been furious at the vague answer. But now it just terrified

me. I was afraid if I blinked, it would take only that second for Majesty to disappear. What more if I had

spent the whole day outside? I would lose her again.

I hitched my backpack over my shoulder, one wary eye on my desk clock. Its minute hand screamed that

I should have been out the door ten minutes ago.

“Can I see you again tomorrow?” I rushed out the words. My voice was small, but it rose like that of a

child nearing tears.

“I don’t know.” Majesty floated towards me, her hands waving me out.

I backed against the door, the instinct of fear quick to grip my chest. Majesty halted, hovering a safe

foot’s space away, her gray eyes smiling.

“I don’t think so, Andy,” she went on. “It’s not Wednesday tomorrow.”

I gripped the door handle, my voice climbing back up my throat. “But are you sure? Maybe yes?” I

croaked, keeping my eyes on hers. The key was to ignore the floating. “If yes, I can be here all day. I don’t

need to see Gale. I see too much of him now anyway. I’d make some excuse.”

“Gale,” she whispered.

Majesty’s gaze swept past me, as if pulling out a thread of images from a spool of memories.

I edged one small step towards her, trying to catch her gaze. My backpack dropped to the floor. My boot

crunched on it on my next step.

“Do you remember him?”

***

I met Gale on the second night of Majesty’s wake. He was there on the first night too, so I’ve been told. But I

didn’t see him until the second, and only because Auntie Ruth introduced us.

He wasn’t the type of guy I would notice, now that my profiler scanner was off (it didn’t work during

wakes of people I loved, apparently). Gale had no piercings, no T-shirt of an obscure rock band, no beautiful

face framed with beautiful, day-old hair.

He looked normal, the preppy kind of normal. He was wearing a shirt with a collar under a sweater,

paired with crisp slacks on that day I met him, and virtually on all days that I’ve seen him since. That was his

uniform. He had a long, pointed face with a nose that seemed too large for it. His sandy hair grew past his

ears, and he seemed the type who grew it not because he thought it made him look cool, but because he

didn’t care.

But he had smart eyes. Not as deep and dark as Caleb’s, but an endless pool of blue, clear as water. His

eyes pulled me to him the way Majesty’s gray pools of smoke did.

I thought that was the first link between us.

“Gale and Majesty went to high school together,” Auntie Ruth said by way of introduction. She turned

to Gale, her hand gripping my arm. “Andy was Majesty’s best friend. She met her at university.”

“I know you,” Gale said, his water-blue eyes on mine.

The way he said it augmented my initial impression. Here was a smart boy, no doubt, with an especially

smart mouth.

“I see you on her Facebook page. She calls you hon.”

I lifted my chin, detecting a quick note of jealousy and disbelief, a sound I was used to hearing from

people who found the friendship between the popular girl and tomboyish dork unprecedented.

“That is me, yes,” I replied with a sniff. “I see you there too. You are the morning person.”

He was in several of Majesty’s posts. They were always having breakfast together in the most ungodly

hours of the morning, sometimes before class, sometimes during the weekend. The time of day when I would

be happily buried under my blankets.

Gale wasn’t Majesty’s boyfriend though, present or ex. I figured that from their carefully curated

pictures, and I teased Majesty about it one time just to be certain. She had said that he was just a friend. But I

remembered the fond way she said it, the intimate way her voice caressed his name.

Gale smiled, a quick open-hearted grin. “That is me, yes,” he echoed my words, his voice lilting and

cheerful.

His grin was like a welcome sign, and that was the second link between us.




Displaying Jay E Tria picture 082015.jpg

 Jay E. Tria writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult stories about characters that live inside her head, about people she meets and people she wishes to meet. She also reads, daydreams, and blogs. She loves skinny jeans, sneakers, live gigs, and adopted cats. She is not a cool kid.

Books: Blossom Among Flowers | Songs
of Our Breakup
Official site: www.jayetria.com
Facebook, Twitter, Wattpad: jayetria











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