This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The cold midnight air kissed my exposed skin as I stood watch over the city from my apartment balcony. The lights below were fuzzy reminders of far-away life. I had chased a fantasy—a dream. But at the time, it didn’t seem to matter. I remember her eyes, the deep sparkling water of those dark pools. I remember the way lines form beside her eyes when she smiles, radiant and full of merriment like all the Christmas lights in my childhood. I remember how she whispered, how her voice would seep into my skin and embrace my dirty soul. I kept thinking to myself what I did to deserve her, and I often wondered how she could love a man like me.
Warmth rose up in my cheeks and flowed slowly from my eyes. I embraced myself; it felt like the cold had gotten the best of me. My lips were dry and shaking, and I could smell the alcohol from my own frozen breath. I had been drinking, hoping that the sweet burn of the intoxicating liquid would wash away the thorns in my core. It numbed me a bit, but it only made my memories of her more vivid.
It was then that the sweet scent of her perfume drifted into my space, as if to call my attention to a presence surrounding me. I looked around, inside my messy, dimly-lit apartment, and I could almost feel her there.
“Marika,” I called out softly into the void, hoping that the darkness would answer. “Marika, are you there?”
A feminine figure seemed to take shape, emerging like smoke from the shadows of my apartment. Slowly, I recognized her features—her lips, her cheeks, her eyes. I fell backwards, and the wall broke my fall. A cold wave moved upwards across my back, filling my head with confused waters that crashed on the shore of my consciousness. She walked closer and closer, until finally I could feel her warmth. She looked into my eyes, and I remembered how it felt when I first saw her that pleasant summer morning.
I found myself without a voice, the alcohol in my system finally hitting me in between the eyes. She held my cheek with her fingertips and I felt her warmth embrace me.
“It’s you,” I said in a whisper, afraid that I might violate our sacred space. “How—?”
She looked outside, into the living city, into the night. “We don’t have much time,” she said with a hint of emptiness in her voice. She brought her eyes back at me, and I stood still. “Daniel,” she said, and at the mention of my name, I felt my knees tremble. “Hold me.”
I embraced her fully, but before I could feel her warmth—the proof of her—Marika had vanished.
M.L. Bull: Hello, Aalia!Your story compelled the emotional pain and struggle of a teenage girl very well.. The imagery was also convincing and well-written, showing the different personalities of your characters and their actions. However, I do think that many of your sentences are too lengthy and could use...
Jessie: I wrote a review on fanfiction but I thought it would be fitting to write on on here too :) This story was honestly stunning. I am a budding writer myself and to read this- to FEEL this- reminded me of why I am honoured to have this passion and drive for a craft that is just so raw and beautiful.
Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...
ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
: This is my first book reading on here and I absolutely loved it! If you like a book that'll keep you up late at night then this is your go to. What makes this novel so special is that it shows that even if your not blood related some people would put your needs before there's.
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."