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These Lovely Forms (Book 1)

By LeKat All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Blurb

The truth is simple: Death comes to all, young or old, fair or unfair. But not all deaths mean rest. Some come with a job. Jadin, a Marker, has been tasked with labeling soon-to-be victims and has mastered the art of leaving before they die. By now it is a tired routine, the horror of the idea long-since wrung out. Marking Alli will be easy. Merciful, even. But Alli has never done things the easy way. Disturbed by visions of death and a past she keeps buried deep, Alli is just trying to get through her Senior year. It seems possible until the night of the party, when she sees a pair of wings in the trees. Then Jadin, an ambivalent youth who seems to have stepped out of a quieter time, shows up on her doorstep. Alli has two choices: shun him for his uncivil behavior, or stop and listen to the one person she believes might understand her visions. Jadin has a choice to make too: remain trapped on Earth until Alli dies like she's supposed to, or help speed the process. It seemed cut and dried, but being around Alli is making him wonder if he really holds all the cards. --Told in alternating perspectives--

Prologue

They didn’t know it yet, but these were their last goodbyes.

It was something that they should have seen coming. The woman was old, she’d had a good, long life, but it was over now. Surely they had to know how frail their hopes were. But it was easy to forget how blind humans could be, how determined they were to believe that they were the ones in control. I knew better.

I hovered just inside the bedroom window, toes barely touching the floor. Completely invisible. There were only two others in the room now, the old woman and her adult daughter, sleeping in a bedside chair with her head resting near her mother’s hand. My job was easy: get in, Mark them, get out. Still, I lingered, waiting for the daughter to wake up. Not out of compassion—the woman would die whether or not I hung around—but from curiosity. When she woke up, would she be distraught? Would she sense my presence and try to make the most of these last moments? Or did she care? Maybe she’d be one of those just waiting for her mother to die and leave behind a large sum of money. Judging by the run-down state of the lamp-lit room, I was betting that this one would be a touching farewell, unmarred by finances.

The old woman sensed me before her daughter did. Her vacant stare suddenly cleared, and acceptance touched her eyes for the briefest second. She knew what was coming. Gently, she rubbed her daughter’s hair, bringing her out of unconsciousness.

The daughter blinked and then started upright, searching the room in confusion. Then she remembered where she was and she rubbed wearily at her eyes. “What time is it?” she mumbled.

Her mother shrugged. “I don’t know,” she said in a deceptively strong voice. “I can’t see the numbers.”

The reminder caused the daughter’s forehead to crumple. She leaned forward and read the bedside clock out loud “Eleven-fifteen.” She grasped her mother’s frail hand. “It’s late. You should go to sleep.” It always interested me, the way the roles of children and parents became reversed in the end.

The woman ignored the suggestion and again, I saw it in her eyes. She knew that if she went to sleep, she wasn’t waking up. She reached her hand up and brushed her fingers across her daughter’s forehead in a way that felt like a long-held tradition. “I’m proud of you,” she said.

I knew it. Humans were so predictable.

The finality of the words scared her daughter. Panic flew into her eyes. “That’s good to know,” she said, attempting a brazen laugh.

“I’m serious,” the woman scolded.

“I know,” the daughter hung her head, hiding budding tears. “I know you are. You’ve never made me doubt that you’re proud of me.”

The woman laid back on her pillows with a satisfied smile. “Good.”

The tears were flowing freely now. “You’re the best mom, you know.”

“I know.”

They both laughed, watery, half-hearted chuckles.

“Just do me a favor.”

The daughter nodded emphatically. “Anything.”

“Be patient with Tyler. I know you want to kill him sometimes, but he’s a teenager, he’ll grow out of it.”

“I’ll try.”

Her mother pointed a stern finger. “You have to learn to be patient. I did. Why do you think you survived past sixteen?”

More forced laughter.

The mother looked suddenly to the nightstand next to her, where there was a pitcher and an empty cup.

The daughter took the hint. She picked up the pitcher and attempted to pour a glass of water. The pitcher was empty.

With a frown, she stood. “I’ll fill it up.” She copied her mother’s gesture and ran her own fingers across the old woman’s forehead. “Stay here.”

Her mother nodded. All of us knew she wasn’t referring to staying in bed.

With the daughter gone, I made my move. I floated toward the bed and reached into the leather pouch strung onto my hip. Inside, the consistency was like very fine sand. I ran it through my fingers experimentally, enjoying the texture. Then I clasped my thumb and forefinger around some of it and withdrew my hand. Very carefully, I sprinkled the Dust over the woman. It landed on her nose and cheekbones, staining them with a glittering blue that was already starting to fade. Through it all, the woman never even flinched.

I spun in mid air and flung myself out of the window on powerful wings. She would be dead by morning, but I didn’t need to stick around any longer. It wasn’t part of my job description.

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Further Recommendations

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abdiabdullahi: i liked it a lot you have so much room for improvement i am not saying i have great knowledge of writing i know if you put in more effort you could reach new levels and i kinda felt like you were rushing things and we did not get to see the better part of oriens growing up

Mercurial._.Unicorn: The old style of writing is beyond good for today's modern writing styles.I loved the plot and the characters and I loved the way the character development was done. It was gradual and good. Not too good to believe nor too little to leave the book half read.The grammar according to my reading exp...

Supercow97: This was a very well written book and I found no grammatical errors while reading. The author's writing style was good and it made me want to keep reading. At times I was confused and I had to reread a certain section of the book a few times because I didn't know what the author was talking about...

esme mata: It is a very well written book with amazing descriptions that you yourself can feel the love in the air, in your heart, and in your eyes once you start crying along with the main characters. This is truly my favorite book.

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Ilanea Zavala: I loved it and well I really hope you continue writing more to the story.

Deleted User: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

Lauren Kabanyana: It's simply amazing, the story is touching and has you captivated while reading! I loved it! Would read it over and over again. I applaud the way this book was able to evoke a mixture of feelings. I felt everything the two main characters felt from the start to end, i would recommend this novel t...

Ro-Ange Olson: This is such a different romance story. I loved it. The book was very long and could be split into 2-3 books in my opinion, but I'd hate to have to wait to read the next part too. I loved the chapter from Darius's point of view. It was a really different way for the writer to cover time and also ...

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., ,,.,,,,,

Warren Bull: I thought this was a fast=paced thriller with elements of several other genres woven seamlessly in. It hooked me early and held my attention throughout. I liked the humor and surprises along the way. I really enjoyed the novel. I am not a big fan of romances or paranormal works,but when those ele...

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