Monday, July 15, 2013

Highlight : Sky Song by Sharon Sant

What the man told him was too incredible to believe, yet Jacob did believe it.  On some deep unconscious level he had always known it to be true. He was an invention, a fictional character.  Jacob Lightfoot didn’t exist.

A strange-eyed boy with no memory of his true identity or real parents, Jacob could have no idea of the mortal danger he has been in every day of his fifteen years. Now that danger has found him and suddenly he doesn’t know who he can trust and what is real anymore.  All he knows is that his new identity is almost as terrifying as the peril unleashing it has brought. Caught in the universal power struggle of an ancient race of beings and a destiny demanded of him that he does not want, he must fight to protect his own life and everyone he holds dear.

But when the time comes, will he be strong enough to make the sacrifices that saving them will demand?

Sky Song excerpt

Jacob was still in his school uniform. He glanced at the digital clock on his bedside table.  It had just gone three in the morning.  Moonlight streamed through his open bedroom curtains, throwing the sharp edged contours of his furniture into silvery relief.  Uncle Dan was downstairs on the sofa, asleep.  Jacob could hear the low, throaty rumble of his snoring and wished he would just go home; he couldn’t stand being around him. He couldn’t stand to be around anyone.  He wanted to be alone, not to have to speak ever again.  He wished he could cry.  It didn’t seem normal somehow not to, it seemed distinctly alien.  The burden of guilt was hard to bear; it tore at him and made him want to scratch and pinch himself in sheer spite. 
Eventually, he slid off the bed and padded across the hall to the bedroom that his parents had safely occupied only the night before.  Jacob pressed his ear to the closed door, willing a sound - steady breathing, the crack of the bedsprings as someone got comfortable, a low snore.  The pain the silence brought felt like a hole being carved into his heart. He pushed the door open and gazed at the empty bed.  Suddenly feeling the need to be close to the scent still lingering on the pillows, he crossed the room and threw himself onto the bed, face down, breathing deeply and trying desperately to hold on to the memory of the smell, to store it away so that they would never leave him.
As he lay, his face buried close to the only biological traces of his parents he had left, echoes of the evening’s conversations began to crowd his head.  Why had his mum called his dad out of work?  Something to do with him - but what?  There were witnesses who had seen the silver car break through the roadside barriers and plunge from the bridge into the swirling waters below, but as yet police divers had failed to recover any bodies.  How was it that their car had breached the barrier? He couldn’t accept what the police had told him, that there was a freak weakness in the metal. He had questioned them again and again. When they had gone he had questioned Uncle Dan again. None of it seemed right. How could they be so sure his parents were dead?  It didn’t add up. And it didn’t feel like they were dead, deep inside him, it all felt wrong.  He had tried to explain this to Uncle Dan, who gave a small, sad smile and muttered something to the WPC about denial. 
The next few days of waiting for news were an excruciating blur. There was no structure to the day, no hours to mark it out, only darkness or daylight.  When he wasn’t lying on his parents’ bed, their scent fading daily along with his hopes of their ever coming back, Jacob was in his room, on his own bed, staring blankly at the walls.  Ellen and Luca phoned him, but he ignored the calls; they sent him texts which he didn’t reply to. Every day he heard their low, earnest voices at the front door, speaking to Uncle Dan, and heard their receding footsteps as they left again. 
On the fifth day, Uncle Dan came up to his room and sat on the end of the bed upon which Jacob lay with his arms folded above his head, unmoving, staring into space.
‘I’m sorry to be talking practical, Jacob…’ He wiped his sweaty palms over his canvas trousers. ‘But I can’t stay here forever.’  Jacob continued in his silent contemplation of a dagger of impertinent sunlight that blazed across the ceiling, as if to mock his sorrow.  ‘And there isn’t room for you with us… you know I would if I could, but…’ His voice tailed off. 
Jacob sat up and fixed him with a shrewd look. ‘Aunt Carol doesn’t want me, that’s what you mean. I’m going into care - right?’ 
Uncle Dan shifted uncomfortably.  ‘I’m sorry. You’ve been allocated a social worker. Linda. She sounds nice.  She’s coming over later.’
Jacob saved him further explanation by swinging off the bed and striding across to his wardrobe. He began flinging clothes onto the floor.
‘Fine,’ he muttered through gritted teeth. ‘I’ll pack, then.’
Luca answered his front door, addressing Jacob in a low voice as he glanced back down the hall to make sure that no members of his huge family were in earshot.
‘Jakey, you can’t stay here, mate.’
‘But they’re going to put me in a home.’
‘Running away isn’t going to help,’ Luca snapped back.  Jacob pouted. ‘I’m sorry, but you can’t,’ Luca added more sympathetically. ‘Mum and Dad would go mental if they found out.’
‘They won’t, I’ll be quiet, stay out of sight; it’s only for a few days until I think what to do.’
‘Jake, there is nothing you can do.’
‘Mum and Dad will come back.’
Luca paused as if considering and then frowned. ‘It’s no good,’ he said finally.  ‘We’ll never get away with it. You know what my mum is like, how long d’you think you can stay in my room without being found?  I mean, if it was Ellen’s… hey, where are you going?’
Jacob was already running down the road.
I was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now live in Stoke-on-Trent with a family of my own.  I currently divide my time between working as a freelance editor, holding down a day job, and writing my own stories.  An avid reader with eclectic tastes across many genres, when not busy trying in vain to be a domestic goddess, I can often be found lurking in local coffee shops with my head in a book. Sometimes I pretend to be clever but really love nothing more than watching geeky TV and eating Pringles.  I’m ridiculously interested in loads of subjects.  They say a little knowledge is dangerous and I’m always getting into trouble spouting half-baked facts about something!
me with bookI’ve always loved to read, despite nobody else in my family being particularly literary. I can still remember the surprise on the face of a visiting aunt as she caught me stretched out on the floor with a newspaper, aged about five or six. I loved to read anything, but my favourites were adventure stories, the more dangerous and breathtaking, the better.  And I can never remember a time when I didn’t make up stories.   As a kid I would spend hours dreaming up alternative endings for films I’d seen or books that I’d read, or continuing their adventures beyond the end.  However, I come from a working class background and had a fairly conventional education, and story-telling wasn’t something we did.  It wasn’t until I had been working for a couple of years, after leaving school, that I decided I wanted more out of life.  So, I returned to college to do my A levels.  I got married and had children and worked some more.  Then, I got the academic itch again and enrolled at Staffordshire University as a mature student in 2006.  It turned out the be the best decision I have ever made.  I had signed up for English Literature, but had a space in my timetable to fill, so I decided to take a creative writing module.  I finished the module with a mark equivalent to a first and quickly decided that, maybe, I could be ok at this writing lark.  So I swapped my degree to joint honours English and creative writing and, during the summer break of 2007, wrote my first novel.  I finished my degree with first class honours.  Now, I mostly write YA contemporary fantasy, but I dabble in other genres from time to
So, that’s me up to now (sort of).  Who knows what the future holds?  But I think it will be fun finding out!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for highlighting Sky Song today Emily.



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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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