Writer In Progress; I See You, written by Frantiska Oliver

This month I bring you an excerpt from the debut YA novel by Frantiska Oliver. Her main character Haven, is a loner. As Frantiska said, Haven’s trust is near nonexistent. Her heart is covered… protected with scars from her childhood abuse. She depends on nobody other than herself. But, Bryce refuses to walk away and ends up opening unhealed wounds as he attempts to earn what little is left of Haven’s trust. So, I chose the following excerpt because it shows the daily struggle of Haven’s life and how Bryce is trying to understand and help. 

***

The rosy-tone of Haven’s cheeks turned a shade redder when she glanced down and saw the crumpled up package. “I forgot I was holding this,” she replied. Her smile vanishing as she hastily tried to smooth out the creases. “Please don’t let them be ruined,” Haven mumbled, yanking the flap open and pulling out several pictures.

Bryce’s stomach twisted into knots when Haven flipped the top picture over. “Where did you get those?”

“I found them in Johnny’s nightstand. Stashed inside a magazine,” Haven replied, handing Bryce the photos. “If you look close enough, you’ll see the background in every picture is the same. Smokey grey walls, cream-colored sheets, and right above their heads, there’s a sliver of something that looks like metal. ”

Bryce nodded and swallowed the bile that had risen in his throat, “Do you know who these girls are?”

“Just one and she’s…” Haven paused and closed her eyes. “Her body was found not too long ago in a… dumpster.”

The fury that rolled through Bryce felt like flames of fire. “You think Johnny…”

Haven nodded her head and Bryce watched a tear fall from her eye, “I also think that he has the other girls locked away somewhere. Held against their will so he can…”

Bryce tossed the pictures aside and wrapped his arms around Haven, “We’re going to find them.”

“Do you know where Johnny lived before he moved in here?” Haven asked.

“No, but Marla said he sold his house and put his stuff in storage. Why?”

“Cassidy told Chance that he took her to his house in the city the other day. Chance thought she was confused and that it was a client’s home. But, Cassidy was adamant about it being Johnny’s house because he had a key.”

The muscles in Bryce’s shoulder tightened, “If I’m not mistaken, Marla said he sold the house to his cousin. Did Johnny take her inside?”

“No, he left her in the car while he went in to grab some papers.”

Bryce’s shoulders relaxed, “Did Cassie say anything about where it was?”

“Other than the city, no, and she wasn’t paying attention while he was driving either.”

Bryce kissed the top of Haven’s head, “Then I guess we’ll have to rely on the tracker.”

 

*~*

 

“Looks like Johnny made two stops on his way to the court house. The first stop was a convenience store. And, the second stop shows he spent almost an hour at a house in the middle of an upper-class subdivision about forty minutes from here,” Bryce said, tilting his phone so I could see the screen.

“How can you tell its upper-class? All I see is an address pointing to a red dot.”

“My first job was delivering pizzas after school and I spent many evenings ringing door bells in that area.” Bryce winked and nudged my shoulder, “Want to go check it out? We can take my car.”

“Let’s go,” I said, collecting the discarded photos and shoving them back into the envelope.

Bryce’s forehead furrowed, “What are you going to do with those?”

“Taking them with us,” I shrugged walking out of the room.

“Why?”

“Well, for one, I don’t want to leave them laying around for Cassidy to stumble across. Two, there’s no way in hell I’m putting them back in Johnny’s nightstand so that he can… can do whatever with them. And, three,” I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and turned to face Bryce. “If by some miracle, we find these girls today and I finally get to rid this world of Johnny, I want to have these pictures with me to leave behind for the detective or whoever.”

Bryce nodded, “I guess that does make sense. All except for the part about you being the one to take out Johnny.”

“Johnny’s mine,” I said, spinning around and heading for the door. “And I mean it.”

Bryce mumbled something under his breath, but I didn’t catch what he was saying. Nor did I care. Johnny was mine and no one was going to steal that away from me. Not even Bryce.

I understood Cassidy was his family and he loved her. That he blamed himself for not being here to protect her. I also knew that he felt it was his obligation, his responsibility, to end the abuse she had suffered. To erase Johnny from Cassidy’s, as well as the other girls’ lives, and give them the opportunity to find the peace and happiness they deserved. There was one thing though, that he would never understand. Never be able to completely wrap his head around and grasp.

The wounds of an abused child heal over time, but the scars will always be there. A switch waiting to be flipped by something as simple as an innocent smile given by a stranger or a hug by someone they love. A trigger waiting to be pulled while kissing the one person their heart beats for or just standing alone under the warm water of a shower. The memory of the past will always be there, lurking inside the shadows of their subconscious mind. Memories waiting to claw the scars open and take control over their lives. Nightmares waiting to be dreamt, so they could remind the child about the abuse they once lived through.

“I’m serious Bryce,” I said when he got into the car and cranked the engine. “I have to be the one who takes care of Johnny.”

“Why? Why does it have to be you?”

I didn’t want to answer his question. I wasn’t sure he’d understand why it had to be me even if I did explain, but I knew I owed him that much. “Because it gives me a purpose, a reason to… to continue moving forward knowing there is one less child living a nightmare. It gives me the strength to continue breathing knowing I stood up against a predator and didn’t cave like I did as a child. It sharpens my skills and abilities so that when I do find the beast of a man who stole everything from me… it gives me a reason to believe I won’t bow down.”

“I get what you’re saying about Johnny being yours and I already promised you that he would be. But, the last part, I don’t understand. Why would you bow down to the man who did that to you? I mean, when you were a kid that makes sense. But, you’re grown now and the strength and skills that you possess, I doubt that I would be much of a match for you, much less a mere human man.”

“Human or not, he’s the only thing I can honestly say that I’m afraid of. He taught me to fear him day after day, year after year.” I looked forward and stared out the windshield, “Buried it so deep inside of me, that to this very day, I’m still not sure that I will be able to overcome it when I finally come face to face with him.”

Bryce shook his head and his jaw twitched. He grabbed the gearshift and slammed it into first, “I don’t know who I hate more, Johnny or the beast that hurt you.” The engine revved and tires squealed when he punched the gas. The car fishtailed and then the tires caught traction.

It took several blurry miles to pass before Bryce’s grip loosened on the gear shift. And several more before he slowed the speed of the car and rested his head against the back of his seat. “If I promise to keep my anger under control, will you answer a question for me?”

“It all depends on what you ask me,” I replied, fidgeting with the window crank knob, trying to ignore the attention Bryce’s car collected as we drove down the freeway.

“That monster of your past is a mortal right? And you’re not. So…”

I knew what Bryce wanted to know and I nodded my head, “When he first started abusing me, I was too young to understand that what he was doing was wrong. All I knew was I would be rewarded for cooperating and punished if I didn’t. He would remind me about respecting my elders and doing as they said because they knew what was best. Telling me that my parents would be very angry with me if I defied him and that they would punish me too. As I grew older, he started getting rougher, more demanding and the threats got a whole lot worse. Eventually, I was so afraid of him that, even when I did think about shifting, I was too scared to change. That is until a month and half after he killed my parents. He had walked up behind me while I was staring at the burnt pile of rubble that had stolen my parents’ lives and told me that it was my fault they were dead. That if I had kept my mouth shut, none of that would have happened. He even had the audacity to complain about the difficulties that he went through to find odorless gas and how much of a pain it was to switch our tanks without anyone noticing. Then, he told me that if I didn’t give him what he wanted, he would go after my sister. That was when I shifted and lunged for him, but even as tiger I can’t stop bullets. I did go back to finish what I had started late that night, but he was gone and I’ve been searching for him…” Bryce quickly cut across three lanes of traffic, causing people to honk their horns, slam on their brakes and swerve. “I thought you were going to keep your temper under control!” I yelled, pushing my feet against the floorboard when he yanked the car into the exit lane only a couple feet before we were about to hit the barrels that sat at the end of the concrete barrier.

“I didn’t lose my temper, but I almost missed our exit.”

“That is why they invented those U-turns under the overpasses! So people can safely turn around when they miss their exit, instead of doing what you did and causing a wreck!”

“Next time I will try to remember that, but for the record I didn’t cause a wreck. Maybe ticked a few people off, but that’s it.” Bryce smirked.

“Whatever,” I said rolling my eyes and crossing my arms. “Just pay attention, get us to where we’re going safely and try not to tick off every driver around here.”

“Hey, if you don’t like my driving, you’re more than welcome to take over,” Bryce said, releasing the steering wheel and holding both hands in the air.

I narrowed my eye and grabbed the door handle, “Or I’ll just get out right here and…”

“Okay. Okay. I’m sorry,” Bryce interrupted grabbing the steering wheel. “I shouldn’t have done that. I’ll behave.”

I let go of the door handle and glared out my window. You’re lucky I don’t know how to drive or I would have gladly taken your spot…and I would have left you on the side of the road for acting like such a jerk!

 ***

 

Bio Pic CroppedFrantiska Oliver currently resides in Texas with her husband, Billy, and their two children. Along with being a wife and mom, she is a full time author and part-time veterinary technician. Her love for fantasy and science fiction books inspired her to write her first debut novel, Never Forget the Past. She has written I See You and two short stories for 7DS anthologies; Ashton’s Promise in A Man’s Promise and Rashmi in the soon to be released Dragon Scales and is currently working on the sequel to I See You.

Web Page:  www.frantiskaoliver.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FrantiskaOliver?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FrantiskaO

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117841187878387727026/posts/p/pub

Blog: http://frantiskaoliver.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6877891.Frantiska_Oliver

 

To purchase a copy of I See You:

OkMcBAAAQBAJAmazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/I-See-You-Frantiska-Oliver-ebook/dp/B00M7H5UTA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406952375&sr=8-1&keywords=I+See+You+by+Frantiska+Oliver

 

Kobo:

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/i-see-you-4

 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Frantiska_Oliver_I_See_You?id=OkMcBAAAQBAJ&hl=en

 

Barnes and Noble: (Paperback only)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-see-you-frantiska-oliver/1120044164?ean=9780692223246

 

Amazon.CA:

http://www.amazon.ca/I-See-You-Frantiska-Oliver-ebook/dp/B00M7H5UTA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409864460&sr=8-1&keywords=I+See+You+by+Frantiska+Oliver

 

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-See-You-Frantiska-Oliver-ebook/dp/B00M7H5UTA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1409864286

 

Amazon AU:

http://www.amazon.com.au/I-See-You-Frantiska-Oliver-ebook/dp/B00M7H5UTA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409864358&sr=8-1&keywords=I+See+You+by+Frantiska+Oliver

Advertisements

About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: