Yes, you read right. . .LAST BITE!, my dark YA Paranormal novel; the same novel I had been pitching for the last year or so is now the quirky YA Paranormal novel UnFANGULOUS GIRL!
So what made me decide to like totally change it?
Hmm. . .well let me start by focusing on the query letter – which garnished some partial requests but in the end were subjected to rejections. While my query letter – graced with spunk and uniqueness – my novel was not. So I decided to change it, completely.
At present, my novel is being reviewed by a very prestigious Agent who requested a full (the entire manuscript, for those not query pitch savvy), and I have my fingers crossed.
UnFANGULOUS GIRL! is a throwback to the ’80’s style and lingo, and is the first book in a trilogy with Fangulous Guy! being book II, and Fangulous! being book III.
* * *
except from UnFanguouls Girl!
chapter 9 or
The alarm buzzed and buzzed and buzzed and I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed. I yanked the cord from the wall with my eyes feeling a lot more heavier than the night before. My arms, my legs, my body felt just as weak as they had been since yesterday afternoon. I groaned and retreated beneath the covers and closed my eyes. And what seemed like a minute was actually an hour later when I felt the gentle tap of Ms. Rainbow’s long sculptured fingers on my shoulder accompanying the soothing of her voice: “Sam?”
“Huh?” I snoozed, half-awake, half-groggy.
“Aren’t you going to school today?”
I shook my head. “I’m not feeling well, Ms. Rainbow.”
“Are you feeling ill? Do you have a fever?” I shook my head again. Ms. Rainbow’s hand was now on my forehead, her senses probing for a lie regarding my health; no illness, no fever. “I’m just tired,” I fended. I turned on my other side; I’m now facing the bathroom, away from the curtainless window, away from Ms. Rainbow. I didn’t want her to sense that I was actually feeling ill from heartbreak and betrayal. I closed my eyes and thought of the ocean and the tides kicking up against the shoreline as I stared down at my bare feet partially buried beneath the sparkling sand. There’s a Starfish resting beside my right foot. I lean over to pick it up but the tides have crossed the shoreline. The salt water covers my feet for only a few seconds before retreating back into the ocean. I could feel the ocean’s gravitational pull pulling from beneath me but I don’t move. I am still. It is the sand that is being pulled from beneath my feet. I glance into the ocean. The tides are gaining force. They hit the shoreline in bouts of tiny tremors causing me to draw back. I step to the right and my foot hits the sand when only for a moment had I remembered the Starfish resting there before. I anxiously glanced down and the Starfish was no longer there. I figured it had been swept away by the salty waters where I figured it eventually drowned within the bowels of the ocean. And it was in that moment had I began to feel the pangs of emptiness settling within me, accompanied by the loneliness surrounding me. I realized, as I found myself glancing my surroundings, that I was alone on a deserted island and the only comfort my sub-conscious mind had found refuge in was the Starfish until the water extended and stole it from me. . .the way Kassidy stole James from me.
I sprung up in bed gasping for air while my heart felt like it was getting ready to leap from my chest. I inched toward the edge of my bed and settled my feet uneasily onto the floor. I glanced out the window. It was still raining but it was light, a steady pour that ultimately transcended into wet snow right before my eyes. I got up and left my bedroom.
I felt like I was in some kind of artic daydream as if I were literally maneuvering through an igloo which was my home. The house was drafty. I sensed it was extremely cold out just by the way the draft carried, the way the draft enveloped around my body, choking whatever warmth I had left within me until I felt like I was just a block of ice. I assumed that this was the way all fanger’s were built. And if so, why the need for blood? Why not just fang a glacier instead?
I retreated to the formal living room and turned on the TV to nothing. I wrapped the heavy blanket that Ms. Rainbow stored on the opposite end of the sofa around me and wedged myself in like a turtle with my head barely visible and nothing else.
Sally Jesse Rafael was on the tube confronting the angst of teen adolescence. And I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry since I was experiencing a bout of teen angst myself? But it wasn’t until half-way through the program had I found myself sniffling and it wasn’t from a cold; I found myself sniffling over James. . .James and Kassidy. . .James and Kassidy holding hands, holding each other, gazing at one another as they whirled around on the gymnasium’s floor dancing to some tune no one could grasp because they’re in love, because all they see is love and nothing else. And there I am on the sidelines helplessly watching, helplessly wishing, helplessly hoping that somewhere within their tuneless tango James might glance my way and realize he made a terrible mistake by accepting Kassidy’s invitation to the dance instead of waiting for me to ask him. I sniffled again,
and Ms. Rainbow unintentionally strolled into my thoughts.
“Is this what all this anger is about, Sam, James and Kassidy and the dance?” I dared not move. I dared not even breathe simply because Ms. Rainbow detested the chasing of guys. But James wasn’t a boy, he was a guy. He was mature. And he had a pulse.
“Couldn’t find anyone else to suck the life out of, huh?”
- Rainbow ignored me. “Just because he’s warm blooded, Sam, doesn’t mean-“
“Doesn’t mean what?” I blurted. “That I’m only worthy enough to some knock off like one of them George-Romero-flesh-eating-zombie-guys?”
“Now you’re being silly.”
“Then enlighten me then!”
- Rainbow sighed and sat down on one of the two lazy boy recliners adorning the living room and stared at the TV. “It’s not that you’re not worthy of James, Sam,” she began to say once Sally broke for commercial, “it’s just James isn’t going to be here very long. . .I mean, once his time is up with the State he’ll be free to come and go as he pleases. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to see your heart get broken.”
“Well I wouldn’t worry so much about that, Ms. Rainbow,” I comforted, “come early next year I won’t have a heart to break.”
“Hmm,” Ms. Rainbow’s lips had slightly bowed, “what I should have said was that I don’t want to see James’s heart get broken, huh?”
I shrugged my shoulders and lowered my gaze to the floor. “It doesn’t matter,” I muttered. “God!” I then cursed. “I can’t believe Kassidy asked James to the dance! I mean, you should have seen her, Ms. Rainbow. . .I mean. . .it was like she was totally begging for him to go to the dance with her!”
“So you really like him?”
And just hearing Ms. Rainbow question the idea made me realize she wasn’t too fond of it and I honestly didn’t see what the big deal was. “He’s not a fanger, Ms. Rainbow,” I then stated matter-of-factly. “And Kassidy doesn’t deserve someone like James.”
“And what makes you say that?”
“Because she’s selfish, rude, inconsiderate-”
“She has a car, she’s popular, she’s beautiful-”
“And mean and bossy and disrespectful-”
“She’s almost eighteen, independent, fearless-”
“She has a cold heart, she bully’s everyone AND she doesn’t fear you. . .She could be a freaking fanger for all we care!”
I bit down hard on my lower lip and grunted in the midst of my paroxysm. My skin flushed hot and both my ears were fuming. “Leave me alone!”
“Sam,” Ms. Rainbow then crooned apologetically but I ignored her and shifted my attention back to the TV. Sally is now talking with the show’s therapist and right about this time I’ve lost interest. I know Maury was next on the program and believe it or not I was anticipating the topic of his show. He rarely talked about issues relating to teens and the idea suited me pretty well.
But five minutes into Maury’s program however, I lost interest too. I lost interest because the topic dealt with people claiming to be fangers. Great! I groaned while wedging myself further into the blanket. I mean, just what I needed to hear in a place full of fangers, more fangers. Were these wannabes like serious or something? Did they actually believe being a fanger is glorious? That altering into some form of monstrosity is congenial? That living solely on the flesh and blood of unfanguality is gratifying? Am I missing something here? Did I miss the fanger fangwagon?
“Not everyone thinks like you, Sam,” Ms. Rainbow interjected. I had sensed resentment in her tone; I had insulted her thirst, yet again.
“And it’s a good thing ’cause then I would want to be like them. . .a fanger.”
“Is this what this little tantrum is all about too, Sam, being a fanger and not necessarily about James and Kassidy?”
I ignored Ms. Rainbow because she sounded like a broken record, and suddenly I was insulted. Jon Mark unintentionally crossed my mind, and behind him, Gareth as I reflected on the way they both went from unfangulously pleasant to repulsively thirsty within a split of a second. Then my mind reflected further as I remembered glimpsing Jon Mark’s thirst when he attempted to fang me as Gareth had attempted with Kassidy.
“Jon Mark and Gareth did what again?” Ms. Rainbow had already bolted from her seat. She kept to her towering distance thus reminding me of my mother with one hand on her rounded hip and the other hand free to do whatever it pleased. Her 5’9 slender frame not only eerily twinned to my mother’s, she left me with no other alternative but to cower further within the heavy blanket. I swallowed hard and nodded into nothing but the obvious truth. “You better speak up, Sam,” Ms. Rainbow cautioned. Her lips pursed and I couldn’t help but to cringe.
“Nothing really. . .happened, Ms. Rainbow,” I stammered, “it was just a simple case of a mistaken. . .invitation.” And I use the term “invitation” sternly and to my advantage. But would you believe Jon Mark, Gareth and Bastian were suggested that they be the chosen ones based on the fact that they were the very first of venomous sons to be bitten into fangirism? According to the Fangwood Fangiric Laws, a Fangwood female fanger is not allowed to fang another female into a fangette as it is the sole responsibility of the male fanger as he is the selector when coveting for brides to expand his coven. Talk about fanging me with a spoon!
“‘A mistaken invitation’, Sam?” Ms. Rainbow’s tone had disheartened; she was not buying into my partial lie.
“But it’s the truth,” I begged to differ but she merely shook her pretty head which accommodated her disheartened tone. But it was the flawless of her glistening cocoa skin that refused to remain in its patina thus allowing me to see the red emerging from within her anger. This is where I figured I’d better woman up to Ms. Rainbow on behalf of Jon Mark and Gareth’s behavior in which she tended to take more serious than I did.
While I had glimpsed their behavior more on the lines of their true inner selves just tired of trying to suppress the oppression of their thirst, Ms. Rainbow glimpsed them as no more than an out of control plague trying to conquer the unfangulous race despite their forged laws.
“Seriously, Ms. Rainbow,” I continued to contend, “nothing really happened.”
“I saw their faces, Sam, in your thoughts.”
“It was just the norm of their reaction.”
“No,” Ms. Rainbow sighed, “because if it were, you wouldn’t still be harboring their images.” She shook her head again and sat back down on the lazy boy. She rocked her seat for a minute before saying, “they scared you. . .Jon Mark. . .Gareth.”
“They’re not the boogy men, Ms. Rainbow.”
“No, but they’re something you clearly don’t want to be. I can see it in your face. I can sense it in your aura. To be one of them, a fanger, scares you.”
“Do you blame me?”
“I don’t know?” Ms. Rainbow replied in thought. “I mean. . .I was never given the choice to respond. One minute I was unfangulous locking up my restaurant in New Orleans one night, and the next minute I was lying in an alley here in Fangwood trapped between heaven and hell. . .and that was eighty years ago.” When Ms. Rainbow expressed the little of her grievances she dared not look at me. Instead she stared into nothing, rocking there in her favorite chair. Her cocoa skin had receded back to its glistening hue. Sadness had now conquered her face, and it was backed by a tone that was obviously filled with bitter resentment, and maybe even hate, for the woman she once was to the savage animal she’s now.
As I sat here gazing at Ms. Rainbow the way she was gazing her past, I couldn’t help but to feel the same bitter resentment toward my unfanguality now hanging in the bowels of my intended destiny. I would have loved to believe that Ms. Rainbow and I were sharing a poignant and uncommon bond. But how absurd can one be, let alone myself, to lay claim over something they know nothing about and then have the nerve to compare it against something they have no conception of?
“It’s no different than being unfangulous, Sam,” Ms. Rainbow casually pointed out, “being a fanger, that is.” She smirked and I listened intently. “We all drink, live, love and die. . .but less sooner than others.”
“But to wander in darkness. To live in constant thirst. To cower in constant fear. To love for all the wrong reasons. . .How is that compared to unfanguality?. . .I mean. . . what do I and others alike stand to gain, Ms. Rainbow? I mean, how is that supposed to be inviting to anyone wishing to become a fanger?”
“There is more to fangirism than meets the eye, Sam-”
“Not according to Jon Mark and Gareth whom were both willing to fang Kassidy and me just because it was convenient to them.”
“They were just being the contemporary fangassholes they are, Sam. It was nothing personal against you or Kassidy.”
“So they were just being themselves?” I joked, Ms. Rainbow smirked. “Ever heard the expression ‘One bad apple spoils a bunch’?”
“Oh, I see,” Ms. Rainbow gushed while the swift of her feet halted the rocking of her lazy boy. “You mean you’re going to let two bad apples spoil your entire apple pie, Sam. . .I mean, without giving the rest of the pie its fair taste?”
I hated when Ms. Rainbow went quid pro-quo on me. It made me feel inferior as if my inquisitionings were pre-suicidal. I shifted within the heavy blanket and tried to ignore Ms. Rainbow but she just sat there staring at me with those intense cold eyes of hers while the unyielding of her patience awaited my response to her apple pie analogy. I shifted within the blanket again. The statuesque of Ms. Rainbows’ presence reminded me of a still image forever locked in eternity. And ironically “eternity” was all she had to offer. Suddenly my belly fell dead on one side when I blinked and caught a vision of myself sitting in place of Ms. Rainbow, stranded on some rocking chair somewhere rocking away the years on a porch thinking of nothing except for my next feeding.
“So you mean I should just shut up and except my fangs?” I suggested, swallowing those once prided tears of mine to the bowels of a less sentiment monster waiting to emerge from within me. Ms. Rainbow cocked her head. The altering of her sapphire irises from intense to somber made her realize that not only was I in pain, I was literally dying inside. She made an attempt to touch my arm, to give me comfort from the hurt, but because I was heated and angered which tended to penetrate the cold of her once spirited host, Ms. Rainbow cowered down and slowly pulled her hand back.
“I’m very sorry, sweetie,” she said through the grim brokenness of her heart. “Truly I am.”
A sudden chill seeped through the blankets’ tether and pinched at my skin. I flinched, startling myself as I bit down on my tongue and nipped it. I quickly swallowed the blood. “I’d like to be alone. Please.” I said. It took Ms. Rainbow a moment to rise from her seat and leave the living room. When I heard the light of her footsteps journeying up the stairs I shifted my gaze back onto the TV.
The fanger wannabes were talking and talking and my gaze trailed from their conversations straight up the tube and out the window. . .and there in the snow I caught Gareth staring at me. I mean, was Gareth kidding me. . .A peeping Tom fanger?
Gareth’s head was hunched, his eyes were wide, valiant. And the cold of his breath expelling from the depth of his lungs reminded me of smoke bellowing from the local mill. I sensed Gareth was angry. Could it be he heard mine and Ms. Rainbow’s conversation?
I broke my stare from Gareth’s and glanced into the foyer. I swore I heard Ms. Rainbow descending. I looked back at the window, Gareth had disappeared. I quickly got up from the sofa and crossed to the foyer and opened up one of the double front doors. I stepped out onto the porch, tugging the blanket snug around me. The cold was at its extreme as I descended down the flight of steps. I could see that the snow was as white and unblemished of any treaded footsteps coercing my eyes to anxiously glance around. But the incessant of my breath expelling caused a fog effect, blinding me for only a few seconds before it dissipated, and there Gareth stood before me. He had one hand on my cheek and the other on my shoulder. I was sure, as I gazed into his eyes, that I would find myself locked in a trance, but Gareth’s eyes never faltered nor did they alter; they were as neutral and serene and inviting as any eyes were meant to be.
“I meant to come and see you but Ms. Rainbow wouldn’t let me in the house.” Gareth complained, unpleasantly.
“When?” I pulled away. “Yesterday?” I quizzed.
“Why? What did you want?”
“I wanted to say. . .you know,” he gestured with an embarrassed roll of his eyes over his shoulder. It started to snow. A few flakes played touch and go between us. “School. Kassidy.”
“Oh.” I tried to smile but the idea left me feeling otherwise. “So you’re sorry?”
“Something like that. I mean, if I’m making an attempt to gain you and all, I figured I better man up, come and apologize for my behavior.”
“Well if it’s any comfort I think I’ve recovered,” I said. Gareth stepped back into me and kissed me lazily, yet softly on the same cheek he had grasp earlier. I wanted to flinch from the advance because there was just something eerie about having the lips of a corpse kiss on you. But even I had to admit, despite the kiss deriving from an actual living corpse, it still managed to possess that undead-ly rebound effect thus making the kiss that much more welcoming.
Gareth stepped back and I found myself grasping his hand but he gently pulled away from me. “Ms. Rainbow,” he then cautioned. I quickly turned around and Ms. Rainbow was standing in the middle of the steps looking quite confused.
“Sam?” She queried with a cock of her head. “Why are you standing out in the snow?”
I turned back around, and my heart fluttered: Gareth had disappeared, again. Ugh! What was it with me and making guys disappear?