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Welcome, #YAScavengerHunt! You are in the loop for #TeamPurple and I'm super excited to introduce Cheyanne Young.
In summary: Sadie Bradford’s life is one anxiety attack after another. All she wants is to escape life's realities for the summer and hang out with her best friend Aaron. But her grandmother has other plans: Sadie will get a job. Sadie will do volunteer work. Sadie will make new friends - friends without brain injuries that make them forget everything...friends that aren’t Aaron.
Compelling, yes? You can purchase her work here. And now...to Cheyanne's bonus material:
Deleted Scene – Somewhere Only We Know by Cheyanne Young
I close my eyes to stop the tears and run toward home. There’s nothing but grass
between Aaron’s house and mine, so even though I can barely see, I don’t worry about
tripping over anything. My chest heaves as I run out of breath, gasping for air as I curse
my body for being out of shape. My rib cage is going to burst, I just know it.
Sadie Olivia Bradford. Sadie Olivia Bradford. I repeat the basics so I don’t forget
who I am. Address: one two two four one oh Coral Street. I am not crazy. I am Sadie
Olivia Bradford. My name is my mantra, and with it I can always find myself.
The soft crunchy grass gets thicker. The music has faded away. I should have been
home by now, but I guess I ran in the wrong direction. Slowing to a walk, I brush the hair
from my face and look around. I’m in the woods behind our houses.
I can’t see the porch light that Grandma left on for us, or any lights from Aaron’s
house. Under any other condition, I think this would scare me. But as I lean against the
rough bark of an old oak tree, gasping for breath and waiting for my face to stop tingling,
I realize I don’t really care how far I ran.
It isn’t the worst thing in the world. All I have to do is turn around to go back. The
only thing louder than the thudding of my heartbeat in my ears is the erratic hum of a
million crickets around me. I take a deep breath. Count to ten, but only make it to six
before I decide that counting to ten is stupid.
I’m fine. Totally fine. I’m all alone now so there’s nothing to worry about. When no
one can see me, no one can judge me. My face feels better now. I close my eyes as I lean
against the tree for support. Take another deep breath and don’t count to anything.
Everything is good now.
A sudden glow flickers across the air, a fleeting bit of sunshine that catches me off
guard. The ring Aaron gave me is sparkling as bright as it did in the sunlight, only I’m
surrounded in darkness. Panicking, I fling the ring off my index finger and let it fall to the
ground. It goes dark.
Gemstones don’t just light up. It was my imagination. It had to be. I may be doped
up on anxiety medications, but I still have my common sense. I drop to my knees and feel
around the forest floor, hoping my ring isn’t lost forever.
The glow comes back and this time I see it instantly. The gemstone in my ring
sparkles like a twinkly Christmas light as it lays on the forest floor, surrounded by pine
needles and dirt. Like a rotating police siren, the sparkle comes and goes, dim to bright,
dim to bright. My hand shakes as I reach down to pick it up, afraid the bright light will
burn my fingers.
The ring is cold. I close my hand around it and bring the cool metal to my eyes so I
can examine it closer. The stone isn’t just glowing like a light bulb, it’s twinkling as if a
million tiny lights are floating around inside the hard stone. This isn’t normal.
Laws of psychics or whatever. The earth is round. The sky is blue. Gemstones don’t
have twinkling glitter in them. The pounding sound of my heart seems to reverberate
throughout the woods. I try to remember to take deep breaths, but it doesn’t work. My
mind is buzzing with energy. With anxiety. I can’t stop it. I can’t. I shouldn’t have taken
two pills so close together.
I’m going to die. Thump thump thump. My heart is in my ears and it’s so loud it will
rupture my ear drums any second now.
With the cold ring closed in my fist, I fall to the ground and cover my ears with my
hands, wishing my own heart would stop beating so I don’t have to hear it anymore.
“Please please please,” I whisper, rocking on the ground now. My stomach twists in
pain. “Go away.”
And it does.
My ears are quiet, but the forest is alive with sounds. Birds singing a beautiful song.
The quiet rustle of wind through the leaves. A tiny scamper as a forest animal runs past
my head. Somewhere, a small river flows.
I open my eyes and sit back on my heels. The forest isn’t black anymore. It’s full of
green leaves and moss, brown tree trunks and soft dirt under me. I run my fingers across
the ground. It isn’t hard packed and covered in pine needles. It’s soft, with purple and
pink and white and yellow flowers dotting the grass. I look up and see a solid black sky.
No stars. I glance down at the ring in my hand. Who needs stars when you have
something more beautiful than a million stars in the palm of your hand?
I take a deep breath and the air feels fresh as it cleanses my lungs. Something about
this isn’t right, isn’t normal. But I don’t care. I have an overwhelming urge to lay flat on
my back and make a dirt angel on this beautiful forest floor.
“Oh,” someone says. Her voice is soft. “You’re here.”
I turn and see her standing to my right. A girl, no older than fourteen, in a beautiful
white shimmery skirt and white sandals with ribbons that crisscross up her legs and tie in
a bow. Her long blond hair is decorated with braids and flowers. She’s poised like a
ballerina with one hand on a tree next to her.
I smile. “Yeah I guess I am.”
She smiles too, only she doesn’t have crooked teeth like me. She looks like an angel.
Maybe she is an angel. “Get up,” she says, holding out her tiny hand to me. “We have a
lot to do and you aren’t even dressed properly!”
I stand and all the dirt on my jeans falls off of me, as if it knew I didn’t want it there.
“What do we have to do?” I ask, feeling the dozens of trees looking at me.
“Don’t be silly,” she says, reaching out for my hand. “We’ve been waiting ages for
I pull my hand away from her grasp. “For me?”
Her eyes widen at the panic in my voice. She shakes her head, her angelic facing
taking on the look Grandma gets when I say something stupid.
“Obviously not you specifically. But you, yes. You’re our fourteenth.” She pulls me
onto a cobblestone walkway. “Fiona will be so delighted. I knew she had nothing to
I close my eyes and take a deep breath as she drags me behind her on a pathway
through the woods. Now is the time when I recite my name, my birthday, my address.
Now is the time where I ground myself and remember that no panic attack is going to kill
me. I’m still on earth and I’m still alive and I’m okay.
But Pippa starts giggling and it distracts me. And I’m not even that anxious anyway.
“This is so wonderful!” Pippa gives me a devilish smile. “Our fourteenth finally
arrives and I’m the one who found her! The feast will be even more special tonight.”
She squeezes my hand and looks into my eyes. The twinkle in her eyes reminds me
of the ring still clenched in my other hand. “You’ve picked a most perfect day to come
here,” she says, pausing. “What is your name?”
“Sadie,” I say. She nods, as if suddenly remembering that she already knew that.
“I’m Pippa.” She drops my hand and curtsies. “Sadie, you’ve picked a most perfect day
to come here.”
The walkway goes through a thick wall of leaves from the trees above us. Pippa
reaches out and parts the leaves with her hand, motioning for me to enter the clearing
while placing a finger over her lips for me to be quiet. I take one step forward and it so
beautiful I could die. She turns to me and grabs my shoulders and whispers so quietly I
can barely hear her, “Because tonight, is a very special night.”
In over 50 ways, this story is going to touch your heart. There seem to be echoes of one of my own works, Hit. How cool is that?
For reader reviews of Somewhere Only We Know, check out Cheyanne's goodreads site. Add her books to your To Read list or drop a review.
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Now, off you go to stop in at Vicki Leigh's site. She's the author of Catch Me When I Fall. One, two, three...jump!