Authors: Shelly Crane
Tags: #Young Adult, #Paranormal Romance, #Fantasy, #Angels, #Aliens, #molly
Collide - Shelly Crane
[email protected] Shelly Crane 2010
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Any people or places are strictly fictional and not based on anything else, fictional or non-fictional.
Editing services provided by
Jennifer Nunez .
Printed in paperback September 2011 and available in Kindle and E-book format as of June 2011 through Amazon, Create Space and Barnes & Noble .
More information can be found at the author’s website
This book is dedicated to my two boys who always keep me on my to es and my imagination flowing. You are m y inspiration for craziness and I love you!
The black ones. The dark ones. The immortals. Lighters. They’d been called many things over the centuries, all of which were true.
The Keepers, ever watchful and ever evasively present, stood by and waited for the moment where they could no longer sit idle, for when they’d have to intervene once more. This wasn’t the first time they’d fought for the humans, they always had, and it wasn’t the first time they’d fought for earth. The Keepers just hoped that this wouldn’t be the last time, that there would still be something left to protect and fight for.
The Keepers got ready to go, to make another appearance on earth, but this time, one Keeper in particular was overly anxious about this trip. Keepers weren’t supposed to be anxious. He couldn’t wait to see the person he’d guarded all these years in the flesh. He couldn’t wait to finally meet the one he’d watched…even though he wasn’t supposed to watch her…
Meet the Pattersons
A busy Monday evening in foggy and wet Chicago. None of those made for a good combination. The streets were packed as were the sidewalks with joggers and bikers, commuters making their way in all directions. The blinding sun over the ridge was irritating…
As was the smug little jerk in the seat next to me.
It irked me. I mean we’re family and it shouldn’t but it did.
I fumbled with my sunglasses and dropped them from the visor onto the gear shift knob only to realize that they were then broken. Great! I squeezed my eyes shut for just a second in frustration. That just added to the fire already fueling my aggravation but it still was not what irked me most.
My parents still wanted to dictate my actions, though I no longer resided under their roof. Carting my brother, at my parents demand, to and from work everyday was really starting to grate on my nerves, my time, my patience, my never failing unconditional love for this idiot. It had been a long six months.
Danny needed to learn some responsibility. He needed a car! What kind of man-boy didn’t have a car these days? Why mom and dad thought that just because I lived near his job meant that I should be
to drive him around was beyond me but, I was never one to say no.
He was almost eighteen for goodness sake! When I was eighteen I had a job, a car, was living on my own and already in college, which I paid for all by myself. I was so done with all of it!
I put on my responsible big sister voice.
“Danny, look, believe it or not, I have a life. I’m not going to drive you around anymore. You have got to start taking some responsibility and buy yourself a car, among other things. You graduated high school! Make a plan for college or something. You can’t just live with mom and dad forever, just because you think they’ll let you,” I said in a rush suddenly fearing I’d lose my nerve.
Danny and I didn’t fight like traditional siblings. We bickered like old married people but, never actually fight, not dirty anyway. It was strange but it was our way.
“Sure I can. That’s the beauty of being the family baby. And no...you don’t have a life,” Danny looked at me so smugly, I could have punch that sickly sweet smile.
He knew he was telling the truth and it made me sick. I certainly wasn’t allowed to behave this way when I lived at home. It wasn’t fair and no, I didn’t have a life, per say, not one worth mentioning I but, I was doing better than him even if my ‘better’ was the bottom of the food chain.
“Danny,” I sighed. “Don’t you want a girlfriend someday? Don’t you want to go to parties and have your own place away from the ‘rents? And yes I do have a life, that’s what this-” I spread my arms out wide for emphasis “-is called ya know...a life.”
Danny worked at ‘The Coffee Place’, which sold coffee in a drive through, and not good coffee I might add. Cheap Columbian blends with watered downed flavored creamers. The only reason it was still even in business is because coffee was cool, coffee was hip. High school kids worked there and high school kids went there and hung out for hours on end, sitting at the outside booths under the little umbrellas, texting on their cell phones, reminding me of the life I had not long ago. Carefree.
Danny was not in high school anymore but wanted to pretend that he still was.
“I’m not interested. I’m happy right where I am. Ambition isn’t for all people,” Danny said as he threw his wadded gum out the open car window.
“Daniel Lucas Patterson, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” I shot back running my hand through my curls in frustration. “Even if your ambition is to live with our parents forever, that’s still an ambition, just not a good one. Don’t be such a loser! You could do so much with your life. College doesn’t have to take forever and besides, fine, don’t go to college, but do something. Don’t be one of those thirty year old guys who still lives with his parents and his mom folds his underwear.” I paused and thought of another tactic. “College is really fun, ya know, just like high school, but cuter girls.” I winked at him, hoping to appeal to his good humor.
He did not seem amused.
“You hated college and your life’s not so great, Sherry, quit being so high and mighty. You live in a crappy apartment, you don’t have any money, you drive a piece of junk and you don’t have a boyfriend. Anymore.” He turned to look at me. “Matt wasn’t so bad was he but you dumped him like everything else good. You are a glutton for punishment. You brought this all on yourself ya know with your need for your independence,” he said waving his hands in the air.
“Fine. Whatever. Just shut up, ok. Be a loser but, tell mom and dad I’m not your chauffer anymore. Got it?”
“You tell them,” Danny said as he got out and kicked closed my fragile and beaten door with his green Converses as he leapt for the curb by our parents house, then stopped and turned around.
He still looked so young to me. Still my little Danny, though that physical description no longer applied since he had about a foot of height on me. His light brown curly unruly but styled that way, hair and brown eyes were a family trait. He was slim and it always puzzled me how because the kid could put away insane amounts of food and was incredibly lazy on top of that.
His Barista uniform was hilarious to me. Barista seems like such a feminine term anyway, but the full on mocha apron with coffee steam swirls just added to my enjoyment.
I could see he had calmed down as he spoke.
“Look, I’m sorry ok. What’s with the sporadic tantrums?” he said, leaning on the door with his palms.
I was suddenly very grateful to have such a perceptive pain in the butt for a sibling.
“I didn’t get it,” I barely whispered.
“What? I thought it was already decided?”
“Apparently not. They said my pictures were too... earnest,” I scoffed. “I mean, whoever knew there was even such a thing, let alone it being a bad thing. I’m sorry if I was rough on you, I just know how hard it is, even with college let alone without it, trying to make it out here.”
“Does dad and mom know?”
“No, I’m not telling them either until I find something else. I still have my job at the paper, I’m just looking for something different. Something catering more to my sense of propriety,” I laughed. “It’d be nice to go home at night and not feel sleazy and useless and short a few brain cells. Sorry, ok? Truce?”
Danny leaned across the shut door to give me a hug. No matter how much we fought, we always forgave each other.
We were really close growing up. I was still in diapers myself when he was born but I remember feeling like he was some precious thing that needed protecting. I was always telling my mom to ‘be careful’ and ‘hold his head so it doesn’t fall off’. She always laughed and followed my haphazard instructions. Even now, he still seemed like he needs my protection, from himself.
“Love ya, shorty. I’ll tell mom and dad that you’re busy and can’t drive me anymore, ok.”
“Thanks, brat. Love ya, too. See you Friday night right? Mom’s birthday? What you get her?”
“A purple scarf. Bohemian. You? Wait- the massage right? She
actually brought it up one time already this week.”
“Really? Good. Yeah that’s what she seems to like and I can’t find anything I could ever give her that would make her happy other than that. Maybe I should’ve been a masseuse. That’s holistic, she would have approved.”
“You know you don’t like it though. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that’s what you should be doing.” He smiled at me angelically like he was making a point. “Dads already got the piñata in the basement. It’s the year of the Tiger. Man it’s hideous. They are so wack.”
We both laughed as he turned to walk away and into our parent’s house.
As I watched him leave I pulled from the curb and drove up the hill, headed up to the ridge to overlook the city as I sometimes did when I needed to think. It was weird to some, but noise actually soothed me.
We’ve lived in the city our whole lives.
Looking out at the buildings and lights of a foggy Chicago, I needed to think tonight. My life was definitely not going as planned.
Thinking of the past made me feel...I don’t know, I mean for one thing, why did my parents name me Sherry Elizabeth? I always thought my parents were odd for naming their only daughter after a housewife buzz “I’m just putting the sherry in the with the chicken, dear” liquor from the sixties.
That was better than some of the names my hippie parents could have came up with. I could’ve been Wind Song or Spring Lake or Harmony Meadows.
My mom was from the sixties, and you could tell by looking at her. She didn’t look old, she looked great for her age in fact, but she was a free spirit so to speak. I blamed good genes not her choice of lifestyle; vegan, makeup free and in tune with nature.
The Patterson’s. Mom, Margaret and Dad, Robert, were really into other worldly things and practices.
Dad had always gotten mom a piñata for whatever the Chinese year was for her birthday, for good luck and union with the universe, and whatever. Mom was a feng shui designer and somehow made a decent living off of it. Dad was a dentist. Figure that one out, cause I never did.
Danny and I were always being lectured about the importance of things in and of this world, whatever they may be at the time. Free speech, free will, free healthcare. I was more conservative than they but, I let them have their fun and try to put their ideas of what the world should be to them in my brain.