GENRE: YA Paranormal romance
A teenage boy, born as a liaison between the living and the dead, agonizes over the way to tell a frenemy that she's next.
Benjamin strolled into Taylor Woods Nursing Home knowing somebody was going to die.
Popping an orange Tic Tac into his mouth, he nodded at the secretary and headed off towards the East wing. He didn’t need a guest pass. She knew who he was, and based on the raise of a single eyebrow, she was curious. He peeked back, wondering if she was watching to see which room he walked into.
“Howdy, Ms. Gail,” Benjamin crooned as he walked through the door at the end of the hallway. In this wing, lunch was served on trays as all residents were no longer able to make it to the cafeteria. The floral and disinfectant smell of the nursing home was too strong for his nostrils to make out the menu.
Ms. Gail wasn’t speaking. Benjamin blew out the breath he wasn’t aware he was holding. Had he expected her to stand up and dance at his arrival? Nobody did that, even if they didn’t know about his gift. Or curse, depending on the day.
Her bedroom was noisy, even though it was just the two of them. The respiratory machine hummed as it breathed in and out, an accordion-like thing moving up and down with the noise. To the right of Ms. Gail was the heart machine. The green lines weren’t moving up very far, if that meant anything at all. And the beeping noise that accompanied the rising green line took a break for a few seconds before repeating.
Saying Ms. Gail was pale would be an understatement. As Benjamin approached her bedside, his own pale skin looked tan in comparison. Her breaths were shallow, so he knew she was still with him. And even though her eyes were closed, he knew she’d awaken any second.
“Ms. Gail,” he sang as he swept her gray bangs off her forehead. “Wakey, wakey.”
“What are you doing?” The female voice came out of nowhere, causing Benjamin to pull back abruptly.