The sound had barely registered on my ears when, with a twist and a jerk from a forearm that had pulled thousands of lobster traps from the briny ocean, Casey Edd, the highliner of Coldwell Bay, snapped my neck.
My soul fled that accursed house before my thin body even had time to drop to the floor…
Now dead, Nate is forced to navigate a place where angels and demons fight for his soul, even as his surviving younger sister tries to cope with their brutal past on earth. Will violence and tragedy be their ultimate end?
From “Maine’s Other Author”TM—Tim Greaton.
Barnes & Noble.com
Tim Greaon - The Perfect World
Trapped! Could young Nate ever get past the trauma of his own death and move on to Heaven? Or should he return to Earth and try again? 1940's coastal Maine was not an easy place, and it was especially brutal for Nate's father, a banker and a flatlander who had moved north to begin pulling lobsters from the Maine coast. Barely getting by, the relocated family struggled to survive. But they were hated by the locals, and that hate soon turned to violence. Now, traumatized by the violent murders of his parents and himself, nine-year-old Nate finds himself somewhere between Heaven and Earth, a place where dead relatives can come and go, but a place where he is stuck. Desperately missing his real life, but too frightened to go back to Earth, Nate spends decades in this half-world where other luckier souls blink in and out within hours or days at most. From his unique perch, Nate watches in horror as his surviving younger sister tries to cope with their family's brutal past. Who is worse off, the sibling above or the sibling below? Either way, it seems that violence and tragedy are to follow them no matter what their paths.
I was desperate to give you all good news this evening and say my review of the first edit is done. Unfortunately, I still have about 50 pages to go, which means another day to a few days.
Here’s an excerpt from the latest edits…
“Grandma Clara! Grandma Clara!” I yelled as I rushed into my kitchen. Uncle Finneus appeared beside me. Of course, my grandmother had long ago returned to Heaven for the night.
“Out,” I said, to my Uncle Finneus. “Out of here right now!”
I was glad when he shrugged and disappeared. The last thing I needed was for his black sensibilities to affect my grandmother’s willingness to help.
Suddenly she appeared. Her face was tight with concern.
“What is it, Nate?”
“It’s Vicky. Her light turned red. She’s going to die!”
Grandma Clara’s hand shot to her mouth.
“Oh no,” she breathed. “That poor child!”
“What do you mean that poor child? We have to do something. We have to stop this!”
Though her body trembled with concern, she said, “I’m sorry, Nate. There is nothing we can do. I can’t interfere down there. No one can.”
“That’s crazy. God created the Earth, everything. Why can’t he help my sister?”
“Nate, the Earth, the heavens, even Hell, they’re all part of a system. That system can only exist with rules, rules that we can’t break.”
“This makes no sense. You know what’s going to happen!”
Uncle Finneus knocked from the other side of his basement door.
“Not now!” I screamed at him.
“We have to help, Grandma. I can’t just let her die.”
“Nathaniel,” she said with a measured tone, “there is nothing we can do. I’m sorry.”
Uncle Finneus beat at the door.
“I said not now!”
“It’s time for me to go, Nate,” Grandmother Clara said. “I can’t be party to this.”
“To what?” I asked, turning to face her. But she had already disappeared.
“For God’s sake, Nate. Open the damned door!”
I did as demanded, and Uncle Finneus stormed up into the kitchen. He had his hat in hand and his hair was wildly askew. His eyes danced angrily back and forth. I watched as he took a series of breaths to recover himself. He ran his fingers through his hair, and then somewhat calmly placed his top hat back on his head. Within his anger, I thought I recognized a sliver of what had allowed him to fight his way up to me. The fire was still in his eyes as he spoke.
“Do I strike you as a particularly frivolous man?”
I could hear the sarcasm in his voice and didn’t think this was the moment to mention that I didn’t know what the word frivolous meant. I shook my head.
“Then why, pray tell, young Nathaniel, would you choose to ignore my knocking when it was evidently URGENT?”
“Uncle Finneus, maybe this isn’t the best time for you to drag your point out too long. My sister is about to die, and I need to call Aunt Alice and the others for help. What do you want?”
“Your grandmother was lying.”
“Grandma Clara?” I asked.
“She can’t lie,” I said. “She’s an angel.”