The lovely Holly Day is back on the blog today, celebrating the release of her newest book, and as always, it’s great to have her here. She also asks a very interesting question: would you want to know when you die and how? My short answer? No. 🙂
Welcome, Holly! ❤️
Hello, everyone! Thank you, lovely Nell, for allowing me back on the blog 🥰 Do you know what today is? Yes, I hear a muttered Thursday, and you’re right, but it’s also National Tell A Story Day. And I wrote Saved by the Bear to celebrate this day 🥳
Saved by the Bear is a short story, the shortest I’ve published this year, at about 60 pages. It’s about Frode, who inherits a book from his uncle. He thinks the book is a little creepy. It has Will Tell Your Story written on the cover, and it weirds Frode out.
Then when he takes the book home and opens it, all he sees are blank pages. He laughs at himself. It’s a diary and, of course, it will tell his story if he writes in it.
But then a sentence appears.
What would you do if a magic book was giving you a recap of your life from childhood up to today? Frode stays up all night, reading. The book is turning pages on its own, and there isn’t much left, so he keeps going. Only when they reach the present day, the book continues and shows him the future.
Sadly, there aren’t many pages left in the book, meaning there isn’t much left of Frode’s life.
I most often write paranormal stories. I love adding magic to the world, adding possible and impossible things. I want there to be shifters, vampires, psychics and magic users. I would’ve jumped into a world like that, but I don’t want to know how I die or when.
Had someone given me the choice to know, I’d most likely have turned down the offer. Unless there was a chance to change the outcome, then I might have wanted to know. I don’t know.
I’m not fatalistic. I think we have the power to change our lives. But at the same time, some things are out of our control. I watched my mother fade away in two months, and everyone tried to save her. If that’s my fate, then I don’t want to know. I want to live until I can’t anymore.
Frode isn’t really given the choice whether he’s to know or not. Sure, he could stop reading the moment he realised the book showed him the future, but then we wouldn’t have a story, would we? 😆
Saved by the Bear
Would knowing how you die change the way you live?
Frode Hall inherits a book that promises to tell his story, and it does. It starts with a recap of his childhood, leads him through his teens and into adult life. Then it turns a page and shows how he dies in a car crash the following day. Frode panics, but can he trust the book? It’s showing a huge Grizzly sneaking around the garden, and there are no bears in the garden, only Imre, his neighbor.
By not being in his car when the predicted car crash was to take place, he survives another day. But someone has learned he has the book, and it’s showing ninjas breaking into his apartment to get it. Unsure of what to do, Frode turns to Imre. Frode doesn’t know what to believe about his growling and talk of mates, but he trusts Imre to help him. They leave the city in a hurry, but will the book give them enough warning to keep them alive or will their journey end in a gruesome prophecy?
Paranormal Gay Romance: 14,970 words
JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/SavedByTheBear
Frode was unable to sleep. His body was buzzing, his mind racing, and his hands aching with the need to open the book again. He must have imagined the whole thing. He’d been through a rough period, and today had been the drop to make the cup run over. He’d been frightened and alone, not on the run from his ex perhaps, but scared to talk to him again, and then an attorney had called and given him keys to a cabin.
A cabin. In the woods. Frode had lived in the city his entire life.
And the book… His mind had left his body and had been bouncing around the ceiling. How else would he have been able to perceive himself from above?
To prove he wasn’t insane, he flung off the cover, put his feet on the cold floor, and walked out of his bedroom with determined steps. The shiver going through him was because he’d left the warmth of his bed, nothing else.
He grabbed the box and reached inside. He didn’t scream when the swooping in his gut came and pulled him out of his body. He was still inside of his body, part of him, at least. Both his brain and his body worked. He put his forefinger to his nose to prove it, but he was seeing himself from above.
This time, it opened about one-fourth into the book instead of halfway. How weird. With a deep breath, he focused on the writing.
The book was giving him a recap of his life so far. One sentence melted into another as soon as he’d read the last word, and soon he didn’t see the words at all. His life played before him as if he was watching a movie.
Childhood memories soon turned into memories from his teens. His father turned uglier with each scene. He hadn’t in reality, but every time he belittled Frode or was mean to his mom, he turned more and more into an orc fit for a Tolkien movie.
Real minutes turned into hours, and by the time they’d reached the moment when Frode first met Dario, his eyes were sandy, and his jaw was about to be dislocated by all his yawning.
He pushed on, couldn’t stop when he was this close to the end. As if the book understood he didn’t want to watch how he’d gone from happy and confident to broken and scared during his time with Dario, it skimmed forward. It showed him when he’d first walked up to this building, but it wasn’t accurate.
“Wait. Go back.”
The book turned back a page which startled Frode. He hadn’t noticed they’d turned pages, but they were almost at the end of the book now, so they must have.
He read, or watched, or whatever the weird in-between was, himself walking up to the building. Around the corner of the house, out of fiction-Frode’s view, was a huge grizzly bear. Massive. He shook his head. There couldn’t have been a bear, not in the city, not a big one at least. Someone would have noticed.
The house was on the outskirts of town, and it only had two apartments—his on the upper floor, and Imre’s on the bottom—but people still walked by. Someone would’ve noticed a grizzly.
He rubbed his eyes, and when he focused on the book again, he’d entered the empty apartment. The book showed him smaller than he was in reality, which had him question its reliability again. A tiny Frode and a massive grizzly. It was two errors in less than a minute.
The book turned another page. There weren’t many pages left now which, he guessed, made sense since they’d almost reached present time, but it left him a little disappointed.
They jumped to the day Dario had come to visit. His face was twisted into an ugly sneer—it hadn’t been in reality. He’d been angry, but Frode didn’t blame him. Frode had left him without a word. Had packed a bag of clothes and left a note on the kitchen table saying he’d moved out and wouldn’t come back.
His breath hitched as black fog wafted around Dario like a cloak while he yelled at Frode. Then Imre’s door banged open, and he rushed up the stairs. He grew with each step he took, and when he was standing over Dario, he had massive fangs dripping with saliva.
Frode shivered. It hadn’t happened. Imre had come up the stairs. He hadn’t spoken or snarled, but he’d put himself between Frode and Dario. To Frode’s astonishment, Dario had quieted and walked toward the exit. Imre had followed him, and he did in the book too.
Frode didn’t think his troubles with Dario were over, but he forgot all about it as Dario and Imre stepped out of the building. The book turned the focus back on Frode.
“No, show the garden.”
To his amazement, the book did. Outside, Dario was walking to his sleek black Mercedes. The glow from the lamp post illuminated his face as if they were in a scary movie. The black smoke still flowed around him, reminding Frode of a cartoon villain, and his breath hitched as tiny ravens fluttered around Dario as he got into the car. Then Frode spotted the grizzly watching Dario from the shadows behind the hedge. Where had Imre gone? Maybe he’d turned around and gone into his apartment the moment Dario had left the building.
Yawning again, Frode made a mental note of checking for bear prints in the garden. Did it have a den nearby?
He put the book on the wobbly coffee table and went to get a glass of water. When he entered the living room again, the book was showing him at the attorney’s. She looked like the stepmother in Cinderella—the book had a flair for animated characters. She hadn’t looked like that in reality. A bit stiff, and he had the feeling she had been looking down at him, but he didn’t think she was stepmother-evil. He hoped she wasn’t. When the book showed the box with the book and the keys, it glowed. Frode took a calming breath, only to wince when the book showed him opening it earlier in the day.
Frode winced as he watched Imre’s door fly open and bounce against the wall as he ran up the stairs. He was huge again as he banged on Frode’s door. As Frode spoke, Imre shrank back into an almost normal size. He’d been huge when Frode opened the door, but not as big as the book showed him.
He stretched and watched the last few hours play out in rapid succession. Nothing interesting, and the book skimmed over them as if it was fast-forwarding on an old VCR player.
Then the air froze in Frode’s lungs.
The book showed the morning, the coming morning. Frode slammed a hand over the open page as he took a shuddering breath. It hadn’t happened yet. Fuck.
About Holly Day
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.
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