There’s a man-made storm coming, like a rip in the world, and it’s called the Cusp.
Struggling to fit into the destiny she’s accepted, Nalena Maxwell has been left with one objective: she must find her murdered grandfather’s Memory. Stolen and hidden away by her own father over seventeen years ago, the Memory could be the key to ending the Cusp and destroying the Ianua’s rival community, The Fury.
Driven by each individual’s selfish desires, The Fury has always lacked the loyalty and organization it needs to be an actual force of power.
Someone masterminded the Fury’s massive attack on the Ianua, slaughtering twelve of their thirteen community leaders, the Addos. Now there are rumors that the 13th Cura, to which Nali belongs, has gone to the Fury, manipulating the last Addo in order to control the other 12 Curas.As the Cusp brings the Fury and their own communities against them, Nalena’s Cura must preserve the Ianua, but finding the key to the Cusp isn’t as simple as it seems.
Thank you so much for having me over to your blog, Autumn! I’m excited that the Keystone Tour has stopped here today and to celebrate, I brought you what is essentially, one of my bloopers.
Keystone was rewritten three times and then revised and reworked (I even might’ve pulled it’s hair) before it was finished. The lucky side effect of writing one book for a couple of years is that I have oodles of deleted scenes- some that will be revamped for the next books, but most that will never see the light of day. Well, until now.
So, please enjoy my train wreck! This scene is an original of Nali & Milo’s first meeting at school. For those who have read the book, you’ll understand why this scene didn’t make the cut! For those who haven’t – it won’t matter! lol Thanks again for having me over and let me post my foolishness all over your blog, Autumn!
KEYSTONE, DELETED SCENE
“Remember,” Garrett says as I slide off the seat. “You’re Contego now. There’s nothing in there you can’t handle.”
I flash him a smile to say I understand, but being Contego now doesn’t erase what I was before. I rub the nearly invisible indent in my palm but I can’t shake off how it doesn’t make me feel any different. Without my mom or even with a protective bubble, way down underneath all of that, nothing has changed. I can’t escape feeling exactly like who I was when I walked through the doors of Simon Valley High last year.
The fact that Garrett can tell I’m stressed out only makes this worse. I’m Contego and I’m still intimidated out of my gourd about standing in a line to register for classes with the same kids who only know me as The Waste. Or, thanks to Cora, the girl that might’ve been raped in the woods last year. Or, most likely, the girl who’s father shot her mom. There’s no good options.
The place is a beehive inside and signs at the front door herd all of us toward the gym for registration.
“Oh my gawd,” A girl squeals, jolting past me to throw her arms around a girl, dressed in plaid. “What am I going to do? I’m not going to see you every day!”
“Ugh, I know! But Alan said there’s a vid-chat. Qype. Do it the minute you get home!”
I pass the girls and a cloud of goth kids walks by.
“Can’t believe they’re even serious.” A boy with black eyeliner says. “I’ll have all my work done in like five minutes and got the rest of the day to myself.”
“They said it doesn’t work that way.” A girl, less goth than the others, says. “That it’s timed and there’s Qype classrooms and check-ins.”
“You don’t think they’re gonna let it be easy?” Another boy laughs, cracks his knuckles. “Gonna have to use my mad hacking-skills.”
Students who have already registered are loitering around the halls, squealing over friends they haven’t seen all summer and exchanging Quantus user names. Some are moaning about not being able to see each other everyday and some are moaning that we’re required to participate in extra curricular activities at all. The requirement is attendance of three extra curricular activities, per student, per semester, which means we’re still roped into going to games, school dances or theater shows even if we don’t sign up to be a part of the teams or clubs.
There are signs along the way that detour into open classrooms where there is registration for all the different extra curricular activities. None of the rooms really need a sign. The football team is all piled around one door, and the band geeks are playing their clarinets kind of badly around another. There’s a line of hopeful looking girls standing
The cheerleading room sign has pom pons dangling from it, but no one is around. I have really bad memories of cheerleaders since Jen, the captain last year, was the one who started everyone calling me The Waste. I glance inside and see Regina, Jen’s year-younger BFF, lounging on top of a desk as she explains to a couple freshmen girls how making the team would be the greatest honor of their lives. Her back is to the door and I am grateful to slink past, unnoticed, but I’m aggravated. I mean, I’m Contego now. I should feel strong and confident and be able to walk right in there and grab the pen out of Vagina’s hand and tell her that I’ve decided to be cheer captain this year. But, I don’t feel like that at all. Instead, my arms are sweaty and the hallway feels too packed and too hot. I duck into the gym.
The gym is filled with teachers at card tables, having kids fill out registration forms. A lady, with a volunteer sticker peeling off her chest, directs me to one of the lines.
It turns out to be Mr. Ergnon’s line, which is five kids deep but moving like frozen oatmeal. The computers are stacked cardboard boxes with handles, behind the teachers, the same way boxes are stacked on display at Best Buy.
I’m behind Gerald Harvard, the quiet bus of a guy that used to block my view in Social Studies. It’s the perfect place until two kids pass behind me and one mumbles, “What’s up, Waste?” under his breath. Gerald turns to glance stiffly over his shoulder at me, both brows shoot up but he turns away with a sigh, but he doesn’t say anything.
“What a waste of time,” someone says behind me and it’s like something inside me snaps. I wheel around on a kid I’ve never seen before. I have to tip my head up a little to look him in the face. He’s one of those surfer-skier-apple pie types. He looks down at me, lifts an edge of his lip and says, “Waste, isn’t it?”
“Shut. Up,” I snarl at him. He tips his head down now, but one eyebrow hikes up like a question mark.
“Whoa,” he says. “Sorry to offend. I guess people around here enjoy waiting in lines. Where I come from, it’s a drag to stand around in school while it’s still, technically, summer.”
It takes a second to realize he wasn’t calling me names at all.
“Sorry,” I mumble. “I misunderstood you.”
“Well, I’ll just consider you my touchy new friend.” The smirk is back, but it seems harmless as he scans his requirement sheet. “Since I’m brand new here, maybe you could tell me which is the toughest English class?”
“You want a tough class?”