Cross Waves Excerpt
CROSS WAVES received second place in the PARANORMAL/TIME TRAVEL/FANTASY/FUTURISTIC ROMANCE category of the Book Buyers Best Contest for published novels.
She can kill with a thought.
Gifted with an explosive psychic talent, Geneva Ericksen can’t risk letting Rolf Jorgensen in her life. If she does, she might accidentally kill him. But when Rolf’s sister goes missing, Geneva and her extraordinary abilities may be his only hope to find her.
He’s hiding a deadly secret.
Rolf‘s not about to let Geneva slip away from him, even if it means protecting her from his dark gift. As Rolf and Geneva trail his sister, they soon uncover a life-threatening plot: someone is attempting to profit from stealing and trapping their power in crystals.
To outsmart the enemy, it will take all their combined strength. But can they trust each other enough to survive?
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Five-year-old Geneva Ericksen stopped at the bottom of the stairs. Why did she have to take a stupid nap? Naps meant sleeping in her bedroom with the black walls.
She grabbed the railing and put one foot on the first step. Behind her, the kitchen door banged shut, and she turned to look. Mama came into the dining room, carrying the pink tea kettle.
She should never have told Mama and Daddy she saw colors. If she hadn’t told them, they wouldn’t have gotten scared. If she hadn’t told them, they wouldn’t have called men from the government to come to her house to talk to her. If she hadn’t told them, they wouldn’t have painted black over her Winnie-the-Pooh wallpaper to stop her from seeing the colors.
Mama poured herself a cup of tea and set the teapot on the table. Mama was the prettiest and smartest lady in the whole wide world. She said too many colors were bad for little girls like Geneva. But the colors couldn’t come through black walls. That’s why her bedroom had to be painted.
“What’s the matter, sweetheart?”
“Can I have a story, please?”
Mama smiled. “Okay, honey. Go pick one out. Bring it down here—we’ll read it on the big chair.”
Geneva raced to her bedroom, turned on the light, and got her favorite book from under the nightstand by her bed. The pages were ripped and scribbled on in places, but she didn’t care. Mama had read the story to her so many times she knew most of the words. Cinderella’s stepmother and sisters were mean to her, but the handsome prince loved Cinderella. She became a princess. Geneva wanted to be a princess, too.
A pretty pink color came through her bedroom walls like fog. A cold feeling moved from her head to her feet. Where did the color come from? Why did it make her feel all strange inside—all cold and shivery like when she got out of the bathtub? Excited and scared at the same time. The government men were wrong. It didn’t matter if her bedroom walls were painted black. The colors always found her.
Geneva flew down the stairs to tell Mama about the color in her room. But she remembered Mama didn’t want her to talk about it. Mama saw colors, too, but not when she was a little girl like Geneva. Mama said the colors were energy, and Geneva had a powerful psychic gift. Too much power for one little girl. The government men would take Geneva and lock her away if she kept talking about seeing colors.
Mama pointed to the overstuffed recliner in the family room and smiled. “Cinderella, again? How did I know you were going to choose this book? Let’s get comfortable, sweetie.”
Geneva climbed onto the cozy yellow chair and waited for Mama to sit next to her. She opened the book. Cinderella was scrubbing the floor. Cinderella was pretty. Cinderella had long, straight blonde hair like Geneva and Mama.
“Once upon a time, there lived an unhappy little girl,” Mama read the first line from the story.
The doorbell rang. Mama looked up. “Now who could be dropping by in the middle of the day?”
Geneva didn’t know who was at the door, but she felt all strange inside, like there was a balloon in her belly. Mama must have felt something, too, because she looked worried. The bell rang again.
“It’s okay. Look at the pictures. I’ll be right back.”
Geneva watched. Something was wrong. Something was really wrong. The balloon in her belly got bigger and bigger. Mama opened the door. Waves of black color swept into the room. Two men dressed in dark clothes and wearing Halloween masks came in. One of the men held a gun in his hand. It was pointed at Mama. He shut the door behind him.
Geneva got off the chair. She couldn’t stop the goose bumps that started at her head and raced to her toes. Her skin tingled, reminding her of the time she’d accidentally touched the electric fence on Grandpa’s farm.
The man pointed his gun at Mama. “Where are the crystals?”
Geneva sprang forward, wanting the comfort of her mother.
Mama held her hand out. Her voice sounded high and scared. “Stay back, Geneva.”
Geneva stopped in the middle of the room, but the balloon in her tummy didn’t stop. It kept growing.
Mama fetched a small bag from the cupboard next to the fireplace and handed it to the man with the gun. He gave the bag to his friend, who put it in his pocket. The man with the bag opened the door and left the house, but the man with the gun stayed inside. He aimed his gun at Mama.
Mama cried out, her voice trembling. “You have what you came for. Don’t hurt us. Please.”
Geneva’s heart beat faster and faster. “No, no, no!”
The man with the gun looked at her and back at Mama. “Shut the child up.”
“It’s okay, Geneva,” Mama said. “Go to your room.”
Geneva’s hands tingled. She would not go to her room until she was sure Mama was okay. The bad man still held the gun in Mama’s face.
Colors rushed toward Geneva from every corner of the room. Great big balls of rainbow color. The balls surrounded her, spinning faster and faster, like the merry-go-round she rode with her older brothers at the carnival. They spun so fast they were a blur of color. She opened her mouth to breathe, and the colors came inside. Her body shook hard. The balloon popped. Rose-colored fog blasted out of her and sped toward the bad man. She couldn’t stop the scream that followed. It kept coming and coming and coming.
She didn’t stop screaming even after the gun went off.