Friday, March 8, 2013

Chapter One of This Morning I Woke Up Dead

     Hey Everyone! 

     Good morning, and thanks so much for stopping by. I am so excited and thrilled and grateful for the release of, This Morning I Woke Up Dead anywhere books are sold and featured on Amazon and I've decided to share the first chapter! Please feel free to comment and ask questions and wonder, what if?
Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

Chapter One


Today when I woke up, my reality changed irrevocably. Life as I knew it was forever altered. Powerful just to say the least.
Other than the fact that I am not alive, things remain similar. The sun is out. Birds are singing. Kids are laughing on their way to school. I look the same: blonde wavy hair that hits just below my bra strap; icy gray eyes with the ability to stare anyone into submission. I'm average height and weight. I'm twenty five years old. Now for the things that most might find unusual. Things that most would be alarmed by. But not me. I know better. Blood does not technically flow through my body. Nor does my heart beat. I do not need oxygen to breathe or food and water to sustain myself. For lack of a better explanation, I am for all intents and purposes, dead.
 No one else knows, but they are all dead too. Choosing to ignore the signs and living an easier existence is fine for most. It was fine for me too. Before. Before I realized the truth. As soon as I knew the truth, it all vanished. My life as I knew it was over. Leaving a black hole in my soul, an ache that would haunt me into oblivion. My fiancé. My family. My job. All of it is inaccessible. That's how it works. The only way it can. This is the part that I am not so crazy about. I can see them. Feel them. Hear them. I can't communicate with them. I know they are there. But they have no idea where I am. It's horrendous to be so close and yet so very far away.
So, you're probably wondering how did I die? Well, the better question might be: when did I realize that I was never alive? Not in the traditional sense.
No one on Earth is alive.
Think of Earth as one enormous waiting room. On Earth, we can do all the things needed to learn and grow for the next cycle of life. Life on Earth is a practice run. A dress rehearsal. While we're on Earth we can play. Love. Find our talents. Those who are smart, use them. It's a pity that not near enough of the population do. Most waste their time on Earth gossiping, arguing, spending too much money, worrying about anything and everything. We cause pain. To ourselves and others. The opposite of living. Why? I don't know. What I do know is that love, being happy, and feeling gratitude for everyone and everything is all its really about. Why most get distracted with negativity and ugliness is beyond me. Not that I was perfect during my rehearsal but I fought like hell to be close. I always chose joy. I counted my blessings. I had everything. A job I enjoyed. Money for the goods and services I needed. A family who loved and cared for me. And the best part of my prior existence, I had Love; he was my best friend. I was grateful for him. For my life. For all of it.  I was rewarded with an abundance of worldly attributes. The truth.
Perhaps that is why most chose not to believe in the reality. It’s less frightening being in the dark about it. When I was a child, I was terrified of every unlit hallway and corner. Forget about closets and under the beds. Hell no was I going to go down to the basement after dark. I always imagined the worst case scenarios. Robbers. Monsters. Ghosts. An intimidating gruesome boogeyman always ready and waiting to pounce and steal me into the purple darkness. Luckily, a blue light from the waxing moon provided enough of a glow in my bedroom and prevented that from ever happening.
“Hadley,” my mom would call. “Get that blanket off your head; you'll suffocate.”
With a sigh, I would manage to pacify my mom by making an air hole just large enough for my nose to be seen. Back then I was terrified of the things that went bump in the night. Things that I couldn't see but somehow sense were there.
I didn't go to my funeral. I didn't think I could bear the pain of seeing them all crying out for me. When it was I that was crying for them. They were sad for the wrong reasons. The only thing separating us is ignorance.

“You were called 'Hadley'?” The only other person I have met so far in this realm, asks me. A glint of a smile hints at the corner of his full lips.
“Yes.” Looking down, I see that I am wearing my favorite pair of dark wash skinny jeans, nude heels, and navy polka dotted top. As well as my signature cream cardigan. I don't remember putting this outfit on.
“You can choose another name.” Logan looks at me with his fierce green eyes and then continues, “You know, if you want to be called something more,” he breaks eye contact and looks off at some nearby Earth kids. They're picking flowers and saying, 'he loves me, he loves me not.' Shaking his head, Logan says, “Traditional.”
“Hadley is fine. Can they sense us?” I point at the redheaded little girl. She is giggling about something.
He shrugs. “Sometimes. Sometimes not. Instead of they, we refer to them as Unknowns.”
I nod, and I finally understand what the chilling spine tingle I had sometimes felt truly was.
I am now a boogeyman. Mom would be so proud. Way to face your fears, Hadley, she'd chide. Or so I imagine.
Logan takes my hand and leads me down the sidewalk. “It’s best if you don't linger around the ones you knew. It can be,” he pauses, searching for the right word, “Painful, seeing them moving on without you, and as if you never mattered.”
I wonder if Logan is speaking from experience. It’s more or less obvious, but I don't feel comfortable enough to ask.
Logan laughs and says, “They seem so clueless. I mean, we practically beg them to figure it out. Why else would one have a bullet hole wound in their head unless they were already dead?”
“Some have bullet hole wounds?” If I appear shocked he pays me no mind.
“Oh, sure. And puncture wounds, or scars where they were mutilated in accidents, or burned by nasty chemicals. But don't worry; most never notice their prior battle wounds.”
I cringe, and not for the first time, I wish I was still an Unknown. Luckily, I didn't find any outrageous scars or mutilations; I figured it out a different way.
Logan snorts, hiding a laugh at my discomfort.
“How did you figure it out?” I ask, wondering if Logan has a visible mark somewhere on his flawless appearance. The man is chiseled. He wears his black formed fitted T shirt and faded jeans very well. If I were to guess, I'd say he was about five years or so older than me.
He catches me eyeing his biceps and squints. It is almost a wink. “Sorry, can't tell you. And don't you tell me how you did either.”
I sigh. “But why?” I feel like we could bond over this.
“Don't get all whiny and Earthly on me, kid. You're supposed to be above all that now.” Logan leans down and says, “If we tell each other how,” his lip curls as he continues, “The more we will want to tell the Unknowns. And that, darling, is forbidden.”
“No one will learn that way. You have to find out for yourself or you aren't deemed worthy to be here. You must be enlightened.”
“Makes sense. I guess.” Then I ask, “So what am I supposed to do now?”
“How about I tell you what you can't do and everything else is fair game, okay?”
Against my better judgment, I nod; I am craving information. Especially information they don't require me to figure out alone.
“You can't make contact with The Unknowns.”
“That's it?”
Logan nods. “That's it. But believe me its harder than you think not to.”
“What happens if I do?” I immediately think of Dominic. My love.
Logan looks me in the eye, reaching into me with his demanding gaze. He emphasizes each word, “You don't even wanna know.” After a beat, Logan laughs sardonically. Confusing me a little.
Pondering his statement for a moment, I wonder, I am already dead, what's the worst that can happen to me now?
Logan clears his throat and says, “Okay, so, Hadley.” The way he says my name- as if he is spitting out glass- makes me turn away from him. My face flushes. I see that the kids are no longer picking daisies. They have moved on to torturing bugs, pulling the legs off of a daddy long leg, laughing at him as he tries to crawl away. Logan flashes them an indignant look and shakes his head in disapproval.
“You listening?” Logan prods.
I nod.
“Okay, so first things first. We’re all spirit guides here, we help the Unknowns. Come with me and let’s find out what your assignment is.” Logan steps over and around the bugs but through the kids, making the red head shiver. Seems sort of backwards to me, avoiding bugs in favor of passing through children. But who am I to judge?
“Assignment? Like a job?”
“Yeah. But we base your, job,” like my name, he says the word as if it tastes sour. “On what you're talents are,” he snorts a laugh. Why he found it funny, I have no idea. “We don't work just for the sake of working and getting money. We do it for fulfillment. Because we like what we're doing.”
“Huh. Sounds good.”
“Yeah, it’s real nice,” he says with a lot of sarcasm.
I raise my brows questioningly.
“Never mind.” The way he has says this lets me know not to press him. What a tease. Tempting me with his knowledge that is just out of my reach is something I feel he enjoys.