Lynette Ferreira, $0.99, ISBN 978-1452386096
Paranormal Romance, 2010
Elizabeth and Devlin have a nauseating romance. Lush forests, horses (one of them being a “statuette white stallion”), streaming sunlight to cast a halo around beautiful faces, her long dark hair fanning out like she’s auditioning for the role of Ebony Dark’ness, his muscular arms carrying her willowy form with no apparent strain or effort…
Suddenly he asks seriously, “Have you ever tried to find the words to say something, but no matter what you think of saying, you know it might come out wrong?”
Make way, make way, I need to rush to the bathroom before I projectile vomit all over the living room in disgust.
He glances at me and then looking back at the sky, he says, “Don’t look at me that way. I have waited too long for you and today it was as if you never left.” He turns his face all the way to me, looking sad. “If I kiss you now, take you in my arms, I will be selfish and not tell you what I need to tell you. Then one day in the distant future you might stumble across something that would yank your memory back and then you will hate me forever, for not telling you the truth from the start.”
Is he… is he quoting a Taylor Swift song or something? I mean, who speaks like that? Which guy speaks like that?
I can see fear and despair in his eyes when he looks at me again. “Did you know Eilish is the Gaelic interpretation for Elizabeth?”
“Yes, Devlin, I do. I can speak Gaelic quite fluently and you know this?” I look at him frowning.
“No, Eilish, you ARE Elizabeth,” he says, sadness clouding his eyes. “Eilish and Elizabeth is the same person.”
Oh, sorry, am I supposed to say something here? Oh yes, he’s so profound, deep, et cetera.
Wait… is her name Eilish or Elizabeth? According to him, she is both, while she insists she’s not Elizabeth, she’s Eilish. Not that Eilish, I hope.
There is a brief silence in the wind and then it starts up again, until I do not know who is making the most noise, the horses or the wind.
Just as suddenly as it started, it ends.
After a while, Devlin lets me go with a groan of relief.
“What was that?” I whisper scared.
“I think it is unhappy souls. They only appear once the last ray of sun disappears from the sky. Scared the colour off my skin, the first time I saw them coming toward me. It seemed to be a thousand spirits in a cluster, whirling around, creating this huge cloud, swirling and twirling about, with faces, legs and arms everywhere. The faces in there are pulled in hideous expressions and…” He smirks. “I don’t think I would want to meet them in a dark place.”
What is this? Is this a story with angry fairies, vampires, or something? I thought All Over Again was a contemporary romance! What is happening?
My eyes are wide, and I am frightened.
“This of course creates a problem for me. For me to cross over I would have to travel through the shadow of the valley of death, literally a forest of lost souls and then leap off the edge at the end of the world into the light. In the process of getting there, I must avoid this cloud of spirits, because I am sure once you are stuck in there, there is no getting out for eternity. For you to wake up Elizabeth, all you must do is choose to wake up, which you could do at any moment.” He hesitates for a moment and then he says, “You finally came along and broke the spell that kept me here. Now it is time to say goodbye and you can go back. I will be okay. I have avoided them this long, so I am sure I could get to the end of the world without running into them – literally.”
Oh great. This is some kind of weird dream of the heroine, right?
Anyway, I turn the pages. He keeps babbling things that don’t make sense like the above, they enter the “dark” (what?), and then more babbling, more walking, more of Eilizabethish looking scared, and then…
Wait, the heroine “wakes up” and it’s… the end? She woke up from what? What is this, what I am even reading? Let me turn to the next page, to see if the author would put some afterword like how she was probably on some kind of stuff that made her feel light headed while she was writing this thing.
This short story is the in-between between My Recycled Soul and When Destiny Collides.
In the first draft of Recycled Souls, Elizabeth met up with Devlin again, when she regressed back across the years. However, when it was time for Elizabeth to come back to the present day, Devlin kept following her.
I did not want Recycled Souls to be a ghost story. I wanted it to be a simple love story—a story of discovery that even through many lifetimes, many mistakes and many different choices, we always end up where we are always supposed to be…
Yeah, and I did not want this either. Really, what is this and why did the author charge me $0.99, which admittedly isn’t much, to behold this… whatever this is? I look up the author’s other works and I don’t see the two titles she mentioned above so I can only wonder whether this whole thing is either a joke or a surreal acid trip of sorts. At least put a warning that I am going to spend the next fifteen minutes or so wondering what the heck I am reading. In fact, while I mark this one as a paranormal romance, it’s more like a what-the-hell-is-this romance.
This one gets a generous extra oogie because of the unintentional hilarity of Devin’s hideously purple lines, but at the end of the day, I have no idea what I have just read or what to even make of it. This experience is definitely brought to all lucky humans by the letters W, T, and F.