Author Mia Castile is stopping by the blog today to share an exclusive flash fiction story she wrote just for us!
When you’re done reading the story, enter the giveaway for a chance to win a complete signed set of the series (if you don’t see the Rafflecopter form, try refreshing your screen or just click the link)!
Mia Castile grew up in a small suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. She still lives near her childhood home with her husband and two children. She was passionate about writing long before she was passionate about reading, but has learned the two go hand in hand.
Waking up in the middle of the night is easy when you’re in an uncomfortable bed that’s in a room that smells like hospital. Oh yeah, that’s because I am in a hospital. I tried to just lay there, but instead only tossed and turned. Finally, I rise and unsteadily find my footing. Then I slip on some sneakers, grab my wallet and I poke my head out the door. I have to get out of this room. The hospital hall is empty, but bright. It’s like a fluorescent day, even though it’s closer to three a.m. The nurse’s station is empty so I stroll down the hall like I own it in my gym shorts and plain white T-shirt. My stomach rumbles signaling how hungry I am. I need food.
It was hard for me to fall asleep last night. There were so many things splashing about in my brain. Lacey, showing up like that with my gym bag and the medical tests that were supposed make sure my brain is still intact. I wonder what they found out because I don’t feel right, but I want to. I want to know what my life has become. I have these flashes of dreams, that might be memories, but when I try to make sense they are gone.
I wander, making my way down corridor after corridor until I find the elevator and escape to the main floor and the cafeteria. It’s a big open room with a huge stone fireplace at one end that almost makes it feel like a resort or something. But it’s not; it’s still a hospital. There’s couple a vending machine and I quickly create a smorgasbord of junk food that only a stoner would truly appreciate.
What if I can’t remember? What if I can’t cope with it? What if—
“Are you Chase Livingston?” A squeaky voice asks from behind me.
“That’s what they tell me,” I say reluctantly, as I turn and see a scrawny freckled faced girl in pajamas and a messy red bun piled on top of her head. I’m not used to the idea that people know me, and I don’t know them. It’s kind of scary when you think about it.
“I love you and your band so much.” She gushes and closes the few feet between us with a rush. She sits down and smiles widely at me. Her eyes have dark circles under them, she almost looks like she’s been crying. I offer her some Doritos. She holds her hand up in protest.
“I couldn’t keep it down if I tried,” she answers a little embarrassed. “My sister said you were here, but I didn’t believe her. Is it true you don’t remember anything?”
“Not everything. Just the past two years.”
“That sucks.” She says and hugs herself like she’s cold. I watch her for a long moment, her thin frame, and pale skin. Freckles sprinkle her button nose, but her lips are so plum they almost look blue. She shifts uncomfortably under my gaze and realizing I’ve made her uneasy, I look away.
“So what are you doing here at three a.m.?” I ask trying to ease the tension.
“Leukemia,” she answers bravely. “I can’t sleep at night here.”
“Me either.” I offer.
“So, you know your song Call You Home?” I nod slowly, I remember writing that song. I don’t remember sharing it with anyone in the band, but somehow she knows it.
“That song speaks to me. It’s my favorite, and it reminds me that I’m not alone, but it would be OK even if I were. You know?” I nod again. I don’t know what to say.
“I want to make it to your next show. I don’t know if I’ll be able to.” She shrugs and looks at my empty, shredded wrappers piled off to the side of us.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Well Dana, I will put your name on the list at the next show, and you will get a VIP treatment if you can make it.” I’m not sure if we have a list, but if not we can make one just for her.
“Seriously?” She asks wide eyes. Finally there is a glint in them. That makes me happy suddenly.
“Seriously.” I return.
“Can I get a picture with you? No one will believe I met you.” She gushes again, like she did earlier, when she first came over.
“Sure,” I say as I run my fingers through my hair self-consciously.
She takes out her phone from her pocket and we both stand up, then she takes a few snapshots as we make different poses together. I begin to clean up my mess and just before I leave I turn to her and smile.
“Thanks,” I say.
Her jaw goes slack just before it shifts into a huge smile. Yeah, I just made her night.
The worst day of Lacey Baxter’s life was the day her parents announced their divorce and her boyfriend Chase Livingston went into a coma. Scratch that. The worst day of her life was two months later, when he woke up and didn’t recognize her. Now, as he pushes her away, she clings to the hope that each day will be the day he remembers how much they love each other. Turning to her new BFF Byron and his circle of friends, she does whatever she can to cope with the changes. She just wants to be numb and forget about everything.
The headaches, the panic attacks, the pressure to be this perfect boyfriend are incredibly hard for Chase to bear. He doesn’t love Lacey, or at least he doesn’t think he does. Still, he doesn’t understand this strong attraction to her, or the jealousy he feels over every guy that talks to her. Losing two years of his memory means strangers think they know him and he’s not sure where he fits in. Will his memories come back over time or all at once? Should he even wish for them?
Finding each other again could be harder than either of them thought, especially when everyone knows their business and has an opinion about it
If you’d like more information about Meredith or her debut novel, check out the links below: