Happy #YASH hunting! (I love Easter egg hunts, and this is SO much better. I mean, you can’t fit a book in a plastic egg.)
For my Stargazers and my new visitors from other worlds, I’m so excited to present author Krystalyn Drown!
In addition to writing,
Krystalyn Drown is a website support technician who spent thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. She is also a former Sea World zoologist and an elementary school teacher. She lives in Davenport, Florida.
I heard a rumor that Krystalyn got to swim with dolphins 34 times when she worked at Sea World! I don’t know if that’s right, but doesn’t it sound awesome?
When sixteen-year-old Aileen Shay sees a dead girl floating in the bay during a midnight yacht party, she never imagines Jamie Flannigan, her new boyfriend, may be involved. The only thing she knows about Jamie is that he personifies the one thing she has been drawn to her entire life – the ocean. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes he knows more about the murder than he’s telling. When another girl is attacked, and Jamie refuses to answer her questions, Aileen searches for answers on her own.
A little intro…
In the original draft of Legasea, the killer was someone completely different. However, I realized there weren’t enough players in the story, and the ending was too predictable. Here is the original climax where Aileen learns the identity of the killer.
I cradled the pack in my arms and worked my way back to the bright orange raft and finally to Mont’s boat.
He stood at the back, waving me in and grinning from ear to ear. As he pulled me up into his boat, he said, “You found it, eh? Good work.” He patted me on the back, then pulled the anchor up. “Let’s get you home.”
Mont put the boat in gear and eased us around the tip of the larger island. As my house came into view, I squinted to see if anyone was home. In the time I’d spent retrieving the skin, the sun had disappeared altogether, and my house was a faint outline against the darkening sky. No lights though. That was a good sign. If no one was home, I would have time to find a place to stash it until I could get something arranged with Mr. Glenn. I didn’t want to use Jamie’s spot in that cave on the beach. What if he came back? What if he found me there? What if he – “Oh, no!”
“Look.” I pointed to Jamie’s house. There was a light in the living room window and a Jamie shaped shadow staring out of it.
“Damn selkies! Can’t just leave a person be.” Mont yanked the steering wheel and turned the boat hard to the left, away from my house.
“Wait! Where are we going?”
“Anywhere but here. You ain’t going home with them poking around.”
“Oh.” I held tight to a cleat on the back of the boat as it swung around. The light went out in Jamie’s house, and his shadowy figure stepped out onto the porch. I shivered, though whether it was the salt water spraying into my face or the sight of him, I couldn’t tell. Was it always going to be like this? Me watching over my shoulder, running from him? I rubbed the goose bumps from my arms and headed toward the cabin.
As I passed by Mont, he asked, “Something wrong?”
“I’m cold. I’m just getting a blanket.”
He nodded, and I couldn’t help but notice the fear in his eyes. I had always humored him about his obsession with mythical creatures, but now I understood. There was nothing funny about them. Us? Did I even want to include myself in their category? No, I decided, definitely not.
“Hurry up, then,” he said.
When I got down in the cabin, I noticed the bed was stripped clean. That’s when I remembered his blankets were all piled in a stack by our front door. Dad was supposed to return them, but with Mont gone, he hadn’t had the chance. Oh, well. There was probably a jacket in the closet. It would smell like fish, but I wasn’t gonna be picky.
The closet itself was tiny, about two feet wide and three feet tall. I punched the button on the wall light by the door and opened up the closet. A bunch of balled up rags covered in questionable slime came spilling out.
“Fish guts. Awesome.”
I knocked the rags to the floor, then dug around through the rolled up newspapers and mismatched boots, unsure if I even wanted a coat anymore. As I shoved aside the last pieces of crap, I saw a small metal loop flush with the floor of the closet. Another compartment? Maybe that’s where he kept the nicer things. Or the grosser things. Only one way to find out. I hooked my finger through the loop, swung open the hatch, and saw…
I clasped my hands to my mouth and stumbled backwards, falling onto the bed. The hatch slammed closed, but I knew what I had seen.
“What you doing down there?” Mont called from above.
“Um…nothing. I’ll be right there.” I jumped off the bed. My heart beat a million beats a minute as I reopened the hatch. Inside, nestled in something gray and spotted, was the lighthouse statue that had sat on our living room table for as long as I could remember. At Christmastime, we’d flick on the little light inside the dome. I always loved the way the windows sparkled as the light spun in circles. Now, the windows were caked in something brown and grotesque.
My eyes blurred, refusing to see what was there in front of me. I blinked, and it was still there, begging for me to do something. I swallowed down the bile in my throat and moved the statue to the side, using one of the rags to pick it up. I couldn’t bear touching something that had been a part of such violence. Then I reached in and found one, two, three seal skins. My grandmother and two girls were dead, and another one badly injured, stuck who knew where because they’d been forced to leave town. And it wasn’t because of the Flannigans. I’d always known Mont was crazy, but I hadn’t known he was crazy crazy. That he was capable of killing my…
I sank onto the bed, clutching my stomach. I was the one who told him she was a selkie. And now he had me and the skin. What was he planning to do with me?
Where should I send it?
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