Live or Die? By Harmony Kent

 

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. You reached out and took my arm. I let you. I took the assistance I needed. I gripped your hand so that you could pull me to my feet. The last thing I needed was for you to slit my wrists. So much blood. All that carnage. My heart ripped right out of my chest.

I did my best.

Though, what kind of an epitaph is that?

Do I want that immortalised on my headstone?

Does that adequately sum up a life?

What about all the rest?

At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. That river? Already crossed. That road? Already travelled. That life? Already lived.

No going back. Not ever.

Going forward, though? Now, there’s the question.

For this gal, only one choice remains. Live or die?

 

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Once bitten, twice shy and all that, though, ya know? Truth be told, I’ve come to the end. Like I said, no going back. The rub is that I can’t go on either. The wind whips my hair into my face and throws cold pellets of rain at me. I shiver and dig deep for the courage. Never did like heights, yet here I stand. To jump or not to jump? That is the question.

The darkness wraps around me and locks the breath in my lungs and my feet in place—leaves me perched here in a daze. The metal burns cold within my death grip. With pulse racing, I edge my left foot forward a couple of centimetres, and then bring the right one up level. Perforce, I have to let go of the steel girders now. I’ve taken a step too far. Sweat breaks free from every pore and soaks this trembling mass of flesh, muscle, and sinew. With a heart this broken, how does it even continue on?

‘Miss? Are you okay? … Miss?’

At the unexpected voice, I twist and startle. A man reaches for me, indistinct in the arc-sodium lights.

‘Miss? Here, take my hand.’

A sudden gust buffets me from behind, and I stumble forward, a scream frozen in my terrified throat. All of a sudden, it hits me, I don’t want to die. Too late, however, as I’m off balance and too close to the edge. Dimly, as I fall, I see that it’s not about living or dying but about having the choice. It seems the wind has finished your job for you. Limp and spent, I plummet to the waiting river below, which sends up cold plumes of spray and waves like open arms welcoming me in and under to die beneath.

 

Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. At the first swallow of brackish water, I swallow my pride, and every molecule of this being cries out for help. I should have grabbed his hand. Should have, but could I have? Would I have if given the chance? More ice-cold water pours into my throat and drowns my lungs. All the philosophising ceases as it becomes a fight for life. The cold pierces and stabs like a knife.

Tired and afraid, and no longer quite so numb, I kick, searching for the surface. Already, my limbs have gone stiff. The pressure in my chest has grown unbearable, and I have to take a breath, even though I know it will mean certain death. I just can’t do it. Can’t hold it all in anymore. Bubbles erupt when the life-giving air breaks free of my now open lips.

They show me the way when they float up, up, and up.

For a second, I hesitate. Do I go for it or not? Here is my chance for total surrender. To not have to fight any further. Do I have the energy? The will? At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

I did my best, but I don’t want that on my epitaph.

My legs kick and arms stroke, pushing through the murk and trying for air. With this exhaustion and cold, I doubt I’ll get there. By now, the bubbles have long gone, but I’ve come near enough to discern the orange city glow. Not far now. One more kick. One more. That’s it. Just one more.

 

Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. I come to, afloat on my back, and the icy waves provide my waterbed. Way up high, atop the bridge, come the blues-and-twos, as the emergency services rush to the scene of my demise. Don’t they realise that I’ve fallen too far from reach? Beyond any assistance or redemption.

It seems as if hours pass me by while I drift in and out and upon. This time, a deafening roar causes me to rouse. A shadow flies through the sky, trailing a bright beam. The search is on. These arctic temperatures have other ideas—so much so that I’ve begun to feel warm. A bad sign. Sleepy too.

Impossibly white light hits me and burns my eyes. I raise a hand to cover them and, immediately, lose my buoyancy and sink back into the dark. The search light now glows dimly above the water. Too tired, too cold, too done to even try and fight, I let the river have its way.

The universe has other ideas, it seems, and once again, I lose the choice. Strong hands grip my armpits and haul me upward. To the artificially lit night and the cold and the air and the despair. Oh, love, what did you do to me? So much blood. All that carnage. All those lies and abuse. What’s the use?

 

You reached out and took my arm. It all unfolded in a blur and strobe-like snapshots—the winch into the helicopter, the medi-flight, and them getting me here. Trouble is, I think they left my heart there.

A nurse bustles into the private room and pulls apart the drapes. ‘Time to let in some light,’ she says. Oh, how wrong could she be? The last thing I want to do is see. Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. I want to stay in the dark; hide from my shame.

‘You have a visitor.’ Her voice sounds far too bubbly. It hurts. ‘The police officer who tried to help on the bridge.’ A shadow crosses her face. Then she gets busy tidying the bedding and then me. ‘I’ll just go and show him in.’ Once again, I don’t get a choice. No time to find my voice.

The door opens slowly, and I lay with baited breath. A young man eases in, dark hair and chocolate eyes, with a smile that feels like the most glorious sunrise. ‘May I?’

His question gives me pause. Never before did anyone ask my permission. Dumbstruck, I give a mere nod. My visitor edges to the bed and takes a seat on the hard plastic chair that the nurse placed there. We sit in silence for a while, and then his eyes find my scars. So many. Clouds snuff out that beautiful dawn and darken his face.

Now, he’ll make his excuses and take his leave. He’s done his bit. But no. Instead, he takes my hand. Looks into my eyes. Somewhere from the edges, I register that he doesn’t have on his uniform. ‘It’s okay,’ he tells me, fingers rubbing mine. ‘You’re safe now. We’ll make this right.’

Uninvited, a sob brings the elephant right into the room. ‘No one can,’ I croak.

‘It’s okay. He won’t hurt you again.’

‘You know who I am?’

He nods, gives my hand a squeeze. ‘We know everything.’

All I want to do is shrivel up and crawl within.

With both hands, he reaches out and takes my arms. I let him. He seems an angel in human form, and I feel safe within his embrace. Into my hair, he whispers, ‘It’s okay. I’ve got you. I got you now.’

Can I take the leap of faith?

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

(Harmony Kent) RWISA Author Page

Now, there’s the question.

Live or die?

 

 

Blog Tour for Harmony Kent, Author of Finding Katie

march14 alt

Hello and thanks for stopping by! I would like to thank my host for today for letting me invade their space. And a big thanks also to 4Wills Publishing for setting up this blog tour for me. For my previous tour stops, please check out the 4Wills current events page.

I am so excited to be able to share my book trailer video with you today for my latest book, Finding Katie.

https://youtu.be/gMgSD_R1Ggo

Kate has to stop the voice in her head. The one that persecutes her all the time. Tells her how useless she is. She’s jittery and jumpy, and has been in hospital for too long already. She has to do something to quieten the beast.

Kindle Cover Finding Katie

Excerpt from Chapter Four:

I don’t pay that much attention when Suzy lifts the first stitch with the tweezers and cuts it with the blunt-ended scissors. It only tugs a little bit, and the slight sting isn’t worth a mention.

I do look away from my phone screen when Suzy tuts. ‘Oh.’ She shakes her head.

My arm bleeds. Not much, but more than it should at this stage. I’ve done all this loads by now, so it’s nothing new. I probably know more about it than the student.

All she has to do is shove some adhesive strips over it and slap a dressing on top. No way am I telling her that though.

‘Oh my god!’ I shriek, instead. It’s hard work to hide my glee.

The panic lights up her face and brings me joy. ‘It’s okay,’ she says. ‘I’ll go get Sandra. Be right back.’

My favourite words in the universe. Those scissors have had my attention for the last little while. As soon as she leaves, I grab for them. Not my tool of choice, of course. Especially with that blunt end. But the edges are sharp enough. I just have to pry them open … and … slice.

Book Blurb:

I killed someone, you see. I killed the girl, who used to be me.

I’m Kate … Kate Charlesworth. I’m seventeen, and self-harming. This time I cut too deep, and I’m in hospital. I hadn’t meant for it to be so bad—it just sort of happened. I needed a lot of distraction that day.

You’ve had bad days, right? Days it hurts too much to think. Days you just wanna stay in bed. Days when the world needs to go away for a while. Right?

What do you do when you’ve hit rock bottom? When there’s nowhere left to turn?

This one little mistake lands me back on a psych unit—the last place I wanna be. Only this time, the nurse I end up with isn’t content to stick on a band-aid and send me home. She wants me to face my demons. But to do that, I’ll have to face who I am … who I used to be … I’ll have to find Katie.

PREORDER HERE

Author Bio:

Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours. She is single and not admitting to her age.

Here are ten things she thinks you ought to know about her …

Born in 2013 (at least the author was …)

  1. Really boring
  2. Has absolutely no sense of humour
  3. Biographer is a compulsive liar
  4. Reads … a lot
  5. Writes … even more
  6. Completely sane(in)
  7. Neighbours are nuts
  8. If you’re feeling extra brave she’s around
  9. Online …

 

Website: www.harmonykent.co.uk

Twitter: @harmony_kent 

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon US Author Page

Amazon UK Author Page

4Wills Publishing Author Page

Other books by Harmony:

Other Books by Harmony

Fiction:

 The Battle for Brisingamen

The Glade

Elemental Earth

 

Anthologies:

Concordant Vibrancy

Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul

 

Non-Fiction:

 Polish Your Prose

 

“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Blog Tour for Harmony Kent Day 2

march14 alt

Hi, there! Today is Day Two on my blog tour. If you missed yesterday’s blog post, you can find it by following the link on my  4WillsPublishing Author Page. Today, I continue to share with you my personal journey, and how I got to be where I am. Yesterday, I talked about the major injury that sparked a complete life change for me. Today, I concentrate more on the writing part of that journey.

It’s been an interesting journey since I published my first novel ‘The Battle for Brisingamen’. One that hasn’t always been easy. I had tremendous fun writing it, but I was also incredibly naïve. I’ve had a lot to learn.

For me, a huge part of being a good writer is to be a good listener. I do my best to take note of feedback and use all criticism constructively. Whilst my first book wasn’t a terrible book, not by a long stretch, it could have been better. Conversely, its first reviews were good ones—four and five stars.

Over time it’s had a couple of three stars as well. Regardless of rating, I’ve always taken note of the comments and have used them to learn and to grow. I have also taken an editing course, which has helped a lot, as well as giving me even more skills at my disposal.

Six months after the first edition was published, I did a major re-edit and I feel it is a much better book for it. I also review for Awesome Indies and The Review Board, as well as offering independent reviews via my website (http://www.harmonykent.co.uk/). I also write a column (All About Indie) for All Author’s Magazine.

So, these days, I’m really quite busy. I write, edit, proofread and review, and write my magazine column. Anything to do with books, basically … which makes me very, very happy. My second book, The Glade, was published in November 2013, and has received a highly positive response so far. Both the cover and the content seem to be a huge success. This second book is a different animal to my first, and is definitely more polished. In July 2014, it received the IndieBRAG Medallion.

I have just published a YA novel, which is to be part of a series. I also have another book in progress, which will see the light of day before the end of the year. I am taking a chance being a multi-genre author, as that means my readers can’t put all my books into one specific category. But then I’m a multi-genre reader and this probably has an effect on what comes out of my imagination. At least I’m doing this right from the start, before anyone has time to pigeon hole me! I don’t want to end up like some famous actors, who have become typecast and just play the same roles over and over again.

Had anyone told me two years ago that I would be a published author—as well as an editor and reviewer—I wouldn’t have believed it possible. Which just goes to show that we can never know what’s around the corner. The important thing is that we keep going. That we never give up.

Links to my tour stops can be found on my 4Wills Author Page.

 

For more on my books, see below:

 

The Glade

The Glade Front Cover with BRAG Medallion

 

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.

 

You are being arrested for the murder of your husband…You have a secret you can’t tell…The evil is gathering…

The Wenstrops have it all: health, wealth and happiness. But then it all begins to fall apart. Helen is arrested for murder, yet is either unable or unwilling to give a defense. During her detention, vital evidence goes mysteriously missing and tensions are running high. Helen finds herself surrounded and yet alone: not knowing who she can trust or how she can tell her enemies from her friends. Helen has to work through her self-doubts and fears, in order to know whether her suspicions and misgivings are valid or simply products of an overwrought mind. There are those who would like to encourage her confusion, and those who would help her – but how to know one from the other? And then there are those who actively mean her harm. Meanwhile, malignant forces in the forest are gathering power, ready for a final assault. Helen finds herself in a battle of life and death, and faces having to lose everything in her attempts to thwart the evil that has insinuated itself into her very existence – but is she ready to make the ultimate sacrifice?

This sensational second novel by acclaimed author Harmony Kent will have you alternately laughing, crying and gripping the edge of your seat as this roller coaster ride of a plot unfolds. It will keep you guessing through its many twists and turns, and hijack your attention right up until you turn the final page. This book has it all: murder, intrigue, the supernatural, a broken marriage, a love affair, courage against impossible odds, suspense, and high drama.

The Glade is an Indie B.R.A.G.Medallion honoree!

 

The Battle for Brisingamen

New Cover with new AIA badge

 

Fantasy Fiction

There is a World not too Far Away …

Beneath the north sea a land of magic lies undetected. The lives of many are drawn inexorably closer together in a race against time, as both energy companies and evil beings attempt to destroy the magic which is protecting not just this land but all worlds. The unwitting protagonists have no idea of how suddenly and irrevocably their lives are about to change.

It is a race against time to try and recover the lost necklace, Brisingamen, which holds the ancient power of the Goddess Freya, and to prevent the undersea drilling from taking place. Are Aart, Matthias, Gemma and Dirck up to the challenges they now must face?

Here there be Dragons, and all manner of Creatures …

 

Elemental Earth (Book 1 of The Mysteries)

3D-Book cover Elemental Earth

 

Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

 

“You turned the god of gnomes into a garden ornament?”

Sarah looked closely, but couldn’t tell if her dad was annoyed or amused—perhaps he was both …

Whilst 15 year old Sarah may be struggling to regain her feet, after being ripped from her everyday mundane life and ending up in a whole new dimension, she still knows how to have a bit of fun along the way. The Earth Elemental isn’t the only one whose feathers she manages to ruffle, and it’s only been four days. Meanwhile, her best friend is missing, and big trouble is brewing. She soon has a lot more to worry about than what happened to her phone or iPod, or even how much of an idiot Caleb obviously thinks she is.

Elemental Earth is the first book in The Mysteries series, and is aimed at Young Adults. Even if you’ve already reached an age where the young ones might call you ‘old enough’, if you’re still young at heart then you’re bound to enjoy these books just as much as the next—err—younger adult.

Age aside, perhaps we should be more worried about what further havoc Sarah’s antics might be about to wreak on the universe as we know it? We’d probably all be sleeping a lot more soundly if she’d only stuck to applied maths and the odd pillow fight. But no, sadly the lure of the proverbial rabbit hole proved just a tad too much. And now she’s taken the plunge, there’s no turning back.

 

Look out for tweets @harmony_kent, and follow my blog: http://harmonykent.co.uk to keep up to date with new book releases, promos, cover reveals and sneak peeks. Feel free to connect—I’d love to hear from you.

 

Find out more at: http://www.harmonykent.co.uk

Twitter: @harmony_kent

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyKentOnline

4Wills Author Page: http://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/our-authors/author-harmony-kent/