Hello again, humans. I know you were missing your future ruler although I just posted on Wednesday, but fear not, petty creatures, I am back, and I am providing you with our second Truth or Dare post. For those who need to catch up, we do these every other week with authors and industry professionals. All to expose their most embarrassing sides for your reading pleasure.
Today's human tribute:
Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light. You can find her online at any of these links:
I let her pick between truth or dare (I was in a good mood that day), and she picked dare!
The dare: Write yourself as a character into a scene from one of your favorite YA novels.
Hey everybody! The YAvengers, in their infinite wisdom, have dared me (yes! I chose dare!) to write myself into a scene from one of my favorite YA novels. The scene I chose is from Holly Black’s TITHE, where Kaye and Corny sneak into the Unseelie Court through an entrance in the cemetery. Sounds like some harmless fun, right? Let’s see how I fare…
(Note: since the story is YA, the me I have injected into the story is teen-me.)
I watched them in the darkness: the boy with the gangly limbs and the girl who wasn’t quite a girl—her skin tinged eerily green and her shoulders hunched up like something was just waiting to unfurl out of them. They skittered across the graveyard beneath a bulbous moon, whispering quietly. When the girl lifted a patch of grass and slipped inside the hill, the boy scampering after her like a rabbit, I played the part of Alice and followed.
Down we went. But it wasn’t like a Disney movie—I didn’t fall for miles while curious objects passed me by. I fell for maybe five seconds and hit the ground with a smack. That’s the thing about reality; there’s a lot more ass bruising. I staggered to my feet, stifling a groan, and looked around at my surroundings.
No, wait. Unholy, I corrected, eyes widening to take in the sight of the decorated hall. This place was clearly home to a host of Unseelie Faeries. Who else would dance happily in puddles of blood one minute and lift their pinkies to drink tea the next? To me, it looked a lot like chaos, but there must’ve been some kind of order to it. I wanted to understand their mentality.
I wanted it so badly I could taste it.
But there were other things to taste. Goblets, overflowing with ambrosia, sat perched on the edges of tables, too easy to snatch. Succulent fruits melted in my mouth and in my hands. Beautiful boys and girls danced all around me, their berry-stained lips dark and inviting. After a round of dancing, I went in search of the Queen.
She sat in a throne at the end of the hall. Really, she was the only one not engaging in debauchery. Her body sat rigid, unmoving as a statue, while meanwhile, that scarlet hair climbed over her shoulders like flames. Licking at alabaster skin. Alive and waiting to burn me.
“My Lady.” I knelt before the throne.
Her Royal Wickedness regarded me with the sick fascination of a human examining a carcass. Equal parts disgust and curiosity. “How did you come here, little mouse?” she asked.
“What fun!” She clapped gleefully. “The mouse has a tongue on her.” The Queen leaned in, and then I was swimming in the pools of her eyes. Drowning. No lifeboat in sight. “And what did you seek to gain bywalking into my Court uninvited?”
“An alternative to mediocrity.”
“Meaning?” she pressed.
“I want to stay and play. I’ve grown tired of the mortal world.”
“You and I, both.” The Queen regarded me more closely. There was a rustling in the fabric of her dress, indicating creatures scuttling beneath her skirts, but I didn’t dwell too deeply on it. If I was going to stay here, I’d have to get used to this kind of strangeness.
“So what do I have to do?” I asked. “I’ve already eaten the food, and I don’t feel any different.” My eyes flicked to the table laden with treats. There, the mortal boy swayed dangerously, while the girl-turned-pixie tried to talk some sense into him. Good luck, I thought, returning my gaze to the Queen. I didn’t want to alert her to their presence if they were trying to be stealthy.
“Well?” I asked.
“You could offer me your name,” the Queen said, her face an unflinching mask. But her eyes flashed hungrily, betraying her desire.
“I don’t remember it,” I lied.
“A drop of blood, then.”
“To drink? Like a vampire?”
The Queen snorted. “Do I look like a vampire to you, mouse?”
Do I look like a mouse? I wanted to ask. Instead I studied her, that crimson hair falling in waves over ghost-pale skin. Those piercing blue eyes. She kind of did look like a vampire. “If you think about it, Unseelie royalty and vampires aren’t so physically different. They both have pale skin and sharp teeth. And now that vampires have gone all sparkly—”
“Enough!” the Queen bellowed, and the hall went silent. All around me, courtiers shrank into themselves, eyes widened with terror and excitement. They feared their Queen completely, but they also wanted to see her rip me to shreds.
Better I lose one drop of blood than gallons.
I offered my wrist. The Queen took it, nails piercing my skin. My eyes fluttered closed, and when they opened again, three drops of blood sat, perfectly still, on my wrist. Red on white. Blood on snow.
My stomach clenched.
“That’s a good little mouseling,” the Queen said, dropping my wrist. A courtier with a porcupine face sidled up to her, lifting a tiny vial. She slid the drops in. “The deed is done. Now you are mine.”
“Now you can’t get rid of me,” I countered. I was in!
When the Queen smiled, her teeth cut into her lips. Three drops of blood sprang forth. Red on red. “There’s more than one way to get rid of a human,” she said, stroking my cheek with those sharp nails. Her fingers trickled down to my neck.
As her grip tightened around me, I thought: Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea. Then my world darkened to black.
- - - - - -
Thanks again for having me. This was so much fun! :)
First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.
But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.
Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.
Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible
- - - - - -
Fun's over, humans! Unless, of course, you'd like to follow Chelsea around the web and add her book on Goodreads. Was this post to your liking, future minions?