Last week I began posting the sequel to Reapers, tentatively entitled Beyond the Gateway. You can read Part One here.
This week, we pick up with Singapore, appearing as a holographic image, speaking to Phoenix and Shanghai. Again, I am using her as an instrument to remind readers of what they need to know from the previous book while at the same time setting up the new story. Since Singapore is uncertain about what Phoenix knows, it’s natural for her to state these facts without making the dialogue feel contrived.
If you haven’t read Reapers, this series on story development will not be as effective for you, so if you want to keep up, I suggest reading it. 🙂
Here are links where you can purchase Reapers.
(***Huge spoilers coming for those who haven’t read Reapers***)
Note the following items I bring to the surface:
- The urgent need for action – Phoenix’s goals are set, and the urgency is high.
- A reminder of a secondary character, Erin, along with a brief description.
- Romantic tension is reestablished – This story includes romantic elements that increase tension, though potential romantic relationships are not consummated. Such tension is natural, but keeping the characters apart allows the story to progress without entanglement. Also, it is clear that there is no jealousy whatsoever, so the annoying drama often present in romantic triangles is absent here.
- A new aspect is revealed, a spiritual angle–The Higher Powers and the Sanctae. This adds a big mystery to the entire story world, making readers want to turn the page to learn about it.
Shanghai cocked her head. “Her father gave you a tracking device?”
I pressed a finger to my lips. Hers was a great question, but it could wait.
“You see,” Sing continued, “even if my mother were able to return, she has no body to inhabit, and we don’t know where she will emerge, so I need you to follow Erin and learn where they are taking me to be reaped. At least, I assume Erin will have this task if all goes according to the Eagle’s plans.”
I drew a mental picture of Erin—a trim redhead, around thirty years old. As a Gateway Depot entry clerk, she seemed harmless, but when she started ferrying the souls of innocent execution victims, she became much more sinister.
Sing set a hand against her chest. “My hope is that Erin will take me to the Gatekeeper’s domain. When you get there, try to locate my mother’s soul and carry her to safety. If you are not able to find her, then maybe you will find my soul instead, because it’s possible that they might delay sending me through the Gateway.”
Sing took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. A smile emerged, a melancholy sort of smile. “I assume Shanghai will accompany you, and I am glad of her alliance. She is strong, courageous, and beautiful in every way. I trust that she will be a loyal companion who will never leave your side.”
Shanghai curled her arm around mine and leaned her head against my shoulder, whispering, “Singapore, you are so wonderful.”
Sing brushed away a tear. “Phoenix, this might be inappropriate at such an urgent time, but I need to tell you this. I deceived you in a number of ways, and I still have not told you all of my secrets, so I understand if you don’t believe me now.” She looked straight at me. “I love you, Phoenix, and I always will. I’m sorry I can’t fulfill that love, but I’m sure Shanghai can be to you what I cannot, a friend to lift you up, an ally to fight at your side, an abode of warmth to soothe your pain whether it stabs your flesh or your heart.”
Shanghai sniffed. Her body trembled, but she said nothing.
Sing fanned out her cloak, revealing her narrow frame. With the surrounding aura from the hologram, she looked like a dark angel, beautiful and mysterious. “Phoenix, there is a crucial reason for my secretive ways. You are unaware of the Higher Powers. But I can’t blame you for that. Since you were never part of the Resistance, who would tell you? Certainly not Alex. She knows about them, but she would never tell you the truth.
“In any case, you cannot understand my real mission without intimate knowledge of the Powers, and there have been no Sanctae in Chicago for months, so you had no opportunity to learn their ways. I certainly couldn’t teach you myself, so I chose to maintain secrecy. If on your path to the Gateway you meet a Sancta, listen carefully. They are often cryptic, but they provide wisdom that is beyond normal understanding.” Sing blew a kiss. “Until we meet again, my dear friend. May the God of the true Gateway guide your steps and show you the love with which I love you.” The hologram faded until it vanished.
Shanghai breathed a quiet, “Wow.”
“Yeah. That was …” I swallowed through a tightening throat. “Intense.”
Please post any questions or comments.
Categories: Story Development