5 copies of the eBook, The City of Silver Light, Book 1 in The Bridges Trilogy
The Worst Thing in the Word
There’s a doctor in Outpatients who looks like Count Dracula. Pale skin and black hair pulled back into a bun so tight she can’t even blink. I swear all she needs is a black cloak and a pair of bloodstained fangs.
‘You need to take things more slowly, Keira,’ she says to me every time I go in to see her. I think it’s a threat.
See, I’m not a good patient. I’m impatient. I find it hard to sit still, which is not good when you’ve got a broken ankle. Most of the time I’m doing stuff I’m not supposed to, like, you know, walking. And … well, falling down the front steps.
‘I am taking things slowly,’ I tell her.
I resist the urge to pick at the neatly folded sheet covering the bed underneath me. Being in this room, with all the neatly arranged equipment and dark furniture, always makes me feel antsy. It probably doesn’t help that I haven’t slept properly in ages. I keep having dreams about ice. It crackles all over the house, and into the trees, and across the grass and the streets before everything turns white. But as much as I hate seeing doctors, I definitely don’t want to be sent to a psychologist, so I’ll keep those dreams to myself.
‘I didn’t fall on purpose.’
Mum speaks up. ‘I keep telling her she needs to take it easy. But every time I turn my back, she’s out of bed making cereal or playing with the dog. And now this …’
I feel sorry for my mum. She works long hours running the Cassidy Heights Bakery, and has to be up at four o’clock most mornings. Not to mention the accounts, bills, sales targets, and production quotas she has to meet. Having me home from school has only given her more to worry about.
When a blizzard hit our little suburb of Cassidy Heights two weeks ago, I kind of got lost walking back from my friend Jake’s place. I tripped on a kerb and went for a slide on my butt. Yeah, it wasn’t exactly my shining moment. Volunteer rescue workers from the State Emergency Service found me eventually, but by the time they called my mum, she was already beyond panic.
The weather system that caused the freak snowstorm has broken up now – according to Chanel Seven News and Weather, that is. Of course, there still haven’t been any satisfactory explanations about what exactly caused it. I can just picture the meteorologists at the Weather Bureau scratching their heads. And me, I was kind of planning to get an A+ on my science project about predicting the effects of an arctic winter in a desert country, but I’ve kind of left my partner, Jake, in the lurch while I’m spending all this time recovering.
‘Well, we’ll see what these new x-rays show us.’ Doctor Dracula waves a sealed yellow envelope. ‘Then we’ll know whether you’ll be able to head back to school. Bet you’ll be excited to see your friends again.’ She rips open the envelope, tipping a couple of plastic sheets into her hands.
I give her a withering stare. Why do adults assume that school is some fun place where you get to hang out with your friends? It’s totally not like that. Teachers spend all their time getting you not to talk, not to sit next to your friends, and not to waste time socialising. I hate school. I hate the rules and regulations.
‘All I really want to do is get back to soccer practice.’
‘Hm,’ says Doctor Dracula. She sticks the x-ray pictures on a lighted board. It’s an ominous ‘hm’, a sound that means there’s something bad here.
I look at my bones. The inside of people’s bodies is pretty interesting. I mean, all those little bits and pieces that join together to make us work. It’s kind of fascinating what living beings are made up of.
‘What’s “hm”?’ I ask.
Mum leans forwards, her brow crinkling.
‘What we have here is a non-union,’ says Doctor Dracula. ‘The gap between the broken edges of the bone was a large one, and that fall you took probably pulled it further out of alignment. The bone isn’t healing the way it should.’
‘What does that mean?’ Mum sounds worried.
‘Well, we might be looking at an operation. We’d need to insert a bolt to keep the bone in place while it heals.’
‘That sounds drastic.’ Mum’s voice is shaking a little.
‘It’s a relatively simple procedure, and certainly not uncommon. But I won’t lie to you. There can be complications.’
‘Complications – like what?’ I ask.
‘Well, Keira, you may have some pain in that foot for the rest of your life. Also a certain weakness. The bones will never heal as strongly as they were before they were broken.’
‘But that won’t matter, right? I mean, it’s not like I won’t be able to walk or anything.’ My own voice is shaking a bit now.
‘Of course you’ll be able to walk. But you may find it difficult or painful to run. You might be restricted in more strenuous activities.’
Slowly, very slowly, it’s dawning on me. ‘What about soccer?’
She purses her lips. ‘We won’t rule anything out at this stage, of course. But I’d like to schedule the operation as soon as possible. Mrs Leichman, we’ll need you to fill out some forms …’
I don’t hear anything else. My mind is ringing with thoughts. What if, what if … what if I can never play soccer again?
‘I’ll see you on Thursday, Keira,’ says Doctor Dracula.
I nod, resigned, and grab my crutches to follow Mum out of the office.
Across the Bridge of Ice
The Bridges Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Hague Publishing
Date of Publication: 31 January 2015
Number of pages: 175 pages
Word Count: 55,00
Cover Artist: Ruth Fox
In ‘The City of Silver Light’, Keira Leichman spent the night lost in a wild snowstorm that struck Cassidy Heights. But what really happened that night? Not even Keira can be sure. What she does know is that she’s been having strange dreams since the accident, and now she’s stuck with a broken ankle and the possibility of never playing soccer again. That is, until she finds Jake’s telescope, and is drawn across the Bridge of Ice to Shar.
Now Keira is marooned in the City of Silver Light with Daniel, Jake’s younger brother, with no way to get home. But that is the least of their worries, for the secrets they discover in Shar are more dangerous than Kiera could ever have imagined. And the fate of both their worlds are in their hands.
About the Author:
Ruth completed a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing in 2006. Her other published works include “Monster-boy: The Lair of the Grelgoroth”, Book 1 of the Monster-boy Series, and “Sand Dog”, an illustrated picture book for younger readers. Both are available from Amazon.com.
Ruth has been an avid reader her entire life and, inspired by the books that engrossed her as she was growing up, she aims to create stories that can draw readers in and enthral them for days or weeks. She writes every day and lives in Ballarat, Victoria, with her partner, her cat, and an ever-expanding library of books.