Wash Me Away by Wendy Owens
Wash Me Away by Wendy Owens Publication Date: April 27, 2015 Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis: Monsters have a way of following you.Immersed in a new world at boarding school, Addy Buckley learns she’s not the only one with secrets. While trying to navigate the minefield of painful lies that seem to be rattling around her family’s past, she meets soft on the eyes and heavy on the heart, Napoleon Blake. When faced with the darkness, Addy must decide to cling to her new life and friends or let the monster carry her away. The choice is hers, sink or swim.
About Wendy Owens
Wendy Owens was born in the small college town, Oxford Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went onto a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork she gave her first love, writing, a try. Her first novel flowed from her in only two weeks time. That moment was when she knew she had found her calling as an indie eBook author. Wendy now happily spends her days writing the stories her characters guide her to tell, admitting even she doesn’t always know where that might lead. Check out her New Adult Romance and Young Adult Fantasy books.
Excerpts from Wash Me Away
My heart leaps into my throat, and time has lost meaning. The entire car leans up on two wheels as it travels to the left, rather than straight ahead. My body presses into my father’s, and I wish more than anything I could hold myself away from him. He reaches for the door handle, but his efforts are futile, as the water has already risen to his window. We continue to move with the current, until it completely picks up the car. The metal tomb flips and turns onto the driver’s side door, snapping off the mirror. I don’t think. I struggle to unbuckle my seatbelt with one hand, the weight of my body pulling the strap taut, and crank down the passenger window with the other. Like a seamless and rehearsed dance, everything happens perfectly. The window is down, the buckle releases its grasp, and I grab on to the edge of the open window. Using the edge of the steering wheel, and my headrest, I push myself up and out the opening.
The car slows, but it’s still moving with the flow of the water, rocking from side to side as the muffled sounds of metal scraping against the earth fill the vessel. “Addy Mae,” he cries up after me. It’s a tone I’ve never heard from him, or at least I don’t recall. I look down at him; his eyes are wide with fear. I feel sorry for him, the need to help him overwhelming me.
I drop to my knees, readying myself to extend a hand. The car jerks unexpectedly, and I fall to my stomach, gripping the rim of the window for support. A cracking sound echoes from inside of the car. I look down to see a large rock has wedged itself firmly into the windshield, cracked glass splintering outward.
“Goddamn it, Addy, you better get me the hell out of here,” he shouts. There he is, I think. The father I know. My hand is halfway extended when I pause and pull it back. “What the—” The windshield gives way, and the shards rush inward with a gush of water. His expression, his words—they all disappear in an instant, beneath the murky, churning waters.
“Do you ever feel like you don’t even know the people in your life?” I say from complete impulse.
Leo moves between me and the edge of the cliffside. “Are we talking family or friends?”
“Family, I suppose.”
He doesn’t answer me right away. He shifts his weight, even though there isn’t much of it to shift, from foot to foot. Finally, he lets out an exasperated breath.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m even talking about this, it really is nothing.” I take a couple steps back, waving my hands in the air. “I should probably just get back to class.”
"Life is a burden to me. Nothing gives me pleasure. I find only sadness in everything around me. It is very difficult because of the ways of those with whom I live, and probably always shall live, are as different from mine as moonlight is from sunlight.”
I looked down at my muddy shoes. If this is a movie quote, it is absolutely not from one I have ever seen. I can feel my throat tighten as I think about his statement.
Leo continues, “Napoleon Bonaparte said that at the age of seventeen. My father named me after him because he was a brilliant strategist. He understood the behaviors of men, and what kinds of actions would elicit what responses. As I learned about Napoleon, I came to realize we had more in common than just our names.”
“You’re a good general?” I snort a laugh through the snot.
“No, dork.” He smiles. “He couldn’t relate to his father, and, after being moved to France, he had trouble relating to his classmates as well. Burton is France.”
“I didn’t realize you hated it so much here.”
He shakes his head. “You don’t have to hate something to know it isn’t right.
I smile at the sincerity in his voice. “Thank you.”
“No, thank you for keeping the ghosts away. ”He’s no longer looking at me. Instead he watches our friends leap into the air, laughing and screaming as they chase the fluttering glow bugs.
I think about his words. That’s exactly what he has done for me … keep the ghosts away.
I lay down in the tall grass, my head tilted to the night sky, the moon full over our heads.
“Alrighty,” he says, filling the void next to me. “What are we doing?”
“For?” he asks.
His hand seeks mine through the blades of grass, our palms flat against one another’s. My heart starts to race. I’m listening to the song of the crickets mixed with our friend’s laughter, and in that moment I want nothing more than to crash into Leo and make the world stop turning. Instead, I settle for the moment, touching a friend’s hand, quietly keeping the ghosts at bay for one another.
“Do you think he’s there?” he asks.
“Who?” I forget what we’re talking about, distracted by his touch.
He doesn’t move his hand away. “God.”
I swallow. I’ve wondered that a lot, especially as a little girl, on those nights that Daddy would visit my room. “I don’t know,” I answer in barely a whisper.
“It’s a nice thought.”
“The whole heaven thing. That people are waiting for us,” he says.
“What? You don’t believe in heaven?”
“I don’t know,” I say again honestly. “If that’s all real, it just seems hard to swallow.”
“Suffering,” I reply.
He’s quiet, and I wish I hadn’t rained on the moment. “Yeah, it is.”
I want to tell him I hope there’s a heaven because he deserves to see his brother again. I want to tell him that I hope hell exists because people like my father deserve to go there. I want to tell him that through all the bull, I still have hope it’s all real and this being is out there, loving me with all the blemishes others have placed onto me. But instead I lay there, content with the touch of his hand.