Soundrack excerpts: snippets of scenes posted daily during the countdown, complete with a piece of the author's playlist.
From Chapter 1: The Aboveground
“I can’t wait,” Sela said. She pulled him into the center of the room, threw her arms around his neck and pressed herself against him fast and hard, smiling in a most disconcerting way.
She was hard, flat-chested and thin. He thought that was wrong somehow, thought that a girl was meant to feel softer, sweeter. Thought that they weren’t supposed to look at you like that until you knew them a little better, and when they did it was supposed to make you feel something. He stood with his arms plastered to his sides, trying not to shiver at the feeling of her cold seeping through his t-shirt, into his chest.
She was up on her toes now, her eyes almost even with his. She leaned forward, put her lips against his.
his eyes mechanically. Her lips were softer than the rest of her, but
still too hard, still freezing against him. The feeling flooded his
own lips, then his cheeks, his tongue, the rest of his mouth. Almost-numb,
like winter frost creeping over the ground.
Sela opened her mouth, but then she held still. Too still.
She tasted like…
Not just dirt, but underground. Cold, dark places where skittering things lived.
So still. Her chest didn’t rise and fall. Her lips never moved, her tongue didn’t search for his.
A sudden sense of indignation swelled inside him. Who is she, and why is she doing this, and where did she bring me? This isn’t supposed to happen, it's all wrong.
The cold stole down into Jonah’s throat and up into his nose, and he forgot to be angry. His chest grew tighter, then colder. Black spots clouded his vision before he realized he’d stopped breathing.
When he made himself start again, his lungs were numb. He hardly ever noticed those particular organs, except when they burned on that final push to the wall or just after a flip turn, and even then, they’d never just stopped.
Sela pulled her lips off his, and Jonah didn’t know how long they’d been kissing. Except that they hadn’t been kissing at all. That had been…
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