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The Tithe by Elle Hill
Every seven years, the towns sacrifice their sick and disabled. No one has ever survived the angels’ harvest. Until now.
“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”
Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.
How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.
“I don’t want to die.” The words surprised her, spinning so artlessly from her lips.
“I don’t want you to die,” Blue agreed.
“What about you?” Josh whispered.
He didn’t respond for a long moment. “It doesn’t much matter, I guess.”
“Of course it matters!”
“If you say so,” he said.
“Blue,” she began, and then stopped. “Blue, why? Aren’t you scared?”
His blue eyes remained completely empty. Had his mouth not moved, she might think him a statue. “No.”
“Because I don’t matter. I’ve spent my life existing. Sometimes I think the best thing humanity does is provide sustenance for bacteria and other symbiotes. And then there was here. And you, Joshua Barstow.”
“I’m not special,” she insisted.
“You exist so grandly, so loudly, I can feel you. The air trembles around you. You walk through a room and atoms collide. Everyone here can feel the greatness of your being. They may love you or despise you or want you to lead them, but everyone notices you.”
She exhaled a startled breath. Blue, her friend, her bodyguard, her socially-backward philosopher. Her hand moved to his hair, smoothing through its knots. When her voice returned, she told him, “You matter, Blue.”
“I don’t,” he said gently, as if imparting an uncomfortable truth to a child.
“You matter a lot to me,” she carefully enunciated, unsnarling a particularly knotted tangle.
by Elle Hill
Writing is not only my craft but my passion. I derive enormous pleasure from toying with words, stacking and fitting them into sentences like Tetris blocks, all the while creating an inspiring and colorful geography. When I write, I am a master conductor, leading an orchestra in making auditory the universe of feelings; I am a painter whose colors stroke the eye, capture the moment, and challenge the mind; I am a teeny, tiny little god who uses a keyboard, black lines on a white background, and her imagination to spin two-dimensional worlds into being.
I really, really like writing.
This is not to say writing comes easily to me. My literary muse - let's call her Shi-Shi, the chubby muse of inspired writing - is way-too-often on break, perhaps on her cell phone with my academic muse, or maybe playing hide-the-catnip-toys (where do those go, anyway?) with one of my cats. So I've grown used to finding inspiration on my own. Oftentimes I just plunk down in front of the computer, forbid myself approximately 813 times the temptation of checking Facebook, and make myself write, sentence by grueling sentence, paragraph by slogging paragraph, until I've finished for the day. Other times I drop with a happy plop in my computer chair and listen to the percussive music of my fingers playing keyboard. (Those latter days, rare and beautiful as they are, rock, by the way.) However, most of the time, I coast between these two extremes, approaching my writing with hope and trepidation and slowly, eventually losing myself in my literary landscape.
I do have a few tips for aspiring writers out there who struggle with their version of the Shi-Shi-less blues. When I'm writing a scene, or multiple scenes, I usually get super stoked right about the time the scene's climax happens. I mean, duh, right? But you know what? I often stop writing for the day during that climax. It's frustrating, sure, but it also makes coming back tomorrow that much easier and more exciting. It also makes for more seamless writing.
That said, sometimes I just can't help it and I end my writing session when the scene ends. Of course, this means tomorrow's writing will take much longer to get into. My rather weak solution is to include a snippet or a reminder at the bottom of my page about what tomorrow's writing will include. I might also pen the first paragraph or two of the next scene. That way, I'm a bit less lost when I sit down the following day and once again snatch up those writing reins.
So, yes, writing is my great passion, my favorite art, my ultimate medium for expression. Alas, it can, on occasion, also be quite tedious and stymieing.
Sometimes it's challenging to be a minor god of a made-up universe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elle welcomes visitors to her website at www.ellehill.com. She also urges everyone to become a superhero and adopt their next non-human companion from a local animal shelter.
Purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/Tithe-Elle-Hill-ebook/dp/B00MVCPJFG
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