Ascenders: Sky Punch
by C.L. Gaber
In the Midst—a place for those who die young—there are no rules except one.
And Walker Callaghan, dead at seventeen, just broke it. She briefly revisited her earthly life . . . and the punishment is eternal. Longing for her rebel love interest, Daniel Reid, Walker finds an ally in Cass, whose attraction to her is as alive as he is. “Life is short,” he tells her. “I’m banking on eternity. With you.”
In the second book of the Ascenders Saga, a realm-jumping journey takes Walker and Daniel back to life again when they search for something buried in history. They team with students from several other schools in the middle realm including a place for teens born with oddities. It’s home to the Claires . . . beautiful, ruthless, and quite dead seventeen-year-old quads who each have a different clairvoyant gift.
Can Walker survive another adventure of an afterlife-time—or will she find herself on the downside of eternity?
“Quads,” Steve said. “But none of them identical in looks or size. And these girls were born with gifts.” We learned that the initials after their names reflected “a little extra” given to them by their mother Lula Pitcher.
Steve broke it down by writing their names on a white board near the table. He scribbled:
Claire V: Clairvoyance
It seemed that Claire V was psychic, or a seer, who regularly witnessed the future for everyone except her and her sisters. In fact, events that were forthcoming for anyone else were played out in her mind on a constant loop. Claire S could easily sense other people’s feelings because she actually “felt it for them.” The scientific way to explain it is that she could pick up on someone’s emotional state such as love, hate, low self-esteem, wigging out, etc. In turn, her emotions were scattered and constantly all over the place. She didn’t own her own feelings, but borrowed them from others.
Claire A had the incredible gift of being able to hear voices inside the minds of others via telepathy. She could now hear the voices of both the living and the dead including the exact tone. She was an expert mimic, which meant she could also speak in those voices. But along with the good voices she would hear, Claire A could also hear the voices of evil, so all this made her feel like her head was stuck inside a stereo speaker. Even the sound of silence was deafening.
Finally, there was Claire C, who had the most difficult power to explain. She was the true mystery sister because she was born with claircognizance, which meant she just knows. No one had to tell her anything. She was the Yoda of the group. Rarely wrong, although it was possible, she could easily tell future prophecies. Her gift oddly didn’t work for her sisters and their lives, but it worked for others. She was the breathing example of knowing too much for your own good.
A breathtaking beauty, the little imp ran a hand through her curly golden mane and did her best catwalk, hips swaying, as she beelined for Daniel and I. She had it down: The slight head tilt, million-watt smile, and swagger to spare. Despite the fact that she looked like a candidate for America’s Next Top Dead Model, it wasn’t the time to worry about her. So, I extended a hand in friendship or willed it to meet hers, and then stepped back a bit when she “came closer to whisper something into my ear.
“Walker, right?” she began in a honey-coated tone.
I nodded. “How do you know my name?”
“Public service announcement, Walker: Whatever it takes, whatever is in you, whatever power you have, you must use it to not go back,” Claire C warned, burying her face in my hair. “Don’t show up on the day we leave. Disappear. Run. Hide.”
But she wasn’t finished. “And then I’ll have your hot boyfriend all to myself,” the baby blonde beauty concluded with a nasty smile.
My response was silence.
Oh, really. How do you know, bitch? I thought.
“I always know, bitch,” she whispered back.”
C.L. GABER is the author of ASCENDERS, the first book in Ascenders SAGA. She is also the co-author of "Jex Malone." A lifelong entertainment journalist, she interviews A list film and TV stars for the New York Times wire and various other publications. C.L. lives in Nevada with her husband Ron, bonus daughter Sabrina and two unruly dogs. You can reach her here!
Book 1: Ascenders