Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Two sisters. One death. No memories.
Cora should remember every detail about the night her stepsister, Hannah, fell down a flight of stairs to her death, especially since her Cerepin—a sophisticated brain-computer interface—may have recorded each horrifying moment. But when she awakens after that night, her memories gone, Cora is left with only questions—and dread of what the answers might mean.
When a downward spiral of self-destruction forces Cora to work with an AI counselor, she finds an unexpected ally, even as others around her grow increasingly convinced that Hannah’s death was no accident. As Cora’s dark past swirls chaotically with the versions of Hannah’s life and death that her family and friends want to believe, Cora discovers the disturbing depths of what some people may do—including herself.
With her very sanity in question, Cora is forced to face her greatest fear. She will live or die by what she discovers.
I did not anticipate the wind. on the sidewalk, it made jackets flap and leaves rustle. Seven stories up, it threatens to throw me right over the edge.
Is that what I want?
I’m not good at knowing what I want—that’s what she said to me, and it turns out she was right. This will be my last decision, and it could be my worst or my best, but I don’t know if it will be something I want.
But wanting isn’t relevant now.
My shoes scrape over cement as i stand on the roof’s ledge. I am battered. Faltering. My arms are out, my fingers splayed. I turn around and face the school’s security cannies, who have formed a semicircle around me on the roof as they slowly approach. outdated, outmoded, neo-plastic skin, expressionless. They are here to stop me, or at least detain me until emergency services reach us, but like me, they are not immune to gravity. If I go over, they can’t save me.
They’re programmed to save me. They won’t feel a thing if they fail, though. They can’t. That’s the difference between us.
Looking at their blank eyes fills me with a sense of the inevitable.
I can’t remember not existing, whatever happened before I became me. I don’t think it hurt, not like this. Perhaps I’m wrong, though. Maybe I’ve been here before.
I crane my neck to see past the machine men, searching for the one face I need, one I know I’ve already seen for the last time. She isn’t here. Of course she isn’t. She can’t be.
I want to see her one last time. After everything I did, she wouldn’t look at me with anything other than sorrow or maybe hate or pity. But still, I want to see her.
There. That’s one thing I know I want. even if it were relevant, it still doesn’t matter. I inch back a little. It would be easier for the wind to take me. I’d prefer that over doing this myself. But the cannies keep getting closer, and the wind is still now. Unhelpful.
“This is my choice,” I say loudly. “I’m doing this of my own free will.”
Is this what she wanted? I think this might be what she wanted.
It’s all tangled up in her, and she’s not here. I’ll never see her again. I’ll never see her again, and it’s because of the choices I made.
I close my eyes. It’s time.
Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. No, she is not psychoanalyzing you right now.