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Blurb for BEYOND THE RISING TIDE:
Kai met Avery only once--in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he's not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death.
You can view the title on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28755962-beyond-the-rising-tide
MALE AUDITION SCRIPT NOTES: The audition script is chapter 5 in the book, in the boy's point of view. I chose this chapter because it has dialogue with the female main character and I want to hear how her voice is portrayed as well as his. To summarize what has already happened before this chapter: Six months earlier, Kai drowned in the ocean while rescuing Avery. They were strangers, and she doesn't remember what he looked like. They never found his body. Her life has been turned upside down by his death, and so he steals a ring that allows him to have a temporary body. This scene is the first time he sees Avery since putting on the ring. He loves her, though he hasn't really admitted that to himself yet. Kai is kind of a brooding, emo character. He had a rough life when he was alive and he's still trying to find happiness. Avery is a smart and chill surfer girl.
FEMALE AUDITION SCRIPT NOTES: At the start of this story, Avery is still grieving over the death of the stranger who saved her life the previous winter. She's used to be a strong and chill surfer girl, but since the incident she has really struggled emotionally, so her emotions are always very near the surface. 2016-04-15 22:09:00 GMT 2016-05-01 22:00:00 (GMT -07:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada) Yes (click here to learn more about ) Closed 20 10 0 direct invitation(s) have been sent by the voice seeker resulting in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far. Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 20 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 20 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.
I’m not sure if I have a heart, but something in my ribcage swells at the sight of Avery. Her hair shimmers like spun gold in the sunlight, falling over her shoulder and hiding her face. She’s sitting on a sheet of black rock, head bent, and the flowery skirt of her sundress ripples in the breeze.
If she turns around, she’ll see me. If I speak, she’ll hear my voice. I open my mouth to do that, but it’s parched, hit with an unexpected drought of words.
I’ve been walking for hours, and I still don’t have a solid plan. I have an end goal, but it’s like looking up at the peak of a mountain when I’m still in the valley. I want Avery to find happiness again, but I have no idea how to get her there.
One thing is sure—she can’t know I’m dead. Not only would it freak her out, but if I don’t want to be banned from Earth, that’s one rule I can’t break.
Maybe I can tell her I’m the guy who saved her life, but convince her that I made it back to shore alive. Only, she watched me die. Saw my drowned body ten feet underwater, half a mile from shore. She may not remember what I look like, but she knows the guy who saved her is dead.
So I guess my plan is this: Don’t let her know I’m dead. And don’t let her know I’m the guy who saved her life.
It’s not much of a plan at all, but luckily, improvising is what I’m best at. Writing songs on the fly, talking myself out of trouble, and ad-libbing life in general. When I had a life, I was dropped into a new environment every few months with no time for planning. Survival depended on my ability to improvise, because it was the only way to keep my head above water.
As I inch toward Avery, I turn phrases over in my mind, trying to choose the best way to introduce myself. I hate to think how she’ll react if she recognizes me, but I doubt she will. I saw her run across my picture on a missing persons report once, and she scanned right past it. Besides, I saw my reflection in the shop window this morning, and although my face is the same, I don’t exactly look like myself with my new Jack Frost hair.
Over her shoulder, I see she’s holding a fishing net in her lap. Her fingers are working with it like she’s trying to free something. A crab. Her hands tremble as she tries to unravel it, so she’s not really getting anywhere.
Without thinking, I fish the pocketknife from my shorts, unfold the blade, and lower it in front of her in offering. She flinches and whips around to look at me, eyes wide.
So much for improvising.
I nod toward the tangled mess in her lap. “For the crab.” Yes. Those are the words I’ve waited six months to speak to her. If Charles comes in the next moment to take back his ring, at least I can live in eternal peace knowing I was able to utter those three words.
Her brows pinch together, then she shakes her head and turns back to the crab. “I’m trying to free him, not eat him.”
For a few breaths, I’m speechless. In awe that she just talked to me. She can see me. And hear me. If I reach out and touch her shoulder, she’ll feel my fingertips on her skin. I don’t, of course. I’ve scared her enough for one day.
“I know,” I say, trying to keep my voice soft and non-threatening. I crouch down and offer the knife again, this time handle first. “It’s for the net.”
Her hands go still, and then she smiles sheepishly. “Oh. Right.” She takes the knife and goes to work, biting her lower lip as she concentrates on plucking away strands of netting. I wonder why she’s going to so much trouble to free a half-dead crab, but I say nothing because for some reason it seems really important to her.
The knife makes her task easier, but when the crab is free, she frowns at the water, swallowing hard. Seeing the reluctance in her face, I stand and open my hand. “Here. I’ll throw it in.”
She deposits the crab in my palm, and I carry the newly liberated creature to where the waves are pitching against the rock. I toss it back home, and it disappears beneath the marbled surface.
When I turn back, Avery is standing with her arms twined around her waist. As I stroll toward her, the wind kicks up and sends golden strands of hair flying around her. With the way she’s standing there on the rocks, she looks like some kind of mythical siren. I feel just as scared as if she were one, just as bewitched. The haunting song in her eyes lures me in until I’m standing right in front of her. She gazes up at me a long moment, searching my face as if she’s hunting for familiarity. For a minute I worry she recognizes me. But then she folds the knife and hands it back.
“Thanks,” she says. “Do you always carry a pocketknife?”
I take the knife and pocket it, recalling the last time I used a pocketknife to save her life, right before I died. “Yeah. You never know when you’ll need a sharp blade.”
A subtle pensiveness slides over her features, and I wonder if her thoughts went to the same place. I hold out a hand, partly in greeting, but mostly from the urge to steady her. “I’m Kai.”
As though I’m still invisible to her, she stares through my outstretched hand. But then she blinks, and her eyes find mine. “Avery.” She puts her hand in mine, and as our skin meets, it feels like a long sought-after prize has fallen into my hand. I close my fingers around her cold palm and savor the warmth that spreads through my body at her touch. The handshake lasts only a second, but it’s enough to make all my trouble worth it.
There are so many things I want to say, but they’re all mixed up with the things I can’t say, and just as I’m starting to sort them out, a woman’s voice calls Avery’s name.
I turn to see her mom approaching, out of breath and waving scissors and pliers over her head. I feel thwarted, as though I’ve been skipped in a game of Uno and now I have to wait another turn before making my play. Her mom comes up, her eyes darting around on the ground. “Where is it?”
“It’s free,” Avery says, and I realize her mom is inquiring after the crab. Now I get why Avery was so determined to free it.
“Oh!” her mom exclaims, scissors and pliers flying up in triumph. From her wild hair, mismatched clothes, and childlike expression, she looks like she’s teetering on the edge of her rocker. “How did you do it?”
Avery motions to me. “Kai here lent me his pocketknife.”
Something lifts in my chest at the sound of Avery saying my name. Her mom gives me an appreciative look, and when she reaches for my hand, I meet her halfway.
FEMALE AUDITION SCRIPT
(excerpt from Chapter 2)
I search the dark waves for Tyler, and finally my eyes fall on a figure standing waist-deep in the water—along with a second, more petite figure. I recognize her instantly as the tourist Tyler gave surfing lessons to earlier today. At least she’s wised up and put on a wetsuit. I wrap my arms around my waist, trying to squeeze out the jealousy.
Paige nudges me. “Go out there! If you want him, fight for him!”
Paige grabs my elbow and looks me in the face, her big brown eyes offering the steadiness I lack. “You can do it. Just...focus on him, not the water. And besides, the surf is totally mild tonight. Nothing is going to happen.”
Everyone thinks it’s fear that keeps me from the water. But that’s not it at all. I’ve never been afraid of the water, and I’m not now. My reasons for avoiding the ocean don’t make sense to anyone but me, so I don’t even attempt an explanation. I swallow and give Paige a weak nod, trying to muster up courage.
Fight for him, I repeat her words in my mind. Fight.
Dillan leads Paige to the fire, and I kick off my Converse and approach the water as a whirlpool of apprehension churns in my belly. The surf reaches for me and laps at my toes, and I jump back as the chill of the water sends my heart racing and floods my mind with unwanted memories. It takes all my strength to force them out.
Tyler’s back is turned so he doesn’t see me. It’s Tourist Girl who alerts him to my presence, tugging his arm and pointing me out. He twists around, and when he sees me, his mouth falls open. It’s hard to tell with the fire casting sporadic shadows across his face, but I swear he looks guilty. The girl grabs his arm and pulls him into an oncoming wave. As the wave slams into them, he laughs and she squeals.
All I can think is how I should be the one with him in the water. I should be the one in his arms. After spending countless days last summer in the ocean together, surfing and swimming and free-diving, how can he so easily forget that I’m the one who belongs there with him?
The remnants of the wave wash up to shore and stretch toward me. Instead of stepping back, I hold my breath, clench my fists, and step forward.
I have to show Tyler that I’m brave enough to do this—for him. I let the wave wash over my feet, and it swells until my calves are underwater. As the water recedes, sand loosens under my feet as it’s swept back to sea.
And that’s when the panic seizes me.
Every muscle in my body freezes—except my heart, which is hammering so brutally against my chest it might crack a rib. My lungs refuse to expand, and my nails dig into my arm so deeply I’m sure they’re drawing blood. Because to me, the white caps of the waves look like ghosts, the inky shadows beneath the water like silhouetted bodies. The ocean is haunted now, and the saltwater stings my raw guilt like an open wound.
I want to retreat, but my legs won’t move.
Tyler’s lips form my name as he sloshes through the water toward me, his face etched with concern. He comes over and curls a wet hand around my arm, tugging me to dry sand. Turning me toward him, he braces his cold hands on my arms. “Are you okay? Geez, Avery. You’re shaking.” Orange firelight illuminates one side of his face, flickering in the water droplets on his skin.
He’s right. I’m shivering as if it’s twenty degrees outside. I cross my arms and try to still myself. Get a grip, Avery. Get a grip.
He leans down so his face is closer to mine. Too close. “Take a deep breath. Breathe in—” He demonstrates by inhaling deeply through his nose. I follow his example; then he exhales slowly, and I do the same. “There. That’s it. One more time. In. That’s right. Now out.”
I feel my body calming, but now I feel a different kind of unease. I glance at the people by the bonfire, and everyone is looking our way. Some of them are whispering to each other.
“You came,” Tyler says softly, and when I look back at him, his lips are slanted into a sad half-smile. “That’s a big step. But you don’t have to get in the water, okay? Not if you’re not ready.”
He doesn’t understand. I want to go in the water. I want to join my friends, to be myself again. But there’s a deep ravine between them and me now, and I don’t know how to cross it. I don’t know where the bridge is. And I don’t know how to ask for directions.
Tyler glances back at Tourist Girl with a tinge of regret. She’s gotten out of the water and is heading toward the bonfire.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt your swim,” I say, gauging his loyalty.
“It’s okay. I think Gem was getting cold anyway.”
“Gem?” The name is so unexpected, it takes me a second to attach it to Tourist Girl. “Are her parents jewelers or something?”
He gives a one-syllable courtesy laugh, then looks toward Tourist Girl, who’s peeling away her wetsuit like a corn husk to reveal her bikini top. She eases up to the fire and glances our way, giving me the stink eye like I’m a stray dog digging up her new flower bed.
“Is she paying you to be her tour guide?” I ask. “Or are you showing her the ropes out of the kindness of your heart?”
He gives me a chiding look. “It’s not like that. She’s here for a couple weeks on vacation, and her parents are out doing something tonight, so I invited her to hang out.”
A breeze pushes a lock of hair into my face, and I brush it away, tucking it behind my ear. “How nice of you.” I try for sincerity, but my voice hitches on the last word, betraying my hurt.
“Avery,” he says, his brow puckering, “we’re friends now, right?”
Friends. Is it even possible for two people to be friends after ten months of dating? Ten months memorizing the lines of each other’s faces? Ten months stripping away barriers, sharing adventures and passions and pineapple milkshakes? All of those kisses and I love yous made invalid with six little words: It’s just too much for me.
“Of course,” I say quietly, pushing sand around with my toes. Because at least with friendship, there’s a ray of hope that things will return to how they once were. That someday he’ll see me not as a weight, but as the buoy I’d once been to him.
“Good.” He leans down and plants a kiss on my forehead. It’s excruciating, a sting that spreads hot venom through my entire body. “I still care about you, Avery. I hope you know that.” He gazes at me for a moment, his jade eyes striking me again, deep inside, a wound I know will take days to heal. “Are you going to be okay?”
I divert my eyes to the fire so he doesn’t see the pain there. Everyone is still casting curious glances our way, and I realize they’ve been watching us this whole time. I want to leave so I don’t have to see them look at me like I’m weird, don’t have to hear them whispering about last winter, about the boy who drowned saving me. About how they never found his body, and how I’ve changed since.
“I’m fine,” I lie through a tight throat as I slide on a mask of serenity. I’ve gotten so good at it that it takes almost no effort.
“Come on. I’ll introduce you to Gem. She’s really cool.”
Lightning flashes on the horizon, and I take it as my cue to leave. “That’s okay. I think I’m just going to head home.”
His shoulders slump. “But you made such an effort to come. Don’t leave now.”
I want to laugh. Who’s he to tell me not to retreat when things get tough? “I’m really tired,” I say with honesty. “Long day at work. Can you tell Paige to get a ride home with Dillan?”
He purses his lips and stares at me for a long moment. “Sure. I’m really glad you came. I’m proud of you.”
I nod, feeling like a child, and then watch him go back to the bonfire and to Gem. She brightens as he sidles up to her and says something I can’t hear.
I grab my shoes and walk away, the crowd’s laughter and chatter fading with each step. When I reach the road, I climb on a boulder to sit and watch the dark ocean from afar. Rows of foamy waves billow and roll in like storm clouds fallen to earth, their rhythmic sound lulling me back to the memories I just ran from. A familiar emptiness spreads through me, a sort of hunger that can’t be satiated with food. I hug my knees to my chest and bury my head in my arms, wishing I could go back to last winter, wishing I hadn’t been so careless, wishing that boy hadn’t jumped in the ocean to save me. Not that I wish I’d died, but that if I had, maybe he would still be alive.
If only I knew his name. Or at the very least, remembered what he looked like. If there’s one thing I can do to pay respect to the boy who saved my life, it’s to remember his face. But I can’t even recall the color of his hair.
A light wind ruffles my hair, tickles my arms and neck. It carries with it a soft sound. Not one I hear with my ears, but one that touches me somewhere deeper. Like a breath, or a whisper.
It’s the sound of my name.
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