Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Ashley C. Harris’ Donna and Ryan from Shock Me.
A promising gymnast, Donna Young is a shy, quiet nobody from the wrong side of town. The only exciting thing in life is her secret friendship with Ryan, her childhood crush. But after the accident—one that should have killed her—she discovers she has impossible powers! Why now, at sixteen, can she transform into something shocking and inhuman? Donna doesn’t know how to use her new abilities or who she can trust, but unveiling this mystery might lead to conclusions about Ryan that are deadly.
Rich kid, Ryan Applegate is the most popular guy in town. He has a face that should be on a poster in every girl’s bedroom and dates the hottest chick in school. But ever since the big explosion at the town’s power plant, Ryan has been keeping secrets of his own, that if revealed could force him to choose between his family and the girl he’s forbidden to love.
As their electrifying puzzle unfolds, so unfolds a town where friends become enemies, and enemies become unrecognizable and intertwined. Tortured heroes just might be the bad guys,and Donna discovers that her and Ryan’s secrets are powerful enough to destroy everyone… including themselves.
Shock Me Black Friday
Donna and Rebecca sat in silence as Rebecca’s mom drove them out of East Applegate. “It is time you two get out of this room,” Rebecca’s mom had insisted earlier. She had confided in Donna that she was growing very worried about Rebecca’s condition. Ever since Paul’s death Rebecca had been in a state of silence; getting her to even eat was a struggle.
“The mall will do you girls both some good,” Rebecca’s mom went on as she drove, was she forgetting to mention that it was the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday? Please God don’t let anyone from school be here, please… Luckily this mall was located in West Applegate, their town’s biggest rival and a no man’s land when it came to finding East Applegate teens. Or so Donna hoped…
The mall was decked out with holiday decorations. Christmas jingles blasted over the loud speakers, putting everyone in a lighthearted mood. Everyone but Rebecca that is. Her mom offered to buy her various things, all of which Rebecca was lifeless to. Donna wished there was someway she could help her.
After an hour of trying with no luck, and needing to get away from the crowds, Donna quickly wandered over to an old country watch store she had spotted. She did need to buy her dad something tonight and perhaps the store had some kind of low cost item she could find for him. Though the first thing she spotted was a leather watch that was over five hundred dollars. That was definitely out of Donna’s budget.
She ventured to a glass cabinet of old vintage pocket watches, spotting one with a horse on it she knew right away her dad would probably love. She looked around, hearing a store clerk in the back, and politely called out, “excuse me,” to try to get the faceless person’s attention.
“I’ll be with you in just a minute,” the person called out as Donna continued to stare at the different watches. The old vintage ones were definitely the most beautiful. “How can I help you-”
Donna turned around and looked up right as she met the store clerk’s eyes. Cody Lighter paused when he saw Donna, the biggest smile coming to his face. His golden tan cheeks turning slightly red as Donna felt all the water she had consumed on the way there dissolve with nervous heat. Cody Lighter was the star athlete and leading jock of West Applegate. He was tall and super cute, with bright green eyes and light blond hair. Cody had been the one who had danced with Donna two weeks in a row…. The fact that he even wanted to dance with me was like a dream within my reality nightmare.
“If it isn’t Miss. East Applegate, back on my side of town,” he said as he walked up to her and then he was embracing Donna in a hug; as if they were old time friends and she was worthy of him.
God I hope I look halfway decent… she thought as she tried to relax into the causal embrace. His skin was cool against her hot, pre-electric flesh. Nervous energy ran through her and she had to push herself not to turn and shock him upon impact.
“Hey,” she mumbled.“You, ah, work here.”
“Unfortunately yea, my grandfather owns the shop. He wants me working everyday of winter break,” he told her as he rubbed his hand through his touchable hair.
“Oh, well, it’s nice. The shop I mean, it’s cool,” she tried to say and failed, her mind so nervous by the scandal of his presence. Holy crap he’s so hot….
“Yea, it is what it is. As long as I have enough cash in my pocket to play football I’m happy.”
Donna felt herself completely melt right there and grow more squeamish at the same time.
“So ah, what can I get for you today?” he asked her.
“Um, that one,” she pointed to the watch she had been eyeing, and he opened the case and pulled it out.
“The wanderer’s watch.” He handed it to her for her inspection.
She looked at it, it was cold and heavy in her hands. If anyone else had called it ‘the wanderer’s watch’ she probably would have picked another one instead. It was pretty ironic the item that she knew her father would like was called that, but the way Cody said it made it sound so valuable.
“I bet your new boyfriend will love it,” he told her next.
She smiled shyly, looking back up at his green eyes. He winked at her, and she looked back down, nervous. “It’s for my dad,” she told him shyly. “No new boyfriend….” As if I’d ever have a boyfriend anywhere.
He took it from her and started placing it in a box neatly. “Ya know, we do this bonfire thing around Christmas time. It’s kind of a tradition at West Applegate High. You should come.”
“Um, Brook’s back in New York now,” Donna explained while he rung the watch up. She noticed that he entered in his employee discount code so the watch would cost even less, and yet it was still just on the rim of breaking her budget.
“I’m not asking Brook,” he said smoothly, looking up at her eyes. Could he really be saying this to me? Her body was about to go into electric hormonal overload. She needed to get out of there, she stayed silent, not knowing what to mumble next.
“Merry Christmas Donna Young, I hope to see you soon, ” he told her as she took her purchase from him. In that moment, if only for a few precious seconds, all the monsters in her head were gone.
* * *
Ryan had ventured to the West Applegate mall to get away from his brother and girlfriend. He figured he’d take part in the shopping madness that was Black Friday and try to feel normal, but after working his way through the crowds he needed some air. So he walked over to the less crowded part of the mall. Near the stores that sold antiques and other old stuff. There was something comforting about this area’s quietness, and the sound of two steady hearts beating that only Ryan could hear. Because even on Black Friday I can never be normal, Ryan thought to himself as he listened to their hearts beat.He turned towards them and that’s when his world stopped. He saw Donna, who wasn’t his girlfriend, but instead the girl he was never allowed to be seen with; the one he cared about the most …
And she was talking, no, blushing, as she spoke to Cody Lighter, Ryan’s biggest competition. Cody was everything Ryan should have been, and seeing Donna look at Cody the way she was now… it killed him, and brought out something ferocious at the same time.
Meet Ashley C. Harris!
Author and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. When she is not hard at work writing or dreaming up new indie films she spends her time working out, reading the bible, and going on breath taking adventures with her sister. The seed for becoming an author started budding for Ashley in the third grade, when she wrote her first hundred page book during her class’s quite time, her teacher couldn’t believe it and voiced over her that surly she’d become an author someday. Those words never left Ashley and she has been writing ever since.
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Thank you Ashley for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!