Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die
Andora died and she remembers every last detail of her gruesome death. One would think after going through that ordeal, she could face just about anything. She’s about to find out.
Soon after her death, Andora discovers that heaven doesn’t want her and hell doesn’t have room for her. She’s not about to question the latter all things considered. See, Andora wasn’t exactly a nice person and as far as faith goes, she only believed in herself. Come to think of it, she probably wasn’t scheduled to meet St. Peter at the pearly gates.
According to the Gatekeepers—the beautiful ones who stand guard over the afterlife—second chances are rarely given but Andora earns one anyway. The Gatekeepers decide where she should spend the rest of her life and off she goes, traveling through time to a historical realm of perpetual hell, also known as the early 1800s.
Andora begins life as a prairie girl, but soon faces another untimely death. Landing in front of the Gatekeepers for round two, she takes it as a sign. Desperate to live a more acceptable life, Andora quickly realizes that being good isn’t as easy as it looks particularly for those with mischief in their veins.
To make matters worse, her second-second chance is one she shares with another subject. A handsome rogue of a boy, Rebel makes it his mission to land in front of the Gatekeepers as often as possible. However, there’s a small problem with his plan. There’s no way to guarantee that the Gatekeepers will always be there to guide them into a new world and they soon discover that a fresh start is anything but a sure thing.
“We’re coming to your world. Welcome to ours….” Gatekeepers by Destiny Blake
The day I died really sucked. Waking up in front of a righteous bitch with plenty of superior attitude? Well, let’s just say… it made dying look like a walk in the park.
A barely audible light tapping of a booted toe yanked me into sudden consciousness. Pressing my cheek against the black and white tile flooring, I stared up at the one attached to the boot. I’d been here before. Given the look on Vengeance’s face, she wasn’t exactly happy to see me again.
“Well? What are you waiting for?” She crossed her slender arms. “You know the routine. Get up. On your feet, Lassie!”
Lassie. I hated that name.
“We don’t have all day.” Vengeance smirked. It was the kind of grin that left chills up and down my spine. “We have to assign another identity. We wouldn’t want to keep your new family waiting now would we?”
“Of course not, Veng,” I grumbled, deciding to stick with the nickname. Veng didn’t seem to care for it. The flaring nostrils and clenched fists provided proof. Before I could congratulate myself for crawling under her skin, the wicked wench grabbed my ear and forced me to stand.
“Ouch!” I screamed.
“There, there,” she muttered sardonically.
In the distance, several Gatekeepers rushed down the corridor. They were undoubtedly told of my arrival.
“Vengeance, how many times do we have to remind you? Do not torture the subjects. It’s bad for morale and –” Thorne came to an abrupt halt as soon as he rounded the first pawn-shaped column. He sucked in a sharp breath before he dramatically exhaled and asked, “Andora. What are you doing here?”
I shrugged. “Can’t seem to live without dying. You know how it is.”
“No, I don’t think I do,” he said suspiciously. “Why don’t you start at the beginning and tell us how this happened.”
“Oh you mean I’m the first subject to return to the fold?”
“Why are you here?” His voice was firmer this time.
“I don’t know.”
“She remembered,” Vengeance said.
Thorne’s gaze shifted from one Gatekeeper to the next. “Can any of you explain this?”
Dayz smirked. “No idea. But by the look on your face? You’re not exactly disa—”
“Silence,” Thorne snapped, focusing on me once more. “What happened?”
“Considering how much trouble she’s been, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone killed her again,” Vengeance said.
“Was that necessary?” Dayz asked. Dayz’s lanky build made him appear somewhat awkward but I liked him. He was kind which was an apparent rarity among the Gatekeepers.
“Truth trumps necessity,” Vengeance pointed out.
About that time, a door slammed on the other side of the welcome chambers. Another recognizable face appeared. “Guess I’m not the only human up for reassignment.”
“Rebel?” I couldn’t believe my eyes. Weeks before, we were brought together for reeducation. We were separated when the Gatekeepers pitched him into the future. A short time later, I was tossed into the past.
“Don’t act surprised. I told you we’d meet again.”
“Yes you did.” I felt uncharacteristically safe when he hugged me. “It’s good to see you.”
He stepped away and quickly turned to Vengeance. “If you ask me, you should just keep us here.”
“That’s not an option,” Vengeance said. “And someone should hurry up and explain how this can even happen. I’m beginning to get bored.”
“Poor thing,” I muttered, catching a scowl from Thorne.
“Some people refuse to die.” Rebel popped his neck and grimaced. “It’s called cheating death.”
Dayz closed the distance between us. “How did you die this time, Andora?”
“Well, you see…. I was preparing to eat a bite of bird when…”
“A bite of bird?” Dayz wrinkled his nose.
“Go with it. I was only a prairie girl for a week. Do you think I had time to learn that particular era’s slang?” I scoffed. “I did not.”
“God save the queen,” Rebel teased. “Maybe next time they’ll place you in a castle where you belong.”
“Or a dungeon,” Vengeance suggested. “I’m sure I can think of a crime or two to pin on you.”
Copyright © 2016 Destiny Blake
Excerpt provided for promotional purposes & pending final approval for publication