Loss. Recovery. Love.
 
Five years ago, Cassidy's fiancee Cheryl was killed.

    With the murder resolved, Cheryl was still dead, and Cassdiy died a little with her. She had no interest in moving on. She knows without dear friends, she would be long dead... and she's not sure it wouldn't be the better option. And time went on...

Some loves are loyal. Some are patient. Some harbour passion.

Some loves can remind you who you really are.

 



100k words, or 20 pages in 6"x9" paperback


 

This is the story of Cassidy recovering from the events of Watching Yute, but it is readable as a stand-alone story.

Watching Yute had some things that this story does not- science fiction elements, and action, specifically.

Cassidy's Ladder is light romance, with a little sense of humour. I chose not to tell these events in the book Watching Yute, as it would undercut to loss, and the emotional damage done to Cassidy.

This story takes place five years later, both in the world of the book, and in the real world. I was not ready for things to 'just be okay', and neither was Cassidy.  The death of a real life friend was one of the driving motivations for writing Watching Yute the way I did.

We both needed time.

With this story, that time has come, and Cassidy, reluctantly, moves forward in her life.

 

 

 

 

 

An excerpt from Cassidy's Ladder


    The next morning, Cassidy woke on the late side, blaming her laziness on jet-lag. The room smelled decidedly like Brandy; a combination of her shampoo and hints of her favourite discrete perfume, which hasn't changed in ages. Falling asleep to it wasn't so bad, either.
    Cassidy rolled over, feeling like she might even find Brandy there, and that would have been fine.
    Not as if they'd slept together last night, no, no, certainly not.
    But it would have been... fine if she were simply there.
    Unconsciously, in a groggy waking state, she found her hand resting on a nearby pillow, and staring at it.
    She felt like calling out to Brandy, to see if she was up, but she dreaded opening her mouth and unleashing morning breath.
    She dragged herself out of bed, grabbed her toothbrush and toothpaste before shambling towards the bathroom. She was staring herself down in the bathroom mirror, brushing her teeth, when Brandy's voice passed by.
    "Pants?"
    Cassidy assessed her situation, and gently kicked the door shut. "Oops."
    "Ya run around nekkid from the waist down on base?" Brandy called, now further across the house.
    "Only on guard duty, or inspections."
    "Thorough inspections! Hey – Bacon and toast?"
    "If you're making em, Brandy, I won't say no! So, I'm up early enough for break –"
    "It's two PM, dear. But I got bacon because you were coming."
    "You like bacon," Cassidy said as she slipped back into the bedroom to get dressed quickly.
    "Yeah, but I guess not enough to get it just for myself."

    Lacking much else to do before having to go to the Sandy and Pete's for dinner, Cassidy and Brandy ended up at a mall; not something Cassidy had a lot of opportunity for, living out in the desert on-base.
    An unspoken agreement kept them away from jewellery stores. Cassidy had never been big on the stuff, and it would bring conversation back to her ring, and that morbid little pendant.
    “Gonna get stuff for people back at base?” Brandy suggested.
    “Well, let's see…” Cassidy looked on into nowhere while she did inventory of her friends. “Frig, they're all kind of hard to buy for. I'd get Cipriana something kinky, but I don't think she'd accept.”
    “Ah yes, the exquisite, yet painfully straight Cip. You really have a thing for her, huh?”
    Cassidy chuckled. “Nothing serious. It's become a running gag. If she and I were on the market, I'd be more worried about her orientation.”
    “Unless something's happened with Cip, you're both 'on the market', single and whatnot.”
    “Trying to fix me up again?” Cassidy grumbled.
    “Not really.” Brandy grabbed Cassidy's hand, and stopped walking, forcing Cassidy to stop as well.
    “What? Let's go see if we can find any good pants at –“
    Brandy squeezed Cassidy's hand harder, looking at the floor. “Don't be alone.”
    “What?” Cassidy tried to reclaim her hand, but Brandy had it pretty firmly.
    “Don't be alone. It's not good for you.”
    Cassidy tried to look Brandy in the eye, but Brandy was too busy looking at the floor. She knew that Brandy was talking about her suicide attempts. Cassidy squeezed back. “It wouldn't be healthy to lean on a person like that. It's not fair.”
    “Not fair to a friend, either. If you die, and I didn't try my best.” Brandy's voice cracked at the end.
    “Are.. are you cry –“
    “Shut up. Follow me.”