From The Elm Tree, my contribution to the anthology The Telepath Chronicles:
Gentle, Celine thought, cracking open the ribcage—yet the procedure was far from gentle. She was breaching a sacred place, tackling the thin line between life and death, a temple that should never see the light. She forced her hands inside, her fingers prodding the softness of the tissues.
Careful, now. This heart is young, with so many beats yet to deliver.The above is my Sunday snippet submission for the Weekend writer Warriors (you can find the Snippet Sunday group on Facebook, too). Make sure you check out all Weekend writer Warriors participants, it's a fun way to find forthcoming books -- all genres welcome, there's something for everyone's tastes.
Come back to me, Celine pleaded, delicately compressing the heart between the flats of her fingers. Press, release, press, release, she thought, as if rehearsing a memorized prayer.
Lulled by the litany, she closed her eyes and gave in to the rhythm—press, release, press, release—until a grainy fog blanketed her eyes and the smell of burning candles filled her nostrils.
The Elm Tree is the story of a doctor who performs a thoracotomy in a desperate attempt to save her young patient's life. I had no idea doctors could do this--crack open the rib cage and literally massage the heart to make start beat again--until I came across the true story of an ER doctor who, in a last, desperate attempt to save his patient’s life, opened the patient’s chest to manually “restart” the heart. What happened next left him completely baffled: every time the doctor compressed the heart and made it beat, the patient’s eye sprang open and stared at the ceiling. As soon as the doctor stopped, the patient closed his eyes. Imagine what this doctor must have felt, holding a dying heart in his hands, knowing that the minute he let go, the life of his patient would be lost forever.
The Elm Tree was inspired by this story and it's one of 14 science fiction stories dealing with different aspects of telepathy. Some are set in today's world, some in a future Earth, some in outer space. Each one is beautiful and enchanting in its own way. I feel honored to have my story featured with so many other talented authors.