Lydia Stevens has a normal life. She has close girlfriends, a stable boyfriend, and is very dedicated to her music. That all changes when Mason Hayes comes to town. Mason is a mysterious, intriguing guy that Lydia can’t help but be attracted to. Lydia soon falls deeply in love with him. But there’s one problem. Mason’s a ghost. Lydia soon learns that the King of the Dead wants to destroy the human race and replace them with the ghosts, and Mason’s family is the first on his kill list. Even worse, now that she’s with Mason, her death is the king’s first priority. Soon, Lydia realizes that she must choose between the guy she loves the most, and her life.


1. New Toy

“DANNY!” I yell.

    “What Lydia?” he calls back.


    “Lydia…” he sighs, appearing in the kitchen, unafraid of my beet red face. “Can you stop being so dramatic.”

    “I am not being dramatic.”

    “Yes you are. Now, take a deep breath. Breathe. Seriously sis, you need to work on your anger issues.”

    “I do not have anger issues.”

    “Yes you do. Now sit down. Have some cereal. Mom will probably bring home some more donuts tonight. She does work at a bakery you know.”

    I sigh. Yes, I was overly dramatic sometimes. I needed to work on that. But really, did he have to get on my nerves today of all days?

    “Your nervous aren’t you. I can see it in your face.”

    “Alright, yes. I’m nervous. It’s the last day before the concert and I don’t have a CLUE what note I have on measure 37 and…”

    “Chill sis. I don’t know anything about music. What the hell is a measure?” he asks.

    I sigh again. Non-musicians. Seriously, what did these people do with their lives. My life was dedicated to choir and orchestra. The violin felt like another body part to me. The violin was my life. My voice too, but it wasn’t as important as the violin.

    “Ready for school school kids?” asks my mother as she descends the wooden stairs, her heels clicking.

    “Yeah,” I reply, swinging my backpack on my shoulder.

    “Yep,” says Danny.

    “Alright let’s go!” Danny and I run for her Toyota. First one there gets to ride shotgun. Danny wins. Again.

    The trip to school is a quiet affair. My family doesn’t talk much. The only time we really have a deep, relevant conversation is at the dinner table. We’re all private people, and we don’t pretend to be interested in other people’s days like most of society. Really, who invented manners?

    My mother drops Danny off at the local high school and proceeds to drop me off at MSSPA, the performing arts high school here in Minneapolis. I wasn’t kidding when I said music was my whole life. It was. I was surrounded by it eight hours a day, five days a week.

    “Have a good day sweetie!” my mother says, ready to whip out of the parking lot as soon as my door slams behind me. She’s anxious to get to the bakery. Just like music is my whole life, cakes and pastries are hers. My mother is a very happy person. It makes sense that she works at a bakery. We don’t look or act anything alike. While my mother is a very cheerful, upbeat person, I’m the grumpy, temperamental one. We were night and day.

    “Yeah sure,” I mutter, stepping out of the car. My mother’s car disappears into the mass of vehicles piled near the entrance to the parking lot, anxious to leave and get to their jobs. I shake my head. People are so predictable.

    “Lydia!” my best friend Michelle calls when I reach are side by side lockers.

    “Hey!” I say, feeling more at ease than I did previously. Michelle brings out the best in me.

    “OMG! Guess what!” she asks, jumping up and down like girls do in movies.

    “What?” I say.

    “Come on Lydia! You’re supposed to guess!”

    “Umm…nope. I’ve got nothing.”

    “UGH!” she says, halfway sliding her back down the lockers in a show of frustration. “Fine! I’ll just tell you. Amy got an iPhone 4! Those aren’t supposed to come out ‘til June!”

    “Oh,” I said, not doing a very good job at acting interested.

    “Lydia! You can’t tell me…” she was interrupted by the bell. Ha! Saved by the bell. Classic.

    “Goodbye oh dearest friend of mine! Hope you have a lovely day!” I say smiling, walking backwards knowing I was really getting on her nerves. I loved to rile her up.

    The morning classes and lunch passed by in a blur. Michelle seemed to have totally forgotten this morning. She chattered endlessly about an assignment she got a D on during lunch. After lunch, the bell rang finally signalling next period. What I’ve been waiting for all day. Orchestra.

    I sat down in one of the chairs in the front row and pulled my violin out of its case. I carefully set my music on the stand. I suddenly recalled that there would be a new student in Orchestra today. They played violin. I sighed, knowing they’d have to sit by me. I didn’t particularly enjoy small talk and I knew I’d have to make some once they sat in the empty seat beside me.

    A boy my age suddenly came through the door. I inhaled a low gasp. He seemed about my age, although his features were adult-like. His messy brown hair complemented his brilliant blue eyes perfectly, the contrast beautiful. He glided towards the teacher so fluidly. It seemed as though he didn’t have a bone in his body. None of these were the reason I couldn’t look away however.

    He was as white as a ghost. His pale skin stretched across his cheekbones in a way that almost looked sickly. He was fairly skinny, it was amazing how his wiry frame could move so fluidly. He was beautiful.

“Hello, I’m Mason Hayes. I’m new,” he said in a surprisingly normal sounding tenor voice.

“Hello Mason. I’m Mr. Bridges. I’m the orchestra director. It’s nice to meet you. How’s your day been so far?”

    “Nice to meet you too Mr. Bridges. My day’s been fine.”

    “Good, good. You can take that empty seat next to Lydia in the front row. You do play violin right?”

    “Yes, and thank you Mr. Bridges.”

    “You’re very welcome Mr. Hayes,” stammered Mr. Bridges, surprised by the boy’s politeness.

    As Mason glided to his seat, everyone in the room had their eyes glued on him. Of course. The shiny new toy.

    “Hello,” Mason said to me, sitting down and pulling out his instrument.”

    “Hello,” I replied shyly, hiding my face behind my hair. I was positive my face was beet red. I couldn’t believe I was talking to this beautiful boy.

    The rest of class dragged on for what seemed like forever. It was hard to take my eyes off of the pale boy beside me who played like a dream.

    For the first time in my life, the violin didn’t hold my interest.

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