It's been nearly a year since Sarah died. The anniversary is in three weeks, and Tim has a lot to do before that date. He needs to do a final read through, take care of any last minute suggestions from the editor, and decide on the cover art before the book can be sent to the presses next week.
And most troublesome of all, he needs to write the dedication.
His heart aches a bit when he remembers how Sarah helped him with these last few details when Deep Six and Deep Six: Rock Hollow were at this stage. But he smiles, because in a way, Sarah has been with him the whole way through the process this time.
And he knows that while his sister may be gone, he still has his friends, who are in some ways just like his siblings.
So when he gives Abby and Ziva a call that evening requesting their help this weekend with final read throughs, he's not surprised when they say yes. After a little more thought, he also asks Rashida to come and help this weekend. He wants her to help him pick out the cover art.
Friday night finds Abby and Ziva sitting around Tim's living room, pens in hand to catch any missed errors as they read through the first book Tim will put out under his own name, while Tim sits at his writing desk, slowly editing in some of the suggestions his editor had for him.
He is startled when he feels a pair of arms wrap around him from behind, and the soft scent of roses and gunpowder wafts to his nose. "This is a really great book, Tim," Abby tells him as she hugs him from behind. "It's like the main character is Sarah from another life."
"It was Sarah's idea, actually," he confesses quietly. "She always wanted to write something like this, and used to write short stories about this kind of stuff. We lost the stories she'd written when she was younger in the shuffle when Mom and Dad remodeled the house a few years back, but I remembered some of the names of the characters and countries she'd created."
"Well, you have definitely done Sarah's idea justice McGee," Ziva says as she comes to stand next to the writing desk. "I think she would be honored to see how well you have brought her world to life."
"I hope so."
Late that night, Tim wakes up from falling asleep at his writing desk, trying to remember what he was dreaming of, and knowing only two things: that Sarah had been in it, and she had been smiling.
On instinct, he places a new sheet of paper into the typewriter, and begins to type one more time.
It's the day before the release of his new book. It is also the one year anniversary of Sarah's death.
Tim has taken a few days off of work to visit his parents, so that they can go together to visit Sarah. He stands with them in front of her tombstone, his mother's hand clasped tightly in his own, simply thinking of her.
And while Tim feels sadness as he stands in front of Sarah's gravestone and remembers how she died, he also finds himself able to smile while remembering how she lived.
"I love you, sis."
The Lioness of Liore
Book I: Warrior
The debut series by Timothy McGee
My sister Sarah always wanted to be a writer, and specifically wanted to write fantasy novels for young adults. She used to have me read her short stories when she was younger, and loved telling me she wrote better than I did. She came up with these characters and this world many years ago, but she never got the chance to see her dream come true.
I'm writing this to fulfill her dream, and to keep my sister's memory alive.
I hope I did her proud.
I love you, Sarah.
"As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us. As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us." - Sascha, as posted on MotivateUs(dot)com