Hiya! I’m here as Holly today 😊 A few days ago, Saved by the Bear was released 🥳 It’s a story I wrote to celebrate Tell a Story Day which is celebrated on the 27th of April.
This is the shortest story I’ve published so far this year, and given I’m freaking out about not making my deadlines because my stories get a life of their own and get longer and longer, I fear it will be the shortest for some time. I wouldn’t have minded if it hadn’t been for the chasing-deadlines thing LOL
This story is about Frode who inherits a book with Will Tell Your Story written on the cover. It makes him uneasy, but he laughs it off, especially after seeing the pages are blank.
The problem is, they don’t remain blank.
A sentence appears, and it yanks Frode out of his body, leaving him to hover above himself while he’s watching his life from the beginning up to the present day. Since he only has a few pages left of the book when they reach the current day, he assumes the book will end with him reading the book, but it doesn’t.
The book turns a page and shows him the next day.
After freaking out about seeing the future, Frode freaks out about how few pages there are left. His life is coming to an end, and as he sees himself die, he tries to change his fate by seeking help from his neighbour who happens to be a bear shifter.
When I sent this story to my beta readers, one of them asked if it was an old story I’d rewritten because she was sure she’d read it before. It isn’t, and I don’t have any stories (on either name) that are similar to it. No magic books, no trying to outrun death, no bear living next door.
I haven’t read a similar story either, but if you know of one, let me know. Because we tried to figure out why she got the deja vu feeling. Maybe she read a book about her reading a book about a book… 😆
I really don’t think there are any new stories under the sun, everything has already been written, maybe not in the same style as I write, but I’m sure there are plenty of stories about magic books and guys trying to escape death. As an author, you just add your spin to it.
Saved by the Bear
Would knowing how you die change the way you live?
Frode Hall inherits a book that promises to tell his story, and it does. It starts with a recap of his childhood, leads him through his teens and into adult life. Then it turns a page and shows how he dies in a car crash the following day. Frode panics, but can he trust the book? It’s showing a huge Grizzly sneaking around the garden, and there are no bears in the garden, only Imre, his neighbor.
By not being in his car when the predicted car crash was to take place, he survives another day. But someone has learned he has the book, and it’s showing ninjas breaking into his apartment to get it. Unsure of what to do, Frode turns to Imre. Frode doesn’t know what to believe about his growling and talk of mates, but he trusts Imre to help him. They leave the city in a hurry, but will the book give them enough warning to keep them alive or will their journey end in a gruesome prophecy?
Paranormal Gay Romance: 14,970 words
JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/SavedByTheBear
Then the air froze in Frode’s lungs.
The book showed the morning, the coming morning. Frode slammed a hand over the open page as he took a shuddering breath. It hadn’t happened yet. Fuck.
His hand shook as he removed it and watched himself walk down the stairs. The book allowed him a glimpse of Imre waiting on the other side of his door. He wasn’t waiting, was he? When Frode was halfway down the stairs, Imre exited his apartment.
Shit. Frode’s heart was beating so fast he feared he’d have a heart attack. Maybe he was dreaming? He checked how many pages there were left of the book. Hard to say, twenty perhaps. Did he dare read them? It was a thick book, and a chill went through him as he realized there were several hundred pages of his past and only about twenty of his future. Was he dying? He was thirty-four years old. If thirty-four years took up—he looked at the thick part of the book—could it be five hundred? Or maybe the entire book was about five hundred pages and he’d read through four hundred and eighty.
He bit his lips not to make a sound and focused on the text again. It showed him in the office, throwing paper clips into the pencil holder. Charming. He winced. He had to do better at work. If they fired him, he wouldn’t be able to pay rent, but customer service was mind-numbingly boring.
Was throwing paper clips significant? The book lingered in the moment. He huffed and looked around the image shown. It looked like it always did. Hye Choi was on the other side of the cubicle divider, as he always was. Frode hated him—maybe hated was too strong a word, but he made him uncomfortable. He was too good-looking, too charming, too… Frode had learned his lesson when it came to smooth, charming men. They never were what they made themselves out to be. He didn’t think Hye would slap him around if he took him up on the invitation sparkling in his eyes, but something set off his alarm bells.
As he studied Hye, he noticed how he leaned toward the wall separating his and Ana’s booth. Frode leaned closer to the book. Ana was talking on her cell phone. They weren’t allowed to while they were working, and she seemed to be whispering. It could be because she wasn’t allowed to talk, but the way Hye stiffened had him taking slow breaths. What the hell? Was this important? It had to be since the book played it at the same pace it would have—will?—played out.
Frode swallowed. He shouldn’t watch this, and why the hell didn’t the book have sound? He wanted to know what she was saying.
The moment Ana ended the call, Hye stood and strode past the desks on his side, rounded the last one, and headed for Frode.
He missed the pencil stand, and the paper clip slid off the desk and would’ve dropped to the floor hadn’t Hye caught it. Frode groaned. Of course, he had to see him miss.
Hye’s lips moved, but Frode had no idea what he was saying. To his surprise, he got up, and together they walked toward the elevators. What the fuck? He’d never go anywhere with Hye.
He watched the color drain from his face as Hye spoke, then he dashed back into the office area and spoke to Mrs. Lewis, his boss. Hye was nowhere to be seen when Frode hurried back toward the elevators.
The book fast-forwarded as he drove through the city and back to the apartment. Imre was nowhere to be seen, and neither was the grizzly. He didn’t know what Imre’s job was, but he knew he had one.
He watched himself rush up the stairs only to come face to face with a tall, broad-shouldered, faceless ninja—why was he faceless?—who exited his apartment. Under his arm, he had the book. Frode hissed, his grip on the cover tightening.
The ninja pushed him, and he fell backward down the stairs. Frode gasped, his body jerked as if it happened to him now.
He landed in a heap at the bottom. There was a bleeding gap in his forehead, and his right leg was at an awkward angle.
Air no longer entered his lungs. Someone would break into his apartment tomorrow and steal the book.
He flew to his feet, too shaken to remain seated, and paced the living room. A glance at the clock told him he’d been reading most of the night, and it was soon time to get up.
He couldn’t go to work.
The man came while he was at work. Something Ana had said made Hye go to him, and whatever he’d told him made Frode rush home. He couldn’t leave the apartment. Or he’d have to go somewhere with the book. He had to hide it.
About Holly Day
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.
Connect with Holly on social media:
Website :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest :: BookBub :: Goodreads :: Newsletter :: TikTok
One thought on “Guest Post | Saved by the Bear by Holly Day”