In/Exhale: Season One Excerpt

I finally got the formatting issues (including stubborn kindle chaptering) fixed, so I’m ready to release the ebooks for In/Exhale: Season One next Tuesday. In honor of that, I’m posting a short excerpt from the beginning of the season to give you a taste of what’s to come.

The books will be available in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI (kindle) versions, so you can easily read on your tablet or ereader.

I’ve also added an “Available Fiction” section to the site where you can see the fiction I have that’s already available for download/purchase. If you go there now, you can read about In/Exhale, and that’s where I’ll post the links to download next week!


August 21, 2000

“Do you have your cell phone?” Jon stood in front of Kai in the small kitchen of their shared apartment, stuffing papers into his briefcase, his white coat bunched up on the counter beside it, his slightly damp medium-length wheat-colored hair uncombed and frazzled.

“Yes,” Kai sighed, leaning on his crutches. Unlike his brother, who always seemed to have his mind occupied, considering his appearance secondary to his work, Kai was dressed neatly in a short-sleeved button-up and jeans, making sure the collar hid the remains of his tracheostomy scar. He wasn’t ashamed of it, like his other scars, but it was ugly and a bit intimidating and college was supposed to be a fresh start. He didn’t need everyone immediately zoning in on the pink navel-like scar on his neck and asking questions.

“And your inhaler?”

Kai shifted his weight and tried not to sigh again. He knew his brother worried, and he was just trying to tell Kai without so many words that he loved him and hoped his first day of classes went well.

“I haven’t had an attack since the transplant,” Kai reminded him.

“I know,” Jon said, distracted for a moment as if he’d forgotten what he was doing. After a pause, he shrugged, shut his briefcase, and slipped the strap onto his shoulder. “But you’re the only patient we know of with confirmed FS who had a successful lung transplant of any kind. It’s impossible to say how your body will react.” Jon snatched his white coat and flung it over his shoulder. “I’d just feel better if you had your rescue inhaler with you, just in case.”

Kai adjusted his weight, slipped his right hand off the grip and pushed it into his pocket, pulling out an inhaler just enough for Jon to see it before shoving it back in. “I’ll be fine, Jon.”

Jon frowned, his thin lips pursing together, but he nodded.

“I’d tell you to relax, but I don’t think you understand the meaning of the word.”

Jon’s frown deepened a bit, and he managed to free one hand enough to place it on Kai’s shoulder. He could hardly believe his little brother was actually taller than him by an inch or two. Glancing at Kai’s crutches, he added, “I know Troy said you could go without those for a while, but don’t overdo it, OK?”

Over the past few months, Kai had worked hard to get back on his feet–literally–and on most days, as long as he didn’t push himself too hard, it was almost like being normal. His left foot and ankle still refused to obey, and the rest of the leg was a little sluggish sometimes, but he’d been able to keep the spasms mostly manageable, and he hadn’t had a hypotonic crisis in a while, meaning he could leave the bulky KAFOs he hated in his closet for now. Still, he clung to his forearm crutches most of the time, partially out of habit, partially to keep from putting too much stress on his stronger right leg. Because, as he knew well from years of experience, too much stress–psychological or physical–could trigger an MLS attack of cascading myotonic spasms, leaving his muscles painfully locked and stiff.

Kai sighed. “Yes, Dad. I promise. If you promise to make sure you eat.” It was Kai’s turn to frown as he noticed Jon was leaving the apartment yet again without eating or even drinking anything, a dangerous prospect for someone with diabetes. “Doctors really do make the worst patients,” Kai muttered as Jon headed out the door, seemingly ignoring him.

“I’ll probably be home late, but page me if you need anything,” Jon called just before Kai heard the front door slam.

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