Welcome to Swoon Sunday where you get to meet some of our swoon-worthy heroes. Today we have a visit from Logan Russell from Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn.
Logan, why don’t you describe yourself to us?
Tallish, blond hair, swimmer’s build. A girl once told me my eyes were as “green as grass.” Not sure what that means, though. Grass in the winter or grass in the summer? “Depends on your mood,” she said.
What’s your profession?
Student in the “t-minus zero” class, which I hear was called “senior year of high school” in the Pre-Boom Era.
Gold-Star Swimming Hopeful.
I’d also like to think that I’m still the All-Around Nice Guy I used to be — but I’ve been keeping my distance from just about everyone since the Technolgy Research Agency (TechRA) took my brother away five years ago. All because he made a racquetball fly across the court.
Where do you call home?
Eden City, the capitol of North Amerie, a place that is bursting at the seams with technology.
There’s also a place called Harmony where I’d love to live or at least visit. It’s a community on the edge of civilization where the people have retreated, by necessity, to a more primitive way of living. They do everything by hand — build fires, catch food, even prepare food.
A girl I used to know would love living there. She dreams of being a Manual Chef, and in Harmony, they cook with their hands every day, sometimes every meal.
What was that? Yeah, it’s the same girl I mentioned before. And no, I can’t tell you her name because we’re not friends anymore. Once upon a time, she used to laugh at my jokes like I was the funniest kid in school. I used to leave a red leaf in her locker everyday, and she would sneak me bites of whatever she was making in the Cooking Manually classroom, from peanut brittle to lime guacamole. Once upon a time, she was…everything.
And now, I don’t even know if she’ll let me call her by her real name, rather than her school name, “October 28.”
What song are you listening to on repeat right now?
“Crystal Ball,” by Kimberly Brown.
Okay, gotta admit, although Kimberly Brown has this stunning, crystal clear voice, this song is not my usual style. However, I think all of us in the “t-minus zero” class are listening to “Crystal Ball” right now. All of us will receive our future memories sometime in the next year, and this song perfectly captures what we’re feeling and thinking.
It’s what we’ve been told all our lives: After we get our memories, we won’t feel so alone. We’ll know, without a shred of doubt, that somewhere in another spacetime exists a future version of us, one who turns out all right. We’ll know who we’re supposed to be. And we’ll never feel lost again.
Oh, and you know that girl? I heard her humming “Crystal Ball” under her breath the other day, which I thought was really cute because she can’t sing at all. She could get a perfect pitch implant behind her ear, to help her stay on key, but she doesn’t bother. I love that. We don’t all need to be technically perfect. It’s the variety that brings the flavor to life.
Why do I keep talking about her when we’re not friends? I’m not. *pauses* Am I?
Do you have a special skill?
You bet I do. I’m the best swimmer there is in Eden City. Everyone says I’m a shoo-in to be a Gold Star Swimmer. Why, if necessary, I bet I could even side-stroke across a raging river with a girl balanced against my hip.
Which girl? No one in particular. No, not the girl who was humming “Crystal Ball.” I already told you. I don’t talk about her.
Back to your question. I might have other, um, special skills, too, but I’m not allowed to talk about them. You never know who might be listening. In Eden City, all you need is for someone to report that you have a psychic ability, and TechRA will cart you away so they can experiment on you like a lab rat.
What is your biggest dream/wish/desire?
I want to make my brother, Mikey, proud. He’s four years older than me, and I guess I’ve always looked up to him. I know this sound strange because he’s hardly more than a kid himself, but he has this air of greatness about him, like he was destined to do important things. My parents and I thought that when he received his future memory, we would for sure see him as a scientist making important, world-changing discoveries. But TechRA whisked him away before he got his memory, and if he did receive a vision of his future, he’s never shared it with me.
Mikey has incredibly high standards, and some people find him too rigid. But that makes earning his approval all the more meaningful, right? What’s the point of accomplishing something if it comes easily to you?
What’s your biggest regret?
Oh Fates. You just had to ask me this question, didn’t you? I’d refuse to answer, but the truth is, I’ve never been able to tell anyone, and it would be a relief to let it out. But you have to promise not to tell anyone, especially…her.
Yes, of course it’s about her. It’s always about her. But you knew that, right? Isn’t that why you asked me this question?
Okay, here goes: One day, when I was sitting in the T-minus-five classroom, we heard sirens, followed by the clatter of footsteps, and we all crowded around the door to watch. I saw my brother, flanked by two TechRA officials, his tanned arms wrenched behind him in a pair of electro-cuffs.
The girl turned to me, grabbed my arm as Mikey was passing the classroom, and said, “Do something.” And I stood there like an idiot, while they took my brother away from me. I stood there and watched like the rest of my class, even though my life was never going to be the same again.
That’s my biggest regret: for not doing something — anything — when they took Mikey away. I could’ve talked to the officials and convinced them that it was just a trick. Or gotten the other kids to agree it was just a big joke, that we didn’t actually see the raquetball floating across the court.
Or maybe, I should’ve just been brave enough to look into his face as they dragged him away. Tell him I loved him so he wouldn’t feel so alone.
But I didn’t do anything of those things. I did nothing, and I’ll always have to live with that.
That’s why I stopped talking to the girl. I can’t even look at her without hearing those words. Do something. It’s not that I don’t want to be friends with her. Fates, I’d do anything to have her friendship back again.
I just can’t bear to see the blame in her eyes.
Thank you so much for joining us, Logan! Now, here’s an excerpt from Forget Tomorrow for our readers…
Lunging, I thrust the sheathed knife toward Logan’s throat. Just to see if I can do it. Just to see if the killer instinct lives inside me.
In one smooth motion, he deflects the knife. “You may not know who you are. But I do.”
His mouth hovers over mine. A dozen live wires zip along my skin, stealing my breath and electrifying my nerves. My heart beats so loudly it drowns out the drone of the insects, the twitter of the birds. A few more inches, and our lips will touch. One tiny sway, and we’ll be kissing.
“Who am I?” I whisper.
“Calla Ann Stone. A girl who seeks the sun like a flower soaking up its rays. A girl who loves her family with everything in her heart. A girl who is so brave she’ll do anything to save her sister.” He moves closer. And closer still. “You’re doing everything I should’ve done, but didn’t. I’ll always respect that.”
I swallow, but there’s no moisture left in my mouth. I’m not sure he’s right. I don’t know this girl he’s describing. I don’t know if I can be her. But I’d like to be.
My eyes flutter close. The warmth of his breath mingles with mine . . .
. . . and then, something presses into the side of my neck. My eyes fly open, and I realize I’m no longer holding the knife. Logan has it, and he’s holding the sheath right at my throat.
About the book:
Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.
It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.
Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.
In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.
But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.