I Know When You're Going to Die
by Michael J. Bowler
YA Mystery, Thriller
Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look people in the eye. One night while he’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, an old man forces eye contact and gives Leo the power to see Death.
His best, and only, friend—J.C. Rivera—thinks this new power is cool until Leo accidentally looks into J.C.’s eyes and “sees” his murder, a murder that will occur in less than two weeks. Stunned and shaken, the two boys sift through clues in Leo’s “vision” in a desperate effort to find the killer and stop him before he can strike.
Aided by feisty new-girl-at-school, Laura, the boys uncover evidence suggesting the identity of the murderer. However, their plan to trap the would-be killer goes horribly awry and reveals a truth that could kill them all.
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I hear the door to the parking lot open with a creak and spin around in fear. J.C.
and Laura do the same. We listen. The door closes quietly. Muffled footsteps
approach along the catwalk.
Crap, we’re trapped!
I ignore the other two and take in my surroundings. There’s a door behind us.
With no time to even wonder where it leads, I scuttle over as the footsteps grow
louder. In seconds, the newcomer will round the colossal boilers and see us. I
grab the door handle and pull. It’s not locked. I ease it open and find a large
storage room with boxes and plastic jugs lined up on shelves and odd pieces of
equipment in corners on the floor. Laura darts inside without hesitation, but J.C.
looks at me uncertainly. I shove him harder than I intend and squeeze in right
behind him. The footsteps clanking along the catwalk are almost around the corner
when I ease the door closed and hold the inside handle tightly to keep it from
rattling. I feel J.C.’s raspy breath on my neck and his body pressed in tightly
against mine as I place one ear up against the cold metal door and listen.
The footfalls saunter on past as though the person doesn’t have a care in the
world and isn’t worried about being detected. I hear a muffled greeting in
Spanish, but it’s not Mendez. My breath freezes as I recognize that voice.
Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author who grew up in Northern California. He majored in English/Theatre at Santa Clara University, earned a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and a master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. Michael taught high school in Hawthorne, California for many years, both in general education and students with disabilities. When Michael is not writing you can find him volunteering as a youth mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, volunteering within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles, or caring for his newly adopted son. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, and hopes his books can show young people they are not alone in their struggles.
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