A Sneak Peek at Chapter One of THE GARDEN by Christine Haupfear

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 Hi all! Thank you for reading the start of my first novel. I couldn’t have gotten started without the support of my family and friends. 
As a stay-at-home mom, I needed something to pass my time. I have always loved to write. With my husband’s support and the support of my closest friends I started on my journey down the road of writing. 
The Garden is inspired by a special connection I formed with a young lady I met playing an online game almost a year ago. She has been my best friend since the day we met. We instantly clicked. We formed this bond that I could feel her emotions and her physical pain. I started doing research on why and how I could form such a bond.  What I found for me seemed unbelievable. A strong empathic bond had formed between us. Our bond has been the inspiration for the bond between Tera and Jason. 
I guess when you are stuck at home with a disability and two small children the imagination can begin to run wild. A great man once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I have dreamed of writing something worth showing the world. I am hoping that I have begun to accomplish this dream. 
I look forward to reading the feedback on the first few pages of my book.  If anyone would like to email me directly that is perfectly okay with me. 

Thanks again for reading! And a very special thanks to A Backwards Story for having me! 

Christine Haupfear


Follow Christine on Twitter to find out more about her and her writing as she continues her journey! Let her know what you think so far through comments and/or tweets!

Chapter One
Christine Haupfear

Tera awoke in a garden surrounded by fruit trees and berry bushes. She had no idea how she had gotten there. All she knew was that she must be dead. There is no way she could have survived. Tera closed her eyes and she could hear the shouting, “She’s trapped! I don’t think she is breathing! Hurry we have to get her free!” She opened her eyes again to still find herself in the garden but she could no longer hear the yelling. All she could hear was the calming sound of water.
Tera realized then she was in her happy place. She had struggled with what shrinks call metal illness. Dr. Quintalla would tell her to go to her happy place when times got too much for Tera to handle. She would picture what the Garden of Eden would look like. Now here she was, in her very own Garden of Eden.
Tera could feel the terror and anxiety of those still where her physical body laid trapped and unconscious. The recue team’s sense of urgency was overwhelming her senses, making it difficult to think.
You are not ill Tera. You are gifted. It may not seem like it now, but you can use your gift to help people. You have to learn to shield yourself, for many harbor negativity. Too much will inflict anguish. We can help you here. You are safe within our coven. Stay with us and allow us to show you the way. Don’t be scared of your empathic abilities.
Amelia’s words rang out in Tera’s mind. “How can I still feel their emotions when I am clearly dead? I don’t understand.”
“Because you aren’t dead, you are just stuck.” The young man had a voice Tera could recognize anywhere. But it couldn’t be.
“Jason? If I’m not dead how are you here? Am I stuck in a nightmare? You’re gone. I was at your funeral. This can’t be real,” Tera’s mind was whirling. What could possibly be going on?
“You are in the place between life and death. It is your choice whether you wake up and survive or you stay here and die.”
Tera couldn’t even believe what she was seeing or hearing. Jason died because she couldn’t save him in time. Now it seemed she had to figure out how to save herself in the ‘In Between’? She could remember Amelia talking about the ‘In Between’ but she hadn’t really listened. “How are you here, Jason? You’re dead so how are you in the ‘In Between’?” Tera needed more answers.
“I can cross to help you, but I can’t stay for long periods of time. I can only give you advice and try to guide you to the right path,” Jason wished he could stay with her. Even in death he still loved Tera. He would stay as long as he could with her and would cherish every moment with her. This was his chance to save her.
“But what do I need to do here? I still don’t understand?” Tera could not shake the horrible feeling in her stomach.
Then it hit her like a thousand volts of electricity. The garden faded and she momentarily felt her physical body. Then she was back in the garden. “Clear!” Again Tera was ripped back out of the garden into her body then delivered back into the garden.
“Jason what is happening?” Tera felt terror that was her own and hope and anxiety that were the doctors working on her body.
Jason looked sadly at Tera, “The doctors are trying to resuscitate you. They are shocking you to get your heart to start beating again. Here is the first choice you must make, to restart your heart or to let your physical body go. Tera please don’t make the same mistake I did. Restart your heart so you have a chance to live.” With that Jason disappeared.
Tera was once again alone in the garden. She wanted so badly for Jason to come back. “How do I restart my heart?” she yelled hoping Jason would come back and give her the answers.
Tera didn’t know what she was supposed to do. What had Amelia said about the ‘In Between’? Tera tried her best to bring the memories forward.
The ‘In Between’ is the place where gifted people go when they are too conflicted about death. They are given a series choices. These choices will help them decide whether to keep on living or to pass on to the afterlife. The legend says that those that go to the ‘In Between’ it is like their physical body is in a coma. They can hear what is going on in the physical realm but they cannot make contact until they wake up, if they wake up.
Tera remembered what happened when she closed her eyes after waking up in the garden. She closed her eyes and hoped that she could get her heart started. “Her pulse is weak doctor. She’s fading fast,” Tera heard the nurse say.
No! Don’t give up on me. Please don’t give up on me. Damn it heart, beat! Beat harder than you have ever beat before! Please I am not ready to die.
“Doctor, what do you want to do?” Tera was really beginning to dislike the nurse assisting the doctor. How was she so eager to give up on her?
One hell of a nurse you are. You ought to have your nursing license revoked and when I wake up I’ll tell you what I really think of your life saving skills.
Tera could feel it as soon as it happened. She could hear the thumping of her heart beat and it was getting stronger and faster. “I’m not giving up on Tera. She is a fighter she will pull through. And to me it seems like she heard you and you may have just got her heart on a roll by pissing her off.” The doctor working on her was Dr. Geraldo, one of her father’s closest friends. Geraldo was at least 20 years younger than her father and a couple years older than herself. After Jason died her parents had tried to play match makers but it was just too soon for Tera.
Thanks Gerry. Thanks for not giving up on me. I am so sorry for turning you down. It was just too soon. I had just lost the man I was about to marry.
Tera opened her eyes to find herself still in the garden. Relief washed over her. “I did it. I got my heart to restart. But now what do I do?” Tera looked around the beautiful garden to see if Jason had come back. No such luck. “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to explore a bit.”
Tera took in her surroundings. The abundance of fruit trees and berry bushes made Tera think, at least I won’t starve. She really wanted to find the origin of the water sound. From what she could hear there must be a small creak with a small waterfall around here somewhere. She followed the sound of the water through an orchard of orange trees.
Finally she found the source of the water sound and she was right. There was a beautiful waterfall ahead of her that connected to a crystal clear pool. It was like something out of national geographic. Magnificent flowers weaved their way up around the waterfall and rocks. The Flowers were like a cascade of rainbows. Each type of flower had its own breath-taking brilliance. Tera could do nothing but stare in wonder.
“Beautiful isn’t it,” Tera startled at the sound of Jason’s voice behind her.
She turned to face him with a scowl on her face, “Don’t do that. Give some warning before you just walk up on someone. Damn Jason, you scared the hell out of me.” She couldn’t stay mad at him long with that smile on his face. It was one of the things she missed the most about Jason. He could make her heart melt with that smile.
“Sorry, I wasn’t trying to scare you. I was just admiring how beautiful your mind is. I didn’t realize that you had such a vivid imagination.”
“Imagination? So this place isn’t real is it? I am dreaming then. So you aren’t real either,” the realization was a blow Tera didn’t think her heart could take. It was a cruel joke her mind was playing on her. She had lost Jason once and it nearly killed her soul. If she had to go through that again she didn’t know how she would fare.
“No this is real. I am real. But the ‘In Between’ is different for each person. It holds our most treasured memories and our deepest fears. Its appearance comes from our imagination, although everything is very real.” It hurt Jason to know she couldn’t come to terms that he was really there with her. He could understand her doubt but even though he had died he had still remained with her always. He had asked to be her guardian and was granted her guardianship.
Prove it,if this was all real than Tera wanted proof.
Prove it? You want me to prove it?Jason was waiting for her to ask for proof. He got a devilish grin on his face. Okay Ill prove it,Jason pushed Tera into the crystal clear pool of water and dived in after her.
What the f....Jason kissed her before she could give him a piece of her mind. He felt so real to her. Was this just a part of her imagination? A cherished memory in which the In Betweenheld?
Is that enough proof for you?Jason could see the conflict in her eyes. Not enough, she has to believe. If that wasnt enough try using your gift. You cant sense those that are non-existent.
I cant sense the dead either so how is that going to prove anything Jason? You are dead and this is just a dream,Tera tried to hide the pain she felt from Jason. She saw how much it hurt him as well.
Tera, here I am not dead. I am as alive as you are. If you dont believe me try it and find out for yourself.Jason put Teras hand against his chest over his heart and closed his eyes.
Teras eyes grew wide and she broke away from him. How? You died. I watched you die. I buried you.Tears streamed down her face. She could feel his heart beat under her fingertips. Even now she could sense every emotion he was feeling. It cant be possible. I cannot sense the dead or non-existent.