Get your popcorn ready, because Lifetime TV will be premiering My Sweet Audrina, the movie based on V.C. Andrew’s book of the same title, on January 9th, 2016 at 8 PM Eastern! We hope you’re as excited as we are to see Audrina and the rest come to life on the screen. To celebrate, we’re bringing you a quiz plus an excerpt from the book!
And mark your calendars, because Whitefern, the long-awaited sequel to My Sweet Audrina, comes out July 26, 2016! Audrina’s adulthood promises to be every bit dramatic as her childhood.
I heard Papa’s soft voice outside the locked door. “You do have her gifts, Audrina, you do. Even if you don’t believe, I believe. And I’m the one who knows. I’m sure the reason our previous efforts have failed is because I stayed in the room with you. It’s my presence that ruins your chances at succeeding. I know now it’s solitude, loneliness, that makes the process begin. You’ve got to wash your mind free of anxieties. Feel no fear, no joy, no confusion. Expect nothing and everything will be given. Feel nothing but contentment to be alive, to be where you are and who you are. Ask nothing, receive everything. Sit there and let go of whatever makes you afraid or worried. Let contentment loosen your limbs and relax your mind, and if sleep wants to come, then let it come. Do you hear me? Are you listening? No confusion. No fear. For Papa is here.”
All his words were familiar. Same old thing about not being afraid, when fear was almost choking me. “Papa,” I wailed for one last time, “please don’t make me…”
“Oh,” he said heavily, sighing, “why do I have to force you? Why can’t you just believe? Lean back in the rocker, put your head against the high back, hold the chair arms and begin to rock. Sing if it helps to wash your mind clean of fear, of worries, of desires and emotions. Sing and sing until you become an empty pitcher. Empty pitchers have room for many, many things, but full pitchers can hold no more…”
Oh, yes, I’d heard this before. I knew what he was doing. He was trying to turn me into the First Audrina—or maybe I was going to be the instrument through which he’d be able to communicate with her. I didn’t want to be her. And if ever I was her, I’d hate him, hate him. Yet, he kept soothing me, cajoling me, and if I didn’t want to stay in here all night, I’d have to do as he said.
First I stared around at the room again, memorizing again every detail. Little tickling sensations began to whisper, whisper, that I could be her, I was her, the dead Audrina, who was only bones in her grave. No, no, had to think the right thoughts and give to Papa what he had to have. I told myself this was only a bedroom filled with old toys. I saw a huge spider spinning a web from doll to doll. Momma didn’t like housework, even cleaning this room. Though it appeared a spotless spic-and-span shrine, it wasn’t anything but surface clean. For some reason that made me feel better—Momma was paying what Papa called “lip service” to reverent cleanliness. And Aunt Ellsbeth refused to clean this room.
Unconsciously I began to rock.
Into my head filtered an old, almost forgotten tune. The music and the lyrics played over and over again. The words lulled me, while the melody tingled my spine and slowed my pulse. Peace was coming unbidden to heavy my eyelids… and then vaguely I heard my frail voice singing:
Just a playroom, safe in my home,
Only a playroom, safe in my home,
Got no tears, no fears
And nowhere else to roam,
’Cause my papa wants me always to stay home,
Safe in my playroom, safe in my home.
The playroom of the First and Best Audrina. The Perfect Audrina who’d never given her parents the pain and the trouble I delivered daily. I didn’t want to sing her song. But I couldn’t stop. On and on I heard the singing, trying to keep my eyes open so they could see those elephants, bears and toy tigers on the toy shelves, all sweet and friendly looking until I glanced away. When I looked back, they were fiercely snarling.
The wallpaper was faded bluish violet, entwined with glittery silver threads to make spiderwebs on the walls. There were more spiders on the toys. A giant one began to weave more dolls together, and another came to rest in the eye socket of one doll that had hair somewhat the color of my own. How awful.
“Rock, Audrina, rock!” ordered Papa. “Make the floorboards creak. Make the gray mists come. Watch the walls dissolve, hear the wind chimes tinkle. They’ll take you back, back to where you’ll find all your memories, all the gifts that were hers. She doesn’t need them where she is, but you do. So sing, sing, sing . . .”
Want even more ways to enjoy this dark and twisty tale? It’s also available as an audiobook! Listen to this sample–you can purchase the audiobook here.