by Peter Kassan
What if you suddenly discovered you had a sense—and powers—that almost no one else in the world did?
When Amanda Lindner Nichols, a 24-year-old graphic artist living with her husband in Queens, New York, is revived from a near-death experience, she discovers she perceives everyone around her as points of light—but not with her eyes. She soon learns she can not only perceive the life energy of others, but she can give and take it. With the help of others like her, she brings her husband Chris to the brink of death and back to bestow on him the same remarkable faculty, and they're the happiest they've been.
But not for long. All over the world, people who've been revived from their own near-death experience at just the right moment discover themselves with these same unusual powers. They find ways to use them—some for good and some for evil. When Amanda and Chris encounter a ruthless group of gangsters with the same faculty, tragedy follows—and Amanda faces the greatest challenge of her life.
Amanda got a kiss on the forehead from her dad and gave him a kiss on the cheek in return. She put in her earbuds, started iTunes on her iPhone, and hurried across Grand Central Terminal toward the subway station for the last leg of her commute.
One of her favorite songs, “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, was playing when a guy with wild hair and wilder eyes appeared in front her. She had nearly bumped into him. He took his hand from the folds of his filthy raincoat. He held a huge knife. Staring madly into her eyes, he stabbed her in the chest just below her collarbone. She screamed. He locked eyes with her for a moment and then pulled the knife out and rushed away.
Amanda put her hand where it hurt so much. She felt a hot, sticky wetness. The blood coursed through her fingers in spurts. The pain was greater than any she had ever felt. Her right arm was feeling oddly cold. She felt faint.
The next thing she knew, she was on Grand Central’s hard marble floor. A middle-aged man in a suit and tie was holding both hands on her wound. A circle of people surrounded them. She wondered whether they were encircling her to give her space or just because the spectacle fascinated them. Above her, she could see the magnificent mural of the night sky, the one they had painted backwards and then beautifully restored, still backwards, because it was impossible to fix, so they made up a ridiculous, unscientific excuse. She realized her mind was spinning, and then it seemed the mural was spinning, too.
The pain grew greater and greater. She thought she might be dying, and it terrified her. It didn’t seem fair she would die so young, so randomly. Then there were more people touching her, a couple of people in uniforms. She supposed they were paramedics.
“I think we’ve lost her,” one of them said. “I can’t get any pulse.”
She realized her awareness had left her body and she was floating toward the beautiful ceiling. Looking down, she saw her body lying there on the marble floor, saw the paramedics, and saw the people surrounding her. As she rose higher and higher, she saw more and more of the enormous main hall of Grand Central, the many people hurrying in all directions, all but a few oblivious to her. Although she knew what was happening was impossible, it was as real as anything she had ever experienced.
As she looked down, Amanda realized she was, impossibly, both disembodied and in another kind of body, floating above herself both in Grand Central and in another kind of space, another dimension.
Amanda heard a loud, harsh, horrible noise, like a police siren wailing into her ears. She could no longer see herself in Grand Central. Infinite blackness surrounded her. The terrible sound had stopped. The chatter in her mind had also stopped. She felt immensely peaceful.