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THE MEDIATOR SERIES PDF

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The Mediator Series Pdf

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I'm sure you've seen lots of movies and TV series and maybe even reality heroine, Suze Simon: so-called “mediators” who can communicate. Love You to Death. The Mediator (Series). Book 1. Meg Cabot Author (). cover image of Love You to Death. Love You to Death. The Mediator (Series). A series of thick-walled adobe structures were connected by low- Hebrew word meaning "intent listener," which, as a fellow mediator, you of course would be.

Relational management including facework plays a critical role in generating the direction conflicts take. If such attempts are managed well, they can contribute to setting a positive climate in which the conflict can be resolved. Using the principles of face-giving, mediators can better control climate, help disputants manage relationships, and keep the conflict interaction on the path to positive outcome.

The Mediator as Face-Giver How do we recognize face issues and what do we do when we see one? Face concerns tend to be elusive and highly intangible because the dis- putants may not know they have them and if they do, they may be reluc- tant to admit that a face issue has emerged or that their underlying interest is to save face.

Even when asked directly in caucus, the disputant may not own up to his face needs, possibly for fear that by acknowledging it he adds to the reality of the face threat. In order to uncover critical face needs and use face-giving to keep the mediation moving forward, the mediator must be cognizant of the actions that can set off face concerns and put disputants on the defensive.

Some common triggers include. The need to save face often emerges from the need to resist intimidation, so that the disputant protects himself against the loss of social approval and self-esteem that may result from acquiescing to that type of treatment. This type of face-saving is almost always out in the open.

So, it would not surprise me if Frank felt intimidated as well. Another face concern that may arise during a mediation is the fear that if the disputant gives up on a stated position or backs away from a declared set of demands, he will appear weak or vulnerable in the eyes of his group or his opponent, or that doing so might have a negative impact on either relationship Brown ; Pruitt In many cases, reduction in flexibility in the bargaining process may be an indication of a face concern Folger, Pooles, and Stutman The disputant may, in fact, pretend to continue to be flexible but refuse to give in on a minor issue, or shift to an all-or-nothing stance.

If the mediator does not promptly take face-giving measures, she may lose control of the process Brown In this context, it may be helpful to reframe the goal of the mediation. Another approach may be for the mediator to volunteer to frame a proposal as her own idea rather than as the idea of the disputant with the face concern.

Suppressing Conflict Issues. Another indicator of face concern is when the disputant continually ignores or avoids an important conflict issue. Obviously, the medi- ator must build up sufficient trust so the disputant feels safe enough to share the face issue with her. On the other hand, there may be cultural impediments that prevent the disputant from sharing face-threatening issues with the mediator, in which case the mediator may need to address the issue indirectly.

It may be preferable for the mediator to make suggestions that will alleviate face concerns for the disputant in a general way. In my personal experience, this is often preferable to forcing the disputant to openly admit to the face threat.

Use of Defensive and Protective Strategies. A fourth indicator of a face concern is when the disputant employs defensive strategies to protect himself from face threats.

For example, a disputant may suggest that a par- ticular proposal is just an idea that he has not yet thought through, reserving the right not to be bound by it Goffman ; Hewitt and Stokes For example, if the mediator senses that one of the attorneys is insufficiently prepared unfortunately, not a rare occurrence , she can request that he meet with her in caucus, and there she can give him the time he needs to review the file.

The mediator can either stay with him while he does his work, or go do something else as long as she Eric van Ginkel The Mediator as Face-Giver stays out of view from the rest of the group. This is an example of how the mediator can play an active role as face-giver to prevent one of the participants in the mediation from being embarrassed or losing face.

Recently, I found myself in court without a necessary exhibit because my assistant did not properly prepare the file.

Is it possible for your office to fax the document to this office? The Culture of Face-Giving: Individualistic versus Collectivist Face-giving is more common in cultures that are predominantly collec- tivistic, it is such as those in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, than in more individualistic cultures such as those in the United States and Western Europe Ting-Toomey Collectivist cultures focus primarily on preserving the social status of the in-group and rely on face-giving to support the members of the group.

In China, the process of mediation can be seen as a series of face- giving actions. Contained in the proposal is a face-saving gesture for Party B. In Korea, the greater part of che-myon one of the principal Korean notions of face appears to be given by society, and individuals protect it by meeting the expectations of society Lim and Choi Therefore, Koreans spend much time and energy in dealing with the needs of others within the context of projecting their own images as desirable relational Negotiation Journal October partners in society.

The example of che-myon illustrates how collectivism and individualism can interact within the same culture. To develop an awareness of face issues, it is important for the media- tor to acquire an understanding of cultural differences, while at the same time recognizing that individual differences sometimes outweigh cultural similarities. Professors Ting-Toomey and Oetzel contend that independent- self individualists tend to operate from an outcome-oriented model.

The mediator can use this knowledge to emphasize a desirable mediation model in which: 1 the parties are willing to deal with the conflict and the issues openly and honestly, 2 individual goals are addressed and differences are dealt with openly and fairly, and 3 the outcome is productive when tangible goals are reached and a plan of action is developed. Conversely, interdependent-self collectivists tend to follow a process- oriented model.

Three translate well into a mediation context: Mindful Observation. Mindful observation means that the mediator monitors, describes, interprets in multiple ways , and suspends judgment on the cultural differences in both verbal and nonverbal signals of the Eric van Ginkel The Mediator as Face-Giver disputants. Mindful Reframing. A skilled mediator will be familiar with the tech- nique of reframing, particularly in relation to words or phrases that are dichotomous, linear, static, or positional Benjamin Facework Management.

In this context, the face-giving tasks will be different toward a collectivist disputant and an individualistic disputant. Although becoming knowledgeable in these areas of intercultural com- plexities is clearly important, it is almost impossible to learn the customs and traditions of each nation or group of people, and sometimes, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. In my experience, developing sen- sitivity to and awareness of cultural differences is often sufficient to enable mediators to communicate successfully with disputants of different cultural backgrounds.

While mediators work to uncover underlying interests, it is rare that they delve deep enough to unearth the values that support those interests. In the context of values, interests can take on a whole new meaning with regard to face issues. In the context of developing an awareness of face issues, determining the value system of each party in conflict is highly relevant as it can change the entire landscape of understanding.

A resolution that is contrary to the values of a particular group represented in the mediation will not likely endure.

Watch for Nonverbal Cues. In the context of intercultural communication, it is especially note- worthy that involuntary facial expressions prove to be virtually identical and recognizable across cultural boundaries Gladwell Experiments show that the meaning of many involuntary facial expressions such as a frown or a smile are universal.

Over a period of many years, Professor Paul Ekman and his collabora- tor, Wallace Friesen, have assembled what they call the Facial Action Coding Eric van Ginkel The Mediator as Face-Giver System FACS , which lists more than three thousand meaningful combi- nations of facial muscle movements, together with the rules and interpre- tations for each of them.

It would go too far to suggest that mediators should learn FACS as it takes many weeks to master the system, and so far, only about five hundred people around the world have been certified to use FACS in their research. Consequently, it is important for the mediator to be aware of her own face needs. If mediators adopt an attitude of humility for the privilege of mediat- ing the dispute and often being privy to very personal information , maintain an open-minded willingness to listen, and demonstrate genuine empathy for the parties, much of the preventative facework they need to do for themselves will have been accomplished.

Nonetheless, there may be situations in which mediators experience a face threat from one of the disputants. In such a situation, it is helpful to realize that most outbursts directed at the mediator are inspired by fear and insecurity. Behavioral knowledge aids us in the ability to accept such outbursts for what they are and not to feel threatened.

In extreme cases, the mediator may not be able to remedy the face threat related situation, especially if it was accompanied by a threat of violence.

In such event, the mediation can be adjourned to another day and perhaps be continued in the company of a co-mediator assuming this is acceptable to the disputants. Such a solution might give the face- threatening disputant the opportunity to apologize, diminish the chance of re-occurrence, and preserve the gains derived so far in the mediation process.

Conclusion Wherever we live and whatever we do, all of us deal with face issues in our everyday lives. It is not surprising that important face issues occur in any mediation, irrespective of whether the disputants all belong to the same culture or whether the mediation is intercultural. The more we, as mediators, are aware of other cultures and our own ethnocentric biases, the more we can develop the mindfulness and flexibility that allow us to be sensitive to the face needs of the disputants.

Recognizing the face issues of the disputants allows us the opportunity to employ meaningful face-giving strategies that help sustain a climate in which a successful resolution of the conflict can emerge. The author analyzes how the lessons learned from studies of intercultural relations and face-saving can be applied to the face-giving role of the mediator.

In the interest of readability some references to Ting-Toomey and Oetzel, and Folger have been omitted. The author wishes to thank Professor Robert Chandler of Pepperdine University for his valuable comments and Daphne Tam for her creative suggestions. The effective negotiation and mediation of conflict: Applied theory and practice handbook. Face-saving and face-restoration in negotiation, edited by D. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Chia, H. Mediation across cultures.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Ekman, P. Unmasking the face: A guide to recognizing emotions from facial clues. Folger, J. Pooles, and R. And now, with Father Dom gone for who knows how long, I. I knew that any second he was going to disappear. But there was still something else I needed to know. He had begun to dematerialize, but now he looked solid again. And truthfully? I probably was. Why do you ask? For school? He took the bag from me.

And then he was gone. Walden held up a stack of Scantron sheets and said, "Number-two pencils only, please. Walden, this is an outrage. And, apparently, aptitude testing. Walden, our homeroom teacher and class advisor, began passing out the Scantron sheets. Just answer the questions. Walden slapped a pile of answer sheets onto my desk for me to pass down my row. And no talking. Walden demanded, "do you people not understand?

Until Mr. Now, shut up, all of you, and get to work. Miserably, I filled in the little bubbles. My fate is already laid out for me. And any other career I choose is just going to get in the way of my true calling, which is, of course, helping the undead to their final destinations. I glanced over at Paul. He was bent over his Scantron sheet, filling in the answer bubbles with a little smile on his face.

I wondered what he was putting down as fields of interest. Or felony theft. Why, I wondered, was he even bothering? We were always going to be mediators first, whatever other careers we might choose. Look at Father Dominic. Oh sure, he had managed to keep his mediator status a secret. He really believes that his ability to see and speak to the dead is gift from God. The little blank bubbles in front of me grew decidedly blurry as my eyes filled up with tears.

Oh, great. Now I was crying. But how could I help it? Here I was, my future laid out in front of me. Well, you know, pseudo-career, since we all know what myreal career was going to be. But what about Jesse? What future didhe have? I reached up and dabbed at my eyes with the sleeve of my Miu Miu shirt. Jesse, I mean. Because I already knew all of that. Things were tough, I guess, even way back in the s.

It was different then, Susannah. I was different. I did think. It made perfect sense—at least to me. Just because of your dad? I could barely be spared from the ranch for a few days, let alone the years medical school would have taken. But I would have liked that, I think. Medical school. It would be more exciting to work in the sciences now, I think. But rather than clinging stubbornly to the past, as some would have, Jesse had followed along excitedly, reading whatever he could get his hands on, from paperback novels to encyclopedias.

He said he had a lot to catch up on. My stepdad, on the other hand, is more the cookbook type. But you get my drift. To Jesse, stuff that seems dry and uninteresting to me is vitally exciting.

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Sighing, I looked down at the hundreds of career options in front of me. And here I was, with every advantage in the world, and all I could think that I wanted to be when I grew up was. Well, with Jesse. It was a constant source of wonder and interest to me.

Only unlike Jesse, I actually had a chance todo something with my interest. Walden announced, startling me again.

Ten more minutes. I looked down at my answer sheet, which was half empty. At the same time, I noticed CeeCee shooting me an anxious look from her desk beside mine. She nodded to the sheet.

Get to work , her violet eyes urged me. I picked up my pencil and began to haphazardly fill in bubbles. Without Jesse, Ihad no future. Of course, with him, I had no future, either.

What was he going to do, anyway? Follow me to college? To my first job? My first apartment? Paul was right. Stupid to have fallen in love with a ghost. Stupid to think we had any kind of future together. Walden pulled his feet from the top of his desk. Then pass your answer sheets to the front. Walden had dismissed us for lunch. Because my dad was everything that was good. And Paul is everything that. So long as you can find a precedent.

I could easily see Paul as a lawyer. I was thinking more along the lines of a social worker. Or a therapist. It was the reason I was so bleary-eyed and tired today. Not about Paul, but about what Paul had made me read aloud earlier that day: The fourth dimension. The very word caused the hairs on my arms to stand up, even though it was another typically beautiful autumn day in Carmel and not cold at all.

Could it really be true? Was such a thing even possible? Could mediators—or shifters, as Paul and his grandfather insisted on calling us— travel through time as well as between the realms of the living and the dead? And if—a big if—itwere true, what on earth did itmean? More important, why had Paul been so intent on making sure I knew about it?

Trouble sleeping? Suddenly, I was just very tired of Paul and his games. And I decided to call him on the latest one. Took you long enough. We were standing in the shade of the breezeway, it was true, but just a few feet away in the Mission courtyard, the sun was blazing down. Hummingbirds flitted from hibiscus blossom to hibiscus blossom.

Tourists snapped away with their digital cameras. So what was up with the goose bumps? You act like it was two million. Kelly, though stung, nevertheless pulled herself together enough to send me a withering glance before heading for the yard where we dined daily, al fresco.

Big deal. Gutierrez and her two thousand dollars? Even in some small way? And you know what? I think this time, your boy Jesse is going to agree. With me. Please please please please. In any case, Dr. Sort of. Except that he had. And it had only been a few months ago. I wasthat desperate. Desperate for answers that I knew only one person on earth could give me.

And that person was just right upstairs. I guess. Itwas lunchtime. Narc on me, doubtlessly. It seemed to be his one joy in life. Sadly, I never seem able to return the favor, thanks to Brad generally having some kind of goods on me. As usual, the Game Show Network was on.

The attendant had parked Dr. Slaski himself, however, appeared to be paying no attention whatsoever to Bob Barker. Instead, he was staring fixedly at a spot in the center of the highly polished tile floor.

I need to talk to you for a minute. Unless you call drooling a response. Slaski," I said, pulling up a chair so that I could sit closer to his ear. About, er, mediators. He straightened up in his chair, lifting his head so he could fix me with a rheumy-eyed stare. The drooling stopped right away.

But I decided to let that slide. Slaski," I said. About Paul. Slaski and his grandson. At least, so far as I can tell. Slaski asked. Family Feud comes on in five minutes. Was I, I wondered, going to end up wheelchair bound and addicted to game shows when I was Dr.

Because Dr. Slaski—or Mr. Problem is, nobody believed him.

Twilight (The Mediator, Book 6)

Not about the existence of a race of people whose sole duty it was to guide the spirits of the dead to their ultimate destinations, and certainly not that he, Dr. Slaski, was one of them. Worse, Dr. And what had Dr. Slaski gotten for all his efforts? A terminal illness and his grandson, Paul, for company. The illness, or so Dr. Slaski claimed, had been brought on by spending too much time in the "shadowland"—that way station between this world and the next.

And Paul? Well, he had brought Paul on all by himself. I guess he had a reason to feel bitterly toward the human race. But why he felt that way toward Paul, I was only just learning. Slaski insisted people like him and Paul and me are more properly called shifters, for our in my case, newly discovered ability to shift between the dimensions of the living and the dead.

Slaski said. Slaski said acidly. Slaski looked at me very sarcastically. I sat there like a lump staring at him.

All this time. But what would I have ever needed the ability to time travel for, anyway? Then, like a bolt of lightning, it hit me. My dad. I could go back through time and save my dad. Because if it could. Then everything would be different. Slaski coughed, hard. I shook myself and touched his shoulder. Are you all right? Slaski demanded, not very graciously.

Maybe less, if those damned doctors have their way and keep bleeding the life out of me. I needed to know more about this new power he—and possibly I—had. Travel through time, I mean. Slaski glanced at the TV. Fortunately the credits forThe Price Is Right were still rolling. Family Feud was going to start at any second.

To anchor you to it. Slaski said, though he looked skeptical. And you need to pick a spot you can get back to without shifting onto some innocent bystander. Not just—" "Your soul?

Slaski snorted. No, when you go, yougo. Not if you want to keep your guts from spilling out. Slaski looked back at the television, bored by the whole conversation. Slaski said, his gaze glued to the TV screen. Must be the link. Slaski trailed off, lost in research done decades before. Slaski drawled, turning his gaze back toward the television. Because ghosts? Ghosts I can deal with. Ghosts like. And I had plenty of stuff that once belonged to Dad.

She surely would have found it when she was making my bed or playing tooth fairy. But she had never said anything.

But I had some babysitting money saved up.

Maybe even enough for a plane ticket. I could do it. I could totally keep my dad from dying. Slaski, with a glance at the TV. A commercial, thank God. What do you do then? Slaski looked annoyed. Then you picture the person. And then you go. Easy as pie. Slaski nodded at the TV. Just like that, I could go back through time and keep someone I loved from dying. You have to weigh the consequences of your actions very carefully. What possible consequences could my saving my dad have? Except that my mom, instead of crying into her pillow every night for years after he died—right up until she met Andy, actually—would be happy?

ThatI would be happy? Then it hit me. If my dad had lived, my mother would never have met Andy. Or rather, she might have met him, but she would never have married him.

And then we would never have moved to California. And I would never have met Jesse. Suddenly, the full impact of what Dr.

Slaski had said sunk in. And keep in mind the fact that the longer you stay in a time not your own, the longer your recovery time when you do get back to the present," Dr. Slaski added not very pleasantly.

You mean like. Every time. Slaski looked amused about something. Slaski said, "if he read my paper on it. He could hardly be motivated by a desire to help anyone, as the only person Paul Slater had ever been interested in helping was. Slaski looked bored. I told you he was no good. Just like his father, that one is, ashamed of me.

I was too busy thinking. That was when it finally dawned on me. Standing there in Dr. And not to kill him. To save his life. I thought you had to hit the Send button to answer, but apparently—" "Father Dominic, something terrible has happened. Then Father Dominic said, "Susannah. Where are you? If Paul keeps Jesse from dying,then Jesse and I will never meet! Look what happened in that film. What was it? Oh, yes. Back to the Future. But he might listen to you.

And how do you suppose he does that? Your whole body goes. I was losing him. But how can you explain to a priest that a guy is trying to off your boyfriend so he can get into your pants? Was it my imagination or was there a slight chuckle in his voice.

Not for that, anyway. My protests, even to my own ears, were starting to grow faint. Paul doing something that could actually be construed as moral, I mean. Because Father Dominic was right. Was it my imagination or did he sound distracted? Because he was never meant to die in the first place. Unbidden, my mind flashed back to that poster my ninth grade English teacher had hung up in her classroom, of two seagulls flying over a beach. A poster I always seemed to remember at the most inconvenient moments.

The imaginary noose around my neck tightened to a choking point. He sounded angry. A second later, Dr. I had no more to say to him than I did to Father Dom. There was only one person, I realized, who could stop Paul from doing what I now knew he was going to do. And that person was me. A plan. I was almost sure of it. Jesse had been murdered and his body never found—until recently, that is.

But those were on display at the Carmel Historical Society museum. Or rather, to save him.

Listen to Many People, but Talk to Few

Jesse was safe. Which meant thatI was safe. The relief I felt was short-lived, however. Oh, not my relief about Jesse. That remained. It was as I was attempting to sneak back into school that my newly restored equilibrium was shaken again. And why not? I was really losing my touch. No one would consider Sister Ernestine an exemplary educator.

I got off lightly, I suppose. All in all, I suppose it could have been worse. Or so I thought.

Before I ran into Paul Slater. He stepped out from the shadows just as I was hurrying by. I flattened a hand to my chest, as if doing so would cause my heart, which had practically jumped through my ribs at the sight of him, to beat normally again. But what would have been the point? So I stuck out my chin and, ignoring my stuttering pulse, plunged. You talked abouttime travel? With Grandpa Gork?

Slaski," I corrected him. But I thinkyou might be," I went on—recklessly, I knew, but no longer caring. Not now that I knew what he was after. And maybe I was. That Paul and me? Yeah, that wasnever going to happen. A gork. I mean, your own father changed his name, he was so ashamed of him. And you should stay away from me. That about sum it up?

He even smiled a little, though it was with just half his mouth. But I knew it was all just a put-on. Not if he really intends to do what I suspect. But he was doing his best to prove me wrong. After that whole thing with Mrs. Gutierrez, you got me thinking. All I could do was stand there and stammer. I had never in my life met anyone as manipulative as he was. Or the next? I tasted something awful rising in my throat.

At least a little. Enough, anyway—" His voice trailed off suggestively. Because the truth is, I kind of like my body. I wasthat stunned. Because it finally made sense, now. That accusation Paul had hurled at me the other day in his kitchen.

Shadowland (The Mediator, Book 1)

Because he was planning on saving Jesse, whereas I, apparently, am planning on killing Paul. It proves that, whatever you say, you do like me, a little. Or at least that you like making out with me. All I cared about was proving to him how very, very wrong he was. How could you even—what could have given you the idea that I—" "Oh, come on, Suze," Paul said. Not like this," he added, gently stroking my arm with his thumb.

Until I wrenched my arm away, that is, and fell back a step. At least, not right away—" I felt my cheeks flame. I was so embarrassed. Especially considering that Jesse? Yeah, this was his new stomping ground. He was undoubtedly around somewhere nearby. But not that. So why not just give my soul a yank and let the all-perfect Jesse have a second chance at life? But now—perhaps because he was goading me into it—a part of me actually seemed to perk up and goWhy not? He would definitely think it was wrong to rob Paul of the life that was rightfully his, just so he could have a chance to live again.

His body would still be alive. And his soul would be. For my sins? You know, the endorphins rushing in. Because I really had, in a way, just had a major workout. This one just happened to be an emotional one. The soul transference thing, I mean. And, for another, I was never going to steal your body and give it to Jesse, Paul. But, you know, you can keep on flattering yourself that I was, if it makes you happy. At least not then.

Because when I attempted to stroll by him after that last remark—even giving my hair a toss to show my disdain for him—something inside him seemed to snap. Next thing I knew, his hand had shot out and caught my arm in a grip that hurt. But I thought it better to let that slide. You can let him go. Because of course, only he and I could see the ghost who had hold of him.

I shook my head. Jesse held on to Paul for a second or two longer—just, I think, to prove he could—then he let go, so suddenly that Paul lost his balance and fell to his hands and knees, onto the stone slabs that made up the floor of the breezeway. He folded his arms across his chest and looked at Paul dispassionately as he climbed to his feet and brushed himself off. Paul, to my fury, burst out into scornful laughing. That seemed to cause some of his laughter to dry up, without Jesse even having to say a word.

Then Jesse turned his penetrating gaze on me. But he changed his mind. Suddenly, it was getting very difficult to breathe. Jesse, what if I told you that in addition to all the many other wonderful things that we mediators can do, it turned out we can also travel through time?

And that I had generously offered to travel back to your time—the night you died, I mean—and save your life. What would you say to that?

Not even for a second. Think about it, Jesse. I can go back through time and warn you. My heart swelled with affection for the man leaning against the stone pillar beside me. Jesse would never choose life over me. He loves me too much. Or so I thought, before Paul started his patter once again. None of this wandering around in a sort of half-life for a hundred and fifty years, watching the people you love grow older and die, one by one.

No way. To a ripe old age, if I can, you know, get rid of that Diego guy who killed you. I mean, how can you say no to an offer like that? I thought, flushing with joy. Paul blinked. What are you going to do, hang around here for the rest of eternity? Are you going to watchher get old"—he thrust a finger at me—"and eventually turn to dust like you did with your family? You want to go through all that again? Not by a long shot.

Two things happened at once then. The first was that classroom doors suddenly flew open all around us and students began streaming out into the breezeway as they changed classes for the next period.

All I want is you. I could tell it was too late. Some of what Paul had said was already starting to sink in. I knew, of course, what they were seeing. Me with hands raised, clutching nothing but air, and speaking to one of the pillars in the breezeway. Now Ireally looked like I was going around the bend.

I dropped my hands and turned to face Paul, who still stood there looking angry and defensive and pleased with himself at the same time. The woman slipped me a dollar, and I handed her the lemon bars. She passed one to Tyler, who inspected it, bit into it. Beside me, Shannon, my fellow bake sale attendant, looked appalled. She just said she was raising him without it.

Poor kid. It was weird to hear someone call David "Dave. It was so the story of my life to be stuck running a school bake sale while the rest of the world was enjoying such a perfect Saturday.

The sky overhead was so blue and cloudless, it was almost painful to look at. The temperature was hovering at an extremely comfortable seventy degrees. A beautiful day for the beach or cappuccino at an outdoor cafe, or even just a walk.

And where was I? She likes to talk. A lot. And, you know. So cool. Yeah, right. But not, you know, hordes of eager antique collectors. Occasionally, some of them stopped by our booth and shelled out a buck for a Rice Krispies treat or whatever. But mostly they had their eyes on the prize. The bidding got started late because the monsignor was supposed to have been acting as auctioneer.

Because he was still in a coma up in San Francisco, there appeared to have been some frantic phone calls on the part of Sister Ernestine, as she looked for someone worthy to fill in. I saw Andy climb the dais, waving modestly and looking abashed at all the applause he was getting. Not sure if there could possibly be anything more embarrassing than this, I started to slink down in my chair.

Oh but wait, therewas something more embarrassing than my stepfather calling the school antique auction. There was also the fact that most of the applause he was getting was coming from a woman in the front row. My mother. He was gesturing to an ugly orange plastic chair and declaring it "authentic Eames" and asking if anyone would be willing to bid a hundred dollars for it. A hundred dollars? And nobody even complained about what a rip-off it was. Clearly Sister Ernestine had impressed upon this audience just how badly the school needed its basketball court repaved, because people were just throwing their money away on the most worthless pieces of garbage ever.

Walden both bidding against each other for an extremely hideous lamp. Aunt Pru finally won it —for bucks—then walked over to Mr. Walden, apparently to gloat. Except that a few minutes later, I saw them having lemonade together and overheard them laughing about sharing custody of the lamp, like it was a kid in a divorce settlement.

What was I going to do, be all "Oh, yeah, by the way, Paul wants to travel through time and make it so you never died. But I plan on stopping him. Paul going back through time, I mean.

The thing to anchor him to the night Jesse died. When he held it up now, I saw it winking in the afternoon sunlight. Someone had washed and polished it. About as long, actually, as my boyfriend had been dead. Look at the detail in the ornate D carved into it. Dave, I mean. The sun was beating down on us kind of hard, and it was difficult to think about anything except how much I wished I were at the beach.

She had a crush on a guy. All she wanted to know was whether or not she was wasting her time. As the sister of the object of her affections, however, all I could think was. Also, that David isway too young to have a girlfriend. The Diegos—or at least, the ghost of the one member of the family I had had the misfortune to meet—had all been thieves and murderers.

Okay, we have a hundred. How about a hundred and twentyfive? Does anybody bid a hundred and twenty-five? David, a girlfriend? The youngest of my stepbrothers, I could no more picture David with a girlfriend than I could picture him behind the wheel of a car or even playing soccer.

It made sense that someday David would be sixteen and do all the same things that his older brothers Jake and Brad and I were doing. You know, drive. Take trig. Make out with members of the opposite sex. I have seven hundred dollars. Does anyone—Okay, seven fifty. Do I hear eight? I mean, if he liked anyone better than anybody else. That I know of. There was an astonished hum through the crowd. Eleven hundred dollars was the most any item on the block had brought in so far.

I craned my neck to see what kind of fool had that much money to burn on a piece of junk, and was a little startled to see that Andy was still holding up the belt buckle Jake had found in the attic. What a loser , I thought. I mean, I had known Paul was a weirdo for a long time. But to throw away his hard-earned money—well, not so hard-earned, actually, because I was pretty sure he was paying for the belt buckle with funds stolen from the Gutierrezes—on a piece of junk like that.

Well, that was just insane. Why would Paul Slater spend 1, bucks on a banged-up old belt buckle. I guess it must have shown on my face, since Shannon suddenly sucked in her breath and went, "Are you all right?

But before I could get anywhere close to him, someone grabbed me by the arm. My heart was beating so fast on account of the whole Paul-trying-to-keep-my-boyfriend-fromdying thing, that I almost jumped a mile in the air, I was so startled. But it turned out it was only my mother. In, like, a nice way, I guess.

But still gross.

Introduction

Because Paul found me. I was too late. The transaction had been completed. In his hand was the belt buckle. Could they tell? Could they tell my heart was hammering a mile a minute and that my mouth was as dry as sand?

He was watching us —my mom, Sister Ernestine, and me—with a slightly sardonic smile, as if everything we were saying was amusing him very much. And then I dragged Paul away from the dais and folding chairs, and over behind one of the display tables holding the rest of the stuff that was to be auctioned. I just thought it was pretty. I know why you bought that thing.

Or can I go now? For the first time in several minutes, I was able to take a deep breath. See you, Suze. She had wanted to marry Diego, a slave-runner and mercenary, rather than the man her father had picked out tor her to marry, her cousin ew Jesse.

But Jesse never made it to the wedding. Killed by Felix Diego, though no one at the time knew that. His body was never found.

Now Paul was going to stop Diego from killing Jesse. All we have to do is remove their souls from their bodies, escort them to that spiritual way station where their fate—whatever it was, heaven, hell, next life—was decided, and boom: Oh sure, Diego deserved to die. He was the scum of the earth. I needed backup. Fortunately, I knew just where to find it. But I had a pretty good idea who might know.

The sun was just starting to set as I pulled out onto Scenic Drive, painting the western sky a deep burnt orange, and turning the sea the color of flames. But I knew that behind the glowing glass, families were just sitting down to dinner.

I was going to be in big trouble for what I was doing. There was a life at stake here. And okay, so the life belonged to a heinous killer who deserved to die. That was beside the point. Paul had to be stopped. And I knew of only one person he might possibly listen to. A cool, crisp breeze was blowing in from the sea. Inhaling it, you almost felt like all was right with the world. So wrong. The water in Carmel Bay can be treacherous, with dangerous riptides that had swept hundreds of hapless vacationers to their deaths.

It was fitting that Paul would live just yards away from something so deadly. Paul answered the door himself. You could tell he was expecting some kind of food delivery, and not me, because he had his wallet out.Darkest Hour by Meg Cabot. Rate it:. The more we, as mediators, are aware of other cultures and our own ethnocentric biases, the more we can develop the mindfulness and flexibility that allow us to be sensitive to the face needs of the disputants.

The worship she offers to God, all good and great, is a continuous profession of Catholic faith and a continuous exercise of hope and charity, as Augustine puts it tersely. They must impel us to subject our senses and their faculties to reason, as illuminated by the Catholic faith.