Tag Archive | fiction

The Start of a YA Story I May Finish Someday…

(nov 2008)

..And I really might finish it someday because though it’s been awhile, I still know how it ends and what is supposed to happen. That’s why I don’t know where my shoes are most of the time. I can only remember so much!

re-reading makes me want to finish it, alas Amaranthine calls (and actually sells, too!)

*****

by me

Roderick wasn’t dangerous, but rather beautiful – beautiful and scared. Anyone who says otherwise only does so because they didn’t know him. They didn’t notice him until the end, and by then things had spiraled out of control.

People called him the son of the devil, but he was really the product of an alcoholic and a drifter who may or may not have been insane. Who am I to say for sure, after all? His Father wasn’t there to either prove or disprove the mythical legacy he’d left behind of his vampiric origin. Roderick’s mother changed her opinion like the wind, but most of the time Roderick believed; and because I loved him so did I.

That all came much later, though. The beginning was far more mundane and sane than the downward spiral of a conclusion was.

I remember it clearly; it was summer the first time I saw him; late summer. We’d done our back to school shopping the day before and I was dying to wear my new clothes. I had only one week to wait until school started.  The thought filled me with both anticipation and dread. It was high school now, a whole new ball game, as my dad would say. I’d spent all of elementary school slinking in the shadows and I wanted nothing more than to suddenly be noticed and accepted.  High School promised me that, or so I thought. I guess I didn’t bother to contemplate that it was going to be the same old kids in the same old building.

My town was a small one, and as the years had passed it had gotten smaller. Long before I was born they’d consolidated all of the schools, grades k through twelve, into the highschool building. This left behind the hulking husks of the old institutions. Most of them were torn down, but one was left standing; the Mt. Jefferson junior High School. Maybe that was fate.

I’d escaped my parents that sweltering afternoon, and made my way aimlessly down the quiet streets towards the old school. It was a large, brick structure that had three stories and rumors of a haunted basement.  All of the widows were boarded up and I’d never been brave enough to peel any of the plywood back to peek inside.  I was content enough with the outside of the building; from the faded brick to the cement that bordered the large entrance way. I suppose it might have actually been stone and not cement at all, though at the time I didn’t really worry about what it was made of.  Between the weather and the original carving, the effect was one of two large trees; one on each side, that bowed down over the heavy wooden doors. The front of the building was cast in perpetual twilight thanks to a collection of giant oak trees, and in this quiet semi darkness moss grew in thick profusion. It traced its way over my imagined stone trees and hung over the doors like thick foliage.

When I was younger I’d imagined that this was really the entrance to a fairyworld and that the old oaks growing all around and casting their permanent gloom were really ancient guardians placed there by the Queen of the fairies herself. Of course, by the time I was ready for junior high I had abandoned such notions. Still, I had a fondness for those old trees and I spent many hours curled among their weathered roots with my nose buried in a book.  In fact, on that was my destination on this particular day.

I reached the sweeping front lawn and made my way down the broken sidewalk, but a noise caught my attention and I stopped just short of the trees.  The sound came again, a shuffling, scraping noise, like something running across sandpaper. At first I couldn’t find the cause of the sound, but as I searched, my attention was drawn to the roof where I saw a figure all in black. Oblivious to me, he was dragging what looked like a wooden crate across the flat rooftop towards the edge.

I watched with a mixture of fascination and horror. Fascination because I had never encountered anyone else at my old school and horror because, well, I had never encountered anyone at MY old school. The place was my secret sanctuary and the idea that an intruder had come left me disconcerted.

When he reached the edge of the roof he stopped and ran one arm over his forehead as though to mop up invisible sweat.  It was no wonder he was sweating. The temperatures were nearly one hundred, and yet he was fully dressed in black clothing so that every inch of skin save his hands and face was covered. Even his head was covered in black, but as he climbed on top of the box and stood with the wind whipping around him I realized that was his long hair.

And that was what he did. He just stood on top of the box with the wind blowing back his hair and flapping his long coat like a cape. He stood there and he stared out over the town, his eyes on something in the distance like a king surveying his kingdom or a fallen angel mapping out what was to be his prison.

I watched him for countless minutes and he watched the horizon. Then, as if at some silent signal, he turned and dropped back to the roof.  He disappeared from sight quickly, and though I waited, he didn’t reappear. I don’t know why I waited. Had he come out the front doors and spoken to me I’d have simply stared with giant eyes and murmured “eep”.

But he didn’t appear and I got bored with waiting.  I didn’t stay and read as I’d planned, instead I took my book and went home again.  My curiosity was piqued, but I stayed away from “my” school for the next several days because I was afraid of running into him again. That probably sounds strange, since I was intrigued, but I knew it wouldn’t do me any good to meet him face to face.

********

Fav song of the moment – Ten Black Roses – The Rasmus

Heartless by Design: Flash Fiction

(originally from July 2008)

 

This was written for a story colab challenge where we used lines contributed by other writers. Though I don;t know which lines they are, or if they survived edits, thanks all the same to  Peg, barb, Lonnie, and nita.

************

Under the light of a full moon, she walked towards the pounding ocean, her fingers twined in his. He had strong hands, yet gentle, and his voice was as soft as the summer rain. She enjoyed the feeling of the sand between her toes as she walked along the shore with him,  towards the  trees. As they went he asked no questions, only gazed at her with a curious longing. His eyes should have made her uncomfortable but she felt nothing. Her heart was cold as stone.

The forest was still and silent. Even the animals sensed something was wrong. It was time to bring him to meet the goddess of the land; she couldn’t keep him a secret any longer, though she knew what they would do to him – what they would make her do to him.

The clearing was eerily silent, but he smiled as she released his hand. He thought he would impress her by building a fire, and picking her wild flowers. As the flames licked the inky night she settled down by his side and waited, her hand inside her coat and her fingers wrapped around the blade. He smiled his crooked, reassuring grin and settled himself in the damp grass. A chorus of crickets sang in the distance. It was deceptively peaceful. No one would guess this spot was once a battlefield; but it was, and that made all the difference. That was why they had chosen it.

They came from the trees, like wraiths from a dark nightmare. Their call was shrill as they descended. He jumped to his feet, but she choked him to his knees. He screamed as she forced him to the ground, with one hand around his neck the other in his crouch, both gripping tightly. His eyes echoed the agony of his cry, but she had no choice. He must be sacrificed. She was a natural born killer, she was raised that way by her mother, by the witches of the southfold. She was cold, she was cruel and she did not feel.

He fell unconscious on the grass and the women quickly disrobed. Their naked bodies flitted around the camp fire while they hummed their ritual song. She twirled in circles under the moon, chanting and singing with her arms held high. As if in time to her words, the heavens opened and thunder and lightning crashed. In the distance, they could hear the popping and cracking of trees being torn out of the ground by the storm’s fury, but still they sang and danced. The words grew more frenzied as the storm grew, and when it reached it’s zenith she straddled his unconscious form. With the knife to his throat, she ended his life.

The ceremony came to an end and the women rifled through his pockets, looting the corpse that had been her lover. With no feeling, she gathered up her clothes.  As she dressed one of the women found the ring in his coat and threw it to her, laughing.

She caught the little black box in her hand. Inside lay a diamond ring. An engagement ring. She hadn’t known about, hadn’t understood his intentions, but now she did. He had loved her. Really loved her.

No on had ever loved her. Not men, not her sisters in the coven, not her mother. She was an item, nothing more, just as they were items to her – weren’t they? He was… he was just…  She closed her eyes and tried to force it away, but his face swam behind her eyelids, his grin crooked and reassuring, as if he thought she was frightened of the dark! As if he was trying to tell her he would protect her.

Protect her.

He couldn’t even protect himself from her betrayal.

And that’s what it was. She had betrayed him. He’d given her his heart, his trust, and she’d handed him over to their bloodthirsty goddess, a sacrifice for the midnight meeting. He’d given her something that no one else had ever given her, and she had repaid him with his own blood.

She choked on the reality of it. Her sisters were oblivious to her pain and laughed in time to the rolling thunder. She looked back over her shoulder. His naked body lay on the ground among the dead leaves. The expression on his face still one of pain and confusion.

“How could you hurt me when I only wanted to love you?”

She ran.

She ran from her sisters. She ran from all the blood she’d spilled on that forest floor, from the ghosts of the men she’d killed to feed a goddess. She ran from the sound of her sister’s chants, from the cold memory of her mother. Most of all, she ran from his face, from his warm, laughing eyes, from his final scream of terror.

The cliff was tall and sharp, outlined by flashes of lightning. She didn’t slow as she neared the edge and, as she leapt clear of it, she hung for a moment in the air, suspended like a raindrop; a raindrop with a soul as black as the night.

And then she fell.

The crashing waves welcomed her. Cold water pulled her down, but she didn’t fight. She let the water suck her down, down, deeper and deeper, but she refused to open her eyes. She knew she’d see nothing but darkness, no  light to guide her home.  It was somehow fitting. In darkness she’d lived and in darkness would she die. Ill fated as she was to discover that even she had a heart only as it shattered to a million pieces.

*************

could use some more development, but the idea is there, anyway.

song playing at the moment – “Immortal” – The Rasmus

Circle of Guilt: Flash Fiction

(originally from July 2007)

This was written for Reid’s 500 word challenge

 

Without an echo, she gently faded into shadows through the doorway as if she were a piece of the night. The only trace left behind the hammering of my own heart.

I dropped back into the bed, grabbed a pillow and covered my head with it in mock suffocation. If only it were that easy.

I closed my eyes but I could still see her visage. Blood splattered along her cheeks. Her dead eyes wide with horror as we dumped her into that drainage ditch and left her. Every nuance and detail of that scene was burned into my very brain: the dead leaves floating stagnant, the way her hair tangled in the damp grass along the banks, the way her hand still clutched at nothing trying to save herself from that fate.

“It was just a nightmare,” I told myself loudly, the words comforting and real. She had been found by the chief of police and her body was at the morgue, stuffed in one of those refrigerated drawers, a tag on her toe while they waited for someone to identify her. She wasn’t here and she had never been here.

I climbed to my feet, flipping on the bedside lamp, and made my way from the bedroom.  The air too close and hot seemed to hold the terror close to my prickled skin, but the kitchen throbbed with life, the hum of electronic hearts beating within the machines that made life livable.

The light spilled forth as I opened the refrigerator and grabbed the gallon of milk to take a long drink. Cold liquid reality raced down my throat, soothing my fears and salving my conscience.

We’d had to finish her, after all. There’d been no choice, not after what Chalky had done. He hadn’t meant to, but too much Rum always made him unpredictable. It was her own fault for going with him, for letting him take her out of sight of the rest of us. If only she’d stopped screaming. That loud, shrieking noise still buzzed inside my ears when I thought about that night. Over and over that screeching sound, like nails on a chalk board to make my hair stand on end.

I shoved the milk back where it belonged and stared at the hands that had choked the last of the life from her. I could feel her weak pulse beneath my thumb still and her blood splattered on my skin, thick and warm, a pattern to decorate an eternity of guilt.

Shuddering, I made my way back to the bedroom and was soon wrapped in the cocoon of blankets, heavy eyes closing.

With a startled jerk I looked up to see her standing in the doorway, staring at me, anger in her eyes. “How could you?” she asked, her voice tight, her throat raw from her screams. “Your own sister, how could you?”

I didn’t answer and, without an echo, she gently faded through the doorway and into the shadows, as if she were a piece of the night…

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