Today’s Brew: More pumpkin spice.
Giant Tales Beyond the Mystic Doors is now available. Why do you care, you ask? Because four of my short stories are featured in this anthology! Stay tuned for more information about how to get this anthology on your hot little kindle or other e-reading device.
Here is a sneak peak of one of my stories, Broken, which won the August monthly group competition. Enjoy!
They did it. They finally killed me. I lay in a puddle of my own blood, vomit, urine, as well as whatever else they left on me. The floor they left me on was hard and cold.
No, death couldn’t hurt this much.
I struggled for breath. My heart, while still beating desperately, slowed from exhaustion in my chest.
“Dude, we’ve got to get her out of here.” The voice had to be in the room, but it was muffled like it was traveling through cotton. How many people were here?
Gingerly, I moved my head from side to side, to prove to myself that I could, as well as to try to access the situation. Clumps of wet sticky hair stuck to my face.
Someone lifted my upper body up from the ground. Electric waves of pain bolted through my body as I was moved. Something had to be broken, or open, or God, I didn’t want to know. My eyes saw nothing.
I leaned against whoever it was who moved me, the person who could have been my attacker. Or one of them. I’d always been the one who never fit in, the one they all made fun of. I’d hoped as we got older, they’d get tired of picking on me. Instead, their attacks worsened. But this was over the top, even for the monsters of Bright Star.
It was too exhausting to sit up on my own. All my energy was needed to fight the bile that was rising in my raw, dry throat. It was a battle I lost before I slipped into blackness.
The next time I woke, it was damp again, but a different kind of damp. This one smelled fresh and clean. My eyelids broke through crust that had formed over them, and this time, I could see. I was lying in the grass in the front lawn of my aunt’s house. My aunt who had taken me in once my mother was killed, mostly for the money she got from the state. The small town of Bright Star always thought my mama was a trashy whore. She suffered a tragic, early death. After today, they seemed determined to make sure I followed in her footsteps.
The front door was just steps away. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to crawl to it. I knew it would be locked, as everyone was probably still sleeping. No one would come open it for me. My aunt and uncle would say it was my own fault for staying out so late. Like I had a choice. My cousins simply wouldn’t care. I felt around my body, hoping that my purse had made it back with me. I never called this place home. No such luck.
My locket, the only thing I left from my mother, engraved in silver with an ornate J, still hung from my neck. I looked skyward at the pastel clouds and said a silent thank you to whoever might be listening.
A breeze passed over my broken body, cool but refreshing. I struggled for what seemed like hours to prop myself up on all fours, I had to at least try the door. If I could just get to bed, maybe I could wake up like normal and this would have been a nightmare. After a few paces forward, I fell, spent. I was just going to have to wait. For what, I didn’t know.
In the distance, I heard the pounding of footsteps in rhythm, coming closer. My heart raced. I couldn’t remember how this ordeal started. What if the people who did this to me where coming back? What else could they do? I held my breath and squeezed my eyes shut, hoping somehow that would make me invisible as I waited for them to pass.
“Miss! Miss! Can you hear me, Miss?” An unfamiliar yet concerned voice was close to my ear. Opening my eyes, I could see that she was a middle aged woman, out for a morning jog. “Nancy, call 911. This girl needs help.”
The ladies assured me that help was on its way. I prayed they were right. Maybe now something would be done about what people had done to me. I always knew life had to be better than this, and maybe somehow, this was the first awful step in getting away from here.