This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Jim is next to me, holding my hand but the pressure of his skin against mine feels uncomfortable. I want to move away but I know that he’s trying to be there for me and the least I can do is appreciate the effort he’s putting in. After all I’ve done in the past month, I owe him that much. I know what Rory would say if she was still alive, if she wasn’t in the coffin that we’re all standing around.
You can’t ignore the problem forever, Lil.
My grip on Jim’s hand tightens. Sure I can. I can ignore anything for as long as I damn well please. You’re dead for god’s sake; it’s not like you can tell me any different!
Yep, no problem there at all.
Even in my head Rory’s still the sarcastic bitch I’ve always known her to be and, considering the grave I’m standing beside, the thought is surprisingly reassuring. It’s good to know that I’ve still got some part of her with me.
Rory Holland was my best friend and she died before her time. The official story is that she had a severe allergic reaction to a bug bite and the paramedics couldn’t reach her fast enough, not with everything else that was going on (of course, the university was very insistent on the fact that, while she had died on campus, it was so not the establishment’s fault).
I know it’s bull and I know that for two reasons:
Reason no. 1 - saying Rory is allergic to bugs is like saying fish are allergic to water. Whether it’s a puppy or a cockroach, you’ll find her trying to commune with the damn thing (in retrospect, I’m surprised I didn’t cotton on to her abilities earlier).
Reason no. 2 - I know for a fact that she died trying to save a building full of students from a cyclone of scorpions (I’m not being dramatic. I’m pretty sure that’s actually one of the official terms for a group of scorpions, if Google can be relied upon).
It’s almost funny how I never figured it out until then. Rory never spoke to anyone when she was in costume as “The Whisperer”, never even gave press conferences but that’s no excuse. The velvet mask clung to her facial structure so tightly that I can’t believe I never noticed the similarities. I should’ve known. It shouldn’t have taken the scream as her skull was crushed for me to realise the truth.
And yet here we are.
Her parents had to have known, right? But it’s not really the kind of question I feel comfortable asking. Not right now anyways. Not in the middle of my ex-best friend’s funeral.
I try not to crush Jim’s fingers and fail. Badly.
He yanks his hand away. I feel distinctly satisfied and guilty all at once.
“I am not twelve!” I snap.
Jim nods warily, an apology in his eyes that I’m too annoyed to accept right now. For the time being I’ll ignore the hurt look on his face; it’s getting easier for me to pretend that our relationship doesn’t affect me and I know Jim. He’ll probably put my emotional withdrawal down to my best friend dying and all that jazz. He’s not entirely wrong.
“Lil,” he sighs. “We should probably go.”
Most of the others have gone by now. We’re the last people here and part of me knows he’s right.
“Just a little longer.”
Jim shifts uncomfortably by my side.
“Lil, you know I have to be -”
“Go,” I say.
He looks taken aback and I try to soften my voice. It isn’t his fault that I feel like someone’s punched a hole through my chest. She was my best friend. I should’ve known. I should’ve been able to work it out.
“Go,” I repeat. “I want to be alone with her for a while.”
Jim looks from me to the grave, dubiously.
“Are you -”
He stares at me a little longer but eventually seems to see something he agrees with (God knows what) and leaves me alone to grieve.
I sit down on the grass beside the gravestone, reach into my coat pocket and let my fingers drift across crumpled velvet. I don’t quite dare take the mask out into my hands, even though I know that this section of the graveyard is deserted but somehow the smooth fabric comforts me. It’s a stark reminder that, to the Scorpionette, Rory was just another superhero to beat into the ground (or, more specifically, into a fire extinguisher).
I won’t be.
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
Pablo Rojas: Love the story, at the end it is a western story, simple, yet giving hints and pieces of the situation that is happening all over ravencroft´s universe. easy to read and always keeping with the main stream story I want to keep reading about, Olafson´s adventures.
jessiealexandrap: Truly loving the novel, each chapter presents itself greater than the one beforehand. I truly love the novel and give definate question to why it's not published of yet. The novel truly deserves great attention and all should read the beautiful story.
lilreesecup15: I highly enjoyed and would buy it if it were published! This was a fantastic story beginning to end. I loved every bit of it. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a short, thrilling read! I loved the way you could connect with Liszt through her journey. It was hands on and I could visibly see...
brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...
Diana123: Wow! This story is very emotional to begin with. And then it is also exciting, interesting and amazing. There are so many moment and situations in this story that really moved me and made me want to cry (to begin with – the story about little Norm not knowing what a hug is, then the death of his ...
JenniferParks: This story is very progressive. I like the main characters so far ( i am on chapter 5) and i am hoping to read more chapters. The writing, style, plot and everything is so far so good, i can really understand and read the story very well.The story really sticks to its themes and its target audi...
annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...
Isha Chaudhari: Amazing book ...the most beautiful part is the kind of relationship Carla has with Peter. However, the epilogue was the one that surprised me the Most....Carla getting married to Peter....when in the book her relationship is mostly discussed with Ridian.Was a bit confusing thus.Lovable book that ...
Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...