This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Monsters are real, and ghost are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.” -Stephen King
One thing that I’m grateful for in life is the sun. Corny as that may sound, it’s true. With every sunrise and sunset it represents a new start. All my anxiety and worries of the day are washed aside once I see the beauty of those sun rays. The light and darkness creates so much delicacy. This sight always gives me hope; hope in this cruel world where nothing is as what it seems.
When I go outside, I see people with these happy facades on but deep down inside I think their hiding their true selves. I fall victim to this. I wear a mask allowing people to think I am happy and satisfied with my life when in reality I am a hollowed shell.
The bright smiles people flash me only makes me realize how sad everyone really is. Everyone has a past, secretes they wish to stay hidden. Some people have a darker past then others but none the less, a dark past is what hides in the shadows of everyone’s past. For example, my demons lurk in my shell of a life. They taunt me everyday knowing the hardships and pain I’ve been through and continue to go through. My shadows know about my mothers infidelity and deceit. They know about the abuse that falls from her mouth every time she sees me.
So yes, if I see something of purity and beauty such as a sunrise or sunset, I’m going to put my hope into it.
No matter what happens, no one can ever strip me of this simple source of hope. My mother and her crude boyfriend Nick constantly try to strip me of this happiness in life and in many ways they have. Yet no matter what, hope is the strongest bond I can feel. Because once I loose hope then I will have nothing left. Sadly, some days I feel my hope in the world is slowly slipping away. At this point in my life, my hope is hanging on by a single thread.
“Close the blinds, it’s to bright in here.” A rough voice says from across the room.
Tearing my gaze away from the purple and orange cascading across the sky; I look over to the figure who had just spoken. A half naked man was staring at me waiting for me to answer. Silently nodding, I reluctantly close the blinds taking one more peak at the sunrise. Once I close the blinds, I hear the man mumble something about me being a crazy bitch.
Ignoring his comment, I see him snuggle back against Lizzy my roommate. Sitting up right on my bed, I try to fall back asleep but it’s no use. Once I’m awake, I can’t fall back asleep.
All to loudly, I hear Lizzy begin to giggle as the man begins to groan as he shifts himself over her. Rolling my eyes, I jump out of my bed and throw on my running attire. In college you hear about the roommates from hell, well I got one named Elizabeth,-or Lizzy that she so elegantly goes by-. She is a stuck up and snobby brat. She’s constantly bringing guys over, a majority of the time she’s drunk and she leaves her stuff everywhere. To say the least, her and I are polar opposites.
Knowing Lizzy wouldn’t be done for awhile, it gave me the perfect time to go on a morning run. For some reason running always make me feel more in sync with reality. I think it’s because I don’t have to focus or worry about anything except making sure my feet pound against the hard ground.
Although I just went on a nine mile run no less than five hours ago my body is excited for another round. The feeling of the sun nipping my face while the sweat rolls off my body somehow gives me a sick source of comfort.
Slipping on my knee and ankle brace, I hear the moans becoming louder. Snapping an elastic band off my wrist, I quickly twist my hair into a sloppy bun and burst out the door. I have yet to put on my shoes but I don’t care, I just had to get out of there. Once I’m out in the dead hallway, I try to calm down my racing breath and heart rate.
Any thoughts of sex or mention of it tend to bring about my anxiety attacks, I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been molested since your were twelve.
Not being in control of a situation is one of my deepest fears. This is why I don’t smoke or drink because I don’t like the lack of control over my mind and body.
Pathetically, my knees begin to buckle underneath me and I slide against the door, my back hitting the dips in the door. Once my butt in planted on the ground, I draw my knees to my chest. My body is shaking and my breathing is erotic and uneven. Clenching my fists and closing my eyes shut, I try to calm myself down.
I don’t know why I’m freaking out. The more I tell myself to calm down the more my body begins to tremble. I feel pathetic and utterly and ultimately alone. A few students walk by but they don’t help, all they do is give me judgmental stares and says hurtful comments. One girl had even mumbled to her friend that I was the crazy, freak from Lincoln County.
I couldn’t help but wonder how she knew who I was. It’s ironic, months ago I was one of the most popular girls in my town, now I am the freak from the small town. This is why I can never earn happiness, the world is to cruel for such a pure and rare emotion.
After focusing on other things, my breathing had finally begin to slow.
Now that my breathing is back to normal, I stand slowly. The door is being used as my crutch as I stretched my now stiff and sore muscles. Convincing myself that the past couple minutes didn’t happen, I slip on my running shoes.
Now ready for my run, I bolt down the stairs. Once I’m out in the humid morning air. I begin to stretch my lengthy body. After my vigorous stretches I am ready to go. I slowly begin to pick up my feet and urge my body forward. Not wanting to pull a muscle I tell myself I’m going to go on a short run. Which means six miles is my maximum but I can’t run any less then two. Deciding to spoil myself, I decide on going five and half mile run today.
As I move my body it begins to feel lighter and lighter as though a burdens of all my dark thoughts have been lifted from my shoulders. My mind begins to clear and I automatically feel relaxed, allowing a few happy memories begins to fill my mind.
A small smile plays across my face as I think about my little brother and father. Only when I’m running does this happiness flood through my soul.
Crossing the street, I pass by a dance studio. Catching a glance in the windows, I see a young girl by herself working on perfecting her pirouette. I remember back when I use to do the same thing. My mom would wake me up at dawn and take me to the studio until I was able to do a triple turn properly. Just thinking about it brings back memories of my dance recitals. The thought of those horrid times force my smile dissipates as I begin to remember the pain those days brought me.
“Mom, I’m hungry.” I whined as she smeared some dark eye-shadow on my eyelids. My stomach was growling loudly and I knew she could hear it.
“Morgan stop moving.” She snaps as she now began putting thick lines of eyeliner on me. “You just ate, so I don’t know why you’re hungry.”
I whine once more as she begins to jerk my head harshly.
“I ate yesterday morning and all I had was a yogurt and a few carrots.” She scoffs taking a sip of her coffee that smells sour and harsh. She is constantly adding a dark amber colored creamer in her coffee. I don’t know why she would use a creamer called Jack. Personally, I think that sounds nasty. Cringing my nose to moms breath, I see daddy walking in. My face brightens to the sight of him. I love when he’s able to see me dance.
“Hi honey.” Mom says as she gives daddy a peck on the cheek. Daddy cringes for a moment from the stench of her breath but doesn’t say anything.
I don’t know why she acts different when he’s around. She is always nice and sweet when he’s around but when it’s just me and her she’s constantly poking at me and saying mean things. Daddy walks past her and kneels before me.
“How are my girls?” He asks as he gives me a kiss on the cheek. I giggle softly.
“Daddy!” I say whipping off his slobber. “You’re going to ruin my make-up and if you do that mom will yell at me.” With this comment mom shoots me a dirty look behinds daddy’s back. Daddy doesn’t think I’m serious and only laughs at my comment.
“Well, we don’t want that to happen now do we! Good luck out there sweet pea.” He gives me one more kiss before leaving.
Once he’s gone, mom walks behind me harshly yanking at my hair as she puts it into a very tight ballerina bun. The force she’s using hurts, but I don’t say anything. My stomach begins to grumble once more.
“Mom, I’m really hungry.” With one more harsh tug on my hair the bun is done. Mom walks in-front of me, eyes narrowed. She pokes me harshly in the side.
“I think skipping a few meals could do you some good, you’re looking a little chubby. You’re tutu shows your fat.” She thrashes hurtful words at me.
My eyes begin to water at her mean comment. I look at my tummy to see it’s completely flat.
“I’m not chubby. I don’t see any fat.” I pout crossing my arms over my chest. No seven year old wants to be told they’re fat by their own mother. My mom only smirk knowing she hurt my feelings. I close my eyes so that no tears would fall and ruin my make-up. “You’re mean.” I say jumping from my chair. The directors comes walking in motioning me to follow her. Before I walk out the door to go on stage, I turn to my mom. “I hate you.” I say breathlessly before fully walking out the door. Once I step on stage I allow a few tears to escape. I don’t understand why my mommy is so mean to me.
My body hitting the ground snaps me out of my daze. A burst of pain rushes through my bad knee and a stinging sensation comes from my palms. Blinking my eyes, I see I ran straight into someone.
“What the hell?” The high pitched voice shouts next to me. Coming back into reality I see a figure with bright red hair laying next to me. Our legs are entwined with one another’s. Removing my body from the person, I see my step-sisters friend Kasey laying next to me. My body goes into some type of shock.
Once Kasey see’s who knocked her down her bright green eyes nearly bug out. “Holy shit, Morgan?” She says slowly as she got up. My breathing is shaky as the air had escaped my lungs from the force I ran into her. “What are you doing here?” She snaps at me. I notice she’s covered in a jelly substance. Looking at the ground around us, I see a couple stray donuts laying in the area surrounding me.
“I go to school here.” I say trying to stand up. A rush of pain comes to me once I try to put weight on my knee. I hiss at the pain.
“Are you kidding me? You go to Truman State?” She says flinging the jelly off her blouse.
At that moment I could only clench my teeth in annoyance and in pain.
“I just told you that! Maybe you should open your ears and listen.” I snap back at her. She huffs as she puts a hand on her hips. She doesn’t look like she’s hurt which is good. I guess I took the harder fall.
“Wow, no need to be a bitch. I’m not the one running people over.” She looks around her and see’s the smashed box of donuts next to her. “Ah, come on dude! I just bought those!” She kicks the box next to me in anger. I roll my eyes at her dramatic juster.
“Look, I’m sorry. I’ll pay you back for the donuts and your shirt.” Kasey sucks in a breath and looks at me. “What?” I ask curiously as I try to stop the bleeding on my palms.
“I-I’ve never heard you say you were sorry.”
Honestly, I didn’t understand her statement. Granted, every time we’ve been near each other I some how almost found myself being smacked my her. I’m not proud to admit it but I was a terrible person last year and some how she must have found herself underneath my wrath. Sighing and mumbling to herself, Kasey walks closer to me as she notices me wincing. Internally I kick myself, I don’t want her to see I’m hurting. I know my happy facade is failing to show right now. “Can you put any weight on your knee?”
My eyes meet hers and I see she looks concerned which confuses me.
“Barely, but I’m fine. I just need to get back to my dorm and prop it up and put some ice on it.” Kasey walks up to me and braces herself underneath my shoulder on the side of my hurt knee. “What are you doing?”
Adjusting herself underneath me, she turns her head towards me, “I’m helping you to my car. I’ll take you back to your dorm.” She begins to usher my body forward but I struggle against her to stop the notion.
“I’m fine. I can do it on my own. I don’t need help getting back.” Kasey ignores me and continues to push me to begin walking.
“Woman, stop being stubborn, we both know you’d never make it back. It’s at least seven miles back to campus.” She says sternly.
I had to blink a couple times as I am to terms with her statement. Damn, maybe my thought down memory lane forced me to forget where and how long I was running.
Coming to the realization she’s right, I allow Kasey to help me. With every step I try to hold back a whimper.
Once I’m in Kasey’s car, a silent awkward tension begins to fill the air around us. Telling her where my dorm was she nearly carries all my weight as we walk up the stairs.
I know it was probably hard for her to do since I’m not light. Once in my dorm, I noticed both Lizzy and the man are gone. I couldn’t be more grateful for her absence.
Looking around the room, I notice my draws are slightly open. I grumble to myself, I know Lizzy must have gone through my draws and borrowed some of my clothes again. That’s another thing I can’t stand about her, she steals my stuff and never returns it. I hadn’t even noticed Kasey placed me on my bed until she had an ice pack outstretched in her hand for me to take. Reluctantly, I take it. I couldn’t understand Kasey’s kindness, I’ve been nothing but cruel to her. Finding myself comfortable, Kasey turns to leave.
“Kasey.” I croak, slowly she turns her body to face me. “Thank you, you could have left me but you didn’t. I owe you.” A wide grin comes across her face.
“Yes you do owe me. Two favors to be exact.” She laughs as though she already knew how I was going to repay her. “But for now rest. I’ll see you around Morgan.” And with this she leaves letting the door softly click shut behind her. Propping my knee up, I couldn’t help but feel something spark deep inside my chest.
Hope, that what is was. Hope that there is still some good in this pathetic world.
Allowing myself to smile, I couldn’t help but remember the terrible memory that had come across my mind. My eyes began to droop as I laid in bed. I know I should get some sleep but every time I do memories of the past haunt me, which is why I always run at night. I don’t sleep, I can’t. The demons of my past are too evil to face. Although I didn’t want to sleep my body had other ideas. My eyes begin to slowly close. I soon find my self surrounded by darkness and the a cold and dark abyss surrounding me.
Bursting through the front door, excitement fills my lungs. I begin to run throughout the house looking for my parents. Both of them should be off by now. Taking two steps at a time, I’m praying that my mom is in her room. Walking up the the door, I hear my mothers voice speaking in a hushed, rash way.
As I’m about to open the door I stop when I hear another voice is about to speak. And I know for a fact that’s not my dad’s voice. I try to slow my breathing so I can hear their conversation.
“Courtney, when are you going to tell him. I love you and I want you to be mine. I don’t know how much longer I can share you with that pathetic excuse of a man.” I gasp and pray I am hearing this conversation in the wrong light. I hear more shuffling before I hear my moms voice speak up.
“Nick watch it. Yes, he’s a poor excuse of a man but he’s still the father of Johnny. As for sharing, don’t worry about that baby. Every time James get’s touchy, I make up some sort of excuse.”
My eyes were watering to my mother response. Did she not think of be as her daughter? Also, She was cheating on dad! How could she do such a thing. I thought their marriage way perfect. But apparently it wasn’t behind closed doors. Alone in my own thoughts, I hadn’t notice my mom thrust the door wide open. A squeal escaped my lips and from the look on her face , she can tell I was eavesdropping.
“Morgan what are you doing?” My throat becomes dry and I can’t stand the sight of her. The stench of alcohol is resonating off of her. This makes my heart break, she had promised dad, Johnny and I that she has been clean for nearly a year. Apparently that’s not the case, Yanking my hair, she throws me inside the room slamming the door shut and locks it. “You better start talking little girl before I get the wooden spoon out.”
I swallow harshly and blink a few times allowing a few tears to fall, “I-I came to tell you the good news. I made the school dance team. I was elected as captain.” I say barely above a whisper. My mom gives me a cheshire smile before stalking towards me. A evil twinkle is hidden in her eyes.
“Good job baby girl. I’m surprised you made it past the first cuts. Hopefully you guys don’t have to do any tumbling because no one would be able to hold you up.” A sour stench filled my senses as I hear a dark laugh come from a dark corner of the room.
“Congratulations Morgan.” The voice says as he stepped out of the shadows. I stumble at the sight of the man.
“Mr-Mr. Frankmos!” I squeal.
My mom was cheating on my father with a gym coach that taught at my school. My stomach began to tighten and I felt the sudden urge to throw up. Pushing past Mr. Frankmos, I thrust the toilet seat up and let everything out.
Hard tears began to rush down my face as I continued to empty my stomach. I don’t understand how she could do this. Does she understand how much pain she’ll put dad through? Feeling a hand wrap around my hair, I closed my eyes as the tears continued to fall. My body was shaking with fear and pain.
“Shh, it’s okay baby.” I noticed this wasn’t my mothers voice but was Mr. Frankmos who was crouching next to me with my hair wrapped around his hand. Slamming my back against the wall, I try to create space between us. As I do so, he yanks some of my hair out. The pain shoots through my skull.
“Don’t-don’t touch me!” I scream kicking him in the shin. He grunts and pulls my leg towards him so that I’m laying underneath him.
The tears wouldn’t stop and my heart began to race so fast I could hear my pulse behind my eyes. My breathing was uneven and I was praying desperately for this to be a dream. Mr. Frankmos caresses my cheek with the back side of his hand, I cringe to his touch. “You’re going to learn to respect me little girl because soon I’ll be your new daddy.” Grinding my teeth, I bring my knee to his crotch and knee him with as much force as I humanly possess. He lets out a howl and grunt before falling off of me. I sprint to my room slamming the door shut. Locking the door, I fall against the door and begin to scream hysterically. Hiccuping from the lack of air in my lungs, I couldn’t control myself. Crawling on my floor, I curl into a ball and allow myself fall asleep. Maybe when I wake up this would have just been a terrible nightmare.
A sudden tug on my soar scalp brings me to sit up quickly. Not fully awake, I don’t notice my mom standing in front of me. My eyes shoot open wide when I notice a chunk of my hair in her hand. A pair of scissors lay on the floor next to her feet. Before I can open my mouth, she covers her hand over my mouth.
“This is warning little girl-,” My moms breathes smelt like alcohol, I was almost drowsy from the stench, “if you tell your father about what you heard, there will be major consequences. This-” she raises my cut hair to my face, “was just a warning. Don’t cross me again.” And with this she let’s go of me harshly. Before she closes the door she gives me an evil smirk. “Just remember Morgan, mommy loves you.”
I thrash in my bed and awaken from my nightmare when my hurt knee hits the ground. Letting out a hiss, I notice I rolled off my bed. Crawling up the edge of my bed, I noticed I’m doused in sweat and my body is trembling. I close my eyes trying to ride myself of the memory. It’s nearly the same nightmare every night. That day plays over and over again in my head reminding me of the devils spawn that I call a mother. Calming myself down, I sit up in my bed and draw my unhurt knee to my chest. This lack of sleep is going to be a death of me but it’s worth it if I can keep these nightmares at bay. Resting my chin on my knee, I wonder if my life will ever change. here…
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 ...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.
Ashley Stryker: So I'm writing this review, keeping in mind that this is a work in progress and it's part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so my "deeper" critiques will be saved until it's all finished up.+ Chapter One: A stewardess would not talk to anyone quite like that, particularly a clear minor...
MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
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...
Alex Rushmer: Although I don't know the story of the Phantom of the Opera, I really enjoyed this story. The writing was very evocative, and it really put a picture of time and setting in my mind. The voice of the story really added to the character development. The idea of the time travelling -- or whatever re...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."