{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
whenisayfriend would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Closed Record

By whenisayfriend

Mystery / Drama

Shell-Shocked

He had never imagined he could be more shell-shocked than he had been after the incident in Afghanistan, the one that brought him home, numb and useless and feeling like a dead thing. After all, he had exhibited all the worst symptoms of trauma then: limping painfully though he had been shot in the shoulder, his mind so messed up that his system could obviously no longer tell one limb from another. Sleep had been his enemy ever since, his treacherous mind replaying heat, sand, gore and death in minute detail, in an unending circle, making him as invalid in mind as he was in body. He had hated every second of this so-called 'life' after the war – and himself more than he could ever have believed possible. It had been hell. Or so he had thought.

He knew better now.

"Say it," his – still useless – therapist insisted.

He kept staring at her, wondering at her complete ignorance of his inner turmoil, and at his apparent masochistic tendencies that made him keep his appointments with her. He really didn't know what had made him come here this time, knowing for sure that she could not help him, nor would he ever give in to her insistently repeated question.

What really had him on edge was exactly this: He knew. What he was doing to himself – or rather not doing – was profoundly stupid, not helping, not getting him anywhere at all.

Then again, it was all so obvious to him that he could not conceive of the others' blindness: Harry, Mrs Hudson, Sarah, Greg, and – Mycroft. And no one else anymore, by the way. His stomach did a painful roll and he moved his thoughts elsewhere. Not now. He was not going down that road now, and surely not here. This again only served to show how utterly ridiculous his behaviour was becoming. This was his goddamned therapist – she, of all people, should know about his pain and heartache – how else could he expect her to help him?

Oh, but this was the sore point: Did he? Want to be helped, that is? He pondered this question for a moment instead of lapsing back into thinking about the others. He moved his gaze from his therapist's expectant face to his own hands, which he should have known was a bad idea. Not good. A deep, suffocating wave of nausea rolled through him, leaving him light-headed and trembling, the crawling sensation filling his chest, radiating out from his stomach to grasp his lungs and heart. The taste of blood was suddenly on his tongue.

"John?"

He did his best to snap out of it but his eyes were glued to his fingers, short nails (bit to the quick, if truth be told) and the scabby cuticles. Of course, he was not seeing any of that now.

"John, stop it!"

The order came harsh and cold, touching on something deeply rooted in his soldier's mind. He raised his eyes abruptly, sitting up straight and gathering his usual air of purposeful detachment around himself like a cloak. He had used it before, this no-nonsense persona of ex-soldier and disillusioned, I've-seen-it-all doctor. He could manage with its help again. The therapist's eyes bored into his.

"You are aware that I know what you're trying to do now, aren't you?" Her voice held no amusement at all and it occurred to John for the first time that maybe he was scaring her a little.

"I should not have come to you again," he mumbled, his first words in the last twenty minutes. His own voice grated on his ears, rusty and – just weird, like something was permanently stuck in his wind-pipe. And he could feel it there, too.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

Shreya Biswas: Finally god...... I was tired of Charissa doubting Frederick's love... yes.. All's well that ends well.... i was getting really downright agitated at the author because the suspense was held really well on how things will work out in the epilogue and i just wanted them to have a happy ending.. An...

emmaneal74: I loved this booked. Would definitely buy it when published and read it again. The story flowed in such a way I just couldn't put it down. I was never confused about the characters or their roles in the story which can happen sometimes with so many lead. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to r...

LeahWrites: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

Jessica: This is a story that I could not stop reading. It is amazing how everything flowed together and what happened in this book is one that I would not have expected. Very talented author and a great read.

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

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 ...

Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

More Recommendations

nikole carr: After starting and stopping several books tonight, this book caught my attention from the very beginning and i stayed up until 6 a.m. to finish reading. The plot has many twists and the sexual scenes keep it interesting, too. im a florida native so the Caribbean location is fun to read about. th...

zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.