This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“You’re a loser. Y’know that?”
My back braced the doorframe as I gazed at her. Gwen was fairly bold in glaring across the hallway. She was particularly bold for someone standing there in my unclean shirt and a bundle of clothes clutched in her arms.
“Oh, seriously? You can’t even fake an apology,” she hissed, only adding to her own embarrassment.
I glanced away to see my neighbour enter his apartment awkwardly.
“I’m very sorry, Gwen.”
“You are...” Her sentence run dry in exasperation. She huffed loudly and scurried toward the dirty staircase without another word.
So many of them didn’t understand it. It seemed the younger they were, the less they knew of how this world worked.
I strolled back into my apartment, lightly kicking the door shut behind me. I drew a cigarette from the pack laying across the counter and sauntered into the bedroom, the bright morning light obstructed by withdrawn curtains.
I looked over the ruffled duvet across the floor as I retrieved a lighter from the pocket of my loose pants. A canvas board was set to the side of the bed, depicting the girl, Gwen, who had been laying across the white mattress since early morning.
I seized a long drag, eventually exhaling thick, swirling smoke into the already polluted air. I watched it like I watched my worries drift away from me, my eyes blinking slowly.
Gwen didn’t understand it. I breathed to paint. Water paints, oil, acrylics - whatever I had lying around. My paintbrush was a part of me as any other ligament or tendon. It had been my calling since I could form memories.
My point being I was created to create before I destroy, to deliver this world some art form it would probably never see. And she was merely a part of the process.
I fell back to the bed, sceptically studying over what I had painted of Gwen. Artists tend to find something that particularly speaks to them, something that begs to materialise. My little fixation was to paint the bodies of women. I developed a fondness for the intricacy of each and every detail that it entailed. I had spent a good year and a half doing this. I suppose you could say my taboo interest had grown to be a something more, something deeper emitted into me...
I was in pursuit of something that would inspire me far beyond what these other women had. Gwen wasn’t it. I had realised that on the last stroke of colour. None of them were. I had never experienced the satisfaction I should have in capturing their beautiful forms.
My throat grew numb to breathing through the burning cigarette. I exhaled slowly, watching the smoke leave my parted lips as I leaned back.
It tarnished my thoughts, this hobby of mine. I looked at women in a way I probably shouldn’t look at them. Some caught my eye and I could only imagine if they would be the one to give my art purpose. It’s not that I see naked women as items. There’s always been a difference to me. The girls who agreed to be subjects were forms, figures of an artwork.
I dragged myself to my feet and clutched the painting of Gwen in my hands, staring over it. I had a running collection that this would have to be added to.
As I piled it on top, I tapped the soft filter of the cigarette to the ring across my lower lip. It was rigorous the way my brain obsessed over the finer details. It ate at me when I wasn’t painting, and laughed at me when I was.
I barely flinched to hear an angered knock at the door. I would’ve thought Gwen came to terms with things by now.
As I strolled past the kitchen counter, I flicked the end of the smoke to a cracked ashtray. I inhaled once more, deeply. Too deeply. I coughed lightly as I gripped to the door and yanked it open.
When realising it wasn’t Gwen, I rolled my eyes and shut it behind myself as I stepped out. Ambrosia stood before the apartment, her black dreadlocks hanging over her shoulders. “Leonardo, you missed this morning’s class. This is the last time I’m calling you, you get me?”
“I don’t step outside before twelve.”
“You’re getting a free class in an art school you can’t afford and you tell me you slept it off?” She folded her arms and glowered at me, though barely height of a teenage girl.
“I don’t need to be told what to draw.”
“Oh, that’s what this is. You’re too good for art school.” She nodded along, her eyes falling away from me. “Leo, you better be at the next class or don’t bother showing up ever again. They’ll never let you back in there.”
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 ...
PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...
Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...
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...
tyleroakleyfan: thank you for writing this story I loved it. it was great I enjoyed every minute of it I couldn't stop reading you did a fantastic job. Thanks for killing ron he was starting to piss me off. he was being a dick. I love that you made it a gay love story its about time someone did. love it great job.
Elizabeth Robbins: 4.5 starsAs far as apocalypse stories go, this one took a new direction. I'm glad someone finally addressed the need for a vampire apocalypse! This is sort of a multi-genre festival of delights. With hints of forced societies, vamps, hunters, romance, apocalypse, government conspiracy, and thrill...
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...
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."