This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The basal iron taste of blood in my mouth wasn’t new. But this time it wasn’t mine.
I sat on his chest. Lungs burning. Head ringing. Covered in his blood. It was everywhere. It was even dripping off my ears in gooey strings. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I should have been appalled. Crying, shouting in pain. Whaling even.I should have been in shock. I thought that maybe I still was. But I wasn’t. I felt some pain of course. Who wouldn’t after being kicked with steel toed shoes a few dozen times? But that didn’t matter to me right then. It wasn’t what was on my mind. Something bothered me, but it wasn’t any of my actions. I searched for the correct emotion. The right way I should be feeling, but it just wasn’t there. I didn’t feel any guilt. No remorse for what I had just done. That was only a strange feeling that persisted. It was the only real thing that could reach me in that moment. And then it came. As I stared at the bubbles coming from what was left of his oozing face, I felt mine slowly pull tight. They’re was another feeling cascading over me like the blood that had saturated me. At first I didn’t understand what it was. Maybe I didn’t want to understand. I searched myself to define it. I thought of all my young experiences. It wasn’t bitter like defeat. It wasn’t embarrassing like rejection. It wasn’t lonely like neglect. It was new.
I shifted my eyes from the diminishing bubbles to the smooth river stone in my hand. It was the closest object at the time. The easiest thing to grab when on the ground in the fetal position. It all happened quickly. I struck his ankle. He struck the ground, then I struck his face. Then I did it again. And again. Until it was no longer a face.
And then the bubbles stopped.
I should have been terrified. I should have panicked. But I didn’t. I felt different. Not normal. What I felt wasn’t exactly calm, but something better. Something I hadn’t known in a long time. My breathing slowed. My eyes focused. I stood up. I wasn’t shaking. I wasn’t trembling anymore.
I looked around. We were still under the bridge. The wash way water was still. In the distance I could here children playing. Much unlike what was happening here. There were no sounds here. I had a habit of not screaming when hit. And by some chance my attacker didn’t draw any unwanted attention by shouting his threats. I waited for two minutes for some adult to come by and call the police, but no one ever showed up. I wasn’t going to call an ambulance. Not for the bully. He deserved anything that came back to him. But I did realize that I couldn’t walk home covered in blood either. I had to do something about what had happened. Walked into the wash. I let it slowly rinse me. After ten minutes I scrubbed what it couldn’t take away and dunked myself. I sat down near the water’s edge and waited.
Five minutes passed until I heard something else. It was an ambulance. Crashing down the street with its lights and sirens. It was coming towards me. It started out faint and grew loud by the time it reached the bridge. And then it stopped. Right as it screeched to a halt I could suddenly hear more sounds. They became clearer as I listened to the shouting instead of my heart beating. There were people screaming and crying. I could see the lights bouncing off the water. I could hear a large commotion now. The emergency workers were running. Their feet stomping, pounding as they made there way to the center of the bridge.
They were above me. Everyone was above me.
Suddenly the screaming stopped. I could see the lights pull away. The sounds of dozens of people began to shuffle and disperse. And then the sounds faded away. I was left alone with my heart beating. Ten minutes. Thirty. By the hour my clothes were dry and the blood that had stopped bubbling was now turning black. I stood and walked out of the shadow of the bridge. I got a mile before I climbed back up to the main street. I turned right onto my block and arrived at the base of the stairs to my apartment building. The sun was setting. The colors burned from the sky. The warm air blew cold for the first time since winter. I walked to my door and looked down. The river stone was still in my hand.
I smiled and finally realized what I was feeling. The long forgotten emotion swelled from within as a few tears washed down my cheeks. The pain was finally gone.There was only a sensation of satisfaction in its place.
Alex Rushmer: I really love your writing style in this story. Usually the whole narration from a journal sort of thing doesn't work for me, but you really pull it off here. I like the main character's blatant way of putting things. I think that it lends a lot to his character and to the story. You tell it like...
Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Karissa, author of Elements Of Engagement, an otherwise dark and twisted tale of love and workplace intrigue, very 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to be sure, her writing style being very graphic ad otherwise sexually-charged, hence the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' reference, and as for her use of g...
pikagirl311: Katie Masters has definite skill when it comes to plot work and characters. The story is well-paced and pulls you along with the tide, keeping you hooked until the very end. The only reason I did not give it five stars across the board is due to a few minor quibbles with misspellings and such lik...
CornflowerBlues: I'm liking everything about this story so far: the brazen detective, the way he gave in to temptation, the temptation (<3!!), and the unexpectedly complex backdrop of his job and the case he's working. The story is well written, and despite its erotica tag, has an intriguing detective story and a...
: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...
Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.
Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...
Jacquie Walker: This is one of the best books I have had the pleasure to read. Claudio has created a very "real" world brought alive as his words paint a rich tapestry of the lives of his characters and the world they live in as they journey toward their destiny.I recommend this to all who love this genre.... it...
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."