This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
One-hundred and seven years ago, in the middle of the night, without warning, a man brutally murdered his wife in front of his child.
Six months ago, in a town in a different city, a university student set fire to her dorm building, killing seven people.
Four hours ago, in the early afternoon, I broke my girlfriends legs so that she couldn’t run away from me.
She screamed. She cried and swatted and writhed on the ground, staring at her shattered bones in utter disbelief as the man she thought loved her wielded a hammer, trying to kill her. I’d not thought twice before caving in her skull soon after.
I’m a killer, I thought. A harsh and striking statement that flared in my mind as I stared down at her corpse. Thick, crimson blood spread across the carpet, staining it beyond saving. What a shame. It was a nice carpet.
I sat down on the sofa, the fireplace staring back at me accusingly. Above it sat the oval obsidian mirror, a portal of lavish darkness that was filled with light.
I sat there, staring at the mirror, for four hours. Not moving. Not blinking. Breathing only because I had to, not because I wanted to. The phone rang three times in the hours that’d passed; I ignored each call. My mind wasn’t my own anymore. I knew that, I accepted that. I wasn’t Mark Shavonwell, who worked in advertisement and had a beautiful girlfriend with whom he lived with.
I was a man whose wife had been unfaithful to him. Whose wife deserved to feel the pain I’d had to feel when I discovered the dirty affair. I was a man who had been wronged, until that wrong had been righted and balance had been restored.
I was the girl who was battered by words. Teased and belittled and berated and bullied. I was the girl who’d seen the dark in the light, the girl who doused a hallway in alcohol and watched it burn in heavenly fire. I was the girl who the world had beaten, until I had beaten the world.
I was the man whose girlfriend had lied to him. Whose lover had been using him to slowly drain him of his money, until all that was left was a hollow mess. I was the man who was deceived by his love, and I was the man who diminished that deception.
I wasn’t Christopher Raddle, a loving husband and father who worked everyday to supply for his family. I wasn’t Emma Tonkin, a prosperous student with her dream occupation lined up for her. And I wasn’t Mark Shavonwell. I was what they wanted to be. In their heart or hearts, in their blackest souls, I was the temptation they so dearly craved. I was the trigger. The voice. They hadn’t seen themselves when they’d laid eyes on me.
They’d seen someone better.
I was done here now, leaving Mark to bare his blissful sins as I returned to the curved edges of my abode. His fate was now sealed by the starless stars. By the power that’d granted me the gift to help. I watched him stare down at his girlfriend, a lying, vitriolic specimen that would’ve ruined his life. He cried for her. Cried for himself. Cried at the sight of the blood on his hands that wasn’t his blood. At the impossible consideration that he could’ve done such a thing. They always thought they were innocent. But the truth was it was their deepest desires which had been their downfalls. It was their darkest wants, their unobtainable needs.
I was the man who murdered his wife. I was the girl who scorched the innocent. I was the lover who loved a liar.
I was the person they saw when they looked at me.
Each one of them had seen themselves staring back.
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...
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.
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...
gunter1987: I just want to say here that this is my first review, but I really wanted to review this story. I apologize if I don't write English to well, I am French.Reading through the many science fiction stories posted here and other places in the world, I started to see a few linking themes: heavy-hande...
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...
Andria M. Redlin-Author: "For those who play the game: you just lost." These words from "This is Not a Joke" pretty much sum up the plot. The story centers around three drug addicts who are playing the game of addiction, only to discover that it comes with a cost that is much higher than any of them can pay. ...
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."