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 read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...
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...
Jennifer Sibley Jannise: So, I originally read the book because my daughter asked me to. However, I read it in 2 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written and thought out. If the author writes and publishes any more books, I would definitely read them.
jodie456: I started reading this book because of the great cover. I found out you CAN judge a book by it's cover!This wonderful story is fresh, exciting, and intense. The story was even better than the great cover! Matthew Thrush's characters are so real, you will find yourself missing them when you are fi...
harry142018: 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.
Althea Kerr: This is a tale that is all too familiar to South African readers having lived through a war era on our borders and beyond. It is obviously autobiographical as the mind under duress is so detailed and real. It has fantastic suspense if a bit disjointed - perhaps that is the fear and loneliness com...
Jan Imonti: Loved the story, but didn't like the delivery...had to read this on my computer on line. Wasn't able to download it to my kindle. Excellent story, lots of twists and turns. Fairly quick read. Love the versitility of Mitchell's writing. Keep up with the great mysteries.
shotgundriver: As with all horror fiction, the reader must be able to suspend disbelief to digest this story. Fortunately, the first-person style of the story is so casual, and the protagonist, Ashley, so familiar on many levels, that I found myself sacrificing sleep to stay up and read, as if I was anxiousl...
rachelrainford6: This probably has to be one of the best books I've read on here. I read it quite quickly and I'll have to say the story took a turn towards the end that I did not see coming. The topic discussed in this book such as life really gave me a new insight and I realize that it is taken for granted.