Here’s the next section from the “novel” I wrote one winter in high school. It’s now at the part where it’s getting really mortifying and difficult to post.
“What!?!” Karl exclaimed, shocked.
“Not again,” I breathed.
“What do we do?” Karl asked.
“We just can’t have another burial,” Jill said.
“How did it happen?” I inquired.
“I don’t know,” Justin answered, distraught. “I just went in there and saw him, slumped against the far wall, bleeding. At first I thought he cut himself, so I called his name and asked if he was OK. No answer came, so I moved closer to get a better sense of what was going on. It was then that I noticed his glazed eyes and the small pools of blood surrounding his body. And his skin . . . his skin was disgusting. He died from a knife wound, as Eve did.”
“Oh God,” I whispered. “This can’t be happening again. This must be a joke.”
Justin shook his head, his expression saturnine. “I wish to God I could say it all was just a joke.”
Karl cut in. “So what are we going to do? I sure ain’t going to dig another hole for a friend. It’s just not going to happen.”
“Besides,” I pointed out, looking out the window, “The snow is coming down pretty hard.”
“I guess this proves that the killer was not one of us.” Jill said. “Think about it, there could be someone lurking around the cabin!” Jill was obviously shaken and scared, as was I.
“It could be a suicide,” Justin muttered.
“After all, he did just lose his girl,” Karl added, deep in thought.
“Trust me,” Jill disagreed, “I know Don pretty well, from Eve and all. I don’t think he’s the Romeo type. He liked Eve, a lot, but not enough to die over her.”
“I know I would go insane if I lost my girl,” ¯Karl said at the exact same time as I said, “I can’t believe we’re referring to them in the past tense.”
A morose silence set over us. It seemed no one had anything more to add until Jill spoke quietly. “We’re not safe here.”
“We’re not safe outside of here either,” Justin remarked.
I would have spoken up, really I would have, but my head was pounding. My headache had increased tenfold in the last ten minutes. So had my thirst. They seemed connected in a way, most likely because they had started around the same time, earlier that morning. Both things caused me great pain as well.
In any case I went to the kitchen and I mixed up a pitcher of iced tea mix. I did this quickly and drank three full glasses as soon as I was done. Still my headache and thirst continued, if not intensified.
When I returned to the living room, Jill and Karl were huddled on one side of the room. They were speaking softly, and I couldn’t make out what they were saying. Nor did I wish to. I respected my friend’s privacy.
I sat near Justin, who sat against the opposite wall. He looked like a ball of pure misery. He stared at the ground, his eyes downcast. His hair fell forward, almost reaching the floor. I had to tell someone about how I felt, and there was really no one else, so I said to Justin, “Something’s wrong with me. I have a splitting headache. I feel like I’m dying of thirst and I just drank a ton of iced tea.”
He looked up at me, as if surprised that I was there. But the look in his eyes was not one of surprise. Instead his eyes expressed deep concern. I had never, in all my hours of staring at Justin, seen him like this. He looked so vulnerable. In his face were expressed all the feelings I had been trying to keep hidden, trying not to think about. He was a mixture of fear, melancholy, and above all, grief. It was too much to take. I could keep my emotions hidden no longer, no longer suppress or minimize all the torture and pain I’d been going through. I broke into tears, and let the tears flow unrestrained over my cheeks, soaking the floor beneath me.
The next thing I knew, Justin’s arms circled around me. He held me tight and stroked my hair. “I wish I could tell you everything was OK, and that all would be all right. I really do. I’d do anything if only . . . ” his voice trailed off. All I could do was sob even harder. Still Justin continued to hold me.
As time wore on, my tears finally began to subside. I made no effort to move, being comfortable where I was.
If no one had died, if my head hadn’t felt about to explode, this probably would have been the most blissful, euphoric moment of my natural life. As it was, I did feel some relief from my physical pain and longing for drink.
I began to drift off to sleep, still safe in Justin’s arms. At that point I did not even care if he was a killer, which I sincerely doubted he was.
I wanted to tell him right then that I loved him, I really did. I decided, though, that it could wait until morning. Talking, then, would have been too much of an effort.
My dream was worse than those of the previous night. I dreamt of vampires, swords and black blood. Cold, uncaring eyes stared at me, trying to tempt me into a heartless world. They floated around me, never blinking. I felt famished. I needed food, or maybe blood. Exactly which, I did not know.
I myself was floating in the air, but I was in the middle of two worlds. Brenda was there, trying to drag me to her side, where there lay an unending pool of blackness. On that side there were cries of unfathomable agony. Misery screamed from the depths of the black pool. Brenda stood before dressed in red and black. Her hair was much darker, a sickly maroon color. Her mouth was wide, and a wild, high-pitched, sinister laugh escaped her lips. She did not smile, only looked contemptuous and made herself hysterical with cackles. It was nauseating. She had a threateningly firm grasp on my left arm.
Justin held tight to my other arm. His world was of beauty, where undisturbed, beautiful pastures and meadows stretched for miles, graced with plentiful flowers of all colors and types. The fields stopped only when meeting riveting mountains, a sight to catch the eye of the blind. There was an ocean as well, pristine and calm. The depths were the blue of the night sky. Justin stood in more beauty than ever before, and that is saying a lot. All about him was a glow, as if he were an angel. My knight in shining armor.
Brenda tried to coax me to her side. She pulled hard on my arm with her strong grasp, but Justin was a strong match for her. He gained no ground, but did not let Brenda gain any either. I felt I was being used as a pawn in their game of life and death. They were the opponents playing the game, while I was the playing piece they moved around in order to win.
Brenda told me it would be fun to join her. She promised me delicious food and drink, an offer I could hardly resist. Justin replied by telling me of all the torture and pain that lie in the other world.
Brenda did not deny this. “Yes,” she said. “There is much pain here, but for us it is pleasure. Once you enter, you will feel no pain as you know it.”
“No,” Justin said forcefully. “She lies. All there is, is pain. Listen to me. I am William. I went through this before. I am not willing to live through this again.”
“No, you’re Justin,” I said, confused. He did not answer. He began to sob instead. His grip on me loosened as his body shook.
Brenda took advantage of the situation and pulled me deeper into her world. I could then smell the fumes emanating from the black pool. It was an ambush on my senses, as the scent of rotting corpses and rotten eggs assaulted my nostrils. The cold eyes, floating on an abysmal plain of nothingness and death, swam closer. I saw there was no light in the world.
Brenda could read my thoughts, and whispered, “Yes, Andi. There is no light. You know you have always loved the darkness. You will love it here.”
I began to believe her. Her word held no trace of deceit or trickery. She spoke the truth. I let her pull me farther into her world.
Meanwhile, Justin had regained control over himself. With a final yank, he tried to pull me back into his heavenly place. But Brenda was more determined than she had been before, and therefore her hold on me was more firm. Justin ended up ripping my right arm right out of its socket. Some help he was. I went flying into a huge black puddle. I noticed the place where my arm rightly belonged was also dripping with black blood. Maybe I belonged in Brenda’s world after all.
Maybe so, but I was not happy. Justin had betrayed me. He was supposed to help me. He was my knight in shining armor. I screamed at him. “This was all your fault!” I bellowed. “If it weren’t for your foolishness I could be safe right now!” Justin began to sob again at my words. He looked as though he would dive into the depths of blackness if it would help him win the battle. But I did not care; I was filled with fury.
“No,” Brenda said in response to my accusation of Justin. “You owe it all to me.” She laughed.
“I love you,” Justin said through tears. I looked at him. His words moved me. I then knew he was only trying to help. I wanted to respond, but Brenda quickly pushed me under the water, holding me there. I did not drown, but I cannot say I lived either. The pool was not made of water, but of blood. I was consumed by the blood. I never resurfaced. I saw nothing, felt nothing.
Blackness was all there was.
Another installment of Affinity for Darkness, a novel I wrote in the winter of my junior year of high school. To read from the beginning:
- Affinity for Darkness – Prologue
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter One
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Two
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Three
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Four
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Five
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Six
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Seven
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Eight
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Nine
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Ten