I'm going to post the prologue and the first couple chapters from a novel I am in the process of re-writing. I won't be posting anything more than the first couple chapters in the next few weeks, so this won't fall under the serial category of stories. Apologies in advance to those who would want to see more. I may post more in the future if I am happy with the chapters.
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The prologue takes place in two different time periods: a flashback and present-day. My main purpose was to hopefully grab the reader's attention before the present-day story starts, in which the main character must come to terms with a not-so-secret family past.
The prologue is fairly graphic in nature.
by Adrian Dean Miller
Emily couldn't stop watching the snow falling outside. She got as close to the window as she could, peering upwards, trying to spot where it was all coming from. But all she saw was snow and white clouds covering the sky.
She could hear the noises upstairs, but didn't bother to listen to them, instead she turned her attention back to the snow. Her eyes watched as the trees that were already covered, became whiter in colour, and slowly faded into the background of the fields covered in white. The mountains in the distance were hazy and hard to see through the storm that was beginning to gain in strength outside.
The window was cold and beginning to ice up. Being so close to the window, she noticed that her breath was making misty clouds out of her mouth every time she breathed. She giggled, then turned away from the window and headed towards the kitchen.
The noises continued upstairs, and she could hear shouting, but Emily continued on her way, somewhat curious, but knowing she had to do what her mother had told her to do. As she walked into the kitchen, Emily could hear the screaming beginning upstairs in the schoolroom. She quickly closed her eyes and tried to shout out the noises of her friends, the noises of wood splintering, the noises of desks falling over.
Opening her eyes, Emily stood in front of the sink and tried to reach up for the knife that was hanging just off the sink's edge. Standing up on her toes, she wiggled her fingers for the knife that just seemed so far away.
The cold wind outside started to blow, and the chill could be felt flowing across the floor. The trees outside shook slightly, dropping the snow from their already white laden branches, only to be replaced by the fresh snow that was now falling faster and heavier than ever.
Between the screaming and the wind howling, Emily didn't know what was scarier. She stopped and put her hands over her ears, not wanting to hear the screams of her friends upstairs.
"MOMMA!!!!!!!!", she screamed out, hoping that the screaming would stop, but it continued.
Emily grabbed a chair from the table nearby and drug it to the edge of the counter. Heaving herself upon it, she was able to grab the knife, that now seemed almost as big as she was. She looked up a the ceiling briefly before carefully climbing down from the counter, the knife in her hand.
The chair fell over, hitting the floor with almost as much noise as was happening upstairs, as Emily jumped off of it and began to run for the staircase.
Two flights of stairs, just two flights of stairs, she thought to herself as she began to bounce up each stair, one at a time. The screams were getting louder, although fewer, as she made it to the first floor. The schoolroom was just one more floor up, and from here, Emily thought the noise itself would stop her where she stood.
She rounded the landing halfway up to the third floor - the attic- that was when she saw the blood. Putting her hand to her mouth, she cried out, almost dropping the knife. Each step in front of her was dripping - no, pouring - with blood. She could smell it, although she had never smelled anything like that before. A nosebleed she had a couple months ago wasn't even close to what she could smell in that stairwell.
Looking down, she saw that she was standing in a large pool of blood. It was so dark against the wooden floor that for a moment, she just thought that the floor had changed colour and nothing more. But then she moved and heard the wet noise that her feet made with every step. And the floor was slippery, so much that she was horrified that she would fall, and land in it.
Emily started crying, she didn't know what to do.... she heard her friends screaming, the blood was everywhere.... and nearby the lantern in the stairwell was flickering with the wind that was coming up from the downstairs.
"Momma, momma! Oh momma! What's happening????" Emily didn't understand.
She took one step after another, getting closer and closer to the noise. The gunshots.... she had heard them before... once long ago when her father had gone out hunting. Although the noise was way off in the distance then. This time, the noise was just feet in front of her.
The door was right in front of her. The sound of wood shattering and flesh hitting the floor was so loud now, that Emily covered one ear with her hand as she opened the door with the knife in her other hand, trying to hold the knife and the doorknob at the same time.
She screamed when the door flew open and the sight was before her.....
Then she heard the explosion as she felt her chest collapse and her back explode into the poorly lit stairwell. The sudden shock threw her backwards, and she began to fly through the air. Her left arm hit the lantern - she could feel the glass around it break and the flame burn through her blouse, scorching her skin and lighting her clothes on fire. Then she felt her head hit the stairs with a loud crack, and she felt the blood clot her hair as she began to roll backwards, rolling through the blood of her friends, hitting the stairs harder and harder with every tumble. She felt something land on her face; for a very brief moment, she realized that whatever had landed on her had come from inside her.
Her last sight was her mother, the schoolteacher, standing at the top of the stairs, blood all over her long white dress, and a shotgun in her hand.
Emily tried to reach out for her mother, but only found herself rolling and tumbling down the stairs.... rolling....and tumbling....
Burnt flesh. Screaming. Fire.
Something was exploding nearby.
Heat, something was very, very hot... and soft.
Rolling. She was rolling away from the heat. Tumbling.
Screaming. She was screaming. Her eyes opening for a second and saw blue sky, then saw dirt. Blue sky again
briefly, then bushes and
god it hurt.
Fire. Someone was screaming. She was screaming.
She continued to roll down the grassy hill until she hit a tree with her legs and was thrown to the left of the tree and into a patch of bushes that eventually broke her fall.
She heard horns honking, cars screeching to a halt.
Pain, she felt pain.
Looking up, she saw the ground. She looked down and saw bushes above her. She reached out with her hand and grabbed onto the ground, pulling herself away from the branches that had stopped her fall.
Blood was pouring from her face, but that didn't matter. She could only hear her own voice wailing inside her head, but she couldn't figure out why. Then she looked up the hill and saw the burning car. She looked down and saw bones sticking out her legs, which were mangled around the bushes. Her left foot was torn from her leg, and was hanging on by just a thread of flesh where her ankle should have been.
"MOM!!!!!!!!", she screamed out, hoping that the screaming would stop, but it continued.
She saw a body on the ground nearby, engulfed in flames. A hand was reaching out, and that's when she realized that she wasn't the only one screaming.
No, no no nooooononononooonoooo, her mind was burning, her body was hurting, the voices were screaming.
The car was burning, and another car nearby was upside down and still rolling slowly down the hill nearby.
Slowly, she pulled herself up the hill- her legs were pounding, and blood was flowing from her head into her mouth.
She tasted her own blood as she approached her mother, who was now still and burning on the grass.
Screaming, god, she was still screaming. She looked down and couldn't see her foot. Then she realized it wasn't there anymore and that the grass was turning red all around her.
Her mother was dead.
Oh god, she was dead.
The smell of burnt flesh. The car was burning.
She was screaming.
She saw the sky.
Then she saw nothing else.
I'll say it loud here by your grave / those angels can't
ever take my place
somewhere where the the orchids grow / I can't find those church bells
that played when you died - 'Playboy Mommy', Tori Amos