Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fragile Bones excerpt

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday last weekend. Going into New Year's weekend, here's a little excerpt for you:

“You would've killed me.”
I bit my lip. He said it so easily, but I thought I heard a whisper of guilt or maybe it was my imagination. “I don't want to see any more. I've had my fill of your past.”
“It's not our decision. But I agree. It's getting too dangerous. I'll be looking for you. In my past, after that moment, I constantly looked to the shadows, searching for you. I remember.”
I stood up. Sickness sank into my stomach like a hard knot that refused to pass. Things had gotten too strange. Everything I knew about Michael, everything I'd come to depend upon changed. I'd told him so many times I trusted him, but I couldn't help but wonder if that were completely true. The memory of the devil's face cast a shadow over the light.
“I don't know how I'm going to deal with this,” I admitted.
“I tried to tell you before.”
“I know, but imagination can't conjure the truth of experience.” I pushed through the door. “I can't breathe.”
I scuffed across the church and climbed the stairs to our room. Our room. Our bed. I wanted to puke. How many times had Michael warned me? Yet I didn't want to believe it. Not really. I sat on the edge of the bed and closed my eyes. I opened them again. Behind the darkness, a vision of those glowing eyes and blood, thick and black, dripping. I looked at my hands. The dried blood still on my fingertips seemed to flow down into my palm, pooled there, and continued to climb up my arms. I tried to wipe it off, but it leaped onto my other hand until the sticky gore painted both hands and arms.
It wasn't me.
But it was.
I curled in on myself and fell into the mattress.
One truth made the whole episode worse: I was jealous. Jealous of that pitiful young man in the alley. For a few minutes, he'd felt the raw, savage lust of the unchained monster. I fantasized what it might be like; wanted it more than anything. Michael cleaving away the unwanted parts of me. The part that raged. The part that cowered. The filthy parts, the fragile parts. Maybe then I could stand beside him worthy of that position. I wanted to partake with him.
Though he denied it, I knew that fear haunted him. How could he not be afraid? Years might have distanced him, but the memories lingered. Refreshed anew by our visits to those places. Images uncovered and once more open to the light of day. Questioning oneself is never comfortable. All the 'what ifs' overwhelming any sense of self. Though, I couldn't imagine Michael ever lost himself to such lines of thinking. He resisted.
Laughter boiled up and tangled in my throat; strangled me. It came out in coughing staccato beats.
The shock faded away and left me cold and empty. The murderous impulses threatened to fill that space. I clenched my hands until skin split under my nails. How easy it would be. Willingly enslaved by that singular pleasure. Those eyes, familiar, yet so alien, would forever chase me. I saw what I could become. That same look had probably graced my face when I murdered that man such a short time ago.
Oh, how sweet that power sang along my every nerve.
The warring feelings tore at my insides.
I wanted to feel myself again.
But who was that? The tender victim? The untamed killer? The young man who overcame both those things?
Whatever had fetched me away from my former life believed in me. Michael believed in me. Why couldn't I believe in myself? I was weak. I couldn't master even my simple impulses, how could I hope to conquer those greater things that gripped me?

You can get it here in paperback and for kindle:
or here on Smashwords: (use coupon code NB26F for 53% off.)

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