Some Secrets You Just Don't Want to Know...

Hello, all!

Please enjoy a sneak peek at my new, PREMIERE, psychological thriller and short story, Split. This dark and twisted tale can only be found in the box set, The Edge of Madness presented by Paper Gold Publishing (contains 15 Thrillers and Horror novels and novellas). You can grab yours on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Kobo.



And now....the prologue...



SPLiT

by

Michele E. Gwynn


Disclaimer

This story is a work of fiction. All characters, settings, and situations are products of the author’s imagination and in no way are representative of or related to real persons. This book is the exclusive property of the author who holds all rights to it, and cannot be shared, copied, offered by any site for free in any form without the express permission of the author. Any attempt to pirate this book will be taken seriously, and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Copyright violations are serious charges carrying a punishment ranging from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed. Infringer pays for all attorneys’ fees and court costs. The Court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts. The Court can impound the illegal works. The infringer can go to jail. Please respect the author’s work.

Some Secrets You Don’t Want to Know…

There was something wet under my right hand. I looked down. Whatever it was looked dark, but I couldn’t see it. I hadn't turned on the light. I reached for the switch and flipped it on. It was blood...and mud and grass. It was still fresh! I immediately washed my hands with soap. When I looked back down, there was only a smidge of it left on the sink. My mouth dropped open. It couldn't be! I ran out of the bathroom, turning off the light as I went. I got out as quickly, and as quietly as I could manage, shaking like I was.
He couldn't be alive! There was no way. He was dead! I must be freaking hallucinating. I needed to calm down. I needed to get a grip. I'd just drive to Starbucks, get my Mochachino and figure this out. It would be okay. I spun my tires on the slick road before they gripped the asphalt, and the car took off. I felt myself falling apart. I needed to pull it together. I’d gone inside his house looking for answers, but I left with more questions, and that goddam, silent house refused to give up its secrets.

"In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost." Dante’s Inferno, Canto I, pg. 11, ~ Dante Alighieri

PROLOGUE

I couldn’t sleep. Tossed and turned until the sheets wrapped around my legs, and put a strangle hold on me like a hungry boa constrictor. The headaches, lately, had been increasing in their intensity, and Tylenol was just not doing the trick anymore. I finally got up and walked, silent as the grave, to the kitchen. I looked out of the kitchen window and stared at the light of the moon shimmering off the surface of the lake about fifty yards away. I thought about the call I'd received earlier that day from Aaron. He wanted to talk.
“What the hell for?” I said.
“I miss you, Jen.”
Like a thousand times before, it seems, I struggled not to fall for that bullshit line. I usually failed, mostly because I missed him, too, although he was a worthless, cheating, abusive piece of crap. But this time, it was different. This time, my heart remained cold as stone, and my mind was clear and sharp. No more hormonal befuddlement. No more sentimentality. Something finally died inside of me, and left this pissed off, empty, bitter shell. And it felt good. In fact, I felt elated since I was no longer a slave to my feelings. Thank God for small miracles, I thought.
He tried to wheedle and whine which didn't work. Then he got royally pissed. Said if he couldn't have me then no one would. I told him to go to hell. He started ranting about how he was coming over, and I had better have changed my mind by the time he got here or else!
Bring it! That's what I said before I hung up. My head began to pound, but I calmly walked through the house like I was in some slow-motion dream. I thought about all the times he humiliated me, hurt me, degraded me, and made me feel like I was worthless. I thought about every affair he had, every poignant insult to my womanhood, every slap, punch, all of it. I’d had enough. It was over. And now, he was threatening me. How dare he threaten me? I would take no more!
I realized, in some far recess of my mind, that I was standing before the closet and holding a Nine West shoebox in my hands. It seemed as if I were remembering doing this, and not actually doing it right then and there. Inside the shoebox was a 9mm automatic handgun that used to belong to my father. He taught me from an early age how to care for, clean, and shoot a gun "For safety" my Dad used to say. I took it out of the box, and let it rest in my palm. It felt reassuring to hold it, and I turned it over several times admiring the lines. It was kind of big for my hand, but I knew this gun well. I always kept it loaded, but with the safety on. Funny, that during the entire time I’d been with Aaron, I never once let him know I had it. In the beginning, I just didn’t think to tell him, and then as time went on, I was afraid he might use it on me. Now, I took the safety off. I walked back out to the living room, sat down in the tan easy chair facing the front door, and waited for what seemed like hours listening to the clock ticking away on the coffee table.
He finally showed up, pissed off, and pounding on my front door. He yelled over and over for me to open up, let him in, and when I didn't, he started kicking it in. It sounded far away to me, and in no way did I feel the least bit alarmed by what should have been very loud noise. I felt quieted by the buzzing of warm bees inside my skull. They buffered all the shouting and the kicking. They calmed me, and separated me from the moment. I waited with a serenity that would have scared anyone who knew me if they’d still been around, and also would have clued them in on my surreal state of mind. Somewhere, in my waking nightmare, I pictured his face. I saw him snarling and spitting words like a rabid animal, and it was not a human face. It was the face of a monster. It was Satan, himself, incarnate. The devil was at my front door.
I slowly raised my right hand, and steadied it with my left. I tilted my head to the side, and aimed about three feet down from the top of the door. He was about six foot-three inches tall so this would put me right at the center of his chest. My heartbeat slowed, my breath held, and my line of sight focused intently on my soon-to-appear target. One beat, (the door cracked). Two beats (the door shattered). Three beats (the monster appeared wearing a white, Frankie Goes to Hollywood t-shirt, ripped jeans, and Doc Martins). An eerie inner silence drowned out the explosion as the bullet flew like a missile straight into his chest. In slow motion, blood, bone, and meat splattered out in a spray that covered the walls, the floor, and some even landed on me. It didn't seem real. The bees kept buzzing on.
The monster’s face changed to that of shock, confusion, and pain, and that monster descended, face-first into my Berber carpet. Down he went, with all my agony, sorrow, anger, and mistreated love - all going down with him. He bounced once when he hit the floor. I sat there watching him as the life left his body, bleeding out into my rug. I saw the light leave his eyes, and felt nothing.
It was an hour before I moved. Throughout that time, the scene replayed itself over and over again like an old VHS cassette that couldn’t move past one snag in the tape. It took another few hours for me to decide to wrap and dump his body in the lake, clean the carpet, walls, and myself, and drive his car back into the city, wipe it clean, and then take a taxi back home. I cleaned the 9mm, and placed it back into its shoebox with the safety on. I drank a hot cup of tea, and then went to bed as if nothing ever happened. But I couldn't sleep. My head hurt. I tossed and turned, and then got up. Now, I looked out on the very calm waters of the lake. Not a single ripple, and it was so very quiet. No bees buzzing around my skull with their fuzzy bodies tickling my brain. I thought about what I needed to do the next day at work, and mentally picked out my wardrobe. I cleaned the kitchen floor until I was exhausted enough to sleep, and then, for extra measure, I took a Xanax that I had left over from a car accident earlier in the year, one I’d rather not think about. I laid down, closed my eyes, and finally, I slept. 

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