Published by audenjohnson on

Moral was a curse used only against those you wanted disgraced or dead. Decency, honesty and loyalty were words Jade Mitchell’s parents planted into her soul and words this world spat on while crushing them under their feet.

The street’s chaos put steel in her spine. Jade turned on her tunnel vision and walked with her head up. Those with a sense of dignity were gone. Temptation held their hands in its fervent grip and led them into iniquity. It offered Jade its hand but her parents stood in front of her, tall and unmovable, and smacked it away again and again. Sometimes it was hard not to hate them. 

Jade slowed her heated pace and frowned as her messenger bag sang and vibrated. A warmth attached itself to each vibration and seeped through bag and jeans to spread across her body. Such a glorious feeling it was. It felt better than those nights she sat listening to her parents’ stories of a beautiful world where goodness was rewarded. Never had anything made her feel so comfortable inside and out. 
She stopped and leaned on a store wall. People tormented her, treated her like filth, said things that made her want to wash her ears in acid but, if she could come home to this warmth every day, it would all be worth it. The vibration. The song stopped.  
Jade felt around inside her bag and brushed an object so amiable she jerked back and knocked her elbow against the brick wall. She stared at the infected hand never imagining such a peaceful feeling existed and that it would come from a normal cell phone. She pulled it out and gripped it as the beautiful feeling waned.
Before Jade could do more than stare in awe at this remarkable object, someone snatched it from her. A roar rose from her depths where the fervor still lingered. She raced after him. She needed to find out why the warmth came from an inanimate object and how she could make it stay forever. The thief turned wide down an alley-like street and crashed into the opposite wall. Jade was able to grab his collar and take him down hard. He recovered faster than expected. With remarkable agility, he stood and jumped from her reach.
He lifted the phone in the air and sneered, “Since it’s that important to you.”
He slammed her phone to the ground. It shattered. The warmth within died.

“Noxious cretin!” Jade lunged at him.   
The force of her weight sent him backwards. She straddled his chest and beat her fists and her frustrations into his face. No one would care what she did to him. In his now bloody face she saw everything this world represented and everything she couldn’t have. She punched harder. No one would care and people were supposed to care.   
He wore a wedding ring. He had a wife, maybe even children but people didn’t hold to such commitments. They married because it had become ingrained in them to do so but no one honored it and they should. What her parents had was beautiful. She wished for something like that but, because of people like him, she couldn’t have it. 
Jade had to be stronger than most. One punch was enough to break his skull. He stopped moving but still she punched. She screamed and cried. With all the strength and emotions in her, she beat his head until she was hitting concrete. And even then she kept punching. 
Because she was a good person, people ignored her. No one wanted to be around her and her morals. No one said her name with any sort of affection. The only two people who loved her died five years ago. She had to physically fight her own family to bury her parents’ mutilated bodies. Her aunt had wanted to tie a rock to their ankles and drop them into the river. She deserved to feel the warmth the phone had radiated every day.
Her fingers were broken, so were both wrists. She stopped. Her muscles ached. She looked at the dead body and spat on it. She should regret killing this man but she didn’t. He had killed her dream, it was only fitting she’d end his life. So why did her hands shake? Why did her heart beat as though trying to liberate itself from its demented master? Why did her parents look at her in disappointment?
She crawled away from the body and leaned against the wall. She wanted to vomit and rid herself of this feeling but she was empty. She stared at the phone’s carcass and remembered the peace she’d never felt before and would never feel again. He had deserved to die for taking that from her but she couldn’t stop shaking. Never had she acted to violently without being thoroughly provoked and even then, she never killed anyone. But he had deserved it. She sank to the ground and buried her head in her knees. He had deserved it.
Jade looked up when she no longer heard cars or people; when she no longer felt the wall or the ground. Nothing existed except darkness. She didn’t know how she’d been transported to this black place but she didn’t care. The glorious feeling was here, it was the darkness. She stood and lifted her arms, trying to hug this place close to her heart. The darkness was alive. It ran down her arms, over her face, through her hair. It entwined itself in her fingers. There was still hope.
Under this title, I’ve been posting excerpts of my short stories. They’re supposed to serve as a writing sample but the entire blog does that so do I continue posting them? For years now, I’ve been trying to get them into magazines but it hasn’t happened yet (shocker right?). My stories are a bit out of the box. I researched fantasy and horror magazines- buying and reading several issues to get publishing history and found only 1 that published stories remotely close to mine.
I tried, several times, to write “normal” stories but my style always leads me astray. It would be really nice to have my stories published in a magazine but I feel I’d be happy if they only appear in my blog. What I desire more than anything, what I’m focusing on, is getting my novels published. Having my short stories in magazines would be icing. So, I’ll continue to post excerpts for your enjoyment and mine.


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