I've been an awful blog host lately...bad, bad, bad girl. Okay, just had a flashback to iZombie. (LOL)
So no process post in the near future, and no pre-made posts either this month because I have been in a battle with my web host. A heated battle in which I must relent and completely redo my website, something I was completely against. So that has been my life the last few weeks, doing a complete website overhaul. Also I have been looking into a few new things and features, but that will come later. For now I feel I should give you guys a treat for being such wonderful followers...all four of you. ;)
Here is Chapter 3 of my current WIP Lineage. If you haven't read the first two chapters I would suggest you do so, or you're not going to know what the hell is going on. You can find those links below, and for those of you who are worried that I'm being so generous, don't worry. This book has 30 plus chapters so there is plenty of story to go.
A JJ Morris Novel
Yellow, orange, and reds ran together as the trees raced by the window, David was driving too fast again. Completely ignoring the speed limit like always. Normally I would nag him to slow down or even flash the look that, that one with one arched brow and slight frowned curved mouth, that said I wasn’t impressed, but after the news about Katie I just didn’t have it in me. I couldn’t even be mad for what he did last night or anything else. It all seemed so pointless and small compared to the bigger picture.
I’m just in shock.
I tried to assure myself but it didn’t feel like shock, or something I could just snap out of and I was trying my best not to show it. It took me nearly an hour to get ready after I hung up with David, our little group was going to be meeting like we always did on Saturdays. Which seemed pointless in the aftermath of Katie’s untimely death. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to try and pretend everything was normal like the rest of them, or to force a smile. Then there was last night.
What was I going to tell them about the stranger and the wolf-thing? Was I going to tell them?
They would believe the animal part, especially after what happened to Katie, but the stranger? It seemed to insane to say out loud. If I told them though they would believe me. That was the kind of trust we had in each other, but I didn’t want them to know. I wanted to keep it myself…for now anyways. So I would go meet them and force a smile, pretend everything was normal in our little town and try not to show just how raddled I was.
Which started with cleaning up my appearance and taming the wild mess that was my long brown hair. I found leafs and sticks stuck among the tangled mess, and my knees were all scrapped up. I had forgotten about falling the night before. Then there was the matter of my clothes.
My shirt was salvageable but my jeans, I never wanted to wear them again seeing as they were so impractical in a foot chase with a wild beast. I tossed them into the trash along with my bloody jacket. I had spent a long while mauling over how the blood had ended up on the sleeve. Thinking over what had happened the night before. My last memories were of crying like a child in the kitchen. I must have passed out at some point. So how did I end up in the living-room?
There was only one conclusion I could come to, that stranger from last night. The blue-eyed man had returned and placed me on the couch. It was the only thing that could have happened and it made a little warm flutter dance in my gut, but then the memory of the blood turned into worry. It had to be his blood, he was wounded.
That made me feel both guilty and sick, but it couldn’t have been too bad if he was able to carry me, could it?
The questions and scenarios twisted over and over in my mind as we drove into town, passing the large old cemetery on the way in. The front half was newer and well kept, but the graveyard stretched for over a mile into the woods. The tombstones grew older the father it went, disappearing into the overgrown grass and dense foliage of the forest that was slowly consuming it. I used to like the old place, it had character like much of the town but now I had to look away.
That is where they will bury her, I thought and memories of my father came back. I couldn’t handle this now or ever. I didn’t want to think about any of it.
“Where are we meeting the others?” I asked David directing my attention on him instead.
Aside from being a charmer David was an attractive guy. Big brown eyes, sweet hometown smile, and wavy rich brown hair. Pair that with his athletic young body I could see why I was the envy of the school and it made me proud. Before we moved to Portstown I didn’t care about dating or even making friends because I knew in a few months that would all change. The whole thing would just start over again, but for some reason this place was different.
I made friends quickly and was welcomed into the school and town. It might have had something to do with my family. The Morris family were decadents of one of the seven families that founded the first settlement of Portstown. Heritage held a lot of weight in this area. My family was like some type of long lost royalty returning home from a grand adventure aboard. With all the pies and tasty goodies that people brought to our door, and all the towns people smiling and waving greetings when we first arrived. I thought they were going to throw us a parade.
“The Kitchen. Where else would we go Joey?” David replied like I had lost my mind.
Maybe I had, nothing felt right this morning and I feared nothing ever would again.
“I don’t know. Just thought it would be going somewhere different for a change.”
I shrugged and went back to looking outside, watching as the old farmhouses and miles of planted fields turned into historical buildings. They were clean and polished making it look like we had just driven back in time, their persevered outer-shell a cover to the modern structure underneath. Portstown was big on maintaining the historical colonial look and I couldn’t say that I disagreed with that. I loved coming to downtown. Once you passed the college everything changed. It was like being locked inside a museum that was alive and breathing out the story of days from long ago, full of people that were proud to be part of this town and its history. I loved living here.
My small family had lived in big cities, small one stop sign towns and everything in between, but Portstown was the perfect middle ground. A small place that was nothing compared to the larger towns that were more like cities only a short drive away. There was no sacrificing the luxuries of a larger populated area, and yet you weren’t suffocated by the modern world either. It was just perfect.
We made our way through town like we usually did passing the library, city hall, and various other important shining landmarks and then it was on to the train bridge. I’m sure it had some name, something that stayed true to the historical tone of the town but I didn’t know it. Everyone called it the train bridge and it was the main way to get from the north side of the town to the south.
For a moment my mind was lost in the magic of the old city, be-spelled by all the simple beauties until we reached the bridge. Yellow crime scene tape littered the entrance onto the bridge while other pieces blew in the early morning breeze, remnants of what had happened last night. Those yellow ribbons reminding me just how close I came to death myself, and thoughts of Katie quickly entered my mind.
It wasn’t that her death sparked some type of emotional response of sadness or loss, people died all the time. It was the way of the world. I had to look at life and death as something that causal because if I thought of it as anything deeper with more meaning, then I would have to acknowledge the depth of my own loss. I wasn’t ready to do that. It wasn’t her being dead that was bothering it, it was more that I could have shared her fate. Our experiences from last night had to be similar only with different outcomes, and the thought of her dyeing in such terror was overwhelming.
It was too much.
To think just yesterday we were both alive. Living without a care, going through our daily routine, and then one of us was just snuffed out in a single violent act. It could have just as easily been me the cops were picking up off the ground instead of Katie. I could have been the one hunted down and killed by a ruthless predator, reduced to such a small existence within seconds.
Seconds? Was that how long it took?
I could imagine how it all happened, pulling on my own horrific night to fill in the blanks.
She was no doubt walking home from the game just like me, taking her usual path over the tracks with the south side of town laid out before her. A typical scene of a small farming town, peaceful and still in the late night. Then, for no reason, it all ended. No more peaceful night. No more still town without any monsters lurking in the dark.
Instead there was pain and fear ending in a brutal messy death. I hope she went quickly. The thought of her last few moments of life being ones of terror and unimaginable agony made me shudder.
“Babe,” David said in a soft sweet tone. “It might be better if you didn’t look.”
I wasn’t really looking. I saw the scene but my brain wasn’t really processing it, too last in thought until now. Now I saw it. The dancing yellow tap and the deep red stains of blood that had soaked into the sidewalk. The tan colored stone that made up the bridge was now tainted with a muddy red, that was all that was left of Katie. Some blood on the ground.
“They should have just closed the bridge until it was cleaned up.”
“You know they can’t do that.” David said back and he was right.
This main road wasn’t only the main street of our little town, but also a well traveled alternative to the highway five miles out. Travelers came through here all the time, it didn’t matter the time of year this road always saw a lot of traffic. To shut a portion down, even for a day would result in congestion all through the area. Instead the remains of Katie’s tragic death would be on display for everyone to see as they passed in and out of our little town.
“Yeah, I know.” I said with a defeat in my voice.
It wasn’t even noon and already I felt exhausted from dealing with all of this. Hanging my head I tried to think of anything else but the stranger, last night, and Katie. It wasn’t working. Those were the only thoughts that seemed to be on my mind.
“Hey,” David said breaking the silence, his hand sliding into mine. “It’ll be okay. We’re going to get something to eat with the group. Then we will all do something fun to distract us.”
I wish his words brought me more comfort than they did, but I still forced a smile. I couldn’t help but at least go along with his attempt to make me feel better. David was being so sweet, which he always was. In fact last night was just strange, David never acted like that before.
After the football game I had waited for him like I always did, only he took so much longer than usual. Once he did emerged from the locker-room David completely ignored me. Walking right by as if I wasn’t even there. I had to chase him and his teammates down just to get their attention. Afterwards he apologized and said very plainly he didn’t have room in the car to take me home, and that the after game team party was more important. Maybe he didn’t say it just like that, but that was how it sounded.
Even though I was pissed I let it slide, and that all seemed to be behind us now. I wondered what he would think if I told about what happened last night? How would he react if he knew I could have died too?
No, I had already decided not to say anything. If I did Marty would be fussing over me, the others would swarm to my house and never leave me with any peace for days. Plus they would want details about the stranger, maybe even force me to talk to the cops. No, that guy said no cops.
Man this was exhausting.
David pulled into the full lot at Patt’s Kitchen Diner, a favorite place among everyone who lived in and around Portstown. The Kitchen, as everyone called it, was one of four local diners but was the most convenient for townsfolk and travelers being right on the main road. Plus the football field was across the street, and this town loved football. Also across from the town hotspot was the main park full of places to picnic, a play area for kids, a few baseball fields, the only bowling ally in town sat in front of all that, and just to the right of the park was both the junior high and high school.
A lot of us liked to call the south side of town the fun zone. It was less historical and far more modern. The newer markets and restaurants were on this side of town, and when anything new was erected it was done here.
“Who is that?” David asked as he navigated the crowed lot.
It looked the same as every Saturday morning, packed full with run down trucks, local police cars, and just about everyone else in town. The same cars in the same places, it was all very predicable which made it easy to pick out the stranger sitting on the black motorcycle. I only gave a half interested glance as we pulled into a spot, travelers were not uncommon in the town, and I was too tired to care. Unmistakable blue eyes caught my attention as I turned away from the stranger on the bike, making my heart thump deep in my chest causing me to snap back around. It was him!