Indie Books Masterlist

#IndieApril was a huge hashtag which encouraged people to buy books from authors who weren’t traditionally published. I put up a post asking authors to drop their links and it was a big list. More than I can read in a month but there are plenty of good ones I would like to. This compiles every book and a short description.

Fantasy

Soul by Dave GF Blackwell – A snowstorm. A body with the cause of death unknown. A bloody crime scene. A missing elderly woman. An unidentified young girl. A young girl found naked and covered in blood at a crime scene harbours a powerful gift and a traumatic past that changes the lives of Marie and her foster daughter in ways they couldn’t imagine. Death is only the beginning. This is the story of Kimimela.

Gold Shadow by L.C. Perry – In the North American continent, eighteen year old Ebony has been living as a slave for as long as she can remember. The underground cities, the tattoo, the scars and the shackles are a part of the only world she has ever known. She knows that in order to survive, she will have to stay strong. And she will stay strong, cursing those in power, until her very last breath. She waits for a meaningful way to die as she quietly pushes her body to its limit…but that all changes when rebels from the surface drop down right in front of her.

Hippocrates and the Hobgoblin: The Child of Murindur by C.S. Colvin – The chaotic confines of the hospital kept Creed occupied, even as he felt something change within. The embattled physician’s dreams were more frequent, and oddities were becoming the norm in an otherwise pedestrian existence. Following a tumultuous turn of events, Creed awakens in another world, one in which he slowly remembers to be his home as the past and present collide. Mürindür has been waiting, and within moments of arriving, he is rescued by his hobgoblin friend, Ojin, as they embark on a perilous journey to protect Creed’s bride and their unborn son, a child of prophecy and purpose.

The Well of Youth by E.J. DawsonGrateful to be leaving the deathbed of his estranged father behind, Andy Morzov wants nothing more than to return to Amphion University to submit his thesis to his mentor Professor Nick Holloran. Instead, he discovers the professor missing – possibly dead – while on a secret mission for the Illisian government.

The Van Helsing Paradox by Evelyn Chartres – a dark fantasy which tells the story of Clara Grey, who is a member of the Tower, a religious order of hunters who work outside the confines of the Church. Witness her rigorous training, how she faces adversity, and fights in the Great War to become the derringer wielding flapper she is.

The Light Conjurer by Rachel Rener – Ever since Aspen (as she calls herself) awoke three years ago in an empty cabin in the middle of the forest, not knowing her name, where she came from, or where she was, she’s been forced to live entirely off the grid. It’s a lonely life she’s grown accustomed to – until now. Suddenly, strange things are beginning to happen all around her: a raging tornado manifests out of nowhere, narrowly saving her from an out-of-control semi-truck; her frigid bath water inexplicably becomes luxuriously hot; without warning, the wood fireplace erupts a plume of white-hot fire straight into her living room.

The Dark Mermaid by Christina Barr – Luna, heir to father’s throne, is banished for saving the life of a human boy. He gives her a choice: kill the boy before she turns of age or be destroyed.

Healer’s Touch by Deb E Howell – Llew has a gift. Her body heals itself from any injury – but at a cost to anyone nearby. Whereas, Jonas is haunted by memories of his loved ones. At his side, the cursed knife that took their lives acts as a cruel reminder of his pain.

Premonition by Rachel KrotecIn a future deeply divided between two magical sects, seventeen-year-old Lilah Crowne prepares for what ought to be a surefire win in the annual competition for warriors—until an unexpected encounter sends her world reeling.

Long Grows the Dark by Catherine Labadie – In the past, a sorceress introduced a queendom’s golden age right before the return of an ancient foe. In the present, Gwendoline fights for free will even if the cost of her choices may be too dear for her to pay.

The Etherea Cycle by Kristina Kelly, Jonathan Fuller – There is a darkness that threatens this world, as it once did long ago. Three distinct realms, one forever shadowed, one drenched in light, and one caught in the grey between, battled for supremacy. To preserve peace, two emissaries from each realm are chosen to partake in an epic quest: the Trials of the Innermost. In the left hand, knowledge. In the right hand, combat. The six Truthseekers must learn to look beyond the birthplace of their companions, or risk failure as they face challenges designed to test their deepest fears.

Chieftess by Delilah Bluette – Leilana never wanted power. She never wanted to rule even if it was always her destiny. Mytis knows that the Gods have decreed his Empire encompass the face of the world and he will do anything to make sure it happens. He never anticipated the assassin he sent to the Eastern Islands would kill the wrong heirs, making an enemy out of three nations now united against the Imperial Mages or that a grieving husband’s revenge could threaten his Kingdom.

First Magyc by Nicole DragonBeck – The ethereal song spilling from behind the door persuades Ria to help the Guardian Cedar Jal escape his prison between worlds. She discovers a land of magyc and music which feels strangely familiar, and gets entangled in the Guardians’ search for the missing pieces of the Amber Torch. This tale starts with Ria, but it’s up to all those who keep the Path – the Guardians, Witches, assassins, and even Death Himself – to save magyc.

Prelude (Borderlands Book 0) – Long trained and battled hardened, this band of heroes must forsake magic and hunt the vile Spawn with deadly determination, simple brutal weapons and obscure advice buried in an ancient book. What starts as another routine sweep soon becomes a battle for survival as they are challenged by horrors powerful beyond record. Now, not even skill, experience and the Captain’s unique family legacy can guarantee the patrol’s survival.

Spirit Horse and the Battles of the Guardians by T. Louise Perry, Tina Perry– All Ella wanted was to graduate high school and leave. Tormented by her alcoholic father and his best friend Jimmy who will stop at nothing to have her.A letter from her aunt Jean asking her to come for the summer was what she thought was a life saver, but instead it turned her life upside down. She meets Chase and falls in love, everything was perfect till she finds out that she’s pregnant. She has no idea that the child she carries is the reincarnation of the powerful Spirit Horse.

The Dawn Warrior by Ginny O. – Warrior and magician, exiled Princess Roxana has spent the beginning of her adult life helping others escape their curses by dealing with the evil magicians that cast them. Now it’s past time that she dealt with her own fateful curse. Nearing twenty-one, the curse will fall whether she wants it to or not. Neither she, nor her only companion, Gorlouis, a fire dragon, can stop it. She needs to find the witch or find her fairy godmother before her birthday.

Bloodlines by William B. Taylor – Alex Tinsdill never thought a simple DNA test would lead to a $250 million inheritance and Cove Point Manor, a massive estate built during the Gilded Age on the Gold Coast of Long Island, New York. Alex’s inheritance doesn’t come without a cost, however, as two greedy relatives soon show up, determined to separate Alex from his new found riches. When the relatives arrive, the spirit of the former owner of Cove Point Manor, who died under mysterious circumstances almost 100 years earlier, awakens.

Twisted Fate by Jessi Elliot – Aurora Marshall is sharp, witty, and always has a plan. Ready to finish her business degree and graduate, her life is going smoothly—until the night she meets Tristan Westbrook. Tristan, the overbearing, gorgeous fae leader, and an admired businessman in the human world, is all kinds of dangerous. While he finds Aurora intriguing, her refusal to bend to his will keeps them locked in a constant power struggle.

Second Skin by M Damon Baker – “In one final attempt to salvage the wreckage of my life, I stepped into a virtual reality chamber, searching for something, anything, that might make me want to live again. But when I emerged inside the virtual world of Second Skin, I immediately discovered that things had gone wrong—terribly wrong. I was suddenly trapped in a strange place where nothing was what it seemed; unable to determine what was real… unsure of anything, including myself.”

Always Gray In Winter by Mark Engels – A distant daughter. A peculiar device. A family lineage full of secrets. When werecat Pawlina Katczynski finally resurfaces, her location previously unknown to anyone close to her, the reunion is short of welcomed. Instead, she finds herself thrust tooth and nail—tooth and claw—into a feud between opposing werecat clans as her family and their enemies reignite a battle that has raged for years. Always Gray in Winter invites the reader to join the feud and see if blood is truly thicker than water

Sham Belly Shack by Ginny Stone – a modern day South African fairytale. The Beetle Boys descend upon the Glen, causing more chaos. Granny Catty is transported to a dark time in her life when she was married to Husband Number Eight and her husky vocals were considered captivating. Trapped in a dingy seamy nightclub, the feisty Cee-Cee-Lia has no option but to do her wicked husband’s bidding.

Concealed Power by Michelle Crow – For centuries, Earth has served as the battleground for a secret war between a reptilian alien species and the clandestine human organisation dedicated to eradicating this extraterrestrial threat. But when a single woman becomes the focal point of this brutal conflict, the fate of the planet alters forever.

Dun an Doras by G. Tarr – People are dying in Ben’s sleepy village. Mysterious deaths are just the start, it looks like the very fabric of the universe is tearing apart. With Ben, Branna, (an apologetic banshee), Ged, (an accidental werewolf) and the right hand of Gaia, do humans even have a chance?

Elysia by C.C. Francis – In the far future, technology is known as magic. That magic preserves a tenuous peace between two countries in the hands of its seemingly immortal inventor, the Sovereign. But Will Darkwood knows nothing about that, he lives a simple life by a lake, spending most of his days dreaming of what things are like beyond the far-off mountains. One morning, Will opens a strange letter with no return address. Inside is the source of the Sovereign’s ancient power. The next thing Will knows, he’s on the run from an infamous assassin. He manifests dangerous abilities he can’t control. He’s a threat to everyone around him.

The Paths That Be by Serena Whynd – Already well-versed in the Law of Attraction, universal energies, and other eastern philosophies, Tali’s life is forever changed when one night she is woken by her deceased grandfather. She finds herself thrown into new levels of reality that are far beyond what she is used to.She meets Jane, who introduces her to her true calling – more than just a quest for self-awareness and personal growth. Tali finds herself undergoing ancient rituals, shape-shifting, and working within her dream state to help souls transition from trauma into their next life.

Nocturnal Blood by Villimey Mist – Anchorage, Alaska. A place where people don’t care if someone goes missing. A place where Leia Walker tries her hardest to hide from the world, wanting a normal life without anxiety and OCD. But Leia’s bubble pops when an old friend is back in town and twists Leia’s reality . A bloody event proves what Leia is scared to learn—Sophie Gardner, her old high school friend and saviour from the bullies, is a vampire.

Green Mist Rising by N.R. Gurney – It all started with the letter. Now years later, when Sarah Salter finds herself in an alternative dimension, she is forced to adapt. She has to make new friends, and learn in order to thrive. Come experience her journey, and her pains, as she takes up a new role as an oracle.

Only Words by Summer Kiska – Shane Ashby is witch with cursed, who needs to defend against a sister she never thought she’d see again. And with the worst timing ever, a desperate, if irritatingly attractive warlock shows up at her door in need of a tutor.

Resurrection: Legend of Sanction by Kanye Sampson – It’s been 14 years since the Great War. The Demon clans have been scattered. The Human Empire seeks to annihilate them. The Brotherhood of Shadows, a band of Demon warriors, seek to return their people to the light, by any means necessary. Two swordsmen form an unlikely alliance.

Empire’s Daughter by Marian Thorpe – In a re-imagined dark-ages Europe, a young woman must choose between her lover and her land, beginning a journey into lands beyond her imagining, into danger and opportunity, and to a deeper understanding of loyalty, sacrifice, & the dimensions of love.

Heavenward by Olga Gibbs – Meet Ariel: a quiet, unnoticeable girl with an incredible gift. She never had an easy or pleasant life, but the arrival of three gorgeous strangers meant her measured life is turned upside down, as she discovers that angels exist. Now against her will, she’s drawn into an ancient celestial conflict, where her powers will decide the fate of humanity.

Over a God’s Dead Body by Joel Spriggs – Loki hates being bound to Seth, the most micromanaging of all the Egyptian Gods. But when their quest to regain Seth’s crown leads to a boring midwest town where nothing happens, Loki discovers a family he never wanted to admit may exist.

Dog! by Mike Robbins – Bazza is an easy-going middle-aged college lecturer with a taste for weed, porn, beer and redheads. When he adopts a rescue dog, he sees nothing odd about the animal. Then a Himalayan monk comes to visit, and senses something strange.

Francis is Alive by Moshood Adebayo – Francis Is Alive portrays the return of the most dangerous man in the world who is thought dead. He is found at the center of world leaders’ debate determining the fate of a World War. A love story, a paranormal haunt, endless games of assassinations and crimes; such is what Francis brings from his death.

Krakbrayn by Torsten Krol – tells the story of Tagg, a young World Trade Center bombing orphan, who wakes up in New York City to find his brain has been hijacked.

Dystopian

The Future King: Logres by M.L. Makworth Praed – Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for.

Romance

The Sinners’ Club by D.W. Plato – In the town of Pleasant, one young man will challenge faith itself for the woman he loves. Gaius Stewart is handsome, smart and charismatic. Elizabeth Anderson is beautiful, selfless and caring. There’s only one problem: he’s a self-proclaimed Pagan, and she’s a devoted member of The Church of Latter Day Saints.

The End of Hatred by Rachel Hefner – Slayer Princess Miranda, heir to the throne, has hated the Vampyres for a thousand years. When a female Vampyre washes up on the shore of her compound’s riverbank, she seizes the moment to take the offensive. Sathan, King of the Vampyres, distraught at his sister’s disappearance and captivity, agrees to travel with Miranda to resect the Blade of Pestilence, also hoping to change his people’s state of endless war.

My Northanger Abbey by Jenni James – Kathryn Morland is determined to escape the hardship of watching her mother’s decline with Alzheimer’s. Her plan is to write a modern version of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. It’s not until Heath Finnegan walks into the bookshop where she works that she realizes how horrible her book is. Well, maybe not the whole book—just the hero.

The Color of God’s Eyes by Christina BarrCharlotte, purchased by Lady Cohen, a widow newly married to a plantation owner in Mississippi, is tasked with taking care of her son, John, not realising that he’s been tasked with observing her for any unique abilities. The two grow secretly in romance, but their future together is threatened when John’s loyalty to his father and the South is called into question.

Glue by D.W. Plato – Dacia thinks she’s escaping a miserable life with her emotionally abusive husband only to get caught up in a world filled with meth and sex. Her out-of- control lifestyle leads her into more than one sexual encounter with a variety of men. A friend with benefits turns into something more. A handsome sex addict’s fantasies take her to the brink of out-of- control passion. And Christopher, a man who is boy-next-door charming, cute and good to her who will do anything to get Dacia to give him a chance.

Coming of Age

What Friends Do by C.E. Shields – If you entrust your identity to your only friend, how do you grow up to be yourself? When self-doubting Debbie meets confident Antoinette in 1980s suburban New Zealand, her adolescent worries seem to be over. But while their connection deepens into adulthood, joy and aspiration increasingly compete with insidious jealousy.

The Light in the Sound by V.G. Anderson – character-driven and often comical story of a spirited young woman, Rachel Richardson, who works in a porn shop in Seattle. Her estranged family lives a thousand miles away, and she has a bunch of wretched friends. Rachel is tired of walking through life half asleep—literally and figuratively because she also suffers from night terrors. Her sense of disconnection from family, work, and friends grows, resulting in her attempting to cut all ties, turn inward, and numb herself emotionally. Ultimately, in the wake of losing everything—yet again—Rachel is forced to discover how many times one person can start over before self-destructing.

Where Do You Go To by Jean Cerfontaine – When the young Marie-Claire wakes up in Rome, she has no idea who she is or how she got there. Her tale of adversity starts in the biting cold, her past unknown and her future uncertain. Our heroine gets adopted from the Marcigliana orphanage by a French diplomat, initiating a journey of self-discovery across post-World War II Europe.

Pitching for Sanity by Mike Reuther – Bill Barrister is riddled with almost crippling anxiety, the kind of nervous condition that prevents him from having any kind of normal life. Once a teenage pitching phenom, he finds temporary calm and comfort from throwing a baseball every day in the backyard of his boyhood home where he lives after spending twenty years in the military. When a free-spirited boyhood friend lures him on a cross-country road trip, Bill is sprung from the malaise of his small town existence and off on a reluctant journey of self-discovery and of his past.

Baseball Dreams, Fishing Magic by Mike Reuther – A baseball player, a fisherman – a young man looking for answers. Perhaps no pursuits stir the passions of dreamers and poets like baseball and fly fishing. For Nick Grimes, a small town kid with big dreams, these two pastimes and sports are more than pursuits of the soul, they are means to an end. Or so he thinks.

True Crime

Notra Dame by Jacqueline Evans – Discover the true story of a woman trying to make sense of a mysterious world. She suppressed what came naturally to her but a pivotal moment in her mid-twenties opened a door. The depth of knowledge that ensued began to snowball, leading her to predict global events and high-profile murder investigations.

Thriller

Lost Girls: A Novel by Caitlyn Grey – At 24-years-old, Felicity Walker’s seemingly average life was anything but that. She had endured enough heartache and life-altering events for one lifetime. With the help of Heather, her best friend, Felicity was able to get a grip on the mental health issues that kept her captive for years. She then found a a missing person poster that wore her name and that day’s date.

Living Nightmare by D.M. Dore – Night after night in the fourth-floor ward of the Mendwell Institute, Tobin Blake awakens screaming from nightmares of gruesome deaths and tortured souls. Therapy isn’t helping, the drugs aren’t helping, and lately the nightmares are getting worse. When a new doctor and his hypnotist colleague arrive promising breakthroughs, most patients are relieved, but Tobin senses something deeper is amiss.Now a stranger is hiding cryptic clues and suspicious newspaper clippings beneath her pillow, and when the nightly visions begin leaving bruises and scars on her waking body, Tobin must fight to retain what’s left of her sanity.

Room 119: The Whitby Trader by T.F. Lince – High-flying trader Dean Harrison has it all – the London penthouse apartment; the fast car; the beautiful wife. But when the threads of Dean’s life start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed.Following the advice of a frail stranger, Dean sets off for Welnetham Hall Hotel and is plunged into the mysterious world of Room 119 – a world where nothing makes sense.

A Haunted Past by April Kennedy – Angie Conaty, has long suffered from a reoccurring nightmare. The same one she’s had since childhood. As an adult the dreams come far less frequently, due to her demanding public relations position, in the Toronto based reality television station, Gottchaon TV. Her boss – an entitled rich manchild – elects Angie to be the assistant director for his new show, Sustainable. Flying her out to British Columbia, where her dreams become hallucinations, and they come vividly, while she is fully lucid, and working with the handsome and rugged Max Murphy, Sustainable’s leading man!

Little Mickey: The Novel by David Matthew Bennett – During a power cut, the Detectives of Oswestry Police Station, finally catch the serial killer, they’ve been hunting for 15 months. He’s clearly unstable, and they’re against the clock to get the answers they so badly need before his solicitor has him committed.

Werewolf Nights by Mari Hamill – Threatened by financial ruin, widowed bakery owner Catherine Mercy leads a solitary life with more interest in reading about werewolf lore than in finding a man. Her now deceased husband kept her trapped in the house claiming that a werewolf might hunt her down. Already in her thirties, Catherine feels ridiculous trying to become an actress, but lands the leading role.

Historical Fiction

The Quest for the Sun God’s Tomb by C.J. Evans – Retired Lieutenant Willie Abrams is enjoying the Cuban sun in 1921. Just him and his friend, retired Sergeant Banesfeld run their bar in peace, while selling a little rum to mainland prohibition USA. There’s also a young girl which Abrams has taken under his wing from the war who helps them out. Then one day when an old girlfriend comes around asking for his help, she unexpectedly gets kidnapped. Abrams is thus sent on an adventure towards a tomb in ways he did not expect, while dealing with prohibition gang politics.

Lucan by Christine Duts – Reclusive Lucan now tells it all. There are no more secrets; and his past is no longer shrouded in mystery. We are introduced to his wife, Althea, and his beloved sister, Claudia. The tragedies that plagued him in mortal life are now out in the open, unleashed from his cross of burden.

Antonius: Son of Rome by Brook Allen – After young Marcus Antonius’s father dies in disgrace, he yearns to restore his family’s honor during the final days of Rome’s dying Republic. Marcus is rugged, handsome, and owns abundant military talent, but upon entering manhood, he falls prey to the excesses of a violent society. His whoring, gambling, and drinking eventually reap dire consequences. Through a series of personal tragedies, Marcus must come into his own through blood, blades, and death.

The Lord Poet by Megan FranksMeet Lord Edmund Troy, a carefree aristocrat and renowned poet in Victorian-era London. Idolized by the masses for his charisma and dashing good looks, he finds himself in the sights of wealthy socialite Agatha and her cousin Catrina.

Sci-Fi

Symbiosis in Seattle: A Novella by Sutherland Staatz, Eric BergWhile walking home from what initially seemed like a routine suicide cleanup, Tammy Metz stumbles upon the aftermath of a bloody assault involving performance art and a syringe. The P.I. Amy Lamb, exhausted from her obsession to solve her missing brother’s cold case and bored with snapping photos of cheating husbands, receives a call about a husband who might be stepping out on himself. And C.J. Crow, a homeless teen that sees blue as often as he sees red. He has answers that everyone desperately needs.

Quarton: The Bridge by Ian Hornett – Fen, a young scavenger surviving in the ruins of London, finds an unusual stone – the quarton, one of the building blocks from the Garial Bridge destroyed 5000 years previously. Its strange pulse pulls her in, forcing her to question not only the past, but her whole purpose in a world with no meaning. She is not the only one. There are others who have been sucked in, all of them with equally confusing pasts, all of them with conflicting motives… and all of them desperate to get their hands on the block.

Star Chaser: The Traveler: Beyond The Outer Rim by Reiter – Z’Gunok Tel Dungias, an enigmatic member of a noble house of Malgovi. Despite representing the newest generation of a truly fascinating race, Dungias lacks the mystic power possessed by his ancestors; the ability to summon IRO energy, and forge the world around them as they see fit. His failings as a Malgovi have left him an outcast, an outsider, and convinced that his destiny lies elsewhere in the universe.

The Starhawk Chronicles by Joseph J. Madden – The year is 2283. Though more than a quarter-century has passed since the end of the last war, the Galactic Confederation is still busy picking up the pieces. Whole sectors of the galaxy remain lawless, rife with corruption and greed. The criminal element has a well-established foothold on these sectors. It is a good time to be a bounty hunter. Jesse Forster and the crew of the STARHAWK are some of the best bounty hunters in the business.

Crystal and Flint by Holly Ash – It’s been 300 years since humans arrived on Neophia and the planet’s intelligent species have yet to agree on how much influence humans and their advanced technology should have on the planet. With the threat of war hanging in the air, Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf races to finish construction of the mega submarine, Journey, in order to calm political tensions on Neophia and cement her already stellar military career.

Pandora’s Box by Nathan Marchand – Cadet Brewer is a military brat living in a “perfect” world. Or so it seems, until the oppressed Camp Countries’ leader, the Overlord, unleashes a deadly virus and changes the balance of power. Consumed by vengeance, Brewer vows to fight the Overlord’s New Order and volunteers to defend the last remaining stockpile of WMDs. But the base is attacked and Brewer, as the only survivor, unwittingly becomes the sole protector of Project: Pandora’s Box.

Child of Humanity by Dr. Alyse N. Steves – “My name was Allyson Owens. It isn’t anymore, but it was back then. I was a daughter. I was a sister. Most importantly, I was supposed to be a friend. By the time I realized that I wasn’t, it was too late. This is the story of how we not only failed those we swore to protect, but how, in our darkest moments, when we fell into shadows that we couldn’t see, we had to be shown the light.”

Ghosts of San Francisco by Mord McGhee – In the year 2185, reality is a terrifyingly ugly place. The only time teenage Rigs feels alive is when she’s breaking heads as a member of Poseidon’s Angels, feared San Francisco biker gang. Rigs has devoted her life to violence and getting ahead in the world within the world’s societal confines—add in technological ghosts haunting the world as digital astral projections capable of all-things including murder.

Action & Adventure

The Melankholia Effect by Ace Layton – The city of Melankholia. A shadowy sub-world, full of monsters and misery. Not everything is terrible, though. People are generally nice, and they’ve recently come in to having their own sun. The new abundance of light, and the plants that followed it, are a nice change from the dark and dreary world that most shades grew up in. Lola recalls the way it used to be. She remembers the endless gray skies, lighter in the day and darker at night but always present. Now they have sunrises and sunsets and stars. Considering what little else has changed, it’s actually kind of nice.

The Unnamed Bears Favor by J. Lyon Laden – Mythical China, 9000 B.C.E. A nameless outcast is summoned by the village priestess to undergo his initiation into the Rik-Sika, a band of hunter-assassins. To earn his place, he must travel with them to the ruins of his people’s stronghold, which sits on a plateau near the roof of the world. On the perilous journey, he encounters restless ghosts, giant man-bears, and the dreaded ogres who rule the mountains. Faced with unimaginable odds, the unnamed discovers his true origins and with it, a powerful secret buried by generations long ago. Armed with dark knowledge, the boy must choose between his life and the fate of his people.

El Dorado and the Amazon by Ruth Elliot-Smith – The allure and power of gold draws Alex Cavanagh, failed international mining magnate, to Colombia to revive his fortunes. He finds a dangerous land of anarchy, uncharted jungle and warring drug barons. With him is Frederica Allsop, newly divorced, emotionally and mentally scarred from a mysterious past but determined to fulfil her life’s ambition to see the Amazon River. Their passionate affair threatens to destroy them both and if it doesn’t, the cocaine cartel will!

Poetry

Devolution by Ami Sanghvi – Based off Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy [and written in old-world verse], it’s about Heaven, Hell, Earth, God, Satan, and human morality.

Lost in Quatrain by Adiela Akoo – A diverse collection of original poems about this curiously crazy experience called life.

The End of the Rainbow by Geetha Krishnan – A book of poems on life, nature and personal experiences.

KidLit

Meet ClaraBelle Blue by Adiba Nelson – one of the most diverse children’s books on the market. Sharing the message of inclusion, and helping children see that regardless of having a disability, all kids want and need the same thing – play and love.

Life in Your World by Anj Cairns – Sketch, a light-infused energy, loves the boy Matt. she watches him from the Core and wishes she could be part of his world.Sent out from the Core for training in the human world of North London, Sketch seizes the opportunity to prove herself, and show Matt how she feels.If she fails to learn what it’s like to be a human, she will be trapped in the outer world forever.

Agent 603: The Teddy Files by Tabitha Bell – Agent 603 embarks on his first adventure as a Teddy Seal secret agent. His mission is to locate the whereabouts of his assigned human’s (Amy’s) leopard. Is her closet that messy? Or is something more sinister lurking in the dark?

Taste of You, Taste of Me by Sarah D’Anne – The saying, “Opposites attract” almost works for this story. Crystal knows what she needs, but does she really want it? She gets the chance to find out when a young man knocks on her door. What will she do when the opportunity to change her life is sitting in her living room?

Rescue the Night by John Stuhl – A delightful story of the young girl Thompson Lee and the mysterious Sandman. Thompson, her sister Lily Conner and their best friend Carly Elise follow the Sandman on adventures into the night sky, where they find fun, mysteries and danger. With their special gifts, and help from unexpected sources, the girls seek answers to the most threatening problem of the night – vanishing dreams.

Non Fiction

Mother of Millennials by Kathryn Mortimer – Mortimer thought she had it all worked out when she became a mother. It turns out she didn’t. Looking back, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion she could have done better. Her big mistake? It’s not easy for her to admit, but the truth is she was blinded by expectation. This book is her attempt to make amends. To say sorry to her daughters for her inadequacies, and to allow them to share their own stories. Harriet talks about her quarter life crisis, and how it helped her escape from unfulfilling work and relationships. While Sally’s honest account of her mental health problems.

Literally Unbelievable by Bronwyn Harris – Harris was a new teacher thrust into a classroom in Oakland, California’s “Killing Zone.” Her teacher preparation classes had not covered making child abuse reports, teaching traumatized children, or keeping a class calm during a lockdown. This book chronicles the ups and downs of the students she taught, as well as the toll this work took on her personally.

O-B*TCH-UARY by Ticia Rani – “Hi, my name is Olivia Carpenter and this is my hair raising, lumpy, bumpy journey. Wanna come? Sure, you do. There’re laughs, fist fights, bra burning parties, nasty drama filled girl snits, baby showers, and death. Let’s not forget that part. Come on, grab a coffee, tea, wine- Oh! Wine, *sigh* Anyway, have a seat and get comfy cuz I have a story to tell.”

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Eternal Damnation Has Never Been So Sexy

Every piece of vampire fiction since 2008 and the emergence of a certain book has caused the same carbon copy of every plot to exist in the same way. A handsome “high school” vampire falls in love with an average sad girl who will later entangle into a love triangle. This is no shade to any authors because this gave my preteen years so much excitement to gush over these stories with my friends. The annoyance of this to me and the apparent number of people who are sick of it could be summed up in one word: consistency. After this has been repeated so many times, overkill is the only word I can think of. By the end of a trend when people jump on the bandwagon it results in repetitiveness and lazy writing.

It also destroyed the idea of monster stories, they’re no longer a homage to terror. Now, if these monsters were not sexy or a romantic interest then they are reduced to a mindless one dimensional villain. So when did monster stories not become scary, when was it better to be the monsters we once feared?

Therefore in preparation to me wanting to write a vampire fiction which I want to read, here are plot devices I wish to no longer see in vampire fiction:

Issue #1: They only attend high school:

Before anyone @s me, I know exactly why they take place in high schools; it is aimed at kids these age however it makes no sense. If you were 100+ there is no way anyone would want to redo high school over and over. The first time was bad enough, I imagine the tenth just gets even more tedious. There’s nothing knew to learn and you are spending time around people who are in a completely different place. They are too much of your junior who have high school problems which you can’t relate to. As someone in my 20’s I find my teenage problems trivial, so someone living for at least a century must find it grating. You are so out of touch and honestly it will make you hate yourself an humanity even more.

I’m not even going to delve into how predatory it is to be involved romantically with someone 90 years your junior, especially when they are not even adults.

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Issue #2: Love overcomes everything with no struggle:

The male vampire in his natural habitat is a soulless cold killing machine but quickly switches to a big cheesy fluff-ball with no development simply with the love of a good woman. Cute, right? WRONG . Let us not forget the endless killing these beings have done and pain they have caused to mostly innocent people but we feel sympathy for them and root for them because they are in love. They are not good people still, there is no guilt and no struggle. This gives two additional points which are wrong with this. Firstly, the time scale, they haven’t known each other for long at all but are willing to risk it all. Secondly, is the ill writing of the woman, who is portrayed as so bland and void of nay personality, an object created purely to with the sole purpose to fall in love with him, which eliminates the anticipation if they are going to be together.

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Issue #3: The absence of any weaknesses:

The general tropes for all vampires have gone and they have quickie solutions as to why they are seemingly indestructible. Some of the older tropes were pretty cheesy, let us not lie to each other, the most iconic and hilarious being garlic or sleeping in a coffin. There’s no reason for this besides aesthetic. but there seems to be no real threat if vampires lived among us because sunlight doesn’t hurt them and holy water is a myth. They aren’t creatures of the night or eternally damned because humanising them is important.

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Issue #4: The sudden appearance of every other mythical creature:

It tends to be predominantly werewolves and then this results in a rivalry between them which often times develops into a frenemy relationship. This isn’t limited to werewolves, there are witches, doppelgangers, and mixes of all of these, the inter-species breeding is something else as well. One can apparently not exist without the other and it often distracts from the main issues. It gets a bit tedious and ineffective having undeveloped characters of different creatures and heavily rely on gang wars for no reason, the overkill is real.

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Issue #5: Immortality is always deemed as a good thing:

I have never been able to relate to this. They always think of immortal life as a goal, they believe in souls and know they are damned but every lead human is fine with this. Immortality would mean watching your loved one die and not seeing them because they will see you do not age. The main characters often times do not have terrible home lives and a loving family but are willing to give it up easily. I am not going into detail about the idea of living forever because it sounds depressing. There will be a point where you are content for it to end. Also the idea of actually living as a vampire doesn’t sound great; no taste of food, having to drink blood, fighting this and then hurting people.

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Issue #6: Family is of the utmost un-importance:

Aside from the person they are going to fall in love with, everyone else in their life is irrelevant. I would get it more if they had a terrible home life, no aspirations and future, which meant vampirism is the best option but that is hardly ever the case. The main characters usually have pretty good home lives and if not they have other things going for them. Family hardly ever makes an impact on their decision and I find that hard to understand and believe.

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Issue #7: BEING SEXY!

They are always the best looking in the room, stand out good looks, models. The talk of the town. Is there a requirement that you have to be a certain level of attractive before you can be turned or does turning make your bone structure reconstruct itself and become automatically thin? They never talk about them being average let alone plain. But seriously if I saw someone pale, translucent almost, and thin, never fluctuating in weight, I would think they were sickly. Especially if people hardly see them eat, or function as a normal person. But hey, sex sells.

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(Of course, I am putting in a gratuitous shower scene as the last image.)

 

Writing Challenge: Day One

Day 1: write a story beginning with once upon a time.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there once was a woman. A very sad woman, who never experienced any happiness. She had no one and nothing. No possessions and no memories to recall. She only remembered sadness but never remembered the reason.
She only lived her life through books. She had no home instead she wandered the land looking for more books to read. The ones that people left behind and were forgotten. She loved old books, when the pages were frayed and had a distinctive smell, it added character. She continued to live through other people’s lost memories. She read about princes and knights and dragons. She read books whenever she could. She always read when she was alone, and she was alone all the time.
If all you ever do is read about happily ever afters, then all you can do is desire one for yourself.

So she broaden her horizons and read about people. Normal people, like her, by standards she was average. So she learned to not be average, not in terms of looks but in the way she was. She was different- her thoughts were deeper than any others and she spoke in a manner which was brutally honest yet beautiful at the same time. She had no consideration of social norms.

One day she left her books aside and went out in search for her own story. She wanted her own beginning and ending, not just another thoughtless empty death but an actual story of her own. She had an epic journey with all the fixes; slaying dragons and climbing the highest mountains.
Eventually, she became strong enough. She had done enough and she created many stories with many friends.

She never was a damsel in distress but she did save her king. She promised him to never to tell anyone how she saved him. He was so vulnerable and so lost, the memory made her laugh but he didn’t see it that way. He always wanted to save her but she never let him. He hated that fact but also deeply loved that about her. She wasn’t the damsel he wanted but she was his queen. She saved him and in a way he also saved her.

As much as she hated the happily ever afters in books, she certainly loved hers.

Books To Love. Forever.

I wanna read a book. I book without vampires. Or werewolves. Or any supernatural reading. I want to read a book that is pure tragic. Tragic because it makes you cry, it makes laugh and it makes you wish that it never ends. A book that ends in tears. A book with a hard, cruel touch of humanity. Because that’s what life is really like. Those are the stories we should read and cherish. Books that are real and sometimes even wish that they aren’t. Books that you can never change but that can change you.

Comment your favourite book below ^_^

Shattered

The girl loved and loved and loved. Only to get crushed. Over and over again. Just because the girl loved, didn’t mean people returned it. The worst thing is when someone you love betrays that love. The girl experienced this more times anyone should in a lifetime. Through all this love, she lost something far more important- her own happiness

So, she stopped. Just like that, she stopped. She had fallen and been broken. Now she was shattered. She couldn’t allow herself to trust, she built walls. Unbreakable walls. She wasn’t happy, she wanted to love she felt nothing and only made her more sad.
The funny thing is is when you stop caring for so long then you don’t have to try, you just can’t. It was harder to care than not to care.

These walls were projections of what went wrong, what she was scared of. These unbreakable walls could be torn by only one person, the very same person who created them.

She loved a boy. This boy was like any other. He loved himself a little bit too much, lived frivolously and thought too much of what others thought. They were young and in love. They shared the experiences young love tend to. He gave her her first kiss and she gave him a reason. They were happy but the boy thought of others before himself.
“She’s nothing special. I don’t know, because she’s not that pretty I thought she would have a bit more substance than the other girls but she proved me wrong. We had a good run.” These were the exact words she heard him say about her. She overheard the boy talking and she knew it was punishment for loving too easily and falling too hard. I don’t question the boys love for her because it could be a facade but he still said it and he lost her.
The worst thing was the girl felt nothing. She wasn’t sad because she didn’t break these walls. Her world was bigger than this but she didn’t allow herself to experience it, or anything. These walls well they were what frightened her even more.

And who is this narrator telling this story? That’s a story in itself.

We met on the train. She was sitting in the corner, looking out the window. In a world of her own, so distant from me or anyone else for that matter.

This amazed me. I asked her “where are you going”. She looked at me, and calmly said, “anywhere”. This just made me smile. “What if I gave you reason to go somewhere?”
“Well it’s got to be a pretty good reason.” She looked down and smiled, she smiled a hurt smile.

I gave her my number, so it was up to her, a decision which would ultimately affected her whole life.

She did call and we spoke long enough to arrange a date.
I remember many dates, the red dress, the skinny jeans and top, the makeup, the hats, the gloves but not scarves, she hated scarves. I remember snow. I remember the seasons changing. I remember the laughs, the tears. I remember the good times and bad times. I remember her slowly breaking the walls down.
We loved, we fell but we didn’t break.

I gave her the best gift that winter. I gave her her happy ending because January 4th that year we stood at the alter.

You see nothing beats your first love. Except one thing and that’s growing old with your true love.

Hope you enjoyed this. Comment below and tell me what you think 😛

I Hate Hollywood

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Hello fellow randoms,
Warning: I’m kind of going to rant.
Hollywood or film makers, whatever, need to come up with new ideas. They need to come up with their own instead of ruining all my favourite best books. Lets all be honest, they practically ruined twilight, the books were great. The only movie that was good was the last one, the rest sucked. Also it started of this whole weird vampire/werewolf obsession and millions of other fantasy rip offs.

Hunger games- ruined. There were them stupid girls making teams for Peeta and Gale. Like wth?! That was done for twilight and mainly done for the actors (ahem Taylor Lautner). No, you ruined hunger games- not as bad as twilight but still.

They are making a city of bones movie. I watched the trailer and was not impressed so I sure hope the movie is better than the trailer. Otherwise they ruined another great book.

Another book I love is divergent, I read that in like a day and I absolutely love it. Guess what?! There is a divergent film- whoop de freaking doo. Don’t ruin it this time. There is already a hype starting and I hate it. People putting themselves into the groups, when it comes out people are probably going to be like “I’m so bad. I’m dauntless- I’m cool”. Well no. I hate hypes, I refuse to be part of them.

Thinking of making Delirium a film as well. Don’t mess up!

I honestly wouldn’t mind as long as they don’t f*ck them up all the time. If you’re going to make them, do it right.

Comment below and tell me what you think. Feel free to disagree too, if you like when books are made into movies or if you think film makers don’t mess it up. I’d love to hear it 🙂 thanks for reading.

Waiting for the Answer

I just sat there. So helpless, so useless. I sat there on the hard blue chairs, surrounded by those spotlessly clean, white walls. I sat there, waiting.

The clock kept ticking and ticking, it’s been an hour. Two hours. Three. Four. I just stopped counting, what exactly was I waiting for? I was trapped by those walls and couldn’t possibly leave. I didn’t want to leave.

I felt like it was just me. Alone.
It wasn’t though, I could hear the machines bleeping, the kids playing, their parents praying. It wasn’t just me. This wasn’t about me anymore, it never was to begin with.

Just a boy who couldn’t love. However boy met girl and they fell in love. It’s like she was waiting for me but now I waited for her. We didn’t get our happy ending yet. I wondered if we ever would.

The way she smiled, I thought while I buried my face buried in my hands. She always seemed so happy but looking back it seemed like I looked through her like everyone else. I was no different.

The night we watched a cheesy movie and we were making fun of it the whole night. She laughed so much and I loved every minute being with her. She was in fact so different.

Then I remembered the afternoon I found her vomiting. She just finished eating. I didn’t realise she how small she had gotten until that moment. That was our biggest argument and our relationship wasn’t the same after that. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love her the same, if anything more. I felt as though she needed me.

The morning I found scars patterned on her arms. She cried, she broke down. They were so deep and she was so fragile. I never would have guessed behind her laughter was screams. Behind her smile was agony.

She promised she would stop but clearly she didn’t. Maybe stopping was a way of saying she would hide it better.
She stopped cutting on obvious places like her arms and instead cut places I didn’t check. I checked every other day and didn’t tell anyone because she promised she would stop and I believed her.

Now I sit here, waiting for answer.
Did I want her to live? She could still harm herself, treat her body badly. She would only be prolonging her pain. In the end it would still catch up with her. Death could’ve been an escape for her. From her life, people- and from me.

However I didn’t want her to die. She could’ve changed. There was nothing to get away from wasn’t the most popular but she had friends, she wasn’t perfect but that didn’t mean people didn’t love her. She could’ve had a happy life, maybe not even with me but with someone. She would’ve had kids. She would have been the mum that is the first to apply for everything, attends all the evenings and meetings. The one that loves with all her heart.

I heard the door open abruptly and took me out of my trail of thought. My head shot up and I got the answer I needed.

This is a subject I feel very passionate about because it affects so many people.
I think it would be interesting to see how everyone else thought it would end. Write the ending 🙂 thanks for reading.

Superheroes

“For me, Superman’s greatest contribution has never been the superhero part: it’s the Clark Kent part – the idea that any of us, in all our ordinariness, can change the world.”
— Brad Meltzer

Magic, radioactive waste, genetically enhanced spiders. Shockingly, this isn’t what made them heroes they could have easily used it for evil. It’s how they used it.
Some weren’t even superheroes they didn’t change their DNA or use magic, they simply had a will to do so. Batman created himself, anyone with a few billion pounds and a will could have done it, superman still had to make himself he had his advantages but the rest was up to him.

These heroes may not exist but it doesn’t mean heroes don’t. It’s not the celebrity who you call a hero, it’s the people who have always been there and there is a moment when you realise how great they are. I think people are born with greatness but its up to them if they live up to it. I have heroes, “normal” people are heroes to me, to someone they may be normal but to me they are not.

I think the great thing about superheroes are maybe to a person they are perfect or close to perfect- this idea that it is completely unattainable is amazing, it’s something to aspire to. You can never quite reach it but if you come close, you would have achieved greatness along the way.
Having powers is an advantage what you do to get there is completely up to you.

The thing is if you could be a hero, would you? You have to think about what’s at stake, the sacrifices and the responsibility. I think it’s like anything- you have to work hard.
I think the superpowers would be so cool (you have to be a weirdo not to think this). What power would you choose?

Patience Invisibility is a virtue. I would like to be invisible, I mean people won’t bug you. The people you don’t like wont have to see you. I think people love attention and need to be seen, I don’t need people’s approval. I think right now I’m kind of invisible. Invisibility would probably be a back up.
I would pick time travel. You could get extra sleep, it could save you from saying something stupid (I say a lot of stupid stuff without realising). Homework, no problem. Ultimately, you would make a difference and its useful, you can help people. I would probably have the name “Kairos” which is time in Greek- I know, not very creative.

What power would you pick and what would you like to be called? Be creative!

Dear “nobody”

Dear “nobody”,

Did you know there were 3 people that led straight to you. They all are things that made me myself.

The first person showed me hope. I remember feeling nothing just numbness, no hope. I didn’t know what to believe but someone changed that in an instant. She told me what she believed and listened to me. She listened to how hurt I was and she was so selfless, this gave me hope. I had something to believe again, this person gave me hope and for this I give her my heart.

I remember loneliness, all alone. I trusted no one and never let them in. And people accepted it. Until finally someone broke down these walls, shattered it into a million pieces. It was so delicate and easy, no tried except for her. This person had courage and willpower, and this was enough.
She made me trust and I gave her the pieces of this wall- the remains of what was gone.

I remember her always being there for me. From when we met to whenever. The years went by too quickly, the wounds took too long too heal, there wasn’t enough time. I remember her always smiling anyway, the ability to always be positive amazed me. All this time we knew eachother and it turned out all along I already gave my years to her.

This was you, all of these people show you and the qualities are what I love about you the most. You made me a better person. You gave me hope, trust and time- and it was everything we needed. You had the courage, ability and belief to do so- and the integrity all the way through.

The truth is this isn’t to nobody, it’s to you and you’re everything. You once believed that you were nothing but I showed you that you weren’t. You’re everything the girl next door, the strong one, the one who doesn’t take other people’s crap.

This is what made me love you and what made our 63 years together amazing. Sure not everyday was great but nothing compared to how I felt about you.
I love you.

The man placed this letter on his wife’s grave. He parted but still with a smile because the memories were enough- for now.

*Do you find this to be a happy story or sad story? Honestly I think it’s happy because they spent all there lives together and even after her death he still loves her.
I’d love for your feedback.
Thanks for reading 😀

Forever

I thought I’d give fiction a try. This is just an idea I had and love for some feedback. Story done by me- and as always, I hope you enjoy.

I looked up at his face. Hard, rugged yet beautiful. His face was soft, his jawline strong and his eyes deep. He had this expression on his face like nothing needed to be said, it was almost like a smile with every part of his body.
He was looking at our hands, palm in palm, our fingers were intwined and his thumb was stroking the ring. 
He saw my eyes flutter open, which made the ends of his lips turn up while looking straight into my eyes. He said one word, the singular word.
It was amazing how that one word had so much reassurance, so much love but at the same time held so many lies.
“Forever”.
That is when everything around me disintegrated, turning into ash.

It wasn’t a nightmare nor a dream. I didn’t wake up gasping for breath, this time, neither did I wake up in a pool of sweat.
This was just a distant memory that I didn’t want to forget. However, it was too painful to remember. Then I remembered a flash, a white hot burst. There was shouting then an arm grabbed me.

When I woke I saw it, the words scrawled on the wall- “nothing lasts forever”. I wasn’t at home, actually in a way I was. I lay  on my old bed in my own room, the one I spent my teenage years on. I remember the tears I cried in the pillow, the smiles I experienced whilst laying on the mattress. There were bad times and good but despite all this, I was happy to get away from it. Not that it was bad, I was just excited with my new life.
Laying on the old bed filled with disappointment. I wanted to be on our bed, laying there with him like nothing mattered but instead I was by myself on a single bed. I stroked my hand looking for the ring but it wasn’t there.

I just sobbed into my pillow like I used to when I was younger. Except it wasn’t anything like those times, because through the confusion and heartache I still had the future to look forward to. Now there was nothing.
I remember when I used to cry I could hear the most mundane things and they would become so comforting. The kettle whistling, the phone ringing or the television playing in the background. It was an odd comfort. Only silence existed now. 
Another flash abruptly came back to me, his face over the colourless surrounding. Ther was still some hope I felt. I remember him coming closer to me but for this reason, he was now further away then ever.

I was just there. Waiting for someone to come, anyone.
I waited for a good few hours, I don’t know what time I woke up but at 10.02 my mum walked in. She was holding a tray. “Hey, honey,” she started. “Breakfast” she said as she put down the tray in front of me. “How you doing?”
I just shrugged my shoulders. I didn’t know what to say or know how to feel.
“Do you still see him?” She asked but just that was enough for me to breakdown. She hugged me but the hard silence just returned.
I fell asleep in her arms but when I woke up she was gone. She always came in to check on me and I loved her for it. She didn’t know what to do but still tried even dad came in to see me. We didn’t talk about because he knew he couldn’t instead he sat there and told me about his day, just little stories.

I scanned the room and saw a figure in the corner of my room saw him. I could spot him right away.
He had the same look in his eyes and his face was soft. He walked over to me and stroked my hair pushing it away from face. “I didn’t want to wake you,” he said. “You just looked so peaceful. I don’t think I told you this before but I love the way you look when you sleep. So at peace, expressionless. It’s just the time when you look the most beautiful”.

He held my gaze and I simply nodded. There was so much I had to say but I couldn’t. Tears formed in my eyes and I couldn’t even fight them back.
He smiled, like he understood but this just made me angry. He didn’t understand. He couldn’t.
“You know I’ve really missed you”.
I haven’t spoken since the last time i saw him but I managed to squeak out, “nothing lasts forever”. He just smiled. I was so angry that I didn’t realise that he started stroking my stomach. “Come on babe, we’re in this together, all of us”.
I said, “I love you despite everything”.
“I love you too, never forget that,” he said, whilst leaning in closer to me.

Not even my delusions were good. That’s a happy thought but what happened before me was different. 

I saw a figure and he walked out. Nothing. No smile or reassurance. He walked over- limp and lifeless. I sat up and hugged my knees, putting my head down. I felt his hand graze my back and when I looked up I realised that even his eyes were different, they were empty. He looked like a completely different person, no longer mine. “Everything has changed you know that?”
Was that supposed to be my reassurance. I didn’t feel sad, instead rage washed over me.
“That’s all you can say? After everything you have done to me. You wanna remind me of every other shit thing happening in my life? Because you don’t have to, I know. I don’t forget but don’t you dare remind me.”
He was no longer expressionless actually he looked hurt. I still loved him and this made me feel even worse.
“Babe, I know you’re upset. I want you to have everything even without me.” This made my eyes sting whilst my vision blurred. I just jumped on him and hugged him.
“I want you to stay”, I cried in his ear, “why do you have to leave again?”
“You know why,” he said, holding me closer to him. “But at least you would always have a part of me with you,” he placed his hand on my stomach.
I cried harder. “No I don’t. I don’t even have you anymore and it’s gone. I didn’t even know the sex, it was nameless. I have nothing. That’s what you left me with”.
“You need to know that if I had a choice I would never leave. I wanna stay with you forever”.
“But that’s just it- nothing lasts forever.”
“You have to know I didn’t leave you. I was taken.”
“Whatever. Just go back.”
I then got another flash- the rest of it. It was just white then the colour started to come back. The flames got bigger and closer, I felt beads of sweat down my forehead. Then I saw him. His hand grabbed me and pulled away from everything- and away from him.
He didn’t leave me but he was still gone. Because of me.
It’s like he could read my mind because at that moment he said “I love you, you know that right?”
I nodded, “I love you too. So much. I’m so sorry”. I was so sick of it- crying but I still did. I cried uncontrollably.
“There’s no need to be. I saved you so you could live your life. That’s really what I want you to do.”
“I can’t live- not without you”.
There was a pause, it was the dark silence again. I wanted to say everything- how much I hated him for doing it. But how much I loved him for it. I didn’t know what to think. A million thoughts surrounded me, wrapped around me like a shell, the shell I have lived in since that day. I had to let it go- just stop.

I almost forget he was there. “Babe, tell me what you’re thinking”.
“Nothing”, I said honestly, “I’m done”.
“I want you to come, but that’s just selfish”.
“I want to come with you”.
“You gotta know what you’re doing. Remember babe I’m-“. I wouldn’t even listen to the last word.
I knew, nothing could change my mind. So he took my hand and pulled me away from this. I left the pain, despair and sadness but I also everything I loved the emotions that made me feel I deserved it, the things that made it worthwhile, I left my parents and loved ones. That was it, no goodbyes just us getting swallowed by the darkness together. Just like that- gone. Forever.

That was the night she died. At 23.58. No one knows what happened, she didn’t commit suicide as far as the police know. No drugs were found in her system.
It’s almost like she died of grief and accepted it.
“Dead” that was the last word he used before it happened and she still accepted it. That was it.