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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yes, I'm doing it. Chapter One of my Novel.

I've accepted that I'm an aspiring novelist even though it will most likely take me years to get my book finished. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll get motivated and actually sit down for long periods of time without sleeping and write a chapter a week or so.

Since there is lots I want to do around my house today and I'm feeling a bit too random to answer a question from my previous post, I'm putting this out there for you guys to read. If you're sensitive, I will warn you that there is profanity, and some pretty graphic violence, but I'd really really enjoy finding out from you guys if anyone would like to read more. The novelists affirmation if you will. So grab a cup of your fave beverage and hopefully enjoy and please, let me know what you think!




CHAPTER ONE – 3:42 A.M.

Most people have no real idea how hard it is to leave nothing behind. The tiniest skin particle sheds and you’re no dice, balls to the wall, about to get screwed royally without even getting dinner and a kiss first.

Some people say there is no such thing as the perfect crime.

I beg to differ.

You just have to be better than they are, better than anyone, and that’s where ego comes in. Sometimes that’s the most dangerous part of this whole thing though. You have to know in your heart you’re good enough to get away with it, but still take the time to attend to every single little detail, no matter how small it may seem. I know how hard it is. I live the life, walk the walk and talk the talk. Yeah, there are other people out there who know how hard it is, and those my friends?

Those are the people I worry about.

The ones we all worry about.



__________________________



Clocks are not my friends. I don’t know, every time I see one, I think about those creepy cat clocks with the big blinking eyes and the tail that swishes from side to side with the tick of every second. My mom bought me one of those for my 7th birthday after I found my first cat. I’d started taking care of her and as cats and rabbits will do, one turned into many. Maybe she thought it was funny, but I remember lying in bed every night scared to death to close my eyes. I’m not sure what I thought would happen but hell I was 7, the imagination of a kid is one of the mysteries of the universe.

I had a few years on me now, but that little girl seven year old girl inside? She wasn’t happy. Especially when those damn red numbers showed 3:42 a.m. The nightmares were all the same, the only thing that changed was the time on the clock when I woke up drenched in sweat to the sound of my own screams. I guess you could say that phobia had come full circle. Some people might argue that I should see it as salvation now, I mean it is usually the first thing I see when I wake up, some omen or something to end the terror that lurks in my subconscious, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not a morning person. That makes a difference I suppose.

I didn’t bother looking in the mirror when I’d made my way to the bathroom, I knew what I’d see and I damn sure don’t have a vanity complex. I knew a long time ago I would never be beautiful. After you come to that realization you can do one of two things. Accept it and live with it or go crazy trying to make yourself into something God never intended you to be. Bet you can guess what I’d decided already.

Showers though, are the antithesis to my clock issues. Little gifts from God, if you believe in God. Personally I’ve never understood how someone who can take a hot shower whenever they want could possibly deny the existence of a higher power. This morning, the water was clear, not tainted with blood like it was sometimes. Lately, it seems like blood is becoming a recurring theme in my life. Mine, not mine, didn’t matter really; it was usually a part of my daily routine. Thankfully, I’m not the one bleeding these days. So far.

Semi-awake, I dressed in a pair of boxers and my favorite VCU sweatshirt, started coffee and sat down with my laptop, waiting for either coffee or Windows whichever came first. This time it was Windows but I was holding out hope for the coffee maker. I skimmed the news to the sound of those blessed little drips of nectar and started making notes. I lose track of time when I’m working and the sun was starting to rise when I’d finished going through the newsfeeds and my email. I’d gone through two pots of coffee, but I had work now. More than I’d expected. I’d make plans for those later. I already had my next job lined up, and all that stood between me and the next death was a couple of states and a plane ticket or two.

Subject: Clayton Benedictine Pellesier. Arrested after eight years and seventeen counts of various atrocities, all involving underage kids, all dismissed due to a justice system that relied too much on the letter of the law. Don’t get me wrong, the law has a purpose, always has. The problems come in when interpretation gets involved. Judges, juries, lawyers, they all play the game. I like to believe that most of the time justice is served and people who destroy lives pay for their crimes, but I’m evidence that it doesn’t always work that way and that’s where I come in. I’m not above the law mind you, I’ve never tried to deceive myself into thinking that. I’m part vigilante, part assassin, and total bitch.

It was time to go to work. Back in the bathroom, I flipped on the light and pulled my little plastic embroidery case from under the sink. Jewelry boxes don’t really work for me, but the little plastic box worked great. I could move the tabs around and create compartments for various pieces of jewelry and keep everything organized. Remember when I said I wasn’t beautiful? That’s true, but people always notice me. Always. I spent the next 43 minutes removing six eyebrow piercings, two little silver hoops I wore in my nose, a cbr in each tragus, two tunnel plugs, a taper, three cartilage piercings and an industrial long enough to qualify as a harpoon, two surface piercings, one beneath each eye, three nape piercings, a septum and bridge piercing and finally the two in my tongue and the two web piercings between my thumb and forefinger.

By the time I was finished I almost didn’t recognize the face in the mirror. Unless you knew what you were looking for, you couldn’t even see where the holes remained. I already missed the metal, I felt vulnerable and naked without it, like a woman without her wedding band. I stuffed the case back under the sink without worrying about retainers. I’d had them all long enough that they’d still be open when I got home and if they weren’t I’d appreciate the pain having them done again. It would remind me that I’d fucked up. It didn’t take long to finish packing and by the time I was clomping down the stairs in my beat up Doc Maartens, anyone who passed me would think my roommate was headed off to work. I didn’t mention a roomie? Well, that’s because I don’t really have one, but the story works since I’m not a very social creature.

I’d exchanged my own burgundy hair with a black wig with thick heavy bangs, and painted my eyes with too much black eyeliner. Skintight black latex pants and a Pink Floyd tee shirt together with a duffle big enough to stow a dead body stuffed full on my back, and I wasn’t Chase anymore. Only one person called out to me as I made my way down the stairs to the lobby of my building and I smiled and waved happily, everything down to the sound of my voice all Tiffany, the goth chick who worked as an elderly companion and sang lead in an industrial band when nighttime rolled around.

Tickets had been purchased weeks ago through an alias, waiting at a PO box under another alias. Twelve hours later, the clothes were changed again, the wig platinum, the heels silver and the skirt way too short and way too tight. The guy though? Just like the rest of them. Some people say women give up the right to change their mind at a particular point in the process. I disagree.

Clayton Pellesier was exactly what I expected. By the time I got to the point where I was ready to do my job, I knew the victim almost as well as I knew myself. There were almost always victims no one knew about. The runaways who were too scared of going back to whatever hell they’d run from to go to the cops, the ones who were terrified of telling their story because telling makes it real, and the ones who simply disappeared and would never tell anyone anything ever again. Clayton had all three. He also had a pattern, so I was pretty sure that tonight was the night he’d show. I was prepared to stay as long as it took, but it’s always nice to get in and out. Tonight I was on target. He showed up at quarter after ten and by ten-thirty he was hooked like a walleye on a drunken fishing trip.

He was so typical it hurt. Jeans too tight, shirt a little too crisp to be anything other than off the rack, hair slicked back, that little pinky ring guys with a complex seemed to like, and way too much cologne. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to punch him before we even left the club. He kissed like a basset hound, all tongue and slobber, and at the risk of sounding cliché, had more hands than an octopus. Before midnight rolled around I was ready to get this over with before I just killed him on the damn dance floor. Our sweet little Clayton was convinced I was a runaway, had left home years before and broken all ties with the family to make it on my own. On my way to New York to get into modeling, or acting, or some other quaint profession that the girls who try for have no actual idea how much work is involved in, I was a sure thing for a predator. No one to come looking for me, no one to care that my radar blip on this big blue marble had gone out.

The hotel I’d picked was only about a mile from the club, but he managed to cop a couple of decent feels given the short period of time involved in the actual ride. We made our way to the room door amidst more drool and necking, and when I put up the token fight, well, things got interesting. I blocked the solid roundhouse punch that would have left a shiner from my eye all the way down to my cheekbone, that punch that the guys who hit must learn in kindergarten. Okay class, all the nasty little boys that will grow up and like to hit women and take advantage of your masculinity, please line up here and we’ll teach you how to knock those bitches around properly. He had no idea how bad things were about to get. Not yet.

I summoned some waterworks and apologized for being nervous, asked if I could go to the bathroom to freshen up. He agreed, so I hobbled my too high heels into the little bathroom and took a few minutes to pull the thin latex gloves out of my bra and pull them on, and ran the water long enough for him to buy my act. The real fight was yet to come, but it didn’t take long. He’d already taken his shirt off and was reaching for me when I pulled the knife I’d stashed under the towels on the back of the toilet from the small of my back and shoved it low and deep into his slightly flabby gut, jerking it up brutally to inflict the maximum damage.

Imagine your friendly neighborhood pedophile’s surprise when my handy dandy pedophile dicing friend made its way into his bowels. I could say the morally right thing to say and tell you I hated this part, but I’d be lying. There are two distinctly separate theories on fate in this case. There’s justice, and there’s vengeance. The justice system had failed all the young boys and girls that Clayton had hurt and killed. Vengeance was mine, and I wasn’t going to fail them again. I enjoyed this – the look on his face, the howl of pain, the surprise that registered when he realized what was happening.

“Well Mr. Pellisier, I think it’s time we had a little heart to heart, don’t you think?”

I pushed him back onto the bed, clutching his abdomen and cursing me with the breath he could drag in through the haze of pain and shock.

“Shhhhh, it’ll hurt less if you just lie still okay? I promise.”

“What the fuck is wrong with you? Call a fucking ambulance bitch!”

“What, and get you all taken care of? No Clayton, I don’t think so.”

I sat down on the side of the bed, and his wide eyes looked at me like he was seeing the angel of death staring him down. Not so far from the truth really.

“You see, you’re not going to be okay Clayton, not at all. Belly wounds are bad news unfortunately, all kinds of pieces and parts in there and I bet you’d be surprised to learn that visceral wounds to the abdomen often perforate the small intestine or colon, and that my friend? Well, that’s the leading cause of death in stab wounds. You’re not leaving this room you little fucker.”

He’d started struggling by then, so I carefully, depending on how you interpret the word, subdued him with the base of the bedside lamp. Blessed peace and silence ensued. Not much to do after that really, an injection of Benadryl to keep him docile, duct tape to keep him quiet and some cheap handcuffs to keep him nice and still, and I was waiting for him to come to so we could have our little talk. A couple of pats on the cheek and he was opening his eyes, and then reality started kicking in. He struggled, but between the gut wound, the drugs and the cuffs, there really wasn’t much he could do, except listen. Not sure how much actually got through to him, but that wasn’t my problem.

I recounted the names and ages of his victims, every last one I knew, and probably a few he’d never thought would be linked to him. I talked about his trial, the attorney who had gotten him off and the technicality, in this case a glitch in the chain of custody during DNA handling.

“I bet you felt lucky that day didn’t you Clayton? Well buddy that luck ends here. I don’t give a shit about DNA or lawyers or courtrooms or technicalities. The only thing I care about right now is making sure that you don’t ever hurt another young person, and tonight? You picked the wrong girl to fuck with.”

His breath rattled around the new knife would, the one that had shoved up underneath his breastbone to penetrate his heart. The last thing he saw was the little butterfly tattoo on my right eyelid, and I’m not sure he was smart enough to make the connection. Fate is a fickle mistress, and a million different things could have changed the outcome of tonight’s events. That little butterfly symbolized fate in my eyes. A real smart man once wrote a paper on what’s called the “butterfly effect” or the “chaos theory”. I guess you could say that paper is what changed my life. The thought that a tiny butterfly on one continent could presumably cause catastrophic geographic events on another amazed me. I became that butterfly, flapping my little wings until catastrophe rained down on the people who escaped justice. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord and Chase McAfferty.





©Donna J. P. Riley

7 comments:

LESAPEA MUSINGS said...

There you are. I'm loving your blog as well. I am your newest follower.

Lisa @ Lesapea

djpr said...

Thank you, so glad you're enjoying it!

Eschelle said...

love it! Great work, twisted :D !
My last post

nuclearheadache said...

That opening was perfect. It really grabs your attention.

AJ said...

So fits right in with the things I like to read. Great start.

Atypical Scott said...

I hope you understand what I am about to say to you, because I have been known to get misread in my words. Writing is not about acceptance, although, being accepted is a great contributor to the confidence; however, creativity is from within and not outside the eyelids. If you are truly great at what you do, there is no amount of criticism that will make you any better or any lesser a writer than prior to having someone offer an opinion.

That being said, I am sure there are many writers terrified to reveal anything they conduct behind closed doors, I know this because I am one of them. So, I leave you with your own advice. Write now and write later. That way, when you are signing your book to a fan, you can focus on what you want to tell your critics.

Good luck to you.

Kate said...

Donna, you are a true writer. I am amazed for each post I read. Thanks for sharing this with us. I look forward to more Chapters and buying the BOOK once it's finished :)

xoxo
Kate

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