FIRST CHAPTER FOR: Malevolent
The rain was soft, floating on the air like a thin mist. The breeze was stationary in the empty streets. The sun had died hours before I set off home from my friend's house and I was regretting it already. Pulling my jacket on over my bare shoulders, I flicked open my cell phone. Dead, as usual. Sighing, I pushed back my long black hair which rather annoyingly blew in my face. I kept my eyes straight ahead. The street was bare. Every twitch of an autumn leaf, every whistle of the wind echoed down the narrow pathway. My new high heels clicked and splashed in the sparkling black puddles that the sun had failed to dry, as I picked up the pace. It was cold. It was bleak. I was alone.
The full frosted moon hovered over me; its silver gleam contrasting with the dim orange street lights. Sirens of a police car squealed a few blocks away. Hopefully, they wouldn’t hear the loud music coming from the party I had just been to. The ground sparkled like black diamonds in suffocating shadows. My breath caught in the air. My feet scuttled across the street, suddenly becoming anxious of the alleyways where the streetlights couldn’t reach. Who knew what was lurking in the darkness of the twilight hour?
Holding my phone to my ear, I pretended that there was someone on the other side. A song in my head kept me calm. I was blocking out the doubt. I was blocking out the dread.
A footstep? A sharp breath?
I turned around, unsure of what I was suspecting. An empty horizon. An alleyway nearby.
I continued walking, my ears at the ready to pick up even the slightest sound. My shoes were too high. My skirt was too short. I wish I’d set off sooner. Mum would be worried.
Suddenly, two cold hands grabbed me from behind, holding me firmly so I couldn’t turn to see him. Instinct made me struggle but his grip was too strong.
“Hey-let me go!” I cried, panicking on the spot.
“Give us your phone,” he growled.
Shaking, I dropped it into his open hand.
“And the ring.”
Austin’s ring curled up into his fist.
“Now, get in the car.”
Faltering, I let him sharply turn me around with such speed I almost fell from my feet.
“-You’re breaking your curfew,” a familiar face grinned.
Startled, my reaction was delayed before I let out a cry of relief and punched him in his bulging bicep. “Josh, you’re such a jerk!”
Laughing, he handed me back my phone and my ring. “It serves you right. What are you doing all the way out here at this hour? Anyone could have grabbed you.”
He flicked back his long blonde hair and jumped into his small Ford KA. Not too keen on staying in the darkness alone, I slipped into the passenger seat and buckled my seatbelt.
“You lost your clothes back there?” he joked, pushing forward the gear stick and speeding onto the road.
“Ha, very funny.”
Josh was a childhood friend of mine, a few years older than myself. He was tall, athletic and even though we drifted apart when he went to college and I went to boarding school, he was still like a brother to me.
“Your Mum's going to kill you.”
“Since when did I care?”
“Since when did anyone care?” he joked. “You just escaped from military school?”
“Boarding school? Yeah, last week. I miss it already.”
“So, you’re still with that boy then?” he asked, indicating to my ring that had Austin’s name engraved on the front.
I nodded. “Miss him too.”
“You’re still going to dye your hair pink on Sunday, right?”
I laughed. “Of course I am.”
“That’s my little rock-star,” he said and punched the radio on full blast.
I knew we were going too fast down the deserted streets but I didn’t say anything. The heavy rock music blaring from his speakers fed the adrenaline rush that ran through our veins. I watched the needle on the speedometer rise, and smiled. Speed was good. Speed made me feel free.
I could feel the wind picking up beside us even though it was blocked by the dusty windows. We both sang along to the music at the top of our voices, messing around and laughing. The residential area cleared as we found ourselves on open road. And that’s when things went so wrong.
Josh’s phone rang and the music went off, leaving us both temporarily deaf. As he struggled to hear the caller, his attention was pulled off the road. The ground thundered beneath us.
“Josh, slow down now,” I said, eying up the speedometer again.
“I said-” raising my voice. “Slow down.”
“I can’t- Kira, I can’t do everything at once I need to-”
A flash of lights exploded onto the windscreen and blinded us.
“Josh- look out!” I screamed.
The booming of horns blared into the night. The squeal of brakes. The roar of engines.
Josh dropped the phone and turned the steering wheel sharply to swerve away from the car ahead. A stab of fear hit me hard in the stomach. My screams were locked up inside me somewhere, too terrified to come out of my mouth. Eyes open wide, I gripped onto my seat to avoid being thrown out of the window. The car tilted way too much to one side. Tilting, tilting, unable to get back on track. I wanted to lean over to the other side, to balance out the perilous scale I found myself on but I just couldn’t move. I was frozen; frozen in fear. As soon as the sounds of the tyres against the rough road came to a complete stop, I held my breath, screwed my eyes shut and tensed every muscle in my body. I hit the roof. Again, and again, and again. I felt Josh beside me, being thrown around like a rag doll. I heard the glass smash, the roof shatter, the body of the car crush. I covered my face to protect it from the frantic shards. A sharp pain pounded in my head, vibrating an agonising tremor inside my skull.
The car rolled to a sudden stop, seconds later. Silence. I could taste the blood. I felt it trickle down my neck. I tried to move, to look over at Josh. Was he moving? I forced my eyes to open slightly and although it was blurry, I could see the headlights were still on and that the windscreen had completely smashed.
I battled to keep my eyes open. They ached so badly. Fortunately, we had stopped the right way up but the car was bent around his body, unwilling to let him go. Blood poured from my head where I had banged it on the window.
‘I have to get out,’ I thought. ‘I have to get help for Josh.’
My body throbbed; I couldn’t move despite my efforts. I was trapped inside the twisted metal work. Panic came over me. What if the car blew up? What if the other car didn’t come to help us?
“Help!” I croaked, trying to pull myself out of the wreckage. “Is anybody there?”
The slightest movement made my head explode. Then I felt myself slipping away, losing my grip on reality and fading into the darkness. My eyes flickered and then closed. When they next opened, I found myself in a hospital bed...
To be continued...
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