People have been asking to read some of my novel. I feel comfortable enough to share the first chapter. I might change it from the time I post it. It is still in development. Thanks for reading.
The apartment was too dark. There still should be some light from around the blinds. Tracy reached for the light switch near the door. The switch was already in the on position when her hand brushed it. She clicked the switch down and up to see if it might come on. It didn’t. This wasn’t helping the sense of dread in her stomach. She took a few steps into her room. Past the square of light, she heard something crunch under her shoes. It sounded like glass. She dug her cell phone out of her messenger bag and turned the flashlight on. She wondered why she didn’t grab it in the first place but she realized that she was panicking a little bit and wasn’t thinking clearly. She had to settle down. The light showed fragments of glass on the tile of the kitchen. She moved the light toward the living room area. The blinds were ripped from the walls and left on the floor near the overturned couch. The windows were all covered by black trash bags with silver duct tape. She winced thinking how the tape would peel the paint off the windowsill frame. The tall lamps they had stationed around the living room were on their sides. The light bulbs in the lamps were broken.
All of this just confirmed the bad feelings that Tracy had when Dylan didn’t answer her texts. It wasn’t like him to not answer texts from her. Yea, he did avoid his mother but he didn’t have any reason to avoid her. It was even worse that he wasn’t answering texts from Seth, his best friend. Which was why she decided to come home early from work. It didn’t make any sense for him to not answer any of them. She looked at the apartment door. The door didn’t look like anyone picked it or fooled around with it. It might be safe to assume that he did this. Now the question was why did he do this? Did he just experience some kind of mental break or delirium from throwing up too much? It was surprising he had enough energy to cover all of the windows in the living room. He was pretty sick the past few days. Mostly staying in his room or near the toilet. They had gone through a lot of air fresher.
She wondered if he did this to all of the windows in the apartment. She started to walk slowly down the hall. Her door was closed and she opened it. She tried to turn her light on but the bulbs were broken in her room, too. The light from the cell revealed her windows were also covered by trash bags. She turned from the room and started to walk to Dylan’s room. Near his door, she found his cell. It was broken with the screen smashed and bent. She picked it up and examined it. It looked like someone twisted it until it broke.
She was in a horror movie. Everything seemed to be pointing at that fact. The windows covered with trash bags and the broken glass that was everywhere. Finding his cell twisted like a pretzel. At this point when they were watching a scary movie together, Dylan would be shouting at the screen to get out of the apartment and calling her character a dumb bitch. She would start smacking him for ruining the movie.
She heard him moving around his room. In the middle of her back was a spot of ice. She stood still in the hallway not wanting to move toward his door or the outside door. She kept silent not wanting to draw attention to herself.
“I can hear your heartbeat,” he said. “I can smell you.”
The ice went further down her spine. She didn’t like the way he just said that. It was too low and intimate. She started to walk toward the open door of their apartment. She was in a horror movie and she needed to get out of it.
She heard the bedroom door opening. She started to walk faster down the hallway. She didn’t run because it seemed like a bad idea for some reason. Don’t look behind you she kept repeating in her head. That was when the monster got their victims. It was disturbing to realize that she thought of Dylan as a monster. The door to his room creaked as it opened. She hadn’t noticed that before.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“I forget something at work,” she said.
“I can smell you’re lying.”
Something moved past her. She twisted pointing the flashlight at his bedroom door. The door to his room was opened with nothing standing there. The apartment door slammed closed behind her. She turned on her heel. He was standing in front of the door. She aimed the flashlight toward his face. His hand covered his eyes.
“Stop that. It hurts my eyes.”
He took a step toward her. His lips peeled back from his teeth. They looked sharper and longer. His eyes looked black because of how wide his pupils were. No, his eyes weren’t black because of the pupil. They were just black.
“Stay right there,” she said.
She reached for the mace in her bag. She unlocked it and made damn sure it was pointed toward him and not her. She read too many stories where people maced themselves. She started to back toward the window. He didn’t like the light. Maybe if she got the bag off the window it would scare him off.
“I’m hungry. You smell really good,” he said.
He rushed toward her. She shot him with the mace hitting him in the eyes. He screamed and writhed on the floor. She turned toward the window even though she didn’t want to leave her back exposed to him. She used her nails and mace to tear holes in the bag over the window. They had to get the extra fucking thick garbage bags with Force-flex because their mothers insisted. She finally tore long lines through the bag. The light briefly blinded her but he rolled out of the light toward the dark hallway to his room. The door slammed. She ripped the bag completely off the window. She grabbed her car keys to use to rip another bag off the other window to let in more light. It made it easier to tear through instead of just her nails. The stupid duct tape was still on the goddamn windowsill. It gave her a better look at what Dylan had done to the room. The TV stand was off-kilter with a big crack in the middle. Their DVD collection was all over the floor because the book shelf was knocked on its side. Dylan’s Xbox was next to the couch with a huge dent in its side. He loved his Xbox and he would be really upset he did that when he got over whatever the hell was wrong with him. If he got over it.
Tracy pressed her back against the wall feeling the adrenaline leaving her system. She was crashing. She slide down the wall and put her head between her knees. She was happy she decided to wear dress pants instead of a skirt because it made it easier to sit down. Her stomach was churning making her feel like she was going to throw up. Her heart was beating fast in her chest. She started to do breathing exercises trying to relax her breathing and her heartbeat. She needed to sit here for a little bit and calm down. She closed her eyes and tried to keep her mind blank as she calmed her body. It was stupid to do this.
Maybe it was time to call the police except the numbers of mentally ill people getting killed by police went through her head. It also didn’t help that he was Seneca and he looked very Native. That increased his chances of getting shot even more. Calling their mothers was an option but she had to get a hold of her mom. She couldn’t deal with Dylan’s mother freaking out on her. She could only deal with one insane person at a time. Maybe his mother would surprise her and not lose it on her.
A hand pressed against her shoulder. Tracy jerked away moving as far as she could. A white woman with blond hair was kneeling in front of her. The woman put her hands in front of her and she smiled at Tracy. She was dressed very well in a nice, dark suit and coat. She had on understated makeup and she was attractive.
“Are you hurt?” she asked.
“No. How did you get in here?”
“The door was unlocked. I’m sorry for scaring you. My partner and I were coming to see Dylan Erickson. When we found the door unlocked we decided to come in.”
Tracy started to stand up not wanting to remain crouching on the floor, anymore. The woman stood up with her. Tracy looked around and didn’t see anyone else in the destroyed living room.
“Where is your partner?” she asked.
“He went to find Jamison.”
“That’s not good. I think he just tried to eat me. I had to mace him and scare him off with sunlight. He was acting like a vampire.”
“He has experience with this. He will be able to handle him. What is your relationship to Jamison, Miss-?”
“Tracy Miller. We’re cousins.”
“He will be able to handle your cousin.”
She heard a noise from down the hallway.
“It will be safer for you to stay here,” the woman said. “Let my partner do his job.”
“Who are you people? Why did you come here?”
“We were looking for a woman. She has an illness that she exposed your cousin to.”
“The woman he had a one-night stand with?”
Tracy took a deep breath. Conflicting emotions of anger and concern filled her. She had been annoyed when he spent the whole night out and came home hung over because she had to take care of him on her day-off. He was an adult and allowed to do that but it still wasn’t fun for her to deal with the aftermath. Now, he had some weird disease. Already, she knew his mother would blame her for not watching him even though he was an adult and older than her by four months. She pushed those thoughts out of her head. It didn’t help to focus on how Dylan usually dragged her into his messes he caused by bad choices or luck.
“He didn’t have the flu,” she said.
It sounded like a cat was shrieking in the hallway. Something or someone was hitting the walls. The woman moved in front of her. A body went flying through the air from the hallway landing in back of the overturned couch. A man walked out of the hallway. Dylan growled before launching himself at the man. He easily caught Dylan and threw him against the wall hitting the TV and smashing it into the wall behind it. She was guessing the TV was done for. There was now a dent in the wall left by Dylan and the TV. There were so not getting their deposit back. Dylan threw himself at the man. The man easily dodged him making him hit the wall. The man grabbed him and wrestled him to the floor. He put his knee in the middle of Dylan’s back.
“Simone, a little help here,” he said.
The woman-Simone-walked toward them.
“Did you feed him, yet?” she asked.
“No,” he said. “He attacked me as soon as he sensed me.”
“Where is the cooler?”
He pointed his head. The woman walked down the hall.
“Dylan,” Tracy said.
His attention shifted to her. Dylan narrowed his eyes from the light.
“Stay here, Ms,” said the man.
She ignored him.
“Calm down or I’ll mace you again,” she said.
Some of the fight started to go out of him. The man kept his hold on Dylan. The woman-Simone, she needed to remember-came out of the hallway holding a cooler and sat next to Dylan and the man. She looked at Tracy.
“I need your help,” she said.
The man looked like he wanted to say something but Simone silenced him with a look. Tracy started to walk toward them. Simone opened the cooler and pulled out a silver pouch. It looked like a Capri Sun. It even had a little straw attached to it. Tracy sat next to her. She handed Tracy the pouch.
“Get him to drink this,” she said. “It will make him feel better. Make sure to keep your fingers from his mouth.”
Tracy remembered how long Dylan’s teeth looked.
“Dylan, you need to drink this,” Tracy said.
He took the straw into his mouth and he took a swallow. A change came over his face and he started to drink as quickly as he could. She could feel the pouch deflating in her hands.
“More,” he said.
Simone gave her another pouch. Tracy gave that one to him, too. He squinted up at her. His eyes were still black but he wasn’t looking at her like he wanted to eat her anymore.
“Did I just try to eat you?” he asked.
“I had to mace you.”
He looked at her as if he was waiting for something.
“Are you going to say sorry?” he asked.
“No. You deserved it.”
He was quiet as he thought it over.
Then his eyes rolled up in his head as his head crashed to the floor. He started snoring. She looked at the man and recognized him. He was there at the club when Dylan met that woman he had the one-night stand with. The cute redhead who smiled at her. He met her eyes and there was a flicker of recognition.
“Who are you people, again?” she asked.