Okay. Number one! Total trigger warning. Eva is not very nice. Her language is sometimes pretty ugly. She is, without doubt, the strangest little girl that has ever come out of my head. And that is saying something. This is the beginning of Bone Deep. It is a horror novel. There is blood, there are ghosts, it is not a book for the faint of heart – although I don’t do splatterpunk either. This is the prologue. It is perfectly fine if you don’t read this sort of thing. For those of you that have not read Getting Thin, that’s okay too; this is a sequel, but I’ve tried to write it in such a way that it can stand on its own. Now, that said, the prologue is a little odd because it starts where the first book left off and, without context, can be confusing. There is an Amazon link in my links if you want to read Getting Thin in its entirety, or you can be patient; everything generally gets revisted in this book and it will be out May 23. Why the long intro? To give those of you who don’t do horror a chance to run away. There is no shame in bowing out. Blah, blah copyright, all that jazz. Eva, my dears, is back. This content is still subject to change because I’m crazy and will be editing this thing right up to go time.
Bone Deep: A Ghost Story
This is what it’s like to die. Falling down into endless dark, the tattered ends of ancient dreams from a life you no longer recognize as anything but a passing thought you once had when you were small. It is like Alice and tumbling after a rabbit that isn’t a rabbit. It is like knowing that it doesn’t matter what came before, you are someone else, some time else. It is like being small and unnoticed until your mother turns, sees you peeking around corners, and comes to scoop you up and sing you back to sleep.
And, in that dark fall, you may find your friends or the ones that you love. Or you may find the ones that came before, the ones soaked in blood and howling with their broken bones as they fight to escape their torture. It is satisfying to know there is some kind of hell for them. Even if it is only delusions in my head born of oxygen starvation. It is hearing the whisper of someone you love telling you stories. And, sometimes, it is the realization that you don’t get to stay here, safe in this dark. You’re not done yet. Words of sorrow whispered as the long fall becomes a rise. Oh, my beautiful Roxy. Why did I have to go back? Is there no other to be the consequence of evil deeds?
This is what it’s like to be reborn. Bright flashes of light that tear at the eye and the brain. The shouting, screaming, sharp crackle of personal radios and the silver gleam of badges that make your heart race and the plea. That one plea unspoken, yet trembling on the air as though shouted by the living and the dead together. “Please breathe.” It is looking up into the hazel eyes of a man with a name on his pocket, white latex on his hands, and a mix of terror and elation in his eyes and a prayer on his lips. It is being held by that man who cries, even though he doesn’t know your name, and presses his forehead to yours.
You don’t know it is his first night or that he thought you were too far gone. You don’t know he has a sister in the ground and that there is a man waiting, in prison, for justice. You don’t know that the desperate, scrambling need to save you is only an echo of his nine year old self trying to breathe life into her limp body and open, staring eyes. All you know is that his name is E. Dean and that your throat hurts so bad you can’t swallow. All you know is that this is not where you want to be, but that you were sent back with a purpose you can’t remember. To save this man another tragedy so early in his budding career? Or for something else? You won’t understand. Not at first. But you might blame him. If you’re me. You might blame him because, down in that dark place, there was love and there were two people reaching out to catch you and there was the promise of rest, at long last, from the lonely months of furious bloodlust. And, in life, there is only fear and loss and rage. You might blame him because it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
“Welcome back, Beautiful,” he says, smiling down at me, his tears falling on my cheeks.
“Fuck you Dean,” you might say back. If you could make more than a few squeaks and hoarse gasps. Later, you might be glad, even grateful for him. You might even be glad that your words were lost to a throat too damaged for speech. But, in that moment, there is only fury and a tired sense of injustice; hadn’t I done enough? Why wasn’t I allowed to sleep?