Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Deceptions run high - Cut Here by Azzurra Nox

“I know where you can find him,” a female voice cooed but he couldn’t make out who it was in the shadows. His breathing shallow, and a cold sweat broke loose upon his forehead. “I know you think of him every single day,” the voice continued. The soft flutter of wings created a cool breeze in the room, and he heard some of his papers on his desk fly off the flat surface. He rubbed his eyes. I must be dreaming, he thought. This voice can't be real.


Published: February 13th, 2015

Sixteen-year-old Lena Martin's idyllic world shatters the night her mother dies due to a hit and run accident. Two years later, her dad relocates her from Italy to Los Angeles to help her put behind the time spent in a psychiatric ward following her mother's death. But the move only proves to be a fatal mistake. Shortly after her arrival, the classmates of her new private school begin to commit suicide under mysterious circumstances after reading a cult book called Cut Here.

Determined to unravel the mystery behind the suicides, she bands together with loner Jonathan Russe and outcast Hope Peters to figure out exactly what is happening, not realizing that this places them under a dangerous radar. During this same time, Lena falls for a mysterious and attractive guy named Michael, who is as equally disarming as he's dangerous.

As her attraction grows, so does the body count at St. Lucy Academy. Soon, Lena needs to decide whether to stay away from the guy she's falling for, or to trust him. Is Michael behind the suicides, or is he the key that can unlock the mystery that can stop the bloodshed? Deceptions run high and Lena soon learns that nothing is what it seems.


Bethany had pulled her bob into a tiny tight bun. She positioned herself in the center of the room, avoiding her reflection and waited for her cue to begin. Her mother rummaged through sheets of music before she began to play the intro of the dance.

The steps came automatic, without much thought. Her legs and arms moved with a mind of their own, as she did pirouettes around the room. She had been dancing for eleven years, and her limbs knew exactly how to move without any technical errors. Bethany knew that her dancing was impeccable. Error-free. Perfectly flawless. What had her losing out the lead for many recitals was her lack of emotion. She concealed her feelings so well that even whilst dancing no one could understand what her character was emoting.

Bethany continued her graceful dance, the music flowing into her, as she responded to every note. The tortured tune took her back to her stay in Florence, when she spent her days reading books on folklore and listening to all the sad, sad songs that reminded her of home.

One time she found herself walking the streets of the city near dusk. She crossed the Old Bridge, looking over the stone medieval majesty and gazed at the Arno River. Florence was said to be a magical city and she believed it. Everything about it breathed a sense of enchantment. The doctors had told her mother her body was very weak. She was too underweight. At sixty-six pounds she was at risk of heart failure and respiratory problems. Her body felt exhausted. Every step she took was an excruciating effort. But she knew that she had to cross the bridge at that exact hour. Her hands clutching a little bottle as she inhaled the Autumn air. That's when she collapsed to the ground, and the world dropped dead.

“Are you all right?”

The music had stopped. Bethany was jerked back to the present.

“Why did you stop?” she questioned her mother.

“Honey, your foot....” her mother stood up from the piano, and approached her.

She looked down to see that the white en pointe slipper was soaked in red. A bloody trail sketched the macabre dance on the floor.

“It's no big deal,” she shrugged it off. For a seasoned dancer, seeing a little blood never alarmed her. She should've felt the pain, but after many years of abusing her feet all she had was scar tissue and unhealed fractured bones. In a matter of moments she swiftly untied the silk ribbons and pulled her foot out of the slipper. It was bloody. A cracked nail. Multiple blisters around her toes. Something caught her eye. A strange black thing protruded from the side of her foot had caused the bleeding. She pulled it out without even wincing, as her mother gasped. Her heart was still, and the world dropped dead.


With the windows rolled down, Pink Floyd poured out into the night as Jake drove along Mulholland Drive. Letters of acceptance to various colleges were scattered out on the passenger seat next to him with empty miniature liquor bottles. The wind tousled his blonde hair, whilst thoughts of how to approach his father hammered him. One of the letters of acceptance was from Yale. His father had graduated from Yale as a lawyer, and had always wished for his son to graduate from the same university. Instead, Jake had wished to be declined admission so he wouldn’t be obligated to go. All the major universities in the nation had granted him access to their campus. Something that he should be rejoicing over, not feeling asphyxiated and nervous whilst driving around Hollywood in hopes that the feeling would diminish. Only thing was, it still hadn’t.

Comfortably Numb was running on repeat but the tension didn't cease. He couldn’t go home right now. Not with all those letters welcoming him to all the different top colleges of America. Jake hadn’t chosen any of this. A part of him felt obligated to choose the path that his parents and teachers had set forth for him to follow. It was the obvious road of excellent education. The best that money could buy, and to be carefree for four years. With his ability to play formidable football, he wasn’t even required to be intellectually smart. All of this kind of saddened him.

He wondered why no one ever stopped to think about what he wanted. His heartbeat fast as the speed increased and he took a swig of vodka. There was a sharp turn up ahead and he didn’t even attempt to slow down, but rather made a jerky movement to maneuver it around the loop. A strange sound, like that of flapping wings could be heard above him. Damned crows, he thought, they don’t even sleep at night. He shifted gears as he pressed down on the accelerator, watching the speed move up to 100mph. His black Jaguar sped along the bends of the poorly lighted road. Something large and heavy fell on the top of the car, and he swerved out of control. Jake quickly braked and the large object rolled on his hood. A book fell forward. Cut Here. Bethany had given it to him.

“WHAT THE HELL?!” he shouted when he saw the white glistening skin of a girl and her black hair spread across his windshield. The glass cracked upon impact, a jagged line slithered down the center. Fear of having perchance killed someone crept into him. It paralyzed his limbs not knowing what to do. Then the girl lifted her head. She was dressed in black. He couldn’t make out her shape but it seemed as though she had a large cloak over her shoulders and it hung down along the front end of the car.

“Aaa-aare you okay, miss?” he voice shook, his hands trembled and he tried to grip his steering wheel tightly to make them stop. The ignition was still on, his feet on the brake and clutch, uncertain on what to do.

“Yes…but you’re not.”


She lifted herself up, and stood on his hood.

“You’re not okay. I heard your call.”

A puzzled expression overtook his golden boy features. What the girl was saying made no sense. His vision blurred from the many drinks and the girl's cloak merged into wings. She fluttered them, causing a great gust of wind to rise. Her eyes seemed to glow in a menacing red hue.

“You’re unhappy. You want to leave. I can help you.”

“How do you know?” He was going to add something else, when she rose above the car. Turning the engine off, he stumbled out of the car, and looked up at the sky. She was flying overhead, out of his reach. His eyes blinked for a moment, trying to see if he was imaging things, but sure enough she was still there rising up into the sky, hovering over him like a dark cloud.

“I know weeping hearts.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“I know you better than anyone else,” her eyes fixed on his in a deadly gaze. “You want to leave, and I can release you from that.” In a moment, she was back down, her hands around his throat ready to restrict his air flow.

“I don't want to die,” he rasped. His hands attempting to peel the girl's strong hands away from him, but failing miserably.

“You sure? Because there's a note that seems to indicate the opposite in your car.”

About the author:
Born in Catania, Sicily, she has led a nomadic life since birth. She has lived in various European cities and Cuba, and currently resides in the Los Angeles area. Always an avid reader and writer from a young age, she loved entertaining her friends with ghost stories. She loves horror movies, cats, and a good rock show. She dislikes Mondays and chick-flicks. CUT HERE, her debut paranormal urban fantasy was inspired by a nightmare the writer had a few years ago. Some of her favourite authors include Anne Rice, Oscar Wilde, Chuck Palahniuk, and Isabella Santacroce.

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