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Dark Vice: Prologue

by Dashia


1 year later

The golden rays of the sun caressed my face through the car window. I stared at the trees flashing by quickly like ghosts. The landscape seemed to stretch on infinitely like a desert without beginning or end. A soft voice pulled me out of my trance.

"Did you have a good time honey?" Leila, a good friend of mine, glanced fleetingly over her shoulder before turning her eyes back to the road. Leila had just picked me up from the airport.

"Yes...it was liberating" I say thoughtfully as I give her a weak smile. I spent the summer in Italy. It was Leila's idea, she thought I could use it, pure peace and quiet. Not having to think about anything and clear my head. It was the first time in two months that I thought about him again, here and now in the car. Italy has helped me over many things, like him. At least I think so anyway.

"Get some sleep, Amy. It was a long flight and the drive home will be a while too." Leila soothed as she looked at me compassionately through the rearview mirror. I let my head slide against the car window as my eyes slowly closed, after a while sleep began to stick to me like threads of cotton candy.

The water of the lake was cold, so terribly cold. My white sleep robe was soggy and stuck to me like a second skin. I trembled as I tried to straighten up. My feet skittered across the surface until I got a grip and could hold myself upright .

My black hair hung around my face like seaweed as I closed my arms around me to keep the heat from seeping out of me like that. A terrible laugh bounced across the lake like a pebble. That laugh I recognized out of thousands. No, No, this can't be happening I reminded myself. I put my hands over my ears to stop the sound but it only got louder.

It went on like that for a while until it became silent again. doubtful, I removed my hands from my ears. Then I felt it. The warm breath against the back of my neck. The shivers stopped when I knew who was standing behind me.

"Found you." his fingers drilled into my arms as he held me in a firm grasp. I wanted to struggle, but I seemed petrified. Without any effort, he pulled me under into the water. I wanted to kick, yell whatever, but I seemed to have lost control of my body. To be nothing more than an empty shell.

I felt the cold water fill my lungs. the water taking the place of oxygen. It was as if my lungs were on fire, as if a thousand needles were lodged in my skin. I couldn't breathe.

I turned around and looked into his dark eyes like pools. He grinned, that miserable grin. Black dots took up more and more of my field of vision, but before everything went black I heard his deep voice like a whisper caressing my ear.

"Wake up Amelia" My heartbeat slowed until it stopped and the water pulled me into its depths.

"Wake up Amelia!" I shot up and looked straight into Leila’s concerned eyes. Her hands had closed around my upper arms after which I assumed she was trying to wake me up.

"Is everything alright?" I grabbed at my throat which seemed to be burning with dryness as if the sahara had moved to my throat "You were turning and tossing in your sleep."

I blinked for a moment, it was just a dream, it was just a dream.

"Yeah, I was just having a nightmare" I say quickly as I wave her concern away with one of my fake smiles. She looks at me skeptically for a moment longer before letting go. I studied my surroundings and recognized the large weeping willow. We were like home.

"I'll go ahead and turn off the alarm inside, will you grab the luggage from the trunk?" she squeaked. The alarm another thing Leila had installed to make me feel safer along with a lock on every door in the house.

I nodded as I heaved myself out of the car. I saw Leila disappear behind the door as I headed for the trunk of the old Volvo. How is she so fast?

Just because you have the condition of an old lady with rheumatism doesn't mean others do, Amy. I reminded myself.

My gaze slid to the sky, the bright sun of a moment ago had given way to the moon now showing off in the sky. It was a full moon. A shiver ran down my spine. I hated full moons, partly from superstition, but mostly from the horror stories my mother used to tell me. Strange things happened during a full moon.

The cold evening air met me as I swung open the trunk and pulled out my trusty travel bag. Crickets disturbed the silence of the night as I walked the gravel path on my way home. I hoisted the zipper of my jacket open a little more.

For the first time in a long time I felt like I was coming home, a smile graced my face. I was only a few steps away from the door when I felt something vibrate in my pocket. I heaved a sigh as I tried to pick my cell phone out of my jeans with one hand.

I held the small thing awkwardly in my hand as I stared at the illuminated screen, my smile disappearing as I read the message again and again. I wanted to scream, to wreck things. This couldn't be, he was gone, the police had made sure of that, yet somewhere I knew he would always find me.

The sports bag fell from my hands and landed on the gravel with a dull bang. The contents spread across the path like weeds. With trembling hands, I looked up from my screen.

Unknown number:

Found you

Everything started all over again.


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Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:43 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: This was a pretty solid piece right here. You manage to really build up quite something there with this little premise there and I love the sense of false security you lull us into while hinting at things, before ending on that explosive note there.

Anyway let's get right to it,

The golden rays of the sun caressed my face through the car window. I stared at the trees flashing by quickly like ghosts. The landscape seemed to stretch on infinitely like a desert without beginning or end. A soft voice pulled me out of my trance.

"Did you have a good time honey?" Leila, a good friend of mine, glanced fleetingly over her shoulder before turning her eyes back to the road. Leila had just picked me up from the airport.

"Yes...it was liberating" I say thoughtfully as I give her a weak smile. I spent the summer in Italy. It was Leila's idea, she thought I could use it, pure peace and quiet. Not having to think about anything and clear my head. It was the first time in two months that I thought about him again, here and now in the car. Italy has helped me over many things, like him. At least I think so anyway.

"Get some sleep, Amy. It was a long flight and the drive home will be a while too." Leila soothed as she looked at me compassionately through the rearview mirror. I let my head slide against the car window as my eyes slowly closed, after a while sleep began to stick to me like threads of cotton candy.


Okay...this is an interesting start. Immediately we've got hints of the main character having been through a not so great time in their life rather recently and there's just a sense that things haven't happened as well as they should have but now they're better after this trip of some sort. The dynamic shone there between the friends is also very interesting because it feels a lot more like a parental figure there than a friendly figure almost...and that creates a rather sweet moment here.

The water of the lake was cold, so terribly cold. My white sleep robe was soggy and stuck to me like a second skin. I trembled as I tried to straighten up. My feet skittered across the surface until I got a grip and could hold myself upright .

My black hair hung around my face like seaweed as I closed my arms around me to keep the heat from seeping out of me like that. A terrible laugh bounced across the lake like a pebble. That laugh I recognized out of thousands. No, No, this can't be happening I reminded myself. I put my hands over my ears to stop the sound but it only got louder.

It went on like that for a while until it became silent again. doubtful, I removed my hands from my ears. Then I felt it. The warm breath against the back of my neck. The shivers stopped when I knew who was standing behind me.

"Found you." his fingers drilled into my arms as he held me in a firm grasp. I wanted to struggle, but I seemed petrified. Without any effort, he pulled me under into the water. I wanted to kick, yell whatever, but I seemed to have lost control of my body. To be nothing more than an empty shell.


OKayy...well that changed quickly. We were in a rather calm place with what seemed to be some happiness in store for the main character there before now we're suddenly thrust into what feels like some sort of nightmare here and I get the feeling this person is just reliving whatever trouble it is that they went away to deal with.

I felt the cold water fill my lungs. the water taking the place of oxygen. It was as if my lungs were on fire, as if a thousand needles were lodged in my skin. I couldn't breathe.

I turned around and looked into his dark eyes like pools. He grinned, that miserable grin. Black dots took up more and more of my field of vision, but before everything went black I heard his deep voice like a whisper caressing my ear.

"Wake up Amelia" My heartbeat slowed until it stopped and the water pulled me into its depths.

"Wake up Amelia!" I shot up and looked straight into Leila’s concerned eyes. Her hands had closed around my upper arms after which I assumed she was trying to wake me up.

"Is everything alright?" I grabbed at my throat which seemed to be burning with dryness as if the sahara had moved to my throat "You were turning and tossing in your sleep."


Hmm....well everything certainly wasn't okay. Dreams within prologue are usually not great signs for protagonist especially when they are as bad as this one. You really create quite an atmosphere of fear there on that dream sequence. It certainly makes sure that at this point you definitely have the reader's attention.

I blinked for a moment, it was just a dream, it was just a dream.

"Yeah, I was just having a nightmare" I say quickly as I wave her concern away with one of my fake smiles. She looks at me skeptically for a moment longer before letting go. I studied my surroundings and recognized the large weeping willow. We were like home.

"I'll go ahead and turn off the alarm inside, will you grab the luggage from the trunk?" she squeaked. The alarm another thing Leila had installed to make me feel safer along with a lock on every door in the house.

I nodded as I heaved myself out of the car. I saw Leila disappear behind the door as I headed for the trunk of the old Volvo. How is she so fast?

Just because you have the condition of an old lady with rheumatism doesn't mean others do, Amy. I reminded myself.

My gaze slid to the sky, the bright sun of a moment ago had given way to the moon now showing off in the sky. It was a full moon. A shiver ran down my spine. I hated full moons, partly from superstition, but mostly from the horror stories my mother used to tell me. Strange things happened during a full moon.


Okayy...well now it seems like this relationship is perhaps not as wholesome and open as it was n first glance here with how it seems like this one is trying to hide here worries from the other person, well in a way that shows they do care about each other, but it doesn't seem as open of a dynamic as I thought from that opening scene.

The cold evening air met me as I swung open the trunk and pulled out my trusty travel bag. Crickets disturbed the silence of the night as I walked the gravel path on my way home. I hoisted the zipper of my jacket open a little more.

For the first time in a long time I felt like I was coming home, a smile graced my face. I was only a few steps away from the door when I felt something vibrate in my pocket. I heaved a sigh as I tried to pick my cell phone out of my jeans with one hand.

I held the small thing awkwardly in my hand as I stared at the illuminated screen, my smile disappearing as I read the message again and again. I wanted to scream, to wreck things. This couldn't be, he was gone, the police had made sure of that, yet somewhere I knew he would always find me.

The sports bag fell from my hands and landed on the gravel with a dull bang. The contents spread across the path like weeds. With trembling hands, I looked up from my screen.

Unknown number:

Found you

Everything started all over again.


Hmm...well that's a lovely moment to end a prologue on. That's a neat little "Dun, Dun, Dun" moment there and I think it works wonderfully here with this current situation to really create a powerful ending. We've got so many hints, a nice bit of description to show a temporary bit of happiness and this then hits with a big ol' BAM and I think you pull it all off really well there.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this makes for a very solid moment to end on I think. You bring that little nightmare full circle, and instantly you've created a moment where as a reader you now can't help but want to find out what could possibly happen next.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:19 am
VengefulReaper wrote a review...



Hi, just here to leave a quick review.

First off. If I hadn't seen the genre at the top of your novel, the first paragraph would have fooled me into thinking this was a romance. You managed to flip the lighthearted tone of someone trying to get over a guy into a more serious tone which I liked. The transition was quite smooth.

I love the feel of the nightmare sequence. Suspenseful and creepy. It gave me horror vibes which I personally find hard to nail especially in a dream sequence.

You have a good pace for your stories. I struggle to manage the pace of my writing so I am somewhat jealous. I really liked how brought the "Found you" back around to reality from the dream sequence. But the best part was the build-up and the horror on Amelia's expression you conveyed.

Overall I loved this prologue. It's vague enough to get me interested and NOT spoil the plot entirely and almost exposition free which is great for a prologue.

As always thanks for the read and hope this review helps you in some way or another.
Reaper




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Points: 110
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Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:10 pm
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StormyZSnifter wrote a review...



Hi, 'tis me again :)

This is really great. I will have you know that I will eagerly be awaiting more installations. That is some cliffhanger you've concocted. So... review time!

First off, I kind of love how it almost sounds like a romance, what with Amelia taking a trip to Italy to get over "him." Of course, a few sentences down, the reader realizes that the story is much darker.

The descriptions are good, although I recall you using a certain simile to describe another night swimmer's white garment...("My white sleep robe was soggy and stuck to me like a second skin." "-my white dress sticking to me like a second skin.") I thought this worked best in The Dream Hunt.

The writing in general is very good, although here and there are a few missing/misplaced commas and periods. For example:

"For the first time in a long time I felt like I was coming home, a smile graced my face."

v.s.

"For the first time in a long time I felt like I was coming home. A smile graced my face."
Also, don't forget to indent a character's direct thoughts.

Ex: "Just because you have the condition of an old lady with rheumatism doesn't mean others do, Amy. I reminded myself."

"*Just because you have the condition of an old lady with rheumatism doesn't mean others do, Amy,* I reminded myself."

Finally, there's a few simple mistakes that may distract the reader. Mostly, they're stuff like "We were like home." Just remember, commas and periods.

You've accomplished what I've always dreamed of... to capture the reader's attention in the first few "pages" and leave them waiting for more. Awesome! I can't wait to see what happens next!

-Stormy




Dashia says...


Hey, thank you again for the review and yes I just noticed I used that %u201Csecond skin%u201D description again haha. It may have become a habit of mine so i%u2019ll Try to come up with a new description. And those mission command and period Will appear when I overview it again.
-Dashia




Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally, in the end, pleasure.
— Mark Strand