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16+ Mature Content

You Got Me A Book

by julia002


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

There was still snow in the mountains from the past winter. However, down by my house, the flowers were blooming and mornings were filled with the sound of sprinklers. He held my hand as we drove past the blurring trees and street signs. Chris made me feel like I fit somewhere. I told my parents that I was having a sleepover with a girl from my math class. My mother would lose her shit if she found out my truth. Deep inside of me, that is what I love about Chris the most.

My mother’s love has boundaries and rage. Chris and I are limitless.

He told me all about the cabin we were going to. It was his family’s; they went there whenever he had spring break. I love hearing all his stories about his childhood. His age makes him so wise and sometimes I think he’s lived through everything imaginable. I feel like I’ve done the opposite. All my life I have managed to do nothing memorable or worth of any value. Chris seems to be the most interesting attribute about me. Sometimes I think my parents wouldn’t mind his age. It’s not like he was older than them. Thirty isn’t grandpa-old. I think it’s sophisticated-old.

The cabin was lovely. It was drowning in trees which made the cabin so dark in the middle of the day. I patiently squealed at the thought of us being so hidden and recluse. With my bags still in hand, I admired the place, “oohing” and “ahhing” in every room. I plopped myself on the couch. “It’s like we're adults!”

“Almost...You know, you almost are a woman. Seventeen is so grown.” He said, recriminating the silent accusation I had made. “Now, go change and unpack; I’ll start the fire.”

When I came out of our room, the fire was cracking and he was sitting in the middle of the couch with a gift in his hands. “Happy Birthday, Charlotte!”

“Christopher! You didn’t have to…” I love calling him by his full name. I ran next to him and gave him a kiss.

“Come on, open it.”

I quickly tore off the colorful wrapping paper to reveal… a book? I never was fond of reading in my spare time. Regardless of the indecorous gift, I cuddled up real close to him as the movie started.

His fingers stopped tracing my hand at all the good parts like he had to freeze to fully enjoy it. It felt nice not hiding. When we were together in public, I had to act like he was my father or something. Us in this dark room felt so right, with only our faces illuminated from the television.

Just as my eyes started to close on his shoulder, a faint sound startled me back up. I couldn’t quite make it out, it sounded like pouting.

“Do you hear that?” I asked aloud.

He stayed quiet for a moment, letting go of my hand. “No, darling, I hear nothing.”

He got stiff and started gulping his beer down. The sound continued, was it from the basement? “No, there is something. I’m going to check it out.”

I started to hop off the couch but he quickly pushed me down, “Okay, okay. Stay here. It’s probably some sort of creature- a raccoon. It’s a raccoon… probably.”

I laid back down on the couch, holding a pillow to my chest. I wanted to see that raccoon, why didn’t he let me go with him? He made me mad sometimes with his bossing me around. I liked it when he got mad at me though. When his eyebrows get all creased and his veins pop out of his hands. I liked it because he would always hold me after while I cried.

I tiptoed towards the door Chris walked through. I heard whispering. Not from him but from a girl. I crept down to the floor and placed my ear as close to the crack as possible.

“Please. Please. Please.” She was sobbing. “I have money. If that’s what you want, my father can give it all to you.”

“Darling… I don’t want your money.” Then he whispered something I couldn’t make out, he was so careful with his words. Whatever he said made her scream but he quickly muffled it out with his hand. I darted back to the movie as soon as I heard his footsteps coming back up the stairs.

I got in my place, with my pillow on my chest and a smile on my face. He nonchalantly sat back next to me and without moving his eyes from the screen said, “just as I suspected, a raccoon. Nothing to worry about.”

That felt like a knife in my chest. He lied to me. I felt sick knowing that his lie hurt me more than when I heard the cries of that young girl. Tears filled my eyes for me and that girl and everything that has ever happened. Why did it have to be me? I’m too young and I’m scrappy and my hair is always tangled.

Right after the movie ended we went to bed. Minutes after we laid down he was already snoring. I couldn’t sleep. The blinding moon peeked through the drapes, the aged sheets clung to my skin like sandpaper, and the clock on my bedside table pervaded my thoughts. Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock

With care, I slowly crawled out of bed. I prayed to God that his snoring was enough to drown out the sound of the creaky wood flooring. I didn’t want to think about the possibilities of what he was doing down there, but my body shook with wonder. Like a mouse, I opened the door I had my ear against earlier. Behind it, there was a long passageway of wooden stairs, at the foot of them there was a cloud of darkness. My body trembled as I crept down there. It was an average handy man’s basement. Tools, shelves, no real furniture, the smell of decay.

He killed her.

I saw my reflection in her. We matched with pale skin and glossy brown eyes. Her body was laying on the floor like a mangled starfish. She was my age, my size, she looked so tired. Blood lined her mouth and one streak had fallen on the side of her face to create a puddle. Her hair was tangled and bruises painted her legs all colors of the rainbow.

I could see it so clearly, she thought he loved her. She must’ve not taken care of him the way I do. With Chris and I, it’s different. It has to be different. He could never do this to me. He gave me a book. A goddamn book. Why would he get me a book if he didn’t want me to finish it? He loves me.

As I held her face and brought the blood back to life with my tears, I felt him behind me. The same dark shadow that had kissed me to bed. The shadow that laughed and cried and loved with me. He was mine, my shadow. I couldn’t run from my own shadow.

I turned around to see his face. He was furious with tears, holding an ax. In the darkness, I could barely recognize his poor face. I steadily stood up from the girl and looked at the veins popping out of his forehead. He was used to people running and screaming but I stayed. I took one deep breath and looked into his culpable eyes, “you got me a book.”

I took a big gulp as I looked at his face. His eyebrows creased and he stayed quiet for a long time. He kept looking at me and then down to his feet then back at me.

“No one ever remembers my birthday,” I whispered.

“Are you going to read it?” He asked, in his normal voice, not his angry one.

“Yes, of course,” I said, probably looking like a deer in headlights. This silence made me antsier and antsier. And just like that, he nodded his head towards the stairs, put down the ax, and placed his arm around my shoulder. I love when he does that.

We slowly walked back upstairs through the silent cabin. The more I thought about running or leaving, the worse I felt. Dark thoughts clouded my mind; but when I cuddled up with him under the covers, and I could feel his feet through my fuzzy socks, all I felt was solitude.

Tomorrow will be normal. He’ll wake me up to the sound of freshly brewed coffee and scrambled eggs. I’ll exclaim how embarrassed I am with how I look in the mornings and he’ll say it doesn’t matter to him while he kisses me on my forehead. In my ending, he’ll warm me with the ineffable feeling of loving him and being loved back.


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72 Reviews


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Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:21 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi julia002,

I was quite surprised when I read the story. It has an excellent reading flow and the tension and emotions remain at a high. Even in the climax, you stick to your writing style, which I really like.

You can really feel everything coming to a head and how the girl feels at the moment of the discovery. Especially this sentence "As I held her face and brought the blood back to life with my tears..." was so powerful that I felt goosebumps. You only have to imagine it and you are shocked. You also wonder how long she has been trapped down there and what will happen next to the teenage girl and Christopher. You stand there like the teenage girl and ask yourself how this could have happened. How she had to keep telling herself that he got her a book was so authentic and dramatic!

I won't mention here some of the little things that other reviewers have described before me. That would only be unnecessary repetition.

While reading, I was reminded of a novel where a relationship with a 12-year-old is told from a man's perspective. It gave me the same feeling reading your short story.
The whole story feels genuinely real and it was fun to read it. A really good horror story!

Mailice




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Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:02 pm
Sunflowerdemon3712 wrote a review...



soI liked this story for the most part but there are a couple things I would like to share
"However, down by my house, the flowers were blooming and mornings were filled with the sound of sprinklers"
I think some one already pointed this out but it seem's a little out of place
"Sometimes I think my parents wouldn’t mind his age. It’s not like he was older than them. Thirty isn’t grandpa-old. I think it’s sophisticated-old."
So thank you for giving clarity on his age it was a smart way to do it but I do think that as a teenager this is just in my eyes but I could be wrong that I would be quite worried about dating someone older then me and I wouldn't think my parent's would be okay with an age gap like that but like I said I could be wrong.
"It was an average handy man’s basement. Tools, shelves, no real furniture, the smell of decay"
I think that it would have worked better if you had said the smell of blood because a body doesn't start to decay that quick so it doesn't really make sense but the rest of it worked really well helped build the world even more
"Her hair was tangled and bruises painted her legs all colors of the rainbow."
honestly this line was great at showing how the person looked in a creative way of describing things so great job with that
"I could see it so clearly, she thought he loved her. She must’ve not taken care of him the way I do. With Chris and I, it’s different. It has to be different. He could never do this to me."
okay so this line does a great job at painting how truly how naive she is but at the same time it doesn't make sense because I don't think a persons thought would be "She must’ve not taken care of him the way I do" no I think it would be holy crud this guy murdered an poor girl but like I said I could be wrong.
Now this story was good it was great at painting the world but I don't think that she would be okay with this person being a literal murderer but I'm not quite sure everyone is different after all. I'm not trying to be mean with all this I just wanted to try and give some constructive criticism and I don't want to hurt you feelings or anything sorry if it came off as rude I was not trying to be at all. Anyway I hope you have a great day bye! :)




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Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:43 pm
Honora wrote a review...



Hey Julia! I'm here for a quick review! As I've never reviewed your work before, I'll start off by saying that I don't mean any offence when I edit your work. I'm here only to try help you with my limited knowledge of writing! If I overstep or offend you in any way, let me know and I'll lighten up in the future. :D

However, down by my house, the flowers were blooming and mornings were filled with the sound of sprinklers.
The However seems out of place here. I don't know why but when I was reading, it ruined the flow of your work. This could be purely a writer's preference but for example you could have said:
Despite this, the flowers were blooming around my house while the mornings were filled with the insistent twist of sprinklers.

Sometimes I think my parents wouldn’t mind his age. It’s not like he was older than them. Thirty isn’t grandpa-old. I think it’s sophisticated-old.
Here you used the word think twice in close proximity. Try to avoid doing that. It somehow makes it repetitive to your readers. ;)

I plopped myself on the couch and with excitement, said. “It’s like we're adults!"
This was on the tail end of a paragraph when it should have been it's own. It's switching from description to dialogue and as such, gets its' own special attention. :) I also added what's in italics there to tie it into her speaking

He got stiff and started gulping his beer down. The sound continued, was it from the basement?
MAJOR CREEP VIBES! This girl gotta get out! 0_o

I’m too young and I’m scrappy and my hair is always tangled.
This seemed out of place and rather irrelevant. She's in the house with a creepy dude and she's worried about her appearance? Seems weird.

I could see it so clearly, she thought he loved her. She must’ve not taken care of him the way I do. With Chris and I, it’s different. It has to be different. He could never do this to me. He gave me a book. A goddamn book. Why would he get me a book if he didn’t want me to finish it? He loves me.
Okay for one, CREEPY! Man this girl is so naïve. Second, the sentences are all very short and as such, makes it very choppy. The effect is needed but when there's too much, it just drones on and on.

I took one deep breath and looked into his culpable eyes, “you got me a book.”
This, again, was at the end of a paragraph when it should be its' own.

And that's all the nitpicks I have :D

So, although this story is creepy, I really did enjoy it. It was capturing and very well written. I could feel her need to be loved even though the way she found it was incredibly not relatable XD Her emotions were very easy to feel while I had a clear picture of her surroundings too. That's pretty impressive because I find most writers are good at one or the other. One may be good at portraying emotion and connection with characters while another will tell you the size of each rock on the road. :-P So you did a really good job balancing the two and giving an overall picture of the situation with both emotion and description.

Anyways, that's all I have for you!

Keep on writing! :D :D :D
Honora




julia002 says...


I always enjoy constructive criticism, thank you for the analysis/review!



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Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:54 pm
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Haileyg21 wrote a review...



Hiyo! this is Haileys review for an amazing work! So this is pretty good. The suspence is amazing and the emotions are very clear. Its worded in a way that you can feel the feelings this girl has. The emotions are Shown really well.
"As I held her face and brought the blood back to life with my tears, I felt him behind me. The same dark shadow that had kissed me to bed. The shadow that laughed and cried and loved with me. He was mine, my shadow. I couldn’t run from my own shadow." this Paragraph was the one that I could feel the most emtions in. Honestly Best One I Have read all day. So thank you the amazing writer for writing this piece and sharing it with Us.




julia002 says...


In my writing, I like to value the characters and their emotions, so this means a lot! Thank you!




The idea that a poem was a made thing stayed with me, and I decided then that I wanted to be an artist, not just a diarist. So I put myself through a kind of apprenticeship in writing poetry, and I understood even then that my practice as a poet was deeply related to my reading.
— Edward Hirsch