ELEVATED by ELANA JOHNSON

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I HITCHED UP MY SKIRT,
Ran toward Jesse as the elevator doors slithered open.
“Wait!”
I made it inside before the doors closed,
Adjusted my dress so I was covered.
“Spill it, Jess.”

Jesse studied his ruined knuckles,
Said nothing.
“What’s the deal? I can make you bleed some more.”

He slid a look my direction,
A half-smile curving his lips,
But not touching his eyes.
“Prove it.”

Swallowing, I removed my heels.
“Okay, but I should warn you that I almost broke Trav’s nose once.”

I hesitated before cocking my fist back.

He grabbed my wrist before I could make contact,
Pulled me close,
Whispered, “Damn, girl.
No wonder Trav has it bad for you.”

I yanked my hand away,
Shoved him in the chest.
“Shut up.”

Jesse grabbed me again,
This time harder,
His eyes wild,
His breath coming quick.
“I want-“

He pushed me against the wall,
And for one horrible moment,
I thought he’d hit me.

My heart pounded in my throat,
His hand felt so hot around my wrist,
His body too heavy against mine.

He pressed so close,
I could barely tilt my head to look at him.
“Jesse”

“I want to kiss you,” he said,
His voice thick,
Hoarse.
“Real bad.”

I swallowed,
Thought of what his lips against mine would feel like.

My eyes flickered to his mouth,
And when I looked back to his eyes,
I found a mix of emotions-desire,
Anger,
Hurt,
Frustration.

I was breathing hard,
My chest rising and falling too fast against Jesse’s.
He finally lowered his head,
His lips drawing dangerously close to mine.
He bypassed my mouth,
Brushed his lips along my jaw,
Whispered, “I think my cousin might slit my throat while I sleep if I do this.”

I couldn’t make sense of his words
Before he stepped back,
Released my wrist,
Gave me space.

He turned away so I couldn’t see his face,
This thing between us big and bloated,
And entirely unfair.

I didn’t want to hurt Jesse,
But I didn’t want to kiss him either.
“Jesse…”

Seconds passes,
Heavy and long.
He didn’t turn around as he said,
“You’re too good for him,”
With a hitch on the last word.

His voice carried so much emotion;
Tears gathered behind my eyes.
I blinked them down.

I’d been so focused on Trav,
I hadn’t even noticed Jesse standing there.
I didn’t know what to say to make this right.

“But he needs you,” Jesse said,
His voice pitching higher.
His fists unclenching.

 

  • Page 68-69
    Elevated by Elana Johnson

KETCHUP CLOUDS – ANNABEL PITCHER

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1 Fiction Road
Bath
September 17th

Dear Mr. Harris,

For once my legs aren’t digging into the tiles because I picked up my pillow before I tiptoed out of the house. I put it on top of the box and it’s quite comfy even though it’s a bit damp. I must have been seating in my dream and it was so real with the rain and the trees and the disappearing hand. I bet you’re no stranger to this so I don’t need to bang on about how terrifying it was. Probably you have nightmares all the time, like when guard turns off the light I bet you zoom right back to the moment your wife told you the truth.

Funny to think it wasn’t your wife who got you the death penalty. I didn’t understand that at first. No offence or anything. but stabbing a woman you’ve been married to for ten years sounds a whole lot worse than shooting a random neighbor who’d popped round with a mincemeat tart because it was Christmas. But then the article, which fyi  I found on google, said something about a crime of passion. When you attacked your wife, you weren’t thinking straight. You were blinded by rage and seeing so much red I bet your wife was practically scarlet, which would have been appropriate. That’s what you call a woman who’s had an affair. A scarlet woman.

In a court of American Law, acting out of anger is not as bad as killing in cold blood. When you didn’t answer the door next morning, your neighbor opened it up and strolled into your house. If you ask me, that’s bad manners, but I guess your neighbor learned her lesson when the bullet blew her brain out. Shooting a potential witness was calculating. According to the jury, you knew exactly what you were doing when you pulled the trigger and fed her tart to your dog. You went on the run for three days but the guilt got too much so you turned yourself in.

Sometimes I think I’d be better off doing that. It’s getting harder to pretend now I`m back at school. Now his mum’s sniffing around too. There I was in English with my phone in my hand, and before you say it I know I shouldn’t have been looking but I was checking the time, willing it to be lunch so I could escape with Lauren. We’re developed this routine where we grab sandwiches then hide away from the staring eyes in the music block in this room full of instruments.

  • Page 43 -44
    Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher.

 

                       

SECOND CHANCE BOYFRIEND – ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND SERIES (#2) by MONICA MURPHY

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**Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual content and language, mature subject matter**New Adult ContemporaryLost.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered a tattoo on his rib cage, written in elegant script. It’s a paragraph, more like a string of words in a poem. I trace each word with my finger, trying to decipher their meaning.

For a passion that’s 
Able to shine like ours
Blessed are we to
Love
Each other. 

I`m in shock that clean-cut All-American Boy Drew Callahan has a tattoo. And that he got it after we were together.

“What does it mean?” I ask him, slowing skimming the words, each individual letter with my index finger.

He seems surprised by my question. “Read it again,” he says quietly. “Slowly”.

I do so, realizing that the first letter if every sentence spells my name. Reminding me of the marshmallow note he left for me. I`m shocked. Over-whelmed. Touched so deep, tears form in my eyes, and he kisses them away as they fall onto my cheeks. “I wrote those words for you,” he murmurs against my mouth before he kisses my lips. “You’ve turned me into a poet, Fable.”

God, he’s so sweetly romantic I want to lose myself in him forever.

– Page 75, Chapter 8.