Ava rinsed her mouth with water as she stared at herself in the mirror. Her large woodsy-green eyes were filling with revenge. How dare you flaunt your unborn baby in my face. Her eyes darkened in the mirror. And to watch that fat demon make three after what he did to me? What kind of man are you? Tell me? Who the F**k are you? You f*****g son of a whoring bitch!

“Are you okay in there?” asked Michelle outside the door.

“Just washing up,” replied Ava in a sing-songy-manner. She then rinsed her mouth one last time and shut off the water. As she reached for the decorative hand towel, she noticed a bottle of nail loish and an old-fashioned, sharp metal nail file on the marble countertop.

Ava picked up the knife-like nail file with all her might as she slowly reached for the doorknob.

“Trust me, it gets better in a few weeks,” shouted Michelle.

Ava’s large green eyes were turning black with murderous rage. . .

“You really are sick in there, aren’t you?”


“Ava. . . are you okay?”


Then suddenly Ava SPRUNG OPEN the door, leapt out of the bathroom and shoved the metal file into Michelle’s face. In response, Michelle bent backwards, terrified.

“I can’t believe they still make these.” Ava stood cool and calm as a Druid tree.

Michelle breathed heavily for a few moments. . . then started laughing, recovering from the false alarm.

“Oh, did I scare you? Bless your heart.”

Michelle continued laughing at herself. “You scared the hell out of me. How silly?”

Ava joined in on the laughter. “How rude of me. I am so sorry.”

“And yes, they do still make those. I`ll grab you one next time I go to Piggly Wiggly.”


-The raping of Ava DeSantis
Page 223-224






1 Fiction Road
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.



All Fall Down – Ally Carter


“What are you up to?” I say, my voice light.

“Your grandfather and I are going to watch a movie later, but we only have it on-aha!”

She pulls an old projector off one of the high shelves. It’s ancient, and dust cascades down onto her perfect suit. No one has used it in ages, and part of me thinks that it won’t even work. But she’s so proud of herself that I don’t say anything.

“You should join us,” Ms. Chancellor tells me. “Roman Holiday. It;s about a princess on the run in Rome, and Gregory Peck plays an American journalist who-oh, I don’t want to spoil it. Please come watch it with us.”

“OK,” I somehow muter. “Maybe.”

“I`m going to hold you to that,” she says with a wink.

Then she turns and starts back toward the stairs-her high heels clicking in the distance- leaving me exactly where I am supposed to be.

I am inside the United States embassy.

And so was the man who killed my mother when he found that he was supposed to kill again.

Technically, I`m already home. I only have to go upstairs. Close the door. Lie down on my pink canopy bed and be a normal girl. But whatever chance I had for normal disappeared three years ago. It went up in smoke.
So I creep back into the tunnels. This time I do not run away. There is no pounding in my head or in my veins. It is like I am moving in slow motion. I feel like I`m walking in a dream.

Once, I stop and lean against the rough walls and try to catch my breath. I worry I might get lost again. I worry about so many things-all the time. But I keep walking. And when I finally climb out into the street, I start to run, faster and faster down the hill.
The Scarred Man was meeting someone in the US embassy. That is where his accomplice lives – or at least works. For days I`ve been worrying about where the Scarred Man had been-who his accomplices might be.

Now I`m not worried.
Now I`m terrified.

So I run faster, arms pumping at my side. Is Noah spending the night in Israel or Brazil? Brazil, I think. No Israel. I stop mid-stride. I turn in a flash.
I`m supposed to be running in the opposite direction but my legs no longer work. My arms can’t move. All I can do is stand in the deserted street. And stare.

“You,” I say.
The Scarred Man smiles. “Hello, Grace.”