THE RAPING OF AVA DeSANTIS

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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?”

Silence.

“Ava. . . are you okay?”

Silence.

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

 

THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by JANDY NELSON

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I`m too mortified to sleep. What was I thinking? I keep imagining Joe reading my ridiculous poem to his brothers, and worse to Rachel, all of them laughing at poor lovelorn Lennie, who knows nothing about romance except what she learned from Emily Bronte. I told him : I belong to him. I told him: My heart is his. I told him: I hear his soul in his music. I`m going to jump off of a building. Who says things like this in the twenty-first century? No one! How is it possible that something can seem like such a brilliant idea one day and such a bonehead one the next?

as soon as there’s enough light, I throw a sweatshirt over my pajamas, put on some sneakers, and run through the dawn to the forest bedroom to retrieve the note, but when I get there, it’s gone. I tell myself that the wind blew it away like all the other poems. I mean, how likely is it that he showed up yesterday afternoon after I left? Not likely at all.

Sarah is keeping me company, providing humiliation support while I make lasagnas.
She can’t stop from squealing. “You’re going to be first clarinet, Lennie. For sure.”

“We’ll see.”

“It’ll help you get into a conservatory. Julliard even.”

I take a deep breath. How like an imposter I`d felt every time Marguerite mentioned it, how like a traitor, conspiring to steal my sister’s dream, just as it got swiped from her. Why didn’t it occur to me then I could dream at all?

“I`d love to go to Julliard,” I tell Sarah. There. Finally. “But any goof conservatory would be okay.” I just want to study music: what life, what living itself sounds like.

“We could go together,” Sarah’s saying, while shoveling into her mouth each slice of mozzarella as I cut it. I slap her hand. She continues, “Get an apartment together in New York City.” I think Sarah might rocket into outer space at the idea-me too, though, I, pathetically, keeping thinking: What about Joe? “Or Berklee in Boston,” she says, her big blue eyes boinging out of her head. “Don’t forget Berklee. Either way, we could drive there in Ennui, zigzag our way across. Hang out at the Grand Canyon, go to New Orleans, maybe-”

“Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” I groan.

“Not the poem again. What could be a better distraction than the divine goddesses Julliard and Berklee. Sheesh. Unfreakingbelievable. . . ”

“You have no idea how dildonic it was.”

Nice word, Len.” She’s flipping through a magazine someone left on the counter.

Lame isn’t lame enough of a word for this poem,” I mutter. “Sarah, I told a guy that I belong to him.”

“That’s what happens when you read Wuthering Heights eighteen times.”

“Twenty-three.”

I`m layering away: sauce, noodles, I belong to you, cheese, sauce, my heart is yours, nooddles, cheese, I hear your soul in your music, cheese, cheese, CHEESE. . .

She’s smiling at me. “You know, it might be okay, he seems kind of the same way.”

“What way?”

“You know, like you.”

 

-The sky is everywhere.
Page 293-295

 

The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

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“Can you believe that was only yesterday?”

Another plane crosses the patch of sky above them, and Hadley leans into Oliver as they watch, their eyes trained on the bright dots of light. After a moment , he nudges her forward gently so that he can stand up, then offers her a hand.

“Let’s dance.”

“Here?”

“I was thinking inside, actually.” He glances around- his eyes skipping from the carpeted steps to the restless bellhop to the cars lining up outside the entrance- then nods. “But why not?”

Hadely rises to her feet and smoothes her dress, and then Oliver positions his hands like a professional ballroom dancer , one on her back and the other in the air. His form is perfect, his face serious, and she steps into his waiting arms with a  sheepish grin.

“I have no idea how to dance like this.”

“I`ll show you,” he says, but they haven’t moved an inch. They’re just standing there, poised and ready, as if waiting for the music to begin, both of them unable to stop smiling. His hand on her back is like something electric, and being here like this, so suddenly close to him, is enough to make her lightheaded. It’s a feeling like falling, like forgetting the words to a song.

“I can’t believe you’re here,” she says, her voice soft. “I can’t believe you found me.”

“You found me first,” he says, and when he leans to kiss her, it’s slow and sweet and she knows that this will be the one she always remembers, because while the other two kisses felt like endings, this one is unquestionably a beginning.

-Page 211-212
The statistical probability of love at first sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE AUTHOR. 

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.

 

 

 

 

The Prince – The Selection Series(0.5) by Kiera Cass

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With no warning whatsoever, tears began streaming down Daphne’s face. I looked around the room, trying to find an explanation or solution, feeling more and more uncomfortable every moment.

“Please tell me you’re not going to follow through with this, Maxon. You can’t,” she pleaded.

“What are you talking about?” I asked desperately.

“The Selection! Please, don’t marry some stranger. Don’t make me marry some stranger.”

“I have to. That’s how it works for princes of Illea. We marry commoners.”

Daphne rushed forward, grabbing my hands. “But I love you. I always have. Please don’t marry some other girl without at least asking your father if I could be a choice.”

Loved me? Always?

I choked over words, trying to find the right place to start. “Daphne, how…I don’t know what to say.”

“Say you’ll ask your father,” she pleaded, wiping away her tears hopefully. “Postpone the Selection long enough for us to at least see if it’s worth trying. Or let me enter, too. I`ll give up my crown.”

“Please stop crying,” I whispered.

“I can’t! Not when I`m about to lose you forever.” She buried her head in her hands, sobbing quietly.

I stood there, stone-like, terrified I would make this worse. After a few tense moments, she raised her head. She spoke, staring at nothing.

“You’re the only person who really knows me. The only person I feel I truly know myself.”

“Knowledge isn’t love,” I contradicted.

“That’s not true, Maxon. We have a history together, and it’s about to be broken. All for the sake of tradition.” She kept her eyes focused on some invisible space in the centre of the room, and I couldn’t guess what she was thinking now. Clearly, I was oblivious to her thoughts in general.

Finally Daphne turned her face to me. “MAxon I beg of you, ask your father. Even if he says no, at least I`ll have done everything I could.”

Positive that I already knew this to be true, I told her what I must. “You already have, Daphne. This is it.” I held out my arms for a moment and let them drop. “This is all it could ever be.”

She held my gaze for a long time, knowing as I did that asking my father for such an outrageous request was beyond anything I could truly get away with. I saw her search her mind for an alternative path, but she quickly saw there wasn;t one. She was a servant to her crown, I was a servant to mine, and our masters would never cross.

As she nodded, her face crumpled into tears again. She wandered over to a couch and sat down, holding herself. I stayed still, hoping to not cause her any more grief. I longed to make her laugh, but there wasn’t anything funny about this. I hadn’t known I was capable of breaking a heart.

I certainly didn’t like it.

Just then I realized this was about to become common. I would dismiss thirty four women over the next few months. What if they all reacted this way?

I huffed, exhausted at the thought.

At the sound, she looked up. Slowly, the expression on her face changed.

“Doesn’t this hurt you at all?” she demanded. “You’re not that good an actor, Maxon.”

“Of course it bothers me.”

She stood, silently assessing me. “But not for the same reasons it bothers me,” she whispered. She walked across the room, her eyes pleading. “Maxon, you love me.”

I stayed still.

“Maxon,” she said more forcefully, “you love me. You do.”

I had to look away, the intensity in her eyes too bright for me. I ran a hand through my hair, trying to put whatever it was I did feel into words.

“I`ve never seen anyone express their feelings the way you just did. I have no doubt you mean every word, but I can’t do that, Daphne.”

“That doesn’t mean you don’t know how to feel it. You just have no idea how to express it. Your father can be as cold as ice, and your mother hides within herself. You’ve never seen people love freely, so you don’t know how to show it. But if you feel it; I know you do. You love me as I love you.”

Slowly, I shook my head, fearing another syllable out of my mouth would start everything up again.

“Kiss me,” she demanded.

“What?”

“Kiss me. If you can kiss me and still say you don’t love me, I`ll never mention this again.

  • PAGE 13-14
    THE PRINCE (0.5) THE SELECTION SERIES
    KIERA CASS