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Buried in Lies
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His lips told me he knew me.
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When you know you’re going to die and you’re on the edge of death, what do you see?
A white light?
No. They tell lies to try to appease you.
The ones with black on their soul, the ones that don’t deserve the light, see something different. I was one of them.
Did you know that?
I wasn’t good.
I tried to be. Oh, how I tried.
But the darkness sang to me like a mother sings her child a lullaby.
The darkness was my bitch, and I was happy about it. More than happy.
I reveled in it. I tried to be normal, but the act of doing something despicable crooned to me so sweetly. And I could never say no.
Not to him.
Not to her.
Not to myself.
Maybe this was how I died.
Maybe this was why I saw myself as a ladybug in my next life. Surrounded by other ladybugs with wings of orange and black all around me, hundreds of them. They wanted to sing to me, to pull me into whatever hell they thought they could lure me into.
But my devil was stronger.
For him, I couldn’t forgive.
For him, I was going to punish.
Because one thing he should know about me.
I don’t die easily.
I push the ladybugs away, they fly all around me, the orange and black obscuring my surroundings making it impossible for me to see.
Then I remember why I’m here.
Then I wake up.
My name is Jaya Elmor, and I will not die today.
Hypnotize Me Baby
Three Years Ago
Have you ever stood in the middle of a storm?
Felt its power?
The high you got from it?
That was how I met Syler Hunter. He was unforeseen, and he crept up on me in the most unexpected way. He had no idea he was my storm, but I think she knew he was my storm.
Toska Hunter, his sister with the fiery red hair. I worked with her, spent countless hours listening to her talk, and not all of it was good. She was unlike anyone I’d ever met, and meeting her changed my life. We both worked at the local cinema, going absolutely nowhere. Sometimes we shared the same shift, and when we did, we snuck into whatever horror movie was playing and watched.
She told me how she wanted to try it all and I would nod and listen as if I understood everything she said. As if it was normal. I didn’t know her well enough to tell her the kinds of things she was clearly comfortable telling me. She was so open with me, yet she shut out everyone else like a bad smell. I didn’t quite understand her, and sometimes she scared me, but most of all she intrigued me.
Toska spoke a lot of her brother—no one else, just him. Then she would tell me things, vivid details about her foster home experiences. I didn’t understand them all, or why she wanted to share them with me. I didn’t share things like that with people I liked, let alone those I’d just met. Still, she felt comfortable enough around me to discuss how she was molested by her first foster father at the age of ten, and then how her brother, at the age of twelve, stabbed him in her defense.
She smiled as she talked about that part.
Different was something I’d always been. I knew I wasn’t like the other kids—I didn’t mesh well with them. When I’d tried to be normal in high school, it was tiring. I hated them all, even the ones I pretended to like.
Toska eventually invited me out places, but I usually declined.
Then I met him.
Syler’s a man who silently screamed fuck me but stay the fuck away. He was unlike anyone I’d ever met, his presence alone was demanding, yet scary, and I got a kick out of it. I’d never met someone so intimidating in all my life, yet I longed to get to know him better. Those sea-green eyes he had stared at me and saw through me. He was a conundrum. My very own puzzle that I wanted to crack and win, and now my interest had spiked. I didn’t feel the dead weight I’d felt all year, it was lifted the moment he stepped into the cinema to collect his sister, Toska. Her eyes followed my line of sight, her hand offered a wave and she smiled, then she turned to me.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of him—he hadn’t even looked my way. I needed him more than I needed my next breath.
He was hypnotizing.
He was my storm.
It was in that moment I became her new plaything.
“So, tomorrow?” Toska asked, sliding her bag onto her shoulder and popping her gum which broke my stare. As Syler turned to look at me I glanced away. I didn’t want to see his disapproval of me. He was used to people who looked like his sister—slim, big boobs—and I was everything she was not. I liked food- fuck, I loved food- and I was not going to apologize for that fact, not even when my stomach rolled over my jeans.