Drowning In Us Trailer

Hola amigos,

I hope the cold weather isn’t too bad where you are.

As you know, for the last few years, I’ve been working on a very special project. It has been a long process and it has gone through a lot of changes, but I have some further details on it that I can share with you.

The project will be a story that is told through various mediums, and will include a book of short stories and poetry, an album of music inspired by the story, and a film.

You can check out the film trailer below, and I can’t wait for you to see more of the project next year!

I really hope that Marina and Grant’s love story will be something you enjoy.

Besos,

J x


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OK

I tried to hate him, I tried harder than I’ve ever tried at anything to hate that man. As I lay alone with nothing but a bathrobe and a small blanket for comfort I tried again. I closed my eyes and visualised his soft, gentle hands on her body and bit my lip to stop myself from wailing in agony. It hurt to think about them together, not psychical pain but emotional. When I thought about them I just wanted to cry.

I’m sure she has some kind of disease, which explains why he did it. It was probably just out of pity, it might have been her last time. Again I’m making excuses for him and I know I shouldn’t. They aren’t even good excuses. They don’t even make sense. He wouldn’t make excuses for me if I had done that to him, I like to pretend he would but I know he wouldn’t.

I didn’t see them, I didn’t have to because he told me. He said he was awfully sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again so I just nodded and carried on preparing breakfast. It was her job to do breakfast, she’s the maid so should have been busy but I’d imagine she was upstairs in bed. Our bed. I heard them the night before as I came in from drinks with a friend and decided to sleep on the sofa downstairs. I didn’t want to walk in and see them because that would make it real so I stayed downstairs and pretended.

After breakfast I played outside with the children for a few minutes before leaving them with the nanny so she could take them to school while I went to work. “Are you okay Madam?” She asked after sending the children to go and get their coats. I nodded and she nodded back at me. “I’m sorry.” She said quietly, I smiled in thanks and walked towards the car with my handbag on my shoulder, wondering who else knew about my husband’s blatant indiscretions. Rachel, our nanny, was the closest thing I had to a friend, and I was certain she was only my friend because we paid her.

I kept it together for the entire day, I stayed quiet at the office and kept to myself as usual. David would have been pleased. For a man who socialised with any woman who took his fancy, he had a lot of ideas of who I should be talking to. Namely, nobody but those in our isolated existence. My work wasn’t even mine. I had always been aware that he had set up my job with a friend, and that I was constantly being watched. Sometimes, I wasn’t even sure what my workplace purpose was. He probably just wanted me out of the house, so he could have more time with whoever he liked this week.

We all ate together that night, David sat at one end of the table and I at the other, the children sat together on one side and Rachel sat on the other. Mary had dinner in her bedroom because she was ill. I spat in her soup.

It was when the children went to bed that things got worse, David went up to check on Mary and Rachel went to read the children a story. I just sat in the kitchen looking into space not knowing what to do with myself. It had occurred to me during my dull work day of doing nothing but staying out of my husband’s way that beyond staying out of my husband’s way, I didn’t actually do anything. I had no friends. I had no hobbies. I only played with the children to give David some space.

After a few minutes of soaking in existential despair, I walked, almost robotic to my bedroom, fully aware of my husband’s voice behind Mary’s door, but also fully aware that I’d be doing absolutely nothing about it.

David’s tie was lying on the foot of the bed, I pushed it to the floor and began removing my clothes. I stood in front of the mirror in nothing but my underwear and took a moment to evaluate myself. I was acceptable. I always had been. More than that, I was beautiful. In my pain, and his rejection, I was beautiful. I took a moment to fantasise about a future without David. Taking the children to school myself, getting to know the mother’s at the gate, getting to know myself, maybe finding someone new, or not, it didn’t matter, just as long as he wasn’t there.

I took my bathrobe from the top of the door and wrapped it around myself, squashing the flames of my rebellion. The bed, as treacherous as it had been for keeping secrets, welcomed me and I wrapped myself up in the duvet.

I heard footsteps approaching and closed my eyes, desperate to escape, or even to find the bravery to consider the idea. “Kate.” David called as he pushed open the door, I didn’t open my eyes and simply lay still, unable to face him. “Kate are you sleeping?” I stirred slightly but kept my eyes firmly shut, I couldn’t bare to look at him.

“No.” I felt the bed dip a little as he laid upon the bed next to me, his breath was warm against my skin and his hand crept up my leg and under my bathrobe. I didn’t push it away because it was all I wanted. I wanted him to hold me so desperately, despite my earlier desperation for anything but.

“I’ll always love you Kate.”

I opened my eyes and laid in silence for a few moments. “Ok.”

I suppose it hurt his feelings when I ignored him, I just couldn’t handle telling him I loved him back. I did and we both knew that but he didn’t deserve to hear it from my lips. I rolled over and fell asleep hoping I would wake up from the nightmare the next day and it would simply have been a dream.

I awoke the next day with his arms around me, Mary was gone and everything seemed back to normal. He had made his choice and I suppose his decision was final, for a whole day all I wanted was for Mary to be gone so I had David all to myself but now I wished she had kept him. I didn’t want to be trapped any longer. If it wasn’t her, it would be someone else, and I’d be sat in that God forsaken house, screaming at the walls and my own lack of a spine.

I sat up in bed and heard his voice, it was hushed but just about audible. “I love you Kate.”

“Ok.” I said quietly as I took a step off the bed towards my old life.


 

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Collecting

Chrissy let out a heavy sigh as her latest lover collapsed on top of her with great force, he groaned a little before rolling over and closing his eyes. She pulled the duvet around her and put an arm over his warm body, exhaustion was a powerful thing and allowed her to have this strange man under her control.

“Your thoughts?” She asked taking his hand in her own and squeezing it gently, she often had random bursts of affection for her men after the deed was done, even if she didn’t find him all that attractive. She simply couldn’t help herself, a wild and uncontrollable rush of happiness filled her and all she wanted to do was lay in his arms and pretend they loved each other. It was called making love for a reason, every time she participated she created at least a few minutes of genuine love for her companion.

“Good.” He replied as he pushed her hand away, she grabbed his again and pushed her body closer to his. Her lips found their way onto his ear and she kissed it with intense passion, she thought he’d at least be grateful but he simply pushed her away again.

“What’s wrong?” She asked sounding and feeling a little hurt, she rest a hand on his waist and leaned closer again. He turned to her and opened his eyes a fraction, she stared intently into them and smiled.

“Look Carrie.” He began, her smile remained intact but seemed a little forced.

“It’s Chrissy.” She reminded him before shoving him affectionately. He didn’t return the affection when he replied.

“I’m tired so just give it a rest.” Her face fell and she felt the tears approaching, she tried her best to fight them as she knew crying was the worst sign of weakness. A few simple tears would show him who she really was and that couldn’t happen.

“Sure.” She said as he turned onto his side and she lay on her back staring at the ceiling, she hadn’t intended for things to end like this. She never did. He was supposed to hold her and tell her she was beautiful, he was supposed to kiss her endlessly until she fell asleep, he was supposed to remind her of all the reasons why he was attracted to her. Of course he did none of these things and simply fell into a deep sleep beside her.

She rolled onto her side and took a good look at him. He was presentable at best, not exactly her future husband but he was decent at least. His hair fell past his strong shoulders and fanned against the pillow, it was cute but perhaps she’d like him to get it trimmed. One thing she definitely liked was his slight tan, a healthy tan was always her favourite part of a man, also tattoos. She spotted one on his lower back and slid under the covers to take a closer look.

“Stephanie.” She read aloud in a hushed voice as she traced along the elaborate lettering with her fingertip. Wonderful. She thought to herself feeling the tears return, she had picked up yet another married man. This had to stop.


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Looking For Squirrels

I lay in bed staring up at the ceiling as the noise of the house began to simmer down. My mother was sleeping and my little brother at a friend’s for the night. There was only the light purr of the cat across the room and my father’s padding feet travelling up the stairs left to be heard. I closed my eyes and thought about what my day had been like, pretty normal with just a hint of excitement. My best friend Jamie and I had gone to the woods after school to look for squirrels. We gave up looking after about ten minutes as little children often did. At the age of seven you don’t have much patience, not even for something as wonderful as squirrels.

Jamie and I had been friends since first grade and told each other everything. Almost everything. We had sat deep in discussion for about half an hour about nothing of great importance, just the usual subjects. Music, television and how icky boys were. Secrets were shared on her part and I fed her lies to replace the secrets she hungered for.

I had a secret, but I knew she wouldn’t understand. She wouldn’t believe me. She’d think I was a slut. I thought I was a slut.

I thought about my wedding. I often did that when I should have been sleeping but couldn’t. I wanted a dress, like all the ones in the magazines. White and full of the promise of a future I’d never have to dream my way out of. It would be a chance to start again. Trade my name for something new, and be truly loved, just like in the movies.

I heard the door of my bedroom slowly creak open and was dragged from my dreaming. I tried to hold on by closing my eyes and running back to the church. I held my breath and hoped I would die. I felt his hand on the body he was too big for, and I knew the dream was dead.

I pulled the blankets up over my head as the lights flickered on. This couldn’t happen tonight. I had gone a whole day without thinking about it and felt nothing but air on my skin, and the innocent blades of grass. I curled my body up until I thought it would break, and I ran from the church, and the future I wanted, to the forest, for the squirrels I’d seek sanctuary with.

“Come on, wake up.” The forest began to burn around me, and I heard the desperate screams of the angry, attacked animals. Mine were silenced by a huge hand across my lips. We burned together, huddled in our helplessness and thrashing against the cruel, scorching flames. I closed my eyes, but was tortured by the bright, endless stream of light, determined to leak past my eyelids and blind me.

I prayed. I wept. I ran and I ran, until all I could do was grab the nearest object and swing. Swing for my life. The flames engulfed me, and the world was so still, in it’s destruction, as if every part of the cosmos had taken a half day to watch me finally defeated, but I was strong, for someone so small, and I was wide awake, fighting for my life. They’d have to understand. They’d have to believe me. They’d have to think I just did what anyone would do. I just did what anyone would do.

I opened my eyes, and my lamp had been broken, and the fire, finally put out, and put down, fell to the ground, leaving me free, in the forest, to search for squirrels, once more.


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Neglected

“What have you gotten into this time?” He smirked at the voice as he opened his eyes and delicate fingers ran through his hair. “Or what have you gotten me into, princess.” He sank back into the pillows, thankful for the mercy of a comfortable bed, and noticed the restraints on his wrists. “You have been thorough, my love.” He whispered, trying to mask the pride and arousal in his voice as he looked up at his lover, a sweet smile spreading across her delicious, painted lips.

“I wanted to play.” Her sing song voice sent chills down his spine, and straight into his groin, as she fiddled with the bow that adorned the front of her dress. “You were being difficult.” He had been initially apprehensive of his girlfriend’s desire to take the lead in the bedroom, but he had to admit, he was enjoying what she had to offer so far. “But here you are.” Here he was, and he admired the effort she had gone to.

“My sweetheart always gets what she wants.” He muttered, aching for what lay under her clothes.

“You’ve been very bad.” She knelt on the bed beside him, her fingers still lost in his hair, pulling it slightly. “Bad, bad boy.” She released her grip on his hair and reached for the zip of his trousers, his whole body desperate for more.

“Anything you say.” He said, with the hint of a moan as she began sliding them down his legs, tortuously slowly.

“You promised me…” She whispered, playfully snaking a fingertip across the fabric of his underwear. He nodded, closing his eyes, with a smirk. She began rubbing his erection through his underwear, and he groaned in pleasure, wanting even more to touch her. “You said I could have whatever I want.” She said suddenly, removing her hand. He groaned in protest and opened his eyes.

“How am I meant to do that when I’m all tied up?” It seemed a reasonable question, but she pouted nonetheless, hitching up her dress to reveal what he desired most, covered in black lace. “Please, stop teasing me.” His voice was low and throaty, as his tongue ran over his bottom lip, and he pulled, in vain at his restraints.

“No.” She replied bluntly, removing the dress completely, to reveal even more lace covering even more things he desired. He groaned, fighting once more against the rope that bound his wrists, and crying out slightly as the ropes burned at his skin. “Bad boy.” She whispered, ripping open his shirt, with a surprising amount of ease. “You never get what you want.” She sunk down into his now naked chest, her soft hair tickling against his neck, as she ran her fingers up and down his erection. “Do you?” Her touching teases were driving him insane, but the intimacy of it all soothed him.

“Please?” She shook her head with a smile, releasing him suddenly and sauntering off the bed and out of the room. He sighed, watching her leave. “That girl of mine…”


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The Bride Wore Blood

“We didn’t do anything, you’re crazy.” Her words still echoed in my mind and every time I heard them they sawed deeper into my heart. Every new hearing brought more blood, leaking from the woman he loved, until I collapsed. A wreck. A wonderful wedding wreck.

Heartbreak was exhausting. I’d run marathons, and I wasn’t shy of the gym, so you’d think endurance was my strong point, but I’d been shattered, from my only source of vulnerability. She had caved in my chest, and carved my beating heart to ribbons, decorating herself in the remains of my dignity, and staining my perfectly picked dress beyond recognition.

I looked up, helpless at my husband, as the night slipped away and the fantasy we had built was unmasked as nothing more than a a pitied game of pretend. He said nothing, as if I wasn’t owed an explanation, and her body simply belonged with his.

I was disgusted, and dropped from the cloud I’d been perched on for as long as I’d known him. My very own prince charming, introduced by the woman who would eventually steal him back, and where did this leave me? Floor bound and forgotten.

Of course, they didn’t mean to hurt me. Of course, they didn’t even know what I was saying. Of course, they denied it. Of course, he promised I was the only one he loved. Of course, despite saying that, he still fought for her life, as if she were me. Blood, leaking from the woman he loved, and the woman I could never be. Of course, I was crazy.

Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

That’s what they’ll say, you know. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. I know the truth.

Guilty minds leak details, and guilty hands feel cold as ice.

So do dead ones.


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hola amigos,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating the people in your life that bring you love, it doesn’t have to be romantic, because love can mean whatever you want it to mean.

I’ve written some short stories, which you can find below.

Besos,

J x

 

 


amor-amor-jennifer-juan

Our Sweet Love
Parking With Boys


Our Sweet Love

My wife had been oddly clingy. We had been together for almost twenty eight years, and as hopeful as I was for a resolution, the passion had been lost over the years, and we had resorted to going through the motions, for the sake of our daughter, Amber.

At first, I didn’t notice, I figured she had been trying to keep up the act for Amber, but after a few days of her having dinner on the table the second I arrived home, and begging me to stay home from work, I had realised something was amiss. It’s sad, as a man to admit that your wife being affectionate is a sign of trouble, but it is what it is.

I tried to enjoy her newfound sweetness, but in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but be suspicious. My worries truly began on a bleak Sunday. I had slept late, as I often did. I normally woke to the sound of the lawn being mowed, by the nice boy from number Thirty Four, who was saving for college. He went up and down the neighbourhood, every week, doing odd jobs with a friendly smile. However this week was different, I heard him and my wife in a heated discussion. I ran my fingers through my messy hair and approached the window. Below, I saw him leaning against the lawn mower, his smile replaced with a scowl, as she attempted to push money into his hand.

“Just go.” She insisted, looking round with concern, but seeming not to notice me above them. “You’re just making trouble.”

“He deserves to know what we did.” I heard him reply, and my heart sank. Backing away from the window, I fell back onto the bed, everything suddenly making sense to me. Tina had been unusually affectionate, and it must have been guilt. Some might think jumping to the conclusion of an affair is ridiculous, but it did seem plausible. I had seen her before, sat on the porch with a drink in hand, watching the young boy, hard at work. She would often make more work for him. He was constantly digging or carrying things for her, as honestly, my years of being able to help with that were far behind me. It was hard to deny that he was handsome, whereas I hadn’t been her type for years.

I was pulled from my self pity as the sound of the lawn mower kicked in, and I decided to just get on with my Sunday. There wasn’t much else I could do.

The day’s continued, with her seeming to regress to how she was when we first married. Kissing me often, morning seductions, playing the role of the doting housewife whenever she could, while I continued on auto pilot. Taking Amber to school, heading to the office and then arriving home for more lies. It felt fine. I had decided that if this was what it took to have a relatively enjoyable marriage, I’d take it for what it was and move on.

Or at least that was the plan. I was in my office later in the week, about to head out for lunch when my secretary approached me, to inform me someone was here to see me, and that it was apparently urgent. I groaned and sank back into my chair, motioning for her to show them in.

I sank back even further as the boy from Thirty Four walked in. For a moment, I felt slightly guilty about the fact I’d never bothered to learn his name, but that quickly disappeared when I remembered he had been sleeping with my wife.

He took a seat across from me, fidgeting and pulling at his shirt, as he spoke.

“I know this is weird, but…” His southern drawl annoyed me. I knew she probably thought it was charming, and it made me sick. He looked up at me for a moment, and I saw apprehension in his eyes, leading him to look back down and breathe deeply before continuing. “But there’s something you need to know.”

“I already do.” I said with a sigh. His head snapped up and he looked at me, his face painted with horror.

“Please, sir, I didn’t…” I rolled my eyes, letting his guilty rambles continue. “She made me..” I stifled a laugh, wondering how things had got to this point. “I needed the money, and she said it would only be once.”

“Get out.” I snarled. I don’t know whether it was the pathetic sound of his whining, or the fact he couldn’t man up and take responsibility for sleeping with another man’s wife, but he brought out an anger I’d never felt before. I watched him stand from the chair, almost laughing at the fear in his eyes. He stumbled to the door, but hesitated a moment. “How many times?” I asked, wishing I hadn’t a moment later.

“She only made me help a few times, but I know there were more.” He whispered, before running from my office. I spun in my chair, pouring a scotch and trying to ignore the possibility of how many it had been.

As I got home that night, I saw Amber playing outside with her dolls. A smile formed on my face for the first time in days, as I knelt beside her and kissed her gently on the forehead.

“Daddy.” She said quietly, not looking up from her dolls. “The man over there says Mommy did a bad thing.” My heart jolted as I suddenly realised just how widespread my wife’s reputation could be.

“Don’t worry sweetheart.” I muttered. “I’ll take care of it.”

But I couldn’t. That night everything went as normal. We had dinner, I read Amber a bedtime story and then went to our room, and sat in silence across from her in our bed, wondering why I’d ever promised to love and cherish someone who couldn’t do the same.

I had just managed to fall asleep when I heard the phone ringing beside me. I considered ignoring it for a moment, but then guilt got the better of me and I took the call.

“Hello.” I murmured.

“Baby, I didn’t mean to do it…” I sat up, panicked to hear my wife’s voice on the other end. Looking around the room, she was nowhere in sight.

“I know, just come home.” I wanted her home, truthfully. As angry as I was, and as many as there had been, I wanted her to be safe. Maybe because I loved her, maybe because I just didn’t want my daughter to grow up without a mother, either way, I wanted her home.

“I just liked the way they sounded, at the end, when they slowly slip away, after I…” she trailed off, and in a way, I was grateful. At the time, I thought that I could hear nothing worse than her describing how enjoyable cheating on me was, but now, I know there could have been, and was so much worse. “I didn’t mean to kill the first one, but I..”

-x-

Parking With Boys

Her mother had begged her to stay home, but AJ believed that trouble would find you if it wanted to, regardless of whether you were out in the open, or cowering under the covers at home, and as comfortable as her covers were, the lure of the night dragged her to her door and out of her mother’s sight.

AJ had heard her mother’s shrill words all through the movie, which had irritated Bobby. Bobby’s irritation irritated AJ, who had spent half her time at High School wishing he would notice her, and feeling overjoyed that now they were both “all grown up” (or as grown up as her mother would allow) that he finally had, and she worried she was blowing her big chance to finally make things happen with her wishful high school sweetheart.

“I don’t want something to happen to you.” She had sighed at her mother’s cautious cries, even rolled her eyes a little, but they bothered her all the same. Her mother had been overprotective ever since her father had died several years ago.

She knew there had been trouble, there always was, there always would be, but she didn’t understand why her life should be put on hold, just in case. Of course, hearing news reports of the recent spate of murders in the neighbourhood had sent shivers through her body, and made for a few rough sleepless nights, but she was young, and she was finally sitting in a darkened movie theatre, next to the possibility of happiness, so she cast it out of her mind.

As the movie ended, and a frustrated Bobby looked like he was losing interest, AJ took a deep breath, ironed out the skirt of her dress and decided that her life was going full speed ahead, whether her mother liked it or not.

“We don’t have to go home yet.” She whispered. She had meant to say it with a quiet but seductive confidence, like those glamourous girls in the movies, but it ended up as a hoarse whisper, and AJ thought it just her luck. Luckily for AJ, Bobby didn’t mind how it sounded, because it was music to his ears either way.

They rushed from the theatre, hands tightly clasped as they raced to his car. It wasn’t long until they were hidden away, on the edge of the forest, with only the sounds of the radio and their nervous breathing. AJ had never imagined that she’d be driven up the long and winding road to park with Bobby. The very notion seemed so out of reach to her, and she was sure that if it were to happen, it would have happened so long ago, and had abandoned all hope. Yet here she was, alone, in the car, surrounded by the forest, the night sky, and the anticipation of what was to come with the boy she’d spent her entire life dreaming of.

“Can we open the window to get some air?” He nodded, rolling down the window as he turned off the engine of the car, and the lights went out.

Bobby leaned over, and AJ did her best to look welcoming. She had so much going through her mind, and she was sure that looking nervous before a kiss would never be in style. She smiled, feeling his hand snake up her thigh as their lips met.

“And as a reminder, the fugitive people are calling “The Choker”, who the police believe is responsible for several murders in Astor and the neighbouring Barberville is still unidentified and on the loose.”

Bobby pulled her closer, and she moaned softly, both in pleasure at the way he kissed her, and in pain at the way the gearstick of the car was now digging into her leg.

“Is it scaring you?” He whispered, pulling away. “You don’t have to worry Amber Jane, I won’t let anything happen to you.” He ran a fingertip slowly down her calf, biting his bottom lip as he slowly traced her own with the other hand, letting his finger tip linger for a moment.

“Residents were shocked at the brutalised body of a young man, discovered this morning in Lake George Forest by a young couple walking their dog. His body was…” Bobby reached over and switched off the radio, inviting in an abrupt but welcome silence.

“That’s never gonna be me, you know.” He said, a smirk rising to his face, as he motioned to the glove box. “My dad got me a Model 36 for my birthday.” He looked into her eyes, and she remembered counting each time he glanced at her during school, always so hungry for more.

“You don’t have to worry Bobby.” She whispered, pulling him closer and kissing him deeply. In that moment, she didn’t think about her mother, the murders, or the victims. All she could think about was how long she had waited for that moment, and how much it meant.

As she broke the kiss, she felt flustered, and slightly embarrassed. She knew what men thought of women who took the initiative, and while she’d certainly like for Bobby to see her in a positive light, she’d never get the chance to kiss him like that again.

“My mother won’t let anything happen to me.” In that moment, she saw her mother, the ligature, her mother’s next victim, and all she could think about was how long she had waited for that moment, and how much it meant, as Bobby slowly slipped away.


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