SO DOWN I FALL (Broken Fins, Book 1)
November 2012, ISBN - 13: 978 - 1480120204
I thought about killing myself the old-fashioned way: overdosing on a handful of pills, driving my truck into a tree. But I didn't want to be buried beside my mom's empty coffin. I wanted to be with her. In the deep.
I removed the box cutter from my pocket. Foamy waves rolled over my bare feet as I waded deeper into the icy surf. I lifted the blade to my wrist, took a long breath, and sliced the skin ...
I'm Grace O'Neil, the sixteen-year-old girl whose blood oozed into the ocean. If you're wondering what happened to me, I didn't die that night. He wouldn't let me. His beautiful blue eyes peered at me through the dark water, and he saved my life. Adam. My love. My destiny. He pulled me from the undertow and protected me from my pain ... But evil in the water pulled me back.
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SO DOWN I FALL
copyright 2012 © Alex Benedict
I thought about killing myself the old-fashioned way: overdosing on a handful of pills, driving my grandfather's truck into a tree. But I didn't want to be buried beside my mom's empty coffin. I wanted to be with her. In the deep.
God, I missed her. More so now than a year ago when she drowned. I especially missed the noise in the house: the kitchen pots crashing to the floor after she opened a cabinet; her muttered curses as she picked up the dishes and crammed them back into the tight space. She was an awesome cook, but she always made a huge mess in the kitchen. "How about frozen dinner tonight?" she'd then suggest-and suggest every night after that.
Yeah, I missed her. Granddad was my guardian now-my only family-but he had to look after me. At sixteen, I was too young to be emancipated. His deadbeat son wasn't going to take care of me, that was for sure. I didn't have a close bond with my grandfather, though. He didn't like having a "moody" teenager in the house. He didn't like having anybody in the house. He was a loner. Still, I left him a goodbye letter. He might be sad at first, but after a while, he'd get back to his normal, solitary life. And after a miserable year apart, I would finally be reunited with my mom; that's all I've wanted since her death.
I yanked off my t-shirt, then removed the box cutter from my pocket before wiggling out of my denim shorts. I'd researched suicide on-line. One website even walked me through the steps to cutting my wrist properly, so I was fully prepared-and euphoric. At last I was going to push the elephant off my chest. No more struggling to get out of bed in the morning, no more headaches concentrating in class, no more difficulty breathing ... no more being alone.
Foamy waves rolled over my bare feet as I waded deeper into the icy surf. I lifted the blade to my left wrist, took a deep breath, and sliced the skin. Shit, it hurt! A lot more than I thought it would. And it was only the first cut. I had to dig through the muscle and tissue before reaching the artery.
You can do it, Grace.
The steel wasn't slicing smoothly. The muscle was tough. I hacked at the wound, bawling, until blood squirted in my face. My hand cramped, then convulsed. The website hadn't mentioned this kind of hell!
In instinct, I grabbed my butchered wrist and clinched it hard, trying to stop the burring pain and gushing blood, but the fiery red liquid seeped between my sticky fingers and into the sea, darkening the suds at my feet.
"Oh, God! Oh, God!"
Shivering uncontrollably, I dropped to my knees and clenched my eyes, panting for breath. As if someone had hit a universal light switch, the world went black. I keeled over, but only for a second, sputtered salt water as I soon regained consciousness.
I don't want to die in pain.
I wanted a peaceful death underwater. A dreamy drop into the abyss. Not a vivid nightmare. And I couldn't even wakeup from the terror. All I could do was roll in the surf, groaning and crying and pleading with God to take me-now.
I should have swallowed pills. I should have swallowed pills. Another howl, laced with tears, ripped through the night.
Die. Just die!
But even now, at the end, I wouldn't get a quick, quiet death. Like every other tragedy in my life, the suffering would go on and on.
"To hell with life!"
Using my forearm, I dragged myself further into the ocean. Salt water scorched my wrist before agony exploded through the rest of my body. I cried with each stroke until I reached the deep. The torture wouldn't last much longer. Soon I'd be at the bottom of the sea-with her.
My limbs weakened, starved for blood. Exhausted after treading water, I stopped kicking. The lighthouse beacon faded as I slipped beneath the churning suds. I was surrounded by blackness, still holding my breath, but as I sank, the pressure on my chest forced me to open my mouth and inhale a rush of stinging brine. Choking, I tried to spit it out, but I couldn't. Another yawning breath. Another mouthful of water. My lungs burned. My heart pounded. I was still alive. Why? It wasn't supposed to take so long to drown. A minute maybe. I was supposed to grow feeble. Fall asleep. Die. What was wrong?!
A faint light penetrated the darkness-and a ghostly face appeared in the distant gloom. I thrashed my arms to get away from the phantom, but too frail to make much headway, I only stirred the water until spume obscured my view. What the hell was that? A spirit? I wanted to be with my mom, not some other lost soul at sea.
A high-pitched wail then split my eardrums. I screamed, taking in more water. In the confusion, the current roiled and something slick brushed my legs. A force pushed me upwards. I broke through the fizzing bubbles, gasping for air. A strong arm circled my waist, squeezing my belly, and I retched salty fluid over and over again until I dry heaved.
Almost skimming the surface, the person pulled me through the water. I was back on the beach in seconds. I hadn't the strength to sit up or even move. I recognized a guy. He had wide shoulders. He hovered above me, my "hero," the light from the full moon so bright, it made his hair glow like a halo, but his face was covered in shadow. I wanted to rail at him. Did he think he was saving me from death? Wasn't it obvious I wanted to die?
He stroked my cheek, his fingers cold. My angel of death? But then he ripped a piece of fabric and looped it around my wound.
"No, don't," I moaned.
He bandaged my wrist without a word.
Still he ignored me. He bound the laceration so tight, I blacked out ...
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