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  • E.M. Shue

A Tortured Temptress - Chapter Reveal

Prologue

A muffled bang startles me from my sleep. My eyes flutter open, and I try to think of what that sound could have been. What woke me up? Looking around my room I notice how dark it is. It's a new house for us so maybe this is a new sound. We are still in a neighborhood but maybe this one is darker at night then our last one. I can only make out shapes but still don't hear anymore sounds.

Closing my eyes, I slowly start to drift off again when another muffled bang sounds. This time I roll over and look at my nightstand where my cell phone is on its charger, but it's dark, the red light not on, showing it's not charging. The power must be out. I reach across the space and feel for my phone. I hit the button and the screen lights up, bright in the deep darkness causing me to blink several times so my eyes can acclimate to the darkness.

Three in the morning.

Hmm! Maybe it's the grandfather clock in the living room chiming. My mother loves it and swears by leaving it on all night. Not putting it in night mode where it's silent. I smile and roll back over ready to go to back to sleep. Another muffled bang but this one sounds closer like from my brother's room now. My heart speeds up in my chest because I know that isn't the clock. Something cold and ominous clenches my heart. My breath comes faster, and fear grips me. I start praying that my brother tripped on something in his room in the dark but I'm also fairly certain I know what that sound was.

Slowly I slip from my bed. No matter how scared I am the need to check my family is too great. My feet land on the soft rug on the floor, my toes dig into the plush purple color. My mom and I decorated my room just a few months ago when I started my senior year of high school. I wanted to leave behind the girl I was before and show a more mature side. No more teenage decorations, instead those for a young adult/someone getting ready to go to college soon. But in the dark, I can barely make out the decorations. It’s too dark and too quiet in the house.

I can't hear our family dog Mosey snoring. My older brother is home from college, and I can't hear his music playing. Or my father's snoring from down the hall. Moving across the room slowly I slide each foot, so I don't trip on any of the textbooks I remember leaving on the floor when I was doing my homework.

I'm afraid of the sound, afraid of what it could mean. A memory from years ago when my father took me and my brother to the range and the sound so familiar. I'm almost to the door when it's pushed open. I scream as a bright light is flashed in my eyes. The light burns and causes them to tear up. I twist my head away and cover my eyes. Cowering from the light.

Everything starts to click into place and my chest aches. My breathing speeds up. I can feel myself starting to shake on the verge of a panic attack. I haven't had one in a few weeks. I was finally getting comfortable in our new lives.

"You should have never left me, Elle." A deep voice says before a loud bang. That voice. I know it. He's not supposed to be here.

I fall to the floor, my body not working like it should. Pain radiates from my chest and face. A warm sensation greets my body as something thick slides under my body along that purple rug. My brain isn't functioning correctly because I know what just happened to me, yet I can't move away. I can't run from the voice or the pain that is overcoming me. A burning sensation takes over me, but yet I can feel my body trembling from shock, not from the impending panic attack. I watch as the man stands over me, he moves the flashlight, and I can see his face. I see the hate he now has for me. He fires the gun again at my chest and my body jolts from the searing and ripping of my flesh. The shattering of bones as he laughs at me. I think I scream because I hear someone screaming but I don't feel it come from my throat. Maybe it's my mother. My eyes grow heavy as I watch him.

"Please no," I beg but it comes out gurgled as I cough up blood. I know what those sounds were now. I know what's happened. My eyes close. My breathing slows. I fade into my mind. I'm at peace as I die. I'll be with my family now. Because I know they are all dead. I know he killed them just like he said he would.

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