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    Every day I want to die

    Trigger warning: Contains references to suicide and abuse.

    Every day I want to die; throw myself off a bridge, bleed out in the bath, jump in front of a car, drink myself into oblivion, a thousand different things. Haven’t you ever thought about it? Ending all that pain once and for all? How freeing that must be to feel nothing. The pressure of the life I’ve chosen is weighted so heavily on me. I reach out but there’s no one in a sea of bodies. I’m floundering. There’s nothing to ground me but my feet are like bricks to the ground. I jitter and shake. A mess. I’m a mess. I want to survive even when I crave death like oxygen but I’m struggling to breathe. The walls feel like they’re closing in, pressing in on my body from all sides, cutting me off from the world.
    I want you to help me.
    The room’s tiny, not quite a closet, but big enough to fit a piece of furniture. There’s a bed here with three broken springs that carve holes into my back. They tell me I’m real, that this is real. I am alive. It’s unreasonably clean, I should know, I cleaned it myself; painted the flowers on the wall that mock me with their happiness. If flowers can even have emotions, that is. Can you imagine? Happy dancing flowers chattering amongst themselves about god knows what?
    There’s a window here too that looks out onto the back garden, the glass panes blacked out so no one can see me. No one knows I’m here or will ever know I’m here. I’m laughing to myself, almost cackling. No one knows I’m here. This is the 73rd time I’ve been locked in this room, I’ve counted. There’s a little patch on the floor in the far left corner where I’ve kept track, a nest of scratches. Line, line, line, line, cross, again and again. I always remember to count and I don’t understand how.
    Nothing was ever like the first time. Stripped and broken, screaming for someone to get me out, steadily losing my mind. A room has never felt so empty, so oppressive when you don’t know when you’re ever going to get out. No matter how many hours I spent screaming myself hoarse, clawing at the door until my fingers were nothing but bleeding stumps, they never came and let me out. Not until I was perfectly calm and docile, his perfect little puppet.
    I’m stronger than that now. I sit here quietly biding my time until they let me out. I’m only in here for a couple of days at a time before I’m unleashed back onto the world, making my grand entrance assuring the world that I’m still alive. I sometimes wonder if my daughters remember who I am – their mummy; their crazy fucking mummy.
    They think I’m perfect; those people on the outside. Perfect house, perfect husband, perfect kids, perfect life. I’ve got it all. Sometimes I like to believe them but I’m getting thirsty now and he’ll be back soon. He has to be. It’s a Thursday and he always visits me on a Thursday. I love him and he loves me. Sometimes I’m a little over the top – an actress without her stage – but they like to lock me away for days at a time.
    I never imagined that.
    You have to believe me.
    I’m the sane one.
    I’m the sane one and they keep locking me away for a reason.

    Authors Note
    This little gem has been floating around my laptop for years, and was once upon a time going to be the opening scene to one of my unfinished manuscripts. As it’s extremely likely that it is never going to see the light of day I thought I’d post it. I’m particularly fond of it.

    Thanks for reading!

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    Review: Spiders in the Grove by J.A. Redmerski

    Review: Spiders in the Grove by J.A. RedmerskiSpiders in the Grove by J.A. Redmerski
    Series: In The Company of Killers #7
    Published by Self-Published on February 13th 2018
    Genres: Dark Romance
    Format: eBook
    Source: Amazon

    Izabel and Naeva find themselves right where they wanted to be in Mexico: captured and held in the slave compounds owned by the Ruiz family. But the two are soon separated and forced into very different—but equally dangerous—situations. Izabel spends the next three weeks playing a role she never expected she would get the opportunity to play, but her luck runs out when Naeva’s life hangs in the balance, and only Izabel can save her. But at a terrible cost. If Izabel chooses to help Naeva, it will expose a lie she has been carrying on her shoulders since she met Victor Faust. A lie that will not only potentially make everyone in Victor’s Order distrust her going forward, but one that will also blow her carefully constructed cover In Mexico, and that could get her killed.

    Fredrik, still looking for his serial killer, does not have to look long—the killer finds him. And Niklas’s past catches up to him when an old enemy comes back for revenge. But it will be Victor’s actions that shake up those left in his Order, and ultimately, be its downfall.

    I swear to god these books just get more insane as they go on and somehow the number of characters I like in each book dwindles as I reach the next one.

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book for so many reasons, mainly because I hate everyone (except Niklas and Fredrik, they’re my precious cinnamon rolls), but holy jesus, can everyone let Izabel stand up on her own two feet and do her thing? She doesn’t need a babysitter (even if it was a little cute to watch them all pander around like little children worried they’d lose their prize toy).

    Izabel is as cold as ice and as ruthless as they come. She doesn’t need anybody. And that gets proven again, and again. Even the plot twist wasn’t all that shocking when you consider her character. But damn was I shook! And fist pumping the air because the betrayal, you guys! The betrayal. I was living for it. I have disliked Victor for so many books (have you ever met someone so bland and boring?) that I was sipping that good tea when it was revealed. And then she had to ruin it with her “I love you, Victor” speech. Yawn.

    Have you read Spiders in the Grove?
    Let me know what you thought in the comments below.
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    Deal Me In Short Story Challenge 2018

    Hosted by Bibliophilica

    Have I ever been this excited about a reading challenge? No, I have not. I have the longest of lists of short stories that I want to read by a bunch of Classic and Modern Classic writers and this challenge is going to force them higher up my reading list. From Edgar Allen Poe to Shirley Jackson to John Keats to Yūko Tsushima… I could go on and on. I want to read them all. Insert excited squee here. The aim is to read 52 short stories in 52 weeks and I kinda want to beat that number but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself just yet.
    1. Cockcrow by Guy de Maupassant
    If there was ever a big euphemism for sex in fiction it would be this short story.

    2. Femme Fatale by Guy de Maupassant
    How the poor and fragile male can’t handle female sexuality.

    3. Hautot & Son by Guy de Maupassant
    This one left me a little unsettled – not because anything untoward or bad happened. But the circumstances and the allusions Maupassant makes. A son carrying on in his fathers footsteps.

    4. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
    I was definitely not prepared for just how chilling this short story would be. It was cold and ruthless. I loved it.

    5. Scheherazade by Haruki Murakami
    Murakami never fails to leave me in a state of confusion with about 50 questions spinning around in my head. This short story was no exception. There’s no real conclusion to this one but as ever Murakami does an excellent job of intertwining reality and fantasy and blurring the line between the two.

    6. Kino by Haruki Murakami
    I absolutely loved this. This was the type of story that made me fall in love with Murakami’s writing to begin with. The true meat of the story exists between the lines, and is one about the discovery of one’s self and understanding that only you can change your life. Delicately tinged with the supernatural, Murakami never fails to weave an interesting tale that leaves you wanting more.

    7. The Possibility of Evil by Shirley Jackson
    I’m not sure I can even really put my thoughts into words for this one but I loved it. Evil can exist in the most mundane of situations and behind the most gentlest of smiles. Shirley Jackson has the excellent ability of highlighting just that.

    8. A Death by Stephen King
    I was expecting a great King-esque twist and I kinda didn’t get one. This fell a little short for me but I guess it was a more aubtle approach that King was going for.

    Are there any short stories that you’re dying to read or have recently read that you can’t enough of? Let me know in the comments below.

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