Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Teaser Tuesday - Ever the Same by Amy Romine

Twenty–three dead, seven survivors, a self-confessed mad man, and a little girl traumatized into silence. Now, fifteen years later the seven survivors are dying one by one.

Rachel Alton returned to Whitten’s Grove for one reason and that was to prevent a massacre. Her attendance at the local wedding of two of her best friends was just for fun. Then Ben Mitchell walked into the picture. Without warning, her oldest friend awakens her dormant heart, giving her hope for the future. She struggles to turn away, wanting to protect him. The clock is ticking, and Rachel alone fights against the inevitable. When forces from beyond throw Ben into the middle of the fight, will she walk away, or sacrifice herself to prevent a tragedy from happening twice?

The room smelled of a sweet grape and Rachel opened her eyes to a collage of purple. Every shade, accessory and accent of the color covered the walls and furniture. A young girl of eighteen sat on her bed, looking at Rachel curiously.
“I can’t find my scarf, have you seen my scarf,” the young girl asked Rachel, getting on her knees beside the bed and reaching beneath.
“No, I haven’t,” Rachel replied, scanning the room.
“Can you help me find it? I can’t leave without it,” the girl stated as she continued to reach beneath her bed.
Rachel stood and stepped toward the closet bursting with clothing all in different hues of amethyst. Spying a lavender scarf edged with sequined stars hanging from the doorknob of the closet, Rachel reached for it, the fabric brushing against her fingers. “Is this what you are looking for,” Rachel asked as she held it in her hand.
The girl smiled brightly as she skipped over, taking it from Rachel’s hands. “Do you like these jeans,” the girl asked as she studied Rachel and then turned to her closet.
Rachel stepped toward the photo littered vanity.
“My Dad hates them, but I think they are the bomb. I got them for thirty bucks at the resale shop on 4th, do you know it?”
“No,” Rachel replied, studying the hodgepodge of idols, family and friends. “I’ll have to check it out.”
“Definitely,” the girl replied, looking Rachel up and down. “Although your outfit is tight, I wish I could wear that, my tits are too small.”
Rachel smiled to herself, but continued examine the contents of the vanity. Endless shades of blush, lipstick and eye shadow. Lining the edges of the vanity were pools of hardened wax stemmed by candles.
“How do I look,” the girl asked.
Rachel turned to see that she had changed her shirt and tied the scarf around her neck. Before Rachel could answer, the girl leapt forward.
Hopping past Rachel to the vanity, picking up a tube of lipstick, she opened it and put it on. Looking at herself in the mirror, Rachel watched the girl focus on the texture of her skin as it lost its moisture and became sullen before her eyes.
“Amanda,” Rachel said softly as she joined her in the mirror. “Did you know him?”
“Momma always said that an outfit was incomplete without lipstick,” she said, ignoring the question and her decaying reflection. Rachel leaned forward, touching her shoulder, and Amanda’s skin became plump and rosy once again.
“You look beautiful…” Rachel said with a soft smile.
Amanda stepped away from the mirror and immediately grabbed her purse.
“No…” she replied as she stopped, staring down at the bed. “I never saw his face. I…I wish I could help you. I didn’t see him, but I…I can still feel him.”
“It’s okay,” Rachel reassured as she watched Amanda walk toward the door.
“You know, he said you would come,” she said in an uneasy voice.
“Who said?” Rachel pressed.
“Why did he do this, because of what I am?”
“I don’t know, I think so,” Rachel replied honestly. “But I swear I am going to everything I can to stop him.”
“You can’t stop him…” Amanda replied, her body beginning to quiver. “He… he knows you…he’s…”
“Amanda, what do you mean?”
She backed up fearfully against the wall. “He’s here! He’s watching…”
“No, Amanda, he can’t hurt you anymore.” Amanda went from cries of fear to pain to screaming agony. Her screams pierced Rachel’s chest sucking away her air like a vacuum. The girl’s screams stopped, Rachel stood staring into her beautifully jeweled fear filled eyes before Amanda’s body cracked liked an aged painting and disintegrated into thin air.
Rachel’s heart and lungs constricting beyond her ability to cope and she dropped to her knees. A knock echoed in her mind.


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