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 Shadowman Chapter VIII

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Shea Ballard

Posts : 53
Join date : 2012-11-28

PostSubject: Shadowman Chapter VIII   Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:19 pm

Chapter VIII: To Dare To Act

Jade fiddled with the key to her mom’s liquor cabinet. Her hands were shaking so badly she couldn’t get it in the lock. She screamed in frustration. Tears began to leak from her eyes. She closed them for a few seconds and took a few deep, calming breaths. She opened her eyes again, slid the key effortlessly in the lock, and opened the door. Finding a full bottle near the back of the cabinet, she opened it quickly and gulped the liquid as fast as she could. Some of it spilled out from the corners of her mouth and splashed down onto the kitchen floor. It seemed like minutes before she finally stopped chugging enough to take a breath.
Almost immediately Jade began to calm. Her hands ceased their shaking and her thoughts stopped racing. She now had the sense of mind to want to put some food in her stomach to soak up the newly introduced alcohol. She took another small sip and then started her ritual of fixing Spaghettios to eat. She also grabbed a can of Coke to mix with the rest of the Vodka.
“I’m seeing dead people, just like that damn kid in that movie. Not good.” She was now relaxed enough to continue her normal self-chatter. “Get a hold of yourself, Jade.”
The microwave beeped and Jade removed her Spaghettios. She brought her bowl of canned pasta, the can of Coke, and the Vodka out her usual spot in front of the TV. She was just about to turn on Nickelodeon when her phone rang.
“Hi, Amber.”
“Hi, Jade. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, fine,” she lied. She stirred her Spaghettios up and took a bite.
“Spaghettio time?”
“Yeah.” She opened up the can of Coke and took a sip. “Cup,”
“Nothing, I was just talking to myself. I need to get a cup.” Still carrying her cell phone, Jade walked into the kitchen.
“What time do you want to go see Ruby?”
“I can’t. I’m not feeling well.” She poured some Coke into the cup, filling it about halfway.
“I thought you said you were fine.”
“I meant emotionally.” She filled the cup up the rest of the way with some vodka. Realizing she forgot to grab a spoon, she mixed the cocktail up with her finger. “Physically, I’m not feeling too great. I think I’m coming down with something.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were sick.”
“Neither did I until later in the day. It was the last period I started feeling sick.” She took a few big gulps of the Coke/vodka mixture, then burped loudly. “Sorry.”
“Spaghettios and Soda?”
There were a few seconds of silence on the phone, then Amber asked, “How sick are you? Do you think you could make it out for a short visit? Ruby really wants to see you.”
“I’m sorry. I really wanna see her, too, but I just don’t think I can. I think I’m just gonna go straight to bed after my snack.” She took a few more gulps of her drink.
“Alright. I’ll tell her you couldn’t make it tonight. She’ll be disappointed, but she’ll understand if you’re sick. Anything you want me to tell her?”
“Tell my dear friend, Ruby, that I love her and hope she feels better real soon.”
“Okay,” replied Amber, sounding confused.
The vodka was starting to make Jade feel happy. She turned on the TV. Spongebob was on. “Gotta go, Amber. Spongebob’s on. Love you. Bye.” She hung up before Amber could respond.
Jade was soon sucked into her favorite cartoon. She forgot all about her paranormal trauma, and that just a few minutes before she had been about to have a serious nervous breakdown. As another episode of Spongebob started, Jade was singing loudly the theme song when she heard the front door open.
“Jade, dear,” her mother began, “I have great news. Richard and I…”
Jade looked up at her mom like a startled deer. Her mom looked down at her and saw the almost-empty bottle of vodka sitting on the coffee table in front of her daughter.
“…have patched. Things. Up.”
“Oh, shit.”
“Having a drink are we?”
“Hi, mommy. I made a drink for you.”

“Mom, I’m sixteen not six!”
“When you start acting your age, I’ll start treating you that way!” Jade’s mom had her daughter over her knee and smacked her bottom numerous times.
Jade struggled furiously, but mom was bigger and stronger. “Don’t touch me! I’m not a little girl anymore.”
“I brought you into this world,” she said in between swats to Jade’s backside, “I can do what I want to you.” When she finally had enough of spanking her daughter, she lifted Jade back up on her feet like she was a ragdoll. “Get out of my sight! Here, take your Spaghettios. That’s your dinner! I’ll teach you to steal from me. You’re in your room the rest of the night!”

Jade did not have much time to sulk. She cried for a little bit, more due to her wounded pride than bruised bottom, but the alcohol had had its effects and she was asleep soon after finishing her dinner. During the night she dreamt of drowning in an ocean of vodka. As she sunk to the bottom, she awoke to the realization she was suffocating herself under the covers again.

Jade sat on her legs in class the next day. It was a bit more comfortable than sitting on her sore bottom. She had not been spanked in so long she had forgotten how hard her mom could hit. Amber noticed the strange behavior, but did not ask. Jade thanked her lucky stars. To have to explain would have been mortifying.
Jade twirled only minimally today. She was bored, but more so tired. It wasn’t that she hadn’t gotten enough sleep. She actually got too much – about twelve hours. She barely even looked at Adam. All she could was try to stay awake. Her muscles were sore from being in bed so long. She tried to stretch as much as was possible from her little desk. Even her bones seemed to ache.
“Are you okay?” asked Amber when class let out.
“Still sick, I think,” replied Jade. “I should have stayed home today.” She rubbed her lower back, which felt sore. She was tempted her rub her buttocks, too, but thought the better of it.
“Ruby sends her love.”
“Oh, how is she?”
“Much improved. They’re looking at maybe discharging her sometime next week. She’ll have to continue with outpatient therapy, of course, but it’ll be better than being in the hospital.”
Jade was listening, but her attention soon was diverted when she noticed Adam. He was talking to a new girl. As with Ruby, they were doing nothing but talking, but the green-eyed monster in Jade would not rest.
“What the hell?”
Amber rolled her eyes. “Let it go, Jade. Nothing’s ever gonna happen unless you talk to him, and I know you won’t. You expect the boy just to wait for you forever?”
Jade sighed. “You’re right, Amber. It’s about time that I did talk to him.”
“You mean now?”
“No, not with that girl hanging all over him.”
“She’s hardly -”
“I’ll have to wait. As soon as I can get him alone, I’ll talk to him. I promise.”

Jade flushed the toilet. She zipped up her pants and opened the stall door to find Maya staring her in the face. Jade nearly jumped out of her skin.
“Jesus, Maya, you scared me.”
“Hi, Jade,” said Maya, flashing her usual creepy smile.
Jade did not reply, but instead walked right through the dead girl. A cold sensation ran through her insides. She shivered.
“Sorry, Jade. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“It’s okay, Maya. Don’t worry about it.”
Jade went to wash her hands, trying not to think about the fact that she was conversing with someone who had been dead for thirty years. She had heard the school’s urban legend that a girl had hung herself in the bathroom back in the 80’s, and that her spirit still haunted the school. Many students over the years had sworn up and down that they had had paranormal experiences. Jade never believed any of it, not because she was so close-minded to admit such possibilities but because she had never experienced anything herself. In truth, she was closer to Crystal in her beliefs than in Amber’s more skeptical outlook.
“You should kill her,” said Maya.
Jade spun around to face the ghost. “What?”
“That girl who’s been talking to your boy, you should kill her.”
“I can’t kill her. I can’t kill anyone. What kind of a person do you think I am?” Jade turned to leave. She got only a few steps toward the door.
“You should at least threaten it.”
Jade sighed. Without turning back around she said, “I can’t even do that. That’s wrong.”
“You need her out of the way.”
Jade turned back around, facing the dead girl again. “That’s sick, Maya. How can you say such horrible things? You’re sick.”
“All I’m saying is that you should give her a friendly reminder that you’re a girl not to be fucked with. You don’t have to do anything to her. Just put the fear of God in her.”
Jade had enough. “Goodbye, Maya. Enjoy the rest of your day.” With that, she turned and left the bathroom.

As chance would have it, later that day Jade saw Adam’s new girl walk into the bathroom in between classes. She hesitated a moment, Maya’s words running through her head. A decision was made. She took off at a fast walk toward the bathroom.
Jade came in just behind the girl she was tailing. Adam’s latest love interest, she assumed, went into a stall to pee. Jade went into the one right next to her. She sat down, but not to use the toilet. She could see the sinks through the crack between the partition and the stall door. Only one other girl was in the bathroom besides Jade and the mystery chick. She was checking out her face in the mirror.
The toilet next to her flushed. Face-checking girl, finally satisfied she was pretty enough, turned to leave the bathroom. Just in time. Mystery chick left her stall and went to wash her hands. Jade stood up. She flushed her toilet so as to make it seem like she actually went pee. She opened the stall door to see the back of Adam’s new lover as she was drying her hands. She finished and tossed her used paper towels in the wastebasket. She was about to leave.
Jade pounced. She grabbed her boyfriend’s girl by the back of her neck. The bitch screamed. Jade squeezed hard and forcibly lead the girl back to the corner with the tampon machine. Just for good measure, she pulled back on the hair of her victim. When she let go, she gave a good push and slammed the girl up against the wall. Before she had time to recover, Jade had the girl around the neck again, this time from the front.
“Stay away from Adam.” Jade’s eyes were fixed on the other girl’s with a cold, hard stare.
“You heard me. Stay away from Adam. I don’t want you talking to him anymore.” She squeezed harder. The girl started to turn purple. She tried to speak, but Jade couldn’t make it out. She thought she heard a ‘please.’ The girl was begging for her life. “I could squeeze harder. I could kill you now.”
“Good,” said Maya.
Jade turned her head to face the dead girl.
“You’re growing stronger. Not such a pussy anymore.”
Jade let go. The girl fell to the floor, gasping for breath. Jade looked down at her hands. She could have killed that girl. She would have. She was about to. She wanted to. She looked over at Maya, who was smiling her creepy, evil smile. She looked back down at the girl she almost strangled to death, who was still trying to catch her breath.
“Get up,” Jade said.
The girl just looked up at her.
“I said get up!”
The girl got to her feet as quickly as she could, almost passing out from the sudden change in position.
“Get the fuck out of here!”
The girl hesitated.
Finally, she ran out of the bathroom as fast as her legs could carry her.
Jade looked back over at Maya.
“She won’t mess with you again. Now Adam is yours.”
Jade felt suddenly nauseous. She quickly ran back into one of the stalls and vomited in the toilet. Maya shook her ghostly head and floated away.
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Angelique Clark

Angelique Clark

Posts : 45
Join date : 2012-11-28
Age : 19
Location : Here, There... Everywhere

PostSubject: Re: Shadowman Chapter VIII   Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:17 pm

Wow! This was a an exceptionally good chapter. A little repetition here and there, especially with the bathroom/strangling the mystery girl thing. Not every action has to be laid out with extreme detail; sometimes you can assume the intelligence of the reader to understand what is happening, without actually writing it out.

Maybe I just live a really "good girl" life, but I found the sequence of Jade stealing and drinking Coke and Vodka rather unbelievable. And she didn't even seem that drunk, nor acted in a manner other than it was usual for her to just drink alcohol. But I guess kids that age actually do that? I'm not the best person to judge that, though, I guess.

I would say the same about the Jade-trying-to-kill-mysterious-girl scene, that it was unrealistic, but then I blame the disbelief on the fact that this a paranormal/unrealistic story to begin with.

My underlining point is that unless you blame her outrageously insane behavior on the paranormal element of this story, would it be believable to have a thirteen year old girl attempt to kill some other girl that was talking to the guy she liked? I know you added in how Jade refused the thought from Maya, but even after that, she still tried it!

I hoped that made any sense. It's kind of hard to explain what I'm trying to get at... Also, I would like to balance out the negative with the positive, and it is well earned to say you did a fantastic job with this chapter! I liked the dialogue exchanges, because they ran so smoothly. I especially enjoyed this part:

Jade sighed. “You’re right, Amber. It’s about time that I did talk to him.”
“You mean now?”
“No, not with that girl hanging all over him.”
“She’s hardly -”
“I’ll have to wait. As soon as I can get him alone, I’ll talk to him. I promise.”

The cut-off from the truth was a genius way to show the true possessed/extreme behavior running through Jade.

An overall awesome read. Waiting for chapter IX!

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Shea Ballard

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PostSubject: Re: Shadowman Chapter VIII   Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Thanks, Ace. You make some great points. I, too, had wondered if I had pushed that scene a bit too far. Others who have read this have felt so, too. I'll have to go back and rework it at some point.

The vodka thing I might have to rewrite as well. I am a non-drinker myself, and know next to nothing about alcohol. Someone once told me that if Jade actually drank the way i described she'd have alcohol poisoning. What had I wanted to do was paint a picture of a girl who's mother is an alcoholic and that, like mother like daughter, she is turning into one herself. Clearly, I need to do more research about alcoholic drinks. Perhaps I need to turn vodka into wine or something. I don't know. I'll figure it out.

Thanks again, Ace, for reading. Once I get back to this story, your input is really gone help make it better.
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Angelique Clark

Angelique Clark

Posts : 45
Join date : 2012-11-28
Age : 19
Location : Here, There... Everywhere

PostSubject: Re: Shadowman Chapter VIII   Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:07 pm

You're very welcome.

I definitely see what you're saying about painting the picture of mother like daughter; though I would agree with the other reader of yours who mentioned alcohol poisoning (or in the least, getting extremely drunk). Obviously I have no experience with drinks of that kind myself, but I have seen people drunk before, as well as know the difference between having "a couple drinks", and essentially "guzzling an entire bottle of vodka".

This is a very spur-of-the-moment suggestion, but I would also add that, if you're going to go back and re-figure Adam's role in the story, maybe you could also change the addiction Jade's mother clings to?

Like, instead of alcohol, make it smoking; which is a much less severe topic for a young adult novel, and more believable. Jade being caught trying a cigarette, I think, would still have the same tone as the drink, but just with a more realistic touch in consideration to Jade's age. But, as I said, totally random thought; probably not legit for the story you're trying to create here.

Well, best of luck with your writing! Very Happy

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Angelique Clark

Angelique Clark

Posts : 45
Join date : 2012-11-28
Age : 19
Location : Here, There... Everywhere

PostSubject: Re: Shadowman Chapter VIII   Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:09 pm

Oh, and after I posted my previous comment, I remembered those chapters with the girls having drinking games, and realized if you changed that focus, those chapters would be irrelevant... anyways. Smile
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Shea Ballard

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PostSubject: Re: Shadowman Chapter VIII   Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:13 am

No, I like the alcohol angle. Smoking seems to tame to me. Plus, I can't picture Jade smoking. I think I just need to change what she drinks. Maybe her mom's a wino. Maybe she stocks the house with wine. Maybe Jade picked up on that habit. I don't know. Will have to think about it.
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