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 Shadowman, Chapter IV

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Shea Ballard



Posts : 53
Join date : 2012-11-28

PostSubject: Shadowman, Chapter IV   Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:35 am

Chapter V: Retribution
Dawn broke. The dessert sun began its slow climb across the sky. Jade awoke a bundle of energy. She had not slept well for all her excitement. Today was the day that Ruby would get hers. As Jade boarded the school bus the butterflies in her stomach felt like they were having a party. Her hands shook slightly as she clutched her I-Pod. On it played her favorite song: “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” by Joy Division. She smiled as she imagined Ruby finally being out of the way.
Jade took her seat near the front of the bus, with all the rest of the geeks, freaks, and social outcasts. Immediately, she began to go over the plan in her head. Iblis would take care of everything, of course. All Jade had to do was be in the right place at the right time so she could witness the carnage. Still, she worried. It was a great plan, and she had complete confidence in Iblis, but anything could go wrong. She thought of what they had discussed the night before.

“So what do you want to do to Ruby?” Iblis had asked. “What horrid punishment should we inflict on your former friend?”
“I don’t know. I hadn’t thought that far out, yet.”
“The Rack? Thumbscrews? Chinese water torture? Boiling in oil?”
“No, nothing like that.”
“You’re right, much too medieval. We could waterboard her? I hear that’s much the rage these days.”
“No, Iblis. Think emotional pain, not physical. We need to embarrass and humiliate her. In front of the whole school, or at least as big a crowd as possible. Think. What would be most humiliating to a teenage girl? What would be mortifying to me?”

The bus stopped, bringing Jade back to the present. She stepped off and joined her fellow students in queue to pass through the metal detectors. She emptied her pockets, placing the contents in a bowl. The only metal on her was her house key. Once cleared of carrying any dangerous weapons Jade quickly found her friends, as she did so every morning.
Now came the hard part. Jade would have to act normal around Ruby until the time came to carry out the plan. Her heart skipped a beat as a head of familiar red hair came into view. Ruby brushed a few strands out of her eyes then turned toward Jade. She smiled and waved as she recognized the girl she thought was still her friend. Jade put on a smile and waved back, but seeing Ruby’s face again was like getting stabbed in the chest. Her stomach suddenly rose up to her throat, as if on a dip in a roller coaster. Tears threatened to leak from her eyes as she recalled the horrid scene from the day before. She pushed it all away and kept up with her insincere grin.
Amber looked nervously from Jade to Ruby as the group greeted each other. Jade acted as though all was forgiven. She even made a point to put an arm around Ruby, giving her a side hug. Amber eyed the scene with suspicion, but said nothing. Jade tried giving her best “it’s all cool” look, which she could tell Amber wasn’t buying. Ruby had no idea anything was amiss. After a few minutes of idle chatter, the gate was raised and the kids began to shuffle down the hall in a disorganized mob to their respective home rooms.
Lunch proved to be no easier for Jade. Inside she was screaming, but continued to put on a relaxed front. As the girls chatted and laughed, she looked over at Ruby with hate in her heart. She wanted to choke Ruby, but her eyes, smile, and relaxed posture revealed nothing of the fire simmering in her soul. Unfortunately, she would have to wait until the afternoon for Iblis to carry out their evil plan. At the appointed time, she and Ruby would be sitting in nearby classrooms. If all went as it should, Jade would have a front row seat to the coming spectacle. Until then, however, she would have to carry on like normal.

“Of course! That’s always been my worst nightmare, and for a girl it would be especially devastating.”
“If you say so,” replied Iblis. “Seems rather tame to me. Most people just ask for their enemy’s head on a platter.”
“No, this is perfect. She’ll be ruined. How can we do this, Iblis?”

“Jade are you with us?” asked Amber.
Jade came out of her daydream. “Huh? Yeah. Sorry, I must’ve spaced out there for a bit.” She smiled and returned to her lunch. Her friends continued with their conversation.
‘Are you ready, Jade?’ said a familiar voice.
“What?” replied Jade.
“What?” asked Amber.
“Nothing,” said Jade. “I thought you said something.
“Are you okay?” asked Amber.
‘It’s me, Iblis,’ Jade heard in her head. ‘Don’t reply with your mouth. Use your mind.’
“Jade?” Amber repeated.
“Yeah, fine. I’m fine,” Jade said. She was getting flustered. It was hard to keep up with two conversations at once.
‘I’m here, Iblis,’ thought Jade.
‘Good. That’s better. Start talking to yourself and they’ll put you away. Be ready to get into position when I tell you. You remember the plan?’
‘Yeah.’
“Jade, you’re spacing again,” said Amber. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, sorry,” she replied. “I didn’t sleep well last night.”
“Still having those dreams?”
“Yeah,” Jade lied. In actuality, the dreams had stopped since Iblis returned.

Jade twirled furiously. She was paying less attention than usual. Instead of sneaking looks at Adam, she found herself taking frequent peeks at her watch. At one point, she noticed Amber looking over at her and had to resist further time checks. Jade sighed and twirled like there was no tomorrow. The teacher droned on about Jung.

In another classroom, Ruby dutifully took notes. From a dark corner, Iblis watched her. Like Superman with x-ray vision, he could see she had a half-full bladder. He waited for just the right time, and then snapped his shadowy fingers. The muscles in her bladder spasmed, causing a sudden urge to urinate. Ruby raised her hand.
“Yes, Ruby?” asked the teacher.
“May I have a hall pass?”

‘Thirty seconds until the bell rings. Be ready,’ Iblis said.
Jade jumped. She was already keyed up as it is. She still hadn’t gotten used to Iblis speaking to her telepathically. ‘Okay,’ she replied. All at once, she ceased her twirling and gathered together her things. She scooted her bottom up to the edge of her chair. She was like a runner at her mark, ready to bolt at the sound of the bell. It was important she be the first one out the door.

Ruby finished her business. She exited the stall and went to wash her hands. She checked her face out in the mirror. The bell rang.

Jade leapt from her seat like it was on fire. Most of the other students had to pack up their books. She was easily the first one out the door. She did not even wait for Amber. Jade found her way out into the hall and parked herself about ten feet from the girls’ bathroom. Other students began to pour out of various classrooms. The hallway started to fill. Jade smiled.

Satisfied her face was fine, Ruby walked toward the bathroom door. Iblis watched from a dark corner. One second before she crossed the threshold and back out into the crowded hallway, Iblis snapped his shadowy fingers again. Instantly, Ruby lost all of her clothes, save her shoes and socks. She noticed not a thing. A second later, she walked calmly out into the hall.

The reaction was immediate. Students stopped what they were doing and stared in shock. They gasped, they pointed, and they laughed. Several boys whipped out camera phones and started snapping pictures. They could not believe their good fortune. Ruby reacted in shock at the sudden attention she was getting. It took a few seconds, but then she looked down at herself. She screamed. In one brief moment, she met Jade’s eyes. She returned Ruby’s gaze with an evil look. It was meant to say, ‘I got you now, you bitch.’ Ruby turned and ran back into the bathroom. Several girls followed her, some to comfort and others to continue to torment.
The chaos that ensued was worse than the school had seen in quite some time. Neither the teachers nor administration could restore order. Police, armed with riot gear, had to be called. Soon after, the press showed up. The entire fiasco made the evening newscast. Scores of reporters interviewed various student witnesses, eager for their fifteen minutes of fame. As one might expect, the accounts of what actually happened became more elaborate and exaggerated with each re-telling. Ruby took over an hour to calm down enough to leave the bathroom. She had been hysterical and un-consolable. Finally, she was escorted into a waiting police car, not to be arrested but simply for her own protection. In the end, administration decided to dismiss the students early.

“That was great!” said Jade, as she fixed her Spaghettios. “Did you see her face? And I didn’t know that what we did would get us out of school early. That was a bonus. You did great, Iblis. Good job, my friend.”
“I aim to please,” replied Iblis. He was leaning up against the wall in a corner of the kitchen. “So you’re happy, then?”
“Extremely,” she replied, removing her Spaghettios from the microwave. “That couldn’t have gone off any better. It was absolutely perfect.”
“So you feel you’ve gotten justice?”
“Yes. Ruby got what she deserved. The rest of her high school career will be complete misery.” She grabbed a Coke from the fridge.
“Yes, I’m sure the punishment fit the crime. Talking to boys is a terrible thing. No girl should ever do that.”
“Hey, that’s not fair, Iblis. Adam was mine. She crossed the line. We were supposed to be friends. You don’t do that to a friend!”
“Did she know he was your boy?”
“Of course. I told her at the party.”
“Think she remembers? As I recall, you all imbibed quite a bit.”
Jade picked up her bowl of Spaghettios. “She had to be punished, Iblis. I had to show her she fucked with the wrong girl.”
“Yeah, but…”
“Let’s not talk about this right now, okay? I don’t want us to argue. “
“Fine.”
Jade smiled in an attempt to smooth things over. “Watch SpongeBob with me?”
“What is…sponge bob?”
“Come on, I’ll show you.”

Jade ran. She was being chased. They were giant pieces of metal. They cut through the ground like a knife cutting cheese. The ground was soft and fleshy. It didn’t feel like normal earth. As the metal chased after her, it left behind a river of red liquid. Then suddenly she wasn’t being chased anymore. In the odd logic of dreams, the scene had changed. She was standing on a hard surface. It was raining, but the rain wasn’t water. It was bright red. It fell in heavy drops and ran in a crimson stream down what appeared to be a giant drain.
The scene changed again. Jade was in a bathroom. The shower was running. Steam floated up from the shower. The mirror was fogged over. The room felt like a sauna. Jade walked slowly toward the shower. The curtain was out, obscuring what was behind it. No one seemed to be stirring on the other side. ‘No one’s here,’ she thought. She crept slowly closer. Jade could see her hand reach out to touch the shower curtain. She could feel, and even thought she could hear, her heart beating hard and fast. She gripped the curtain and took in a deep breath. She pulled it back quickly and looked down. She saw a limp, naked body sprawled out on the bottom the tub. Both wrists had been slashed and Jade could see little rivers of blood leaking out from the wounds and flowing down the drain. She couldn’t see the girl’s face. She wanted to know. She didn’t want to know. Jade grabbed the girl’s head and lifted it up. She stared into a face she knew well. It was Ruby. Jade screamed…
And woke up. Her cell phone rang. Jade sat up. The phone rang again. She answered it.
“Hello?”
“Jade, thank God you’re there. It’s me, Amber.”
“What time is it?”
“I know it’s early. I’m sorry. You have to come to the hospital right away.”
“Hospital? What’s wrong?” Jade was now fully awake. She could feel her heart beating as fast as it was in her dream. A feeling of dread came over her.
“Jade, it’s Ruby. Something terrible has happened.”
Jade could hear Amber’s voice break. She was crying. “What happened?”
“Ruby tried to kill herself.”
Jade dropped the phone.
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Angelique Clark

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PostSubject: Re: Shadowman, Chapter IV   Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:33 am

This was a fantastic chapter; my favorite of the ones you've posted here. The flow was smooth and at a good pace, and the dialogue seemed fitting. In fact, I really didn't find anything that I would say could be altered or revised. I really liked the relation between Jade and Iblis, it's definitely entertaining as well as intriguing.

Can't wait for the unveiling of chapter six! Smile (By the way, you have the "subject" line as chapter IV, four, but on the actual post you have it as V, five... just wanting to know which it actually is?)
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Shea Ballard



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Join date : 2012-11-28

PostSubject: Re: Shadowman, Chapter IV   Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:58 pm

It is Chapter V. Thanks for catching that, Ace. I'll post chapter VI tomorrow. For now, I gotta go to work. Thanks for reading my work, Ace.
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Shadowman, Chapter IV
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