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 Shadowman, Chapter I

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Shea Ballard



Posts : 53
Join date : 2012-11-28

PostSubject: Shadowman, Chapter I   Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:42 am

Thanks, Stephanie, for starting this forum for us. I'm gonna go ahead and jump right in and get started. This is chapter 1 of an unfinished book I wrote three years ago. It probably needs a lot of help.

Chapter I: Dream or Memory?
Jade woke up screaming. For a few seconds she still saw those glowing red eyes. In the darkened room she forgot where she was, and it took a moment to orient to her surroundings.
I’m in bed. It was just a dream.
Jade’s heart was beating so hard she felt it in her throat. Beads of cold sweat drenched her forehead. It had all felt so real. Without warning, the light came on.
“What the hell is going on in here, Jade?” asked her mother.
Jade squinted hard. The sudden bright light hurt her eyes.
“It sounds like you’re being murdered in here.”
“Sorry, mom. I just had a bad dream.”
“Well, can you have them quieter, please? You scared the hell out of me. I thought you were being kidnapped or killed.”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to scream so loud. I was just really scared.” Strands of dark hair were stuck to her forehead. She brushed them away and wiped off the sweat. “Sorry,” she repeated.
“Well, I suppose we’ll both live. Do you want some chamomile?”
“No, I’m all right. I’ll be okay. Thank you, mother.”
“Alright. Goodnight, Jade.”
“Goodnight.”
Jade’s mother turned the light back out. Jade waited until she heard her mother walking downstairs before getting out of bed. She knew now that her mom was awake she would use this opportunity to go into the kitchen and pour herself a drink, one of the alcoholic kind. Jade listened carefully until she heard the creak from the third step from the top. Good, her mom was definitely headed downstairs. She climbed out of bed and turned the light on again. No way was she going to be able to fall right back to sleep after that.
Jade walked over to her desk and turned on the lamp. She picked up her glasses, put them on, then sat down. Reaching into a drawer, she pulled out a small sketchbook and flipped to a blank page. She closed her eyes for a moment. Instantly, she saw the creature again. Horrified, she opened her eyes.
What was it I saw? She tried to remember her dream. It was a man in the shadows. No, that’ wasn’t right. It was something else. Finally, the truth came to her. The man was a shadow.
She began to draw. When she finished, it looked like this:
Insert illustration here
When Jade finished, she took a moment to look at the drawing. She shuddered as a chill ran down her spine. How could she have dreamt such a horrible creature? And yet it felt so real, not like a dream at all. It was more like a memory, some distant memory that seemed intimately familiar but was hard to grab hold of. The more she tried to focus on the dream, the fuzzier the details became. As she let go and allowed her mind to wander, the image seemed clearer and a wave of new emotions rushed into her consciousness. She felt suddenly happy, content, and even nostalgic. Jade looked at the drawing again. Now it seemed as though she was viewing the photo of an old friend. Why should she feel this way about the drawing of a nightmare?
Jade yawned. Her eyes felt heavy again. Perhaps she could fall back to sleep. She took off her glasses and put the sketchbook away. She didn’t want her mother to find the drawing and think her daughter was crazy. She climbed back into bed and pulled the covers over her. Jade was asleep again in minutes, but this time with the light on.

Dark clouds crept across a clear, blue sky. The wind picked up, almost imperceptibly. The approaching storm rolled in like an army amassing for a surprise attack. Few below were yet aware of the coming change in weather.
Jade sat under a willow tree at school. It was free period and she was reading a book instead of studying. A sudden gust shook the branches, sending a few leaves falling toward the earth like paratroopers. Her long hair blew into her eyes. She brushed it away and looked up at the sky, wondering if it might rain. As a helicopter flew by, it grew suddenly dark in front of Jade. She looked up and noticed her friend, Amber, standing in front of her.
“Hi, Jade. What are you reading?”
Jade showed her the cover of the book. Amber made a face of shock and disgust.
“Demons? That’s…macabre.”
“I’ve been having dreams.” She stared ahead, as if in a trance. “Shadowy figures. With glowing red eyes.”
“Sounds creepy.” Amber sat down on the grass in front of Jade. She looked into her friend’s eyes, which were still distant. “Are you okay, Jade? I mean, is anything wrong?”
The question seemed to snap Jade out of her trance.
“Actually, things are a bit better at the moment. My mother has a new boyfriend, so she’s cut down on the drinking. Doesn’t want to appear a lush in front of him.”
“Well, that’s good.”
“It’s temporary. Eventually, she’ll drive him away, too. Then it will be back to the booze.” Jade smiled as she said this, a sarcastic smile full of cynicism.
“Well, maybe this time will be different.”
“Maybe, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.”
“You have to have hope, Jade. If you don’t have that -”
“Then what do I have?” Jade sighed. “I wish I could still think like that, Amber. I’ve seen too much.” The bell rang, ending their conversation. “Back to the grindstone, then?”
The two girls got up and headed off to their next class, College Prep Psychology.

Jade had a habit of twirling her hair; out of boredom, when distracted, but most often when she was nervous. She would grab hold of a small clump and, starting at the ends, twirl it up around her finger until she got it into a good knot. She’d twist it so tight it would start to cut off circulation. Then she’d unwind and let the hair fall back down. Moments later, the process was repeated.
Jade was twirling mindlessly now. She was bored. The teacher was going on about Jung. She had read several of his books the previous summer. She was distracted. She kept sneaking brief glances at Adam, a boy she secretly pined over. And she was nervous. Being near him always made her so. And so she twirled, twirled away.
Jade got a nice tight knot all the way to her scalp. Though there was no where left to go, she tugged even more on the hair until she was actually pulling it. Without thinking, she let out an audible yelp. At once everyone in the room looked over at her.
“Are you okay, Jade?” asked the teacher.
“Yeah, fine,” she replied, quickly un-twirling and letting her hair fall back down. She tried not to play with it anymore, but soon was again without even being aware of it. She chanced another quick look at Adam. He was dutifully taking notes. Jade was writing, too, but nothing to do with class. It was all about him.
Jade noticed Amber glance over at her. Her friend gave a puzzled look and Jade quickly turned away. She’d been caught. That last look was a few seconds too long. How careless. Jade felt stupid. Her face grew warm and she started to sweat a little. She tried to distract herself by actually paying attention. Instinctively, her hand reached down and found a few strands of hair.
“And so everything about ourselves that we label as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ or ‘sinful’ gets repressed into the unconscious and becomes what Jung called the Shadow Self,” said the teacher. Now the Shadow…”
Jade’s mind quickly snapped out of its embarrassment. Shadow. The word made her think back to last night’s horrible dream. She closed her eyes for just a second and once again saw the shadow creature. The image almost caused her to make another loud sound, but she held it back. One more vocal outburst from her and the whole class would likely think she was losing it.

Jade tried to play it off like nothing had happened. After class, she shuffled out with Amber like always, and then proceeded to ask some lame question about class.
“So you like Adam, or something?”
“What? Adam?” She blushed. “No, why?”
“I saw you staring. You crushing on him?”
“No, of course not. I was just…you know…staring off into space. You know me, how distracted I get. I was just looking at the door, you know, wondering when I was gonna get to walk through it and come out here and talk to you.”
God that sounded terrible. Jade was such a bad liar, and she could tell Amber wasn’t buying it.
“It sure didn’t look like you were staring at the door. It looked like you were looking at him.”
“Well, I wasn’t. Besides, he’s so Goth. Why would I want someone whose favorite color is black? As is my life isn’t black enough.”
“He’s not hardcore Goth. He doesn’t pain his face white or pierce everything he can think of like those freaks we see at the mall. He just likes to wear black. I think he’s kinda cute, actually?”
“You do?” asked Jade a bit too defensive. “I mean, why?”
“Relax. He’s not my type. I would never date him, but I do think he’s a nice-looking boy. Actually, you and him would make a cute couple. You should ask him out.”
Jade could feel her face getting warm again, and she knew it was turning red. “I don’t like him!” she yelled.
“Are you sure? You doth protest too much.” Jade just nodded. Changing the subject, Amber said, “Crystal’s inviting us all to her house tonight for a slumber party. You in?”
“Sure, I’m not busy.”

Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Beep. Jade pulled her Spaghettios from the microwave and stirred them up. A snack of Spaghettios and Coke was always first on Jade’s agenda when coming home from school. She brought her bowl of processed tomatoey goodness into the living room and turned on the TV. She then flipped to Nickelodeon for another exciting episode of SpongeBob Squarepants.
Jade had come home to an empty house, which is how she preferred it. It suited her just fine that her mother was still at work, and she did not mind in the least being a latchkey kid. Besides, even when she was home she wasn’t really there. Her presence or absence made little difference. As Jade enjoyed her Spaghettios and the antics of SpongeBob her cell phone vibrated, indicating a text. It read:
Can u steal ETOH from ur mom?
Crystal was interrupting SpongeBob for this? Yes, of course she could five-finger some alcohol from her mother. God knew the woman had enough of it. And Jade even knew where she kept the key to the liquor cabinet. It was sitting in the pot of one of the fake plants her mother kept. Real ones would never survive. Her mom just couldn’t seem to remember to water them. At one point, she tried to make Jade do it, but she never did either. Finally, her mom got rid of all the dead plants and bought a bunch of fake ones. Quickly, she texted a response so she could get back to SpongeBob and Spaghettios.

PJ’s, bathing suit, extra pairs of socks and underwear, clean clothes for the morning, toothbrush, and of course, the bottle of vodka pilfered from her mother’s liquor cabinet. Jade crammed all of these items into her backpack and zipped it up with great difficulty. It was stuffed as full as she could get it. As soon as she was finished, her phone buzzed again.

U remember the booze?

Of course she remembered. Jade laid down on her bed and texted the reply. When she was done, she accidentally dropped the phone and it slid down the space between her bed and the wall. She reached an arm down and tried to feel around for it. She couldn’t. It must have slid further under the bed. Jade sighed. She was feeling lazy and didn’t want to crawl under the bed to retrieve her phone. She heard it vibrate again. Another text.
Jade got up off the bed and onto the floor. She slid her tiny body easily into the small space between the floor and her bed. Finding her phone quickly, she was just about to slide back out from under the bed when she noticed something. Written in permanent marker, was a message scrawled on one of the boards that supported her mattress. The words appeared as if they had been written by a small child. Jade could only assume that she wrote them. The message read:
Jade+Iblis
Friends 4ever
Suddenly, Jade’s phone rang. It startled her so much she hit her head on one of the boards. She swore loudly then answered her phone.
“What? Yes, I got it. Alright, I’m coming over. Bye.”
She hung up the phone, and then rubbed her noggin. She looked at the message again. She could not remember writing it, but who else could have? It seemed strangely familiar, but try as she might she could not recall its meaning. Jade+Iblis. Friends 4ever. Who was Iblis?
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Shea Ballard



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PostSubject: Re: Shadowman, Chapter I   Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:29 pm

So has everyone read this one already?
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PostSubject: Yes...   Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:02 am

Yes I read this twice: WD and Scribophile. Sorry I didn't reply here, it hasn't had much activity what with Writer's Digest Community still being open. If it ever decides to close, I'll make sure to be more involved here... which means replying in The Critique Corner! Smile
-Ace
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Shea Ballard



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Join date : 2012-11-28

PostSubject: Re: Shadowman, Chapter I   Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:41 am

Never posted it on Scribophile. Only your group, this one, and I have it posted on WD right now in the fantasy forum, but no one's reading it. Should I post chapter 2 here? Or on WD?
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowman, Chapter I   Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:08 am

Shea! This is great! I am gonna need you to PLEASE another chapter, page.. whatever. I need to know who Blis is! lol PLease and thank you! =]
~ Steph

Shea Ballard wrote:
Thanks, Stephanie, for starting this forum for us. I'm gonna go ahead and jump right in and get started. This is chapter 1 of an unfinished book I wrote three years ago. It probably needs a lot of help.

Chapter I: Dream or Memory?
Jade woke up screaming. For a few seconds she still saw those glowing red eyes. In the darkened room she forgot where she was, and it took a moment to orient to her surroundings.
I’m in bed. It was just a dream.
Jade’s heart was beating so hard she felt it in her throat. Beads of cold sweat drenched her forehead. It had all felt so real. Without warning, the light came on.
“What the hell is going on in here, Jade?” asked her mother.
Jade squinted hard. The sudden bright light hurt her eyes.
“It sounds like you’re being murdered in here.”
“Sorry, mom. I just had a bad dream.”
“Well, can you have them quieter, please? You scared the hell out of me. I thought you were being kidnapped or killed.”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to scream so loud. I was just really scared.” Strands of dark hair were stuck to her forehead. She brushed them away and wiped off the sweat. “Sorry,” she repeated.
“Well, I suppose we’ll both live. Do you want some chamomile?”
“No, I’m all right. I’ll be okay. Thank you, mother.”
“Alright. Goodnight, Jade.”
“Goodnight.”
Jade’s mother turned the light back out. Jade waited until she heard her mother walking downstairs before getting out of bed. She knew now that her mom was awake she would use this opportunity to go into the kitchen and pour herself a drink, one of the alcoholic kind. Jade listened carefully until she heard the creak from the third step from the top. Good, her mom was definitely headed downstairs. She climbed out of bed and turned the light on again. No way was she going to be able to fall right back to sleep after that.
Jade walked over to her desk and turned on the lamp. She picked up her glasses, put them on, then sat down. Reaching into a drawer, she pulled out a small sketchbook and flipped to a blank page. She closed her eyes for a moment. Instantly, she saw the creature again. Horrified, she opened her eyes.
What was it I saw? She tried to remember her dream. It was a man in the shadows. No, that’ wasn’t right. It was something else. Finally, the truth came to her. The man was a shadow.
She began to draw. When she finished, it looked like this:
Insert illustration here
When Jade finished, she took a moment to look at the drawing. She shuddered as a chill ran down her spine. How could she have dreamt such a horrible creature? And yet it felt so real, not like a dream at all. It was more like a memory, some distant memory that seemed intimately familiar but was hard to grab hold of. The more she tried to focus on the dream, the fuzzier the details became. As she let go and allowed her mind to wander, the image seemed clearer and a wave of new emotions rushed into her consciousness. She felt suddenly happy, content, and even nostalgic. Jade looked at the drawing again. Now it seemed as though she was viewing the photo of an old friend. Why should she feel this way about the drawing of a nightmare?
Jade yawned. Her eyes felt heavy again. Perhaps she could fall back to sleep. She took off her glasses and put the sketchbook away. She didn’t want her mother to find the drawing and think her daughter was crazy. She climbed back into bed and pulled the covers over her. Jade was asleep again in minutes, but this time with the light on.

Dark clouds crept across a clear, blue sky. The wind picked up, almost imperceptibly. The approaching storm rolled in like an army amassing for a surprise attack. Few below were yet aware of the coming change in weather.
Jade sat under a willow tree at school. It was free period and she was reading a book instead of studying. A sudden gust shook the branches, sending a few leaves falling toward the earth like paratroopers. Her long hair blew into her eyes. She brushed it away and looked up at the sky, wondering if it might rain. As a helicopter flew by, it grew suddenly dark in front of Jade. She looked up and noticed her friend, Amber, standing in front of her.
“Hi, Jade. What are you reading?”
Jade showed her the cover of the book. Amber made a face of shock and disgust.
“Demons? That’s…macabre.”
“I’ve been having dreams.” She stared ahead, as if in a trance. “Shadowy figures. With glowing red eyes.”
“Sounds creepy.” Amber sat down on the grass in front of Jade. She looked into her friend’s eyes, which were still distant. “Are you okay, Jade? I mean, is anything wrong?”
The question seemed to snap Jade out of her trance.
“Actually, things are a bit better at the moment. My mother has a new boyfriend, so she’s cut down on the drinking. Doesn’t want to appear a lush in front of him.”
“Well, that’s good.”
“It’s temporary. Eventually, she’ll drive him away, too. Then it will be back to the booze.” Jade smiled as she said this, a sarcastic smile full of cynicism.
“Well, maybe this time will be different.”
“Maybe, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.”
“You have to have hope, Jade. If you don’t have that -”
“Then what do I have?” Jade sighed. “I wish I could still think like that, Amber. I’ve seen too much.” The bell rang, ending their conversation. “Back to the grindstone, then?”
The two girls got up and headed off to their next class, College Prep Psychology.

Jade had a habit of twirling her hair; out of boredom, when distracted, but most often when she was nervous. She would grab hold of a small clump and, starting at the ends, twirl it up around her finger until she got it into a good knot. She’d twist it so tight it would start to cut off circulation. Then she’d unwind and let the hair fall back down. Moments later, the process was repeated.
Jade was twirling mindlessly now. She was bored. The teacher was going on about Jung. She had read several of his books the previous summer. She was distracted. She kept sneaking brief glances at Adam, a boy she secretly pined over. And she was nervous. Being near him always made her so. And so she twirled, twirled away.
Jade got a nice tight knot all the way to her scalp. Though there was no where left to go, she tugged even more on the hair until she was actually pulling it. Without thinking, she let out an audible yelp. At once everyone in the room looked over at her.
“Are you okay, Jade?” asked the teacher.
“Yeah, fine,” she replied, quickly un-twirling and letting her hair fall back down. She tried not to play with it anymore, but soon was again without even being aware of it. She chanced another quick look at Adam. He was dutifully taking notes. Jade was writing, too, but nothing to do with class. It was all about him.
Jade noticed Amber glance over at her. Her friend gave a puzzled look and Jade quickly turned away. She’d been caught. That last look was a few seconds too long. How careless. Jade felt stupid. Her face grew warm and she started to sweat a little. She tried to distract herself by actually paying attention. Instinctively, her hand reached down and found a few strands of hair.
“And so everything about ourselves that we label as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ or ‘sinful’ gets repressed into the unconscious and becomes what Jung called the Shadow Self,” said the teacher. Now the Shadow…”
Jade’s mind quickly snapped out of its embarrassment. Shadow. The word made her think back to last night’s horrible dream. She closed her eyes for just a second and once again saw the shadow creature. The image almost caused her to make another loud sound, but she held it back. One more vocal outburst from her and the whole class would likely think she was losing it.

Jade tried to play it off like nothing had happened. After class, she shuffled out with Amber like always, and then proceeded to ask some lame question about class.
“So you like Adam, or something?”
“What? Adam?” She blushed. “No, why?”
“I saw you staring. You crushing on him?”
“No, of course not. I was just…you know…staring off into space. You know me, how distracted I get. I was just looking at the door, you know, wondering when I was gonna get to walk through it and come out here and talk to you.”
God that sounded terrible. Jade was such a bad liar, and she could tell Amber wasn’t buying it.
“It sure didn’t look like you were staring at the door. It looked like you were looking at him.”
“Well, I wasn’t. Besides, he’s so Goth. Why would I want someone whose favorite color is black? As is my life isn’t black enough.”
“He’s not hardcore Goth. He doesn’t pain his face white or pierce everything he can think of like those freaks we see at the mall. He just likes to wear black. I think he’s kinda cute, actually?”
“You do?” asked Jade a bit too defensive. “I mean, why?”
“Relax. He’s not my type. I would never date him, but I do think he’s a nice-looking boy. Actually, you and him would make a cute couple. You should ask him out.”
Jade could feel her face getting warm again, and she knew it was turning red. “I don’t like him!” she yelled.
“Are you sure? You doth protest too much.” Jade just nodded. Changing the subject, Amber said, “Crystal’s inviting us all to her house tonight for a slumber party. You in?”
“Sure, I’m not busy.”

Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Beep. Jade pulled her Spaghettios from the microwave and stirred them up. A snack of Spaghettios and Coke was always first on Jade’s agenda when coming home from school. She brought her bowl of processed tomatoey goodness into the living room and turned on the TV. She then flipped to Nickelodeon for another exciting episode of SpongeBob Squarepants.
Jade had come home to an empty house, which is how she preferred it. It suited her just fine that her mother was still at work, and she did not mind in the least being a latchkey kid. Besides, even when she was home she wasn’t really there. Her presence or absence made little difference. As Jade enjoyed her Spaghettios and the antics of SpongeBob her cell phone vibrated, indicating a text. It read:
Can u steal ETOH from ur mom?
Crystal was interrupting SpongeBob for this? Yes, of course she could five-finger some alcohol from her mother. God knew the woman had enough of it. And Jade even knew where she kept the key to the liquor cabinet. It was sitting in the pot of one of the fake plants her mother kept. Real ones would never survive. Her mom just couldn’t seem to remember to water them. At one point, she tried to make Jade do it, but she never did either. Finally, her mom got rid of all the dead plants and bought a bunch of fake ones. Quickly, she texted a response so she could get back to SpongeBob and Spaghettios.

PJ’s, bathing suit, extra pairs of socks and underwear, clean clothes for the morning, toothbrush, and of course, the bottle of vodka pilfered from her mother’s liquor cabinet. Jade crammed all of these items into her backpack and zipped it up with great difficulty. It was stuffed as full as she could get it. As soon as she was finished, her phone buzzed again.

U remember the booze?

Of course she remembered. Jade laid down on her bed and texted the reply. When she was done, she accidentally dropped the phone and it slid down the space between her bed and the wall. She reached an arm down and tried to feel around for it. She couldn’t. It must have slid further under the bed. Jade sighed. She was feeling lazy and didn’t want to crawl under the bed to retrieve her phone. She heard it vibrate again. Another text.
Jade got up off the bed and onto the floor. She slid her tiny body easily into the small space between the floor and her bed. Finding her phone quickly, she was just about to slide back out from under the bed when she noticed something. Written in permanent marker, was a message scrawled on one of the boards that supported her mattress. The words appeared as if they had been written by a small child. Jade could only assume that she wrote them. The message read:
Jade+Iblis
Friends 4ever
Suddenly, Jade’s phone rang. It startled her so much she hit her head on one of the boards. She swore loudly then answered her phone.
“What? Yes, I got it. Alright, I’m coming over. Bye.”
She hung up the phone, and then rubbed her noggin. She looked at the message again. She could not remember writing it, but who else could have? It seemed strangely familiar, but try as she might she could not recall its meaning. Jade+Iblis. Friends 4ever. Who was Iblis?
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowman, Chapter I   Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:09 am

I really wish WDC would make up their minds! I mean, here is a perfectly good forum, NOT being used to its potential. lol

Ace Clark wrote:
Yes I read this twice: WD and Scribophile. Sorry I didn't reply here, it hasn't had much activity what with Writer's Digest Community still being open. If it ever decides to close, I'll make sure to be more involved here... which means replying in The Critique Corner! Smile
-Ace
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