The Girl Who Would Be King – Chapters 15 & 16

It’s Thursday…you know what that means…NEW chapters for THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING.

You can download the new chapters here: The Girl Who Would Be King Chapters 15 & 16

Or just read below.

If you want the entire story thus far (over 65 pages!), head over to THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING page and download or read directly from the site.

I wake up tied to a chair with wire cutting into my wrists painfully.  They’re bleeding into my hands so much that they’re sticky and my vision’s blurry.  The room I’m in is bare, with only an alarming amount of my blood pooling into the tread of my shoes and spreading across the scuffed hardwood beneath me.  It’s night, but I have no idea how late and the room I’m in is a dark, empty black.  There’s a bare bulb overhead but the light is off.  Pulling on my wrists to see about freeing them is excruciating and so I stop doing it.  I can hear arguing in another room.

“I thought you just wanted to hurt her,” says a male voice.

“I tried – did you not see me stab her like five times in the back – not to mention once in the kidneys?!  The bitch is still alive.  I’m telling you – I’ve been telling you for like, months – there’s something wrong with her!”

“Listen, baby, I’m sorry she hurt you, it totally sucks, but this is like kidnapping now, which is messy.  I mean I was totally willing to stand by you if you just wanted to get your revenge and be done with it, but this is…well this is a whole other thing.  We should get out of it now.”

“Leave if you want.  But I’m finishing things with her. However it goes down.  She ruined my life and I won’t allow her to just walk away and go on with hers like it never happened.”

“Whatever.  I’m out of it, call me when you’re sane again, okay babe?”  A door slams shut.

“Jerk.”  There’s a pause and then footsteps come my way, up some stairs and straight into the room I’m in.  I look at her.

“I’m sorry I ruined your life Sharon, if I could take it back I would.”

“See, I knew you wouldn’t be dead,” she spits her words and throws her hands in the air dramatically.  “And you’re talking now I see…real convenient.  I knew that was bullshit all along – your stupid mute act.”

“It wasn’t an act…I just didn’t have anything to say.”

“Oh wow, and now some of the first words out of your mouth are lame apologies?  You should have stuck with the mute thing,” she says, leaning against the wall across from me.

“I’m sorry.  It’s all I can say,” I trail off quietly.

“You’re only sorry now because you’re all helpless and tied to a chair…I don’t think you’d be saying those things if I let you out.”

“I would, I really would.  I’ve felt terrible about hurting you.  I never meant to get so carried away…you just made me so angry.”

“HA!” she snorts, stepping forward and shoving her finger in my face.  “You sound just like my stepdad blaming my mom and me for when he would hit us – it was OUR fault for making him mad.”

“I…I didn’t mean it that way.  I was wrong.  I don’t know what happened.  I lost control.  I haven’t hurt anyone since that day, I promised myself I wouldn’t.”

“Hmm.  Well I guess we’ll see, wont we?” She walks toward me with a hammer in her hand.

This is going to hurt.

Without even blinking she swings the hammer at my face, shattering my jaw.  My face explodes in pain as the vibrations ricochet through my whole body.

“Broken jaw.  Hurts, doesn’t it?”

My head lolls backward on my neck as if no longer attached and I choke on bones and blood.  I try to pull my head forward and do so just in time to see her swinging the hammer at me again, this time she hits my pelvis and I feel it splinter inside my body, sending ripples of pain all the way into the strands of my hair.  My hands tear free of the makeshift handcuffs instinctively, pulling off most of my skin in the process.  I fall forward in the chair.  Sharon is already coming at me again with the hammer, aimed for my shoulder I think, and I reach up with one of my bloody skinless hands and grab the head of the hammer mid-swing.  “Ennnougggh,” I say through my broken jaw.  Sharon looks at my horrifying hand, shed entirely of its skin, and crumples against the wall. I think she’s fainted.

I watch her lie there for a moment and when she doesn’t get up I turn over and free my ankles from the wire, breaking the chair into little wooden shards in the process.  I reach up to my jaw, which seems to be knitting itself back together ever so slowly and painfully and look at my hands which look more like an anatomy chart of muscle groups than someone’s hands.  I crawl away from the remains of my chair, my hip too shattered to stand, but collapse halfway to the door as darkness takes me.

 I wake up naked in the desert, my head pounding and my skin covered in filmy orange desert dust.  It’s not quite noon judging by the sun and the already Vegas level hot in the air.  I put my hand up to the back of my head, where the ache seems to be emanating from and bring back a gooey sticky mess of partially dried blood.  I’m starting to remember how I got here.

“That bitch,” I say out loud to the tumbleweeds.  Felice had hit me with a tire iron, I remembered that.  But I seriously doubt that was enough to put me down long enough to get my butt dumped in the desert, and then I remember the knife.  I look at my stomach and see a ragged looking red scar across my abdomen where Melvin’s knife must have ended up.  So the good news is, I can cross ‘tire iron to the back of the head’ and ‘being gutted with a nine-inch blade’ off my list of things that can possibly kill me.  The bad news is I am definitely going to have to go back and kill all of them.  Adrian too.  This is what I get for being nice and wavering on killing them in the first place.

Knife in my stomach.  Fucking amateurs!

That said, why did they have to dump me naked?  It’s going to be a pain getting back into Vegas without any damn clothes.  Fortunately my skin seems to handle the crazy hot desert floor pretty well, so I mentally add that to the list of ‘things that are awesome about being me’ as well and walk toward a highway in the distance.

I’m still too weak for a high-powered run back to the city, but unsurprisingly, it turns out it’s not so hard to get picked up in the desert when you’re a naked young girl.  Some dude in a pickup truck stops within two minutes.

“Thanks for stopping,” I say as I climb in.  He looks me up and down in a long gross gaze.

“Sure honey, you okay?”

“Yeah.  Totally fine.”

“Where are you headed?”

“Vegas.  Where else?”

“Too true,” he chuckles.

“Hey, you mind letting me borrow one of those shirts you’re wearing?”

“Well sweetheart, you know, I actually have a um…um…skin allergy, whereas my skin can’t really be out in the sun, which is why I need the two shirts,” he says, his eyes all over me the entire time.

“Your windows are tinted,” I say.  He smiles at me with a creepy, serial killer like grin, and I should know, since I’m working on one of those myself.

“That’s true,” he says simply.

“Okay.  Pull over please.”


“Just pull over.  I’m not riding all the way back to Vegas with a pervert.”

“Pervert?  You got me wrong, sweet thing.”

“Stop calling me pet names and pull over.”

“Well now, I don’t really think that’s a good idea, darlin’, who knows who might pick you up next.”

“Are you saying you won’t let me out?”

“Well, yes…yes, I guess I am.”

“Okay, just so we understand each other, this is your fault okay?”

“What is my fa–”

“Because I was just like, totally channeling my rage where it belonged, but now you’re being disgusting and so I just want you to know you’ve brought this on yourself.”  I raise my foot in the air and kick the side of his head through his window, while grabbing the steering wheel with one hand and pulling us off the road.  I think his neck broke, because it’s all wobbly like Jell-O when I pull him back inside the truck.  I push his foot off the gas and slow us to a stop on the side of the road and then strip off his shirts.  Wearing his t-shirt I drag him out of the truck and toss him over my shoulder and dump him behind some dry desert brush.  As I do, I notice his feet are shockingly small and so I take his boots as well; they almost fit.  I tie his button down shirt around my waist so I won’t have to sit bare-assed on his vinyl seat.  On the way back to Vegas I fantasize about how to kill each and every one of my crew except Adrian, I keep skipping over Adrian.  But Felice is definitely getting some kind of tire iron special.

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  1. Yuri Petrovitch’s avatar

    Intriguing stuff. The violence is a little queasy-incuding, but then, it SHOULD be, really–that’s what elevates it from base “shocks for effect” to “suffering that actually helps the reader identify with the character and has weight and consequence to the story.”

    It seems an odd thing to say to a writer that they handled someone shattering someone’s jaw with a hammer with taste and conscience, but you totally did that.

    That said, the degloving bit was chilling.

    I was especially taken with the bits about how Bonnie is healing even as she’s being pummeled with the hammer–it’s appropriately icky and unpleasant, as you’d imagine it would be. It’s not like, say, Wolverine gets riddled with bullets on page 3, and then by page 5 there’s not a mark on him with nothing in between. It’s a painful process, and not an instantaneous one, either.

    It plays very well against the Lola bit, which is almost surreal. I kinda like how she takes getting whacked with a tire iron and left for dead as a bit of an inconvenience, nothing more, and the bit where she punts the guy through his window was a great way of reasserting her power–Bonnie and Lola have been kinda passive these last couple chapters as the story turns around them, and now things are turning around, and in Lola’s case, “some suckas gonna get rectified ‘pon.”

    Gripping stuff, as always–looking forward to reading the next bit!

  2. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Thanks Yuri.

    I’m glad the violence isn’t throwing you too much. You know, I don’t want it turning people off of course, but it’s very important to me that it not be glossed over. I feel like American action movies are particularly bad in that way where they never show the ramifications of violence, and while I understand that this probably makes the book a bit intolerable to some, it was really important to me not to shy away from what these characters are actually doing. I want the reader to FEEL it, you know? To not be able to pretend it’s not happening.

    It’s a big part of why I probably wasn’t able to sell the book…so it’s rewarding to see someone responding to it positively and understanding what I was trying to do. :)

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