Gabriella (prologue)

July 9, 2010
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It’s pitch black and the air is unbearably humid. I pull my black collar away from my neck. It’s choking me. It’s getting tighter and tighter until I can’t breathe. My head pounds and my hands are slick with sweat on the inside of the black leather gloves.
My hand absently brushes the handgun hanging from my belt holster. I sigh in relief.
I soundlessly traipse around the tall white house. I can see through the 1st floor window, a light illuminating the darkness. The flash of the television screen mixes in and gives off a blue tinge.
Further down the side of the house, I see another window. I get down on the ground and smudge the dust away with my sleeve. I peer through and see a washer and dryer set surrounded by baskets full of clean clothing.

The basement, I assume.


I put my hand on the handle, turn, and pull. I wince as the screech from rusty hinges sounds in the night. I freeze; my heart racing. Has anyone heard me? I don’t think so. Even if anyone cared enough to look, I doubt they’d see. My dark attire blends perfectly into the night.

The window is just large enough for me to slide through. I land in a pile of dirty laundry, scattering it everywhere. I unfold my collar and pull it up over my mouth and nose. I scan the room and find the stairs. I have no idea where they ascend to, but, it hardly matters. I have the gun and they don’t. This fact gives me confidence.

I tip-toe up the wooden steps, making little noise. When I reach the door it opens soundlessly, to my delight. I feel excited now. He’s so close. I can almost smell him. My hand brushes the gun again.

I’m in the kitchen now and I slink around the house until I find the room with the light. I enter to find him on the couch. His limbs are splayed out and relaxed. His eyes are closed in slumber.
I am disappointed. It would have been so much more exhilarating if he was awake. That can be fixed...but should it? Would it cause too much commotion? Probably. But I want to have him know. I want him to know it was me. I long to see the fear in his eyes. I don’t want him to have the power he thinks he has. He can’t tell me what to do or think......At least not after tonight. He took my father from me; I’m going to take him from his daughter. I want him to know that his daughter is suffering....suffering just like I am.

I take the gun from the holster and drag it along his jaw. He stirs. His eyes flutter open. He looks at me, confused at first, but then my face registers in his mind. I pull my collar down so I can speak.

“Recognize me?” I murmur.

I watch as he swallows. His eyes dart towards the gun that’s positioned so close to his mouth.

“What are you doing here?” He asks steadily.

I draw the gun back and twirl it around my finger. “What do you think?”

He sits up. “You don’t have to do this. Please. Let me help you, T—”

“SHUT UP!” I cut him off in a vicious snarl. I hate the sound of my name on his lips. “Do you think you were helping me when you took my father away?”

“He was hurting you and your brother. Can you honestly say you wanted to live like that?”

“Don’t put words in my mouth. He loved us. He was our father. You took him away.” I thrust my hand in the air, aiming the gun at his chest.

“I can have you arrested.” He says slowly. “Breaking and entering, attempted homicide. You’re not a kid anymore. You will be tried as an adult.”

“You can’t arrest me if you’re dead. No one will ever know.”

He ignores me. “Please, listen to me. You do not want to do this. Let me help you. Let me talk to you—”

I can’t listen to his voice anymore. I aim and pull the trigger. It doesn’t work how I plan. My hands had been trembling so much that I miss and the bullet barely grazes his shoulder.

The next thing I know someone is pounding their way down from the second floor.

“Dad, what’s going on?”

A girl, maybe sixteen or seventeen, appears in the doorway. His daughter. She stops cold and takes in our position. Her eyes grow as wide as saucers and her face goes unbelievably pale; making her already ivory skin look transparent.

“Dad?” She squeaks.

“Go back upstairs, Gaby.” He orders.

“What’s going on?” She asks again, this time with more volume. She’s a stubborn little thing.

“GO!” He shouts. “Go NOW!”

“Why?” She wails, unfazed. “Who is he?” She asks, pointing at me.

“Gaby.” He says in a tired voice. “Please go upstairs.”

“No, something’s wrong.”

I feel my mouth curve into a crazed smile. “Smart girl, dad.” I raise the gun and point it at his chest again, feeling confident once more.

I hear the girl’s gasp and then feel my body tense. If she screams.....

I think fast and point the gun towards her instead.

“NO!” Her father yells and lunges in front of me. I watch the bullet enter his chest. Blood spurts out across the room.

The girl lets out a blood curdling scream. It irritates me. I shoot at her father again and he begins convulsing on the floor.
“No, no, no! STOP! PLEASE!” She bellows at the top of her lungs, while running to her father’s body.

“SHUT THE HELL UP!” I yell, frantically.

She’s crying hysterically. It echoes in my head, making it pound painfully. I look down and see her curled on top of him, his blood soaking on to her purple T-shirt and grey sweat pants. I see his arms around her, attempting to comfort her, even in his own agony. He’s still alive. I wait it out a little longer to make him see the pain in her eyes; see how it feels to know that she’s suffering so much she can barely stand it. Then I watch as his grip loosens.

I hurry up and knock her out of his grasp. I want him to be awake as I deliver the last shot. I loom over top of him and put the gun right over his heart. The shot echoes throughout the house. He goes limp under my hand, finally dead. A swell of satisfaction rises within me. I look over to the girl, and watch as she crawls over to a corner and vomits.

When she’s done I stalk towards her. She looks up at me, and our eyes meet.

She gives me a look of pure hatred and disgust. She raises her head and spits at me. I wipe the saliva from my cheek. I feel anger begin to boil in the pit of my stomach. I have half a mind to use the last bullet; but, before I can even mull the thought over in my mind for more then a second, a piercing siren sounds through the quiet night.

I feel the blood drain from my face. Before I can even think, I’m smashing the gun through a back window and running as fast as I can from the house.

When I finally stop to catch my breath I’m cursing myself. I just made a highly dangerous mistake. I let the girl see my face. She can identify me. Now, there’s only one thing left to do. This girl will have to die.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

AvengedJasonFold said...
Jul. 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

simon cowell feedback--you asked for it!

Your first paragraph is ok. It’s got good ideas. But It’s very choppy. Try for some sentence fluency. It would make things flow better. It would make it easier to read. That’s what I think.

You could also do without so much description. Black gloves is pretty much the same as black leather gloves. You don’t need to talk about the sweat inside them necessarily, but could just say “My hands are hot

&ldqu... (more »)

katie-cat replied...
Jul. 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm
I appreciate all the tips you've given me.  This was something I wrote on a whim after I'd already started the story, thinking that I needed to explain some things.  But, anyway, I understand what you're saying.  I liked it when you pointed out, "I tip-toe up the wooden steps, making little noise." Really?  I thought tip-toeing would sound like a heard of animals.  That made me laugh at myself.  I think sometimes I read books and there's just so much description and... (more »)
AvengedJasonFold replied...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm
im so glad it helps xD I've been editing my novel recently and I swear I'm 10 times more sarcastic and cruel when I'm editing my own work and I make the same mistakes like the tiptoeing thing all the time. I was sitting up in my room until 2 AM cussing at myself because I used too many adverbs and stuff but at the same time laughing hysterically XD
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm
Oh my gosh your story is frea.kin amazing!  Seriously, this prologue was EXCELLENT!
katie-cat replied...
Jul. 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm
thank you so much!
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm
No problem, this was one of those pieces I actually ENJOYED reading.
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