The Twisted Heart

  • The Twisted Heart

    09 – Sea, Salt and Silence

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. 7 Days Later ‘Hi, I’m Stef.’ She stared into the mirror and tried to pretend she was normal. ‘Hi, I’m okay.’ She ran her hand through her hair – the new haircut was as short as the school would allow, which, thanks to its archaic rules meant she had to retain some veneer of girliness, but it was far, far shorter than what it had been. And that was good for now – it was one less thing to deal with every day, one less thing she could mess up. There was only so messy and so dirty that four inches of hair…

  • The Twisted Heart

    08 – Coping Mechanisms

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. She was dead. Every inch hurt. Hair hurt. Eyebrows hurt. Air on skin hurt. Her mouth was dry. Sahara. Desert. Arid as Antarctica. Stef opened her eyes and wished she was dead. Dead would be better than feeling like this. But she had to be dead to feel this bad. Water. She needed water. I’ve got to get up. Okay. Start by getting out from under the sheets. She blinked and wished she could blind herself. With a similar effort to lifting a continent from the seafloor, she started to move the sheets aside. Half of the sheets had dried vomit on them,…

  • The Twisted Heart

    07 – The Last Loud Day

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. One of the things she had asked Keanan to buy was a bathing suit – just a basic, one-piece suit. Like some of her stranger requests, he hadn’t questioned it, and it had been delivered with the next meal. She hadn’t been articulate in words her notebook what her problem was, but she was just about able to parse it in the snakepit that was her brain. Her problem wasn’t that she was crazy. Well, of course, that was her problem, but that wasn’t the…problem. There was a lot about crazy that she hated, but there was a lot that she was getting…

  • The Twisted Heart

    06 – Stef in Kensington Gardens, Again

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. ‘I wish I hated you.’ Five words and she was crying. They weren’t the first words she’d spoken to Peter since he’d abandoned her, but they were the truest. Other words had been…staring out of her room at school or at the estate, focussing in on a star, and wishing that he’d return, swing back around with a handful of pixie dust and take her away from the mundane and the humdrum. Those words had been wishes into a black night, wishing for the feel of starlight on her skin, to feel the rush of magic that- Peter was real, and that was…

  • The Twisted Heart

    05 – What Never Came Next

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. Days came and went without care. Without- Anything. Food was ordered, and food was delivered. Items were requested, delivered, and sat in their bags. The laptop sat unopened. Stef slept. There were thoughts, but they crossed like butterflies in the wind. Nothing seemed to catch. Nothing seemed to work. There had been the want to do something when she’d arrived. Music played from her phone as she peeked out from her pillow fort. There was the want to just go to sleep and never wake up again. To pretend that the next few weeks she had in Applegate Court were all she had…

  • The Twisted Heart

    04 – Weighing Options

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. Morning had snuck in and slunk away by the time she woke. A call down to the front desk had someone running out for sandwiches and soft drink – and as she was waiting for those to arrive, she downed three cups of coffee, which helped to somewhat rouse her to an almost functional state. After food arrived, she sat on the overstuffed couch, the complimentary Applegate Court notepad and pen sitting on her knee, the blank page taunting her inability to do anything. She had…a month, it wasn’t quite that, but it made sense to think of it as a month. A…

  • The Twisted Heart

    03 – Semi-Precious Shadow

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. It took twenty minutes to pack. Open a drawer, throw underwear into her much-graffitied Louis Vuitton overnight bag. Open another drawer, throw pants and T-shirts into the matching weekend bag. Tie the arms of her one nice jacket through the arms of the weekend bag, phone, charger, headphones. The Hobbit bundle of cheese lay on her bed, nothing but crumbs left. Her room – one of the few private rooms that her house had – would be safe while she was gone. And if it wasn’t, there was nothing so personal that it would hurt to lose. She was the weird, drunk loser,…

  • The Twisted Heart

    02 – Evaluation and Escapism

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. There had never been a way to win with her father. With Mother, it had been easy – a burden and a chore that she’d never asked for, but easy once she had brought her mind around to it. She’d always been smart. Which was probably a curse. If she’d been stupid, or just play-merrily-with-butterflies naive, maybe her life would have been better. She could have believed that her mother really loved her, and she could have been blissfully ignorant about how much her father hated her. Her mother had always possessed an image of what a perfect daughter was, and any deviation…

  • The Twisted Heart

    01 – Twisted and Broken

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. Seven Years Before Dorian Knocks   Stef swayed. Plant your foot to the right. She stared at the ground, which was ever so slightly out of focus, and moved the foot to please the voice in her head. It kept her standing. And standing was good. Whatever this was, being flat on her face wasn’t going to improve the situation. There was, after all, drunk in public; and lying in the gutter drunk in public. She was happy with the former and hoped to avoid the latter. Not that this was reeeeally being drunk. At least, that was the logic that she- She…