Story Orgy – I Am Not Myself, Chapter 12

Good Monday morning, Story Orgy Fans! My goodness, this is the last Monday in March! The last Monday of the first quarter of 2012! Egad! Have you started your Christmas shopping? I kid, I kid!

Before we get back to Dan, Jack, Nora, and those psycho crazy dolls, a couple of announcements. Lee Brazil has a new release coming out soon, Mark’s Opening Gambit. And Em Woods is taking a step on the wild and scary side with her upcoming story Flying High. Click on over to the Story Orgy blog to read blurbs for both books and find pre-order links you can follow.

Our picture today, breathtaking as usual, was found, as usual, by the equally breathtaking Jade Baiser, who’s still pulling double duty (that sounds dirty!) as our photographer and a Story Orgy writer.

Okay, on with the story. I’m writing a full length post today, and our prompt was a snippet of dialogue: “I can’t protect you from that.”

Are you ready? Let’s go back to the clearing in the woods around Kirkpatrick Manor, and see if Jack survives his encounter with the knife wielding Elena…

 I Am Not Myself

Hank Edwards

(c) 2012

A nauseating, cold wave of dread swept through Dan as he watched Jack crumple to the ground. The blade of the knife was dark with his blood in the white moonlight.

Elena threw back her head and laughed up at the moon.

Anger followed the dread inside Dan. It burned inside him, sent fingers of action into his limbs. He pushed up from the ground, ignored the stabs from the dolls that clung to him, reached around to fling them off. He stomped on those underfoot, simultaneously happy and sickened at the cracking of their porcelain faces and plastic limbs. Dark blotches stained the fronts of their frilly dresses, but Dan couldn’t tell if it was blood from the organs of the missing women inside them, or mud from the clearing.

“Dan!”

His mother’s cry brought his head up in time to see Elena rushing him. The big woman held the knife overhead, her eyes dark, empty sockets in the moonlight. She opened her mouth, another black socket in the pale oval of her face, so similar to the porcelain faces of the dolls that surrounded him. A scream that shriveled Dan’s confidence burst from her mouth, freezing him in place as it echoed off into the dark woods.

It was, ironically, a doll that saved him.

A sharp pain in the top of his foot made his leg buckle. Dan crouched and dropped a hand to his foot, groaned when it bumped against the silver handle of an ice pick. His crouch allowed him to avoid the arc of Elena’s knife, and the momentum from her wild swing sent her stumbling past him to crash to the ground.

Dan batted away a few dolls, took a breath, and pulled the ice pick from his foot. Pain zipped up his leg like an electric shock, but he didn’t give himself time to acknowledge it. He snatched a doll off the back of his neck and threw it into the woods, then hurried to the stone altar where his mother was bound.

“Mom, are you all right?” Dan asked as he fumbled with the ropes at her wrist.

“I’m cold,” Nora said through chattering teeth. “I’ve been tied out here for hours. These dolls, they’re wicked. And strong.”

“I know,” Dan said, his gaze locked on the ropes. His fingers were numb from the cold air, and the moonlight played havoc with his vision.

A scream, high and primal, startled him a moment before a body hit him from the side. Dan tumbled to the ground, losing his grip on the ice pick as he fell. Hands struck and clawed at him, tried to gouge his eyes, get around his throat, and scratch his face. He kept his face averted, pushed at the hands, slapped them away and, finally, tossed the struggling form off him.

Dolls swarmed him, poking and stabbing, and he swept them aside, feeling like King Kong as he grabbed one in his hand and shook it until the frilly bonnet it wore fluttered to the ground. He cast the doll aside and looked around for the ice pick, coming to a stop at the sight of Angelica Kirkpatrick getting slowly to her feet not far away. It had been Angelica who had attacked him just now, and a mixture of shame and satisfaction swept through him.

He kicked dolls out of his path, stomping some into the ground as he went back to the altar. A jab to his ankle brought him to one knee, but Dan reached out quick to grab the doll. He snatched the paring knife from its hands and threw the doll into the dark of the woods.

Raising up again, he kicked dolls off his legs and ankles and cut his mother’s right wrist free. He turned and cut the rope on her right ankle, then made his way around the stone to cut her other leg loose. The final rope at her left wrist fell away and he pressed the knife into her hand as he helped her sit up.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Dizzy,” she said. “But I’m okay.”

Something heavy knocked Dan flat to the ground. A suffocating weight fell on him and the air left his lungs in a grunt. He couldn’t breathe, his mouth opened and closed, but his chest was compressed, it wouldn’t expand. He sucked in tiny breaths, but not enough to sustain himself, and white spots floated and popped in front of his eyes.

“You can’t stop me and my poppets,” Elena said, her mouth close to his ear, breath warm and wet against his skin. “We been around for a long, long time, and we got no plans to go away anytime soon. Your soul is cursed, law man. My poppets know you now, and even I can’t protect you from that.”

She sat up again and Dan felt her wight shift. Not enough for him to catch his breath, but enough for him to keep from passing out. It also allowed him to turn his head and look back at her. He saw her raise both arms high, hands holding tight to the hilt of the knife, the blade glinting in the moonlight.

Then a figure rose up behind her, just a silhouette in the moonlight. The figure lifted its hands overhead and brought them down into Elena’s shoulder. Elena screamed and toppled to the side. Dan drew in a deep breath and kicked her legs off him, turning over to scoot himself away from where she writhed and moaned. Behind Elena, Dan saw his mother backing away, dolls climbing up her legs.

“She stabbed me!” Elena cried out. “That bitch stabbed me!”

Dan’s hand touched a stone. He turned to find it was big and lose, part of a fire pit ring, and he grabbed it up. Bringing it up over his head, he let out a cry and brought it down on the top of Elena’s head. She collapsed in a heap, a trickle of blood on her temple looking black in the moonlight.

Turning, Dan clutched the stone in his numb fingers, looking for another threat to squash. But the dolls lay scattered across the ground, unmoving, dresses glowing in the moonlight.

“Are they…?” Nora’s voice faded as she stepped around the piles of dolls to stand beside Dan. “Are they dead?”

“Don’t know,” Dan said. He dropped the stone at his feet and pulled his mother against him in a tight hug. She shivered and he held her at arm’s length. “Are you hurt? Any cuts or anything broken?”

“A few cuts,” Nora said, her voice shaking. “But nothing broken that I can feel. No stab wounds.”

The thought of stab wounds brought up thoughts of Jack, and Dan turned away from his mother to look around the clearing. Jack lay several yards away, curled in on himself, and Dan’s heart felt like it skipped a beat.

“No, Jack,” Dan said and limped to kneel by Jack’s side. “Jack? You okay Jack? Talk to me.”

A moan, low and filled with pain, answered him, but it was an answer. Jack was alive.

“Mom,” Dan said, picking a doll off Jack. He turned in time to see Angelica limping up behind his mother. “Behind you!”

Nora started to turn, but Angelica was already there. She grabbed Nora by the hair and pulled her head back. In her other hand, Angelica held a small bladed knife. Dan pushed up from the ground, shouted, “Angelica!” as he moved across the clearing. He reached out, tried to urge his legs faster, ignored the pain from the wounds inflicted by the dolls. He still held a doll in his hand and he let it go, watched it cartwheel through the air between him and his mother and Angelica.

His aim was true. The doll struck Angelica in the face, turned her away from the fatal wound she was about to deliver. Dan was right behind it and he tackled her, one hand grabbing her raised wrist and twisting as they went down. He didn’t hold back in deference to her age, didn’t ease up the strength of his grip because of the brittleness of her bones. They hit the mossy floor of the clearing and Dan felt her hip snap beneath him, felt her wrist go as well.

Angelica cried out, and then lay still beneath him.

Dan pushed to his feet and took a few unsteady steps back.

Someone touched his arm and he jerked away, turned around with his fist pulled back, ready to strike.

Nora stood there, eyes wide, hands up. “Son, it’s me.”

Dan let out his breath and lowered his hand. “Sorry.”

“I understand, trust me.” Nora pulled him into a hug, then pushed him away. “I’ll go to the house and call the police. You stay with Jack.”

“Can you find your way?” Dan asked.

“I think so.” Nora pointed. “There’s the trail.”

Dan crouched to grab the knife Angelica had been holding and pressed it into Nora’s hand. “Take this.”

Nora hurried off down trail. Dan stood and watched her go until she was out of sight, then he went to Jack. He placed a hand on Jack’s arm, felt his trembling, and covered him with the fur Angelica had thrown aside.

“We’ll be okay,” Dan said, sitting beside Jack and resting a hand on his arm as the moon watched from high above. “I won’t leave you, Jack. We’ll be okay. You stay here with me, understand?”

~~ * ~~

Oh no! What’s going to happen to Jack?! He can’t die … can he?! Guess you’ll have to come back next week to find out what happens. Until then, jump on over to the other Story Orgy blogs for more hot, smexy reads.

J.R. Boyd,    Lee Brazil,     Havan Fellows,     Em Woods,     Jade Baiser

Follow our tweets during the week:

J.R. Boyd: @JR__Boyd

Lee Brazil: @leebrazil

Hank Edwards: @hanksbooks

Havan Fellows: @HavanFellows

Em Woods: @EmWoodsAuthor

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5 Responses to Story Orgy – I Am Not Myself, Chapter 12

  1. Shudders as she looks at her shelves full of dolls *nightmares now*

  2. Sharon S says:

    WHAT!!! You can’t stop now, Hank! Jack’s gonna be ok, RIGHT???

  3. WooHoo! Go Dan! and Hank, just so you know, if Jack dies I’ll never read another story of yours again. 😉

  4. jade baiser says:

    wow, talk about a fight!! Epic!
    So the dolls only move when Angelina’s moving, right? Well, good thing Dan didn’t hold back, she didn’t deserve any consideration for her age…
    Now, you’d better do something for Jack!!

  5. Lee Brazil says:

    Wow, Hank! This is one fast paced scene! Awesome!