Name: Maddison Rodriguez
Twitter Handle: @MaddiePrimrose
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
At 11 PM, Rocky dies during a robbery. By dawn, she’s soaring with talking dead and nightmarish monsters that make her think death is so much better. PET SEMATARY meets ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD .
First 500 Words:
I’m not a killer.
I switch the gun’s safety off, and then I switch the safety on. I’m about as threatening as a mummy. Scary on the outside, but easy to chop into firewood and dispose if needed. I think about everything I want to do, everything I want to be―but it’s not worth thinking about.
Because I won’t live to see tomorrow.
I stand outside the humble convenience store at eleven at night. The time was the only thing I got to choose. My uncle chose the rest: the store, the location, the day, and the plot to steal money.
My hand trembles, spasms ticking at my fingers as I extract my hand from the gun. It’s stupid to touch the gun currently tucked away in my sweater’s inside pocket. I am stupid. I’m the worst person to pick for anything, and for something like this. But I’m the most disposable. Disposable.
I lick my chapped lips. Carefully, I push my glasses up my nose. They’re sliding down again. Did I even turn the safety off before moving my hand away from the gun? I start freaking out. I’m shaking like a leaf, looking over my shoulder, about as discreet as a hot air balloon in one of those hot air balloon festivals. In my lamest attempt to be inconspicuous, I shoot my hand down my sweater, thumb brushing the safety. It’s off. Thank goodness, it’s actually off. Shoot. I laugh to myself, my laugh shrilly and falsetto. I don’t know why I’m laughing. Nothing is funny about this. I clutch my stomach, the rumble from my laughter setting me on edge.
I thought doing this at eleven o’clock at night would be easier than doing it after midnight, but I was wrong. It could be the day, the crack of dawn, dusk, but it’s never going to be easy doing something like this.
Time is running out. I have to do this. Mom and Uncle need the money or else…
Thinking of the alternative makes me retch on air, and I’m nearly having an anxiety attack, panic attack, meltdown, or all of the above.
No cars have come down the street in five minutes, and that’s how I know it’s time. The stretch of asphalt is lonely, the steady blink from a streetlight its only confidant in the dark. I spin around, my knees swaying all over the place, my legs feeling like rocks. I want to go home. I want to climb under my Spider-Man blanket and bawl. That would be the most humanizing thing I’d ever do again.
My humanity is everything.
My hand jitters as I reach for the door handle. And I force myself to move. Weakly, I pull at the door; the glass feeling like it weighs a ton. Maybe it does. Maybe I am in some kind of parallel universe in another galaxy, on another planet, where committing robberies is the norm. I’d rather be anywhere else than here.