Arizona Skies
Author: Isabella Darcy

Chapter 39
Craving

Once Emma leaves, long after we've stumbled our way through all the chem and chatted for ages, I can't stop thinking about her not-so-subtle psychological analysis of my feelings for Frank. I want to sit down and think about it, reason to her, that it's wrong- but I'm afraid if I do, I'll only end up trying to convince myself. The idea is ridiculous- I mean, come on- Aubrey. It's always been Aubrey. But then everything gets confused, and I push it out of my head.

The night is dry and still, and lying on my bed looking out of the open window with the stars twinkling dully in the still-light sky, the thoughts creep back in my head. I grab my ipod and listen to Death Cab, relaxing as the familiar music swooshes over me, hypnotizing. It's so calm, so peaceful here. When I first moved I never thought I'd be able to survive...but now it's as if I've been here forever, as if this place has a soul that perfectly matches mine and being here is completing part of me. I can feel sleep tugging on my eyelids as the stars grow into fuzzy silver splotches...the piano tinkling and rippling in my brain, melding and sinking into colors that swirl and splatter and burst into light...

It's morning. I'm in the car with Aubrey, riding to school, the cold making frosty shapes on the windshield. The air conditioning is on, and I'm so cold, so cold that my fingers feel numb and I can hear my heartbeat in my ears. The radio is on, strangely muted country, whiny and foreign sounding, like banshees wailing by rushing waterfalls, and I feel like something is going to happen, something is waiting to happen.

"Aubrey." I say, turning my chilled face to him.

He ignores me, just goes on humming to the music, his lips parting and letting out a stream of hot air that I can see in the frigid atmosphere of the truck.

"Aubrey."

He stays looking ahead, rubbing his neck with a sigh and fiddling with the dial on the radio. The music turns off.

"Aubrey!"

My momentary amusement turns to annoyance. I reach out a hand to shake him, make him look at me.

"Aubrey!"

The car screeches to a halt, and so fast I can't realize what's happening I feel a huge weight fly on top of me. I open my eyes to a mass of gray and feel cold hands on my face, sliding down my neck. I can't breathe, I can't see...

And then his hands are running, holding me down and roughly feeling through the thin jacket I have on, horrible cold hands that send shivers down my spine and cause my throat to choke up, my head to spin black, the air to thicken, suffocating me...

I fling out my arms blindly, trying to make him stop, but the dizziness in my head just gets worse and I feel his strength overcome me. My body finally slumps in surrender, my head hitting the cold glass of my window. And then finally I can open my eyes, and I look into his face, try to crack out the words, Please stop, please. But he's laughing and he won't look at me and my vision is blurring and then for one second, his eyes meet mine, and there is no laughter in them, but pure, malicious hatred. I struggle for words, my surprise momentarily gaining over my fear. My voice sounds thin and stringy in the still coldness of the air, wrong in every possible way, horribly familiar in suprise,

"Frank?"

 

 

I wake up with a start, sitting up and nearly wacking my head. My breath is coming fast and shallow, and I can feel a thin layer of sweat over my skin, drenching my camisole. The air from outside is so cold, and I shiver in the damp. Quickly I reach over and slam the window shut, letting out a deep sigh and pulling my sheet around my shoulders.

The alarm clock says 12:22 in blazing block red letters, searing onto my eyelids and echoing in my startled brain.

Slowly I lay back down and make an effort to still my breathing, focusing on the wooden slats above my head, their soothing regularity. I press my hand to my heart and feel it jumping like a frightened rabbit. In, out. Inhale, exhale.

I close my eyes and Frank's face flashes before my eyes, that same bright malicious face. I feel my stomach twist involuntarily. And suddenly, a craving to see that face, that body and form right now sends a shooting pain right through my heart. It makes absolutely no sense at all- the fear I woke from is still with me, painfully aware in every thought, but suddenly I want to see him, even if just in dreamland, to look at those hard brown eyes, that used to be so soft and laughing for me, the ones I can never meet now. The longing is so strong for a moment it fills my head, blinding me- and then it recedes, and I lay back with a long sigh.

I should be wanting Aubrey, but he doesn't flash into my mind until I just realize that what I want, what I've wanted this whole time, is Frank. The very image of his face gives me chills, but ones that flare up in flames and bite away at me, corrosive in their hunger. I want him here, right beside me, maybe cold and harmful, dangerous and hateful, but here, present to my clutching hands and heart.

Frank, not Aubrey. The realization sends my head spinning yet again, my heart jumpstarting for the millionth time.

I won't be able to sleep again tonight.

 

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