Freaking freak, p.1
Freaking Freak, p.1Jon Jacks
Other New Adult and Children’s books by Jon Jacks
The Caught – The Rules – Chapter One – The Changes – Sleeping Ugly
The Barking Detective Agency – The Healing – The Lost Fairy Tale
A Horse for a Kingdom – Charity – The Most Beautiful Things – The Last Train
The Dream Swallowers – Nyx; Granddaughter of the Night – Jonah and the Alligator
Glastonbury Sirens – Dr Jekyll’s Maid – The 500-Year Circus
P – The Endless Game – DoriaN A – Wyrd Girl – The Wicker Slippers
Heartache High (Vol I) – Heartache High: The Primer (Vol II) – Heartache High: The Wakening (Vol III)
Miss Terry Charm, Merry Kris Mouse & The Silver Egg
Seecrets – The Cull – Dragonsapien – The Boy in White Linen – Porcelain Princess
Text copyright© 2014 Jon Jacks
All rights reserved
Text copyright© 2014 Jon Jacks
All rights reserved
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‘The finest gloves, the softest leather;
a second skin – a most sensuous experience.’
NonPareil Haute Couture. A veritable delight for the senses
So – I’ve finally plucked up the courage to come here, to stand here; right on the very edge of the bridge.
Where it only takes one slip and–
Well, that’s what I’m here for though, isn’t it?
Wondering if I should put an end to this unbearable sense of emptiness.
This sense that I’m just a shell. That the person I used to be has been carved out and simply tossed away.
So, the question is – should I jump or not?
Just looking down makes me feel all creepy and queasy.
It’s only when you’re at the very edge, staring down towards the rocks and river far below, that you realise just how high the bridge is.
There’s a part of me screaming that I should step back away from the edge – another part screaming even louder that I should go ahead, get it over with. Even if it’s just by letting myself slowly tip forward, rather than madly leaping out into space.
Didn’t I read somewhere that it’s a common sensation, this urge to step out into empty air whenever you’re standing on the edge of a high drop? That’s why we always feel a little dizzy, a little bit frightened.
What’s nature playing at, giving us an instinct like that?
Like there’s a little bit of lemming in every one of us.
Glancing down at the rocks beneath me, it’s crazy, I know, but I can’t help thinking – is it all over quickly, in an instant, like all the lights suddenly going out? Or is it all agonisingly slow? You know, time slowing down for you, and all that sort of thing?
That doesn’t sound good at all, does it?
Perhaps I haven’t exactly chosen the best way to die. Not that, I suppose, there really is a best way.
For another thing, my body’s going to look one heck of a mess, don’t you think?
Laid out in my coffin with the lid closed. Otherwise they’ll be handing round the sick bags in the church.
Not exactly Snow White, is it? You know, with all the distraught, weeping dwarves surrounding her in her beautiful glass coffin.
And all I’d be doing is leaving the ground open for some other girl to move in on Jase.
I mean, it isn’t as if I’ve even really tried to win him back yet, have I?
This new girl, this Fiona, it’s probably all just an infatuation. One Jase will soon grow out of.
So maybe I should jus–
‘Jump, damn you! Jump!’ someone suddenly screams.
And it makes me jump.
Not that I’d intended – not at this point, anyway – to jump.
Originally, I’d just ‘jumped’ in the way you’re startled by someone screaming at you.
I started to turn around, to see who’s shouting at me. And what do you know? – it’s Fiona. Fiona, the stealer of my beloved Jase.
Even when angry, with her face contorted in fury, I’ve got to admit she somehow still manages to look beautiful. All that thick, flowing, incredibly witch-black hair – it always helps, doesn’t it?
But the way I’d jumped, combined with the sudden whirling around – all on the edge of a dangerous fall? It’s not advisable, is it?
One of my feet slips on a mix of loose pebbles and dried soil. The foot shoots out into empty air.
I try to regain my balance. Try to support all my weight on the leg still standing on solid ground.
It doesn’t work.
I flail out with my arms, reaching out in the hope of finding something, anything, I can grab hold of.
There’s nothing within reach that I can grasp to stop myself toppling backwards.
Backwards over the edge of the precipitous drop of Kingstown Bridge.
Falling towards the rocks lying far below.
I’m taking all this surprisingly calmly, you might think.
That’s because, somehow, strangely, I can’t believe this is really happening.
You know; like when something really terrible’s happening to you, but thankfully there’s a part of you telling you, Hey, don’t worry – it’s all so crazy, it just has to be a dream! Hasn’t it?
In a while, you’ll wake up, thinking, Wow, what a nightmare that was!
Unfortunately, there’s another part of me that’s absolutely petrified. The part that knows this really is happening.
Fortunately, before this part of me can kick in, I pass out.
As I begin to come round, I groan in agony.
My head. My arms. My body. My legs. My intestines. My lungs.
Wow, you have no idea what pain is until you jump off Kingstown Bridge!
And, weirdest thing is, it’s not just the sort of totally agonising pain you’d expect after hitting the ground hard after a long fall. There are God knows how many sharper points of pain; like someone who really hates me is going to work on me with a heated needle.
Even weirder, it feels like my skin is being stretched, pulled. Like some other person in serious need of care is having a rare old time treating my skin as if it’s a piece of exquisite cloth. And she’s decided to transform it all into a magical dress for Cinderella.
I force my eyes to flicker open. Everything’s blurred. Yet the light is still painfully bright.
I hurriedly shut my eyes again.
I’m still dazed, but I’m beginning to sense a hurried, urgent movement going on around me.
I can feel the air move as people draw close, move aside, retreat. As they move towards me, I can feel hands grasping and
It’s not a tender care, either. It’s rushed, almost panicked. And at times quite brutal.
There’s also a buzz of voices, with not even a word of it making any sense to me. Almost as if the surgeons and nurses are deliberately conversing in some alien language, so as not to alarm me.
Because, sure, I get it now.
I’m being operated on.
I’m being saved.
I survived falling off Kingstown Bridge!
But…in just what sort of condition am I going to be in?
Just what am I doing here?
I…I really really don’t know.
Sure, I’ve taken it bad, all this being dumped thing.
And suddenly, I just feel like I’m nothing special after all. Like I’m a nobody.
But...to think of ending it all?
That’s crazy, isn’t it?
I mean, it’s not as if it’s really the end of the world, is it?
A boy breaking up with me.
A boy I never even knew until just a few weeks back.
It’s not as if I still haven’t got so much to live for, after all.
Sure my mum and dad aren’t exactly the most attentive parents around. And my friends have all deserted me.
(Well, since Jackie turned up, anyway.)
But my looks; I’ve still got my looks. Haven’t I?
I mean, hospitals these days; they can perform miracles, can’t they?
And I’ll look even better in a few years, when Mum and Dad finally get around to letting me have a bit more work tidying up my chin.
Sure, they say I’m not ready for it, that I should put it off, ‘until you feel more comfortable about yourself.’
This from parents who could regularly fly out to the Caribbean and back if their plastic surgeons and trichologists handed out air miles.
Okay, so I admit they’ve allowed me to have a little bit of help too. Just the tiniest tweaking of the nose. A fifteenth birthday present from Mum.
But just who doesn’t have that sort of enhancement these days?
So look – just get over it, girl!
It’s happened to other girls before.
It’ll happen to other girls again too.
It’s not even like I am just some other girl, is it?
I’m Jill Paxton, one of the most beautiful girls in school. One that any other boy would give anything to go out with.
And as for Jase? Is he really so great?
Jason Withers, the boy who…who…
Who used to hold me closely in his arms.
Who used to gently kiss me on my neck. The edges of my chin. My cheek – then, at last, finally move towards my lips.
Who used to tell me how wonderful I was. How he couldn’t live without me.
Oh, it’s no good!
I can’t think of anything bad about him! No matter how hard I try!
He’s beautiful! Gorgeous!
He has hair a Californian surfer would give up his last surfboard for.
The kind of body I’ve only ever seen before in illustrations of young, Greek gods.
A smile that either instantly melts your heart. Or reminds you you really should be visiting your dentist more often.
In fact, there’s only one thing bad about Jase Withers.
He broke up with me.
Dragging my eyes open once again is much more difficult than I’d imagined it would be. I slightly twist my head, briefly look about me.
Boy, am I pumped up to bursting point with drugs!
Either that, or I’m being treated in Freaksville Hospital’s emergency department.
To call these guys elves or goblins would be too kind to them. They’re full blown freaks! Dr Frankenstein’s earlier, less successful efforts; all pieced together from bits and pieces of the human equivalent of a reclamation yard. Just as an extra, whimsical touch, he’s even thrown in a few animal parts too.
The way they work, it’s more like they’re patching up a boat rather than repairing a body; all meat hooks, saws and huge darning needles, rather than the delicate finesse of expertly wielded surgical tools. The strands they’re sewing me up with are as thick as rope, as lively as snakes, writhing in protest as they’re violently threaded into my skin.
And whaddya know, in my spaced-out haze I even get to kid myself I can see them bringing out the reclaimed body parts. They’re passing what looks like severed limbs through what could be an old fashioned washing mangle.
‘How’s she coming along?’ a voice I can actually understand asks concernedly.
Jase leans over me.
He backs away.
‘Good, good,’ he says in reply to some garbled comment. ‘She’s far too useful to go to waste!’
Yeah, as I suspected; I’m like totally drugged up to the eyeballs, aren’t I?
What an idiot!
What a stupid thing to do!
Just how on earth was trying to kill myself going to solve anything?
Wait; I had tried to walk away from the bridge edge, hadn’t I?
I’d already worked out that killing myself was just going to leave Jase in Fiona’s arms and–
She was there, at the bridge – wasn’t she?
Or – am I just imagining it?
I’m still too dazed, too confused, to be sure.
Did she push me?
No, I don’t think she did. Not physically, anyway. But mentally?
Sure, she’d pushed me towards Kingstown Bridge, because she’d so effortlessly taken Jase off me.
But…but…am I really so weak, so pathetic, that I’d want to commit suicide over that?
No, no; it was the gloves!
Somehow, I’m sure, it was those damned, amazing gloves that had made me do it!
I’d never seen gloves like these before.
Never felt leather that was so soft, so supple, so cool to the touch.
Even just holding them in my hand, I sensed that they were special, unique.
‘Oh my gawd; they must’ve cost a fortune,’ I breathed excitedly to Jacqueline.
‘They probably did,’ Jackie agreed surprisingly calmly. ‘They were my grandma’s; she was a famous actress. Well, a Hollywood starlet, anyway; Helen “Hezzy” Heston. Back in the heydays of the movie business.’
‘Your grandma’s?’ I tried to keep the scepticism out of my voice. ‘They look like they were only made yesterday.’
It was true, not an exaggeration.
Despite the leather being ridiculously, impractically thin, there was absolutely no sign of wear that I could see.
I mean, if anyone had worn gloves this thin regularly, the fingertips at the very least would have been worn down to a ghostly transparency. Or, more likely still, ragged holes.
All the stitching was also remarkably intact. There wasn’t a single loose thread, despite the stitching being the finest, most delicate I had ever seen. The seams were almost invisible.
The leather itself was still perfectly white, and hardly creased, as if the gloves had been kept in their case since the day they’d been purchased. Works of art to be admired but never worn.
‘Well, like me, I think Gran sorta dabbled,’ Jackie said, attempting to explain the gloves’ remarkable condition. ‘You know, in spells, witchcraft. That kinda thing.’
I couldn’t help raising an eyebrow in disbelief, but held back any temptation to scoff
No one believes she’s got any real powers, of course. Even so, just to be on the safe side, even the very worst girls at school leave her alone with a dismissive, ‘Ahh, forget it – she’s not even worth bothering with, is she?’
Besides, there was another reason why I didn’t laugh.
I was intrigued.
I wanted what she was saying to be true.
I wanted the gloves to be somehow magical. It seemed fitting, natural, that such an amazingly beautiful pair of gloves possessed otherworld qualities.
I slipped the glove onto my hands.
They were long gloves. Just pulling them on, smoothing them up my arms, flexing my fingers so they eased into the gloves’ deliciously soft, surprisingly warm embrace, was a delightfully sensuous experience in its own right.
Admiring them on my hands, I immediately felt more sophisticated, refined – and so incredibly beautiful, as if all the beauty and agelessness of the gloves were somehow being transferred to me.
All this from a pair of gloves?
Haven’t you got one of those dresses that, almost magically, just makes you feel so much better about yourself? You know; it flatters you, makes the most of your best features, somehow hides or pulls in the worst bits?
Suddenly, voila – you’re Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet, or maybe even Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (Well, that’s my idea of sophistication, anyway.)
And these gloves; well, let’s face it, they’re something beyond, something superior, to even that magical little dress.
I didn’t have to admire myself in a mirror, to preen and prance and pose, to just know that I was wildly, impossibly gorgeous.
My whole body was screaming out to me that I was a goddess! That I was desirable. Seductive. Irresistible!
I ran my gloved hands lightly across my cheeks. Passed them delicately across my lips, my chin. I crossed my arms as I caressed my neck, lifting my head high as I did so.
My hands ran tenderly across my shoulders, my breastbones, my breasts.
They dropped lower, embracing my waist, spreading as they took in the rising of my hips.
I gasped, moaned with surprise and delight, as if they were a lover’s hands, not mine. Hands exploring and appreciating the indents, the curves, the areas of suppleness, of malleability, of hardness. Yet they were also my hands, my fingers. Hands sensing my lover’s – lovers’! – bodies.
I felt as if I had been kissed thousands of times, in a thousand places. As if I had also kissed a thousand times, exploring and experiencing so many sensations with my own mouth, my own lips, my tongue.
It was every experience of a young, exuberant Hollywood starlet. Experiences that had somehow been retained within the gloves. Experiences that I was now reliving, all for myself.
Of course it is.
I knew that.
But I also, suddenly, knew things that no girl my age would normally know.
Freaking Freak by Jon Jacks / Fantasy have rating 4.4 out of 5 / Based on40 votes