Mutation Z Series, Books 1-6: The Ebola Zombies, Closing the Borders, Protecting Our Own, Drones Overhead, Dragon in the Bunker, Desperate Measures by [Peake, Marilyn]

Omnibus Edition of All Six Books in the Mutation Z Series

Ebola, one of the most feared of the hemorrhagic diseases, begins spreading across the borders of countries in West Africa. Soon after, the disease mutates into the “Z” or Zombie Virus. Journalist Hunter Morgan uncovers a disturbing connection between Chen-Zamora Pharmaceuticals and this mutation. Further investigation reveals a web of sinister intrigue connecting the pharmaceutical company to a treatment and research camp in West Africa, U.S. government officials, the CDC and the World Health Organization. Racing against time to find a cure, Hunter and several scientists go underground in order to hide from powerful forces trying to silence them forever.

Amazon Link


Tongue Tied by Samie Sands

Posted: July 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

Tongue Tied is my newest Wattpad story, please check it out for free. I would love to know what you think!

Sam and Carlie, Carlie and Sam…

From the moment these two lay eyes on each other it seems inevitable that they’ll end up together. Sure, they’re young so mistakes are made along the way, but the connection they share is like nothing either of them has ever experienced before.

That is…until fate gets in the way.

A catastrophic event leaves Carlie questioning everything. Every single decision that she’s ever made comes under scrutiny, including those that involve Sam.

There’s something she needs to say, but is she brave enough or will Carlie always be…Tongue Tied?

Tongue Tied


A boiling hot, bitter-tasting rage bubbled in my stomach. My throat burned, my lips tingled, my intestines coiled painfully around my lungs squeezing all the air out of them as my mind tumbled back over everything that just happened.

How did I let things get so bad?

All I wanted to do was scream and shout, to let out some of the frustration that had me breathless, but I didn’t have the energy. I felt emotionally drained, like I didn’t have anything left to offer the world. It took everything that I had just to keep on going. Even that had my eyelids dangerously heavy.

I pulled the car to a halt at the traffic lights and I tapped my fingers noisily against the steering wheel while I waited impatiently. My brain darted everywhere, even if I wanted to contain my thoughts I couldn’t, the anger was simply too powerful. It rolled through me in waves, swallowing up all my organs in the process.

I couldn’t work out exactly what I’d done to lead myself down such a terrible path, I wished desperately that I could pinpoint the moment so I could unravel it all to try again, but it was clear. What I really needed was a fresh start…

Then, three things happened all at once: my mobile phone blasted out its obnoxious ringtone, the light flickered onto green, and as my foot slammed down onto the accelerator there was a deep bright flash that appeared to come from nowhere.

What the…?

I couldn’t resist turning my head to find out what the seemingly inhuman glow indicated, but before my neck could make one full spin a shocking sensation slammed into my right-hand side.

The noise came after. The deafening crush exploded my eardrums ensuring that I’d never hear anything ever again. As my brain shattered I felt oddly calm. The emotions seeped from me, leaving me with nothing but numbness. It was the end and weirdly I just didn’t care. It felt good to have nothing left to worry about.

I suppose, in a dark and twisted way, it solved all of my problems.

The pain was ice cold, then burning, then it felt like my entire body was on fire as I cascaded through the car, bumping into parts of it that I’d never touched before. My ragdoll body flopped like it had no bones within it, and soon I figured it probably wouldn’t.

I wasn’t sure where I landed, but the moment I stopped moving the world became a pinhole. A circle filled my vision and it grew smaller and smaller as a deep blackness came for me.

Within that darkness, there was only one face. Dark, curly hair, deep hazel eyes, an olive-coloured skin that was so soft I desperately wanted to reach out and touch it. The only person who ever made me happy, and now I’d never get to see him again

I’m sorry, Sam, I’ll miss you.

I’ve always loved only you. 

Jane of Manchester: an easy reading chick-lit, sure to make you laugh out loud! by [Dow, J.G.]

“A cross between Coronation Street and Bridget Jones…many laugh out loud moments.” Top 500 Amazon UK Reviewer

“An impressively fine first novel.” Top 100 Amazon US Hall of Fame Reviewer

Jane’s life on the face of it isn’t really too bad…she has great friends like party girl Natasha who’s always up for a laugh and her close pal Polly, always there for her and of course her loving parents, but things could still be better…

Most people she knows are either married or have kids and she has been single a while now and wonders if a good man is ever to be encountered again. The single life is far from a quiet one for Jane however, as she is constantly getting dragged to night clubs and bars by Natasha and the crew as well as enduring a particularly boozy weekend away at the seaside!

Jane loves a lot about her life, disregarding rude plumbers in her flat and dealing with annoying superiors and a smug sister, but as a certain someone takes her eye, is everything about to change and get a whole lot more serious or is the single life determined to keep her captive a while longer yet…

Amazon Link

Review: For someone with such a mundane life, Jane’s story makes for a fun read. The author has an engaging style and had me laughing out loud at places. Fun beach read!

AM13 Outbreak Shorts…

Posted: July 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

Learn more about the AM13 virus with these shorts on Wattpad

AM13 Corrected - High ResolutionQuarantine – Prologue

I’m glaring at him just as intently as he stares at me. His eyes are so familiar, which really they should be. I’ve spent so much time gazing into them, wondering what’s going on behind them, hoping that he feels the same way I do. But now, something’s off. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s definitely there all the same.

It’s not just the cold, unfeeling expression that he’s wearing, or even the red rims and the loss of color in the iris of his eyes-although I do miss the deep ocean blue.

No, it’s much worse than that.

I bite my lip to trying to stop the tears that threaten to spill out. I want to speak, to ask him why, what’s going on, but my vocal chords feel strangled, constricted. It’s a struggle to even breathe.

Time passes. I’m not sure how much because nothing changes. We’re still here, everything’s exactly the same. Me verses him in this weird standoff that I just can’t get my head around. All I know for sure is that this isn’t going to end well.

He starts getting anxious. His eyes begin to flicker from side to side erratically. A puddle of drool collects on his chin, and a low growl emits from his stomach-a sound that I’ve never heard come from a human being before.

What the hell am I supposed to make of all this?

I’m scared. Absolutely terrified. My palms are sweaty and I can feel my heart pounding in my ears. On top of that, my dry mouth is absolutely aching for something to drink. I’d kill for some water or something right now.

But then he distracts me from my thoughts by moving. Finally, something is going to happen, and I feel a strange sort of excitement at the prospect.

Then he dives for me and everything goes black.

Lottie Loves…

Posted: July 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

Lottie Loves is another of my free stories that you can currently read on Wattpad:

Lottie love final

Chapter One

“Will you marry me?”

It was the words that I’d wanted to hear my entire life. Didn’t every girl fantasise over the perfect man going to buy the perfect ring and getting down on one knee in the most romantic way possible, before telling them that they loved them so much, they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them?

I knew that I certainly had.

Me and my best friend Cici used to talk about it all the time. We used to plan our dresses, the music, the flowers—every part of the ceremony down to the very last detail. Of course, the man didn’t really matter. We were young enough and naive enough to believe that we would magically meet the perfect man without even trying.

And I really thought that I had. I really, truly believed that my dream had come true.

Me and Danny had begun our love story in a very typical fashion—our eyes had met across a bar, where we’d had long, lingering eye contact, sparking all kinds of emotions within me. The only difference between my story, and that of every other rom-com ever, was that Danny was a genuine up-and-coming rock star, playing on a fairly big stage, and I was a fan who already felt a lot of love for this man. I’d been admiring him from afar ever since I first heard their album a year or so before.

I certainly hadn’t expected it to ever go any further than that moment, so when he came and joined me at the bar later on for a drink, despite being mobbed by other members of the audience, I felt like my entire life had been leading me up to that moment. I felt like everything that I’d experienced was all drawing me closer to Danny, the love of my life. Here was a gorgeous man who was destined to be famous, and who could have any girl in the world hanging off of his arm, talking to me, asking me questions, and actually showing me interest.

It seemed like a dream—one that I was terrified to wake up from.

As he flicked his messy auburn hair from his warm, chocolaty eyes and he gave me that smile that had already melted the hearts of the nation, I thought for a dreaded, wonderful second that he was going to kiss me in front of all of those people. But after a few beats of pure terror, he didn’t. Instead he handed me his phone number, and he asked if I would like to go on a date with him.

Me—boring old Charlotte (Lottie) Jones—on a date with Danny Boreom, bassist of the (now very) famous band Jax. It didn’t seem real.

Yet, it was real, and it did happen.

It was the start of my real life.

After a night out on the town where he well and truly wined and dined me, he walked me home to my tiny flat which must have looked ridiculous compared to the mansion that I now know he lived in with the rest of the band at the time, and he finally kissed me. As his lips met mine, I felt myself flying on top of the world—he was an amazing kisser, and there seemed to be an endless chemistry between us. One that I never wanted to end.

Breathless and turned on by the power of his mouth, I invited him inside. Although he coolly and calmly turned me down, it was still the best night of my entire life, made even better by a phone call the next day to say that he only didn’t come inside with me because he wanted to be something real. He didn’t want our love to end at a one-night stand, he actually wanted us to develop and for him to become my boyfriend.

Fast forward three and a half years and we were blissfully living together, grazing by every day happily and easily. Although he was away for a lot of the year touring, it didn’t seem to bother us. We were so strong and so solid with what we had, that nothing would get in our way.

It was perfect, still a dream come true and that intense chemistry hadn’t burned down one bit.

Which made it even weirder that my reaction to Cici telling me that Baz—another member of the band—had just told her that he’d been engagement ring shopping with Danny, wasn’t one of pure joy.

“What…what do you mean?” I asked, my heart racing frantically in my chest. I could tell that my voice was breathless and kind of terrified, but my mind was spinning too fast for me to be able to do anything about it.

“Aren’t you happy?” She giggled, “I thought that you’d be over the moon to finally be Mrs. Boreom.”

“No, no, I am,” I half lied. The idea had always been at the edge of my thoughts. I knew that Danny was the one for me, and despite all the car crash relationships around us, we’d even managed to survive the fallout of him becoming mega famous. It helped that I had no interest in the spotlight and that I did everything I could to avoid it, but even despite all of that, I felt like it proved that we could go the distance, and be together forever. So why wasn’t I excited for us to take the next step? “It’s just a bit of a shock, that’s all.”

But that was normal, right? Everyone freaked out at first when they learned that they were going to become someone’s wife…didn’t they?

Of course, I already knew that wasn’t true. I’d already been proposed to once in my life before, and that time, I didn’t hesitate one bit. Panic didn’t even come into the equation, I was happy, over the moon at the thought of becoming his wife. This was nothing like that had been. I felt completely different.

For the first time in a very long time, I allowed myself to think about Joe again, and almost the second that I allowed that vault to open in my mind, I felt myself fall into a tailspin. As his face filled my brain once more, it was almost as if the last five years hadn’t happened at all, and that I was still his proud girlfriend, waiting to be his wife.

As the wound reopened, I could barely hear what Cici was saying to me. I felt like I was gaping, exposed, and extremely vulnerable all over again, and I did what I’d always done when I was younger, when things got too difficult for me. I started to talk to Joe in my mind.

Where are you now?

What became of you?

What happened to your life?

It was so strange to have gone from the closest people in the world, to absolutely nothing, and I struggled to imagine that he’d changed one bit. Of course I had, my life was completely different, but I couldn’t think of Joe without viewing him as the other half of me. The boy that I’d adored, and the one that I never thought would leave my side.

“I…I’ve got to go,” I finally announced to my friend. “I’ll speak to you later, okay?” And then I hung up the phone, without even waiting for her to answer. I knew that I was being rude, acting more than a little strange, but I needed some time. I needed to be alone with my thoughts to try and process all of this.

So quite how I found myself sitting at my computer with my fingers running along the keys, I wasn’t quite sure.

Don’t press anything, I willed myself. As soon as you do, everything will change.

Since we had gone our separate ways, I hadn’t contacted Joe once, and with the uprising of social media I hadn’t looked him up either. I just couldn’t face it. He was like an imaginary fantasy in my mind now, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to ruin that with reality. What if he was married now? Or into drugs or something? His life could have gone in any direction, and I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to find out which one.

Plus, my life really was amazing now. Why would I want to even consider risking that? I had a gorgeous, passionate man who actually wanted to be with me forever, even though he was about ten leagues above me, I had a teaching job that I loved, and friends that would do anything for me. That was a hell of a lot more than most people had!

In the end I forced myself to stand up and to move away from the computer screen before it lured me in. I couldn’t do it; I just wasn’t willing to take that step into the unknown. It terrified me far too much. But as I wandered aimlessly from room to room, I realised that I couldn’t just do nothing either. I needed to calm this beast within me, which meant delving into my past whether I liked it or not.

I stood at the bottom of the attic ladder, wondering what awaited me up there. When me and Danny decided to buy a place together—well, he put the most money in of course, but we still classed it as ‘ours’—I shoved everything related to my old life away, not wanting to even consider it. But it was always a comfort, knowing that it was there, knowing that I could access it at any moment if I really wanted to.

And I could feel myself finally taking that step.

I creaked up the ladder, feeling my heart thump and my palms sweat with nerves. This was a mistake, I knew it was, but at the same time I couldn’t stop.

There would be no way for me to get married without taking this step anyway. Right now, things were comfortable, but if I was ever going to have a future with Danny, I needed to consult my past first. At least, that was my excuse and I was sticking to it.

Danny knew about Joe anyway. Well, he’d been told some of it, the very basics, so I supposed that I was probably going to have to confess all before we finally took the plunge. With that thought in mind, I tore open the first box I stumbled across, and I ended up looking at the few photographs that I had of me and Joe when we were very young, when we very first met…

Living on Borrowed Time has been selected to help promote a new Netflix film, To The Bone. Check it out now, and give it a Kindle Scout vote if you like it…


Chapter One

I shouldn’t be here.

No, not here, in the hot, sweaty kitchen of this rundown diner—although, to be honest, I highly doubt I should be here either.

No, I shouldn’t be alive.

I was supposed to die eighteen months ago. That was supposed to be it for me.

I was ill for a very long time, so getting that final diagnosis of six months to go was as reliving as it was devastating. To be honest, my emotions about it were completely mixed. I didn’t want to die necessarily—not that I think anyone does really—but I was so sick of the constant round of doctors, hospitals, tubes, pills, sickness…it was exhausting, and the thought of escaping that was something of a relief.

I just wanted an end to it.

Of course, not everyone felt the same. At least, not at first, but once my family and friends got used to the idea that I was dying, that I was going to be relieved of my suffering, they were intent on making my final months amazing, and boy did they succeed! I went travelling, I had parties, I did everything that was on my bucket list—except bungee jumping. I bottled that at the last second. It was fabulous, a real whirlwind of fun and excitement. Of course, there was the odd interruption with my health, but somehow we managed to work past that. Sure, we were all acutely aware of where it was heading but it didn’t taint the mood. Not really.

“Lara what are you doing just standing there? I pressed the bell about five minutes ago…these burgers aren’t going to take themselves to table twelve.” The grumpy head chef, Alfie yelled at me. He didn’t care about my internal struggle. He had no idea what it was like to know that you should be dead. All he cared about was getting this disgusting, fatty food out as quickly as possible so he could return home, to his sad middle-aged man ‘bachelor pad’ to smoke and drink his wages away.

I snatched the plates out of his hand and stalked moodily over to the table, where a couple were sat there smiling intently at each other. This could have been their first date, or they could have been married for years—that wasn’t what I noticed. It was the light that was shining in their eyes, as they gazed at one another. Happiness. An emotion I couldn’t even begin to understand anymore.

I shoved the food on the table in front of them, asking them if there was anything else they needed in the flat, monotone sound that had somehow become my voice. They didn’t even acknowledge my existence, they simply waved me away. I was nothing to them, just as I was nothing to everybody.

I’d been that way for a very long time now.

Once my deadline had passed, and the high started to wear off, I wondered what was happening, why I was still alive. Confused, I took myself to the doctors and after a whole range of invasive tests, they told me something unexpected, something miraculous—that I was actually starting to get better. Against all odds, I was somehow surviving.

I felt numb as he said those words. I know he expected me to celebrate, to be happy with the news that I would get to live longer, but I wasn’t. I’d gotten so used to the idea that I was going to die. I’d even adjusted to it, become comfortable with it, that to hear otherwise was utterly overwhelming. I had become so used to living in the moment, not worrying about the future because I was never going to have one, that with a long, black emptiness stretching out in front of me, I felt terrified.

What was I supposed to do? I had no future, no dreams, no plans. I had no idea where I was supposed to go next, how could I? How was I supposed to craft a new beginning out of zilch? It seemed like a ridiculously impossible task, that I couldn’t even begin to overcome.

Then again, I still had no prospects, no real education, no interests, no desires…nothing, and I no longer had any excuse for that. A year and a half had passed. There was so much that I could have done with that time, but I hadn’t.

I’d done absolutely nothing with it, I’d merely existed.

Every day it hit me how I would have been better off dead. I might as well have died, because since my positive diagnosis I was just living on autopilot, going through the motions aimlessly.

My friends and family couldn’t understand how I just seemed empty after I got the good news, and as I continued to improve, to get better, they got more and more frustrated by my increasingly negative attitude. One-by-one they became annoyed by me. I did something to piss all of them off and now, none of them bother with me anymore.

Not that I bother with them either. I feel like too much has passed; there’s too much negative water under the bridge to even think about repairing those fractured relationships.

When my mum eventually asked me to move out because I was putting too much pressure on everyone else in the family, I left quickly and got an apartment in the nearby city. I couldn’t stay in that little, suffocating town anymore, where everyone knew absolutely everything about me. I had no excuse to remain there anyway; it didn’t hold anything for me anymore, except for memories and bad feeling. I desired to be anonymous so I could wallow in my own misery in peace, without anyone trying to cheer me up. I didn’t want anyone else to feel responsible for my own happiness, when it was so clear that nothing could be done about it.

So I upped and left, without even glancing backwards.

I got everything that I ever wanted—a tiny, albeit grotty apartment that was just for me, a job in a diner where no one bothers to try and find out more about my life, and no one to speak to. Perfect.

Yet, of course, I still wasn’t happy.

“Got much planned over the weekend? You have tomorrow night off, don’t you?” Amy, the eighteen-year-old waitress, who was constantly chewing gum and nosing about in other people’s business, asked me in her typical over-the-top fashion.

She didn’t care about me of course, not at all. To her I was just another loser waitress, but she always tried to rile me up for some reason, and she quickly discovered that my non-social life was a sore point for me. I don’t know whether I was just a game to her, if she really wanted to piss me off, or if she just wanted to make herself feel better by commenting on my sad existence. Either way, it drove me crazy.

“I dunno…not really.” I kept my eyes fixated on the floor as I spoke, praying that she would take the hint and leave me alone.

“Why are you so boring? You never seem to do anything!” She laughed, genuinely thinking she was joking.

I looked up and smiled blandly at her, hoping that she would assume I took the joke in light humour, but the look she was giving me suggested that she might just be able to see the vulnerable weakling behind the cold exterior mask I gave myself.

The thought of anyone seeing any of the real me filled me with an intense fear that gripped tightly onto my heart, so I instinctively turned away from her, trying to discretely wipe the frustrated tears from my eyes before they fell onto my cheeks.

Idiot! I thought to myself. What the hell are you doing?

Hiding emotion was something I thought I’d become particularly good at, but with one look, Amy—a girl I barely knew—had managed to revert me back into a blubbering mess.

“I’m going out to that new club tomorrow night with a group of friends. Do you…would you maybe want to come?” She asked, with a kindness to her tone that I hadn’t ever noticed before.

Pity. It had to be.

Normally, I would have shot her down right away. Even the thought of going to a club filled me with fear—the drinking, the dancing, the socialising…it all felt a little too much for some like me. I’d never really done anything like that before, and it was intimidating as hell. Even at all the parties that had been held for me, I’d avoided alcohol due to the medication, I’d been too tired for dancing, and socialising hadn’t been too much of an issue because it was with people I’d known my whole life. Plus, my best friend Daphne had always been there to protect me if things got too much.


I instantly forced myself to shake the image of her from my mind, in the way I always did when she cropped up. Daphne was a no-go now, there was no point in even giving her a seconds thought. I didn’t want to upset myself over nothing.

“Sure.” I eventually replied, distractedly. I wasn’t really thinking about my answer, I just wanted the conversation done, and it was a shortcut way to achieve that.

“Oh…” Amy sounded incredibly shocked—understandably so. “Okay cool. We’re meeting up at about eight-ish so…” She looked at me strangely, as if she was wondering what the hell was going through my mind. “I’ll see you there I guess.”

As she wandered off, a sinking feeling set in. Why the hell had I agreed to that? I didn’t want to go out to a club! Keeping my existence simple and straightforward was the only way I managed to get through everyday life. Now, I’d just agreed to something that threatened to send me into an anxiety meltdown, just to shut her up.

I was an idiot!

No, I would have to phone Amy tomorrow with a plausible excuse. I needed to get out of going. Disrupting my routine with something so terrifying could only have negative results.

Not Dead Yet Sample

Posted: July 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

Not Dead Yet (AM13 Outbreak Series Book 4) by [Sands, Samie]

“Did you really just take that, Amy?” The nurse eyes me suspiciously, wondering if I’m up to my old tricks again. I roll my eyes in an exaggerated manner, proving that I think her untrusting nature of me is ridiculous.

“Yes,” I insist, through a slightly thick tongue. In all honesty, practicing this in my room in front of the mirror was a whole lot easier. Never mind, I’m doing it now. I’ll just have to find a way to make it work. “Haven’t I been a model patient recently? Honestly, it’s as if you don’t think a leopard can change its spots.”

“Hmm, sure.” But she stands up slowly, sending my heart flying with excitement. I’ve done it, I’ve actually pulled it off! “Well, Mr. Baker will be in to see you in a while anyway, so we can go from there.”

Urgh, of all the people I hate at the New York Institute for the Criminally Insane—not that it’s really called that, but I have to make jokes about my situation. If I don’t, I’ll end up crying—Mr. Baker is the worst. He’s the dreaded psychologist, and the methods he uses to try and ‘get me to open up’ make me absolutely shudder.

Maybe I don’t want to talk about the things that brought me here, maybe I don’t find it helpful to dredge up stuff that happened in the past, maybe I personally think it’ll set me back to relive the horrors from before. Maybe…just maybe, it’s up to me what I do. I just wish he’d see it the same way.

As soon as the door clicks closed, I cover my mouth with my hand and feign a cough, all the while spitting the small white pills, that send me into a zombie-like state, into my hand. I know this place well, having been here for years. I know there are cameras everywhere, I had to learn that the hard way when I tried to make my escape last time. The staff knew what I was up to for ages, so however prepared I was they were on top of it and I had no chance. They sedated me for weeks afterwards, it was one of the worst times ever.

I never, ever want to go through anything like that again.

This time though, things will be different, this time I’m more than ready.

I tuck the wet, chalky pills in the waistband of my underwear as discretely as I can, praising myself for being such a smart ass, they’ll never think to look there, no matter how little they trust me. I’m pretty sure people forget that before all of this happened, I was a serious clever person. They can drug me up to the eyeballs and try to take that away from me, but it’ll always be there, deep down. And the less of the pills I take, the clearer my mind will become.

Oh, God…I can already feel a chill running through my body, which means he’s here. The Devil in disguise. It’s time.

“Hello there, Miss Rowles,” Mr. Baker sneers at me, causing my whole body to tense up. My stomach coils like a metal spring and I can feel my lip desperate to curl up in a snarl, but I don’t let it. I’m trying to play the role of ‘model patient’ here, I need to stick to that even when dealing with this. “Now, I hear you’ve been more cooperative recently, so let’s see what we can do for you today.”

I watch intently as he flicks through the papers attached to a clipboard in front of him. He might put on that caring expression, which I’m sure has everyone else fooled, but I know he doesn’t care. Not really, we’re all just paychecks to him, he’d probably prefer it if we never healed!

I attempt to remain composed around him, but after a few moments of silence, my body starts freaking out all by itself. I tap my foot, shift my butt about, and eventually sit on my hands just to prevent me from flapping them about like a mad person. Since he already thinks I’m mental that’s one thing I desperately need to play down.

“So, I know that you’ve been trying to avoid talking about it, but maybe it’s time that we discuss the day you were brought in here?”

My blood runs icy cold, nausea rises up into my throat. “I…I just don’t remember it,” I lie. “It’s so long ago. And it doesn’t matter now anyway, I’m so far past it.”

Leave me alone…let it go…

But of course, he won’t. “You screamed ‘monsters’, you were afraid that someone was out to get you. Can you recall what caused you to start feeling so trapped?”

He knows this, I’m sure he does. He’s only bringing it up to torture me. Maybe this isn’t a psychiatric hospital after all, maybe it’s a prisoner of war camp. It sure feels that way sometimes. “Look,” I sigh, flickering my eyes down to the ground. “Things had been…tough,” massive understatement. “I didn’t cope too well,” again, talk about playing things down. “And my mind started playing tricks on me. I still don’t believe that I should’ve been brought here, and I don’t think I need to remain here now.”

“Amy, you were found at Grand Central Station, freaking out about monsters. When you were brought in and we suggested you go back to Kansas, you literally curled up into a ball and screamed.”

I shrug and roll my eyes, acting like I think he’s the nutty one, but we both know he’s right. I didn’t want to go back, I still don’t, but I really don’t want to be here either. That’s all in the past now, I’m totally beyond any of it. It’s time to move on, I don’t even need to think about it anymore…

Okay, so maybe I did freak out, maybe I did take things really badly, but when you live a life filled with stress, when you’re constantly at the brink of what you can handle, one additional problem can send you over the edge, never mind the entire foundation blocks that your life is built upon tumbling down around you. I think anyone would have reacted the way I did.

First, I started to feel sick. Everything became that little bit harder to do, things wore me out a whole lot quicker, I couldn’t quite fit as many activities into an hour that I once did. I assumed it was exhaustion, so I popped to the doctors for some tests, basically to grab some rejuvenating pills, but what I ended up with was something much more horrifying. The doctor spouted terrifying words, sentences I can barely remember now, the gist of them being that I actually had something wrong. Something potentially serious. He couldn’t tell me what though, just that I needed to wait patiently for the results.

I don’t think anyone can wait for potentially life-changing health results ‘patiently’.

That caused everything within me to crumble. As I staggered home, gutted and heartbroken from the news, I couldn’t wait to unload. I needed the positive outlook of my long-term boyfriend, Jack. He always had a way of seeing the silver lining around the big, black cloud, and I relied on him for that. I always got lost in the mist instead, unable to see anything positive.

But he wasn’t home.

In fact, as I slowly drifted from room-to-room, my heart sunk lower in my chest until it had settled like a big, thick, weighty block in my stomach. Jack wasn’t there, and neither was his stuff. Something had happened, something bad, and as my brain darted from one side of my head to the other, I couldn’t quite work out what it was.

Until I spotted the note.

‘Amy’, it said on the envelope, written in his beautiful, cursive handwriting. Despite knowing that the contents of the paper would shatter my heart, I traced my finger along the letters, just enjoying that one last moment of ignorance.

Then I tore the envelope open and felt the rug ripped from beneath me.


I’m so sorry to do this to you, in fact, I hate myself because of it, but I’m sure you’ve been expecting it for a while now. I’m not happy, and I’m sure you aren’t either. If we look back at it, maybe we never were, maybe we just settled for one another….’

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