Authors: Dmytry Karpov
Eye of Newt
Eye of Newt
By Kimberly Kinrade & Dmytry Karpov
Published by Daring Books
Copyright 2012 Daring Books
You may not use, reproduce, or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews. All rights are reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.
Eye of Newt
Hands like vellum caressed Annabel’s face. "I will return tomorrow." His smile made her turn away to hide the revulsion of his touch. If only he never came back—then this place would be bearable.
A cold wind blew through the room, pushing crumpled papers off the wooden desk and unto the red carpet. Annabel picked them up, and the cold touched her spine. Stupid window. She went over to the white walls and closed it. Metal bars peered at her through the glass.
She spoke to him without turning her head, a practiced obsequiousness in her voice. “My love, while you are gone, may I have visitors?”
Newt chuckled and stroked his straw thin beard. Barely anything remained of his gray hair, unlike his overgrown eyebrows. “Why do you need those? Have I not enough books to keep you company?”
Dozens of shelves loomed over the fireplace. They went all the way up to the ceiling, so high Annabel couldn’t reach many of the books. She stroked the leather spines of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Macbeth, her favorites. The schemes and plots made her grin.
Annabel straightened her yellow dress and sat down under a painting of a ship in a storm. She would flatter the old creep. But she would do it with words alone. “Sometimes it is nice to have the company of people. And, without you, I get so lonely.”
Newt patted the black eye patch over his eye. “I am always with you, my dear.” He turned toward the door.
The whine slipped from her lips. “But I haven’t seen my friends for so long." She struggled to regain her submissive posture. "They are nothing compared to your company, but, maybe, they will make my longing for you more… bearable.”
Newt scowled, and the wrinkles on his face drew together. His blue eye dulled and his pointy chin stretched tight. That face might have been handsome once, but now it turned to hate. “No.” His voice dropped low with barely concealed rage. “I am all you need. If you are not happy, we will discuss it when I return.”
“Please, just this once. I’ll—”
“No!” Newt walked across the room. His cane tapped on the floor. He reached Annabel and lifted her by the collar, tearing a whole through the flowers sewn into the cheerful fabric. “Who is it you want to see so badly? Who?” Spit sprayed from his purple lips. The smell of wine hit her. “Is it a man?”
Annabel shook her head. She had driven him too far. Now, it would not end well. “No. I’m sorry. I will not ask again.”
Newt sucked the air and growled. He let go of Annabel and slapped her across the face.
Pain exploded in her cheek and she fell to the floor, sobbing. “I’m sorry… my love. I will entertain myself while you are gone. I will think of only you.”
Newt nodded and strutted out of the house.
As soon as he was out of earshot, Annabel rolled onto her back and screamed. Why must he always ruin everything? Why couldn’t she have ended up with someone else? Her father had insisted on Newt. “He is wealthy,” he said. “And you’ll have everything.” Annabel had no choice, and so she tried to believe.
At first, she adored the necklaces and fancy dresses, the house and the garden. They were all so… new, so marvelous—like treasures a princess would have. But eventually, she began to want what she had left behind: gossiping with Mary, talking to her father, going to the marketplace and saying hi to the baker. Those simple moments, those moments and interactions she was denied. Because of this.
She grabbed the golden necklace around her neck and pulled. It burned, a little at first, like hot water in a bath. Then it grew stronger, like holding your hand near fire. And then, then it turned to flames.
Annabel let go and raised her arms. Red lines engraved her palms.
And she laughed.
He’d told her it wouldn’t come off as long as she lived. Still giggling, she toyed with the chain. It didn’t hurt, if she didn’t pull. But it kept her here: this little thing. At its end hung an eye, and, always, it stared at her.
“How did you get in?” Annabel stood on the balcony. Her red scarf rippled in the wind.
Footsteps behind her. “I do what I’m paid to. You don’t want to know how.”
Annabel didn’t turn. She couldn’t let the eye see him. “Did you get my message?”
“Yes. How did you get the boy to deliver it?”
The garden below brought the smell of roses. Annabel leaned on the stone railing. Its bumps pricked her soft hands. “He’s a farmer’s son. He visits me at the gate every night… if it’s safe.”
Annabel flicked her necklace. “I wish I was.”
“Shall we start?”
“Yes.” Annabel turned and put the scarf over the necklace. Maybe he wouldn’t notice. Maybe…
The dark room held only a bed and a chair in front of a mirror. The man before her wore a black coat, had thick black hair and eyebrows. His sharp chin fit perfectly with his slim face, and his blue eyes reflected stars. A handsome face. Her breaths became shallow with the possibility of desire.
He signaled her to come closer. She did. He put his arms around her and pulled her to his chest. Her heart quickened. Her skin grew hot. His rough hands slid up to her neck.
And broke it.
All went dark.
Annabel gasped as if waking from a nightmare. The man came into focus over her.
“It is done,” he said.
Her hand went to the necklace… it wasn’t there.
Yes. Finally, but where
…. At her side lay the golden chain and uncovered eye. She stood up, pushed the man aside, and threw the eye out the balcony.
The door slammed open.
“How dare you?” Newt stood in the doorway. His red coat puffed up just like his sweat-drenched face.
“I am no longer yours.” Annabel raised her arms and exposed her throat, now free of his ever-watchful eye.
The man who had freed her had disappeared.
“What did you do?” Newt walked up to her, almost tripped over his cane. “I saw the necklace slip off of you. What did you do with it?”
Annabel laughed. Oh, how she had waited for this moment. For years, she had planned her words. “I have left it. Like I am leaving you.”
“No.” Newt clutched her neck and squeezed. The air ripped from her chest and returned in trickles. He pushed her to the floor and got on top of her.
How had he returned so quickly? How long had she been out? No. This wasn’t supposed to happen now. Not now.
Newt’s grip loosened as he breathed harder.
“I’m sorr—” Annabel stopped. She wasn’t sorry. She was furious. Furious at him for stealing her life. And she was done acting.
Yelling, she grabbed his face and dug her nails into his skin. Blood dripped from his eyes like tears.
Newt screamed and pulled her arms away. Filled with air, she pushed him to the floor. He started to stand, but she dug a heel into his chest. She knelt over him and pushed on his throat with her new strength.
“You kept me here like one of your precious ornaments. Now join them. You’ll have everything… ” she mimicked her father, and then added, “and you’ll be all alone.”
She pushed harder, and Newt’s limbs collapsed.
He lay there like a dead insect: thin, small, and twisted oddly. What had she ever been afraid of? She knelt and pulled a ring of keys from his pocket. The scent of his blood stirred her new hungers. She flicked her tongue at his chest, like a kitten sipping milk for the first time. Her stomach clenched, the vile flavor of his essence tainting her. Even his blood tasted foul.
She laughed, wiped her red hands on her dress, and walked out. She walked past locked doors and barred windows. She walked past the garden and out the gate. She walked home, grinning all the way—the night alive with flavors. Her second chance at life an intoxicating elixir.
Back at the mansion, the man in black emerged from the shadows. He stood over Newt’s body and shook his head. “When will you learn? You should have treated my mother better. You should have treated
,” he pointed at the door, “better. Then maybe, she wouldn’t have killed you. You have everything. Don’t waste it.”
He leaned into the man and pulled out a knife. As he cut his wrist, he put it over the dead man’s throat. Let him have one more chance.
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If you enjoyed
Eye of Newt
, check out other work by this author:
Those inside are special, gifted with unique abilities, abilities that make them dangerous to the outside world. Since childhood, they're trained to control their powers, to show restraint, and to defend themselves. For years they practice, honing their gifts for one purpose: to be rented out to the highest bidder as a spy, to be used as a weapon against others.
Sam never questions her role at the secret organization dubbed Rent-A-Kid.
Until she meets Drake.
She reads minds.
He controls minds.
Together, they might get out alive.
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*Book #3 - Forbidden Life
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This was the moment. Our first meeting. What if the chemistry we had in our minds didn't translate to our bodies? What if he looked at me and ran away?
Ana, reading my mind, tugged me to the door with a motherly smile. My heart clenched at the thought that Lucy and Luke should have basked in that smile over the last eighteen years. The injustice of it all renewed my motivation.
She opened the door and Drake stepped forward, and for that moment, the world stopped spinning and time stood still.
In my imagination, he hadn't been so tall. Tall and muscular. His blond-highlighted hair lay casually messy, and his crystal blue eyes held me in a long stare. He'd found a way to shave, and the chiseled strength of his jaw made my knees weak.
When he smiled, warmth filled my stomach.
That was it, just one word, but he made it sound like it held all the secrets of the universe. His voice was deeper, huskier, than it had been in my mind.