spearmint

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Q&A

Hi!! I'm gonna do a Q&A for you guys, so feel free to ask me questions in the comments. I will try to answer as many as I can.

Growing Up

    Growing up, my life was pretty easy. Sure, I had the occasional homework that I had to stay up for. My friend and I argued a lot, but we always made up the very next day. We were inseparable. In addition to her, I had several other friends, and was very open with myself. Smiling was easy back then. But bit by bit, my life became harder.

    Moving to California was the first step towards the hardships I suffer nowadays. It was not all too bad, seeing as nearly everyone was kind, funny, understanding, forgiving, selfless. The kids there managed to break my walls and bring me out of my cocoon in less than one day. They were incredibly nice, and didn't exclude me just because I was the new kid, or had an accent that they were not used to. Everyone there taught me American customs. I learned school games like tetherball and handball. I taught myself...

Self-Respect

5 Things

    1) Humility
One thing every leader, and every great person needs is humility. You must be able to be selfless and have the ability to view opposing sides and step down to others. I think humility is a great trait for one to have, and certainly one that I wish I had more of.

    2) Empathy
Kindness is not only the ability to be nice and helpful to others, but also to be empathetic. To view yourself in one's shoes is one step closer to understanding them. One step closer to helping them.

    3) Hardworking
The trait that never lets you give up. This is what keeps us going in the toughest moments of our lives, and unfortunately, it's not something everyone possesses. But it is something we can gain. It is something that we can learn and it will help us persevere and move forward.

    4) Curiosity
Where would we be if we didn't ask...

PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!

I need help. Like seriously. I have been getting zero comments, likes, and reviews lately. I understand that it is partially my fault because I haven't published any pieces lately, but it's very hard when you have

    1) zero ideas
    2) no feedback
    3) no one who reads your stuff even when you do publish
and
    4) no time

I would really appreciate some help, preferably in useful comments and reviews, just so that I can write a bit better because that's what I'm on this site for. Getting only likes is very frustrating, and I've also wanted comments or reviews that offer constructive criticism. Any help would be deeply appreciated.

BFFs=Best Fake Friends

    I dealt with fake friends for a really long time. They weirdest part was that at the beginning of the year, those girls had been the most cruel to me, and yet I managed to befriend them. But I suppose was known for weird, as one of the girls had called me. I'm proud that people think of me as if I'm different, I really am, but it doesn't change the fact that the little comment was made to hurt.

    I was constantly used, ranging from teaching the monkey bars to easy algebra for the Talented and Gifted test. I wasted an awful lot of time, never letting my patience run out. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. They would interrupt me when I was talking, all to say the most useless, stupid things. They asked me weird questions with malicious grins on their faces, and sometimes I had to lie to protect my...

WOTW #febq&a

    What author inspires you the most?
J.K.  Rowling is one of my huge inspirations. It took her so long to get Harry Potter published. She got rejected several times, but she never gave up on that story. She made it famous. Her characters were brilliant, and I just love her books and writing style.

    Do your characters normally symbolize you, or people you know?
No, they don't. I'm not brave. I'm not strong. I'm not evil, but I don't think I'm good either. I'm not great at forgiving. It takes me a long time. Really, the people I write about don't symbolize me or the ones I know. They are who I wish I could be. They are who I wish some people that I don't have a great history with could've been.

    Where do you feel most comfortable writing?
Fiction. I recently found that I am rather good at true stories and personal narratives as well. They're not as...

WOTW #febq&a

    What author inspires you the most?
J.K.  Rowling is one of my huge inspirations. It took her so long to get Harry Potter published. She got rejected several times, but she never gave up on that story. She made it famous. Her characters were brilliant, and I just love her books and writing style.

    Do your characters normally symbolize you, or people you know?
No, they don't. I'm not brave. I'm not strong. I'm not evil, but I don't think I'm good either. I'm not great at forgiving. It takes me a long time. Really, the people I write about don't symbolize me or the ones I know. They are who I wish I could be. They are who I wish some people that I don't have a great history with could've been.

    Where do you feel most comfortable writing?
Fiction. I recently found that I am rather good at true stories and personal narratives as well. They're not as...

I Used to be Alone

    I didn’t want to move to Texas. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad state; I was just hesitant to leave the people I’d known for three years, the ones who had helped me build a life in California after leaving my home in India. We moved to Texas for the same reason we came to the U.S.: my mom got a job offer. And it sucked!! I hated it, at first.

    The beginning of fourth grade was fantastic. I had one week with my friends, one week to have fun with them, and one week to say goodbye. But it became two. I couldn’t believe my luck! But it just made coming to Texas all the more horrible, because it was one weeks worth more of memories to sift through while I sat all by myself on the benches at recess.

    I remember walking into the classroom. My teacher telling the class that they had a new...

All Those Things I've Lived

SLAP.
 
   "You filthy, disgusting child! You'll do as I say, understand?"
I am too weak to reply, so I nod instead.
Not good, not good enough, a voice in my head says.
SLAP. Another blow lands on my face. She picks up a particularly large vase and tosses it at me. I know better than to move. The heavy ceramic lands on me, and I, the beautiful work breaking into shards around me. She walks over, picks up a particularly large piece. I feel my hair being yanked up, my scalp on fire. She holds the ceramic to my neck.
    "I'll let you go this time. But if you don't listen, who knows? This shard might drive into your neck."
I nod, a mere tilting of my head. I barely scratch out "Yes, mother." She drops me, and kicks, turns away. I pull myself up, and twist around, limp my way up the stairs, wanting to...

Winners!!

Thank you, those who decided to participate in my contest! Really appreciated being able to read all of your wonderful entries and your effort. That being said, here are the winners:

In first place, I have Keke's Death Bed by weirdo

In second is Mango by Big Blue

And for third place, I have Cold Bargain by Anha


Thank you all so much for participating in this. There is one other entry that you guys can read:

June 16, 2018 by Quille

And I did have one more entry, as you might have noticed. Unfortunately, the piece got censored, much to my surprise and disappointment. Make sure to check out Xavier Nelson's account as he was the fifth contestant.

You guys need a reminder of your deadline

FOR ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO JOINED MY CONTEST, YOUR DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 28, 2019!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously think about 99.99% of you people who joined my contest have forgotten because I have received only 3 entries (one of which got censored, but I don't care 'cause I'm still considering it). If you have written and published your piece, I didn't get it because it wasn't tagged with #spearmintcontest. Once again, YOUR DEADLINE IS THE END OF THIS MONTH.

Love in Words

I Had to Say This

To my 34 new friends who I didn't have to meet in person; I got to know them through their words.

    Thank you. Thank you for your support, you kindness, and your encouragement that you have shown me every step of the the way. Thank you for helping me grow greater, and teaching me things I never knew before. Thank you for sharing your words with me. And biggest of all, I think, is thank you for bringing my friendship circle up from 2 to so many more. I have been on WtW for a bit now, several months, really, and never did I expect to become so attached to people I didn't even meet, or see, or know the real names of.
    I didn't know anything about you when I opened this site as a new user. I didn't know what I would write. I didn't know what I would read. And I didn't know that you guys could...

7 Powerful Words

1) Love—the one thing other than fear that pushes you to be better for others
2) Hate—a fear and a poison, a product of distrust
3) Faith—a belief in things, be it religion, or people
4) Thankfulness—to notice what you have, and to recognize that you actually have it
5) Time—the seconds that tick away and should push us to be better
6) Fear—a force that pushes us to our best, if we do not let it overpower us
7) Hope—a powerful thing, a faith that things will turn out okay

Deadline

Okay!!! I have FINALLY set a deadline for my contest (which is kind of old, but whatever.) I want the entries done by the end of this month, February 28, 2019. Please comment on this piece when you're done, would be helpful if you included the link or title. Just wanted to let you guys know so that I can get all my entries and start choosing. Good luck!!

Contest

Okay, so I decided, "I've written 21 pieces, why not host a contest!?" so I would really appreciate it if I could get some entries.

I want you to write an emotional narrative, nothing too personal, please. It can be a quick moment or a take place over a longer time period, but I ask that you make the text not too short, or too long. Maybe between 400-600 words? If you decide to join, please tell me in the comments and give this piece a like. Tag your piece #spearmintcontest. Your prizes will be as such:

1st place: 4 reviews on pieces of your choice,  5 likes, and a follow

2nd place: 3 reviews on pieces of your choice, 4 likes, and a follow

3rd place: 2 reviews on pieces of your choice, 3 likes

I will make a document with all your pieces, and winners get a shout-out.


I wish you all best of luck!!

I have not...

Stuff about my contest (for those of you who joined or are wanting to)

Just a few important things about my contest, which I republished recently:
    1) I don't care how many words it is anymore! Just make sure it's not way to long, because I will have other entries to read.
    2) Also, please notify me in THIS PIECE when you are done writing your contest entries.
    3) If you ever happen to edit your piece, LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.
    4) If you republish, but haven't edited, LET ME KNOW!!!
    5) Not required, but it would help if you put in the name of your piece, along with the comments indicating that you have made your submission.
 
These are all just a few things that would really help me out (I'd hate to end up not reading some of your entries). I look forward to all of your pieces! Good luck!

As Cold As Stone (Chapter 14)

I am so sorry!! This took forever and it was short. I've had writers block. I'm building up to the finish, but I wasn't sure what to do until then. I'll probably have one or two more chapters, and that's it for this story. Thank you, anyone who's stuck with me.
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Amy's POV

    
I allow myself to be led away, my final message—for now—delivered. What happens to me now doesn't matter much. I know I've messed with Ian's mind, I know I'm making hime suffer. He deserves it, though, that little traitor.

    I snap back to my senses as I am shoved into the police car, the door slamming after me. The ride is silent. So am I, until one of the officers speaks...

Gray

First of all, this idea was not my own. It was a prompt generously given by AbigailSauble in the comments of my piece 'Followers and Appreciation", which is very outdated, by the way. I just want to say thank you!!! I wasn't sure I could make a story out of this, but here I am!!

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I never thought I would meet someone so gray. She is just so drab, and her fashion sense sucks. She mostly keeps to herself, blending in with everyone else, not attention seeking. The first thing I thought when I saw her was "What's a color doing in our classroom?"
    
Gray

    New student. New life. But I suppose it'll be the same as all the other ones. That morning, I had chosen clothes that didn't reveal me in the slightest bit. A tank top, on top of that a full sleeve, and a baggy, long, pale gray hoodie. Jeans over...

The Sickness (Prompt: WOTW#8)

    A sickness is spreading through this town. No one knows what it is, but it is unnatural. We have only one name for it: The Sickness. It claims lives faster than normal, causes destruction and loss wherever it goes. The symptoms are that of a common cold, or fever, and yet, it may as well be a murderer. It's haunted the Black family, the the Smiths, the Millers, the Wrights, and countless more. I'm just waiting for the day the the sickness will claim one of my own.

Love the Follows, but Maybe More?

I appreciate the follows a lot guys, I really do. I'm just going to have to ask for more comments cuz I'm always stuck wondering what to do, what to cut out and edit, what people might like or not, and it's just very frustrating. I am so thankful, don't get me wrong, but follows don't tell me much other than people like my writing. I never get to know the negative aspects of what I write though, and I'm struggling to improve as and author. So please just help me out and give me a few comments, and reviews if you have the time for those. Once again, really appreciated

                                —spearmint

As Cold As Stone (Chapter 13)

I'm sorry, I haven't updated in ages!!! I've just been so busy with school, homework, and extracurricular classes. I'll try to get this out.

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    This is awful. If our family isn't bad enough, Amy is spreading it around. Countless innocent lives... Disappearing by the second. I wonder what she is doing right now. Probably off killing some other poor parents.

Weeks later

It's become a habit to sit and watch the news now. I want to know what Amy is up to. I expect to find the same old thing, elections, Amy's terrorist attacks, global warming, wildlife endangerment, and whatnot. But something new surprises me this time. Amy is once more on the screen, this time live.

    She hisses, "Tell my dear old brother that my corruptness started in our family." Then she turns away, and lets the cops lead her. It has been at the back of my mind for a while now, the possibility...

A Broken Family #cliffhangerqueencontest

    I have lost everything. My mother, father, brothers. The rest of my family is out to kill me, thinking that I was the one who murdered the people I love most. I have lost my wealth. And I am on the lam.

    I race down the filthy, moss-covered streets, allowing my feet to leave no sound. They will have to find me by sight, and even that will be difficult. My black cloak flies behind me. As I race away from my chasers, I think: what is the best way to get those idiots off my trail? I rack my head, but come up with no answers. Unknowingly, I run to my safe spot: a trap. Now you're probably wondering how the heck my safe spot is a trap. Well it's easy, you see: I know the trap is there. I know its boundaries. I know how to avoid it. But others don't.

    I...

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 12)

This will probably be one of the last chapters.

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    I slouch on the ground, sweat pouring down my face. I finished about an hour ago, but I just couldn't bear to leave. I took my time, finishing at past 3:00. I memorized her face, her eyes, her hair, her everything, because I know that I will never see her again. At last, I stand up and walk away. I don't look back.

    All day I have been doing nothing. I collapsed on the couch, too tired for tears, not tired enough to just fall asleep and forget for a little while. Eventually, I turn around and switch on the news.

"... suspect a young girl who has been found at the scene of all these crimes. The now parentless-children were interviewed, and it turns out that they have all suffered from child abuse. Officials believe that perhaps the girl has...

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 11)

    My mom... She's gone. Just gone. Right after we'd fixed things, right after we're okay, she's just lying in front of me like a pathetic doll. Blood is everywhere. Such a rich red. I wonder what death is like. Is it painful? Maybe I should find out.

    I snap out my daze. What the heck was I thinking? I run to the kitchen and soak a towel. Bit by bit, I start cleaning up all the rust-colored wetness, to the kitchen and back, wiping away every last drop. Then comes the body itself. What should I do? I look out the window. It's late, no one's out, and it's dark. I check my watch. 11:12. That's enough time to dig a grave, fill it back up, and escape unnoticed.

Right?

    I drag Mom behind me, to an area where I've never seen very many people. Time ticks by. It's hard, managing the weight of the shovel...

More Thank You Think

Things are more than you think.

Those books you call stupid? They're not just words. They are stories. They make up so much more than you know. It might do your arrogant self to look at them once in a while.

You know those parents that you treat with disrespect? Do you know how much they've given up for you? The time, money, and love that not everyone can give. You might want to appreciate what you have once in a while.

You see that girl over there, the one you bullied? Yeah, her. She's had an awful life you know. She's not just another person who's intimidated by you. Her mother is gone. Her dad's drunk. She has to take care of herself. Go ahead, thank your lucky stars that you're not her. But doesn't guilt build up inside of you?

Things are more than you think. Everything has a story to it, more than meets the eye. Every...

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 10)

    I wake up, my chest heaving, my breaths heavy. Something's wrong. I can just feel it. I walk down the stairs, not caring if my footfalls are loud. The house is silent, and empty. I reach the bottom of the stairs, and flick the light switch. There is nothing unusual. And then I see it.

A drop of blood.

    My eyes search ahead, my body following. I find the next drop. And the one after. The drops of blood are starting to become more frequent. Red-brown, and still wet. Fresh. Someone was here very recently. The blobs of red are more like a smudge now, as if someone was dragged here. I wind through the house, past the guest rooms, and the play rooms that have been untouched for years. I walk into a corridor, and the blood trail leads to the door on my right. I gulp.

This is a dead end. Whatever went wrong, it is...

I Have Questions About my own Contest

Okay, so a few of you joined my contest, and others liked it, but I'm not entirely sure who's joining or not, because I asked people to like and comment, but people mostly only did one. So if you joined that contest and are working on a piece for it right now, please let me know in the comments.

Followers and Appreciation

I know, I know, I don't have very many followers, but to the ones I do have, thank you so, so much for taking a chance on me. I'm just an aspiring writer, and your comments, likes, and reviews help so much! This goes to other people on WtW who have helped me as well. I have come so far, so thank you, those who have encouraged me. I appreciate your support, and I just wanted to let you know that. I probably won't do this much as I continue, but I'll make a list this time. I owe great thanks to...

  • Catherinely Me
  • Quille
  • AbigailSauble
  • SeaOfWords
  • muppet
  • keyperofhearts
  • Syl
  • Blotted Ink with a Broken Quill
  • PureHeart
  • Catlover
  • Opal Drop (who used to be J.A.)
  • Writers of the World
  • Paperbird
  • .audrey michelle.
  • rosemarywisdom
Once more, thank you!!

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 9)

    We're getting along better. I feel like this family is healing. I just wish Amy would come back. I write to her, every now and then, and leave the message peeking out from the window she last watched us through. It is gone every time. She never replies. But it feels good to know that she is still listening to me. I told her all about Mom, what happened to her. I don't think she listens. It feels like this dark force is about to take away what I've managed to build. But one day, I find a letter from Amy, a scrap forced through the window.

Ian,
How can I kill Mom now? How can I make her pay, knowing that you have come to love her? I am happy that she is treating you well, I truly am. But I cannot come back. Sure, she might accept me. But I am not you. I cannot let...

Dear Bully...

you...
you insult me
antagonize me
push me
shove me
hurt me
ruin me
think that you're better
but...
you're a weakling
you shove others around?
can't you just let them be?
do you have to feel better?
better than everyone?
because...
because that's sad
that...
that you can't be one with those around you
that you can't find peace
that you strive for perfection
but destroy who you are instead
so, dear bully,
i suggest you fix your ways
because, no i will not threaten you,
or beat you up, or crush you,
but you will do that to yourself
i hope you fix your mistakes
i forgive you
dear bully,
you can still go back

opia #myfirstcontest

bottomless
empty
like a hole to peer through
glittering
shining
clear
just like a window
different
unnatural
strange eyes, those are
 

nothing works

nothing works
my dreams
my hopes
the whole thing
fails
how can i do
anything?
i try to write
i try to dream
i try to succeed
i try to to be happy
but
through all else
through all my struggles
nothing works

what is lost is still there

love
lost
happiness
gone
the things i know
taken away
the light
taken out of my life
people come
people go
but forever they stay
so i suppose
though they
disappear
in some way
they are still there

Unheard

my words go unheard
my dreams
my wishes
why can't anyone hear me?
the things i write
they are ignored
by everyone
but
me
there is no value
there is no space
there is no time
to see my words
my words go unheard
my dreams
my wishes
why can't anyone hear me?

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 8)

Amy stands on the other side of the window, betrayal, hurt, anger, and hate shining through her eyes.

    Because by hugging Mom, I sided with her, and stood against what Amy was going to do. I left my sister, and took the monster's side, the way she sees it. I pull away from Mom, and try to pretend everything is okay. Nothing is, though, and she knows it. She tilts head to the side, a question in her eyes. I point behind her, at the window, and Amy's eyes widen, and she runs. Mom turns around too late, and turns to look at me, even more confused than before.
    "Amy," I whisper. "She wants to kill you."
Mom picks up her paper and pencil. And she writes:

Let her bring whatever she's got for me. I might die. I may suffer and have to deal with it for the rest of my life. But I may also deal...

music

my fingers flit over the keys
of a piano
a flute
a computer
making words, making sounds
it sounds plain
it sounds done
there is nothing to it
because i hear
clicks and clacks
notes that come
step
        after
                   step

but no music
what i want is not there
where is it?
the music i've listened to
why can't i make it?
because i don't believe

so i trust
that i can do it
that i can play
and now there is something to
those words, those sounds
i am a musician at last

words

words used to be a prison
they trapped me
turned me
twisted me all around
my heart and soul were my guards
they beat me
slapped me
kept me behind bars
i could never escape

but then i wrote
i used what hurt me
turned the sword into the whetstone
and me into the sword
i became sharper
i became stronger
and i broke out of that prison
for now my heart and soul
they yearned to write
they twisted me
then became my salvation
confusing

words

The Things I Hide for You #myfirstcontest

For you: laughter
but inside: tears

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 7)

    "What about Dad?”

    Mom took a deep breath, and began to scribble once more.


One day, he came down the stairs. Slapped me. Called me sick, evil, crazy. He didn't know what it was like, not having the only thing you truly loved, the one thing that understood you.
    
    "You lost your voice. Why did you hurt us?"

That's the thing. I didn't just lose my voice. It was taken. Someone took my words. Someone took my power. I didn't know who it was. So I hurt anyone who could have done it. I hurt all of you. It was stupid of me, not trusting those I loved, not trusting those who loved me. And thus losing them.

Mom wears a sad smile throughout the silence. I finally understand how hard it must have been for her. And she does regret hurting us. Then another question pops into my head.
    “Why are you telling me any...

restrained

more restrained than free,
kept from doing what i love
my words held back
and i can't help
but wish to escape
this prison built around me
this prison that came
from my own words
i made it, i know
but it was to be
a museum
an art exhibit
a playground
something to enjoy
so why am i trapped in it?

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 6)

Mom and I, we’re getting better. I’m not a slave anymore. She still doesn’t speak, but I have hope that she might. Then one day, she gestures for me to come closer, pointing to a pen and some paper as well. She starts to scribble something.

before my words were gone, I felt that something was wrong. I woke up sick, my throat paining, and unable to speak. So I went to a doctor. He said I’d lost my voice. He also said he had one thing, and it would let me say my last words. You know what they were. But I became jealous and selfish because you had what I didn’t: speech. And I just so happened to love it. It frustrated me, and I began to hurt all of you.

“What about Dad?”

Mom took a deep breath, and began to scribble once more.

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 5)

    Mom's started being awfully nice to me. Maybe it's because she understands that now that it's just me and her, if she hurts me too much, she'll have no one to do her work for her. Of course I'm just being kept around as a slave. At least Amy escaped. Should I be happy about that? I mean, she's going to kill Mom. Why can't she just tell someone? Yeah...

    Why did we never tell anyone? Oh right. That constant fear that Mom would break out of prison, murder us, and die a nice death knowing that she killed her family. But, it's better than stooping to her level. And I know what I need to do. Even though I hate Mom for everything that she's done to us, just watching as Amy takes Mom's life, it would be the same as when Dad died. The exact same. I need to convince Amy not to do this. And if I...

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 4)

Ian, 

I have to run. I can't stay. If Joanne doesn't get you first, she'll get me. I can't have that. Selfish, I know. 
Sorry. 
But I can't let her hurt me if I want to hurt her. And don't worry. If she kills you too, I'll just make her pain a hundred times worse. I'm sinking to her level, I know. 
Sorry. 


                                                                                  —Amy Forrester 

P.S. 
It's for Dad. 
Sorry.



    She wrote Ian. Not brother, or anything like that. She's already cutting herself off from me. And Joanne. Not Mom. She thinks not calling her Mom will make her stronger. And how many times will she use the word 'sorry?' Tears spring to my eyes now....

As Cold as Stone (Paper)

Ian,

I have to run. I can't stay. If Joanne doesn't get you first, she'll get me. I can't have that. Selfish, I know.
Sorry.
But I can't let her hurt me if I want to hurt her. And don't worry. If she kills you too, I'll just make her pain a hundred times worse. I'm sinking to her level, I know.
Sorry.


                                                                                  —Amy Forrester

P.S.
It's for Dad.
Sorry.

As Cold as Stone (I need questions and ideas)

Hi everyone, so no, this is not another chapter. I just wanted to ask my readers to write a few comments or reviews because I need things to build on and I want to answer questions. I would also appreciate it if you guys could give me a few ideas. I really struggle with writing longer fiction stories; I run out of things to pull out! Your help would be much appreciated and I would like to give a shout-out to SeaOfWords for their questions and comments! As usual, thanks for reading and taking a chance on me! Also, I FINALLY figured out what's going to be on that piece of paper.

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 3)

    I hear footsteps on the stairs. I know who it is: Amy. I hope she escaped. She usually manages to stay on Mom's good side, unlike me. But then she opens the door, and I see that she has received a worse beating than she has ever gotten before. Her cheek is purple, her nose is bleeding, and her lip is cut. She looks worse than ever. I pull my sister close to me, my face in her hair. "What did she do to you?"
    "She was going to kill you,Ian. She was going to kill you," she mutters. "I couldn't help it. I screamed at her. What kind of a person murders their husband then starts thinking about taking the life of their child? Who does that?"
    "Our Mom, that's who. We'll have to watch out from now on, Amy," I say, and pull her even closer. I don't let her go...

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 2)

    My mom's mad. She has absolutely gone mad. I wish she would scream. Why can't she scream? It's better than seeing that evil look in her eyes. Glazed, emotionless. Does she feel any remorse for all the horrible things she's done? Does she even feel anything? Someone knocks on my door, and I pull myself out of my trance.
    "Come in?"
It's my sister, Amy. "Mom wants to see you," she whispers. We don't want that monster to hear us.
I nod. "Okay." I move past my sister, afraid for what's coming next. As I leave I hear her quiet words.
    "Be safe, Ian."
I shut the door.

    I make my way down the stairs, trying not to let the carpet muffle my footfalls. Mom hates it when she thinks we're not coming to serve her. Believe me, I've been beat up for that mistake. And I never made it again. Mom...

As Cold as Stone (Chapter 1)

    When I was young, my mom spoke a lot. She was strong with her words, but not hurtful. One day, she stopped using them, said:
    "I don't need them anymore."
She was never really my mom again. And she never got better. Only worse. She pushed us like hell. She didn't scream anymore, only gave a glare that made you think she would kill you. And then...
    She finally did. My dad was the first to go.

THUD. Crash. I twisted around wondering what in the world that noise could be. Too afraid for my footsteps to be heard, I slid down the banister. The china is broken. My mom's eyes are glossed over and they have a wild and crazy look to them. She holds a bloodied knife that was in my dad's throat a moment ago.