This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence.
The sunlight came in through the thin curtains. Its orange warm beam fell on a stack of books in a room. A bedroom. Someone was waking up. There she is, Stacy Wildwood. Her brown shoulder-length hair looked golden in the sunlight. She sat up and wiped the sleep out of her eyes.
Stacy took her place in the driver’s seat of a 4×4 truck. And saw something laying on the passenger’s seat. A book with a note on it.
This will change your life
Stacy took the book and opened it. There was nothing, just blank pages. She threw the book back and stepped on the gas pedal. The truck screeched out of the driveway and left tire tracks. The road was going by fast and the trees disappeared in the distance. It started raining. Stacy turned on her windshield wipers and let the water flow away. It was raining more heavily now and she couldn’t see the road. Even though it was daytime, the sky went dark. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something. It was the book, it was glowing! Stacy tried to grab the book. At that moment, someone was standing in the middle of the road. Stacy only looked at the book and not at the road. With the book in her hand and the other hand on the wheel, the car crashed and it flew through the sky for a moment. Then a blue flash made the car disappear like none of this ever happened.
The sunlight came in through the thin curtains. Its orange warm beam fell on a book laying on a nightstand. Stacy was waking up. Her hair looked golden in the sunlight. She sat up and wiped the sleep out of her eyes. She saw the book. There was a note on it.
This changes everything
Stacy took the book. The cover was dark blue with a gold-engraved title. She opened it and started reading.
You can only focus your full attention on one thing. Before you know it, you’re flying in a car crash. Our mind is a tricky thing. We pay attention to the things that get our attention. You could be driving and you have to pay attention to the road, but then you see something so much more interesting and focus all your attention on that. And the road doesn’t matter anymore, but it does. Because you died.
A blue glow was coming from the book. Memories of the car crash flashed before Stacy’s eyes. At that moment, there was a knock on the door. Stacy closed the book and the blue glow disappeared like a changing traffic light. She opened the front door. It was Adam. He looked at Stacy for a second.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, worried.
“Nothing.” Stacy nervously said as she let Adam in. She could see her 4×4 truck and thought about the memory of the crash. Then she closed the door.
“Do you like the book I gave you?”
“Um. Yeah, it’s great.” She doubtfully said. Adam entangled his hand in Stacy’s. Flashes of the crash played before Stacy’s eyes like a movie reel. Only this time it was different. She could see the person standing on the road. It was Adam. The car was speeding his way and Stacy could see Adam lifting his hand and closing his eyes. The car didn’t hit him. It flew over Adam, who was following the car with his hand. Then the truck hit the ground, followed by a blue flash.
Stacy quickly let go of Adam’s hand.
“What’s going on?” Stacy said.
“I’m sorry Stacy.” Adam said as he took a knife out of his pocket. They say you can see your life flashing before your eyes. But Stacy felt the betrayal. She felt the love that no longer felt real. She felt the pain. A blue flash that looked like it came from a camera, appeared. It was like someone wanted to capture this crime scene and figure out who the real killer is. As soon as the flash appeared, it disappeared, along with Adam and Stacy.
Clear skies outside made the bedroom glow blue-ish. Something that looked like glitter was floating in the air. Stacy woke up startled, immediately sitting up straight. Heavy breathing, rising pulse, and a glow from under the door made the memories flow back.
Stacy’s hair was wild and the ground felt cold as she touched it with her feet. She walked towards the door and opened it. The blue glow was gone. She sat down on the couch and she noticed a book on the table. It was engraved with gold. Memories of the Lost Soul, it said. She saw a crumbled-up piece of paper falling on the ground. She unfolded it.
You HAVE to read this.
It sounded enthusiastic in Stacy’s head, but it had a touch of something violent to it. She opened the book and read the part she already had, giving a strange feeling of deja vu. Then she read a new chapter that wasn’t there before.
With the touch of a hand, you can remember things you thought were long gone. After he made you remember, he showed you he’s the villain in this story. In a story where dying means the end. Well, this is not the classic story your mom told you before bedtime. It’s most definitely NOT a love story. This tale is not for kids or anyone who wishes for a happy ending, for that matter. It’s a tragedy called Stacy Wildwood’s Life & Death. And no, it’s not a biography.
Stacy closed the book with a loud thud and put it back on the table. The book had changed, now it had a small subtitle, glowing gold. Stacy Wildwood’s Life and Death. She was breathing faster and pacing through the living room and kitchen which were connected. Freaking out over the fact that the book knew about her.
“Did I die, twice?” She mumbled to herself, still breathing heavily. She took a moment to catch her breath and then continued pacing and rambling to herself.
“Why did Adam kill me?”
“Am I going crazy?”
“What’s happening?” At that moment, a knock on the door made the house go quiet. Stacy slowly walked towards to door. Her hand doubted for a second but then did open the door. It was Adam. Smiling. At first glance, it looked like he was happy to see her. But there was something totally different hiding behind those dark blue eyes. Adam tried to enter but Stacy stopped him, putting her hand on the door frame. She looked at him confident but terrified. Adam touched Stacy’s hand. There it was again: the flashing film reel of memories. Though they looked more like visions; Adam was going to kill Stacy again, and she knew exactly where and when.
Stacy let her hand go and Adam kissed her on her cheek.
“I know.” Stacy said while Adam entered the living room.
“Know what?” Adam said a bit intimidatingly. He saw the book laying on the table by the couch. He took it and started reading. Then he sat down on the couch. Stacy was still maintaining a safe distance between her and the unspeakable eyes of death.
“Why you gave me that book.” Stacy continued.
“Cause you wanted to get rid of it. You didn’t want to die over and over again and remember every detail,” Stacy was walking towards Adam.
“every pain, every betrayal, every fiber in your body wanting to run, but you couldn’t.” Stacy stopped walking and stared at Adam.
“Because you were stuck.” The last words Stacy said were comforting.
“Now, I’m the opposite.” Adam laid the book open on the couch and stood up. Walking towards Stacy, who took a few steps back. Stacy punched Adam in the face and ran towards the kitchen. Adam followed her with a strong step where Stacy had grabbed a knife. Before she stabbed him, the knife flew away and into a wall. Stacy looked at the wall, then back at Adam who said
“I’m invincible. I can’t die anymore.” For a second he was so absorbed in his own thoughts, Stacy managed to slip away through the front door. As she was driving away Adam came after her but didn’t get far.
Stacy was crying now. Her thoughts about Adam and if he still loved her or if he just wanted to kill her, consumed her. Suddenly she stopped the car. Surrounded by nothing but trees and road, she saw something glowing. It was the book! She opened it. Everything that had already happened, was there. A tear fell on the page. The blue glow was shining brighter. Memories and visions were the stars in the movie before Stacy’s eyes. She saw all the times she was and would be killed by Adam. She felt all the pain and all the love that faded a little bit every time but always burned a little brighter.
The main character is always faced with a choice. You had to choose between love and freedom. If you chose love, you would be killed over and over again. If you chose freedom, you would spend your life running and never really be free. What those stories don’t tell is that there’s a third choice hidden somewhere deep in the forest. Or just right in front of you.
Stacy looked at the book in her hands. As the night became darker and stars started to shine, Stacy was reading the book in her car. The night passed and the break of dawn meant a new day, for Stacy it meant a new beginning. She turned to the last page. It was still empty. She had read about Adam and the reason why he killed her over and over again. She also read about the things that are yet to happen. But the story wasn’t over. Stacy had to go back home. Back to Adam, who was waiting to kill her again. At least, that’s what the book said. Stacy decided to choose herself, and not Adam. She started the car and drove away. Away from the one love she knew. Away from death. Away from everything.
Something appeared on the last page, but Stacy didn’t read it. She kept driving. Lights were moving on the opposite side of the road. At first, Stacy thought it was just a car. Then the light moved closer and she could see its mesmerizing blue glow. In the blink of an eye, the light disappeared like a car driving by.
Inspired by Reedsy Prompts: Start your story with someone being given a book recommendation.
(Contest #142: Librarian Love)