Read Charcoal Tears Online

Authors: Jane Washington

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Supernatural, #Psychics, #Romantic Suspense, #Teen & Young Adult, #Suspense, #Mystery & Suspense, #Mysteries & Thrillers, #Romantic, #Spies, #Science Fiction, #Young Adult, #Fantasy, #high school, #Love Traingle, #Paranormal, #Romance, #urban fantasy, #Magic

Charcoal Tears

Charcoal Tears

Jane Washington


Copyright 2015 Jane Washington


The author has provided this ebook for your personal use only. It may not be re-sold or made publically available in any way.
Copyright infringement is against the law
. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



Edited by David Thomas



ISBN-10: 0994279531

ISBN-13: 978-0-9942795-3-8



Table of Contents


Dedication Page

Chapter One:
The Beast

Chapter Two:
Down Will Come Baby

Chapter Three:
Call me Daddy

Chapter Four:
The Oddities of the Ordinary

Chapter Five:
The Paired People

Chapter Six:
The Questionable Sanity of Silas Quillan

Chapter Seven:
Rules of Engagement

Chapter Eight:
Shopping with the Devil

Chapter Nine:
Piercing Insecurities of Parting Inferences

Chapter Ten:
The Dichotomy of Unwilling Want

Chapter Eleven:
Action and Reaction

Chapter Twelve:

Chapter Thirteen:

Chapter Fourteen:
This is not the Protocol

Chapter Fifteen:
The Searing Light of Day

Chapter Sixteen:
Beware the Adair

Chapter Seventeen:
Girlfriend Insurance

Chapter Eighteen:
Notoriously Sexy Zevghéri Bastards

Chapter Nineteen:
Peek-a-boo, I Found You

Chapter Twenty:
The End of the Beginning

Chapter Twenty-One:
The Messenger…

Letter to the Readers


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”


-Friedrich Nietzsche





The Beast



There is a place inside my mind that doesn’t belong. It is overruling and underrated all at once; it is the place that I try my best to ignore. I make excuses, satiating its unspoken need to flee recognition and stalk, unseen, so that I don’t have to claim those things that define me in their darkness. I cage the wild beast that tugs at my heart, and it doesn’t like it. It wants to be used. It wants to be leashed, claimed, and ruled, so that it can make its viciousness my courage.

What if it succeeds?

I will use bricks instead. I will build them up solidly, block by reassuring block, until a garrison stands guard and only the curious battering of my heart against the drying mortar can be heard.

You see, there is safety in simplicity… in a life of simple peace, where the electricity doesn’t dance across the backs of my eyelids, and the sparks don’t slither over my consciousness. Only asinine peace, where my paintings don’t seem to paint themselves, leaving me with terrible feelings of premonition and a chill beneath my fingernails.


I made vicious strokes with the brush, ignoring the paint that splattered to the floor, marking my sneakers. I didn’t even know what colour the shoes were supposed to be—black, or dark blue, maybe. It didn’t matter. I had bought them at a garage sale years ago, and they barely even fit anymore.

The watercolour outlines dripped down the paper and I flicked the brush onto a rickety wooden table beside me, reaching forward to smudge the paint into place with my fingers. The table was propped up with two good legs and one half of a broken baseball bat, and it housed all of the brushes that I was currently abandoning in lieu of my fingers. I made soft flicks upwards and coaxing, easy nudges toward where I wanted the paint to stain. People generally didn’t understand this thing that I did. They didn’t understand how it could look like I was damaging my art into existence. Every one of my works should have been a mess by the time I finished with them, but instead they grew into delicate and precise visions. Then again…
consisted of my little brother Tariq, my dead mother, and my art teacher—Quillan.
Nobody else cared

The first coat finished, I quickly washed my brushes and tipped them all into an empty jar. I shucked my painting shirt—an old sweatshirt of Tariq’s—and pulled the plain blouse that I had thrown off earlier over my singlet. I didn’t waste any effort on my hair, I didn’t bother with any fancy makeup and I didn’t check to see if my blouse was inside out, back-to-front or rent clear down the middle.

I simply grabbed my book bag and left the garage in my chameleon sneakers.

The garage door groaned as I pulled it down, protesting all the way until it landed with a sighing
against the concrete. After it was locked, I re-hid the key under a rock in one of the bushes to the side. I had gradually turned the space into an art studio over the last two years, and my father still hadn’t noticed. I didn’t know why I bothered hiding the key in the same place.
? What would happen if he spontaneously decided to take a stroll around the boundaries of our underwhelming, insignificant rectangle of land? Even though the alcohol pumped through his system thicker than blood, he still had a brain in his head, and it still
—at least half of the time. He might not remember that we owned a garage, but he would certainly know what one looked like.

I should probably move the key.

My progress toward the small, double-storey, faded-brick house was marked with caution, my eyes flicking occasionally up to the half-open windows, examining the torn curtains that snaked outside to tangle with the faint morning breeze. I planted myself by the window to the kitchen for a moment, but didn’t hear any activity. The house seemed to be sleeping, but then again,
house always seemed to be sleeping. Not that anyone had ever asked me, but I was firmly of the opinion that it was the quiet things in life that boasted the most menace: the silent people, the unspoken words… the sleeping houses. Deeming it safe, I entered through the front door and passed by the cracked linoleum and water-stained walls that decorated the kitchen, climbing the staircase to the second landing. As soon as my father’s snore shook through the house I relaxed and ran the rest of the way to Tariq’s bedroom. Tipping the door open, I peeped inside.

“Hey.” I stared at the back of his head, a shaggy mess of dark hair reminding me that I needed to give him another haircut. “We have to go. You ready?”

He turned, his eyes still glued to whatever he had been reading, and nodded without actually looking at me. “Yeah, sure. Ready.” He spoke lowly, almost a whisper.

I rolled my eyes and pushed myself further into the room, easily grabbing the book from him. “Pay attention,” I admonished.

“Sorry.” He unfolded himself and stood, suddenly looking down at me, rewarding me with a dopey smile. He ruffled up my hair with a hand. “Is the beast still asleep?”

The brief flash of comfortable happiness drained out of me in an instant, but I turned so that he didn’t have to see it. I nodded, and he left it at that. We descended the stairs and gravitated toward the kitchen. There was an apple left over from the small collection of fresh fruit that I had bought the week before. Nothing else. Tariq searched anyway, like he did every morning.

“Where’d the crackers go?” he asked, smacking the last cupboard closed a little too heavily.

We both paused, waiting.

“Gone,” I said, after another snore rumbled down the stairs.

“Have you eaten anything?” He narrowed his green eyes on me.

I hated when he gave me that look. He had been doing it too often lately, like he could tell every time I lied to him. He was supposed to be the younger sibling.

“Yes,” I lied, turning away from him. “I got up early to do some painting.”

“Oh really?” This seemed to brighten him up, and he dropped an arm over my shoulders as we moved toward the front of the house. He began to munch on the apple. “I’m glad, Seph. I was worried there for a bit.”

His words had been spoken casually, but I could tell that he was both relieved and tense in significant measures. I knew because I felt the same way. We walked to the roadside, and I fell quiet again. He didn’t mind so much; he was used to me not talking. We jogged to the end of the road and then picked our way over the crumbling fence of the old council meeting hall. My mother’s beat-up old sedan was parked on the overgrown grass, safe from my father. He had already crashed his own car too many times, and since he refused to look at anything that used to belong to my mother, he didn’t seem to care that her car had gone missing. Most likely he either forgot that we used to own a second car, or he thought that someone had stolen it. If he knew that we were using it, he would have sold it by now. I unlocked it, slid behind the wheel and tossed my bag over to the backseat while Tariq took care of the side gate. There wasn’t much point in keeping it padlocked, but at least it was a mild defence for anyone who wanted to steal the car and didn’t happen to have bolt cutters or a lock pick in their backpack. The drive to school attempted to console me with its own brand of routine; Tariq hummed softly to the crackled music over the radio and I stared ahead, stoic.

I hadn’t touched paint for almost a month, but that morning something had changed, and I wasn’t sure if I liked the sudden turnabout. I loved painting,
, but I didn’t love things happening all of a sudden without tangible reason. Especially since the sudden burst of creativity had ending in me painting our house burning to the ground. A lone figure had hunched by the roadside to witness the flames, and I didn’t know if any of my family burned within. It was an empty dream, and I had abandoned the painting without a second thought, starting on another.

I parked at school and Tariq flashed me a parting grin, already flying across the parking lot to meet up with his friends. I envied his laugh as it carried to where I still sat, but I couldn’t begrudge his happy act. School was his escape. I grabbed my bag, slipped out of the car and locked up, my mind snagging with inexplicable nervousness as I started across the lot.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have painted that morning.

Perhaps I should have eaten at least half of the apple.

Perhaps I should have taken better care of my sneakers.

Perhaps I should have moved the key.


I didn’t hear the car until it was too late, and instead of spinning away I turned toward it. There was no particular reason, other than it had shocked me. Maybe my instincts were broken. I caught sight of the face behind the wheel, bright blue eyes and a mouth open mid-shout. I still didn’t turn, and I still didn’t run. I didn’t even flinch.

The boy had hit the brakes and the car was skidding. An arm hooked around me in the instant before the car would have hit me, tilting the world off-kilter as I was spun around and propelled forwards. I fell to the ground, a heavy mass dropping over my back. Someone grunted in my ear, a car door slammed, and then all of the feeling swept back into me. There was no pain, but I was shaking so hard that my bones were threatening to dislodge, and whoever was slumped over me was cursing roughly. Footsteps approached, pulling him up. His arm tightened around my waist and he pulled me with him. I scrambled to my feet, my face twisting with mortification as the students started to gather. Some guy had his phone out and was recording us, or taking pictures.

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