August

August is a troubled adolescent. At home, his drunken stepfather makes his life hell, and at college he suffers at the hands of bullies. But August has never been one to break the law...until now. With a new taste for violence and a desire for vengeance, he begins to stalk 3 young women in a complicated and twisted search for power. [Rated 'Y' due to potentially disturbing/graphic content and frequent swearing]

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1. Chapter 1: A Drink In The Dark

Fiery liquid scolds my throat as I place the bottle of Vodka back on the bare floorboards. I shudder in disgust; I've never liked the taste of Vodka, but I don't drink it for the taste - I drink it for the oblivion that follows. I exhale deeply and examine the label on the bottle.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY, ​it reads.

What a joke, I think bitterly. ​Drink responsibly? Who drinks to be responsible?

​I take another swig and replace the cap on the bottle. Cole will be home soon, and if he notices the missing bottle then I'll end up with missing teeth. Cole...I refuse to acknowledge him as my father. I can't even remember the last time I called him dad, but it was probably when I was too young to know how little he cared about me. Every night when he gets home from his shift at the office, he drinks himself purple and takes out his rage on mum. And when he's finished with her, he moves onto me. Every night is like clockwork, always the same.

I used to consider college an escape from home-life, but nowadays it's all too similar; arriving to class everyday with a colourful array of bruises is asking for trouble. "Been in a fight again, have you?" is a comment I hear from my teachers all too often. You see, I have a reputation for "losing my temper" and getting into fights, but for the last few weeks I've been avoiding people where possible outside of class. While the gaggles of girls gather around the cafeteria in their tight-knit groups, the boys swarm outside to smoke. It's at these times that the unisex toilets, my latest place of refuge, become like a ghost town.

Ghost cubicles, ​I smile fleetingly.

I hate having to spend my precious lunch hour locked in a cramped and unhygienic toilet cubicle, but if it keeps me away from people who bring out my darker side, then it's fine with me...well, it's just about bearable, anyway. Last year, it was suggested to me by my psychiatrist that I could be suffering from OCD. Only in the last few months was it made an official diagnosis. Nowadays, I can't touch door handles or flush a toilet without using a tissue to avoid direct contact, and I won't leave the house without hand sanitizer tucked into my bag or pocket. I know it doesn't make sense that I spend my lunches in the least hygienic place possible, but I don't have much of a choice - it's the only way to avoid humanity.

I reach for the Vodka and unscrew the cap one more time, drowning my senses in the foul tasting liquid. I stumble to my feet and stand for a moment, swaying. The room tilts like a ship's cabin, but I reach my bedroom door and step out into the darkness of the hallway. In my dazed state, I can't find the light switch. Not that it matters. I manage to make my way to the kitchen and replace the bottle in the cupboard without tripping over my feet, which feel like blocks of lead.

All of a sudden, the Vodka catches up with me, overcoming my stomach. ​I haven't drunk that much, right? Two thirds of a bottle? Oh, god...

​I lean over the washbasin as my stomach heaves. Vomit splatters on the smooth enamel and the wretched stench rises, consuming me entirely. For a few seconds, my eyesight drastically deteriorates, and I lower myself to the floor, clutching my aching stomach. I groan, realising I'm covered in sick. I've never been this drunk before. ​You say that every time, August.

​Suddenly I hear the sound of shuffling feet and I glance upwards to see Cole cursing as he steps through the door, an empty beer can clutched in his fist.

Shit.

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