The Biggest Freak in Duskwood

On the night of her eighteenth birthday, Diana Velasquez falls victim to an attack that leaves her horribly scarred and an outcast. Worse still, nobody believes the truth about what happened.

The thing that destroyed her life was no ordinary animal.

During the next five months, the threat in the forest grows worse and worse. Diana has decided she’s had enough of being a victim- she’s going to use her twelve years of boxing training, and her family’s wealth of ornamental weapons, to show these creatures they messed with the wrong schoolgirl. She’s going to be a hero.

Then, she realises there’s far more to the monsters of Duskwood Forest than she thought. Their secret is both a strength and a weakness, but it can’t be beaten by brute strength alone. The more entangled in her tormentors’ lives she becomes, the more Diana starts to doubt she’s doing the right thing. She thought she’d do anything to keep her family safe, but how far is too far?

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Author's note

Yo! This is something I wrote under the proverbial radar. Please note it contains graphic bloody violence, as is to be expected of me. Happy reading!
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24. The Girl who Ruins Everything

WHEN I WAKE up, I’m stuck to the road by blood and pain’s wrapped around my body like a blanket. It’s okay, though, because at least my back’s in one piece.

These lights are too bright. I blink, once, twice, and the first thing I see is the road tilted sideways, and the cluster of different-sized figures sticking out of it. One. Two. Five. Seven. Eight. More. Watery sunlight. Fluorescent yellow jackets, dark green jackets, black and silver jackets. Blue flashing lights. Police. Shit.

The sounds come next, throbbing and humming in an unclear jumble. Sirens. All these people saw me change back. Somehow, though, I feel calm. The road’s all red, but I’m alive. The neat line of bystanders tilts the right way up as I push myself upright, and that’s when I realise the silhouette standing in front of them- the shortest one- is facing my way. Louis. It’s my brother. He’s alive.

I sigh.

God, I’m surrounded by people, I realise as I feel my sense flooding back through my ears. Police. Firemen. Medics. Over there, at the end of the road- that’s my family. They’re all staring at me. Not good. Not good. I get to my feet, realising I’m wearing nothing but a solid sheet of blood- whatever. I expect an outbreak of yelling as I get to my feet, but nothing happens.

“See?” Louis says. He’s got ashes on his face, streaked by tears. Where’s Milo? I look around, and that’s when my eyes fall on the body by the ditch, lying right at the police’s feet.

I walk towards him, and nobody stops me. My mind’s buzzing with a huge fuzz of noise and bright colours. There’s a deep, deep ring of bite marks on the back of my neck, and yet another mess of torn flesh at my ribs. I feel fine. I feel numb, and that’s not good, but I feel fine. I look down. The blood surrounding Milo is slowly turning pink with rainwater as it leaks into the ditch, but he’s all red, and his hair’s matted like black plastic. His eyes are closed, his mouth slightly open, his nose leaking blood. God, he’s destroyed- his body’s clawed and bitten right down to the bone. I did that. I look up, seeing Mum, Iain and Minnie watching, their faces utterly blank with shock. Esme, meanwhile, looks awestruck- her eyes are wide and her mouth’s hanging open in a sort of half-grin. Mum should’ve taken her somewhere else. Look at all this blood, for God’s sake. Look at it. Slowly, as my heart pulses once with a pang of fear, I look up.

“Did I hurt anyone?” I say, my voice wobbling.

The police officer whose eyes mine fall on silently shakes his head. He looks utterly dumbstruck, horrified, terrified; his eyes are wide and he’s shaking like a leaf. It’s fair enough, I guess, but I’m sick of it.

“What?” I say to him, looking down at myself. “You never seen a naked woman before?”

I look at Louis, who’s smirking as he nods down at the mess on the road. Then, his smile drops.

I hear a pant and a click, and when I look down, Milo’s opened his eyes; he’s got a gun from God-knows where and he’s pointing it right at my head.

I sigh. “God, will you ever die?”

Milo’s lip’s trembling. He doesn’t say a word. I’m dazed, but the first thought that crosses my mind is how pathetic this boy is. He’s cursed countless people so he doesn’t have to be alone. He’ll gladly give up control of his body so he can kill for the sake of fun, but even now he’s got nothing left to lose, he can’t even fire a gun at the girl who ruins everything. It’s sad. Sort of makes me want to spare him.

I breathe out. I’m not angry anymore.

I lick my lips of blood and look up at the lavender sky, thanking God for giving me one last chance. I nearly killed Milo in anger again. I nearly proved him right. I know it was the only way. And, granted, it felt good- letting myself lose control a little, knowing all that pain finally meant something. But I’ve had enough now. I want myself back. I want my mercy back.

I’ve been given a choice.

I look at my family, awestruck at the end of the road, and then I look down at the poor broken boy on the ground. He’ll probably live if I let him. The world’s watching me, waiting for me to make another mistake. In the end, the decision is easy.

“Stop whining.” I say to Milo, reaching down and wrenching the gun from his grip with ease. I drop my arm to my side and sigh, stepping back. “This is ten times more than you deserve.”

Milo’s eyes widen.

“Th- thank you, Diana…” he whimpers. “Thank- you- so… much…”

I smile grimly. “You’re welcome.”

I point the gun, curl my lip, and shoot him right between the eyes.

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