Kindle Scout is a program Amazon created that lets readers have a say in books that get published. Broken is on Kindle Scout’s site for the month of December. If you have an Amazon account, you can nominate Broken to be published!
I appreciate all the support I receive from everyone on a daily basis. As a small token of thanks, I thought I’d share Broken’s prologue with you!
It’s Friday night, and instead of being out partying, here I sit absent-mindedly drumming my fingers on the only clear surface in my room, the desk my parents bought thinking that if I had somewhere to study I might actually do it. I smirk at the thought of their shocked faces if they knew I only kept this desk clear so I had somewhere to crush my Oxy, before I snorted it. I clench my fingers into a fist a few times before rapping my knuckles on the desk. If they want me to stay home then I’ll do it my way. I drop to my knees in front of the ugly antique desk with its ‘original brass handles’ and reach for the large economics book that sits on the floor all the way under the desk. I hold the heavy book in my hands staring at the dollar sign wrapped around the globe on the cover. I crack the book and smile at the hollowed pages that conceal the bag with my small stash of Oxycodone. Finally finding what I was looking for, I straighten up with the small bag of pale blue pills in my hand.
After I drop them on the desk, I reach into my wallet for a twenty and my credit card; Mommy dearest definitely wouldn’t approve of using my AmEx card for this. Shaking four pills from the bag I shove the rest in my pocket and begin crushing them with my card. When I’m done I make neat lines being sure to take my time. I find a certain level of peace in the process. When I have two small uniform lines of powder, I smirk as I roll the twenty between my fingers and press it to my nose; because I know that soon everything will be right in the world.
I run the back of my hand under my nose to make sure there isn’t any trace of what I just did. Then I kick my feet up and relax with my hands behind my head. I turn, in what feels like slow motion, when my phone beeps. I drop onto my bed to see who’s texting me.
The guys have found a killer party and are on their way. “Well fuck, it looks like I’m not staying in after all.” Checking my pockets for my wallet and party supplies, I swing open my door and practically glide down the hallway.
“Lucas, do… do you want to play Barbie’s with me?” Chelsea looks up at me with her big brown eyes and hopeful smile. Normally I wouldn’t think twice about playing Barbie’s with her. My dad calls her Princess Chelsea and I have to say, that’s the one thing we agree on. She’s only eight and has this wide-eyed innocence about her; I hope she never sees the dark side of my world.
“Not tonight princess, I’m going out. Tomorrow, okay?” The flash of disappointment in her eyes is almost enough to make me stay home. Almost. I ruffle her hair and continue walking toward the door when my dad comes out of nowhere with his arms crossed over his chest.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he asks, his normally deep voice an octave lower in an attempt to scare me. That voice used to put the fear of God into me when I was little, but now I know he’s all bark and no bite.
“Out.” I was about to cross my arms too, but I want to be nothing like him. So, instead I let them hang by my side. If he keeps this up he’s going to kill my buzz.
“Did it slip your mind that your mother and I told you that you were to stay home tonight?” He puffs up his chest a little, that’s not scary either Dad try again. “Where are you going?”
“Out, I just told you.”
When I attempt to walk around him to the door he grabs ahold of my arm and asks, “Why do you do this?”
Before I answer, a horn honks from outside, the guys are here. While I answer, I look down at his hand wrapped around my arm, “Because I can, that’s why.” Then I shrug my arm out of his grasp and walk out the door before he can say another word.
While I jog to Tanner’s silver BMW with a smashed headlight, I think about sweet Chelsea and hope that my parents don’t turn her into a mindless drone, just like them. When I climb into the back of Tanner’s car I take attendance: Tanner, Jake, and Steve. “Where’s Ashton?”
“His parents found his stash and shipped him off to some bullshit rehab place,” Jake says, just before he takes a bump of cocaine and hands me the bag.
“Score, thanks.” I hold the tiny bag in my hand, feeling the weight of it on my palm. Eyeing the bag I lick my finger and coat it in the white powder, rubbing it along my gums, waiting for them to go numb. Then I take the key Jake hands me and dip it in the bag. When I bring it to my nose the smell of diesel is strong. After I inhale it my throat goes numb and I know the party has already started.
“Wooo, hell yeah, hand that shit up here,” Steve says from the front seat. After we pass the blow around a couple more times, Tanner turns up the stereo and we all bounce in anticipation for one hell of a Friday night.
The car stops in front of a tiny red brick house. It’s the complete opposite of the mansions that we’ve just come from, so much so that it’s hard to believe we’re still in the same town. Bright lights shine from all the windows, and music vibrates through my bones-it’s so loud. When we get inside, the house is packed. Bodies crammed in like sardines, everyone bouncing in rhythm to the pounding music. Someone walks by and hands me a lit joint. I don’t have the slightest clue where it came from and I don’t care. After I take a few hits I hand it to some girl with purple hair and a fishnet shirt. I see Tanner from across the room close the bathroom door behind him. Wanting to be a part of whatever everyone is doing in there, I make a beeline for the bathroom.
There are at least ten people crammed inside this tiny bathroom. Tanner throws his hand up when he steps aside-making room for me. “Hey brother, come try this shit.”
I’m not sure what they’re doing, but I’m game to try whatever. I watch and learn as Tanner ties the shoelace around his bicep then holds a spoon over a lit candle. I’m not able to look away when he sucks the bubbling brown liquid into a syringe and finds a vein in his arm. Once he has the vein he’s looking for, he unties the lace from his arm and pushes the plunger on the syringe. He sighs as his pupils constrict and he gets a look of complete peace, instantly I know I need that feeling.
“You gotta try this Luke,” he mumbles.
“I..uhh…I don’t know man.”
“Dude, it’s practically the same thing as Oxy. Just… better, so much better.”
“It’s basically the same?” I ask, wanting to lose myself, but scared of not being able to find my way back.
“Yeah, pretty much it just goes in your arm instead of up your nose.” He laughs slightly almost like he doesn’t have a care in the world.
“Alright, I’ll try it, what’s the worst that could happen?”
Mimicking Tanner, I use the shoelace to tie a tourniquet on my arm with shaky fingers and hold my hands out for the spoon and candle. I wait for it to bubble just like Tanner did, before I set the candle down and grab the syringe. Unsure that I can steady my hands long enough to do this, I look up for Tanner, but find him nowhere; in his place is a girl with jet-black hair. “Need some help?” She asks.
For a moment, before I can answer, I think about what I’m doing locked in a bathroom with a bunch of strangers about to stick a dirty needle into my arm. This goes so far beyond the realm of teenage stupidity that even I know I’m in over my head. I try to tell myself it’s not too late, that I can just set the needle down and walk away, but before I can do that the girl grabs it from my hand. “Here, let me help you,” she offers, with a smile-either not seeing the fear in my eyes or choosing to ignore it.
I watch as she prepares the syringe the same way Tanner did, keeping my eyes glued to her chipped black nail polish as she palpates my arm, looking for the perfect vein. The second she sticks the needle in my arm I look up to her face, she lifts her eyes and gives me a kind smile as I feel her remove the shoe lace and push the brown liquid into my body.
Almost instantly my body begins to tingle, starting at the back of my head and working its way through my whole body. It’s like everything and nothing all at once. It reminds me of thick blankets in the winter, my whole body is warm and then nothing. I feel nothing as my vision starts to tunnel. I think about Chelsea, I should have played with her; I hope she doesn’t end up like me. When the nothingness takes over, I close my eyes and let myself fall into oblivion.