Cutting Threads
By Rebel Maru


Moonlight spilled onto the floor of the warehouse, filtering through the cracks in the woodwork and pouring past the broken windows. Basking in the eerie light, her entire body stretched out as if sun-bathing, was a figure. Slender arms stood as props and her head was tipped back such that her face was illuminated by the light.

She was pretty, the sort of pretty that could just as easily be classified as exotic, with a chiselled face. Everything about her face seemed to flawlessly fit together: the high cheekbones; the delicate nose; the wide, green eyes. It was beauty of the highest sort, almost unearthly.

Slowly, she brought her head back up and drew herself into a sitting position. Her mouth opened and she paused, as if considering her words. Then, she spoke:

"I'm going to kill him tomorrow," she said, her tone nonchalant.

She titled her head to the side, as if listening for a reply. Then, she shrugged. "He's the last one."

She paused yet again, this time, frowning.

"I need to do this," she said, as if addressing someone. "I can't stand the feeling of emptiness for any longer."

It was almost as if she were having a conversation with herself when she shook her head slowly.

"This ends tomorrow."

Chapter One – Noticing

It was enough to drive him insane.

The new school year had started just under four weeks ago and had hailed a new arrival – an oddity in their tiny suburban village. Iris Alden was fascinating to the point he found it near impossible not to look away whenever he caught sight of her, but that wasn't what had caught Kieran Evans' attention. No, the thing that was niggling Kieran Evans to the very core was that he had only just noticed the elusive brunette.

It seemed impossible to him in more ways than one.

Kieran was president of the photography club; he relished in the feeling of noticing things. To him and his vice president it was practically a crime that they hadn't even realised Iris existed right until she had been staring him in the face. Literally.

It had been late after school when Kieran had ran into Iris for the first time. He'd been hurrying back to pick up his forgotten memory card and had been caught in the act of trying to open her locker instead of his. It turned out that he was trying desperately hard to open locker 35 instead of locker 53.

The image of her staring at him had been burned onto his retinas ever since. The piercing, deep emerald gaze… The light, unforgettable, accusatory glare… They were the greenest eyes he had ever seen.

Since then, Iris Alden had become his new obsession.

His eyes subconsciously tracked her as she passed him by in the corridor, every step that she took seeming like the perfect photo opportunity. She radiated an aura that screamed 'leave me alone', but that only intrigued Kieran further. Iris Alden was an enigma like he had never seen before and it was driving him to distraction.

"Why didn't I notice she had this class with us?" he asked Erica Faye, his best friend and vice president.

"Because you're a dunderhead," Erica replied unsympathetically.

It had been two days since Iris Alden had become the most interesting thing ever to happen to Kieran Evans and his infatuation was making him annoying, even more so than usual. In the hallways, when she would be trying to ask him about homework, or something of vague use to life, he would zone out, staring at the new girl. In any other circumstance, she would have been glad for his distraction, but Erica had missed a day of school at the beginning of term and desperately needed to borrow his notes.

"But she's just so damn noticeable!" Kieran protested from above his sketch.

Art was an elective at Wright Senior School – something they had to choose to fill each one of their three empty slots each week. As members of the photography club, it was almost guaranteed that they were going to have it somewhere on their schedule.

"She's in my Korean class," Erica said simply. "But then again, there are only three people in that class, so it was hard not to notice her."

"She takes Korean?" Kieran asked, practically whining.

"Best in the class," Erica confirmed. "She's practically fluent. I have a feeling the class is just an excuse for her to be able to take her GCSE in it at the end of this year." Erica paused. "And, now I have your attention, will you please lend me your notes? Nate isn't at school at the moment and besides, we have different timetables this year."

"Notes?" Kieran asked, forcing himself to look away from Iris Alden and focus on his sketch.

"Yes," Erica said. "You know, the notes from the day of school I missed that you promised to give me yesterday?"

Kieran frowned, his eyes not leaving his sketchpad, as if afraid they would refocus on Iris if he gazed elsewhere.

"Why didn't you say something? They're in my locker," he said. "You know the combo."

Erica groaned, hitting her head on her sketchpad. This obsession was making Kieran even more absent-minded than before. The results of this were going to be potentially horrific. And, at the end of it, she knew, just knew, she was going to be the one to have to pick up the pieces.

Or, she considered, she could just record the entire thing on camera and use it to torment Kieran for the rest of his life.

Currently, she was leaning further towards the latter.

Iris Alden was trying her best to shake the feeling that she was being watched. Practically everywhere she went, she could feel someone's eyes on her back, staring at her, analysing her, judging her. The only place she could ever seem to catch a break was in the girl's bathroom and, even then, the sensation restarted the moment she left.

Disturbing didn't even begin to describe it.

Still, she considered, she would only have to put up with it for another month at the most.

Port Rise, the tiny suburban village she'd moved to most recently, was possibly the most ironically named place she had ever visited. It was pretty much as far away from any bodies of water you could get in South England and situated at the bottom – not the top – of a hill. It was a low-lying, out of the way type of place, just your average suburb. The most exciting thing that had probably ever happened to the place was the drug bust that had happened three years ago and had been subsequently swept under the rug.

It was the type of place that seemed to move at its own pace, regardless of the happenings around it. To Iris, it was a surprising, but not altogether unwelcome, change of pace.

It was odd to think, even now, even after three years, that this was the last one. The last stop on her fetch quest, so to speak. One more, and she'd be through with being Their bitch. One more and she'd have her freedom back. One more, and she would finally get her shredded humanity back.

It was there, on the edge of her mind, calling to her. She could feel it, like the incessant humming of a computer, or a background purring of a car engine. It was so tangible, so real, yet so out of reach… It was almost enough to drive Iris Alden insane. Almost.

What did cross the boundary and very nearly drive her insane, however, was the constant watching. It was only in art class that day that Iris managed to pin it down to one source: a ginger boy. She'd seen him hanging out from time to time with a girl from her Korean class, but had never really taken the time to notice him. She vaguely recalled an incident with her locker, but she wasn't sure if that had been him.

Seeing him was rather disappointing. Her mystery watcher had been pictured in her head as a dark, mysterious individual. Someone who had an actual reason to be watching her. Maybe, she'd considered, it was one of Them. To find out it was an annoying, shutter-happy, ginger kid wasn't terribly exciting.

Iris sighed and signed off on her sketch, checking the clock. Only three minutes left until school let up. Three more minutes of being stared at.

Although the ginger kid was trying his best to concentrate on his drawing, Iris caught his eyes wandering ever other second out of the corner of her vision. Even knowing that it was him, though, something still made her stomach churn.

It wasn't the humming in her mind, or the eyes on her back… It was different. Her stomach churned with something else. It wasn't an emotion – she'd know if it was – but something different. The bell rang just as Iris zeroed in on the feeling.

It was instinct.

Something, somehow, about the ginger kid didn't add up.

It didn't matter, though. As long as he didn't interfere, Iris was content. With that thought firmly in her mind, Iris swept up her belongings and left the classroom.

© Copyright 2013 Mari Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to a dark romance that I have decided to name 'Cutting Threads'. I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think. So, drop a review or PM me for a chat. Either way I don't mind.

Over and out,

Rebel Maru

PS: Review please!