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When Toni, Joseph and Charlie arrive at their new boarding school, they are glad to leave their families - and respective problems - behind. Isolated as boarders, they meet a handsome senior with a personality like iced snake's blood, teachers with a penchant for physical punishment, and four other outcasts who reveal that their being brought to the Academy wasn't random at all. When the arrivals discover that their new school is engaged in "behavior modification" through electric shocks, isolation, restraints, and an ever-evolving set of methods to "fix" them, they declare war on their Academy. During their campaign of sabotage, they fight, hate, scorn, love, and begin to uncover the reasons why they were brought to the school. But as their war against the school escalates beyond their control, will they become the very things the Academy believes they are: dangerous, delinquent - and mad?
Book Excerpt #1
CHAPTER FIVE: HOLE
“So c’mon,” [Ann] coaxed. “Tell me. Trust me, there’s nothing you could say that would make me like you any — well ...”
“Any less than you already do?” Joseph smiled crookedly at her.
“Well, yeah,” she responded sheepishly.
Joseph swallowed. Nobody he’d told had ever believed him. If he didn’t believe himself, why should she? What was to say she wouldn’t turn and blame it all on him?
But then ... he could blame this one on her too, if she did that.
He decided to tell her half the truth. “I kinda, used to ... start fires,” Joseph said, glancing over at her then away. He couldn’t do it if he was looking at her. “It was — I’d just always liked fires ... I can’t really explain it, they just — fascinate me. They’re beautiful and they hurt but we need ‘em to survive ... whatever, one day I was pissed and angry and didn’t know what to do and I fuckin’ found a match and lit a piece of grass outside and it — I don’t know ...” He knew he should stop, but he had never spoken of it, and now the words just came out. “It was beautiful. I couldn’t stop watchin’ it, and I felt like I got what a fire was and how it worked ...” Joseph swallowed.
“But I just knew it was wrong, and tried to stop but it seemed like — like ... I’d be pissed and angry and all of a sudden I’d have the lighter in my hand and then it just started happenin’ more and more. I’d be relieved at first, but then when it started happenin’ too much ... But I never killed no one, not one person, and sometimes the fires would just —”
“Just what?” Ann pressed.
“Just happen.” Joseph looked at her expression. “I would have lighter, or a match — or even just be near a spark and I’d get angry and ... the fire would go off. Or I’d be near one and it would go higher, burn hotter and — ’
I’m gonna ... stop talkin’.
Joseph turned away, cheeks burning. Fuckin’ idiot, now she’s gonna go and te—
“I once stole my parent’s car and almost drove over a cliff on purpose,” Ann said rapidly, then realized what she’d said and bit her tongue. “Ow!”
“You — when?” Joseph asked, folding his arms over his knees, half covering his face so his words were muffled and all she could see were his eyes.
“A year ago,” Ann confessed. “I just ... there was some stuff and ... I stole the car one night after I’d been drinking, and just cranked it as hard as I could. I had only driven a little before and it was such a rush. I was speeding so fast and I just felt — wild, like ... free? Ya know?”
“I know,” Joseph said, still just his eyes visible. “What happened next?”
“I hydroplaned, you know, drove on water? Then I spun and hit the side of the road, and the car half went over — that’s how they found me.”
Still laughing, she remembered, but didn’t say so.
Joseph just stared at her. Ann didn’t like the nervous, jittery feeling she got in the pit of her stomach when he did that, so she decided to shrug it off. “Whatever, I’m a what’cha call it ... an adrenaline junkie, I think that was what my Mom said. I guess that’s why I did it. Or ... I don’t know.”
I don’t know why I do half the things I do. I’m stupid. There — that’s a reason.
“It’s just ... I wanted that feeling you get when you’re doing something wrong but exciting, like when you’re sneaking out at night or jumping off something just high enough to make it dangerous and you get that feeling through your whole body ... after it’s done and you fall on your ass you realize you’re an idiot, but while you’re doing it you just feel —”
“Powerful,” Joseph finished her sentence with her. Ann gave a half smile. “Yeah.”
About The Author
I am a twenty year old singer, songwriter, choreographer, and author of the novel "Altered", book one in The Academy series. I value my fans above all else.