The Dead Ones (Death Herself Book 3)

The Dead Ones (Death Herself Book 3) by Amy Cross Read Free Book Online

Book: The Dead Ones (Death Herself Book 3) by Amy Cross Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amy Cross
too young to really have any deep conversations with him, but I thought he was so cool. I wanted to be like him one day, and to be his friend. I must have been out of my mind.
    In a daze, I don't notice at first as a figure emerges from the prison's gate, flanked by two officers. They stop on the other side of the road, next to a microphone stand, with more police keeping the crowd back. I feel as if I'm about to faint, but somehow I manage to stay standing, although it takes a moment before I can focus on the words that are being read out.
    “- can confirm, therefore, that the execution of Malcolm Bromley was carried out in full just a few minutes ago, in accordance with the sentence handed down by the court. The prisoner made no final statement, and his body is now being transferred for processing so that it can be transported by ambulance to -”
    The man says some more words, but I let them wash over me as I stare at the dark buildings and realize that somewhere in there, my brother's dead body is most likely being wheeled along a corridor. Looking up at the stars above, I briefly catch myself wondering whether he's up there now, but I quickly remind myself that this is no time to get maudlin or romantic. He's just dead, that's all, and his soul – whatever that word means – is now gone, lost to the mists of time, never to return in any form. I wish I could believe in life after death, or in ghosts, but somehow I've always felt this brick-heavy certainty in my chest, telling me that there's nothing to come after this life.
    Stuffing my hands into my pockets, I turn to walk away.
    And then I see her.
    A little further back, Hannah is standing alone. We make eye contact, and I feel an immediate rush of anger as I realize that I was right earlier. Obviously she is some kind of groupie, out to vicariously experience the thrill of this whole macabre mess. Unable to hold back, I pull my hands from my pockets and stomp toward her.
    “Hey,” she says with a smile as I get closer, “how -”
    “What the hell are you doing here?” I shout, shoving her in the chest. She stumbles back and lands on her ass as I tower over her.
    “Listen,” she stammers, “I think you should -”
    “Don't tell me what to do,” I sneer. For a moment, I feel as if all my anger is directed at this dumb idiot, and I can't hold back, even though I know I'll regret my outburst later. I really, really need to get it out. “Are you enjoying this?” I ask. “Did you get a little tingle out tonight, soaking up the atmosphere and listening to all the shouts and sobbing?”
    “No, I -”
    “People like you make me sick!” I hiss. “This isn't some kind of theatrical event! You're not supposed to enjoy it!”
    “Can we go somewhere and talk?” she asks. “Please? It's important.”
    “I don't want to be your friend!” I shout. Aware that a few other people are staring now, I force myself to lower my voice. “I don't want to be anyone's friend,” I add, taking a step back. “Whatever sick pleasure you experienced from all of this, that's your problem, but I don't want anything to do with it. Leave me alone, or I swear to God...”
    My voice trails off. I can see the shock in her eyes, but I can also feel my anger starting to gnaw at my guts. I thought shouting at her would help, but if anything I'm starting to feel worse, as if there's an actual, physical pain clawing its way up through my chest.
    “Oh my God,” a voice whispers nearby, “is that... I think that's his sister!”
    Turning, I see that I've attracted some attention.
    “Bonnie,” Hannah says after a moment, still down on the grass, “please, let me explain and -”
    “Go to hell,” I mutter, pulling my hood up to cover as much of my face as possible, as I turn and hurry away. I can hear Hannah still calling after me, but I don't look back, and finally I reach the road and hurry over to the darker side. Glancing back, I see to my relief that no-one is following me, but

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