September 4, 2014

Elizabeth's Story

by Jessica Knoll

"It wasn't right what happened to Abby," Detective Campbell said, taking a swig of his beer and watching for my reaction over the bottle's long nose. And I realized something else then: he was taunting me. He must have known about my connection to Abby Ellison ever since the first day we met. That's why he looked at me like that. Like he knew I was somehow involved with Bridget's disappearance.

I went to take a hearty sip of my drink before realizing my hand was shaking, violently. I clutched the plastic cup so tightly the sides buckled and cracked.

"I don't really know the details," Isabel said, oblivious to the silent exchange that was going on between me and Detective Campbell. "Just that Bridget insisted Abby was innocent. It became Mrs. Mason's mission to clear her name."

"Every parent wants to believe that their child is innocent," Campbell said. He slammed his beer bottle down right in front of me and gave me a chilling grin. "It rubs off on the siblings. Wouldn't you agree, Miss Van der Veer?"

I took that sip then. Felt like daggers going down my throat. "I wouldn't, actually. Not everyone just blindly agrees with what their parents do or say. Some of us have minds of our own."

Campbell leaned in close, and I felt his warm, wet beer breath on my cheek. A spark nicked my spine. "I'll believe it when I see it." He held my eyes, challengingly for a moment, then returned to his pool game. I tried not to look at his strapping back (gross, yeah, I said strapping), at the way he walked and his muscles shifted, slowly, like a predator stalking the perimeter of the pool table.

"You two are totally going to bang," Isabel said, happily, when we were alone. She'd shoved enough coke up her nose in the car ride over to fuel a varsity all stars cheer competition. She dug through her bag and placed a cigarette between her lips. I went to college at a time when New York allowed smoking in bars. Another sign I'm getting past my peak. "I bet he's into some kinky shit too."

I glared at her for a moment before ripping the cigarette out of her mouth, launching it like a dart at the ground.

"Hey!" Isabel said, but I was already halfway out the bar. "Are you coming or not?" I called over my shoulder.

- -

I dropped Isabel off at Grey House and immediately spun the wheel and headed back into town. Then I idled in an alleyway across the street from Ronnie's, waiting.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to Abby Ellison.

One is that Abby Ellison is the reason my brother, Thayer, is dead.

The other is that Thayer is the reason Abby's life was ruined.

It didn't take a genius to figure out which side of the fence Bridget stood on. But regardless, there was no doubt that both the Ellisons and the Van der Veers had suffered the irrevocable loss of a child. I had been fifteen when it happened (Bridget must have been too, I realized. Had I ever bothered to show up to court, our paths probably would have crossed. But as sorry as I felt for my parents, I could not pretend to support what they were doing to the Ellisons.) Thayer had been seventeen, and Abby, eighteen, her birthday just a few weeks before my brother's. Had those dates been reversed, she may have come out of the whole thing unscathed.

Thayer had loved Abby, would never have wanted what happened to her to have happened. But my parents' grief had been ferocious, like a tidal wave, rearing back, gathering its strength before it struck, tearing down everything and everyone who dared step in its path.

And just how long had Bridget been plotting her revenge? That was what this had been, right? Some eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, vigilante justice for what my family had done to hers? Just how long had she known Thayer was my brother? Since we'd first met, probably. A thought occurred to me then: had Bridget come to Smithson knowing I had enrolled here? Had she marked me before we'd ever even met? Did her parents know who I was? They must have. Van der Veer is not a name you easily forget.

I started out of my train of thought when I saw the door to Ronnie's swing open and Detective Campbell stride out. It was only October, but it was cold enough for me to make out his breath, puffing into the air in two steam gusts, like an angry bull, cornered in the ring, huffing, trying to figure out which way to charge.

He folded his big body into his Saab and slammed the door shut. A moment later the tail lights blinked red, then white, as he backed out of the parking spot. I waited a beat before nosing forward and making a left, following him down Main Street.

We drove east, and the town gave way to ramshackle buildings and the occasional gas station, groups of teenagers mulling outside, drinking from paper bag covered forties. Eventually, the street lamps ran out, and we were just on a dark stretch of road, the occasional house squatting in the grass, the windows dark. Not because everyone was asleep. But because they had long been abandoned.

It felt like we had been driving forever, and I guess I zoned out, because I didn't register the Saab's sudden, angry flash of red light until it was too late, and I plowed into the back of Campbell's car.

"Shit, shit, shit," I muttered. I tried backing up, but my car had its front teeth sunk good and deep into Campbell's back bumper.  There was nothing left to do but lay my head on the wheel, roll my window down, and wait for Campbell's face to appear by my side. He was already out of his car, examining the damage.

"Why did you just stop?" I moaned, when I sensed him next to me.

"There was a deer," he said, as casually as if I'd just asked him the weather and he'd told me they were calling for rain.

Campbell reached inside my car, his arm grazing my thighs as he went for the keys in the ignition. "You're terrible at casing people," he said.

I finally looked up at him then. "I know you know. About Abby...and my brother."

Campbell turned his head away from me for a second, to study the back of his car, crunched like an aluminum can against a frat boy's forehead. "We're not far from my place." He shook his head at the carnage and looked at me. "Come with me. We'll call AAA from there."

I went. I knew I shouldn't. But I needed to know how much he knew about Abby and Thayer. More important, I needed him to know that I didn't hold Abby accountable. That we were probably more alike than he thought. If he could only see that, then maybe everything would be okay.




55 comments:

  1. ...This was incredibly short and gave us basically no information.

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    1. Agreed. Really disappointed):

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    2. Agreed! It's extremely frustrating. The posts are so short; it would be much better if she posted Elizabeth's story twice a week. Going a little overboard with the cliffhangers there....

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    3. Yeah, I gotta agree with this one. Rambling, but not a whole lot of plot advancement. Maybe she just wasn't feeling it today - this is the first post that has disappointed me.

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  2. I'm enjoying this story but for heaven's sake, tell us something!!!!

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  3. Are these two stories completely unrelated or are they ever going to merge?

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    1. i hope you're not talking about elizabeth's story and tessa's story merging because...BAHAHAHA

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    2. They're completely unrelated

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    3. I don't read Tessa's so I wasn't sure if I was missing something, thanks.

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  4. I love the mystery aspect of this storyline, but I would really like a little more content. Moving a little slowly.

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  5. What a waste of post. Guess what guys, I had leftovers for lunch. That's about as exciting as this story has been lately.

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  6. Get moving already or I'm done with this!

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  7. I agree with everyone. In almost every post for Elizabeth we have been given very little information. It is getting tedious.

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  8. We're given these cliff hangers and then nothing. It's hard to get into this. You post one a week and the story is moving at a turtles pace. Very disappointing.

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    1. Agreed… I want to love it, but it's so hard at the length and pace. I forget the twisting back story and the jumping back and forth in time is not helping. Maybe if the posts were more meaty it could help. I understand having "filler" posts, but at once a week, this is very hard to get into.

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  9. Way too much foreshadowing at what's happened and no info. This story is a snooze

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  10. usually love your writing but this is moving at snails pace.dont know if its because your trying to draw out the story until your book release date

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  11. I'm gonna have to agree with the others, if for no other reason than to prompt a meaty post. We've gotten post after post of mystery and need some info. Elizabeth's relationship with Peter came up, now it's gone and I never understood exactly how they got together even though we know something about it. I have no idea what's going on with Abby and Thayer but somehow it might have to do with Bridget's drugging of Elizabeth but then I thought we were to understand that had something to do with an exboyfriend? and then what happened to the professor???

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  12. I thought it was just me that was having a hard time getting into these posts. Seem to be more fluff than anything. For whatever reason Im having a hard time following everything as well. Could be because its only 1 time a week or it could be because its written like we should already know each of these characters and their connections to each other. I really dont know.. but either way... not enjoying this story line and thats sad because I really liked her other story lines.

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  13. I love Elizabeth's story, way more then Josie's or Tessa's by far. Way more bad ass. But please, please longer posts!! These are far too short. I'll keep coming back, that's for sure, but would love MORE. lol.

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  14. So there's gonna be some kind of statutory rape charge? I like the character building but I agree that these last few entries have been a bit tedious.

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    1. My guess at this point is that it was an accident that killed Thayer, maybe related to Abby drinking and driving, or maybe a drug deal gone bad, or just two kids being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If their birthdays had been reversed and she was still a minor, it probably would have been handled by juvenile court, but since she was 18, she was probably tried as an adult. Elizabeth's rich and powerful parents probably pushed for the most severe punishment possible, hence ruining her life. I don't know the New York laws specifically, but don't think statutory rape applies when the two participants are only a few weeks apart, even if one has turned 18.

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    2. Age of consent in NY is 17, so I doubt if it's statutory rape. I'll go out on a limb and say that I'll be disappointed if that's the case, because it just wouldn't be believable, especially with the state laws here in NY.

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    3. Yeah, more than likely it was some type of accident, and Elizabeth's parents used their wealth and power to make sure Abby paid dearly. Guessing Abby's life went down the gutter after this, probably both through legal ramifications, as well as possibly her own self-destruct button as a way to punish herself. Bad combination; Bridget probably got pretty twisted watching this process, stewing in her own hate and blame until she could hatch her plan for revenge. Or, maybe it's none of that; we'll find out eventually. The storyline and characters keep me coming back, though it'd be even better at a 2x/week schedule. Patience is not one of my virtues, for the most part, but I do appreciate the time Jessica is putting into this for us. Take care.

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  15. I posted earlier but just wanted to add a more positive note too! Mysteries, dark stories etc. are going to be much more deeply involved than a silly love story about a girl in a city so in the author's defense, I just wanted to say that it makes sense that there would be WAY more background needed before getting to the story than in a story that's not nearly as complex. However, because it's a blog that only gets posted once a week it's necessary to build the back story while also giving some resolve or answers to make it come together a little more quickly. If this were a novel, we'd only be 20 pages in and this would be fine but nobody would read 20 pages of a novel this darn slowly! so yea, a tangent but just to make the point that I get that it must be way more difficult to start this story blog style than other stories... but if someone can figure out how to do it, it'd be Jessica.

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  16. I'd also be weary of giving this much back story without resolve so quickly because then, as the author, you have to really stick to it. Might be both easier and more appealing to readers to take it easy, let it develop more as you go.

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  17. I'm enjoying Elizabeth's story; I am really curious how she came to be the person she was (is?) in Josie's story. At the same time though, I am having a hard time following the action. There are all these allusions and references to events, and I think I missed something only to go back and re-read posts and see that it hasn't been explained yet! I like the development keeping things suspenseful but I would love more details as we go! Especially since we only get one post a week.

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  18. I'm having a hard time following the story as well. I'm wondering if it would be better to wait a while and read a few entries at a time - maybe it would make more sense. And not to be too picky, but didn't her last name used to be Van der Deer, not Veer? ;)

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    1. I was thinking the same thing, but I was too lazy to check back posts

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  19. Oh come on I need more Jessica
    Still love the post

    http://playingwithwildfire.blogspot.com/?m=1

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  20. Not one single comment simply thanking you for another post. You are a talented writer, and while I understand the desire for more length, more often.. whatever... we all seem to forget every single week that you do this on your own time on top of having your own life. So, thank you for continuing this. You owe us nothing but keep delivering anyways. I'm a first time commenter but a long-time reader. This thanks was overdue. Can you re-remind me (us) where/when/how we can get your book?

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    1. You do realize that this blog allows Jessica to gain more admirers that will buy her book. Most of the comments aren't about length but how slow each post is moving. Months in and we're still at the same place. Jessica it's writing this blog by choice. She chose to provide Elizabeth's back story. We didn't ask. As for her doing it in a addition to work. Isn't that what most bloggers do?

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    2. May 12, 2015. So farrr away. Here is the Amazon link from which you can pre-order a copy!
      http://www.amazon.com/Luckiest-Girl-Alive-A-Novel/dp/1476789630

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    3. Agreed anonymous. I'm guessing a good majority blog on top of work, so this is nothing special. I think this blog is here just to keep people around long enough that they don't forget about her, and still buy the book. It's a bit insulting actually.

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  21. I must say that I love your writing first and for most however I will agree that this is going a bit slow I want to love the story just having a hard time getting into it. Please don't stop writing I think it's about to get good in the next post with her and Campbell and finally finding out the story I can see where it's going just want it a little faster lol love ya tho

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  22. Okay. Maybe I am patient. But I love the suspense and the building tension and the unanswered plot twists - this is going somewhere and ties in together. Like a mystery story rather than feeding it on a plate. It seems like the author is going somewhere, and crediting the readers with intelligence and patience. I can't wait til Thursday :-)

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  23. I hope the next post will give us some more info on Thayer and Abby rather than Elizabeth. Regardless, I appreciate your writing and thought put into this. :) well done, can't wait for next week!

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  24. Everybody seems to be griping about no info, but if this was a whole novel and each post a chapter, it would be a pager turner. As much as I got into Josie's story, this story has far more plot and substance. My only complaint is waiting a week for each post. Then again, that's what serialized fiction is all about--delayed gratification. Jessica, seriously compile and publish this stuff when you are done. It's a lot of fun!

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  25. I think I'm going to be getting your book, also. You are a great writer, and I love the story. Maybe because the main character is not nice and sweet. Love it!

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  26. you guys are quite rude. i'm really excited to see where this story goes :) keep up the brilliant work!

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  27. First time commenter here! I had to comment after reading all these negative comments. I just wanted to say that I LOVE this story. I really enjoy mystery and suspense and this is full of it! It takes a little more thought and brainpower to read something like this, and that's why it's so great. Keep up the great writing! I'm hooked!

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  28. I'm somewhat confused as to why some commenters are saying that people are being rude..if anything all the comments are a testament of how much people enjoy the blog..I must admit that as a reader from the very beginning I do agree with people saying how slowly this is moving.. There is always a cliff hanger at the end of a post but then in the following entry it is never explained or brought up again..I even went back & skimmed through Josie's blog where Elizabeth is mentioned to see if I was forgetting something mentioned about any of her character issues but I didn't find anything..I think people would be satisfied if the cliff hangers were actually answered in the proceeding entry,I know I would..I'm not sure how everything is going to be answered now b/c there are so many questions & holes in the plot now..that's my opinion,& opinions are like assholes, everybody has one

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    1. Because in the LSP comment world, people can't handle anything that is negative or that criticizes the blog in any way. Only praise is acceptable

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    2. So true. Its like... if you arent going on and on about how wonderful the blog is everyone else thinks youre a horrible, ungrateful person. Thats not the case at all. We wouldnt be reading and commenting if we hated it. We're simply saying we want to love it.. but its difficult. Posts jump around.. things never get fully explained and we're left with more questions than answers. We're just asking for more info and substance is all. I dont understand why people are getting so upset and offended. We're all being respectful, not rude or intentionally hurtful.

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    3. Exactly,I couldn't agree with both of you anymore than I already do..I never comment ever,but you can clearly tell from all the comments that people have definitely invested themselves emotionally in the characters, like people normally do with any type talented writer,so the comments are clearly a reflection of that & shows what a talented writer Jessica truly is..to be honest,the reason I added the 'opinions are like assholes' quote was b/c I was sure I was going to metaphorically get beaten up over my comment

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  29. Uhm.... am I literally the only person who doesn't feel frustrated? I'm LOVING these posts, which is shocking because I hate Elizabeth so much. Keep writing! It's like great sex; I'm enjoying the slow build up. ; )

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    1. Sweetie, if this is like great sex to you, you're doing it wrong.

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  30. Lol. Like great sex? When you're having great sex your man doesn't stop right when you're on the brink of orgasm. If my man keep me unsatisfied each time, he'd be gone.

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  31. "Milling" around, not "mulling". You mull things over.

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  32. Did her last name change....?

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    1. I always thought van der deer sounded really silly so I guess I'm glad it randomly changed?

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