EDITOR (fiction and nonfiction) | PROFESSIONAL SENSITIVITY AND BETA READER | CONSULTANT | LITERARY SEEKER of GROWTH | DEGREE AND BACKGROUND IN PSYCHOLOGY (research, therapy, social work) | A FRIEND
She pushes you back into the grainy brick wall. That’s when you know.
Your mouth dries. Air traps in your throat.
There’s no stopping the way she stills everything around you.
“Don’t fight it,” she says.
That’s fine. You weren’t planning—
Sparks flash on her fingertips. “Why did you come back here like this?”
Her name’s Isabelle. A milk tea drinking editor and reader who slaughters (or tucks away) little darlings as she plunges deeper into the psychology of characters and story worlds. She admitted that before. But you want to know every single detail and how she gets away with it.
Isabelle shoves her hand against your ear. “I asked you a question.”
She snaps her fingers too quickly for you to scream.
But no pain follows.
Your chest caves. You choke back a relieved sob.
She touches her hand to your eye. “I already told you how to find me in the proper way.”
You scream through gritted teeth.
“This is your only strike.” She lowers her hand and wriggles it back into her glove. “I have a good thing going for me in this area, so let’s try to be respectful of boundaries from now on, yeah?”
You nod stiffly.
She pats your cheek and walks away. Just like that.
The world blurs before you in greens, blues, and reds. You take a few steps, but your knees buckle. Slamming your palm against the brick wall, you right yourself and breathe heavily.