An ebook copy of Another Elizabeth for your preferred device.
A disabled woman. A need to kill. Can she physically handle satisfying her urge and maintain her carefully built façade of normalcy?
Another Elizabeth is a gripping literary psychological horror novel that readers will sink their teeth into.
Fans of dark humor and challenging fiction will be thrilled to delve into the mind of a deeply flawed disabled woman with a desire to kill.
Elizabeth Dauphine’s life is taking a turn.
She has three jobs, a boyfriend that loves her too much, and a recent diagnosis of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She’s coming apart at the seams. Now all she cares about is keeping her promise to her younger self before her body fails her—kill without getting caught.
Can Elizabeth physically handle satisfying her urge and maintaining her carefully built façade of normalcy? And if so, will she be able to stop with just one victim?
*This is a dark book with many graphic situations. There is no sexual assault or rape. No animals are tortured or die.
A car hits someone desperate to get away from me. They honk, but the woman can’t escape the front bumper. Her body rolls onto the hood. As she falls to the ground, wheels roll over her, and her limp body becomes a speed bump. The driver slams on their brakes, and the front wheel crushes her skull into a meaty mess.
Well, the car honks. But the woman darts out of the way, narrowly missing the headlight. I’m disappointed she’s okay. Sitting on the sidewalk with watering eyes is not a reason to give someone space. I don’t have a deadly disease. If I did, I’d hold her down and share it.
As I wait for Michael, I know it’s now or never. I’m getting worse, and even healthy people get caught.
He pulls up beside me and puts his flashers on. I try to stand just as he pops out of the car with his hands raised, shouting, “Wait, wait!”
Pain radiates up from my hip, and I wobble. Michael catches me before I fall and holds me tight as he walks me to the passenger seat. He insists on strapping me in like a child. I’m sickened and humiliated for the third time in my life.
On the road, a pothole is a hammer and two speed bumps are open palm slaps. Spots fill my vision by the time Michael is parking by a fire hydrant. He’s driven the five blocks we were trying to walk when my hip gave out.
I wish he had said fuck it and taken me home. Instead, he’s illegally parked.
I’ve always feared a cop would come by and tell me they see me, they know what I am, and they’re arresting me in the interest of public safety. Illogical and paranoid thinking, but the thoughts still bounce around.
Michael grabs his wallet from the cupholder and kisses me on the cheek before rushing from the car over to the truck.
It only takes five minutes. He slides back into the driver’s seat and holds up an offering of two bags of delicious smelling vegetables and beans. “Got ‘em!”
Sometimes, I wonder if he thinks I’m the less intelligent one in the relationship.
We drive in silence for a while, my mouth watering and my hip pain not lessening.
His face hasn’t un-scrunched yet. I’m waiting for him to say what he needs to say. He cares more than I do—about me, about us, about everything.
We get on the highway and hit traffic immediately. He starts to cry. The abruptness of it reminds me of turning on a faucet, only I know it won’t be so easy to turn off.
The stop-and-go of the cars around us mirrors his words as he gets them out one by one. Through his ragged breathing, I understand that he’s begging me to go see a rheumatologist, to quit Juniper Foods, to focus more on house sitting—but not ones with dogs or cats. Though teaching ESL is good for me, he thinks. I should keep that job. I don’t remind him that it pays the least.
I agree to only one thing—seeing a doctor.
* * *
They tell me that my body is consuming itself—a carnivorous beast, hungry for its own collagen. That fits with what I picture as I wake up and manipulate a loose shoulder back into its socket, nearly deafening myself with the sound of crab legs being snapped.
Months of testing have led me to the tenth floor of the Janes Hospital—months of me waiting, months of having a hovering Michael blocking me from exploring.
I’m not prepared, I know that. I can’t wait until I think I’ll be able to commit the perfect crime. It truly is now or never, and I can’t imagine a world with a never.
At the moment, all I can hope for is that Michael hearing the official diagnosis of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome—hEDS—will help him breathe a little easier. He’ll back off a bit, give me some space. Then, I can look at my list. I’ll be able to plan and prepare.