One of the best things about living outside of town is the amount of high-quality nature time that I get. Whether I am driving home or in my yard, there are constant reminders for me to feel “at home” with the natural world.
Investigative journalist Emilee Weathers is hungry for the perfect story and not too particular about how she has to get it. Asked to help find new evidence for a convicted serial killer’s appeal, she heads for the mountain town of Pigeon Forge.
When she discovers the body of a recent victim, the questions come thick and fast. Has she happened upon the work of a copycat? Is the real killer still out there? And is there anybody in this neck of the woods she can trust?
The inspiration behind my book
Where did I find my own idea? I randomly thought it up after watching every single Dateline episode ever released. Then some that weren’t released. Ha-ha, no, not really. Well, kinda…
I got the idea, oddly enough, when I was thinking about the icky, ooey-gooey emotion that is love. I know, right? How does thinking about love result in a 230-page book about an investigative journalist hunting a killer? Good question. Before I start coming off as a sadistic psychopath, let me explain…
Relationships are a major part of everyone’s life. They’re a big part of my life, even if I can’t keep one. I enjoy the good sides of relationships and unconditional love. And who doesn’t? I’ve been in some very passionate relationships, but I’ve also been in some very toxic and destructive ones. While single, I’d hang out at public places, like the mall, and just people watch. I watched a lot of couples and tried to get an image of what true love looks like.
I soon came to understand that love isn’t something you can see; it’s only something you can feel.
It’s interesting—though a beautiful thing, love can cause people to do some of the ugliest and most fucked up stuff imaginable. It can push us, make us violate our own conscience, and make us forget who we are entirely. That… that is the madness of love. Ultimately, I began wondering what it would look like for an innocent person to completely lose themselves in this madness. I wondered how much of their own conscience they’d violate and how many rules they’d break if this love was put on the wire.
The Killed Conscience.
Beneath a starry night’s sky, Emilee and everyone at the cabin all stood around the flickering flames of a fire just in front of the trees. All were wrapped in sweaters, gloves, and scarves. Sebastian stood with his arm around Morgan; she was snuggled up under his arm with her head resting against his chest. Skylar sat in a plastic lawn chair with her legs crossed and her thumbs tapping away on her phone. Emilee and Sebastian were across from each other, on opposite sides of the fire. A bit too far to comfortably carry on a conversation, but not too far to keep them from catching each other’s eyes. James sat in the only other lawn chair, and by his feet, Emilee sat in the dirt and rocks.
After taking a gulp from his beer, Casey grabbed a flashlight, put the beam beneath his chin, and said, “So who wants to have the shit scared out of them with a scary story?” The shadows distorted his face into something wicked as he grinned wide.
“Ooh, I do. Which one?” Skylar asked.
“Good question, Sky. I’m thinking,” he took another sip, “since Emilee is about to interview the psychopath, why don’t we hear about VDK?”
“Okay, maybe now isn’t the best time to be telling this story,” Sebastian said.
“What? We’ve got the location, the night, the cold, a fire… and the potential for the killer to be set free soon. What more could you ask for?”
Sebastian let his head fall back as he groaned.
Casey began before anyone else could interject: “Five years ago, there was a girl by the name of Kayla Lawrence. Twenty years old, bubbly personality, all around beautiful girl. Two nights before Christmas, she went to sleep in her home. The next morning, when her parents stopped by, Kayla was nowhere to be seen. Her family quickly reported her missing, and after investigation, police found no sign of forced entry, no sign of a struggle, no sign of foul play whatsoever. It was like aliens had just come down and—boop—plucked her straight from the face of the Earth.”
Sebastian tried waving the story away. “Okay, that’s enou—”
“A couple months later, it was Valentine’s Day. The girl’s name was Luna McBeth. That night, she’d gone to a club downtown with some of her friends. It was almost midnightwhen she told her friends goodbye and left by herself. Security cameras showed her leaving the club and walking across the street to the parking lot… but she never reached her car. The next day, it was still sitting in that parking lot, locked. Just like Kayla, Luna had vanished without a single trace.”
“Dun dun dunnn,” Sebastian interrupted loudly, making a few people jump.
“It wasn’t long before police connected the two, based solely on identity,” Casey continued. “Both girls were young, petite, black hair, Caucasian.” Casey looked up at Emilee. “Kind of like Emilee… Anyway, almost two years later, some foreigners were hiking through these mountains when one stepped onto a ‘very soft patch of dirt’ that turned out to be the decaying corpse of Luna McBeth. Not far from her, another body was found that wasn’t ever identified. And just like that, the Valentine’s Day Killer was born.”
“Oh wow,” Morgan said.
Following the story was a quiet that arrived and threatened to stay. No one could seem to find the words to make it leave.
Then, there was a sound. So soft, yet so deafening in that silence. Everyone went stiff—stiff like a group of cadavers. They each exchanged looks with slightly widened eyes.
“What was that?” Morgan’s voice was brittle.
The noise had come from the dark flooding the trees of those woods. Sounded like the subtle snapping of a dry twig. Seemed like everyone was hoping to let the gripping moment pass… until it came back to grab them once more.
The Killed Conscious Purchase Links:
Want more of Jordan Antonacci? (Yes, you do)
Find him online 🙂
’tis that time again when I feel like a zombie…
One day I am moving forward with my goals,
the next I am stuck in my room
I oscillate through all types of states of consciousness and emotions. Why does everything always pretend like life is one simple baseline experience? No highs, no lows. Their facade is “medium.”
Maybe other people will start opening up about their inner worlds when I continue being honest about mine.
But do you really care?
When I answer truthfully I scare you off.
Is it my honestly?
My pathetic excitement and curiosity in my own life?
You shut me down and criticize me for answering the way I did.
(Whatever that was)
So I am conditioned to not open up.
I close myself off to you.
This pattern cycles around in circles like the seasons.
I begin to think
“What if you are right?”
and I really have palty aspirations
that don’t offer anything to anyone,
that I’m not valuable,
that me being on Earth and me not existing wouldn’t make a difference to you, or anyone.
If anything, it would be less of a hassle if there was less of me..
So why do you ask how I’m doing?
Sorry for the depressing ass shit lately. It’s a phase I’m going through, hopefully. Luckily, I’m remembering how therapeutic writing poetry is for me…you reading this probably understand
What is this voice inside of me that keeps on saying “I want to die”?
It scares me.
Do I really want to die?
Is it my fate to pass over even before I pass the age to get off my dad’s health insurance plan?
I hope not.
But the voice that wants to die is so loud…
to make itself heard and make me FEEL the pain in those words
I justify the dialogue by saying
“It’s just an aspect of my personality that wants to die.”
But how can I be so sure
that those words
“I want to die”
don’t mean all of me?
elevated and better than before…they remind you of the magic that can weave thru reality.
They bring out your most optimistic, excited, highest state.
They make you feel buzzing, with ripples of shivers migrating across skin. Kundalini? Are you hanging out too?
Let’s keep on cultivating these interactions, and prune out of the rest to save energy for what really matters.
I woke up yesterday morning to a notification that I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!
(Where does this even come from?! Haha!)
Needless to say, it lit up my morning like a pot of gold in the sunshine. I barely thought that this website reached anyone…but what I have to write about had made a difference in at least one person’s life.
Thank you MrHushHush for the recognition 🙂 I’ve only been following your blog a little bit…but in this short time, I’ve been blown away by your literary mindfood and personal engagement with readers. Thank you, cyber acquaintance! Keep on creating! 🙂
Rules for Versatile Blogger Award
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Share 7 facts about yourself.
- Nominate 10 other bloggers of your choice.
- Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.
- I have only told 1 person in real life (lol) about this website. I’m a little terrified that I’ll be seen as a crazy idiot person if I open up to the wrong people…which I realize is completely inevitable haha!
- I’ve moved 18 times in the last 7 years. Each place I’ve lived in for at least a month. Gah college. YAY traveling.
- I have ALWAYS wanted to make a full-length documentary. Perhaps this little nugget is a fun start?
- I researched bioluminescent fungi when I was an undergraduate. Yes. Mushrooms that produce their own photons and GLOW.
- I’ve been taking aerial silks classes for about two years.
- Like most people on here probably, I am hella introverted.
- I’ve played ukulele since I was 16; I used to be in a two-lady band called Black Tarla Fang.
My Nominees / Blogs That Are Meaningful to Me
- Angela Fe – Angela is one of my guides on this spiritual path. She is also my Reiki teacher. She has been an incredible help with developing a shamanic practice, recognizing the ego, and loving the self. Thank you ❤
- Goddess Within You – I’m flooded with extremely sensual, intimate and feminine posts by you.
- Philotheoristic – According to Tumblr, you get 40% of my “love” haha! Amazing photography. Thanks for randomly wishing me a Happy Valentine’s day a while ago.
- Astrolocherry – I really enjoy the way you weave together storytelling and astrology ❤
- Raptitude – This is one of the very first blogs I started to follow. I enjoy how articulate, reflective, and honest you are. Also, the journey you share with your 30-day challenges is encouraging!
- MushroomVision – You are another blog that I have followed for years. Thanks for the grounded spiritual inspiration.
- SacredScribesAngelNumbers – This is (always) my go-to site regarding numerology. In the last 4 years I have been noticing numerical patterns around me. Here is where I go to help interpret that information.
- gldn47 – Ahhhh Magoots. AMAZING local photographer and visual artist. She makes unique mandala images from her own photos around the Southwest.
- String Theory Collection – Jaci makes the most badass geometric string art in the known universe. It’s mesmerizing, precise, and alien-like hehe there is nothing else in the world like it.
- Jenny Yates Astrology – She has a treasure chest of astrology-related gems across her site ranging from daily blurbs to in-depth aspect explanations. If I ever feel a little cosmic-y lost, I head over here to check out what’s going on in the stars.
- AerialBurd – Nikki is cosmic goddess that moves as gracefully as a hummingbird. Thanks for the support and mentorship ❤
*Not all of these are WordPress users…but it doesn’t mean you still don’t deserve recognition.
Some of these people I check in with multiple times a week to see what they are posting, others I might go months without stopping by. Each one of them stands out to me as being led by someone who is REAL. Some of you I’ve never even talked to (but have an internet crush on) and some I may have lost contact for now (you always have a home in my heart <3). You all mean something to me. Keep doing what you are doing.
Thanks for reading this far.