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An Unedited Chapter from a book I will soon publish!

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((note that this image is only being used for filler affects and is not the official cover of the actual book))

Chapter 1
 
“…Noah?” The room around me was bright and cold. The buzzing from the lights above me resonated in my ear living an uncomfortable ringing in my mind. I was dazed. Everything was moving around me. It felt like I was on a moving ship swimming over some not so calm waters.

“Noah…?” I could hear their voices, but for some reason I just couldn’t focus on them or their words. What had happened to me…what I had experienced I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy…then again I don’t have many enemies. Actually, I have no enemies at all. What has my life become.

“Hey Noah. Stay with us, you have to tell us who killed your Mother if your uncle did not do it. Who killed Lyla Emmerson?”

Rewinding to just a day and a half later I was on my way home from school. My dad had been on a business trip for a few days. My uncle, from Florida, was visiting my mom. A little backstory on my mom and Uncle, I didn't know I had an uncle until he visited and apparently, they had a bad falling out and he moved to Florida erasing her from his life and she doing the same. Dad didn't even know mom had any siblings. All I remember is coming home after school and walking into a full-fledged drunken war between my mother and uncle. My mom noticed me and quickly guided me to my room and closed the door behind her. I have never seen her act that way before so you could imagine how startled I was at the time. They went on for hours. So long in fact I practically fell asleep to the sounds of their rambling. That’s when I woke up at the odd hour of 5am. I literally slept for a straight 12 hours and don't remember waking up at all during those hours.  
 
I got up from my bed with my school clothes still on. The air was thin and the silence thick. I called for my mother but with no answer I decided to walk out the room. I called for her once more when I made it to the top of the stairs, but again no answer. I looked down the steps and saw that the front door was wide open. I slowly walked downstairs as the wooden steps creaked beneath the pressure of my footsteps. I tried being quiet because I didn't know what had happened or what was going on. When I made it downstairs the first thing I saw was my uncle passed out drunk hands covered in blood. My eyes trailed from his position upward and I fell to my knees and beginning screaming in fear and disbelief. My mother's face had been bashed beyond recognition and if it weren't for the clothes she was wearing I wouldn't have realized it was her. What felt like minutes was hours of me crying over her body. I nearly wore myself as I was finding it hard to stay awake. Every time I dozed off I felt something tugging at my mind unaware of what it was. I remember closing my eyes for a solid second and seeing my uncle yelling at me as someone had barged through the door. After that everything went black. My neighbors had heard me earlier and ran to my aid waking me from my trance. They called the police and cradled me until the authorities and ambulance got here.

About 15 minutes later I could hear the faint sirens pull up on my street and police flood the room and apprehended my uncle who woke up abruptly and snapped his head back and forth examining the room trying to grasp the situation at hand. His eyes focused on my mom and they soon widened.

"Lyla...?" He said in as much disbelief as I was, "Lyla?! What happened?!" The police held my uncle up to where one officer had a clear look at his face.

"So, Hayden. You have a history of drunken assaults...but this, this one takes the cake. If you are lucky they'll give you the death penalty. As for me seeing you behind bars for life would be even better. I'd watch you rot you pathetic piece of sh-"

"Chief!" One of the officers had said as he led the Chiefs attention toward me. The Chief had rubbed his forehead after taking off his cap. Letting out a deep sigh he proceeded toward my uncle as he escorted him out the front door. I was soon approached by another officer and was guided out the door as well as I looked back to see Coroners snapping photos of my mom before covering her body. I was in a daze still. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. Honestly what could I have done other than cry more? In the police car the officer explained to me that they were going to take me in for questioning to see if I knew something they didn’t or if I had any additional evidence to help put my uncle behind bars for good, but I don’t believe my uncle did this. Yes I hardly know the guy, and yes the argument between himself and my mother looked extremely bad…for some reason all evidence is pointing toward him…but I know he didn’t do it.

Fast-forwarding back to the interrogation room I was sitting on one side of the table while two cops were sitting across from me. I was still in shock. I forgot how to speak every now and again, but eventually I came to.
“My uncle didn’t kill my mom…I don’t know how to explain it…all I know is that he is innocent…I remember seeing the door swing open while they were arguing. It was like a dream…my uncle was yelling at me calling me Lyla as if I were my mom. But the moment the front door swings open everything goes blank. I need to get back home…I need to figure this out,” I tried to be as convincing as possible but with no luck the police were not buying anything I was selling. I mean who would believe and eight year old kid who believes his mother wasn’t killed by his alcoholic uncle in a drunken fit of rage all from glimpses of what seemed like a dream.
               “Noah…if you want us to believe you, you are going to have to give us more than a dream told you who the real suspect is,” The female officer said.
               “But I’m telling the truth!” I yelled saddened and upset they weren’t believing anything I was saying, I knew I had to try a different approach, just didn’t know how.
               “Look Noah, I get he is your uncle and blood runs thicker than water, but right now we have enough evidence against him to where he is looking at some pretty long life term sentences behind bars. So unless you have some evidence that helps your uncle proving his innocence I think we are done here.”
               “Wait. Take me back to my house and I can prove to you that my uncle is innocent,” both officers looked at one another for a long second before shaking their heads and shrugging.
               “You better be going somewhere with this kid,” They escorted me to their vehicle and buckled me in the back seat. As we were driving back to my place an unsettling feeling caressed my gut. I don’t know why I was trying to prove my uncle’s innocence but deep down I knew he couldn’t have done it…I just wanted to know who did it.

               The moment we made it to my house an uneasy feeling tickled my spine. I began squirming in my seat as the car slowly stopped. The squeaking of the wheels echoing in the mid-morning air. The police rested their hands on their gun holsters as they slowly approached my door. Making sure the coast was clear they carefully guided me back inside my home and we all stood in the living room. The stains of blood where my mother had laid just reminded me of her face and I was mortified.  

"You sure you know what you're doing Noah?" The female cop said as she continued to look around hand still on her gun.  

"Yes I do," In all honesty though I didn't. Something was telling me I needed to comeback here, I just didn't know what it was. I almost instantly felt weights on my knees as I slowly crouched to the floor. I curled up beside my mothers chalked outline and immediately shut my eyes. I could vaguely hear the police speaking to me in the background but my mind was guiding me somewhere else. It was scary at first because although I was awake I was not in control of my body at the time. This felt supernatural. I opened my eyes and soon I was in my parent's room laying in their bed. I quickly got up and got out of the room thinking the whole entire night as a dream, but stopping dead in my tracks I saw something standing at the front door downstairs; it was me.

"Okay mom the bus is here!" I would say. I remember this moment as clear as day. Mom's car had broke down and this was my first time taking the school bus to school. I felt like such the cool kid. This was just several hours before the horrific incident however.

"Alright honey! Be careful! Your Uncle Hayden said he was going to buy us some pizza for us tonight so get ready!" Now I know I wasn't crazy. I just said all of that...but from my mother's body. It was like I had become her. I had full control of her body and how she moves but whenever I was spoken to my responses were already predetermined. I saw myself waving as they headed out the door. Walking downstairs once the door closed I headed to the living room before being directed to answer the landline in the kitchen. Staring at the Caller Id I saw it said 'GleamCo Busi'; Dad.

"Yes?"
"Awh, c'mon don't answer the phone like that. At least be a tad excited to hear my voice...Are you still mad about our argument...look I said I was sorry," Dad tried venturing the conversation into something positive but it was clear mom wasn't having it.
"Sorry doesn't always cut it Daniel! You openly talked about You openly talked about our sex life in front of your son!" And the arguing continues.
"You haven't touched me in nearly eight months. What the hell else am I supposed to talk about?!"
"Have you thought as to why that might be?" I challenged my father's statement.
"You say its because I don't show you enough love, but how am I supposed to do that when you push me away or get irritated with the littlest things I do. I mean is there someone else? Are you cheating on me?" My dad sounded worried with some touches of anger.
"For gods sake Daniel are you serious?" I, or I guess my mom, couldn't believe what she had heard. She scoffed with disgust.
"Well are you?" He wasn't entirely convinced.
"Yes I am." I said blatantly.
"Wait really Lyla?" My dad had asked in disbelief.
"No!" I slammed the phone down ending the call. Tears rolled down my face as I had to experience yet another argument between my mom and dad. The tears weren't mine though, they were from my mom. This entire experience in itself was weird. I had become my mom. I felt everything she felt, thought everything she thought, my mind was overloading with emotions. Mom walked to the fridge and grabbed out a bottle of wine as she poured herself a tall glass of the deep red liquid and took several gulps. She took the bottle with her and turned something on the T.V. Some kind of cooking show by the looks of it. As the lady on the screen was talking my mom continued to drink her sorrows away. Everything went dark for a minute before my eyes opened up again only to see I was on the couch still with the TV. Another show was on but by this time I wasn't paying attention to it. I felt my foot being nudged and I had looked up at my Uncle who had a bit of a disappointed look on his face.

"So this is how you are dealing with your struggles now Lyla," He said as he grabbed the bottle from me and the glass. My mom, drunk and confused, immediately shot up from the couch and tried snatching the bottle back.  
"I am not in love with Daniel anymore Hayden. I don't know how to tell him...he t-thinks I'm cheating. Can you believe that...me?! CHEATING?!" My words were slurred but I still made enough sense when speaking. So, this is what being drunk feels like.
"I'd appreciate if you didn’t drink while I was hear. I'm hanging on to my sobriety by my teeth here. You got to get a hold of yourself and tell him how you feel," I kept grabbing for the wine bottle as it seemed to be the only thing that felt right at the time. My uncle kept it away from me however. He was a better man than mom had made him out to be.
"He thinks he can fix our disaster of a marriage. I am doing trying to love him,"
"Well I am throwing this wine out. You are not going to head down the path I traveled. We will find you a better way to cope," As my uncle attempted to dump out the wine my mom literally attacked him.
"You are not throwing that out! Give it back!" She said as she tried ripping it from his fingers. This is when I had come home from school and walked in on them arguing. When I saw the bottle of wine I had thought they were both drunk, but now I know it was just my mom...it was all her. When I saw myself walk through the front door I felt an overwhelming sensation of guilt cast over me. I ran to the other Noah and rushed him upstairs. Not even saying I love you, not even asking how his day was I closed the door behind him and hurried back downstairs as the arguing between my uncle and I continued. We yelled for hours it seemed, but just when we though the conversation was dying down my dad barged in the house furious, confused and upset.  

By this time, I was already sobering up but seeing how my dad nearly ripped the door off of the hinges meant something bad was underway.
"Who the hell is this Lyla?!" He asked while pointed at my uncle.
"Oh my god relax Daniel, this is my brother Hayden. How are you even hear right now are you supposed to be at some conference in Lakewood?" My mom raised an eyebrow toward my dad as she tried keeping her cool.
"Our neighbor tipped me off and let me know you had some man over, so I hurried here as quickly as possible. How could you cheat on me?!" My dad was not convinced that Hayden was my mom's brother.
"For the last time this is my brother!"
"Yea. My sister definitely isn't cheating on you Daniel,"
"You stay out of this!" My dad shoved my uncle into the TV as he toppled over struggling to get up.
"What has gotten into you! See this is why I want a divorce! You are crazy Daniel!" My mom blurted out as my dad had a mixed look of sorrow and fire in his eyes.
"You want a divorce?" He asked as my Uncle finally managed to get up. The very moment he did my dad sucker punched him knocking him out for good.  
"Have you lost your mind?!" My mom said as my dad back handed her knocking her to the ground. The slap stung. The impact made my spine vibrate. He wasn't done there however, "Daniel stop-"
My dad didn't listen. Punched my mom in the face. Punched her again and again and again. I felt every slug from his fist and they just kept getting worse as the frenzy continued. I could hear bones crack and a grotesque squelching noise coming from my mom's face.  

Once the fit of rage was over my dad began wailing in fear as it was clear he was unaware of what he had just done. He looked around the room seeing how he could cover his tracks. Dragging my uncle a few feet toward my mom he wiped any blood from his hands onto my uncle's hands and clothes. My dad fled the scene leaving the door opened. It was in that moment when I had woken up from upstairs and walked down to the leaving an saw the horrific scene.


~*~*
Everything around me went black as I had awoke from my trance like state. The officers knelt down to me to see if I was alright. I nodded to them as the helped me up.

"Are you alright kid, you kind of went Hellen Keller on us for a moment there," The male cop had said.
"I know who killed my mom," I tried holding back the tears, but after what I went through, what I had to experience firsthand I just couldn't contain myself any longer. I began crying all over again.
"Who...who killed your mom?" The female officer had asked. Taking a deep breath and looked at her not entirely sure why the answer wasn't just blurting out of me. I couldn't explain what had happened, they would think I was crazy, but without missing a beat I took another deep breath and said,
"It was my Dad...Daniel Emmerson killed my mother."

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