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Sneak Peek Saturday: Turnt Owt, A Zombie Snatched My Soul

It's the weekend.

You're quarantined and trying to remain COVID-free.

You've binge-streamed every show and movie that your heart desires, and you're looking for something new to pique your interest.

Well... Joi Miner to the rescue!

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday! Every Saturday, I'll share a snippet of one of my novels... either upcoming, or already available for you to enjoy.

This week's pick:


October 2019

(Six Months Ago)

“Don’t do this, Mel. Not here,” I turned to face her and pled in a hushed tone. We were in the middle of the hallway, in between classes, and she was making a huge scene in front of everyone.

“Ooooh, I told you they were fuckin’,” Lita, this messy bitch from her block said.

“Mind the business that pays you, Lita,” I snapped, cutting my eyes at her, fighting the urge to break her neck and make her a meal. But I knew the trouble that would cause and had to control myself for the sake of so many other than me.

“Make me!” she said, walking up on me and pushing me. This bitch didn’t know that she was in for a rude awakening if she kept fuckin’ with me.

“Yooooo, all of that ain’t called for, beautiful. That’s not very ladylike, now is it?” my twin brother Maniac, who everybody called Mani there, said, coming between us.

I had to admit that I was happy to see his face, because he was gonna keep me from losing my shit. Maniac was my best friend and twin in every way. And always had my back, front, and both sides. We were so similar to the point that both of us were getting our bitches under control in the middle of a crowded hallway right now. But neither of us could be blamed for it, being as fine and popular as we both were came with these kindsa issues. Or so I’d heard. This was my first time experiencing the shit firsthand. Usually, I was draggin’ a bitch for comin’ at Mani sideways. He’d told me that my day was coming, and I guessed the day was today.

Looking at Maniac, I had to smile through my anger. It was like I was saving myself from myself, through my inner, masculine self, manifested in real life. Our faces were literally mirror images of each other, but somehow it worked, making me attractive as a woman and him fine as a man. And when I say mirror images, I’m not talkin’ ‘bout on some sibling resemblance shit, either. More like, somebody copied my face and put it on his, but the toner on the copier was low, kinda shit. From the big, baby blue eyes and long lashes, slim noses that spread at the bottom, showing our connection to our lineage straight from the motherland, and full, soft lips that hid perfectly straight teeth to our athletic frames. The only difference between the two of us was that he was tall, muscular, and bright, the head quarterback on the football team, and I was the short, brown track star with long, toned legs and an ass that could stop traffic. We were every bitch’s wet dream.

The ladies loved them some Mani, and that shit had to be another twin trait, because Mel was showing her whole ass behind the one night we’d spent together. If I’d known that my mouthpiece could cause this much trouble, I woulda kept my damn tongue to my muthafuckin’ self. I wasn’t a fan of the drama.

Winking his eye at me, he threw his arm around Lita’s shoulder, something that I knew he woulda never done in public if it wasn’t to save her from these hands. And, to make her feel special because she wasn’t shit for real. But what was real was that he was keeping her from being my meal later on tonight.

I knew he could tell by my stance what was about to go down. She was his little piece of ass of the moment, because he didn’t take these humans seriously, and bounced between bitches like it was nothing. But hey, they let him, so I couldn’t be mad.

“Handle that,” Mani said over his shoulder as he led Lita away. He was nodding his head towards Mel. She was the ‘that’ I needed to handle.

“You should keep your sister on a leash,” Lita chimed in, showing off for everyone who had gathered to watch me go back and forth between her ass and Mel. It was no secret that my attitude was fucked up, and I had a temper. Mani was seen as the calm one, but I knew better. If she thought I needed to be on a leash, she better pray to her God that she ain’t end up on my brother’s bad side.

Any other time, I woulda called her on her shit, but I had bigger issues to deal with. What Maniac didn’t know was that Mel had the power to expose us. That’s what pillow talk gotcha. My feelings for her ran deep, without a doubt, and that was the reason I’d told her things that no one was meant to know about our kind. Now, that shit could potentially bite not just me, but our whole sect in the ass.

“Mel, can we talk about this in priv—”

“Dayuummmmmmm!”

Before I could even turn all the way around to face my problem, the stinging feeling on my right cheek, and the reaction from the crowd made me stop mid-spin. Looking back in the direction of Mani and Lita, what I saw made me see red. My tongue salivated for blood, and I took a couple steps in the direction of my brother and the Lita bitch.

He was a foot taller than her at six-foot-five, and she looked like a whole ass with her head craned back, looking up at him, wiggling her finger all in his face. He stood over her, his arms folded, the red mark from where she’d hit him showing brightly on his light skin.

Lita pushed Mani in his chest, hard enough to make his back hit the lockers directly behind him, and I saw a flash of red overcome the bright blue eyes we both had. I knew that he wouldn’t hit her ass, because that was a violation of our code. But it was my turn to stop him from showing his true colors in front of the entire school.

Like I’d said before, what he would’ve done to her was way worse than anything I would think to do to this simple bitch. He was given his name for a reason. The nigga chewed through his own umbilical cord and halfway through Mama’s womb when he was ready to make his entrance into the world. If he’d do that to his own blood, what the fuck do you think he was capable of doin’ to a basic bitch who thought too much of herself, like Lita.

“Noxie, don’t. Please. Let’s go talk,” I heard Mel’s pleading voice.

Her hand touched my shoulder, and it felt like a torch on my skin. I shot her a look that not only made her take her fuckin’ hands off me, but step back and shut the hell up, too. This whole situation was her fault, because she wanted to make a scene in the middle of the muthafuckin’ hallway instead of talking in private in the first place. If I didn’t know not to trust a bitch before, I knew now. I rolled my eyes at her ass and resumed the task at hand.

Grabbing Lita by her fake ass ponytail, I snatched her ass backwards and out of Mani’s face. She stumbled away from him and towards me, losing her footing in the cheap ass high heels she had on, before falling on her big ol’ ass. Who the fuck starts a fight in knock-off stilettos? Told you the bitch was a simp. Before she could close her big ass mouth from hollering out in pain from her ass meeting that hard ass floor, I’d hit her in her shit twice. The bitch was grabbing, trying to get me to let go of her hair, but I used that shit to spin her in a full circle to whap her in the face, then spun her in the other direction, whapping her ass again.

It was a game to me. She was a tilt-a-whirl punching bag, and a bitch was getting a full workout on her face. It didn’t help that some messy ass nigga started singin’ the lyrics to that old school song “Scrub The Ground” and the entire crowd had joined in.

“Round and round it go— whap— round and round it go— whap—

We’d turned that shit into a remix. I know I’d hit her ass a good six times before the bobby pins came loose in that ponytail, and Lita’s ass spun in a full circle before landing on her back.

“Scruuuuuuub da ground!” the instigator shouted out, and all I could do was laugh.

Feeling a strong arm wrap around my waist, that I knew belonged to Mani, he picked my little ass up, tossed me over his shoulder, and carried me through the crowd and out the door. I waved the ponytail in the air like a flag of victory over his shoulder and the crowd cheered and laughed at my antics.

Almost bouncing my ass off the ground when he took me off his shoulder, Mani looked at me and shook his head. Before he could say a word, I waved the ponytail in front of his face, letting it tickle his nose. He burst out laughing. I mean, bent over elbows on his knees laughing.

“You need to choose your bitches better, bruh,” I said, shaking the weave at him for emphasis.

“Your bitch the one that started the drama in the first damn place,” he said, recovering from his laughing fit in record speed. His blue eyes, a signature of our kind, flashed white at me. I knew what that meant, but didn’t wanna hear it. The words were going to hurt more than anything that I’d heard in my life.

“I don’t want to hear it,” I said, tossing the weave at him. He caught it and tucked it in his back pocket like he was planning to help Lita reattach the shit later. Knowing him, he would, then pull it back out again with her ass bent over in front of him.

“Mani,” I heard from behind him.

Looking over his shoulder, I saw Lita’s desperate ass running out of the school door towards us. She didn’t have her heels on anymore, and was running her ratchet ass across that concrete barefoot. I was glad that the crowd didn’t follow her, letting me know that everything had simmered down and they’d gone to class, or some other drama that had broken out in the halls somewhere. There was definitely plenty of it, all the time, at that damned school. I was so glad to be graduating soon. I didn’t plan to look back. I wanted to disappear into the Underground, where I was accepted as I was. I was sick of this hiding in plain sight. We would never be accepted by humans, and that was fine with me. I’d feed when it was time, and spend the rest of my time with my own kind. Periodt.

Honk! Hooonnnnkkkkkk!

A horn blowing loudly was like salvation’s siren for a soulless bitch like myself. It came right on time, when Lita reached us and sucked her teeth like the beatdown she had received in front of the whole damn school hadn’t been enough and she was hungry for seconds.

“I believe you owe my sister an apology,” Mani said to her as soon as she reached us.

I stood there and waited for her to apologize, with my arms folded across my perky b’s and a smirk pulling at my lips. The look of shock across her face was hilarious, but the tiny puff of her natural hair that was sitting on top of her head was even funnier.

“I’m not apologizing to her,” she said with attitude, pointing her finger at me dismissively like I wasn’t shit.

“Then take your cheap ass horsehair and go on about your business,” he said to her just as dismissively as she’d addressed me. He pulled the weave out of his back pocket and held it out to her. The seriousness in his tone shocked even me. I’d only heard my brother sound like that a few times and not once did he back down.

Lita stood there like she was weighing her options. It was then that I realized that Mani wasn’t even looking at her. He was looking behind me at the car that had blown its horn. I knew who it was already, but his facial expression confirmed it for me.

“I’m sorry, Noxie,” Lita spoke hesitantly, making my eyes almost bulge out of my head. Whatever the hell Mani was doin’ to her ass, I needed lessons, because he had his women under control.

“Apology accepted,” I said, knowing that her apology was far from sincere. The fact that she’d even said the shit was enough for me to be cordial, but I’d never like her ass. I knew my brother could do better. I’d seen him do better with the other girls he had hangin’ off his— never mind, I ain’t wanna think about my blood that way. “But you really should be apologizing to Mania—” I had to catch myself from calling him by his full name. “Mani for putting your hands on him. That’s what got ya ass beat the way it did,” I said honestly.

“Let me handle that part,” he cut me off, talkin’ to me in the same tone that he had her.

I put my hands on my hips and cocked my head to the side so hard that my weave flew into my eyes, exposing my bare shoulders to the sunlight, stinging slightly with the touch of the light. I popped my lips at his ass like he’d lost his mind. But again, he didn’t budge.

“Excuse me?” I snapped. He knew I’d pop his ass for talking to me out the side of his neck.

“You heard me loud and clear, Nox. You got your own porch to sweep clear,” he met my challenge and turned the fire back on my ass. Nodding at the car that had been the center of his focus to punctuate his point, he walked up really closely to me to make sure that only I heard his next words. “Convert her or consume her,” he said with a flat tone in his voice.

Instead of giving him an answer at the words that I’d tried to avoid hearing, I turned my back to him and headed towards Mel’s broke down Toyota Celica. His eyes burned into my back while I walked away, and when I got in the passenger side of the car, I blew him a kiss that made his eyes flash at me again.

I knew that what he was speaking was an order instead of a request. I didn’t want to do either to her. If Mel had wanted to be converted, she would’ve asked to be. And I sure as hell didn’t wanna eat her…well, not in that way, anyway.

“I’m sorry about earlier,” she said, as soon as the door closed.

I didn’t say anything. Turning away from Mani and not looking at her at all, I set my sights out the windshield. Both of them were fuckin’ with me in a real way. All that fighting and the fear of being exposed because of women in their feelings proved to me why the first rule of our sect was what it was. Feelings got you fucked up, every time.

“Are you gonna talk to me?” she asked, navigating away from the school.

“You do enough talkin’ for the both of us,” I answered, without looking at her.

“I’m sorry, ok,” she said, reaching her right hand over and placing it on my leg. I wanted to push it away, but something about her touch lit a fire inside of me. Being soulless, it was a foreign feeling, and the reason that I didn’t want to take her soul or kill her, because I would never feel this again.

“Man, move, Mel. You know what you coulda done to me back there, ‘cause you couldn’t keep your feelings in check?” I asked her seriously, noticing she was turning into the park.

“I know. But I want us to be together and I don’t understand why you won’t just give it a chance,” she whined. That sound was like nails on a chalkboard to me. I hated a whiny ass woman. Especially when she was the one who’d done wrong.

“You need a reason, well you just proved just abouuuuuuttttt,” I said, looking at my wrist like I was wearing a watch. “An hour ago.”

“I said I was sorry, Nox. Why are you giving me such a hard time?”

“Because I trusted you and look what you were about to do. If I can’t trust someone, how can I be with them,” I told her clearly. That was something that I was serious about, even though the hurt in her face wasn’t something that I expected.

“So you just wanted to fuck me?” she asked, looking like she was offended. I knew that she was being dead serious, but it was funny to me that she would even make that assumption.

“Is that what you think of me? That I got close to you just to get some pussy?” I asked, unable to stop laughing. She crossed her arms and leaned her back against the door, her body facing me. “If my memory serves me right, it was served to me on a platter, hot and fuckin’ ready,” I said, feeling the aggression coming from her.

“And you dove in face first. You coulda told me no,” she said, and I looked at her like she rode the short bus when she was younger. She couldn’t be serious, she just couldn’t be.

“Who in their right mind would walk away from—” I caught myself mid-question. Even though we were at odds, there was no need to offend her like I was about to. I didn’t want her to think that I knocked down every bitch that spread her legs to me. She was the first that I’d actually cared about. Otherwise, I’d read her ass like a Lit class essay.

“From what, Nox?” she challenged, her eyes turning to slits.

“Man, can you take me home?” I asked, tired of the back and forth. I wasn’t in a relationship and I wasn’t about to go through this petty assed relationship. She was making me not only regret fuckin’ her ass, but letting her get as close as she had.

“NO,” she raised her voice on me, and I felt the growl rumbling deep inside of me. “You’re gonna talk to me. What is it about you and avoiding feelings?”

“Man, feelings don’t amount to shit,” I snapped back at her, matching her energy.

“Well, if feelings aren’t what matter to you, what does?” she asked the loaded question and I felt like I was gonna be repeating myself to her a lot until we parted ways.

“Loyalty. Fidelity. Trustworthiness,” I said, adding emphasis to the last word to remind her, once again, of what she’d almost done to me.

“So I don’t get a chance to see what we could be because—”

“Because you act like you don’t know my life, Melanie. You were about to violate my trust because I wouldn’t agree to be in a relationship with you or tell you I love you,” I snapped, the growl growing louder through the chasm of my being. If she knew what was good for her, she would take me home before all hell broke loose.

“Do you love me?” she asked, tears running down her face.

“I like you a lot, Mel,” I was as honest as I could be, because I didn’t love her. It would take a lot more than pussy for me to love a woman, and she had shown me a side of her that I knew I didn’t want to deal with long-term. Who wanted to be lookin’ over their shoulder worried about the day that their girl exposed them?

Dating a zomb was like dating a trapper. You don’t date a bitch that would sell you out to the cops. And this bitch had shown herself to be a snitch with the smallest provocation.

Whack!

My cheek stung like fire. I reached over and grabbed her hand mid-swing before she landed another lick. I felt an anger that I’d never experienced in my life. Being hurt was one thing, but putting your hands on somebody was unacceptable. I couldn’t miss the fact that both Maniac and I had both gotten slapped in the face today. But while he was probably making Lita apologize at the top of her lungs, I was ready to murder Mel in broad daylight.

When my eyes went back to her, I saw the terror all over her face. Looking in her rearview mirror, my appearance had changed. It was time for me to go, but I couldn’t get out of her car and be seen out in public looking like this walking down the street or waiting for an Uber. Usually, I could control it, but she’d brought out the beast in me.

“Take me hoooooome,” I ordered, my voice rumbled through the car, loud and deep.

I tossed her hand back at her, and she couldn’t get the car cranked up fast enough. She broke every speed limit posted between that fuckin’ park and my house. The vibe was heavy with fear and that actually hurt me. Maybe I do love her, I thought to myself, because I was upset that she’d reacted to my natural appearance the way she had. I’d shown it to her once, and she’d played unbothered, even though her uneasiness was present in her hesitation to touch me.

When she pulled up to the curb, I got out while the car was still slowing. Walking towards the house, the sound of tires squealing sent a thump through my chest that I’d never felt before. Hanging my head, I went into the house, and straight to my room. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I picked up the notebook that I’d been writing in and opened it to a fresh page.

“They ain’t good for shit but a nut or a meal, baby girl was a snack actin’ like a buffet. Left me searchin’ for more, fiendin’ in the worst way. Said she loved me and all I could say wasssss… fuck feelings or feelings’ll fuck you. Keep that shit and gimme somethin’ I need. Something to sustain my soul, maintenance for my mindset. Show me how this flow getcha panties wet. That you thinkin’ bout somethin’ more than how I make you feel. Baby I need somethin’ real. You want me to love ya, but can I trust ya. No. When it’s all over will you sell me out to them folks? You down to ride and cross to the other side? Lose life as you know it to be wifey? That’s the kind I need as my main—”

Ding!

I felt a chill run down my spine when the notification sounded on my phone. With the day I’d had, I knew that it was gonna be something to make me lose my shit. Before I could get my phone out of my pocket, Maniac bust in my room his face full of rage.

“I told you to handle this shit! This is what you call handling it?” he snapped, tossing his phone into my lap with a status pulled up. It had twenty shares already, and when I read it, I knew that I’d fucked up. “She has to diiiieeee,” he said, his phone vibrating in my lap with a call from Lita. When hers stopped ringing, another one of his pieces of ass was callin’ and then another after her.

“Noxie!!!!” I heard the last voice that I wanted to hear right now. Maniac stepped to the side to let the feet that were shuffling down the hallway, fast as hell, into my room when they got there.

“What did you do?” my mother asked, her hands on her hips and her eyes shifting from brown to white. My father stood there, not saying a word, his eyes red as fire.

“I-I-I told Mel my secret. I didn’t think that it would go like this. But she wanted a relationship and for me to tell her that I loved her, and I didn’t. I couldn’t,” I told them what it was.

“Why am I getting calls from The Empress about a Facebook post?” Mama asked, her eyes now as red as Daddy’s.

I held out Mani’s phone to her so that she could see the post that Melanie had made, exposing me to the world. She snatched it with a growl and flash of the teeth that let me know that my ass was seconds away from getting beat, and read the post. Shaking her head, she didn’t even waste her time showing it to Daddy. I think he woulda ripped me limb from limb with his bare hands.

There was a heavy silence in the space, and I wasn’t gonna be the first one to speak, even though it seemed that I should have. I needed to explain, but at this point, no explanation could fix the fucked up mess that had happened all because I trusted a human with my secret— and even though I hated to admit it, with my heart, too. I watched Mama, waiting for her voice to break the thick, tense air that felt like it was suffocating me. Instead, it was Daddy who spoke.

“LJ, you go and handle your mother. You know she’s a piece of work and takes no mercy, blood or otherwise. Maniac, we’ll handle our visitors,” he said and I wanted to wonder how he knew that anyone was coming without reading the post, but he’d been a zombie for hundreds of years, so I was sure this wasn’t his first time dealing with being exposed. All questions left my head when his eyes bore down on me. “Noxie, you make a meal outta that bitch,” my father barked orders at us all.

“Ayeeee, guess we feeding early todayyyyy!” Maniac said, losing his human shell, ready for war. The ones who’d been doin’ the most talkin’ on the post had always been jealous of him because of the way the girls at school flocked around him and him being an all-star on the football field. They didn’t know that they were walking into a fight that they wouldn’t walk out of.

I stood to my feet, walking with my mother out of my room. Though my father hadn’t said much, I didn’t miss the hiss from the depths of his throat when I passed by. I knew that this meant a huge change for our family, but I had no idea how huge.

“Hundreds of years since we came up from the Underground to walk amongst the humans, Noxie,” Mama said, but there was a softness in her tone that I hadn’t expected. “I knew you meant well, but now, we have to kill to save our own lives, and relocate the whole sect. Was she worth it?” she asked me, stopping mid-stride and turning to face me.

“I thought she was,” I admitted sadly, and she grabbed my face and kissed my forehead. It wasn’t until I was older that I knew that was less an act of affection and more a removal of thought from us. She took our pain into herself. That was the closest thing to love that my mother knew how to give.

“Come straight Underground when you’re done. Do this, Noxie. Unless she’s worth dying a painful death for. I know— well, I don’t know— but I’ve heard that a broken heart is a fate worse than death, but I’d rather you not test that theory,” she said, her tone becoming more stern. She handed me the keys to her blacked out Mustang, that would protect me from the sun and keep my appearance hidden from the masses.

I nodded my agreement, a sadness in my eyes that let her know that her magic kiss hadn’t taken anything away. This went deep. Opening the door and leaving the house, I hopped in Mama’s car and peeled out to end the life of the first woman who’d made me feel alive since I’d been breathing.

Arriving in front of her house, I was glad that her Mama was at work and I wouldn’t have to kill her for her daughters actions. Everything was telling me to go in, kill her ass, and get back to the house so that I could go to the Underground and face my grandmother. But something else inside of me was keepin’ me from makin’ that move. Knowing it was me or her, I had to find the strength to kill my best friend and the woman that had meant everything to me since I could remember. She was the first one to walk up to me in kindergarten and ask if I wanted to be friends. She said I looked like fun. And we’d had a lot of fun over the years. Now, all that amounted to nothin’ because I crossed a line that I now know never should’ve been crossed. No, Nox, she’s the one that crossed the line by postin’ that shit for the world to see, I finally made myself face facts.

Finally taking my phone out my pocket, I looked at the ultimate betrayal to channel the anger that I needed to end the bitch that I thought loved me, but had just fed me to the wolves. All because of muthafuckin’ feelings.

*****

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Part 2 was released this past week! Grab them both and En-Joi!

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See you next time, loves! 'Til then, be kind to yourselves and each other!

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