So this is the prologue of my new horror novel, "Honey, I'm Home." The title is subject to change. All characters and plot herein are the product of the author and the author alone. Don't steal people.

I'm really hoping I can get some feedback on this. Please guys...give it to me.


PROLOGUE - blood and antibiotic cream - "Prelude 12/21" by AFI
CHAPTER ONE - part from me my liar - "I Don't Love You" by My Chemical Romance
INTERLUDE - what have you hidden from me - "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Nancy Sinatra
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN - dead or alive - "Never Gonna Stop" by Rob Zombie
CHAPTER TWO - where our story starts - "Darling You're Mean" by The Duke Spirit
CHAPTER THREE - the paper - "Closer" by Kings of Leon
CHAPTER FOUR - coward - "Haunted" by Evanescence
CHAPTER FIVE - (unfinished)

PROLOGUE [blood and antibiotic cream]
Friday, March 16, 2007
"Prelude 12/21" - AFI

The machines in the hospital room were beeping too loudly for Ellie's taste, and the beat of them made her want to jump and itch and scratch to get it out of her. The smell of the room was even worse – it was a pervading smell of generic brand cleaners, of chalky pills, and nervous, frenetic tension. She shifted in her seat next to the hospital bed and studied the police detective standing in front of her.

He looked like the golden boy of the unit, and part of her knew that she should be relieved that they'd put their best man on the case. He had the tough stocky build of someone who worked hard to build up his body, and the crew cut of his blonde hair was the typical police academy style. The man held a small notebook, just like they did in the movies, but he wasn't attempting to write anything in it. Instead, he was looking at her expectantly.

"I'm sorry?" She remembered vaguely that his name started with a P, but couldn't dredge up the full name.

He looked down at her, his gaze patient, but patronizing. "How is your husband doing?"

Ellie glanced over at James, lying pale and still in the hospital bed. His left arm was in a cast and the rest of his body was purpled with bruises. His face though…the left half of his face was covered in gauze bandages and slathered with antibiotic cream. "He's doing…as well as can be expected." She replied, keeping her eyes on James. "Have you found anything else out?"

She heard the detective sigh. "Just the bare facts of the case Mrs. Columbine – we don't have much to go on. All we know is that a group of men accosted your husband. He fought back and they pulled a knife on him. We're pretty sure that it was just a robbery gone wrong, but we have our resident psychiatrist and criminal profiler looking over the case, just to be sure."

"Thank you. For telling me." She swallowed heavily.

"Now, is there anything that you can remember? I know we asked you before, but we need all the help we can get. Is there anything you couldn't think of earlier? Anything?"

Ellie shook her head. "I'm sorry, no. I already told you, I have no idea why or who did this." The heart monitor attached to James skipped a beat and she jumped when it resumed beeping.

As the detective prepared to ask her more questions a nurse swept into the room, her face kind and pitying. She set a tray of bandages and supplies on the room's only table and turned to look at the two of them. "Family members only I'm afraid. Visiting hours are over." She propped her hands on her hips. "Out. Out!"

She managed to simultaneously shoo the detective out of the room, assure him that she would call the precinct when James woke up, and prepare several bandages for use. Once the two women were alone in the room, the nurse advanced on her patient, ready to take care of him.

Her hands hesitated on the edges of the bandages on his face, delicately peeling off one piece of tape, but none others. "Hon," She glanced at Ellie. "Maybe you should leave too. You might not want to see this."

Ellie hadn't seen her husband's facial wounds yet, but she knew what had happened to him, and couldn't imagine leaving his side. Reaching over to take the limp fingers of his right hand, she replied, "That's alright. Please, go on." The nurse looked like she wanted to shoo Ellie out as well, but held her tongue. Gently, she slowly peeled the bandage from James' face.

It was terrible – it was horrible to look at, and Ellie let out a strangled whimper, her hand tightening on James'. Long, deep gashes vertically lined the left side of his face, and edges of them were raw and red. Blood and a bit of yellow foam from the antibiotic cream covered the inside of the used bandage, and when the air hit his face, James jerked reflexively. Though he was unconscious the pain was still tangible, and Ellie imagined that she could feel it with him. They were so deep and long and straight, covering his cheek and ripping apart his eyebrow to touch his forehead. The left side of his mouth was bisected by the wounds as the traveled down to line his neck as well.

Blood leaked down to pool on his collarbone, and Ellie could look at it no more. She turned her face away, starting to cry for him. Her hand tightened to a death grip on his fingers, and she never wanted to let him go, ever again.