The Sound of Shooting Stars Online - Heather Allen

Chapter One

Jamie Grey

Centaurus- The Centaur

Chiron was the son of the Titan king Cronus and the sea nymph Philyra. Cronus seduced the nymph, but two were surprised by Cronus’ wife Rhea. To evade being caught in the act, Cronus turned himself into a horse. As a result, Philyra gave birth to a hybrid son.

~*~

“What the hell was that, Miranda?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Joe.”

Slap.

I flinch. The yelling on the other side of the door is starting to grate on my nerves. It always ends with some form of physical assault. I learned six months ago that the best thing to do is to stay out of it. Joe and Miranda were going through this when I arrived and I’m sure they’ll continue after I’m gone.

I hear a shrill cry before the sound of another hit strikes causing me to wince. Immediately after the strike Miranda starts pleading through her sobs, “No Joe, no, please, don’t hit me again.”

I push my ear buds in and turn the music up as loud as it will allow but I can’t ignore the sounds just mere feet away from me. My foot moves with the beat but a clap through the air forces me to stand up from the bed and clench my fists. As I near the door another sound of a hand connecting with skin echoes through the apartment. My body forges quickly and I whip it open to find Miranda cowering on the couch as Joe stands over her. He is yelling about something she said. Her tear streaked face looks to me as if calling out for help. I march up to him with my fists ready. He turns apparently surprised that I’d attempt this again. His mouth twists in a snarl. The dull light glinting off his shaved head as he scowls reminds me of a cartoon character. He’s dressed in a stained wife beater haphazardly hanging over ripped baggy jeans.

Joe warns, “I told you not to get involved. You head on back the way you came or you’re out on your ass.”

I stand still, glaring at him and refusing to move my gaze for anything. I don’t give a shit at this point. No woman deserves to be a punching bag.

He turns his thin frame toward me, pushing his shoulders back, trying to intimidate me. I’m comparable in size and I think he knows it. My body is bulkier than his and I tower a few inches taller. I just don’t have the punching experience he’s collected over the years.

“Jamie, I’m gonna tell you one more time. Leave and go back to your shit life. This is between Miranda and me.”

He looks down, causing her to shrink further as if she is trying to roll up and disappear. I take the opportunity and force my fist to connect with his side. He arches at the contact and turns a swing at me in response. It lands across my jaw. I stumble back grasping the spot he made contact with.

“I told you to leave it alone. Now you’re out.”

Readying myself, I take a step forward. What do I have to lose now? I’m already out, I might as well try and help Miranda. She’s been pretty crappy to me but what the hell? I push my fist into his jaw. His face turns on impact, spewing blood across the glass table situated beside him. Before he can come back from it, I punch his side again. He falls into a chair nearby.

I turn to Miranda and tell her, “I’m sorry. Maybe you should leave too.”

I head back to my room slamming the door, making sure to lock it. We’ve been through this time and time again. Joe knows I can win if I put my mind to it. He’ll leave for a few hours, drowning his loser self at a bar. Tonight though, I won’t be here when he gets back.

A long glance in the mirror reveals a bruise slowly surfacing along my jaw. I cringe when I graze my fingers along the shadow slowly surfacing. Tomorrow it will not be pretty.

I gather all of my things, dumping them into my large, black duffle bag. Finally grabbing my cell, I dial the number I shouldn’t know so well but it’s ingrained in my memory.

It rings twice before it’s picked up. An alarmed voice on the other end answers, “Jamie, are you okay?”

“I think I’ve outstayed my welcome. Can you come and get me? ” I add as an afterthought,