“I Died Once” – Prologue, Chapter One & Chapter Two

I thought it would be nice to Post My First Mady Novella “I Died Once”, which I Self-Published in July, 2012

Especially for those of you that are interested in partaking in my “Mady’s Storm” Kickstarter Project, and haven’t had the opportunity to read the First Book yet.

I’m going to Post it in sections, starting with the Credits, Prologue, Chapter One & Two


ido“I Died Once” – Prologue, Chapter One & Chapter Two

I Died Once

A Novella


By James Mahoney

I Died Once

A Novella by James Mahoney

@ jamespatrickmahoney.wordpress.com

Cover Art by

Mónica Gomes @ cargocollective.com/smog

Cover Design by

James Mahoney

& Kirsty Pang @ laplumenoire.co.uk

Editing by

Nina Colt

Special Thanks to Bethany Beckman

The Author

James Mahoney is a self-published author living in Southern California. A dreamer and storyteller, James’ first dream at the age of five was to be a professional baseball player.

This changed, however, in 1977 after seeing the original “Star Wars” in theaters. It was then that James decided he wanted to be a film maker/director, and during the years of 2000-2003 he pursued this craft.

From 2003-2005 he began writing feature film screenplays and, after two years of this, he looked to have one of his completed screenplays turned into a comic book. After submitting comic book pages to several comic book companies to no avail, he set writing aside.

Four and a half years later, James began his first of many blogs, “The Written Word”, where he would begin building and developing his writing craft.

He did this through poetry, blog stories, novels, and journalism.

It was here that he wrote the first draft of, “I Died Once”.

This is James’ first ever published novella.

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.


Copyright © 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 James Mahoney

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

DarkJade Publishing

Printing by CreateSpace.com

Second Edition: March 2013

Printed in the United States of America

0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

This book is dedicated to my mom, who has the heart of a lion and enough passion to last ten life times, and her boyfriend of 30 plus years; Warren Lawson, Architect, poetic soul, and my best man for life…

Also, to my dad, who read my first novel efforts when I was 11, turned to me and said, “You’re a Writer…”

Special Thanks also go out to Leanne Sowter, my favorite writer (right after Shakespeare that is, Lol), and my greatest and most inspiring follower, whose encouragement has helped to inspire me along the way.

And to Kirsty, who not only helped me design the book cover, but also has played a vital role in designing the look of my journalism blog, “The Dark Globe”.

And last, but not least, Beth, who took being a reader of my work to a whole new level with her “thorough” reviews, and “line editing” of my work.

Wait, I mustn’t forget my brother, of without whose friendship; my life would surely be half as good.


Mady was a Dark Child…

She often sat alone in her bedroom, on the floor, sorting through this or that. Generally some sort of pharmaceuticals.

It’s good that she was never allowed to own a cat… or a fish… or any other sort of domestic animal, as they would have likely ended up at the end of some sort of experimentation… with drastic results.

It’s not that she’s “mean” per-se… No.

It’s more that she’s disjointed, an outcast really, from her own home…

From her mother’s heart.

Yes, Mady is a dark one, but what else was she to be in a world devoid of light.



I sat alone. Legs crossed in my short black skirt in the waiting room of yet another know-all, fix-all, quack of my mother’s finding.

I am a fifteen year old girl, five foot eight, lean, dark haired, blue eyed, with skin not as fair as I might like.

I crossed my arms tightly, feeling the softness of my dark blue sweater, a gift from my father’s mother at Christmas some two or three years ago.

My father. What a joke that is. A pilot in Africa, they say. How nondescript.

“Caroline Monroe,” the nurse called out.

I pretended not to hear her. Besides, my name is Mady. My mother’s, mother’s, mother’s name. Madeline, that is.

“Excuse me miss, are you Miss Caroline

Monroe?”, the nurse spoke as she leaned over me.

“Mady,” I replied.

“Oh yes, your mother mentioned you go by Mady.”

“Nice of you to listen,” I spat, rising from my seat and grabbing my small blue rhinestone bag. A gift from a cousin, well, actually, I took it.

The next two or so hours were filled with many, many questions asked by the uninterested Doctor Spiner, and let’s face it, who cares what the answers were. In the end it would all be the same.

“Now Caroline…”

“Mady!” I replied adamantly.

“Oh yes, your mother mentioned that you prefer your middle name.”

“Did she, now,” I sighed.

“Now Mady, I want you to take two of these pills twice a day.” He handed me a large bottle. “They will help you to relax.”

On the long ride home, and going anywhere with my mother was a long ride, I stared blankly out the window, which was open slightly. Discreetly, I would drop one pill after another onto the outside road. Plink Plink Plink

When we arrived at my mother’s home, a large estate left to her from her industrious father, I quickly made my way up the long, winding stairs, “Now Mady…,” but not quick enough.

I turned to face her. Now, my mother has a long faced countenance and over dresses for every occasion. On this occasion she was wearing a ball gown. “Yes mother,” I replied.

“Betsy is preparing a fine dinner; do be back down in no more than 15 minutes, will you darling.”

“Okey Dokey,” I replied and turned away.

“Your father and I shall be going out.”

I turned and faced her once more. “Fred is not my father.”

“Oh Mady, must you be so…”

“Honest? Yes,” I interjected.

“I was going to say…” she started to say, but I was already up the stairs and into my room. Slam!

As I sat alone in the dark staring at the ceiling, I could hear Betsy quietly enter and set a tray of food on my desk. She always did. Betsy wasn’t so bad, but she wasn’t worth staying for.

Roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, and a big fluffy roll, how delightful. Tommy would really like this.

Just then a small pebble struck my window, as it did every evening at this hour. I opened my window to see Tommy Wilkens standing down below, as he always did. I quickly lowered the

food tray down to him, and then back up once

he’d emptied it.

“Thank you, Mady,” he whispered just audibly enough that I should hear him. I waved to him as he snuck off to his home some one or two miles down the road.

Tommy’s family lived in a back shack on the Johnson’s estate. His father was their gardener, but they were very poor, being at the receiving end of the tight fisted Johnsons. I had fed him for years. Who would feed him when I was gone?

When midnight struck, I made my way to our large pool in the back, beyond Mother’s roses. Before the pool, I stripped down completely. Why ruin a perfectly good set of flannel pajamas? And dove in…

Under the water it was beautiful and quiet. Above, I could see all the brilliant stars. Now, I’m a decent swimmer, so this may take a few minutes, as drowning one-self is tricky business.

That’s when I heard the scream.



Slowly, I brought my head out of the water and peeked over the ridge of the pool. My deep blue eyes pierced through the darkness and into our living room.

Fred looked to be holding one of our ivory horse bookends. He sat it down and grabbed my mother’s feet, as she lay motionless on the floor.

What happened next is a bit of a blur, but I believe he wrapped her in her favorite African rug, a gift from my mysterious father.

He then made his way to my room. He looked to be holding a gun. I watched, frozen in shock and horror. When he reached my room, he

didn’t turn on my light. He simply fired three shots into my bed. We had no nearby neighbors, so no one was likely to hear the shots, or see the flash of gun fire from my window. No one, that is, but me.

After this, he went back to the living room, picked up my mother, who was wrapped in the African rug, and carried her out the front door. I assume he put the body in the trunk of his car. He then drove off.

In a trance of a sort, I got out of the pool, grabbed my pajamas, and went inside the house. I hesitantly made my way into the living room, holding my pajamas in my arms. There was a small amount of blood on the floor, and I was dripping water.

I quickly made my way to my bedroom where

my bedding and mattress had been ripped up from the gun shots. I put some clothes on, sat

down at my desk, wrote a short note, and put it in an envelope. I then opened a wooden box said to have been sent from my father from Africa. From inside the box I took out a scrap of paper, which had an address in Africa written on it. I copied the address onto the envelope.

I then ran outside and put the note into the mail box. After this, I went to Tommy’s home. He said I could stay with them while I waited. And wait I did.

I simply told his parents that our estate was being fumigated and I didn’t want to stay in a hotel with my mother and Fred, who was actually my stepfather.

What a shock it must have been for Fred when he returned and found my body wasn’t there. He favored himself a hunter, and so I would imagine

the hunt was on.

The first few days the police came, I avoided the house while they searched for me. After which, I would make my way to my mother’s estate, hiding in the bushes near the long half circle driveway.

How did he explain it? Originally, his plan might have been that my mother shot me and then disappeared, but what now? My mother and I simply left town?

And what about my mother’s body? If her money is what he’s after, how could he place the body somewhere they could find it, and still hope for her inheritance when I’m still missing? He must be very stressed right now, very stressed indeed. With this, I smiled slightly.

After a week or so of doing this, I had gotten into a bit of a routine. A simple breakfast with Tommy’s family, and when I say simple I mean boxed cereal. This was followed by a journey from their home to my mother’s estate where I would lay behind the bushes and watch Fred tear out of the driveway in his little silver convertible that my mother bought him last Valentine’s Day.

Happy V-Day Fred. Each time he’d return, skidding into the long curved driveway, and rush inside the house.

At some point, he let poor Betsy our cook go. I don’t think Fred wanted anyone else around. To be honest with you, Fred wasn’t all together that couth. At this point, I think he became the primary suspect, as detective’s came and went frequently.


8 Responses to ““I Died Once” – Prologue, Chapter One & Chapter Two”

  1. Looking forward to Ch. 2!

  2. Oh, I’d read it so fast, (forgot it was a novella) that I thought both chapters were one chapter! Great read!

  3. […] « “I Died Once” – Prologue, Chapter One & Chapter Two […]

  4. […] “I Died Once” – Prologue, Chapter One & Chapter Two […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: