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Shadow of a Life

Novel By: M K Brown
War and military

Craig joins the Royal Marines hoping to find a challenge for the first time in his life. He finds more than he bargains for. He falls in love with a woman he has never met, he tackles the stress of his first deployment and then, when he finally sees things settle down; he has to cope with an invasion of the United States. The enemy advance catches everyone by surprise and when the UK sends forces to assist their long time ally, Craig must choose between rescuing the love of his life from the grasp of a brutal enemy, or doing his duty and standing by his friends. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Aug 3, 2013    Reads: 30    Comments: 11    Likes: 8   

Loopy jumps around as if nothing had happened, but Naomi knows differently. She can't forget the events of earlier in the evening easily and her blood runs cold as she thinks back to it. Her mind recoils and stops the memory from playing back.

Dropping her keys, Naomi flinches in agony as she bends over to pick them up. Her physical pains will be gone by Monday, the psychological pain? Well, that's another matter. Scooping up the keys she grunts as she stands up straight too quickly, her head swimming in dizziness as she secures the front door by locking it.

Without realising it, she wanders nervously around her home checking the windows are all closed and locked. Once done, she flips on the air conditioning and checks, double checks and triple checks the back door.

Get a grip for fuck's sake, Naomi thinks. Don't let him do this to you.

Her fears bounce around her mind as if trying to escape, giving her a headache as she can feels them rebounding off of the insides of her mind. All she can hear is the echoic silence of her empty house; the perfect metaphor for how devoid of life her existence is becoming.

She leans against the central island in the kitchen her thoughts torturing her. Even Loopy seems to have gone silent. Naomi's head snaps up and she runs, out of the kitchen, through the hallway, her panic threatening to engulf her as she frantically searches. She checks the livingroom; nothing. She checks the bathroom; nothing. Her bedroom; empty. The spare room; empty.

Imagining she can hear and feel her own blood curdle and come to a stop in her veins, her breathing catches and a panic attack wells up inside her.

Feeling as if she has been punched in the chest she staggers to her bedroom, tears the only thing exiting her as she still cannot breathe. Naomi falls to the floor and hears heavy breathing and a crushing sound. Her chest tightens as she moves to the source of the sound.

Her closet door is sitting partly open. The lack of air is beginning to tell as her vision blurs and darkness closes in around the edges; her senses slowly shutting down as her body tries to keep all her essential functions alive by redirecting oxygen to her vital organs.

It takes every ounce of willpower to open the door to the closet. Her eyes widen and she falls to the floor again, gasping air in to her lungs in relief as she spots Loopy chewing on a shoe.

"Silly dog!" she whispers as Loopy's head raises and her tail starts to wag.

Naomi is exhausted and lays down as the dog slowly comes out of the closet and settles down next to her. Snuggling into her fur, Naomi drifts off into a land of nothingness, brought on by her ordeal.


Jerking awake, she looks around - afraid - at her unfamiliar surroundings. Only the warm fur and rhythmic breathing from Loopy stops her from losing complete control.

Quelling the fear, she takes another look around the room and realises where she is - noticing the clock on the wall she finally figures out she has awakened in the early hours - explaining the darkness filtering in through the bedroom window throwing ominous darker shadows throughout the already darkened room.

"Loopy," the dog lifts her head, tail wagging as usual, instantly alert and ready for action.

Naomi stands up and wanders to the back door. The dog doesn't need to be told twice as she darts through to the unlocked door and out to the garden for well needed air and toilet break.

Naomi ruffles her fingers through her blonde hair with a yawn, trying to tease the sweat-created clumps out and only half succeeds. Sitting on the back step, her head hits her hands and it takes everything she has not to cry at the desperate emptiness she feels. Her shoulders rack a few times with the effort.

Loopy comes back, dropping her favourite ball at Naomi's feet, and just sits, panting. Picking up the ball, Naomi looks at the slobber encrusted sphere and smiles.

"One day, I'm going to teach you to use the toilet, and flush it afterwards."

Loopy tilts her head to the left in response.

"...Yeah, yeah, I know, "...just throw the fucking ball," she laughs and launches it into the darkness and the dog springs off in hot pursuit.

Moments later, she returns, dropping something at Naomi's feet.

"Look," she says holding the item up. "It's not even the same damned shape; this is a bone! I swear you do this deliberately," Loopy just tilts her head to the left, so with a laugh, Naomi obliges before getting to her feet and walking back inside the house, waiting for Loopy to follow before locking the door and making her way to bed.


After a restless sleep, Naomi tries to hide from the day, pulling the covers over her head. Her dog has other ideas as she grabs the duvet and pulls in the opposite direction. Growling playfully and pulling for all her worth, Loopy eventually manages to tip Naomi out of bed, and she crashes to the floor with a yelp.

"Right, I am getting a fucking cat!"

A growling bark is all she gets as Loopy leads the way to the kitchen, Naomi rubs her arm and stands. The stiffness of her joints and pain from her bruises reminding her of the ordeal the night before.

Straightaway, she busies herself getting Loopy's breakfast out. A scoop of dry food mixed with a tin of tuna flakes; Loopy's favourite morning food, judging by the amount of times she has cut her tongue on licking the empty cans.

She places the bowl down and watches for a moment as the dog dives in, nose first and proceeds to vacuum up the food. Grabbing a cup from the draining rack, she fills it with water and pours it into Loopy's water bowl.

"May I get my breakfast now, my lady?" Naomi asks as she washes her hands.

Drying her hands on a hand towel, she opens the fridge, selects various fruits and a vegetable or two before throwing them into her juicer, placing the lid on and flipping the switch which turns everything to chunks, then mush and finally liquid.

Filling a large glass, Naomi carries it towards her livingroom as she hears Loopy pushing the food bowl around the floor trying to get at every last particle of food on it. Her mobile rings and her breathing catches again, the panic grabbing her heart in a crushing grip. With a surge of dread she picks it up, not recognising the number, she puts the phone to her ear and hits the answer call button.

She gulps. "H-h-hello?"


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