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The Death Club by Rick Wood


Overview: Will Coady has failed as a teacher, a husband, and a man. He will not fail as a father.
Will is a miserable teacher with a wife that hates him. Just as he thinks that life can’t get any worse, an unstable student becomes obsessed with him. As she goes to more drastic lengths to show her love, he wonders how far this girl is willing to go to…
Will’s daughter, Harper, is a lonely teenager who doesn’t fit in, desperate for someone to love her – then she meets a boy online. Someone who cares for her, and that she can rely on. But does Harper really know who it is she’s talking to…
It’s been years since father and daughter grew apart – but now they need each other more than ever. Will they find a way to reconnect in time, or will their family be destroyed before it’s too late?
As the story hurtles toward its destructive climax, neither of them can be prepared for how dangerous the situation will become…


The Death Club by Rick Wood Book Chapter One


I lay upside down on my bed so peacefully that, if it weren’t for the blood, you wouldn’t know I’m dead.

Some of the pills I swallowed are in a lump of sick on my red satin sheets.

Soon it will crust.

Or maybe it won’t.

I don’t know quite how long it will be until Mum finds me. My body might be stiff by then, it might not. It doesn’t really matter. At least not to me. There is no heaven welcoming me home, such a thing is made up to comfort the weak — I didn’t exist fourteen years ago, and now I don’t exist again.

The webcam light on my laptop still shines, but he doesn’t watch anymore.

He’s done what he needed to.

The worst part? I wasn’t even the main event. Their only purpose to my death was practice — a dress rehearsal for the girl he really wanted, and it didn’t take him as long as you’d have thought.

You will read my story in the newspaper tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that — but not next week; I will be old news by then.

You will read it and they will think — how could a girl be so easily manipulated? That would never happen to me.

In which case, you are an idiot. Of course this could happen to you.

Psychologists say victims are exploited because of vulnerabilities, as that’s what makes them the best targets — but aren’t we all vulnerable? Don’t we all have weaknesses that can be exploited?

I bet you’ll also say I was stupid to send pictures, and that you’d never do that; like you’re oh so perfect. But it doesn’t just happen, does it?

It starts slowly. Begins with flattery. Begins by filling the hole in your life you didn’t know was there.

He made me feel good about myself. He knew what my insecurities were and he knew how to quell them, knew how to have me walking around with a smile where there never was one before. Confides in me about things he has never confided in anyone else; or so he says. Like that that time he cried or that time he felt sad or that time he threw his chair across the room in anger.

He never cried or felt sad or threw a chair. Don’t be so stupidly naïve. He’s just filling a need.

You aren’t even aware you needed him, but soon you can’t imagine going a day without messaging. You feel loved. Appreciated. Like you’re worth something.

Then he isolates you.

He uses all that trust and all that emotional reliance to force his truth into your thoughts — until it is your truth too, and you are doing what he wants without even knowing it.

You’ll never know his real name, but you don’t need to. Give him anyone’s.

My body starts to smell as his last message disappears from the screen. On his side of the webcam, he is already wiping away the evidence. He is already creating a clean slate that will have everyone believe I succumbed to weakness. That this life was too much for me and I couldn’t survive.

It was an overdose, but that only tells a small part of the story.

My empty body is evidence of a troubled girl, but evidence skews perceptions, it does not support it.

It’s time for somebody else’s story now. My part is done. I set the scene. I let you know what happened to me so you know what will happen to the next girl.

I gave you an insight to my life long after I took it away.

But don’t be fooled.

Don’t think this is what it looks like.

See, you may think this is suicide, but you’re wrong — make no mistake my friends, this was murder.

Nothing more.

And nothing less.

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