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Euripides
April 20th, 2012, 01:17 AM
Okay. THis is from my mind dumps. I probably wont ever use it for anything, but it's kind of like an intro chapter for some characters, just t get them down on paper as it were. Sorry for the dream sequence, but it's how it seemed to want to start out.

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The Monster had entered through the front door. I could tell by the way the door slammed shut and made the floorboards rattle. Huddling deeper under the threadbare cover, and trying to make myself smaller by pushing myself behind one of my brothers, I hold my breath, hoping that tonight the Monster would take no notice of me. I count my heartbeats and keep my eyes tightly shut, feigning sleep. Below me I can hear the Monster knocking through things in the one main-floor room of our house, and mother’s muffled voice trying to calm the beast that entered. Making a sign against evil, I huddle, shivering, hoping with a small child’s fervor that mother would be able to calm the Monster. I jump with the sound of a crockery mug being thrown against the wall and shattering, I now know for sure that tonight the Monster will be visiting and I start to quietly cry.

The rungs on the wooden ladder to the loft creak. The Monster is on its way. I lay perfectly still, and can tell by my brother’s breathing behind me, that he’s no longer asleep. Not that it matters, brother is safe, the Monster always comes just for me. Tears squeeze out from the corner of my eyes. I can hear the heavy breathing of the Monster standing at my side of the bed, the stench of alcohol and sour sweat wafts toward me with each ragged breath exhaled, and it makes me feel slightly ill. I start repeating ‘Go away! Go away! Go away!’ silently to myself, hoping that this time the mantra will make the Monster leave.

Suddenly I am grabbed roughly by the arm and hauled out of bed. Father growls at me “Git yer ass downstairs, boy!” and I’m tossed roughly to the floor. Whimpering at the slivers in the palms of my hands from the rough floorboards, I scramble toward the ladder just in time to miss a kick with a heavy boot-clad foot father aims in my direction. None of my siblings make a sound.

I hurry down the ladder and huddle in a corner near the fireplace. I know that this isn’t what father meant when he told me to get downstairs, but I do not want to wait at the door to the root cellar tonight. Mother has drawn a sheet across her sleeping area, my heart sinks. Once again there will be no help from her. Father lands with a thud, having jumped the last couple of rungs. He turns looking for me and sees my petty act of defiance. For some reason I notice as he stomps toward me that he’s missing a tack on the left sole. It takes him only a couple of steps to reach me and he grabs me by the hair and pulls me up. I can’t help it, it hurts and I start whimpering.

“This isn’t what I meant when I told you to get downstairs, boy. You are as dumb as that whore-bitten mother of yours! Go!” he backhands me then kicks me toward the cellar door.

My cheek smarts and I hurriedly pull open the trap door by the iron ring. It’s heavy, and my palms throb from the weight of the door pushing on the slivers. I’m crying now. I can’t help it. The trap door is pulled open.

“Git in there. And stop your infernal sniveling.” Father kicks me down into the cellar. I land on a shoulder and hear a popping sound. A blinding white flare of pain explodes behind my eyes. I gasp deeply, too shocked to scream.

Father climbs down into the cellar and lights a lantern sitting on a shelf. I stay still, gasping shallowly, too overcome with pain to move. He doesn’t close the cellar door. It hasn’t mattered in a long time to hide what he does to me from the rest of the family; no one would dare to say anything anyway.

Hanging from a wooden peg is the stropping strap, its edges are curled and hardened from age, and from my blood. Father takes it down and before I can steel myself he lashes me with it. With a snapping sound, it curls around my right arm and my back. He uses enough force to cut through the thin fabric of my nightshirt. I scream as I roll over onto my back. My left hand is going numb from whatever happened to my shoulder.

“Stop yer noise making, yea sissy,” father says, and he kicks me hard in the ribs a couple of times to turn me over. “Yer sisters cry less than you. What sin did I possess to git such a worthless son?” He raises his arm preparing for another blow.

He rains blows down across my back and my thighs. I can feel the welts rising, and blood starting to seep from the cuts. I’m sobbing into the dirt, screaming with each blow.

Father pauses, breathing deeply. He takes a long pull from one of the flasks he keeps hidden in the cellar. He leans over me, grabs a fistful of hair, and pulls up my head breathing into my face,

“Yer just like a girl, soft and weak. That whore of a woman, trying to pass some changeling off as mine.”

He slams my head into the dirt, the metallic taste of blood runs down the back of my throat, and I gag. Father rips open the tattered nightshirt at my back, muttering “Pale and skinny just like a girl.” He pours the cheap liquor from his flask over the wounds on my back. It burns life fire seeping into my skin. I scream and lurch forward.

“Please, please, I wanna go back to bed, “ I snivel rubbing my face into the dirt to wipe away the blood and snot. Tears are flowing freely. “Just let me go to bed, please? I’ll be better, I promise.”

Father paces around me, ignoring my pleas.”Yer mother, sitting home all day, not knowing how hard it is to earn a living,” he mutters, “Nag, nag. Begrudging me my hard earned money I spend on a few drinks at the pub or the fancy-women.” He finishes off the contents of the flask and tosses it on a shelf. He kicks me in the head.

I just continue to whisper into the dirt “Please….Please, let me go to bed.”

“Them fancy-women, they know how to please a man. Soft white skin, soft hands,” he says. Father spanks me on my bottom hard. It stings. “Soft white asses, just like this. Wagging their tails for any man with coin.” He continues to spank me. I whimper, each blow gets a little harder, and the force pushes my injured shoulder into the ground. I’m getting a little lightheaded from the pain in my shoulder, and from my back.

My bottom is hot from the blows. Father starts stroking where he’s struck me. I go still.

“Soft. Yer just like a fancy-woman. If you had been a girl we could’ve sold you off.” He’s still stroking my bottom. “Just like a woman, you could be wagging that tail of yours for coin. Make you worthwhile to this family.”

Father grabs my hips and hikes them in the air, the remains of my nightshirt falls away from my body. It hurts, more pressure is applied to my shoulder and I can feel the wounds on by back stretching. Father’s breathing has gotten heavy. I can feel him close behind me. Every one of my nerves is now on fire, alert to a new threat I have no knowledge of.

“No son of mine would be such a girl. Yer just the son of that whore-bitten woman upstairs,” father says as his fingers dig into my hips. I turn my head slightly and can see him over my shoulder staring down at me. He’s moving back and forth and I can feel rough cloth rubbing against my bottom and thighs.

I’m whimpering again, “Please, no. No, lemme go to bed. Please, no.”

“Just like a woman,” he breaths as he leans over my back grabbing my hair with one hand, and reaching between us with the other.

The smell of alcohol is strong. I squeeze my eyes shut. “I’ll be good, I wanna go to bed,” I whisper.

I can feel something hot pressing against me. I start panicking, I have a vague idea of what’s going to happen. I’ve seen dogs in the streets in the position I imagine father has us in. I try pulling away. Everything seems to slow down. Father still has me by the hair and pulls hard, it brings new tears to my eyes. I yelp, and father punches me hard with his other hand. I see sparks of light from the blow. Laying with my face in the dirt I can smell blood with the dirt, and the faint odor of onions rotting on the shelf across from me.

“Stay still, you hear me, boy? Yer, useless but as a woman.” Father is panting now, like he’s been running. He grabs my buttocks and spreads them. “Just like a woman,” he mutters again as he presses against me. I scream.

Rahel lurches upright and throws off the smothering covers. There’s a moment of confusion when he hears the person in bed behind him breathing, the dream is still too fresh. He throws his legs over the edge of the bed and leans forward, placing his head between his legs to stop the bile from rising in the back of his throat. He can feel the burning sour sensation, and covers his mouth, trying not to gag.

A slow cool breeze wafts in from the open widow across the room bringing with it the faint smell of the river, and a stronger odor of too many living too close together. Dust motes disturbed by the sudden flinging of covers, dance in the air. Rahel watches the moon-lit shadows of the curtains move slowly along the floor as the sweat-soaked nightshirt across his back cools and raises goose-bumps on his arms. He takes a few deep breaths as he straightens, letting the last of the nightmare slide from his mind. Just as he’s about to stand up, he feels a hand on his back, and turns.

“Nightmares again?” a sleepy voice asks muffled by the covers. “You were doing a lot of flailing and moaning.”

Rahel gently clasps the hand and brings the fingers to his lips to kiss softly. “Yes. It’s an old dream, but it won’t leave me. I’m sorry for disturbing you.”

Joris burrows his face in a pillow to wipe away traces of sleep, then pushes himself up onto one arm, letting the covers fall away exposing his unclad state. Joris always sleeps naked, saying it’s much easier to get into the enjoyment of bedsport if there aren’t clothes already hindering the progress. He draws his hand that Rahel still holds toward him and smiles. Rahel lets himself be drawn back onto the bed.

“Well, there’s no doubt that I’d rather have you disturb me in other ways then hitting me in the nose while I’m sleeping, but, are you okay?” Joris asks squeezing Rahel’s hand before letting go. Joris looks at Rahel, a shadow of worry in his eyes, Rahel’s nightmares have recently gotten more frequent.

“Yes, yes, I’m fine. It’s passed. Do you think I may have woken Lauri?” Rahel slides his legs under the covers and pulls them up to his chest. He stares at a poorly sown patch and picks at an unraveling thread.

Joris looks lover his shoulder at the girl spread out in the bed behind him and snorts. “She’s dead to the world and snoring peacefully. The only thing that could wake her when she’s sleeping like this is the smell of gold. Between the two of you I’m surprised I get any sleep. You and your nightmares, and Lauri and her snoring. So unladylike.”

Rahel arches an eyebrow and turns to look at Joris, “Lauri a lady? And whoever said you needed to sleep with us?”

Leaning forward Joris pushes the hair away from Rahel’s forehead and kisses a faint scar above his left eyebrow. “It’s been like this since we were kids, and it will be like this until we’re old and dead. Or until one or both of you run off and get married. Then I guess I’ll have to figure out which spouse will be more accommodating and let me join you two.” Rahel smiles ruefully at the thought of any of them getting married.

Leaning back into the pillows, Joris clasps Rahel’s left hand and absentmindedly strokes the stub of Rahel’s little finger. “Don’t you have an appointment tomorrow? Man or woman?” he asks.

Rahel pulls a loose thread from the patch and sighs, “Yes I do. A man, and before you ask, he’s one of my regulars. He’s that cooper-smith over on Eastside. His wife is away visiting relatives. I think he gets lonely easily.”

“Is he the one that likes taking you out and watching you eat cakes?” Joris asks.

Rahel nods. “I don’t get what enjoyment he gets from feeding me, but to each their own. Then he’ll just want to go home and cuddle. At least he pays well for what he wants.”

“Cakes. Bring us back some. I want to lick frosting from your fingers.” Joris grumbles.

Rahel yawns widely, “I’m not spending my money on cakes, and he only buys what I’ll eat while sitting there. Plus, you don’t need any further incentive for lickings.”

Joris chuckles, that was true. “What do you need to earn money for anyway? Just go out and lift some. There’s plenty of unsuspecting rubes coming in from the countryside for the festival.” Joris slides his arm under Rahel’s neck and pulls him closer.

Rahel lets himself be pulled toward Joris and rests his head on Joris’ shoulder, closing his eyes. Tonight Joris smells like hedgewort , greasy food, and wood smoke. Rahel smiles and says “I almost have enough for that new leather armor with the matching gloves. I want to wear something new for once, and the embroidery is beautiful. Anyway, I’m not as good as lifting as you are, and not as able to charm gold from pockets just by smiling like Lauri.” Rahel yawns again, “It’s just my body after all.”

Joris wraps his arm around Rahel and squeezes, “Go to sleep. Just don’t drool on me.” He stares at the peeling ceiling until he can hear Rahel’s breaths even out in sleep. He slides his hand under the neck of Rahel’s nightshirt and lightly traces a jagged scar that mars Rahel’s upper back and frowns to himself.

The light snoring on his other side had stopped a while ago. Lauri leans up, her weight on her elbows, mouse-brown curls tumbling over her shoulders, “He had a nightmare again?” She asks quietly nodding toward Rahel.

Joris nods.

Lauri flumps back down onto the pillow her face toward Joris, “They seem to be coming more often don’t they?”

“Yeah, ever since he saw that bitch in the marketplace, the nightmares are coming more often. They seem to be lasting longer too.” says Joris.
Lauri reaches out and clasps Rahel’s hand that lies across Joris’ chest and yawns, narrowing her eyes. “I wish he’d tell us who it was. How I’d like to get my claws into her eyes.”
Joris had a good idea of who it was. He had been with Rahel in the market when he saw him blanch white and practically drop at his feet. No matter how close the three of them were, he wouldn’t tell Lauri his suspicions of the woman’s identity. Knowing her, she’d run off half-cocked with some scheme for revenge and find herself at the end of a hangman’s noose, and that wouldn’t make any of them feel better.

“Get yourself over here Lauri, my side is cold. Warm me up.” Joris says. He places his other hand over the clasped hands of Rahel and Lauri.

“Yeah, yeah,” Lauri mutters, moving closer to Joris to snuggle up against his side. “And what was this I overheard about me not being ladylike?”

“Well, you are sleeping half naked in a bed with two men not related to you, I’d say that’s as far from ladylike as you can get.” Joris says laughing.

“Like I have to worry about either of you. Go to sleep, one of us has to shadow Rahel tomorrow.”

Joris closes his eyes. Before he’s even taken five breaths, Lauri is snoring lightly at his side. He shakes his head; it never ceases to amaze him how fast she can fall asleep. Joris smiles at the warmth of his friends on either side of him, and whispers to the night air, “My family.”

BRSaye
April 20th, 2012, 09:06 PM
I liked a lot how you introduced the father as the monster, then dropped the monster title once you revealed it was the father. The father's first few lines, though, seemed kind of off. With his seemingly country accent, saying infernal sounded out of place. And 'whore-bitten' didn't really make sense to me, like a cross between whore and flea-bitten.

The part when the three of them were in the bed seemed a bit scattered to me, like I didn't always know who was who.

All in all, I enjoyed it. My first critique, so apologies if its poorly worded.

Silvers
April 23rd, 2012, 06:40 AM
I now know for sure that tonight the Monster will be visiting and I start to quietly cry.


Most of my book reading is actually listening. I love audiobooks and when I read this sentence "quietly cry" sounds better as "cry quietly". I don't know much about grammar I mostly use online checkers myself. In this case however I'm just going by ear.

I'm not too sure that I like the first person only in this story. There are a few characters and the only interaction we get with them is through dialogue. Well that means there is a lot of it. It's just a personal preference but I'd like to see some third person PoV interactions between some of the characters somewhere along the story.

Cefor
April 23rd, 2012, 08:40 AM
[I]

Most of my book reading is actually listening. I love audiobooks and when I read this sentence "quietly cry" sounds better as "cry quietly". I don't know much about grammar I mostly use online checkers myself. In this case however I'm just going by ear.

You've picked up on a debated topic, Silvers. Euripides, with that split infinitive you'll get under a few people's skin, hehe. Personally, I think 'cry quietly' would be a better choice; it does sound easier on the ear.

I have to quickly go to college now, but I shall read this later.

Haha. See what I did there? ;)

Euripides
April 23rd, 2012, 02:11 PM
Thanks....now I know one reason why that first paragraph sounded a tad odd to me. I don't listen to audiobooks, but maybe I could hav my husband read stuff out loud for me. I find reading it out loud myself isn't that geat, since I already know what it says, it causes me to not pay attention to what I'm saying.

But husband wouldn't read anymore of that chapter after reading the dream bit tought half way.

More 3rd POV. Hmmmm.

Silvers
April 23rd, 2012, 05:49 PM
More 3rd POV. Hmmmm.

The Pov is a personal preference more than a flaw in the story. I'm not fond of large sections of solid dialogue in books. I am a big Robert Jordan fan and am used to a lot of description, which would be another way to alleviate some dialogue or at least break it apart a bit more. (Not as much as RJ puts in though)

The split infinitive, it is amazing how google can enlighten one so. What you did is not wrong. It probably only sounds wrong because of the rarity in which split infinitives are used. Too many grammar policeman pointing it out as a flaw or "possible flaw" people just avoid writing them. :)

I still prefer cry quietly regardless. I had said the sentence as "quietly cry" to myself over & over, indeed it does sound much better to the ear once I got used to it (which is probably what happened to you). I still prefer not to split "to cry" it is the natural way for me to say it.

Cefor, your comment makes me want to go to college. I miss lacking behind others in education. Unfortunately my memory is not what it once was. I forget things too easily nowadays. (I'm only 23 but have not studied since I was 16 so my mind is way out of practice)


I have to quickly go to college now, but I shall read this later.

I do see what you did there, but it is time for me "to boldly go where no one has gone before"
It seems not all split infinitives sound bad.

Blue Blazer
May 4th, 2012, 12:57 AM
The only issue I take is in the tense of your first two sentences versus the remainder of the story. You switch from past tense to present tense.

Euripides
May 10th, 2012, 03:54 PM
I noticed that switch in tense after you mentioned it.

As a noob, keeping tense it hard! Especially when trying to stay in present tense.



Thanks for the comments!
Working on a chapter for another one of the characters.

Also have the closing chapter for this character in my head.
Poor character. He's going to be my punching bag.
Happy? Mwahahaha....not for long!