View Full Version : Scathing Grace

May 5th, 2014, 04:11 PM
I've had a 2 year break from writing and have just come back to the forum, this is the last thing I wrote before I stopped.

Scathing Grace.

The boy smiled as his legs pumped the pedals. Up and down, round and round, the motion soothed him. He was very much looking forward to this day. Oh yes, very much. Today would be the reward, the climax of months of preparation; of sacrifice justified and suffering avenged…they wouldn’t know what hit them. Up until now he hadn’t allowed himself to indulge in what he considered to be unnecessary pleasure, Jay’s world was not the place for such things. But just this once he thought he deserved a little titbit, something to keep him going until the main event.

He rounded the corner and braked, coming to rest outside the familiar red brick house. She was in there, he knew. The car was gone, and that was a good thing, it meant she was alone. Daddy was always there, like a locked gate keeping them apart. He didn’t know why, he couldn’t put his finger on it, but he didn’t trust Jay. The carefully constructed image of ‘nice boy’ hadn’t worked for him; maybe his instincts were heightened due to the fact that his daughter was so obviously vulnerable. Of course it was that vulnerability that made her a perfect target for Jay.

A few long strides brought him to the front door and he pressed the buzzer firmly, enjoying the brazen sound that disturbed the near silence of this hidden away home. He imagined her in there, wondering if she should answer, not used to having to decide on her own. If Daddy were here of course, she would have no need to worry. Daddy was the protector, the all-seeing, all conquering mound of man who had every right, in his mind, to interrogate and intimidate anyone who dared to call upon his daughter. His precious little duckling, so cruelly afflicted that she would never see she was a swan .Or that Jay was the wolf.

“Hello?” the timid little voice from within called, “Who is it?”

“It’s only me, darling, don’t worry… can I see you?” Silently he chuckled at the irony of it, lost on her of course. He heard her scurrying towards him like the mouse that she was. He knew that if he were to shout now she would squeak and cower away, but that was for later.

“Hello, my angel!” He exclaimed as the door opened to reveal her delicate little face, slightly flushed with what, anticipation? Or fear? No, not fear, not yet. But he would work on that. He embraced her, relishing her frailty. He imagined her bones, so brittle like those of a bird, just one hard squeeze away from agony.

“Daddy isn’t here,” She blurted as she pulled away, embarrassed to be alone with him. “You know he likes to be here when you visit...I don’t want to disobey him..?”

“Don’t worry, Grace, it’s only me. Your Dad knows how I feel about you, he won’t mind.” They walked hand in hand to the pleasant little living room, the late afternoon sunlight glancing seductively through the part drawn drapes. My God, this place is sickening, he thought .Smiling photographs on every surface, colour co-ordinated cushions, comfortable sofas…he would never get used to the saccharin sweetness of the place. A far cry from the squalor he had grown up in, the house was cosy, welcoming…safe. Jay was willing to bet that Grace had never lain in the dark trembling; waiting for the footsteps to reach her door, knowing that to scream would only increase the rage of the devil outside. No...Little Gracey had always been safe in her dark little world.

“Sit down, my pet” Jay beckoned as Grace felt her way expertly around the familiar obstacles towards him. He patted the sofa beside him and she obediently perched there. The instant her bottom touched the seat the large black and white tabby cat appeared as if by magic, and leapt to occupy her tiny lap. Damned cat must lie in wait all day long, yet another annoying facet of this happy home. It started to vibrate, its purrs thrumming like an electric cable under her caress.

“Daddy has just gone to get a few things Jay, we’re having a special meal today for Mummy, you know she’s been working away...and Daddy misses her so much when she’s gone…” she gazed at him with a look of stupefying pleasantry on her face ,as she no doubt imagined the insipid reunion in her fluffy little head.

“ O.K, my love, well this won’t take long”…Jay shot out a hand like a snake striking its prey, his fingers snagging the cats fur and dragging it towards him.

“Ow! Buttons that hurts!” Grace shrieked as the cat’s claws raked across her thighs, the creature desperately trying to maintain its hold on her.

“Awwww, baby...what did that stupid animal do?” He cooed, rubbing her leg whilst he tightened his grip on the cats’ neck. “There…all better”. Jay watched the cat’s face intently as he soothed her, the fingers of his other hand digging into the scrawny flesh of its throat. It didn’t make a sound, just stared manically at him, claws thrashing at his arm. Grace rubbed at the scratches on her legs but her attention had turned back to him.

He could tell she adored him, and why wouldn’t she? Daddy kept her holed up here like a china doll, no experience of life at all. She probably never knew there was anything beyond her loving family until he’d come along. The only contact she had with the real world were the health visitors and private tutors that came, all of them paid for and controlled by her father. His arrival had really put the cat amongst the pigeons, no pun intended.
The look on Daddy dearest’s face had been a picture when Jay had first knocked on their door to introduce himself to them, posing as their new neighbour’s son. Dear little Gracey, so beautiful in her innocence, practically drank up the sound of his voice, and as for him, the lord and master, did he recognise him? It was hard to say...it had been so long. The look of horror on his face could be attributed to knowing that Jay was a threat, a potential suitor for his beautiful flower. But blood was supposedly thicker than water, so yes, Jay thought he knew, maybe not consciously but it was in there somewhere. He had left him behind when he was just a baby, his birth just a blip on the perfect face of his charmed life. Jay knew that he had never acknowledged the affair, or the bastard son that was borne from it, he was far too much of a coward for that. He had simply walked away, and the hell that followed was entirely his fault.

“As you’re here maybe you could stay for dinner? I’m sure Mummy would love to meet you?”

Oh yes, Jay thought, I bet she would.

The cat’s eyes were bulging. As Jay watched, the frantic anguish in them faded and they began to dull. Its paws became slack against his blood slicked arm ...bye bye Buttons, he thought.

“I’m sorry, Pumpkin but I can’t, I‘ve already got plans tonight, maybe next time.” He said, removing the knife silently from his shirt pocket.

“Oh, that’s a shame!” Grace looked genuinely disappointed. Jay was busy pulling the cat’s intestines through the gash he had sliced in its stomach. He got up and draped them over the top of the door frame like some kind of sick Christmas garland.

“I promise I will come next time, just give me a bit more notice” he mumbled absently, one finger sweeping the cat’s insides as he spoke. Once he had loaded his finger with its blood he began to write on the perfectly smooth magnolia wall.


“Sweetheart, please tell your father I was here, and tell him I said hello, and I look forward to seeing him soon”. He was moving towards the door now, the bloody carcass dangling from his clenched fist.

“Are you going already Jay?” she whined, a pleading look on her face as she pointed her unseeing eyes in his direction.

“Yes darling, just a flying visit. Make sure you tell him won’t you…And give him this from me” he said, as he placed the mangled cat in her arms.

“What is i…” she began, then as realization dawned her screams nearly deafened him.

“DADDDDEEEEEE!!!!” She turned and stumbled back into the house, poor blind Gracie, finally getting a glimpse of the horror that had been his constant companion all through his childhood and adolescence.

“Just tell him I said that he owes me, and I will make him pay!”

He let the door slam behind him, and the smile that dawned on his face was one of sheer pleasure. In that moment he finally knew how it felt to be happy, and it was beautiful.

May 8th, 2014, 12:09 AM
Abby, I have a hard time following the story line, it maybe a combination of symbolism that you use and descriptions that somehow seem a little out of place or time. It does not seem to flow with continuity and there were several times I had to go back and re-read a paragraph, somewhere between the dialog and the thoughts of your character I get lost. I would give more details about the cat so it was clear as to what point he was trying to make, it seems like there is much more going on here than I am aware of and I need more details for this piece to have your desired effect. Sorry I could not be of more help..Bob

May 8th, 2014, 07:35 AM
HI Bob, thanks for your critique. It is supposed to be subtle, I wanted the violence to creep up on the reader and leave you slightly stunned at the end, but if you can't follow it then obviously something needs changing! :)