Very Short Stories, Week 17

This past week has been amazing! It started off on a rocky foot, but I’ve managed to take the punches and bounce back.

My book is being edited again. No more excuses. I’m making the time and it’s moving fairly quickly since I’m eager to see it completed!

From the looks of things, I will probably self-publish, but I need to do some further research on it. I’ve had amazing alpha/beta readers, and Grammarly has helped me fix any other mistakes left unnoticed. Once it’s done, I’ll probably get them to do another read and hope it’s as polished as my hands could make it!

The Very Short Stories I’m writing, to me, have started to change since I use them as a sort of warm before I edit my novel. I’ve also allowed myself to play more than I normally do.

Plus, I’ve started adding my main character from my book, Vivian, to some of them to tempt. (Though who knows if that’s what it’s doing.) Those tidbits are more her past and backbone for her story. Thus, you get to see the antagonist, Dr Embridge, too.

Anyways, here they are! Hope you enjoy!

 

August 6th

Kisses burn

With passion’s flame

Spreading

Spreading

like #Wildfire

to her core

now fire herself

She threatens to consume

Him

and his body

Satisfy a woman’s needs

might cool

the heat

but embers catch

alight again

the Pattern repeats

until they’re One

in Lust’s hold

 

August 7th

Vivian’s eyes shifted colours, betraying her #emotions. The deep blues of the ocean formed in her gaze and she wept. Her sister, Ravenna, stared like an unmoving stone statue at her, cold.

Embridge’s voice called her attention, Deal with her, please.

Vivian’s world went black.

 

August 8th

The ocean spray reached for her white robes and dampened her hair before the early sun. The water kissed her pale feet, tugging at the fringe of her outfit. She heard it whisper, Join us….

But she couldn’t. The wet wilderness would #evaporate if she failed her task.

 

August 9th

Morning #glory grew beside the stone cottage. It climbed it, surrounded it like it had caged those inside. Flowers bloomed on its vines, dark violets and sapphires.

The young woman let out a calming breath and approached the only visible part of a door. Her knock rang out.

 

August 10th

Her body curved, dipped, and dived. Its subtle #peaks tempted him in every way. He grazed across her soft skin with the tip of his tongue until he reached the junction between her thighs. Tasting her sweet nectar, he groaned with need. Her moans encouraged him further.

 

August 11th

The walls were a bold #vermillion and screamed of hunger. Mind you, that could be the blood stains, he mused as he sat. As usual, he didn’t have to say a word for the waiter to bring him his meal. Thankful for the privacy, he pulled a thin blade from his pocket.

Gentle as a butterfly’s wing, he cut a sharp line an inch long in his human’s wrist. He used the crystal goblet he’d been given to collect it and licked the wound closed when he was done. Fangs appeared where his canines should be as he sipped the warmth of the blood.

 

August 12th

She wears a #shell to protect her thin skin. It’s lined with shelves filled with words collected through the day. At night, she sheds the second skin, dissects her collection. The sentences run on the treadmill of her mind until they are broken into every hurtful meaning.

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Prologue/Chapter One (?)

[My book is Titleless right now and still needs a loving hand on its way to completion, but I figured I would share my prologue or chapter one. I’m not sure which it will be at the end of the day, but if you enjoy it, please comment or like! Also, if you have suggestions for it, share those too! Anyways, here it is!]

[P.S. A bit of a trigger warning, because it does contain some physical abuse.]

 

She felt the burning touch of his fingers on her wrist seconds before he yanked her from the chair with startling force, and threw her to the ground. You think I would have learned by now, she thought bitterly, and tried to still the fear growing within her. Knowing the man had vanished from the room, she rose to her feet, avoiding the tired eyes of the woman who always watched from a distance.

The man’s steps shook the floor beneath her bare feet, and she surged into action before he returned. She left the dining room through the living room, and sought safety in the quiet walls of her bedroom. Slamming the door shut behind her, she braced her body against it, and she listened to the raised voices, shattering the reflective silence.

“Please, Knotley,” the woman’s voiced begged between shaky breaths, “The doctor will punish us if he finds out!”

Tears slid down her pale cheeks at the sound of the woman pleading on her behalf, and fought the urge to reveal herself, to defend this other female who had tried.

“The girl was useless to him, and now I am stuck with her,” Knotley yelled, every word a testament to his rage, “Get out of the way, Lynx!”

“But–”

Before she could think, she whipped the door open to a loud slap ringing through the air, and rushed forward, throwing her body in between Knotley and Lynx. His strong fist dropped her to her knees, and she let her long, red hair cover her face, hiding her terror. Why? She wondered again, and Knotley’s booted foot knocked her flat on her stomach.

“I’m sorry–”

Her apology was halted by searing pain racing across her back. Rolling to her side, she stared at Knotley in disbelief, his right hand holding an iron poker from the fireplace. Scrambling onto her hands and knees she tried to run, but the cool metal bit into her flesh, pinning her to the spot.

Over and over, the tool landed on her back, and sent wave after wave of new agony through her. The scream gathering in the back of her throat threatened to tear its way out, but she refused to give in. Sinking her teeth into her bottom lip, the metallic taste of her blood kept her focused, and determined during Knotley’s brutal attack.

Darkness worked to claim her, but she was pulled roughly to her feet, and Knotley’s raging eyes filled her gaze. He smells awful, she thought, watching beads of sweat drip down from his brow. The fright consuming her suddenly fell away, and a small smile graced her lips before he smacked her.

Knotley’s left hand quickly grabbed a fistful of her hair, and jerked her head back sharply. Her angst swallowed her whole, leaving her paralyzed in his grip. Chancing a glance at him, she saw his teeth gleam wickedly through his self-satisfied smile.

“There are those violet eyes, full of fear,” Knotley’s voice was sinister, sending shivers down her spine, “The only thing I like about you, Vivian.”

Vivian remained silent, shutting her eyes tightly in rebellion.

“LOOK AT ME!”

The shout shocked Vivian into alertness, and she unwillingly stared at the horrifying visage of Knotley. I wish I was stronger, she brooded in misery, I wish I was faster. Then I wouldn’t be a glorified punching bag. Finding a small ember of anger inside, Vivian tried to fan it into flame, hoping it could free her.

“Don’t even think it,” Knotley spoke with venom, and shook Vivian violently by her hair, “You can’t hide what you feel with eyes like yours! Now, get out of my sight before I really begin to hurt you!”

Vivian flew out of Knotley’s grasp once his hand released its painful grip, and sent her towards her room. Ignoring Lynx who had stood quietly by once again, Vivian stumbled into her bedroom, and shut the door behind her. The adrenaline faded from her to reawaken the dull throb in her back, and it began to torment her with a vengeance.

Staggered steps brought Vivian forward to the simply made bed, and she gingerly crawled on to it. She failed to stifle the sobs shaking her, and endured the suffering with a depleted sense of dignity. Praying she would not roll on to her back, she welcomed the sanity sleep brought, and embraced the numb relief it gave her.

 

In the middle of the night, the faint creak of her door roused Vivian, and her eyes found Lynx in the soft lighting, carrying a familiar toolkit. Still, she gasped in shock when the woman began rolling the back of her shirt up to expose the tender flesh. Just leave it, she wished quietly, but Lynx’s hands started roaming, wiping in certain spots.

There was a small reprieve before a sudden stinging caused Vivian to tense, and she bit into her clenched fist to avoid crying out. She could not see exactly what Lynx was doing yet trusted her after the many times she had tended to her. Is that… blood? She mused when she caught sight of the cloth.

I know I don’t have to say this anymore, Lynx’s thoughts penetrated her mind, but I hope you avoid his wrath these next few days with the new injuries.

It was not the first time she had heard such things from Lynx, but still, Vivian scoffed at them. Like it matters what I do, she brooded hopelessly. Knotley will always find a reason to hurt me… Like my fear.

Ignoring the lecture though it silently continued, Vivian’s mind wandered from the constant touch of Lynx’s hands applying bandages to the series of long wounds across her back. At least they are not deep, she admitted, knowing she would have felt the stitches if they had been needed. Once Lynx was done with her, Vivian gave a curt nod in appreciation, and dismissed the woman from her mind.

You could tell the doctor, you know, Vivian raged with a sudden intensity, but that would mean you actually cared, wouldn’t it?

Letting the anger fade away, Vivian tried to will herself back to sleep, but her eyes flew open at the man’s thoughts from the other room. No… They can’t… Embridge wouldn’t… she stumbled to find the words. Continuing to listen in, she crawled out of bed, and stumbled to her dresser. Rummaging through the small assortment of clothes, Vivian removed her current attire in pained carefulness, and pulled on the sturdier outfit.

That settles it, Vivian determined and a heavy calm filled her. It’s time for me to leave.

Facing the window, Vivian shook her head at the bars covering it, but began to open the glass barrier. She lifted herself gracefully onto the window sill, and dangled her legs between the thick yet widely spaced bars. Twisting, she used her hands to support her weight, lowering her body carefully through the obstacle.

As the cool metal grazed Vivian’s back, she gasped at its suddenness, dropping the few feet to the ground in a harsh thud. Remaining still on the ground, she saw the lights flicker on in Knotley’s room, and his face appeared in the window. Despite the pain, she rose to her feet, making her way away from the house, and his battle cry filled the silence behind her.

Urged on by the fact Knotley was coming for her, Vivian forced her aching body into a run, and darted through the sparse woods on the one side of the house. I have to get away, she chanted repeatedly to herself. Daring a quick glance over her shoulder, she saw Knotley’s form sprinting towards her, his one hand holding a long barrelled gun.

Slowed by her wounds, Knotley caught up quickly, tackling her to the ground, and Vivian screamed at the agony it renewed in her back. Before she could react, his hands were tight on her throat, taking away her ability to breath.

Clawing at Knotley’s arms, Vivian struggled against his cruel grip with futile effort. No, no, no, she whispered to herself. He can’t kill me! Darkness had started to cloud her vision, and in a fit of swift anger, she lashed out with a closed fist, aiming for his face.

Vivian was freed from Knotley’s grip, and gasped for air before she pushed herself to her feet. Unable to look at him, she took off in a random direction, wishing for speed. The fight-or-flight instinct had numbed her, and she took advantage of it to put distance between her and her abusers.

I have to be fast, Vivian thought, and twisted through the various trees with graceful ease. Even when the energy started to fade from her limbs, she continued forward despite her blurred vision. The branches seemed to reach for her, and cut through her clothing to scratch at her skin.

Afraid to stop, Vivian ran on, ignoring the moon’s call for her to sleep. I can’t… Not yet… she mumbled in her mind, focused on the escape.

On the third day, the distance Vivian had built allowed her to slow her pace, and she tried to enjoy the new forest she had come upon though guilt found its way to her heart. I am sorry, Ravenna, she thought, tears gathered in her eyes, but I will come back for you. I promise. With the fatigue resurfacing, she came to a stop, and glanced through the forest’s canopy, a raindrop running down her cheek.

A sudden grumble tore through Vivian’s abdomen, her stomach calling for food. Shelter and food, she planned, and the rain turned into a heavy down pour in response. Drenched within seconds, she took in her surroundings, hoping to spot edible plants and some sort of cover.

“Hey! What are you doing on my property?!”

With wild eyes, Vivian sought out the voice calling to her, and found an imposing form not far from her. How did Knotley catch up to me?! She yelled inside, and how did I become so distracted I didn’t hear him? The need to flee drove her into a run, and she raced away from the man only to trip in the mud a moment later.

Unable to catch her balance, Vivian braced herself for impact, throwing her arms in front of her face, and collided with a thick tree. What the… she barely managed to think at the sound of the loud snap, and continued to fall forward. The tree came to a harsh stop, and she landed on its rough bark before rolling off to hit her head on a dull rock.

Vivian felt light and weightless all of a sudden, and the brief moment of comfort vanished, the throbbing from her back bringing her fully awake. Her eyes opened with sharp intent, focusing quickly on the soft brown eyes of the man who now carried her in jarring steps.

“Are you alright?” the man questioned, his voice tinged in honest concern.

It’s not Knotley, Vivian thought with relief, and abruptly passed out.

I Found Something Else

Today has been one of those days. Low energy, but restless.I decided to help my husband, Andrew, look for his old phone while he’s at work, and it has been a roller coaster ride for my emotions.

Our house is a bit of a storage zone. Every room has nooks and crannies that I have managed to make useful, but it’s becoming less and less effective. While we have done a huge purge of stuff, we still have a ton of ‘crap’ one of us or both of us refuse to part with.We collect Lego (Star Wars, Marvel Superheroes, Batman, etc), Star Wars items, and movies/TV shows. We are also huge fans of fireworks, and they take up a decent chunk of the garage. As individuals, he collects pig related stuff, and I have my Cherished Teddies collection.

Add in necessities, and you can imagine the warzone our house is when we need to find something.

Andrew has gone through the workshop, the garage, the small animal room, the office, our bedroom, front hall closet, kitchen, and laundry room to find his old phone. He has done this multiple times. I tinker here and there trying to help, but he gets so obsessively frantic, it puts me on edge. I can NEVER find something when I am on edge, so today, I decided to do it while he is out of the house.

I started with the workshop where I found two of his old, old phones, but not the most recently old phone (if that makes sense). I dug through some of the boxes in the office, and ripped through my trunks in our bedroom’s closet and some of his drawers. No luck.

Well, this is where the roller coaster starts for me.

After failing to find it, I decided to go through our many totes of Lego kits, Christmas village stuff, wedding stuff, and my Hallowe’en town stuff. (Side note: Hallowe’en is my FAVOURITE holiday, and the biggest reason I want to learn how to sew). Anyways, as I am rifling through these totes, I find wedding stuff.

To note in the wedding stuff I found

-the reading “These Hands” from our ceremony

-my maid of honour’s speech

-a motivational, loving book from my mom

Dumb ass that I am, I read “These Hands”, and it resonated with the life I wished for more than anything. Hands that loved and cared for me. Hands to hold me in the dark times. Hands that would hold our children. Hands that would help mine in keeping our family one.

I want children more than anything, a family with Andrew, but we just aren’t there in our lives. It sucks, because he will be 33 years old towards the end of this year, and I am going to be 27 in twelve days. It feels so old, and yet I know it isn’t. I know I have more time than not, but it feels like it is slipping away faster than I could have imagined. I know it will happen when it is meant to, but damned if I wish it would happen now.

Reading that bit of our vows though made me realize that a marriage, a life together, is very much like art. You have to work for it. Sometimes, there are mistakes that you can correct, and other times, you just push past it. Sometimes, what you think you are making is nothing like it, and you go with it to find something amazing, or you correct your path. I am very lucky to have Andrew in my life, willing to fight for our marriage, and help me make it all it can be. I wish I had of stopped reading the stuff I found after this, but I didn’t.

Dumb ass that I am, I read the speech, and it is beautiful. But it is over two years old, and it made me realize how much has changed between my maid of honour (my future sister-in-law now) and myself. She said we had become closer, had become friends in the speech, but that isn’t the truth anymore. I can’t tell you when it happened, but it happened.

One thing you need to know about me… I don’t really have friends. I have my parents, and I have my husband, and that is it. I don’t let people in as easily as I once did, because of the many betrayals I faced at the hands of so called friends. It killed me inside to read this beautiful speech, and realize the lie it had seemingly become. I don’t know how to change things with her, and I would if I did. I would love to have friends to do things with, but I have been shattered by past experiences, and am hesitant to let it happen again.

Thus, I bawled my eyes out in big, wailing cries. Once it was a small enough feeling to be bottled, I did, and continued on with the task at hand. That’s when I came across the book from my mom.

Dumb ass that I am, I read the book since it wasn’t long, and it was amazing. It is exactly what I needed to hear, and yet… it devastated me. It was about showing your true self to the world, how you’re beautiful no matter what, and amazing regardless of nay sayers. It is how I wish things were, for sure, but the constant feedback I have been given through life is that I am ‘too much’ of everything. I need to tone myself down, swear less, lose weight, lie…. All to have friends, and be liked. That never made sense to me. Shouldn’t people like you as you are?

Anyway, I took those notes and applied them to myself. I struggle with some, (like my volume and weight), but overall, when around my siblings or my in-laws or in public, I try to be that likable person who people want in their life. I don’t know if it is remotely working, (I do have two nephews who adore Andrew and me), but I don’t have friends asking me to hang out. I don’t have family, (outside of my mom and two nephews), asking to spend time with me.

I know that part of it is on me. I need to put myself out there, conquer my insecurities, and find people who like me for me. Join a sport, or club, or something. But it is amazingly, soul cripplingly tough for me. I see someone ugly in every way in the mirror. I dissect every interaction I have with other humans, and find myself lacking. I  had a New Year’s resolution to change that, but I am going to be honest, I have no idea where to start.

Sorry to ramble, but I felt the need to put it down on ‘paper’, to better reflect on it all. Maybe it is a sign that I don’t need to change, just push for my dreams, and fight for the things I want from life. Maybe it is a sign I desperately do need to change in some ways, to feel better and live better. Maybe it is a bit of both. Hopefully I figure it out sometime in the very near future.

In the meantime, any tips or tricks to help me out, or tales to relate to, would be amazing.

Thanks for reading this randomness!