ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 21 June 2010

Bad Boy Blogfest entry

I'm sorry I'm a bit late for the blogfest. I got my dates mixed up. I didn't have time to conjure up a new bad boy for this entry, so I'm using a story I jotted down last week and it was the only one that came close to the criteria. I haven't had time to polish it, but I had to get something down quickly. I  hope no-one is offended by the subject matter. It is Flash Fiction, a complete story as it stands...


Lost Treasures

I was dreaming of the sea again. It happens every night. I open my eyes and watch the moonlight creep across my bed with a soft lover’s caress. The sheets are tangled and fall over the bed like waves. I kick off the covers and throw myself across the bed like a beached whale.

The moonlight dancing on my bare skin makes me look beautiful. Its gentle light overlooks the angry welts criss-crossing my legs. Instead, it hovers over my belly like a benediction. The welts throb, but I have no ointments to ease the pain. But that is his intention.

I hear his loud breathing coming from the next room. Loud snuffles and snorts as he sleeps the sleep of the damned. I hear him tossing and turning. I pray he stays asleep. For a long time.


***

‘You will not marry that infidel!’ he’d screamed.

‘Ahmed? An infidel?’ I’d begged. ‘He is of the same religion as we are.’

A vicious fist across my mouth.

‘You will marry who I say,’ he had spat in contempt.

His eyes had turned red with rage and he’d reached for his belt. I couldn’t believe what had happened. My father had always been the gentlest of men.

‘Father!’ I’d screamed, ‘don’t do this!’

My pleas were ignored.

The hard leather bit into my soft skin. The pure force of his anger made the blows harder to bear. My heart broke afresh with every slap of the tough hide.

‘I will kill you!’ he’d screeched in his rage.

‘Mumma, help!’ I’d pleaded to the black-clad figure cringing in the dark corner. She remained silent but I could feel her pain for me.


***

Night after night. Night after night. The beatings continue. Only the moonlight and the night sounds are my friends. My door is bolted against the outside world. The food is passed in, served without love, eaten without relish. No-one speaks to me. I am a prisoner. Just me and the new life growing in my belly. I’m sorry.

The crashing waves are coming closer and closer as high tide is reached. Soon the water will be just below my window. I hear its relentless pummelling. The sound and rhythm reminds me of my father’s blows which continue without mercy. He will not be denied his will.

There was a big storm earlier in the night. Tomorrow there will be rubbish lining the beach below the dunes. My father will leave his bed early to collect it before the tide snatches it back again. He loves to find treasures that someone else has lost.

He will be surprised at the treasure he will find tomorrow.

The open window draws me. The moonlight bathes me. The sea calls my name.


20 comments:

  1. I have to say I find that scene rather disturbing (this is not a bad thing). I like that you've taken a different tack to most of us others, putting the bad guy firmly in the background and showing the results/reactions to his actions...

    Well done and thanks for sharing.

    btw love the background!!

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  2. Phew, you were quick Tessa. I just hit publish and there you were! I haven't read any others yet but I think I know what to expect. Thanks for comment re background. I like it too...

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  3. LOL I'm just going down the list on Tina's site, obviously I have inspired timing!!

    ; P

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  4. Hi Tessa, I forgot to comment on how I like the changes you've made to your blog too. Also, a question, how do you get the tweat desk from twitter? If you don't mind my asking...:)

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  5. you can get all sorts of twitter-y gadgets if you have a search through the help section. They give you several options for buttony things to show tweets.

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  6. You've done a masterful job with this entry. The tossed sheets rippling across the bed like waves. Her way of saying she tossed upon the bed like a beached whale, suggesting how ugly her father's mistreatment of her has made her feel.

    You take the reader deep into the psyche of your protagonist. You are quite skillful. As a former counselor of abused women, I know the method of escape you imply is taken much too often.

    Since I am a writer, too, I will imagine my character, Samuel McCord strolling that same beach at that exact moment. She will still disappear -- but to a village on the coast of New Zealand where he houses all such victims of misfortune he finds.

    I'm a romantic. Roland

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  7. You completely caught me off guard. I love this.. 'moonlight creep across my bed with a soft lovers caress." Such a sad story, nicely told. I want to weep for this woman and her baby. Definitely a bad guy, totally different from the other blogfest entries I've read so far. Well done!

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  8. Tessa, thank you. I guessed this must be a new option since I joined twitter ages ago! You are so helpful..:)

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  9. Thank you Roland. I appreciate your comments. I also like your idea of her being saved by a masterful man who will love her for who she is. But what about Ahmed, the father of her child??? ..:)

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  10. Talei, very different from the bad boy I was going to write about, but I thought I'd throw this idea out there and see if people were totally turned off! Sadly, it is a reality to too many women..:(

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  11. Talei, very different from the bad boy I was going to write about, but I thought I'd throw this idea out there and see if people were totally turned off! Sadly, it is a reality to too many women..:(

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  12. wow, this is so touching and so dang realistic. Noooo! I don't want her to kill herself... :(

    (He sounds like the way my dad used to be with us and my mom would, indeed, cower)

    You must've known a world like this to show so much realism, great job!! <3

    thank you for your comments on my bad boy! :)

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  13. Elizabeth, thanks for following and commenting. I'm sorry to hear you have experience of this. No, I haven't, but I read a lot and I tutor girls from different cultures..:)

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  14. Great entry for the blogfest. I like the main character and the way you handle the topic in this bit of flash fiction. The voice holds my interest, and the moon/sea in different sections is well written. I enjoyed reading this.

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  15. Thank you for your kind comments Dawn..:)

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  16. I liked this very much - strong writing. I found it satisfying that it began and ended with the sea and that sea and moonlight motifs played through the story.

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  17. wow, this was...haunting, provocative, sad, and really good!

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  18. Very visual and very disturbing...

    kudos for the emotion you provoked with this piece!

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  19. Roh, thanks for positive comment. I couldn't comment on yours, you had a problem last night in that section...but I thought it was excellent, but a shocker of an ending...well done:)

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