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Old 21-01-2010, 01:29 PM
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[untitled]

This is an exerpt from the novel I'm working on. It's a dark romance set in present-day America. Note: This section involves violence, but later on there will be intercourse, and there will also be suicide. Just to warn people ahead of time in case they don't like reading that kind of thing.

-----------------

Another long day. Day after day, week after week, flew past with no notable happenings to mark their passing. Winter break was always a boring time. In the Sleepy City, Christmas was a celebration nobody took much notice of, as most residents were either too old to find it enjoyable, or in that irritating middle-ground age where it had lost the magic once held under the bright lights and snow-covered streets. The dark days gave way to darker nights, illuminated mostly by a solitary moon, etching silhouettes across the city. In the darkness, life continued as normal for everyone. In the part of the city south of the tracks, the occasional gunshot still pierced the silence, cars pulled up next to scantily-clad women, and quickly disappeared into the cold. Brawls still broke out in shady bars, and police sirens were the closest thing to a constant drone found in that area.

Up in the north side of the city, things were much more peaceful. At least, to the untrained eye. For the most part, the city slept peacefully. Apartment complexes held their peaceful silence, broken only by the occasional television set as families crowded around to watch their chosen channels. As the chill of a winter wind spat a few leaves through the air, a lonely dog locked in the cold howled, a pitiful cry to stave off the icy night. That broken silence was swiftly accompanied by something more sinister, as from the house that dog lived in came a crash. A thud. A cry. A man yelled something, with a voice laced with a sneering self-satisfaction, as a door slammed shut and locked, its bolt driven home by shaking, bloody fingers.

The owner of those fingers shook even more as they raised to tenderly touch her face. With a wince, she pulled them away, leaving an uneven trace of blood unchecked, to slide from the side of her lips and down her chin, eventually pooling and dropping onto the white carpet beneath her bare feet. Still shaking, eyes glittering, still she refused to give that ******* the satisfaction of hearing her weep. She made her unsteady way to the computer chair, secreted under the desk which held her only release—her computer. Absent-mindedly, numb from the attack, she lightly pressed the power button and sighed when her eyes caught sight of the crimson fingerprint left upon it. As the screen flashed to life, she began her routine. It happened every night, and she was good at hiding it now. Wiping the worst of the blood from her mouth with a tissue before wrapping a blue scarf around the lower part of her face.

It was her routine. As the computer's display came to rest upon her home-page, she loaded the program used to take photos with her webcam. Seeing her own face staring back at her almost broke her, though. In many cases she would be considered beautiful, with flowing brown hair and a piercing, ice-blue gaze that could melt any heart in moments. She wrinkled her nose in disgust as she saw her matted, frizzy hair. He had grabbed her by it and forced her to look at him. Her eyes took in every detail. The bruise that even now was creeping up her cheek and around her left eye, the sluggish bleeding cut that kept the bruise company. She knew already that the cut on her lip would join her ever-increasing list of cosmetic injuries, but it was hidden behind that scarf.

Her pointer selected the option to take a photo, and within a moment her pain was immortalized in all its digital glory, if one could call it that. It joined the group of photos in that folder, and it had similarities with every single one of them. In every photo, she wore that blue scarf. In every photo, she wore her battle scars. In every photo, the world she could never see normally could look upon her imperfections. Because surely, to live like this, something must be wrong with her. Surely, she was at fault. Minimizing the webcam's program, she pulled up her homepage. An internet diary which had become somewhat popular over the two years she had used it to document her daily thoughts. But its fame came almost entirely from that ******* and his regular assaults. She hit the new post button, and poured her heart into her hands.

Dear diary, she wrote. Today I turned fourteen. I really enjoyed it. My friends and I went out to the cinema. You know that new film everyone's talking about? We went to watch that, it was a lot of fun. After that, we got take-out and hung out at Joel's house. I think he has a crush on me, I've noticed he's been a lot nicer to me recently. Not that he wasn't nice before of course, but...y'know. I have no idea whether I should pre-empt him or not, because I really don't feel like a relationship. I don't want to hurt him though, sometimes I hate caring so much. But still, we're really good friends so I don't think it'd hurt if I told him straight. What do you guys think?

She paused, and took a deep breath. Her chest was still sore from the night before, when her father had punched her to the floor. Clicking the attachment option on her blog, she selected the newest photo and hit upload. In moments, her imperfect face appeared on the screen. She began to write again.

In my last entry, I said I was looking towards the future. I was hoping that maybe dad would at least let me go for this one day without a problem. I guess I was pretty naïve to think that. My chest still hurts, too. To BakedanTenshi: I appreciate your concern, but there's no way I can get to a hospital or doctor. Not just because he'd never let me, but because they'd ask questions I'm too scared to answer. Questions I can't answer because I don't know the answers to them. I don't know why he does it. I've tried really hard to make sense of it, but it's just not happening.

My life has been turmoil for a long time, and I honestly am sick of it. But I'm just a kid, I can't get out of it so I have to make the best of a bad situation. As you can see, I'm not exactly in the best physical shape to go running away. And besides, there's nowhere I could go.

I got home late today, which is why dad was more vicious than usual. Not that he lets me go out during break anyway, but I normally sneak out. I just stayed out longer than I usually do, so I guess that's the reason. Dad said that my cat was run over by a car today. I don't believe him. With all my heart, I believe that he killed my baby, which is just another reason to add to the list for hating him. But I won't cry. I won't give him the satisfaction of seeing me weak. Even though he can break my body, my spirit won't be so easily shattered as my bones.

I guess that's all for now. This is xShatterxHeartx, signing off for the night. I'll speak to you all in the morning.

x x x


With that posted, saved to her ever-lengthening list of entries in the one thing that kept her sane, she loaded up the other two programs that had recently become invaluable in her life. The media player, full of the moody hard rock that seemed almost to speak of her life, as if the artists watched her from no real distance, laying out all of her fears and insecurities in the beautiful wonder of song, every word slicing her barriers to pieces and reaching straight into her heart. The second program, her instant messenger. Her second doorway to the world outside. At the same time, her IM logged on and the music began pumping through the headphones she never unplugged.

/Emptiness has darkened my eyes/As I hopelessly beg for my life to end/Tell me why/My iron eyes tell the tale/HEROES ALWAYS PAY IN THEIR BLOOD/I can be only this/

Beneath the azure covering her lips, they curved painfully into a smile. That one person she could always turn to was there. Her eyes finally gave way to tears long held within and her vision blurred as she opened the box to send the first of many, many messages that night.

She spent that night in a whirlwind of emotions. They had never met before, she and the girl on the other side of the screen. But even so, they were the best of friends. The girl, Madison, had commented a lot on her blog posts, and often offered advice. She was the same age, so they often ended up talking about their common interests. Taylor always tried to keep away from the relationship side of the conversations though. “I don't have time for them,” or “I'm not interested in boys.” That second one slipped out by accident one night, but it didn't seem to have an impact. Taylor had never been interested in boys, not romantically. Nobody who knew her knew that, but it was plainly marked on her blog. She had worried at first about making it public like that, and even made a very long post detailing her fears about being judged solely on that factor. But everybody was sympathetic, and gave her confidence a much-needed boost.

With Madison finally giving up the fight to stay awake at around 3:30 in the small hours, Taylor also decided it was time to call it a day. Closing down the computer, she crawled into bed, painfully aware of the bloody streaks on her sheets. Just another day in paradise...
__________________

If I don't know what lies beyond
Desire is now the one in control
Am I strong enough to not ever know just what I'd find?
Should I press on?
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