I've been waiting . . .
'Tis been a very long week and it's feeding time. The hero, or, villain, in this piece is hungry too.
Delightful. For the most satisfying culinary experience one should keep like company. I hope you like your dinner rare. This piece is bleeding already, and I have yet to even start.
Please welcome, Megan Oliphant, a barracuda from Utah. Bet you didn't think such ravenous creatures came from the state that holds the famed Sundance Film Festival, but, THEY DO!
JAWS vs. BARRACUDA
Ding, ding, ding, let the first round begin!
WALTZ WITH ME
CHAPTER 1 - THE GIFT
Yet I would not have all yet.
He that hath all can have no more;
And since my love doth every day admit
New growth, thou shouldst have new rewards in store...”
Viv screamed. The knife, so thin and sharp, slipped under her skin, peeling away a small rectangle of her forearm. She felt her muscles bulge and the plastic binding cut into her wrists and ankles as she pulled against them. Warm blood trickled down her arm, growing cold in the dank dimness of her prison.
The voice, that hated voice, whispered in her ear, his hot breath fetid, rotten.
“I don't mind,” the voice said. “I enjoy the noise. It makes our time together so much more enjoyable.” He dipped his finger into the thickening blood on her arm and wiped it like lipstick across his mouth.
Viv squeezed her eyes shut, turning away from the voice and her blood on his face. Biting fingers gripped her jaw, pulling her back, forcing a wet kiss onto her mouth. The metallic tang of her own blood was sharp in her nose, making her gag. There was no tongue thrust into her mouth, though. He'd learned that lesson the last time. That's why he was dissecting her slowly, and alive. Retribution for her rebellion.
Finally the kiss ended. She left her eyes closed, panting shallowly. The torture was only beginning.
“Viv, baby, wake up.”
Another voice entered her dream, a welcome one, a rope to pull her to safety.
Viv opened her eyes with difficulty, the corners sticky with dried tears. Sam's shadowy back was all she could see, the predawn light glancing off his bare arm.
Sam's voice was thick. “Viv, sweetheart, you were crying in your sleep again. I'm sorry babe, but I gotta get up in an hour.” His hand reached over and patted her hip briefly before returning to his side. His snoring resumed.
Viv screamed as the blade sunk into her skin, peeling away a piece of flesh. She struggled against the plastic binding her wrists and ankles. Warm, sticky blood trickled down her arm, cooling as it left her body and dripped onto the cold floor of her own personal hell. The voice, that hated voice, whispered in her ear, "I don't mind." Fetid breath rolled across her face.“I enjoy your screams. It makes our time together so much more enjoyable.” He dipped his finger into her blood and smeared it over his mouth like lipstick. She squeezed her eyes shut, praying for her body to slip into oblivion.
But he wouldn't let her.
With a painful grip, he grabbed her jaw, forcing a vile kiss over her unwilling mouth. Even weakened and tired, she fought his embrace. He did not thrust his tongue into her mouth. Not this time. He'd learned that lesson the hard way. She could still taste his blood in her mouth. He needed her to stay alive, to fight, so that he could dissect her alive. Retribution for her rebellion. Finally, he pushed her back, ending the kiss. She left her eyes closed, panting for breath.
“Viv, baby, wake up.”
Another voice penetrated the tortuous fog. A ladder to safety.
She struggled to wake. The corners of her eyes felt glued shut with dried tears. In the predawn light, Sam's shadowy figure loomed before her eyes.
“Viv, sweetheart, you were crying in your sleep again. I'm sorry babe, but I gotta get up in an hour.” He reached over, patted her hip briefly, then returned to his side, and falling into a sound sleep.
I decided not to bathe Megan in red this week, rather re-write it the way it sounded best to me. And it is, after all, subjective. My taste may not be yours. I ripped it apart and offered up my thoughts.
The first thing that stood out to me was the heroine's terror. I was left thinking; who the hell is this guy? Why is he doing this to her, and how long ago did it happen? Is this a reacurring dream? Is it even real, or a product of Viv's imagination?
Be careful when you're writing not to repeat words so close together. I counted reading blood four times. Viv too, was used far too much. Thus, I eliminated most of them in my version. Fetid, rotten, same thing, so one got the boot.
When Viv says 'biting fingers' I'm thinking, fingers that bite? 'Tis a wee bit unclear, so, that too, I changed.
Sam, her husband, I'm assuming, is an ass, so far. I'd like to think she ends up leaving him in the end.
I'm also wondering if the passage with the sadistic torturer ought to be italicized if its a dream, or simply made to be a short prologue in real time, with Viv waking in chapter one, remembering what happened to her.
Are your teeth suitably sharpened? Megan would love your thoughts.