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stargate, DanielJackson

Week 12, Title: Scar

Posted on 2017.03.19 at 21:33
Tags: ,
Can’t breathe. Lungs burning. Can’t breathe. Struggle. Struggle. Struggle. Hands holding her down. Too much water. Can’t breathe. Can’t move. Too much pain. Drowning. Drowning. Drowning. Need air. Rise. Coughing. Spluttering. Gasping. Gasping. Gasping.

*

She sits on her bed, shaking slightly; salt from the brine still soils her skin. She tries to be good. She tries and tries and tries. And it keeps happening anyway and she can’t stop it. He says she’s a demon. She doesn’t want to be a demon. She wants to get better. Be good.

She hates him and is afraid of him.


He says it’s all for her own good. Salt kills demons. It will destroy the abomination, make her better. It doesn’t feel like she’s getting better. Maybe she will be this way forever; this shameful, freakish, evil thing.   

Can demons have salt inside them, she wonders. She can taste it in the tears spilling down her cheeks.

*

The cups start to tremble.

No. Not this. Not again. She buries her face in her hands. No. No. No. Stop. Stop it. Stop it.

The figurines on the mantle are shuddering too now. It’s just getting worse. She can’t control it. Nothing works. Nothing ever works.

She can hear his footsteps approaching. She lets out a sob.

He forces a funnel into her mouth. Pours salt into it. No added water this time. More and more and more. Too much. She feels like she’s being stuffed with cotton. It burns, so she must be a demon.

She hates herself and is afraid of herself.

And she is so, so angry.

She knows he’s wrong. She thinks she’s good. But sometimes, she thinks he might be right. Maybe she’s just lying to herself.

*

The cups don’t just tremble anymore. They rise and fly around. She ducks her head and tries to hide.

He enters. Too many things are flying around, something hits him and he falls. She runs.

And runs and runs.

*

Someone finds her and takes her to a shelter. They help her.

She meets people, makes friends, and gets a job. She builds a life for herself. And if unexplained things sometimes happen, no one needs to know it’s her.

She still feels unsafe. She still feels angry and dark and broken.

She goes through four therapists before she finds one she can talk to. It’s a slightly overcast Thursday afternoon when she realises what she can do isn’t evil and isn’t something to be afraid of; it’s just power.

It’s easier to learn how to control it after that.

*

She’s strong, she’s powerful. She can lift a car with her mind. She’s got good people and things in her life. She lists the things that are good. It doesn’t make her feel better.

Knowing she’s safe and human doesn’t change- or help- the feeling that she’s not.

She still retreats from people and places, flinches away from the world. Her heartrate rockets at every swiftly turned doorknob. Her palms sweat at loud footsteps on the stairs. Sometimes everything tastes of salt.

Sometimes she thinks she could make a fist and shatter the world.

She can’t do this. It’s never going to be okay. She’s never going to be okay. She hates him.

Sometimes she thinks everything she does is just an act. All that’s really left of her is bitterness and anger.

*

She goes back to the house. He's still there- a bottle against his lips. She grins and he snarls.

And she shows him the demon he made; shows him what she can do.

He screams and screams and screams.




AN: I'm trying to improve my writing so any concrit would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Comments:


kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre
bleodswean at 2017-03-19 22:22 (UTC) (Link)
Powerful and dark!

Here are some of my thoughts -

* You have a strength and skill for these vignette-style fics. Have you experimented with moving these around? Out of sequence? Starting at the middle? Or the end? I could see the entire piece beginning with a switch to the middle first....

* I like the POV and tense here...which makes the intro italicized First Person seem out of place. Have you considered inserting more First Person POV? That could make things even darker...without your Omni-POV. Or you could even switch between First Person for her and First Person for him?

* Who is the "he"? There might be power in exploring that...is it her father, brother, son, lover, master, priest?

* You could take this "And she shows him the demon he made" and explode it. Is she really a demon? Or just a tortured soul who acts in a demonic way towards him? What is at the heart of this tension - demon or gifted?

* Huge strength in taking an analogy and making it uniquely yours - Sometimes she thinks she could make a fist and shatter the world.

Captivating work, you held my attention throughout!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-20 18:47 (UTC) (Link)
I do like the vignettes and have done some moving around. I would definitely like to play around with that more in the future. I did actually have the thought while writing this that I could do the segments out of order. I might end up doing a re-write.

Ooh, I hadn't thought of adding more first person POV, but now that you've mentioned it I have IDEAS. Yeah, I see what you mean about it being a bit stand-alone-y.

I meant the 'he' as a sort of father figure, yeah I think that needs to be clearer.

In my mind she's more of a tortured soul. But I think there's a lot in what she thinks of herself. I could definitely put in more regarding her identity and her thoughts re the nature of her self. My first draft actually had a whole scene with her in a police interrogation room after the deed but it made for a rather wishy-washy ending.

Glad you found it captivating and thank you for the awesome advice :)
kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre
bleodswean at 2017-03-20 18:49 (UTC) (Link)
*SMOOCH*
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-20 18:56 (UTC) (Link)
*SMOOCHES BACK*
Direst Ryl
ryl at 2017-03-20 13:34 (UTC) (Link)
I liked the little hints of the larger story behind this. Although I was confused about the male character. At first he seemed like a priest, but then at the end he was a father figure which was a bit jarring. On the whole, I loved the dark creepiness of it. You really excel at that.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-20 18:51 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the hints at the larger story and the dark creepiness *Cackles evilly* ;).

Yeah, I think I definitely need to add more on the 'he' character and maybe develop him a bit. I did think of it more as a father figure as there's no one else really there apart from him. But now that you've mentioned it I can see how it seems like a priest.

Thank you for the lovely input :).
rayaso
rayaso at 2017-03-20 13:34 (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed this very much, especially the way you used salt, and her discovery of (or growth) of her abilities, until she has the power to return and use them on her abuser. Great job!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-20 18:55 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you enjoyed :).
d0gs at 2017-03-21 12:07 (UTC) (Link)
such amazing pacing and imagery in this!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-21 17:12 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the pacing and imagery :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
halfshellvenus at 2017-03-21 20:05 (UTC) (Link)
I like how the reader's knowledge evolves just a step behind the story. The abuse is an exorcism. The exorcism is based on real evidence. The girl isn't possessed, she just can't control what happens at first.

And the tormentor? Perhaps something more was going on there after all, with the drinking, but the victim couldn't see it until she was grown, and by then she had no forgiveness left.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-22 17:35 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the readers knowledge being a step behind, I was hoping that would work :).
mamas_minion
mamas_minion at 2017-03-22 02:00 (UTC) (Link)
Your descriptions here are wonderful and leaves the reader feeling immersed in the character. It also has a very rhythmic feel to the paragraphs. Well Done.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-22 17:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you were able to become immersed :)
Shadow Wolf Byrd
shadowwolf13 at 2017-03-22 03:08 (UTC) (Link)
I like dark and creepy, it's one of my favorites. :)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-22 17:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, yay for it being one of your faves, thank you muchly :)
alycewilson
alycewilson at 2017-03-22 21:30 (UTC) (Link)
Wow! This email ones classic '70s horror, where they actually involved some psychology over just gore. Well done!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-23 17:20 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked it :)
adoptedwriter
adoptedwriter at 2017-03-23 00:03 (UTC) (Link)
Very powerful and emotional. A lot is conveyed in just a few words.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-23 17:21 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you found it powerful and emotional, I was hoping that would come across :)
dmousey
dmousey at 2017-03-23 19:02 (UTC) (Link)
She still feels unsafe. She still feels angry and dark and broken.

This line struck me, hard. I KNOW this feeling. Too, too, well.

Consequently, I loved the ending. I hope she finds peace. A good read. Hugs and peace~~~
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-23 19:20 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the ending *Hugs*
fodschwazzle
fodschwazzle at 2017-03-23 22:53 (UTC) (Link)
This is a very cohesive whole. I thoroughly enjoy the buildup--so much recrimination in the swallowing of salt that she carries on later.

To offer concrit, I would suggest taking the "feeling" sentences (like "She still feels unsafe. She still feels angry and dark and broken."), of which you have very few, and reducing them to actions. The fact that she swallows salt to settle herself after her "he" shows who to earlier in her life is a magnificent example of what you want to try to achieve--we all understand that salt isn't supposed to be chugged like that, so we appreciate the kind of fear that goes into doing it.

Edited at 2017-03-23 10:54 pm (UTC)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-24 18:35 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you enjoyed the build up :).

And thank you for the lovely concrit :)
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