Author Topic: Shadows  (Read 2324 times)

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menti

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Shadows
« on: September 30, 2008, 12:40:04 AM »
I was bored a few nights ago, and felt like writing, and came up with this. So I thought I would put it on here, just to see what you guys think. Feel free to bag the crap out of it... or whatever you wanna do. :D

January 19, 832, Elpes, Lyralea, the Pure Lands

“Stop it! Oh please stop, no,” the little girl wailed as the knife cut deeper into her skin. “I am sorry, I didn’t mean it! Stop, please! Please make it stop!” The bearded man, a mask protecting his mouth in case the girl’s disease should be inflicted upon him, sighed and covered her mouth tightly with a thick, black cloth. A muffled scream erupted into the air as they reached the bone and she kicked her legs in complete terror, trying to rip her hand away from them.
Slowly the masked woman cut through her wrist. It had to be slowly, for if it were quick and painless, of if they put her to sleep, how would the little witch learn? She had done this many times before, to children younger then her, even babies. The black art would not be tolerated amongst those of the Pure.
The bearded man signalled to the only other people in the room. They were two Tall, dark-skinned men, dressed all in black with masks covering all but their dark eyes, just like the woman. The moved forward, slowly, silently and held the girl’s bare legs still with their gloved hands, taking care not to look at her writhing, half-naked body.
“How was she caught?” One of them asked the bearded man.
“He mother caught her making sparks with her hands to entertain her baby brother. She brought the girl directly here to be purified. She will be shamed forever, but rewarded for her dedication to the Gods.”
“Should she not be purified as well, and the boy?
“The girl is a bastard child. I imagine she received this disease from her father. The mother would never have turned her daughter in if she herself was a witch.”
“And the boy? His father?
“A knight and a well respected member of the His Majesty’s court. He is pure I am sure. He goes to temple every day, like everybody else. No suspicions have ever been raised before. There is no reason to think him corrupted.”
“He could pretend. It is not hard. Keep everything behind doors. He could have been teaching the girl.”
“I don’t believe so.” The bearded man’s tone turned cold, ending the conversation. “I trust William Hawthorne.”
“It is done,” the masked woman said, throwing the small, bloody hand into a basket by her feet.
“You are not taking both off?” The other masked man asked.
“If she offends again, the other will be taken, along with her life,” the woman replied, her bloodcurdling smile hidden behind her mask. The little girl whimpered as the stump of her right hand was wrapped tight in a clean bandage.
“There you are Miss Hawthorne. Do you not feel better now?” the bearded man asked, as the woman pulled the girl roughly behind the screen in the corner to change.
“I do, you Grace,” she replied with some difficulty, still choking on her tears.
“If you are very good, a new, mechanical hand will be fashioned for you,” he said.
“Thank you, your Grace.” The woman led the girl out from behind the screen, dressed in a pretty, but simple, cheap gown of white, with pale blue trimmings, to indicate her newfound purity. She was masked, just as a precaution until they had left the cursed room and her right hand noticeably absent, though the stump was hidden beneath the sleeve of the gown. Her eyes were cast downward in shame, the shame of being named a witch, the shame of being seen as she was by men who were not of her family.
“I am sorry for my evil, and I thank you for your mercy, your Grace,” she said, making a sign against evil on her chest and curtsying deeply with the grace of a princess, though one side of the gown remained on the floor.
“You are most welcome, Miss Hawthorne. I will see that you are placed in a nunnery in Zelantis where you will be well looked after,” the bearded man replied. The girls eyes widened, surprised that he would not exile her completely from the Pure Lands. She was one of the lucky ones, with good connections.
“Thank you, your Grace. You are too kind.”
The bearded man, the Lord Arthur Tomas of Meyeshire sighed. He was very glad the girl had not yet turned thirteen. It would have given him great sorrow to see her executed.
“I will take her to be washed, and then she will leave immediately, before the festival. Who do you wish to escort her to Zelantis, your Grace?” the woman asked.
“Her step-father may, for it would be the last time they will see each other in a long time. And her mother, the Lady Hawthorne may go as well, if she wishes.”
“I am sorry, your Grace, but I do not wish my mother to come with me,” the girl said suddenly, looking up at Lord Tomas gravely with her dark brown eyes.
“It is not for you to decide, Miss Hawthorne, even before… this. You shall do as you are ordered,” Lord Tomas replied. “You have forgotten yourself.” The girl bit her lip and looked down again.
“I am sorry, your Grace.”
“Burn the sheets,” Lord Tomas ordered the men, as he, the girl and the woman left the room.

Reives

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Re: Shadows
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 01:01:16 AM »
I'm no literary experts, so I'll just leave some general feedback.  :P Maybe Legacy and people would come and dissect it.

It began with some strong imagery, that's for sure. And it carried along pretty consistently. After realizing the theme of witch-hunt, I found the phrase "in case the girl’s disease should be inflicted upon him" had a very nice effect and suited the strong beliefs well. Overall, it was an interesting excerpt, and I thought it delivered the scenario in an empathetical way. Personally I don't know the history of the witch-hunt periods well beyond the general idea of what happened, though, so I may have missed minor details that might've otherwise rang a bell.

abigailian

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Re: Shadows
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 01:04:12 AM »
What's the greater context of this? It's a very good read, and it definitely would be cool to read more. Very dark, but that's not a bad thing.
This might hurt, it's not safe / But I know that I've gotta make a change / I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something


menti

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Re: Shadows
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 01:23:41 AM »
I haven't really given much thought to this, other then the setting. Matilda Hawthorne is 8 or 9ish. Her father, Will Knoll presumably had magic, but very little is known about him, other then he was poor, but very handsome. Her mother, Eliza, was heartbroken after he left her (for his own safety) and took her hatred and anger towards him out on her newborn. She remarried the rich William Hawthorne, a young knight who steadily rose through the ranks of Lyralea's court, becoming a count (or something of similar prestige, I don't know exactly) when he became too old to fight battles. Matilda was caught by her mother making sparks for her half-brother, Robert, and her mother being a devout Purist and despising her daughter took her off to the authorities, despite the risk of shaming the whole family. Luckily the King and Lord Tomas decided to overlook his step-daughter's "disease" and allow him to keep his title. They would fabricate a lie that Matilda was stolen and sold as a slave in Pereton, or some other heretical country.

Lyralea is a country in the Pure Lands, an alliance of countries that agree that punisment for using magic should be death. There are about 9 countries in this alliance, though they act as one giant empire, ruled by the 9 leaders of each country. The alliance are quite technologically advanced, though they are lacking in social advancement. They are all very prejudiced nations, completely controlled and run by men. Women are allowed to hold jobs, but if there were a job shortage, all of them would go to men. They are also very racist and obviously very against magic.

abigailian

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Re: Shadows
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 01:26:07 AM »
That's a really cool idea. What's your goal for the story?
This might hurt, it's not safe / But I know that I've gotta make a change / I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something


menti

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Re: Shadows
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 01:27:43 AM »
Well the thing is, I tend to get bored of my stories after writing a few chapters..... so I'm not going to say that I'll be writing an entire novel. A plot would be necessary, for instance, to continue it much further.

abigailian

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Re: Shadows
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2008, 01:29:07 AM »
lol

I kinda understand. I've prolly started like ten stories, and I only finished one, which was basically atrocious!
This might hurt, it's not safe / But I know that I've gotta make a change / I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something