Saturday, 1 November 2014

Nanowrimo 2014

Yes, I have decided to do nanowrimo again. Buddy me up here if you wish.
I completed it last year and then did nothing with my 50+k words. Sigh… *smacks self in head*
This year, I am extending a short story. Snorts. When has she ever done that before? The story was the castle of trees one posted on the blog, here
It featured a wizard and his human assistant. I liked them and it seemed to have real potential to be extended. A week later, I saw another prompt that made me think of writing it for those two characters.
I do a lot of writing prompts from Writeworld, and the fantasy ones always seem to be an expansive background shot with one or two small figures in the foreground. I got the idea that to do nanowrimo, I could pretty much write a short story for every fantasy looking prompt that would fit. Voila! Fifty thousand words!
So I went through my Drive file of picture prompts and found, not thirty or so of them (one for each day x1600 words makes 50k), but forty six of them! Too easy. So my Scrivener corkboard looks like this.

Then I had to think about story structure. I haven’t written a standard hero’s quest yet but I have read a lot of them. Neat. That will do. I found a Scrivener template for a hero’s quest. It already has the document set up with the standard three part circle structure of departure, initiation and return; and it has all the subcategories - ‘refusal of the call to adventure’ or ‘supernatural guide appears’ for instance.
Conon was the name my Scrivener name generator gave me. He may not keep it, I will see. Second story, Conon became bisexual. If he’s really old, he would have to have tried everything. It made sense to me. Then I started to wonder why he had taken Edwin with him? What is Edwin’s purpose? Is Edwin special? If so, how? Is Edwin the Sam to wizard Frodo? Is he what keeps Conon earthed; stops him from going too power crazy? Or is Edwin the secret child/power/weapon? How close do these two men get on their adventures together? Is Edwin really the hero? Is it really HIS quest? And if so, for what? To find out who he really is?
I have dozens more questions and thus, I have a story.
So my nanowrimo story for 2014 is a fantasy hero’s quest bisexual love story.
Clears throat. Ahem… that one is going to be hard to categorise on Amazon, eh?
Wish me luck.


Friday, 31 October 2014

He was the last person I expected to see here



In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!
http://writeworld.tumblr.com/post/100519890586/he-was-the-last-person-i-expected-to-see-here
He was the last person I expected to see here. Standing in the doorway of my parent’s home; my sister holding his hand and trying to drag him inside to meet us all. I recognised him first. He was just trying to remember all the names and look at people face’s while she introduced him, so he hadn’t even seen me... not yet.
My mind was racing. Did I say that I knew him? Did I wait to see what he did?
“And this is Jake,” she gushed to Mum. I knew she was really keen on this guy. It just hadn’t occurred to me that her Jake was my Jake... or used to be.
“Oh, we've heard so much about you,” Mum gushed back.
Oh, crap. I held my tongue.
Our eyes met and he froze; mouth gaping. Dad noticed. I knew he did. And Dad glanced at me and I was smiling but it was too bright; too fake. I shook Jake’s hand. And then he was dragged on to meet aunts and uncles. I stepped back and hurried off to the bathroom.
After washing my face and giving myself a stern - but silent- talking to, I opened the door and ran straight into my father.
“What?” I asked.
“Talk to me.”
“I can’t.”
“Cat?” He always called me Cat; others called me Catherine, Cathy... anything, but Dad called me Cat. “You know him.” It wasn’t a question.
I could never lie to my father but I wasn’t sure that I could admit to knowing Jake in the biblical sense. “Yes.”
He pointed out the front door. Everyone else was in the back yard. “Two minutes.”
I sighed.
When he came out with two bottles of beer in his hand, it was longer than two minutes and I was sitting with my knees up and my arms wrapped around them. He passed me a bottle.
“They’ll be looking for you,” I accused.
“Nope.” He sat next to me, shoulders bumping, and said, “Now talk.”
“I know him... we kind of... ah... crap.” I drank a large mouthful.
“Did you go out with him?”
“We didn’t so much go out as stay in.”
A nod. “And Amber doesn't know that?”
“No. I didn’t even tell him I had a sister, so he wouldn’t have realised we are related.”
“Common family name, Murray.”
“Yes.” Another sip. “And we didn’t talk... much.”
Silence for a minute.
“Why did it end?” he asked. “Did you break it off?”
“No, he did. He got a girlfriend.”
“You weren’t girlfriend material?”
I had always wondered about that. It had hurt. “Guess not. I also guess that was Amber. The timing fits.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Don’t say anything, Dad. It isn’t your problem.”
“He doesn’t look comfortable out the back.”
“Don’t tell me that.”
“You can’t avoid him.”
“I know. But if I get in my car and drive back to college, Amber will be upset.”
“You thinking about it?”
“No,” I lied.
“Liar.”
I wanted to tell my father that this guy had been special to me. That I loved him. That the way we fitted together was perfect, or at least I had thought so. I didn’t come home as often as Amber did, so my parents didn’t see me mourn the breakup. But I mourned... big time. I just couldn’t show it because I had hidden him from everyone. I could not publicly mourn a man no one had even known about. “I have to talk to him.”
“Yes. Work it out with him.” He finished his beer. “He’s special to Amber.”
“I got that idea.” She’d brought him home to meet the family; that was a first, so he was definitely serious.
Dad gripped my shoulder. “Don’t stay out here all night.” And then he left me alone with my thoughts.
When the door opened again, I thought it was Dad back with another beer. I just held my hand up for it without looking at him. He opened it first and that made me look. I stood in a hurry. Ready to run.
“I didn’t know,” Jake said.
“No.”
“Are you okay?” He actually looked concerned.
“Yes.”
“Have you been okay?”
I’d survived. He looked great. “What do you care?”
“Don’t do this, Cat.”
Oh, yeah. There was one other person who called me Cat.
He looked as if he wanted to touch me. He stared at his hand reaching out for me and then put it in his pocket. I folded my arms. Tried not to crush the beer bottle in my hand.
“I can’t go,” he said. "We just got here.”
“What? She hasn’t introduced you to everyone yet?” I hated how bitter my voice sounded.
“Not like you,” he snarked back. “I bet you didn’t tell anyone about us.”
Ouch. “I thought that was what you wanted.” I heard my voice shudder.
“I wanted you.”
“You had me. Wasn’t that enough?”
He wiped his hand over his face. He didn’t give me an answer.
“Wasn’t I girlfriend material?” I made a gesture with the bottle. “Don’t answer that. I already know.”
“You’re upset.”
I snorted.
“We can’t tell her,” he suggested.
I wanted to accuse him of cowardice, but  I didn’t have the first clue how to explain it to her either. We’d be cowards together. Not lovers.
“I know,” I sighed. “We’ll break her heart.” I wanted to add ‘too’ but I didn’t.
He heard it anyway. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry doesn’t even begin to cut it.”
He took a step towards me. My back was against the verandah post but I didn’t try to sidestep him. He touched the top of my shoulders and then he leaned down and pressed his lips to my forehead. And I didn’t stop him. I put one hand up and pressed the palm against his stomach. It wasn’t a push, it was a caress. “I miss you,” he confessed in a tiny whisper as if he could barely admit it out loud.
We took a breath. Close. Close enough to smell him.
“With her... I... c-can’t breathe,” he confessed.
I closed my eyes. “Don’t tell me that, Jake.” She was my sister. I knew how she smothered things. Drowned them in love when I let them be free. Maybe too free. We were sisters but we weren’t alike.
“Sorry.” A pause. “ I should go find her.”
“Yeah.” I closed my eyes again so I didn’t have to see him leave.
When I opened them I saw movement on the drive. Amber stepped into the light. She must have walked up the side of the house through the carport and we hadn’t heard her. She held the car keys in her hand so hard her fingers were white. I don’t know what she had heard and I wasn’t game to ask.
We stared at each other and then she turned and walked back up the carport.
I went to pack my bag.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2014


Thursday, 30 October 2014

The bloody forest



A picture says a thousand words. Write them.
Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a critique about this picture. Write something about this picture.
Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!
http://writeworld.tumblr.com/post/81940952889/writers-block-a-picture-says-a-thousand-words
Picture Source: 
spex84.deviantart.com
“They call it the bloody forest,” he announced ponderously.
“But that’s just a name… right?” She peered into the edge of the forest and saw the red liquid that seemed to run down the centre of the path.
He lifted an eyebrow.
“It’s not… actually blood?” she asked.
“Does it look like blood?”
“Y-yes.” She still looked nervous.
Silence.
“But it can’t be,” she argued.
“One story is that there was a battle here. A huge one with thousands of fighters. So many that their spilled blood still pours out of the ground.”
She gave him a sceptical look. “Trees,” she argued. “Big trees.”
“It must have been a very long time ago for the trees to grow this big.”
“That’s what I just said.”
He grinned at her. “Right.”
They still hadn’t entered the forest.
“Do we have to go through it?” she asked.
He shrugged. “We could go around... but it would take days longer.”
Her feet shuffled in her agitation. “Have you done it before? Walked through the forest?”
Now she asks.”
“Pfft.”
With a second glance at him, she took a decisive step into the forest.
He noticed that she stayed out of the liquid.
He followed her in.
“Don’t step in the blood,” he warned.
She smacked him on the upper arm. “Stop teasing.” But as she stepped back, she stood in the liquid. “Oh... now I’ve got it on my shoes.”
“Ooh... that doesn’t wash out.”
“Her face twisted in distaste. “What is it? Really?”
“Iron. But it still doesn’t wash out.”
“I hate you.”
He chuckled. “I know. You told me last week.”
She trudged on in silence. He gave her a gentle push, or pointed where they needed to go. Mostly there was no choice; just one path - winding through the trees and little used by the look of it.
“No one lives in here?”
“No.”
“Too dark?”
“Yes.”
Her nerves were making her chatty.
“But it is a forest.”
“And?”
“Something must live in here.”
“True.”
He got a look for that.
“Nothing too large,” he added.
“No rodents of unusual size?”
“Not as far as I know.”
“Uh, huh.”
Silence for some time as they walked and her breathing started to get laboured.
“Do you want to stop?” he asked her.
“No.” A pause. “It unnerves me,” she added.
He frowned at her. “We can stop for a few minutes.”
“No.” Another pause. “Thank you, but I just want to get out of here.”
Handing her the water canteen without comment, they stopped - standing in place while she got her breath back.
He waited until she started to walk again before following her.
Some time later, her breathing was strained and he was watching her so closely that he didn’t see when the figure leapt out of the undergrowth and grabbed him.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2014

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

You can’t just throw people away when you’re done with them



In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!
http://writeworld.tumblr.com/post/90959255712/you-cant-just-throw-people-away-when-youre-done-with
“You can’t just throw people away when you’re finished with them,” she shouted at him, grabbing at his arm.
He looked down at her and his face radiated sympathy as he shook his head. “He’s always like that.”
“Where is he?” she demanded.
He just shook his head again.
“You don’t know or you wouldn’t tell me if you did?”
“Both.” He gave her a look. “He’s my best friend.”
“He’s a dick.”
“I know... but only to women.”
“Oh... so that makes it better?”
“Come on, girl. Are you seriously telling me you thought it meant more?”
She made a frustrated gesture, dragging her hand away from him.
“You’re young,” he said, “You’ll get over it.”
Get over it? The man had lit a passion within her that she had not known existed. Imagining that with anyone else was just not possible right now.
“I don’t want your sympathy,” she shouted at him. “I want to know where he is.”
“Don’t you get it? He’s at home with his wife and kids.” His voice was low and quiet.
Her heart hurt as if it had been speared. She clutched at her chest.
His eyes looked sorry.
“Kids?” she gasped.
“Go home... get drunk. Whatever you need to do.”
“I-I m-meant nothing?” She didn’t know why she was asking him.
He sighed. “I can’t answer that.”
Her head dropped. “No.”
He patted the top of her shoulder. “Go home. Go on.”
It was good advice but she looked towards the bar he had just come out of.
“Don’t go in there,” he said as if he read her mind.
“Rebound.”
“Yeah. You need some time to yourself.”
Maybe she did, but it annoyed her that he knew what advice to give. How many times had he done it before?
“Sure,” she snapped at him, before walking away.
“Do you need a lift?” he called after her, but she didn’t answer.
She needed the long walk home and the time to think.
And the privacy to cry.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2014



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Shirman




A picture says a thousand words. Write them.
Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a critique about this picture. Write something about this picture.
Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

Picture Source: 
anhen.deviantart.com
http://writeworld.tumblr.com/post/86726188724/writers-block-a-picture-says-a-thousand-words
She always took the short cut through the cemetery. No matter how many times her mother told her it was dangerous. She ignored a lot of advice that her mother gave her. She went on constantly about finding her body dumped in a ditch. Why was it always ditches?
She was smoking, too as she was walking along. Her school backpack slung over one shoulder. Her mother was a worrisome old fart who just didn’t understand what it was like to be young.
She constantly nagged her about not contacting her. As if she had time to call or text her mother? She was busy calling and texting her friends. Or snap chatting them. Her mother just cramped her style.
Silly old bitch.
And then she saw the man.
It startled her. For a second she felt afraid.
He was tall with close cropped hair and a trimmed beard. Buttoning his coat as if he had just stepped outside his front door. The problem was that he was in a graveyard. There were no houses here.
The front door that he had just stepped out of was a tree. A large tree that she had noticed a dozen times before. She had always thought that it was very healthy for a tree that grew in a graveyard, or maybe it got lots of fertilizer? Worms... they were good for the earth weren’t they? There had to be lots of worms in a graveyard.
He looked around and she ducked behind a gravestone. All her mother’s warnings flashed through her head.
She knew somehow that this man was dangerous.
Straining her ears to listen for a sound, she realised that she still had her cigarette and that the upward streaming smoke gave her away. Butting it out quickly in the grass she froze to listen again.
Footsteps. Careful and measured approached her hiding place.
Could she run? Not with the bag over her shoulder. It was too heavy and it would take precious seconds to dump. She could not do it now without making a noise.
Silence.
Her phone made a text received noise; a speech sample from her favorite anime. It was a moan. She could not shut it up quickly enough.
~~~~~~
Her phone, bag and the stubbed out cigarette were found the next morning.
It took her mother too long to report her missing, but the police did not blame her. Her daughter had a habit of worrying her mother.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2014


Monday, 27 October 2014

The fabric was thick and heavy, impossible to see through



In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!
http://writeworld.tumblr.com/post/92159635733/the-fabric-was-thick-and-heavy-impossible-to-see
AN: I was reading Georgette Heyer and, in The Black Moth, the blackguard kidnaps a woman he wants to marry without asking her first -and she didn’t even know his real name.
circa 1750
~~~~~~
The fabric was thick and heavy, impossible to see through. It had been flung over her head and she had been manhandled into a carriage. It rocked and bumped as it travelled; at one stage throwing her into the door. She let out a whimper of pain.
"Please," she begged him. "Can I see?" She knew he was there; she had heard him climb in and she could smell his cologne.
He didn't answer but the hood was pulled from her head.
She took a gulp of air; blinking quickly and trying not to cry.
He watched her; her kidnapper.
As she suspected, it was the man she had seen at Bath on a walk around the pump room. Visiting with her aunt she had noticed him noticing her. Even now, he was beautifully dressed, boots to the thigh, white silk breeches, and a brightly colored vest. Also, for once, he was not wearing a coiffured wig. The cloak around his shoulders was a deep dark blue. He outshone all of it with his black hair and flashing blue eyes. He was a very handsome man.
The carriage rolled on for a mile or so before she could ask, "What do you want?"
"You aren't going to ask who I am?" His voice was low and throaty.
"No."
"Why not?"
"I know who you are." She had asked after the bathhouse meeting. Or more strictly, it should be called a sighting. They were not even introduced.
He tilted his head. "You do?"
"You are the Marquess of Vidal.” Heir to the Duke of Avon.
He smiled and inclined his head in a half nod at her. "Indeed."
Another mile or so passed.
"Why?" she asked.
"I need a wife."
"A... w-wife?" That was not what she thought this was about.
"Yes."
She tried to think about it. He was one of the most eligible bachelors in the land. Even given his infamous reputation for womanising and duelling, why did he need to kidnap a wife? Her mouth clicked with thirst and nerves. "Do you..." She swallowed heavily. "Do you have any water?"
"No, only brandy."
She shook her head. It took her another mile to work up the courage to ask, “Can we stop at an inn?”
He knocked on the roof of the cabin with his cane.
With creaks and the stamping of horses the carriage started to slow. He didn’t tell her to stay but he removed his cloak and then half climbed out the door and spoke to the men sitting up on the seat. A shouted command and the carriage jerked into faster movement again. She tried very hard not to admire his rear but it was at her eye level and it was a very nicely shaped rear.
He threw himself back into the seat opposite. “We will stop at the next inn.”
“And then?” she pressed.
“We continue on to my estate.”
“I see.”
He was as good as his word; they stopped at a small inn where she was given refreshment and allowed to walk for a little before being ushered back into the carriage. No bag over her head this time.
She felt overwhelmed. This was hopeless. She was a young girl and he was a marquess. She had no hope of gainsaying him. She just wanted to know why her and why the rush?
~~~~~
At his estate, she was welcomed as if she was already the lady of the manor.
“Are you tired? Do you wish to retire?” he asked.
She startled at the thought of where she would be retiring.
“You would, of course, have your own rooms and a female attendant,” he added.
Of course she would. To make sure she did not leave. But also, it suggested that he had his own apartments and would not be forcing himself upon her.
She was confused and in her tiredness just told him her thoughts.
“I do wish to marry you,” he said.
“So... just ask,” she wailed.
He looked astonished. “Ask?”
“You just took,” she said.
He blinked at her; his mouth open. It had clearly not occurred to him to ask her. “I am not used to asking for what I want,” he confessed.
“And don’t bother now,” she hissed at him. “I don’t marry people who force me into things,” she continued before she turned on her heel and darted up the stairs. The maid showed her to her room.
She had trouble sleeping. She lay in the centre of the enormous bed sure that rest would elude her and still dressed in her undergarments. Habit had made her remove her dress and hang it over a door. There were clothes provided for her but she didn’t want to wear them.
~~~~~~
A knock woke her in the morning and when, after a decent pause, the door opened it hit the chair she had dragged over and put against it. There was a feminine squeak of indignation. Clearly not the Marquess.
“Oh... sorry.” She leapt out of the bed and ran to shift the chair.
The young maid who peeked through the door didn’t look much older than her. “I have to help you dress for breakfast.” She sounded very nervous. “His lordship said,” she added.
Breakfast? It was a new fad. “What’s your name?”
“Millie, your ladyship.”
“Mine is Adelaide and I am not a lady.”
“But you must be,” she argued as she helped her dress. “If his lordship is to marry you.”
“Why does he need to marry so quickly, Millie. Do you know?”
The girl gave her an odd look before leaning in conspiratorially. “It’s his uncle,” she said. “I hear tell that he gave him an... what do you call it?”
“Ultimatum?”
“Threat...yeah.” Millie quickly buttoned up the dress that had taken her too long, and much gymnastics to get out of by herself the night before. “Before his birthday,” she added.
“Whose?”
“His lordship’s.”
He must be turning thirty. She could not imagine he had managed to fit in everything he was reputed to have done in less time.
“I cannot do much with your hair, milady.”
“Don’t worry about it.” If he kidnapped her, he could not expect her to be at her best.
~~~~~~
She stood, arms folded and point blank refused to sit or eat or take anything he offered her until he explained.
“Please sit, Adelaide, and I will explain.”
Ah, so he knew her name at least. A mute head shake.
He sighed and made a motion ordering the staff from the room. She was wondering if he thought that he had made a mistake. Would he return her undamaged if she proved too feisty?
“I admire your spirit. It is admirable under the circumstances.”
Oh dear. That was not the result she had been hoping to achieve. “Why?” she demanded.
“I will explain after the wedding.”
“No.”
“No?”
“No.” She took a deep breath. “Now.”
He raised an eyebrow.
She stood, holding that breath. Her lips pursed in what she hoped looked like determination. She prayed that her stomach would not growl; she was fiercely hungry and the breakfast smelt good.
“My uncle, the Duke, demands an heir.”
Silence.
He continued, “He has no progeny of his own and not for want of trying. He wants proof that I am not so afflicted. The entire line rests on my shoulders.”
She frowned. In all his womanising he had not produced a by-blow?
“And you,” he added, “look fertile to me.”
She blinked. Fertile? She was unfashionably robust as her mother had often told her. She did not know what to say to his statement.
“And I saw how you looked at me.” He grinned at her.
“I did no such thing,” she argued. It would have been the height of rudeness to do so, even if she had.
“Yes, you did.” He laughed. “Confess it, Adelaide, you find me attractive.”
Her mouth hung open as she tried to think of a rejoinder but then her treacherous stomach growled.
He stood and held his hand out to her. “Please sit and eat, I do not want you to fade away.”
In the absence of servants, he piled her plate high with food and offered her tea and hot chocolate. Thus fortified, she attempted to negotiate. He needed her. And from his odd statement, he might even want her. He was not to know that he was the first man who had ever thought her ample virtues were attractive. Adelaide was not a fool, love matches were rare and he was the heir to a Duke. The marriage, even if she was forced into it and it was never consummated, would be valid and divorce was not easily obtained. She might be stuck with him, but he, also, with her. As the wife of the only heir she would be the Lady Avon and her son, if she had one, would be an Earl. His uncle could live for many years, but when he died, she would be Duchess.
She could help her family and if she was very honest, she did find him attractive. She just didn't appreciate his manners. But really, she got the best half of this deal.
She studied him as she ate and again, he knew she was watching him.
When she had eaten her fill she said, “You are very sure of yourself milord.”
“Nathaniel.”
“Pardon?”
“My name. You should know it if we are to wed.”
“If?”
“When,” he corrected. He refilled her chocolate. “Have you changed your mind?”
“If,” she emphasised, “we were to wed... with this unseemly haste, my mother would require a later function.”
He nodded.
“Our private apartments would be-” she stopped, not sure how to proceed.
“-separate,” he finished, “As per the current fashion. Unless you preferred otherwise.”
She blushed. “No...” She fiddled with her napkin.
“Anything else?” He gazed at her expectantly. Those blue eyes twinkled.
“I confess that I am at a loss.” She probably should not have said that.
“Your father?” he asked.
“Died some years ago and I fear there is no dowry.” The lack of a dowry made her an even less attractive option for a wife.
“I know.”
Had he enquired about her as a prospect? Her mother hadn’t said anything.
Silence.
“Adelaide?”
“Milord.”
He frowned.
“Nathaniel,” she corrected herself.
“I apologise for seizing you.” He looked very contrite.
“You do?”
“I promise to never touch you again without your permission.”
“I see.”
“May I hold your hand?”
He learned fast.
She nodded.
He knelt on the floor next to her and reached for her hand. “But I cannot let you go.”
She suspected that.
“I would prefer you to be my wife than a concubine.” Clearly either way, he was not returning her. Her reputation would be destroyed, even if they didn’t do anything. Unless he could return her without incident, but she feared her aunt may have already raised the alarm. And as she had previously calculated, this deal was a good one for her and a lot of wealth was at stake for him.
He waited for her answer.
She nodded quickly and he beamed at her.
“What if...?” she asked. “What if there is no child?”
“I don’t think that will be an issue. Do you?”
~~~~~
They never did settle into separate apartments and her dress had to be adjusted for the formal ceremony. Nobody cared to count the weeks from her official wedding day to her confinement and people said that babies often came early. Even ones as large and healthy as their son.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2014


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Where did you get that bruise?



In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!
http://writeworld.tumblr.com/post/92437495934/where-did-you-get-that-bruise
“Where did you get that bruise?” he demanded as he grabbed her arm; almost bruising her himself.
She snatched her arm away from him. “What’s it matter to you?”
“Where?” he demanded.
“I ran into a door,” she said flippantly.
He gave her an exasperated look. “I don’t think so.” He turned her arm over. “Did he do this?”
She sighed.
No answer was as good as an answer.
“I’ll kill him,” he grunted out.
“No... you won’t.” For a second, she wished to touch his face. Her voice softened, “He’s my father.”
“I don’t care who he is. He cannot treat you like this.”
If he did something stupid, they would all be in trouble. She needed to explain to him. “Better me than my little sisters.”
His face fell. “Oh, Jesus... no.”
“Do you see now?” she asked quietly. “I am all that stands between him and them.”
“I want to help.”
“I know... but... I can’t see a way out of it right now.”
He hugged her and she let herself hug him back. “I’ll wait,” he promised. “I’ll wait and I’ll be there and I’ll help when you think of a plan.”
She smiled weakly at him. “Sure.”
“Plans are what you are good at,” he said.
Studying his eyes, she asked, “Will you really wait? For me?”
“Yes.”
“You don’t mind the package deal? Me and my sisters.”
“Of course not.”
A quick nod. If she knew that, then she could last. She could take the punishment until she saw a way out for them all. And then she’d take her sisters with her and no-one would ever hurt any of them ever again.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2014