Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chapter 3

Sadie awoke to the sun beating down on her face. She didn't know how she ended up outside, but somehow, she wasn't at home. The sky was the brightest blue she had ever seen. The scent of fresh flowers filled the air. In the distance, she saw a small creak, as clear and blue as the sky. Near the bank of the stream, a woman is gathering a bucket of water. Her long, soft hair escapes from behind her ear, but she is quick to slip it back into place. Her eyes were a deep green that matched the grass beneath her. Her lips gave off a rosy tint as they turn into a smile. She rises from the creek and walks toward what must be her cottage. It looks like she has tastefully decorated it to her own satisfaction.

The door burst open and out skipped a young girl, probably 10 years of age. She runs to the woman, snatching her in a hug. The woman stumbles back, spilling her water. She lets out a sigh, but soon laughs along with her child. When they return to the cottage, the woman begins to prepare a delicious meal, no doubt. The pair giggle and smile together. Suddenly, a wee cry from a baby breaks their laughter. The mother is quick to comfort the child. The young girl follows her mother into another room and watches her mother cuddles the baby in her arms.

All of a sudden, the mother's once smiling and glowing face becomes distracted and startled. A slow moving fog creeps its way under the bedroom door. The mother quickly opens the door to see a large blaze consuming her kitchen. She screams for the girl to get the bucket. The child swiftly grabs the bucket and runs out the front door. The mother grabs an old quilt, attempting to beat out the flames, but the fire spreads like lightening. The walls begin to crumble around her. The woman, horrified, makes her way toward the open door, clutching her tiny baby to her heart. The ceiling begins to fall through. In a split second, the woman tosses her baby through the door and is consumed by the flames.

Sadie's eyes burst open. It had been three days since she had that dream. She hated that dream. She hated not being there. She hated not saving her mother. Through her bedroom window, a bright moon shines like a beacon in the ebony sky. How long had she been out? How many whips was it this time? Sadie had never been hit to the point where she blacked out.

She wrestled herself out of bed and walked over to her mirror to observe the damage. Large black and blue bruises lined her entire back and arms. She could also see the distinct spot where she had been kicked. One swipe of the belt also made it along her jawline. Of course, the injuries were tender and sore, but pain was painless to Sadie. She had grown to accept it and did not fear it. Crying had also become incapable. Sadie had tried to cry many times before, but nothing happened. No feeling, no emotion. There was nothing to do but crawl back into bed and wait for morning.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chapter 2

The slow clinking of spurs disrupted the silence. A deep, whooping cough and spit of saliva followed. Warren stood in the frame of the door, surveying the room with his swollen, blood-shot eyes and made his way into the house, but not without tripping over his own drunk feet. Jill ran to his side and hugged his unstable leg. Warren staggered back and gave her a pat on the head. He then turned to Sadie.
"Where's my dinner?" He grumbled.
 Sadie pointed to the table. Warren hobbled over and sat with a thud that shook the whole house. He swiftly grabbed his glass and chugged the whiskey down, all while reaching for the bottle to pour another. The girls made themselves comfortable next to him. Just as Sadie was about to eat, Warren slammed his fist down on her perfectly cooked biscuit.
"Oh no you don't." He said, raising a finger to the door. "You go put Pearlie away."
Sadie turned to Jill, who was happily chomping away at her plate. Reluctantly, she slipped out of her chair and took Pearlie back to the barn.

Pearlie was an ancient horse. She had been around for as far back as Sadie could remember. She was called Pearlie because of her white coat, which was as shiny and pure as a pearl. Of course, this was years ago. No one took the time to bathe the mare, and her coat faded to a gloomy gray color. Sadie led the horse into her stable and gently stroked her back, which cause Pearlie to shake and release dirt into the air.
"You filthy beast." Sadie coughed.
When Sadie returned to the house, all the lights had diminished except for the glow of Warren's pipe. She heard another pour of the whiskey bottle. Beneath the dull glow of the pipe, he stared menacingly at her, while a slow grin formed across his face.
"So," he began. "I heard you took another little trip to the woods this afternoon."
Jill. Although she was good company, she wasn't an expert on keeping secrets. Sadie took a deep breath as Warren stood from the table and slowly made his way toward her.
"I was just prepping some firewood. I wasn't gone long." She replied.
Her stepfather let out a sarcastic "Ha!" as he continued to approach her.
"Like I haven't heard that one before. Aren't you getting tired of all this, Sadie?" He asked maliciously. "Always disobeying your guardian?" 
He now had her against the fireplace, embers still glowing orange.
"We can't have you off frolicking in the forest, all while my precious little girl is left here, all alone and defenseless."
Like a flash, his hand came up and swiped Sadie's face.
 "She needs to be protected.."
"Protected from what!?" Sadie burst. "We live in an old shack in the middle of nowhere! If you cared for her at all, you would be here, spending time with her. Not stumbling around town making a fool of yourself with your drunken friends and whores and..."
A cold, firm hand clenched her throat and ceased her shouts. Her neck began to shiver, spreading down her whole body.
"You think you can speak to me in that tone?" 
His breath stank of a dozen liquors. Sadie gasped for air as she was thrown to the floor. He towered over her, eyes livid with hate.
"You wouldn't even be alive if I weren't here. I provide everything for you girls. That is my job!"
"Drinking is your only job.." She muttered.
A wild kick to her spine caused Sadie to cry out in pain. Warren reached for his leather belt on the mantle of the fireplace.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chapter 1

The forest is a place so familiar, yet so unknown. To many, it is nothing but an area of land. For others, it's a sanctuary. It's a home of tranquility and peace, with a canopy of trees to escape from the outside world.

Snap! The silence of the woods is disturbed by the sound of a broken twig. A strange blur races through the trees. Suddenly, it trips over a stone and falls to the ground. The image becomes clear. Sadie. She is no stranger to the forest. She is quick to rise and continue. It appears she has been running for quite some time. Her long, shiny black hair, now matted and dull. Her lungs are struggling for air. Beads of sweat are cascading down her face. Of course, none of this mattered to Sadie. The only thing on her mind was going faster, finding some way to beat time.

At last, she becomes blinded by the light of day. The woods have ended. She is back to reality. There in front of her was the house she left for as long as she could. The house itself looked as though an army had invaded. Shingles were raining from the roof by the hour. Creaky window hinges were barely hanging on. Nothing green and full of life grew within five feet of the porch. This was definitely a place worth leaving.

A sudden cry of a horse echoed from down the road. He was coming, sooner than she thought. There wasn't a moment to lose. Sadie made one last sprint up to the house. When she got to the door, she looked toward the road. Another whinny. Sadie got right to work, hoping he wouldn't notice that she had ever left the house again. She filled his glass of whiskey, put dinner on the stove to warm it up, and headed to the washboard. Sadie could now hear the cart. Closer, and closer. She scrubbed faster and harder.

Suddenly, a dark shadow fell upon her. She slowly turned her head, then let out a sigh of relief. It was only Jill, who was rubbing her eyes after a long afternoon nap. Jill was only six years old, but was the only person Sadie could really talk to. Jill often didn't understand the conversations, but she still listened intently.

"Sadie, I'm hungry." She mumbled.
"Don't worry. Warren's almost home. We'll be eating soon."
 "Daddy was gone a long time today. Do you think he got you presents?" She asked.
A small chuckle escaped from Sadie's lips. She had almost forgotten her own birthday. In two days, she would be 16. It didn't matter to Warren. He probably spent the whole day at the bar as usual, wasting the little money he earned on poker with the other drunks. Sadie knew better than to tell Jill about that.

"Yeah, maybe he did." Sadie replied with a slight smile.
Another cry from the horse. This time, right outside the front door.