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She's crying again. I can feel her shake as she sobs. I open my eyes, but all I see are shadows of red. I become restless and strain myself against the walls of my confinement. Her crying stops and I feel her gentle hands stroke my back as she begins to sing. Her voice is soft and gentle. It is the same song she always sings when I am restless, and though I don't understand the words, I know she is singing of love, and I feel safe and warm as I fall asleep.

He is here. I sense that he is near and again we are in danger. My heart beats faster and I push at the walls that are both my hiding place and my prison. I know I cannot escape and so I push myself as far back as I can. My hands cover my ears as his voice gets louder. His words are unclear to me, but I know he is angry again and it is just a matter of time before the pain will come.
She is crying agaain and the thump thump of her heart beats faster and louder in my ears. I roll myself into a ball and press my body deeper into the confines of my shelter. I am thrown from side to side, and I stretch out my hands as if to ward off the unseen danger. She is screaming now, and I see dark shadows wrap around me, trying to protect me from what is yet to come. A tearing pain rips through me as her screams become louder and more intense. Again and again I feel the strenth of his anger on my legs, my back, and my head. I cannot escape and I am filled with fear as all turns black before my eyes.

The screaming has stopped; only the sound of her heartbeat accompanies the sound of her sobs. I feel her struggle for air as again her arms enfold me, stroking me, letting me know it is over for now. Her sweet voice starts singing again, but this time I cannot fall asleep. Something is different. The thumping of her heart is too fast, and the rushing sounds all around me warn me that there is a new threat.

A new sound fills my ears, accompanied by new voices. They are like his, but gentle, and I relax some knowing that he is gone. I am rocked back and forth as she again begins to sing, only now her voice is weaker than ever before. He's really hurt her this time, and I sense her body struggling to pump blood as her breathing becomes harder.

She stops singing, and the other voices are getting louder. I stroke the walls around me, trying to comfort her as she'd done a million times before. The walls around me begin to close in, squeezing me tighter, and I feel myself being pushed down. I try to fight, but I am still so weak. Then I hear his voice. It is not his angry voice, but it is his, and again I feel the danger of having him near. I am pushed down further, and with all my strength I try to resist, to stay in my warm home. My instinct tells me that once I leave this place I can never go back, and she can no longer protect me.

A bright light startles my eyes, but all I see are shadows, no longer red, but black. The cold air hurts my lungs as I take my first breath of life. I hear him again, louder this time. It is not a threatening sound, yet I know who he is and what he can do. I cry, trying to warn the other shadows of this man who had hurt me time and time again. I am placed somewhere soft and warm, and I hear the familiar sound of my mother's heart. Her arms feel different as she holds me and I stop to cry, feeling safe as her tears run down my face.

"I'm sorry," she whispers over and over to me. I don't understand what she means, but I cuddle closer into her. Her fingers caress my body and I feel the low, shallow warmth of her breath. Her heart beats slower and I feel her hold weakening. "I love you," she breathes and then she is gone. Rough hands rip me away, and the he is holding me. The voices of the shadows are louder now, and nobody hears my cries of fear, "Not here! Not him! Help me!" I fight against the hands that hurt me, the hands that killed my mother. I feel his anger rushing through his veins as his grip increases around my body; there is no escape. My protector, my mother is dead and I know now that my hell has only just begun.


The following comments are for "No Mercy"
by Queen of the Hill

This is a very well written, intelligent piece on a subject that is usually not covered with such grace.

A couple things you may want to consider: there were a couple of points in the body of the story where you weren't altogether clear on if the child was unborn. Also, you could try and add a couple sentences to make it clear the mother died.

However, I felt this piece was very well done. Keep it up! =D

( Posted by: Darkshine Raven [Member] On: September 23, 2003 )

This was really a good story. I didn't catch on until about the middle of the second paragraph. The POV of the narrator was just very powerful. This really struck a nerve. Great story.

( Posted by: wrath186 [Member] On: September 23, 2003 )

Although you take liberties (of course) with the depth of expression an unborn child would have, you do so with thoughtful respect. This is beautiful and sad. I enjoyed it very much and I liked the color perceptions: red through the covering that protected the fetus, then black once emerged. Very nice work.


( Posted by: Safiyah [Member] On: September 24, 2003 )

This is intense. I'm seriously impressed darlin' - well done.

Your use of the first person and the gradual revelation of who and what that first person are were excellent and the pace was damned near perfect.

There are a couple of typos but that's no big deal. There is one small, trifling criticism though, "I stretch out my hands as if to ward off the unseen danger". I would lose the as if. She IS trying to ward off the unseen danger so it isn't AS IF she were trying. Personally I would replace the "as if" with "to".

Very cool story and well executed.

( Posted by: Enforced Bliss [Member] On: September 27, 2003 )

Never in my life did I expect so many positive words about anything I've written! Give's one hope. The suggestions are all taken close to heart, and I shall keep them in mind when I get around to writing again. Only one thing, Darkshine Raven, I had it sort of planned for the reader NOT to know right from the start that it was an unborn child, but maybe that wasn't such a good idea, or maybe I should have written it differently. Either way, thanks to you all again, and please feel free to comment on anything I post in the future, isn't that the best way to learn?

( Posted by: Queen of the hill [Member] On: September 28, 2003 )

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