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Death Wish : Chapter Two

by Skittles


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Already wanting to get out of the house, Rayne thought of all the movies that were playing at the theater and began walking to the door. She stopped at the mirror for a quick inspection. Rucksack draped on her shoulder, her dark amber hair combed through with her fingers, she considered herself good enough and reached for the lion door handle when Maurice caught her by the arm.

“Your father has instructed me not to let you out for the rest of the night,” he said, his voice gravelly like the grits he made for breakfast this morning.

“I’ll pay you fifty dollars to keep mum,” Rayne said fishing through her purse for the bill. Maurice shook his head slowly. She imagined his bones breaking with frailty.

“Your father is paying me to match your price,” he said and cackled at the roll of her eyes.

“Where is he?”

“The study of course,” Maurice moved like a snake in front of her as she made her way to the stairs. “And he has asked to be alone for the rest of the night.”

“What is this treason?” Rayne said looking at the butler incredulously. “I thought we were a team. Bonnie and Clyde.”

“I’m a poor man,”

“You live with us in a mansion,” Rayne countered. “You can hardly say you’re middle class.” She thought a moment. “What will it take to let me see my own father and or get out tonight?” Rayne searched the old man’s creased face. “I’ll make my own breakfast for a week.”

“A month and I’ll let you go to your father,” Maurice began to raise his hand before slamming it down again. “And if he asks, I was knocked out by your overrated Christmas decoration’s music.”

“Elvis Presley is not a Christmas decoration nor is he overrated,” taking mock offense of her favorite singer. “But you’ve got a deal”

Maurice gave another cackle, something like a hacking cough mixed with the sound someone makes when punched in the gut, and raised his arm off the stair banister.

Rayne raced past Maurice and up to her father’s study. Bursting through its thick artisan doors, she let them bang against the walls to announce her arrival.

Sebastian looked up from his mess of papers, pens, and ink and stared at her in bewilderment. “Are you excited or angry?”

“Both,” she said. “I think that Cael’s in some sort of gang,” That had been her only conclusion as to how weird he had acted after the mention of the gray man. Crack addicts turned gray didn’t they? “And I want to go out tonight.”

“Do you honestly believe that I’d let a miscreant teenage boy sit at a table with my darling daughter?”

“No.”

“There-you-have-it.” he slurred. “Now leave me alone and close the doors behind you. And no, you may not go out tonight. It’s nearly ten.”

Rayne narrowed her eyes at her father. He had been drinking even more from the last she’d seen him. He was ghoulish looking and bloodshot in the eyes making his already startling blue ones pop like fluorescents.

“You promised you’d stop drinking,” Rayne decided to put away the theory of ghosts for a moment and took the unfinished beer, one among the twelve, from his desk.

Sebastian clawed after it, his fingers only brushing against the glass as Rayne pulled it out of reach. He made an angry grunt in his throat as if to clear it. “Rayne, don’t treat me like your child.”

“Because it’s not like you don’t act like one when you’re drinking. Maurice doesn’t stop you and Mom’s not here to punish you either.”

“Well you don’t need to fillacquiramatate her role,” he said. She assumed he meant “fill” but didn’t correct him.

Sebastian quickly reached under the thick antique desk and acquired another Space Barley and opened it by banging it against his fist, an odd technique for a retired college professor.

“You’re getting beer all over the maps,” Rayne said, quickly moving to take them, but her father pushed her hands away. And then, like a dog with a raggedy-Ann, he began tearing at his delicately drawn maps, his beer spilling all over them as he knocked into them.

“These damn maps will be the death of me,” he said, not paying attention to Rayne’s horrified state.

“Dad,” she screamed, ripping the three years worth of his work from his hands. “Stop! Daddy!”

“No,” he shouted at her and got up, knocking his chair back in the process. “Rayne give me those maps now!”

“I won’t,” she said. She backed away from her father, the papers pressed protectively to her chest. She had to think of something that would make her father cease the havoc he was creating. “Mom wouldn’t want you to destroy these.”

“Yes she would,” he was still yelling. “And don’t you dare bring your mother into this Lorrayne.”

Rayne squeezed her eyes shut at the sound of the detested name. She then opened them. Her eyes, just as blue as her father’s, were beginning to sting again. She felt the tugging at her heart making her words as she spoke quiver. “But I miss her.”

Through her tears she could see her father shrink. He was no longer breathing fire but soft cooing noises as he trudged through the battle field of precious maps to her. She tensed when he wrapped his lanky arms around her, as she usually tried to ward off affection from him, but she was feeling vulnerable and in need for comfort, something she hadn’t had for three years.

“I miss her too,” Sebastian whispered. “Do you want to talk about it? Dr. Cross said you’d probably open up to me eventually about what happened.”

Rayne closed her eyes for a moment, the gruesome scene quickly relaying on the back of her eyelids. It had been three years and it was like it just happened.

“If you don’t want to talk about it,” Sebastian said. “I’ll understand. It might be too soon. ”

“I don’t know if I can,” Rayne said quietly.

Sebastian had stopped hugging her, making her feel like a clam that had just been touched. All she wanted to do was close her shell now and never see daylight again.

Rayne looked up at her father. “Do you miss them?”

He was looking back at her, her question jumpstarting a few of his tears that dripped down his pale cheeks. He reeked of alcohol but his eyes had begun to see logic. “Of course I do mon loup.

Her breath caught in her throat. She hadn’t been called her pet name since that horrible afternoon. She suspected because she grew up fast within the next few years, a pet name was hardly suitable.

“I sometimes can’t stop thinking about it,” Rayne offered. If she was going to open up to her father, she was going to feed to him in pieces. “And when I can’t stop thinking about it I-”

“Yes.” Sebastian said. It was all he had to say in order for her to get the hint. If there was one thing he hated more than magic it was the fact that she had tried to take her life 12 times. She knew he wasn’t mad at her, but at the person who had done it. She was just caught in the crossfire.

“I need to go,” Rayne said, taking in a shaky breath. This happened every time she talked about her mother and brothers. It was suffocating. “I just need some air.”

“I will not let you walk out of this house,” Sebastian said. “If you so much as step foot outside that door you will be severely punished-”

“Unless you found a punishment worse than living in this hell which I’m sure you haven’t then I guess I’ll just go.” Rayne twisted away from her father and stormed angrily out of the study. For a moment she thought he was still standing there, letting her go, but when she turned around at the foot of the stairs he was right behind her, wobbling down them with his cane.

Part of her wanted to help her crippled father, the other wanted to snatch the cane and watch him tumble.

“I suppose you’re trying to stop me,” Rayne said as he came to stand in front of her. She hadn’t noticed how much she’d grown. She was now at least four inches taller than her father. She suspected years hunched over obsessively writing could do that to a man.

Noticing the height he tried to straighten, cracking his back in the process. “What did Beau tell you after Liam was born?”

“Are you ready to love this kid as much as you’re going to hate him?” Rayne recited.

“Can you love me as much as you hate me?” Sebastian put an ink-stained hand on top of her head as if by doing so it would prevent her from moving. “Please don’t go out. I’m begging you.”

Rayne walked out from under his hand, letting it flop lifelessly to his side. She saw the hurt in the eyes which gnawed at her guilt, but her anguish and suffocated mind were overbearing.

I’ll be back before midnight. She had promised herself and turned towards the door. “Goodbye Dad.”


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1220 Reviews


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Sun May 26, 2013 10:48 pm
Kale wrote a review...



Hello, Skittles, and a fine Review Day to you!

Before I start this review, you should know that I haven't read Chapter One, so if I bring up an issue that was already addressed, feel free to disregard that part of my review.

With that said, there were only two things that really stood out to me. One was this sentence:

He was ghoulish looking and bloodshot in the eyes making his already startling blue ones pop like fluorescents.

The way it's phrased, it reads like he has more than two eyes. Since you already described his eyes as being bloodshot, it makes a bit more sense to describe them as being "startling blues", leaving the "eyes" implied.

That sentence aside, you had some pretty interesting and vivid descriptions in this. I particularly liked the description of the butler's voice, though the mirror scene at the start almost scared me away. I'm glad you kept that nice and brief instead of dwelling on Rayne's reflection, as a lot of writers do. As it stands, the little mirror scene at the beginning of this chapter works to characterize Rayne as someone who cares about her appearance enough to quickly check in a mirror before darting out the door.

The other thing that stood out to me was how suddenly Rayne shifted from grieving to angry and then back to grieving in the study. A bit more transition or hinting between the two emotional states would help smooth this issue over.

Otherwise, this was a very solid chapter.




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Wed May 15, 2013 10:08 pm
StoneHeart wrote a review...



Okay, Black here for a Review!


All right! First off I want to announce to the world what an amazing piece of writing you have here! It is AMAZING! I deeply appreciated your style, pace, grammar, plot, theme, prospectivity, and EVERYTHING! I love it when I meet a writer who can beat my writing to shame (I meet a lot sadly but I never get over the feeling!)!

However much I'd like to tell you that your writing here is perfect (Don't let me pull ya back - It's pretty darn close as is), this piece DOES have problems.

Obviously it would be immeasurably helpful if I'd read the previous chapters of this story, but I don't have time for that now, so I'll just hop into it! Problems: Your grammar, your logic, and your pace.

So, let's get through each of these shall we!


Grammar:
Really the problems with the grammar here are in the GRAMMAR itself, quite particularly, and not in the spelling. Overall your grammar is really quite good! I'll give you that!

But you have a rather wrong way of using it at times.

Here're a couple examples:

Maurice began to raise his hand before slamming it down again.

This is downright awkward . . . Maybe try.
Maurice raised his hand slightly and then slammed it back down again.

Just read through them both, compare them, and decide which one works for you.

Maurice gave another cackle, something like a hacking cough mixed with the sound someone makes when punched in the gut, and raised his arm off the stair banister.

Really there's nothing wrong with your grammar here . . . But have you ever heard what someone sounds like when they get punched in the gut? It sounds nice and all, but make sure you're making sense! Otherwise you'll eventually hit something that really doesn't make sense . . .

He was no longer breathing fire but soft cooing noises as he trudged through the battle field of precious maps to her.

Two problems with this . . . She's holding the maps, and there's no proper transition between breathing fire (Weird word choice by the way!) and soft cooing . . . Try something more along these lines.
He stopped breathing fire and began to coo softly to her as he trudged through the battlefield (Yes battlefield is one word) of maps to her.

But hey! My darned style's probably just gettin in the way! Do what works for you!

She saw the hurt in the eyes which gnawed at her guilt, but her anguish and suffocated mind were overbearing.

Besides the fact that this sentence is incredibly awkward I do believe that it's improper grammar. Read it for yourself . . . the use of 'eyes' feels so wrong. The way you use them. Here, let me re-write it and show you what I mean.
She saw the hurt in his eyes, and she felt guilt gnaw at her gut, but anguish and suffocated mind were overbearing

Use what works! Something else I feel is wrong here . . . Rayne gives me the impression of a powerful willed, self-made girl . . . Her reaction at her mother and brothers death is wrong for the character you give her. It makes her seem weak and soft. I don't like emo characters . . . Remember: After three years of someone being dead you get over it. Believe me, my dad died when I was 11 . . . 3 years after that, I was back to life. It's just a small logical problem.

He was looking back at her, her question jumpstarting a few of his tears that dripped down his pale cheeks. He reeked of alcohol but his eyes had begun to see logic. “Of course I do mon loup.”

Okay first off jump starting is two words and second off it's a VERY strange word choice (I'm also pretty sure you mean ' mon loupe ' here as well . . .

So that's it for grammar! I hope you see your general idea! What you really need to do to weed out all of your problems right now is to sit down and read the story out loud to yourself. Believe me, it really fixes the problems!


Logic:
So what exactly do I mean by logic?

The logic in your story is the whole 'sense' of it. If you say your character is a multimillionaire perfectionist, and then mention that their office is a rotting mess . . . then you have a logic problem. A contradiction in this case.

Point being this: Do you have any idea what a mansion such as the one they're in right now would look? Do you know whether or not a retired professor could afford a mansion? Do you know whether or not her father would give a damn if she left?

Really your problem isn't in the fact that you have anything particularly WRONG with your logic, it's just that you have a way of putting thing's that's hard to handle. You're avoiding answering the questions that logic needs.

For example: What kind of antiques does this mansion contain? Antiques in a mansion (MOST ANY MANSION mind you!) are very important features, you can't just 'not notice' them . . .

You're doing it.

You should at least mention whether or not the house is black and eight stories high . . .

Really my problem is that you're not describing hardly ANYTHING! (Mind you, this is a guys name as well - spelled differently but said the same way!) I don't know if the butler is six feet tall or four . . .? These are things that are very easy to put into a story and help loads! Also, the little that you do put in is really awkward. Read this and tell me what you think?

She stopped at the mirror for a quick inspection. Rucksack draped on her shoulder, her dark amber hair combed through with her fingers, she considered herself good enough and reached for the lion door handle when Maurice caught her by the arm.

Compared with the rest of your work this is really awkward.

If you have a pace such as yours, then it's essential to give your reader lots to imagine! A reader wants to build themselves into the story: Live it! Feel it! With you're pace is as fast as it is, you really have to put in details in or things just feel wrong . . .

Sorry if this was confusing . .



Pace: Now your pace is really kinda slow. You use a lot of dialogue here, and in using it you seem to have forgotten that dialogue is WAR! You can't forget that.
I'd advise you to try to work on your speed a bit. Your dialogue is just feeling really insubstantial and slow right now . . . I like the way you're heading this story though, I'll make no bets, but I still do!


Anyway! Hope this helped!

Very, very, very nice work! Be sure to keep writing (It'll get like, even better! - Ya gotta remember, a writer advances through practice!)


~Black~




Skittles says...


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was really looking forward to someone reviewing the second chapter. As usual, I will be reviewing my work and taking in revisions you guys help me with. Although my dialogue pace can be slow, my reading pace is non par and I tend to miss the simple things even after I review a million times. As for the logic, I will review as well. Sometimes I forget what the readers do and don't know...It's quite tiresome really.So thank you very much! :)





I know what ya mean! Lol

Good luck!

(And I do reviews anytime! - Just ask if you want one).



Skittles says...


Thanks!




“It doesn’t matter what you are, it only matters what you do. It’s your choice.”
— Sam Winchester