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For you, my love

by Cailey


The fingers of wind were cold and desperate; their touch was that of dry ice pulling, dragging, begging. Passion of the sightless wind could not be seen, but oh, it could be felt. Black wisps of hair danced a frantic melody with the invisible monster, leaping and diving in front of the thin face. The eyes, as clear and emotionless as that of a corpse, stared unseeingly forward. How pale they were as the moon’s reflection place itself inside the light blue irises. Placed perfectly between them the thin nose fell down to the red lips that were parted slightly as small clouds of mist were the only evidence that the lips still breathed. Below the face the pale body continued, resembling a skeleton with only a small layer of skin left clinging to each toothpick bone. A thin black dress hung down like a simple sheet, caressing the rotting wood floor as the wind blew it around the bare feet.

“You’ve seen many battles, have you not?” When the lips moved, each syllable was a dagger piercing the silence, pushing away the monstrous wind. The feet moved ever so quietly, turning to an old shield that hung crookedly from its place on the fading grey wallpaper. “You know pain just as much as me. Yet now, now you sit rejected. Left to rust. Left to be forgotten.” A chuckle followed these words, so low and menacing that the shield itself drew away from the sound and clattered to the floor, reliving the similar ring of metal that had accompanied the shield during past years. Instantly the laugh stopped and silence reigned once more. Time passed, an unidentifiable amount of time. The still face peered out the broken window and gazed upon the lake below. Sharp dots of light reflected the stars above, and only an occasional wave bumped against the sandy shore and the rocky ledge on which the decrepit house leaned ever closer to the shadows beneath the water.

Only when footsteps made their way across the cracking floorboards did the girl move. Her dress glistened and moved like the lake below, and her eyes brought the full moon inside as she faced the man who had entered the room and now stood silently.

“You are not well.” His voice was pain. The darkness of his features, his eyes, his cloak all reflected the darkness inside his heart.

“Me?” the innocence in the now sweetly angelic voice was so unfitting the old house and the eerie night. “Why my dear, I have never been better.” It seemed the words were hardly out of her mouth that the thin hands rose up, with nails long and black. They ran down the man’s taut cheeks and mimicked the curve of his chin and the way his neck stretched in horror. His own bony fingers brushed hers away, and her perfect smile faded into the look of death that she had worn before. “Why are you here?” This time hostility was the only emotion that could be heard in the strained voice.

“I had to see you.” Exhausted, he leaned against the wall. As his weight fell upon it the whole house groaned in protest and pushed ever closer to the drop off edge of the rocks. “Adaliah, how can I ever help you?”

“Help? I need no help.” Adaliah’s voice continued firm and unrelenting as the man stood again, afraid of falling to his death along with the walls.

“Look around you! No one in their right mind would live in a place like this. Adaliah, you are not well.” Now the man’s voice began to rise and his dark eyebrows linked together in frustration. “What must I say? I was wrong. I was wrong, Adaliah. I see it now. I am sorry, but what was done cannot be changed. She would have killed them, dead. What else could I do but step in to save my family?”

“You could have had it any other way. They did not need you like I did. They did not love you.” The darkness was hidden behind each word she practically spat at him. His eyes closed in guilt and his hand raised as if asking for surrender.

“But I loved them.”

Such small words, so unimportant. Adaliah picked up the shield and hung it back on its post. “It was my great grandfather’s. He gave it to me because he loved me.”

“Now you accuse me as well? What would you have done? She said she would kill my family if I refused to be her apprentice.”

“Apprentice? That’s all you were? If all she wanted was an apprentice she would not have hunted down the most handsome man.” How sweetly the words dripped, like poison sliding down the fang of a viper.

“What would you have done?” He repeated the question, his voice filled with agony and his once perfect face creased with years of torture.

“I would have sooner killed you than leave you to this fate.” The lips smiled, nearing the maniacal expression she had hid so well behind the accusations and the fake innocence. The smile grew, the blue irises were almost completely hidden by the closing eyelids and the hair rose with a fresh gust of wind from the lake. With a movement that was not of a living person but of a soul quickly leaving the world, her arm rose and hung in the air inches away from the man’s face. Scars traced their way up her pale skin and formed words and sentences.

“All for you, my love. Every time the knife pierced my skin, it was for you and only you.” Her other hand moved to the wall and the aforementioned weapon was produced, brown with dried blood. At the sight of the man’s frantic expression she once more gave out a laugh that only one who has all but died can give. The sound continued, jumping off the walls and skimming over the lake. The sharpened knife slipped through the deathly white fingers and stuck in the floor below. She moved past the man and to an old table. On the table sat an assortment of rocks. She stuffed them in hidden pockets of her black dress until the pockets bulged like the cheeks of a magpie who has found some treasure too big to be carried in its beak or claws.

“Adaliah, what are you doing?” the man’s voice rose, but was covered by the sound of her continued laughter. “Adaliah!”

“For you, my dear,” she murmured between chuckles, stuffing ever more rocks in the seams of her dress. “For you.” The man stared in dumb silence as she brushed past him again, hardly aware that he was even there. When he tried to grasp her arm she simply dug rivers of blood into his hand with her sharpened nails and laughed ever harder.

“Don’t forget me, dear. You won’t, will you? When I am alone with the sound of the water, you won’t forget me?” Her words were hollow and unconnected to the glowing white of insanity that showed in her eyes. “After all, this is all for you. Now, promise me you won’t forget me?”

“Adaliah!”

“You promise? Wonderful. Goodbye, my love.” A new breeze rose from the waves and blew around her hair. The shards of glass still poking through the window cut her fingers and streams of blood rolled down the trails of scars on her arms and melted into the fabric of the dress as she climbed on the window. Her feet also dug into the shattered bits of window and the pain made her smile grow, showing perfect white teeth.

As her bones drifted down to the stars and the round moon, the man stepped to the window. His fingers felt the abandoned blood and he stared as her body made contact with the waves below and she faded from his view forever. As for Adaliah, the pain of impact was the first breath of fresh air. Each gulped breath of icy water filled her lungs with numbness and sanity. The last thought that pushed into her mind like a thin spider’s web was simple and emotionless. Her vision of the waters blurred and her body left her alone in the waves. Throughout it all, her only thought was this: that, my love, was easy.

Spoiler! :
this was for a contest, and I had to choose three things. I chose: Staples: that was easy.

What the water gave me by Florence and the Machine

Cloudcuckoolander.

So, I don't know how scary this is... but let me know what you think anyway, please and thank you!


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202 Reviews

Points: 8831
Reviews: 202

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Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 am
Octave wrote a review...



Horror. >] I am so feeling halloween-y this week.

The fingers of #FF0000 ">the wind were cold and desperate; #FF0000 ">Personally I find adding "the" improves the flow, but this is iffy. their touch was that of dry ice pulling, dragging, begging. #FF0000 ">As much as I like the metaphor/personification/whateveryoucallthis, I think you could improve this sentence by turning it active instead of keeping it passive. #FF0000 ">The passion of the sightless wind could not be seen, #FF0000 ">Sightless...seen makes this bit awkward. but oh, it could be felt. Black wisps of hair danced a frantic melody with the invisible monster, leaping and diving in front of the thin face. The eyes, as clear and emotionless as that of a corpse, stared unseeingly forward. How pale they were as the moon’s reflection place#FF0000 ">d itself inside the light blue irises. #FF0000 ">I admit your writing is pretty, but I can't seem to find the conflict and I'm starting to get antsy. Placed perfectly between them the thin nose fell down #FF0000 ">Wrong words. Fell down makes me think it literally detached and fell. to the red lips that were parted slightly as small clouds of mist were the only evidence that the lips still breathed. #FF0000 ">Not too fond of that last bit because it makes it seem like the norm is to breathe through your lips, and that when a person is dead you check their lips to see if they're breathing.Below the face the pale body continued #FF0000 ">Obviously. Thsi is kind of redundant, and a weird phrase at that., resembling a skeleton with only a #FF0000 ">thin layer of skin left clinging to each toothpick bone. A thin #FF0000 ">Hrm. Small layer wouldn't be right, as the correct adjective for layer would be thin, but you use thin again here. oo I'm at a loss on what to do. black dress hung down like a simple sheet, caressing the rotting wood floor as the wind blew it around the bare feet. #FF0000 ">Also, I'd like to point out that you have a tendency to tack on an adjective for each and every noun you use. I didn't notice it at first, but now that I do, it's a little irritating.

“You’ve seen many battles, have you not?” When the lips moved, each syllable was a dagger piercing the silence, pushing away the monstrous wind. The feet moved ever so quietly, turning to an old shield that hung crookedly from its place on the fading grey wallpaper. “You know pain just as much as me. Yet now, now you sit rejected. Left to rust. Left to be forgotten.” A chuckle followed these words, so low and menacing that the shield itself drew away from the sound and clattered to the floor, reliving the similar ring of metal that had accompanied the shield during past years. Instantly the laugh stopped and silence reigned once more. Time passed, an unidentifiable amount of time. The still face peered out the broken window and gazed upon the lake below. Sharp dots of light reflected the stars above, and only an occasional wave bumped against the sandy shore and the rocky ledge on which the decrepit house leaned ever closer to the shadows beneath the water.

Only when footsteps made #FF0000 ">Made is a weak verb. Try to avoid it when possible. their way across the cracking floorboards did the girl move. #FF0000 ">Awkward sentence. Her dress glistened and moved like the lake below, and her eyes brought the full moon inside as she faced the man who had entered the room and now stood silently.

“You are not well.” His voice was pain. The darkness of his features, his eyes, his cloak all reflected the darkness inside his heart.

“Me?” the innocence in the now sweetly angelic voice was so unfitting the old house and the#FF0000 "> eerie night. “Why my dear, I have never been better.” It seemed the words were hardly out of her mouth #FF0000 ">when the thin hands rose up, with nails long and black. They ran down the man’s taut cheeks and mimicked the curve of his chin and the way his neck stretched in horror. His own bony fingers brushed hers away, and her perfect smile faded into the look of death #FF0000 ">that she had worn before. “Why are you here?” This time hostility was the only emotion that could be heard in the strained voice.

“I had to see you.” Exhausted, he leaned against the wall. As his weight fell upon it the whole house groaned in protest and pushed ever closer to the drop off edge of the rocks. #FF0000 ">That last bit was awkward. Might want to revise it. “Adaliah, how can I ever help you?”

“Help? I need no help.” Adaliah’s voice continued firm and unrelenting as the man stood again, afraid of falling to his death along with the walls.

“Look around you! No one in their right mind would live in a place like this. Adaliah, you are not well.” #FF0000 ">This last bit is an awkward piece of dialog. Revise. Now the man’s voice began to rise and his dark eyebrows linked together in frustration. “What must I say? I was wrong. I was wrong, Adaliah. I see it now. I am sorry, but what was done cannot be changed. She would have killed them#FF0000 ">, dead Killed them dead is redundant.. What else could I do but step in to save my family?”

“You could have had it any other way. They did not need you like I did. They did not love you.” The darkness was hidden behind each word she practically spat at him. #FF0000 ">The start of this sentence was weird. I think it'd be better if you took it out, or if you take out the sentence altogether. Adds for more effect, in my opinion. His eyes closed in guilt and h#FF0000 ">e raised his hands (his hands raised is really weird) as if asking for surrender.

“But I loved them.”

Such small words, so unimportant. Adaliah picked up the shield and hung it back on its post. “It was my great grandfather’s. He gave it to me because he loved me.”

“Now you accuse me as well? What would you have done? She said she would kill my family if I refused to be her apprentice.”

“Apprentice? That’s all you were? If all she wanted was an apprentice she would not have hunted down the most handsome man. #FF0000 ">Awkward and clunky sentence, that last one.” How sweetly the words dripped, like poison sliding down the fang of a viper. #FF0000 ">This sentence is weird too. I suggest taking it out - it comes off melodramatic.

“What would you have done?” He repeated the question, his voice filled with agony and his once perfect face creased with years of torture.

“I would have sooner killed you than le#FF0000 ">ft you to this fate.” The lips smiled, nearing the maniacal expression she #FF0000 ">had hid so well behind the accusations and the fake innocence. The smile grew, the blue irises were almost completely hidden by the closing eyelids and the hair rose with a fresh gust of wind from the lake. With a movement that was not of a living person but of a soul quickly leaving the world, her arm rose and hung in the air inches away from the man’s face. Scars traced their way up her pale skin and formed words and sentences.

“All for you, my love. Every time the knife pierced my skin, it was for you and only you.” Her other hand moved to the wall and the aforementioned weapon was produced, brown with dried blood. At the sight of the man’s frantic expression she once more gave out a laugh that only one who has all but died can give. #FF0000 ">Kind of flat sentence. The sound continued, jumping off the walls and skimming over the lake. The sharpened knife slipped through the deathly white fingers and stuck in the floor below. She moved past the man and to an old table. On the table sat an assortment of rocks. She stuffed them in hidden pockets of her black dress until the pockets bulged like the cheeks of a magpie who has found some treasure too big to be carried in its beak or claws.

“Adaliah, what are you doing?” the man’s voice rose, but was covered by the sound of her continued laughter. “Adaliah!”

“For you, my dear,” she murmured between chuckles, stuffing ever more rocks in the seams of her dress. “For you.” The man stared in dumb silence as she brushed past him again, hardly aware that he was even there. When he tried to grasp her arm she simply dug rivers of blood into his hand with her sharpened nails and laughed ever harder.

“Don’t forget me, dear. You won’t, will you? When I am alone with the sound of the water, you won’t forget me?” Her words were hollow and unconnected to the glowing white of insanity that showed in her eyes. “After all, this is all for you. Now, promise me you won’t forget me?”

“Adaliah!”

“You promise? Wonderful. Goodbye, my love #FF0000 ">As much as it sounds good in theory, I can't imagine someone saying this out loud..” A new breeze rose from the waves and blew around her hair. The shards of glass still poking through the window cut her fingers and streams of blood rolled down the trails of scars on her arms and melted into the fabric of the dress as she climbed on the window. Her feet also dug into the shattered bits of window and the pain made her smile grow, showing perfect white teeth.

As her bones drifted down to the stars and the round moon, the man stepped to the window. His fingers felt the abandoned blood and he stared as her body made contact with the waves below #FF0000 ">Made contact with the waves below sounds flat. and she faded from his view forever. As for Adaliah, the pain of impact was the first breath of fresh air. Each #FF0000 ">gulped Pick one. Gulp or breath. Gulped breath is too much. breath of icy water filled her lungs with numbness and sanity. The last thought that pushed into her mind like a thin spider’s web was simple and emotionless. Her vision of the waters blurred and her body left her alone in the waves. Throughout it all, her only thought was this: that, my love, was easy. #FF0000 ">On another note, drowning is not this clean or simple. It's a horrible way to go, and if you've ever tried half-drowning it's super painful.


You can see my comments petered out towards the middle but began to gain traction again at the end. Probably because all the comments I could make were already made within the first paragraph and if I kept repeating myself - well, that'd be annoying. ;)

I find that your writing has a flair for the melodramatic, and although this is okay, it got a little bit too much at times. It got too over the top, and not in a good way. On the other hand, you have a good grasp on what voice is, and on how to keep the tone of the story consistent. For this, I applaud you. Just...again, just keep the melodrama down to a minimum.

See, this story might have been truly terrifying but it was kind of boring for me. I think the aforementioned melodrama killed it. You treated everything too ~hauntingly. Sure it was eerie, but halfway through the piece it began to lose its magic and it devolved into some lover's spat that seemed more mundane and overhyped with every passing word. You maintained some sort of mystery, and in the beginning I thought she was a corpse. She wasn't. Okay, I could live with that. She was waiting for her beloved, would do.

They argue. Uhm, fine. She kills herself because he left her. ...Er, okay?

The thing with this is that I don't feel anything for the characters, which is probably why I think it's a little melodramatic. Your characters are flatter than the floor, and I think calling them cardboard might be giving them too much credit, to be perfectly honest. oo" You wrote this story with them in mind, but I think you may have gotten a bit overexcited with their dominant traits - so much you forgot to show other facets of their personalities. With the guy, I could understand where he was coming from ( a bit), and I actually like him and sympathize with him.

Adaliah? Not so much. She has only one characteristic: insane.

Even insane people are different from one another, you know? Show me what makes her different from the other nutters. She seems to be a monomaniac, singularly obsessed with the guy - but that doesn't mean it's entirely about him. Her other interests (older interests) will bleed into her current one. For more background on how to handle monomaniacs like these and still make them seem like full, well-rounded characters, check Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart (I seem to be recommending this often these days >>") and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (but this is a novel, take note). The key is to infuse their old interests with their singular and new all-consuming interest. It makes them a little more crazed and real in addition to rounding them out properly. :)

I don't know why this doesn't have enough impact. Maybe it's the melodrama, maybe it's your characters - but something is missing. I'm sorry I can't tell exactly what it is, but there's that finally *bam* that it lacks. Not the finality of the whole situation, of course - it should be terrifying, that part about him trying to stop her and her going ahead to jump anyway, plus all that laughing, but it just isn't. Maybe it's the melodrama barring it from becoming terrifying, or it could be the voice. The voice of this story seems more eerie and haunting versus the heart-pounding kind of voice that would cause one to pee in one's shorts, but this doesn't exactly leave a haunting effect either. (On that note, I'd like to say that you should be wary of your voice - it's suited for leaving an eerie impression, not the Tell-Tale Heart kind of impression that leaves the reader panicked. If you're aiming for that kind of impression, good. If not, well...oo" Revise?).

Also, try not to treat every single thing as something ~huge. This makes the actual horrifying event feel flat because if everything is terrifying then technically the terrifying isn't terrifying anymore, it's the norm. I'm not saying get rid of the setting and everything, but I'm merely asking that you try to treat them with a little less deference and a little more disregard, kind of like they're the usual, not the aberration. They won't be for the reader, of course, but when *you* treat them like they're normal and the reader feels like they're pretty creepy, you'll be able to really scare the reader when you pull out the bigger/scarier problem because the reader will probably have hyped himself up by that point. :)

It's kind of like this: "If the writer thinks this is normal, what in the world would he find scary? O-O"

Thus, you've sort of prepped the reader by not being too dramatic.

One last thing - good idea, keeping vague about what really happened between them. You leave enough hints for us to guess at the entire story, but not enough to give it all away. It works beautifully like so, but I think you can still afford to be a wee bit more mysterious, and to be able to tie it to her death somehow. (Like how her dying affects the man's current state or something.) Just a hint, though. A very small hint, if possible. Don't give it away by being heavy-handed.

Anyway, should you ever revise this, take note that I'm only a reader and this is my opinion - the story is yours, and you know best. I hope this review helped! PM me if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Octave




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Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:34 am
gokubrother wrote a review...



I really can't give you my opinion because I don't HAVE one. It was.. it wasn't monotone. I can't fully comprehend Adeliah's pain in any way, but I do understand the sweet release of pain. It brings one's greatest fears, agonies, and regrets to the surface and mimics redemption. Now, onto the 'scare factor': it wasn't "scary" it was more like sad; for even though it had driven her mad, Adeliah's pain was eventually what made her stronger. A weltschmerz if you will.





Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto (I am a man, I don't consider anything human foreign to me)
— Terence