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Words That You Whisper (Chapter One)

by Calligraphy


Spoiler! :
O.K, this is rated 16 because it has a flash back of a rape. I know this has a lot of problems, and even though I have a plot in my brain I am not exactly sure where I am going with this. I hope you don't get confused with all the names, three of the characters have names as well as nicknames. I also feel like this is kind of rushed and choppy, but I would like to know what you think. If it is how should I fix it. I also am sorry that this is so short, but I haven't written in forever and I am out of the groove.

It was the kind of summer night that instead of sleeping you just thrash around your bed because it is too hot and sticky to sleep. Esther’s long, ratty ten-year-old hair hung limp sticking to her face. The clock on the wall had just ticked too exactly 2:24. The door creaked open. Esther rolled over looking at it. At first fear shot up from her stomach into her throat. Was someone robbing her? Could she scream for Swifty or Musket or Quinn? Then she sighed into her pillow. It was only dad. All of her fear was gone, and still neither of them spoke. The man with a rough face closed the door and turned the lock with a click.

“Daddy?”

“Pumpkin.”

He walked over to her bed. Still the girl had no fear. She just took everything as she saw it with her wide blue eyes, as children usually do.

He sat at the edge of her bed stroking her hair, her cheeks.

“So soft,” he murmured under his breath, “so soft.” He pulled the covers back gently. “Have a good birthday?”

“mmhmm” Now for the first time Esther felt something was off. Goose bumps ran up her arms and legs even though she was still sweating. He took his hand and rubbed her stomach. The soft pink fabric caught on his calloused hands. He slipped his hand under her shirt and kept rubbing.

“Shhhh,” he whispered. Esther stared into his eyes. Her innocent face looking for comfort in them, and she hoped she had found it. His hands, both now, slipped farther up. They kept rubbing for a while then all of a sudden they were slipping the fabric up over her arms. She scrambled away. Her breath was coming fast now. She small hands pulled her shirt back down.

“ Stop.” He leaned over and too her body pressing it to his chest. “Stop.” She said it again pushing her hands against his chest. She kicked her legs. “Stop!” His hands grabbed her wrists. Her shirt was over her head. She struggled, but it was no use. Her favorite purple shorts were slipped down her legs. Then something hard smashed into her face. She again pulled away this time screaming, “Stop.” She was half way off the bed struggling to loosen his last grip when he smashed his hand into her face sending her smashing to the floor. He followed hitting the lamp. It shattered as landed on the carpet. Hands that had been so soft seconds before now were rough and crude. Rough legs were against hers. A rough face was against hers. Her teeth were pried open; she bit down. Her head was smashed into the sheetrock. “Stop.” She whimpered. Then the worst searing pain came. Again and again it came. Esther screamed again. Everything was confusion. Cologne. Pain. Sweat. The door swung open.

“Esther?”

“Mado-” This time Esther’s whole body was thrown against the wall.

“Shut up.”

“Dad?” Maddox’s voice was filled with pain. “Dad? Dad, stop! Dad you’re hurting her.” Esther crumpled into the corner curling up into a ball. The searing pain was gone. The hands were gone. The tongue was gone. Only yelling remained. Screaming. There was a thud then a slam of a door and everything was quiet. Goose bumps again traveled up Esther’s arms and legs. She heard voices this time young. There was no yelling, but they still seemed too loud. She covered her ears. Then hands were picking her up. She screamed again, but a hand went over her mouth. She kicked, but then a soothing voice came.

“Shh, it’ll be fine.”

~~~

“Shit.” Esther was snapped back the present. Blood was smeared against the clean white dishes. Blood dripped down into the brown water: dark red, then paler as it spread out in waves of motion spiraling downward.

Esther leaned against the sink and stared. She looked back at her hands and twirled the one piece of blue broken glass still in her hands. She traced the lines on them with it. Slowly. Carefully. Every now and then she stopped and just watched as her blood poured out from the slits and fell into the water. Her blood. His blood. She dunked her hand into the water pulling the drain plug. But still she didn’t look around her. The blood was coming still, slower now. She took soap and let it run out over her hand. The stinging pain made her eyes water where the cuts had not. She turned on the water. It was cold as ice. She held her hands under it letting the bubbles form letting them dribbled down the sides of her hand, and when the soap was all gone she just watched the water poor in then slip out through the cracks in her fingers.

As her fingers numbed so did her brain. Everything slipped away. She wasn’t seeing or feeling or thinking. Pure nothingness surrounded her. She didn’t even hear the door slam.

“Esther? Esther!” Just like that night arms were around her.

“Hey,” she whispered as Quinn settled her into the chair.

“Hey, Twiggy!” Musket walked in his light air was refreshing. He had always been the brother that could make her. She half smiled; anyone called 3 Musketeers after the candy bar had to be funny. Quinn had always been the brother that made sure things were done right. While Swifty was the one who messed things up. She wondered where he was. They always came as a package.

“Maddox shut up something’s wrong.” Quinn turned back to her. “What did you do to yourself?” His tone, like always, was accusing.

“I just.” She faltered. “I.” There was nothing she could say. How could she explain? She wished they hadn’t come. She wanted to feel numb again. If only she could not feel, not think.

“Where’s Latte?” This time the voice came from Swifty. His head, blonde curly hair everywhere, popped in through the door way. Esther opened her mouth then slammed it shut again. They really shouldn’t have come. She knew she was a mess. Whenever one thing went wrong in her life all the other parts just seemed to crumple around her. One bad thing led to another, and pretty soon her whole life was choking her.

“Guys, really, stop. We’ve only been here for five minutes and you don’t have to go screaming at her that way.” Quinn said in his authoritative voice again.

“No we’ve been here for twenty minutes because you refused to let me pick the lock until five minutes ago.” Musket gave his lopsided grin. Picking locks had always been a specialty of Musket’s. Swifty came over,

“Hey sis, what’s the deal? Why’d you lock us out?” He paused when he caught sight of her bloody hands. “Damn.” He whispered.

“Go find something for them. Will you?”

“Sure thing boss.” Swifty turned on his heel even now a bit of rebellion in his voice. He never had liked being bossed around by Quinn. He had always hated feeling like the baby of the family even if Esther was the youngest.

“What would ya like Twigs? I’ll whip us up something.” For the first time since… for a long time Esther’s thoughts finally came into focus. They had been flying all over. Memories were flooding into her brain. As they grew up everyone got busy. They had sort of gone their separate ways. They had all waited for Esther to move out and when she did, to go to collage, they had all suddenly decided to move on with their lives. But it was better this way; Esther felt a bitter taste in her mouth as all not so pretty memories started to come. She had to see his face. Every. Single. Day. It had been living knowing that one day you were going to be poisoned, but never knowing the day. But now she had come back to the present.

“My favorites are all the same.” She said with a grin that looked more like a grimace. Maddox turned to Quinn and whispered something quick and soft in his ear. Esther bit her lip. She hated them seeing her like this. She didn’t want them to see. She didn’t want them to see what they had seen so many times before. Why was it that they all managed to live fine while she was always crying over dirty dishwater? Why was she always the one that was dripping blood all over? Then Swifty was back with the first aid kit that Latte had always made sure they had. Esther promptly told herself to shut up as the name popped into her brain, but it was too late.

Swifty stood there for a moment Dominic stood their for a moment watching as Quinn got out the alcohol and started to dab it onto the cuts. He stepped back awkwardly,

“Well, I guess I’ll … a … go help Musket.” Like he needs help in a kitchen Esther thought, but she kept quiet. She knew he just wanted to leave Quinn and her alone. They always left the dirty work to Quinn. Why was she so angry? It wasn’t Swifty’s fault that she was a mess. Take a chill pill. It was Latte again. Esther sighed she knew she should take the advice.

“What’s wrong?” This times Quinn’s voice was softer. They way he was when he was alone with someone.

“You mean why I sighed or why I didn’t hear you guys banging on the door.” If she wasn’t on the verge of tears she would have smiled at the fact Quinn, like all her brothers, always knew when she was upset about the slightest things.

“Mmm” Quinn searched through the first aid kit for the right bandages, “both.” Esther knew she had to explain. There was no way around it, but she just sat and stared while Quinn finished. “You wanna go for canoe ride?” he asked standing up.

“That’d be nice.” The fact was that Esther’s heart had started to pound. But, she thought maybe it would be easier where she knew no one could hear them. Or maybe it would be easier if she was at the spot. But, by the time she was sitting in the canoe she realized that it would just make things worse. Everywhere around her she saw faces in the water. So many, but just one. Every time she put her paddle into the water she slapped one sending it into the depths.

Quinn knew Esther. He knew how to get information out of her. The easiest way was to ask the easiest questions first and work your way up until she couldn’t stand it anymore and she burst the whole story out. He searched his mind for an easy question. It was pretty easy to go through what he knew. He hadn’t seen Esther since Christmas because of collage, and all summer she had been living with Latte. He paused, not sure that this was the best question, but it was all he had,

“So, where is Desiree? Swifty said that her car wasn’t here.” He instantly knew it wasn’t the right question. Esther paled. She pulled up her paddle and stared at the canoe bottom.

So many faces. Too many faces. A few minutes passed. “Esther?” She looked up again.

“She’s gone Quinn. She’s just, just gone.” She chocked, and her face crumpled. She slid off her seat as the first tears started to pelt down. Quinn sat waiting. But Esther didn’t curl up and cry. She looked at him again and met his eyes. Her voice was so matter a fact so without feeling it shocked him,

“She’s dead. Dad’s back. And it’s all my fault.” Quinn leaned forward.

“It’s not your fault.”

“None of it was ever my fault,” she hissed at him. “You always say that, but you’re wrong.” Then she was standing. The boat rocked precariously. She stood on the edge for a millisecond, though it seemed like forever, then she was gone. Quinn waited until she came up again then started to paddle. Esther was choking back tears. She was gasping for breath. Goosebumps were running up her skin even though the water was warm with the sun. The instant she had jumped into the air Esther had realized. She had realized she was in the water, this water, and the instant she touched it she had started to panic. Pale arms flashed before her eyes. Wet hair was tangled around her hands her legs.

She closed her eyes and swam as hard as she could, but she couldn’t get away. The hands grabbed at her skin. The bodies brushed against her. “Stop,” she said in a whisper. Then it became louder. She thrashed in the water still going as fast as she could. The hours of swimming had paid off she was fast, but they had almost been on the other side of the lake. Soon her arms and legs were aching. Quinn came up behind her with the canoe.

“Esther? Come on, I wont ask you anything.” If only Quinn had been there on that night. If only he had leaned down and pulled Esther. She shook her head. Don’t think she snapped at herself as she caught onto the side of the canoe and heaved herself in. For a moment she just sat dripping onto the hard green plastic.

She didn’t want to tell Quinn anything. She didn’t want to tell him about, about Latte. That meant she had to think about her. She knew that once she said the first word all the memories and feelings she was keeping locked up would come rushing back. They would make her head pound. But then again, she wasn’t doing such a swell job of keeping them hidden anyway. Wasn’t she already broken down, wet, shivering, and with bloody hands in a canoe? She bit her lip. She couldn’t tell him the whole story now, but she had to try.

“Lat-Desiree died a few weeks ago in a boating accident. Her parents” then Esther stopped to keep her monotone voice from cracking. She sucked in a breath and shuddered. “Her parents said that I could stay in the cabin until the end of summer. And, and that’s it. There’s nothing more to be said.” Quinn sat, slightly stunned for what seemed like hours. He bit his lip to keep from bursting out. Finally what ended the silence was a tear. As it slid down Esther’s cheek Quinn leaned forward he clambered over to her and murmured to her. His arms felt warm and strong against her back. They just sat and rocked until the summer sun went down.

Quinn finally was the one to break away. The lights in the Cabin were still on and Swifty had gone out to the end of the dock and just stood for a while. Esther hadn’t seen, her face was buried in her knees, but Quinn had let Swifty know that they would be in soon. He hadn’t even had to speak or move.

Once they were back to shore Esther realized how cold she really was, but more so how embarrassed she was. She didn’t say anything, but waited for Quinn to get the boat up on the shore and locked away. He ushered her silently into the cabin and led her to the bathroom.

“Here, take a shower. Or better yet a long bath. When you’re done clothes will be outside the door. K?”

“Yeah” she said, “Thanks.” And she slipped into the shower.


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Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:18 pm
LittlePrincess wrote a review...



I read the synopsis of the novel and I got hooked. I see you have a lot of reviews for this chapter but I hope to be of some help anyway...

It was the kind of summer night that instead of sleeping you just thrash around your bed because it is too hot and sticky to sleep
. Opening sentences are one of the most important things to keep in mind because you want to draw your reader in. I would suggest making this more concise because as of now it seems to take a long time getting to the point. You want to do something that will get the reader right from the start.

ten-year-old hair hung limp
How can hair be ten years old?

All of her fear was gone, and still #FF00BF ">and still suggests that they are continuing not to talk but you never said anything about them not talking. Just say:neither of them spoke. The man with a rough face #FF00BF ">(this description is impersonal and since this is your MC's father it doesn't make sense. Try saying something about his rough expression instead) closed the door


She #FF0000 ">You mean Her small hands pulled her shirt back down.


Then something hard smashed into her face. She again pulled away this time screaming, “Stop.” She was half way off the bed struggling to loosen his last grip when he smashed his hand into her face sending her smashing to the floor.
Try using different verbs.

She heard voices this time young.
I'm not sure what you mean by that, should there be a comma before young? What's young?

Maybe I'm morbid but I like the paragraph about the blood - it characterizes a depressed person well.

Just like that night arms were around her.
What do you mean by night arms?

“I just.” She faltered. “I.”
Because she stops mid-sentence there should be a dash after I ; "I-"

I also really like the characterization of the brothers. I like them already :)


“She’s dead. Dad’s back. And it’s all my fault.” Quinn leaned forward.

“It’s not your fault.”
Quinn just found out that someone died and he doesn't respond in the slightest? Shouldn't he be shocked or upset? That's not the kind of news that one disregards.

If only he had leaned down and pulled Esther.
Pulled her... where?

You are a really good writer and besides the few things I pointed out I don't have any problems. Your characterization is great and your characters have depth. My only problem is that they are all taking death lightly. I mean clearly, Esther is struggling but even so she seems to be taking it too lightly - in my opinion.
Keep up the good work!




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Thu May 12, 2011 9:13 pm
Calligraphy says...



Thankyou skinsy! I love your rambling and you always make sense to me. Even if it ends up you didn't mean what I thought you did. XD You also do read into things! haha




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Thu May 12, 2011 9:06 pm
Sins wrote a review...



Yo! 8)

I'm not going to do nit-picks or anything because they're not really my thing. Is that alright? If you do want nit-picks or anything, just let me know! So yeah, I shall begin.

I think you have an interesting concept here. From what I can tell of the novel so far, this is definitely the kind of thing I read. I have a slightly worrying passion for stories that involve rape, violence, and, well, depressing themes in general, so this is right up my street. I really liked the opening scene of this and I think you portrayed the emotions and such well, so awesome job on that. I really like your characters too, even if I don't know who's who half of the time. xD They seem realistic and interesting. I'd definitely say that this novel has some great potential!

Now for the critiques. ;)

I hate being repetitive here, but I have to agree with the guys above me. So much seemed to be going on in such a short space, and the amount of names being throw around was confusing. It's obviously up to you, but do the brothers really need nicknames? If so, does Esther and the narrator have to refer to them by their real names then? Can't they just be referred to by their nicknames? :lol: Basically, I'd prefer it if you stuck with one name for each person. If you want to keep the nicknames, why don't you mainly refer to them by those nicknames, but then if, say, an authoritative person is talking to one of the boys, they call them by their actual name. I don't think I'm making sense here...

To put it simply, don't call one character Maddox in one sentence, then call him Musket in the next one. Then a few paragraphs later, start referring him as Maddox again. Stick with one, and if you really need to, use the other now and then. Use one of them as the main name, I guess.

Now as for the speed of things.The main events of this chapter are Esther getting attacked by her father, Maddox coming in and trying to help her, but the dad continuing to abuse her. The next scene begins with Esther cutting herself (I think she was anyway), then the brother's come in, she goes into a canoe with Quinn, she jumps into the water (I think), Quinn then helps her from drowning (or something... xD), then she then reveals what happened to Latte, and then she goes back inside again. A lot, right? Also, you probably noticed that I included brackets with slightly confused comments now and then too. That confusion was mostly caused by the pace of this.

Basically, you need to spend more time on things. I mean, one moment, Esther was in the cabin thing, and literally the next, she was in a canoe. Then she started drowning or something >.< It's all just a bit confusing really. You don't spend enough time on one event for us readers to understand fully what's going on with that one event. Before we get the chance to see and feel what's going on, you've jumped onto the next thing. Subtlety is key. Instead of having all of this in one chapter, I think you should spread it out. For example, I think you should consider having the rape scene as a prologue or something. You don't have to or anything, but I think it could work well.

You could also do things like simply not having the Esther cutting her hands on plates thing in this chapter. That'll give you more space to introduce the brothers and give us one less thing to have to take in after reading this chapter. You could then proceed with the cutting herself thing in future chapters. That's just an example, but do you kind of see what I'm getting at? Don't feel like you have to pile a lot of information and events on us readers to stop us from getting bored, or simply get all of the information down at once. Just sit back and chill. 8)

The only other critique I have for you actually has something to do with the beginning. I wasn't always 100% sure what was going on in the flashback, if I'm honest. Obviously, I completely understand why that scene isn't exactly vivid, but I can't say that I know exactly what happened. Okay, yes, she got raped, duh, but you know what I mean. It was when Esther's father started getting violent things started getting a bit unclear for me. I'm slightly concerned this is just me being stupid though, so you may be able to ignore this critique...

Then something hard smashed into her face.

What was that something exactly...? I assumed it was his fist or something, but then you go on to say more or less the same thing, but you mention the fact it was his hand. Because of that, my paranoid self is thinking that it wasn't his hand that hit her in the sentence above. I think I'm reading into this way too much, xD but hey, that's me.

#FF0000 ">He followed hitting the lamp. It shattered as landed on the carpet. Hands that had been so soft seconds before now were rough and crude. Rough legs were against hers. A rough face was against hers. #0000FF ">Her teeth were pried open; she bit down.
#FF0000 ">At first, I thought the father hit Esther with the lamp. He didn't, right?
#0000FF ">I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to imply here... My minds telling me something, but I'm not sure if I'm letting my imagination control me. x3


Aaaaand, I think that's it!

I've rambled a lot... I know, I know, and I'm terribly sorry! You must think I hate this or something! Please don't! I think it's really intriguing and has some awesome potential. I know this review seems a little harsh, but please take it with a pinch of salt. The pacing and such in the first scene was perfect, so I know that with some editing, you can make the rest of it just as great. A good job here, Calli!

Keep writing,

xoxo Skins




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Thu May 12, 2011 9:02 pm
Calligraphy says...



Thanks pink! I will edit edit edit XD




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Thu May 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Shearwater wrote a review...



Nitpicks & Comments

“Hey, Twiggy!” Musket walked in his light air was refreshing. He had always been the brother that could make her.

This sentence doesn't really make sense. Well, the second part of this, he had always been the brother that could make her do what exactly? I think you missed some explanation there.
“mmhmm” Now for the first time Esther felt something was off. Goose bumps ran up her arms and legs even though she was still sweating.

You should capitalize the "mmhmm". Beginning of a new sentence.
They had all waited for Esther to move out and when she did, to go to collage

Should be *College. Collage is a mixture of pictures or colors in art. lol
She had to see his face. Every. Single. Day.

I noticed that you had quite a bit of this. Where you tried to emphasize something by using periods to cause an abrupt stop to the sentence. It works but using this too much will loose the effect that it has so be careful and try not to do it too much.
Swifty stood there for a moment Dominic stood their for a moment watching as Quinn got out the alcohol and started to dab it onto the cuts. He stepped back awkwardly,

The 'their' in this sentence should be 'there'. Remember the difference between them, I explained this to my sister a few days ago actually.
There: Location
They're: Shortened version of 'they are'
Their: Possession, ex: Their house, it's their dog and it's their fault.
“Esther? Come on, I wont ask you anything.” If only Quinn had been there on that night. If only he had leaned down and pulled Esther. She shook her head.

*won't.
She struggled, but it was no use. Her favorite purple shorts were slipped down her legs. Then something hard smashed into her face. She again pulled away this time screaming, “Stop.” She was half way off the bed struggling to loosen his last grip when he smashed his hand into her face sending her smashing to the floor. He followed hitting the lamp. It shattered as landed on the carpet. Hands that had been so soft seconds before now were rough and crude. Rough legs were against hers. A rough face was against hers. Her teeth were pried open; she bit down. Her head was smashed into the sheetrock.

Too many 'smash' words. Vary up your sentences by using something else such as, pounded or hit.

Overall


First of all, I'm going to agree with what Gryph said about the pace being too fast. You're breezing through this and I know you're probably excited to have a new idea and what not but remember to keep a decent pace so we all know what's going on and such.

However the first scene with the rape was quite scary to read. You captured the fear and emotion just right and I was scared for the girl the whole time. I kind of begged that someone would wake up and catch her dad before anything happened. Your use of emotion was great and I was biting my nails over it. Good work with that. ^^

Now, along with what Gryph said about the various names, I'm going to have to back her up on that too. A way to help the readers distinguish between the character is to provide a physical description that pops out so we can connect the name to the person. For example, someone could have bird-nest hair that's never in control or a mole on his nose or something of that sort so we know who is who. You should also describe them in appearance and not just personality. I was kind of confused if all her siblings were brothers. :/

As said, take it slow and explain things in detail. Connect the events slowly and you don't have to info dump every problem in the first chapter. Work on capturing your readers with your characters at first, you did do that with the beginning but then it all just sizzled out into a mess of many problems and characters where it just lost me and my interest. So be careful with that.

Overall, the beginning was good, the rest just need some work. Slow down, watch your pace and don't fling out problems here and there with no connections to each other. Then it looks more messy than it should be.

Keep working and if you have any questions, just PM me. ^^

-Pink




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Wed May 11, 2011 9:06 pm
Calligraphy says...



Thank you for the review! You helped me!




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Wed May 11, 2011 2:08 am
GryphonFledgling wrote a review...



Zomigosh, so many characters!

For realzies, there were so many characters with odd names introduced so quickly, I wasn't sure what to make of this whole thing. They all knew each other, they all were talking about things I didn't know about, and I felt incredibly shut out and lost. It was like walking into a party where everyone already knows each other and has all these in-jokes and isn't bothering to explain anything to you. I wasn't sure who was who, who they were to each other, or why they were together at all. It just all zoomed by so quickly the minute anyone besides Esther showed up.

Sloooooooow down. Take the time to introduce each character just a smidge when they show up so that we have an idea of who we are talking to. Are they siblings? Friends? Cousins? How do they know each other? Has it been a while since they've seen each other? Why? What's with their names? Are they nicknames? Why do they have nicknames like that? Why are they all in a cabin?

I was also really confused when it rolled around to them talking about Latte's death. I mean, did no one else know about it? Why not? I wasn't clear on who anyone was or why they knew each other, so I couldn't even really tell who Latte was. It was all very confusing because of the sheer amount of stuff.

Also, I was a bit confused as to what the flashback in the beginning had to do with the rest of the chapter. Presumably, it haunts Esther a great deal, but then she starts talking about Latte and I just wasn't sure how the flashback tied into that. Does it connect somehow in her mind? How?

Just a lot of questions because of how fast everything blew by. Slow down, take the time to tell us what's going on in the here and now, and then how it relates to the elsewhere and elsewhen.

I did really like your dialogue though. It felt like real speech, with the half-starts and occasional stutters. I wanted to connect to the characters, I just wasn't given enough to hang on to in their actions.

This seems like it really could be intriguing. I'm just not really sure what to think about it with so much happening at once that I don't understand.

Good luck!

~GryphonFledgling





For a short space of time I remained at the window watching the pallid lightnings that played above Mont Blanc and listening to the rushing of the Arve, which pursued its noise way beneath. The same lulling sounds acted as a lullaby to my too keen sensations; when I placed my head upon my pillow, sleep crept over me; I felt it as it came and blessed the giver of oblivion.
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein