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by on September 5, 2010

Done! The cords that had tied her hands dropped to the ground. Her wrists were raw and a finger maybe broken, but she was nearly free! Untying the knots that secured her feet to the chair was almost easy, only her feet distracted her. They showed her what he had already done: he’d taken his tools to her while she’d been secured with knot and rope. His spanners had grasped at toes — twisting, snapping. The pliers — pointed and vicious and unforgiving — had ripped at nails.

Walking was difficult — pain lanced through each foot and into her calves. Her toes could take no weight. She limped, flat-footed, towards the window, only to find it closed and barred. “Of course!” she wanted to cry — but she kept her anguish silent. Noise would only return his attention to the room.

If the window was no escape, there was still the door. She began moving towards it.

Her slow, careful steps were because of her pain; but they also meant silence, meant little creaking of the floorboards. Meant a greater chance of going unnoticed.

Only this is when she fell.

The pain in her feet was greater than her need to support her weight; they betrayed her. She collapsed to the ground, shocked by the impact, by her hands hitting the floor, by trying to support her weight on them and failing to do so. The sound of her collapse was a limp, hollow, thud. She wanted to scream.

And then the door opened.

  1. akichan permalink

    Good description in this one, although it did make me feel a bit nauseous at times. I think, oddly, that this is a good thing.

  2. parfles permalink

    Ouch. This is a hard read, broken bones and pulled nails and all. Made me cringe, so well done!

    On the whole, the piece doesn’t really work for me. There is a lot of anguish in the situation, but only mild anguish in the person, and that doesn’t quite work. She seems almost cheerful in her stumbling around, I don’t feel the fear and the dismay she should be feeling. That can work quite well, as it did in your very awesome suicide piece a couple of themes back, but does not here. Maybe it’s too little of either – not enough identification with the character, and not enough distancing either, so it falls kind of flat. As she does…

    The sentence “Only this is when she fell” doesn’t work for me, starting with “only” does not feel right here.

    • Thanks, Parfles. And I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you 😦 I will be having a closer look at the piece. Also, when you say cheerful, I do immediately want to blame those exclamation marks (but I’m biased).

  3. Yeah, it had me cringing as well. And the nails… My worst.

    I think it would have been more solid if you had left off the ‘only’ – more with someone falling to the floor.

  4. This is horrible.
    And a good bit of writing.

    The menace and is built up well (icky descriptions of pulling, etc.), so that
    > Noise would only return his attention to the room.
    > And then the door opened.
    really give you The Fear.

    > Only this is when she fell.
    didn’t quite work for me. Then she fell or But this is when she fell would’ve worked a little better. But I think this is just me being fiddly.

    Re cheery and !s: I kind of agree. They do lend a slightly more chirpy feel to it.

    I don’t quite agree with Parfles re mild anguish in the person. I got more of complete desparation, body shut down, vibes. Big anguish, little noise.

    You do like the darker edge, don’t you, Mr N?
    I look forward to your next story about suicidal bondage torture piercing. 😉

    • Thanks Maximo. I’ve always found horror type stuff interesting, although I find most horror movies and novels these days painfully dull. Unfortunately my next story isn’t going to have any bondage in it 😉

      On the plus side, I’m glad that the ending worked for you.

  5. I’m kinda with Max here, this worked for me as the classic Rudy thing of dispassionate distance and careful observation heightening the emotional content of the situation. It’s chilling because it’s not overly emotional, and I also read it as that kind of desperate shutting-down of terror into practical focus. (I’ve been there. It does actually happen).

    On the other hand, I also felt that this wasn’t quite as carefully measured a piece of writing as some of your other stuff, Rudy – things like the exclamation marks were also jarring to me, but overall I felt as though this needed a week or so of tweaking just to heighten and focus the language, if that makes sense? I can’t help feeling that it’s not as powerful as some of your other submissions.

    • Thanks Docinatrix. When I was revising it, the exclamation marks seemed like they’d work :-/ Also, the initial one word sentence grates on me at the moment.

      Oh well. Better next time!

  6. cbraz permalink

    This worked for me in some ways and didn’t in others. You capture the mood very well – the piece is often disturbing and creepy, like many good horrors 🙂

    I like the first single word with exclamation mark. Maybe not the second one and others, but the first sets the scene nicely. It captures the attention and is quite cheery and proactive. It does that horror thing of lulling one into a false sense of security that this is going to be about her escaping an awful situation. (I was on her somehow using the spanner that he had used on her :-)) This makes the futility of her escape plan, her fall and the door opening even more powerful. I also like her vibe, as described by Max.

    But I agree with Docinatrix that it is not as polished as most of your stuff. Some of the sentences feel a little awkward, especially in the first two paragraphs.For example, in “Untying the knots that secured her feet to the chair was almost easy, only her feet distracted her.”, I don’t know how to read the “only”. Is is only as in “only her feet and nothing else” or as in “but”? So that causes me to pause on that sentence. And “he’d taken his tools to her while she’d been secured with knot and rope” feels a bit too rhythmic for the serious content and the context.

    • Thanks CBraz 😉 Those are some good examples you gave. I’m glad you thought I got the mood right, although I’m still weary of “Done!” The affect that “Done!” ultimately had for you is what I was looking for, but I’m not sure that I want it to be cheery 😛 I wonder if it could have worked if it wasn’t cheery, though.

  7. Up front I must say that I have never liked this slasher torture genre – the best of it in the world I find boring and somewhat distasteful.

    That said I think this is very well written and totally comparable to professional writer in the genre. The objective tone and well developed sense of betrayed-hope worked for me. The exclamation marks seem to give your character a sense of optimism rather than fierce determination which seems closer to the mark.

    I found your voice a bit confusing; sometimes very physically objective as if watching her from the corner of the room but at other times completely inside her head describing what she would do and why she doesn’t.

    I liked the hopeless inevitability of the ending that, for me anyway, seemed foreshadowed through-out.

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