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Writing Sample

A sample of what I've been working on lately. It promises to be rather dark with plenty of morbid events. Will post more as it comes together if there's any interest.

Rain pattered down on the broken planks of wood haphazardly nailed together. Water collected at the edges and dripped onto the head of the little girl curled up beneath the makeshift shelter. The girl, ten years of age with messy hair that would have been a golden blonde if it were clean, huddled under a tattered, moth eaten blanket and tried to ignore the rain splashing her face.

The girl cracked one eye open as the sound of crunching gravel announced someone approaching. She recognized her sister’s worn and battered boots and settled into her blanket to return to sleep.

A hand shaking her shoulder brought the girl out of her slumber. “Alice. Wake up,” her sister said in a quiet voice. The girl sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. “Eat this,” her sister said. She broke off a large chunk of bread and handed it to the girl. Alice stared at the bread for a moment, savoring the fresh baked scent, and watched the steam rise from the hunk of food that warmed her hands. She tore into the bread with her teeth and quickly gobbled the offering.

“It’s good, isn’t it,” said Alice’s thirteen-year-old sister, Mary. Alice barely chewed before swallowing and nodded. Bread this fresh hadn’t filled her tummy in weeks. She knew her sister had stolen it from a baker somewhere.

The two girls sat and ate in silence, shivering in the cold, damp morning air. In no time at all, half the loaf of bread had been devoured. Mary wrapped the remaining bread in a soiled blanket and stuffed the bundle in a hole in the stone wall behind the shelter where they slept. She pushed a grey, cracked stone into place to plug the hole and disguise its existence.

“Come on, let’s go to work,” said Mary. She held Alice’s hand and led her through the cobbled streets of town.

Gothic style architecture lined the streets Alice and Mary walked. Most of the houses had splintered and broken windowsills, many had doors sagging on hinges, all had chipped and fading plaster covering the walls. Alice and Mary were poor girls living in a poor part of a poor city.

The two girls made their way to the docks and wound through groups of fishermen and barrels of gear. They sat on the wharf and huddled together for warmth. Alice wiped the rain from her eyes while she peered out at the water.

“I think I see the Dahut,” Mary said after sitting nearly fifteen minutes in the drizzling rain. “Go get your stick.” Alice dashed across the wharf and disappeared into the bait shed. Mary got to her feet and waited as the battered old fishing vessel drifted up to the wharf. Two men with ropes leapt from the ship and tied it in place. A plank was placed down, and several men began unloading their catch. Mary boarded the ship to assist them.

Every morning Mary helped the fishermen bring their haul ashore, for which she was given a single fish as payment. Alice, being too small to carry heavy baskets of fish, was paid half a fish to keep the cats from eating the catch by any means necessary. The kid was willing to beat the cats with a stick, kick them, pounce them, and pull their tails for a bite to eat.

A hard morning’s work led Alice and Mary to the steps outside the Singing Mermaid, a foul bar that sold sour beer and served as a favorite haunt for many of the fishermen. The girls sat outside and ate their reward. Often they had to settle for eating their fish raw, but the captain of the Dahut liked them and always had their fish cooked for them at the bar.

The rain had stopped and the girls tried to dry themselves under the sun winking between steel grey clouds. The door opened behind them, and a greasy man the girls knew as Mr. Miller played with Mary’s hair as he exited the bar.

“Why don’t you come home with me, Mary?” he said. “You’d be warm and dry in my bed.” The man smiled, showing yellowing teeth.

Mary squirmed uncomfortably and tried to ignore the man. He brushed his hand along her cheek and Mary turned away from him.

“Leave my sister alone!” Alice yelled.

“Shut up, brat. This is between Mary and me.”

Mary got up from the steps and tried to walk away from Mr. Miller but he grabbed her arm and pushed her against the wall. Mary cringed as he cupped her chin in his hand and lowered his face to hers. “There’s no need for a pretty little thing like you to live on the street. I have a nice house for you,” he said.

Alice got a running start and threw herself into the back of the man’s thigh. His knee buckled, and with a yelp he tumbled to the ground, pulling Mary with him. Mary untangled herself from Mr. Miller’s grasp, grabbed her sister’s hand, and pulled her along as she ran down the docks.

When she was sure the man had given up chasing them, Mary led her sister down an alley. “Did he hurt you? Alice asked.

Mary shook her head. “Don’t worry about it,” she replied. “Want to go for a walk out at the wall?”


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 26th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
Much interest over here! I'm intrigued and would love to read more.
Dec. 1st, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'll post more soon... ish.
Nov. 29th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)
I like it so far. The characters seem memorable!
Dec. 1st, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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