Man, working with actual publishers has turned my brain to oatmeal. Finally back at it, Mothertruckers!
**Trigger Warning – Sexual Assault
Daily Words THE WHITE DOE – 9/11/2014
Patience struggled beneath the grain, pulling her arms upward, straining against the weight. Her hands broke the surface, and she pressed her palm against the worn barrel cover. The clatter of the storage house door stilled her.
The voice was jovial and frighteningly close.
“Hey fellas! For an older one, this one’s real pretty.”
There was a syrupy weight to the words, the man’s boots scuffing across the dirt floor. There was a tussle, the sound of fabric tearing and the sharp crack of a hand across the face. The sound of the slap was followed by a familiar wet sound – the sound of Georgia spitting in the man’s face.
“Oh, you do that again, old girl, and I’ll kick your teeth in and fuck your bloody mouth.”
Patience stifled a whimper, clamping her hand over her mouth. She couldn’t lay hidden while these men hurt her mother. She couldn’t. She shifted in her hiding place, forcing the muscles of her legs against the frame of the barrel, willing movement despite the great weight that held her in place. The grain began to shift around her; she was rising. The shrill, cry of anguish spurred her onward, but a new voice gave her pause.
“Jesus, Kevin! You sound like a god damn woman. What the hell’s wrong wit ya?”
He gasped a moment. “God damn it! The bitch bit my ear off!”
The heavy thud of skin pounding against skin caused every muscle in her body to tense. The sound took on a rhythm of purpose, the sound of the man beating her mother.
“Hey now! Don’t be ruinin her for the rest of us, y’idjit!”
“Ain’t no man gonna want nuttin to do with this bitch if they got a lick a fuckin sense!”
Her mother cleared her throat and spit, and was rewarded with another attack. Patience hadn’t a clue what good she’d be to her mother, had no strength to speak of, and could barely get herself out of the grain barrel, but she couldn’t just listen and do nothing. Patience flattened her palm against the barrel cover over her head and pushed.
“What kind of trouble are we getting ourselves into here, then?”
The lid fell back into place with a soft thud as the two men cleared their throats.
“Sorry, Lieutenant. Just – this one’s giving me a bit of trouble.”
There was silence in the space, the kind of silence one keeps around a sleeping beast, wary and ready. The man’s boots ground into the dirt floor as he moved across the room, slow and deliberate.
“I can see that, Chambers. That looks painful.”
The earless fellow grunted his response, but offered no words.
The Lieutenant’s voice was softer than the other men’s, and hinted an accent from the old country that she couldn’t place. He continued to move across the room, his footsteps coupled by reverent silence. He was drawing closer to Patience. She lowered her hand from the barrel lid, splaying her fingers over her head as though to hide behind them.
“Now, what brought you in here, if I might ask, my dear?”
“Not a damn thing.”
Georgia’s voice was clear, though thick from what Patience knew must be blood.
“No? Not a damn thing?”
The sound of knuckles wrapping at the wood by Patience’s ear startled her so wholly, she feared she’d never breathe again.
Georgia chuckled. “It’s a storage barn, fella. Thought you lot might pass me by if I hid in here.”
The Lieutenant wrapped his fingertips in slow rhythm on the lid of the barrel. Once, twice, then again. “Hmm. Well, I’m sorry it didn’t work out that way.”
The man tapped one more time on the barrel and exhaled.
“What you want us to do with her, sir?”
“Not my concern. Take her outside.”
The one Patience knew as Kevin Chambers began grunting and laughing with the effort of moving his prize. She was fighting with everything she had, by the sound of it. “Jesus, Frances, gimme a god damn hand.”
“Clean death, fellas.”
The room fell silent.
“What? Sir -”
“You heard me. Clean death. Don’t play with this one.”
“She took a bite out of my god damn ear, sir. I think I deserve some -”
There was an inhale of breath from the two men, a startled reaction to something Patience couldn’t see.
“Precisely why this one deserves a good death. I appreciate a woman with some spirit.”
“God damn it!”
The second man answered, his voice low. “Yes sir. It will be done.”
Georgia growled in protest, her feet scuffling over the dirt floor as she was dragged from the storage barn. Patience listened, breathless, the Lieutenant still just a few feet from her hiding place. A moment later, Georgia Fields’ voice carried through the warped walls of the storage barn.
“Rot in hell, you son of a bitch.”
The gun shot splintered through the quiet barn, echoing across the nearby hills. There were no frightened cries to proclaim her death. There was no one left to protest. The Lieutenant took a few slow steps across the barn, whistling to himself as the men laughed outside.
That was the last time Patience ever heard her mother’s voice.
VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Having read the second installment in the Outlander series, one naturally throws themselves headlong into the third installment just to get some emotional release. The end of DRAGONFLY IN AMBER was one of the most emotionally cataclysmic reads of my adult life. I sobbed uncontrollably for hours listening to Davina Porter read the final chapters to me, wanting to curl into a ball and simply sob. Instead, I finished folding the laundry and sobbed.
In Voyager we meet Brianna and Roger, the adult children of characters either now gone, or now twenty years older, and we get to watch as Claire makes the decision to give up her modern world for the chance to go back and find her soul mate.
The writing is as expected, beautiful and descriptive. The voice of Claire is familiar and snarky, while combining the new approach of third person sections told from Brianna or Roger’s perspective. The sub plots begin to really cut loose in Voyager and succeeding novels in this series. As per usual, it was an effing tome and without the benefit of audio book I’d have never read the whole thing cover to cover by now, but it certainly kept me coming back to the audio everyday.
The great event in Voyager is the reunion, which was so necessary for my sense of personal peace, you have no idea. Still, for a split second during their reunion, I was disappointed. I wanted more spark, more drama. It fizzled a wee bit, which didn’t deter from my continuing to read, but it did make me question for a moment whether the author stepped in a little more than she should have in a moment where he characters wanted to be unleashed.
Nonetheless, the tome that is Voyager is my favorite of the series due to that reunion, but I didn’t give it five stars. Why? Well, for the instantaneous fizzle in the reunion scene, but more for the plot device that by now Diana has become extremely fond of – separating our beloveds. If it isn’t through time, it’s through the sea, if it isn’t through the sea, it’s through island calamity. Over and over we are thrown back into the drama of Claire and Jamie NOT being together after this enormous separation and I just wanted it to be done with. Still, despite it becoming an old hat, it did keep me reading. Every single time.
Perhaps she threw us for so many loops in this novel because she knew she would need to stop doing so for a while in the near future. (And instead turn that evil hand toward Brianna and Roger)
This novel did wonders for my desire to spend some serious time in the Caribbean, it resurrected old foes that propelled the dynamics of time travel even further into the mystical, and it damn well helped me sleep at night.
On to the next – and the next, and the next.
Revision and Self-Editing for Publication by James Bell
It’s a fantastic tool for any writers out there getting ready to self-publish or submit to agents or editors. You might not feel you need this kind of help (you might be an expert on fine tuning your own work and fart diamonds for all I know), but reading and processing another person’s language for the process can often ignite new synapses, new connections in your addled writer’s brain.
I for one had an epiphany in my own work while reading page four of this bad boy.
Alright, back to work you.
I just became smarter by following this blog.
ULTRACREPIDARIAN – a handy word which refers to someone who gives an opinion on things s/he knows nothing about.
(I dated one of those once. You know how you can tell you’re dating an ULTRACREPIDARIAN? They get angry when you correct them, then they call YOU an ULTRACREPIDARIAN. Though to be fair, they usually don’t know the word for it.)
Originally posted on Interesting Literature:
The word for a book-lover is a ‘bibliophile’, a word first recorded in print in 1824. Alternatively, there is the word ‘bookworm’, which is of an altogether more ancient pedigree: it first appears in 1580. But what words should every good bibliophile and bookworm know? Here are some of our favourites.
If you consider yourself an educated or ‘lettered’ person, you might be described as a LITERARIAN, a word coined from the French in the eighteenth century and probably modelled on similar words such as ‘librarian’ and ‘antiquarian’.
Some people consider themselves highly educated and lettered literarians, but in fact they are often ULTRACREPIDARIAN – a handy word which refers to someone who gives an opinion on things s/he knows nothing about. This rather useful word is first recorded in a letter of 1819 written by influential critic William Hazlitt (indeed, he applies the word ‘ultracrepidarian’ to critics here in…
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