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Before You Were Born

  • Posted on January 18, 2015 at 2:58 pm

((A writing prompt from Amanda Patterson‘s Tumblr, Amanda on Writing. The prompt is:

Writing Prompt

I’ll be filling it with two protagonists.))

Karabela felt a quickening in her belly, and smoothed her hand over the soft white cloth covering it. Since her pregnancy, Katar had been providing her with nicer things. Things that took him more time to earn, to hunt. She wasn’t sure how she felt about this. Especially since he was moving her from her home, from her tribe. She should have known marrying from one of the wandering tribes would end in her own wandering. But she’d seen the dark swirls around his eyes and his knuckles and the breadth of the darkness swirling on his back, and she had fallen in love.

‘Hush now, little one.’ She thought to the child in her belly. He would be a fierce warrior, she knew. A hunter, and a leader. She smiled, her thumb rubbing the swell of him there. She could not know if it would be a boy or a girl, but no matter what, the child would be a fierce warrior, a hunter, and a leader. The cart shuddered underneath her, and she lost her smile for a moment. Katar screamed at the poor beasts pulling it. Donkeys he’d purchased from a white-skinned trader. His shaved head shone like mud in the sun, and she glared at him, for the mistreatment of the animals. In the back, the crate of four chickens clucked nervously next to the grains he’d purchased as well.

He was serious about this, about their joining some strange pale-skin village, about living there, and seeing how they live. She did not like this, she really didn’t. What kind of life would their little one lead? What kind of home would he have, without cousins to play with, without girls to teach him kindness, without other hunters to teach him knots and bows and slings? He would be nothing but a farmer, and that was not what she wanted for her son. But her husband insisted, believed it would bring them closer. She didn’t laugh in his face out of respect for his passion.

The child within her swollen womb moved again, and as she comforted him, she comforted herself.

~*~*~*~*

Nikola stared, once again, at the putrid green herb sitting on her table, next to the lavender she grew for her skin, the tea tree for her husband’s callouses. She’d always loathed parsley, even in her food, but now… She grit her teeth, glaring at her useless lump of a husband. He lay, drunkenly passed out, in their bed. They’d just sold off Mendala, her apprenticeship putting them in enough money to actually survive for a few years, provided he doesn’t just drink it away. Now, he’d managed to get her with child again.

She turned, her green eyes staring out the window. The Oleanders were in bloom once again, and though she loved the smell, the children running through the petals outside just filled her with rage. She refused to acknowledge that her jealousy perhaps had something to do with it. She was jealous, yes, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was what to do next.

She touched the barely-there swell of her child. No. No she wouldn’t think of it that way. This was a nuisance. Just like all the other children before. A crying, shitting, useless pile of flesh that only became profitable once men started drooling. She looked once again at the parseley, but didn’t get up to make the tea. Might as well secure their future. The screaming would at least make Dane leave for awhile. She pushed back her freshly washed red hair, and plucked one of the oleanders growing beneath her window. Taking a deep breath, she smiled, and set it in her hair.

This child would be a burden. A useless creature whose life would only have worth with legs spread. It felt sort of poetic, actually. Her crimson lips curved into a sardonic smile, as she thought of all the humiliating things she can have this child do. She hoped it was a boy. Boys were easier to raise. Mendalla, Maka and Anna had all been absolutely horrid to raise, much less to sell. Her hand smoothed over her belly in an almost tender gesture, the same sort of soothing one gives a pig before you slaughter it.

Tristan and Ysolde

  • Posted on April 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

“I thought you said he was your dad!” He cried, ducking under a tree branch. Her hand was sweaty and slick in his, and honestly, Tristan thought he was dying. The shotgun went off once more, and he ducked instinctively, nearly sending both of them careening into a tree. She yanked on his arm and he twisted, ankle sliding in the mud, and sending him into her arms.

“NO, I said he was LIKE my dad!” She corrected, yanking him upright, and then ducking under a different tree and tugging him along. She’d always been a bit stronger than he was, and now he was grateful for it, because the beacon of her wheat-gold hair in the moonlight was enough for him to follow through the woods.

Another shot rang out, and the tree next to his head exploded, and Tristan yelped. His heart pounded, his chest ached for breath as his feet tried to keep up with hers. Over a rock, under a tree, around an oddly shaped shed that honestly wouldn’t have hidden them at all. He was glad when she jumped down into a gulch, at least until his leg went out from under him and he landed ass-first in mud. He had to bite his tongue not to curse out loud, and scrambled to his feet, the mud sucking at his shoes like a  child taking a toy.

“What do you MEAN, like your dad?! He’s not even related to you!” He hissed, surprised she could be that graceful at three months pregnant. With his kid. Oh god, that was his child in there, being shot at by her creepy caretaker.

“He adopted me when I was little, okay?! I never thought anything of it until he started taking me to look at wedding dresses when I turned fifteen, okay?!” Her voice grew higher, terrified, as another blast blew through the little shed behind them. “Then I met YOU!”

Yeah, him. The odd twenty something hiking through town with nothing but a backpack, and some odd jobs. He’d managed to win her heart, because she’d won his the moment he’d seen her. He could still see the smile she’d given him in the farmer’s market, and wow, was it beautiful. She threw a strained version of it over her shoulder at him and he saw the glint of moonlight off her teeth.

They burst out of the brush and into the highway leading out of town. He stopped, because if they could get a ride before he caught up… She tugged impatiently on his hand, desperate to get him to follow her into the woods on the other side. But there was a truck coming, he could see it, maybe they could get a ride out into the next city, where he could get a job, and she wouldn’t have to marry some crazed sixty year old man.

Pain. Blinding, absolute agony, ripping through his thigh, and he went down, knee buckling. The concrete beneath him was hard, and he could feel a pebble pushing into his face. He thought he might have taken Isolde down with him, and he wasn’t sure, but the boots on the blacktop were his, the old man’s, and oh god. Oh god, there was a shotgun in his face.

“NO! Please, don’t, I’ll never run again, please just DO-” He could hear her shrieking, and then the sound of the trigger. He never heard the boom of the gun, just saw a flash of light.

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