Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blood of a Sinner
Here is a flash fiction that I wrote months and months ago. It is much darker than I usually write, but I thought it was pretty good. I actually submitted it to an internet journal, but never heard back from them. The folks in my writing forum have critiqued it thoroughly and now I want to share with my readers.

CAUTION: Some Strong language and Violence

Blood of a Sinner

I sat for hours reading Time Magazine while waiting for him to show up. It seemed a useless effort. Didn’t seem like he’d come, but I was waiting a little longer. Just in case. After all, Laura said she heard him say in school that he’d be at the public library tonight. Probably meeting with yet another young, Valley Girl wanna-be. He preferred them young. That way he could control them and they’d keep his secret.

The building was empty this time of the night, only a few girls from my school. The couch I sat on was too lumpy to be of any comfort. Already I’d had looks thrown my way from Ms. Gunther, the librarian, who was suspicious of everything. Lord! She’d be suspicious if Jesus Christ himself came in her precious library and sat down for a couple of hours and read magazines. Not that there were many here to choose from. Good ones anyway. The town of Gabriel, Alabama, didn’t believe in too many worldly temptations, so the library only had magazines like the one I was holding, The New Yorker, Southern Living and National Geographic. Stuff like that. Even National Geographic was suspect after last month’s issue had naked African women in the middle. The town’s mothers complained to the town board, but didn’t get far. Heck, half the men on the board have subscriptions to Playboy, from what I have overheard my uncle Bill say to my Aunt Lula when he didn’t think any kids were around to hear him. Men are pigs!

I looked up from the glossy pages and scanned the room once again. My twelve-year-old sister was studying at the other end of the library. Now, she doesn’t know why I decided to come here tonight. I never step foot in the library, not if I can help it. Not since that night.

A few more teens have entered. I recognize one; it’s Laura, heading my way. She sits down nervously next to me.

"Hey Steph," she whispers. "Is he here?"

I shake my head. "No, are you sure…"

"Yes! I heard him making plans with her to be here tonight."

"Who was it?" I ask, drumming my fingers on the magazine.

She pauses, eyes downcast. "You don’t want to know."

"Shhhhh!" It’s Ms. Gunther, the Library Nazi, on the warpath. I roll my eyes and stare blankly at my magazine. I don’t think I have gotten past page one since I came in here.

The front door opened suddenly. There he was, walking in, oozing politeness, charming the Gunther woman, casually resting his big, fat hip on the front counter as he chats.

Mr. Hill, Gabriel High School’s principal.

Just the sight of him makes me nauseous. I feel Laura’s hand squeeze mine in support. I squeeze back. He looks around, predator hunting his prey, and then spots who he was looking for. Laura gasps as I squeeze her hand harder.

My sister. The bastard is looking right at my sister.

Everything I came here tonight for seems right. Affirms my decision to ruin him, take away from him what he took away from me. He took my innocence, took it and ran. And he got away with it. He cut me on my stomach. Said he wanted to brand me. I was his. There are a lot of girls in my school with his brand. Was he ever caught? No! To cover his crime, he sent a note home to the parents saying all of us girls had started a club and took to mutilating ourselves and that we should all be punished. I tried to tell people what really happened, but nobody listened.

No one believed me. My parents thought I was being my usual dramatic self. Making up stories to get people in trouble. The police laughed at me. How could such a fine, upstanding member of the community do such a heinous thing? Of course, why should they do anything? Mr. Hill’s brother is the chief.

I took to wearing black. I cut my hair to mourn the loss of myself. I tried carrying a knife to school for protection, but a teacher saw it and turned me in. Then Mr. Hill, the bastard, sat there with the door to his office opened so the secretary could hear, and pretended he cared about me as a student. Threatened me regretfully, that if I ever brought weapons into the school again, he’d just have to turn me over to the police. He said I would regret it. I probably would. Chief Hill’s reputation is as bad as his brother’s is.

But, no! Mr. Hill is the one who will regret it. Regret everything he has ever done to hurt the kids in this town. I will make sure. He will never rape another child if my plan works.
Laura nervously looks at me. She, too, has been violated by this monster and she knows what will happen tonight. She knows her part. I send her on over to the desk where she asks Gunther to help her find something downstairs in the research area. There are no other librarians on duty, so she asks her assistant, a girl named Beth, to watch the desk while she’s gone. I know Beth. Beth has a scar on her stomach too.

I look across the room. He’s over there, talking with my sister. No doubt, asking her how school is going. Asking her if she needs help with any subjects. Telling her how pretty she is growing up to be. Offering to tutor her after school. Offering to drive her home from the library. Laying his sweaty, cruel hand on her shoulder.

Bile rises in my stomach. I stand up, throwing the magazine to the floor, and walk over to where they sit. Rage, shame, and determination overwhelm me as I see his face. His big, fat belly overhanging his khaki slacks. I will do it and I will make him suffer. My sister will never know him, what he is capable of. She will keep her innocence.

"Margaret, go call Mama," I say, looking right at him, my hands shaking.

"Well, hey there, little Miss Stephanie," he drawls as his eyes drink me in. Eyes like a snake, the lowest reptile.

"Margaret," I repeat, "go on home now. Call Momma and go home."

She looks at me, her innocent green eyes…so knowing, filled with pity and anger. "I know why you came, Steph and I’m not ready to leave."

My heart hammers. She knows! I am not sure how she found out.

His hand reaches out and tugs at my arm, trying to get me to sit next to him. I resist and tell him to go to hell.

"What’s the matter Stephanie?" he asks smilingly, winking. "How’s that cut on your belly? You really shouldn’t hurt yourself like that." He chuckles and whispers low," You think your sister here might like to have one to match?"

A red, angry haze fills my eyes. I slip my still shaking hand into my pants pocket, and begin to draw out my knife. I look to my sister as if to apologize, but then notice that she is slowly standing. I look around and see that all the girls in the library are slowly standing up from their seats and cubicles and are drawing closer to where we are, each holding a weapon of sorts, a pen, a book, a letter opener, more knives.

I look at each in turn, then my baby sister, who is doing her part to protect me, when I intended it to be the other way around. The others, the ones who were hurt by this man, they too needed justice and had come to join me.

Elation flows through me. Ah! Divine retribution! Glorious revenge!

He sees now. He sees that he is surrounded and tries to bluff his way out. Panic enters his beady eyes. He threatens, he screams and he begs, and tries to break through our circle of justice.

"This is for me!" I wail, as I viciously stab him in the arm.

The others take up the chant as they take their turns, hitting and stabbing.

"This is for me!" A book smashed into his head.

"And me!" An ink pen stabbed into his side.

"This is for my sister!" A fist in his face, breaking his fat nose.

"This is for me!" A knife into his back.

Our tormentor tries to stop the blows. He breaks through and runs towards the door. He almost makes it, but slips on the very magazine I threw to the floor. We follow and cover him in a
blanket of bodies, knives, and pens, anything sharp, thrusting into his bloody softness until, finally, he is quiet.

We stop when we notice how still he is.

I had planned to do this alone. But I ended up not having to. All of us were his victims, but in the end, he was ours. His face was unrecognizable and bloody, eyes blank. It bothered me, so I picked up the Time Magazine and covered his face with it. Then I sat down next to his body to wait. We all did. Twelve, young, teenage girls covered in the blood of a sinner so vile. We put down our weapons and waited. Waited for whatever happened next.

The End

***Re-reading this, I can see where it needs work. I am not even sure where to submit a story like this once it is polished. Any critiques would be welcome.

Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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Copyright  2005 Dana Sieben - All Rights Reserved

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"I believe that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you can not baptize cats." - Larry the Cable Guy

A Tennessee man and an Alabama man were both fighting in a war and were captured by the enemy.
"Before we put you to death," said the enemy, "do you have any last requests?"
"Yes," said the Alabaman. "Could you play 'Yeah, Alabama' before you shoot me?"
"Sure," said the enemy. "How about you, Tennessean?"
"Could you shoot me before you play 'Yeah, Alabama?'"

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