The park is quite
I sit alone
Memories pour into my head
I’m standing there your arms
Then we’re running fast, laughing
As we go
Next thing I know we’re playing
Football you tackling me every chance
The memories leave
I’m still alone
Loving the times we once
The Alpha Female
She walked into the pool hall with an air of confidence. With a flick of her hair, and a seductive smile she moved towards the billiards table. Despite being the only lady surrounded by a pack of gentlemen, you don’t have the sense of vulnerability, rather power. As if, the alpha female in a pack of wolves, her protection comes from the men protecting her from each other. The alpha female, with dirty blond hair and athletic build, walked over to two men in particular; one short and scrawny with similar dirty blond hair, the other slightly taller and darker complexion and stocky build. Both gentlemen smiled as they noticed her approaching, one smile hidden the other not. After placing her two bags down, she turned to give the boy with the dirty blond hair a hug and kiss,
“Hey sweetie, how have your classes been so far?” she asked, flashing another beautiful smile. Neither of them noticing the flash of jealousy on the second gentlemen’s face, he took the trite conversation between the girl and her boyfriend as an opportunity to recover his composure. By the time the couple was satisfied with their exchange of greetings, the second gentlemen had reshaped his face into a friendly grin. The alpha female and the second gentlemen, merely exchanged “heys” and smiles of recognition, and that was the extent of the greeting ritual between them.
“Who’s stripes?” She went on to ask, referring to the pool game the two friends had already started.
“I’m solids, Brett is stripes,” The boyfriend responded. “I am having an off day today, can’t sink anything to save my life today.”
Sure enough, the second gentleman went on to win the game a few turns later. With a nod, Brett recognized the alpha female as the next challenger. The female reached for one of her bags, and pulled out a pool stick. Each of the three players had their own pool cues, which seemed to represent them in their own way. The boyfriend carried and black cue, with emerald green streak designs. Brett was playing with a black and brown cue with white silhouettes of women. The stick just pulled out by the alpha female was an all-white cue, which at first glance seemed to be lined with diamonds; however it was merely an effect of the type of fabric used as the grip.
Brett started the new game, shot after shot he seemed to make effortlessly. It almost seemed as if Brett would win the game before the alpha female even had a turn.
That’s where the mistake happened.
Brett had looked up, and saw the alpha female embraced in the arms of her boyfriend; another flash of jealousy, and loss of concentration resulting in a missed shot. This time Brett was barely able to conceal his true feelings as he stepped away from the table clearly frustrated. The alpha female hesitated, as if she had just seen something that might not have been there, with a gentle shake of her head she wipes the niggling doubts from her mind. She steps up, and sinks a couple of shots, before it was Brett’s turn again. Before the alpha female steped away from the table, she stood there in the way of Brett’s next shot with a look of concern.
“Excuse me Reina,” Brett said special emphasis on her actual name. The use of her actual name seemed to have stung Reina, resulting in her walking away with a look of sadness. Even as he stepped up to make his shot it was obvious he was not focused. He had purposely used her name, and not her nick name out of spite. An obvious look of regret replaced the fake smile. Even now it was obvious; his feelings for her caused a great amount of confusion and pain.
Another shot missed, and the dance continued.
Reina stepped up again, and sunk one shot before she too missed. This time as she walked past Brett she made sure to gently brush his back with her hand; subtle enough not to peak suspicion from her boyfriend, but enough to ensure the Brett got the message. This seemed to calm down Brett a little as he managed to make the last few shots to end the game.
This dance continued for a good hour, as the three of them continued to challenge one another as well as any other challengers as well. Soon however it was time to go, and the awkward goodbyes. Brett clearly suffering the most as he watched Reina walk away with her boyfriend, a look of longing hung on his face.
Sorry for the slight delay, but in our defense it is still Wednesday in America! Here is the first true update of our book, The Sephora Chronicles! We have included pictures of our behind the scenes progress, as well as an excerpt from the first book.
Something was about to happen, I could just sense it. The sun had not risen yet, but I was already wide awake. So was every other girl in the room. Today was auction day, and for many of us today would be the first day of the rest of our lives. As we all lay there waiting for day break, thoughts on what kind of masters would buy us, caused our minds to race. Only fate could tell if we were to go to a kind master or cruel one. The silence was nerve racking, broken only by the rattle of the chains at the women’s ankles and wrists.
We all waited for that moment, that moment when the overseer would come crashing through the door. I turned my head ever so slightly, to peer at the tiny window at the far end of the room. Although the sun was not up the sky had started turning from the deep shade of indigo, to a lighter dark blue, with the occasional streaks of purple.
The latch at the door sounded, and every womens’ head turned unanimously to the door that was now swinging open. The overseer stepped in, as somber as ever. Despite being a commanding tall, bulky figure, his eyes told a very different story. Once a slave himself, with the scars from where whip met his dark skin, his eyes told with story of a man that was broken. Some of the women that had been here longer than myself, suggested that he had been overseer for almost twenty years now, and was very loyal to his master. The overseer lifted the hand-held lamp, and hung it on a hook by the door. I was then able to take note of the aged white hair, and the several scars that suggested being struck across the face.
“Move you wenches, the master wants the stench of piss and shit washed, before presenting you to the auction buyers!” he barked, and quickly we obeyed. Ever woman, stood up were they slept of the floor. Slave quarters such as this often hold fifty or more women. We must have been over two hundred, and as a result were thrown in together. Or beds lay side by side, and comprised of nothing more than cloth on the floor.
I took a look at the women beside me, and it was clear they were just as nervous as I am. While they were the age as I am roughly, they were both darker, like most of the women in her. Very few shared the golden color that I had. I stood there waiting for my turn. All the women were chained together to hinder any attempt of escape this also meant you were herded around in a single file like cattle. I watched as women scrambled and fought their way towards the water troughs. Despite being in the same predicament it was very much every person for themselves.
On a day like this presentation was everything. It was common belief that the more presentable you were, the better chance you had at being bought by a wealthy family. Your goal was to look clean and healthy. No slave owner would buy a sickly frail slave. While wealth was no guarantee of kindness, if you were lucky you would be bought by a wealthy noblemen, that was very much an important figure in society and therefore very much in the public eye. Even then, all that meant was your chances of being beaten or raped was slightly less. Certainly it was much better to be sold to a nobleman rather than to a brothel owner.
Echalea combined to wait with her turn coming up shortly. She took a second look at the two women closest to her and tried to size them up. With both being older women and looking more frail. Echalea hoped they would try to avoid conflict. All the while the overseer was still barking orders in the background.
“Next lot!” the overseer yelled. Echalea tensed and ran towards the water trough. Immediately one of the women to her right began to claw at her and fight for a better position. Echlea threw a wild elbow that caught her competitor in the rib cage. Upon seeing this the woman to her left seemed to second guess her own attempt at taking on Echalea.
Echalea quickly made her way to the trough. The trough was nothing more than a large wooden basin that was mainly used to feed farm animals. But once a month it was cleaned out and filled with water for the slaves to clean themselves before heading to the market place. By the time Echalea had approached the trough dozens of women had already passed through leaving the water brown with filth. However she had no time to contemplate what exactly had been put in the water. Barely having enough time to dunk her hands into the water, splash her face and wash her hair before another woman grabbed a fist full of her rages and drug her away.
Before Echalea could even react, the overseer was forcing her group out of the slave quarters. Stepping out into the street left her dazed. It had been the first time she had been outdoors in days. The brightness of day instantly blinded her, while the smell of fresh air left her dizzy in contrast to the smell of unwashed slaves. Before she could compose herself, the chains around her wrists were yanked forward, as the women were marched toward the stage. The stage was nothing more than a raised platform in front of the slave quarters, where the slaves were sold.
As the women were paraded across the stage, Echalea looked out into the crowd. There were maybe two dozen buyers, all of them men. Further more, much to the dismay of Echalea, none of them looked like nobles. After walking across the stage, which served one purpose to allow buyers to see the full range of women before having to start bidding, Echalea and the rest of the slaves were again lined up to the side of the slave quarters. Five at a time women were brought back on stage to be bid for.
As Echelea waited for her turn, she took the time to observe anything and everything. First she took not that a majority of the women that went first were the sickly, frail women. Furthermore, she also noticed that within each group of five there was at least one beautiful or healthy looking girl. Both of these were no doubt on purpose, as every buyer obviously clamored over only the healthiest of slaves. Particularly the brothel owners, who were only interested in slaves that would generate revenue.
As her turn grew, Echalea began to survey the crowd, for any indication of hope. She had hoped that the majority of brothel owners would have bought their slaves and moved on, thinning the crowds. However the opposite had occurred. As the day went on, more and more buyers showed up, as if their was a mutual understanding between slaver and buyer. The slavers clearly were saving their best stock for when crowds were at their peak. Again this strategy only served to benefit the slavers, as more people bidding meant prices would only go up. Echalea continued to search desperately for any sign that there were nobles in the crowd. But she was beginning to lose hope, as she stared out into a sea of brothel owners and other buyers.
Echelea hadn’t realized how close to her turn it was until the group in front of her were careened onto stage. For the first time since she had been in line she was able to look around the corner of the slave quarters and onto the stage. To her horror, the group in front of her were being stripped nude and made to line up in front of everyone with their hands by their sides. Any attempt to hide any part of their body was met with swift discipline. Echalea watched stunned as the bidding began. Like most of the previous groups, there were five girls on stage with two girls being sickly and the other three being healthy. The two sickly girls were bid on first, both fetching what Echalea thought were good price, that was until the first of the healthier girls dwarfed both of their priced tags combined. For what she was worth to these brothel owners her father could have paid his debts three times over. The second healthy girl received a similar price. The third healthy girl, who was obviously the prettiest of them all, Echalea thought would probably receive the highest of the the group. Sure enough, once bidding had started, her price tag instantly dwarfed the first two sickly girls, and quickly matched that of the two healthy girls and then some. In what seemed like the shorts of the five bidding rounds, the last girl quickly made the most money for the slaver who could clearly be seen smiling from ear to ear.
It was only then did Echalea see the slaver motion for the overseer to bring the next group on stage. If her heart hadn’t been racing before, it certainly was now. Her group, being lead by the overseer, were march to the base of the steps that lead onto the stage. Once their the five women were prepped for bidding.
An older woman approached Echalea, and grabbed a fist full of her hair. Waisting no time she tied Echalea’s hair back so that not a strand covered the face or fall over the front of her shoulder and cover her breasts. The older women proceeded to then strip her of rags. In order to do so, her chains had to first be unlocked, as soon as she was free Echalea contemplated running for freedom. But before she even had the chance, the overseer had grabbed her by the shoulders and held her in place. The older lady, never once speaking or looking Echalea in the eyes, ripped the clothes off her body and threw them into a large pile that contained the garments of all the women that had already been sold. Staring at the pile of clothes, Echalea had not noticed the old woman step aside, as the slaver approached. He approached Echalea first. This was the only the second time Echalea had seen the Slaver, the first being the night she was sold to him by her father.
*Note: As we are still in the early stages of writing this book, everything seen here are early drafts of our work. Written Work, Concept Art, Character Names, and Ideas are all subject to change.
Well that is it for now. I want to thank everyone that has followed us so far. We looked forward to bring you more updates soon. As always comments, suggestions, and general feedback are more than welcomed, they are encouraged!
- C & N Leher
P.S Check out more art from our guest artist Daria Orlowska by visiting http://everlasting-illusion.deviantart.com/
Here is a brief excerpt of a novel I am working on. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think of it. Thanks for reading!!!
Get me out of here, someone! she thought as ran through the hallways searching for any sign of sweet escape. The blinding white walls of the hallway seemed to constrict, closing in on her. Her breathing came heavily in and out of her quivering mouth, each breath seemed agonizingly loud, as it echoed throughout the building. The air felt heavier and stiff making it harder to breathe. She felt her throat tightening and she couldn’t get the proper air to her lungs making getting the right amount of oxygen to her brain impossible
Her feet made a constant rhythm, mimicking the rapid beating of her heart, while her eyes scanned the long halls for signs of life. Her vision became blurred, her muscles began to cramp and she was feeling very light-headed. She was resisting the urge to break down and cry right there with her life on the line, survival becoming her only motivation, the will to live her driving force.
I trusted him! I went against what every fiber of my being was telling me and he screwed me over. If I make it out of here I will never let that happen again! she thought.
Then there was an odd beat, she couldn’t tell if it was her heart or her steps. Something sounded out of rhythm. She stopped suddenly holding her breath, as if the sound of her gasping for air would give her position away. Her captors, were not far away. The pounding of footsteps as a dozen of armed men searched for their victim, brought the halls to life. Out of fear that she had stayed still for too long, she broke out into a sprint, the footsteps behind her got louder and quicker. They were catching up with her, He was catching up with her. She pushed her legs harder and harder, until they felt like jelly beneath her slender frame. But she had to escape their was no other option. If she stopped now the lies would start over and she would never be able to end this charade.
She kept running, her fiery red hair flying out behind her as she took this corner and that. Her shoes made a now faster paced rhythm on the floor as she ran. If she had been in any other situation, the run would be a welcome one but she knew this one depended on her life.
“You won’t make it out of here, Chloe. You might as well give up. Of all people you should know how tight our security is. You’ll be caught before you ever reach an open exit. We have sealed this place up tight, you’re only wearing yourself out.” the blonde haired man yelled behind her.
He was about six feet tall and a hundred pounds heavier than she, but none of that was fat. His white skin, bulging muscles, made him a naturally intimidating person. The sight of him, the thought of him, how he had betrayed her filled her up with anger. She had loved him for nine years, not knowing he was just using her.
Hell, Chloe thought, Everyone was using me.
She knew better then to respond, she didn’t have the energy to talk. She had to keep focused on running, otherwise she would collapse onto the gleaming tile floor with the blaring florescent lights to encompass her. Finally, she saw the sweet salvation she had been waiting for at the end of a corridor. A loading door that hadn’t yet been shut yet. She ran with all her might for her only escape from this nightmare of a place.
” Quick! Shut the exit! Before she gets out!” her ex growled into his radio.
She pushed forward even faster, now the guards had a warning, that door would be closed in a matter of seconds. She could see the door descending, and her hope for escaping narrowing. When she was five feet from the exit she dropped and slid underneath the door, taking advantage of the freshly waxed floor tiles. The door thudded shut instantly behind her. Her ex hit the cold metal with good force and yelling every cuss word he could think of.
“Sealed up tight, my ass,” she shouted then sighed a breath of relief. The wind gusted through her red hair, she felt alive, rejuvenated. She could breathe again, she took two deep, greedy breaths, her mind speeding up and her instincts waking up for the first time in a long time. But she knew she wasn’t out of danger just yet. She made it out of the building but she still had to make it out of the compound. That would be the hardest part of her escape.
She heard the dogs barking in the distance, if she didn’t start soon they would catch up with her for sure. She also had to worry about the men on the other side of the door trying to get out. She had to run now, she could not afford the rest her body was craving for.
She looked around her for a jeep or any vehicle for that matter. She spotted a tan beat-up jeep over in the far corner of the parking lot, but she was too far away, they would be on her before she could climb inside. Her only hope was the woods to her left, knowing she had to make a decision she jumped up and took off.
Her thoughts threatened to overwhelm her while she ran by the blur of trees and bushes that were all around her, but she pushed them from her mind. If she ever wanted to make it out, she had to focus all her energy on fighting her way out.
She ran west toward the less used entrance. She knew this compound better than she knew herself, which now was less than she thought. This place had been her home and job for the last year, although she interned here all through college. She knew the farthest entrance to the west would be virtually unarmed and they wouldn’t have time to arm it before she got there. There would be five to six guys at the most. That would be a walk in the park compared to the rest of the entrances.
She felt this wasn’t the first time she faced a situation like this, but it was the first time she could remember. Everyone was against her. Her family, friends almost everyone she had ever met. Her life was a lie, as far as she knew, she was nothing more than an elaborate experiment. There was no way to tell what part of it was real, and what was not. No way to tell who she could trust, therefore she trusted no one. She had no where to turn, no one to run to. She was absolutely and completely alone.
The dogs barking behind her pulled Chloe out of her trance, they were getting closer. She could hear the men shouting commands at each other. Her estimated time to get through the gates would be about six minutes if she was lucky. She pushed herself harder, every second she could gain was a miracle.
She busted through the last of the trees and bushes. She spotted three men instantly, one in the back pacing the length of the two brick buildings and two manning the gate. There was no time to waste planning, she had to act quick.
Without breaking stride, she quickly and quietly came up behind the first of the guards and clapped her hands hard over his ears, busting his eardrums and stalling him enough to snap his neck. She paused for a second shocked at what she had just done but knew now was not the time to ponder her decisions.
She picked up his gun and grabbed his i.d. badge from the clip on his vest. Silently she slipped around the corner coming up on the two other guards. Her instincts took over again. It was as if in a past life she was a natural killer; her body knew what to do even if the mind did not. At this point she was moving on muscle memory more than anything else. She knew she had to be extremely fast in killing them both and be silent while sneaking up on them.
She knew there would be at least three more men close by, two who would be on the roof and one in front. Just as she stepped forward one of the guards’ radio went off.
“We have a female on the loose. Red hair, 5″4′ and very dangerous. Do not kill, repeat do not kill her! She was headed your way and we’re right behind her,”
She quickly ran up behind them disarming the one on the left, who pulled out his tazer during the radio transmission. Then she knocked him out with her elbow to his face. She came up fast on the second guard and kicked him in the stomach, knocking the breath from him, and then she clubbed him with the gun she had picked up from the very first guard.
By this time the guards in front heard the commotion and came through. While she put the i.d. badge in the slot she contemplated how she was going to handle the one extra guard she wasn’t expecting. The gate started to move; in seconds there was just enough space for her to slide through. She readied the gun as she advanced. The two men were in front of her in a blink of the eye; she shot the first one, killing him instantly. The second was a little faster and he had pulled his own tazer from his holder. He came at her, she grabbed his wrist and slammed her arm against his elbow breaking his arm.
“Tell them to stop hunting me or unfortunately for them, they will lose more men,” she said then grabbed his tazer and shocked him. It stunned her how easy it was to inflict pain. Nothing like in the movies where you have elaborate fights. It was quick, brutal, and unforgiving.
The guards on the roof were struggling to get down as she disappeared into the woods. One the guards radioed the boss.
“She made it out unharmed and is heading North,” he said.
“Pursue her for 2 or 3 miles but don’t get too close. We want her to think she can escape us for the time being.” replied the boss.
Hope you all enjoyed the excerpt! Stay tuned for more works in the coming weeks :)
I have faith no more,
A reminder of my past- not of what I have done,
but for that which has been done upon me,
dying days in Zimbabwe- of happy memories I have none,
of these events I question my spirituality,
for the events of my past- I have faith no more!
Zimbabwe, a place where I was grown,
till I witnessed firsthand violence and terror,
the innocence that I had once known,
distant memories growing ever more rarer,
for the events of my past- I have faith no more!
Fear and terror spread within my family,
as we witnessed violence first hand,
New Zealand, my family sought to flee,
no longer was it safe to play in Zimbabwe’s red sand
for the events of my past- I have faith no more!
Scavenging among my faded memory-my long lost home,
I wonder if one day I will return to thee,
if the violence and terror that I had once known,
if from oppression my country will one day be free,
for the events of my past- I have faith no more!
I once believed in the Church of Rome,
but pain and suffering is all I hold in memory
no longer can we call Zimbabwe home,
I have lost all trust in Christianity,
for the events of my past- I have faith no more!
Hey everyone, just a quick update. On the 20th we will be posting the next update on Sephora Chronicles, and we will have an excerpt as well! So make sure to come back! you wont want to miss it! Also Nicole and i are brainstorming about ways to improve the blog. If you have any helpful suggestions, please leave a comment, or go vote on our poll! any ideas will be thoroughly considered!
Once I was in love
Now I’m hurt
Once I was naive
Now I know
Once I thought I would marry you
Now I wish I had never met you
Once I knew why I loved you
Now I have no clue
Once I was tolerant
Now I’m through
-N Leher <3
Christian Hargreaves, Dancer/ Actor
Reneé Lynn Black, Dancer/ Actor
Marishka Orybkiewicz [Marie], Highschool Senior
Ryan Howard, Detective Inspector
The action takes place in a single interrogation room.
The room consists of one table, two chairs, and a pitcher of water and some drinking glasses. The room is dimly lit by one ceiling light. Enter D.I. Howard followed by Christian Hargreaves, Renee Black, and Marie. Howard motions for them to take a seat in the chair opposite from him.
Thank you Mr. Hargreaves for coming, hopefully with your co-operation we can get you out of here in no time. First could you please confirm some of these details for the record? You are Christian Hargreaves, age twenty-eight, lead actor in Lord Chamberlain’s company.
Thank you, you may begin with your account of what happened the night of the incident in question.
[Christian Hargreaves acts out, without sound]
Thank you Mrs. Black for—
RENEE LYNN BLACK
[Flirty] Ms. Black, but you can call me Renee.
Ms. Black, thank you for coming. I believe you know why you are here?
RENEE LYNN BLACK
Yes, I am a suspect to your investigation.
Before we begin could you please verify that the information here is correct? [hands Renee Black a file, she looks it over and nods] Thank you, could you please begin with your account of the event in question.
[Renee and Christian both continue to act out their stories in silence]
Ms. Orlowska, thank you for coming.
Why am I here?
Ms. Orlowska, you are here because you are a lead suspect to an investigation. However, with your cooperation we can clear up any misunderstandings and have you out of here in no time.
Of course, well that night was the night of the grand premier. We were doing our rendition of “Much Ado About Nothing”, and I was scheduled to play Leonato when at the last minute I was replaced by my half-wit of a backup. Which is absolutely absurd, as I was perfectly ready to perform that night.
Were you ever given a reason for the change?
[Flash of anger] None whatsoever, completely unprofessional!
Ok, please continue.
I stormed off and locked myself in my dressing room. I must have been in there a few hours when I heard a loud bang, as if there was equipment failure or something of that nature. I rushed out to see what the commotion was, just in case something had happened to the half-wit and I was able to return to my rightful role as Leonato. It was then, racing towards the stage, that I saw a silhouette sulking around in the distance. I called out attempting to get the persons attention, and ask what had happened. At the sound of my voice, the person seemed to be startled by my presence. I called out again, and the silhouette fled the scene.
Were you able to make out any distinguishable features on said silhouette?
By definition, silhouette is a dark shape, a shadow.
Is that a no?
Mr. Hargreaves, anything at this point anything would be helpful; height, estimated weight, a limp?
[Sigh] I don’t know, my height. Slimmer build, that more of a female, no limp.
Could you tell me what you did next?
RENEE LYNN BLACK
Sure. I was in my dressing room going over a few tricky lines – the part of Beatrice is quite extensive – when I heard a heated argument just outside. Naturally, I followed the voices backstage to see what was going on. I saw Christian and the director yelling at each other – something about Christian being replaced on such short notice. I’ll admit, I was a little nosy and I listened in on the conversation a little too closely. I ended up knocking over a few props on the table I was leaning on and Christian and the director both started looking for me – well, they started looking for whatever made the sound. They didn’t know it was me because it was pitch-black backstage.
What happened after that?
RENEE LYNN BLACK
I ran back to my dressing room. We didn’t have very long before the show started, so I had to go find the girl who was doing my makeup that night. Um, Marie? Yeah. Marie. High school kid. She came in and started finishing up my makeup.
Hmm, ok go on.
RENEE LYNN BLACK
She started asking me about the argument. You know how girls are, Detective Howard… We gossiped for a good twenty minutes about the other actors and actresses while she worked. She was a little shaky when she came in – very anxious-looking and white as a ghost. That was a little strange, now that I think of it…
Why was that strange? Was that out of character for Marie?
RENEE LYNN BLACK
Yes, she’s usually bubbly, very talkative, very sure of herself… That night she just wasn’t right.
RENEE LYNN BLACK
When I asked her about it, she said that everything was fine, nothing to worry about. She left shortly after I asked her what was wrong. I had to finish my own makeup, for God’s sake! First the pay cut, then-
RENEE LYNN BLACK
Yes. The director decided during the final week of rehearsals to cut my pay significantly. Something about using that money on props or some other bull like that. He’s such a snake! I think he used it to pay Marie for her ‘internship.’
Internship? She wasn’t an employee?
RENEE LYNN BLACK
No, she was basically the director’s right hand. She said that’s why she was shaken up, actually, because she had just given him an aspirin to calm him down after the argument.
Ms. Orlowska, you were spotted on the scene, at the time of a crucial incident, could you please explain your presence there.
I was backstage yes; my job is to help by doing whatever I am told. I sometimes help with makeup; maybe get coffee, whatever comes to mind. [Angrily] I am nothing more than a servant girl to these people.
What were you doing the night of the premier?
I was backstage, helping the last minute adjustments to props and equipment. The director was having screaming match with the lead actress Reneé. I was just there minding my own business, but it was hard not to overhear their conversation.
Did you at any point come in direct contact with the director yourself?
Well, I did give the director some water, I’m an intern, you see, and that’s what interns do. If I’m told to do something, I do it.
Well, Renee said you were shaky and very pale when she saw you, what was all that about?
Renee will tell you anything she thinks you want to hear! I told you, I’ve been sick!
Can anyone else vouch that you’ve actually been sick?
Well, the school nurse can, why don’t you ask her?
[A lot of silent acting, to show great passage of time]
We’ve been at this for hours now, there is something you are not telling me.
[Clearly angry] I don’t know what else you want from me! I told you, I arrived at the scene, just in time to see Renee, slip away!
That’s not what you said first the first time, you described it as a shadow!
Gah, the point is I’m innocent, and she is guilty!
That remains to be seen, do you have any proof for this accusation?
No, but I swear to you no one would have more access to the director than would Marie.
Ok, but what motivation would the accused have for committing such an act?
Christian and the director have never got along. I was by the director’s side for 90% of the time, I saw how they constantly argued.
We cannot act on arguments alone, by the sounds of it the director had made a lot of enemies within the company. Do you have anything more substantial than that?
Everyone in the company knows that Renee is a violent woman
But again that leaves me with nothing but your word, and a shadow as proof.
Ok, um the director died from a blow to the head right? I bet if you went through Renee’s blow-dryers you will find blood and be able to match it.
Mr. Hargreaves, at no point have I released the exact causes of the Directors death. So how would you come to know this?
[ flustered ] I… I mean… I was at the scene, I saw the blood. I just figured…
Would you care to explain how you came to know this bit of information?
It has to be Marie, who else would be able to get close enough to the manager and attack him like that, it had to be someone he trusted, someone who is by his side constantly. How else would he get all those strangle marks around his throat, and Marie is the only one that wears scarves.
Ms. Black, how would you come to know, the causes of the directors death? Besides the coroner only myself and a handful of other detectives, know this piece of information.
[Flustered] i… I mean… I was at the site of the murder, I saw the marks on his neck. I just figured…
You just said it was dark backstage and visibility was limited. So how did you come by this information?
It was obviously Christian, is the culprit, if you look at his desk it filled with draw full of various pills and drugs. He could easily have slipped something and overdosed the director…
What makes you think the cause of death was poisoning? I have not mentioned the cause of death, at all in our time here.
[Flustered] i… what I meant to say was, I have watched enough CSI to know that the director must have been poisoned… I was at the scene; I saw the foam from the mouth and all… I just figured…
Enough of these lies, I know it was you! You might as well just confess now, and stop wasting my time. We have more than enough proof, and you have basically just dug your own grave.
ALL TOGETHER [CHRISTIAN, RENEE, MARISHKA]
All right, I confess! I did it!
I killed the director, I was sick and tired of being treated like some servant. He purposely kept me an intern so I could be his little puppet. So yeah, I gave him an overdose of my medication. The prescription drugs I got from being sick. It was easy for me to slip him something in his coffee. But he didn’t die straight away like he was supposed to… he stumbled about backstage… suffering…
I murdered the director, I used one of Renee’s blow-dryers. I was backstage and I saw the director, stumbling about. It was obvious he was drunk, or high on drugs, or something. I was not about to let him ruin my career. He was going to force me into an early retirement, and replace me with the half-wit! I took the nearest object to me I and I smashed it against his head.
I killed him, I strangled that low-life. When I found out he was cutting my budget to pay for his little floosy of an intern, I lost it. When I saw him stumbling around in the dark, holding his head. When I saw him fall over drunk, I took one of Marie’s scarfs and strangled that man-whore.
Ugh, I hate these types of cases… Damn Shakespearian tragedies!
-Thanks Everyone, This one was a group project from one of my creative writing classes in college so special thanks goes out to my group mates that also worked on this! C Leher
Here is the final installment of Ties That Bind. I hoped you liked the short story. Feel free to to comment and tell me what you liked and didn’t. Thank you all for reading it means a lot to me!
Prison (Awaiting Punishment): June 1-July 18, 1692
“Guilty!” The sound of those words echoed through Elizabeth’s head all night. Hathorne had sentenced her to death by hanging like a few before her. They were examples, examples to not be different, not to have misfortune, and to not have any young woman angry with you. Elizabeth tossed and turned on the hard wooden bench that was padded only with a thin worn out hay mattress. Although she doubted she would be able to sleep regardless of the bed she lay in.
Death by hanging? That is the way I die, she thought to herself. Elizabeth hoped that she would be old and gray before she passed. There was so much still left to see. She wanted to see her daughter, her sweet little Anne, grow up, get married and have little sweethearts of her own. Elizabeth worried for the safety of Anne and her mother. It was the people closest to the witch that got accused next. But she would not let that happen.
A few days went by but they seemed like a blur to Elizabeth. Between the bits and pieces of sleep, she was subject to the crying of women, the yelling of men and the insulting examinations the court deemed necessary to find ‘witch marks’. The irons which Elizabeth had been bound by since she got into prison were starting to cut and blister her wrists.
“Beth?” Elizabeth jerked her head but at the sound of the soft angelic voice of her mother at the bars of her cell.
“Mother!? What are you doing here? Is Anne alright? Where is she? Please do not bring her here I do not want her in this vile place!” Elizabeth exclaimed jumping up and hurrying to her mother.
“Anne is alright I promise you, darling. Right now she is probably playing with Martha’s boys Richard and Andrew, you know how they adore her. How are you, my daughter?” Deborah asked her daughter, seeing her daughter relax with the news that her baby was in a safe place with the people she trusted the most.
“I am alright. Worrying about you and Anne mostly. I am at peace with my fate. God knows the innocence of my nature,” Elizabeth answered looking away from her mother with tears in her eyes.
“I am sure Hathorne is just threatening, he has not executed anyone in these trials. You are going to be alright. In the meantime, keep strong. I brought you some things to keep you comfortable until I visit next.” Deborah reassured her digging in the woven basket she brought in with her. She handed Elizabeth some cloth and butter.
“The best thing you can offer me is comfort which you already have by telling me you and Anne are well,” Elizabeth smiled as her mother touched her cheek.
“We will all get through this, my daughter. This madness cannot go on forever,” Her mother said before turning and leaving Elizabeth alone once again.
Many more days passed before her mother came again. But this time her mother seemed worried and more anxious then she did before. Deborah’s face was pale, wrinkles could be seen around her eyes and on her forehead. Even in the dim light of the prison Elizabeth knew something was amiss.
“Mother, what is troubling you?” Elizabeth asked grabbing her mothers hand which was shaking like she had come in from a blizzard. She knew from the soaring temperature in her cell that it was quite warm outside.
“I do not want to concern you, my darling, but Bridget Bishop was executed this morning,” Deborah said avoiding her daughters eyes. Elizabeth could feel the blood draining from her face. The room started to close in and her breathing became labored. For the first time the reality of the situation was sinking in. She was going to die. She was never going to be able to see or hold her daughter again. Elizabeth let go of her mothers hand and slid to the floor feeling faint. Deborah knelt next to the bars stroking her daughter’s hair. They both sat in silence for a long while.
“You should go. Please just go to Anne…take care of her,” Elizabeth said after a while, fighting back the tears that were threatening to overwhelm her. Her mother nodded put the clean linen and butter in her cell and with one more squeeze of the hand left her daughter.
Elizabeth barely remembered the weeks that followed the news. It was a blur of her mother visiting her and sitting in silence with her, telling her the news of town, an Elizabeth drifting in an out of consciousness. The jailers had left her alone and only bothered her to deliver meals. The only times she was pulled out of her daze was when Martha was being hauled in to the prison. Then a few days later when her two sons, Richard of 18 and Andrew of 16, were accused as well.
As she lay awake in her bed in the middle of the night, listening to Martha cry in the cell next to her, she thought about what she could do for her family. Elizabeth decided that tomorrow when her mother came she was going to talk to her about the safety of her daughter. She had to endure her closest friend and her two sons being brought here, she would not let her daughter and her mother come here as well. It was only a matter of time.
Her mother arrived early the next morning, in more of a positive attitude this morning then previous days. Deborah had more color then last time and stood tall with her head up.
“Morning, my daughter,” she said handing her clean linens, bread and butter like the other times.
“You seem better this morning, mother.” Elizabeth said coating her bread in the butter, that reminded her of how much she missed her home.
“It has been over a month since the execution of poor Goody Bishop. It was only her that got killed. Maybe Hathorne made his point, maybe he is done murdering innocent people. This madness should be over soon; things are already starting to die down in town.” Deborah said hopefully clutching her daughters arm with delight.
“Mother…there is something I want to talk to you about. I know you are hopeful for Salem, but I am not so convinced. I see more and more people getting put in this place. Martha and her sons are here even. I do not want Anne around this madness. It is like poison and I do not want it touching her. James had family down South…I want you to take her there and stay with them until you get on your feet. If you are right and I do escape this unharmed I will come to you. But I do not want Anne here a second longer. I do not want her or you to be accused next you know they did it to Sarah Good‘s daughter and she was only four,” Elizabeth could see her mothers indecision.
“NO! This is my child and my decision. You will take her to John’s relatives! There is not discussion. Mother, please do this for me.” Elizabeth said in a firm, desperate voice that her mother knew not to argue with. She clutched the bars waiting for her mothers response.
“I will, for you Beth…” Deborah said tears welling up in her eyes. She grabbed her daughter’s head and pressed her lips to her forehead knowing this was the last time she was going to see her daughter.
Judgment: July 19, 1692
It was early in the morning when the jailer arose them. They had hauled Elizabeth, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Sarah Wildes and Susanna Martin out of the prison. The light blinded them after spend a month or more inside the dark prison it took a good while for their eyes to adjust while they tripped over rocks and ran into obstacles. When their eyes finally adjusted they looked around them and knew what was going to happen. The women looked at one other and gave each other soft, sad smiles, knowing all their pain would be over soon.
They arrived at Gallows Hill within minutes on the back of a wagon. All the way there the preacher had elaborated on the severity of the supposed “sins” they had committed. That they still had time to repent to God for a spot in heaven. But Elizabeth knew she had that spot in heaven, they all did, they had done nothing wrong. The women knew it was only a ploy to get a confession out of them so the community could justify what they were doing to them.
People gathered all around Gallows Hill, yelling and insulting them. The process went by fairly quickly. The jailers helped them off the wagon, walked them up to the gallows and asked for final words. Elizabeth was the last to speak and her word rang and struck hearts of her ancestor for generations.
Salem: Oct 21, 2012
Caroline walks slowly in front of a wall wrapping a courtyard that was once called Gallows Hill. She stops every once in a while and reads a name, then continues on. Finally she stops an inscription had caught her eye she leans in closer to get a better look and reads it out loud to herself, “Elizabeth Howe, Hanged, July 19, 1692.” Caroline hears her mother come up slowly behind her.
“It is said that before Elizabeth was hung she told the people present that ‘If it was the last moment I was to live, God knows I am innocent…’” Caroline read aloud from the stone. She gently touched the stone, sending a prayer to Elizabeth Howe.
“I am guessing the story was better then you thought?” Shannon said to her daughter.
“You could say that…wait! Mom? How do you know this story?” Caroline said turning to her mom, eyes full of curiosity.
“My mom use to tell me this story. Her father’s last name was Howe,” Shannon said smiling.
Mother and daughter stood there for a moment soaking in the long history of their ancestors. Then Caroline reaches over and grabs her moms hand and gives it a long squeeze.
I hope you all enjoyed the series!
- Ties that Bind (Part 1 of 5 ) (cnleher.wordpress.com)
- Ties that Bind (Part 2 of 5 ) (cnleher.wordpress.com)
- Ties that Bind (Part 3 of 5 ) (cnleher.wordpress.com)
- Ties that Bind (Part 4 of 5 ) (cnleher.wordpress.com)