Happy Hump Day!
Not much to report – this week’s been a little slow as far as writing goes. For some reason, getting the words out feels like pulling teeth. That being said, I did manage to type up a response to this week’s Master Class prompt from Our Write Side.
Prompt: Crossroad to oblivion
The prompt serves as inspiration for this piece. Videl’s having a bit of a bad time, and maybe that’s why the words were so difficult to get out. Who knows? I did sketch the scene a bit (thought drawing might help get the words out), so maybe I’ll color it in and put it up once it’s done.
On the Brink
Silence – that’s all I register in the wake of the boss’s exit. Of all the things that comforted me in my new existence, knowing that I would never see my grandmother again was at the top of the list. It was a relief, if only because I don’t think I’d be able to survive that kind of encounter. The gravity of her betrayal will always hover in the back of my mind, but if I don’t think about her, it isn’t that bad. But now here I am – with no choice but to face her.
“Something tells me you’re not as eager to see her as you were to see your mother.” It’s only now I realize Marcus walked into the room with a satchel full of books. He empties it out on the desk, separating the books out into piles.
“Shut up, Marcus – I don’t need this right now.” I sit on the couch, face in my hands, trying to think my options through. Of course, it’s not like I actually have any options. An order is an order, and I can’t exactly go against the devil’s orders – my grandmother made sure of that when she sold him my soul. Despite my fury towards her, though, I’m reluctant to follow through. Yes, she discarded me without thinking twice about it, but she’s still my grandmother. She helped raise me, care for me – prepare me for the slaughter, more like, but still. “How am I supposed to…?”
“You only need to be there – you don’t actually have to do anything.” My head snaps up at Marcus’ words. He’s right, but if she’s powerful enough to kill all those demons, he doesn’t stand a chance. I can’t exactly let him do it on his own. It never occurred to me that he could be hurt, or worse – the idea makes my stomach turn now, and I have to fight the knot forming in my throat.
“No. You’re not coming.” I stand, the need to move – to keep busy – taking over. His desk is still riddled with books, so I make my way over, clearing it and alphabetizing them.
“No! I said no, Marcus.” I shove a book into the shelf, and I’m so focused on the task that I don’t realize that he’s standing right behind me. When I turn, I jump and my back hits the bookshelves.
Marcus grips both my arms, his hold firm, but gentle. “Ignoring the fact that I literally have to help you, it’s obvious you can’t handle this alone – look at yourself.”
“I’ll be fine.” My eyes dart around the space – to our shoes, the window, his chest, anywhere but his face. I feel suffocated. There’s darkness at the edges of my vision, threatening to overwhelm me. “She-she won’t hurt me. I can deal…I will deal with it.”
“Sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself more than me.” He releases my arms and moves to take a step back. Without realizing what I’m doing, I reach out, my hand shaking as it grips his sleeve. It catches him off-guard, and for what feels like the first time, a look of surprise crosses his features. It’s gone in an instant, though, and his eyes are unreadable again. “What are you doing?”
“What’s it look like? I’m trying not to fall apart.” I glare at him, unable to explain myself further.
“Don’t think I’m the right person to help you with that…” There’s a hint of panic in his eyes now, though I’m not sure why. He wasn’t scared at the prospect of facing an immortal, nearly all-powerful witch. A trembling demon shouldn’t send him running?
“You’re the only one here…” I close my eyes. My breathing is returning to normal, at least, and I’m a little less shaky. It’s not the end of the world – you already went through that. I try to keep this in mind, to drill the idea into my head. Do I even have to kill her? No – I just have to get her to stop. I take comfort in that. When I open my eyes again, he’s still just standing there with apprehension in his eyes. I don’t know why, but I find that hilarious. My laughter doesn’t help the expression on his face. Marcus just stares at me, the look in his eyes slowly going from nervous to concerned – concerned for me. This shocks the laughter from my system, and I’m unable to hold back the tears. I can’t remember the last time I broke down this way. “What am I going to do?”
Marcus suddenly pulls me into an embrace, his arms warm and tight around me. His face is in my hair, and I can feel his breath against my ear, my neck, when he speaks. “We. What are we going to do – you’re not in this alone.”
“So much for no compassion…”
“I’m not heartless – just don’t tell anyone.” Marcus winks as he pulls away with a small smile.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a nervous breakdown, and I’d like some feedback on it – does it feel authentic? I kind of feel like I’m all over the place with this one, so any thoughts and comments are much appreciated!
Friendly reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain is up and open for submissions! Check out the prompt post for details. Looking forward to reading your stories 🙂
As always, think happy thoughts!