Raina Lamontagne

Canada

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Critical feedback, on what I should work on and what I might improve on. Thanks for reading!

What's in the Dark

November 17, 2020

    Viola Argentum was walking home from university, back to her new apartment after her first day. Mars, her best friend, had already left, leaving Viola alone to walk home. Her apartment had taken some time getting used to, but anything was better than her parents, who had split the family in two, like a worm. One half survived, and the other had not. 
    Soon it got dark. The ice crunched below her feet, and on either side of the street, yellow lights flickered, making Viola uneasy. She wasn't afraid of the dark, but what was inside it terrified her. Like a vat of ink, and whispers in the dark. Thinking about it left her haunted, and the walls of sand she had assembled came tumbling down, leaving frothy waves of broken memories to rise and fall along the shores. She walked slowly. Her mind went back to her senior year, when her parents' relationship slowly unraveled like a shoestring.  Words had been shot like bullets, screams had felt like knives. She had escaped, but why did she still feel trapped, so alone? She walked and walked, for what seemed like hours, though could've only possibly been minutes. Running footsteps slammed into the ground behind her, and she whirled around-
    THUNK
    Fireworks exploded in her eyes. She fell to the ground, and the last thing Viola saw was the yellowed lights on the street, like fireflies in the distance.
    There was a painful pounding in her ears, and the back of her head felt as if it had been hit by a baseball bat. It probably had, Viola realized, recalling what had happened the night before.
    She opened her eye's, and the panic hit her like an anvil. It was pitch black, as if her eyes never opened at all. What was worse is that her hands were fastened by zip ties to an aluminum chair. She couldn't move, couldn't see, couldn't do anything.
    She wanted to run away, to hide in the corner. But she was helpless.
    A door creaked open, and she froze. Her hands started shaking, then her arms, and it spread across her body like a disease.
    "Hello?" She whispered. Silence. She tried again. "I-I want to go home. Why am I here? Please let me go." 
    Laughter like cold water trickled down her back. She stopped shaking, and a light flicked on.
    It took her a second to register the bright yellow light swaying from the low ceiling. Thankfully, there was not a monster in front of her, but a person, a man. He was masked, with dark clothes.
    "I didn't think that the infamous Viola, leader of the Snap Dragon’s, would be a cowardly little girl." He grinned, all sharp teeth.
    "Snap Dragon?" Viola tried to recall that name. It was the name of a restaurant, near her apartment.
    "What are you talking about?" What's the Snap Dragon? Get me out of here!" She struggled in the chair.
    A hand struck her against the face. Tiny needles poked through her cheek, her eyes stinging. 
    "You don't have to play dumb with me. I've seen you around town, hanging out with the most notorious members. It's time we put an end to this. Where's your hideout?"
    "I-I What are you talking about? Who are you?"
    "You’re Viola Aurum. The leader of the Snap Dragon’s." He cursed. "Forget this. Maybe I just have to beat it out of you."
    "No, wait!" Viola sobbed. "Please, I'm Viola Argentum. You have the wrong person." She looked up with raw eyes.
    "Please don't kill me. I'll walk away from this, I'll never see you again. Just let me go."
    The man hesitated, then grew angry.
    "Don't try to trick me. I've heard this before. We have proof!" He shoved a polaroid picture in her face. It was of her going into the restaurant with Mars. Her body froze, and she shook her head.
    "No, that's just a restaurant! I go there with my friend because he works there! Please, you have the wrong perso-"
    He struck her across the face again, harder. Her chair swung into the ground, her head bouncing off the concrete. A metallic scent hung in the air, coating the room like an oily smoke. Seconds, minutes, hours this went on. She begged to be let go, and was soon pleading for her life. This man had no mercy, no regret, nothing. He was colder than the snowy landscape, than the ice that coated windows.
    "Please," she tried one last time. "I want to leave, I want to go." Viola slumped in the toppled chair, blood turning her tears pink. 
    The man grabbed her by the hair and tilted her face towards his. He tilted his head.
    "You really don't know anything, do you? I figured you would've talked by now."
    She glared at him, poison seething through her words. "I don't know what is happening, but I am not Viola Aurum. If you aren't going to let me go, you might as well just kill me."
    The man grabbed her chair and set it up straight. just as he was cutting the zip ties, she kneed him in the ribs. He grunted and stumbled back. She swung around and hit him with the back of the chair, taking the knife with her hands and cutting the zip ties. 
    She opened the door and limped out, walking past her apartment and into the Snap Dragon restaurant. She ran into the back kitchen, welcomed by men and women who looked at her nervously. They took in her black eye, and bruises blooming on her skin.
    "Did you escape?" A woman asked.
    Viola gave her a look that changed her feature. Sharp. 
    "Yes! He actually believed me. Thank god he got my name mixed up. He thought it was Aurum. How idiotic" 
    "Ah. Well, glad to have you back! You look pretty terrible!!"
    Viola grinned with a smile like shattered glass. Sharp and jagged and evil.
    "I am too."
Name of protagonist - Viola Argentum
 

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  • November 17, 2020 - 9:35am (Now Viewing)

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