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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Harvest Moon (La Mercè)

Moonlight penetrated the back windows, throwing bright, other-worldly patches onto the bare floor. Sitting on a pile of books, Kate stretched one bare foot into the light. Jason would be there soon. Her brother, the rock.
She could hear the clatter of the downstairs neighbors as they prepared their dinner. Quiet neighbors who knew nothing, who read about people like Kate in the newspaper. She pretended to forgive their ignorance, alternately despising and envying the softness in their speech, the banality of their arguments.
Avoiding the moon’s white squares, she crept to the darker front room, to the door with the caged window that gave onto the patio where Ben paced. She watched him from behind the thin curtain. Earlier, when she had pulled it back, there he had been, his face a blotching snarl that snapped at the glass, making her squeal and jump, her heart pumping adrenaline she didn’t need. She had phoned Jason then.
With long strides Ben crashed across the porch, fierce in every movement, arms jerking out as if to punctuate a lecture, or to knock out imaginary rivals. He turned, abruptly stopping, his arms crooked at his sides as he sniffed the night air. His head jerked up and to the right, his eyes blazing a hole through the glass into Kate’s throat. He ran at the door then, threw himself against the window grate, howling in pain before he struck.
Kate willed her breath back and opened the window.
“Animal!”
Her voice was broken.
He limped off the porch and resumed his pacing. Headlights shot through the hedges and like a wild boar Ben froze.
‘Kate!” Jason called as he pulled the car up. He beeped. “Kate? You ready?”
He had been there before.
She watched Ben tear across the patio and out to the street. She heard the car’s horn again, then listened as Ben’s yawp faded away up the hill and became a labored, frothing pant.
Kate shouldered her bag and unlocked the door.



36 comments:

  1. I particularly like - "She pretended to forgive their ignorance, alternately despising and envying the softness in their speech, the banality of their arguments." Can so much relate to it :P.
    Phrases such as - the moon's white squares, her heart pumping adrenaline she did not need - added so much to this already gripping piece.

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    1. Thanks so much, TIZ. It's nice to know what phrases speak to others.
      Don't know if it's a good thing or bad that you relate to that first sentence... : )

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  2. The extra details you add to this rather terrifying scene are very tasty: "other-worldly patches", she is sitting "on a pile of books", she "willed her breath back". Great write! Thanks for linking up and don't forget to come back to vote!

    As an aside - are her "downstairs neighbours" in a basement flat? It seems as if she is ground level when she looks out at Ben.

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    1. Tasty! Love it. Thank you Tri!
      As to the neighbors, think California hills maybe, a sloped plot... Guess I should have just said "neighbors", Laura. Thanks for that, too. Thinking of a different adjective...

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    1. Scary for lots of women... Thanks, Aesop!

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  4. Oh this scared me, in the best ways I think. I am normally not a lover of stories that would keep me awake but your word choices and descriptions kept me glued to this, I had to read it again, in order to take it all in.

    I guess I should just be glad she made it out. ;)

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    1. It's always better when she makes it out. Hope it doesn't keep you awake, though.
      Thanks for letting yourself be glued, Kir!

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  5. Time for some chains and basement!

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    1. Nah, time for a new lock!
      Thanks for reading, Melissa!

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  6. So gripping and powerful. The line that stood out for me especially was: He had been there before. So ominous!

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    1. Glad it gripped you. Thanks for picking a line - it's fun to know what others read.
      Thanks, Momo!

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  7. White squares of moonlight, sitting on a pile of books, as if to punctuate a lecture.. wow, all the details, kymm... nice writing, as always. When Kate is 'on her moon' I bet Ben never, ever comments on her attitude. :)

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    1. Glad you liked all those details. I don't believe Ben is going to be doing much commenting...
      Thanks, Steph!

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  8. This is so scary! I think I'd want to get away from Ben, too :)

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    1. Scary was part of the plan, yes, as was getting away from Ben. Thanks, Janna!

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  9. I love the detailed descriptions. Bone chilling!

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    1. Happy to make you shiver. Thanks for the love, Gina!

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  10. I also appreciated all the description, how you have us completely immersed in the scene. Wonderful writing.

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    1. Glad to have you immersed here. Thank you kindly, Kristin!

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  11. Nice descriptions and details. You really ground us in the setting. Great job!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it. Thank you, Margit!

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  12. Thank God for a brother like Jason!Wonder if they are going to chase and teach Ben a lesson together-after all it's Harvest Moon-ooooo!:D Just loved this "jump at your throat" tale,with lovely little details tightly packed,like nips and tucks,folding in any loose ends <3

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    1. Jason just came to get her outta there. He did beep at Ben, though. lol
      Thanks so much for the love, Atreyee. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  13. Wonderful and ferocious! I wonder if he comes back later...

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    1. Oooh ferocious mmmmm. Yeah, he'll be back. It's his house, too.
      Thanks, Spencer!

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  14. I agree with trifecta the details in this are beautiful, tawp, frothing pant. I had the sense that Ben's transformation was somehow her doing, or was she just his keeper?

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    1. I actually think I went overboard with the 'beastly' language, especially given the Trifecta crowd's tastes in genre. She's his wife. Hopefully not for long, but I wouldn't place any bets on it, either.
      Thanks for the beautiful, Jennifer!

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  15. Yikes! As many have noted, your story is gripping. A compelling read, Kymm. Well done! :))

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    1. Glad you were compelled. Thanks so much, Jo-Anne!

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  16. Although I loved all the detailing, wont call them extra but necessary detailing, i particularly loved this one "arms jerking out as if to punctuate a lecture, or to knock out imaginary rivals"

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    1. Oh, I'm glad. I was wondering if that would work. Thank you so much, Habiba!

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  17. "She pretended to forgive their ignorance, alternately despising and envying the softness in their speech, the banality of their arguments"

    I love this line. It really speaks to Kate's frame of mind.

    I was captivated throughout. The details of Ben's beastly behavior really ratcheted up the tension for me.

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    1. Good to hear. I was worried about ratcheting up too much beast.
      Glad you chose that line. (It was one I worked hard at.)
      Thanks so much for the love, Ivy!

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  18. Spooky in a good way. I like the title because it prepared me just a little bit. I loved your descriptions of Ben, like these:

    "...his face a blotching snarl that snapped at the glass."

    "He turned, abruptly stopping, his arms crooked at his sides as he sniffed the night air."

    "Ben’s yawp faded away up the hill and became a labored, frothing pant"

    I also liked how you kept the suspense going throughout this writing.

    Great take on the prompt:~)

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    1. Thank you so much, Sara, for those lovely comments! Glad you liked it.

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