WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction

Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.


No such thing as a free ride.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 09-29-2006, 04:44 PM
Geoffrey Robson's Avatar
Geoffrey Robson (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 169
Thanks: 1
Thanks 0
No such thing as a free ride.


Pierre sits in his parlor. Though his greed has always been a comfort, the empty bottle of bourbon by the chair stands as a testament to what it takes to rationalize his unspeakable acts.

He grabs the arms of the chair in an attempt to control the spinning and with a couple of deep breaths his jumbled thoughts fall into place. He needs a plan. Cindy and Jim were not like the people in his town that had to accept anything and everything. I better go to New Orleans till things cool down. He closes his eyes and visions Cindy lying across that couch, her porcelain skin taking on a pink hue from her terror driven blood. He sniffs the fingers he probed her with like a hound dog looking for a trail. Her lingering scent brought his simmering thoughts back to a boil.

An unfamiliar sound, then a stench that rolls his stomach makes him get up from his chair as he staggers to the window to investigate. He is struck sober when he is faced with the unbelievable. He turns, runs and falls over a table as fear rips his mind every which way. In spite of its size, it slips through the window like a cat. In the blink of an eye its hoof-like foot rests squarely on Pierre's chest, holding him squirming on the floor.

" Why Pierre, you act so surprised, you were not expecting me?" The absurdity of the clear calm voice coming from its froth-filled mouth drives Pierre's mind to snapping flashes of his past crimes. Pierre claws at his own flesh on his chest, as if he could tear it off and escape.

"Pierre, Pierre calm down my friend," the Beast says as it bends down and lifts Pierre until his feet struggle and dance in the air above the floor.

Pierre's uncontrollable trembling stops and his body goes limp. His bladder and bowels simultaneously release.

"Pierre you have hurt my feelings. What causes such a reaction? I am your oldest friend, your partner. Is my appearance that unpleasant? Ah my friend I thought you would want to meet me, for I have done so much for you. You in return have been giving me a pride in our partnership."

Pierre hears every word of the Beast but still acts like he is lost in shock. There must be a way he thinks. Confronted with the end and an evil and tortured future a thought of repentance finds it's way into a mind gone mad.

"You call me friend and partner but I don't know you." Pierre says regaining control of his cunning.

"Ha, ha, ha, Ah my friend you never disappoint. Let me refresh your memory. All you have and everything you became is because of the friendship we forged many years ago. Think back to the little boy you once were. You can see it clearly now can't you my friend," says the Beast, exhilarated by the thoughts of what this night will become.

Pierre drifts back with the realization that revisiting his past is unpleasant. He sees his mother standing by the stove in their little cottage on the outskirts of the village of Navee, fifty miles north west of Paris. To her, little Pierre was the reason for life. She spoiled him, catering to his every whim. Any wrong he did was a forgivable act to his mother. In return little Pierre gave her only tolerance, for even then love was a mystery.

His father did not like the way his wife babied the boy. His father was a man driven by pride, born of accomplishments. Looking back now, by Pierre's standard his father was a fool. Nevertheless, back then the world consisted only of the village and the surrounding countryside. Right from the very start, besides never understanding the meaning of love Pierre had a trait that was fodder for the Beast; he was incapable of feeling the comfort that comes from satisfaction. No matter how much, no matter what it was, it was never enough. Something was always missing. Something more he had to have. This flaw enabled him to take the first steps onto the path that led him to this day.

He thought of his mother as a servant. He yearned for the respect of his father. His father always treated him fairly, but he was the kind of man who could not hide disappointment.

Pierre hears the voice of the Beast whispering as he sits helplessly entranced in the past.

"Ah little Pierre I heard your screams for companionship. I answered you with thoughts and ideas that would show you the way to get what you wanted. I remember that day when you were ten, and we struck our first deal. You remember that now don't you Pierre, you have to remember old Blue." The Beast stops talking to let Pierre continue his journey.

Sure Pierre remembers Blue. He hated that dog, because his father thought more of that dog than his only son. The dog was always there by his father's side, standing between father and son like a closed gate. Pierre used to get sick to his stomach when his father would brag about Blue. To Pierre's father that dog put him above all the other men in the village. All the men agreed that old Blue was the best hunting dog for a hundred square miles, maybe the best dog in all of France. His father used to say that he could flush out a quail in a pigsty. Because of Blue there was always meat on their table and plenty left over for his father to sell. That did not change Pierre's feelings about the dog. By the time Pierre was ten the hate was constantly eating at his insides.

When Pierre's uncle died, his father had to go to Paris to settle his brother's affairs. With this opportunity little Pierre freed himself of the shackles of decency and got rid of what he perceived stood between him and his father's respect. Little Pierre spent the morning sharpening his father's best knife. He tied a rope around Blue's neck, though Pierre was the master's pup Blue felt the hostility and ignored the boy. Yet off he went out the back door and into the woods with Pierre pulling on the rope, for Blue knew his place and duty were to obey. He took the long way to the lake, for the deed he was about to commit would not bear the scrutiny of a witness. Once at the lake Pierre gave Blue some meat, he watched with some amusement as Blue waged his tail in appreciation. Enjoy old dog, I hope you find your last supper somewhat sweet, Pierre remembers thinking. After a few minutes of fetch the stick and mock battle, Blue's wariness of the boy evaporated.

Pierre took off his clothes and jumped into the lake. It did not take much encouragement for Blue to join him, that dog loved the water. Blue swam toward Pierre who waited with a pounding heart. Within a split second Pierre grabbed Blue around his mouth in a death grip. Then without a thought of right or wrong Pierre slit Blue's throat. It is a mystery how even the most carefully thought out plans, no matter if good or evil, can degenerate from the onslaught of the unexpected. Pierre did not expect the gush of hot blood that shot directly into his face, or the roar of air and water being sucked in and spit out with every breath from Blue's severed neck. Blue's gallant heart gave him fight, it was only a few seconds but to Pierre it might as well have been an eternity. Blue's front legs pumped ferociously as he scratched and clawed at Pierre who was pushing him under the water. Pierre dropped the knife. The ferocious struggle stopped as fast as it started with Blue dead and Pierre exhausted. Once back on shore with Blue's lifeless body Pierre was sorry for what he had done, not for the killing of Blue, he had lost his father's knife. The scratches on his shoulders and chest will surely trap and tie him to his crime.

As Pierre tied a rope around Blue and the other end around a large rock, as solutions crept into his mind. He stayed out late into the night, just long enough to make his mother worried, but before the Village would start a search. When he finally went home, he told her he was looking for Blue. He was scared to be out in the woods by himself so he took his father's knife, and lost it when he fell down a hill in the dark into a thorn bush. When his father got home, he believed his son. They looked all over for Blue except one place, the bottom of the lake.

"Even then, just a little boy, you were an expert at covering your tracks. Punishment always lost the trail. With each escape from justice, your courage grew. Where did you think the thoughts that protected you came from? Oh yes Pierre, we have been partners for a long time. This is amusing, let us continue back to the good old days. You know what comes to mind, your best friend Maurice and the beautiful Jaclyn." The Beast looks deep into Pierre's eyes enhancing the trance, as Pierre is unable to resist.

Maurice, Pierre had not thought of him in a long time. Boyhood can be a lonely place for those who do not have a best friend to share the excitement of youth. Pierre and Maurice had each other. Maurice was always a step faster, a pound stronger and an answer smarter. As young boys it did not matter the competition kept him sharp.

That all changed one day when the fourteen-year-old boys went to the harvest fair, it was the time of life when boys feel the budding of manhood but not the understanding. A vision of the beautiful Jaclyn returns as clear as sunlight to Pierre, for years she was a pest who always wanted to be a part of the boys games. Pierre took great delight in teasing her. It was in the late light of a September day. The air filled with the sweet smell of freshly cut grain, and the perfumed scent of young wine. Jaclyn walked up to the boys. The light breeze pushed her dress against her newly budded breasts. Her hair dancing in the light breeze, framing a face that made the boys feel all funny inside. The three of them spent the rest of the day and early evening together, both boys clumsily tried to impress her.

For the next year and a half the three were inseparable. Maurice respected that Jaclyn was not ready for the intimacy he wanted, Pierre had to fight the burning want he had for her.

When Pierre's mother died he was puzzled about his feelings. He worried only about who would take care of him; he had no pain for a loved one lost.

At the funeral Pierre played the role of the grieving son, for all offered him sympathy. When Jaclyn put her arms around him to comfort, her firm young breasts with their hard nipples pressed against his chest. He grabbed and squeezed her tight until she pushed him away, embarrassed by his lust. After everyone left, Pierre could not rid himself of the fire from pressing against Jaclyn's hot flesh. He decided to go to the place by the stream. The place the three of them called their own. Once there he would relieve himself of the lust while fantasizing that Jaclyn was burning with desire to please him.

Coming up on the clearing Pierre sees Maurice and Jaclyn sitting on their rock, he was glad his friends were there. When he sees Maurice kiss and worse yet Jaclyn return his embrace with passion Pierre wants to kill them. He watches them from the bushes as they panted and pawed each other, their youthful desires running wild. He vows revenge as he slips away unnoticed.

It was the last year of school for the boys, time to decide on a future. Maurice had worked hard. When there was talk that he might be accepted to Academy of Medical Research, the whole village was excited. Never before had one of their own had an opportunity like this. Pierre's abilities also entitled him to further his education but like always Maurice won. It was all Pierre could do to conceal his envy but he played the best friend part well. It was time for the final contest and in the end Pierre will have his victory.

The three-part plan had no restraints like shame or decency, Pierre had learned the secret of achievement, a line not crossed is an opportunity lost.

The first part would take Maurice's intelligence, the source of his pride. It was the end of the school year, Pierre stole a copy of the math test. Than he planted it in Maurice's books, then an anonymous tip to the teacher.

The second part of the plan would take his character, the foundation of respect and decency. Pierre started stealing things, from the houses of his neighbors, then even the candlesticks from the church. This outraged the villagers; never had they had a thief like this in the village before. He hid the ill-gotten gains under the floorboards in the barn behind Maurice's cottage, then another anonymous note to the mayor that the thief was one of the older boys at school.

The families were outraged that their sons were suspects but none of them refused to let the mayor's men search their homes.

"Think back. Remember how good you felt. You had ruined him. A few held on, they just could not think that Maurice could do such things. Jaclyn remained his strongest supporter. That did not bother you, did it my friend. For the last part of your plan would take the one thing there was no forgiveness for, his morality. Ah Pierre, this is the part that made me most proud. You got them from Paris, they called them French post cards, pictures of explicit sex acts. You creatures are so depraved in your pursuit of pleasure. You yourself loved to look at them. Yet the ones you kept for Maurice even made you cold. They would do the trick and destroy maybe the only true friend you ever had. Placing them in his jacket so that when he picked it up they would fall and scatter on the floor, was smart. Nevertheless, it was I who placed Molly LaDuce right beside him. Her screams ensured his exposure.

That was the last straw for all that knew Maurice. They suspended him from school that day and then the judge decided to prosecute him for the thefts. Pierre you were brilliant. You remember that brief scare when you heard the commotion outside on the street, for a minute you thought they were on to you, you need not worry, for I was protecting you. Maurice's mother found a note saying that he no longer wanted to live. The men outside wanted to know if you might know where he would be. You knew he would be by the stream. You led the men there not knowing what you would find; you remember the pleasure you felt in the excitement of the mob.

I was right beside you when the mob went silent as they saw the boy they all liked hanging dead still from the tree. Do you remember your thoughts? I do. You could not understand why. The moonlight reflecting off his face, the tongue hanging from the gaping jaw, his neck twisted and stretched. Why, I will tell you why, you took all that he was and left him only shame. A fool like him cannot live with only shame. You my friend like me are not burdened with that weakness, for we are the shameless.

Now with the end of your competition a lesson was learned; if you can't beat them, destroy them. Rules are for fools. Oh yes Pierre, you had the traits to climb to the top of the slime. I was very pleased and I rewarded you with the source of the fire that was consuming you. The day they buried poor Maurice, Jaclyn's heart was broken and her dream was lost but you were there to take the spoils of your victory. She first rejected your desire but you were not put off for long. Her resistance just added to your lust. You took her with the brutality that is your nature, but it was I who made her want to be enslaved. For even then I had big plans for you and the rewards are what kept your devotion. Every night she joined you at the river's edge and willingly participated in the wild desires of your degeneracy. Then the day she told you she was with child, your behavior was so predictable. You laughed in her face and walked away. You stole what you could from your father and after a couple of wild weeks in Paris you went to America, the New World. That is where your fortune would be made.

Ah New York, you fit right in. The whores and the riff-raff accepted you like one of their own. You remember the night you killed Walter the German over a gambling debt. You took a big step that night in building your empire. The police knew it was you and were building their case. Accept the consequences, pay your debt to society, those are rules for fools. You Pierre chose the path that was not full of meaningless things like right and wrong.

Run south to the deep swamp and lay low. In time they would give up looking for you, and at eighteen, time was on your side. You adapted well to the back swamps just like you did the back alleys. There was plenty of money for those who dared and I was there for you Pierre. I was your luck. You readily accepted all my rewards without a thought of repayment. A month of working your trap lines would fill your pockets. That money would give you a week with the whores and the debauchery you always enjoyed. Do you remember the little girls that the ever-searching pimps turned into prostitutes? Oh how they would tremble when you would pick them to unleash your brutal lust.

You made the connection for the crab and moonshine; all you needed was a bankroll. You tried to give them a chance. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Those back swampers were dumb. They did not deserve to live. Oh yes that father's look of bewilderment and his little girl, you still burn when you think of her. As the lightning danced across the pit black of that night you let your passion run wild and the darkest of what drives you was let loose. Oh yes my friend I was with you that night and you were brilliant. However, it was two days later when my pride turned to admiration. Yes, yes my friend you reached the point of understanding the meaningless of human life. That put you in a very elite group.

You laid in waiting for that man and his son. One shot in the back of the head, the father's precious life was gone before he even had a chance to say goodbye. The son ran like a deer. You could have brought him down with one shot, but your decision to only wound was made simply in the spirit of fun. The trail of blood ensured that escape was impossible, you played him with such glee. When you came upon the boy hiding within the roots of the mangroves you listen as he pleaded for mercy. The hope you offered was only in jest, for his fate was already sealed. Upon those murders you built this town as a monument to your ego and it is I my friend that you owe your destiny. Now you still deny me," the Beast says slowly standing fully erect in front of Pierre.

"No my master I am just your foolish servant. I always felt that I was not alone. I just did not understand the reality of the power that was guiding me. Now that I see you, and you are magnificent, I feel so privileged to have been chosen." Pierre gets out of the chair and kneels before his Master.

"That is better. I have chosen to reveal myself to you because after all these years of watching out for you my friend I have a plan. An important part of my plan involves you. I have chosen you because above all others you must be eager to repay my generosity," the Beast says placing its hands on its hips.

"My master, for you there is nothing I would not do. Pierre says looking into the Beast's eyes, trying to control his terror.

"I appreciate your devotion my friend, but I am sorry to say for this plan your participation is not a choice. For if I left it up to you I feel you would forsake me. You see in order for me to go ahead with my plan, you my dear friend must die a horrible death." The Beast is amused as he waits for a reaction.

Pierre rises slowly from his knees and slumps back into the chair, his mind blank as doom buries all hope.

"Do not look so sad my friend. You have lived a life better than your irrelevant existence deserves. My last reward for your loyalty is that the pain and agony will not be too excruciating. In fact I give you my word that it will not be as bad as your victims," ha, ha, haaaaaa. The Beast cannot control its joy in watching its servant drown in the realization of his life.

"If it takes my agonizing death for you, dream maker, to accomplish something you desire, I offer myself willing to the sacrifice; for you my Master are magnificent. I am ready now to leave this life behind me, but there is one thing left undone," Pierre says, clinging to the tiny spark of hope that he might be able to manipulate the Great Manipulator.

"What more could there possibly be?" the Beast asks curiously, wondering what this prize pupil has up his sleeve.

"Looking back upon my life I am proud of my deeds for they are monuments to my devotion to you, the Great Persuader. Nevertheless, I do not want to leave my town behind. For without me it will turn into a place where a sickening sweet righteousness may take hold. Oh please my master I ask for but one more gift even though I am the most unworthy. Destroy this town, put a plague on all the people. I want them to suffer your most precious agonies. I beg you to destroy everything so when they hear the name Cantrell, all the vile that have turned from you will feel a sickness in their hearts. Better yet if it will not alter your plan, let me serve you one more time. I will destroy this place. I will start with the children. I will lock them in the school and set them afire," Pierre says hoping for luck.

"Ahhhhhh, the smell of roasting children, my Pierre you really know how to please. To see you fully unleash your depravity might just be worth the wait. I relish torture Pierre but I want you to understand one thing. If I grant your request, I will only give you one, maybe two days, so at best you will just prolong your agony. No matter how much you please me your death is assured," the Beast says enjoying itself.

"Thank you. I swear Master, in the next two days you will bear witness to such a holocaust that the name of Cantrell will forever burn brightest in tribute to your greatness."

"You have two days, not a minute more and you best please me," the Beast says staring into Pierre's eyes so intensely that Pierre has no choice but to close his.

When Pierre finds the courage to open his eyes, he is alone. The lingering stench dashes any hope that what just happened was nothing more then a dream. There is nothing left of life except the punishment of becoming the ultimate victim. He looks at the keys on the table and a plan comes from where he thought there were no ideas left. From no chance, to maybe, just maybe, he thinks. Pierre grabs the keys, out the door, into the car and he is off to his only hope. Driving at break neck speed Pierre tries to control the thoughts that are smashing and crashing inside his head. Terror strikes his mind blank when he hears the wind scream his name. He sees the Beast in the rearview mirror keeping up with the car with rhythmic ease.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaa," Pierre stomps the gas pedal again and again.
With a thud the Beast appears from nowhere on the hood of the car. The Beast looks over the windshield into the convertible, burning Pierre face with the drool from its hideous smile.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa," Pierre lets go of the wheel to wipe the burning ooze from his eyes. The car careens off the road into the trees and then rolls over into a water-filled ditch. Choking on the muddy water Pierre sits up, his mind is empty, lost in a daze until he hears the bone chilling howls. Through the swamp Pierre runs. He trips and falls every few yards. Nevertheless, he gets up and continues his mad dash. Pierre knows he is not safe for there is but one place that holds his only chance.

"Oh please, oh please let me make it," Pierre thinks as he breaks from the tree line with only fifty yards of open ground between him and the slimmest of hope.

Up the stairs and through the door of the church, pressing his back against the door trying to keep out what he surely deserves.

"Pierre, you think you can escape what you worked so hard for? Come out here now, it is your time," the Beast yells through the door.

"Sanctuary, sanctuary, you cannot come in here and I will never come out. I will not let you take me. I don't deserve this, you stole my soul when I was just a child," Pierre says thankful that the Beast dare not enter.

I am hurt that you, the one that even I could admire would turn against me. Come out my friend, let us talk in the moonlight."

Pierre steps away from the door, he knows it is not him that keeps the Beast at bay. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. Hearing the sound of lone applause frightens Pierre. In his mind he is an actor in the ultimate flop. Oh why must the show go on?

"Your life is just an instant in time for my amusement. Fool, you actually believe you are worthy," the Beast says sitting in the back pew nonchalantly looking at the sharpened nails on his claw-like hand. Pierre hears the Beast's words but keeps up his begging as he knells in front of the altar.

"Maybe you're right, my friend? Is there more to a human?" the Beast says as Pierre shuts his eyes tighter hearing the footsteps getting closer and closer.

When Pierre feels the hot hand on his shoulder, a moan slips from his lips. Pierre, like a small boy who knows he has been bad, looks up at his master his glassy eyes flooded with the agony of knowing that the end has begun. The Beast's drool from its laughing mouth drips down and burns Pierre's face. The Beast pulls Pierre's head back and with it's other hand the Beast pries open Pierre's mouth.

"Wait is that something?" The Beast asks sticking one finger then another down the throat of a gagging Pierre.

"Mmmmmm, what is this I feel?" It says while shoving its whole hand deep inside.

Pierre hears some of his teeth break off, but most are just ripped out by the roots. His jaw snaps with a deafening crack and hangs from his face like a broken gate. Deeper and deeper the Beast shoves its hand inside like some sadistic Santa reaching into his bag of toys. Pierre wonders how long it takes to die, but he is in no hurry. This is just the start of his eternal journey.

The Beast looks at the painting of Jesus on the wall, as it gathers up what belongs to him. He remembers that day. A smile creeps upon his twisted lips.




Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-10-2006, 01:47 AM
starpanda's Avatar
starpanda (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1,078
Thanks: 0
Thanks 4

Official Writer's Beat Critique by Starpanda
Hey Geoffrey

This is a disturbing little piece you have here, with a classic horror theme, which is just up my street.

I really like the concept of the antagonist receiving the greatest punishment as the ultimate victim. It’s a great idea and there is so much potential for this.

There are some issues I have with this story and here are some general comments.

I’ll be honest and say that I personally don’t like the second person narrative, in which you have written this piece. It is too impersonal and doesn’t engage me, as a reader, with the emotions and feelings of the character. I feel it would have been better to write it in the third or first person.

I also feel it loses its way in the middle. There is too much emphasis on Pierre’s past crimes, which I don’t believe adds much to the story. The reader would be far more interested in what the Beast had planned for Pierre in way of punishment, or what plans/actions Pierre had for escaping his fate.

In this piece there are great opportunities for you to impress the reader with vivid descriptive prose, but you miss these opportunities. People read fiction, as a means of escapism; they do this by using their imagination. A large proportion of them say that ‘they see pictures in there heads’ rather than words on a page. The human imagination is a barren landscape, on which the writer seeds words and phrases, but it is inventive and meaningful description that makes the images grow and become alive in the imagination.

I hope you are not too disheartened by what I have said. Like I mentioned before, this piece has great potential and you should not give up on it. If you do revise it, I would be more than happy to re-look at it. If you need any help in the revision, please PM me.

Hugs and stuff

Starpanda


No Such Thing as a Free Ride

Pierre sits in his parlor.[This needs a bit more description around it.] Though his greed has always been a comfort, the empty bottle of bourbon by the chair stands as a testament to what it takes to rationalize his unspeakable acts. [This is a good piece of detail.]

He grabs the arms of the chair in an attempt to control the spinning and with a couple of deep breaths his jumbled thoughts fall into place. He needs a plan. Cindy and Jim were not like the people in his town that had to accept anything and everything. I better go to New Orleans till things cool down. [Is this a thought Pierre is having? If it is, then it needs to be in italics, or within single expressions, to distinguish it from the rest of the text.] He closes his eyes and visions Cindy lying across that couch, her porcelain skin taking on a pink hue from her terror driven blood. He sniffs the fingers he probed her with like a hound dog looking for a trail. Her lingering scent brought his simmering thoughts back to a boil. [Is Cindy alive at this point? It’s not clear. What happened to Jim?] [I’m not sure about the narrator like tense going on here – it’s almost like a script rather than a piece of prose. I don’t have a problem with you experimenting; it’s just that I’m not convinced that this approach actually works. This type of prose has a detached feel to it, as you read it. A writer needs his audience to feel what his characters feel (and that goes for all the senses), because a second person narration makes the reader one step removed from the action they don’t have their emotions and imagination triggered.]

An unfamiliar sound, then a stench that rolls his stomach makes him get up from his chair as he staggers to the window to investigate. [I like the idea that the smell makes him sick to his stomach and the fact that he is struck sober at the sight of the beast. It’s a great piece of observation of human behaviour, This is the kind of detail which can only add to realism] He is struck sober when he is faced with the unbelievable. He turns, runs and falls over a table as fear rips his mind every which way. In spite of its size, it slips through the window like a cat. In the blink of an eye its hoof-like foot rests squarely on Pierre's chest, holding him squirming on the floor. [Again the second person narration makes it feel like a police report, or a set of instructions with no emotion or feeling. Here, your reader should be feeling as terrified as Pierre is. This is a perfect opportunity to paint vivid pictures in your reader’s imagination with dramatic descriptive prose. You have some in here, that excellently describes the size and movement of the beast: In spite of its size, it slips through the window like a cat. However, you need to describe what the smell is like, How does the sound he hears make him feel? What sound does it make?]

“Why Pierre, you act so surprised, you were not expecting me?" The absurdity of the clear calm voice coming from its froth-filled mouth drives Pierre's mind to snapping flashes of his past crimes. [This is a clumsy way of putting it, it doesn’t flow and detracts from the image you are trying to produce, try something like: A clear calm voice came from the Beasts frothing mouth, it so unexpected and absurd, Pierre’s mind flashed with images of his past crimes.]Pierre claws at his own flesh on his chest, as if he could tear it off and escape. [I’m not sure why Pierre would do this, although I like the image. I’m not sure of Pierre’s motives for doing it. Did guilt make his skin crawl?]

"Pierre, Pierre calm down my friend," the Beast says as it bends down and lifts Pierre until his feet struggle [dangle?] and dance in the air above the floor. [Good image]

Pierre's uncontrollable trembling stops and his body goes limp. His bladder and bowels simultaneously release. [Again, reads more like a medical examination.]

"Pierre you have hurt my feelings. What causes such a reaction? I am your oldest friend, your partner. Is my appearance that unpleasant? Ah my friend I thought you would want to meet me, for I have done so much for you. You in return have been giving me a pride in our partnership." [What has the Beast done for him?]

Pierre hears every word of the Beast but still acts like he is lost in shock. There must be a way he thinks. [Thoughts needs to be written like this: ‘There must be a way.’ He thinks.] Confronted with the end and an evil and tortured future a thought of repentance finds it's way into a mind gone mad.

"You call me friend and partner but I don't know you." Pierre says regaining control of his cunning.

"Ha, ha, ha, Ah my friend you never disappoint. Let me refresh your memory. All you have and everything you became is because of the friendship we forged many years ago. Think back to the little boy you once were. You can see it clearly now can't you my friend," says the Beast, exhilarated by the thoughts of what this night will become.

Pierre drifts back with the realization that revisiting his past is unpleasant. He sees his mother standing by the stove in their little cottage on the outskirts of the village of Navee, fifty miles north west of Paris. To her, little Pierre was the reason for life. She spoiled him, catering to his every whim. Any wrong he did was a forgivable act to his mother. In return little Pierre gave her only tolerance, for even then love was a mystery.

His father did not like the way his wife babied the boy. His father was a man driven by pride, born of accomplishments. Looking back now, by Pierre's standard his father was a fool. Nevertheless, back then the world consisted only of the village and the surrounding countryside. Right from the very start, besides never understanding the meaning of love Pierre had a trait that was fodder for the Beast; he was incapable of feeling the comfort that comes from satisfaction. No matter how much, no matter what it was, it was never enough. Something was always missing. Something more he had to have. This flaw enabled him to take the first steps onto the path that led him to this day.

He thought of his mother as a servant. He yearned for the respect of his father. His father always treated him fairly, but he was the kind of man who could not hide disappointment.

Pierre hears the voice of the Beast whispering as he sits helplessly entranced in the past.

"Ah little Pierre I heard your screams for companionship. I answered you with thoughts and ideas that would show you the way to get what you wanted. I remember that day when you were ten, and we struck our first deal. You remember that now don't you Pierre, you have to remember old Blue." The Beast stops talking to let Pierre continue his journey.

Sure Pierre remembers Blue. He hated that dog, because his father thought more of that dog than his only son. The dog was always there by his father's side, standing between father and son like a closed gate. Pierre used to get sick to his stomach when his father would brag about Blue. To Pierre's father that dog put him above all the other men in the village. All the men agreed that old Blue was the best hunting dog for a hundred square miles, maybe the best dog in all of France. His father used to say that he could flush out a quail in a pigsty. Because of Blue there was always meat on their table and plenty left over for his father to sell. That did not change Pierre's feelings about the dog. By the time Pierre was ten the hate was constantly eating at his insides.

When Pierre's uncle died, his father had to go to Paris to settle his brother's affairs. With this opportunity little Pierre freed himself of the shackles of decency and got rid of what he perceived stood between him and his father's respect. Little Pierre spent the morning sharpening his father's best knife. He tied a rope around Blue's neck, though Pierre was the master's pup Blue felt the hostility and ignored the boy. Yet off he went out the back door and into the woods with Pierre pulling on the rope, for Blue knew his place and duty were to obey. He took the long way to the lake, for the deed he was about to commit would not bear the scrutiny of a witness. Once at the lake Pierre gave Blue some meat, he watched with some amusement as Blue waged his tail in appreciation. Enjoy old dog, I hope you find your last supper somewhat sweet, Pierre remembers thinking. After a few minutes of fetch the stick and mock battle, Blue's wariness of the boy evaporated.

Pierre took off his clothes and jumped into the lake. It did not take much encouragement for Blue to join him, that dog loved the water. Blue swam toward Pierre who waited with a pounding heart. Within a split second Pierre grabbed Blue around his mouth in a death grip. Then without a thought of right or wrong Pierre slit Blue's throat. It is a mystery how even the most carefully thought out plans, no matter if good or evil, can degenerate from the onslaught of the unexpected. Pierre did not expect the gush of hot blood that shot directly into his face, or the roar of air and water being sucked in and spit out with every breath from Blue's severed neck. Blue's gallant heart gave him fight, it was only a few seconds but to Pierre it might as well have been an eternity. Blue's front legs pumped ferociously as he scratched and clawed at Pierre who was pushing him under the water. Pierre dropped the knife. The ferocious struggle stopped as fast as it started with Blue dead and Pierre exhausted. Once back on shore with Blue's lifeless body Pierre was sorry for what he had done, not for the killing of Blue, he had lost his father's knife. The scratches on his shoulders and chest will surely trap and tie him to his crime.

As Pierre tied a rope around Blue and the other end around a large rock, as solutions crept into his mind. He stayed out late into the night, just long enough to make his mother worried, but before the Village would start a search. When he finally went home, he told her he was looking for Blue. He was scared to be out in the woods by himself so he took his father's knife, and lost it when he fell down a hill in the dark into a thorn bush. When his father got home, he believed his son. They looked all over for Blue except one place, the bottom of the lake.

"Even then, just a little boy, you were an expert at covering your tracks. Punishment always lost the trail. With each escape from justice, your courage grew. Where did you think the thoughts that protected you came from? Oh yes Pierre, we have been partners for a long time. This is amusing, let us continue back to the good old days. You know what comes to mind, your best friend Maurice and the beautiful Jaclyn." The Beast looks deep into Pierre's eyes enhancing the trance, as Pierre is unable to resist. [I get the picture. Pierre is a damaged person, but from this point onwards, the reliving of his entire life gets a bit...I’m really sorry...but boring. It doesn’t really tell us anything new about Pierre’s character, other than he became adept at causing trouble and pain. The reader will want to know what is happening now, not in the past, unless it has direct relevance to what is going to happen.]

Maurice, Pierre had not thought of him in a long time. Boyhood can be a lonely place for those who do not have a best friend to share the excitement of youth. Pierre and Maurice had each other. Maurice was always a step faster, a pound stronger and an answer smarter. As young boys it did not matter the competition kept him sharp.

That all changed one day when the fourteen-year-old boys went to the harvest fair, it was the time of life when boys feel the budding of manhood but not the understanding. A vision of the beautiful Jaclyn returns as clear as sunlight to Pierre, for years she was a pest who always wanted to be a part of the boys games. Pierre took great delight in teasing her. It was in the late light of a September day. The air filled with the sweet smell of freshly cut grain, and the perfumed scent of young wine. Jaclyn walked up to the boys. The light breeze pushed her dress against her newly budded breasts. Her hair dancing in the light breeze, framing a face that made the boys feel all funny inside. The three of them spent the rest of the day and early evening together, both boys clumsily tried to impress her.

For the next year and a half the three were inseparable. Maurice respected that Jaclyn was not ready for the intimacy he wanted, Pierre had to fight the burning want he had for her.

When Pierre's mother died he was puzzled about his feelings. He worried only about who would take care of him; he had no pain for a loved one lost.

At the funeral Pierre played the role of the grieving son, for all offered him sympathy. When Jaclyn put her arms around him to comfort, her firm young breasts with their hard nipples pressed against his chest. He grabbed and squeezed her tight until she pushed him away, embarrassed by his lust. After everyone left, Pierre could not rid himself of the fire from pressing against Jaclyn's hot flesh. He decided to go to the place by the stream. The place the three of them called their own. Once there he would relieve himself of the lust while fantasizing that Jaclyn was burning with desire to please him.

Coming up on the clearing Pierre sees Maurice and Jaclyn sitting on their rock, he was glad his friends were there. When he sees Maurice kiss and worse yet Jaclyn return his embrace with passion Pierre wants to kill them. He watches them from the bushes as they panted and pawed each other, their youthful desires running wild. He vows revenge as he slips away unnoticed.

It was the last year of school for the boys, time to decide on a future. Maurice had worked hard. When there was talk that he might be accepted to Academy of Medical Research, the whole village was excited. Never before had one of their own had an opportunity like this. Pierre's abilities also entitled him to further his education but like always Maurice won. It was all Pierre could do to conceal his envy but he played the best friend part well. It was time for the final contest and in the end Pierre will have his victory.

The three-part plan had no restraints like shame or decency, Pierre had learned the secret of achievement, a line not crossed is an opportunity lost.

The first part would take Maurice's intelligence, the source of his pride. It was the end of the school year, Pierre stole a copy of the math test. Than he planted it in Maurice's books, then an anonymous tip to the teacher.

The second part of the plan would take his character, the foundation of respect and decency. Pierre started stealing things, from the houses of his neighbors, then even the candlesticks from the church. This outraged the villagers; never had they had a thief like this in the village before. He hid the ill-gotten gains under the floorboards in the barn behind Maurice's cottage, then another anonymous note to the mayor that the thief was one of the older boys at school.

The families were outraged that their sons were suspects but none of them refused to let the mayor's men search their homes.

"Think back. Remember how good you felt. You had ruined him. A few held on, they just could not think that Maurice could do such things. Jaclyn remained his strongest supporter. That did not bother you, did it my friend. For the last part of your plan would take the one thing there was no forgiveness for, his morality. Ah Pierre, this is the part that made me most proud. You got them from Paris, they called them French post cards, pictures of explicit sex acts. You creatures are so depraved in your pursuit of pleasure. You yourself loved to look at them. Yet the ones you kept for Maurice even made you cold. They would do the trick and destroy maybe the only true friend you ever had. Placing them in his jacket so that when he picked it up they would fall and scatter on the floor, was smart. Nevertheless, it was I who placed Molly LaDuce right beside him. Her screams ensured his exposure.

That was the last straw for all that knew Maurice. They suspended him from school that day and then the judge decided to prosecute him for the thefts. Pierre you were brilliant. You remember that brief scare when you heard the commotion outside on the street, for a minute you thought they were on to you, you need not worry, for I was protecting you. Maurice's mother found a note saying that he no longer wanted to live. The men outside wanted to know if you might know where he would be. You knew he would be by the stream. You led the men there not knowing what you would find; you remember the pleasure you felt in the excitement of the mob.

I was right beside you when the mob went silent as they saw the boy they all liked hanging dead still from the tree. Do you remember your thoughts? I do. You could not understand why. The moonlight reflecting off his face, the tongue hanging from the gaping jaw, his neck twisted and stretched. Why, I will tell you why, you took all that he was and left him only shame. A fool like him cannot live with only shame. You my friend like me are not burdened with that weakness, for we are the shameless.

Now with the end of your competition a lesson was learned; if you can't beat them, destroy them. Rules are for fools. Oh yes Pierre, you had the traits to climb to the top of the slime. I was very pleased and I rewarded you with the source of the fire that was consuming you. The day they buried poor Maurice, Jaclyn's heart was broken and her dream was lost but you were there to take the spoils of your victory. She first rejected your desire but you were not put off for long. Her resistance just added to your lust. You took her with the brutality that is your nature, but it was I who made her want to be enslaved. For even then I had big plans for you and the rewards are what kept your devotion. Every night she joined you at the river's edge and willingly participated in the wild desires of your degeneracy. Then the day she told you she was with child, your behavior was so predictable. You laughed in her face and walked away. You stole what you could from your father and after a couple of wild weeks in Paris you went to America, the New World. That is where your fortune would be made.

Ah New York, you fit right in. The whores and the riff-raff accepted you like one of their own. You remember the night you killed Walter the German over a gambling debt. You took a big step that night in building your empire. The police knew it was you and were building their case. Accept the consequences, pay your debt to society, those are rules for fools. You Pierre chose the path that was not full of meaningless things like right and wrong.

Run south to the deep swamp and lay low. In time they would give up looking for you, and at eighteen, time was on your side. You adapted well to the back swamps just like you did the back alleys. There was plenty of money for those who dared and I was there for you Pierre. I was your luck. You readily accepted all my rewards without a thought of repayment. A month of working your trap lines would fill your pockets. That money would give you a week with the whores and the debauchery you always enjoyed. Do you remember the little girls that the ever-searching pimps turned into prostitutes? Oh how they would tremble when you would pick them to unleash your brutal lust.

You made the connection for the crab and moonshine; all you needed was a bankroll. You tried to give them a chance. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Those back swampers were dumb. They did not deserve to live. Oh yes that father's look of bewilderment and his little girl, you still burn when you think of her. As the lightning danced across the pit black of that night you let your passion run wild and the darkest of what drives you was let loose. Oh yes my friend I was with you that night and you were brilliant. However, it was two days later when my pride turned to admiration. Yes, yes my friend you reached the point of understanding the meaningless of human life. That put you in a very elite group.

You laid in waiting for that man and his son. One shot in the back of the head, the father's precious life was gone before he even had a chance to say goodbye. The son ran like a deer. You could have brought him down with one shot, but your decision to only wound was made simply in the spirit of fun. The trail of blood ensured that escape was impossible, you played him with such glee. When you came upon the boy hiding within the roots of the mangroves you listen as he pleaded for mercy. The hope you offered was only in jest, for his fate was already sealed. Upon those murders you built this town as a monument to your ego and it is I my friend that you owe your destiny. Now you still deny me," the Beast says slowly standing fully erect in front of Pierre. [I know that this is ‘The Beast’, but he goes on a bit. This is more of a rant than anything else. I understand that the Beast wants to torment and torture Pierre with tales of his past, but it’s far too long winded, surely the Prince of Darkness has more interesting thing to do...?]

"No my master I am just your foolish servant. I always felt that I was not alone. I just did not understand the reality of the power that was guiding me. Now that I see you, and you are magnificent, I feel so privileged to have been chosen." Pierre gets out of the chair and kneels before his Master. [I may have missed this, but when did Pierre sit down? He was dangling is the Beast grasp...now he is suddenly sitting...and sitting in his own faeces!]

"That is better. I have chosen to reveal myself to you because after all these years of watching out for you my friend I have a plan. An important part of my plan involves you. I have chosen you because above all others you must be eager to repay my generosity," the Beast says placing its hands on its hips.

"My master, for you there is nothing I would not do.” Pierre says looking into the Beast's eyes, trying to control his terror.

"I appreciate your devotion my friend, but I am sorry to say for this plan your participation is not a choice. For if I left it up to you I feel you would forsake me. You see in order for me to go ahead with my plan, you my dear friend must die a horrible death." The Beast is amused as he waits for a reaction.

Pierre rises slowly from his knees and slumps back into the chair, his mind blank as doom buries all hope.

"Do not look so sad my friend. You have lived a life better than your irrelevant existence deserves. My last reward for your loyalty is that the pain and agony will not be too excruciating. In fact I give you my word that it will not be as bad as your victims," ha, ha, haaaaaa. The Beast cannot control its joy in watching its servant drown in the realization of his life.

"If it takes my agonizing death for you, dream maker, to accomplish something you desire, I offer myself willing to the sacrifice; for you my Master are magnificent. I am ready now to leave this life behind me, but there is one thing left undone," Pierre says, clinging to the tiny spark of hope that he might be able to manipulate the Great Manipulator.

"What more could there possibly be?" the Beast asks curiously, wondering what this prize pupil has up his sleeve.

"Looking back upon my life I am proud of my deeds for they are monuments to my devotion to you, the Great Persuader. Nevertheless, I do not want to leave my town behind. For without me it will turn into a place where a sickening sweet righteousness may take hold. Oh please my master I ask for but one more gift even though I am the most unworthy. Destroy this town, put a plague on all the people. I want them to suffer your most precious agonies. I beg you to destroy everything so when they hear the name Cantrell, all the vile that have turned from you will feel a sickness in their hearts. Better yet if it will not alter your plan, let me serve you one more time. I will destroy this place. I will start with the children. I will lock them in the school and set them afire," Pierre says hoping for luck.

"Ahhhhhh, the smell of roasting children, my Pierre you really know how to please. To see you fully unleash your depravity might just be worth the wait. I relish torture Pierre but I want you to understand one thing. If I grant your request, I will only give you one, maybe two days, so at best you will just prolong your agony. No matter how much you please me your death is assured," the Beast says enjoying itself.

"Thank you. I swear Master, in the next two days you will bear witness to such a holocaust that the name of Cantrell will forever burn brightest in tribute to your greatness."

"You have two days, not a minute more and you best please me," the Beast says staring into Pierre's eyes so intensely that Pierre has no choice but to close his.

When Pierre finds the courage to open his eyes, he is alone. The lingering stench dashes any hope that what just happened was nothing more then a dream. There is nothing left of life except the punishment of becoming the ultimate victim. He looks at the keys on the table and a plan comes from where he thought there were no ideas left. From no chance, to maybe, just maybe, he thinks. Pierre grabs the keys, out the door, into the car and he is off to his only hope. Driving at break neck speed Pierre tries to control the thoughts that are smashing and crashing inside his head. Terror strikes his mind blank when he hears the wind scream his name. He sees the Beast in the rearview mirror keeping up with the car with rhythmic ease.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaa," Pierre stomps the gas pedal again and again.
With a thud the Beast appears from nowhere on the hood of the car. The Beast looks over the windshield into the convertible, burning Pierre face with the drool from its hideous smile.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa," Pierre lets go of the wheel to wipe the burning ooze from his eyes. The car careens off the road into the trees and then rolls over into a water-filled ditch. Choking on the muddy water Pierre sits up, his mind is empty, lost in a daze until he hears the bone chilling howls. Through the swamp Pierre runs. He trips and falls every few yards. Nevertheless, he gets up and continues his mad dash. Pierre knows he is not safe for there is but one place that holds his only chance.

"Oh please, oh please let me make it," Pierre thinks [Single expressions, rather that double, if it is thoughts.] as he breaks from the tree line with only fifty yards of open ground between him and the slimmest of hope.

Up the stairs and through the door of the church, pressing his back against the door trying to keep out what he surely deserves.

"Pierre, you think you can escape what you worked so hard for? Come out here now, it is your time," the Beast yells through the door.

"Sanctuary, sanctuary, you cannot come in here and I will never come out. I will not let you take me. I don't deserve this, you stole my soul when I was just a child," Pierre says thankful that the Beast dare not enter.

“I am hurt that you, the one that even I could admire would turn against me. Come out my friend, let us talk in the moonlight."

Pierre steps away from the door, he knows it is not him that keeps the Beast at bay. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. Hearing the sound of lone applause frightens Pierre. In his mind he is an actor in the ultimate flop. Oh why must the show go on?

"Your life is just an instant in time for my amusement. Fool, you actually believe you are worthy," the Beast says sitting in the back pew nonchalantly looking at the sharpened nails on his claw-like hand. Pierre hears the Beast's words but keeps up his begging as he knells in front of the altar.

"Maybe you're right, my friend? Is there more to a human?" the Beast says as Pierre shuts his eyes tighter hearing the footsteps getting closer and closer.

When Pierre feels the hot hand on his shoulder, a moan slips from his lips. Pierre, like a small boy who knows he has been bad, looks up at his master his glassy eyes flooded with the agony of knowing that the end has begun. The Beast's drool from its laughing mouth drips down and burns Pierre's face. The Beast pulls Pierre's head back and with it's other hand the Beast pries open Pierre's mouth.

"Wait is that something?" The Beast asks sticking one finger then another down the throat of a gagging Pierre.

"Mmmmmm, what is this I feel?" It says while shoving its whole hand deep inside. [What is the Beast looking for? Pierre’s soul I imagine, but it’s not clear]

Pierre hears some of his teeth break off, but most are just ripped out by the roots. His jaw snaps with a deafening crack and hangs from his face like a broken gate. Deeper and deeper the Beast shoves its hand inside like some sadistic Santa reaching into his bag of toys. Pierre wonders how long it takes to die, but he is in no hurry. This is just the start of his eternal journey.

The Beast looks at the painting of Jesus on the wall, as it gathers up what belongs to him. He remembers that day. A smile creeps upon his twisted lips.[Good last line – I like the concept]



Last edited by starpanda; 10-10-2006 at 02:00 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-10-2006, 05:12 PM
Geoffrey Robson's Avatar
Geoffrey Robson (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 169
Thanks: 1
Thanks 0
Default

Thanks, this is just a 4,485 words; better known as Chapter 6 of a 115,023 word poem. I appreciate you taking the time to read and offer me your thought provoking comments. I consider some of the points you made to be extremely good advice.

The world is changing fast. If words are to remain the foundation of dreams they must dance to the beat of a visually rhythmic style.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Creep World (WIP) MalReynolds Fiction 21 09-07-2017 06:06 AM
Staying free in the land of the free JackStraw Lyrics 1 04-20-2006 03:19 PM
That Red Door Caste Fiction 3 01-20-2006 09:14 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:17 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.