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December 10, 2012
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    "How is it?"

    He keeps trying to make conversation, like we actually have anything to talk about.  I don't look into his chocolate-caramel eyes, but instead keep my neutral expression fixed on my fork.  I've only been picking at my food--a lavished slab of steak and mashed potatoes.  The basil is wet and dark green.  It sticks to the fork as I tilt it this way and that; just minuscule motions as I watch the light of the fancy chandeliers that the metal throws back at me.  I cannot see my face within the silver, nor can I see his.  The pretty reflections seem to come from an entirely different world, taking the low light of the restaurant and giving it life.  Motion.

    How ironic.

    "It's fine," I reply, having long since lost any expression in my voice.  He sits back as if offended, and I automatically flinch at the shadow which crosses his face.  I don't like that shadow.  I've learned to fear it, just as I've learned to fear him, and I know when it's there even when I only catch glimpses of him out of the corners of my eyes.  "Thank you," I add quickly, knowing instantly that I will have to work now to appease him.  I fight down the panic that clutches my throat and allow my emotions to ebb back into the flow of nothingness.  I've gotten good at doing that, in the year I've been tied to him.  I force myself to scoop some mashed potatoes from the white place and raise them to my mouth.  The taste sickens me, but I swallow through the constriction in my throat and try to let off some semblance of normality.  I know what will happen if I don't.  Too well.

    There are so many people here--waiters wearing black tuxes and carrying silver domes of entrees in one hand.  Guests.  Old Couples.  Mothers and Sons.  Lovers.

    I'm the only victim in this place.

    He seems slightly mollified now that I've started eating, and I force the bile back down my throat as he starts stuffing his own face, downing it with red wine which stains his lips like blood.  I flinch, begging my stomach not to turn out its contents.  

    He doesn't like the silence that I stretch between us.  But I'm too sick of his voice to try to appease him in this way, even if I know I'll only pay for it later.  I don't want to know anything more about him.  What I already know disturbs me deeply--keeps me from getting the sleep I so badly need at night.  He's at least twice my age... Oh my God.  I wrap my arms around myself as the sick feeling hits again.  It's a constant companion now.  Everything he does... everything he took from me...  I've never given it to anyone before even by choice, even though I'm an upperclassman at the local university.  Granted... "local" isn't a term I can use anymore.  We aren't even in the same state.

    "I do hope we get to do this more often," he tells me, taking another sip of red wine.  I stare at the cup rather than having to look at his face.  The liquid still looks like blood, swirling around inside the glass, but it's better than having to see it on his face.  "I am quite enjoying myself."

    I say nothing.  He is insane for even thinking that he can take me out like this.  What does he want?  He's already taken everything else!  Does he want me to start giving in to Stockholm Syndrome?  To actually start enjoying when he takes advantage of me at night even as he parades me around during the day like... like his pet?  Does he want to rub it in my face that the searches have mostly been called off, that he can now bring me around in public without fear of being recognized?  I let my eyes wander again and silently plead for someone to notice.  Somebody is bound to notice. No one does.  Please! I feel my mind scream, my silent words falling on deaf ears.  Don't you know who I am?  Haven't you seen my face on the milk cartons?  "I have to go to the bathroom."

    He laughs at my halfhearted attempt, actually throwing back his head and letting it ring out as if I've just said something incredibly witty.  "No you don't," he says, and with the dangerous glint in his eye it's almost an order.  I return my attention to my meal, which has gone from tasting like vinegar to tasting like ash.  I don't reply.

    Because he knows--he is telling me right now that he knows.  He's telling me by taking me out of this place like we're a normal couple.  He knows that no one is keeping an eye out anymore, that the only ones who might still care are my parents, a thousand miles away.  He knows I will never escape him.

    He knows that I know it too--that I am no longer even strong enough to try.
Another little short prose exercise. I'm in my poetry unit right now in my class and I'm starting to miss prose--actually I've missed prose from the beginning. I am so not a poet.

Anyway, the prompt for this one was to have an incredibly awkward meal, to capture the tension between them. I chose a rapist kidnapper and his victim, because I was just in that mood that day.
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:iconbeyondjen:
BeyondJen Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This raised sickened, panicky feelings within my gut. Well done at having that kind of control with your words.
Congrats on the DLD. :clap:
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:iconriversun:
Riversun Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha It's strange--raising sickened, panicky feelings isn't usually a good thing unless it's in writing. Thank you very much for the comment, and I'm glad you enjoyed!
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:iconbeyondjen:
BeyondJen Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So true. Almost anything can be done within writing and gotten away with. ;)
You're very welcome.
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:iconpinballwitch:
pinballwitch Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Congrats on DLD! :nod:

"Chocolate-caramel eyes" bothered me. I've never seen someone and thought, "Hmm, you have chocolate-caramel eyes" and I definitely doubt that I'd think "chocolate-caramel eyes" when thinking about my rapist and abductor. (The phrase also immediately reminds me of Twilight and all of its parodies.) Also seems like an odd detail because she's deliberately avoiding his eyes. It's also unwieldy and disruptive of the flow. Dark eyes. Sharp eyes. Cruel eyes. Staring eyes. Cold eyes. Meaty eyes. Soulless eyes. Eyes. You have lots of less-awkward choices.

That's the most disruptive aspect of the narrative for me. Doesn't fit, gets me as a reader thinking about uber gushy romance lit and makes me feel as if I'm not in the mind of a real person (much less a real victim of this kind of abuse).
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:iconriversun:
Riversun Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm... you know, you're right! I think that sort of crept in--when I originally wrote this, it was just a couple having dinner with one another. It was later when I realized it was too stupid and generic that I went back and completely rewrote it to make it this. But I still consider this to be sort of my first draft--just a little exercise I threw together and posted for kicks. I'm surprised that people ended up liking it this much haha!

I think the reason that I wanted to keep that description in the first place is to make it seem that her abductor is incredibly attractive. In my mind, it's how he'd taken her in the first place--lured her in with charm, perhaps a date. I also wanted to to characterize the speaker just a little bit--what kind of person WOULD notice chocolate-caramel eyes? It sounds attractive at first (because as I said, it was his looks that lured her in) but now what she once admired is now something that she hates, ironically. That's the sort of person that the speaker is. All those adjectives you listed off are great, but I don't want to characterize my antagonist as the generic super evil guy.

But on the other hand, I see exactly what you mean. And gaah that Twilight reference... T.T now I'll have to change it.

If it still bothers me when I wake up, I'll go through and tweak that section a little. Maybe add a phrase talking about those eyes as a lure, therefore she knows them and has thought about them but it's twisted with hatred and fear, now. Or, perhaps I'll go back and edit that out entirely, like you suggested :3

Thank you for the comment! People don't often give me details like that to critique, but I definitely appreciate that! Since ultimately I want to be able to refine my work to make it the best it can be, and pick up tricks and advice for future writings.
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:iconpinballwitch:
pinballwitch Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
:nod: No problem! I don't think you need to make his eyes seem super evil, and you can definitely throw in a nod (not a declaration) to his good looks somewhere early on, but not so...chocolatey and carmely, perhaps :) Glad you've found the comment useful!
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:iconriversun:
Riversun Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the advice! I'll tweak it a bit when I get home from school today :3
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:iconpossumfan:
PossumFan Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is very brilliant!

+ fave
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:iconriversun:
Riversun Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it :"3
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:iconpossumfan:
PossumFan Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! :3
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