LfBH 9.3 – Trials: Tully

Author’s Note:  It’s short.  I’m incredibly dissatisfied with this installment.  9.4 will be better, I hope.  Blah.


I wanted to blame her.

So intensely, I wanted to push all of the blame for our capture onto Phae; for bringing us to the capital, for booking a single room with a single bed, for not knowing of this threat in the first place. I’m selfish. I know that. All of those things, she did for me without even having to be asked. I could have died, and it’s because of Phae that I didn’t.

Now, standing naked in the center of the compound, I could only focus on this hardship. The waves of freezing cold water hit me over and over, and the girls around me created a chorus of high-pitched squeals and yelps with very bucket thrown. I was screaming, hugging myself against the cold, my skin pale and tight as gooseflesh raised along every inch of me. All this suffering…. and yet I felt detached, a ghost outside my body as they tortured it.

Never-ending torrents of water pelted us, and we were not permitted to move from where we stood. I watched a woman crouch to the ground, curling in on herself, only to be yanked up by the hair by one of the guards. She screamed and I could do nothing.

Phaedra would have done something.

Perhaps that’s the reason I feel such animosity toward my best friend, my love…. She takes action where I step back in fear. I don’t know where that part of me went, but I do remember there were days once when I could stand up for what I loved or be willing to die making my point.

I miss that part of me.

And in that field of filth and mud-spatter, I missed Phae.

They had tied her up when they took me; shackled her to the bed frame, and with much incredible effort, at that. Phaedra terrified me with her strength and will to fight, impressing me constantly since we arrived. The woman I had met in the bakery had been so docile and kind, caring for me in the darkest days of that sickness. The Phaedra I knew here, in this awful detention camp, was filled with fury and willfulness. When others bowed and cowered, she stood in defiance—and was always beaten for it, but never before she got her shots in on a few of the guards. They were growing weary of her, and that was oddly satisfying to me.

It seemed like forever until the water stopped, and a guard pointed back to our barracks. Aching and shivering, we hobbled along to each of our bunk houses. It was becoming routine, with these sessions always serving as my time to contemplate… always feeling just outside myself enough to link my thoughts together.

Once inside, I knelt beside Phae and let out a sob, her free arm coming to slide around me and pull me into her warmth without a word. She may have been shackled to the bed, but her affection was far from lacking.

How could I have ever blamed her…?



Filed under Letters from Blackford Hill, Writing

6 responses to “LfBH 9.3 – Trials: Tully

  1. Erin M

    Aw, I liked this a lot, Kit! I don’t think you should be dissatisfied with it at all.

    The descriptions are awesome, and I love that we get to see Tully’s emotions and feelings for Phae (and Phae’s for Tully).

    I really love the gooseflesh sentence. A lot.

    And you’re so good at writing about love amidst pain. Gah!

    I don’t know if you want a couple suggestions . . . feel free to ignore them!

    (Paragraph 3: “every” instead of “very”; just a typo)

    What about “and we were forced to stay where we stood” instead of “not permitted to move from . . .”?

    And what about something like, “They’d had to restrain her when they took me. They had managed to shackle her to the bedframe only through incredible effort”?

    And one more, what about, “Once inside, I knelt beside Phae and let out a sob. She slid her free arm around me and pulled me into her warmth without a word”?

    Again, feel free to ignore those. I was really digging to find anything to offer constructive criticism on. =]

    I think it’s a strong piece. I really enjoyed it. All the thoughts flow well from one to the next, and the character development is great.

    Excited to read more!


    • Thanks, Erin! Augh, I was so frustrated with this piece at the time, that I didn’t even look at it a second time, I just posted it in disgust. XD I’m happy you liked it, though.

      I’ll keep your suggestions in the raw file, and definitely go over those parts you mentioned when I polish it for the LfBH complete ebook. When the story is through, anyway. ^^ I’ll definitely comb every piece for wording and continuity, but your suggestions are helpful. <3 Thanks! =]

  2. Michael Reed

    So one question, I thought they had 2 beds in their hotel? In the second paragraph its says a single bed. Could be intentional to show how angry she was getting the facts wrong but I was just curious.

    • My entire intent from the beginning was to place only a single bed in the inn room. If it says otherwise, it’s my personal mistake. Lol. I’ll take a look through it. I have to edit from beginning to end anyway before I format it and put it on Lulu.

      Thanks for making me aware. I’ll keep an eye out for it. =]

      • Michael Reed

        I went back to make sure I didn’t miss read it, and in “One Room or Two” they asked for one room but two beds. And in “In the night” the narrator mentions “Having two beds came in handy when actual sleep was necessary”. Anyways just trying to help, I have an eye for noticing things when they don’t line up. But I got to say I finished reading everything last night and the story is awesome, I can’t wait until there is some more to read.

      • That’s what I get for writing it in chunks. I didn’t plan much beyond a few bullet points in the beginning, and it’s clearly come back to bite me. Lol. I’ll get to fixing it in the edits. There are going to be quite a few changes that I need to attend to anyway. Thanks. <3

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