This was originally written as part of my A-level creative reading coursework, using Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber as my stimulus text.
I got an A but i figured I would get some other opinions. So R&R please.
:) Thank you.
The Fight for Flight
Her naïve dreams of happiness and comfort were shattered now. She stood opposite him; the swirling and swaying caused her stomach to churn, as the ground slipped away under her heels. The cold within his eyes was reflected in the night; she shivered, but dared not sever contact with his paralysing gaze. His embrace which she thought once to be so warm and inviting was now arctic and constricting.
Memories of his courting were fond if not now unfortunately marred by a thick haze of distrust. Many women were older, wiser, or of a higher class. She could never fully understand the attraction that had him so infatuated by her, a simple child: abandoned by her mother and orphaned by her father. Not until his true nature was revealed did she understand. In the little time spent with him, she saw cracks appearing in the mask he had so carefully placed over his many flaws, his distrust, his covetous nature, his greed and ambition, but most of all his unquenchable lust.
The outdoor breeze whipped at her bare back as a thunderous crash was heard overhead and cold droplets fell that were lost in her long gold curls. The exposed candles were immediately extinguished and confusion reigned in the closing darkness. It was now; it had to be – her chance! The first clinkof her shoe was all that was needed to alert the Count. Hands closed around her wrists as she pulled her hand out of his. Her shoe! But there was no time – she pulled herself free and ran.
Chink… Chink… Chink… That sinister sound of her beautifully tiny feet carried her away from his riches, his comfort and her captivity.
She changed in the years that followed; her life was now simple and glorious. She stayed small and she stayed beautiful, but was contented with working for her relatives far beyond the borders of the kingdom she feared. Her blonde hair no longer fell elegantly to her hips but was concealed by a red cloth to keep out of the snatching fingers of brambles. Her feet were never more to be crippled by dancing in uncomfortable shoes. She would never wear another corset or gown, after all, what use were those on a pig farm? Her only trinket of another life was a shoe. The gown she had torn, the jewels were sold, but the shoe remained. A shoe that reminded her of all the things she had escaped, the partner of which she had so clumsily left on the polished marble floor when the Count had grabbed her. She had stumbled and accidentally slipping her foot right out of the crystal slipper.
Close to a year from that fateful day, knocking at the door woke her from her uneasy sleep in the drafty attic above the house. The heavy sound of the metal bolt clunking made her sit up. Her Aunt was answering the door. Voices that were muffled through the floors and ceilings under the attic indicated urgency, and she could hear her aunt's sharp breath clearer than her response to the men's commands. Shuffling and movement was heard in what she recognised as her cousin's room as they were dragged out of bed. If her relatives gave her away, she was done for and would be brought back, probably to her death, within the walls of the city where she could be punished for embarrassing the heir to the most powerful position in the kingdom. Her eyes flickered to the chest that bore the terrible shoe, the pair of which was most probably being forced on the foot of one of her cousins right then. She could hear the rhythm of her galloping heart, but above it, she could just hear a few words being exchanged between the men and her aunt. The simple sound of a door being closed and bolted meant safely for her. But danger – danger was the sound of expensive shoes on the creaky make-shift staircase that lead to her safe hold.
The soft sound of that first pressure on the bottom step, that encouraged a hearty creek in the entire staircase, curdled her blood. The friendly staircase that had encouraged her to climb it so many times now, traitorously, invited these strangers still closer to her hiding place.
Shoe in hand, the man idly climbed each step as if it were a mountain, his feet dragging wearily, and ignoring the dissuasive chattering of the women behind him. Finally, with a yawn, he glanced sideways to his partner who looked equally dishevelled from the long hours of knocking on people's doors, day and night. He put his hand on the cold brass door handle and pushed it open.