Hey Hi My Lovelies! My name is Tanya Hooper and I post here on TanyaTale every Friday at 7PM. So today we are delving back into my collection of extracts. For those of you who haven’t been acquainted with my blog yet – welcome! A little while ago I attempted to write a book and I learnt that it was A LOT HARDER THAN I EXPECTED! So the book itself was a relative failure but from it came some extracts which I really like as free standing stories. To see the previous extracts I have published you can click here and here.
So this extract was the final scene in the book. This is a pre-warning that this extract contains heavy content which some readers may find distressing and upsetting. However I hope you can see the beauty among the darkness and feel free to leave your (sensitive) comments in the given area below. Also do click the like and the subscribe buttons to show your love!
There is another reason for this post going live today – the 15th September marks the beginning of a blogging challenge for charity. For every view this post gets between now and the 1st October I will donate 10p to my chosen charity and for every like the post gets an extra penny will be added to the final donation and so it is important now more than ever that you do share and like this post.
The charity I have chosen to donate to at the end of this challenge is Combat Stress. Combat Stress are the veterans mental health charity who aim to help our wonderful ex-service men and women who are suffering from mental illnesses caused by military service. They help with everything from depression to PTSD to anxiety. Their helpline is available 24 hours on 0800 138 1619 and is not only there to help those suffering from the mental illness but also to offer support to their families. Finally Combat Stress also have been running treatment centres around the UK since 2011. To find out more about this incredible charity please click anywhere with the words Combat Stress which leads to their website.
So without further ado please check out this short story “goodnight sweet captor” and don’t forget to share and like.
Aella took a deep breath as she crept closer to the edge. She had stopped shaking now and her breathing had stabilised as she looked out over the town she had once loved. She spied the ashy remains of the Old Shant Tavern burnt to the ground in an act of hate and terror. She thought back over the countless times its roof had offered her shelter from the storm and the secrets shared between its walls and how one act of bitterness destroyed it all. She glanced upon the sorrow rivers trickling down the mountains into Dolorem lake and thought of her mother’s fear filled face as the car, in which she was trapped, sunk down into the murky waters and the young girls heart began to pace at the thought that she soon may face the same fate. Her eye soon traced across to the old sycamore tree, standing bare and shaking in the winter breeze. Aella couldn’t help but think back to that summer four years earlier where Sean had promised to protect her from herself as they lay beneath the tree, their eyes attached to where the sun broke through the leaves. But all thoughts of warmth ended and her heart sunk once more upon thought of the way he had betrayed her. Before she knew it, she found herself fixated on her childhood home, feeling like that powerless little girl who could do nothing to stop her father from raising his hand again and again. And then she felt nothing. For the first time in years all the noise, the pressures and expectations had all stopped and she was alone. She was stood on top of a water tower looking out on the town which had first made her, then contained her but eventually destroyed her.
“Aella? Hey.” Athena softly said. Her body was pressed as far back as it would go and her knees were trembling. She daren’t look down at the 100 feet drop below but rather kept her eyes attached to her best friend, recklessly challenging death.
“Athena? What are you doing up here?” Aella muttered. It was not until she spoke that Aella realised how broken she felt. Her voice was horse and warn and her body stuck in a trance as she balanced upon the end of the ledge.
“Do you remember when we were six years old and I wanted so desperately to go and explore the woods. You told me it was a bad idea and that it wasn’t safe but I went anyway. 4 minutes later I’m face to face with a black bear sure I was about to die and wishing I’d listened to you when you spring out of the trees making so much noise that you scared it off. I couldn’t believe that you’d risked your life for me and I swore that if you ever needed me I’d be there. Do you remember what you said?” Athena asked, her worry slowly becoming apparent in her voice.
“I told you that a friend doesn’t let another friend face death alone.” Aella laughed. It was as if her eyes were stuck for she did not move. In fact, if someone were to simply examine Aella’s body language they could become certain that she was up there alone.
“Friends don’t let friends face death alone.” Athena repeated, taking a hold of Aella’s hands and taking a step forwards so she too was stood at the ledges end. Aella shook her head but did not pull her hand away for she was glad that Athena was with her.
“That was different.” Aella said but Athena simply shook her head dismissing Aella’s comment. “Yes, it was Athena. Because I’m not facing death. Not really. Think about it, every time something bad happens and one of our friends or family die, I am always there. There is always something I could have done. Some way I could have saved them. I’m not facing death Athena. I am death. And you, you’re life. Which is why you shouldn’t be up here. There are people down there who love you and who need you.” Aella explained.
“Right now, Aella, you need me. You need me to stand with you on this ledge while you face the world.” Athena comforted, shifting closer to her friend.
“Everyone loves you, everyone needs you. Me? I just hurt people.”
“No. You’re wrong.” Athena said. Finally knowing exactly what she needed to say. “People need death just as much as they need life. Life needs death for the world to be balanced. And sure, people don’t like death but that’s because death is the ugly truth that life spends its whole time trying to hide. Aella, if you are stepping off this ledge then I am too because you are the ying to my yang and friends don’t let friends face death alone.”
“Athena?” Aella said, tears bubbling up in her eyes as she turned to her friend. Suddenly the numbness had stopped, as had the noise. For the first time Aella knew exactly how she felt and that was scared. Enough was enough and she had seen and felt more pain and loss than anyone ever should have and that was how she knew. She knew that there was no way her heart could survive being broken so many times. She knew her soul could never allow her to forgive herself for the hurt she had caused. She knew she could not walk back down those steps.
“It’s okay Aella. We’ll face it together.” Athena said and with that both girls took the final step forwards and as she fell Aella finally felt at peace.
Thank you so much for reading and participating in this wonderful charity fundraiser. Every view and every like is helping to contribute to our final donation. Do not forget that this post will still be live after the 1st October 2017 however the final donation amount will be taken as of this date and any likes and views after said date will not contribute to the final donation cost.
See you next week!