Black Tide

Black Tide

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy



Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy


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Chapter1 (v.1) - Joshua

Author Chapter Note

Joshua is nobody special. But that's about to change...

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 01, 2017

Reads: 79

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 01, 2017



Chapter One


I stand frozen in the doorway as I watch his bloodied fist strike her cheek. Her head snaps back and she tries to drag herself away from him.

"Shut the door, son! She screams at me. I swing it shut and press my back firmly against it, but my knees give way and I sink to the floor. The hollow sounds of knees and elbows thud against the old carpet in the hallway. He's got a rhythm going now, as I here each terrible blow land one after the other. I turn to peer through the keyhole of the door and watch him drag her back into the room and shut the door behind him. More muffled screams come from behind it, but I am too afraid to do anything about it. Powerless. Suddenly I hear the sound of glass and a howl of pain. This time it's his. I hear him drop to the floor and swear loudly as the door swings open wildly. She bolts towards my room and I quickly back away as the door bursts open in front of me. Her frantic fingers busy themselves with the lock as it slides shut. And she is safe, for now. He's still screaming in the other room but doesn't bother to pursue her. Thankfully.

Her face is swollen, bruised and bloody from the beating. The reasons for them had become varied... trivial even. I don't even know anymore. Things just seemed to get worse since the day Dad's business went under. At first he was depressed, he didn't talk much, didn't eat much either. He used to sleep all day and drink all night in the beginning. Then it turned to anger.

Mom used to cover up the bruises and told me she had fallen at work or she's just clumsy. Until I saw it happen. Now it happens all the time.

She's breathing heavily and in the dim light of my room I notice one eye is swollen shut. "Are you okay, Josh?" She asks me, looking away. Really? Am I okay? Her face looks like hamburger meat and she's asking me if I'm okay. Parents.

" I'm fine" I actually am. You get used to this eventually when you see it every day.

Her neck is raw from where he tore her necklace off. I scoot over and kiss her on the cheek but she flinches away.

"I'm sorry, Mom. I didn't know what to do. It's my fault" I feel hot the tears stinging in my eyes but I hold them back as she caresses my cheek and gives me a crooked smile.

"This is not your fault, Josh. We are all responsible for the choices we make. I am responsible for loving him too much to leave. He's a good man. Deep down I know he's still a good man" she tells me as a tear runs down her cheek.

We fall asleep against the door and woke up hours later. The house seems empty. She opens the door quietly and crawls out while listening for signs of him.

"I think he's gone" she says as she looks back at me from the passage, beckoning me toward her. "Careful" she calls to me. My sneakers crunch over broken glass in the hallway. Pictures lay on the ground in shattered frames with streaks of blood on the walls. Moms in the bathroom, filling the sink with hot water and pulling cotton swabs from the medicine cabinet.

"Are you hungry?" She asks me as I walk in, and suddenly I feel like I could eat a whole cow and ask for a walrus for dessert.

I nod without saying anything.

"I'm gonna clean up in the meantime, okay?" I say as I walk out.

"Leave it, love. I'll do it later. Why don't you you go relax in your room? I'll make you your favourite tonight" Moms a nurse, so she's good at taking care of herself. I don't know how many times I have seen her do this. Beneath the swelling, she was beautiful. And I'm not being biased, if my Mom was ugly, I'd tell you, I swear. But she was beautiful. I just don't know why she stayed.

I sat in my room and turned on my computer, the silence is replaced by the silent humming of the fan inside it as my Star Wars wallpaper comes into view. I think about what I would have done earlier if I was a badass Jedi. But I realise something as I look at the screen. I didn't do anything not because I wasn't strong enough, but maybe because I'm actually scared out of my mind. All that power means nothing if you're too afraid to use it. Right?

An email pops up from the Weather Bureau, and I read it out aloud in my shaky voice. God, it's taking forever to break! I sound like a bent clarinet.

"Residents of Silverpine are warned to stay indoors tonight as there are chances of Hurricane Grace making landfall tonight. Please secure all pets and children and do not leave the safety of your homes as there is a high risk of flash flooding"

Great. And I almost thought of praying for a quiet evening, guess not. I read a few other emails, including a really funny one from Clyde, he's always been funny. It sucks that we go to different schools. I don't have any friends at Oak Valley. I hear Mom calling me from the bottom of the stairs.

"Come and get it!" She shouts from the bottom of the stairs. I walk out of my room and see her standing there with a steaming plate of scrambled eggs and bacon. I feel my stomach growl as the smell of bacon drifts towards me.

This actually isn't my favourite.  It only became my new favourite so she wouldn't be in the kitchen for too long. Dad gets mad when we use too much electricity. Not that he's even paying the bill. Gives him something to shout about, I guess.

The rain taps on the window as I tell her about the storm warning between mouthfuls while she listens. Her eyes are green, like mine, but I have my Dad's brown hair. "Do you know how they name hurricanes, Mom?" I ask as I gulp down a second glass of orange juice. "I don't think so. But you're going to tell me aren't you, my smart boy?" She says as she winks at me. I'm not smart. I just read alot and fill my head with absolutely useless information. What are the odds of this ever getting me a date?

The rain is coming down harder outside and I see people running home with their umbrellas low over their heads. They weren't kidding about this storm. The sound of the rain became a deafening roar as lightning split the sky and thunder boomed overhead, shaking the ceiling fan of the living room.

We pass the time by me trying to explain how to play my favourite card game, Magic: The Gathering as the storm rages on outside. Mom is totally confused and keeps asking me to repeat the rules as I beat her for the third time in a row.

"I sense sabotage. Are you sure you told me the rules properly?" She asks me. I smile as I shuffle her deck.

"No, you're just bad at this. I gave you my best cards!"

The front door suddenly swings open and Dad staggers in. It takes him a while to shut it closed because he's staggering. Looks like he took a good swim in a bottle of whiskey tonight, he still has the bottle in his hand; the brown paper is soaked through and clinging to the it.

"Some weather, ain't it?" He slurs as he shuffles to his armchair and throws himself into it with a heavy sigh and burps loudly. "Par'n me" he says nonchalantly.

He's soaked right through and shivering badly, but takes another deep sip of whiskey. Mom comes over to take off his shoes and tells him to go to the room and take the rest of his clothes off.

"I think I'm gonna eat first" he says, defiantly taking another mouthful. The smell of cheap whiskey is thick in the air as he slumps deeper into the chair. I watch his bleary eyes blinking heavily. Maybe he's drunk enough to pass out early, and probably won't cause much trouble tonight.

Mom dishes him a plate of bacon and eggs and hands it to him. He suddenly grabs her hand and she gasps with shock.

"How 'bout a kiss for ya love? Hmm?" he slurs, pulling her closer. She tries to pull away.

"No, Thomas. Just eat and have a shower, dear" she tells him. But he moves quickly and hits her hard over the face with stunning force. Suddenly he's wide awake. And angry.

"If I ask for a damn kiss, you give me one! Now give me a damn kiss or I'll shut the other eye for you!" He says and hits her in the face again. She reels and falls to the floor, dizzy from the last blow. The bottle drops the bottle out of my father's hand and rolls until it stops against the coffee table without breaking.

I grip the armrest of the couch and feel an anger I have never known as I watch him get up and kick her hard in the stomach. She coughs and splutters, clutching her side while trying to shield herself with the other hand. I'm gritting my teeth as I feel my chest rise and fall heavily as I get up.
What the hell am I doing?

I run and pick up the bottle of whiskey, holding it by the neck and stand behind him, burning inside. I can feel myself shaking as I clench my fist around the bottle.

The pounding in my chest becomes so loud.

I hear Mom crying on the floor. And with all my might, I swung that bottle across the side of his face. The bottle survived the drop to the floor, but shatters as it connect with his cheekbone. The glass cuts him deep, and he's blood gushing from the wound. He lunges at me but I bury the jagged bottle into his thigh and a terrible wail erupts from him. Like a wounded animal.

"Get up, Mom!" I scream as he falls to the floor with a hand over the wound. The raging storm muffles my voice as I shout louder, "Get up!".

Mom looks at me confused, then at Dad as she sees him banging his head against the floor, mad with pain. His face was red with blood as he tries to reach for the leg of my jeans.

"Joshua, what have you done? Get to your room now! Lock the door!" She orders as I heave her to her feet while adrenal makes my ears pound and my breath come fast.

"Come with me! You'll be safe! I'll hit him again if I have to. I'll protect you!" I say. She struggles to her feet and yelps as I grab her from behind.

"I think it's broken" she says through gritted teeth. Hold me on my left side" she tells me as Dad staggers in the dining room, trying get to his feet. Groping the chair and hissing in anger.

"YOU. LITTLE. SHIT!" He curses through gritted teeth. I could feel myself turn pale when I looked at him. The cut in his cheek ran deep and was bleeding freely as his eyes locked on mine. A dark, red pool had begun to gather at his legs. He slips in it as he tries to pull himself up, but his leg is too badly wounded and the floor is slippery from his own blood.

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