shilowallace: (no sense in girlish dreaming)
Shilo Wallace ([personal profile] shilowallace) wrote2012-02-13 02:17 pm
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[archive] justprompts@lj: Ten people who you've disappointed or have disappointed you. - 02.09.09

Since Shilo doesn't even know ten people, the first five are people who have disappointed her and the rest are people she's (under the impression that she's) disappointed.

* * *

1. Her dreams turned rotten, again. How, at the age of four, could she have understood the meaning of the word "hologram", especially when Marni stood just outside her room, waiting for her with open arms. Shilo ran, but hit the wall before she felt her mother's touch.

She didn't just cry, when her father carried her back to bed, she sobbed. Wailed. "She's not real, Daddy," she bawled. "I. Needed. Her. She's not real."

And that marked the night Nathan began locking his daughter's door.

2. It made her sick. The usual smell had dissipated in the days since the erection of the mausoleum, no doubt by order of the family who put it there. No way she could comfortably stroll, now, through the cemetary. Not without feeling scrutinized, manipulated. Furious. Not just because of the new resident, either, but because of the twice-daily patrol routine of the guards. She studied their schedule, from behind the bars of her mother's crypt, for a week.

He brought her a hand, severed rather gruesomely at the wrist. Its knarled, bloody fingers were either twisted or snapped off. All except for the middle digit, which stood up straight and almost clean. When the girls with the guns left for the night, she brazenly dashed out into the open and threw the limb at the door of the tomb. Instantly, she felt better.

Rotti Largo had stolen too much, already. But this graveyard belonged to her. And she was taking it back.

3. Shilo had only ever seen Amber Sweet on television. Once, when she certainly wasn't old enough to know any better, she pointed the girl out to her father. "Daddy, do you think I'll be that pretty when I grow up?"

Nathan settled her with almost too grave a look to worry a child with. But, inevitably, he softened and pressed a kiss to her head. "Amber isn't half the woman you're going to be, angel."

It only took one glace, in person - watching her writhe around an alley with the rest of the junkies, covered in stitches and skin stretched far too thin - to know that her father was right.

4. The life drained out of her. He's going to do what he did to Mom to me. Trap me. Keep me locked up forever. He's killing me. He wants me dead. She felt Mr. Largo grasp her arms, but every other part of her went numb. She came to rest across the trail of blood (his blood), when the floor rushed up to catch her. Her stomach churned, but her lungs were tightening up too quickly to relieve the feeling. Or any other feeling. I guess he's getting what he wants. So, with tears in her eyes, she let go.

5. Not for the first time in her life, Shilo was dying. But this time, she meant it. In both hours and instances, the day - not her whole life, curiously enough, but just that day - happened all over again.

Even in the throes of death, she felt a devastating, nauseating pang of remorse once. No, twice. Three times, throughout the instant, eternal replay of her memories. She was reminded just how, exactly, she'd made it through the last twenty-four hours. Her heart broke and she knew it would stay broken, come Heaven or Hell or whatever else waited for her, if she never saw him again. The disappointment might have killed her before the disease...if she hadn't begun to fight her way back.

6. He didn't sound angry. His apology (he apologized, of all things), she could tell, was sincere, but coloured by the hint of a growl. ...But, then, he always sounded like that. (And it was just one of the things about him that made her legs feel about as stable as jello.)

Although she couldn't, was too scared to go through with it, she couldn't let go of him, either. So she didn't just hear his sigh, she felt it, too. And she felt...well, she thought it was...she just assumed it had to be...

In one jump, she put at least five feet between them. After all she'd willingly put up with, after how eager she'd always seemed, he must have been so disappointed in her. When he reached to pull her back, she burst into tears.

7. She snuck down the halls, head hung in shame. The eyes in the portraits were still, but tonight, they felt like ghosts (like she thought they were, as a child), glaring holes through her. "I shouldn't have yelled," she muttered, hunching her shoulders and watching the floorboards. "But he lied to me. I have to do this." Marni's ghostly visages flickered, but never changed expression. Shilo's footsteps quickened, not just for fear of getting caught. "I'm sorry. I have to," she repeated, but she still couldn't look her mother in the face.

8. "I don't know," she lied, petulantly drawing her arms in and shrinking back into the headboard. "It fell over. Maybe I bumped the table."

"Shilo," Nathan said, again. "Give me your hand. You'll ruin your nightgown."

She reached out, as soon as he said her name, but didn't look. Instead, she inspected the bloody handprint she'd left on her arm. "I probably bumped the table." Her cheeks turned red and her ears burned.

"There's still a piece in there," her father announced, showing no signs of accepting her excuse. "Stay here. Don't move."

"I tried to clean it up, but -"

"You'll need stitches." His voice was still cold.

When he left without another word, Shilo glanced down at the shattered picture of her mother and had to clamp the good hand over her mouth to keep from blurting out the truth. He already knew it, anyway.

9. Shilo collapsed into the heap of tapestry. Hold it together, she screamed at herself, squeezing her eyes shut as tight as she could bear. Allergies, she tried to think, all that dust. Not withdrawal. Which, of course, is what it really was. Her lungs constricted and her head swam, but only for a moment longer. She pounded her fists on the floorboards. Damn it.

In the seconds it took for her vision to come back, the first face she saw was godmother's. Only for a moment. Then, no faces at all. Just the living room.

And she knew that this had to stop. Fixing the house was running away from running away. No matter how much light she could let in, she would still die in captivity. When her strength came back to her, she ran to the front door. Rested her hand on the knob. Turned it, even. But was, once again, too scared to push. She backed away until her ankles caught the stairs and sat down harder than she would have liked to. "Sorry, Mag," she sniffled, trying to catch her breath. "We - we'll try again, tomorrow."

10. With tears in her eyes, Shilo poked a button and played the last few seconds of the message again. The holographic bust of Amber Sweet reappeared along with her voice. "I don't know what my father ever saw in you. He would be so disappointed."

"The irony," Shilo gasped, barely able to catch her breath from laughing so hard. She had to play it for GraveRobber. He would love this.