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Literary Masterpieces by shunsuixnanaofan101

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December 26, 2013
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When she was six I came home one afternoon early and found her in my room with my box of art supplies upside down and my collection of long peacock feathers glued to her belt to make a lackluster skirt. The feathers were longer than her legs so when she backed away from me, surprised that I had come home, she tripped and smacked her head against my desk. There was an orange half moon on the horizon of the wood always after that. The funny thing was, I hadn't been angry in the first place. Seven days later she told me she had stolen the peacock feathers because she'd been learning about them in school. Her teacher had told her that peacocks were the most beautiful of all of the animals, and she told me that she wanted to be beautiful too. That night I'd tucked her quilt around her, kissed her sore little forehead and told her; you are already beautiful. I understood how she felt.

When she had just turned seventeen I caught her again. It was Christmas and I had come home a day earlier than planned when our parents had mentioned she planned to drop by for a few days. I took some overdue leave at work and thought how nice it would be to do those childhood things again with her. On the train I had let the shudders of the tracks lull me to sleep, and dreamt of old happy memories of dressing the tree, lifting her high to place the angel on the top. Buying chestnuts... opening presents. When I got home that evening, two boys were wrapped around her - and in the shock of my arrival suddenly three pairs of hands covered her breasts. Ten days later, New Years Eve, I slipped her a little of my champagne as an apology. Once tipsy she whispered to me that she just wanted to be loved. She fell asleep before midnight so I put her in the spare room of the house we were at, put my coat over her, kissed her soon-to-be sore forehead and told her; you are already loved. I understood how she felt.

When she was twenty-eight I found her the last time. She had asked me to visit her but I had been unsure, Gracie was teething and I didn't like to leave Martin to deal with her as he was as sleep deprived as I was, but in the end my conscience got the better of me. My sister never asked me for anything and she often dropped by just to see how I was and check on the kids, so I went. I had a key to her house and thought nothing of using it, despite telling her I wasn't coming over. Wrapped round her this time, not feathers or flesh; a threadbaring rope that would snap too late. Far too late. The note said 'I need the pain to stop, I just want to be gone'. Nineteen days later, I tucked a feather in her pocket and kissed her never-to-be-sore-again forehead, and I told her; you were already gone. I understood how she felt.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-01-10
:iconganalef:
First paragraph:

I don't want to say "show, don't tell" because you're doing a better job than I do of this. In fact, I don't want to critique you at all, because I can't say I could do as well.

So heck with it. I'm going home.

..wait, that would be a dick move; I'm already here and I started. Okay, I'm doing it, but you have to provide your own grains of salt.

I'm thinking that "box of art supplies upside down" could be more "show" though.

I'm confused about why there was an orange half moon on the horizon of the wood. Blood isn't orange. ...but probably it's blood. The "horizon" is a metaphor; there are no other possibilities. It was confusing.

"The funny thing was, I hadn't been angry in the first place." ...somehow I already knew that. ...but maybe it's best you tell us anyway. If you do, I suggest rewriting it so it doesn't include "funny thing" or "first place"; they feel redundant and conversational/vernacularish. Trimming for length is always good.

Second paragraph:
I think the second sentence stumbles a little. Not sure.
I don't like "overdue leave"; it doesn't feel like the sort of thing one says about one's own vacation time. Maybe "I finally managed to take some vacation time" or such. maybe not.
"shudders of the tracks" ...I was going to say something about that, but actually I think maybe it's better than what I'd do.
The punctuation gets a bit wonky between "lifting her high" and "opening presents."
...do people buy chestnuts with any frequency? I don't know many people.

"in the shock of my arrival suddenly three pairs of hands covered her breasts."
It's kind of cute, but it's horribly horribly wrong to me. Of all the possible responses of a person in that situation, covering the girl's breasts is only something the girl herself would do (and that only if she recognized the intruder right away). The guys are going to be freaked, and either covering themselves, scrambling to cover, or challenging the intruder. Probably the lattermost.
...but it's cute, and adorably gallant; it implies that the two boys really loved her and were in a committed relationship with her. It's a shame I can't buy it at all; it tore me right out of the story.

Everything between "Ten days later" and "be loved" is just too long. You've spent so many words explaining that she got booze in her and said something. Trim. You're going for a similar pattern in the three paragraphs, so you'll have to trim them too. That's good. We don't need to know that the champagne was an apology. We don't need to know you slipped it to her (she's underage, sure, but you could just share it with her and we'd still know that. "Once tipsy, she whispered" ...too much words!

...ten days between xmas and new years eve? Must be a special leap year.

Maybe

"Days later, at a shared moment stolen from a New Year's party, her champagne-fuzzed whisper was that she just wanted to be loved."

Okay, I need to learn to trim for length too. ...yeah. Needs work.

"soon to be sore forehead" ...hangover does not equal forehead. Should just be 'head". You can change the other paragraphs to match.

Paragraph 3:
"Last time" Whelp; I guess she's dead. Hope that's not meant to be a surprise.
"She had....coming over." ...trim for length.

"Not feathers or flesh" You don't need to point out the parallels. It's better if you don't; we'll notice 'em. I suggest getting rid of or replacing "threadbaring"; not sure that's a word, and it's not an important detail. "Far too late" = disposable.

...Seven days, ten days, nineteen days... 7,10,19. Not sure why those numbers. If you're hiding something in here (2019?) that's cool. Otherwise I'd just go with something like "later that week" or something.

"I told her; you were already gone. I understood how she felt."

What? She just killed herself. That's fine; that's the human condition and we all understand that to some degree. ...but our protagonist is also suicidal? Enough that it only took 19 days to calmly accept the death? This is new information; up until now...well, I guess we've got a pattern to stick to. The "I understood how she felt"...maybe that's the most important part, and I just didn't get it because I was caught up in the story. Hmm...

The title:

"Wrapped Up In Herself" ...I really like this title. I didn't read it until now. I skipped past it and read the first paragraph. I think I normally do this, actually; I'm reminded of Umberto Eco's assertion (which I disagree with but find interesting) that the best titles don't tell you anything about the story; perhaps I skip the titles until after the story so that I can better appreciate them.

Well, this title is very nice; not only do you have the wrapped up skirt of feathers (it's pretty challenging to trip on a peacock feather; it'd just get yanked off her belt. Perhaps she can just trip on some clutter? She did dump out the box for some reason instead of just rifling through it like a sane child. Actually, maybe you could change that; the upside-down box is a bit much.), then the wrapped up in two boys, then the wrapped up in the remains of a noose...

...okay, 'wrapped up' is kind of a stretch in those, but it's a stretch worth attempting!

Because this dead girl was self-absorbed, and telling the protagonist things that, well, are the human condition.

Okay, you've convinced me. You can keep the "I understood how she felt." ...maybe trim it for length? Perhaps "I knew." or "I understood."

Well that's what I've got. Some quibbles here and there, and an urge to trim for length.

Y'know, like I should probably do with this critique. But won't. Because my critique is not art. It's just 1000 words.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
54 out of 83 deviants thought this was fair.

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:iconninjagirl371321:
ninjagirl371321 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Student
So freaking powerful. This made me ugly cry. Hardcore. Wow, forwards and backwards. This is pretty much equal parts beautiful and really, really painful
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014
:tighthug: aw, I'm sorry I made you cry. Thanks for commenting.
Reply
:iconninjagirl371321:
ninjagirl371321 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Student
It was a good cry, man :I No worries lol
Reply
:iconhaphazardmelody:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I definitely see why this was given a DD. Congratulations. This is just...unbelievably heartbreaking and powerful.
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014
:blush: Oh thank you hon, that means a lot coming from someone so talented!
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:iconhaphazardmelody:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh please, you're super talented!!! :)
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
SO ARE YOU!
Reply
:iconwriterofthesky55:
WriterOfTheSky55 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I. Love. This. To. Infinity.
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014
:) Thank you!!
Reply
:iconcrooked-clockwork:
crooked-clockwork Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014   General Artist
Beautifully heartbreaking and very much worth the read. I absolutely adore this piece. :heart:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
:tighthug: THANK YOU. That means the world to me. Thank you so much
Reply
:iconcrooked-clockwork:
crooked-clockwork Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014   General Artist
:hug:
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:iconcelestialmemories:
CelestialMemories Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Very beautiful, and heartbreaking. :star:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
:tighthug: Thank you
Reply
:iconclassiccartoonlover:
ClassicCartoonLover Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Find Myself Speechless Its Hard To Find Words When Most Out There Don't Quite Apply
Bravo
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
:tighthug: Thank you so much
Reply
:iconclassiccartoonlover:
ClassicCartoonLover Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Your So Welcome Hug 
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:iconbeyondjen:
BeyondJen Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Holy moly. There's not much I've read that has actually pulled tears from my eyes, but this one definitely did. I don't know what else to say, really. I found this very powerful in its simplicity and straight-forwardness. All I want to do is wrap my arms around that fictional 6 yr old and give her an armful of peacock feathers. And yet, I know there's someone else that needs it, too. Just really, really powerful. Really well done. :heart:

Congrats on the DD.
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
:tighthug: Thank you so much. and I want to give everyone peacock feathers too. 
Reply
:iconbeyondjen:
BeyondJen Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:hug::heart:
Reply
:icondoombringernumber9:
DoomBringerNumber9 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow:( (Sad) 
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
:tighthug:
Reply
:icongin-baby:
gin-baby Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
I love how you were subtle with the fact that everything the sister needed to hear was only told to her when she was asleep. This is really beautiful. You did a great job. :)
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconwolflover1214:
wolflover1214 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
This was so beautifully written, the feeling from it, it leaves me speechless. 
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
oh thank you :love:
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:iconmeredyxd:
MeredyxD Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist
Kathryn, you know I love your poetry so so much, and I can always relate to it, but this time.. Dammit I cried Kathryn, and I don't cry when I read poetry.

You're simply amazing, so talented and such a great/beautiful writer and poet :heart:

Happy that you got a Daily Deviation :) How are you feeling about it?
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
:tighthug: Oh thank you so much :tears:

I am still shocked. I didn't expect a DD on this!
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:iconmeredyxd:
MeredyxD Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist
:hug: :love: 

oh but it's really worthy of a DD!! Again, congratulations :hug: you really deserve it :heart:
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:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Student General Artist
Oh. my. god.


That is a sad story - such a sad story, but powerful too. The way it's broken up into three thematically similar parts especially.
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
:tighthug: Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it :D
Reply
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Student General Artist
You're welcome!! :hug:
Reply
:iconnymah-rose:
Nymah-Rose Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I don't usually look at the Daily Deviations, but this one caught my eye and I'm glad it did because it was absolutely beautiful. The running motifs throughout and haunting anecdotes made it pull together perfectly, especially as things in threes always seem to be more captivating. 

Very powerful and well worth the read 
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
oh thank you! I always love it when I capture someone who doesn't usually look at DDs or literature or something. It feels like an extra special moment. Thank you so so much.
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:iconnymah-rose:
Nymah-Rose Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Heart 
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:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
The pattern here was well-wrought. Thanks for sharing.
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Thanks sweets! 
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:iconflameheart10:
flameheart10 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
 Congratulations on the DD! :D
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Thank you!
Reply
:icondemonic-fantasy:
Demonic-Fantasy Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Student General Artist
Very impacting. 
Great work.

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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Thanks!!
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ohhhh Kathryn!!!!!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: CONGRASUPERTULATIONS ON THE VERY-WELL-DESERVED DD!!!!!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconepiclaplz::iconlajumpplz::iconepiclaplz::iconflyingheartsplz:

I'm SSSSSSO proud of you, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!! :happybounce::happybounce::happybounce::iconexplodelaplz::happybounce::happybounce::happybounce:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
oh thank you Evie!! <333
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconlainloveplz: :blowkiss:
Reply
:iconsciencevsart:
sciencevsart Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Like all your work, this has beautiful imagery and use of the right words.

Good to see you're getting even moar recognition ^^ Good work, as always

dang it, why does it always have to be beautiful and sad
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
:love: Oh thank you so much. You are too kind
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:icona-lovely-anxiety:
A-Lovely-Anxiety Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
beautiful!

congrats on the dd!
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Thanks - (late).

Thinking of you, hoping you're okay, sending love x
Reply
:icona-lovely-anxiety:
A-Lovely-Anxiety Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
no, thank you, darling :heart:
Reply
:icontld7:
tld7 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful. Makes me sad.  I was confused at first.  I didn't get the ages and at first assumed it was a mother daughter relationship at first.  I became very confused with the 2nd paragraph because of this.  The 3rd paragraph clarified however, that it was in fact sisters.  I wished I had known that previously. Overall great writing. :)
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