Happy New Year’s Eve! We’re so happy to be apart of the WIP It Up Blog Hop again this week after a quick holiday break. Over at the WIP It Up Wednesday Blog, myself and the other authors get to share with you bits and pieces of their works in progress. We can’t wait to see what everyone has been writing as I know I’ve been busy writing.
Emma’s Corner: The Darkness Series, Book 2
Tick tock… tick tock… the droning of the ticking clock that sat on the top of the bookshelf echoed through the room. Emma swallowed, watching as the hands moved to a straight line like a soldier standing at attention. It was six o’clock and time for Penance. Her stomach turned as the sound of her tormentor’s heavy footsteps approached. He was, if anything, unfailingly and depressingly punctual. He was also terribly predictable. As another day of misery crept upon her, Emma squeezed her eyes in anticipation of the long, upcoming hours of unrelenting mortification and anguish. She had nobody to blame but herself. She could have had a different life, but pride got in the way.
If only she had known the course of her journey six months earlier…
Captive in a world without a future, girls like Emma Thompson do whatever is necessary to survive. The laws are harsh, intolerance rampant, and the only means of survival is either conforming to an impossible system, or rebelling against it.
Emma has been given a choice- homelessness (and eventual incarceration) or move to the Appalcian forests to be a domestic worker for an acquaintance of her vindictive aunt. She choses the latter- after all, nothing could be worse than being on the streets and losing what little freedom you have to begin with, right?
Wrong. After Emma arrives to the isolated cabin home of Professor Jack Robbins, she discovers the truth of a living nightmare. Never knowing what horrors wait for her with each passing day, she struggles to maintain what little power she has- the power of her mind.
She becomes his plaything, subjected to any whim that crosses his thoughts. She tries to hate the feelings he stirs within her, yet is powerless to stop them. He is creative in his discipline, almost as much as his love-making, and suspends her in a world of confusion, desire, fear, and overwhelming need.
The discovery that Jack is the creator of the C-spill, the biochemical weapon responsible for ending the war, introduces Emma to a window of opportunity. She bravely asks for him to teach her all that he knows, appealing to his arrogant pride- even knowing that to be anything other than the perfect student would result in discipline like she had never known…
It is a risk she is willing to take if it means her escape. But then, he throws a wrench into her plans and makes it impossible for her to return to a society that bends to judgment for personal appearance. She faces two choices—continue to live in the nightmare or take the chance that people are more accepting than she believed.
Warning- this book is a continuation of the Darkness Series. It is NOT a romance, involves dubious consent and extremely graphic, and disturbing, imagery. DO NOT READ if this type of material disturbs you.
Instead of reporting Emma to the authorities for engaging in sexual acts without a license, Barbara cut her off from all expense accounts and gave the girl one month to find work, save some money and then leave her home. It was an impossible task. Emma found herself laboring endlessly in minimum wage jobs just to pay for the ridiculous rent declared on her room, preventing her from saving more than a handful of dollars. There was no question in her mind that her rancorous aunt would abandon her to the streets even after Emma begged for a second chance with promises to excel in her studies and isolate herself from all of Barbara’s male visitors. Barbara responded with the statement that Emma could not be trusted in a world where a ‘functioning’ man of breeding and intelligence was so scarce. However, the surly woman did offer a proposal that would benefit both of them.
She referred Emma to an old, personal acquaintance who was seeking domestic help in the form of cleaning and cooking. His name was Jack Robbins, an allegedly well-to-do and self-confessed mountain man, who lived on private property in the back woods of the Appalachians. According to her aunt, Jack had some minor ‘issues’ that she, a wealthy woman, found distasteful and made him ineligible for marriage. She did not expound on the problems, but then, manners of society forbade the discussion as to why a man was declared one of the ‘Rejected’.
Emma did not care. She needed ‘out’ of the wretched environment where her every movement was controlled by a bitter, hateful old woman. All she needed at the moment was decent employment and a roof over her head (not a husband) so she agreed to contact the man. Barbara informed her that Jack’s rural location prevented him from obtaining a phone and ordered the girl to write a letter, requesting his assistance.
“Be humble and optimistic,” Barbara sneered over her cigarette, “he does not care for insipid, whiney or impertinent children. He doesn’t go for whores, either.”
“I am none of those, Aunt Barbara,” Emma spoke back, narrowing her eyes with hatred equal to that of her aunt. “Nor do I spread my legs for every man that comes through my door.”
“Watch out, girl. You are playing with fire and are about to get burned. Make certain that you emphasize that you are coming on your own volition and that no one is forcing you. He likes his privacy.”
“Trust me, it is my own volition. As for getting burned, I’m sure that is what your lovers say about your cunt,” Emma snapped back hatefully. She carefully composed a letter, emphasizing that she desired to do housework and cook in return for room and board, and that she was willing to completely comply and adhere to any house rules he desired out of respect for his hospitality. Not wanting to lead him on in the belief that she might be interested in exploring a ‘romantic’ relationship, Emma emphasized in this introductory correspondence that her intent to impose upon him would be limited to the time needed for her to save the necessary expenses so that she could return to school, rent a place of her own, and explore her independence.
Jack’s return letter arrived in a matter of days. She was surprised to find the correspondence articulate, open and pleasant; clearly written by someone who had been educated and raised in an environment that demanded some sort of etiquette. His response to her predicament also appeared to be welcoming and understanding. He commented that he would be very glad to have the company, and would welcome any amount of cleaning or cooking she might want to do, but particularly desired human companionship. He asked her to consider her options before making a decision, explaining that he lived a very isolated existence and had few visitors, and feared she might find the lifestyle lonely- especially with the oncoming winter season. He also stated that he was very particular about certain things, and wanted her to be certain she consented to following the rules he had enacted to ensure his privacy, safety and security.
The comment that he would respect whatever decision she made was a relief. He emphasized that if she decided to join him, he would provide a room and bathroom for her comfort, and he was also open to discuss approaching her education online to save her both time and money. The letter ended with the description of how beautiful she would find the forest, especially after being in the city all of her life- with air was so clear that she would even see the sun shine and feel it’s warmth on her face- a rare experience in a post-apocalyptic world!