May 16, 2014

In Which Nora Postpones the Scream

**Trigger Warning

August 8, 1185

"Well. Don't think I've seen you here before." The man's weasel eyes scrunched in a series of squints, thin lips writhing like worms in rainwater. "Think I would've remembered you."

Nora's legs tensed. A squad of armed guards hid around the house, ready to barge in at the first sound of trouble. Her husband had insisted on joining them. He'd been against her going, but she needed to look her sister's rapist in the eye, and he'd understood in the end, at least as well as she could have expected. "I need some pork."

"Don't we all. Damn shame, though; my business partner just left to buy some pigs." Business partner. That explained why any incidents had been few and far enough between that word of his depravity hadn't leaked before now. The presence of a business partner would make for a leash, particularly if he was a man of principle capable of backing said principle. "But I'm sure I could interest you in something else."

Not even trying to be subtle. Disgusting.

Good thing she had that knife in the back of her belt. "No. Just the pork."

"I don't think you're quite sure about that."

Before she could ask how he'd possibly guess that, a claw-like grip took hold of her backside. "Care to try some sausage?"


He had the size advantage, but he was apparently unused to his victims fighting back, so she swatted him away with relative ease. For now, she kept her voice to a low hiss; she would call for the guards when he got rough, but she was not done with him yet. "How dare you touch me!"

"How dare I? And what of you?" He grabbed her by the chin and pulled; for the sake of her neck, she had to step forward. "Parading in here, unaccompanied, all that pretty hair spilling out of its bun and those breasts bouncing about beneath that apron?"

"I don't need help buying meat, and there's nothing forward about what I'm wearing. And hell, even if I came in here stark naked--"

"You might as well have!"

He took her by the shoulders and drove her to the wall, an urn by the fireplace smashing in the wake of her leg. The clay edges scratched at her flesh and one large shard dug in with the force of the wall, a warm drip of blood trickling to her shoe. She made a point not to scream. "Stop it!"

"I see it in your eyes, you filthy strumpet! You don't think I know your womanly sins? I married a whore, you know; you're all the same, you bitches. Every last--"

"I told you--" She drew the knife from her apron and jabbed. Wild eyes bulging, he let go of her, stumbling back and buckling over at once. "--to STOP IT!"

The door burst open and in spilled her husband and a half dozen others. Shaking with mingled fear and fury, she sought refuge in Severin's arms while the guards dealt with their convict, now lying on his dirty floor, bleeding and oozing from where no man ever wanted to take a blade.



Van said...

*hobbles off for ice*

Winter said...

My skin is crawling. How dare Nora have breasts and hair in his presence and not wish to be rapedOh! I'm surprised he could see she had eyes with all that skin showing from the collarbone up.

I certainly hope he isn't maimed for life... *whistle*. That wouldn't be a fitting punishment (along with a hanging, if that preview picture is anything to go by... :( )

Winter said...

I have no idea what happened with that Oh!. D'oh.

Van said...

Sad thing is, I still hear the occasional asshole saying that sort of crap nowadays. Like anything short of nun garb is "asking for it". :S

He may very well be maimed for life, though "life" may not necessarily mean a significant amount of time in this case...

Eh, Blogger goofs sometimes. Especially if you're commenting from a phone, when autocorrect can contribute. :S

Ann said...

Wow. Just wow. To think that this happens in real life... bastards like this one thinking any woman is fair game and wants it too... It makes me so sick and mad at once.

Great job, Van!

Penelope said...


That was unexpected. I mean, Grayer was expected but his demi-castration was not. I am curious about how Alsina will react to this. Will she feel relieved? She doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would feel a sense of victory at someone else's mutilation and probable execution, even if he is her rapist. Or if she did, she would feel somehow guilty for feeling it.

I am curious about Nora's strategy here. Why did she need to play dress-up and enter his shop? Why wouldn't she just wait until he was arrested and then go in to see him? And what if he had just sold her some pork? Would that have been mission accomplished for her? Or was she hoping to have a reason to use that knife? Honestly, once in custody, she wouldn't have needed a reason. Or he is so notorious that there was no way that he was going to pass up that opportunity to violate her? If that's the case, then his actions should have created enough of an uproar that he would have been arrested years ago. And I forget... Had Alsina been keeping his identity a secret? Knowing Aldhein as we do by now, I find it hard to believe that he could stay away from murdering this man if he knew that this was the guy. In fact, where IS Aldhein?

Van said...

Ann: I would hope that most of these assholes get what's coming to them, but rape so often goes unreported. :S

Pen: I don't think Alsina will learn about this. She's bound to hear about the execution if it happens, but any injuries sustained before that won't be common knowledge. In any case, Alsina doesn't like to think about Grayer, which is fair.

As for Nora, it was a matter of personal justice. I think she was telling herself that playing bait would give the guards the element of surprise, but I think she wanted to prove further exactly what he is, or at least invite further questioning. The knife was a necessary precaution.

As for Grayer's notoriety... well, that's why I had to invent the business partner. He's around most of the time, and Grayer doesn't show his depravity around him. So, I figure the rate here is low enough that his lack of notoriety can be chalked up to lack of reporting, though that doesn't make the stats any less sickening.

Alsina never wanted to talk about him, so she didn't until Falidor and Nora found out a few posts ago. I doubt she told Aldhein, but I imagine Falidor will after Grayer's safely in jail. He'll be pissed that he didn't get to lay any smackdown, but I figured if anyone was going to, it had to be a woman.

Penelope said...

Hunh. I'm surprised that this incident won't get out. There are a number of witnesses (at least as many witnesses as there are guards posted outside), and a duchess wounding a man in the groin is pretty frick'n sensational. I can only assume that the guards know that they didn't just send any woman into that butcher's shop. If these are Severin's men, they would know Nora on sight, no? Unless these are Octavius's men? At least for Alsina's privacy we don't have to worry about people speculating about why Nora was there in the first place. I wonder how weird it will be for Nora spending time with her sister, knowing all the while that she'd sought out that kind of satisfaction for herself and gotten it.

Without Nora, they still very much had the element of surprise. The fact that he is at home conducting business as usual means that he was not expecting to be arrested. Not that he should have been expecting it-- not only does he not think that he has done nothing wrong but the brothel was shut down. That would seem like punishment enough to him for crimes that he still asserts were not crimes.

Was the business partner involved in brothel business or just slaughtering business?

Why do I get the feeling that few people want to do business with Grayer as a butcher?

Van said...

Eh--for the sake of keeping the story moving, I'm going to say it was a slow day in the village and there weren't many people out and about. Maybe it's a cop-out, but... eh. I'm at a point in my planning now where most of the things I'm most excited about writing are at least a few years away, so I don't want to bog down present stories with more fallout than necessary. We'll be seeing Alsina again before this wraps up, but her reaction to her sister stabbing her rapist in the groin would be several posts' worth of stuff, and I think she'd rather not know anyway (though she will be relieved to know that he's locked up and can't hurt anyone else). So the details of this event will stick to the people in the know.

As for the guards, some are Severin's, and some are Octavius's. They all knew that Nora was in there, standing by in case things went wrong.

Yeah, they still had the element of surprise, regardless of Nora's attempts at self-reassurance. Grayer's moral compass is pretty out of line, and he's been getting away with crap for years, so guards showing up would catch him off-guard.

The business partner was just involved in the butcher shop. Assuming he's upstanding enough that Grayer felt the need to hide his depravities around him, the brothel would have been in better shape if he'd had some input.

Ekho said...

"thin lips writhing like worms in rainwater" LOVE that line!
Grr, this really pissed me off. How he attempted to blame her for his advances - it's never the victims fault, under any circumstances.
I hope Nora is okay after this, it only takes one horrible man to destroy the reputation of all men.

Van said...

Yeah, that whole attitude is damn toxic. It just causes a ton of shit. :S

Nora is a little shaken up, but she'll be okay after she gets a little time to recover.