Hernando opened the trapdoor just a crack and peered down into the dusty lanternlight. The margay was quickly exhausting, throwing herself against the walls of the glass box and now stuck in a foot of ever-rising water over past the hem of her blue dress.
The honey badger nursed a bloody arm with a roll of gauze and pulled something from his pocket—his weathered old pocketwatch. “You’ve got about five minutes,” he said to her, studying it.
His scowl inverted into a perverse smirk. “Enjoying yourself?”
“But you always liked the tank…that’s why you had me build it, remember? That’s why you always put me in it, remember?”
So chapter six of “The Fatal Commons” is finally done. I’ve had the draft sitting started since early January, but it was…really odd to write. Not just personally, but structurally too. About the time I dredged it up from the depths, I realized that Hernando probably shouldn’t have been the villain I was angling to make him because the reason he was even like that (which is what this chapter consists of) kinda justifies his feelings.
To explain a little more clearly: Hernando isn’t a character I came up with for the story. The RPs I used to do with Brianna (which I sorta hinted at in the origin post) used to have a whole cast of side-characters, and one of them was a dhole assistant to my honey badger narrator, Hernando Valerio. Naturally, he got caught in a lot of our strange happenings: I remember a lot of gay “romance” (read: drunk fucking) between Hernando and Cameron of Applebury, which was all for her amusement, and of course, the big drowning box. The “tank”, as it were.
To reiterate, Brianna was like 22 to my 15 at the time, so very much in the “this is wrong” range on its own, let alone the serial killer “fascinations” she had.
In any case, I always wanted to use him for something nicer, so when I put him and Felix together, I figured I’d…make part of the plot hinge on those RPs and Hernando feeling violated at what happened. “The Fatal Commons” was always supposed to be a nice send-off to the early Calelira, so it made sense to rewrite his character and start laying what he was involved in to rest, awkward as it is to talk about.
Aside from it being weird to write about being groomed (stuff I couldn’t even admit a year ago), I just wasn’t too sure how to structure it. The chronology jumps all over the place, but to make it a little clearer, the start and end are the present, everything in between is the past, and any italicized dialogue is Hernando’s recollection of events even further back (sorta like Felix’s thoughts earlier on). It took a lot of finagling to get it where I wanted it, but for something this personal, it came out as well as it could’ve.
I have good things planned for my long-suffering little lads. And hey, Brianna’s narrator is officially dead!
This song comes to mind, so I’ll just leave it at that. Back to the normal story next chapter.
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