Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Second Chance Sara by Marietta Miles - February Femmes Fatales

Marietta Miles is the newest guest to The Feardom, and to February Femmes Fatales. She is a beguiling mystery, playing with words that leave you seeking more - and we welcome her most sincerely.

I urge you to nip over to Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers after you read Second Chance Sara. You'll find Marietta's charmingly chilling tale Opal waiting patiently for you. This was my first encounter with Marietta's writing and I am so glad she subsequently offered to write a piece for FFF.

Mesdames - and those messieurs that slide through the Feardom's corridors - please welcome, and enjoy Marietta Miles's...


In the waking heat of a North Carolina summer boarders at Sumter’s Second Chance Camp continued their heavy sleep. All boarders save Sara Jane. She pulled a buggy filled with rocks, rope and gardening tools to the cottage where she taught Biology. The buggy was heavy but Sara Jane was a deceptively powerful girl.

Often she would go unnoticed in the camp. She was different from those around her. She was a dandelion surrounded by roses. Sara Jane had the loveliest honey colored hair that would dance when the wind was right. Her father, dead from the war, had given her his piercing blue eyes. Her mother, a healthy mix of German and Italian passed on a round, solid body. Only decades and miles separated her from being considered a beauty.

Today, 1975, she was laughed at and gifted with malicious names. As a teen she held the pain of all the jeers deep inside. She would pray just to be forgotten. However, as she grew older she came to a lovely understanding. Her body, for all the extra pounds, was as strong as she needed it to be. She was no bending flower and Sara Jane was as strong as a man. From this realization her wicked visions grew.

The children she taught were sent to the camp by bored, bothered but well to-do parents who were concerned by their rebel rousing offspring. What these parents knew of their children could fill a thimble. What the children were capable of could choke a horse. Most of the camp teachers were college kids earning extra cash and hoping to hook up for the summer with either teacher or rich kid. Again Sara Jane was barely noticed.

On the other side of camp John Karl, of the Karl Lumber family finished his morning smoke. John was here because he never took no for an answer. His father, Big John Karl, told the seventeen year old that "NO" was for losers.

"You take no and you make it a yes boy." His father would yell. "I don't want a girl for a son." Senior would whoop it up while spilling his bourbon and coke.

Problem was John Karl ignored pleas from the wrong girl. For years he plied his aggressive tactics on girls beneath his class. John Karl's ego grew as he evolved into a desperately handsome young man. He forced his wants on the daughter of a well-off business partner to his Dad. Soon after this John Karl found himself at Second Chance Camp.

He passed the cabin he shared with five other senior boys. There had been a sixth boy. John Karl had reason to believe the boy was of a more delicate nature than most. After their second night at camp the boy was sent home with a black eye, bloody nose and a healthy fear of honesty. Now John Karl ran to the Biology cabin. He had been asked to help their counselor set up for the days lessons. He grinned at his suspicions. He believed the sad, little girl pined for him. He would start his morning feeling like a man.

Sara Jane did think of John Karl quite often. Yet it was in a manner he would find surprising. She wanted to be strong like John. It would be a dream to know your words were heard, your concerns were attended to or simply, that you mattered. Sara Jane wanted to be John Karl. The drudgery of being a plain girl was not for her. Her desire to change became a compulsion and now she had a date with John Karl.

He entered the cabin and closed the door behind him. John Karl wanted to make this girl Sara Jane cry for him. His eyes turned predatory. She was heavy, and her skin was pale but girls were all the same down below. His mind turned to hunting. She stood in front of her implement heavy desk and pointed out the window towards her small garden behind the cabin. She had stacked the rocks from her buggy next to a hole.

"We'll go to the garden first." Her small voice was lower than a whisper.

"Sounds fine." John Karl was smug.

"I love to get my hands dirty." Her voice grew stronger.

_________ The End _________

Bio: Marietta Miles lives in a slow southern town with her young family. She writes everyday and hopes to grow better with each word. When given free moments she loves to read Kate Chopin, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub, Orson Scott Card and more.

Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.