I'm writing a chapter as part of a collaborative novel with other students at my university. I would really appreciate feedback for this, praise or criticism of any kind.
The background to the story is an orphanage that burns down and my chapter is the story of one of the orphans and his life now.
The stallions were back.
It was a while since they’d been. The hatred of that stupid label my uncle Alan had thought up consumed me, yet somehow I couldn’t bring myself to call them anything else. It’d still stuck after all these years.
“Mares! That come in the night! They’re-a gallopin’ through, all right.” He’d say. “Don’t let them stallions scare ya, son. They’re not real.”
I could still feel those beady eyes examining my very core, shining like marbles as the moonlight caught them eerily; his stooping frame hovering over me, his raspy breath heating my face like the snorts of a stallion. I'd shy away as the shaking hand loomed to dab my forehead with that darned linen cloth. He would cough wheezily and then, because he didn’t know what else to do, he’d leave me in the cold darkness, staring up at the artex ceiling. I’d lie there, petrified by the wild images that roamed in my head; a young mind tortured by things I couldn't comprehend. These stallions weren’t majestic and beautiful but coal black, vaporous and swirling; hundreds of them had come to pound my flesh into a pulp of confusion and fear; fear that crept up and scorched my back, flogging me again and again with brick-like hooves. And I didn't know why. Countless hours of internet research, 20 therapy sessions, and a lifetime of frustration later, the source of my vivid catalogue of images of being chased and repeatedly fleeing a hazy fiery scene still evaded me. At least now, I was finally able to deal with them on my own. The soothing low orange glow of the streetlamps, ever nocturnal, comforting like a blanket in winter, streams through my apartment window every time I wake, my bed damp with sweat. Isolation didn't make it any more bearable though.
I sat on the edge of the bed which creaked a little, the dim light sucking up my resolve to move. Sitting for a while, elbows propped up on thighs, I let empty thoughts like a hundred miniature digital butterflies flitter around in my head. The alarm struck up a piercing chorus after 4 minutes and I slapped it silent in irritation. Sighing heavily, I walked to the bathroom and splashed my face with water, rubbing it roughly in an attempt to fend off the sluggish weight.
Another day. Another week. The monotony was suffocating. I had to do something about it. Soon.