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Flight for Freedom


This is really long, but I was hoping to get some feedback on it.

Flight for Freedom​
Isabella Goudi looks out over the tranquil Mediterranean Sea. Her gaze is transfixed on the azul waters breaking over the weather beaten pebbles beneath her toes. Her silken chestnut locks blow across her honey face in the moist, salty breeze and her satin gown clings to her milky legs. In the distance gulls swoop down to the water’s surface to catch small fish. The palm trees sway in the soft winds. Behind her is a grand stone wall that rises far above her head made to protect her home from an angry sea. Her father is a wealthy merchant and her mother a lady of the courts. Isabella hears her mother’s voice calling from the window for her. Her head tilts towards the sky and she takes in a few last moments of freedom before she meanders towards home, her prison. Isabella slowly climbs the steps to her back door. When she was young she would skip merrily up the 50 steps and into a warm sunny porch. But now each step takes her deeper into the lion’s den. Her father is with Bruits Montello on the porch drinking Sangria and laughing. Bruits is a cantankerous older man with the mind of a shark and the body of Buddha. Isabella stops only long enough to curtsy quickly and rush past them into the safety of her room.
“Your little Isabella is growing into quite the young woman, Ricco.” Bruits strokes his thin gray beard. “She would make a fine wife.”
“But Bruits, she’s not but fifteen years old. She’s hardly of age to become a wife.”
“If Isabella were to wed me, it would be a great advantage to you. All that is mine would be yours through her.” He sips his drink and looks upon the crashing waves. “Think about it Ricco. You know where to find me.” Bruits drains his glass and gets up to leave taking one last look at Isabella through the open doorway and licks his lips.
“Mother, I don’t like the way that Bruits looks at me. I don’t think it’s entirely proper. He’s nearly triple my age. “
“Proper or not, he has money and power and that is what is needed to succeed. He is a very successful man Isabella. It would behoove you to take a shining to him for I think he may already have his eye on you.”
“But Mother, I’m not yet fifteen.”
“Yes, and while you are young, you are still an eligible lady of the court and you must begin to act as such. You have all but abandoned your studies to romp about on the beach like some animal child. You must concentrate on your duties. Your Father has made many sacrifices for you and you must repay him by obeying his wishes whatever they might be. Now go and wash up for supper. You are absolutely filthy.” Isabella somberly marches to her room to change and wash up. While there she looks about at her dolls and remembers days not so long ago when she was free to dress them up. She would pretend that they were in the royal court all bidding for the eye of the prince. But those happy times were behind her now. She looks over at her amour. How quickly she has been forced to grow up. Scattered along the surface of her amour are perfumes her father has brought her from far away lands and an ivory brush and silver looking glass. Both are engraved with her name in a beautiful script: Isabella Goudi. She closes her eyes and sighs deeply. “Such is the life I lead,” she murmurs.
At supper Isabella is dressed in a starched white satin gown and is seated to the left of her Father. Their servant Monique gracefully serves them lobster bisque and fills their goblets. Her eyes often wander to Isabella and are filled with sorrow, but her mouth, as always, stays firmly closed.
“Today is a joyous day for our family, for today is the day that Bruits has asked for Isabella for his wife,” announces Ricco.
“But father! You can’t actually be considering giving me to that horrid old man!”
“I’m afraid you have no choice in the matter. I’ve already decided to take him up on his generous offer of an equal share of his estate for your hand in marriage.” Isabella’s face goes pale as does her mother’s.
“But Ricco, surely there must be someone more suitable who is closer to Isabella’s own age. We can’t just sell our only daughter off to the highest bidder.”
“There is no one more suitable offering at this time. The arrangements are to be made as soon as possible. The sooner the wedding, the sooner the benefits for us my dear. This is how the system works and we all know it.” Isabella’s eyes drop to the floor and stay there the rest of the meal. As soon as she can she flees to her room and throws herself upon the bed. She’s shaking violently with her sobs. Her heavy Cyprus door opens with a loud creak as her mother gingerly steps in. She caresses her daughter’s hair and holds her tightly to her bosom.
“It’s not right mother. He’s so old and he always smells of fish. How could father possibly force me to marry such an ogre?”
“Your father is only doing what he feels is best not only for you but for us as well. Bruits has promised your father great wealth in exchange for you. Besides, your father is much older than I am and look, we have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful life. Things will turn out for the best.” Her mother leaves as quietly as she entered. Isabella sits up and wipes her face.
Yes, things will turn out for the best, but only if I leave now. If I’m not here they can’t force me to marry him. I’ll go to Rome. Yes. Rome is so large that nobody will ever find me there. I’ll disguise myself as a peasant. It’s ingenious. It has to work. Isabella races to gather some things together. She looks at her brush and looking glass. The ivory is smooth and cool to the touch and her image is sad, yet determined. She packs them away in her satchel and starts off into the night towards Rome to start her new life in anonymity.
Upon daybreak she finds herself starving and without any food. I wish I’d thought to bring something to eat or drink. I’m starving and so thirsty. But she keeps going for she knows her father and mother will be looking for her as soon as they discover she’s run off. In the distance she sees a ribbon of smoke rising high into the air. That must be someone’s home. Perhaps I can find some food there. Her pace quickens as her stomach rumbles with the thought of even just a crust of bread and a glass of water. When she arrives at the humble cottage she is greeted warmly by an elderly woman with bosoms that reach to her belly and downy white hair. Her skin is wrinkled and the color of leather. Her clothes are old, but mended nicely and her mouth moves faster than an angry hornet.
“Oh dear, you must be starving. We don’t see many travelers around here. If you’d like to help me, you’re welcome to what we have for breakfast.” Isabella starts to thank the woman, but she’s cut off. “These here are our chickens. We’ve raised chickens ever since I can remember. The freshest eggs you’ll find for miles around. And that man over there is my husband. Don’t mind him, he’s shy.” The elderly man tips his hat at Isabella and offers a small smile. He’s all but bald with freckles on his scalp. His face is clean shaven and his hands scarred and calloused. He appears feeble but is amazingly strong. “So where are you off to in such a hurry in those fancy clothes of yours? Oh, I suppose you’re off to the city. A young lady such as your self must be off to find adventure in the city.” Isabella bent to help the woman gather eggs for the meal. “Oh, where are my manners? I’m Enid LaSuer and my husband is Edmond LaSuer. What is your name child? I can’t call very well call you child when you’re almost grown as you are.”
“My name is Isabella. Gou….. Isabella.”
“Well Isabella, we’ll get you cleaned up and right as rain in no time flat.” Isabella smiled. She felt at home with this bubbly old woman. They went into the cottage and carefully placed the eggs in a bowl on the kitchen table. Isabella looked around. In the corner was a decrepit bed with a worn quilt and pillows so flat Isabella doubted they had any feathers left in them. Over the sink were spices bunched up to dry. There was an inviting fireplace in the center of the wall and a ladder leading to a loft. In another bowl on the table were fresh olives. “I know it isn’t much, but it’s all we have. If you’d like there’s a bed up in the loft and you’re welcome to it once you’ve eaten. You look as if you haven’t slept a wink in ages.”
“Thank you ma’am.”
“Call me Enid. We’re out in the country. There’s hardly a need for formalities anymore.”
“Alright, Enid.” The two smiled at each other and got to work cooking up a hearty breakfast.
While washing the dishes after supper that night Isabella sighed. “I wish I never had to leave. I feel so comfortable here. It’s as if I really belong.”
“Well I don’t see a problem with you staying. That is, if you really want to.” This was the first time Isabella had heard Edmond speak. Her eyes welled up with tears.
“Do you really mean it?”
“Of course we do. You can stay in the loft. Since our children have all grown and started families of their own it’s gotten quite lonely around here. You can help Enid with the housework and light farm chores, what there is anyway. We’d be delighted to have you as part of our family.” Isabella let the flood gates open and ran to hug the elderly man. “Whoa, take it easy. These old bones aren’t what they used to be.” Enid smiled. Isabella was finally loved for who she really was.
“Isabella, wake up…. Isabella. Stop playing games now. We have a very busy day of planning ahead of us if we’re to get this wedding planned…. Isabella?” Isabella’s mother opened the heavy door that lead to her room and quickly started down the hall and to the kitchen. “Monique, have you seen Isabella this morning?”
“No ma’am. Last I saw of her was at the supper table last night. Is there anything wrong?”
“She’s missing. I haven’t the slightest idea where she could have gone and we have no time for her disappearing act.”
“Perhaps she’s on the beach ma’am. You know how she likes the water.”
“No, her looking glass and brush are missing. She must have run off after hearing her father’s news last evening. I’ll have to inform him. He’ll be livid, but we must find our daughter. There’s too much at stake.” She turns quickly on her heels and as she rushes off her satin skirts ruffle noisily. “Ricco, she’s gone. She’s just up and left us without so much as a word.”
“Isabella. She’s run off to avoid being wed.”
“She’s what?! Well, where did she go?”
“If I knew she would be home again already. You’ll have to send some men out to find her.” Ricco storms off to set up a search party and Isabella’s mother collapses in the chair.
After weeks of living with the LaSuers Isabella had found her freedom and was loving every moment of it. She was out in the pasture basking in the sunshine and picking wild flowers for Enid when Edmond came racing up to her.
“Isabella, there is a woman at the house. She said she needs to speak to you urgently.” Isabella’s heart leapt into her throat. Have they finally found me? They couldn’t have. Not when I’m finally so happy. She dropped her basket and ran to the house. When she arrived she burst through the door and saw Monique standing near the door. Isabella gaped at her.
“Monique, whatever are you doing here? They’ve found me haven’t they?”
“Yes Miss Isabella. They have. They’re only just an hour behind me. Whatever are you going to do?” Isabella looked to Enid for the answer.
“Isabella, you have to do what’s right for you. Whatever you decide I’ll stand behind you.”
“As will I.” said Edmond as he came through the door with Isabella’s basket. “You’ve become another daughter to us and we’ll help you through whatever this is.”
“Monique, you must go. Father must not know that you warned me of his arrival. You need your job far too much.”
“But Miss…”
“Monique… go.” The look on Isabella’s slender face was not one to be reckoned with. Monique slipped out the door and through the pasture back home to her kitchen. Enid, Edmond and Isabella sat around the worn table and awaited her father’s arrival.
After what seemed like an eternity the three heard a pounding at the door.
“Open this door immediately. I know you have my daughter in there!” Edmond rose to let him in. Ricco burst through the door with the power of a title wave. “Just wait till I get my hands on you, you little tart. What makes you think you have the right to run away from me?!” he hollered indignantly.
“Now just a minute; you have no right to speak to her that way. She’s just a child.”
“I’ll speak to my daughter however I please old man. Now let me at her. I’m taking her home where she belongs.”
“Why? So you can marry me off and live in your new wealth? Father, I’m not leaving. I’m finally happy right where I am. These two wonderful old souls have taken me in and love me more than you ever will.” Her father snorted.
“What does love have to do with anything? I’m taking you home. Now get in the carriage.”
“No father. I won’t.” Her father moves towards her but Edmond steps in his way.
“How dare you?” he glares. “Let me have my daughter.”
“Isabella has spoken sir. She doesn’t want to leave, so I suggest you go on your way without her.”
“I’m her father! What I do with her is of no concern to you.”
“You may be her father by blood, but that is all. A true father would never treat his daughter like you treat this tender young soul. Now, we don’t want no trouble here, so you’d better just move along.” Isabella looked at Enid in awe as she placed her hand on Isabella’s shoulder.
“Father, I will not marry Bruits nor will I marry anyone you choose for me. I will not live miserably just so that you may live in comfort.” The rage in her father’s eyes intensified. Edmond pointed to the door.
“I believe you have more than overstayed your welcome.” Her father glared at the three of them.
“This is not over. I will have my daughter and she will marry whom I choose.”
“No she will not.” Isabella’s mother stepped into the doorway. “I have stood aside while you fill your corrupt mind with ideas of worldly pleasures that you will receive at the suffering of my only child.” She turns to Isabella. “I know I told you to obey your father and do what he tells you, but in this case, you must be true to yourself Isabella.” She kisses her daughter on the cheeks as a tear rolls down her own. “Please take care of my daughter.” Enid nods.
“I will ma’am.; as if she was my own flesh and blood.” Then Isabella’s mother turns to Ricco, let’s return home.
“You can’t be serious. Think of all you’re throwing away!”
“No, I’m looking at all that I’ve gained.” Ricco looked at his wife with bewilderment but follows her to the carriage.
“I’m free.” Isabella whispers. “I’m finally truly free.” She steps out into the sunlight and smiles for she can finally just be Isabella Goudi.


Angel of Death
Good description, but half way through the dialog and thoughts were simpley not that of the culture you are trying to display.

For one thing the father would of never questioned a man with money for the age of his daughter... you might want to word that a bit diffrent, and the daughter would of never spoke like that about the way the man was looking at her, nor would of man of such culture lick his lips in that terms.

I know I am not the greatest of writers Mag... I am just saying to truly reach that depth you have to had a bit of more realist drama into it.

For instance a simple smile of glee and the daughter turning to her mother and being a bit more niave... such as "Why does he always have to smile at me like that?" and the mother replying with something like "He wants to be your husband" and the daughter getting into the he is so much older then me blahblah.

I haven't finished it mag but not because I don't want too....

Great story I hope my tips help ya.