Raven Heart- Part One




Raven Redwing stood under the pulsating streams of deliciously hot water coming from the new shower head she bought the day before, uttering a groan of pure bliss as it massaged her aching muscles. Everyone needed a new shower head like this one, she thought, as it magically eased the stress from her body. Between her job, her best friend Tia trying to hook her up with dates and those same dates calling her constantly, Raven was stressed to the max. She stayed in until the water turned lukewarm, cursing the size of the water tank in her building. Squeezing excess water from her long, inky-black hair, she grabbed a towel, deftly winding it around her head in a turban. Drying off with another towel, she threw on a pair of comfy pajamas, her fluffy bear slippers and headed out into the kitchen to make some herbal tea. It was going to be such a good night. Raven smiled at the clickety-click of her Pomeranian’s nails on the floor as he followed her from room to room as if she was going to disappear. Toby was an old boy, turning thirteen this year, but you’d never know it by the way he acted. Just as spry and excitable as when he was two, the dog was her constant, loving shadow.

“Hey, you little munchkin!” she crooned, stooping to take his fur face in her hands and kiss his button nose. “You ready to chill with mommy?”

Three sharp barks was her answer as he danced around her feet, following her into the living room. Raven’s apartment, on the third floor of an old Brownstone, was her pride and joy. She lucked out getting this apartment because only her place and one other in the eight-unit building had a working fireplace. The neighborhood wasn’t so hot, but the apartment layout, the fireplace and view of the city lights from a large, picture window made up for its location. She only paid $1200 a month, a steal compared to the other dumps she looked at for the same price.

Sitting in her recliner, Toby on her lap and a warm cup of tea on the end table, she switched on the television for the news. A knock on her door startled her just as she was getting ready to sip her tea, making her spill some on her pajamas.

“Dammit!” she exclaimed angrily, “now who the hell is knocking this late?”

Tia always called before she came over, so it couldn’t be her. Standing up, Toby moaning at having his comfort zone interrupted, she went to the door and peeked out of the peephole. Seeing a man in a work uniform, she was puzzled. This late at night?

“Who is it?” she yelled, not wanting to open the door.

“Maintenance, ma’am,” a deep voice answered, “There’s been a gas leak in the building and the boss wanted me to check everyone’s apartment for the source, sorry for the inconvenience.”

“This late at night?” Raven implored, not feeling good about it, “Do you have any credentials? Some identification?”

“Yes, ma’am, right here,” he confirmed, holding up his badge that hung around his neck to the peephole.

She briefly surveyed the badge, noticing he wore black gloves. A red flag cautioned her not to open the door just yet. Putting the chain lock on, she opened it just a crack.

“Did you say a gas leak?” she asked, wanting to get a full view of him.

He looked back over his shoulder, checking for any nosy neighbors, catching Raven by surprise as he used his shoulder to force his way in, kicking the door shut behind him. Raven gave out a short, shrill scream and ran, Toby following close behind, barking hysterically at the intruder. Just before she made it to her bedroom, she felt the towel ripped violently off her head, her long, black hair spilling out. The man grabbed a handful, yanking her head back and throwing her to the floor. Toby turned into a snarling demon, sinking his sharp little teeth into the man’s ankle. Bringing his foot back, he kicked the little dog across the room, where he lay still.

“NO! Oh, God, not my Toby!” Raven screamed in horror, “Please, oh, please let me go!”

Her attacker viciously punched her full in the face, rocking her head to the side with the force of it, blood spraying the egg-shell white walls. Her heart almost stopped when he revealed the blade, its gleaming metal reflecting the overhead light. Placing the tip just under her chin, he used his other hand to tear off her pajama bottoms, his eyes locking with hers. Grinning evilly, Raven saw he had a gold grill on his teeth, making him seem demonic. With the knife, he carved into the tender skin around her breasts, eliciting a screech of pain, then moved the knife up to cut her from the corner of her eye to her chin. Blood poured into the cream colored carpet.

Kicking and screaming, she fought like a wildcat as he punched and slapped her, tearing her top away as he drooled and grunted like an animal. Unbuckling his pants with one hand, he tore away her black, lacy underwear, spreading her legs with his knee. Holding her hands above her head, he dipped his face down to her heaving breasts, biting her and tearing her nipple. She screamed in agony. Placing his hand over her mouth, he penetrated her with such force, the tender tissue inside of her tore violently. A virgin, her first time was excruciating and terrifying. As he raped her, she fell strangely silent and submissive, her blackened, swollen eyes glazed and far away. The last thing she remembered was him standing up covered in her blood, pulling up his pants and delivering a savage kick to her face.



Raven groggily pulled herself from the depths, entering into a world of pain. Unable to open her swollen black eyes, she gingerly touched the bandages around her face and head.

“Easy now, I’ll get the doctor, honey,” a woman’s voice said softly, “you’re safe now.”

As the memory of the past events filled her with despair, she struggled to sit up, crying out in pain. She knew that she’d never feel safe again. With anguish, she thought of Toby as salty tears ran down her cheeks, soaking her bandages. That animal killed her best friend. A keening wail came from deep inside, filling the small room with her pain. Just as the doctor came into the room, Raven sank back into blessed darkness.

“Well, young lady, those bandages are about to come off today, you excited?” Dr. Briar asked, “It’s been exactly a month, you ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be, Doc,” Raven said, unsmiling and taking the small mirror he handed her. “I’m not sure I’m ready to look.”

“We’ll see, I think you might be pleasantly surprised,” Dr. Briar told her, “Dr. Walsh, the attending plastic surgeon did a wonderful job. Okay, you ready?”

“I suppose,” she said, “I guess it’s now or never.”

Dr. Briar cut the gauze gently, her nimble fingers unwinding the outer bandages painstakingly slow until she reached the last layer.

“Okay, my dear, moment of truth,” she told the trembling woman on the exam table. “It’s going to look a little puffy and bruised, but that’s normal. You’re still in the healing stage. Here we go.”

Author Notes

Revision of an older story.

9 Comments for “Raven Heart- Part One”

Raymond Tobaygo


Good afternoon, Riss

Quite a change, going from her innocence to the brutality she was forced to endure. Very graphic; you could feel her emotional and physical pain. The scene was spot on as were both characters. Enjoyed the read.

Some suggestions
I noticed you use a lot of adjectives, which to me hinders the flow. Example describing the color of the wall and the rug.

Raven smiled at the (clickety-click of…sound) her Pomeranian’s nails

“Dammit!” she exclaimed angrily, “ Dammit with an exclamation point conveys her feelings

He looked back over his shoulder, checking for any nosy neighbors, catching Raven by surprise as he used his shoulder to force his way in, kicking the door shut behind him. Maybe two sentences in stead of one?

Raven gave (out) a short, shrill scream

skin around her breasts, eliciting a (screech)( painful (scream?)of pain, then moved the knife up to cut her from the corner of her eye to her chin.

her blackened, swollen eyes (glazed and far away. ??????)

A (keening ???) wail came from deep inside,

Going on to part 2

Take care and stay safe,




Ray, first, thank you so much for reading Raven’s Heart, much appreciated. Second, I value your suggestions to make the story better most of all. So, too many adjectives, noted. I will make corrections. I think that’s one of my many writing flaws to work on. Thank you for pointing that out.


This is a pretty hardcore bait-and-switch. It’s effective at setting up reader expectations and then yanking the rug out. The end is very powerful.

The setup doesn’t suck me in, though. I know Raven has dark hair, she’s stressed, she has a dog, she likes showers. None of those things are particularly interesting. By that, I mean that I don’t know what makes her different from other women, or why I should empathize with her, other than the fact she’s normal. I know the set-up needs to be mundane before the action, but give the reader a little something deeper, so I know who she is, or what she wants. Or, consider cutting most of the set-up and starting en media res. You nail the important part, which is the big punch at the end. Give the reader a reason to care enough to read that far.

Few little things:

“Raven Redwing” sounds like a spunky YA hero, which is not what you want for something this dark. I’d recommend changing “Redwing” to something less on-the-nose.

Raven is the only one speaking at the start, so you don’t need all the dialog tags; the speaker is implied. When you do, not everything has to be an action verb (implored, crooned, yelled, etc.). “Said” is usually enough.

Your descriptions are strong, to the point where you don’t need all those pointed adverbs (grinning *evilly*) or adjective phrases (screamed *in horror*). They’re actually diluting, rather than adding. I would cut most of them, and let your verbs speak for themselves.

Very emotional work. Thanks for sharing.



Thank you SO much for your critique on the story. That is so valuable to me. Ray also mentioned the adverbs and i will def on that and also try to make Raven a more memorable character. (Noted about the name, too.) Thank you so much, David.


My God, brutal doesn’t begin to describe this. You did a great job describing the rape without going too far into the description. I haven’t seen this one before, and I’m chomping at the bit to see what happens next. Excellent job of story-telling here.

Couple of nits:

* “Grinning evilly, Raven saw he had a gold grill on his teeth, making him seem demonic.”- Reads as if Raven was the one grinning evilly.

* “As ready as I’ll ever be, Doc…” – Seems a little flippant for Raven in that state, not quite what I’d expect her to say.

Minor nits. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Write on!

charles stone


I remember this also. I noticed a couple tense mix-ups. Brutal!!
“Squeezing(present) excess water from her long, inky-black hair, she grabbed(past) a towel”

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