Story [Sweeney Todd] The Threshold - angst, one-shot, Benjamin Barker

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Qui-Gon_Reborn, Nov 6, 2010.

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  1. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Title: The Threshold
    Author: Qui-Gon_Reborn
    Genre: Angst, angst, angst.
    Timeframe: Benjamin's been in prison for about a week.
    Characters: Benjamin Barker, of course. :p
    Summary: Before Sweeney Todd began his legendary quest for revenge, he was a simple man, an educated man, an innocent man cast into exile and imprisoned on a false charge.


    Two large doors separated the meticulous rows of barred cells from the remainder of the prison. They were ten feet high, six feet wide, and two feet deep, built from solid concrete that was chipped, molded, and poured by the calloused hands of murderers, thieves, and political inconveniences. When they opened those doors to let the warm, stifling air carry away the scent of fear and stale vomit and dried blood, the doors scraped against the floor with an audible moan that sent a shiver down the spine of the most deadened of souls.

    Benjamin Barker hated those doors.

    The doors were unbolted at the beginning of each day. After they groaned and protested their way open, a throng of uniformed guards would enter the narrow area that separated the rows of cells. There were at least a dozen guards present at one time. They were large, uniformed men with soft bellies and hard eyes. For safety?s sake they traveled in groups, which made it difficult to move around, since the corridor between the cells was darker than a proverbial dark alley and twice as cramped. They carried a single bucket of slop punctuated by the occasional piece of dried meat, a concoction that was referred to as food simply because it was the only thing the prisoners had to eat.

    The prisoners heard the guard detail shuffling along minutes before they could see them. And as soon as those doors were opened, the prisoners clamored to the bars, four or five of them in each cell, throwing themselves at the doors and walls and screaming like madmen. A few of them really were madmen. Most of them were on their way to being madmen. All of them would eventually live as madmen. The guards pulled out their batons and beat the prisoners over the head until they fell back, then ladled the watery porridge into filthy tin bowls, passing them through the bars. The prisoners grunted and clawed at each other until most of the food ended up on the floor. When they were too exhausted to continue fighting, whoever had any strength left fell to their knees and licked up the remains.

    During his first week in prison, whenever the doors opened, Benjamin sat in the corner farthest from the door, his back against the wall, and waited for the insanity to pass. He didn?t get anything to eat, but he didn?t get beaten to death, either. He stayed out of the way, and he didn?t allow himself to be hurt. He kept his head lowered, and no one noticed he was there.

    But it wasn?t long before the gnawing demon in his stomach began to eat away at his good sense, and his legs began to feel weak, and his arms grew heavy. It was an effort to lift his head every morning. It was a struggle to go to sleep every night. Then, one day, when the doors opened, and Benjamin?s eyes opened, he made a decision. It wasn?t a conscious decision, and he could never remember having made it, but the decision was made. The doors opened, the guards shuffled in, and Benjamin Barker was the first man to the bars.

    There was a short pause while his cellmates adjusted to this strange new development, but it didn?t last very long. A small man with crooked teeth and yellow eyes sized up Benjamin with a glance, and leapt at him like a caged animal experiencing its first bite of freedom. Benjamin gasped in shock, flinching but too slow to duck, and his head was rammed into the bars. His vision clouding, Benjamin?s body went completely limp and he slid to the floor. His ears began to ring, and he felt something hot and sticky on his forehead.

    The pain was dull and distant, but the ringing was sharp. The cool stone felt good against Benjamin?s sweaty back. He wanted to stay down there and sleep for a few years. He allowed his breathing to become slow and deep./>
  2. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    It was an odd habit, leaving something so human as a name in a place so far removed from humanity.

    Very chilling and kind of distrubing, but also awesome. I love that he's slowly choosing a new name and the bit abotu writing "S" and "T" without knowing what it means--yet. Great vig!
  3. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Thank you! :D I almost hated writing something so depressing, but I was inspired by The Shawshank Redemption to start thinking about Benjamin's transformation into Sweeney. It was a cool subject to experiment with.
  4. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    Intense and moving look into how he became Sweeney.

    =D=
  5. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Thank you with muchness. :D
  6. Miana Kenobi Costuming & Props Mod - Retired Admin

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    Oooh, nicely done! I love the insight on his slip into madness. Great job!
  7. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
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