May 11, 2005

Sara Buckle - "Love With Deception" & "Abuse of Power"

I know I haven't done one of these in a while, and there are more to come. I've just been working like crazy and I've been noting them down as I go which ones remain stories that keep bringing me back one way or another or ones that simply compel me to comment on - even if they essentially don't get 'reviewed' in any typical format. This story is also set off a whole lot of research for me into the topic of domestic violence in same-sex partnerships.

The current set of stories has more than compelled me, but rather twisted my emotions around and got me thinking more seriously about something that doesn't really get the attention it needs (justice wise) for the victims. This current set, while it does use the characters of the Bad Girls universe, it does not use the general storyline or arc of the series at all. Effectively it is an uber story, not alternate universe though (as has been done well in some Xena: Warrior Princess stories of Melissa Good, B.L. Miller, and Sharon Bowers). Thusly, one could read these stories without having seen the series to understand the characters and their emotional detachments and attachments. Both stories (though the second one is not completed but near to completion) involve domestic partner violence (physical, emotional, and mental) between same-gender couples and its effect on their other relationships (friendships, professional, etc).

"Love With Deception" is archived at Bad Girls Fan Fiction - Completed Stories section, and won the 2002 LEAF (Larkhall Enhanced Awards for Fanfics) Awards for Best Short Piece. The second story, "Abuse of Power", is equally stark and dramatic (without being melodramatic), and can be found on the EZBoard Writer's Block site - you don't actually have to have a (free) membership to read it, just to respond to the postings.

The stories use occasional flashbacks that are not jarring (except for their content) but not so much that the reader loses the progression of the story. It is done in an effective manner as one might recall past events that so starkly point out how painful a memory is and how it immediately effects the present course. The basic outline of the story is that Nikki has been involved in a 9-year relationship with Trish. Trish over the course of the nine years has become emotionally, and physically abusive and controlling, and Nikki has been suffering through this, hoping things will improve, trying to avoid fights, but being worn down in the process in many ways. The two of them not only shared a house but run a nightclub together. Towards the end of that relationship, she meets someone - Helen, a paramedic, who at the time saves Nikki's life and then someone she gradually becomes friends with, but is very reluctant to discuss her history of the abusive relationship with the new friend. Not understanding that somebody is there to help, listen and care for without any strings attached, and without any big expectations. Trish starts believing that Nikki is having an affair and beats her black and blue. Over the course of time and over the two stories, Helen helps Nikki gradually take control of her own life, recognise that her thoughts and feelings matter. The stories are actually very intense and I don't recommend that you read it all in one go. Have tissues around. And if necessary a good friend to talk to if you need it.

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