Profile of Magdi
Character Info
The Godless Conquerer
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Slave of Svalbard

Magdi is a Eximius that identifies as Female. Magdi was born on November 11, 1456 and is 20 years of age.

  • Height: 4’10
  • Weight: 100 lbs
  • Eye Color: Hazel
  • Hair Color: Strawberry blonde
( 155 Mana )
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Appearance
Nature has not been kind to Magdi—and humans were even less kind. Born with a host of congenital issues that left her markedly different in appearance, most issues are obvious on sight. She has a crooked, hunched back, that has left her with a sharp wedge shaped hump rising up from between her shoulders. Her arms and legs are too short, so that her hands and feet start halfway up from where they should have. Her fingers and toes are likewise affected, with the first four fingers on each hand and the last four toes on each foot stuck together, leaving only her thumbs and big toes free. She’s also quite short, standing at only 4 feet, 10 inches tall.

Less obvious are the issues with her skin, nails and hair. Her skin is covered in patchy pink places, appearing as lines on her arms and legs and circles on her back and stomach. The skin is thin in those places and easily cut. Magdi also has patches of darker skin that sometimes resemble freckles, especially on her face. Her nails are small and poorly formed as well. Her hair is a dull reddish blonde, and so fine it breaks when she brushes it. Her eyelashes and eyebrows are so thin, they almost aren’t there at all.

After her back, it is her face that Magdi is most self conscious about. Her jaw and forehead are unusually large, while her chin is unusually pointed, giving her whole face an overly exaggerated oblong shape that is emphasized by her hollow, barely there cheeks. The bridge of her nose is wide and flat and long, seeming to Magdi as if it is little more than a clumsy afterthought done by someone with little knowledge of what such a thing should look like.

Her eyes aren’t quite where they are meant to be either, with one a bit higher and the other a bit lower than was common. They don’t sit properly in their sockets, but curved inward, giving her eyelids an unusual appearance. The top were sunken in, while the bottom were swollen, and so she was left with permanent bags underneath her eyes. Magdi’s eyes are also quite small, and very round, seeming to her to be far rounder than proper eyes ought to be. Their color is hazel, and so they seem gray in certain lights, blue in others, and brown or green in still others.

Thanks to her Eximius heritage, Magdi is unusual in other ways as well. While most of the hair on her head is human in appearance and texture, she has patches that more closely resemble the thick, shaggy fur of a Highland cow. These patches continue and become more numerous at Magdi’s neck, where they cover the skin there then go down across her shoulders and back, almost as if she’s wearing a cape made from fur. Her legs are completely covered in the reddish brown fur, even her feet and toes, and she has patches of fur on her elbows, though her chest, stomach, fade and the front of her neck remain bare of fur. The comparison to a cow doesn’t end there. Magdi also has a tail, likewise covered in fur, that ends in a tip, with a tuft of hair nearly long enough to need brushing. She also has the glowing eyes common to her people, and small, sharp teeth, like one might find in the mouth of a piranha or an anglerfish.

Magdi frequently resembles an unkempt, feral creature. She is usually covered in a fine layer of dirt and grime, though she has been persuaded to clean herself up every now and then. Her tattered, poorly fitting clothes, made from coarse cloth hardly go far in contradicting that image. That she is frequently barefoot, or running about in boots several sizes too large, does not help either.

Magdi's hair is nearly as unmanageable as the rest of her. When she’s required to, she'll braid it, or pile it into a messy bun held together with pins and loose ribbons. If left to herself, her hair is usually hanging loose and is often in her face. Most days it is a mess of tangles, with everything from small pebbles to dried flowers trapped in the strands.

She prefers simple, loose fitting dresses, made from soft material, though she tolerates coarser cloth. Magdi wears shoes reluctantly, and when permitted is always barefoot. Her hands are rough, calloused and red from years of hard work. Magdi appears furtive, almost feral, and is prone to darting away and hiding in small spaces when frightened. She frequently avoids eye contact when speaking, though she can stare when she is particularly interested in something or someone.

Magdi's inability to look people in the eye, coupled with her peculiar bird-like head tilt that she uses to convey everything from bewilderment to interest, often leaves those around her with the distinct impression that something is 'off' about the young woman. She is unable to keep still while speaking, and has a number of nervous habits, ranging from biting her lower lip and twisting her thumbs around the loose threads in her clothes. She carries herself hunched inward, and often seems to skulk rather than walk.
Personality
Animal lover—Magdi is particularly fond of animals. Back home, she'd befriended a host of small creatures that made their homes in and around her house. All of them, from the robins that live in the gardens, to the family of mice in the attic, have names. Magdi considers them her friends, recognizing them on sight, and will happily spend an entire afternoon in their company. She will continue this practice in her new home.Though she has difficulty talking to people, speaking to her animal friends is far easier. She mimics their sounds and of course they understand her because they're friends.

Contradictory—Though shrewd and clever, Magdi is also plain and simple, with a naturally curious--and quite gullible--streak. Because of this, she’s easily manipulated, and a prime target for bullies. A person with a forceful enough bearing can talk her into doing almost anything, even if it’s something that will make her look ridiculous or potentially come to harm. The one exception to this is that if she’s been given a direct order to do or not do something, it will be almost impossible to convince her to go against that. She’s also prone to being nosy, and has a bad habit of eavesdropping on conversations. As a result, she winds up privy to a host of random information and gossip, though she takes care not to repeat any of it.

Perfectionistic—Extremely moral, Magdi holds herself to very high standards and has an all or nothing, black and white view of the world and the people in it. Because of her upbringing, she’s absorbed a very traditional, conservative mindset that’s left her both very rigid and very conscious of social class. She has no tolerance for mistakes, particularly from herself, though she’s much more forgiving of others. Because of her black and white thinking, she struggles to accept that people she’s decided are good—typically her ‘betters’ socially—could do bad things, and visa versa—she struggles to see that those she considers bad—those she’s been taught are inherently lazy, shiftless, dangerous, etc.—can do good things. As a result, she’s prone to excusing bad behavior from those around her, assuming that she’s the one at fault, even if she can’t quite figure out what she’s done.

People pleaser—Approval means the world to Magdi and she will go to great lengths to obtain it. Obedient to those she knows and trusts, she is wary of strangers, and is prone to silent staring. She can be painfully shy and awkward, and is mostly incapable of standing up for herself. Her history makes her particularly susceptible to threats of physical harm, but emotional manipulation works as well. Magdi desperately wants to be "good," which, for her, means doing what she's told, when she's told, how she's told.

Scatterbrained—While she is reliable enough with her chores if given specific instructions, she has trouble with more vague guidelines. She can scrub a floor or a dish, or hold a mop, but as a child she was prone to wandering off if something more interesting caught her eye, and even as an adult she is easily distracted and can get so lost in her head that it isn't unusual to come upon her staring into space with a dripping rag in her hand.

Proper—Polite to a fault, Magdi uses titles for anybody and everybody, whether they’d actually be addressed thst way or not by anyone else. Those who are older than her—or even her age mates, if she thinks they’re of higher rank—are called sir or ma’am, respectively. Her penchant for politeness can probably be unnerving, as she says please and thank you before and after every request, no matter how trivial, because she struggles to tell when those phrases are appropriate and when she can leave them off. Better safe than sorry is her motto, so she thanks people for everything from compliments to offhand comments about things she might be carrying, and she says please for requesting anything from the repetition of a question to asking someone to hand her an item she can't reach.

Peculiar—She is also unusual in other ways. Magdi has strong reactions to various textures--lumpy porridge, fatty meat, or meat with too much gristle, and stale bread are some of the things she finds particularly upsetting. She can't stand touching course or sticky substances or dried on food. Rough fabrics like wool or lace, dresses with high collars, and stockings also bother her. While she likewise despises brushing her hair, she's old enough now to do it without much of a fuss--though if left to her own devices, she often looks unkempt. Frequently lost inside her own head, Magdi seldom speaks, and when she does, she often stammers. Words and sentences are hard for her to form, and take time to construct inside her head. She thinks in pictures, though those pictures often move, and usually there is dialogue, and translating that into speech is a tremendous chore.

Overall—Magdi is shy, sheltered, and childlike. She lacks a great deal of practical knowledge and, while literate, her skills are poor. She has a particular fondness for sweets, and would happily eat them for hours on end if allowed. Magdi has had little in the way of formal education. She can read, count, and do simple sums in her head, but struggles with writing. Despite her lack of formal education, she's capable in other areas. She has a big imagination and a natural gift for remembering and telling stories, though she usually lacks an audience--except the mice, or the dishes. She’s fond of songs and stories and has several fairytales and old hymns memorized. The songs are some of her favorites, and she often sings them to herself as she goes about her day.
History
TW: Child physical, emotional, psychological abuse, child abandonment, with the abuse continuing into adulthood

Magdi was born into darkness and chaos, entering the world drenched in blood and mewling pitifully. Her mother, a human appearing Eximius, was being “evacuated” with the others from the lab, when all the stress and confusion caused her to go into an early labor. She fainted upon seeing her child for the first time, and later, when she came round again and realized the babe was gone, raised no questions about it. Surely some doctor or one of the guards had disposed if it. And really, she told herself, that was for the better. A child wouldn’t have lasted long where they were going, regardless.

Yet Magdi did not die—though she was expected to. She was not meant to live, just as she was not meant to remember the details of that night. And yet she did. Magdi did many things she was not meant to. And so she remembered how the guard wrapped her up in blankets and carried her from the building. She remembered that it was raining, and it was cold, and she kept crying, because the woman was holding her too tight, and she didn't like it, and it was cold, and she didn't like that, either, and something was wrong, she could feel it, but she couldn't think what it could be, and that was scary.

There were two of them, suddenly, a man walking beside the woman. The man said, “Make it stop, can't you? Even its cries aren't human. For goodness sakes, it sounds like a cat being strangled.”

“I'm trying,” the woman hissed back. She put the baby to her shoulder, patted her back just beneath where her spine began to curve.

The baby who would grow up to be Magdi just kept crying. Something bad was still going to happen. It was still cold. She still couldn’t move. And all of the woman’s patting and shssing--that started out sounding nice and soft but by the end sounded sharp and angry--couldn’t do anything to make any of it stop.

They put the baby in a box, and they set the box beneath the flickering glow of a streetlamp. And then, they turn and walked away, holding hands.

In the box, the baby waited, and shoveed all four fingers into her mouth. Oh, she thought to herself, or she would, if she could think in words. Later, when she remembered, she would put words to the feeling that came over her then. It was a strange feeling, like a warm, heavy blanket settling around her shoulders. It was relief. This, then, was the Thing that was going to happen. She was going to be left, in the dark and the cold and the wet, in a box, with nothing but her blanket and herself for company. Alright then. At least she knew now and knowing was better than wondering. After a while, she stopped crying and fell asleep.

The man who would become her father found her several hours later. He was a magister, and was out checking to see that all the Eximius had been properly disposed of. Spotting the box, he came over to investigate. Instead of finding a cat or dog, he found her. A little monster that stared up at him and blinked. For reasons even he could not explain, he picked the baby up, blanket and all, and carried her home. She might be little more than a wordless creature, but still. He couldn’t simply leave her there. He named the baby Magdi and he took her into his house, determined to raise her as best as he could.


Papa said, she should be grateful. Papa said, she should be thankful, considering. She should be glad she had a face at all, never mind that it wasn’t made right. Never mind that she didn’t really have a chin, never mind that her eyes were crooked, with one sitting up higher than it should and one sitting lower, never mind that they were small and round like grapes and they glowed, always. Never mind that they did not work as they were meant to. Never mind, too, that her nose was long and narrow and ended in a small bump, while the bridge was much too wide. Never mind that her cheeks weren’t truly there, so her entire face looked oblong and seemed too big for the rest of her. Never mind that her mouth was small and thin and shaped more like a childish scrawl than a proper mouth.

Papa said, she should be glad she had arms and legs at all, given everything else that was wrong with her. Never mind that they were too short, never mind that her hands and feet started about halfway up from where they were meant to, so she had trouble reaching things, and walking sometimes. Papa said, she should be thankful she had hands, and feet, too, never mind that her fingers and toes were made wrong, that they were stuck together except for her thumbs and big toes, so she had trouble writing, and struggled to dress herself properly.

Papa said she should be thankful. Never mind that she had patches of fur tangled in her hair, and covering her back and her legs. Never mind that even her elbows were furry, and her feet too. Never mind about that, or her tail, with it’s long tuft of fur on the end. Never mind, too, about her teeth, which were long and sharp and pointed like needles. Papa said she should be thankful that she had a home and someone to look after her, considering how peculiar she looked.

Papa said, she shouldn't complain, because after all. After all, her own mother and father didn't want her, and she was lucky that her mother left her under the light so that someone might find her, instead of simply feeding her to this or that creature. She was lucky, too, that he took her in, that he looked after her as he did. After all, he was the only one who wasn't terrified of her, Anyone who didn’t have to not be, would be frightened of her. So, she should be grateful because she was lucky she even saw the light of day, never mind living as long as she had. She should be grateful. she shouldn't complain. never mind that her back was crooked, never mind that she had a hump rising up from between her shoulder blades. Never mind, because she was alive. She was alive, and she had him, and really, she often thought that was probably more than she deserved, anyway.

After all, Magdi was a very difficult child, and she grew into a very difficult adult. And so, Papa said, who else would love her, when she looked as she did? No one, that’s who. And who else would look out for her, when she was so simple she could scarce be left by herself without getting into mischief? No one, that’s who. And who else would be patient with her, when she was so often wicked and disobedient, willful and stubborn? No one, that’s who. And, she often wondered, who else could love her, when surely she must’ve been so very, very unlovable? No one, that’s who. No one but Papa and no one else ever would. No one else ever could.

Papa said the world outside was dangerous, evil, and wicked, especially for someone like her. She was too simple, too easily led, too foolish to know what was and wasn’t good. Papa said it wasn’t safe, because even in this day and age, most people don’t see you as I do. Most people, child, are cruel, and they would see you as little more than a monster. Papa said he would keep her safe from them, but he could only do that if she stayed inside, where it was safe. Inside, he could protect her. Outside, he couldn’t. And so, inside she stayed.
Papa said Magdi’s eyes worked no better than the rest of her seemed to. She acted blind on certain days and on other days she acted as if she could see better, if not perfectly. She became hopelessly confused by clutter, ever mind that she was also terribly messy. She adored bright colors, but had to hold objects close to her face to see them, or stand an inch or so away from Papa to see him. She would stare at the candles Papa often lit, but anything brighter hurt her eyes.

When Papa began teaching her to read, she had to hold the book so close to her face, Papa brought her home a magnifying glass from one of the shops. She could not see out to either side, or below her nose or above her eyebrows when looking straight ahead, without turning her head. Anything past her nose, while not blurry, was indistinct, so that she might be able to tell that a person was coming toward her, but couldn't say who it was until they were almost upon her. Moving her eyes about helped and she developed a habit of peering at things from the corners of her eyes. Papa took to calling her little bird because she so often sat with her head tilted to the side.

Papa said the same thing about her ears. She frequently behaved as if she were deaf. Though she could hear, there was a delay in understanding what she heard. When under stress, that delay was worse. This combined with her issues with producing speech led Magda to being mostly nonverbal for much of her life.

Papa said MagdI was spoiled and selfish. She cried when she had to eat lumpy or slimy or mushy foods, or meat with too much gristle or fat. She whined about touching sticky or gritty textures. She complained about wearing wool or velvet, or dresses with lace or net petticoats. She whimpered at clothing tags. She loved soft fabrics, loose dresses and snugly fitting stockings, and dressed in layers when she could. Foods with strong flavors—a lot of salt, or extra hot sauce, for instance, were particular favorites.

Papa said she was stubborn and willful. He said that because she also struggled socially. A quiet and skittish child, she often seemed lost in her own world. When she did attempt to engage with her father, she was clumsy and awkward. Repeating bits of overheard conversations to herself only brought punishment for eavesdropping and repeating her father’s words was insolence. Eventually she learned this, though it took some time before the connection stuck.

She had tremendous trouble with reading body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal cues, and also struggled to see them. When she could see them, she could not process them. While she eventually mastered the basics—a smile meant happy, a frown meant anger, tears meant sadness–more nuanced expressions continued to confuse her. Raised eyebrows, for example, could mean anger or surprise or confusion, and when she attempted to guess, she was usually wrong.

Papa said she threw tantrums. He said that because when she was upset, she rocked, sucked her fingers and cried. When she was very upset, she would cry and bite or hit or scratch herself. When she was afraid, she hid under tables or in kitchen cupboards, till Papa started locking her in the closet to keep you from getting into mischief. Sometimes she broke things. Papa started locking her in the cellar when she started to throw one of her fits, after he came home to find every dish in the kitchen smashed and Magdi hiding under what was left of the kitchen table, because she’d broken a glass. tried to clean it up, made an even bigger mess, panicked, and then panicked some more. Papa had whipped her for it anyway, then left her in the cellar for a week, till he was satisfied she’d learned her lesson.

Papa said she acted like an overexcited child, even when she was much too big for such foolishness. He said that because when she was happy, she clapped her hands or bounced onto her tiptoes. Sometimes, she even jumped up and down. Other times, she spun around in circles, long after anyone else would’ve gotten dizzy and stopped. If she was really excited, she would say the same word over and over, and if she was really, really, really excited, she would say the same word over and over, while clapping her hands and hopping from one foot to the other.

Papa said she never paid attention. He said that because even though she could hear what someone said, she often forgot to listen. Someone would say something, and that would make her think of something else, and then before she knew it, she didn’t know what the other person was talking about at all, and sometimes she forgot they were there at all. He said that because she daydreamed whenever she was supposed to be doing her lessons, or listening to the priest’s sermon, or doing her chores. Mostly, he said that because he would talk to her and she would answer—because she was supposed to—but really she was reading, or thinking about something else, and hadn’t really heard what he said at all.

Papa said she was an insolent little miss. He said that because her biggest issue—besides how she looked—was her difficulties with communication. Either she employed cobbled together phrases—often taken from the bits of scripture she’d overheard her father reading aloud—or she answered with badly garbled sounds, as she often ran her words together without pausing between them. Her father assumed she was being deliberately difficult and each utterance was met with swift punishment. Slow as ever to make connections between cause and effect, she endured numerous beatings and three separate instances of near-drowning at the madgistrate’s hands before she learned to hold her tongue. But learn she did and she spent several years in silence.

However that was not what he was after. Understandable—to him, anyway—speech was, and so he began to encourage her to talk. This was slow going, and Magdi never wholly mastered the skill. Still, she learned enough to avoid punishment every time she opened her mouth and when she could reliably communicate her understanding of commands, and reply to him with several stock phrases she’d learned—that were either original to her, or short sentences he had taught her—he considered her education complete.

Papa said, all you need is a bit of discipline. Papa said It’s your fault I have to punish you so much. Papa said, If you’d just behave, I wouldn’t have to do this. Papa said, Stop your whining, it isn’t that bad. Papa said, Hush, now, this is for your own good. Papa said, You know, this hurts me far more than it does you. Now keep still. Papa said, A spared rod leads to a spoiled child, and you may not be a real child, but you look enough like one that I mean to see you’re brought up properly.

So, though she wasn’t real, Papa still slapped her when she refused to look at him—or when she answered back or was impertinent. Though she wasn’t real, most of the time when she spoke out of turn, asked too many questions, or was insolent, Papa washed her mouth out with soap. Though she wasn’t real, Papa still spanked her when she cried, hard, hard, hard, his open hand cracking against her bare skin, and always always he said, Hush, and kept striking her till she was quiet. Though she wasn’t real, Papa still took his belt to her back, backside, and the backs of her legs —and it still hurt, though the leather strap’s marks faded almost as soon as they’d been made—when she went outside without permission, or refused to eat her food, or change out of her nightgown, or do her lessons or finish her chores. Though she wasn’t real, Papa still paddled her backside with an old silver hairbrush when she rocked, or hid under tables, or bit or hit or scratched herself.

Yes, she wasn’t real, but the cold water he bathed her in every day took her breath, and that, too, made her cry. She wasn’t real, but Papa still scrubbed her skin till it was red and burning, and she was sobbing and thrashing in the old claw foot tub. She wasn’t real, but Papa still forced her head beneath the water every time she fought him. She wasn’t real, but he always held her down till she went sleeping anyway.

She wasn’t real, but when she was smaller, Papa still put her in the corner after a punishment, to think about what she’d done. She wasn’t real, but as she got bigger. he shut her up in the cellar instead of standing her in the corner, confining her to the cold concrete steps. She wasn’t real, but she wasn’t allowed to move until he said, and if she did, well, she might be covered in fur mostly and not skin, but Papa still jerked her up and spanked her, then marched her back to the corner, or made her sit back down on the cellar steps, red eyed and sniffling, all the same.

She wasn’t real, but Papa treated her as though she was, regardless. And slowly, slowly, Magdi learned to behave. Well, for the most part, anyway. Papa still said, You’ve got stuffing between your ears, my girl, more times than not, but, still, she learned—eventually.


An educated man himself, Papa decided that Magdi should learn as much as she could, and so he set about teaching her in the evenings. MagdI was prone to wandering off, so he tied her to the kitchen chair and refused to let her up till she’d successfully read or copied the assigned text or completed the page of math problems he’d given her. Even with that, she struggled to pay attention, to learn what she was meant to, and she struggled with listening and recalling information. Reading was difficult, writing even more so.

Often she daydreamed, chewed on the pencils, or covered her papers with scrawled smiling people, with perfectly average bodies, and arms and legs and hands and faces that were as normal as anybody else's. She pretended they were her friends, and sometimes she talked to them. Her father would have none of it, and she spent many an evening bent over the kitchen chair, crying, while Papa punished her for neglecting your studies.

After, Papa said, “Are you ready to mind me, now?” and she was supposed to say, “Yes, sir,” but she didn’t sometimes, because her ears were too small and sometimes they didn’t work right, and even when she heard she couldn’t always get the words to come out right.

When she didn’t answer, Papa would say, “Answer me, Magdalene. Are you going to behave?” If she still didn’t answer, Papa would say, “Have it your way then, you stubborn little miscreant,” and then he would spank her again, sometimes with his belt, sometimes with his hand, and sometimes with the hairbrush. Then he would ask her again, and again, punishing her each time she wouldn’t answer, as many times as it took till she replied as she was supposed to. Once she had, Papa said, “Good girl,” dressed her again, helped her back into the chair, tied her up again, and they continued with the lesson.

It was a painful, slow process, but eventually she learned. Slowly, slowly, she managed to puzzle out the letters. She learned to read a few words—her name, a list of chores, a handful of words out of a book. Magdi could write, too—holding the pen or pencil in between all four fingers and her thumb—and if Papa smacked her hand with his ruler enough times, what she wrote was even readable. She could count and do simple math problems.

Papa didn’t teach her anything more than that. The girl was probably a halfwit anyway, Papa always said, and likely wasn't able to understand much. But he did his best, and once she had learned what he taught to his satisfaction, he considered her education complete. She knew the basics, and she knew how to be good and quiet and obedient. Nothing else really mattered.


Magdi squeezed her eyes shut, then opened them again. Maybe this time it would be gone. But it wasn’t. The curio cabinet still lay on its side, dishes shattered, glass door broken, and a good deal of the wood splintered. And all the while, the source of the trouble—her cow’s tail—still peeked out from beneath her dress, it’s soft tip, covered in hair as red as that on her head, flicking back and forth as if it were quite pleased with itself. Magdi whimpered. The mess had been there since that morning, and try as she might, she couldn’t seem to get it cleaned up. She hadn’t meant to knock the cabinet over. Always before when she’d done this—broken a plate or spilled the mop water —she’d been able to clean it up before anyone saw. But now she couldn’t. Oh. Oh dear. MagdI wrung her hands. This was worse than that one winter, when Papa had made her sleep on the floor by the fireplace, because she’d let it go out, and she’d tracked soot all through the house. That she could easily sweep up—or under all the rugs. But there was no hiding this. Not at all.

Papa would be so angry with her. She was meant to be scrubbing the floor, and she had been, only, she’d glanced out the window and seen a cow and then she’d started thinking about how nice it would be to be a cow, because all a cow had to do was eat and sleep and they did not hsve to worry about chores and responsibilities and nobody smacked their ears if they weren’t listening or made them miss supper so they’d learn to finish their work. She’d been thinking all that and more, and walking about the room besides, imagining being a cow, when suddenly she’d felt her tail strike the curio cabinet, hard, and over it toppled with a horrendous crash.

How could she possibly explain this? She couldn’t of course. She could barely explain why she didn’t get her work done when the reasons were simple. How could she possibly hope to when they weren’t? Oh, oh, oh. She would be in trouble. She would, she would, she would.

Papa would say, “Come here, you wretched girl,” just as he always did when she’d been bad. Then, he’d lift her up and make her lay across the stool. MagdI hated the stool. The wood was always cold, and sometimes she kicked it and then it fell over and Papa got even angrier than he was already. Sometimes, he’d put his hand onto her back to hold her down. Then he’d say, “You know this hurts me more than it does you,” and then up would go Magdi’s skirt, down would go her knickers and off would come Papa’s belt.

By then she was usually crying, even though she tried not to, because she was eighteen years old, and she shouldn’t be acting like a baby anymore. Papa would say, “Hush,” and, “Stop that,” and when she didn’t he’d spank her, hard, hard, hard, with his open hand, till she was quiet—just as he’d done since she was small, and only really understood that when she was Bad she got swatted, and always crying was Bad, and sometimes talking was and sometimes it wasn’t, and other things too, too many to count, were sometimes Bad and sometimes they weren’t, and nobody would tell her which was which, or how to be not-bad, because she was meant to figure it out for herself. Only she couldn’t, not when she was small and not now.

Once she wasn’t crying anymore, Papa would say, “This is for your own good. So you keep still now.” Then he’d whip her bottom and the backs of her legs—and sometimes her back, too, if he was very, very, angry. Usually by the time he stopped she was crying again, but that was alright, because she could still say “Sorry” after, like she was supposed to. Then he’d lift her up, dress her again, and make her stand in the corner to think about what she’d done.

Magdi sniffled and hugged herself. Already that morning she’d gotten two such punishments—the first because she’d refused to eat her breakfast—her teeth were too sharp and the bits of meat kept getting hung in them—and the second because she’d accidentally left the back door open and rain had blown in. And now she would have her third. Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no.

Her father’s footsteps sounded and MagdI turned and fled the room. She stumbled down the hall, diving into the first room she came to and slamming the door behind her. Oh. Oh, oh, oh. She was in her father’s office. Magda’s shoulders hunched. She wasn’t allowed in there. She wasn’t, she wasn’t, she wasn’t. Oh, she’d get the strap for sure if he caught her. But she didn’t leave, though surely she should have. Instead, she walked up to the desk and bent to peer at all the papers there. Here and there, she thought she saw her name. MagdI tilted her head. She couldn’t read very well, but she could recognize the letters in her name. Picking up the paper, she squinted at it. Finally some of the words became clearer—though their meaning did not. Significant birth defects. Likely a failure. Experimental substance clearly failed to take. Perhaps issue with mother. Will continue to monitor.

“MagdI?” Papa’s voice came from the doorway just behind her. MagdI squeaked—and dove under her father’s desk. Papa sighed. “Come out of there. Right now. I’m in no mood for your games.”

Magdi crawled out and stared at the floor, shoulders hunching.

“You know you aren’t to be in my office. Did you touch my papers?” Papa said.

Magdi nodded and squeezed her eyes shut again. Oh. She was going to be in so much trouble! Papa said, “Come along, you wretched child,” just as she knew he would.

As he led her from the room, Magdi pointed at the papers with her thumb. “M-m-m-me. Why d-d-d-do, why do they, why do they t-t-t-talk, talk ab-ab-ab-about, about m-m-me? And, and u-use, use, s-s-s-such, such b-b-big, big w-w-words?”

“You read them did you?” Papa said.

Magdi nodded again. “Y-y-y-yes, yes s-s-sir, yes sir, I, I, I d-I did.”

Papa said, “And you didn’t understand them. Well, that isn’t surprising, a simple girl like you…” He kept talking, but Magda wasn’t listening anymore.

Her ears burned. She wasn’t simple, even though Papa always said she was, because she didn’t know things most girls her age knew. Papa said, “I know you’re simple, child, but you’re eighteen turns old, for goodness sake, what’s the matter with you?” every time he caught her wandering away from her chores, or chatting to the mice in the grain bin. It wasn’t her fault she didn’t know things, like how to pay attention, or how to not interrupt or how to cook supper without burning it. How was she supposed to know those things if nobody told her? It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t—

“Do you understand?” Papa said.

Magdi blinked at him. Oh. Oh no. She’d stopped listening again. Just like she usually did whenever Papa was explaining something. He’d say something and that would make her think if something else, and sometimes she could also listen, but often she couldn’t, and instead she’d start thinking about whatever it was, and before long, she had no idea what was being said at all. Magdi nodded. She didn’t understand, because she hadn’t heard a word he’d said, but she’d learned a long time ago that pretending she did was often easier—and safer, besides. Unless Papa caught her in the lie. Then she got her mouth washed out with lye soap because lying was Bad. Sometimes, afterwards she also got a spanking with Papa’s belt because she’d cried or fought too much, and that was also Bad.

“Good,” Papa said. “Now come with me. We are going to deal with that mess you’ve made.” He caught her hand and led her from the room.


And so the years wore on. Magdi grew into a young woman—or, a near approximation of one anyway. She did her work—reliably, for the most part—and kept out of the way when her father had visitors over. She controlled herself—for the most part—and only rarely wrecked havoc on the crockery or the furniture—though she was permanently forbidden from dusting the portraits that hung over the fireplace after she’d dropped one and shattered the glass, cracked the frame, and made a sizeqble chip in the hearth. When left to herself she amused herself by making miniatures out of cast off boxes and scraps of cloth no one had any use for. To go with them, she made small cloth dolls, using her thumb to push the needle through the fabric and her teeth to pull the thread through. She couldn’t do it for long—and someone else had to thread the needle—but she made them when she could.

She was quiet, docile and obedient. Papa was proud of her—most of the time. She had come far, after all—especially for a creature that was little more than a monster. Yes, she had come very far indeed.
Played by Thistle
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Joined on: Sep 12 2020
Birthday: Nov 11 1999
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Last visited: Oct 27 2020, 2:59 PM
Local time: Dec 4 2020 at 9:13 AM
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