The Broken Rose: Chapter 10 – A General Transition

Update: We have another illustration from the wonderful artist Bethany Funnell.  She hasn’t updated her sites yet with the work, but I’ll drop the direct links to it once she does.  Until then you can find her on Artstation (linked above), Deviant Art, and Twitter!

Update #2: Here’s the direct links to Deviant Art!


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 9                                                                                                  Chapter 11–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.
Chapter Artwork Disclaimer: The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled Sephy and was created by the very talented and gracious Deviant Artist Eeveetachi.  The picture has been slightly altered in appearance and to include the chapter number and title.  All rights belong to the artist, and the image is used here with their permission.  Links are included for both the artist’s page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris finds comfort in Sephiroth’s protection while soothing his heart made for war, and despite the reasons for his “creation,” the term “general” is sweet from her lips.  Though the past still haunts both and not even he can shield her from all its affects.

A picture of Sephiroth sitting in an amorphous, neutrally colored background facing right with his knees up and both arms wrapped around his abdomen. His long, silver hair sweeps off to the right, and his one black wing curls around his body, the top above his head and the bottom partially covering one leg. He has a pained and forlorn expression, and several black feathers float around him. “Chapter 10 A General Transition” in black letters sits to the right of the wing with the word “General” in a different font from the rest.

He put Aeris down and fell to his knees, covering his face to silver in spill.  It shimmered upon the fine wood floor beyond the door of Heaven’s Gate.  The great black wing was lowered behind, swallowing darkness and giving it back.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 9 – Excursion

Update: This time there’s rain, and it looks amazing.  Like last picture update, I’m putting this in the midst of the chapter where it fits with the text, but of course you can see it see it at the sources here and here.


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 8                                                                                                  Chapter 10–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Accompanied by her protector, Aeris takes a walk through the Whispers, encountering various townsfolk until something even Sephiroth cannot control occurs.

A string of purplish colored lights growing smaller from right to left, from the right center to the left hand corner. The lights are against a dark background. “Chapter 9 Excursion” in white is in the upper middle above the lights.

The sun was still bright in the late afternoon as Aeris stood by burnished windows.  Daylight tinged clouds held the edges of dusk in a sky that was only half clear.  Apprehension jumped in the Cetra’s chest behind the raised clasped hands, coupled close with slight excitement much to her surprise.  Swathed in a white dress of soft layered skirts, its accents palest pink.  It was fuller in length coming down to mid-calf for this evening’s venture out. A bow of that hue was wrapped round her waist and tied with a flourish behind.  Aeris ran fingers along silk so smooth, though with silver it could not compare, but the Cetra still loved how the garb hid her stomach and all those hated lines.  Squeezing her fist, the maid forced that down and willed her breath to slow.  She was clothed.  She was safe.  She was here in the Whispers.  Beneath full protection and care.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 8 – Maiden Kisses

Update: We’re treated to another comic from my illustrator for this chapter (in the same vein as Chapter 6!) and I couldn’t be more delighted ♥  You’ll find it in the appropriate spot i.e. the text the inspired it.  Is this a ploy to make you reread?  Mmmm, it’s a possibility 😉


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 7                                                                                                    Chapter 9–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris grows more comfortable with the sight of her skin and finds enjoyment in something surprising.

A pair of flat white shoes with large, white bows on the front. The heel of one shoe rests on top of the other, and they are sitting on what appears to be a hardwood floor and in front of a rough, stony wall. “Chapter 8 Maiden Kisses” in white is in the upper right hand corner. The picture is framed in a fading black edge.

Aeris awoke always with the thought of how long since she’d been saved.  It’s been forty-three days since I was last used.  Only praying that this was no dream, the maid wiped soft tears away.  She stepped in her shower, though small hands still shook running over her tableau of scars.  The water was warm with no trace of sea, which helped wash her grief’s salt away.  She remembered he’d told her of materia that made the waves’ bitterness sweet.  Purify.  Aeris squeezed her lids tight, wondering if it was white as seafoam… Afterwards robed, amidst drying chestnut, she entered her bright, walk-in closet.  Ever and always the maid bled awe that this luxury was now her life.  She swallowed spare tears before they could sting then climbed the ladder to reach a high shelf.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 6 – Heaven’s Gate

Update: Every new illustration from Bethany makes my jaw drop more, and I finally realized why I love her style so much.  I’ve always loved impressionism, the soft almost dreamlike quality of it, and it just works so well for this type of story, which I tried to give a soft, dreamlike quality to combat the horror.  The illustration is in the midst of the appropriate text, but you can find it here if you don’t feel like hunting.


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 5                                                                                                    Chapter 7–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris ventures briefly into the world outside her new sanctuary.  Though the promise of protection is ever around, the little maid still finds cause for terror.

00-chapter-6-heavens-gate

A picture of the shore at what could be sunrise or sunset. The sky is filled with blue clouds that match the ocean. There is a beach and a black cliff off to the left. “Chapter 6 Heaven’s Gate” in white is on the bottom of the cliff.

Day’s end in dusk stole through the “palace,” and curiosity caused Aeris shock.  Through her window, she’d seen both sunset and star, but never dreamed of venturing out.  Now searching the paths of crimson and gold caused the Cetra maid to consider.  The thought stayed but briefly before hollow chill filled her quickening heart.  Her great guardian was never far though, and his arms were always her shield.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 5 – Dear Aeris

Update: Another update is upon us!  The tear stained eyes, the feather, the aesthetic.  This picture is perfect.  You can find it and more of Bethany’s work on Art Station, Deviant Art, and Twitter.


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 4                                                                                                    Chapter 6–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.
Chapter Artwork Disclaimer: The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled Raven pen and was created by the fantastically talented Deviant Artist omegaptera.  The picture has been slightly altered in appearance and to include the chapter number and title.  All rights belong to the artist, and the image is used her with their permission.  Links are included for both the artist’s page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris’s first letter of reclamation to herself.

00-chapter-5-dear-aeris

A black feather quill with intricate wire work around the juncture of feather and pen. The bottom portion of it is wrapped in black fabric. “Chapter 5 Dear Aeris” in white is in the upper right corner. In the far upper right corner are the words “Vrana Raven.”

Dearest Aeris,

It’s been twenty-one days since I was last used.  My insides are healing, and my bruises have faded, but I’m still so afraid.  I’m terrified to wake back up and find myself starving and chained.  Every time I shut my eyes, I expect this dream to end.  My wonderful master, the Great General, says that will never be.  He tells me he has me.  He vows that I’m safe, and I just want to believe.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 4 – Helpless

Update: This year is already better for many reasons, but for me especially there’s more art from Bethany to grace my eyes.  I feel like we’re our own worst critics, and it’s for this reason and many fellow creators need to show love.  I adore the lighting on the piece at the end of the chapter, especially with the ocean out the window.  Words can sadly not capture my feelings for Aeris’ expression, so I’m afraid you’ll have to look.  As always, you can find her work on Art Station, Deviant Artand Twitter, so please follow here there!


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 3                                                                                                    Chapter 5–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.
Chapter Artwork Disclaimer: The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled Aerith Gainsborough.  It has been slightly altered from the original.  All rights belong to the artist, and a link to the location has been included.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Unable to walk or even crawl, Aeris is at Sephiroth’s mercy.

00-chapter-4-helpless

A painting of Aeris/Aerith sitting in the corner of what appears to be a cell with her back against a cracked and holed brick wall. She has her knees pulled up with her arms crossed on top of them. Her legs and feet are bare. Her head is laid in her arms hiding her face. She wears a pink ribbon in brown hair and also appears to be wearing a pink dress/robe. She sits in a shaft of light, and there are pink flower petals strewn around the floor of the cell with some on Aeris’s feet. “Chapter 4 Helpless” in pale pink is above and slightly to the right of her.

Every day Sephiroth knocked on the door, steeling himself against whimpers.  Then he would ask, “May I come in?”

And “Yes, master…” would be the reply.

The hush of the sea would frame his arrival as surely as split emerald light.  Silently silver and pale angel face with dark leather draped around.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 3 – Measure

Update: This time I’ve been graced with two pieces from my illustrator friend.  You will find them both interspersed in the text at the appropriate places.  Is this a not-so-subtle attempt to get any of you who have to re-read the chapter?  Mmm, it’s a possibility 😉 Please make sure to follow Bethany Anne on Art Station and Deviant Art!


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 2                                                                                                    Chapter 4–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris is in desperate need of medical attention, and the general is more than willing to do whatever it takes to ensure she receives such care.

00-chapter-3-measure

A yellow tape measure twisted in the middle against a white background shows numbers starting with 44 on the left and going to 81 on the right. Many of the numbers are obscured due to the twist. “Chapter 3 Measure” is near the middle right, next to the twist in the tape measure. There is a fading black frame around the picture.

I haven’t been used yet today.  Aeris blinked, still warm within blankets and pillows, still fully encased in his black leather coat that still breathed vanilla and frost.

Wispy hair near muffled her gasp, as she squinted towards daylight returned.  From a split in the curtains, a shaft sauntered forth, painting stark sun on the carpet.  She squeezed her eyes shut, now more terrified that all of this wonder would melt.  Sightless, the low roar rolled even louder like the purr of a giant beast.  Patterned on top were higher soft cries.  Aeris covered her head as she quaked.

The knock at the door called a full wail and more cowering beneath the leather.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 2 – Gentleness

Update: The amazing artist Bethany Annie has completed another piece for this chapter.  I’m honestly thinking of replacing the current artworks with hers so they’re on the initial display, though I do like how they look closing out the chapter; however, I really want to showcase her work forefront since she’s so generous and talented.  For now, you will find her next piece at the end of the chapter.  Please make sure to follow her on Art Station and Deviant Art!

Update Addendum: I put Bethany’s picture at the beginning.


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 1                                                                                                    Chapter 3–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Chapter Artwork Disclaimer: The source for the artwork featured below is located here.  The original picture has been slightly altered from the original.  All rights belong to the artist/photographer.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris experiences gentleness, protection, and warmth for the first time in over a century from the man who once took her life.  She barely has words for these concepts and is terrified “her master” will take them away.

Warm…I’m so very warm.  I’ve never been warm before.  Where am I lying?  I’m on…a bed.  A great, soft, c-comfortable bed.   I’m covered.  What’s this?  She remembered.  A…blanket.  What’s under my head?  A…c-cushion?  N-No, that’s not right.  It’s called…something else…  Her head spun in the dark.  I’m…not being used.  I’m not…being beaten.  I…I don’t understand…

*

Softness.  It could never be softness encasing the terrified Cetra.  That was for people, those who mattered, never a wretched slave.  Yet she was so wonderfully warm enclosed in the opulent mattress.  A great leather coat free of pauldrons enveloped her battered body.  The substance that lined it caressed that bruised skin softer than a song.  Light slid through a crack in the drapes, laying a thin edge on the blanket.

I have to get up.  I can’t stay like this.  He’ll punish me-

Then the door opened.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 1 – Desecration

Update: There is new art at the end of the chapter.  I’ll be updating all the chapters with this as a beyond generous digital artist has decided to do fan art for my story.


The Broken Rose Page

<–Warnings and Foreword                                                                       Chapter 2–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.
Chapter Artwork Disclaimer: The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled Rose in Blood and was created by yet another very talented Deviant Artist Kawaielli.  The picture has been slightly altered in appearance and to include the chapter number and title.  All rights belong to the artist, and the image is used here with their permission.  Links are included for both the artist’s page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


The arrival of her murderer to what was once her church casts a deeper shadow over the horror of Aeris’s life.

00-chapter-1-desecration

A white rose lays on its side in the middle of the picture with the stem going off to the right. The inner petals are covered in blood and some of this blood has speckled the white background. “Chapter 1 Desecration” in black is to the left of the rose. A good portion of the upper left hand corner is faded to black, and a lesser portion of the lower left hand corner is, too.

“I’ll bind your wounds and comfort you,
‘Cause I know who you are.”
-Mary Fahl “Gravity”

“You have not lived today
until you have done something
for someone who can never repay you.”
-John Bunyan

The instant he saw her he wanted her.  The Cetra was going to be his.  She was naked of course, as all the slaves were, slumped by a broken pew.  They were shackled together, but she was alone, fragile limbs within thick cuffs.  Around her raw throat was an iron collar, and huge chains held her to the floor.  Her bangs, oddly bright, were high on her head, and a coiled braid pooled by her side.

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