A SAVIOUR IN THE DARK
Self-published by J. M. DeSantis in the comic collection Chadhiyana
PAGE ONE (five panels)
Panel 1. Long panel across the top of the page. This is left blank and is reserved for the title and credits.
Panel 2. The story opens with a wide shot of a small town at night. The streets are empty, save perhaps for one or two passersby. Small, unadorned buildings and simple huts line the main avenue which runs directly through the scene, and all about is strewn bits of refuse and rubble. Not a single light shines out from the windows of the various buildings, though the moon shining clearly in the dark sky above does much to light the scene and cast deep shadows all about. Two buildings in particular are in the foreground. From the alleyway between them (indicated by a voice bubble) we hear a voice yelling.
Worthless woman! Do you think this can buy so much as a loaf of bread?
Panel 3.Close up of a man’s thick hand slapping a woman hard across the face. We don’t see much of either the man or the woman yet, but by her swollen and purpled right eye it is clear this is not the first time the woman has been hit.
I’ll starve from your incompetence!
Panel 4. We now find ourselves in the alley between the two aforementioned buildings. Like the streets without, garbage lines either side of the narrow way. The alley, however, is much poorer lit than the street it opens onto. Deep, black shadows throw much of the surroundings into utter darkness. By what little of the moonlight shines into the alley we see the man and the woman he slapped. The man, thick and strong, though obviously well-fed, wears a long, open vest and loose-fitting pants. Jewels and gold glitter from his fingers and neck. His dark hair is short and curly, and he has a great mustachio and beard. His immense belly hangs out over his belt. One hand is placed upon his hips, while the other is out in a gesture of anger as he stands over the woman who has fallen to her knees before him. His face is red and dark with anger. The woman, however, is much the opposite of him both in physique and demeanour. She cowers as she holds her face where it still stings from his abuse. Her loose-fitting sari is tattered and worn, and her figure is so bone-thin one wonders if the woman has ever eaten a meal in her life.
Please, husband, I do my best. But if you continue to bruise me so, no man will wish to bed with me.
Do you think I care what you look like? Do you think they care? It’s what’s between your legs they want!
Panel 5. Close up of the man’s face, anger still raging in his features.
Do you not love me? You must not if you would be so insolent as to come home empty-handed and blame me for punishing you.
PAGE TWO (ten panels)
Panel 1. The woman, looking both fearful and sorrowful, tears streaming from her eyes, grabs onto the man’s pant legs, as though she were begging for her very life.
No, my love! Do not say such things. You are my sun, my moon and my stars. I love to please and provide for you. It is my very reason for living. I’ve even come to enjoy the work I do, as I know it is all for you.
Panel 2. Close up on the man’s face again. His expression turns cold and dangerous.
Panel 3. Close up of the man’s clenched fist.
You enjoy the work you do?
Panel 4. Close up again on the woman as she shrinks away, even more fearful than before.
No, husband. I only meant–
Panel 5. The man is now yelling at his wife again, his rage apparent.
That you enjoy shaming your husband by spreading your legs for other men?!
Panel 6. Close up of the man’s hands as he slowly removes his belt.
Obviously a harsher punishment is necessary.
Panel 7. Close up of the belt hanging from the man’s grip.
Please. I do it for you. I don’t–
Panel 8. The man swings the belt on high, ready to bring it down upon his wife. Again his face is flushed red with rage.
You will never shame me again!
Panel 9. Close up of the wife’s face as she cowers, shutting her eyes tight against the coming pain.
Panel 10. Close up on the woman’s un-bruised eye. She opens it wide with wonder and surprise.