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Writers' Corner - October


Jolly
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Rules:

1. Less than a thousand words, more than hardly any.

2. Deadline is EXTENDO-GET! Sunday November 4th.

3. Votes in by the end of CONTINUE-ON! November 8th

4. Keep the friendly nature of the corner.

5. Go for it. I've never had more fun sitting reading nothing, than I have sitting reading something.

6. Good luck!

Ready...Aim...WRITE!

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Shot(s) 27

It was dark, the gun fired, hitting the man in the eye.

The holder of the gun ran, as if to learn how to fly,

Like a cannonball man, adrenaline pumped him free,

Blood streaked mud from a last minute penalty.

His head hit the hardcore like a heavy athlete’s thrown ball,

The camera-phones didn’t stop as they caught the man’s fall,

But it was just that one image that permeated the mind,

The rocket, silver-black flash, blasting the eye-socket blind.

Perhaps, if the perpetrator could leave the earth’s orbit,

His attempt at escape could be more or less perfect.

But he’d been too eager, a sharp word, others would fess,

It wouldn’t take the police long, there’d be no wild guess.

Nerves to be steadied, just a quick glass of whisky.

Used up, not much, it was his round, his money.

Why not after his injection? Insanity, he could plead…

They’d never fathom him now, just get rid of his greed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No one else......:)

"...I guess you're the winner by default."

"Default? Woo hoo! Default: the two sweetest words in the English language... de fault, de fault, de fault"

EDIT: Jolly! You put the wrong dates in the op! :)

Shouldn't have said anything should I....

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Haven't really had time, so here's a ten minute effort.

Richard slumped against the wall, his legs giving way underneath his body as he fell to the ground. The red paint on the nearby roadsign bled into the orange sky of the late evening sunset, a thick swirling tempest of colour, vibrancy and heat. The buildings on the far side of the square merged into one, a husk warped and blurred, twisting in on itself. Light began to fade on the extremes of his vision, the images circling the edges as they crept towards each other and the skies grew colder and thinner, the blues and greens taking over before themselves giving way to progressively darker tones. He held out his hand, grey and lifeless, as the shadows converged and engulfed it all. Black.
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In fact I have. Excuses: No major editing or any real time to go through it as I'm taking a break from bigger stuff ( or more a different angle on something similar), but here it is. Tense is all over the place, which is intentional, if a bit of an applied safeguard.

I was in the street.

Saw a girl; gave her a smile, time to look, then my number. Perhaps she'll let me bite her.

I was hungry so I ducked into a nearby hotel of some good service; walk with confidence and they assume you should be there, it’s that simple. Each floor has a complimentary buffet for guests usually laden with teas, crossaints, or at the very least some buttered toast. Today’s lunch was a hot chocolate, no food. Fucking Marriott. The soapgel in the gents was perfumed in a way that reminded me more of cologne than soap, so I lathered my armpits with the stuff before leaving, passing on the rinse. My shirt would be stained something rotten on the inside later perhaps, but it’s the outside that counts with me, and the stains never get through anyway.

Outside again, I’m weaving along the pavement, dreaming of the only place that makes me calm, and it’s all a fiction. Greasy black sands melt down to a silver ocean, flecked gold in places by a bloody sunset. A bit of a cliché perhaps, but clichés are clichés for a reason. I stole that from my grandmother, along with a £20 note from the kitchen. A little jar on the shelf. Shitty stew on a Sunday, the smell of talcum powder, the feeling of cancer under papery skin. I’m interrupted by a gaggle of teenage girls coming my way, hushed by the presence of my good looks. I pout subtly; the show mounts. One of them, I’m guessing thirteen, dares to offer a smile as I meet the group's eyes. My rage builds, my eyes heat; there’s nothing more grating than a fat teenager who thinks she’s being suggestive. Inside my jacket the metal bounces off my breast so that I’m reminded of its presence and my disorientation is calmed. Self-medication meditation. Works a treat.

It’s my way, it’s my moral fucking fibre, it’s my way of life. Chicken me with your shoulders and I’ll cut your cheeks out so the apology can be all the louder. Hell hath no fury like he with little else. I need icecream; pistachio or perhaps a sorbet, but I know they’ll only have fucking 99s, which will be the root of all terrors. Still, I head for the service-van. It’s pre-destined, deep-rooted routine in which there's only one path where everything is plotted, everything is scripted, everything is prepared. In my stage directions, the man has pistachio. May the man have learnt his lines.

Fee-fi-fo-fum; 99s… fucking 99s and the crack’s in the pavement opening up to eat me alive. There’s a bullet with Mario’s name on it. Fear me, for I am the groundless critic;

Touch me and repent.

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Life as a Bullet

“An ending!” I shouted, and jumped up. My wife dropped what she was doing in the kitchen, came into my study and asked about my epiphany. I was strutting around the room, almost pontificating.

“He’ll get shot. Yes. I like that. Shot! It’s perfect!”

My wife scrunched her face a little. She was clearly perturbed.

“How can you…I mean, shot? Why does he have to die?”

“It makes sense!” I was excited to the point of agitation. I felt like dancing at my deathly idea.

“But how? Execution? He’s only a writer”

“Not a writer. An artist. And if he doesn’t create the right thing-“

“They kill him? What? For not having a happy ending?”

“Listen it’s not the…it’s the nature, isn’t it, of the dictatorship? You must conform to fit the form. If the leader wants a happy ending written, it gets done, or there’s blood.”

My wife took a seat in my now vacant writing chair. This was actually an affront. I felt an urge to drag her out of it. It was my throne from which I crafted cloudy character and veneered narrative. I resisted my urge, and leant against the wall instead. My foot was still tapping excitedly.

She still looked worried.

“I can’t help but feel it’s a bit unfair on the character. He has all this hope – you said it yourself before, the book is fundamentally about hope. He thinks this work will make a difference to people, despite the sadness-“

“Yeah I…I think I know what the book’s about.” I said, smiling sarcastically.

“OK. Then how can you go and bloody kill him? You can’t do that!”

“It’s my book!” I shouted, rushed by anger. My wife looked at first shocked, which rapidly turned to worry and then reciprocal anger.

“Don’t shout at me.” she fired back earnestly, before turning away.

“Listen-“ I paused. I went over to comfort her, and laid my hand upon her shoulder.

“Please understand…it’s painful to have art controlled by something else. It feels almost fundamentally wrong.”

“That’s ok. Just don’t snap at me.”

“I’m sorry.” I said, as sincerely as I could. She turned back towards me, satisfied.

“And besides” she started, now with an edge of triumphant menace “that’s just what you’re doing. He wants his book published and he wants it to influence and you’re going to have him shot.”

She had touched upon something there. An old anxiety began to widen in my mind. The darkness of the gaping worry was hard to resist. I turned to fiddle with a chest of drawers, shielding my face from my wife, and opened a drawer. It was full of blank paper, which I began to sift through.

“I must admit, I do have this affinity to the character. Shooting him feels like a betrayal almost, I suppose.”

“He is like you, Paul.”

“I know, I know” I played with an old pencil. The red paint that should have coated it perfectly was chipped in places and absent in others. It had been battered and bitten. “And to be honest, right now his identity and direction are part of huge thoughts of mine, due to their flimsiness, and trying to change that, or regain myself.”

“Myself?”

I shut the drawer loudly.

“Himself. Himself, I meant. He has these problems with him and his art, remember? He can’t make his protagonist believable.”

“Talking of which, I’ve been thinking of the whole idea of the book. The whole writing a book about a character writing a book…it’s a bit naff, isn’t it?”

I smiled. She was right. The whole post-modernism of it felt a bit tacky. But writing is so unique, so powerful, that it can only really be expressed through writing itself.

“It’s true. I just hope that the critics will see that it was the only way it could be expressed.”

“I’m sure they will.”

She paused.

“You’re settled on this ending, then?”

“Yes. I am afraid he has to be shot. Really, it’s right there. Looking back through it, it does make sense. It’s like the pages turn themselves towards it anyway. The clues are there.”

I sighed, and yawned. I had slept badly recently.

“Oh well. Time to write.”

The autumn night was ending. The hands of the clock were coming towards midnight, but work was being done, and art stops for no force. The expression of the idea is simply inevitable. The pen was hitting the paper at such speed now that I was scared of ripping up the page, and destroying what I had made. In many ways, I was doing this anyway. His death was the end of my opus and his.

“I’m going up to bed. Come up when you’ve finished.” My wife said, climbing the stairs. “If ever.”

I struggled with the ending. My body was resisting it. My chest was tight with tension. I had made the last paragraph. The rifles were being loaded. Long were the barrels. The last paragraph was squeezing me. Pain shot up in my left arm. Breath started to fail me. As he turned to face the firing squad, I realised. This was his death. I had steered him towards his death. There was nothing left for him. And the last words came freely, without thought, as he found voice in his moment of death. “My work!” was his words.

“My work!”

She toed nervously down the first few stairs. She called out in a soft voice,

“Paul? Is it done?”

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Loved the one above! Anyway, here is my effort - Fortnight

As the clackety-clack of the familiar 8:15 to paddington rolled in, only one thought crossed her mind; 'Here we go again, then'. It was the same every fortnight, on the train she'd get and go over there where horrible, horrible things would happen; unspeakable things would occur and in fact, to speak of them is to be involved in them and experience the same terror this poor poor woman does every fortnight. I dare not even speak of it yet millions of people do it, some even do it their whole lives.

One station, two stations, above ground or indeed below ground makes no odds. She has blocked it out, paralyzed with fear yet only moving with ambition. Yes, it's not crazed lunatics that force her, nor governmental bodies or a strict husband. None of the above in any way, shape, or form. Ambition! This is what drives her, she needs to be a better person at all costs.

People start looking at her. 'They always bloody do' she thinks to herself, but that's okay. She needs to tell herself she's becoming a better person because she knows she gets in a state, every time. 'I can go back to showing my image later' she thinks to herself. Ah, image. That little thing that is constantly on the mind of everyone who works in the city, it would seem. Obsessed with handbags, rolex watches and designer suits is the image that drives them.

The lights start to flicker and fuzz as they head underground. This means she's getting closer, and her chest ties itself into a multitude of knots to distract herself from what faces her. Then, all is silent. This is unusual for her, and certainly doesn't happen in the usual run of things.

'Unusual' she thinks to herself. In her worry, in her nervous wreck she had been shot. She was not the only one, but she was hardly concerned about that. No, in fact she felt everything pour away as she saw people running down the train, blood running down her chest, and herself sliding down the pole she was leaning upon. She then saw the train descend into darkness until nothing was left.

I actually feel quite proud of this, it was certainly an interesting story to write. This has been fun, I'll be sure to go for November's!

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WANTED!

Would you like to earn over £1000 in just two days?

Are you aged between 18 and 65?

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If you answered “YES!” to all of the above questions call 555-2468 and volunteer to participate in safe, important research.

Applicants will be asked to undergo a physiological evaluation, and will be housed in controlled conditions for a total of 50 hours.

*********************************************************************

A thousand pounds for two days! And this place isn’t all that bad, I’ve certainly stayed in far worse hotels. A thousand pounds though. I can’t get over it, I don’t even feel ill; or different at all for that matter. A thousand pounds for kipping and watching Countdown. It’s like being a student again. But with far more money.

Numbers round. Nice one. I’m much better at this. He’s gone for two from the top; good times! I like a bit of a challenge. Three, nine, six, five, seventy-five, fifty. And the target is…361.

Right, multiply the fifty and the five, add the seventy-five. Three hundred and twenty-five. Three six one minus three two five is thirty-six. Take the nine, minus the three, multiply by the six…361! And well within time too! I rock at the numbers round! I should apply to go on here, I really should. I reckon I could hold my own.

Reckon they’d let me take the time off work too. Who’d be able to say no if you got onto Countdown?

Jane and I used to play Countdown all the time at Uni. Seems so long ago now that we’re grown ups, but really, I wouldn’t trade my life now for an instant. Married to my first love, the girl of my dreams, a beautiful baby boy just popped out of the oven, first book recently published, work going well on my second, and of course a thousand pounds for two days work!

I didn’t tell Jane where I was going, I thought it would be a nice surprise for her if I came back from a “lads weekend” with more money than I left with. Maybe I’ll pick something up for her. She deserves a treat.

I always rolled my eyes as a kid when adults talked about love. About how it can hurt; but in a nice way. A yearning desire. Like looking forward to one moment with them both is like looking forward to a million Christmases. That’s silly; but it’s the best I can do. There is no way to describe it. At times, it’s outrageous happiness; a level that is seemingly unattainable before it’s attained. And outside of those times, it’s “merely” magnificent.

And a child. Nothing, not even falling in love, will prepare you for the first time you gaze into the eyes of a person formed by you. Forged and created by a glorious union between yourself and your love; generated by an impossible chemistry; an otherworldly miracle. Kids are what happens to everyone else before you have one. You can imagine, you can try to understand how it must feel, but you’ll never be close. It’s genuinely unbelievable. Another heartbeat that you have brought into the world. Another mind that you have blessed with consciousness. And another future for you to build and enjoy side by side forever. You’ll never lose your child. Never.

I laugh inwardly at my flight of fancy. I’ve been prone to this these last few happy years. Trying to analyse and understand how it can be possible that everything has come together for me so perfectly. Jane tells me that I shouldn’t. That I should enjoy it whilst it’s here. But that’s just it! It’ll always be here! It can never finish, by it’s very definition! My family, my life, my eyes, my ears, my hands will always experience this. What I see, what I hear, what I touch, what I love will always be here.

I am ecstasy!

I chuckle to myself again.

Ooh, anagram round! And…Speedboat! Bloody hell! One second; never done that before!

*********************************************************************

“Thomas Kingsley, unemployed, fifty-two years old, divorced for twenty. One child, Ben, thirty-two, and they have very little contact. Moderately successful writer in his youth, but never published a second time. Some signs of depression and anxiety, a smoker and a heavy drinker. Little exercise.”

“Any motor functions?”

“He’s been relatively still since we administered the shot a good twenty-four hours ago. He’s been in a state of R.E.M ninety five per cent of the time, but has stirred twice. Once shortly into his experience when he opened his eyes and smiled, and once again about ten hours ago when he raise his arms and clapped before letting them fall to his side.”

“And what did you tell him?”

“That he was ‘ecstasy’”

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Struggled for time this month, so needs an edit. Not sure about the tense either.

I can’t even decide how to feel – optimistic or desperate. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

I’m unprepared for success, and yet less prepared for failure. Knowing that all other creditable options have long since been exhausted this feels like a long shot, and by definition, it’s a longer shot than the last. Surely I’m at the point now, stood here with arms outstretched and legs wide open, where this is my last shot. I’m relying on a glimmer. I’m living in fairy tales.

I’ve always suffered from what many believe to be some form of depression, despite an inability to either prove or cure such a supposedly straightforward diagnosis. Classic symptoms have no doubt contributed – the unshakeable feeling of emptiness, coupled with the terrifying burden of mortality and the struggle to understand how anyone copes with its enormity. Standard stuff from the textbooks Varmon dismisses as grounded.

Two other symptoms suggest something less well documented. The first, for now at least, is an inability to make a decision of any kind. Early workplace reviews and more recent personality profiles have confirmed that it’s getting worse. It’s reached a point where unless my own survival is threatened I’m unable to commit, caught in between two options that torment me to choose, mocking in the knowledge that I won’t. Every alternative offers resistance, every molecule in my way fixed with an unmovable density, every route as thick as Bonfire Night.

Progressing a career is impossible, holding down a mere job was a challenge – just ask Myers Briggs. After every conventional medicine and therapy had been eliminated, I took it upon myself to explore the alternatives, never deciding, always trusting in chance. The supposed best years of my life are a parody, shuffling from one life to the next in the hope of a cure. New belief systems, changes in sexuality, friends I though I’d both like and dislike, numerous fetishes, political swings in every direction, every drug, every art form, every crime I could reasonably get away with.

It created the loner who stands here now - spawned from randomly living endless possibilities. I only own one pair of jeans. I’m the shadow in the background of spoilt photos. The people I face think terrible things.

With no process left to follow, and convinced that all possibilities and resources were exhausted, I longed to hibernate. Every variant felt more unlikely, everyone I met felt like someone familiar, a slight distortion of numerous templates already explored. The model simply ran out of scope. My bastard feed had carried me full circle.

Ah yes, my feet - the second symptom. They hurt like hell. Up until this day, I suppose they always have.

They feel under constant pressure, like wood, expanding and contracting with every footstep. Lead-heavy bones convince me my shoes are two sizes too small. I wake in the morning, hobble to the bathroom, and then curse my feet that have woken me. I limp on talons, curved and squashed out of all proportion. Traditional chiropody and medicine has so far failed, the feet always win. They keep me awake, the never let me rest. I walk dragging an invisible dead body. I despise how they don’t want me to move, or put another way, how they don’t let me choose.

Life fluctuates. From a chaotic, bohemian lifestyle that many crave but few actually survive, to the dark thoughts of suicide, and the agony of the many techniques available. Throughout the afterlife, my feet would no doubt painfully remind me that I’d made the wrong choice, that I’d dared to choose.

Until six months ago, when a breakthrough occurred. Two seemingly unrelated symptoms, mentioned by chance in the same consultancy session, leading to a specialist’s office in Stockholm. Here it was here Varmon, in his soothing sarcastic manner, who confirmed his diagnosis.

‘Well we’ve found the problem. The test results confirm it, quite obviously really. You’re still stuck.’

A silence followed. I’m a stickler for detail.

Stuck. Still stuck in the mud. Never play it at school?’

And there you had it, like he’d said the sanest thing in the world to the person least able to dispute otherwise.

‘The feet confirm it. Can you remember the last time you played? Some time ago I expect? Granted it’s an extreme case. Usually the effects wear off after ten minutes or so, an hour at most. Barely noticeable. I suspect it was a large game with many participants, and when the game ended you were the only one left stuck. The combination of such large factors has merely stayed with you for much longer. You’re still rooted, you have been ever since. It’s a terrible weight you’re carrying, but with an obvious cure…’

His voice was made for headaches, sounding more like a radio play with every sentence. Was he really going to say the obvious?

He did. As he asked about my old school friends, he stood up onto feet that barely noticed.

All of which brings me back here, to an old school yard facing a group of middle-aged men whom I apparently knew before I ruled them all out. The continued sessions with Varmon taught me to reassess possibilities, accept the existence of wider variables. I’ve become less grounded - ironic with feet that feel like fucking lead boots. Six months of intensive research followed - one month tracing, and a further five to convince the old school friends who stand before me that I’m not the lunatic loner they’ve read about. All for the seemingly longest shot, feeling both optimistic and desperate, arms outstretched and legs wide open.

The first player comes running. I notice that I barely recognise him. He looks unique, like a viable option.

I decide this is progress.

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In fact I have. Excuses: No major editing or any real time to go through it as I'm taking a break from bigger stuff ( or more a different angle on something similar), but here it is. Tense is all over the place, which is intentional, if a bit of an applied safeguard.

Brilliant. I would love to read a book based around that character.

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Sneaking one under the extension:

I’m making hot spiced cider for the family. It’s Autumn, the nights are drawing in, there’s that distinctive October chill to the air so I thought ‘Why not’. Downloaded a recipe from AllRecipes.com – hence the ‘cider’ part. It’s not really cider – it’s apple juice, two litres of Copella apple juice as a matter of fact, the best juice in the supermarket chiller cabinet. We don’t really have American cider here, or at least, if we do, I haven’t seen it. Our cider is their hard cider . . . I think. Using a website – an American website at that – for my recipes means that sometimes the methods, measurements and ingredients get a little lost in translation. I can pick up on most of them, though. I’ve had practise.

*

We’re meeting for what I hope will be the very last time. It’s late September and the trees are decorated with dead leaves like paper lanterns. It’s still quite warm; I’m wearing light clothes and I don’t feel the temperature one way or another. But then, it’s hard to feel anything when he’s around. The pounding of my heart blocks it all out.

“Come with me,” he whispers, but I shake my head. I can almost feel the pavement through the soles of my shoes. My toes curl uncontrollably inward.

“We can’t do this any more,” I say. “I can’t do it to them.”

He looks confused, a little amused, oh God I don’t know. The look on his face just pulls me in and I want to be with him, I want to hold him and kiss him, this man who’s only been in my life a matter of weeks but has filled my senses and blotted out the world. Unlined and free, a physics student, my little black hole pulling me into his gravitational spin.

I reach a hand out temerariously to shake his, like it’s the done thing, like I wasn’t saying goodbye.

“Goodbye, Jobe.” The words snarl free from my lips like ungrateful newborns, clamouring to get back in. Inside I’m starting to cry already. All I can smell is his scent. All I can hear is his voice.

*

The pan is loaded with juice, orange quarters, brown sugar and spices. It bubbles to a boil filling the air with nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. I reach for a plastic ladel and begin spooning it into cups. On the third cup something goes wrong and I spill it down the side, burning my thumb in the process. The pain is brief, but it’s enough to make me yelp and almost drop the cup I’m holding. I suck my thumb for a few seconds, shake out the pain, and then I’m back to pouring the sweet steaming cider into the fourth cup. One for me, one for Susan, two for the kids. I fetch a tray from the cupboard, place the cups on it, and head for the kitchen door.

*

There’s a long queue of people waiting at the doctor’s but I have my appointment and am allowed to break in towards the front of the line. The fellow next to me is a portly man in Georgian dress; the woman on the other side is thin, frail and old. Her grey skin is punctured by the dark rings around her dark eyes. She looks as if she’s been crying.

Someone down the line is crying. Her wails are subdued, she snuffles them into a ragged tissue and it somehow makes them all the more pitiful. She’s a girl, a teenager with hair pulled back tightly and a blue nylon anorak. “I love him,” she sobs, then covers her face in the handkerchief. “I love him still.”

The woman disappears into the practise for scant moments before she leaves and a nurse pops her head around the corner. “Mr. Knox,” she says, and I stand to leave my seat.

*

I hand out the cups from the tray, doling out hot cider into warm hands. There’s a Doctor Who spin-off on the television. All lasers and swaggering child actors, but it’s enough to keep the kids engrossed.

Susan sits in one of our arm chairs, her hands twitching and spasming as she knits a chunky woollen something-or-other. “Wait until I finish this row,” she says when I try to pass her her cider, so I do. She puts down the needles and knitting and gratefully takes her cup, smiling at me as she does. I put the tray on the floor and sit in the chair next to hers, sipping my cider. It’s sweet and gently spiced, and doesn’t quite taste like apple juice anymore.

There’s an explosion on the television set, followed by a pratfall. The children laugh. Susan laughs.

*

It’s a brief procedure, the nurse explains, but I’ve been waiting for this, I know all about it, I’ve waited long enough for it. I roll up my own sleeve and receive the jab with a slackened arm. The needle hits the fleshy part of my upper arm and seeps the drug into my system. “There, that’s it done,” says the nurse. “The hundredth shot of the day.” Then her professional demeanour slips. “Do you mind if I ask you who it was? A girlfriend. A wife.”

I think about Jobe’s lips, full and warm and close to mine, but already the jab seems to be working as my heart no longer races, my breath no longer quickens when I think of him. All I can feel is a fuzzy greyness where my love for him used to be.

“I’d rather not say,” I tell her.

She murmers something and ushers me from the room, and then I’m back in the open, standing in the car park waiting for Autumn to arrive.

*

I look at Susan and I feel nothing. I look at the kids, my beloved children, and I feel nothing.

The inoculation is working and the pain is gone.

I can pretend.

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hombre has such a solidity to what he writes that my vote goes to him by quite a margin.

Do we really offer crit anymore? I like to because it makes me read the pieces in different ways and give real time to everyone's work.

bastion has some amazing and inventive imagery that's sometimes hard to grasp due to slight overwordiness. It's tricky to let go to those perfect descriptibe words that turn out to be less than the sum of their parts sometimes, isn't it? I'm always very guilty of it, and hang on to lengthy description that I'm fond of too much, and it's negatively affected a lot of what I write. Be not like your bullets adam boog - discriminate, and trust the reader.

-

Ravern's is great, and has a really interesting theme, but only seems to free up in terms of flow toward the middle, and feels too explained for me. Immediate examples would be:

"came into my study and asked about my epiphany."

"My wife scrunched her face a little. She was clearly perturbed."

"My wife took a seat in my now vacant writing chair."

It kind of breaks the flow, and the over-explanation patronises a bit, especially when you start to feel the story dragging you in and you're hindered by it, which is a cock-tease, but not the good kind! Weirdly it seems to get so much tighter the further you read - perhaps indicating ravern's warming up whilst writing. Either way, it's heady stuff and I enjoyed it.

-

GViper's is good but as a personal preference I'm not overly fond of narrated stories where the voice telling it knows all, if you know what I mean. Where the characters' simple thoughts and emotions are explained after event by the detached author, because it always seems like they're never given their own space to breathe and as the reader I'm rarely stimulated into wondering just what's going through their head at that time, which makes the scene seem a bit cardboard, or at least needing an injection of some life of its own. More about my lack of love for the style than his piece in particular and many seem to cut their teeth on the style.

-

Crayola's was very image-oriented, as if describing a painting in his head, but he only spent ten minutes on it which is quite incredible. I have feeling this stuff comes naturally to him which is a source of huge jealousy, naturally.

Bastard.

-

I think Jolly should try his hand at screenplays if he hasn't already.

Also the angle on parenthood was sublime and I almost voted for him based solely on that.

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Yeah I couldn't really hit the flow with the prose at the beginning, and I think a lot of that was because of how wrapped I was up in the idea. I'm still happy with it but it would benefit from rewriting.

It was nice to see a poem from Danster. I liked it but at times struggled with the number of commas, if that makes sense. Rob Rule's was awesome but needs a novel, if you know what I mean. Crayola's was coool but too short to hit me completely. I feel that things like that need a slower build up to deliver the impact of a piece of prose like that. GViper's gets props for being set in paddington.

My vote this week goes to that old scoundrel Campfire_Burning. A nice moody piece that has an inevitable draw to it. The atmosphere reminded me of Banville, albeit achieved through very different prose.

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I like to offer a few words of mine own:

Fry Crayola - short sweet death

Rob Rule - longer meaner creepy

Ravern - authentic couple belief

GViper - death meaning underground

Jolly - fun dreams jolly

hombre hompson - polished otherworldly fun

Campfire Burning - reality checked twist

Bastion - cruel culture clash

After a slow start the eventual entries were all excellent!

Campfire gets my vote for tricking me with the affair.

Oh and if you guys were interested the reasons why my poem was called Shots (27) :

1. Shot in the dark

2. Shot

3. Good Shot

4. Shot (cannonball)

5. Shot in the arm

6. Shot - marked with varying colour

7. Shot (goal)

8. Shot-put

9. Continuous Shot

10. One Image, a single shot

11. Permeated, shot through

12. Rocket Launch, shot

13. Two-tone colour Shot

14. Blasting - Shot explosives

15. Shot like a rocket

16. Attempt shot

17. Sharp Comment

18. Guess

19. Nerves shot

20. Shot glass

21. Used up, tired ,shot

22. A small quantity of something

23. Money owed (archaic)

24. Injection

25. Shot in the head crazy

26. Shot 15 Fathoms

27. Get rid of, get shot of

:lol:

Roll on next month.

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Wow. Really strong month.

Couple of honorable mentions-

Rob Rule - Loved it, and as others have said would like to read more. Not just for the character, but also for the fact that it's written with such style.

Danster - At first glance it didn't do much for me, but after reading the explanation, it reveals a certain cleverness to it that I really like.

But my vote goes to Campfire_Burning. Strange one this, as I'm not sure I entirely get it. But it's been floating around in my head all day, with a fuzzy sort of warmth, so it must have done something right.

Well done to everyone who entered. I enjoyed reading all of them.

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Oh what, not one vote?

Yeah, it was a style not many enjoy I'll admit. I do though, and find those kind of narrated pieces fascinating.

Ravern gets my vote though, a thoroughly entertaining read.

Oh, and I'm awful at crit before anyone asks. I appreciated the crit on mine though, thanks!

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