Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Beginning 656

It’s not easy to recognize a vampire. Forrest didn’t even recognize one when it fell out of the sky and landed at his feet. This happened at night, as most interesting things do, and this night Forrest was walking home. Home was an apartment (one of many) in a tall building, which rose (one of many) above dirty concrete and dirty grass in a housing project. Forrest, eleven, scrawny and mouselike, walked back to his mousehole, while above him pond-froth clouds swirled around the yellow moon. Coming home to a drunk-too-much father wasn’t something Forrest looked forward to, but he was used to it. The upside of the situation was that Forrest was never expected home on time. Forrest sometimes wondered if he was expected home at all. As he walked along the cracked sidewalk, a boy landed spread-eagle in front of him. Forrest stopped and stared, and eventually kicked the body.

"Ouch." The boy opened his blood-red eyes and saw Forrest standing over him.

"What's your problem?"

"Oh, I thought you were my brother. He likes to jump off the roofs of the (one of many) buildings at night. He's a douchebag," Forrest explained.

"Hasn't he killed himself yet?" The boy asked, getting up suddenly and dusting himself off. He stepped over (one of many) leaves on the pavement, and stood oddly close to Forrest.

"No, it's a little strange, isn't it?" Forrest mused, completely oblivious to the fact that this stranger was smelling his neck. "But Mama always said, life is like a box of...Hey!"


Opening: Zachary Hudson.....Continuation: Shoshana Beaubahna

22 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:


The body didn't even twitch. A moment later, an older boy thudded down beside the first. Batty old Mama Lune pulled Forrest aside as yet another body fell where he'd been standing.

"My goodness, it's raining men!" she said. She winked at him and slipped him a piece of cheese. "Don't you worry none, them's vampires which technically means they's already dead and I got a cure for dead."

As Mama Lune raised her army of zombie vampires, Forrest reflected: it's not easy to recognize a vampire, but voodoo priestesses are hard to miss.

--Faceless Minion


It sprang up at Forrest, teeth bared, and went for the neck, but Forrest's stepmother (one of many) had armed him with Vamp-B-Gone. As Forrest sprayed it, the vampire melted away. Vamp-B-Gone had saved the day again, and it may save your life, too.

Yes, this miraculous product is available for only $19.99! If you call now, we'll add in a free zombie invasion survival guide and a high-quality garlic sampler pack. Three amazing products for only $19.99! Call us now at 1-800-GET-GONE. Again, that's 1-800-GET-GONE!

--Rachel


You had to kick them because sometimes, when the Air Force shot them down, they weren't dead, they were just stunned.

Every night Air Force fighters and Army helicopters would shoot down twenty to forty vampires. They seemed to flock over the poorer sections of the city. The wealthier citizens could afford mercenary anti-aircraft batteries.

Forrest was sick of vampires. Couldn't somebody finish them off once and for all? Ugh, he hated the very mention of them.

--Matt Heppe


His thoughts immediately turned to his mother, who often told him, "I swear, you wouldn't know a vampire if it fell out of the sky and landed at your feet!"

He guessed now she was right. He started to cry.

--Freddie


The body jerked and Forrest jumped back. A bloody finger (one of many) twitched. The mouth yawned open and a fang (one of two) glinted in the yellow moonlight. Not-so-bright, mousey Forrest might not recognize a vampire easily, but he did recognize trouble and maybe a solution. Forrest helped the boy to his feet. Together they stumbled into Forrest’s mousehole. He left the boy in his bed and cleared out. Forrest didn’t want to be there when his drunk-too-much father met this replacement son.

Sarah L.


You'd think recognizing a human would be easy, but to a vampire it's not. Selva didn't even recognize one when he fell out of the sky almost on top of one. For a vampire, he pretty much sucked at hunting humans. He'd hunted vampires (one of many) and failed (one of many times). Only twelve, tall and waif-like from almost starving, Selva jumped to his feet when a kick hit his side.

--Xiexie


The boy, catlike, snatched Forrest in his front teeth (two of many) and shook him like whale-dead blubber. Being bitten wasn't something Forrest enjoyed, but he was used to it. Turning into a vampire might be interesting though. He stalked back to the mousehole, wondering how booze-saturated blood would taste. Better than peanut butter?

--Hanne


"My momma always said, "Undead is as Undead does." -

-Pacatrue


It didn't move, so he picked it up and brought it back home. Him and Maisie nursed the little thing back to health.

We put ads in the newspapers and on Craigslist, but no one came forward to claim it, so I guess we adopted it. Had it neutered, of course -- it wasn't too happy about that to be honest, but it was much less aggressive after that. Great with the kids. They always look exhausted after playing with it in the evening, and fall right off to sleep.

--anon

Evil Editor said...

Another Unchosen cont.:



The vampire boy held back a groan and his eyes fluttered. Forrest was curious to know why the vampire would pretend to sleep after falling and getting kicked in the head. Forrest circled the vampire and when he got to the spread-eagle legs, which were adorned by loose fitting shorts, he could see why the vampire would be too embarrassed to strike up a conversation (his balls were showing). Forrest stopped and stared, and could not wait for the vampire to get up so that he could make fun of him for the embarrassing truth (his balls were showing). The vampire waited patiently for Forrest to return home to his drunken, mouselike father but Forrest wasn’t going anywhere and a kind of mental chess match ensued. “You can’t pretend forever.” thought Forrest. “I’m not expected home ‘til late anyhow.”

--Matthew

Aimee K. Maher said...

I haven't had coffee yet, so I can't be nice. And you don't want that...

*got the powerrrr*

Evil Editor said...

Using "mousehole" could lead readers to wonder if Forrest is a mouse.

If this began:

Coming home to a drunk-too-much father wasn’t something Forrest looked forward to, but he was used to it. The upside was that Forrest was never expected home on time. He sometimes wondered if he was expected home at all.

As he walked along the cracked sidewalk, a boy fell out of the sky and landed spread-eagle in front of him. Forrest stopped and stared, and eventually kicked the body.


...it would get to the word "vampire" a bit later, but it would also lose a lot of stuff that stalls it out the moment the action begins. Worth considering.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

I like Hanne's continuation. The snippet inspired a lot of good ones.

I like the original; it could use some tightening, but I love the last line. Kind of unexpected. Already more interesting than a lot of poorly written, sleep inducing vampire books that are on the market...

sylvia said...

This happened at night, as most interesting things do

This made me smile.

eleven, scrawny and mouselike, walked back to his mousehole

I'd pick one mouse reference or the other. Mouselike gave me an image of the boy and you've already described home, so I'd go with the first.

The upside of the situation was that Forrest was never expected home on time. Forrest sometimes wondered if he was expected home at all.

I found this to be too leading. The second sentence could be struck out without losing any real information.

Aimee K. Maher said...

Ok, I'm back. It sounds cute, honestly, but it's mixed up, like peas got in the mashed potatoes. Sit down and sort out the clutter, and stop repeating his name.

"It's not easy to recognize a vampire. Forrest didn't recognize one when it fell out of the sky and landed at his feet. This happened at night when he was walking home, of course. Etc, etc."

...or something.

Adam Heine said...

I like the voice, and I would definitely read on. But I felt like the third and fourth sentences backpedaled too much. I was glad to see it got back to the vampire before too long.

The second "(one of many)" slowed me down since it came after a verb, not a noun. I had to back up to figure out what it referred to. On the other hand, if it came immediately after "a tall building" it would sound like it was trying too hard for being too close to the other one. So I don't know what to do. Maybe nothing.

I love mixing my peas into my mashed potatoes. It makes them easier to eat.

Aimee K. Maher said...

Sort of like pot and brownies.

*Looks over shoulder*

Matthew said...

The original was too "voicey" for me, which I find distracting. EE's revision takes me right into the actual story.

writtenwyrdd said...

I liked the beginning two sentences (I like vampires!), but the segue into backstory killed the interest and momentum of the opening lines. We can learn about drunk parents, cookie-cutter apartments and whatnot later on.

Genre Reviews said...

My comments are pretty much the same as EE's. "Mouselike" followed by "mousehole" made me wonder if Forest was a mouse or other small animal (which would explain the body falling 'from the sky' from his perspective).

The vampire falling from the sky is what initially interested me, so pausing the interesting action to fill in back-story (which really should be front-story) slowed things down to the point of frustration for me. EE's suggested re-write would work well to fix that reaction.

Good luck.

_*Rachel*_ said...

If those one of many's are some of many's, then you might have one of many problems.

I really like some of those unchosen continuations!

Sound like your main problem is a little redundancy.

Hanne said...

I really did think Forrest was a mouse, sorry author. It was the mousehole that did it.

chelsea said...

I find myself wanting "drunk" to be "drank". Otherwise, I agree with EE, unless you want to put some of the info a little later. A vampire falling from the sky is too juicy to put off for all this info. I like the writing, though.

BuffySquirrel said...

Made me think of Dogma. Not that I mind being reminded of Dogma, but while I'm digging out my DVD, I'm not reading on.

Ruth said...

I think "drunk" sounds much better than "drank". His father is drunk too much, not his father drank too much.

Well, both are no doubt true, but it sounds better to me as drunk rather than drank. Having said that, I'm not the biggest fan of that phrase; it's a bit awkward, I think I'd change it.

Overall I like this, although I'd wipe the "mousehole" reference and refer to Forrest as "he" a couple of times. I also suspect some mayyyy have issues with the "one of many" repetitions, although I thought that was funny.

I like the voice and the humour in this one, though. EE's suggestion of putting the action a bit earlier is good.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the drunkard father thing a tad cliche?

Anonymous said...

Isn't the drunkard father thing a tad cliche?

Maybe when people stop identifying with it, people will stop writing about it.

BuffySquirrel said...

Is that one anon arguing with another, or with themselves? So hard to tell.

The drunkard father is a cliche; it also happens to be one with which I'm extremely bored. But that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Anonymous said...

Maybe when people stop identifying with it, people will stop writing about it.

Oh, if only it were that simple.

chelsea said...

I was taking it as "drank too much" rather than "was drunk too much". In the case of the latter, "drunk-too-often" would work better for me. But that is just Me!