Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Beginning 940

I remember sadness from when I was a little girl.  Death had taken someone close to my family but i was too young to comprehend the full impact or remember the details.  In my teens death was harsh and in three.  First my cousin, lost to cancer.  She younger than me.  Then the soccer player.  Instant inexplicable death in the locker room after practice.  Finally my friend.  My Christopher all golden haired and perfect.  That fateful day he had called... I wasn’t home, was on my way to see him.  His death hit me like a tidal wave.  Couldn’t breathe, think.  Couldn’t eat for days.  Thoughts of the trigger pull, the body lying in puddles of thick red blood.  Forever congealed in my memory.

So much blood.  Not Dexter’s mother’s death in a boxcar blood.  But years after Christopher death decided to taunt me.  What would I do to save a life?  Always in the wrong place at the wrong time incapable of saving anyone a trio of attempted suicide’s came my way.  I sound like I started to take the grim reaper personally.  As if he had some ill intentioned manner to come after me, my friends, my life, and leave it drained; it certainly felt that way.  There was Andrew, letters written in blood from states away.  I didn’t take him seriously, who does that kind of thing?  Well he did, ended up permanently damaged and locked away.

Shortly thereafter followed Jon.  He was damaged from the start of our brief engagement.  Scar ridden body I figured he was more into torture than the real thing.  Body half eaten alive by Heroine and who knows what else.  The tragic guitar player I couldn’t escape despite my best efforts.  Until one day I finally did.  Took a new job, moved my things into storage and hit the road.  The phone call to my hotel room late at night as his blood filled the tub.  Did he really want to die?  He lost enough to, but the cops beet the door down and stuffed new blood in the places where he’d emptied out his own.  Several months in a hospital and he never tried it again.  Maybe the blood he was born with wasn’t good enough.  Dead already.  Suffocated him without his knowing and all it took was a quick transfusion to fix him.

With the record of grisly deaths (not The Thing grisly with the spit-drooling dogs; the old black and white version) everyone i come in contact with meats, I am forced to question why anybody would want aught to do with me. Even you, kind reader, you who are perusing this, my gruesome memoir, may well consider suicide after reading only three or four paragraphs. 

Opening: J.R. Moore.....Continuation: Paul Penna


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

Shatelle checked the EULA box and submitted her letter. If this one didn't get her a cute, lonely vampire, nothing would.


Now Death is stalking me.

Now I wonder, will the cops turnip in time to beet down my door and stuff blood into all my places, or will I be forced to continue this stilted, hackneyed existence forever?

--Angie Sargenti

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

By the time I got through the second paragraph I had long since forgotten the first, and was much too tired to assay the third. Cut, cut, cut. And try for mostly complete sentences.

Evil Editor said...

Too many errors. (Beet for beat, Heroine for heroin) Use a hyphen when words are combined to form one adjective (ill-intentioned, golden-haired, death-in-a-boxcar blood, scar-ridden body...)

I'd leave out Not Dexter’s mother’s death in a boxcar blood. It won't be familiar to many of your readers.

There's something compelling about death, but I think cutting these three paragraphs down to two would be a good idea. There a limit to how long people will continue to read what is basically a list. The 1st paragraph could be cut to:

In my teens death was harsh and in threes. First my cousin, she younger than me, lost to cancer. Then the soccer player. Instant inexplicable death in the locker room. And my Christopher, all golden haired and perfect. His death hit me like a tidal wave. Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t eat for days. Thoughts of the trigger pull, the body lying in puddles of thick red blood.

The narrator claims to be incapable of saving anyone, but she couldn't do anything about the cancer or soccer player. Did she phone the police after the guitar player phoned her? If so, she perhaps did save him.

BuffySquirrel said...

Are we channelling Kerouac? My advice: don't.

sarahhawthorne said...

Sorry, author. It's a dramatic info dump but it's still an info dump, giving us overly detailed backstory on people who I'm assuming aren't going to reappear later. If you're going to do this poetic style, you need to pick your words with care. It's about what you don't say, not about what you do.

EE already edited your first paragraph. I would edit the second and third like so:

Years after Christopher, a trio of attempted suicides came my way. There was Andrew, letters written in blood from states away. Shortly thereafter followed Jon, the tragic guitar player. [Sentence about third person here.] I started to take the grim reaper personally. As if he were coming after my friends, my life, and leaving me drained.

And then the next paragraph MUST be about what the narrator does in response to all this death. Does she check herself into a hospital? Does she distance herself from people? It's time for her to take action.

vkw said...

It's vaguely interesting but by the 3rd paragraph, I have lost interest.

What is the story about? A memoir of people dying in someone's sad, ill-omened, luckless life? Or . . . what happens to this person. Is she about ready to make a deal with devil to avoid death? Perhaps, she hunts death down and demands an apology. Or perhaps she goes on to law school in order to defend someone's choice to die. Perhaps the familiarity of death has turned her into a serial killer. . . .

But you, my dear author, haven't told me by the third paragraph and so it must not be that important. And, if it is not that important to mention by the 3rd paragraph, then I'm moving on to a different book. . . . or skipping to the 2nd chapter with hope something interesting is happening there.


Anonymous said...

Does not seem ready for prime time. It's not clear what you're aiming for: fiction? non? personal musings?

james said...

"But years after Christopher death decided to taunt me." I think that was in the second paragraph, and it seemed to be missing a comma. Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't make up my mind if the sentence was supposed to read "But years after Christopher, death decided to taunt me," or if it was meant to read "But years after, Christopher death decided to taunt me." The former seems likely, but the latter seems more compelling because it allows the words "Christoher" and "death" to merge into "Christopher death," which gives Christopher's death its own unique and personal identity. Either way, my point is, commas are important, even if I don't do especially well with them. Write on, author.

Dave Fragments said...

I'd throw out the second paragraph and still cut the first paragraph in half and the third paragraph in half.

I like the grimness of the opening bt it is too long and deserves at most half the words you have here.