Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Beginning 640 (horror short story)

Let’s play a game. I’ll tell you about the people in my family, and you guess which one of them is the real crazy. I know what you’re thinking. There’s all kinds of crazy, but I mean the real kind. I’m talking about the kind of crazy that needs to be locked away in a dark place. C’mon; it’ll be fun.

I’ll start with my mom. She’s a real piece of work. She’s depressed. Not bi-polar at all. Just depressed. There isn’t a pharmaceutical or clinical remedy known to mankind that will get her out of bed in daylight hours on a regular basis. I hear she used to be happy, and beautiful, and alive. Now, she just curls up in bed and stares at the wall. If you ask her why, she’ll tell you her eyes are burning.

Every once in a while, my dad would get fed up with the dishes and the smell, and he’d kick her out of bed. He’d kick her until it hurt, and she’d get up and shower. She’d do a little laundry, and rake up the trash. She might even make him dinner afterwards. She’d lie on the sofa and stare at him until he fell asleep. She stared, but she never cried. As soon as he was asleep, it was back to bed for her.

My aunt once told me that my grandma used to lock my mother in the cellar because she was afraid of the dark. It must have worked. She likes the dark now.

So, which one? Give up? Ok, I’ll tell.

It's not my mom. I mean, my mom is depressed, but only economically. She’s been working nights as a minimum wage data entry clerk for BLR Medical, staring at an old CRT monitor for eight hour shifts. Talk about eye strain. And it's not my dad; he’s not crazy at all. He’s just a sadistic wife-beating drunk. As for my grandma, she's the sweetest little old lady you could ever hope to meet. She never once locked my mom up anywhere.

My aunt, however. Schizophrenic pathological liar with acute dissociative identity disorder and a smidgen of delusional parasitosis. She told me that lie about grandma because she thought I was Sookie McFadden, her imaginary CIA handler who orchestrates military coups and installs puppet regimes in Central America every other Thursday armed with only a paperclip, a Zippo lighter, and half a can of Easy Cheese. Total whack job.

Hey, that was fun. How about another game? I know! Wanna guess which one of my siblings is a serial killer?

Opening: Jenny Martin.....Continuation: Blogless_Troll


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuation:

I don't know where she got the shotgun. But one night, after dad had fallen asleep, she pulled it out from under the couch cushions.

It was a fancy rig, a gleaming black Mossberg 500 with pistol grips and a magazine extender.

We knew there was going to be trouble as soon as she took it out. Dad knew he was in trouble when she chambered the first round. It's funny how fast the sound of a shotgun shell being chambered will wake someone up.

"Look, Honey," was as far as he got.

She only shot him the one time. That was enough. He hardly moved, just sat there in his La-Z-Boy staring at the television with big dead eyes and a hole in his chest.

"I'm going to bed," she said as she headed for the stairs. "And ain't nobody waking me up 'till I'm good and ready."

--Matt Heppe

150 said...

It's you. Come on.

writtenwyrdd said...

Love the continuation! It perfectly mimics the original!

I liked the voice of this opening, Author, and I would have read on. But I hope you get to the point in the next paragraph, as this is a short story and you don't have the room to continue with what is essentially background.

That said, I suspect you really would be better off losing much of this banter, as it really is background. But if it is necessary set up and you go on in this manner for a while longer, you are definitely wasting valuable real estate in a short story and you should trim or omit.

Evil Editor said...

I can't tell if this entire section is about the mom, with the other family members coming up soon, or if this is the evidence about mom, dad and grandma. The dad/grandma sections are providing evidence of why mom is/went crazy.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

The Troll is definitely back with a bang! Hope to see more from you, BT. Two wowzers from you just isn't enough. You could be 2009's answer to Ril, yanno, if you keep it up. Although Matt's contin was also pretty terrif. Tough choice this time!

Sorry, Jenny, I'll be back later to comment on your opening. I was just blown away by the contins...

Sylvia said...

I would cut the first paragraph and open with the mom. That way, you can actually show her interactions with the world, rather than telling us all about it. I think I'd feel more drawn in if you were explaining about how she used to be while watching her get kicked and head out for the dishes, just to return again as soon as he's asleep.

Having said that, I'd keep reading from here as it stands.

none said...

I suspect that no amount of kicking will magically restore motor function in someone that depressed.

This is the sort of opening I see a lot in slush, and it doesn't inspire me to read on, I'm afraid. Really needs a much stronger and more engaging voice from the narrator.

Anonymous said...

this is more like author's character sketch homework, than scene 1 of the plot. try reading up on the "inciting incident" concept and write a new page 1, or maybe just cut all the verbage that precedes your inciting incident.

jmartinlibrary said...

The story is very short; it's only about 1,000 words. The reader meets the rest of the narrators family and is introduced to the real crazy. I'd post the rest, if it's permitted by EE.

It was written just for fun and practice.

Chris Eldin said...

OMG!! BT, that is BRILLIANT!!

I see the koala has given you some vitamins. Keep taking them.

Chris Eldin said...

BTW, I liked the voice in the opening, and I'd read on.

none said...

Shaggy dog story!

Xiexie said...

I like this -- the voice, premise etc, but I agree that It should just start with the mom.

Robin B. said...

Oh My God! Phoenix is right. The Troll is back. I'm so happy!

This was a piece of art, this continuation. Although it does kind make me nervous that he knows about so bloody many disorders...

And Jenny,

I like it - and I'd read on. The only thing I'd take out is the "C'mon; it'll be fun" line.

And I liked how the dark place was mentioned in para one, and then brought up again, real though past world, in the fourth para.