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Topics - Griff

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Review My Work / Opening Scene - Horror - 1025 words
« on: July 08, 2018, 02:38:50 PM »
It would be lovely if someone could look this over for me. I struggle with "show don't tell", and similar writing cliches, so any critique helps! I'm going to give this a mild warning of horror, it might be a little bit gross? I am a bad judge.

People do not go gently into that good night. Their bodies may collapse like marionettes cut from strings, eyes cloudy and vacant, but their spirits wail and scream, grasping for anything that may keep their mortal coils tethered to this earth. They shriek and claw at walls, tearing vocal cords and rupturing eardrums, leaving behind severed nails and the acrid tang of blood, all in a desperate attempt to crawl away from their greatest fear. The fear of all who live. Death.

I've known this my entire life.

From birth my sister said I was different. "You would never stop crying," she whined, "No one could get any sleep with your infernal screaming."

There is a clear difference between the cries of the dead and the cries of the living. The living's are loud and shrill, but the dead's carry for miles, warbled and distorted, like tv static.

"Rashid," my mother used to say, "quit cowering and go to the market." But I could not, for the streets carried the wails of the damned which echoed into my young ears. Father thought I was crazy, flinching and covering my ears at every step. Maybe that was why he left, escaping into the night which housed my eternal fear.

It took nine years of agony and confusion before I learned the source of the shrieking. I don't remember how I ended up on that street. I was lost in the maze of cobblestone, the screaming in my ears growing louder and louder. I stumbled into an alleyway and I saw it. A man was lying on the ground, chest still and eyes glazed over, a beast crouching over him. It was hunched figure, as tall as three or more men, wrapped in a cloak as dark as night. Its flesh was blood red and sickly, oozing black veins littered like patchwork across it, wriggling like worms. A man, translucent, was hanging from its teeth, shrieking and wailing loud enough to make me flinch. I whimpered as the beast turned towards me, dropping the man, standing up and looming over my tiny frame.

Its face was a frozen monstrosity, dark crimson blood smeared around the gaping void where eyes should be, face contorted into a permanent smile with uneven, dripping teeth. My throat closed, my eyes locked on the abomination, like the rabbit who looks upon a wolf.

"Hello," it whispered, breath ghosting over my flesh, leaving goosebumps. "Can you see me child?" Its voice rang with the cries of a thousand people, sounding like child, woman, and man.

I nodded, tremors moving from only my hands to my entire frame, encompassing me.

It moved closer, its face nearly touching mine. Looking into its empty eye sockets revealed hundreds, thousands of worms coated in blood and bile, moving restlessly in the creature’s skull. The world tilted as I fell, retching and scrambling back away from the nightmare.

"That's strange," it said, shuffling even closer, ignoring my whimpers, "What's your name?"

"R-Rashid." I stutter, blood rushing even further away from my pale face.

"Hello Rashid. I am Death."

The hair on my arms raised.

“I’ve never met anyone who could see me,” it continued, “you must be very special.”

I wasn’t listening to Death’s words. My eyes were locked upon its fearsome form, my ears upon the renewed screaming of the translucent man behind it. It was an incessant noise, drilling into my skull, turning my other thoughts into static.
The pause stretched.

“Rashid?” Death asked, moving until it was nearly atop me, to my horror.

I couldn't respond. Terror had beaten my brain into a fine paste, thoughts firing wildly into another, leaving no trace of any coherence.

Death tilted its head, before turning back to the screaming man. “I have to take care of this soul,” Death said, sounding dejected, “but I’ll be back soon. I hope we get to see more of each other.” It unhooked its distorted jaws, picking up the wailing man.

“No, please, help me!” The man yelled, voice cracking. He scrambled for purchase on the cobblestone wall, nails scraping against the rough surface. His eyes darted around, locking onto my own petrified form. “You,” he pleaded, “you can see me. Help me! I don’t want to go!”

My breath quickened. The man was still shrieking.

“Wait!” Someone yelled.

It was me, but my mind was hardly in enough order to figure that out. Death turned back towards me, and I once again was trapped beneath the repulsive gaze.

“P-Please,” my throat was dry, and it cracked painfully, “please let him go.”

Death made a questioning noise, dropping the soul once more. “Why?”

“U-uh, he, he doesn’t want to go.” My body was shaking again, and my consciousness felt miles away from my body.

Death stared at me, occasionally glancing back at the soul. He had rolled up into a fetal position, a steady stream of pleases and prayers falling from his lips.


I startled. “Okay?”

“I’ll let this man stay,” Death said, staring into my eyes, “but you must agree to speak with me again.”

My stomach plummeted. I shook my head, “No-,”

The man whimpered, the sound cutting off my denial.

Tears began to form, but I blinked them away, staring at my feet. “I accept.”

“Excellent!” Death crowed. It bit into the soul, roughly shaking and shoving it back into the body on the ground. “I have other places to be now, but I expect you’ll see me sometime soon.”

It appeared directly in front of me, faster than I could ever hope to follow, grabbing my jaw and angling it towards itself. “Don’t ignore me.” Its voice was deeper, each word slowly emphasized. The tension in the air could be cut with a knife. The worms in its head were still.

I made a noise of assent, it crawling out of my throat from sheer terror.

Death took a step back. “Thank you very much. I look forward to our next meeting.”

It vanished, silence stretching out while my shellshocked mind sputtered to life. With a gasp, the dead man awoke. I began to cry in earnest.

Thanks for reading  :) I don't really know how to continue it, but from here I plan to make Rashid become Death's unwilling apprentice as he slowly discovers more abilities and slowly comes to learn more about Death

All the Write Questions / Script Writing
« on: April 11, 2017, 09:13:50 PM »
Best tips or advice for anyone considering writing one? What makes a script good? How do you come up with ideas?

(I'm just thinking of questions that may be helpful to myself and others, feel free to answer however many questions you would like.)

Thanks :)

Review My Poetry / Poetry about poetry
« on: April 11, 2017, 06:53:03 PM »
Another school assignment. I'd like to hear some thoughts on it. I don't have a title. Couldn't really think of an ending.

Certain poets spend time and sanity crafting creative lines,
watching rhythm and repeating rhymes,
immersed in the beautiful imagery developing in the dark rooms of their minds.

Syllabic soliloquies, sonnets, and songs,
each pulling the reader along,
like a siren's call leading sailors into the fog.

Words flow like water out their lips
from an endless catalog of synonyms and quips
as the dazzling diction practically drips.

The end is tied up into a fabulous bow,
the poem polished to perfection with a consistent tone,
emotion and climax leaving the reader breathless and alone.

Review My Poetry / Embracing Imbalance
« on: April 06, 2017, 05:01:09 PM »
Embracing Imbalance

The darkness of night
and the silence of sleep surround
and conceal the creative chaos within my mind.

It’s a cacophony of noise
separated by brief moments of
bliss and beautiful women,
interrupted by inane logic
that ensnares my insidious brain.

I head further down the rabbit hole,
running, racing where my
reasoned mind dare not go.

Falling, flying, floating towards
a dream that I cannot reach,
fleeing from a fear that
rests just outside my sanity’s grasp.

Battles wage and wars are won,
dancers spin and strut into the sky,
years pass as seconds while
reality slips further and further away
from my

Like thread I uncoil,
any thought or
threat spreading
on canvas,

and hours
have passed when I feel the pull.
I struggle to escape,
screaming and swearing, kicking and smashing,
all to resist the tug back to reality.

It is fruitless.

Thanks for reading, and I'd love comments and feedback :)
I had to write this for a class, and I'd never done any "poetry stuff" before, so I'd love to see what people think of this.
The poem was supposed to be about dreaming. The formatting is intentional. Sorry if it's hard to read.

Review My Work / Short Story - 1250~ words
« on: January 23, 2017, 01:01:36 PM »
Hey everyone! It'd be great if I could have some thoughts on this short little story I've written.

It was dark outside at five in the morning. Jackson was the first at his work most days as he was one of the more senior staff members. The echo of his footsteps and the sound of him wiping down the tables and windows were the only interruptions to the quiet atmosphere. Jackson enjoyed the silence; he filled it with his aimless humming. It was almost time to open up and greet the first customers of the day. Flipping the storefront sign to open, he walked behind the counter and waited. Watching the minutes tick by, he stared at his thumbnail until he heard the familiar sound of a bell at the door.

"Hey bro!" Kevin yelled, his jubilant attitude and grin infectious. Kevin had been Jackson’s friend since they were little, and their friendship was one of constant banter. Kevin made sure to comment when Jackson was being a shut-in (which was almost always), and Jackson made sure to mock Kevin mercilessly over the time he dyed his hair pink. 

"Hey Kevin," he sighed, holding back a smile. He turned around to clean off the countertops. "You gonna order something or what?"

Scoffing, Kevin brought his hand to his chest in an exaggerated manner, "I can't just drive here to visit my great, fantastic friend?"

Jackson gave him a look.

"I'll take my usual."

Smirking, Jackson turned on the machines and made Kevin some coffee.

"Anyways, Joanne and I are going to the party down the road this weekend, you should come with us. Bring a date or something."

Jackson rolled his eyes. Kevin and his fiancée, Joanne, had been trying to get him to go out with them for months. His answer always remained the same. "I don't know man. I'm really busy this weekend."

Kevin gave a very loud and audible sigh. "Come on man, you've given that excuse every weekend for the past month! You got to get out sometime."


Kevin clenched his jaw. "Jack you're going to miss out; it's gonna' be a lot of fun!"

"How many times do I say this? One, don't call me Jack, two, I'm busy with my work." he paused, taking a breath. "I don't want to go anywhere."

An audible sigh filled the room. "And you never will." Kevin grabbed his coffee and headed to the door, waving. "See you later Jack. Hope you change your mind."

He left, and the silence was deafening. The room was quiet, but Jackson's thoughts were loud.

"What did that mean? 'And you never will'?" he thought, his mind racing. He was so preoccupied that he didn't notice the door open and close.

A loud cough jolted him back to reality.

Jackson looked up, startled.

An old man stood in front of him, his bushy brows furrowed, further pronouncing the wrinkles adorning his face. He cleared his throat and said, his voice gruff, "Can I get something?" His face was set into a frown.

Jackson jumped back into a working mode and replied, a forced smile on his face, "Yes sir, what would you like," his tone apologetic. "Our special today is-" He was interrupted by the old man waving his hand, uninterested in what Jackson was going to say.

"I'll just take the..." As the old man said his order, Jackson grabbed a cup and asked for his name.


Jackson tried not to snort at him. He wrote his name and started making his order, noticing some of his coworkers walk in. "So, Beverly, that's an interesting name," Jackson said with a quirk of his eyebrow.

Beverly grunted, scowling. "My name used to be popular, back before texting, or cell phones. Back when twenty-somethings were off fighting for their country instead of serving people coffee."

Biting back a frown, Jackson placed an indifferent expression on his face. "Nothing wrong with serving coffee, sir. Who else would do it?"

"It's not a man's job."

He kept his expression neutral. "What did you do then?" he asked Beverly, "Go off looking for enemies in foreign countries? Gaining honor and glory, valiantly fighting many?" Jackson couldn't keep the sarcasm out of his voice.

"What? No, I was an accountant."

Jackson stared at Beverly.

"I've led a very calm life," he said while Jackson handed him his coffee. He took a long, slow sip and an awkward silence followed.

Jackson was turning back to start cleaning again when Beverly made a thoughtful noise. He looked back at the old man.

"What's a guy like you, who should be a few years out of college, doing working at a small coffee shop?"

Shrugging, Jackson muttered. "I don't know. This is what I do."

He scoffed. "That's an uneventful way to live your life,"

"Says the accountant," Jackson shot back, exasperated.

"Y'know what?" Beverly said. "My life is boring because of it. I could've traveled the world, pursued my passions, but I kept thinking 'no, I'm fine here'."

"Just because you lack motivation doesn't mean that I have none." Jackson's face twisted into a frown, and he ran his hands through his short hair.

Beverly put his hands up. "Fine, don't listen to me," he grabbed his coffee and started to walk out the door. "You'll regret it," he finished with a smile.

Jackson scowled, an expression soon becoming commonplace for what should have been an ordinary day. "What's with everyone today?" he muttered to himself.

The rest of the day progressed as normal, aside from the occasional hints from his coworkers that he should go to the party with Kevin and Joanne.

"Psst." One of the workers, a high school girl named Cherry, said, "A lot of people are going to this party. It'd be really fun." She jogged away to handle another customer before Jackson could respond.

"Psst." An hour later Jackson rolled his eyes as another barista, from the same high school as Cherry and the others, said, "The party's going to be a lot of fun. You'd really miss out,"

Jackson was ready to pull his hair out by the time a third person came to him about the party. "Why does everyone want me to go to this ridiculous party anyways?"

"Because you never go anywhere!" Cherry said, her friends behind her nodding. "You work way too much, and we don't think we've seen you take a night off in months."

Jackson sighed, running his hands through his hair. "The answer's no. It always will be."

Everyone’s faces fell, but he chose to ignore them.

For the rest of the day he remained relatively unbothered, and the only upsets involved hyperactive toddlers and their tendency to spill things. Yet, the party wouldn't stay out of his mind. Should he go? Jackson knew that he hadn't done anything even remotely social since his last breakup. Besides, he thought, it'd be weird if he just decided to be outgoing now. Plagued with anxiety, he decided to make his decision in the most scientific way, by flipping a coin.

"Okay," he muttered as he pulled a penny out of the tip jar. "Heads I go, tails I stay,"

He flipped the coin.

It landed on heads.

He cursed at himself while he pulled his phone out of his pocket, dialing Kevin's number. The phone rang for several tense seconds before he picked up.


"Fine Kevin. I'll go to your stupid party," Jackson grumbled, embarrassed before hanging up the phone. He chose not to see his coworkers staring at him in various forms of shock and awe. Nor did he react when Cherry and her friends squealed, loudly.

Thanks :)

The Writers Circle / When is swearing appropriate in writing?
« on: January 17, 2017, 06:57:57 PM »
I've been told by some that swearing is lazy in writing, but with the characters I write they tend to swear in dialogue or narration. Are there guidelines or rules of some kind that people follow when swearing in writing?

Welcome Board - START HERE! / Hey!
« on: January 17, 2017, 05:13:22 PM »

Hey, my name's Griff, and this site was recommended to me. The site looks nice, and it seems to still be active so I'll be around here posting and such. I hope to improve my writing, and this site may be the place to do it. I'm not good at introductions, but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

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