Author Topic: [Short Story]The investigation of Susan Mitchell - 1771 Words  (Read 1431 times)

Offline AlysiumX

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[Short Story]The investigation of Susan Mitchell - 1771 Words
« on: August 18, 2010, 10:32:40 AM »
I just released the first chapter for a short story i'm writing called "The investigation of Susan Mitchell". I would just like to see what people think, being its the first real thing I wrote.

Thanks for reading.
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Chapter 1
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Susan, shotgun in hand, ran as fast as she could through the city streets. She watched the zombies following with much haste, as they slowly gained on her. She thought about turning to shoot them, but was too shaken by the thought of a single one latching on to her. At the last moment before she became a mid-evening snack to the flesh devourers, she dove through a glass door leading into a closed fresh market store. She quickly stumbled to her feet and darted behind a nearby wooden shelf, which she thrust with all her might, sliding it into doorway not a second too soon. Luckily for her, it blocked the entire doorway. She pushed a few more shelves behind it for reinforcement. She finally pushed the last shelf in place before sitting and resting for a moment.

Finally she stood once again, and started toward the checkout counter, grabbing up an apple out of a nearby basket on the way. Leaning against the counter, she collapsed against it.

“I don’t know how it came to this point” she thought as she took a bite of the apple.

After a second, her attention was brought down to the locket she wore around her neck. She undid its binding to her and opened it up. Inside she gazed upon the last picture taken of her and her son. It had only been three short months since a drunk driver hit and killed him. Worse then that, it happened right in front of their house, and right in front of her, as she waved him in from another school day. The sports car, driving far faster then the speed limit would allow, fatally struck her son, and also flung the driver though the windshield. The sure impact of the car sent her son flying through the air, in a way no human should fly and within seconds, everything Susan ever loved was taken from her.

“NOOOOOO” She yelled frantically, as she ran and knelt before him. He lay on the ground coughing as blood dripped over the side of his mouth and she grasped his hand holding it tightly as if she was trying to hold on to her son’s very life. He looked at her, with such fear in her eyes, that even her tears became painful.

“Mom… mom.. I’m…..scared…” he managed to finally cough up. “It’s okay…” she assured her son as she held him tightly and began to rock slowly back and forth. “It’s okay…”

And with that, she felt her son finally give his last breath, all falling silent.

Susan was suddenly knocked out of her nightmare by the extreme growling outside. She rose to her feet, locket still in hand, as she made her way to the store window. There were the zombies, waiting for her outside. She glanced around, wondering how she was to ever make it out alive. To worsen situation, she even noticed that certain zombies might have retained some sort of slight human intelligence as she now saw some of them were wielding actual rifles. She slowly stepped back, until her back came in contact with a wall.

Suddenly there was a loud bang on the shelves in the doorway. She watched quietly, as the shelves gave way slightly. She quickly ran to lean against them for reinforcement but it was no use, as the shelving continued to shatter, until there was barely any left. Susan looked at her locket one last time, kissing the picture of her and her son before finally jumping to her feet. Loading her shotgun, she took a deep breath as she kicked the remaining shelves with all her might, sending them and the intruding zombie flying out the door. She followed up into the door way, and began shooting. She took out a zombie to her right, blasting him in the chest and watching him fall off his feet, growling. She then turn to another and took it out as well, but in the heat of all the excitement, she had failed to notice an armed zombie to her left. A failure that resulted with a shot that ended the last stand escapade of dear sweet Susan.

She fell to her knees, and then her back, sending the shotgun bouncing away from her as she looked skyward. In the sky, she could see the face of her son.

“Mom” she heard him say as he reached for her hand with a smile.

A tear shed from her eye as she finally reached up, her hand meeting his.

And after a moment of silence, with her lost son, Susan finally faded.

***

When Thomas heard the call, he knew it wasn’t going to be an easy mission, but nothing could have prepared him for taking a human life. His team had received the report about one Miss Susan Mitchell, a woman who was believed to have lost her grip on reality after the loss of her son. After seeing her stroll the city streets with a loaded shotgun, those beliefs seem to have been true. So the SWAT team was called in to prevent her from harming the innocent. At that notion, Thomas had wondering if that included herself. However, it mattered not, when he had no choice but to end her life as she went on a rampage and shot at his colleges, though luckily none were seriously hurt with the aid of body armor.

It had been three weeks since it had happened, and he had been having nightmares ever since. His mind aflame with the burning question of “Could I have not killed her? Should I have handled it differently?”

This morning, as with every morning, Thomas awoke with a cold sweat. The heat, fluttering through his apartment, did nothing to help the situation. Though the heat truly fell back seat to the overwhelming remembrance of the haunting nightmares in his mind. “I wonder if this pain will ever go away?” He thought as he sat up, acquiring his house shoes. He stood up and began to head for his kitchen when a knock at his door startled him.

“Who is it?” he yelled through his door. “Package Delivery,” came a voice.

Thomas opened his door to see the delivery man, who handed him a clipboard.

“Sign here please,” he pointed. “Hot out there today isn’t it?” Thomas asked as he grabbed the pen and clipboard, signing his name. The man just responded with a nod as Thomas passed the clipboard back to him.

“All right, well here you go,” said the delivery man as he handed Thomas a big brown envelope before heading on his way.

Thomas carried the envelope over to his kitchen table before finally flipping it over. On it, in big letters was one word, a word that instantly shook Thomas to the bone : “Susan”. With a sudden and instant reaction, he threw the envelope on the table and gave it a frightened stare.

“What could possibly be in it? Who could possibly be sending me this?”

After a second, he realized it probably couldn’t have been too hard to track him down, after all the incident hit the news papers the very next day, and finding him in the phone book probably didn’t take a private investigator, but who would send him this package? Upon further investigation, he noticed no return address, which was usually a sign of no good, but his curiosity got the better of him as he finally picked up the envelope again. Cautiously, he opened the top and slid out a couple papers, a pocket sized journal of some sort, and some big photos. Thomas read the top of the first typed page that read “Document is property of Caroline Mental Hospital. For internal eyes only.”

It was clearly a document he shouldn’t have access to, so he wondered why somebody would send him it. He did a quick glance through the pages before finally moving on to the photos. The first picture was of Susan and her son, it seemed like a very happy photo, both were dressed up, so it must have been an professional photo taken somewhere. He felt a little better knowing she had once had a happy life away from the maddening state she was in when they found her. However, after continuing to flip through the photos he found himself even more disturbed. The very next photo he saw was her at a funeral, most likely the funeral of her beloved son. Taped to the back of the photo, he found a small cut out article, the title read: “Local woman assaults unsuspecting neighbor.” Upon further scanning the article, Thomas was able to point out Susan’s name mentioned within. The photo with this article was of Susan though a barred window. Thomas thought it could be a prison, but he spotted a sign half way out of the picture with the words “Caro” and “Ment” which was more than likely the mental hospital from the cover page he had read. The photos and articles became more and more disturbing as he moved through them, articles of beating innocent victims, and troubles within the mental hospital, caused by Susan and they only worsened over time.

After deciding he had seen enough, he dropped the photos back onto the table, spotting one last page with printed text in the center of it. He picked the page up to examine it further. It read : “Call me we have much to talk about” and below that was a phone number. Thomas, mind still flipping through the devastating photos he had just seen, replaced the page back on top of his new photo collection. Suddenly his clock alarm sounded reminding him that he would need to begin his morning cycle to get ready for work. So with one last glance at the paper with the number attached, he turned off his alarm and began to get ready. Within thirty minutes he was ready to walk out the door. He was a single step from heading out into the hallway of his apartment when the paper suddenly caught his eye again. After a brief moment, he walked over to his table. He then folded up the paper, putting both it and the journal in his pocket before finally heading on his way to work. He could only imagine who sent this information to him and why, but he knew he must find out if he was ever to put his life changing grief to rest.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 03:09:02 PM by AlysiumX »

Offline ma100

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Re: The investigation of Susan Mitchell
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 11:02:49 AM »
Alysium,

It would be nice if you introduced yourself on the welcome board and read the guidelines for etiquette and reviewing work on here. ;) I can tell you are excited and enthusiastic so I am sure this is just an over sight on your part. You will find other members more receptive once they get to know who you are. Good to meet you.

Ma :)

Offline AlysiumX

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Re: [Short Story]The investigation of Susan Mitchell - 1700+ Words
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 03:05:13 PM »
Just a quick update on this thread. I removed the link and posted the actual chapter here for easier reading and correct posting guide lines. Thanks again.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 03:07:38 PM by AlysiumX »

Offline Mark H

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Re: [Short Story]The investigation of Susan Mitchell - 1771 Words
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 08:22:16 AM »
Hi A

I'm basing my opinions on your first para, which was all I could read.

Writing fiction is craft. It takes lots of time and effort to become even reasonable. Most people give up, those that don't never get beyond adequate. I'm just saying this so you can put my comments into perspective.

It seems that you are fine with spelling, grammar etc. This is big plus for you, because it means you only have to learn how to write fiction, not how to write.

Your style screams newbie writer. Sorry. Explaining exactly why is not easy but I'll have a go.

Susan, shotgun in hand (I can't say why I don't like the phrase other than ... it's just wrong  :),

ran as fast as she could (don't use modifiers, user strong verbs. for example: raced/dashed

through the city streets. She watched the zombies (does not fit with running fast)

following with much haste (strange phraseology),

as they slowly gained on her. She thought about turning to shoot them, but was too shaken by the thought of a single one latching on to her (try not to tell the reader what your characters are thinking, show it instead. EXAMPLE: She stopped, turned to face them, lifted the shotgun to her shoulder. Here hands shook so violently she couldn't aim. Damn! She turned and ran. .

At the last moment before she became (too wordy)

a mid-evening snack to the flesh devourers, she dove through a glass door leading (not needed)

into a closed (we can assume that)

fresh market store (a what?).

She quickly stumbled (poor word choice)

to her feet and darted behind a nearby (not needed)

wooden shelf (she must be very short then!)
,

which she thrust with all her might (thrust is such a good word, then you spoil it with this egregious cliché that makes me want to rip my ears off) ,

sliding it into doorway not a second too soon (another cliché and a tell. show why!).

Luckily for her (unneeded), it blocked the

entire (unneeded)

doorway. She pushed a few more shelves behind it for reinforcement (always credit your reader with intelligence. are you worried that if you didn't say why she pushed the shelves there, the reader might think she was doing it for fun?).

She finally (not needed) pushed the last shelf in place

before sitting and resting for a moment. (this would be ok if she was out for a stroll, BUT, she's being chased by zombies. She can rest, fine, but lets see her panting, her muscles aching after the effort of the run and moving the shelves.

I hope that is of some help.

Mark
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 08:24:32 AM by Mark. »
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Offline AlysiumX

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Re: [Short Story]The investigation of Susan Mitchell - 1771 Words
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 07:23:40 PM »
Hey mark, I wanted to thank you for the feedback you've given, it will definitely help me moving forward.

I can completely agree with all that you've said, and a lot of it didn't actual really occur to me till you put it in perspective. However, my honest belief is that if you have a story to tell, theres always the potential for great fiction writing at which point it becomes just a matter of how you write it and hopefully, from what I learn from the mistake I've made, my writing will become better.

Offline Mark H

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Re: [Short Story]The investigation of Susan Mitchell - 1771 Words
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2010, 03:35:42 AM »
A

Quote
However, my honest belief is that if you have a story to tell, theres always the potential for great fiction writing at which point it becomes just a matter of how you write it ...

Exactly. And how you write it will determine if you get published. Keep writing and posting snippets on the board and you will soon make progress.

Good luck.

M

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