Author Topic: Amoebas (Strong Language)  (Read 1629 times)

Offline TylerD

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Amoebas (Strong Language)
« on: January 29, 2011, 05:49:33 AM »
Hey,
This is my first short story.
Let me know what you think.
Its on my new blog:
http://aviolentscenery.blogspot.com/
Thanks!

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2011, 08:10:00 AM »
Tyler.

You'll probably get a better response if you cut and pasted your blog entry into this post, rather than just giving a link to your blog.  There is a tendency - especially amongst we older readers - when we see a link to think 'I'll click that later but not right now'.  Then we don't always come back.  Heartless sods, aren't we?

It's not that we don't appreciate the time and effort you may have put into setting up your blog, we just like simple text so we can read the words and not be distracted by the presentation.

If you decide to follow this advice may I also suggest you leave a blank line (white space) between each paragraph.  Trust me, this makes a difference, especially to those with millions of words on their shop-worn eyes.  One big solid block of words discourages readers.

After all this negative sounding stuff, just to show that I did click your link...

Syd is a compelling little creature.  I pictured her quite clearly.  Karen I'm afraid came over as just another generic casual bedmate, but then that's the effect you were after, wasn't it?  Too much reader empathy would have been counter-productive.  Blue in the moonlight I liked though, a vivid image.

The old black homeless guy was nicely drawn with a few words.   An opportunistic predator who also knows when to back off.  A useful talent for any street-dweller.

Overall I felt some of it was a bit overwritten, a club over the head when a clue would have been more appropriate, but you have something there.

Transfer it into the post here, using cut and paste and the modify option, and give yourself a better shot at feedback.

Finally, did you mean a stint in rehab?  Or is stent a US term I'm just unfamiliar with?  Little things like that jump out when you're reading someone else's words ;-)

BTW, welcome to the circle.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline 510bhan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 63305
  • So many jobs to do . . .
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2011, 12:51:35 PM »
I too am reluctant to open links - part laziness, partly because my laptop isn't very well trained. Post it up and I'll have a look. ;)

Offline Amanda George

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4865
  • Currently editing all my manuscripts!
    • Stories 4 Children
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2011, 02:59:49 PM »
I'm also reluctant to open links in case there is a virus or hacker waiting to attack me  :(
There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present (unknown)

Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 03:27:38 PM »
Tyler - when you get to read this - none of us are suggesting you're a bad guy, just that we don;t really know you yet.  Those of us who've been around computers for a while tend to be cautious.  Once you've switched on and realised 'someone else is driving' you get a bit wary.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline TylerD

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 03:30:07 AM »
Here's the story, but if you enjoy it, please like it on my blog at http://aviolentscenery.blogspot.com/
Thanks!

Amoebas


The room was pitch black.  The sheets damp with sex.  Cooper Lewis sat up in the void of dark, his head spinning as if trapped on some demented carousel.  A whiff of stale vodka stung his nose, sending him stumbling to the bathroom to vomit.
After hurling violently, he rinsed out his mouth and was about to turn the light out when he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror.  Reaching towards his face, he inspected what appeared to be a black eye.  The mysterious wound was fresh and tender to the touch.  Another battle scar for the gallery of lost nights. Another cartoon anvil dropped from above.
Naked, he crept back down the moonlit hall.  He flicked on the bedroom lights.
“Off!” cried a muffled but familiar voice.
He had forgot she was there.
“I’m just getting my cigarettes.”
 “OFF GODDAMNIT!”
He quickly pulled on jeans and a sweatshirt.
“Thank yoooou,” Karen cooed as he flicked the lights back off.
 Outside, the night air hung eerily around him.  The sound of traffic buzzed from blocks away.  A street lamp flickered.  In the distance, the skyscrapers loomed silently over downtown, their bright beacons of light mostly off.  Ancient totems of dead gods. 
Somewhere car tires squealed. A dog barked.
After lighting his cigarette, Cooper surveyed the street with one eyebrow cocked.  How he had missed the dead of night.  It was at these strange hours he felt he did his best thinking.  Under the guise of darkness he felt his ideas to be profound, his mind among the great philosophers and thinkers of history.  He had concluded his deep thought must be the result of the night’s ability to remind him of his own mortality.  The city’s steady humming being a constant reminder of the humanity surrounding him, and their collective mortality realized.
Blowing out a plume of smoke, he tossed his head to the sky and laughed.  Less than twenty-four hours earlier he had emerged from yet another stint in rehab.  A shining vessel of enlightenment poised to evolve and conquer.  Now, still half-drunk, the comedy of his rapid demise sent shockwaves of laughter through his ribs.  All the fruitless hours he had spent in reinvention lay wasted at the bottom of a bottle.
Despite his best attempts, nihilism always won out.  Why strive to obtain greatness when one can suffer so beautifully?  What was he but a crude cocktail of DNA, floating aimlessly from one inevitable disaster to the next?  Any other belief stunk highly of illusions of grandeur.
Just an amoeba killing himself slowly.
Scrambled eggs.
Taking a final drag, he flicked away his cigarette and headed towards the door.  That’s when he saw Sydney.
Shuffling, tennis shoes scraping the sidewalk, the petite menace made her way towards him.  She was irresistibly beautiful, but her make-up was running down her face and her hair hung wildly over her eyes.
“I called you,” she shouted roughly.
“I think I lost my phone,” he called back.
Drudging drunkenly towards him, she pulled at her shirt, which hung off one shoulder.
“I heard you were out. Why didn’t you call?” her gruff voice bounced down the street.
Ignoring the question, he lit another cigarette.
Finally she approached and without warning lunged into his arms and stole a peck on his cheek.
“Nice black eye,” she cackled.
“Thanks, I think I caught an elbow at Lenny’s.”
“Who was playing?”
“Fuck if I know,” he muttered.
“You smell like booze, babe. How long did you make it this time?”
“About as long as it took me to get to the bar.”
“That’s okay, babe. You were never cut out for the wagon.  There’s too much despair in you.”
She continued to hang on him, pushing her plump breasts together with her elbows.  He stole a glance down her shirt and then took another deep drag.
A long silence passed and somewhere a siren wailed.
“Who’s up there?” Sydney blurted out.
“What?”
“Normally you would have invited me upstairs by now.  And with all your old fucks crawling around Lenny’s, I’d bet my sweet ass you didn’t leave there alone.  So who is it? I’m not jealous.”
“Karen,” he admitted, “I’m as thrilled as you are.”
“Oh my god, Coop! She’s a bitch. You can do better.”
Taking his hand, she slid it down to her butt and squeezed, her breathe on his ear.
“I need to get back inside,” he pulled away.  As he did, he noticed an old black homeless man was slowly approaching, watching intently with bloodshot eyes like a wolf that had smelt blood.
“Young love,” the old man crooned, “is a beautiful thang.  Y’all thank you can spare a dolla?”
“Cant help you, old man,” Cooper replied sternly.
“Okay. Okay. Ya’ll be careful now.”
The old vagrant cracked a smile and continued past them, rambling on to himself and whoever he thought might listen.  With each lanky step, the ears of his bomber hat bounced up and down adding a certain innocence to the otherwise predatory nature of the man.  Cooper wondered what evil the old man was strolling to.
Why had that amoeba not killed himself?  He imagined every night under some bridge, or in some park, a constant longing for an end.  Each bleak morning another painful reflection of the night he had just survived.  Would a quick shot to the head or an intentional overdose not be a blissful launch into nothingness?
He felt a chill run up Sydney’s back.
“I fucking hate the homeless,” she hissed, “Animals…”
“Do you ever wonder why they don’t kill themselves?” he asked.
“I’m sure a lot of them do.”
“It just seems like there would need to be special trucks to pick up all the suicides every morning.  All the sorrow they must feel, alone in the squalor.”
“Why haven’t you killed yourself yet?” she asked jokingly.
“I don’t know. I really don’t.”
Turning back to one another, they locked eyes and stared futilely into each other’s souls.  Searching for some meaning to this reluctant existence.  How was she different from any other amoeba in this godforsaken town?
She just was.
A pipe bomb to the crotch.
A sexual radiation pulsated from her, bending time itself with each arch of her back.  Pulling him into her, they kissed and she bit his lip hard.
“Fuck, Sid!”
“You love it, babe.  I gotta go.”
And with one more peck she left him holding his bleeding lip, and strutted into the night, liquor and hormones raging together in one perfect missile.
Ready.
Aim.
Fire.
He was hooked again already.
Back in his apartment, he quietly disrobed and climbed into bed.  Karen still laid naked, lost in her own pharmaceutical oblivion.  He could never understand the allure of a pill.  It had no ritual, no graduating response.  No activity to loosen the jarring gears of the social machine.  It offered only the coma he now witnessed sprawled beside him, her tan legs and ass shining blue in the moonlight. 
Cracking open a beer he had left himself on the nightstand, he stared at the ceiling, wishing it would collapse down on his head.



Dont forget to go to my blog and hit like! http://aviolentscenery.blogspot.com/


Offline Amanda George

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4865
  • Currently editing all my manuscripts!
    • Stories 4 Children
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 06:50:04 AM »
It's good but not brilliant, sorry!  There isn't anything to keep me reading except for this crit... it needs a hook at the start and tension to keep me reading - it just reads, to me, like I'm spying in on a night at your place and not much is happening... I'm sort of like the homeless man looking in the house window?  Sorry!
There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present (unknown)

Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

Offline 510bhan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 63305
  • So many jobs to do . . .
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 09:05:35 AM »
Some terrific descriptions, fresh imagery but nothing in the story to make me 'feel' for Cooper Lewis and finding out if he exacts a revenge, avoids a hit - whatever. All it seems to prove is his thinking that he is a crude cocktail of DNA - to what purpose?

Offline mhender668

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Amoebas (Strong Language)
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 09:37:15 AM »
I like your writing, it's vastly superior to 99% of what one finds here. There are a few errors of grammar, but you can find them.

My criticism is that it's not a story--it's an incident, maybe a scene, but not a story. I get the part about failing to be rehabilitated, but that is only a setup. There should be a struggle--a conflict. There is none here. He goes to rehab, fails, and says "oh well." Give us something to root for, or to hate, or something. For example, have him really want to get better. Have him go out again and try not to drink, and then give in, and then hate himself, and sit rocking in a chair with a gun to the roof of his mouth thinking should he bust the cap or try again (or something like that). The girl's not even jealous. There was some potential with the girl that you passed up.

Good writing, though. Find a story in this and you'll have something.