Author Topic: Trying on some fiction. First half of short horror story. Adult content.  (Read 980 times)

Farren Square

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I always enjoy fiction but never have the confidence to write it. So I had this wierd idea and decided to ante up and give it a whirl. Catch is, the fiction hasn't exactly started in the story yet  :-[ Anything goes for you critics. Thanks  :)





“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, Satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
   

The Graveyard Shift

   At 11:00 p.m. every night, Teddy Parks began his shift at Morrison Koontz University in Benchmark, North Dakota. After seventeen years of serving as a campus security guard, he’d grown accustomed to the pranks and catcalls that came with the job. The occasional jeer, “rent-a-cop” seemed to be a classic. There was also always the ‘condoms on the windshield wipers’ prank. He’d come across many fogged up vehicles concealing two erotically-minded teenagers, and was no stranger to the pungent scent of marijuana or the stench of bourbon on student’s breath. Teddy had pretty much seen it all. Despite the mostly onerous responsibilities of being a security guard, he’d maintained a fairly amiable nature. As long as the kids weren’t pulling down street signs or smoking dope in their dorm rooms, he was notably lenient. That’s not to say he never got a chuckle out of startling the football players by running his spotlight over the field they had concluded a safe location to drink their beers and feel-up the local girls. He considered his retaliations harmless yet satisfying.

   On a chilled autumn evening, Teddy woke for his weekend shift at the college. He’d had a bad dream, but couldn’t seem to recall what it was about as he dressed himself for work. He slipped his security jacket around his shoulders and slowed to a stop halfway up with his zipper. His heart-rate began to climb. He reached into a hidden pocket to procure a small orange bottle. Handling the contents of the bottle the way a forty-niner might handle a phial of gold, he ever so gently tapped out two triangular pills into his quivering hand. Pavlov’s dogs couldn’t have compared to the salivation Teddy now experienced as he watched the marvelous capsules tumble onto his open palm. The precious pills literally seemed to glow when he moved them to his mouth. He closed his eyes and felt the stellar sensation commence as the drugs journeyed toward his stomach. His mind began to soar and he fervently siphoned the awesome power from the pills.
   
   Teddy Parks didn’t use coffee to wake himself up before work. No, he had something slightly more potent to start off his long lonely nights; Speed was his poison. He’d tried it for the first time at the very campus he now watched over. The group with which he first experimented speed, even justified their actions. They used the drug to stay up for days at a time during finals week. Enabling them to get extra study hours in before their big tests. Teddy, however, was not one to dedicate all his time to books and homework. He became obsessed with Speed. Addicted to the way it overcame him, he abused his pills and flunked out of his third semester. Seventeen years later he coasted to a stop in a parking lot he once pulled into with a prosperous future ahead of him.

   A crescent moon shone high and bright over the insightful naked trees. Lifeless brown leaves crunched under his boots as he stepped out of his security car. He’d always hated this part about his job. This single moment made him consistently consider retiring. The lonely isolation never bothered him. Nor had the monotonous details of his job. No, every night when Teddy stepped out of his car, something else disturbed him; chilled the very bones in his body. At 11 o’clock p.m. an inexplicable sinister consciousness took hold of him. A cryptic foreboding that never once failed to make him stop where he was --- and listen. He knew not what he was listened for, yet this made him only listened harder. He closed his eyes and heard the wind drag dead leaves across cracked asphalt. The drugs had heightened his senses. He stood alone under the lunar sky and began to ponder the sense of hearing itself: In its purely primal state, it is used for communication amongst species. Enabling them to call a mate or locate offspring. But the sense of hearing is also used to detect something else. The sense of hearing is a honed tool for the intricate detection of danger. It is used to listen for predators. Starving, scavenging pillagers with desperate thirsts for the blood of it’s weakened prey…. But this feeling could not be heard. It couldn’t be smelled, tasted, nor seen or felt. It was a sixth sense. Like an internal seismogragh with tiny needles that quiver ominously over the rolling paper when something is just not right.

Offline NicoleJames

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My first thought is that if this is a short story, it's slow to start.  In four paragraphs, all that's happened is he popped a dose of speed and went to work.  I like the set up, but if when writing a short story, you really have to rein in the extra words and be precise and to the point. Hope that helps. :)

Offline Butterfly21

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First of all, almost a giant wall of text. It needs to be broken up a bit more.
Secondly, this is four paragraphs too long I think. Everything that happened, all the important things that happened can be written in no more than four sentences, I think.

For example, using a few of your own sentences:

Teddy Parks didn’t use coffee to wake himself up before work. Speed was his poison. At 11 o’clock p.m, an inexplicable sinister consciousness took hold of him, as he began his graveyard shift at Morrison Koontz University. The drugs had heightened his senses, especially his hearing. He listened hard for a sound resembling the danger he felt.

Okay, so that's 5.  :D But only 57 words, compared to your 753.
I didn't feel the back story was important because it only took away from what was happening. Also, that much back story that early is an info-dump. You need to trickle that stuff throughout the whole story, not drop it in the opening.

Hope this helps you see what I mean.  ;D
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 06:07:44 AM by Butterfly-17 »

Offline Socom

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Hey, Farren Square.

IMO = In My Opinion

Suggested changes are in bold, any text with strikethrough should be omitted (IMO), and my comments are in masculine purple italics

===========

At 11:00 p.m. every night (Is it really necessary to tell us the time? You could just say "Every night, ..."), Teddy Parks began his shift at Morrison Koontz University in Benchmark, North Dakota. After seventeen years of serving as a campus security guard, he’d grown accustomed to the pranks and catcalls that came with the job. The occasional jeer, “rent-a-cop” seemed to be a classic. (IMO the previous sentence felt too "explanatory"...as in, it brought me out of the story)There was also always the ‘condoms on the windshield wipers’ prank (single quotes should be double quotes). He’d come across many fogged up vehicles concealing two erotically-minded teenagers, (IMO, the fogged up vehicles is self explanatory...) and was no stranger to the pungent scent of marijuana or the stench of bourbon on students' breath. Teddy had pretty much seen it all. Despite the mostly onerous responsibilities of being a security guard, he’d maintained a fairly amiable nature. (The next sentence is strong enough to stand on its own, making the previous sentence "fluff") As long as the kids weren’t pulling down street signs or smoking dope in their dorm rooms, he was notably lenient. That’s not to say he never got a chuckle out of startling the football players by running his spotlight over the field they had concluded a safe location to drink their beers and feel-up the local girls. (This sentence is a bit verbose, consider condensing it) He considered his retaliations harmless yet satisfying.

   On a chilled autumn evening, Teddy woke for his weekend shift at the college. He’d had a bad dream, but couldn’t seem to recall what it was about as he dressed himself for work. He slipped his security jacket around his shoulders and slowed to a stop halfway up with his zipper. His heart-rate began to climb ("heart-rate" is a bit odd here...consider implementing "pulse" instead). He reached into a hidden pocket to procure a small orange bottle (IMO this should be "pocket and procured..." but I don't really think "procured" works here. Consider an alternate word). Handling the contents of the bottle the way a forty-niner might handle a phial of gold, he ever so gently tapped out two triangular pills into his quivering hand. Pavlov’s dogs couldn’t have compared to the salivation Teddy now experienced as he watched the marvelous capsules tumble onto his open palm. The precious pills literally seemed to glow when he moved them to his mouth. He closed his eyes and felt the stellar sensation commence as the drugs journeyed toward his stomach. His mind began to soar and he fervently siphoned the awesome power from the pills.
   
   Teddy Parks didn’t use coffee to wake himself up before work. No, he had something slightly more potent to start off his long lonely nights. . Speed was his poison. (you know what's funny? So far this paragraph would make a great book/chapter opening, IMO. It triggers the reader's interest and doesn't have a lot of fluff) He’d tried it for the first time at the very campus he now watched over. The group with which he first experimented speed, even justified their actions. They used the drug to stay up for days at a time during finals week. Enabling them to get extra study hours in before their big tests. Teddy, however, was not one to dedicate all his time to books and homework. He became obsessed with Speed. Addicted to the way it overcame him, he abused his pills and flunked out of his third semester. (the previous sentence is just back story...try to introduce it another way)Seventeen years later he coasted to a stop in a parking lot he once pulled into with a prosperous future ahead of him. (This sentence is a bit jarring...the jump from flashback to present isn't very clear,, IMO)

==============

I'll have to stop there for now.

I do concur with NicoleJames...the start is a bit slow for a short story. I really do like the opening to the 3rd paragraph...I think that's your real starting point.

Do not allow the narrator to reveal too much back story...what happens is it just comes off as just that: a narrator. The reader needs to be ensnared by your tale, especially if it's a short story.

Keep it up :)
"May God forgive me for the time I've wasted"
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"God never panics"
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"This too shall pass"

Offline Skip454

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I love long-winded build-ups that are descriptive and important to setting up the story. However, I have no feel for the story line yet, that far along it is probably a bad thing. :-\

Maybe a snip-it of action and a reflective fall-back to the start of the day? Since I can't see where it is going I can't really suggest more than the others have already mentioned.
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Offline 510bhan

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Hi

I think you should start with P3 with a couple of the bits used in P1 and P2 to colour it and it would work better

Quote
  Teddy Parks didn’t use coffee to wake himself up before work. No, [sounds like author intrusion] he had something slightly more potent to start off his long lonely nights; Speed was his poison. He’d tried it for the first time at the very campus he now watched over. The group with which he first experimented speed, even justified their actions. It was ironic how they jeered 'rent-a-cop', a classic from them now. They used the drug to stay up for days at a time during finals week. Enabling them to get extra study hours in before their big tests. Teddy, however, was not one to dedicate all his time to books and homework. He became obsessed with Speed. Addicted to the way it overcame him, he abused his pills and flunked out of his third semester.

His heart-rate began to climb. He reached into a hidden pocket to procure a small orange bottle. Handling the contents of the bottle the way a forty-niner might handle a phial of gold, he ever so gently tapped out two triangular pills into his quivering hand. Seventeen years later he coasted to a stop in a parking lot he once pulled into with a prosperous future ahead of him.

You might have other suggestions JMO ;) ;) ;)

Offline Laura H

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Hi FS,

You've received some good suggestions.  I think you need to edit & cut a good deal and you need that beginning hook - maybe starting with Teddy's downfall?

Speed was Teddy Park's poison -

Immediately we form an opinion about your mc . . .
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

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