Author Topic: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word  (Read 27539 times)

Offline 510bhan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 63305
  • So many jobs to do . . .
Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #105 on: January 02, 2013, 03:11:47 PM »
Holy, blistering, herpes, Brian . . . I want to bang my head against your mam's drainer! Have you read the thread about writing tight? I'm only skimming the surface here.
*Then = naughty most of the time, lazy word.
*Repeats, unless for effect and impact = naughty/lazy.
*Fragments need to be effective to work.
*Variety in structure/sentence openings etc . . .
*Authorial intrusion --- you lose readers that way -- why do it -- you've just spent time painting a picture to place them in the scene and then you pull them out of it. WHY? Why? Why? After that, you've got to get them back again.
*Exclamation marks -- really . . .  ::) The only time you need them in this piece is during Mam's rant.
*Telling/showing: your use of was/were in most places here turns the sentence/s into a tell instead of keeping the reader within the action taking place and retaining the tension and excitement contained in the scene.

I swear


South Shields, 1967. I leaned against our back gate, acting the big man in front of the bloke next door.  Mouthing off to him and swearing even though he'd already complained a couple of times to Mam about my bucket-mouth. [frag that doesn't work IMO]  Repeating [consecutive sentences beginning with ing -- variety/balance/effect/style . . .] all the foul words I'd heard recently, thinking I was so big and clever, the other kids looked on. They were keen to see what happened next. Altercations in those days before telly, always attracted a small crowd.[authorial intrusion -- takes the reader out from the 1967 scene and  imagining life without television]

I should have realised something bad was coming my way when their eyes widened in shock. But While I was too busy showing off, until someone's hand grabbed my collar, yanked me off my feet, and hauled me through the gate.

Mam had seen through all my lies in the past[they wouldn't be future ones, would they?].  She'd known I'd swear again, because I'd repeatedly promised her that I had never sworn at anyone [if you feel the need to have 'at all' change it to 'ever' to lost one of the 'at' mentions in the sentence] at all!

She knew, intuitively the way that all mothers did, that I lied a lot, so she'd hidden on the other side of the gate and heard my performance.

She[previous sentence began with She and as Mam is the only female mentioned in the piece the reader can work out who must be doing the action through your use of 'her'] Dragged me across the yard to the back steps,  I was blubbering and pleading [I'd still prefer blubbered and pleaded] with her, that I'd be good from then on. I'd have sworn to anything to avoid what was coming came next. But soon My heels were thumping thumped on the rickety stairs as the fading light from the back door illuminated the cobwebs in the roof amid the dirt and stains.  I lost a plimsoll on the way when it snagged on a crack in the stair riser, but that didn't slow Mam down as she hauled me like a sack of spuds into the scruffy scullery.

She'd warned me endlessly that if she caught me swearing, [we can guess this -- don't waste words if your reader can join the dots without them] she'd wash my mouth out with Carbolic Soap. If everyday soap could be categorized as nice and sweet, soft and gentle, perfumed and refreshing, then Carbolic was the total opposite:  Blocky, rough, smelling of disinfectant, lather-less, industrial cleaner, and generally horrible. Carbolic was the skinhead of soaps, and I was about to have a meal of it!

I could tell Mam meant business because she took the dirty plates out of the sink and smashed them to the floor in temper.  Oh Gawd, I was in big trouble.  I just stood looking at her, hoping that if I looked dejected enough she'd relent but she didn't. She yanked me by the collar and the seat of my pants. When she had her mad on she could be a strong, scary bugger!  Quite scary in fact.  Then she slammed me onto the damp, smelly drainer, like a butcher slapping a hunk of beef onto a chopping-block. The Dampness seeped into my clothes, as my head drooped into the big china sink. Mam mustn't have liked the position I was in because she couldn't get a strong enough hold on me, so she dragged me further up the drainer, scattering the greasy pans and plates that were by the sink waiting to be washed, until I was she shoved my head directly under the brass tap.

I fought her even harder. On the drainer, I struggled and wriggled, trying to shake free of Mam's strong, polished-finger-nailed hand that held me by the throat. I could feel Her fingernails digging dug into my neck, deep into the skin, and they hurt.
But Mam still managed to keep me positioned and I fought her back despite my struggles to keep my head away from the sink edge.
Pans and plates scattered, clattering everywhere as my legs and feet thrashed wildly in our battle, neither of us willing to give in. she fought to keep me positioned and I fought back to keep my head away from the tap.

She reached over me and turned the tap on. there was A clunk sounded. I waited as the air was released and I heard the water surging up the pipe. Then A single drop gathered on the end, and I thought I'd been saved. Sometimes [/u] the water didn't flow on certain days, [one or other of the underlined expressions, not both] due to low pressure and I thought to myself that this was one of those times. But alas for me, not that day!

The treacherous water gushed out of the tap, soaking my head and neck. For a brief second the coldness of the water froze me where I lay.  I now spluttered and spat as I continued to cry and begged Mam to let me go.  But once Mam made up her mind to do something she did it.
All the while Mam was shouting at me at the top of her voice, "I'll teach you to f***ing swear you little bas***d! You won't f***ing swear again, will you?  You f***ing little shite!"

I heard snippets of distant shouts drifting up the stairs.  "Go on Mim, give the little bugger what for!" or "Teach the little bugger a lesson he wont forget!"
 
I snapped my mouth shut. [to avoid repeat of closed and 'jammed' later on with the soap] jammed my mouth closed with a snap. I knew she couldn't shove the soap between my lips if they were closed tight.

"Open up, and this'll go easier on you!" shouted Mam. Her voice bounced off the walls and ripped right through me. [we know it's Mam speaking -- find a way to show her bellows/shouts, my example isn't much, just an idea.]

At that point, three pit ponies wouldn't have got me to open my gob.

"Open your mouth" she repeated quieter. [show this . . . see previous comment]

I remember defiantly staring at her, if it could be called a stare? but I had to keep blinking to keep the splashes of water out of my eyes. My lips were still wedged clamped shut, but at the same time as I tried to dodge the water that still gushed out of the tap.

Then she leaned down, got right in my face, until we were practically nose to nose and she repeated in a really strange quiet-like voice,
"Brian, open your mouth." then She gave me one of those rictus-smiles where I knew she was also gritting her teeth. I was really scared then!

Anyone who's experienced a stern-loving Mother like this will know exactly what I'm talking about.  This was
The killer-smile. That It brooked no more arguments, no resistance, no bullshit. This kind of calm command had to be obeyed, or woe betide anyone. I knew then it was no good. I had to give in or it would be worse for me.

I stammered a quick, "Please, Mam," but instantly she jammed the Carbolic Soap into me gob!  Oh she could be so quick!  I gagged, I knew for sure I was going to die.  She began rubbing and drubbing [why not just make it perfect past tense with 'ed' verbs?] like wash day on a Monday, while humming some obscure song. Her eyes, normally blue and pretty, were just turned to slits in her face[where else did your ma keep her eyes?]. I was familiar with that look as well.

Meanwhile I begged and sobbed and got myself worked up into a lather, I felt really sorry for myself then. [vague, weak, intrusive -- show rather than tell] After she wedged the bar was wedged between my teeth, she really put some elbow grease into it. The It tasted was horrible, like sucking on a toilet urinal cake. and trying I tried like frig not to swallow. She was determined though, she was going to teach me a lesson, even if it meant someone reporting her to the National Assistance.

Finally it was over. She stood me on my feet. I, of course, being the devious little git that I am, wobbled a bit, and looked about to faint. Mam gathered me in her arms, all contrite. Guilt could be a good commodity when you were eight and knew how to wield it. She wrapped me in her arms, cooing to me and telling herself what a horrible person she felt for inflicting this on her poor child. I made a cardinal error. I smiled, thinking to myself of [who else would have your thoughts?] how I could turn this to my advantage?

She saw this and instantly reverted to Were-Mam. My arse was landed back on that draining board in a flash.[cliche] She had the Carbolic Soap in her hand ready to "wash" me again. I looked on with what I can only now describe as [intrusive] a futile-acceptance of something uncontrollable. She saw this, [think of something else, you have used this phrase only  couple of sentences back at the opening of the paragraph.] and slowly dropped the bar onto the floor, looked at me with a little discomfort and possibly shame on her face and told me to get off the drainer myself.  This wasn't easy, there being no stool or chair to climb down, but I eventually managed and stood in front of her.

I hung my head, I was and totally knackered by my exertions and swore on the Bible that I'd never wouldn't ever swear again. She stood in front of me [see comment, 5 boxes back] With her hands on her hips, her foot constantly tapping its temper-fuelled rhythm, I knew I could still be in trouble so I said nothing. She shook her head slowly, and sighed, and said quietly "Eee, our Brian, what am I going to do with you?"

In 1993, when we buried me Mam who'd died from Cancer, I was reminded of the taste of that soap in me gob.  We'd gathered in me ma's sitting room for her wake. I told the rest of the family about what she'd done, but me Aunty Syl asked the question. "Did it work then?  Did she teach you to stop swearing?"

All their eyes were fixed on me again as I pondered her question. It didn't take long to answer. "Did she, fuck!"


Offline bri h

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18523
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #106 on: January 02, 2013, 07:04:38 PM »
I swear


South Shields, 1967. I leaned against our back gate, acting the big man in front of the bloke next door.  Mouthing off to him and swearing even though he'd already complained a couple of times to Ma about my bucket-mouth. Thinking I was so big and clever, the other kids looked on. They were keen to see what happened next.

I should have realised something bad was coming my way when their eyes widened in shock. While i was busy showing off, someone's hand grabbed my collar, yanked me off my feet, and hauled me through the gate.

Ma had seen through all my lies.  She'd known I'd swear again, because I'd repeatedly promised I had never sworn at anyone!
She knew, intuitively the way all mothers did, that I lied a lot, so she'd hidden on the other side of the gate and heard my performance.

dragged across the yard to the back steps.  I blubbered and pleaded with her, that I'd be good from then on. I'd have sworn to anything to avoid what came next.  My heels thumped on the rickety stairs as the fading light from the back door illuminated the cobwebs in the roof amid the dirt and stains.  I lost a plimsoll on the way when it snagged on a crack in the stair riser, but that didn't slow Ma down as she hauled me like a sack of spuds into the scruffy scullery.

She'd warned me endlessly she'd wash my mouth out with Carbolic Soap.
If everyday soap could be categorized as nice and sweet, soft and gentle, perfumed and refreshing, then Carbolic was the total opposite:  Blocky, rough, smelling of disinfectant, lather-less, industrial cleaner, and generally horrible. Carbolic was the skinhead of soaps, and I was about to have a meal of it!

I could tell Ma meant business because she grabbed the dirty plates out of the sink and smashed them to the floor in temper.  Oh Gawd, I was in big trouble.  I just stood looking at her, hoping that if I looked dejected enough she'd relent but she didn't. She yanked me by the collar and the seat of my pants. When she had her mad on she could be a strong scary bugger!  Then she slammed me onto the damp, smelly drainer, like a butcher slapping a hunk of beef onto a chopping-block. Dampness seeped into my clothes, as my head drooped into the big china sink. Ma mustn't have liked the position I was in because she dragged me further up the drainer, scattering the greasy pans and plates that were waiting to be washed, until she shoved my head directly under the brass tap.

I fought even harder. On the drainer, I struggled and wriggled,trying to shake free of Ma's strong, polished-finger-nailed hand that held me by the throat. Her fingernails dug deep into my skin to keep me positioned. I fought her back despite my struggles to keep my head away from the sink edge.
Pans and plates scattered, clattering everywhere as my legs and feet thrashed wildly in our battle, neither of us willing to give in.
She reached over me and turned the tap on. A clunk sounded. I waited as the air was released and I heard the water surging up the pipe. A single drop gathered on the end, and I thought I'd been saved.  Sometimes the water didn't flow, due to low pressure and I thought to myself that this was one of those times. But alas for me, not that day!

The treacherous water gushed out of the tap, soaking my head and neck. For a brief second the coldness froze me where I lay.  I spluttered and spat as I continued to cry and begged Ma to let me go. But once Mam made up her mind to do something she did it.
All the while Ma was shouting at me at the top of her voice, "I'll teach you to f***ing swear you little bas***d! You won't f***ing swear again, will you?  You f***ing little shite!"

I heard snippets of distant shouts drifting up the stairs.  "Go on Mim, give the little bugger what for!" or "Teach the little bugger a lesson he wont forget!"
 
I snapped my mouth shut. I knew she couldn't shove the soap between my lips if they were closed tight.
"Open up, and this'll go easier on you!" she shouted, her voice louder in the tight confines of the scullery.

At that point, three pit ponies wouldn't have got me to open my gob.
"Open. . . your. . . mouth," she repeated slower and quieter and with menace.

I remember defiantly staring at her, but I had to keep blinking to keep the splashes of water out of my eyes. My lips were still clamped shut, as I tried to dodge the water that still gushed over me.

Then she leaned down, got right in my face, until we were practically nose to nose and she repeated in a strange quiet-like voice,
"Brian, open your mouth,"  She gave me one of those rictus-smiles where I knew she was also gritting her teeth.  The killer-smile. It brooked no more arguments, no resistance, no bullshit. This kind of calm command had to be obeyed, or woe betide anyone. I knew then it was no good. I had to give in or it would be worse for me.

I stammered a quick "Please Mam," but instantly she jammed the Carbolic Soap into me gob!  Oh she could be so quick!  I gagged, I knew for sure I was going to die.  She rubbed and drubbed like wash day on a Monday,  humming some obscure song under her breath. Her eyes, normally blue and pretty, turned to slits.
Meanwhile I begged and sobbed and got myself worked up into a lather.  After the bar was wedged between my teeth, she put some elbow grease into it. It tasted horrible, like sucking on a toilet urinal cake, I tried like frig not to swallow. She was determined to teach me a lesson, even if it meant someone reporting her to the National Assistance.

Finally it was over. She stood me on my feet. I, of course, being the devious little git that I could be, wobbled a bit, and looked about to faint. Ma gathered me in her arms, contrite.  Guilt could be a good commodity when you were eight and knew how to wield it. She wrapped me in her arms cooing to me and telling herself what a horrible person she felt for inflicting this on her poor child I made a cardinal error. I smiled, thinking how I could turn this to my advantage?

She saw this and instantly reverted to Were-Mam.  My arse landed back on that draining board so fast I was stunned. She had the Carbolic Soap in her hand ready to "wash" me again. I looked on with futile-acceptance of something uncontrollable.  She knew she'd made her point, dropped the soap-bar onto the floor, looked at me with a little discomfort and possibly shame on her face and told me to get off the drainer myself.  This wasn't easy, there being no stool or chair to climb down, but I eventually managed and stood in front of her.

I hung my head, and totally knackered by my exertions swore on the Bible that I'd  never swear again. With her hands on her hips, her foot constantly tapping its temper-fuelled rhythm.  I knew I could still be in trouble so I said nothing. She shook her head slowly and sighed quietly "Eee, our Brian, what am I going to do with you?"

In 1993, when we buried  Mam, I was reminded of the taste of that soap in me gob.  We'd gathered in me Ma's sitting room for her wake.  I told the rest of the family about what she'd done, but me Aunty Syl asked the question.
"Did it work then?  Did she teach you to stop swearing?"
All eyes fixed on me again as I pondered her question. It didn't take long to answer.
"Did she fuck!"
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 07:22:41 PM by brianh »
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 510bhan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 63305
  • So many jobs to do . . .
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #107 on: January 02, 2013, 07:16:53 PM »
Only a single space after a full stop. Okay? ;)


South Shields, 1967. I leaned against our back gate, acting the big man in front of the bloke next door, mouthing off to him and swearing even though he'd already complained a couple of times to Mam about my bucket-mouth.  Repeating all the foul words I'd heard recently, thinking I was so big and clever, the other kids looked on. They were keen to see what happened next.

I should have realised something bad was coming my way when their eyes widened in shock. While I was busy showing off, someone's hand grabbed my collar, yanked me off my feet, and hauled me through the gate.

Mam had seen through all my lies. She'd known I'd swear again, because I'd repeatedly promised I had never sworn at anyone!She knew, intuitively the way all mothers did, that I lied a lot, so she'd hidden on the other side of the gate and heard my performance.

Dragged across the yard to the back steps, I blubbered and pleaded with her[,] that I'd be good from then on. I'd have sworn to anything to avoid what came next. My heels thumped on the rickety stairs as the fading light from the back door illuminated the cobwebs in the roof amid the dirt and stains. I lost a plimsoll on the way when it snagged on a crack in the stair riser, but that didn't slow Mam down as she hauled me like a sack of spuds into the scruffy scullery.

She'd warned me endlessly she'd wash my mouth out with Carbolic Soap. If everyday soap could be categorized as nice and sweet, soft and gentle, perfumed and refreshing, then Carbolic was the total opposite:  Blocky, rough, smelling of disinfectant, lather-less, industrial cleaner, and generally horrible. Carbolic was the skinhead of soaps, and I was about to have a meal of it!

I could tell Mam meant business because she took the dirty plates out of the sink and smashed them to the floor in temper.  Oh, Gawd, I was in big trouble. I just stood looking at her, hoping that if I looked dejected enough she'd relent but she didn't. She yanked me by the collar and the seat of my pants. When she had her mad on she could be a strong scary bugger! Then she slammed me onto the damp, smelly drainer, like a butcher slapping a hunk of beef onto a chopping-block. Dampness seeped into my clothes, as my head drooped into the big china sink. Mam mustn't have liked the position I was in because she dragged me further up the drainer, scattering the greasy pans and plates that were waiting to be washed, until she shoved my head directly under the brass tap.

I fought even harder. On the drainer, I struggled and wriggled,trying to shake free of Mam's strong, polished-finger-nailed hand that held me by the throat, her fingernails dug deep into my skin, to keep me positioned and I fought her back despite my struggles to keep my head away from the sink edge. Pans and plates scattered, clattering everywhere as my legs and feet thrashed wildly, in our battle, neither of us willing to give in. She reached over me and turned the tap on. A clunk sounded. I waited as the air was released and I heard the water surging up the pipe. A single drop gathered on the end, and I thought I'd been saved.  Sometimes the water didn't flow, due to low pressure and I thought to myself that this was one of those times. But alas for me, not that day!

The treacherous water gushed out of the tap, soaking my head and neck. For a brief second the coldness froze me where I lay. I spluttered and spat as I continued to cry and begged Mam to let me go.  But once Mam made up her mind to do something she did it. All the while Mam was shouting at me at the top of her voice, "I'll teach you to f***ing swear you little bas***d! You won't f***ing swear again, will you?  You f***ing little shite!"

I heard snippets of distant shouts drifting up the stairs.  "Go on Mim, give the little bugger what for!" or "Teach the little bugger a lesson he wont forget!"
 
I snapped my mouth shut. I knew she couldn't shove the soap between my lips if they were closed tight.

"Open up, and this'll go easier on you!" she shouted, her voice louder in the tight confines of the scullery.

At that point, three pit ponies wouldn't have got me to open my gob.

"Open. . . your. . . mouth," she repeated slower and quieter and with menace.

I remember defiantly staring at her, but I had to keep blinking to keep the splashes of water out of my eyes. My lips were still clamped shut, as I tried to dodge the water that still gushed over me.

Then she leaned down, got right in my face, until we were practically nose to nose and she repeated in a strange quiet-like voice, [bring the dialogue up beside the speaker] "Brian, open your mouth." She gave me one of those rictus-smiles where I knew she was also gritting her teeth. The killer-smile. It brooked no more arguments, no resistance, no bullshit. This kind of calm command had to be obeyed, or woe betide anyone. I knew then it was no good. I had to give in or it would be worse for me.

I stammered a quick, "Please, Mam," but instantly she jammed the Carbolic Soap into me gob! Oh, she could be so quick! I gagged, I knew for sure I was going to die.  She rubbed and drubbed like wash day on a Monday, humming some obscure song under her breath. Her eyes, normally blue and pretty, turned to slits.

Meanwhile I begged and sobbed and got myself worked up into a lather.  After the bar was wedged between my teeth, she put some elbow grease into it. It tasted horrible, like sucking on a toilet urinal cake, I tried like frig not to swallow. She was determined to teach me a lesson, even if it meant someone reporting her to the National Assistance.

Finally it was over. She stood me on my feet. I, of course, being the devious little git that I could be, wobbled a bit, and looked about to faint. Mam gathered me in her arms, contrite.  Guilt could be a good commodity when you were eight and knew how to wield it. She wrapped me in her arms cooing to me and telling herself what a horrible person she felt for inflicting this on her poor child I made a cardinal error. I smiled, thinking how I could turn this to my advantage?

She saw this and instantly reverted to Were-Mam.  My arse landed back on that draining board so fast I was stunned. She had the Carbolic Soap in her hand ready to "wash" me again. I looked on with futile-acceptance of something uncontrollable.  She knew she'd made her point, dropped the bar onto the floor, looked at me with a little discomfort and possibly shame on her face and told me to get off the drainer myself.  This wasn't easy, there being no stool or chair to climb down, but I eventually managed and stood in front of her.

I hung my head, and totally knackered by my exertions, swore on the Bible that I'd never swear again. With her hands on her hips, her foot constantly tapping its temper-fuelled rhythm.  I knew I could still be in trouble so I said nothing. She shook her head slowly and sighed quietly. "Eee, our Brian, what am I going to do with you?"

In 1993, when we buried  Mam, I was reminded of the taste of that soap in me gob.  We'd gathered in me ma's sitting room for her wake.  I told the rest of the family about what she'd done, but me Aunty Syl asked the question. "Did it work then?  Did she teach you to stop swearing?"  [keep speech on the line where the speaker is referenced]

All eyes fixed on me again as I pondered her question. It didn't take long to answer. "Did she fuck!" [same here]

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: I Swear, wip, 7th edit, #90, 1510 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #108 on: January 02, 2013, 08:33:36 PM »
I think in this instance phil it can be both. the words "died from Cancer" has a finality about it that(Mebbee just to me)

?? Dead is dead, surely.

H3k

Offline bri h

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18523
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #109 on: January 02, 2013, 08:47:57 PM »
I suppose youre right and please dont call me "shirley"  ;D
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline bri h

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18523
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #110 on: January 02, 2013, 08:56:29 PM »
Only a single space after a full stop. Okay?

at school I was taught, one space after a comma and two after a full stop


South Shields, 1967. I leaned against our back gate, acting the big man in front of the bloke next door, mouthing off to him and swearing even though he'd already complained a couple of times to Mam about my bucket-mouth.  Repeating all the foul words I'd heard recently, thinking I was so big and clever, the other kids looked on. They were keen to see what happened next.

I should have realised something bad was coming my way when their eyes widened in shock. While I was busy showing off, someone's hand grabbed my collar, yanked me off my feet, and hauled me through the gate.

Mam had seen through all my lies. She'd known I'd swear again, because I'd repeatedly promised I had never sworn at anyone. She knew, intuitively the way all mothers did, that I lied a lot, so she'd hidden on the other side of the gate and heard my performance.

Dragged across the yard to the back steps, I blubbered and pleaded with her, that I'd be good from then on. I'd have sworn to anything to avoid what came next. My heels thumped on the rickety stairs as the fading light from the back door illuminated the cobwebs in the roof amid the dirt and stains. I lost a plimsoll on the way when it snagged on a crack in the stair riser, but that didn't slow Mam down as she hauled me like a sack of spuds into the scruffy scullery.

She'd warned me endlessly she'd wash my mouth out with Carbolic Soap. If everyday soap could be categorized as nice and sweet, soft and gentle, perfumed and refreshing, then Carbolic was the total opposite:  Blocky, rough, smelling of disinfectant, lather-less, industrial cleaner, and generally horrible. Carbolic was the skinhead of soaps, and I was about to have a meal of it!

I could tell Mam meant business because she took the dirty plates out of the sink and smashed them to the floor in temper.  Oh, Gawd, I was in big trouble. I just stood looking at her, hoping that if I looked dejected enough she'd relent but she didn't. She yanked me by the collar and the seat of my pants. When she had her mad on she could be a strong scary bugger! Then she slammed me onto the damp, smelly drainer, like a butcher slapping a hunk of beef onto a chopping-block. Dampness seeped into my clothes, as my head drooped into the big china sink. Mam mustn't have liked the position I was in because she dragged me further up the drainer, scattering the greasy pans and plates that were waiting to be washed, until she shoved my head directly under the brass tap.

I fought even harder. On the drainer, I struggled and wriggled,trying to shake free of Mam's strong, polished-finger-nailed hand that held me by the throat, her fingernails dug deep into my skin, to keep me positioned and I fought her back despite my struggles to keep my head away from the sink edge. Pans and plates scattered, clattering everywhere as my legs and feet thrashed wildly, in our battle, neither of us willing to give in. She reached over me and turned the tap on. A clunk sounded. I waited as the air was released and I heard the water surging up the pipe. A single drop gathered on the end, and I thought I'd been saved.  Sometimes the water didn't flow, due to low pressure and I thought to myself that this was one of those times. But alas for me, not that day!

The treacherous water gushed out of the tap, soaking my head and neck. For a brief second the coldness froze me where I lay. I spluttered and spat as I continued to cry and begged Mam to let me go.  But once Mam made up her mind to do something she did it. All the while Mam was shouting at me at the top of her voice, "I'll teach you to f***ing swear you little bas***d! You won't f***ing swear again, will you?  You f***ing little shite!"

I heard snippets of distant shouts drifting up the stairs.  "Go on Mim, give the little bugger what for!" or "Teach the little bugger a lesson he wont forget!"
 
I snapped my mouth shut. I knew she couldn't shove the soap between my lips if they were closed tight.

"Open up, and this'll go easier on you!" she shouted, her voice louder in the tight confines of the scullery.

At that point, three pit ponies wouldn't have got me to open my gob.

"Open. . . your. . . mouth," she repeated slower and quieter and with menace.

I remember defiantly staring at her, but I had to keep blinking to keep the splashes of water out of my eyes. My lips were still clamped shut, as I tried to dodge the water that still gushed over me.

Then she leaned down, got right in my face, until we were practically nose to nose and she repeated in a strange quiet-like voice, [bring the dialogue up beside the speaker]Dont know what you mean by this? "Brian, open your mouth." She gave me one of those rictus-smiles where I knew she was also gritting her teeth. The killer-smile. It brooked no more arguments, no resistance, no bullshit. This kind of calm command had to be obeyed, or woe betide anyone. I knew then it was no good. I had to give in or it would be worse for me.

I stammered a quick, "Please, Mam," but instantly she jammed the Carbolic Soap into me gob! Oh, she could be so quick! I gagged, I knew for sure I was going to die.  She rubbed and drubbed like wash day on a Monday, humming some obscure song under her breath. Her eyes, normally blue and pretty, turned to slits.

Meanwhile I begged and sobbed and got myself worked up into a lather.  After the bar was wedged between my teeth, she put some elbow grease into it. It tasted horrible, like sucking on a toilet urinal cake, I tried like frig not to swallow. She was determined to teach me a lesson, even if it meant someone reporting her to the National Assistance.

Finally it was over. She stood me on my feet. I, of course, being the devious little git that I could be, wobbled a bit, and looked about to faint. Mam gathered me in her arms, contrite.  Guilt could be a good commodity when you were eight and knew how to wield it. She wrapped me in her arms cooing to me and telling herself what a horrible person she felt for inflicting this on her poor child I made a cardinal error. I smiled, thinking how I could turn this to my advantage?

She saw this and instantly reverted to Were-Mam.  My arse landed back on that draining board so fast I was stunned. She had the Carbolic Soap in her hand ready to "wash" me again. I looked on with futile-acceptance of something uncontrollable.  She knew she'd made her point, dropped the bar onto the floor, looked at me with a little discomfort and possibly shame on her face and told me to get off the drainer myself.  This wasn't easy, there being no stool or chair to climb down, but I eventually managed and stood in front of her.

I hung my head, and totally knackered by my exertions, swore on the Bible that I'd never swear again. With her hands on her hips, her foot constantly tapping its temper-fuelled rhythm.  I knew I could still be in trouble so I said nothing. She shook her head slowly and sighed quietly. "Eee, our Brian, what am I going to do with you?"

In 1993, when we buried  Mam, I was reminded of the taste of that soap in me gob.  We'd gathered in me ma's why is this Ma not capital like the rest? sitting room for her wake.  I told the rest of the family about what she'd done, but me Aunty Syl asked the question. "Did it work then?  Did she teach you to stop swearing?"  [keep speech on the line where the speaker is referenced]at all times? even if it means pressing return and starting a different line?
All eyes fixed on me again as I pondered her question. It didn't take long to answer. "Did she fuck!" [same here]ok, but this is all on one line
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2013, 09:08:41 PM »
Ma is the title you give her - so it's capitalised. Same as 'Mother' or 'Fred'. These are proper nouns because they're unique to that particular person. When you addressed her you called her by her title: 'Mam' - not 'me mam'. Right?

Me ma is not capitalised - because it's a normal 'common noun' the same as 'my mother' or 'my cat' or 'my television set'. Everybody has a mother - a television set - and maybe even a cat - so the 'title' is not unique.

A double space after a full stop went out of fashion with ration books.

Dialogue and speaker have to be kept side by side - but separate from what comes before or after - even if you end up pressing the space bar a hundred times.

H

Offline 510bhan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 63305
  • So many jobs to do . . .
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2013, 09:11:36 PM »
*at school I was taught, one space after a comma and two after a full stop
. . . and I would lie to you because? Get with the times, man. ;D ;D ;D

*[bring the dialogue up beside the speaker]Dont know what you mean by this?
In your original the dialogue was on a separate line. Do you not read your own stuff to compare the suggestions?
Quote
Then she leaned down, got right in my face, until we were practically nose to nose and she repeated in a strange quiet-like voice,
"Brian, open your mouth,"  She gave me one of those rictus-smiles where I knew she was also gritting her teeth.  The killer-smile. It brooked no more arguments, no resistance, no bullshit. This kind of calm command had to be obeyed, or woe betide anyone. I knew then it was no good. I had to give in or it would be worse for me.

*We'd gathered in me ma's why is this Ma not capital like the rest?
I explained this before. When you use the name as a title Sir, Mr, Ma, Mrs etc it gets a capital letter because it's a proper noun [specific name of something/person/place] but when you talk about your ma/mother -- it's just a generic, common noun and doesn't get any special treatment. EG
My wonderful ma is a great wee cook. [common noun]
Whenever Ma cooks, everyone comes running. [Ma: used as a name for my mother -- proper noun]

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2013, 09:17:00 PM »
The naughty step beckons.

H

Offline 510bhan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 63305
  • So many jobs to do . . .
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #114 on: January 02, 2013, 09:18:50 PM »
Frustration dances.

Offline bri h

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18523
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #115 on: January 02, 2013, 09:19:31 PM »
oh right I see now, i got that off both of you. Did you like where i fleshed out open ya gob(parafrasin) ya little shite, she said "quieter and with more menace?" Plus you know at the end of it and she's feelin all contrite, would the tense sound better as with "contrition", and the word ashamed, could that be better as "shamedfully?" Just little things I think, not really important enough to change if you disagree.b
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline bri h

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18523
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #116 on: January 02, 2013, 09:21:43 PM »
naughty step, why? oh the "shirley?" er ha ha? ;D
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 510bhan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 63305
  • So many jobs to do . . .
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #117 on: January 02, 2013, 09:28:42 PM »
I'm too weary to track this right through to its final transformation. I have made 22 replies -- most of them as full crits and read every comment from other posters. 8 edits means having read at least 8 x 1,372 words [approx] plus the 166 boxes of comments over 8 pages.

I also spent a long time trying to help with the pits piece -- I need a break. :-\

Offline bri h

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18523
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #118 on: January 02, 2013, 09:35:27 PM »
sorry shvon I didnt mean to take up all your time, mebbee you just need a break from me, I understand, its ok. I too am gettin weary for me poor ma draggin me sorry ass up them friggin steps again and again! ;D
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: I Swear, wip, 8th edit, #106, 1372 words, mild swearing plus one F word
« Reply #119 on: January 02, 2013, 09:46:03 PM »
The naughty step was a reference to 510 reaching the end of her tether.  ;D

And here I am as well after a late return home from more first-footing, desperate for my bed, and you're keeping me up. Mutter, mutter, mutter. . .

Quote
Did you like where i fleshed out open ya gob(parafrasin) ya little shite, she said "quieter and with more menace?"

No - because it's grammatically incorrect. 'quieter' is an adjective used to describe a noun - like 'a quieter sound' but you're actually describing a verb 'said' so it should be an adverb - 'more quietly'.

Quote
Plus you know at the end of it and she's feelin all contrite, would the tense sound better as with "contrition"

Ma gathered me in her arms, contrite.
Again, it's not a proper sentence - it's like writing 'I walked up the road, quick'. We have no idea what 'contrite' is linked to because it's another adjective without a noun (unless you're saying her arms were contrite'). Personally I don't see the need for a 'telling' adjective like contrite anyway. We assume the act of gathering you in her arms showed contrition.

As for your use of the word 'tense' - I'm not sure you have a proper grasp of its meaning.
It usually refers to the 'state' of a verb
- present tense 'I walk'
- future tense 'I will walk'
- past tense 'I walked'.
An adjective like 'warm' or 'cold' or 'contrite' can't have a tense.

Quote
and the word ashamed, could that be better as "shamedfully?"

'ashamed' is another adjective - 'shame(d)fully' is an adverb
Since neither word appears in your story I'm assuming you're referring to this part:
. . .looked at me with a little discomfort and possibly shame on her face. . .
It's awkward.
'a little discomfort, possibly shame' is the better option since you're prefacing it with 'with' - so 'with a little discomfort' and 'with possibly shame' is what's implied.
The second option 'looked at me with a little discomfort' and 'looked at me shamefacedly' is just as correct but a much more convoluted way of describing the same scene. Always pick the simpler option whenever possible.

Now it's z-time.

H3K