Author Topic: Cut and paste  (Read 3615 times)

Offline Mark T

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Cut and paste
« on: January 01, 2014, 05:25:33 PM »
Hi, this is an ageing snippet not going anywhere. I wrote this complete, kinda weird, short story and started this later as a chapter 2. Nonsensical enough even without the backstory. Kinda of like picking up a couple of loose pages on a boring train journey. Whatever. Comments welcome. Need to start writing again.



It was the final day of the ceremony. The robed figure of justice swept into the courtroom trailing a

fluorescent cloak of uncertainty. Phillip’s shade remained seated in the corner as all rose. The inky words

of the judge cut the solemn air. He spoke of conspiracy and murder and the note in Phillip’s pocket while

dust motes performed a fractal ballet in a trickle of sunlight.

Raymond was anointed with the freedom of insanity and sentenced to a chemical prison.



Lucidly numb, Raymond sensed another carronade squirt into a helpless vein. The pristine coral of his

delicate mind was awash with toxic bulldozers. Hairy men in uniforms of muscular white choked his

struggling limbs with deodorised hands awaiting stupefaction. Reduced to three dimensions,Raymond

slithered helplessly into the fanged chasm.


Slowly sipping smiling sunshine
Drifting amongst the drowsy dunes
I smelt the faraway foam flecked brine
Of the sea of sanity, beneath sober moons
I flitted frowning from the smell
Rank recall eased in my queasy brain
Of how I spun and spewed on that swell
Alone and lonely, blinded in the bloody rain
Grinding metal screams of echoing paranoia
Enforce the chattering angst of schizophrenia
Enraged sly demons stalk tatters of egomania
In a stricken wasteland of burnt melancholia
Wicked whispers washed upon wild shores
Cut along cruel corridors of conspiracy
The slow silent slam of sullen doors
Revealed icy visions, not mercy
Easily without a care I was never ever there
No one no thing no time to remind me
Except this human body that I wear
Worthless anyway, as I am free



The government psychiatrist read the words of Raymond. The goblin on his shoulder hopped and muttered

for alcohol.The pshrink scribbled in a green file and stapled Raymond’s poem to the inside cover.Then he

rose and washed his hands again. An unseen orderly with a wooden leg sprinted towards his office.



Michael answered the doorbell of his house, telling it to be quiet. He opened the oval door. Rosemary

stepped through without greeting him, dropped her satchel of schoolbooks in the hall and went into the

parlour.

‘I don’t know where he is,’ she said.

‘Who?’

‘Haven’t you heard?’

‘Tell me what you’re talking about.’

‘Raymond.’

‘Has he been transferred to another institution?’

‘No.’

‘What then? What is it?’

Rosemary sat on a chair. ‘Two police detectives came to the school. They asked me questions about

Raymond. They’re looking for him.’

‘How can they be looking for him? Where is he?’

‘I don’t know. It sounds like he escaped from the asylum.’

A seismic thud pulsed through the building. An antique mirror fell from the wall and shattered.

Michael looked at Rosemary. ‘Was that an earthquake?’

‘I don’t know. This isn’t California.’

‘Escaped from the asylum? It’s only been a week.’

Rosemary leapt to her feet with teenage anger. ‘A week of eternity! You know Raymond’s different.

Special. Your lawyer was a fool; they should have let him go. Instead, it’s straitjackets and drugs and

maybe a lobotomy.’

Michael shook his head. ‘These are modern times. The therapies have changed.’

‘How would you know? We can’t even schedule a visit.’

‘The priest is dead. Phillip is dead. None of it would have happened without Raymond.’

‘The cop who shot Phillip is walking around free. Three months at a desk.’

‘Phillip killed a priest, Rosemary.’

‘The priest was a skank. He wanted to lock me in a dungeon. Chain me to a bed.’

‘Don’t be ridiculous.’

‘I saw him in a dream. He was doing sex things to a girl who looked just like me. It was me.’  

‘Rosemary.’

‘I’m glad Phillip killed him.’

‘Rosemary!’

‘Raymond was standing next to me in the dream. I think he was warning me; because the dream was too

real to be a dream.’

‘I don’t want to discuss your dreams.’

‘Fine. Are you going to find out what’s happened to Raymond?’

Michael shot a glance at the red telephone that stood mockingly on a credenza. ‘I’ll try. I’ll drive to the

asylum and ask them what’s going on.’

‘Good. Take your lawyer with you, Michael.’


The doorbell rang again. Two men with badges stood at the entrance. The older was very tall and looked

Italian. The other was very short and looked alien, with green hair and red eyes.

Michael stared at the alien.

‘Detective Cork. And Detective Vespa. Why are you staring at me?’

‘You’re on my doorstep. And you look… unusual.’

‘I’ve been working undercover.’

‘As what?’

‘A leprechaun.’

‘Aren’t you a bit tall for a leprechaun?’

‘I’m on the basketball team. We’d like to come in and ask you some questions.’

‘Concerning what?’

‘Your stepson. Raymond Christophers.’

Michael handed the alien detective a business card. ‘Ex-stepson. Call my lawyer. Arrange a meeting. I’ll

answer your questions then.’ He began to close the door.

Detective Vespa spoke as the alien began eating the business card. ‘Your attorney’s in custody,

answering some questions. Speak to us now or you’ll join him.’

‘Can I retain another lawyer?’

‘We’ll take him into custody as well.’

‘You mean I have the power to put every lawyer in the city under lock and key?’

Detective Vespa brushed a large spider from his face. ‘A tempting thought, I know. But it will be better to

speak to us now.’

‘I don’t have the time right now.’

‘Going somewhere?’

‘Yes, to the asylum. It sounds as though Raymond’s missing. I want to know his whereabouts.’

‘We all do.’



« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 05:34:05 PM by Mark T »

Pale Writer

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 08:47:16 PM »
hello

Sometimes you have to let the mind loose as you have here. I can almost see the madness of disjoint and I'm not saying I don't like the style but it isn't quite there, maybe you are trying to write it too hard. Even in this style you need an adhesive to put it all together otherwise, like this seems, its sentences and images are too fragmented. I can't grip the scenes. I'm never read the poem, they seem out of place for me in fiction. I'm not saying they can't be used but so soon felt wrong.

The opening actually made me stop reading. I only came back because you are a member and you mentioned needing to write. The dialogue is almost there, but I just couldn't get into it because the characters weren't solid enough to bond to.

All this said and I still liked the style, I like different, stepping around walls and restrictions. So blast a hole in your brain. Go for it.

Offline Mark T

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 09:25:38 PM »

Thanks for reading and commenting here. Useful take. A local reader-crit called the original story arrogant in presumption, whatever that means. It is loose SOC writing and out-of-context. I'm in a life-change phase and hope to write some decent and original stuff this year.

Siyabonga

     

JewelAS53

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 12:37:56 AM »
Loved it, Mark. The premise, as yet undefined, intrigues.

I enjoyed the poem, but then I do have a particular penchant for alliteration. It is a tad solid, though.

The writing is a bit heavy, like you're getting lost in the writing of it rather than telling the story. (I do that a lot.) A whole book of 'dust motes performed a fractal ballet in a trickle of sunlight', 'The pristine coral of his delicate mind was awash with toxic bulldozers' could make for a tiring read. Perhaps more appropriate in a poem, as these phrases, and others, say so much in so few words? (I love the phrases.) It is unusual, perhaps, for this genre to be written as literary fiction?

The dialogue with the police is not entirely believable - would one be quite as defiant to an authoritarian force that apparently has the power to arrest his new lawyer on the basis of merely being the new lawyer?

Having said all of that, I would read the book.

Welcome back to your real world.  :-*

J

Offline bri h

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 03:01:44 AM »
Morning Mark (07.55 here). I must admit to you. Every time I've looked at this poem, I've skimmed cos of its size. Today I read it. I love it. It's a bit Sgt Pepper-ish. I love the way the line between reality and dream is blurred. I too would read this in a book. Is there a reason why you haven't punctuated Raymond's drop into surreality? There's a lot of capital letters at the start of the lines, but no periods in the preceding words. I saw Vespa and the Alien. I think they and their dialogue work quite well. Thanks for posting this. I'm goin' back for another go. Bri.

PS. I think you've inadvertantly solved the problem of 'what we have to do about the lawyers.' He just hires 'a new one,' and they arrest them. I LOVE that. Well done. B
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 03:04:09 AM by brianh »
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 2par

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 03:05:04 AM »
Goodness gracious. I liked this, mostly because of that dialogue. What a hoot!  But that first paragraph had my mind doing a ballet in the air. Do make that more readable. And I didn't do the poem...just sort of skimmed it.
I think you're going to have to reformat it as I wasn't sure who was talking...all the spacing was confusing.

I liked the teen but thought maybe she needed a little more humor to bring it up to the detectives' level.

Offline Mark T

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 01:11:14 PM »

Hi guys, thank you all for reading and commenting. Great input regarding this experimental writing - I did try to add a poetry influence but can see how it would quickly become tiresome purple prose. I did enjoy the freedom of creating this surreal world with alien cops and face spiders etc. I guess what I should be doing is working on my second novel - at a standstill for too long now.
I have a 'standard' type short story which was shortlisted in a local writing compo a while back and which I'll post here later. Bri, you read the first draft.

PS Siyabonga is Zulu for thank you.

Offline Matt Walker

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 01:19:02 PM »
I really liked the poem, and I think the quick-fire dialogue works well. However the first two paragraphs need a lot of work. Mainly cutting. When you write a story your writing should be invisible. The opening was much too purple, flowery, using words for words' sake. When you're writing prose keep the mantra 'omit needless words' in mind! Good luck.
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Offline Mark T

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 01:30:51 PM »

Thanks Matt, you are absolutely right and I like the construct of invisible writing.

Offline bri h

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Re: Cut and paste
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 02:51:08 PM »
Hi guys, thank you all for reading and commenting. Great input regarding this experimental writing - I did try to add a poetry influence but can see how it would quickly become tiresome purple prose. I did enjoy the freedom of creating this surreal world with alien cops and face spiders etc. I guess what I should be doing is working on my second novel - at a standstill for too long now.
I have a 'standard' type short story which was shortlisted in a local writing compo a while back and which I'll post here later. Bri, you read the first draft.

PS Siyabonga is Zulu for thank you.

Ah, yes. I remember it well. ha ha. B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx