Author Topic: a re-work of a short story. Word Count 1,641  (Read 2579 times)

Offline bowmore2

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a re-work of a short story. Word Count 1,641
« on: October 07, 2014, 04:13:03 PM »
I'm sure most of you will have seen this one before, I am editing re-writing this in the hope that it shows a improvement
in my writing. As I value the opinion of you guys, I am interested in you're opinion before I go any further.  


v                                                         Brigers Folly Part One.
                                                                Halloween 1946
With the working week  over Tom Briger and close friends Jim Muir, and Alex Beaton, were settling down to their weekly card game.
It had become a regular thing with the trio; and this time around it was Tom’s turn to play host.
The venue was switched each week in order to  keep the wives happy, as at at the end of the evening there would be no cigarette ends and  empty beer cans for them to clean up.

The tenement block the families lived in overlooked a graveyard no more than thirty yards away on the other side of the street. Over the years its close proximity leant to a great many ghost stories being told, to-night more so as it was all hallows eve.
The older generation swore that on Halloween night, not all of the guisers walking the streets were human.

With the beer in and a plate or two of sandwiches to hand the trio settled down to play cards, and as the night wore on, the winnings were evenly shared between the three.
For over an hour they managed successfully to ignore the interruption's of hopeful guisers who rattled the letterbox in hope of a Halloween treat.
A short time later however the ambiance in the flat  would  change, Jim Muir now less than sober and losing quite heavily, suddenly lost the plot, with the constant rattle of the letterbox was doing nothing to enhance his mood.

He had just lost a fair sized cash pot when someone clambered onto the windowsill directly behind his chair, and started banging on the panes.
Cursing loudly he leaped to his feet and pushed the chair backwards so violently, that it smashed into the wall breaking one of the wooden legs.
Then taking hold of the window frame he slammed it upward, almost taking  it off its hinges.

Leaning out he let rip with a string of obscenities; finishing with, “come back here again you noise little buggers; and I’ll give you something for your Halloween, and it won’t be bloody monkey nuts either”.

Tom crossed to the window and placed an arm round  Jim's broad shoulders in an attempt to placate him.

“Calm down big man he said quietly, it’s only the local kids enjoying themselves”.

Turning around he smiled sheepishly, “your right Tam; sorry”.

”Tell you what lads Tom said trying to lighted the atmosphere, let’s take a break from the cards, chill out and have few more beers.” Turning to Alex Beaton he said”, you pour the whiskies I'll see to the beers”.
After half an hour of steady drinking the drink ran out.

“Not to worry Tom volunteered, I’ll nip to the corner shop and get some more, how much is left in the kitty”?

“There’s still a few quid left, ” Jim Muir replied, now more composed after his earlier outburst.

“What say we forget about he cards he said and head for the pub? Its eight fifteen he said glancing at the wall clock, we’ll just about make the last hour if we leave now”... Back then the pubs closed at 9-30.
The others readily agreed, their interest in the card game now dead.

In the street they stood debating the quickest way to their, destination.
"If we don’t get a move on Jim said in an agitated voice, we’ll be lucky to get more than a pint each. Tell you what; “to save time let’s cut across the graveyard. It’s the quickest way to get to where were going”.
Tom and Alex looked at each other, not sure whether they had heard him right.
“In case you've forgotten Jim; Alex Beaton reminded him, It’s Halloween night”...Jim laughed out loud.

“Don’t tell me two grown men like yourselves believe in ghosts and ghouls?  Besides, it won’t be the first time we've crossed  the graveyard at night”.

“True Alex said, but that was on the way back from the pub. Then we were full of a different kind of spirit”.  

“Come on Jim said impatiently, drinking time’s a wasting.”

Placing both hands on top of the low wall he lifted himself up and onto it where he sat grinning at them,“last one there buys the drinks”. Pushing himself off the wall he vanished among the tombstones.
The two  friends stood looking at one another, the gauntlet had been well and truly thrown down.
Mounting the wall they dropped to the damp grass and let their eyes adjust to the surrounding darkness. Each caught up with his own thoughts.

“Come on Tam, Alex Muir said a little tersely, let’s go”.

Picking out the shape of the path nearest to them the men set off at a fast trot, their eyes fixed firmly on the street lights four hundred yards away, on the far side of the graveyard.
Of Jim there was no sign.
Alex found himself running behind Tom, he would have preferred to have been up front instead of being back marker. As a result, all the way across the pitch black expanse of the graveyard, now shrouded in thickening fog. The urge to look behind him was almost irresistible.
He did not really believe in  ghosts or the supernatural, but what if; just what if there just happened to be something unholy tracking them and getting nearer with every step?

His mind was now in overdrive, what if there was an open grave and they fell into it? God alone know's what would happen to them. Thirty yards from the boundary wall the path widened and he was able to run alongside Tom. At least he thought rather selfishly, if something was following them it was now fifty–fifty as to who it would get first.
The relief for both men as they reached the far side of the graveyard was almost overwhelming, owing to the thickening fog they really had to keep their wits about them. On reaching the wall they were up and over it in a flash, dropping to the ground they made their way into the welcoming warmth of the pub.
When they entered  Jim Muir was at the bar and already had the drinks in.
“What kept you two he said grinning broadly, you had me worried for a while”.

The hour spent in the heady atmosphere of the pub seemed to fly by, and by the end of it, their earlier experience of getting to the Coffin Bar; so called because of its shape and location next to the graveyard, was all but forgotten about.  
So much so in fact that the return trip home taking the same route, was now being talked about with some bravado. All earlier thoughts of ghosts and open graves apparently forgotten about.

When he trio emerged from the Coffin Bar they were all but legless, the amount drank in the bar on top of what they had already consumed in Tom's home was having it's effect.
before setting off they lit cigarettes, like most drunks they were beginning to feel invincible.
Fifty yards further on they stopped at a set of wrought iron gates that dominated the wall.

“Well Jim Muir asked, are we still up for the return trip”?
This time there was no hesitation. “Let’s do it” Alex Beaton said, and was  first up and over the gates.

The street lights were bright enough to show a wide sweeping path leading to the right, unknown to them however it would lead them in a wide circle instead of the direct route they had planned. Taking them through the oldest part of the graveyard where ancient and imposing tombs stood.
Hopefully all of them empty. They set off at a brisk walk, drunk or sober they did not want to be here a minute longer than was necessary.

The path led directly upward and by the time they reached the highest point all three were out of breath.

“Let’s stop here for a minute or two Alex gasped, I don’t know about you guys,  but I'm absolutely knackered”. Going to a bench he planked himself down on it,”Let’s sit have a smoke”.
Directly across the path from where they were sitting, one imposing tomb stood out more than all the others.

Jim offered his cigarettes packet to the others, Tom declined.
“Don’t think I've got enough breath left in me for a smoke he gasped, that gradient has me knackered.
In fact if a ghost or anything else was to walk out of that big tomb facing us, I’d be in real trouble”.

“You and you’re ghosts Jim Muir scoffed, the local kids come up here at night and play hide and seek.
Tell you what I’ll give two pounds next pay day, to either of you who has the balls to spend ten minutes alone in that tomb facing us”.
Neither man seemed anxious to take up his offer despite the fact that in those days, two pounds was a fair amount of cash. A good wage for a working man being around eight or nine pounds a week.

“How about you Tom?  You lost two day’s wages last week when you were off work sick”.

It was true; he had lost two days wages and could certainly do with the money. Two pounds would go a long way to making up the shortfall in his wage packet.
He sat in silence mulling it over, while the other two talked and smoked. All the while casting nervous glances in the direction of the crumbling tomb.
{What could possibly harm me he thought, it’s probably been empty for the past hundred years.}
“Well Tom”, Jim Muir pressed him.
“I could do with the money he said slowly... but I don’t know if I could last ten seconds on my own; never mind ten minutes”.              

Edited to add word count.                                
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 05:47:39 PM by bowmore2 »

Offline heidi52

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Re: a re-work of a short story.
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 07:46:02 AM »
Hi Bill
I think one of the reasons you haven't gotten much response to this is that you didn't put in many of the paragraph breaks. It makes it really hard to read.

Yes I'm sure they were in your original document but the editor here eats them and they need to either be double return on your original or you need to add them in when you post it here.

If you could edit this and put in all the missing spaces between paragraphs, it would be so much easier to read and people would probably be more willing to help you with suggestions.

Offline heidi52

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Re: a re-work of a short story.
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 07:47:29 AM »
Gee I just saw that you posted this in the gallery. That's the other reason you haven't gotten more response. Gallery is usually for posting pieces you aren't interested in having critiqued.

So I guess you can ignore my previous advice. But keep it in mind for the next time you post.  ;)

Pale Writer

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Re: a re-work of a short story.
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 09:32:32 AM »
Bill, stop hesitating your flow of writing. Finish, tidy, then worry about opinions. All I have to go on here is a setting, so it wouldn't be fair to you, or to your story to judge its merits.

The less interference you have while creating your story, the more of you remains attached.

Offline Rho

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Re: a re-work of a short story.
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 01:01:02 PM »
A couple of things.

The venue was switched each week in order to  keep the wives happy, as at at the end of the evening there would be no cigarette ends and  empty beer cans for them to clean up. This makes the men sound like slobs.

“Come on," Jim said impatiently,. "drinking time’s a wasting.”

Jim laughed out loud. I know it's OK to use, but it reminds me of 'lol' you don't want that in your book.
It's a strange magic