Author Topic: Truth in numbers - chapter 1 part 1 draft 2  (Read 556 times)

Offline Nooglepop13

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Truth in numbers - chapter 1 part 1 draft 2
« on: February 13, 2020, 10:54:19 AM »
Tash had been crouched on her bedroom floor for five hours when the telephone rang. 

 “Hello” she said, putting on her best phone voice. In lunging for the phone she’d dropped one of her curls into the tub of regurgitated food in front of her. She wiped her hair down with a used tissue as she listened.

“Listen, Tash, there’s been a murder and it’s some seriously weird shit. Like fucking quadratic equation shit. I thought it might be your deal.”

A beat passed. Tash put the lid on her Tupperware box of spat out food and reached for the pills to her left. She pressed two out of the packet and swigged them down with some diet coke.

“Tash, Tash, are you there?”

“Sorry yes.” She paused for a minute to wrap her fleece dressing gown around her shoulders. “What do you mean by
weird?”

“My flatmate’s been found dead…”

“That’s weird, was it a dodgy pill?” She spoke without enthusiasm.

 “No, that’s not the weird bit, it’s what’s been done with the body that’s fucking mental. They carved numbers and equations into his skin. I mean can you believe that, what a psycho!”

“Hmmm” She let out an interested sigh. The dihydrocodeine from earlier was starting to kick in. Her cheeks felt hot to the touch, and she was starting to wish she could rest her head on the floor.

“Tash, did you hear me?”

“Yessss” she murmured, the ‘s’ coagulating into a long hiss. A wave of euphoria had overcome her: she slumped against her wardrobe and let her head lol backwards, her mouth drooped open into a skinny elongated ‘O’ shape. Her breath slithered out of her lungs with the softness of casual fingers leafing through papers, then it drifted out of her sagging mouth into the humid air of the room. Her hands melted into the floor like wax. Her whole body was soft and malleable; she was a play-dough person. She wondered about actually swallowing the doughnuts and going through the stale ritual of sticking her fingers down her throat and fishing for the contents of her stomach, but then remembered that those contents included a large number of pills, and losing them for a binge and purge session would be financial stupidity at its finest.

Her head snapped up as she heard an echo of Hannah’s excited monologue.

“But yeah, it’s obviously some nutjob maths student, not that all maths students are nutjobs, you’re decent Tash, you know what I mean though, it’s gotta be one of them with all that freaky tortured genius shit.”

Tash dazed off again and, seeing the wreckage of her room and the clear signs of eating disordered and drug addicted behaviour, nearly giggled at the fact she was officially considered “not a nutjob”. She felt like a nutjob. She felt as though she was going insane, as though her brain was cracking in two.

“How do you know about this?” she asked, throwing the dressing gown off her overheated body, and sliding her torso onto the cold floor. She balanced her head on one hand and drew her knees towards her chest as she listened.

“I was at Assembline and the news was going round the club, I thought of you right away cos of all that coding shit you do, I’m just walking home now, I called you as soon as I left the club.”

Tash could hear Hannah’s feet crunching along a gravel path.

“What do you think I can do about it?”

“Just dig round for me, do your maths stuff, I dunno.”

“Spoken like a true humanities student”

“Shut up!” Hannah wailed, with good humour and obvious slight drunkenness.

“I’d need to see the numbers, the equations, everything. They won’t print them all in the papers.” She could hear
her voice was a little slurred; she desperately wanted Hannah to go away so she could enjoy the soaring peak of her high which she was certain would hit in ten minutes or so.

“Go see it, the police haven’t been called yet.”

“Why?” she asked, with confusion.

“The people who found him knew him, they got a bit paranoid, they’re still deciding whether to tell the police or whether to just dump him in the lake. They’re all scared shitless. The body’s on campus, down by the bridge. I think Dylan wants to post it on his insta though, so you better be quick.”

Tash inhaled deeply and wiped the back of her hand against her nose. “So everyone knows but no one has called the police.” Her voice tripped on the world ‘police’, so it came out as ‘puliiishe’.

“Are you fucking drunk mate?! I thought you didn’t drink!”

“I don’t and I’m not”

She didn’t drink as a rule. Too high a risk of fatal respiratory depression when combined with the opiates. That said, the same went for benzodiazepines, and she had no problem mixing those two together. In truth, her supposed tea-total status was mainly to avoid drinking with other people, and doing horrible things like going to parties or clubs or sitting playing intolerable drinking games with strangers who giggled at anything. She preferred to drink alone, when necessary, to avoid such ordeals.

“Tell them not to call the police, not yet anyway. I’ll get the first bus over there and have a look.”

“Kay, cool beans. Chat you to later alright.”

“Yep. Bye.”

Offline PIJ1951

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Re: Truth in numbers - chapter 1 part 1 draft 2
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 02:25:33 PM »
Better !!!!!

Offline Krispy915

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Re: Truth in numbers - chapter 1 part 1 draft 2
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2020, 04:10:46 PM »
I do like this, but must ask, you're obviously british, but do you know that there was a series on tv called "The Sinner", which had tattoos all over a woman's body, with each one leading to the villian?  Love the flow of this, but can't help thinking about the series when I begin reading it again.  Not sure if you've seen it, not sure where you live, but American's may find a resemblance. 

Offline lonnielong

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Re: Truth in numbers - chapter 1 part 1 draft 2
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2020, 10:32:34 PM »
I like your writing style. The material, for the most part, held my interest.

However, I feel like this piece could've been more focused. It was a little difficult to follow what, exactly, was happening. The dialogue conveys that there's a dead body with numbers carved into the flesh, but the narrative deals entirely with the main character's drug experience. One would think that her thoughts (albeit preoccupied with her high) would--at least a little bit--concern said dead body.

Maybe it's supposed to be a little erratic, to give the sense of her chaotic state of mind. And maybe she's not thinking about her dead flat-mate because she took drugs to numb those thoughts. If either of those are the case, I get it, but I still think that your intentions could be clearer.

Offline scottinjapan

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Re: Truth in numbers - chapter 1 part 1 draft 2
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2020, 08:39:24 PM »
I enjoyed the way you described the situation. Made me feel like I was actually there, with nice references to the surroundings and the mental state of the characters. As someone who is unfamiliar with the sometimes complicated names of drugs, I needed a little more background about what they actually were. Perhaps a slang 'street name' for them followed by a short description of how they make you feel.
Thanks for sharing and good luck!