Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company! discussion

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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 169 (June 2 - June 9). Stories. Topic: Raven.

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message 1: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments You have until end of day June 9 to post a story, and from June 10-16 we’ll vote for the story we thought was best.

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group.

Keep your story between 300 and 3,500 words long if possible. You may post longer stories, but they may not get read.

REMEMBER! A short story is NOT a scene. Please give it a BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END of some kind.

This week’s topic is: Raven.

The rules are pretty loose. You may write a story about anything that has to do with the topic. We do not care how, but the story you post must relate to the topic somehow.

Above all, have fun!


message 2: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments NP! NP! NLP!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

How appropriate with my current sentiment :)


message 4: by M (new)

M | 10844 comments Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”


message 5: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments I thought it was, "Eat my shorts."

... No, wait, that was one of the only Simpsons episodes I've seen. Now I'll never be able to enjoy Poe properly.


message 6: by M (last edited Jun 02, 2013 06:02PM) (new)

M | 10844 comments The Simpsons was a TV show, wasn’t it?


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

M wrote: "The Simpsons was a TV show, wasn’t it?"

It's so silly of me to think that it was popular there.


message 8: by M (new)

M | 10844 comments I have a feeling Belly is right.


message 9: by Saira (new)

Saira (herumouni) | 667 comments ROFL

I think I can do something continuing off of an older one...


message 10: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4207 comments Mod
That's cool Saira! I hope I can come up with one in time. Gears are a-turnin'...


message 11: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Hudnall (arielhud) Awww, somehow I missed the notification for this one :(


message 12: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments Sorry Alex. I buried in with the poll notification. Please let me know if you didn't get it. Hmmmmm. Maybe I'll send out a group broadcast.

Okay, I've talked myself into it.


message 13: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Hudnall (arielhud) Alex wrote: "Awww, somehow I missed the notification for this one :("

Well, I got the notification now, haha. Raven... hm.


message 14: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments Guy wrote: "Sorry Alex. I buried in with the poll notification. Please let me know if you didn't get it. Hmmmmm. Maybe I'll send out a group broadcast.

Okay, I've talked myself into it."


You're so weak-minded; anyone can talk you into anything, huh?

... Sleep is still a thing, right? I should try that.


message 15: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments LoL!
Well, not anything, Edward. Hmmm. Or... Well. Maybe. Okay, yeah. You're right. This time.


message 16: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments And only this time; I'm never right else times.

My story this week is feeling very lack luster, which is disappointing because of its potential. I'm probably going to have to wait until after my two weeks are up to have space in my head to finish a whole story in a week. M read the only story I've written in months, and that took me nearly a month to write ...


message 17: by Tim (last edited Jun 07, 2013 10:18PM) (new)

Tim Out of the Corner of my Eye

875 words

     The old one-eyed man caught me staring at the ravens perched on his shoulders. "They're my spies," he said. "This one is called Thought, and this one is called Memory."

     On Wednesday I took my family canoeing on the Nicomekl River. My wife didn't think too much of my choice of waterway, but she was a good sport about it. To her, the Nicomekl wasn't much more than a drainage ditch glimpsed while speeding along the highway.

     We unloaded the canoe in the Park and Ride lot adjacent to the bridge. A knocked over sign from the recent election campaign lay half hidden in the tall grass between the parking lot and the river. The candidate grinned up at us.

     My son is fifteen now, tall and gangly, very much my build at that age. The canoe was a bit heavy for him, but he was game: we dragged it through the grass and down the steep embankment to the brown water of the Nicomekl. We had to shout to be heard above the highway noise.

     My wife was amazed when we passed beneath the bridge: highways seem so firm and solid, yet the bridge was merely creosote coated timber. You could see how it was bolted together; a couple of judicious cuts with a chain saw and the whole thing would have collapsed: buses, cars and semis careening off each other and into the water.

     It took a good hour of paddling before we'd travelled sufficient distance for the traffic noise to recede beneath the wind in the grass, the rippling cottonwood leaves, the red-wing blackbirds calling to each other, the dripping paddle and its occasional clunk on the side of the canoe.

     Not much had changed in the thirty years since I'd last canoed on this river-- though I did notice a new concrete bridge connecting a housing estate to what was once a farmroad. Colourful grafitti decorated the supporting columns and the side of the bridge deck.

     The feat of daring required to make those marks gave me pause. The artist must have crawled along a concrete girder no more than a foot wide and perched there some thirty feet above the none too deep river, twisting to spray his message to the world-- which I couldn't read at all. Was it even an English word? Was it in code? I had no idea.

     It was never intended that I understand it.

     The canoe slides out from the shadow of the bridge, and the river flows leisurely onwards; the rhythmic dipping of the paddles is almost hypnotic.

     A raven flies overhead towards a skeletal tree on the riverbank and perches on the topmost branch. We look at each other.

     And I'm eighteen years old again, the sun just as warm on my back, and up there at the front of the canoe is my friend Gerald. Though I don't know it, this is the last time I'll ever see him.

     He has a secret plan, you see. He is going to give everything away, including his life. Gerald asks me if I'd like to have his saxophone.

     "But I don't play the saxophone."

     "That's true," he admits. "Maybe you'd like my guitar instead."

     "But don't you need it?" I ask.

     "Not really."

     Our conversation meanders toward the subject of writing. I am a teenaged poet specializing in anguished free verse; Gerald has an original sense of humour, so his poetry (unlike mine) is still readable thirty years later. It's good, not great. Perhaps Gerald could have been great if he'd lived. If he'd lived.

     Gerald had already made one unsuccessful suicide attempt.

     When I went to visit him at the mental hospital, I found Gerald had taken to drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. "It's an institutional thing," he explained, his voice slurred from the medication.

     The fluorescent lighting of the cafeteria depressed me. The coffee was bad too. I wanted to know when he was going to be discharged.

     "That's up to the doctor," Gerald replied wistfully. "I regret telling him that I was seeing things that weren't there."

     "Were you seeing things?"

     Gerald laughed. "Everybody sees things that aren't there. Out of the corner of their eye."

     How memory plays tricks. I really don't know how long it was between that final canoe trip and the frantic phone call from Gerald's father. A week? A month? A few days?

     Gerald had gone missing and his father was phoning anyone he could think of. Did Gerald mention any plans, anywhere he might go?

     "Well, he did mention wanting to be a garbageman in Nice," I hesitantly replied.

     It was a ridiculous thing to say to a desperate father, even if true. I see that now. It was just one of Gerald's many off the cuff plans.

     "It would be a simple non-verbal job, so you could focus on the culture," Gerald had explained with a slight smile. "And you'd get to see a part of France a tourist would never see."

     With a clatter of wings, the raven lifts itself into the air; the tree briefly shivers and returns to stillness, its bleached white branches reaching up into the empty sky.


message 18: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4207 comments Mod
If I don't get to finish mine tonight could I put it up at a random (I don't know when) time tomorrow?


message 19: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments CJ - you may. If you aren't too TOO late, I will hold off putting up the polls. (Of course, one of the other mods may not be so patient.)

P.S. Nothing self serving about it, but my story isn't finished yet either.


message 20: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (last edited Jun 10, 2013 08:11PM) (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4207 comments Mod
((I am open to criticism!))

Good-bye, Baby

David got that feeling again, that tender sickness. The warm sensation that flooded his heart and filled up to his eyes until they poured out again. Tears. He hated that sickness called grief.
It had been four long months and David still had trouble getting out of his house. To know the very street he was on where that child was playing that he could have run out and blocked that cursed car, or let it hit him instead it didn't have to be that girl. That young little girl.
Time was still time though. The cruel measures of things only known and created by man he knew that he could not go back. Time would pass on no matter what tragedies befell during its watch.
Thesse days David sat at home in a pasty white t-shirt, colored yellow under his arms as he scratched his dirty-blonde unkempt hair. He was living off of his recent severance pay after they saw he was deemed emotionally unfit to be the salesman that he was so destined to be mere months before. They became so concerned, David heard, that they told his then-girlfriend that he might end up with emotional problems much worse. It could end up so bad and Gloria had known just what they had meant by that.
David knew that his church worried about him. They wondered why he had just flat out stopped coming. One member he had run into at a convenience store asked if there was anything he could pray about.
It's too late to pray for her he thought to himself but before giving an appreciative but no type of response.

He watched wretched television. It seemed difficult feeling like things had just slowed down for him. Plus shaving, showering, and changing clothes had become non-existent events in his daily activities. He also wondered what he would do with finding a job knowing his mother couldn't always come by the apartment to bring groceries and hide her own tears while she saw the consistent, spreading stubble on his face and his red eyes that must have been crying every moment of the day.
He half-heartedly changed channels. I could have stopped that driver. It was right there.

There was a knock on the door. David gathered himself and pulled his shirt over his developing gut as he yanked open the door.
It was his best bud Barry Havens. And he brought his daughter who was only six years old.
"Hello David Chase."
David worked a little smile. It was always a joke that he was addressed by his full name. It wasn't funny lately.
"How are you feeling?"
"Okay I guess." David couldn't recognize the gruff noise that finally came from his mouth. His voice was rugged as if he hadn't used his vocal cords for a long time and they were awoken like a dragon from its slumber.

"Hi, Unkie Dave." said little Burnice.
David couldn't help but smile. He cleared his throat.
"Hello, missie."
"Dad and me went hiking today!"

Barry laughed. "It was just a walk through the park."
"Have you ever seen the trees there, Unkie Dave? They are beautiful. The park is big."
"I don't think so. It's kinda far out there isn't it?" said David.
"It's not that bad." said Barry.
"But we went over to the far woods that were nearby. We heard a scary birdie. When we got there, there was ravens!"
"You probably saw crows." Dave quickly corrected her. "They get mistaken for each other all the time."

There was slight silence. Dave quietly felt guilty for not pointing out how smart Burnice was for knowing about ravens.

Crows unsettled David. They were harbingers of death, creatures that don't know they warn others that something once breathing had fallen nearby and they were there to pick at the scraps. David quickly realized he was putting himself into a depressive circle. Nothing but swirling images of doom and gloom all bringing him down a sad spiral.

He didn't think people wanted him around when he was like that. He felt they should go.

"Uhh. Thank you for coming by guys."
"Okay. Um we will see you alright?" said Barry.
Dave nodded.
Burnice put out her arms waiting for a hug. She was harshly left with just a pat (more like a smack) on the top of the head.
Barry remembered that Dave was never this harsh to the child but let it slide. He felt he could understand why lately he wasn't himself.
"Before I go Dave know that I am always a phone call away."
"I don't want to bother you with my problems."
"Please Dave. Bother me."
And off they went. Burnice gave a wave before they left and then down they went as Dave watched them take off and walk down the street, off of the road and soon they would walk off Drexel and away from his life. Dave felt a little unsettled that he kind of didn't want them to have come. But depression was a complicated thing.

It was 4:00 when Gloria came by.
"Dave. I decided to get you some chocolate. There was no reason to but I know that it would make you feel better."
Dave felt sad his ex-girlfriend was being kind to him. He wondered why she was trying so hard to help him when he wasn't there much or lately to have deserved such grace from her. He figured they broke up when he just wasn't the shoulder to cry on or the person to rely on anymore.
Or maybe he just wasn't doing much with his life which Dave could understand why she cut the tether.

She looked at him. Not into his eyes like she was longing for him exactly but just as a close friend. The sides of her face were lovingly glazed by her perfect, blonde hair. "Dave. Talk to me."
He pretended to not realize what she was doing. "Huh?"
"You've got to do something to pass the time. Pick up a hobby. Read. You don't want to mentally fall apart like you are starting to now."
"Maybe tomorrow I'll do that."
Gloria sighed. "You and I both know that will not happen."

She suddenly went upstairs and came down Dave's own house with a box. She plopped it down in front of where he was standing.
"What is all of this?"
"This is a lot of my stuff." she said in a quiet, gentle tone.
"Yeah?"
"Notice I haven't taken any of it with me?"
"I can see it right now in front of me. Yeah."
"Did you ever get what that meant?"

He did find it notable but hadn't thought about any of it at all.
"I don't just care for you because I don't want you to end up in an insane asylum or some place you will never get out of, Dave. I want you to have a life. I want you to have some goals in life like ones you used to have."
"I am not a salesman anymore."
"Set new goals then, Dave. Do you realize that you not having any direction in life is keeping me from wanting to be with you?"
He made a little noise, almost a scoff.
"But I do want to be with you."
His eyebrows went up.
"Look. You know how much of a bad idea it was to live together. We should have taken our time and let things get to a more honorable level. We should just start over."
She let him look down at the box at his feet.
"If you want to."
Then she left. She headed to her other apartment. One that was only a few miles away. She got into her white Subaru and took off, taking a skirt down the road and off she headed.
Dave looked down at the box. It was time to do something with his life. And soon.

Two days later. It was a Sunday. The parents of that little girl had moved out of the neighborhood but Dave had caught wind of a vague idea of where they headed. He kicked himself that he never really got to talk to them besides small talk and how the weather had become so crazy lately.
He was afraid to know them now in their circumstance but Dave took a few buses and was down at the street he found out that they stayed.
Sadness. Fear. Anger. It had all been eating away at him at the moment he was at their steps. He was afraid that he didn't know much about life, how to comfort this family, how to really live life especially so perfect or seemingly unproblematic that everyone around him lived. He was angry at God. He was so angry that God would take away such a young child. He remembered his pastor saying that children as young as 13 sometimes end up at death's door and cause a family to heal, to love, and even to learn of the great mysteries of Christ. All Dave had to say was that the little girl had died at the age of nine.

He knocked on the door. Each time his hand rapped it felt like it was moving in slow motion, unsure of where this moment would turn to next. The mother answered it.
She gave a huge smile. "David."
David didn't know why but he burst into tears. She immediately put her arms around him and told him to come into the house.

Over a cup of tea the parents that were no longer that priviledge kept a chat with him.
"You do know that we loved our girl but we also care about you, right?"
"But I could have stopped that car from hitting her. I could have stopped it! Couldn't I?"
"It happened and it was awful but we know that the driver made a mistake."
"I made a mistake! It was my fault!"
"Who said it was your fault? Because it was not."

He almost cried when the mother took both his teacup from his hand and placed it onto the glass table. Then she put both hands around his and held them.
"Do you believe in heaven?"
"I don't know anymore."
"Do you take comfort in knowing that little Evaline is there, because she is?"
Dave just sat there and paused. He looked at them with tear-filled eyes and just didn't know what to say. Here he was expecting to comfort this family and he ended up falling apart on there front step and they are trying to help him with the grief.
"You guys are really something."
"Hey." said the dad. "Did you know that a group planted a tree for us to dedicate to our Evaline?"
Dave couldn't help but be expressionless a tear came loose from his eye and just about plopped onto the table.
"Yeah. Maybe if you go to the park it could help you with just moving on."
"At the park? The one at the end of my street? Really?"
"We know you cared about her and so maybe this is the chance to help you. We could pray for you to heal but we hope that maybe this will let you know that there is hope. Our child is with Jesus and that is the greatest comfort we could know."
Dave didn't know what to say but thank them and then head off his way to go to the park another day.

Between finding jobs through want-ads, using the internet to find a cheaper apartment for the time being, and just thinking about this thing called the after-life Dave just could not get out of his mind that he had to go to the park.
He felt this would be the time to finally do the one thing that had bothered him for so long.
He mustered some courage and on a strange day where the weatherman claimed it would be a rainy or just extremely cloudy day the sun shined with barely a blip in the sky. The kind air, the smell of nature was all around him as he made it to the path he knew that would head to the many trees. It hadn't taken him long to find in the midst of all the aged trees a somewhat young but medium height sapling.
It was a long but beautiful day. Dave couldn't help but notice the group's name that planted it along with the name "Evaline Seid 2004-2013."
He didn't know what to say. He knew that the girl would not spend time just hanging around him if she were somewhere present at the park. He felt she would find better places to be. Well, he felt, if she was...
Dave couldn't help but now feel his heart full of love this time.
"Good-bye, baby."
And with that he felt like he was healed. He could go on with his life. He spun around staring up at the sky and began the trek home, things not being easier just the things of life that he had taken so long to forget. He had a life and he knew it was time to just live it for the best. Live for others and find his calling in life. Because time was ticking and he wouldn't let time take over his chance to be here in the now living like it was heaven on earth.


message 21: by Madeline (last edited Jun 09, 2013 01:22AM) (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Author: Madeline Lund
Title: Frank's Last Shift
Words: 2,398
Feedback: appreciated


Frank's Last Shift


I am perched on the very edge of a metal chair. Iron chains are manacling my ankles to rings welded to the floor and my hands to rings welded to the metal table. I hold my hands up and watch the links chink together. I loop the chain over my left arm to better appreciate the sheen. I think of how easy it would be to slip from these chains and fly to freedom. I am tempted, but Rolf was right when he told me we had to investigate our enemies. We have to understand how they work, and we have to be discreet.


I stare into the eyes of the woman across from me and I say, “What’s on the agenda today, boss?”


She returns my gaze for a moment and then looks down at the paper on the table in front of her.


I smile. I have a pretty good guess of what it says. I am pretty sure it is listing my supposed problems:

Patient has tendencies to fabricate the truth.
Patient has uncontrollable urges to manipulate and deceive.
Patient has zoophagous tendencies.
Patient has psychopathic tendencies.
Patient is an anthropophagite.


“Just so you are aware,” I say slowly. She looks into my eyes, and I lean forward and smile wider to reveal shiny teeth. “He prefers the brain. Me?” My right hand rests on my heart as my eyes stare directly into hers. “What do you think satisfies me?”


She shivers, and I twirl my shiny black hair between my fingers. “You have very pretty eyes,” I say. “Is that…mm…flecks of gold and amber in the green irises? Very nice.”


She blinks a couple of times and then clears her throat. “And why do you prefer the…eyes, is it?”


“Only the eyes.”


“And why only the eyes, Fay?”


I tilt my head back and forth as I look at her. I say, “Why, the eyes are the softest part.” I repeat, “Softest part,” as my eyes find themselves gazing at the chain again. I lift my arms up and out to watch the chain lengthen and spin.


“Yes,” the psychologist says. “They are quite heavy, aren’t they?”


“Heavy?” I repeat the word, and gaze at her curiously. “If you say so.”


“You aren’t going to get out, Fay. Do you understand?”


“Let me get this straight.” I let my elbows drop lightly to rest on the cool metal table. My left cheek falls into my left hand. “You are trying to understand why I am the way that I am?”


She nods, and I continue. “Are you doing this to try to help me get better?”


“Do you think you can get better, Fay? Do you want to get better?”


“Do I want to get better…” I say the words slowly as if I am seriously considering them. The fingers of my right hand curl over the palm so I can admire my shimmery silver blue nails. “Do I want to get better…” I repeat in a whisper.


“Tell me,” I say, eyes once again staring into hers. “What do you mean by better?”


She hesitates, so I continue. “Do you say my name because you want me to feel safer with you? Do you think that will get you to understand me better? Do you think that will make me better?”


She attempts to say something, but I am angry now. I am over this meeting. I interrupt.


“I am going to get better, doctor, but I don’t think you understand. I don’t agree with your definition of the word better…”


“And what is your interpretation of the word, ‘better,’ Fay?”


I close my mouth and smile.


***


I am not happy. I am hungry. I am hot. I am suffocating in this tiny room. They chained my wrists together and then they chained my wrists to the ring welded on the table in the place where the dinner fork should be. I can’t move my arms, and my torso jerks forwards and backwards automatically to fight the tension.


Then the door opens, and she walks in. My nose twitches. The aroma of lavender is overpowering. I fight the urge to sneeze by holding my breath. I let my eyes wander slowly over her soft curves as she walks towards me, but then she sits down, and the metal table between us conceals most of her. I breathe through my mouth, but the scent of lavender still permeates my senses.


I ignore the perfume and try to focus on her natural scent. I lean as far across the table as the chains will allow, and I lick my lips. The chains are stretched tight and my face is only a few inches from her own, but the psychologist holds her place. I whisper, “You’re a nice little piggy, aren’t you?”


She doesn’t move, so I continue. “We like piggies, we do.”


“Who is we, Rolf?” she asks abruptly. “You and Fay?” She gazes into my eyes and squints slightly. “Or are there…more?”


“Have you ever tasted human flesh?” I ask.


“No, but you could tell me about it, couldn’t you?”


“Its taste is perhaps most similar to pork, but it is better…much better…more…flavorful.”


“I bet you would like some right now, Rolf. Wouldn’t you? I bet you’d like to kill again.”


“Oh, yes,” I reply. “Yes, yes.”


“You never ever will again.” She is gaining courage now. She stands up and puts both hands on the table. “You know that, don’t you?”


I smile. “Oh my,” I say. “You are quite the brave little piggy.”


***

Andrew closes the door of his bedroom, turns to face me, and says quietly, "They were eating him, dude. They literally consumed and digested raw flesh.”


"What the fu…?”


“She diced up the brain into little cubes for him. Then she ate the eyes.”


“That’s not right. That’s not funny." I sit on Andrew’s bed and shake my head at my friend. Andrew loves telling stories.


"I'm dead serious,” Andrew says, and he looks it. Normally when he exaggerates what happens to his dad at work his mouth betrays his tall tale by curling into the hint of a smile. Not now though. Now his eyes look clear and wide and afraid, and his mouth twitches into a frown. “My dad's team caught them,” he continues in a whisper. “I heard him talking to my mom about it before you got here. It was disgusting.”


“Who did they eat?”


Andrew’s eyebrows scrunch into the bridge of his nose and that cross look he has when he doesn’t know the answer comes across his face. “My dad didn’t say. I do know that the male convict is gonna die. The woman got life."


“What? Women get away with everything…”


“No. She didn’t kill the man. Her partner did. She says she only ate the eyes.”


"Parole?"


"Are you kidding? She was caught eating a man, Robert. She’s never getting out."


I hate when he says my name in that condescending way, enunciating both the “Rob” and the “ert” to make the name sound like the most embarrassing name on the planet. He always knows everything and I never understand. "But I don't understand,” I say. “Why would she be allowed to live after eating a person? Why would they even do such a thing? Why would–"


“–There is a psychologist trying to understand what is going through these people’s minds. That’s why they’re keeping the woman alive, Rob.”


There he goes again, I think. Uttering my name in the most snobby way possible. “I guess,” I say. “I just don’t see why it isn’t better to just kill them. We’re just wasting money and resources keeping evil alive.”


Andrew nods twice like he’s listening. Then he says, "I think that the psychologist thinks this will help her help others in the future. Seeing signs, you know?”


I mumble, “Yeah, I guess,” and check my phone for the time. It is 10:35 PM. I don’t know why I agreed to spend the night at Andrew’s house. I always forget how arrogant he is. Andrew’s father, Benjamin Browning, is the hero of the Maine State Police Force, and Andrew is his golden boy son.


Andrew lowers his whisper even further: “I know my dad has pictures of the crime scene in his office. Want to see?”


“I don’t know, dude.” I hesitate. I am not as interested as Andrew is in seeing death, but I don’t want to seem like a wimp, so I add, “Pictures of the body, the convicts, what, exactly?”


Andrew smiles. This is the big finish he has been waiting for. “Well, my dad’s most definitely asleep by now. He has to wake up at 4:00 AM for work. I’ll sneak down to his office, get the pictures, and come back up.”


“I don’t know, man. Isn’t it, like, confidential evidence, or something?”


“Dude, it’ll be fine. No one will know.”


I grimace, and Andrew says, “I’ll wear gloves if that makes you feel better, okay? I want to see the pictures. I’ll be right back.”



***


Frank yawns. It is just past 10:00 PM. He’s been staring at the monitor for six hours. Frank wants to go to bed, but he still has another four hours to go. He wants a hot steak and cheese coupled with a nice, cold beer, or four, or five. He wants the new prisoner, Fay, to escape from her cell, sneak into the security office, and fuck him. Frank rubs his eyes. What the fuck is wrong with me? he thinks. I don’t need the pussy of some crazy bitch who eats people. Frank watches the woman in her cell; she is standing quite still and staring through the bars somewhat blankly. What a head case, he thinks. Oh, but that body. His mind wanders. Frank wants that body.


Then every screen darkens in the same instant.


The lights go out.


Frank stumbles to the wall and fumbles for the switch. He flips it up, and the sickly yellow-white light of the fluorescent bulbs startles his eyes. Blinking and holding a hand to his forehead, Frank directs his attention to the dark screens. He pushes a few buttons hesitantly. He sighs. Not tonight, he thinks. Fuck. Not tonight. Frank begins rapidly pushing buttons.


Then Frank hears a light tapping on the door, and he turns to see a raven hopping towards him. The door is now slightly ajar.


“Woah,” Frank croaks as he takes a step back. He raises his right arm to point at the bird and yells, “What the HELL are you doing in here, bird? GET OUT!”


The raven jumps high and flaps its wings. It soars above Frank’s head and screams, “OUT! OUT!” The beautiful black bird dives towards his desk to snatch the keys resting on top of one of Frank’s dirty magazines. Frank blinks, and the raven, keys in its claws, is gliding through the doorway into the dark.


“Damn birds and their sparkly jingles,” Frank mutters angrily. His right hand balls into a fist and he raises it above his head and shakes it violently. “Damn birds!” he cries loudly now. Frank takes a step towards the door but then stops and directs his attention back to the blank monitor screens. He presses some buttons. He unplugs and re-plugs some chords. He reaches for the phone, and then he pauses, frozen. Frank thinks he hears a wolf howl.


***


Later, during the investigation, tech guys play the video repeatedly. They adjust the contrast, exposure, and lightness. They inspect it frame-by-frame. They find no footage of the escaped convicts. They find no clues regarding the whereabouts of Frank the guard. It is as if midnight blue curtains had been carefully placed over all the security devices in the building just after 10:00 PM and then swept away with all of the evidence into the dark night before the end of the hour.


***


Andrew returns thirty minutes later, just after 11:00 PM.


“Took longer to find the file than expected,” he grunts, as he closes the door with a quiet thud.


“Solitaire? Are you serious?” Andrew tosses the file onto my unfinished game on the bed beside me, and cards fly into the air and scatter over the bed and the floor.


“Careful!” I exclaim.


“It’s just a game.”


“No, I meant the file. Be careful with –“


“Don’t worry so much, Rob. Come on, let’s take a look.” Andrew pulls the images from the file, and we begin to look through them.


message 22: by Madeline (last edited Jun 09, 2013 02:01AM) (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments The first image shows the entire body of the victim. The man’s chest and stomach have been clawed open, and intestines have cascaded out onto the floor around his body. His heart is missing. His throat has been ripped into and pulled apart. The eyes have been carefully removed. The skin on the top of the man’s head has been peeled away, and the top of the skull had been sawn off. The brain is gone.


I am having trouble looking at any of the close-ups. My mind drifts as Andrew inspects each one. A light tapping on the window pane catches my attention.


A raven has perched on the window ledge and begun to tap on the glass with its beak.


Andrew turns his head towards the window to observe the bird. He glances at me; his face is scrunched again. The raven’s beak is lightly hitting the pane in quite an odd pattern. First come three long taps, then two short taps and one long tap, and finally one long tap. The bird stoically repeats its pattern until Andrew stands, at which point the bird pauses and lifts its head to gaze into Andrew’s eyes. Its eyes slowly move to stare into mine, and I sense an unnatural intelligence gleaming from them; I feel an overwhelming desire to flee. Andrew steps forward towards the window, and I cry, “Don’t!” which only eggs him on. He dashes to the window and throws it wide, yelling “BAH!” The raven leaps backward into the air, its wings expanding into a great curve.


“OUT!” it cries. “OUT!”


We hear a piercing howl echoing from the dark trees behind the Browning’s house. The motion sensor is triggered, and the backyard lights blaze into life to reveal a wolf stepping lightly from the trees onto the lawn.


message 23: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments Sorry folks. I'll post my story a day late.


message 24: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments TY Al.


message 25: by Saira (new)

Saira (herumouni) | 667 comments Someone mentioned ravens last night and gave me an idea, but now I can't remember what it was. XP


message 26: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments TG - ML dragged me to the public market, but now I'm back and on track. Just a bit longer.


message 27: by Guy (last edited Jun 09, 2013 08:22PM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments The Corvus
         by Guy Duperreault ~3500 Words
Corvus corax, the raven, in some North American native mythology is the Creator of the world, but is also considered a trickster god. For instance, in Tlingit culture, there are two different raven characters which can be identified, although they are not always clearly differentiated. One is the creator raven, responsible for bringing the world into being and who is sometimes considered to be the individual who brought light to the darkness. The other is the childish raven, always selfish, sly, conniving, and hungry. —adapted from Wiki
'Bastard!' I heard the word reverberate down the hallway out of my office. What is going on with that guy? I stood up from the desk. The space that had been reserved for Jake's quips had been filled with the boring but adequate sort-of facts the paper required. Sarah is a fine writer, but pedantic, not unlike the functional shoes nurses wear. Utile but not memorable.

'Bastard!' Why can't I keep my mouth shut?! And now I am supposed to fire him?! That was the ultimatum that I gave him. Sh*t! I sat back down. I looked at the clock on the computer. Four thirty. Time to leave. I stood up and walked to the door. The glass walls of the office allowed me to see that Jake was putting on his jacket and getting his bag together. He was leaving. Will he meet me there, now? Now that I am going to have to fire him? Damn!

I straightened my shoulders. Raised my head, lowered my chin. I recognized that this is my warrior stance, and so tried to relax out of it. Try! No sooner had I relaxed then I felt the muscles and tendons around my neck and shoulders tighten up.

I will wait at least another 15 minutes before I go. I don't want the office to know we're together. I sat down and grabbed the smart phone. I started to call my mother, then stopped. What is wrong with that bastard?! I tossed the phone onto the desk.

I stood up to check to make sure my outfit was still perfect. And then thought about that damn analyst. Why did he make me feel that that is a bad thing? How can wanting to look good be a bad thing? I thought. That doesn't make sense! But I stopped myself and looked over to Anna's office. As I had expected, she had been her punctual self and was already gone. Good. The few others who left in the office, down the hallway, were busy with deadlines, or surfing porn or Craig's, or whatever.

I moved my hands over my clothes, making sure I hadn't creased things, that my blouse was where it was supposed to be, that I couldn't feel any obvious clothing lines in my skirt. I re-looked at myself in the near mirror of the glass wall. This ensemble kicks ass! I felt the new custom fit bra through the thin silk of the blouse. What a great bra! It feels almost like skin. I adjusted it, unnecessarily. Yes, what a nice fit.

I turned back to the desk to check the clock. Four thirty-five. I sat down to read my FB and news feeds, but couldn't concentrate. Eventually the ten minutes passed, and I got up, grabbed my cell, purse and left.

~

'18 Acer Avenue North,' I told the cab driver, then sat back. I pulled out my compact and touched up my lipstick. I wondered if Jake had already arrived at The Corvus.

'It will be a slow haul, Ma'am,' the driver said. 'There's been an accident on the bridge.'

'Damn.' What else could go wrong? I wondered. Then realized that if the traffic was bad for me it was probably bad for Jake, too. I rechecked my make-up as the car moved into traffic.

~~~~~~~~

'Here you are, Mister. That'll be forty-five dollars.'

'Huh?' I struggled to wake up, to remember where I was. Why I was.

'18 Acer Avenue North.' The woman's voice seemed to be mocking me. Like Janey's would be, not too long from now, I thought. Would she actually fire me? I yawned. Shrugged. Que sera, sera.

'Ah. Okay. Here you go. Keep the change.'

'Thank you, Mister. Have a nice night.'

What a strange place to meet up, I thought. I looked up and down the street. It was deserted, except for a few older rather decrepit parked cars, one without wheels. My eye caught the street sign. That's funny, I thought. I looked at it more closely, and sure enough, it really was R AVE N. Because that didn't make sense, my reporter curiosity took my feet and walked me to look at R AVE N. more closely. I saw that the sign had been bent back, and 'ACE' had been made invisible to anyone looking at it normally. I shrugged, and turned to find 18 Acer, The Corvus.

As it turned out, it was a bar. Janey hadn't told me that. Because I don't really like bars and wouldn't have come if she had. They are usually dark and stink and loud. I hesitated. Janey'd arranged this before I bailed on her today, I thought. So whatever this is about, at least it wasn't about that.

On its large but plain wooden door was the remains of a large painted crow. The paint had long been flaking off, so its form was Just barely legible. But I was able to make out the words 'The Corvus' in the painted banner that had been painted on the door handle that crossed the entire width of the door. I pushed open The Corvus and the door creaked with the sound of crow. I smiled at that silliness, and in I went.

The bar was dark, and surprisingly empty for being a Friday evening. Although it was, technically, still early, it struck me as very empty. All I could see was an overtly tarted up woman in a very short and tight skirt sitting at one end of the bar and at the other the bar keep resting his elbows on it. The air was cool, but heavy probably mostly because of the smoke rising from a large cigar resting with its long trail of ash in a big ashtray on the bar. Hadn't they heard of the rules about smoking? I wondered. But that audacity, not just to break the rules, but to do so with an unsmoked cigar, gave the place a grunge yet perversely appealing vibe. And maybe the smoke helped kill the sour smell of stale beer, piss and vomit I usually associate with these kinds of places. My job as a reporter had seen me inside bars like this more times than I'd like to remember. I confess to be very surprised to hear what sounded like Caravan Palace's electro-swing playing in the background.

I moved slowly towards the bar. The barkeep barely glanced at me. He was concentrating on, staring glumly at, something on the bar's surface — perhaps an old stain or cigar battle scar — on the bar. Before I reached it he desultorily rubbed it with his thumb, as if that would be able to erase whatever it was he was looking at, but without him really expecting that it would.

As I reached the bar, I thought Funny. Why isn't he talking with the girl, because isn't that what bar tenders in the movie versions of bars tend to do? Then I sat down, being careful to sit with one seat between us.

My eyes returned to the woman. Young, I thought. And too made up. She was looking down at her drink, smiling slightly to herself. Her hair was pulled loosely into a bun, and a tress had fallen against her right temple. She was playing with it with a long well manicured finger. As well as the very short skirt that put her nice legs on good display, her tiny leather jacket was very short and tight and open so as to make her ample breasts the centre of attention behind her too tight low cut and nearly see through sweater and sheer bra. Wow, I thought. I thought women dressed like that only on TV and in the movies.

'What can I get you?' the keep said, as he moved towards me.

I don't look at him when I responded, 'Peach bellini.' I wonder Can I drink it before Janey gets here? She doesn't like me drinking them.

The bar tender laughed. I turned to look at him. 'Really? You come into a bar like this and expect a bellini?'

I smile. 'No. Sorry. White wine please,' which is what Janey will accept from me. She'd prefer I drink reds, but they just put me to sleep. The cigar smoke was catching me in the throat, but the woman didn't seem to be bothered.

'Another effing pussy-whipped wannabe something stupid,' he muttered as he went into the back of the cooler. Shit, this guy won't be getting a tip from me, I thought. No wonder the bar's empty.

I noticed that the woman turned her head very slightly, as if to look at me from the corner of her eye.

'Want another one, ma’am?' the keep asked. Her glass was nearly empty.

She nodded. The keep pulled out a bottle of white wine and glass. He poured me a glass and refilled hers.

'I’m Jake,' I said and extended my hand. She looked at it. Sipped her wine through a straw she had picked up from the counter, but other than didn't move. After making me feel like a cretin she said 'I'm Liane."

'Liane? That’s a pretty name.' Lame!

'Thanks.' She didn't move. Took another sip of wine.

It's been a while since I've talked cold turkey to a girl sitting in the bar. What can I say? Dumb ass, you're waiting for your 'date' so don't say anything! 'Come here often?' I asked. OMG! How stupid! 'And why are you alone in a place like this on a Friday night?' Stupider!

She smiled and then slowly turned her face to me. She slowly moved her eyes from my neck to my eyes. She slowly smiled. She pushed the curl of hair behind her ear and said, 'Who said I was alone?' in a voice that penetrated my skull and turned my legs to jelly. Uh oh! This is not good! My face flushed red and I turned to my wine and slurped it down like I was a teen trying to impress his buddies.

From the corner of my eye I watched her turn back to her drink and delicately put the lipstick stained straw to her lips.

'Liane, honey. Sorry about that.' I recognized the voice! 'Patient in crisis. Damn cell phones. They're a blessing and curse. Forgive me?'

OMG! This can't be happening! Not here! I turn to see Dr. Avery Kouracks, my — our, Janey and my — analyst walk up to the girl at the bar and kiss her on the cheek. He sets down an empty tumbler and casually tosses his cell phone onto the bar top.

Liane didn't say anything, but pursed her lips for him to kiss them. Which he did.

'Did I miss anything? Who's you're— Hey! Jake. What brings you here?! What a great surprise!' Kouracks jumped from his chair and came to me. 'Welcome to 'my' home away from home!' And then he began to hug me, in the awkward I am sitting and don't want to be hugged kind of way that I find oddly anti-social. Before I can say anything he adds 'Where's Janey?'

'Uh. Hi. Uh. She's … Uh.' OMG, could I sound any more brain dead? 'Uh, she's coming. We supposed to be meeting here.'

'Here? Fantastic!' He turned to Liane who hadn't moved, as if this kind of thing was normal, him running into patients in maybe the unfriendliest bar in the city. 'Liane, darling, this here is Jake. One of my favourite clients. And I can't wait for you to meet his other half. Janey. Jake this is Liane.'

'Hello Jake.' She got off the stool with a little hop, and pushed Kouracks out of the way to give me the European style of cheek kissing. She smelled delicious and desirable and my hands moved to her waist as if they had a mind of their own and thought I heard a crow cawing at me.

'Jake! I made it!' I heard Janey call from the door. My hands left Liane's waste like they were nuclear waste.

~~~~~~~~
end of part 1


message 28: by Guy (last edited Jun 09, 2013 08:23PM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments The Corvus Part 2


~~~~~~~~
Well, this is not what I expected to appeal to the good doctor, I thought. Yes, the PI I'd hired to track Kouracks told me about this place, but still. What's wrong with finding a quiet lounge with a piano instead of a stinking bar burning a cigar?

'Hello, Janey. You'll never guess who I found here!' Sometimes Jake is as thick as a post.

'Who?'

'Our analyst. Isn't that amazing!?' Jake got up and moved towards me. I could see, though, that he was unsure. Can't say that I blame him. To set him at ease I walked up and gave the minimum hug I could, given the popularity of hugging today. Just fake intimacy, that's all it is, I thought. Gross.

'Hello, Janey! So nice to see you outside of the office!' The ass sounded genuinely happy to see me. Doesn't he have any idea how much I hate what he's done to me? Men! So effing dense, sometimes. And I suppose he will — yup. Hug too. Yech. 'Janey, I would like you to meet Liane. Liane, this is another of my clients.'

He stepped aside, and I saw this Liane turn around on her stool with true indifference. One hand was up by her face, a perfectly manicured finger in red was twirling a tress of her gorgeous hair that was otherwise beautifully tied up from her long smooth chocolate brown neck with skin that was like silk. I wanted to glide my fingers across it, feel the downy soft hairs around her ear. And I felt something flutter in my stomach when I saw her lips on that straw. Such perfection! And her eyes, bored with all this and him and not really looking at me, looked like they belonged on an angel from an infinity that took my breath away. My heart started beating a little faster and I felt my palms moisten. She shrugged, then turned away. I felt devastated. And dizzy. I had started to tingle.

'Janey? Janey? Are you okay?' It was jake's voice. How long had he been calling me. His hand had taken my arm. I shook it off me. All of a sudden the thought of him repulsed me.

'I'm fine! Leave me alone!' Oops. That sounded harsh. Harsher than I meant, but I wasn't interested in him. I wanted to see her, touch her, smell her. Taste her lips. Taste her. And I could feel myself starting to warm at the thought of that. I started to move towards her, this Liane dressed like a tart, before I realized that she wasn't a guy.

What's wrong with me? I thought. I stopped moving. Froze actually. Froze with a realization that sounded like an avalanche in my soul, that I had until this moment never been in love before.

'Janey? Are you okay?' This time the voice I heard was the doctor's, but it barely made it through the sound of my blood rushing around like a thunder shower on a tin roof in my ears. Who am I?

'I don't feel well,' I heard myself say. 'I need fresh air.' Love at first sight is impossible I screamed at myself. Anyone with half a brain knows that! I saw Jake start to move towards me, and I waved him away. And with someone like that? And a woman!

'Jake. Leave her be. She's just had a shock,' Kouracks said.

'What do you mean?' I heard Jake ask, before I left the bar behind me. Whose brain dead idea was it, I thought, to have the sound of crows announce the door opening?

I took a couple of steps then stopped. I noticed my hands were shaking. I moved them across my clothes, my old stand by action to help calm me. It helped a little. I looked around myself. The world didn't look the same, the ugliness didn't even look quite as ugly as it did when I got here. And then I saw the the street sign: R AVE N.

That doesn't make any sense! Where am I? And my thoughts went quiet, because I had no idea.


~~~~~~~~

'She's just discovered something about her Self,' he said. 'Not unlike your discovery a few weeks ago that you weren't really a writer of clever quips, no matter how much you thought you were. Her understanding of who she is has been rocked out of her. Give her time to recover.'

'What do you mean?' I asked. 'I don't get it.'

'Well, Jake. You were upset when you learned that what you wrote for a living in reality misrepresented who you are, right?' Kouracks didn't wait of an answer. 'Well, how did you feel when you realized that?'

'Terrible,' I said. 'Really awful. People say that the truth will set you free. And while that may be true, the reality is that the truth is a terrible thing when it reveals that you have been living a lie. Discovering that 'truth' does not give you a road map out of your life and into a new one!'

'Yes, exactly. And for Janey the truth of who she is a far greater shock to her than yours was to you. Her entire life was built on a vision of the perfect life. And now, poof, it is gone. Just like that.'

'But what did she discover? You didn't say anything to her!' I asked.

Kouracks laughed. 'Not with words, perhaps. But words are overrated. I spoke with Liane.' He turned to her, and said. 'Thank you Liane, for joining me tonight.'

She shrugged. 'That's okay doc. Can I go, now? You don't need me for anything else?'

'No,' he answered. 'Thank you again. Bye Liane. See you next week.'

She grabbed her small clutch and jumped off the stool. 'Okay. Have fun, boys.' And then she walked out the door. I didn't want to, but I couldn't stop my eyes from watching her beautiful body move towards the door. When the crow sounded, I turned back to the doctor, to see he'd been watching her too.

I was puzzled. Had I just been punked, or something, I wondered. 'What's going on, Doctor? I feel like I am trying to waltz while you are doing the two-step.'

'Call me Avery, please.' He smiled, then chuckled. 'Your 'girlfriend' got what I called 'trickstered'.'

'What do you mean?' What kind of word is that? I thought.

'I got wind that Janey was trying to … What? Set me up, I guess. Mike here,' he pointed to the man behind the bar, 'was asked a few odd questions about me from what looked like a snoop.' He stopped. 'Oh! Excuse me. Hey Mike, meet Jake. Jake, Mike.' Mike extended his hand across the bar. I shook it.

'Nice meeting you Jake.' He now sounded quite friendly, with humour floating on his tongue waiting to let fly.

'You too, Mike.' But I wasn't sure if it was or not.

'And once again, The Corvus has played its trick and a 'good' has come from something that was supposed to be a 'bad'.'

'Huh?' I had no idea what he was talking about.

Avery laughed. 'Let me explain the humours of life to you, Jake. I am, after all, your analyst. Whatever that means.' And he laughed again. 'Let me begin by saying that when you and Janey came to me, I knew I had two people hiding the truth of themselves from themselves. And after a few weeks, I had a feeling that Liane, another client of mine, would help Janey discover who she is. All I had to do was be patient, and Janey's unconscious, which was striving to be released from her tight grip, would help me to do just that. And it did. A drink to The Corvus!' And he took the tumbler and took a big sip. 'Ahhh. And to the next trickster!' He took another long sip.

I sipped my white wine and thought, A bellini would sure hit the spot.


message 29: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments Another week, the 169th, is done.

Go vote!

Stories;

Stuffage.


message 30: by Boku (new)

Boku It was hard to choose which one to vote for this week! I really wanted to vote for two!

I usually critique pretty hard, but since these stories are popped out in a week and I don’t know exactly what kind of critiques people want, I’m going to try to give my basic impressions and any errors that really stood out. If the critiques are too harsh let me know and I’ll tone them down for next time. I also only critiqued for the stories that requested it. I’ll give my thoughts on any other stories if they are wanted.

“Good-Bye, Baby”
by CJ

I really got a sense of hopelessness with this story. The character’s depression was very tangible and the descriptions placed the scene well. Unfortunately, the catalytic emotion wasn’t strong enough to make the premise believable. The reader isn’t given a strong enough connection between Dave and Evaline to understand the true depth of Dave’s anguish. On this point, much of the story is ‘tell’ when it would have been more effective to ‘show’ that Dave is sad. I also felt that Barry and Burnice’s characters were unnecessary. Perhaps there was something in the author’s mind regarding them that didn't make it to the page. There is some confusion with Gloria’s character. When she is first introduced, it seems as though she and Dave are together, however later in the story they are mentioned as being split up. This confusion may have come from a mix up in past and past-progressive tense when Gloria is first introduced. Finally, I felt that Dave’s catharsis at the end was rushed given that the tone of the story had framed him in a downward spiral of emotional, professional and inter-personal self-sabotage. The reader is given little hint earlier in the story that Dave has the strength to bounce back the way he does. A few more emotional connections would make this story much stronger, overall.

“Frank’s Last Shift”
By Madeline Lund

First of all, I really liked the premise of this story. It opened strongly and the horror-mystery feel of it is very engaging. I found the frequent switch of POV and the switch between first and third person to be too jarring. It made the narrative feel disconnected, and the characters impossible to feel sympathetic for. I’d suggest that the author pick one or two perspectives to tell the story from, and work a little on the events connecting the characters together. Fay and Rolf’s powers are disappointingly underplayed. I don’t know what they are capable of (murder and [maybe] cannibalism aside). I get that they can shape shift, but do they have powers of coercion? How did they manage to escape? How long were they in the prison for? Why weren’t they shackled at the time of escape? If these questions could be answered in the story, it would absolutely have my two thumbs up.


message 31: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Nicky wrote: "It was hard to choose which one to vote for this week! I really wanted to vote for two!

I usually critique pretty hard, but since these stories are popped out in a week and I don’t know exactly wh..."


Nicky,

Thank you for the feedback! I understand what you are saying about the POV; I was just experimenting with something. It is jarring, which I like, but I can see why there might be too many POVs for comfort...

About Fay and Rolf:
Perhaps it seems at the moment that they do not have powers, but they are trying to be discreet. I do not want to reveal too much about their escape at the moment, but remember that Fay can turn into a raven, and ravens can fit through small spaces. I alluded to how Fay and Rolf escape with the following lines:

"I think of how easy it would be to slip from these chains and fly to freedom."

"Then Frank hears a light tapping on the door, and he turns to see a raven hopping towards him. The door is now slightly ajar."

"The beautiful black bird dives towards his desk to snatch the keys resting on top of one of Frank’s dirty magazines. Frank blinks, and the raven, keys in its claws, is gliding through the doorway into the dark."

Fay and Rolf are in the prison long enough to each have one session with the therapist. They are not shackled when they are put in their cells for the night, but, even if they had been shackled, they could have escaped (Fay is a raven, and ravens have smaller extremities than humans do...). If this is unclear, please feel me free to ask me any other questions.


message 32: by Boku (new)

Boku Thank you for the clarifications. I understood that Fay was the one who busted them out, but the scene felt implausible. Fay's POV is too short for me to understand her and Rolf's motivation. She mentions they need to investigate their enemies and be discreet but not why. We aren't given the limitations of their power, so the reader is left wondering what the danger is, and the particulars of how that danger is subverted when the decision is finally made to break out.


message 33: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4207 comments Mod
I felt to put the characters Barry and Burnice to show characters that were close and wanted to support him. And Burnice exists to point out David's disconnection from children because of the tragedy he experienced.
The story does point out when David was losing his job that Gloria was his girlfriend at the time and not anymore.
But I do appreciate your criticism and feedback and neglected to point out the small relationship he had with the child (it would have been a very important part to help give strength to the story).
I will edit it as best I can.


message 34: by Boku (new)

Boku CJ wrote: "I felt to put the characters Barry and Burnice to show characters that were close and wanted to support him. And Burnice exists to point out David's disconnection from children because of the trage..."

Yeah, it definitely would have been better to add a stronger emotional connection between Dave and Evaline. The scene with Burnice didn't evoke that sort of emotion in me; that he felt disconnected from all children. It gave me the impression that he didn't want to be around anyone at all, and therefore it seemed that the characters had no purpose.

I understand that the overall tone of the story is that Dave is in a state of prolonged emotional shock; I'd suggest giving Dave a bit more time to express his thoughts on all the people in his life. A lot of it feels like flat exposition.


message 35: by Madeline (last edited Jun 11, 2013 05:40AM) (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Nicky wrote: "Thank you for the clarifications. I understood that Fay was the one who busted them out, but the scene felt implausible. Fay's POV is too short for me to understand her and Rolf's motivation. She m..."

When Andrew and Robert are looking at the photos from the crime scene, we begin to see the extent of the violence Fay and Rolf are capable of committing. Also, Fay and Rolf are always planning to "escape." They are simply learning a bit more about their enemies first (they also have another part to their plan - tampering with the security of the police station - but the police do not discover this until later). They need to be discreet, because they don't want the police to discover they have the ability to shapeshift. Also, I might need to clarify this: Frank is the one in danger; neither Fay nor Rolf are afraid for their lives. I understand that this might be confusing; I am thinking about what has been revealed and what has been left to the reader's imagination, and I am beginning to realize that I may have left too much unsaid...


message 36: by Guy (last edited Jun 14, 2013 08:26AM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments Thank you for your stories. I enjoyed reading them.

Out of the Corner of my Eye by Tim
Beautiful and sad and funny.

Good-bye, Baby by CJ
I enjoyed the characters who enter his life, and the mood they gave the story. The ending felt a bit 'soft' to me, just a bit too quick a change after how deep his depression was described.

Frank's Last Shift by Madeline Lund
I enjoyed this and what you were trying to do. For a short story, this is a very hard way to tell it because the changes of pov don't have time to settle in to the reader. You did very well to make it work as well as you did. And I like the feel of the story, but for a short story you may find keeping the pov changes fewer. Or, if you want, more or less plan on making your story part of a weekly serial. Nothing wrong with this! Famous writers, like Thomas Hardy, wrote that way. (And since for the WSS the weekly topic theme can be very loosely connected to the story, you have quite a lot of flexibility to make that work.)


message 37: by Gerardo (new)

Gerardo | 222 comments Great stories everyone!


message 38: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Lund (madelinelily) | 37 comments Guy,

Thank you very much for the feedback. I appreciate hearing what others' think.

Maddie


message 39: by Diptee (new)

Diptee Raut Hi Guy,

can i still post a story on Raven. Please.


message 40: by Guy (last edited Jun 18, 2013 06:44AM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 11080 comments Yes, of course!

As we're not too sticky on the rules, you can incorporate the next topic into your story and post it there. The topic can be very loosely included in your story, which gives you a lot of flexibility.

I look forward to reading it either way.


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