MyFirst Short Story(Revised A Little.)

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MyFirst Short Story(Revised A Little.)

Post  KindOfBlue06 on Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:06 am

I found this and am quite proud about it. Please, tell me what you think works and dosen't work, Are the characters believeable? How do you feel about the narrator at the beginning vs. the end of the story? How do you feel about Lisa? How does setting give rise to the tone of the story? How does the point of view contribute to the story/narrative? Is it, after all, believeable? Any criqtiques are welcome!


I first saw her in the library. She was angled away from me and her full brown locks obscured the right side of her face as she lifted her head when she saw me walking over towards her. She smiled and I smiled and we talked for a while.

Her name is irrelevant and means very little to me now, as I give primacy to the more vidid matters of her. Yet, I can still picture her face. The brown curl of hair that hung over those haunting saphires set deep under makeuped lids,those piercing blue eyes, as still and deep as the ocean, their depths as dark and as unknown to me now as they were then. And still, when I think of her now, my heart beats a mad and obsessive rhythm; one beat for the future and one for the past, with the accent on the second beat. My mind reels back to that time of unabashed feelings -her feelings and mine, although I know only the weight of mine and attempt in vain to understand the weight of hers -assuming such mad feelings exitsted within her at all. A time of youth, of love, consequence, a time of -well, I'll get to that shortly enough.

Having known what I know now, I would have never walked up to her, never looked in her direction even. I would have withdrew my advances. But I did what I did and whats done is done. She was never contemptuous and allways saw a new brightness in things, and I could never tell if she really knew how truly beautifull she was, or how truly vulnerable, or both or neither.


Spring blew in beautifully that year, and it was on the coolest day of spring that we walked through a park near her house amidst a cold drizzle of rain. I had been hesitant at first but after a good twenty minutes or so of persuasion on her part, I reluctantly agreed to meet her though I never cared much for spring and for rain even less so. The air was cool and moist that day, and the puddles splashed under us as we walked, the sidewalk still wet with an hours worth of rain. She insisted that we stay even when the drizzle turned to thick wet drops and began to beat harder, and even after the torrents had abated, she insisted that we stay a little while longer. She had hoped for a rainbow but there never was one and That we both were soaked and a little chilled mattered hadley if even at all to her.

When we went again to the park a few months later, the air was humid and the heat of mid June brooded upon us. I had her pack a picnic for us to enjoy under the shade of the trees, and the gentle gust of late afternoon was a welcomed relief from the hot day. She wore her hair up in my favorite way and it was in
that moment when she would catch the sunlight just right, that everything seemed to move at a slower pace and the sounds around me seemed to fade out and
dissipate and every thing became still, every detail refined. It was moments like those that the sheer beauty and presence of her eclipsed her caprisciousness, her fleeting dramas and the way that she was allways frought with uncertainty. We spent the rest of the day talking endless and laughing fully of rediculous trivialities. She told me of her fear of heights, her love of Warhol and photography. She spoke avidly of both film and literature and I told her of my mishaps- my shotrcommings and the small but significant blows to my pride that I called falires and she called experience.

After a while, when the food sat full in our belly and the wine softened our limbs, we lied down in the shade, her head nudging my shoulder. And the sky above us was a great pink mass with patches here and there of gold where the sun filtered in through the clouds, soaking us in the warm rays of the evening. Gold turned to red and red to blood red. Dark blues and purple snuck up on the clouds and began to strangle them into rich deep colors. We talked only in whispers now, and they were few and far between. For the most part, we layed there in the silence and watched the day slip away. I said some words to her and she looked intensely at me.
Her flush dimpled cheeks widening into a smile, her pupils bulging with infatuation. Her stare lucid, smoldering, lascivious. Entranced in those blue eyes, I knew only gorgeous curves and flesh, warm to the touch. The sun sank deeper into the horizon and the hot night of the evening melted into shade and shadows.

A few weeks later autumn was upon us, and often she would hold me close and would whisper in my ear, her lips singed with desire, her soft hands on my arm. The leaves were changing then, and they fell all around us when we walked through the park. I don't remember what she was wearing that day, but I do remember that was the day when everything shifted to a different level between us. She told me three words that I did not hear, that I did not want to hear, and when I turned my head away, she spoke more but her tone changed and I still did not hear her. Her lips moved and her body gestured, but I heard only the faint rustle of the dead leaves in the breeze. I saw only the clawing branches reaching toward the sky as the sun began to set slowly. We walked back that day, through the park saying very little, and we did not hold hands. The sun set low in the sky, the glare piercing through the red leaves. It would be dusk soon and all my thoughts were lost in the shadows. We walked on.

The streetlights were on, and their glow reflected against the pavement. The leaves were still wet as I walked at that moment with apprehension, the wind cutting mercilessly at my skin. And when I arrived to her appartment she was cooking her signature pasta dish that she knew I loved, the smell of it wafting through the appartment. She hugged me when I walked in, but I could tell that something was amiss. She was tense, her mind eslewehre in thought.
"we need to talk." she said.
"talk about what"
"its been two weeks now and I was thinking maybe..." I turned my head away.
"Please, just listen for once -you never lsiten."
"we're not keeping it. The timings all wrong-It would be a mistake. we're too young."
"But I, I lo-"
"I know. I know you do."
She started to cry then, and that was the only time I ever saw her cry infront of me. The only time I saw those blue eyes well with tears.
I walked out to the patio and lit a cigarrete, saying nothing to her and feeling even less.
You wont even listen to me" she said.
"I don't care. It's not happening."
she sobbed more. Her weeping annoyed and troubled me-got under my skin.
"I'm through here." I told her and I walked out the door slamming it as if to silence her anguish. As if to silence those long sobs that rang despereaterly on deaf ears but that ring now fiercely in retrospect.

Her desperation made me sick, and my mind began to wander. I began to pick her apart, all her flaws and imperfections clear and gripping. Walking back,I could just see her throwing herself around her apartment-back and forth back and forth. Unraveling, sobbing, her heart on the floor. The thought of it a wretched tumble inside my being. Those blue swollen eyes red with tears. The chipped nailpolish, her bony fingers, her barren womb. I pittied her.

*******

She had the operation a week later and after that things begain to change between us and our relationship deteriorated rapidly.. It was subtle at first, just little things. Looking back now it was allways the little things about her that both attracted amd repelled me. I started to withdraw as she had and I found sex no longer pleasurable. I could feel her slowly slipping from me. We spent less and less time together and when we were alone, the silences were still and tense and devoid of passion. She didn't bother with makeup and when I would hear her full laugh, it was dull and hallow, and her smile a rare expression. She didn't cook anymore and when she did, it was half hearted and I ate the meal anyways but never thanked her for it. I began to loathe her and then one day in mid August, I ended it with her.

I felt it the right thing, the only thing to do at the time, but I had not aticipated the drastic extant of her sadness, nor had I had anticipated her imulsive wrecklessness with which she spent the last few months of her life. I heard of her wonton exploits and her fluctuations between joy and sorrow only second hand, since for the most part we ran in different circles and friends of friends only shared gossip with friends. It wasn't untill November that she contacted me.

Hello I answered. We need to talk she said, in the same broken way she had said it months before. We talked for a long time, and she wept a little. We managed to reconcile things but some part of me felt still monsterous, and The guilt sank deep into my bones hours after I had hung up the phone. I couldn't shake it, didn't want to shake it. My guts wrenched sickly inside of me and my thougts turned dark. I sat for an hour not moving from my chair, deep in wretched thought, and after thorough contemplation, I decided I should go to her appartment and sort things out once and for all; in person this time.

The feeling strange and cold, the aprehension gnawing at me, the row of dead barren trees, their brittle fingers scraping the barren horizon and devouring whole the blood red glow of sky tainted by the dying sun. I knocked once. No asnwer. Twice, and again-no answer. I sensed something was wrong, and I reached for the key, unsure if she had changed the locks. The door opened and there was not a sound to be heard. Only the wind, and the brittle leaves blowing aross the cracked porch. I called out her name, but she did not answer. I knew she was home because her car was outside and Sunday was her day off anyways. I went to her room. And a deep horror rotted through me when I found her. I saw the deep gash of her veins, that crimson river that flowed delicately from her wrists. The forearms coated with a thick and shiny red.

I saw those eyes, those cold dead blue eyes. So deep and blue you could almost feel the stillness of the ocean, their waves lapping and crashing violently against the shores. Pounding fervently into my psyche. Eyes so deep and welcoming that you could drown in those blue irises and become lost in their gripping depth. you could sink down to the very bottom of that blue ocean, down where there is only pressure and darkness, where the light no longer penetrates and the world is dark and motionless.

******

I sit here now, on this cold bench in late fall with my head in my hands. The memory of her diminishes now with every passing year, softened with every fleeting drama, the luster of it allready worn and faded, the meaning cryptic, vague. the picture of her browns with time in my wallet and the shine of her seems to dim each time I try to capture again the full laugh, the soft breasts, the ivory white rows that parted in laughter.

And yet even now, the whole of Autumn whispers of her. Every gust of wind, every red falling leaf. Every rustle, stir, movement a great and heavy tragedy on my heart, but that stirs now only in reverie. Allways harsh, brooding and at times, sweet and fair. And it is those leaves, that jarring rustle that evokes in me her smile, laughter, tears... And that is when my mind graps feverishly to that damp spring grass, to that swelter in June, where she can still seem alive. Where she remains fresh and vibrant in my memory, however fragmented and disjointed the rememberance, however darkly oqapue the vision.

As I sit on this bench, in this cold park I hear a noise in the distance. It is off and far away. I hear it again and realize it is laughter. Childrens laughter. The laughter echoes in me now, reverberating against my skull, pounding away with melancholy. My heart sits snug in my thrat and beats achingly so.

Where are those spring rains? where is that orange glow of summer? On what brilliant scene do those eyes now cast their gaze? Even now I can sense her, walking with me this dimly lit stretch of sidewalk. Even now her laughter crets and rides the sad lament of wind blowing through the trees that stand dead and alone.
It will snow soon. The frost creeps nearer and nearer, nearer and nearer. I can allready feel the chill. Only a month till Christmas... I hear once again the chilled laughter of the children, echoing against the still night of early winter. I compose myself, and walk on, brushing snowflakes off my weary cheeks.

KindOfBlue06

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Re: first short story

Post  OpRise on Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:30 pm

Your story is incredible. Pulled me in completely in an emotional way. the subject matter of course, but also how well it's written and presented. really, very nicely done. I'll give you proper critique and answer your questions, but I need to digest, get some emotional distance,and re-read.... but for now couldn't Not tell you how strong of an impact it has. feels 100% true.
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Re: MyFirst Short Story(Revised A Little.)

Post  KindOfBlue06 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:03 am

Thank you! That really means a lot to me. It has it's flaws, I see now as I reread it but I'm gad it was able to touch you in some meaningfull way. That was from about a year ago and I had completely forgotten about it. I still need to do some slight revisions to it, but Thanks Again!

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Re: MyFirst Short Story(Revised A Little.)

Post  OpRise on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:49 pm

Please, tell me what you think works and dosen't work: I love the backdrop of nature, how it permeates the human drama and reflects the emotions of the characters. The overall flow, language, words, sentence structure - all good and keep things moving at the right pace. Really very nicely done. Although the guy frustrated me a lot, I like that you didn't go into a lot of detail about his feelings during the interactions with them post revelation..fit the character both in general and at the time, and was thought provoking for a while after.

There were a few minor hiccups that distracted me from flow:
- 2nd sentence: 2 subjunctive clauses in a row weakened the sentence (as she looked up when she saw me coming). Also, she couldn't see you coming until she looked up - minor timing/word choice fix).
- Not sure if "I'll get to that shortly" works..particularly for such a short and personal piece - the rest of the narration seems more for himself than to "share with an audience", and that sentence draws the focus away from the narrator to the ourselves the readers. If there's a trail off, maybe it should be something internal from him that keeps him from following that train of thought to it's full conclusion due to the emotional nature of it.
- Her name being "irrelevant" "now" made me think you didn't know her that well, and it took a while for me to "catch up" and realize the extent of the relationship, especially given that there wasn't any indication if there was anything that happened in the months between the two park visits. At the time, I wondered if these were two poignant memories in a timeline, or if that was the 2nd time you saw her. Also, the second half of that sentence talks about how you were more interested in her physically or something "at the time" - now vs at the time... timeline issue?
- "barren womb": why barren at that point?
- the blood being so red and slick indicates it had just happened (no drying) and I was wondering why there wasn't any attempt to see if she could be resuscitated. Maybe a hint more indication in the color or consistency (ack! sorry).

Are the characters believeable? Completely. Feels like a true story, so much so I have to say I'm sorry if it is. Lots of small details, the way the memories are scattered and focused on a few high impact things, the way real memories are. Even if not, it's feels obvious to me in the reading there is a lot of your own truth disguised within it, that it came from the heart.

How do you feel about the narrator at the beginning vs. the end of the story? I'm not sure how to answer. I certainly didn't expect the weight of what he went through. The build up was a light compared to what happened, but I think that works well...when the ball drops it has more impact. His 'arch' isn't round..by the end of the story he has not really learned anything or grown from what happened...he has the negative weight of depth rather than a moral for the audience, but I like that - let's the reader decide how they would choose to see events if they were him or Lisa and what they would learn/take from it. His denial that it was happening was hard to read. Totally believable. ...ok, here's what i want to say to answer the question: He is sort of the villian, yet he inspires empathy by the end of the story, and it makes me want to consider his perspective and what he went through, despite obvious/natural (maybe bc im female?) empathy is with Lisa...this is excellent character development.

How do you feel about Lisa? Love her, empathize strongly. She submerged herself in another person. She didn't have the tools to cope. It's tragic and emotional for me to read, how alone she must have felt, how betrayed.

How does setting give rise to the tone of the story? How does the point of view contribute to the story/narrative? See above. Both work.

Thanks again for sharing. I feel strongly about the strength of the story, so hope this was constructive. Smile
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