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The Five to Fifteen Minutes Thread.
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samrw3
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Break-Up continued

*Slight warning...this section has some degree of swearing [Nothing I consider too bad but just fair warning]

Alan glanced at Karah sideways almost as if he had not heard her "You look like her. It's...it's difficult"

Karah concentrated on Alan's face. His face seemed solid...too solid. It seemed like it was about to crack. There was something painful about to come...she sensed it but could not imagine what. She kept her gaze fixed oh him trying to study every movement. She was trying to search for the right things to say. Truthfully she was beginning to get impatient and distractingly flipped her blonde hair as the wind blew through it.

Alan's next words tumbled out as if he could not decide what to say "I need to say goodbye. I need to leave and you were the only person that was friendly to me. This has been a difficult year. And....and..."

Karah heard Alan's voice cracking. Her own mind racing trying to put all the words together to make any sense 'goodbye'? what the hell?

"And I just cannot stay here. But I wanted to say thank you. I know I was too pushy...I know...I know...I'm sorry Karah I just needed to talk to someone...Damn you look like her...can't you understand? "

Karah's patience was reaching a tilting point. She could not make out what was going on... "Alan look..."

Alan kept rattling as if Karah was not there even though he was studying Karah's face as if she might disappear at any moment. "The pain is too much. I used to find peace here but now....now its just a damn reminder!"

Karah flinched a little as Alan shouted. Karah had never heard him like this. She noticed that his body was tensed and his face contorted. "Alan I don't understand?!"

Karah noticed that Alan seemed to listen and catch his breath. His face barely containing whatever pain he was feeling.

Finally Alan broke "Karah you probably didn't know her too well. she was a few grades below you. My sister...My sister OH GOD!! she died a year ago"

Karah noticed that Alan finally broke down the tears falling freely, his body shaking. Damn, she mumbled to herself. She had been so busy... Damn, damn damn. How could she forget? A great internal fluctuation of emotions welled inside of her. Anger for not knowing what to say, pity for Alan, sympathy, back to anger how could he expect her to help? Karah's face flushed...everything seemed more clear. The anger at her selfishness boiled inside. Alan had just been trying to say thank you..goodbye...simple Why was she so callous...why was she so shallow....damn, damn ,damn.

Karah's resolve broke inside... she had not even told her best friend yet. But her emotions were at an apex. She blurted out the only thing she had been holding inside "Damn it Alan I broke up with Troy"

Alan studied Karah in disbelief. Alan could not understand why Karah blurted out. He was about to shout in anger - who cares? But at the last moment he held back. Alan studied Karah one second longer and noticed her pain. He wiped away his tears. Alan just stared at Karah the pain still burning inside. "I'm sorry Karah"

The silence stretched out, neither one of them talking. They both moved their legs through the water. They continued to look at each other dealing with their own pains. Not knowing what to say.

Karah mumbled "I'm sorry Alan... I ...I forgot..."

Alan glanced out towards the pond "Its ok Karah"

Karah noticed that Alan had become fixed. His whole posture leaning towards the pond. Karah relaxed - she had no place to go. Besides it was peaceful there....

The cloud shifted over two figures on a deck. Neither person seemed to care that the cloud provided a little shade. The cloud moved on..it had other places to go.

THE END
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Sorus
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

samrw3 wrote:
PS Still looking for a Sorus story in here or two minute thread - get cracking! Razz

Just kidding although I would like to read one of yours one of these days I understand how these things go.


Be careful what you wish for.

Okay, it's been... holy crap, over a year since I added to this, so I'm going to repost the last bit in the hope that it'll make at least a little more sense.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



"I'm sending you Downriver."


Anybody else, I'd be waiting for a punchline. But Director Indigo has no use for humor. She's watching me. Waiting for a response.

I don't have a response. The surreal quality of the day has reached a fever pitch. I might burst out laughing. Make a smartass remark.

Neither would be appreciated. What does she want from me?

I look down at the file in my hands, seeking inspiration. Well, glory be. There's a punchline after all.

"He's gone missing. Downriver Market. Three days now." She fiddles with rearranging one of the many stacks of papers on her desk, and I realize she's nervous.

I should be nervous. I probably will be nervous if I can get past incredulous.

"Three days," I repeat. "He's probably sleeping it off in some 5-star hotel. Doesn't the Market cater to--" Careful now... "People of means with... discerning tastes?" Proud of myself. Weaselwords that won't set off any alarms if the room is bugged, which it almost certainly is.

"He may have crossed a line. He's probably dead."

Well, light a red candle to Lady Karma. "What does this have to do with me?"

"Find him. Or find out what happened to him."

"And then what? Drag him back here in chains? We have no jurisdiction Downriver."

"He's missing. He's the victim here."

Victim. Right. "The families of his victims might disagree with that."

"He was acquitted." Slowly, patiently, as though explaining to a particularly slow child.

"I know," I reply. "I was there."

(Be realistic, Gwen. His grandfather built this city. Did you really expect him to end up on the auction block?)

I can feel anger rising like heat through my diaphragm - mentally tamp it back down with both thumbs. Not now. It settles, heavy as clay in my chest. Dormant. It will do.

"And you were there," I say evenly. "You were there when his lawyers warned me to stay away from him and his family. So why me?"

She shuffles papers, not meeting my eyes. "They asked for you."

"They asked for me. Why?"

Because I'm expendable. She finds what she was looking for amid the clutter, pushes a thick envelope across to me. I take it warily. Inside, a train ticket and a bundle of cash.

"Bribe money."

I give her an incredulous look. She makes a soothing gesture. "For you to use to gain information, if needed. We have no jurisdiction Downriver."

"When do I leave?"

"On the next train. Don't stay any longer than necessary. I expect a full report by 0800 tomorrow."

A round-trip ticket. At least she expects me to come back. After that, well, it's anyone's guess.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------



The buzz of conversation stops abruptly as I exit Director Indigo's office. I'm used to it. Used to the sidelong glances. Used to the silent judgement.

And the not-so-silent judgement.

"Maybe they'll finally restore our budget," Jin smirks, tosses her hair.

"May you get what you deserve," I murmur in return. My vision blurs, but the heat of my anger is sufficient to cauterize the tears unshed.

A gasp of shock, echoed by her retinue of marionettes. Already fading behind me. All I want is to get out of the building before I lose my composure. Nine years. Nine bloody thankless years.

You always knew it would end this way.


But it's not over yet.

I'm early, but the train is already waiting, a radiation-scarred hulk, a relic from when the world was whole. It's dark inside. Lead plates cover the windows. The seats are covered in red velvet, worn and frayed. The color is dark as spilled blood in the dim light. It fits my mood.

When the world was whole, the trains glided smoothly along the rails at dizzying speeds. They move slower now, every inch an agonizing rattle and jolt.

I wish I could see out the window. Not there's much to see. The Necropolis, the barrowlands. The river. My destination lies at the end of the river. And it truly is the end.

They say it was the epicenter of the attack. Forces beyond our comprehension tore a hole in the fabric of reality itself. The Feronae built a city around it. It isn't much of a city; they are few, and their power wanes. But it's the seat of their consulate, and the site of a trading outpost of singular reputation.

Downriver Market offers contraband from a dozen worlds, including Earth. Pre-war relics, every flavor of the forbidden - most meant to be enjoyed on-site - good luck importing it into your bubble-city.

There's a change in air pressure. Everything seems muffled. Muted. Almost there.

There's no station on this end. The tracks simply vanish into the sand.

The sky is low and claustrophobically heavy. They say it's always that way; there's no night or day here. No sun, no moon, no stars. It's neither hot nor cold.

The city is... anticlimactic. It's gray - almost desaturated - and cobbled together from worn driftwood. It doesn't look like a bastion of licentious wealth. And at the center... they say you shouldn't look directly at the rift, but how can you not? It's there and not there, and the wrongness pulls the eye as a magnet pulls iron. A mindless, insatiable hunger - a silent howl that has leached all sound and color from the landscape.

I want to turn around and get back on the train.

The city seems almost deserted as I approach, but I can feel that I am being watched.
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Sorus
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked that, Sam. It felt like a comfortable silence at the end. A little bit of ambiguity as to where they'll go from there.
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samrw3
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorus wrote:
I liked that, Sam. It felt like a comfortable silence at the end. A little bit of ambiguity as to where they'll go from there.


Thanks Sorus Smile I had a hard time with the story- My big problem was way back when I started I had planned for Karah to steamroll all over Alan and be cruel as could be. Then a problem happened - I started liking the character of Karah too much and I could not do it. WOW that threw me for a loop because I called the piece the break-up and I no longer had Karah telling off Alan. So...that is why I had to re-write in Alan, make Alan likeable just clumsy in his approach and write in a jerky boyfriend for Karah.

I was afraid it had become kind of a Franken-story where I was trying to wedge in an ending I did not buy for. But ?I think? I still made it work.

I will read your story on my lunch time. But YEAH for plunging in!!! Party Time
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samrw3
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like your story so far Sorus Smile

I like the main character as the narrator and the smart-ass attitude. I am liking how it is building the suspense and mystery. I like the internal thinking. Also nicely done on the descriptive parts (just a few excerpts taken here)

"heat of my anger is sufficient to cauterize the tears unshed"

"train is already waiting, a radiation-scarred hulk, a relic "

"The seats are covered in red velvet, worn and frayed. The color is dark as spilled blood in the dim light"

"mindless, insatiable hunger - a silent howl that has leached all sound and color from the landscape."

Anyways good job and glad you posted more Smile
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Linna Heartlistener
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't have more of that last Tamara character right now. (I like that character, too.)
But here's part of a scene I've wanted to write for like... a long time:

"Look, if you get the Eyesight 2000, you can import visual data, too!"
"Ooo-ooh."
Glossy catalog pages were all over my floor.
We were supposed to be paperless a hundred years ago, but old ways die hard.
It was a shower for Jen. We had a bride-to-be, and we'd gathered all our friends, but she had gotten quiet and I didn't know why.
"Hey, Jennifer, I'm going to have a smoke, come outside?"
"She's the guest of honor - whatcha gonna go and do that for? You can't take her from us."
I pouted, lower lip projecting out.
"Well, okay. But what I'm trying to say is, 'what's wrong?' "
Jen was a mousey, quiet sort; I was used to that. But ever since we'd pulled out the Eye-Minder catalogs, she'd gone really, really silent.
All of a sudden, all eyes were on her. Anxious eyes.

Matilda broke the silence.
"Oh. my. God."
"What?" said three voices almost at once.
"She's not going to get one."
"Nooooo."
Laughter.
"Jen, this is so silly. Why are they saying this?"
Jen found her voice - barely. "Actually..."
Wide eyes.
"...we were thinking of not going with an Eye-Minder."
"Wow, you are so trusting."
The first thing out of the first mouth was Matilda.
I sidled up beside Jen. "We really don't think this is a good idea. But if that is what you want to do, we will support you for as long as you go without one."


Sam- way to go!
I love how once Karah gets there Alan is not giving her the attention that she is expecting he would... he's distant from her, and she doesn't know what to do with that and it annoys her.

When I'm reading that he's says he needs to say goodbye, I am jumpy right there with Karah - both sympathizing with her, and also a bit annoyed with her.
sam wrote:
The cloud shifted over two figures on a deck. Neither person seemed to care that the cloud provided a little shade. The cloud moved on..it had other places to go.
I really like the symbolism! Sweet closing paragraph.

Sorus- I love the train. the atmosphere.
the image "her retinue of marionettes."
There's no station on this end. The tracks simply vanish into the sand.
This^ reminds of the dialog with that one woman / ancient goddess who looked like she'd just left a masquerade ball or something... torn out of time.

"good luck importing it into your bubble-city." <--Laughing

Sorus wrote:
they say you shouldn't look directly at the rift, but how can you not? It's there and not there, and the wrongness pulls the eye as a magnet pulls iron
^ THIS. and "gray - almost desaturated."

Sorus wrote:
They say it's always that way; there's no night or day here. No sun, no moon, no stars. It's neither hot nor cold.

For me, this immediately evokes a place in the Bible where the phrase "If this fixed order departs from before me" is used by God in a sort of oath, a clause to express just how sure something is; an example of "no-way-and-no-how-is-this-going-to-be-disrupted."
(the "fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night" ...with "the sun for light by day" implicitly referenced.)
That makes the wrongness of a geographical place where that is maybe violated... all the more chillingly creepy!
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Linna Heartlistener"]
sam wrote:
The cloud shifted over two figures on a deck. Neither person seemed to care that the cloud provided a little shade. The cloud moved on..it had other places to go.
I really like the symbolism! Sweet closing paragraph.

Thanks Linna!

Smile

Linna your recent story has an interesting premise - would like to see where it goes!

Ok I want to gauge some interest here. Since my break-up was pretty short story I want to potentially dip my toes into a longer story. But I have one hesitation. The story I have in mind will have some religious sprinklings (not theological or doctrinal) So here is my setting:

Young woman (mid 30s) finds herself miraculously alive after a apocalyptic event/s have occurred. She ventures out into the world to discover what occurred especially since she is hearing rumors of return of Christ. She was never a believer and even now after all the terrible events there is large doubt among many living if the events ushered in return of Christ. she decides to investigate and find out for herself by traveling to the supposed location of Christ.

The story I have in my mind will be a riff off "The Road" [ A father and his young son journey across post-apocalyptic America some years after an extinction event] and "The Other Wise Man"[ which recounts a story about a fourth Wise Man who did not make with with the Three Wise Men]

So votes -
Yes - especially since it may have some religious sprinklings
Yes - interesting idea don't care if it has religion in it
Yes although try to keep religion downplayed
No - I just don't like the story idea - but that is not due to religion sprinklings
No - I would not read a story with even religious sprinklings even if it was the last story on earth
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Sorus
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote -

Yes, and write the story however you feel it works best.

I'm fighting with my own nature here and toning down a bit of the brutality in my story, but I won't censor myself.
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorus wrote:

I'm fighting with my own nature here and toning down a bit of the brutality in my story, but I won't censor myself.


I hope to see more of your story - include brutality as you need- yes never censor yourself!

I know you struggle with that - but just recommending again if you think it is in PG13 (or stronger?) territory just write a disclaimer before the passage. I write a profanity disclaimer before my last passage and lets be honest that was TV-PG level profanity but I threw it in there for those sensitive to reading profanity or before they let younger children read it.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should probably put a warning on all my stuff, as I am a poor judge of what might bother people. I'd say it won't be appropriate for kids, but on the other hand, I was a kid who would read anything.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was raised in a religious family. However my parents never monitored what I read and left me to make my own decisions. So I read a vast variety of books when I was younger and being found fortunate to run across Donaldson and realizing the scope of my reading could be at a different level.

By scope I mean something deeper. Before that point I was reading mostly quick escapism type books. In Donaldson I discovered deeper themes, characters that had depth and a challenge to seek books that were more intellectually stimulating. Now not saying I am not a good escapism book now and again just saying that I discovered that books could immerse me in a world I could not imagine before.

So yeah I hesitate the warning stuff too but I realize there are those that are more sensitive so I figure it doesn't hurt me to threw a disclaimer here and there. However, you should make own judgment call - I mean this is adult website so people should read posts at their own caution. So if you decided not to put a disclaimer so people get offended oh well....we cannot appease everyone and trying to hurts ourselves because we cannot share of ourselves to those that are interested.

Just my two cents although I respect any decision you make.
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