View Full Version : Bending Time (Mild expletives)

September 16th, 2010, 01:52 PM
This is a story I came up with some months ago. It was when I read an article by a Japanese Physicist named Michio Kaku who said that Time Travel in the future, or at least a travel through spacetime, could be possible in the future.

No, this is not a "The Time Machine"-esque story, or at least to my knowledge.

And should I bore you, or commit any mistake that may irritate you despite having proofread the manuscript myself twice, as well as running it through MS Word's spell check, then I apologize in advance although I would appreciate it if you would be able to cite those errors of mine so I could correct them. Thanks! :)

Also, there might be some words used in this manuscript that may be a bit offensive to some readers.

EDIT: I have already rephrased some parts that had mistakes in them, as well as deleted some unnecessary "mundane" paragraphs (thanks, garza!).


Bending Time
Chapter 1: The Offer I Can't Refuse

I felt a bead of sweat trickle down my left cheek as I clutched my head tightly with both hands. I was slowly losing it. I tried to shake my head multiple time, willing the voice to go away but it wouldn't. It even seemed to grow stronger and louder.

"Who are you? Show yourself!"

I was shouting, going berserk at an unseen entity. People started to come out of the classrooms because of the noise I was making. They looked at me with squinted eyes, as if I was a madman, not that I cared. They were not hearing the voices that rang in my ears over and over, despite my protests.

"You need me."

A sharp noise rang through my ears. It was the alarm clock, demanding that I wake up already. I tried to open my eyes, albeit reluctantly, to look for the damned contraption, which was just at my bedside table. I lurched a bit to my right and reached for the clock, slapping my palm on top of it, to make it stop beeping. I then sat up and sighed. I looked to my right where I saw the calendar hanging on the wall. Apparently, today was September 21st. Not that it mattered. Everyday was the same. Another boring day.

I rubbed my eyes as I stood up, willing myself to wake up. I looked at my bed, and somehow I swear it lured me into it as if lying on it would result in instant bliss. I shook my head, resisting the temptation to jump back to bed and sleep. I sighed again.

My room hasn’t been cleaned in years, and with all the junk lying around almost every single inch of the room, the task of walking around the place in the dark certainly wasn’t the safest stroll. I stepped on a book, which made me slide forward. Good thing I didn’t fully fall on the floor, or that would’ve been a real pain.

I didn’t realize how cluttered and messed up the room was until I switched on the lights. The place was a total wreck, as if a neutron bomb somehow dismantled the whole place. I shook my head as I made a mental note to clean the place up this afternoon when I return home from school, although at the back of my mind, I knew that me straightening the place up would be very unlikely, to say the least. Odds are better on the world ending in 2012 than in me cleaning my room today, or in any day of the future.

I exited and went straight towards the bathroom to have my morning routine done. I switched the lights on and faced the mirror, which was just adjacent to the door. I picked up my toothbrush, squeezed some Colgate in it, and brushed my teeth. It was the same every morning. After I brushed my teeth, I had a quick shower then it was back to my room to get dressed.

I then went downstairs to my father’s office. I sat on his chair and booted up his computer. Well, I have my own computer but unfortunately, it doesn’t have its own internet connection. You see, all our computers are attached to a flash drive with an antenna-like thing on its end, which was bought off rather cheaply at a local store. This cool device makes a computer WiFi-ready. And yes, the signal comes from the main computer in the house, which was my father’s. All I had to do was to boot my father’s computer, switch on the internet from there and my computer would be online.

After setting up the internet connection, I went back to room, walked past the mess, and sat in front of my beloved PC. After having it boot up, I opened my World of Warcraft account and started playing.

I hadn't realized I have already taken too much time playing that when I looked at my watch, it was already 6:20 AM. I excused myself from the game, telling my teammates I had to go to school. They accepted and told me it was fine with them, and I exited the game. I then turned off my computer and left.

I arrived at school thirty minutes later, and with ten minutes to spare before my first class, I decided to head to the cafeteria to have a cup of coffee. I walked towards a vending machine and pressed a couple of buttons. I then dropped off a few coins and after a few seconds, I had a hot cup of cappuccino. I finished the drink and looked at my watch again, which read 6:56 AM. I decided to go to my room for first class.

Law school wasn’t exactly the best thing life could give, but it could certainly be argued as the worst. My first class was Civil Law and the prospect of me listening for an hour and a half to Mr. Chipeco’s lecture on marriage and it’s legalities wasn’t exactly something you’d be happy to go through. The fact that it was the first class of the day wasn’t helping either. I entered the classroom and wasn’t surprised to find some chairs still empty. Finding Mr. Chipeco already seated at his table in front of the room reading the newspaper wasn’t surprising either. Mr. Robert Richardson Chipeco, MD, Ll.B., FPCP, MA, Ph.D., Ed.D. is an old geezer who believes that being punctual is something that is essential to success. His mantra was that it would be better if you came in early and had to wait for success than to come in late and have success wait for you, the latter scenario a really implausible one.

The clock situated in front of the room above the large blackboard ticked 7:00 AM and at the exact moment, Mr. Chipeco stood up with class cards in hand. He shuffled the cards as if he was a veteran dealer at the Golden Nugget. He then stopped abruptly and picked one card at random, which sent shockwaves in my spine. I looked to the one beside me, a friend of mine named Paul, and raised my eyebrows. I hope I’m not the unlucky one.

I guess you’re getting confused now, huh? Well, let me enlighten you. Yesterday, Mr. Chipeco told us to read about marriage in the civil code. An average 21-year old law student would’ve taken time to read at least a fraction of it but well, I’m no ordinary student. I may be 21 years old, but I still wished I was in junior year. I certainly act like it. I mean, who would play three hours of straight World of Warcraft plus two hours of straight Assassin’s Creed 2 on a school night with assignments for tomorrow? Damn it, how I wish I could just go back through time.

Mr. Chipeco read the name that was on the class card. “Linniell, Nathan R.”

I rubbed the bridge of my nose intently, willing the nausea to go away. Paul tapped me on my shoulder and looked at me with a look that said, “You’re screwed.” I’m starting to hate this day.

“Well, Mr. Linniell. I do hope you would stand up,” The old man said.

I hesitantly stood as I was told. I then looked at Mr. Chipeco and said, “Yes, sir?”

“Marriage is something that is solemn.” Mr. Chipeco began. “It is something sacred, and thus should be respected. It is solemnized by a legal individual. The question is, who are the only ones who can solemnize and legitimize a marriage according to the civil code?”

The classroom seemed to have whirled around me as the nausea hit on me harder, as if I was on a roulette wheel while the dealer yelled “Place your bets! Place your bets!” My brain was on a rampage. Marriage, requisites, ministering marriage… and then it hit me. The pain was so excruciating, I had to sit for a while. My blood vessels in my head threatened to pop off. I was afraid I was having a stroke attack, thinking back on all those alcohol and fat I took in last vacation.

Amidst this pain, I swear I kept hearing this strange voice, saying “You need me!”

The pain was gone, and I straightened myself. All eyes were on me, all confused at what just happened. “Are you alright, Mr. Linniell?” Mr. Chipeco asked.

“The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, The Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals, Judges of the Courts of First Instances, City Mayors, Municipal Judges, Priest or Rabbis and military commanders under special cases,” I muttered.

Mr. Chipeco squinted his eyes. “What?”

I shrugged. “You asked for those who can solemnize a marriage, right? Well, I just gave you the answer, at least according to article 56 of the civil code.”

The old man’s jaw dropped.

“Can I go outside? I need some fresh air.”

My Civil Law professor nodded.

As I left the confounded class, my head began to swell again. I probably had too much coffee, although I can recall only having one cup. I rubbed my forehead with the fingers of my right hand as I leaned on the wall. I then heard an eerie voice.

“Hello, Mr. Nathan Linniell.”

I looked around, seeing no one.

“Keep looking. I doubt you’d find me.”

Gritting my teeth, I roared out loud. “Who are you?!”

As the students from the nearby rooms and lecture halls tried to take a peek at the one who shouted in the corridors, a gentle whisper crossed my right ear. “That’s not important here. What’s important is what I have to say.”

“I have something you want, and in the words of one of your favorite movie characters, ‘I am about to give you an offer you can’t refuse.’”

Olly Buckle
September 16th, 2010, 02:41 PM
Hey, I find I can proof read through a dozen times and still find something on the thirteenth go, there were a few places it felt like it could do with a little tightening up but these struck me as probably needing correction:-

Sighing for the third time now, I walked past remaining distance to the light switch uneventful.
Suggest, "I walked the remaining distance to the light switch uneventfully"

I didn’t realize how much cluttered and messed up the room was until I opened the lights
I don't think the "Much" is needed or grammatical. "Opening " the lights strikes me as strange, you use it again later so maybe it is a colloquial use, I would "turn on" the light and "open" a blind or curtain, but you definitely went to the switch.

then it was back to my room to have myself dressed.
I would say to "get dressed", to have yourself dressed sounds as though a valet is going to do it for you.

I never realized I have already taken too much time playing that when I looked at my watch,
This is a confused sentence, "never" is certainly the wrong word, it is a single occasion. Try "I had not realised how much time I had taken playing until I looked at my watch."

September 16th, 2010, 03:20 PM
Excruciating in mundane detail, that's the only real mistake I see. There are a few usage nits, but they are unimportant compared with the crashing boredom of such a minute description of someone waking up, brushing his teeth, and playing a video game. You may have a very interesting story to tell, but very few people will ever know of it because they will give up before you get around to telling it.

Show us something happening. Give us a reason to keep going. In the classroom there's little improvement. A 21-year-old law student already will have a university degree, and when he makes the confession, 'I don’t know much about the Civil Code', boredom is replaced by astonishment and disbelief. Just living in a society for 21 years will teach you a good deal about the civil code in that society.

You finally get to the hook in the last sentence in this selection, but by then it will be too late for most readers.

If you start with your main character standing in the hallway shouting at someone he can't see, you'll have my interest. I really must confess that I do not in the least care about the mess in his room. But someone standing in a school hallway shouting at a person he cannot see will get my attention.

The Iliad has been popular reading for a few thousand years now, and the essentials of the plot have been used over and over again. The Iliad does not begin with Achilles waking up and brushing his teeth. It begins at a moment of high drama and unresolved conflict. It begins in the middle of the action.

Don't show us a messy room. Show us a young man standing in a hallway shouting at the unseen. That will make us want to read more. If the messy room is important, that can be mentioned after you have our attention. Mentioned, mind, not described in detail.

Think about the story you want to tell, then jump in and tell it. Leave the messy room to clean itself.

September 17th, 2010, 04:49 AM
Thanks for the comments. I never realized the mistakes 'til I saw them.

Followed all your advise and refurbished chapter 1. Hopefully I haven't turned it into a much bigger mess. :)

Olly Buckle
September 17th, 2010, 09:59 AM
Like I said it is always easier to spot them in someone else's work, take a look here, http://www.writingforums.com/writing-discussion/114709-similar-words.html.
Followed all your advise