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jnimri
October 28th, 2010, 06:13 PM
So I finally decided; itís time to commit my first murder. You know, see if I can get away with it and all. I donít have any particular ill will towards my fellow man, I just wanna see if I can get away with it. Some people wanna try sky diving or Indian food; I wanna try murder.


I havenít put a lot of thought into who itís gonna be, but I do know itís gotta be a complete stranger. Too many times on T.V., I see those idiots who kill their wives or husbands and even kids; cops know immediately itís someone in the family. No, Iím not gonna be that stupid.


I also think about how Iím going commit my first murder. I canít use a gun cuz Iíd have to use dadís, (heís the only person I know that owns a gun) and the police would probably be able to trace the bullet back to me using that fancy forensics science stuff. I could also try a knife but with my luck, Iíd be afraid Iíd cut myself in the process and leave some of that DNA junk. Not gonna risk that.


No, itís gotta be something that wouldnít normally be considered a murder weapon, but doesnít require a lot of hands on interaction with my victim; Iím not that strong. To be quite honest with you, I donít really want there to be a lot of blood either. Blood makes me sorta queasy.


My final rule is that it has to be a quick death. I donít wanna give them the chance to scream and call attention to me and whatís going on; plus, I donít want them to be able to escape. So it has to be a quick death, or at least knock them out quickly. I sit back and think for a few moments about the possibilities; theyíre endless! After a few minutes, a smile slowly crosses my crooked teeth as I get the perfect idea.


Quietly I climb the metal ladder in the garage up to the thick, hot air of the attic. I rummage around until I find the box Iím searching for, labeled ĎDavidí. I pop the flaps of the card board box open and dig around until my hand claps around the metal and plastic body of the sling-shot. David got it for his ninth birthday four years ago. Heíd be pissed if he knew I was taking it now. I donít care though, his toy was gonna let me get away with my lifeís dream. Heíd never know the difference.


So yeah, I decided a rock with a sling-shot was the best way to go. No finger prints to be left behind, no serial numbers to track and no grooves left on the projectile to trace; plus, Iíd be a safe distance away and hiddenÖthis could work. Sure beats trying Indian food anyway.


I work my way back down the ladder and back into the house careful not to wake anyone. Back in my room, I throw on some sneakers and walk out the front door into the humid air of the night. The stars are twinkling high in the black canvas; the moon half hidden by gray clouds. The weather is perfect for my first murder. My heart flutters with the excitement as I begin my journey to the park behind the pool hall. All the teenagers use the park to cut through to the neighborhood that lays nestled deep in the woods of Loving Tennessee.


Quickly I run to a grove of bushes about ten feet from the worn path cutting its way through the grand daddy pines which are reaching for the sky. While I was hidden and waiting I searched the ground around me for the perfect collection of rocks. I would need a minimum of three; one to knock the unsuspecting person down, and two to finish the job.


Every now and then, groups of two or three or four would come walking noisily by. Boys pushing and tripping each other, or joking crudely or harassing some poor teen girl who was just using these boys to get safely home.


I waited patiently for just the single individual to come sauntering past; completely unaware of what was to happen. In the meantime, I searched for the perfect rocks; not too big and not too small.


It had to be close to closing time at the pool hall, so I was beginning to wonder if tonight was going to be the night after all. I had my stones, four of them to be exact; one extra just in case, so I decided to just wait patiently a little longer. The flutter of excitement in my stomach was gone. I was calm, cool and collected. I imagined myself as a Bond-like assassin; years of training behind me, all for this one righteous kill. I kinda liked this idea. I was a cool international assassin who killed the big drug dealers or mob bosses, big business hustlers or whatever. Yeah, I was something special. Finally after what really could have been minutes or hours, a single figure approached me from the West, just past the rear of the pool hall. His Ďcrunch, crunch, crunchí of the ground beneath his feet seemed loud in the silence of the night. He was whistling some awful tune that sounded vaguely familiar as he walked towards me. I couldnít really tell who the person was, though I just assumed it was some teen-aged boy. Maybe it was some gang leader on his way back from a drug deal. Hell, I didnít know and I didnít really care. It made no difference to me, he was my Indian food.


I picked up the black and metallic sling-shot with my right hand, resting the wrist brace in its place on my arm. With the left, I picked up three of the four stones and shoved them in my front left jean pocket. When I was finished with that, I bent back down to scoop up the remaining rock and set it into the black leather pouch, which was attached to the ends of two yellow rubber tubes. I pinched the leather strap together, holding the flatter sides of the rock with my thumb and forefinger. I held myself in this position, squatting behind the bushes, waiting for this person to get close.


I hadnít practiced with the weapon before now, but I figured, how hard can it be? Just pull back, aim and release. Only a few feet away, it would be hard to miss. On the remote chance that I didnít hit my target, I was hidden, so Iíd have the ability to get off the second shot and Ďmy firstí would be none the wiser.


The familiar excited beat of my heart greeted the bones in my chest with a resounding thump thumpÖthump thump. I waited for My First to come within ten yards of the bushes before I stretched the yellow tubing. I pulled back on the rubber until my arms shook with the tension. The crunch of the ground beneath his footsteps grew closer; I could hear his labored breathing in the wet stickiness of the night.


I all but held my breath, giddy with the events unfolding before me. I wanted to laugh out loud, the power that coursed through my veins sent chills of exhilaration and anticipation throughout my body. I felt like God. I get to choose who lives and who dies. I get to be the one who takes life away.


My First was just steps away now; I flexed my legs and rose up a few inches. I lined My First's head between the two arms of the sling, leading ever so slightly. The soft whoosh of the rock sailing through air was probably all he heard. On my end was the crack of the rubber shooting the rock forward, and the dull thud of the stone connecting with the bone on the side of his skull. It was a symphony of melody in my ears. His body dropping limp to the earthen underbrush was the crescendo-ed ending to my masterpiece. He lay there motionless for just a few moments until I was sure of two things, 1.) That he was positively knocked out, and 2.) There were no other prying eyes around; I was clear. I sat my weapon of choice down on the ground, making a mental not to forget I laid it there, and stepped out from behind the bushes. I walked over to where the limp body lay and bent down to hook my arms through My First's arm pits. With all my strength, I dragged the lifeless lump back into the shadows, away from the trail.


I cursed at myself when I realized I probably shouldnít have touched him; forensics crap. Nothing could be done about it now.


I kept my eyes purposefully away from My First's face. I didnít particularly care to know who I killed, especially if the police came knocking about. So I dutifully moved him back to my hiding spot, away from stragglers that might come walking down this path, and picked up the sling-shot where I had left it. Now it was time to finish the job. Some people try rock climbing or hang gliding, I try murder.


I retrieved one of the stones from my pocket and repeated the process of readying the projectile. As I stood poised, ready to release my grip on the leather strap, point blank into the face of My First, his eyes fluttered open. I pulled back harder on the yellow rubber, determined to shut his eyes forever when suddenly my gaze focused on the face before me.
One hot tear dropped heavily from my eye and splashed violently on the red cheek of Ďmy firstí.


ďDavid.Ē I said quietly. With that single word, I released my hold and let forth fly, with all of its energy, that one rock. I wouldnít need the extras after all.


You should never be like one of those idiots on T.V. who kill their wives or husbands or even kids. They always get caught.

legendhunter
October 28th, 2010, 06:42 PM
I like how you wrote the story, it was quite interesting. how ever I do suggest that you change the story a little bit. the character should get some sort of gloves so that he makes sure he doesn't leave finger prints on the rocks he uses to kill the man and also to make sure he doesn't leave finger prints on his victim. This would make the guy/girl who wants to murder people look a little bit smarter about killing someone. But that's just my Idea

jnimri
October 28th, 2010, 07:05 PM
I like how you wrote the story, it was quite interesting. how ever I do suggest that you change the story a little bit. the character should get some sort of gloves so that he makes sure he doesn't leave finger prints on the rocks he uses to kill the man and also to make sure he doesn't leave finger prints on his victim. This would make the guy/girl who wants to murder people look a little bit smarter about killing someone. But that's just my Idea

I appreciate the suggestion. That had come across my mind, however, I wanted to sort of express that while he/she is intelligent, this person is still quite young and might not consider smaller details. His/her knowledge of murder might only be that he could leave DNA behind, but might not be aware that fingerprints can be left on porous materials such as skin and stone. I wanted to convey a certain tone of wanting to be professional rather than actually being a professional.
I will however consider making this change if you truly feel that it is important to the story. My only desire is to improve upon my story and my writing. If you could get back to me on if you would still change it I would be grateful. Again, thank you for even taking the time to read it and give me your opinion. I truly appreciate it.

legendhunter
October 28th, 2010, 07:23 PM
Ah I see I see well you don't necessarily have to add him/her having gloves then. Since you want the character to be a little on the dumb side when it comes to being a murderer that's just fine. How ever I do see a potential novel here. But first let me ask you a few questions.

1. where do you plan to take this story? to be just a short story? or an actual novel?

2.how much time do you want to invest into this story?

3.how old are you? (because if you are too young the content of this story could get you in serious trouble and I don't want a fellow writer getting in trouble for just telling an interesting story.)

Kordain
October 29th, 2010, 03:41 AM
at the end when he says 'david.' do you mean 'david?' as in surprise that its his brother, or 'david.' as if he doesn't care who it is and he's already decided, or is it more like a gasp like 'David!'

jnimri
October 29th, 2010, 01:40 PM
legendhunter in response to your 3 questions:
1.) I had never planned to take the story any further. I felt that it was perfect as a short story; I wanted it to be a kind of vague glimpse into the thoughts of a disturbed young boy.

2.) As for time to invest, I'll put in whatever I need in order to make it the perfect story. I have two novels I'm currently working on and do not particularly wish to start a third at this time, however, like I said I would spend whatever time needed to make it good.

3.) And my age; well I'm 30 so I think I'm ok in that respect. I appreciate the concern thought; awesome. If you have any ideas on where I could take the story for a novel, I'd be interested in hearing.

jnimri
October 29th, 2010, 01:43 PM
Kordain,

At the end, when he simply stated his brothers name, I wanted to convey both a sudden realization of "oh no, what did i do?", and a certain detachment to the situation. He would have preferred not to kill his own brother but he knew that he had to finish what he started. By making the choice to kill in the first place, we know that he has little regard for human life...it's more just the familiarity of the person he killed and knowing that the police always look at family first as suspects.

garza
October 29th, 2010, 02:14 PM
You want blunt? I'll be blunt. This is good. You've taken us inside the mind of a person with a problem, and locked the exits. While this piece is good as a single-incident short story, you obviously have the talent needed to go on to novel-length work with no problem.

jnimri
October 29th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Wow garza, I really appreciate that comment. I totally expect criticism, i actually crave it, but I've never actually gotten that positive of a comment on anything before! Thank you very much!

legendhunter
October 29th, 2010, 03:08 PM
well basically I think that you should continue the story by him/her getting caught and then you could write about his/her life in prison and how he/she still wants to kill people when she/he gets out but this time he/she will make sure that they don't make any mistake what so ever. I suggest you consider turning this into a novel because I believe this has plenty of potential as a novel following the plot that I just stated.

jnimri
October 29th, 2010, 03:20 PM
That's definitely something to consider legendhunter. I appreciate the ideas. Whenever I finish the novels i'm currently working on, I suppose I could give that a try. Thank you for taking the time to converse with me. I will seek out you and everyone else's on here and hopefully help in whatever way I can as you've done for me.

legendhunter
October 29th, 2010, 03:34 PM
you can help me by following the link in my signature.

spider8
October 29th, 2010, 08:36 PM
Very good. An earlier comment asked how old you were. The narrators voice feels very young so well done on that.
I noticed just one mistake - '...making a mental not to forget...'
Also, I can't see how the killer could be a 'she.' A dead weight is the hardest to lift or move. I've even seen a police vid where they advise young women who are being abducted to let their legs collapse - very hard for an abducter to abduct.

garza
October 29th, 2010, 09:13 PM
Was 'making a mental note not to forget' a mistake? I do that all the time - make mental notes not to forget. Of course I lose the notes, but I go on doing it anyway.

spider8
October 29th, 2010, 11:12 PM
Was 'making a mental note not to forget' a mistake? I do that all the time - make mental notes not to forget. Of course I lose the notes, but I go on doing it anyway.
He didn't make a mental note not to forget. He made a mental not to forget.

jnimri
November 1st, 2010, 02:14 PM
Thank you for the typo catch. It's funny, I've read that story a hundred times and I still miss things like that. As for the gender of the character, I didn't really feel that it was necessary to say. I left it intentionally vague so the reader could come to their own conclusion as to what the character looked like, or even what sex. I didn't feel that it was integral to the plot. It was also another way to throw the reader off as to who he/she was in relation to the victim. In your opinion, would it make the story better if I just came out and said it was a he?

apple
November 1st, 2010, 07:50 PM
I was immediatly drawn into your story. But I was thrown out for a moment when you very quickly took me from a thought stream tone, as if you were confiding in the reader, to an action. It surprised me.


My final rule is that it has to be a quick death. I donít wanna give them the chance to scream and call attention to me and whatís going on; plus, I donít want them to be able to escape. So it has to be a quick death, or at least knock them out quickly. I sit back and think for a few moments about the possibilities; theyíre endless! After a few minutes, a smile slowly crosses my crooked teeth as I get the perfect idea.

I understand the change, and it works positively, but maybe there is a way to get to that transition in a different way. I don't know if it affected anyone else that way or not. I wondered about the gloves too. I think a kid who even knows the word forensics, DNA, and etc., would certainly know that gloves is one the number one things he needs to get away with it.
The ending was good. "David" the way I read it, was like with recognition, but rather flat and cold-blooded. He knew, but, it didn't matter for his experiment. He let loose the rock.
I wonder if you even need the last paragraph, that sums up the kid's thoughts. To me, itt is understood that he thinks he's got it all together and will away with it.

You have a good story and a nice, scary, little character that may be lurking around in our society more than we are aware of. I enjoyed the read and think you write very well. Thank you, jnimri.

spider8
November 1st, 2010, 08:34 PM
In your opinion, would it make the story better if I just came out and said it was a he?
Not necessarily. Although you may want it kept vague so the reader can make up their own minds, I think most reader's prejudices, or knowledge and experience, will have them assuming the MC is a he - even if she isn't. But don't be too obvious about hiding it or we'll start thinking he's a she. It's up to you to decide. If you allow our assumptions free reign then perhaps you, after all, are deciding that the MC's male.

btw, I also assumed well before the end that the victim would be close to the MC (I imagined the father, I think). I'm only saying this to be helpful - you need to be aware, that's all - but don't worry too much about it. In published works we often imagine what's gonna happen, and are often wrong!

jnimri
November 1st, 2010, 10:07 PM
Thank you apple. I agree about needing a smoother transition. Perhaps I will fool around with it tonight and see what I can come up with. As for the gloves thing, I understand why everyone thinks he should use gloves and I even agree that he should, however, I really wanted to convey a sense of naivete without coming out and saying he's just a boy. I feel as though it is important for him to leave out details such as needing gloves. In the end, I chose rocks as a murder weapon, feeling that the chance of fingerprints being left behind were minimal and because of his lack of experience in the area, he too felt that no prints would be left behind. I really appreciate your constructive criticism along with everyone else's. It's been a big help and hopefully I can get a re-write done on this thing sometime soon.
Spider8- You know, I absolutely agree about the ending. To me it seems very obvious what will happen, but from a handful of people I let read it, they say they never saw it coming. I was trying to consider different endings or change up the beginning so as to better throw the reader off but came up empty handed and decided that I'd leave it the way it was based on the responses I got. But now that you too see that it is kind of obvious, I'm going to go back and see what I can change. Thank you for pointing that out!

AmieS
November 2nd, 2010, 12:34 AM
This is the first piece of work I have read on this forum, and I have to say that it was superb. I would not normally read this type of writing but as soon as I read the first sentence I was hooked.
I have to say that I agree with others that it has potential for a full-length novel but it almost seems perfect as it is! The ending allows your mind to wonder over the many possibilities the story holds.
I love how gripped I was reading it and I almost hated my self for laughing at some parts. (In a good way. The black humour was very gripping and made the voice feel very real.) I also liked how the gender was not enforced. I must admit that I mainly saw the character as a boy but some parts made me feel that it could be a girl. (Or perhaps I thought it would be more interesting if it were a girl?)
And when asked earlier of your age, I really thought that you were much younger. Not because of your quality of work or anything but because the young narrative of the piece was so strong.
I could see this being something I would study at university and I look forward to reading more pieces written by you.

jnimri
November 2nd, 2010, 02:07 PM
AmieS- I really appreciate the comment. I see you picked up on little things that I tried to throw in (the black humor), which makes me very happy. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I can't wait to read some of yours.

spider8
November 3rd, 2010, 08:38 AM
But now that you too see that it is kind of obvious, I'm going to go back and see what I can change. Thank you for pointing that out!
Not obvious, but I think when you said 'I kept my eyes purposely away.. ' a suspicion was born.

NorwegianWriter
November 3rd, 2010, 04:57 PM
You have something here, but I think it needs a little bit of editing, cutting down to the bone, show the gold. I tried my hand at it, and this is what I get:

Some people wanna try sky diving or Indian food; I wanna try murder.
Too many times on T.V., I see those idiots who kill their wives or husbands and even kids; cops know immediately, no, Iím not gonna be that stupid. I canít use a gun cuz Iíd have to use dadís, the police would probably be able to trace the bullet using that fancy forensics science stuff. I could try a knife but with my luck, Iíd cut myself in the process and leave some of that DNA junk.

No, itís gotta be something that wouldnít normally be considered a murder weapon, it has to be quick, no chance to scream and call attention, no escape.

Do you get my point? (if I have one :))

But please, continue. You have something.

jnimri
November 3rd, 2010, 10:01 PM
I do like you how you kind of cleaned it up, I recently was told that while it had a good twist at the end, it wasn't engaging enough...perhaps he meant too long to keep the readers attention? I supposed if I edited it down it might make it more engaging. This weekend when I have the time, I think I'll sit down and implement all the advice I have received on here. "No, it’s gotta be something that wouldn’t normally be considered a murder weapon, it has to be quick, no chance to scream and call attention, no escape." I like the way you made that more short and sweet by the way.

Ripka
November 5th, 2010, 08:22 AM
I think that your story's perfect just the way it is. If I were you, I'd leave it this length because it expresses the whole idea, and I think it'd become drawn out and a bit cliche if you tried to expand it. That's just opinion though...Great job!

jnimri
November 5th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Thank you Ripka. I do tend to agree that it's fine the way it is...it is my "baby" after all. But, I also want to create the best story I can and if that means either lengthening or shortening, I suppose it must be done. As i mentioned above, someone in the publishing field offered that it wasn't engaging enough. I need to find a way to make it more engaging. Thank you for the compliments though!

stonefly
November 5th, 2010, 04:19 PM
The story is well written. Furthermore, the plot is wrapped around the tried and true theme of murder, and there is nothing wrong with that from a literary standpoint. However, in the hands of a novice, the slingshot is a most unlikely murder weapon, and I believe the fact lurks in the subconscious of the reader.

The slingshot is potentially dangerous. If a perpetrator were to practice daily, for years, with the expressed intention of murder, he'd be noticed. Then, when the victim was discovered, the authorities would have a prime suspect.

There have been murder stories where humor was not at all out of place, but in this case, the humor is that the mc would be more likely charged with assault with a "funny" weapon than with murder. The victim would likely recover from his headache nurturing a determination to chase down his assailant with a baseball bat.

I believe that is what is happening with your story. The reader is blocked from being fully engaged because the potential humor in all the various scenarios where a novice is trying to commit murder with a slingshot interferes with the intrigue of a dark, sinister plot.

On the other hand, the story is hilarious if perceived in a different light, right down to the title, "My First." The mc starts out by explaining that he wouldn't pick a family member as a victim, because it would be too obvious, but in the end he is looking into to the eyes of his own brother. Furthermore, the mc at that point is in the process of slinging pebbles at his brother with his brother's own slingshot, in a bungled attempt with an inadequate weapon.

You could have the start of a series, "My Second," "My Third," and so on.

You may be upset with me for the way I see your story, although I hope you are not. Actually, I see a potential gem laying within your story, although it may not be what you initially intended.

jnimri
November 5th, 2010, 04:54 PM
I have no qualms at all about what you've said. I appreciate the constructive criticism first and foremost. With that being said, I'd like to maybe respond to what you've written. I agree, a slingshot is a most unlikely weapon and would most probably only inflict surface wounds that may require a few stitches, but the unlikelyhood of that weapon is what gives the kid the ability to commit the 'perfect murder'.

I liken books and stories to movies. The point of the story is to suspend belief (not imagination) and enjoy it for what it is...entertainment. Isn't that all books and movies are? Entertainment? I understand there has to be a monicrum of believability but even the great classics stretched truths to fit the plot. However, if the story is so completely unbelievable so as to ruin the core of what is being portrayed, then perhaps you're right. I wouldn't want to lack credibility in my writing. I want it to be as close to reality as can be, that's what makes the child more frightening.

I did write this piece with a sort of ironic, black humor but perhaps it came off as more cheesy than anything? I don't know. I truly believe though, that for the story to work, it has to be a slingshot. Any other weapon would seem contrite and cliche. Ever read a story that had a slingshot for a murder weapon?

I truly appreciate your advice and if I get enough people who feel it is entirely unbelievable then I will consider the change. Until then however, I don't feel that I can.

jnimri
November 5th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Catching my own misspelling, I meant *modicum