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romero
November 24th, 2010, 06:29 AM
(Hi, this is a piece i've just started working on. It's not done yet. But any advice is appreciated )


It's dark again. It's always dark.
I wrap the scarf tighter around my neck as the winter tries to bite into my exposed flesh. My footsteps are the only sound as I walk down the street. No traffic. No planes flying overhead. No TV's blaring as I pass the lonely houses. No sounds at all since everyone on earth dissapeared thirty days ago.
Just my footseps.
The sound seems loud, and somehow, sacriligous, like an echoing fart in the vatican.
I take out my I-pod, put it on shuffle, and feel infinately more comfortable listeing to the first generic, indie-orientated tune that plays.

***

Thirty days ago there were lots of sounds, sights, and smells.
My name was Ger Thompson. Her name was Laura Marks. We were laughing.
It was a cold winter night, and we were bundled up, nice and warm, walking down the street arm in arm.
I'd just told a joke, and she was laughing.
"Whoa," I said. "Looky there."
I pointed across the street to the bookshop. There was a poster in the window advertising my favourate author's new book.
The Solipsist, the poster said. By Dan Green.
I looked at Laura. "Lend us a tenner. Im not gonna make the cashpoint - they'll be closing in ten minutes." I gave her my best puppy dog expression.
She rolled her eyes, but smiled anyway.
"Awrite, then," she sighed, digging in her purse. "Some gentleman, you are."
She gave me the tenner, and I dashed across the road, shouting thanks over my shoulder.
"Be caref--"
I didn't hear the rest. That's when the world went quiet.

***

It's hard to judge time now all the clocks and watches have stopped, but looking at the big, fat moon overhead, I'm guessing it's about midnight.
I always make this trek at midnight. Down the long empty road that leads from my house to the retail park and the 24 hour supermarket.
I walk under the dead, bony trees, reaching upwards into the darkness, like skeletons rising from their graves. Up ahead I see the Burger King, and large DIY chainstore.
I enter the carpark, all those empty cars splashed with bright yellow light from a dozen overhead streetlamps.

***

I turned back to see what Laura was shouting about. But she was gone. Everyone was gone. A deathly silence had desended on the street.
Cars without drivers had paused, engines still purring.
For a moment I stood there, in the middle of the road, trying to make sense of what was happening.
After about a minute I took out my mobile phone with the intention of calling Laura (maybe she'd run off somewhere), but it simply said: no service.
I wandered around the high street for an hour, going mostly in circles. The silence was deafening, oppressive, bread-thick.
I had to keep rubbing my eyes.
I passed a takeaway where a wrapped bag full of steaming food stood on an empty counte; an electronics shop where a bank of widescreen TV's showed nothing but static; a pub where a familiar song blared from a jukebox, a single lit ciggarette burning to ash and filter outside the front door.
Eventually my paralysis and shock broke. I ran all the way home. It felt as if something hard had been shoved down my throat. And I could taste the salty tears that were streaming down my cheeks and into my gasping mouth.
The sound was the worse: my heaving steps and pounding feet.....and nothing else.

***

citygirl
November 24th, 2010, 07:08 AM
hi romero,
This is great, I love it, and it makes me want to read more. In order to see if there are any improvements needed, I will have to read it again another time, but right now, I am exhausted having finished a stressful day. Keep writing. This has lots of potential for a very interesting story.

Vickip
November 24th, 2010, 04:33 PM
I really like it too. The only thing I would change is a small detail. You said that you were running in circles for an hour but then found a cig burned almost out. It's been a while since I've smoked but I would either have the cig all ash or change hour to a less discript amount of time. I've been looking for all of my own slips like that and have found tons.

Verum Scriptor
November 24th, 2010, 05:54 PM
I like it. The only suggestion I have for you is this: In your first paragraph you directly state that everyone on earth disappeared 30 days ago. I do not think that is needed and it would leave a little more mystery as you start the next paragraph explaining how there were sounds a mere 30 days ago.

DELFIA
November 24th, 2010, 06:06 PM
Two things I didn't like.

"dissapeared thirty days ago" I think just "dissapeared" would have sufficed...

and

"indie-oriented", but that is a subjective matter and has nothing to do with your ability.

Pretty good.

Pandaemonium
November 24th, 2010, 06:54 PM
I like the irony of "The Solipsist" book poster. Nice going there. :)

romero
November 24th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. it's given me the enthusiasm to finish this now and see where it goes

Citygirl, thanks for taking the time to read even though you were really tired. Apreciated

Panadan, thanks man:

vickip, that's a really good point and one I would've completely missed myself. So thanks for pointing it out.

Verrum, I think you're right. Just noticed i used the word dissapeared twice in fairly closes succession. Comment appreciated. Thank you

delfia,

Hi, I apreciate the feedback. is there any particular reason you don't like "indie-oriented" or is it just a musical tase thing?

pandemonium, thanks, man. That's pretty much what I was going for ha! It was even the title for a while

depcrestwood
November 24th, 2010, 11:08 PM
I like it. I look forward to more posts.

Your first sentence jarred a little, though. "It's dark again. It's always dark." I know it's nitpicky, but the first thing I thought when I read that was "If it's always dark, then how is it dark 'again'?" I don't know. Might just be me.

Also, I have the feeling I know what the overall story is already, if not the bits in-between. Not in a bad way ... if anything, it makes me want to see the rest of the story to see if I'm right.

Overall, I found it enjoyable so far. Keep up the good work.

Bruno Spatola
November 24th, 2010, 11:25 PM
No sounds at all since everyone on earth dissapeared thirty days ago. -- Capital 'e' on Earth, and it's "disappeared" not dissapeared. My real gripe here is, how do you know everyone on Earth has disappeared? It isn't a criticism as such, I'm just curious as to how a single person could acquire this knowledge is all :P.

The sound seems loud, and somehow, sacriligous, like an echoing fart in the vatican. -- That made me laugh, but is that a good thing? It seemed very serious and atmospheric, and then this line totally destroyed that. I'm not sure if you should keep it in, but it's your choice of course. It just left me feeling a bit confused.

I take out my I-pod -- I'd write iPod. That's a miniscule issue, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

indie-orientated -- I agree about that, sticks out a bit. Just name the actual song, he could sing some of the lyrics even, that'd be cool. "indie-orientated" is too vague, I think.

My name was Ger Thompson. -- was?

I'd just told a joke, and she was laughing. -- I think that adds nothing to be honest. Too vague again, you should write the joke in my opinion. Telling me a joke had been told is pointless and does nothing to aid my imagination.

I pointed across the street to the bookshop. -- What's it called? Is it a quirky little building? Are the windows dirty? Was someone sleeping rough outside of it? You say the bookshop as if it's familiar to the reader, but you haven't really introduced it. If it doesn't have any significance later in the story, then obviously you don't need to, but I'd like a little bit more description. You don't need to embellish it, but I don't like filling in too many blanks. Just a thought.

There was a poster in the window advertising my favourate author's new book. -- Favourite. I think you should say he's your favourite author after you've said what the poster is. Telling me before sort of muddles it slightly, for me anyway.

"Awrite, then," she sighed, digging in her purse. "Some gentleman, you are." -- I'd omit the commas from the dialogue here, breaks the flow for me. Unnecessary me thinks.

She gave me the tenner, and I dashed across the road, shouting thanks over my shoulder. -- Another very small gripe, we know it's a ten-pound note now, I'd just say money the second time. Very small.
"Be caref--"

I didn't hear the rest. That's when the world went quiet. -- I like that; dark and intriguing.

I always make this trek at midnight. Down the long empty road -- Comma between midnight and down I think.

I walk under the dead, bony trees, reaching upwards into the darkness, like skeletons rising from their graves. -- I think reaching upwards clashes with the simile that follows.

Up ahead I see the Burger King -- You say "the" again, is it your local Burger King or just one of many? It's another nitpick from me, but this adds a bit of confusion, for me.

I turned back to see what Laura was shouting about. But she was gone. -- Comma between about and but.

A deathly silence had desended on the street. -- I think you should pluralize street.

The silence was deafening, oppressive, bread-thick.-- I like that.

a single lit ciggarette burning to ash and filter outside the front door. -- Cigarette.

Eventually my paralysis and shock broke. -- I'd take out and shock broke. "Eventually my paralysis wore off" is how I would put it, but it's your story, not mine.

It felt as if something hard had been shoved down my throat. -- Like what? a rubber shoe? a carburetor? You can do something more interesting with that sentence, seems bare the way you've left it I think.

The sound was the worse: my heaving steps and pounding feet.....and nothing else. Worst, and there are only three full stops in an ellipsis.

You write well, but there's not enough here for me to say if I like it or not, yet. I think there could've been a bit more detail overall, but again, you write well :).

I look forward to seeing where this will go. I think you're capable enough to pull it off, but you need to do some tweaking. Really hope this helped, good luck!