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Grapefight
November 27th, 2010, 04:49 AM
Hey dudes.
So I'm gonna go ahead and post this thing, and I'd be grateful for whatever critique you'd like to give (is it stupid and/or lame as hell? would you rather lick a dog turd than read another word of it? these are things I'd like to see addressed), but there's one specific thing I'm concerned about. The following is part of a larger piece which I've previously been writing in third-person. In this bit, though, I experimented with first-person. The result, in my opinion, is far more lucid than it would be had I written it in third-person, but the voice doesn't quite match the character narrating. Basically, I'm wondering if this is really a problem. I'll post another (third-person) excerpt later on, either in this thread or another, to give you a wider frame of reference for the characters involved.
I know I'm kinda all over the place here. I'll just shut up and post my stuff, and we can talk about all that other junk later.



1
My first encounter with Shade should have told me everything I needed to know about what it would mean to be her friend. This fateful collision of personalities was brief, lasting less than a minute, and in that time I was irreverent and smoking a cigarette and she was pointing a gun at me. Months later, when we would finally be introduced properly, the spirit of that dynamic was unchanged. It seemed that no matter how fond of each other we became, at the heart if it she was always ready to put me down if I got out of hand, and I was always blowing smoke in her face. She was seventeen then, though she didnt look it and never would, and I was eighteen. She kept her hair the same dark auburn color as her brothers in those days, though it would go through many changes later. One of the perks of being a cyborg is that you can change your hair color at will, apparently.
Later, on another world and in another time, her hair would be a vibrant, electric purple. It would be whipped frantically about by the wind blowing in through the rolled-down windows of our green Galaxie, our earthbound rocket ship, as we careened through a vast and unknown countryside. From the drivers seat, I would look at her, and underneath her oversized gas station sunglasses, she would grin at me.
Bang.



2
The last whiskey I ever drankI think it was whiskeywas just outside of Reading. I had cracked the unlabelled bottle open one night when I still thought I was going to be washing dishes for the next ten years, and by the time I took the last foul swallow, I had induced the death of four fugitive gangsters and my boss, stolen three million dollars and a car, and rescued Shade from the swirling dust of the old church wherein she, heartbroken at the loss of her brother, had imprisoned herself. The sun came up the next morning and found me and Shade on the road, the small college town of Reading a hundred miles behind us, jittery with confusion and excitement. Neither of us quite knew what had happened to bring us to that point. I, for one, was in no condition to care. I was drunk and sick; I pulled over, told Shade I loved her, and kissed her right on the lips.
Like I said, I was drunk.
Back on Ghost Island, I only drank so that I could face my fake friends and behave the way a young Reptoid was expected to. My lack of enthusiasm for getting trashed and coercing teenage human girls into degrading themselves for my pleasure made me distinctly un-Reptoid; here on Earth, my green skin and fierce dedication to my (seemingly) teenage human friend makes me distinctly Well, not un-human, but certainly unusual. Shade looks no older than fifteen and tends to come across as a bit daffy to strangers, and, although I havent been arrested yet, I know what people must think of me. Teenage girls, through no fault of their own, seem to cause me nothing but trouble.
Then, when I was working as a dishwasher and waiting like a stubborn old dog for Shade to leave that church, I drank to make my endless shifts go faster. My boss, despite what could be mistaken for generosity in his employing me under-the-table, was an ignorant, racist, lazy asshole, and everyone else who worked in the kitchen just thought I was a lower-class moron and barely spoke to me. So I drank as constantly as I could without completely incapacitating myself, though that left me hung-over for about fifty percent of the time I worked there. With the only alternative being stone sober, though, I even started enjoying my hangovers.
But now I live on a beach. I spend my days barefoot and shirtless and then sleep in a tent at night, my body inches from Shades. She sleeps on a timer; unless I hit her with a rock, I couldnt wake her up before the preset time, and I havent yet gotten that desperate. And thats a mercy, I guess. The prospect of those theoretical midnight conversations, of the alien heat flooding the gap between us as that gap became smaller and smaller and smaller Im not ready to tread on such territory, much less the territory of the morning that would follow.
The raygun heat of the sunlight here melts the tension from my muscles almost before I can notice that its there, so Im usually putty upon the rocks and sand. Im not unstressed, though; my proximity to Shade prohibits my complete contentment, and punishes me instead with this aching, delirious ecstasy which I can barely tolerate. Parts of it I accept; other parts I pretend arent there. As Im torn apart hour after hour by this lifestyle that is the most effortless I have never known, or known to be possible, I do not drink. For one thing, I cant. Despite being twenty-one years old, I have no ID, and I no longer know anyone who will buy alcohol for me. For another, I dont want to. Im intrigued by my own exquisite suffering now; I get the feeling it might be worthwhile.
I keep my head clear so that I can see this situation through to its outcome.
Essentially, I dont want to fuck it up.