View Full Version : Lamb: Chapter 1

Isaiah Lake
December 12th, 2010, 03:40 PM
This is a story I've been working on for a good while. I've actually written several chapters, but I didn't want to post any of it yet. It needs severe editing, and I will probably go back and change/ add a ton of and to it. I was just a bit anxious for a bit of feedback from people who are unbiased. Thanks and merry Christmas.

Isaac walked a bit faster past the small mud hut. He tried to ignore the screams of the woman and child inside. The sound made Isaac’s stomach churn. Isaac witnessed this sort of thing every day but this time his heart urged him to stop the madness. The woman continued to scream and scream. The sound of her thrashing around under the force of the man was too much too bare.
Isaac knew he should keep moving. He paused for a moment then admonished himself for being so foolish. But she kept screaming as that filthy piece of trash continued to violate her. Isaac heard a loud smack. He fought with himself to keep going but he couldn’t. Nor could he move to stop it. The crowd just pushed past Isaac, and a little boy wore a confused smirk as he stared at him.
Then a gunshot was heard. The child inside fell silent and tears ceased to flow from his eyes. The child made not another sound. Inside, the woman sobbed bitterly. Isaac just stood there. He stood there petrified and unable to do a thing. Soon grief was mixed with hatred and the woman cursed the man. She slapped him and shouted with the fury of a thousand damned souls.
A loud crack resonated from the hut and the shouting was reduced back to weeping. It was the kind of weeping that only comes from one who has given up hope and accepted that this is all that can come from life. Comforted by the thought of everything being over soon, she no longer struggled. She waited for that moment when it would all be over, and she would no longer have to feel anything. No more pain. No more suffering. All she would feel is the cold, sweet arms of death.
When the man was done he picked up his gun. Next he placed the muzzle upon the woman’s forehead. She smiled slightly at the thought of escape from the body. A tear rolled down the slender face of the woman as the man turned away tucking the gun into his belt. “Please” she whispered. The man paused for a second turned around and stared. Her eyes begged for the sweet release of death, and in his, nothing was to be found. He had no pity in his heart, not even enough to end the life of his pleading victim. So he continued out the door satisfied and without a second thought.
Isaac ducked behind a tree and waited until the man was out of site. He fell to his knees as he bared the guilt. After a moment Isaac picked up the things that he had salvaged from an abandoned home and continued on his way.
Isaac’s home was a shack made out of two by fours and some sheet metal nailed between trees. Above his small, straw bed hung an oil lantern rescued from the remains of an old grocery store. On the walls were several firearms. Guns were essential if you wanted to stay alive. In the dirt floor, there was a small trap door, which covered a compartment for ammunition. The walls were limbs weaved together with willow. Outside were a small garden and a lean-to for tools.
At home Isaac became troubled. He didn’t understand why humans were so vile. Had they lost all respect for what is right? Then he wondered, “What is right?” He didn’t know.
He proceeded to carry out his daily chores as the unanswered question made him ache inside. When he was done he went to the river. There he bathed and collected water. The walk home was long and Isaac was tired. He lived about half an hour’s walk from the river so that he would not be found by anyone using the water.
A deep sleep came upon Isaac when he returned. He slept for countless hours. He did not want to wake. He didn’t want to be brought back to life where women were raped as a part of someone’s daily pleasure. Children were used for target practice. Men were murdered to satisfy another’s thirst for blood. No matter how much Isaac didn’t want to wake, he did anyways.
Silence covered the forest. It rested over it like a blanket. Under the blanket fog crept through the skin of every inhabitant; be it human or animal. It was past time for breakfast and Isaac was ravenous. He ate the last of his provisions and was still hungry. He had eaten two apples, a pound of venison, and half a loaf of bread and after that he was still hungry so he picked whatever food had sprouted from his garden. There was a berry bush not far from Isaac’s home. It became the source of his attention. After the bush was picked clean Isaac still was not filled.
So as a small field mouse scurried by one boot, Isaac’s other came heavily down upon the tiny creature. He ate it without bothering to cook it and then washed it down with a swig of whiskey. Neither did the mouse fill Isaac. It seemed that he was bottomless. Isaac would not be filled with food. No matter how much he ate, the void would not be closed. This surpassed all of Isaac’s comprehension. What else could fill a man? If not food then what? There was a hole screaming to be filled.
A migraine suddenly consumed Isaac and everything seemed blurry. The blanket of silence fell and was replaced by a sharp ringing. The ringing was almost like the voice of squealing children. Darkness spilled over his eyes but they burned as if staring into the sun on a bright day.
As he fell to the ground he seemed to catch the image of a small lamb standing in front of him. The lamb was bleeding all over its body, but it didn’t cry out. It just stood there. Blood streamed down its face and the lamb just stood, looking at Isaac as if it pitied him. It didn’t even blink. The last thing he remembered before he hit the ground, was throwing up.
“Water,” he whispered with a hoarse voice. Isaac was drowning in thirst. His canteen had only a few drops left in it. He crawled to it, drained it, and suddenly became furious. He cursed everything he knew. He was living in this crappy shack and felt guilty every day as he stood and witnessed children being murdered, with the world around not giving a second thought to the waste of such precious life. And now he didn’t even have water to satisfy his hellish thirst! He would have to travel half an hour to the nearest source of water. His anger festered up in him in seconds, and it poured out of him. He tore down the rusted shelter and started throwing things with a childish temper. He kicked up his garden. “Why!” Isaac cried. Tears spilled down his cheeks.
Isaac took the now empty whiskey bottle and broke it against a rock. Blood covered his arm as he began to cut. Deeper and deeper, but he couldn’t get deep enough! He hated himself. The pain felt good but there wasn’t enough. Rain spewed from the sky and swept the blood from Isaac’s arms and the tears from his face. To the ground Isaac fell dropping the glass. On his back Isaac opened his mouth and let the sweet liquid satisfy his raging thirst. It rained for hours, and Isaac lay there thinking, crying, and pitying.
So he wrapped his arms in rags and took his canteens to the river and when he was home he sat in the pouring rain again, thinking. He thought about a lot of things. He just thought for the rest of the day, as he was drenched with rain. It wasn’t until dawn the next day that Isaac stopped thinking and undid what damage he had done to his home. He replaced the broken boards and nailed them to the same trees as before. Isaac placed the jagged metal on them and weaved some more walls. The plants were put back into the ground and things put back in their place.
Isaac went hunting that day. He took his 30-06. After about an hour he claimed a good-sized rabbit. The animal went into Isaacs green, canvas satchel and he kept hunting. Later, he spotted a white tail deer. It was drinking from a small pond. Ever so cautiously Isaac crept upon it. It was an enormous buck. He hadn’t had this much luck for months. The deer was startled at the sound of Isaac turning his safety off. It looked up and started to run and stumbled about three yards before it collapsed to the ground.
Isaac kept about a quarter of the meat. He also kept the hide for a blanket. He traded the rest of the deer and the rabbit hide in town. With the money, he bought some bread and socks from a merchant.
He was running low on ammunition and Isaac had to go out to find more. Isaac’s father had told him that there used to be a gun shop in Richardsville before the rise of the UWG (United World Government). The UWG confiscated all they found and the building was made to become a ghetto. What the UWG didn’t know was that there was a hidden cellar holding whatever the owner of the shop could hide without raising questions of what happened to the firearms when the UWG raided it. They killed the owner.
It was a three-day journey, there and back, and Isaac couldn’t be certain of success. He had to go.
Isaac plugged his nose as he walked past the mud hut again. Inside the hut was the woman. The rope around her neck was just barely thick enough to hold her. She had found her escape.
The first day of walking was longer than Isaac planned. Some UWG troops were staying in the town of Marxville for the night. It was a small town and Isaac hadn’t planned on them being there. Isaac was wanted for treason. If found, he would be arrested and hung on Sunday, with any other men and women found on accusations of treason. Isaac had previously worked for the UWG and he decided to quit. He disappeared. No longer could he fulfill the demands of such a vile people. Now he must live in hiding.
Isaac was forced to go around the city, which took him six miles out of his way. He didn’t stop that night because the UWG were so near. All night he hiked through the forest not daring to stop or even slow down. With eyes straining through the darkness Isaac bared the age-long night.
With nothing to do but walk, Isaac’s mind began to wander. He wanted to know why he was doing this. He was doing it to survive, but why did he need to survive. A feeling of meaningless was constantly upon him. Isaac just wanted to lie down and fall out of existence. What reason could he find to live his life? He determined that to answer that, he first must find out why life existed at all.
The cold, bitterness hit him like a train. “Why does life exist?” This question haunted him. It was the real question. The most important question Isaac had ever asked, but if the answer was the answer that Isaac expected, then nothing would be important at all. Why was he here? He feared the answer that was so apparent. If what he feared were true, then that would mean that the entire existence of mankind meant nothing. It would make no difference if mankind didn’t exist at all. Nothing Isaac ever did or ever will do had any meaning at all.
It would mean that the ultimate resolve to all answers is ‘nothing’. “Nothing.” The absolute and yet empty answer was ‘nothing’. He tried to imagine what nothing would look like but no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t.
The question went through his head one more time before he felt the bullet enter his back and pierce his right lung, him still trying to picture ‘nothing’. “Why does life exist?”

Isaiah Lake
December 13th, 2010, 10:24 PM
Would you be interested in reading more?

December 13th, 2010, 11:24 PM
There is a story here, Isaiah, and you should tell it, but you need to get a bit more of the boy/man into the story. You pov sways madly(this is not a hard thing to fix, but something that should be) for example, the mc walks past the hut, so gives an indication that he never looked or was inside. But you are giving the pov of the woman(with her emotions) and the man(with his actions) If the mc never went in, he can only assume what those noises were/who slapped who, if the baby was shot or just scared silent. your mc has to be there.

so just go through this, remember the mc, be the mc, don't vary. if you want to show whats going on, go inside, or have a window to see, or make it 3rd person.

The story is fine, but you just have to tighten this. Don't rush off to posting more, take a lot again at what you have here.

It is great to get feedback, but that is only one side of learning to improve. You have to give some, because then you are reading from the outside of a story. A lot of writers believe they don't have anything worth saying because of the experience of the other writer. This is not the case, if a writer wishes to learn, they will learn from everyone. And as a writer, you have an opinion worth sharing.

So look back, don't rush, refine your writing. Don't be discouraged by the lack of comments. This is a crazy time of year, and some sites critique/comment more than others. give it time :)

thanks for the read


Isaiah Lake
December 13th, 2010, 11:41 PM
It's already third person-omniscient. God sees all :shock:

December 14th, 2010, 12:04 AM
it is detached from the writer and so the reader.

December 14th, 2010, 01:06 AM
I think one thing you could do to improve this is to consider cutting out the excessive use of the name Isaac. In many places in the story, you don't need to tell us that it's Isaac, as that is already known. There are a few places where the wrong word is used, such as 'bare' instead of 'bear' or 'weaved' instead of 'woven'. Those are easy fixes.
I believe that Sync has a point about the detached feeling in the story. It sounds like good material for a story, it just needs to be cleaned up and tightened up a bit. :)

Isaiah Lake
December 14th, 2010, 10:54 PM
Thanks. I did notice the excessive use of Isaac's name when I read back through it. There is still a lot of work to be done. :)