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Kathryn Cull
January 13th, 2011, 07:01 AM
The dust blew hard against my face from the dirt road I knew I should find to guide me away. But my eyes where inspecting something else; just in the distance, on top a hill and surrounded by prairie grass and yarrow there was a red striped tent. It was the largest tent I had ever seen, but still it didn’t alarm me. The fly of the tent was pegged into the dry ground and little yellow flags flapped in the wind as they hung from the ropes. It was so silent, not even the wind made a whistle as I would expect it to.
I felt the wind on my wrists and looked down to realize that I was walking forward, towards the abnormally placed tent. I couldn’t feel myself moving yet I was watching my feet take slow, barefooted steps. The rocks under my feet didn’t hurt and the grass on my knees only pulled at my flannel pants, nothing seemed to affect me in this dream world.
I knew I wasn’t anywhere near my own home or sanity, but I wasn’t panicked and to my surprise there was not a touch of anxiety in me. The wind was begging to be warm now, blowing more gently against my face and brushing my hair behind my back. I kept walking.
I was only a few steps away from the tent now, anticipation tingled in my bones. I suddenly realized that I wanted nothing more than to be in that tent, my mind was decided like a preying animal. But, something was happening that I hadn’t noticed with my excitement for the mysterious tent; the sky above me had gone a blank grey tone and it seemed as though all colour had been sucked from the world. Even the colours of the waving flags that where, from a distance vibrant and beautiful appeared now faded and dull like a contrasted picture.
My brows furrowed, I felt my face making an expression of confusion. I stepped forward, this time feeling the temperature drop as I got closer to my goal. Suddenly when I had expected my foot to land on the usual rocks and grass that had been in my path, my entire leg seemed to drop below the surface of the ground. Before I could help it, panic was coursing through my veins as I dangled from the long weeds on the edge of the awful hole I had fallen victim of. My feet kicked at the dirt and roots, trying to grasp a solid ledge. I shoved my toes with a force I didn’t know I had into the damp mud and took another handful of grass. Much to my horror, as if in an all too cliché film, the grass began pulling out at the roots, I was frantically pulling at random bits of plants, each piece pulling out easier than the last as if someone has loosened them all.
Before my mind could even grasp all the happenings; I felt weightless and I no longer was clinging to the edge of the hole. Only, I wasn’t floating. I was falling freely, unable to grab a hold of safety. I scrunched my eyes closed and prayed that there really wasn’t a bottom to the pit.
Lurching forward in a flashing fear of my mind I realized that I safe. My blankets too tangled around my body to fall off my bed. I raked my hands through my hair, pulling it off my face and sighed out a long deep breath. These dreams where finishing me. I didn’t sleep more than three hours at a time and it had been like this for months now.
I got up, there was no getting back to sleep now anyways.

Part I – The begging of the end.
I was sitting at the table alone in the dark, waiting for the kettle to boil when I finally realized what the scent was that was bothering me. I had incense burning last night and now my entire room and my pajamas smelled like that mix of marijuana and dust. It wasn’t an unpleasant smell, just overwhelming I suppose.
I rested my head on my hands as I drifted in and out of sleep. I longed for that childish memory of going to bed when your parents yelled ‘bed time’. But that was all gone. Now, I couldn’t stop or control anything, I just lived. It was as simple as that, I simply lived by what I wanted but I still let my rules tortured why I did it. Why couldn’t I just forget the rules? I wish.
The sound of the boiling kettle was more ferocious at this time of morning; it must have only been about three A.M. I swore under my breath and wandered in a sleepy daze to the stove. Everything was so quiet and almost peaceful at times like this. I knew why. It was because there was no one awake to bother or belittle me. I had that feeling of being able to be my own person, to do whatever I wanted. But I knew it was just a feeling. I poured a cup of tea and put the cozy over it to steep.
As I retired to the table, steaming tea cup in hand, a chill snaked up my spine. I set my mug on the table in front of me and noticed that my hand was shaking uncontrollably. I snapped my hand back to my body and tried to relax into the chair.
I sipped my tea slowly, suddenly feeling alone and almost frightened. I was never frightened when I was alone, but for some reason now I-,
“Girl” a voice clouded my mind. It wasn’t around me, it was in me. I shook my head; that was impossible, those sorts of things only happened in my dreams. I was awake, or so I told myself.
“Don’t ignore me” The voice was back. I felt like screaming, this was absolutely not happening! No. I wouldn’t let it. I took a long drink of my hot tea, humming an irritating show tune under my breath to distract my mind. I was just into the second chorus of Oklahoma when I felt another shiver that left me silent. I paused for an extended minute, cup in hand and my jaw dropping slightly. The room seemed even more silent and even darker suddenly.
“You!” the voice came sharp and fast along with a blast of cold air that blew my hair away from my face. My free hand flew to my face, covering my eyes. This is was absolutely insane. I would not-no. I couldn’t let this happen. This wasn’t a dream; I can control my own world.
I laid my hand on my lap, took a deep breath, counted to ten and slowly opened my eyes. Nothing. There was nothing, just the shadowy shape of the stove and a kitchen chair in front of me. I set my mug on my lap and did a swift check over my shoulder. Sighing, I turned around properly again but I quickly wished I hadn’t.
There, before me stood a figure that most definitely was not there when I had turned around. I jumped about three feet off my seat; my steaming mug went flying from my hand and crashed into the window behind me with a bone chilling clang-crash as the cup shattered into a thousand pieces.
My jaw was shaking uncontrollably as I cowered in the corner, only half aware of where I was. But Through all my panic the only question that repeated itself was “WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO YOU!?”
“I’m not a hallucination” The figure spoke. It sure as hell was starting to convince me. I looked passively at the speaker. I really couldn’t tell if it were a male or female that I was speaking to, but its voice hinted towards it being female. It wore tight black pants and a shinny unbuttoned waistcoat over a white blouse. It certainly didn’t dress as if it belonged in this era, but there was still something edgy to the way it looked. Its hair was black, like mine, only mine was obviously died, its hair was stark black and short, hanging just over its ears, shielding half its pale face and spiking up in random places. It was completely non-gender but somehow, absolutely beautiful.
I opened my mouth to speak, but as I did, its head turned to face me completely and its dark eyes peered straight into my own. I suddenly lost the ability to speak. I knew it had to be just a hallucination, but it seemed too real, so vivid. Its eyes didn’t move, only held my stare gently.
“Are you just going to ignore me?” its voice was smooth and calm.
I shook my head, my eyes scrunching shut as my hands pulled at my hair in frustration. It couldn’t be real….Could it?
“I-I-,” my voice shook awfully when spoke so that it had to cut me off.
“I need you,” it held its hand out to me, its fingers where long and feminine with black nails “To come with me”
My mouth opened then, only I didn’t speak. I screamed; a blood curdling scream so loud that even it had to cover its ears.
I jumped up then and ran faster than I ever thought possible. My bare feet slipped on the hardwood as I managed to speed past the recoiling figure as it covered its ears in pain. I didn’t stop running until I felt my door slam behind me. I collapsed against the back of my door, a poster ripping under me. But I didn’t move. I wasn’t even sure that I was breathing, only repeating the same thing over and over without though ‘I’m safe in here, I’m safe in here, I’m safe in here….’

“Aryn!” Keenan’s voice was beaming through the old rafters of the house before my eyes where even open. I rolled over with a groan and felt something sharp in my rib cage. I jumped up, pulling my hair off my face to realize where I was. I was on the floor in my bedroom, staring at the end of my messily-made bed.
“Aryn! Are you awake yet?” Keenan’s small voice was getting bigger as I heard him approach my door.
“Keenan, stop where you are!” I yelled as I heard his hand rest on the door knob. I shook my head and rubbed my eyes wondering how the hell I got to sleep on the hardwood floor without any blankets.
“Aryn, Mum says come now or-,”
“Keenan, I know!” My voice cracked as I interrupted him. Then there was silence. I heard his hand slip off the door handle and the sound of his booted feet tracking away from my door. I was safe.
I rolled over stiffly, sighing deeply. My eyes shut again, drifting back to sleep until a flash back of last night ran through my mind. I shot straight up, not even noticing the paralyzing pain in my shoulder for a second. I pulled my hair off my face and rested against the door, wishing to go back to sleep.
My eyes opened then and I realized that I was staring down at the poster I had ripped last night. Only, it wasn’t torn. I stood back to inspect it. No rips, not even a wrinkle.
I rubbed my eyes and banged my head on the door, none too gently. Was it just another one of my awful dreams? It couldn’t have been…I woke up on the floor…-,
Something dawned on me then. I was crazy.
Panic coursed through me, my veins burned and my stomach twisted into an elaborate pretzel of anxiety. This couldn’t be happening.
I could feel the sickening silence of being alone through the door. I wanted anything but to be alone.
“You’re not really alone.” It was that voice.
My sweating hands crumpled the poster beneath them and all my muscles tensed. I would have blinded myself if it meant that I wouldn’t have to turn around and see that haunting figure again.
I felt a cold breeze on my back, all my hairs standing on end. It was here.
Suddenly there was a foreign weight between my shoulder blades. It was cold, and stiff. A hand.
I spun around, my arms flying out to strike the figure’s hand. But there was no one there; only my own mind.
Something snapped then, something that hadn’t snapped before. I opened my door and shakily tiptoed to the kitchen.
I stood before the stove again, with a blank and distant stare on my face. I pulled a drawer open, the sound of the utensils clanging in the shaking silence. I heard the scream of a cooking knife as I took it out of its plastic sheath. My eyes didn’t watch my hands.
“YOU BASTARD!” I screamed, knowing no one would hear me. “IF YOU’RE REAL, YOU’LL STOP ME!”
My voice dropped a tone “If you need me, you’ll prevent me from doing this”
I held the knife over the inside of my wrist. Gathering the furry that I knew I felt, I slowly began lowering the knife to my arm. “STOP ME!” I screamed again, burning tears begging to run down my face and throat.
Then, the knife dropped to my wrist and sliced a clean single wound. My eyes, swollen with tears, instantly dropped to my bleeding arm. Tears fell from my face and stung the open cut. But before I could realize what I was doing the knife had cut another wound, and then another. A long scream flew from my lips. I couldn’t stop myself. “STOP ME!” I was screaming again, my tears muffling my voice. I took my eyes from my burning, bleeding wrist “YOU BASTARD! HELP ME!”, “STOP ME”
I looked down at my wrist again, swollen wounds covering the inside of my arm, blood soaking the ground and everything around me. The knife struck violently again, blood bubbling to the surface. I felt faint and my knees where begging to wobble. I took a step backwards to stabilize myself but I only started falling forwards again. I felt the knife strike again, this time expanding to the top of my arm. I could feel myself falling but I couldn’t see the world clearly. Then it disappeared. I could feel the floor beneath me as I hit the ground and I heard as the knife crashed to the ground above my head just before, it all went too black to stay awake.
A cough was echoing in the distance, loud enough to make me lift my head. Then it was silent. I was standing in the field again. Only now, a small bush took the place of the tent. I craned my neck to better inspect the bush, not wanting to take even a single step further. I noticed something then; the bush appeared to have something in the shape of a tag around its waist. Despite myself I took a step forward. Nothing happened. I took another step and then another, each one gaining more and more speed until I was running at the tagged bush. I stopped suddenly, without so much as breaking a sweat.
I looked down to the bush at my feet. It was larger than it looked from a distance, and rounder. But there was indeed, a single tag around it. I reached down and held the tag up so that I could read it. The words on it where written in tiny cursive letters, I strained my eyes to read it. And there on the simple surface of the tiny tag that looked almost like an elaborate calling card was nearly an entire paragraph. I began reading it aloud;
‘Through barred teeth you’ll find pain. But through pain you’ll find that you often stumble on death…this bothers us for reasons we don’t know. Do we have to die? What if we didn’t?’
I dropped the tag and stared down at it. A ring rang through the air, pounding on my temples.
Why did we have to die? The question kept repeating itself but my mind was too foggy to process it properly.
There was a sudden change of weather then; the sky seemed to be twisting into dark knots and small pelts of rain where begging to soak my hair. I stood still, water dripping down my face.
It was a sort of a hopeless feeling I had then. What was I to do? Leave? Run? I couldn’t do any of it.
“Girl” that voice again; anxiety heightened to a point where I could barely recognize it.
“Get up” the voice had cut through my sleep and my dream was left visionless.
“GIRL!” it was booming now and becoming very impatient. I wanted to tell it to shut up, but I couldn’t talk, there was nothing for me to talk to.
“Get up!” now I felt it. Pulling me to consciousness; I could see a small shimmer, outlined by my eyelids. I blinked.
There it was. Only this time I didn’t panic or scream; I only stayed where I was.
It smiled at me, flashing bright sharp canine teeth. I shivered.
“Go away.” I managed to whisper.
It shook its head of spiky black hair, an even larger grin appearing. “You shouldn’t have done that” Its lips moved more slowly than the words seemed to reach my ears. I was suddenly lost watching its expressions.
It reached out and took hold of my wrist. I gasped, my free hand flying to my mouth. It touched me. It actually touched me. A hallucination couldn’t reach out and touch me.
My wrist was bandaged from my hand to my elbow and the blood seemed to have already soaked completely through it. It turned my wrist over and made a sort of a tsk-tsk sound.
“Who are you?” My voice seemed to have returned.
“Forgive me. Have I not said?”
“No.” My mind was processing my words faster now “You haven’t”
“That’s because it’s better if you don’t know”
I made an exasperated sound and pulled my arm back to myself. “Then,” I paused, noticing that it was wearing something different; black pants and a very normal black hoody. I didn’t think a hallucination could change their clothes, and then again, I didn’t think that they could talk either.
“Then,” I repeated myself “what are you?”
It laughed, rocking backwards and slapping its knee lightly. I smirked; it definitely wasn’t that amusing. “I am not a hallucination. But I am not from this world, either”
I rolled my eyes. “You really expect me to believe that you’re from a different world?”
It nodded. I sighed again; I was probably taking the wrong approach.
“Ok.” I sat up in bed, making room for it to move closer as it sat at my feet “If you really are from a different world – which is highly unlikely – How did you get into this world?”
“I came looking for you” it spoke so simply, as if I should know that “besides, I did come stop you, I believe that was supposed to prove something.”
“You didn’t stop me! I nearly killed myself” My hands flew up beside me.
“Don’t you think that’s just a bit too dramatic?” it chuckled, the way a bully chuckles when he takes your lunch kit. “I am real, Aryn.”
“You know my name?” I was vaguely taken aback, as if it had deeply offended me.
“I know more than that.” It paused, inspecting me “But we have little time. Will you come with me, or no?”
I looked around the room, my familiar posters and clothes lying around. I shook my head and mumbled “no” I instantly regretted it.
It stood, not breaking its glare at me.
“I don’t think you’re real. I just need some intensive care and medication….then I’ll be better-,”
“Do you know what I think?” it spoke slowly again.
I shook my head.
“I think you don’t believe.”
Then it was gone. It didn’t go up in a poof of dust or vanish; it was just suddenly, not there.
My hands tugged at my hair again and I could feel hot tears begging to soak my face. A sharp sting burned my bandaged arm, but I dared not look at it. What could I do? I wanted to sleep; to go sleep and never ever have to wake up again. But that was out of the picture. I had to keep going.
I lay there, huddled under my blankets in my unlit room for a while; everything running through my mind. I was sure that somewhere inside of me I was dying of anxiety, but I couldn’t feel anything anymore.
I found myself in the middle of a dilemma that I had somehow found myself in before. I had to make a decision. Was it or was real or rather, a reaction to being mentally insane?
I thought on that simple question for a while, making one decision at a time was easiest when I was in this state. Why did I find this so damn hard?
I thought the question over and over until my lips where unconsciously mouthing the words in my head. I wanted to believe it. I didn’t know why, but I did.
I saw how easy it would be to make the decision; really wanted to just say ‘I believe’. I wasn’t sure what I expected to happen when I did, but somehow I was sure it would be more exciting than making the decision to commit myself to an asylum.
I hadn’t made a decision so easily for years; though it seemed, at the moment I had made one without even knowing. I had believed all along.

“Aryn!” I heard the front door creak open. Panic took the place of my joy for my new found decision making skills instantaneously. I had to hide my bandaged arm and for a moment it consumed my mind.
I sprung out of bed, feeling oddly self-confident and pulled on the largest hoody I owned, tugging the long hoody sleeves over my hands and wincing with a gasp as it rubbed on my bandage I made my bed and turned my iPod speakers on. Making my-self look casual and forcedly nonchalant I rushed to my bedroom door and stuck my head out. “You guys are back already?” I asked cheerily.
My Mum stopped at the door, still wearing her coat she turned to face me with a smile “I’m surprised you’re out of bed. You sound like you’re in a good mood?” She was suspicious. Out of all things my mother was, she definitely not stupid.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I said suddenly hoping to hell that the kitchen was in a clean, blood-free state.
She smiled, more forcedly and watched my face intently as she slowly inched her way towards the kitchen door. I smiled back and disappeared into my bed room again.
I turned my iPod off with a curse at how loud it was and collapsed on my bed. It all came back again. Was I serious? Or REALLY crazy?
How could I believe this!? It was ridiculous. But still, something made it so easy to believe. I just couldn’t trust myself. I curled up into a ball, my arms wrapped around my legs as I began shaking. Believing a hallucination? Had I been lowered to this?
I had told myself that I believed it, but I was still denying it. I needed a break from my mind. Maybe I and my brain could take separate vacations.
“You should trust yourself” Damn. It was back.
I sat up. It was sitting at the end of my bed again, staring at me with wide curious black eyes.
“What do you want?” I asked exasperatedly.
“For you to calm down-,”
“No.” I interrupted it “What do you actually want with me?”
It chuckled. “I want you.”
I shivered. That was not a pleasant thought. “Not until I know what and who you are”
“That’s why you intrigue me” His face dropped “I’ll tell you all about me, if you promise me something”
“What is it?” I leaned against the wall, bunching my blankets over me for warmth.
“I can’t tell you. Just promise”
I hesitated. But then again if I was just promising a hallucination, what would it matter if I broke it? “Ok” I said.
It smiled, probably knowing what I was thinking already. “Where do I start?”

Johnathanrs
January 15th, 2011, 10:34 AM
My Comments
Information that isn't needed that needs to be re-written or omited.


The dust blew hard against my face from the dirt road I knew I should find to guide me away. But my eyes where inspecting something else; just in the distance, on top a hill and surrounded by prairie grass and yarrow there was a red striped tent. It was the largest tent I had ever seen, but still it didn’t alarm me. The fly of the tent was pegged into the dry ground and little yellow flags flapped in the wind as they hung from the ropes. It was so silent, not even the wind made a whistle as I would expect it to.(Show don't tell. A example, "It was so silent" show me this, don't tell me this.)

I felt the wind on my wrists and looked down to realize that I was walking forward, towards the abnormally placed tent. I couldn’t feel myself moving yet I was watching my feet take slow, barefooted steps. The rocks under my feet didn’t hurt and the grass on my knees only pulled at my flannel pants, nothing seemed to affect me in this dream world. (What is the point of this information to your reader?)

I knew I wasn’t anywhere near my own home or sanity, but I wasn’t panicked and to my surprise there was not a touch of anxiety in me. The wind was begging to be warm now, blowing more gently against my face and brushing my hair behind my back. I kept walking.

I was only a few steps away from the tent now, anticipation tingled in my bones. I suddenly realized that I wanted nothing more than to be in that tent, my mind was decided like a preying animal. But, something was happening that I hadn’t noticed with my excitement for the mysterious tent; the sky above me had gone a blank grey tone and it seemed as though all colour had been sucked from the world. Even the colours of the waving flags that where, from a distance vibrant and beautiful appeared now faded and dull like a contrasted picture.(You need to stick to the same tense. Are you limited or omniscient? For your narration voice.)


To be honest, this has too many problems. You need a lot of trimming, and a better grasp on grammar fundamentals. I re-wrote a portion for you, each highlighted area is a trimming of what you wrote.(Which works with grammar and sentence structure.)

The dust blew hard against my face. A famaliar dirt road guided me, my eyes, fixated to a hill top surrounded by prairie grass and a bloom of yarrow. There a large red stripped tent caught my attention. The silence was perplexing.

I also tried to give you some examples of where you were going into too much detail. Remember to get to the point of your story. Only go into character feeling or depth if there is a purpose to do so.

Grammar: You need a lot of work. Start at basics with grammar sites that teach fundamentals. Your goal should be to get to the point where your grammar can still be followed, even with mistakes, that does not take away from reading your material. (Editors will correct your mistakes, but you need your material to the point where the story can still be followed.)

Voice/Style: You need to figure out what tense and viewpoint you are talking in. You are not at the level yet of identifying style.

Flow/Structure: Your pacing is average. However, you keep identifying your MC. Stop typing "I" so much and write a story not a script. You need to write more fluid paragraphs and remember white spacing. I didn't see a problem with transitions.

Story Itself: I am unable to judge, cut off at a point. Too many problems that need addressing first.

(This critique is my own and is not a repersentation of the community. Keep all opinions open.)

++I forgot to mention one important thing. Do not use use italics like that. Italics are used to emphasize something important or used as a effect. Example of a effect. "I HATE YOU!" This is unprofessional, the author needs to emphasize yelling so, "I hate you!"

Olly Buckle
January 15th, 2011, 12:02 PM
In several places you have begging for beginning and where for were.

Also furry for fury.