View Full Version : "Trapped" - Opening Section

January 11th, 2012, 11:54 AM
Hi everyone!

Below is the opening section of a short story that I'm currently working on entitled "Trapped". It is in first draft form so please don't get too hung up on grammatical or typographical errors (I've had a read through it to pick up any that I could find but there will always be a few rogue ones that slip through the net). Otherwise, I would be really interested to receive some feedback on it from Writing Forum members.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy it!


"Trapped" - Opening Section.

So, this was how it was going to end.

She reached past her own face, watching the dark, blurred outline of her hand intently as she did so, and touched her fingers gently to the pulsing ache above her right eyebrow. Wincing, she withdrew her fingers rapidly and inspected them to find what she already knew she would; the black crust of blood shimmered delicately in the early morning haze.

Light was starting to diminish the all-engulfing blackness that had filled the cab of the overturned pick-up and she assumed it must be around 4am. She had always refused to wear a watch, not wanting to be governed by something as entirely inflexible as time; now, more than ever before, she was glad that she didn’t. This was the kind of situation in which, had she been able to tell the time, it would have depressed her more than anything else as she waited for someone to find her.

She looked across to her daughter who lay on the velour lining of the interior roof of the cab, managing to define her shape against the relative lightness of the fabric for the first time since the truck had flipped onto its side and skidded down the embankment. It had rolled onto its roof as it travelled, the leaf-strewn grass providing no friction to slow the vehicles descent, before come to rest firmly wedged between two trees. It was these trees, she now discovered in that grey morning light, that had foiled her initial efforts to get the doors of the pick-up to open shortly after the accident. The nose of the truck was suspended not more than three inches from the muddy ground in front of the windscreen which had, surprisingly, survived the impact despite the actual roof of the cab having been flattened slightly and pushed towards the butt of the truck. This reduction in angle between nose and cab had resulted in a gap, she estimated, of maybe six inches at either side of the hood between the body of the pick-up and the earth of the forest floor. The cab itself had no rear glass. They were trapped; prisoners in the wreckage that she, herself, had created. Both subject only to the inevitable passing of time and positioned firmly in the palm of fate as they awaited rescue.

She forced thoughts of not being found from her head, trying to wash her mind clean from the mental image that she had formed of what the scene must look like from the outside. In her version, she and her daughter were dead inside that now rusting hulk of steel, emaciated, eyes milky grey with decay. She shook her head as if to shake out the pictures and the pain from her head wound lanced through her body once again. She sat, cross-legged on the roof lining of the cab. After they had come to a stop she had found herself suspended like some discarded and forgotten marionette doll, hanging almost entirely upside down from the driver’s seat and held there only by her seatbelt. Struggling to position her body into a position where she wouldn’t injur herself further during the drop, she had pushed the release button and fell into the bristly roof lining. She assumed that she must have blacked out for a time after the crash as her daughter was already out of her belt and sitting in the corner of the cab with her legs out in front of her. Her daughter hadn’t answered her calls but she could feel her little black buckle shoes and worked her way up from there; woollen tights, crimpled argyle-pattern skirt with the white frill hem, the zip of her nylon jacket. Resting her hand on her daughter’s stomach, she felt movement – breathing - and she let out the sigh of relief that only a Mother knew.

As the cloying darkness within the cab continued to slowly abate, disappearing into the dawn like a startled animal, she noticed that her daughter’s head had lolled to one side; it was pulling her body over at a strange angle. She could hear the gentle sound of her child’s sleeping breath, hoarsened slightly no doubt by the angle at which her head lay. Reaching out toward the legs of her child once again, she touched them gently, they were cold. Worrying about the potential of her daughter going into shock and the terrible after-effects that could have on her, she considered trying to wake her from her slumber; but what good would that really do for either of them? Perhaps sleep was the best thing for her daughter right now; anything to pass the time while they waited. If she had a jacket in the cab, a jumper or a blanket, anything that she could have used to cover her poor, cold daughter, she would have done. There was nothing, she knew it. On an Autumnal night like the one most recently passed, there was no need for people to carry winter clothing or emergency supplies with them on their journeys.

She would have gone to her daughter and held her, tried to pass some of what little remaining warmth she had in her body across to her; but she knew that she couldn’t. Her legs were crossed in front of her because that was the position that she had landed in, she knew that they were broken – the initial shooting pain had told her that much – and having dragged herself into a hunched, seated position, leaning back against the support pillar of the truck’s side window, gritting her teeth together to prevent from screaming out the pain that filled her core, she could move no more. They were together and they were close, yet they may as well have been in separate countries.

She closed her eyes, resting the back of her head uncomfortably against the lining of the truck’s door. Feeling the coolness of the first sheen of early morning dew forming on the smooth vinyl, a droplet of water dropped onto the nape of her neck. The simple shock of cold against the top of her spine caused a shiver to course through her body. She noticed for the first time that her breath was gently fogging in front of her face. Closing her eyes against the situation, she moved her head back against the door and tried to sleep.

< end of opening section >

There is more to this story and the synopsis is complete but I didn't want to over-do the pasting!

January 11th, 2012, 01:26 PM
I think your setting out of the scene is plausible and with well-judged detail. The characters seem believable, from what I've seen of them, and I think it's always a good sign when a piece can hold my attention without needing dialogue. I look forward to seeing where this is going.

January 11th, 2012, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the feedback Higurro. It's very much appreciated!

Bruce Wayne
January 13th, 2012, 10:49 AM
Hi mightyblues. I liked this peice, and I wonder if, as the story is titled 'Trapped', the whole of it be just the two characters struggling in thier situation or if you plan to include some sort of back story?
Any way there were a few little mistakes and rewording of sentences needed, for example: 'Struggling to position her body into a position where she wouldn’t injur herself further' doesn't really work for me, but that is to be expected as it is a first draft. With just a little time building on the description you already have, you could really make the reader feel as 'Trapped' as the characters.
But like the previous comment I also look forward to seeing where this story is going

January 13th, 2012, 04:05 PM
Hi Bruce Wayne, and thank you for your feedback. The idea is indeed that the two characters struggling in their situation is what forms the bones of the story; I wanted to achieve a sense of isolation so felt that bringing in too much back story could detract from that. It is a short story and none of my short stories so far have come in at over 5,000 words; it's not, therefore, in my current plan to expand on these characters beyond their current situation. At least not at the moment anyway!

I have been wondering about naming the characters recently. I never intended to give them names in the text but have been considering whether or not it would help to engage the reader in their plight. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

I'm glad that you enjoyed what was there, thanks also for the heads up on a couple of sentence structures. Like I mentioned in the original post, I went over the piece to pick out any errors that jumped out at me but there's always a couple that fall through the net!