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archeene
January 21st, 2012, 02:57 AM
Free writing short story for practice. Any stylistic critisms welcome
*


Everyone was looking forward to tonight. That is to say, everyone who knew what tonight was, and that was a privileged few. M however was not one of them. This would have been very unfortunate for her indeed, had her friend Elisabeth not been one of those who knew. Elisabeth insisted on dragging her along, although she stubbornly refused to reveal the destination. This too was for the best, for had Elisabeth told her friend that she was going to the most disgustingly dirty of bars imaginable, one so filthy that even the rats stayed outside in the gutter to keep clean, she surely would not have went. It was no surprise then that these were the exact sentiments brought to surface upon arrival.

"What? Oh no no." M warned, being hustled out of the car. "Unless you plan on burning this whole neighborhood for me, I can't imagine what I would enjoy doing here."
"Do you think we should?" Grinned Elisabeth. "I bet this place would light up like a torch. Although it might burn green, considering the materials."
"You told me we were going to a show! You're not into dog fights or.. or.. pig wrestling or anything are you?"

Elisabeth nodded in good humor. The kind of nod that one gives when they are irrevocably right about every decision they have ever made. The worst kind of nod. "Right you are." She agreed. "Maybe if we're lucky we can even see a dog wrestle a pig. Seriously though, this thing isn't easy to get into. Let's hurry, it'll be packed." With that Elisabeth raced on ahead toward what might be a door, or perhaps it was just a convenient hole in the wall that served as a door. It was awfully hard to tell in this place. M desperately looked around her for other options. She could go back to the car, wait here in the muck or follow her friend. Alright, now the muck was moving. Perhaps it was just a bum. That eliminates one option. Oh, and now he's rubbing himself against the car. That eliminates another one. Nothing for it. Grimacing lightly at every squelch, she navigated her way through the worst of the alley and followed her friend inside.

It would have been refreshing to get out of the alley if the inside of the place wasn't indistinguishable from the outside. M was even pretty sure that the same bum was now in here, gently stroking and whispering to one of the tables. Elisabeth popped up (she had the habit of appearing next to you as if emerging from a trap door) with two beers.
"I like adventures, don't you?" Elisabeth prompted. M laughed in spite of herself.
"What kind of horrible person would I be to say I don't like adventures? I'm just more used to watching them or reading about them wading knee deep through them."

"Trust me on this one." Elisabeth continued to nod, a wide eyed conspirator. "It really is a show, the best in the world!" Nevermind that Elisabeth had never been out of the state before. "Every month this magician comes to this bar, just this one. He does his bit, and then he's gone. Gone for another month, no one knows where. Just a puff of smoke on the breeze."

"He lives upstairs" came a husky voice from the bar. Elisabeth continued, unblinking and unperturbed.
"They say that he performs at just this bar because he is really a ghost. He haunts the place, but has to continue giving performances to honor a contract the reaches beyond the grave!"
"He does it to pay rent!" the bartender.
"And one day, when his otherworldly contract has been fulfilled, he will strike out and take revenge on all of the people who he was forced to perform for!" Elisabeth jerked out and grabbed M's hair, doing her very best impression of a very inflexible ghoul. Just as she did so, the lights went dark.

"Uh huh." M shook herself free. "And the light is out because the undead have sensitive eyes?" Sarcasm works better than whistling in the dark. It would have been quite unsettling though, had there not been so many holes in the roof and walls that adequate light continued to flow in from a nearby street lamp.

"Didn't pay the bill!" chimed the husky voice again, quite merry.
"Spoil sport" Growled Elisabeth, steering M away from the bar. "Shows going to start soon though, let's find a table." Shuffling awkwardly through the full room, they found a table near the front whose previous occupants were well into their alcohol induced naps. Elisabeth artlessly dumped one of the living corpses out of her chair and into a blissfully drooling puddle at her feet. M did likewise, although a bit more gently with the occasional "i'm sorry" mouthed for her own benefit. Table secured, M surveyed the stage.


*
Havne't gotten to the sandcastle yet..

Kevin
January 21st, 2012, 04:59 PM
Not bad "...dog wrestle pig.." that's good/funny. "..with every squeltch"- is squeltch a sound effect?.. is it like the noise your cleaning cloth makes when your rub a window?yechh! that's just wrong/funny. Settings - navigating around what? Bar is the same 'what' inside as the alley is.. "jerked out"...I know what you mean by this but you'll have to do better(jmo) The 'dumping of drunks from their seats in order to make room'...you might want to give a little more visual. At first read I'm getting that the one of the "corpses" is female...hmmm. Not bad, this. There like sitting there, all passed out. So, when you tip their chair, they sort slide right out, like a big drunken jelly fish. But then, you got this mumbling, gurgled, "body" underneath you, right where your gonna sit...so, then you gotta like, drag..so, maybe there's room for a little more expansion here? I think a slight physical description of characters, like..."stumbling in her broken down, six inch pumps, the bum lifted her filthy mini-skirt, which, with thighs like that, was way too short for her anyway..." (oh, sorry...)I mean, bums are people, too.. couple of typos...'the' for 'that', maybe some commas...

archeene
January 22nd, 2012, 06:53 AM
Appreciate it, but I'll save editing until I have something that deserves it. I'm not worrying about typos or grammatical errors at the moment. I'll try to add some visual clarity for further parts though.

Kevin
January 22nd, 2012, 04:51 PM
Appreciate it, but I'll save editing until I have something that deserves it. I'm not worrying about typos or grammatical errors at the moment. I'll try to add some visual clarity for further parts though.

Hey, it was just one opinion. Hope it was helpful. I always worry about stickin' my finger in other people's pots...too many cooks, etc. Anyway, it's your story. There's some funny stuff in there.
also: presented as too trivial, they won't bother with it, either. Button it's shirt, comb the hair. (you're out in public here)

oornelakes
February 10th, 2012, 03:47 AM
Hi - just a couple things that struck me.

Seems like you could rework the 2 sentences below to make them sound less awkward, more direct.
"It was no surprise then that these were the exact sentiments brought to surface upon arrival."
"The kind of nod that one gives when they are irrevocably right about every decision they have ever made."

"'Do you think we should?' Grinned Elisabeth." People usually speak words, not grin them.

"Elisabeth popped up (she had the habit of appearing next to you as if emerging from a trap door) with two beers." It might sound less awkward if you said Elizabeth popped up like a trap door.

Enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.