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View Full Version : "Things in Common" First Short Story Post :)



saintenitouche
March 22nd, 2012, 08:07 AM
Sorry, I forgot, This has "adult content" in it!

I tripped into the paralyzing white box floating at the top of the stairs; out of place in a house in the dark grip of sleep. My bare knees met the tile, uncharacteristic whimpers dropping out of my mouth. Tight as a length of rope, I occupied the mint rug in the middle of the floor, fading in and out of consciousness. I waited for each separate eruption to quell inside my stomach; coming to with every gush of blood, lapsing back into a stupor just as the warmth began creeping into the polyester fibers.
My eyes, finally reacting to the neon whiteness, began sending messages to my befuddled brain. I dragged myself the five feet to the toilet, stripping clothing as I went, bearing skin now scarlet.
I peeled apart my sticky thighs; every drop met and dived beneath the water, spreading like red smoke. It took only moments for clarity and pristine cleanliness to become a pit of black beneath a miniature ruby-red sea.
Peering into the fleshy water, aching for cleanliness, I threw myself onto the edge of the tub. I felt for the taps, noticing nothing but the brightness and the goosebumps all over my nakedness as I crawled over the cold porcelain into the empty container. My teeth met repeatedly in a frozen, hectic chatter.
Then came the water; it creeped up from underneath. The water rose, my skin caught fire. I felt a slight hysteric pleasure as my nerves protested. I marveled at my body’s ability to produce still more blood, as a wet suit of angry red skin stretched itself bitterly over my submerged form. The heat lapped away at the gory coating between my legs. I watched the steam twirl upward, away from my body, carrying with it the quasi undetectable stench of life.

A strange mixture of noises- a plastic vibration battling with cloth and counter- told me I was awake. An incalculably fractioned portion of time after, logic told me I had fallen asleep. I pulled the drain, wrenched a towel from the curtain rod and barely hid myself inside it before throwing myself back onto the bathroom floor. The persistent vibration clattered to the linoleum louder than a gunshot in my disorientation. I grabbed it without taking my dark, damp head off of the cold, bright floor.
“Diga?”
“Hey.”
“Oh, it’s you.” I said this as if I didn’t know. There was no one that would call me at whatever awful time of night it was.
“Were you expecting someone else?”
“Not honestly; I was sleeping. What’s the matter?”
“I wanted to see if the medicine kicked in yet.” I sat back and enjoyed the delirium in his silence. I took a moment to stick a whole role of toilet paper between my legs. “Well?”
“It’s working like a charm, Charlie. Like a friggen charm. Can I get back to bed, now? I was having such good dreams.”
“You don’t sound like you were sleeping.”
“Well, you’ve woken me up.”
“Look, am I supposed to go to that thing tomorrow? Because I’ve got-”
“Charlie, we talked about this. What d’you want, my mother to drive me? I have no idea what will happen if I don’t go tomorrow. It probably won’t work out.”
“You’re always so pessimistic. You took the medication, didn’t you?”
Giving up, I totally disregarded my towel, inching over to the cabinet. I shook various bottles, searching for a promising reputation as I listened to the crackle of the phone lines in my ear.
“Look, Charlie-” I began, trying to get him to concede. “you can give me a ride tomorrow, can’t you? It’s just a ride.”
“Yeah.” he said as I finally found a little orange bottle labeled “Vicodin”. I squeezed open the bottle, my fingers brittle, put my mouth directly under the tap (I didn’t trust myself with the glass) and swallowed a few. The plastic taste of chalky egg shell was left behind in my mouth, I wretched. The phone crossed the length of the room with me, skidding the floor. I found my face inches from the bloody toilet water; I added my stomach to the brew. White capsules here and there, never destined for my blood.
I wiped my mouth on my tattered towel, fixing the dislodged role of toilet paper in the process. I took my time to retrieve the phone glowing in the corner where the dust lives.
“Hello?” My voice was rough and cold, all my optimism now floating in the toilet.
“-did you just puke?” he sounded ill and distant.

I sighed.
“Let me tell you something Charlie, All the women in the world have one thing in common.”
“....What’s that?”
“We can take it when someone pukes. Goodnight, Charlie. I-will-see-you-tomorrow.”
“Goodn-” I skipped hanging up, and shut the phone off entirely.


I went back to the cabinet and grabbed the bottle of Vicodin, took double what I should have, risked the glass and sat back against the wall, naked and considering the awful purity.


“And I will see you the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day.....”

tolleburg
March 22nd, 2012, 03:31 PM
Very good use of imagery. I enjoyed the story thoroughly. Dialogue was well put together. One spelling mistake i caught---toilet paper "role" should be "roll'....

Great job! Keep writing....

saintenitouche
March 22nd, 2012, 06:12 PM
One spelling mistake i caught---toilet paper "role" should be "roll'....


Ahaha, leave it to me. Thanks for your feedback!

felix
March 22nd, 2012, 09:45 PM
I tripped into the paralyzing white box floating at the top of the stairs; out of place in a house in the dark grip of sleep. My bare knees met the tile, uncharacteristic whimpers dropping out of from my mouth. Tight as a length of rope, There, I occupied the mint rug in the middle of the floor, fading in and out of consciousness. I waited for each separate eruption to quell inside my stomach;, coming to with every each gush of blood, lapsing back into a stupor just as the warmth began creeping into the polyester fibers.
My eyes, finally reacting to harshthe neon whiteness glare, began sending messages to my befuddled brain. I dragged myself the five feet to the toilet, stripping clothing as I went, bearing skin now scarlet.
I peeled apart my sticky thighs;, every drop met and dived beneath the water, spreading like red smoke. It took only moments for clarity and pristine cleanliness to become a pit of black beneath a miniature ruby-red sea.
Peering into the fleshy water, aching for cleanliness, I threw myself onto the edge of the tub. I felt for the taps, noticing nothing but the brightness and the goosebumps all over my nakedness as I crawled over the cold porcelain into the empty container. My teeth met repeatedly in a frozen, hectic chatter.
Then came the water; it creeped crept up from underneath. The water rose, my skin caught fire. I felt a slight hysteric pleasure as my nerves protested. I marveled at my body’s ability to produce still more blood, as a wet suit of angry red skin stretched itself bitterly over my submerged form. The heat lapped away at the gory coating between my legs. I watched the steam twirl upward, away from my body, carrying with it the quasi undetectable stench of life.

A strange mixture of noises- a plastic vibration battling with cloth and counter- told me I was awake. An incalculably fractioned portion of time after, logic told me dictated that I had fallen asleep. I pulled the drain, wrenched a towel from the curtain rod and barely hid myself inside it before throwing myself back onto the bathroom floor. The persistent vibration clattered to the linoleum louder than a gunshot in my disorientation. I grabbed it without taking my dark, damp head off of the cold, bright floor.
“Diga?”
“Hey.”
“Oh, it’s you.” I said this as if I didn’t know hadn't known. There was no one that would call me at whatever awful time of night it was.
“Were you expecting someone else?”
“Not honestly; I was sleeping. What’s the matter?”
“I wanted to see if the medicine kicked in yet.” I sat back and enjoyed the delirium in his silence. I took a moment to stick a whole role roll of toilet paper between my legs. “Well?”
“It’s working like a charm, Charlie. Like a friggen charm. Can I get back to bed, now? I was having such good dreams.”
“You don’t sound like you were sleeping.”
“Well, you’ve woken me up.”
“Look, am I supposed to go to that thing tomorrow? Because I’ve got-”
“Charlie, we've talked about this. What d’you want, my mother to drive me? I have no idea what will happen if I don’t go tomorrow. It probably won’t work out.”
“You’re always so pessimistic. You took the medication, didn’t you?”
Giving up, I totally disregarded my towel, inching over to the cabinet. I shook various bottles, searching for a promising reputation as I listened to the crackle of the phone lines in my ear.
“Look, Charlie-” I began, trying to get him to concede. “you can give me a ride tomorrow, can’t you? It’s just a ride.”
“Yeah.” he said as I finally found a little orange bottle labeled “Vicodin”. I squeezed open the bottle, my fingers brittle, put my mouth directly under the tap (I didn’t trust myself with the glass) and swallowed a few. The plastic taste of chalky egg shell was left behind in my mouth,. I wretched. The phone crossed the length of the room with me, skidding across the floor. I found my face inches from the bloody toilet water; I added my stomach's content to the brew. White capsules here and there, never destined for my blood.
I wiped my mouth on my tattered towel, fixing the dislodged role roll of toilet paper in the process. I took my time to in retrieveing the phone glowing in the corner, where the dust lives.
“Hello?” My voice was rough and cold, all my optimism now floating in the toilet.
“-did you just puke?” He sounded ill and distant.

I sighed.
“Let me tell you something Charlie. All the women in the world have one thing in common.”
“....What’s that?”
“We can take it when someone pukes. Goodnight, Charlie. I-will-see-you-tomorrow.”
“Goodn-” I skipped hanging up, and shut the phone off entirely.


I went back to the cabinet and grabbed the bottle of Vicodin, took double what I should have, risked the glass and sat back against the wall, naked and considering the awful purity.


“And I will see you the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day.....”

This piece had a great use of vocabulary and a tight story. I think that semi-colons were misused, or overused, but that's a minor detail.

Good work. :)

saintenitouche
March 22nd, 2012, 10:01 PM
Thank your for the reply! The story is for a magazine and a class portfolio so the editing is sincerely appreciated ^_^ Grammar is my demon, haha, but it's something I am working on and I need to practice to get better! Thank your for your time and encouragement!

Gery Pap
March 25th, 2012, 01:23 PM
Very good use of dialogue. :D
And you're awesomely good with metaphors. Keep it up, I really enjoyed it. Nice work. :D

saintenitouche
March 25th, 2012, 09:06 PM
Very good use of dialogue. :D
And you're awesomely good with metaphors. Keep it up, I really enjoyed it. Nice work. :D

thank you very much! ^_^

Jon M
March 25th, 2012, 10:05 PM
This story seemed very labored to me, as if every line is trying to be great. It reminds me of my first experiences with prose after having written poetry for so long. Every one of my lines was worked to the point that it could have been a line in a poem, and that is the feeling I get reading this. Obviously it has some good phrases / word combinations, as I would expect from any poet dabbling in prose, but in my opinion it needs to be toned way down. The first part of this seemed unnecessarily oblique and quite heavy on description. Admittedly, I couldn't be bothered with this after the second paragraph because it felt like there was no clear story here, just a lot of pretty words. The second half is where it begins to feel like a story to me, more like 'typical' prose.

Do you write prose often? I'm curious because this really reminds me of my early struggles to turn off the poetry side of my brain and learn how to write clean, coherent prose that doesn't try too hard. It was tremendously difficult because poetry, as you probably know, is such a condensed art form; prose isn't like that, though. It's slower, like a glacier, and its power doesn't come from literary fireworks, but the cumulative effect.

saintenitouche
March 25th, 2012, 10:42 PM
Do you write prose often? I'm curious because this really reminds me of my early struggles to turn off the poetry side of my brain and learn how to write clean, coherent prose that doesn't try too hard. It was tremendously difficult because poetry, as you probably know, is such a condensed art form; prose isn't like that, though. It's slower, like a glacier, and its power doesn't come from literary fireworks, but the cumulative effect.

Thanks for your reply! :D
Yeah, I actually do write prose a lot U_U, 'bout as much as poetry. All short stories lol . But what I post here is usually are the embryonic stages of publication or submission of some kind. Like, either it's being requested of me for a class or for a literal publication, so I'm just beginning to edit. I get better reviews for my prose, to be honest. And I fully understand what you mean about turning the poetry off. It's hard sometimes! I'm trying at the moment to learn how to emphasize certain things to have a political significance (this was about abortion.... >.>) so while I do have to tone the language down, I also have to amp up the symbolism, if you catch my drift. My finished pieces (from what criticism I've gotten, and my own opinion) are always pretty clean, as far as 'too much poetry' is concerned. This piece was particularly hard for me, because I wrote the piece years before and than lost it, so I was trying to recall a lot of it and recreate even more :/

So I suppose I should tone down the language a bit, but keep the emphasis where there is political symbolism? I can give that a shot, I don't think the story would really change much, though, because it is about setting and circumstance, not about plot. But I suppose it's the language that's the downer lol

Kevin
March 26th, 2012, 01:26 AM
Yep, the first couple of sentences threw me for a loop, too. I knew what you meant but only after I went back for a second go. I sort of skipped over them until i got to the dialog.Two completely different styles. Realism and uhm..poetic(?)

saintenitouche
March 26th, 2012, 01:34 AM
Yep, the first couple of sentences threw me for a loop, too. I knew what you meant but only after I went back for a second go. I sort of skipped over them until i got to the dialog.Two completely different styles. Realism and uhm..poetic(?)
Lolololol... ugh, okay everyone thinks the same thing. xD I haven't looked at it yet, to be honest. But I guess I have to now since you all are making me so curious haha I'm going to simplify things and try to emphasize the symbolism in a realistic way. The thing is, how do you fill 800 words with a bloody bath... without getting real pretty about it? xD

saintenitouche
March 28th, 2012, 04:45 PM
So, if anybody has time and wants to read the rewrite, here it is. Thanks again for all your comments, I considered all of them (you can see some of them below). I ended up taking a lot of the language out (thanks Jon M lol) and trying to implement a more frank style of writing, that was still symbolic and still sounded fairly good. Now, not all of it is here to stay, necessarily. The bold is what I am not too fond of. I am going to have my English professor go over it and tell me if he has any ideas on what I should do. If you have any new critic please share it with me!! I do consider and appreciate everything -La sainte (please note that format is especially a work in progress, I am not too good with structuring my prose- thanks!)

I tripped into the bathroom, bright as an operating room, the light shocking my brain through my heavy eyelids. My knees met the tile with uncharacteristic whimpering in my half-sleep state. I curled up, tight as a length of rope, onto the rug to escape the icy tiles. I faded in and out of consciousness, waiting for the eruptions in my stomach to subside, lapsing back into a stupor after being jerked awake by every gush of blood, ignoring the growing pool of it.
The pain won; I came to without the precious desensitization of sleep. I dragged myself the five feet to the toilet, stripping clothing as I went, bearing skin now scarlet. I sat and peeled my sticky thighs apart. Every drop met and dived beneath the surface, spreading like red smoke. I gazed into the bowl at my flesh.
Aching for cleanliness, I threw myself into the tub, searching blindly for the taps. I felt the goosebumps erupt while I caught fire; the boiling water lapped at the grime. I stared at the neon ceiling, watching the steam spiral upward, carrying with it the quasi undetectable stench of life.
I had fallen asleep. I woke to a vibration battling with cloth and counter. I pulled the plug to let the brown-ish, luke warm water drain and rolled out of the empty container. The phone clattered to the linoleum floor; louder than a gunshot in my disorientation. I reached for it from across the floor. Lying there in the spotlight, I answered.



“Diga?”
“Hey.”
“Oh, it’s you.” I said this as if I hadn’t known. There was no one else that would call me at whatever awful time of night it was.
“Were you expecting someone else?”
“Not honestly; I was sleeping. What’s the matter?”
“I wanted to see if the medicine kicked in yet.” I sat back and enjoyed the delirium in his silence. I took a moment to stick a whole roll of toilet paper between my legs. “Well?”
“It’s working like a charm, Charlie. Like a friggen charm. Can I get back to bed, now? I was having such good dreams.”
“You don’t sound like you were sleeping.”
“Well, you’ve woken me up.”
“Look, am I supposed to go to that thing tomorrow? Because I’ve got-”
“Charlie, we’ve talked about this. What d’you want, my mother to drive me? I have no idea what will happen if I don’t go tomorrow. It probably won’t work out.”
“You’re always so pessimistic. You took the medication, didn’t you?”
Giving up, I inched over to the cabinet. I shook various bottles, searching for a promising reputation as I listened to the crackle of the phone line in my ear.
“Look, Charlie-” I began, trying to get him to concede. “you can give me a ride tomorrow, can’t you? It’s just a ride.”
“Yeah.” he said as I finally found a little orange bottle labeled “Vicodin”. I squeezed open the bottle, my fingers brittle, put my mouth directly under the tap (I didn’t trust myself with the glass) and swallowed a few. The plastic taste of chalky egg shell was left behind in my mouth, I wretched. The phone crossed the length of the room with me, skidding the floor. I found my face inches from the bloody toilet and added my stomach to the brew; white capsules floating here and there, never destined for my blood.
I wiped my mouth on a towel, fixing the dislodged roll of toilet paper in the process. I took my time retrieving the phone, glowing in the corner where the dust lives.

“Hello?” My voice was rough and cold, all my civility now floating in the toilet.
“-did you just puke?” He sounded ill and distant.

I sighed.
“Let me tell you something Charlie, all the women in the world have one thing in common.”
“....What’s that?”
“We can take it when somebody pukes. Goodnight, Charlie. I-will-see-you-tomorrow.”
“Goodn-” I skipped hanging up, and shut the phone off entirely.


I went back to the cabinet and grabbed the bottle of Vicodin, took double what I should have, risked the glass and sat back against the wall, naked and considering the awful purity.


“And I will see you the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day.....”