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Meego
May 5th, 2012, 03:18 AM
Forced prick of my lower canines into my lip and granules of soil trading places with my saliva, as he digs my head, cheek forward, in the dirt.
“This is your reward.” he sneers. I hear the zip of his jeans. My pants still cuffing my ankles and my arm immobile with pain like bees stinging my veins, I refuse to give him my fear. “Go ahead, tell Principal Schneider about this too.”


Crunch-snap of twigs get fainter as he clomps away. Breeze easy. It plays with the hair of my arms, coaxingly, to get up. The Northern Star fixes itself in my view, its fuzzy outline pointing a path skyward, light-years from me. The tangy taste of my blood, the kind you get when you fiddle with a penny inside your mouth with the point of your tongue, becomes faint as it clots.

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This was a piece that I started in my intro class a year or so back. I am not really sure how I like it and was never able to tell if I wanted to continue the story. I was hoping to get some opinions about it and maybe try to rework it or continue. Thanks!!

Pirisinian
May 5th, 2012, 10:31 PM
Two paragraphs and you already have doubts? Yay, someone like me!

Seriously, though. The present tense thing was kind of confusing. You might be better off adding "I felt the" at the beginning and "The" on the second paragraph. Also, the whole "soil granules trading places with my saliva" bit is kind of weird (is stilted the right word?)

Don't be so hasty with the terminal punctuation at the end of speech. Use a comma.

Otherwise, the whole way it is written felt a bit unnatural. The prose is a bit purple, if you get my meaning, and the unnecessary similes aren't really helping either.

Think about it, though. If YOU were getting your face pushed into the dirt, would you have time to be this flowery?

That's all for now. Keep writing!

EDIT: Also, I would seriously reconsider if you are going to include rape in this story. It's very hard to do right and when it's done wrong it can come across as offensive to actual victims.

Meego
May 6th, 2012, 03:40 AM
I think you made some very good points. I will definitely make sure to keep that in mind. Thanks soo much for your time!! :D

Cerfazo
May 7th, 2012, 06:45 AM
hm. For some reason, I thought the narrator was a boy, and the assailant was sodomizing him. I can tell you didn't have much planned going into this, so the first thing to figure out is what happens in the story. Now, we know that a rape has just happened, so the second thing to figure out is why the rape happened. This should only be done if there is going to be a continuing and expansion of the story. Right now, you have a complete story, albeit a rather gruesome and depressing one. But if you wanted to keep the story to just this one scene, then you would need to paint a clearer image of the setting, and give a little bit of color to your characters, and viola: A perfectly good flash-fiction.

Now, since you have indicated that you are going to expand on the story, here is what you need to do: Get a paper, and a pencil, and write down the story, but include no description. It should be plot only. Imagine if you were writing a story normally: except just write what he did/she did. One after the other, in prose format. This will give you a nice roadmap to follow when actually writing the story with character and imagery.

Finally, re-write the story, but don't worry about deviating from your road-map. If an idea pops into your head that you want to pursue, go for it. I usually don't edit while I'm writing, but to each his own. Then, after your story is revised, post it here. Ok?

Meego
May 7th, 2012, 01:00 PM
Oh wow, I never thought about how I didn't even mention if the narrator was male or female!!!

I have never been very good at anything too long, most of my works are flash fiction/short story. I would like to make this longer than two paragraphs though. I think your suggestion with the paper will help a lot. Sometimes I feel like I get bogged down just writing the one scene, not sure where to head to next, so thank you.

And yeah, I will post the revised version, since you asked. :) Thank you so much!!!

Meego
May 8th, 2012, 01:21 AM
I started a revision. Does this help with the critiques up until now? The rape scene became more than a slight suggestive but still not very descriptive. I hope that this was better. Oh and the paper suggestion was very helpful.


The popping of the chalk erasers form the slide projector in my mind, a new scene appearing with every strike. POP. “Come here puppy.” coaxes the 15 year-old boy in overalls, “It’s ok.” The small mutt tentatively comes closer, inch by sniff. “Yes…” the boy lunges with what seems to be a perfect punters kick heading for the dogs… POP, the erasers take me to the next slide.

“We have an announcement for the class.” Mrs. Schneider says in her most grave tone. “We found a dog dead on school grounds. It seemed to have been abused and we would like anyone to step forward with any information.” She peeks about the classroom looking for guilt. “Anita, could you please stay after class?” I shrink in my seat, wondering what I gave away. My classmates stare at me curiously as I lock gazes with the overall’s boy from yesterday. ‘He reminds me of my father’, I realize. POP.

I hesitantly lumber my way towards her desk at break. “Anita?” she questions. I stand. “Do you know anything about the dog I mentioned earlier?” she pursues. I avoid. “You will not get in trouble. It’s just that when I asked the question you seemed uneasy and almost, how do I say this, scared?” I look her in the eyes, puzzled. “I promise this will stay between us.” She encourages. Reluctantly, I confess, “It was Peter, in class. I saw him yesterday.” WHACK and I am moved ever further into thought.

The next day as I head towards class as typical, Peter intercepts me. He stands facing me like a large immobile obstacle. We say nothing, we don’t even move. I inspect the ground, not daring to see more than his feet. “What did you say?” he interrogates after a while. Before I could reply, Mrs. Schneider materializes from down the corridor. “Peter, you need to go to the Principals office. He needs to have a word with you.” She says sternly. Mistakenly, I raise my eyes to see him, only to see a look that penetrates my thoughts, I know this look; I’m in danger. He leaves without utterance.

“Anita,” Mrs. Schneider begins, which jerks me back to the present, “I am heading home. Don’t stay here too late. It’s dangerous for a girl to be walking home alone.” It’s more dangerous if I am caught by Him, I retort wordlessly to myself, but I only nod. Mrs. Schneider gives me a weak smile as if to convey ‘You are too worried’. She leaves the classroom as the sun heads below the trees in the horizon outside of the window.

I place the erasers back on the sill of the board. I figure by the time I pack up, it will be dark enough to make my way home without notice. I picked a secret route home yesterday, in case it may be needed in the near future, I did snitch on a psycho after all.

The sun was already below the horizon with only the pink and purple setting of its rays to light the sky by the time I left the school building. I check, cautiously, that no one, specifically one who looked like Peter, was around before heading on my secluded path home. First, I go down the trains tracks. They have been abandoned for about year now but nobody really comes around this way out of habit. I wish I could say that I hoped for home but I knew it was really only the lesser of two evils.

Without occurrence, I make it to the edge of the preserve. I only have to traverse about a mile and a half through that before I make it home. This is the part that creeped me out yesterday. The train tracks are relatively quiet with only the crunch of my feet on gravel and the squeak of my shoes on the rails. In the preserve there are many sounds of animals and imagination that surround you like an intangible trap. I persevere through my paranoia and weave through pine trees and their fallen limbs, past bushes and on top of browning leaves. I make it about half way when I swear I hear the echo of my steps somewhere behind me. Please, no. I think to myself. How?

I feel the collar of my shirt choke me with confirmation of my fear. I’m thrown sideways towards a tree trunk. Protecting myself, I use my arm to shield against the tree, only to have a detonating pain resonate through my arm as I fall to the ground, prone. A grunt escapes me unconsciously.

“Does that hurt?” the voice patronizes. To my anticipation, I recognize it as Peter. He’s here for my punishment but what he wants is control. He will not control me too. He will not have what he wants. I feel his contempt and excitement suffocate me as he straddles me between his legs.

I feel the forced prick of my lower canines into my lip and granules of soil where my saliva should be, as he digs my head, cheek forward, in the dirt. “This is your reward.” he sneers. He yanks my pants down around my ankles, ripping the belt loops and the button pops off. I hear the zip of his jeans. My arm, immobile with pain like bees stinging my veins, I refuse to give him my fear. “Go ahead, tell Mrs. Schneider about this too.”


Crunch-snap of twigs get fainter as he clomps away. Breeze easy. It plays with the hair of my arms, coaxingly, to get up. The Northern Star fixes itself in my view, its fuzzy outline pointing a path skyward, light-years from me. The tangy taste of my blood, the kind you get when you fiddle with a penny inside your mouth with the point of your tongue, becomes faint as it clots. The wounds are already healing, their traces soon to be abated from validation.

Dearest
May 16th, 2012, 10:21 AM
I don't think you should begin with a fragment. While it can create a nice "sudden image" effect, you really need some kind of action to get the ball rolling. Don't overuse creative dialogue tags. Usually you only need "said" and "asked." Anything else can start to feel awkward.
Your prose overall is a bit stilted; as this is written in first person, I'd try to write how you think. Let your inner monologue take over for a bit.
One last thing: Be. Careful. With. Rape. If done incorrectly, it comes off as very offensive and creates a sinkhole in your work. Make sure to allow the emotional weight it needs without pandering. It is a very real situation, and requires a lot of attention.

Meego
May 16th, 2012, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I will make sure to keep it in mind and rework it. Would having it in the past be more helpful? I had originally envisioned this piece in the present tense but it doesn't have to be that way.


I appreciate it!!!

Dearest
May 16th, 2012, 11:19 PM
Having it in the past tense might help if you're more comfortable with it. You've got a lot of good imagery; I think you just need to find your most natural voice.

Meego
May 17th, 2012, 01:27 AM
Hmmm, that could be it. I don't usually write in the present tense but this one just came out that way and I wanted to make sure it was consistent so I kept it that way. I'm glad that at least I do imagery well.. lol Thanks for taking the time to read my piece and I will definitely rework it.

Thanks again!

Dearest
May 17th, 2012, 10:15 PM
Absolutely! Looking forward to the final draft, should you choose to share it.