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playingthepianodrunk
June 4th, 2012, 05:32 AM
The air inside the laboratory was cold and sterile and so was the atmosphere. At the center of the room sat, inside a large machine, a nervous and sweating man. Four men stood around him, staring intently, some paced from side to side. Outside onlookers gathered. Someone spoke to the man in the buzzing apparatus. He was not comforted by the words apparently and distractedly shooed the intruder away. The machine closed with a pneumatic hiss and now the only sounds he heard was the droning whisper of the device. He clenched his eyes and tried to clear his mind. The task proved difficult and many thoughts poured though his head. He first thought of his wife, his beautiful wife. He thought of her back at home waiting for him until his return. What if she didn't wait for him? He wiped that morbid idea from his mind. Then he thought of his young daughter. Her birthday was in two weeks. He would miss her birthday but he promised himself he would bring her a nice present. Briefly he thought of his intense preparation but inside the confines of this two ton metal shell, all that felt to distant.


Inside the man took a last look at the room around him. He tried to ingrain every detail of the room like a picture. The peoples faces the way they stood, all that seemed important to him. Suddenly a voice cracked over the radio asking if he were ready. He quickly replied, a short yes. Some buttons were flicked on both sides and the machine being to buzz incessantly now. Then it was just like he were dreaming. Time stopped. It felt like the effects of some powerful drug.


And he woke suddenly in a large grassy field, like someone snapped out of the first stages of sleep, underneath the shadow of a mountain. Every detail had been meticulously planned and poured over for close to a year now. No risk was taken and no uncertain exist. Except the human element. He steeped out of the contraption taken great care to conceal it. Changing his clothes, he emptied his pockets of any familiar objects. He began walking, in long agile strides toward the road that he knew lay just ahead. The forest was thick and little light reached the ground.


He reached the road and there waited, grazing lazily at some grass, a horse. He rode toward town. A small village on the outskirts of a vast wilderness. The road was long and winding, and in painfully bad shape, though the view of the forest and the mountain in the foreground was sublime.


He reached town a little after noon. He could till by the position of the sun. The horse trotted toward a stable. The villagers greeted this strange traveler with suspicious eyes. He walked up to a man, an old peasant and handed him a few coins. Enough to feed and lodge the creature. And on he set to make arrangements for his stay. After asking several people someone directed him toward the lodge. He walked inside and an elderly women sat inside knitting by a gentle fire. On second glance he thought she couldn't have been more then forty years old and maybe once beautiful. But there she sat ravaged by life patiently occupying herself with a look of infinite wisdom in her eyes. Her eyes seemed young, full of light and life. She looked up from her work and greeted the wary man.


“Would you like something to eat or drink. Have you been traveling long?” she inquired sympathetically.


“You have no idea.” he stated unable to conceal a small personal chuckle.


“From where do you come?


“Baden.” he said quickly and with the proper pronouncement.


“And what was your occupation there.” she continued.


“I am a writer.”


“A writer, how unusual.” she remarked shuffling around the kitchen preparing a fire “We don't have one here say, what kind of profession is that anyway.”


“The only one I could have.”


She served a steady supply of wine in a dented metal mug. The alcohol he thought was much needed to calm the tension he felt after his arrival. When he put his mug down, after a long gulp, his plate was piled with a sort of stew full of meat, potatoes and other things. He ate quickly and greedily practically licking the plate clean. He stayed for a while at that large table drinking and studying nothing or everything in general. After she brought him to his room. He put his sack by the door and dropped down to the bed falling asleep immediately.

He woke up the next morning to sounds outside his window. The street below was alive and crawling. After a quick breakfast he set off to explore the town. He walked the main street enduring harsh looks from the locals. He walked and he found a spot with a view of the forest. To these people it most seem something mystical. He thought of the legends the locals came up with to explain the world around them. He stood there for some time gazing deeply into the forest absorbing all its beauty and mystery. Then he remembered that he was here for a reason and he set off back into town. He stopped at a tavern. The best place to start. Get a drink ask some questions keep it friendly and subtle. He ordered a beer and sat there for a minute. Drinking the warm beer he peered around the dim, dirty room.


He asked the bartender “ Has anything odd happened in town recently.”


He spat and replied “Why do you ask?”


“I've come from Baden. In Baden there is a werewolf. He kills every seventh day.” he continued. “I've seen him once, thank the Lord I was able to escape.”


“No we haven't had any werewolves here but witches and wizards live in that forest. You can hear them if you listen carefully at night. Stay away from that forest at night. Even a bright torch won't protect you.

Olly Buckle
June 4th, 2012, 08:14 AM
The air inside the laboratory was cold and sterile and so was the atmosphere.
At the center of the room sat, inside a large machine, a nervous and sweating man.

You have ‘sat’ in the first part of the sentence, and the sweating man in the third, putting them together makes for easier reading,
“A sweating nervous man sat inside a large machine in the centre of the room.”. spelling/ centre.

"Four men stood around him, staring intently, some paced from side to side."

Some of the four men? But you just said they were stood. Some others? But why mention the four then?


"Outside onlookers gathered. Someone spoke to the man in the buzzing apparatus. He was not comforted by the words apparently"

Things read better if you leave out words like ‘apparently’ and make it definite.

"and distractedly shooed the intruder away. The machine closed with a pneumatic hiss and now the only sounds he heard was"

‘Sounds’ plural, ‘were’. or ‘sound’, singular ‘was’
Look how many ‘he’s and ‘his’s there are in the next bit,

the droning whisper of the device. He
clenched his eyes and tried to clear his
mind. The task proved difficult and many thoughts poured though his
head. He
first thought of his wife, his
beautiful wife. He
thought of her back at home waiting for him until his
return. What if she didn't wait for him? He
wiped that morbid idea from his mind. Then he
thought of his
young daughter. Her birthday was in two weeks. He
would miss her birthday but he promised himself he
would bring her a nice present. Briefly he
thought of his
intense preparation but inside the confines of this two ton metal shell, all that felt to distant.

"Then it was just like he were dreaming".

‘Was’ and ‘were’ in the same sentence? About the same thing? Simplify, “It was like a dream”, it goes with the other snappy sentences in this section.

You have some good observations, his impressions of others around him for example, a good way of showing us his surroundings, without simply telling us, and it gets his nervousness across at the same time, but you need to edit. I was also left with questions, “Who flicked buttons on both sides of what?”, “How did he conceal a large (two ton) machine?”. Remember, some things you know perfectly, but us readers need them explaining, we are very thick. Don’t worry, it is easy to spot in other’s writing, but I find myself doing it all the time as well.

To finish, here is another example of what I started with, the sentence structure.

“And he woke suddenly in a large grassy field, like someone snapped out of the first stages of sleep, underneath the shadow of a mountain.”

It is considered bad form to start a sentence with “And”, “Like” is a word changing its meaning, for clarity I try to avoid it. So:-


These bits go together,

"He woke suddenly, - as though snapped out of the first stages of sleep. (He was, or, he found himself) under the shadow of a mountain - in a large grassy field."

The large grassy field was not ‘like someone snapped out of the first stages of sleep, underneath the shadow of a mountain’, if you see what I mean,

playingthepianodrunk
June 4th, 2012, 04:58 PM
I will take some of that into consideration and I appreciate you taking the time to break that down. Hopefully I'll be able to finish this story by tonight and post the rest soon. I think I have a interesting idea here and I'm also taking a lot of things into consideration. People keep telling me "show don't tell" so I'm trying to only say what needs to be said and let the story be told more through the action.

Randyjoe
June 7th, 2012, 01:19 PM
This is an intriguing story - has he gone back in time or somewhere else entirely?

I think your protagonist needs a companion, otherwise it's just the narrator doing all the talking.

Firm1
June 15th, 2012, 06:55 PM
I like it. But, it could use more detailed descriptions. What did the people look like? How did the air smell? What was the main character feeling at every moment? The mystery of it all is alluring, though. It'll be nice to see where this goes.