View Full Version : Short Story - The Bastard

January 26th, 2013, 06:21 AM
The Bastard

The room inside building 4693 on Ember Street hardly had anything worth noting. It couldn’t be but 16 by 22 ft. The floor tiles had a few stains and the pantry had a coffee maker that didn't work. One of the lights kept flickering, and there were a few magazines scattered on a cheap plastic table. If there was anything to note, it would have to be that one of the two doors had a small rectangle window made of reinforced plexiglass with a thick deadbolt secured to the exterior.

“You gotta, gotta, gotta” hummed the room’s only inhabitant. He was a stalk man, wearing a black sweater with a faded pair of loosely fitting cargo pants. His chair leaned slightly against the back wall, while his gaze remained fixated on a computer magazine that illustrated the new features of the upcoming I phone debut.

Usually, at two past noon, this man would routinely practice his air guitar riff that he had been working on for a local bar competition. Unfortunately, the fabricated goddesses of rock-n-roll would miss their daily reenactment of Jimmie Hendrix supposed superior, because just shy of two, a sharply dressed thin black man entered the room. He had prominent facial lines, with a peculiar short afro that felt reminiscent to the disco era. Pinned on his light blue blouse was the name tag Kevin. “Reggie, my man” he exclaimed, initiating a high five as he walked over.

“Hey” Reggie enthusiastically returned, clasping his hand as he stood and eventually falling into a shoulder embrace. “How'd it go?”

“Not bad. My team got destroyed” he paused to glance over the room before finishing his sentence “But I won the spread"

“Niccce.” Reggie said, tossing his magazine onto the table. “Hey, that’s all that matters.”

Call it perhaps intuition that followed, but Reggie could discern something was amiss after he momentarily glanced at his watch. “What brings you here?” One could argue it was more of a statement than question.

There was a slight silence after that. The question seemed to catch Kevin off guard. “Need a favor." His eyes darted around the room trying to find a escape. Perhaps a change of topic. Nowhere to go. Nothing came to mind. "How's our man today?"

“Quiet now” Reggie replied, exasperated. ”Took an extra dose of Thorazine to do it" He shook his head. “Yeah, you missed that one.”

A grin slowly formed on Kevin's face. "Halleluiah” he bellowed, ecstatic. “That’s what I’m talking about, two for two baby!” Within a moment, he had glided to the latched door. "I knew I was overdue, finally get…” Only to lose his voice midway when he peered through the window.

During this, when Kevin uttered halleluiah, Reggie decided to unveil the idea for his newly perfected air guitar move. He skipped to how his weekend was, and concluded with his own recital of the idiot who took his parking space this morning, dubbed Kristin, the wicked witch of the ghetto. It was inevitable, however, that he came to the realization that Kevin had not listened to one word. “Kevin”


Kevin turned around with a dazed, but serious look on his face. He stared past Reggie, only acknowledging his existence by muttering, "I'll alert everyone."

It took a few moments for those words to register. It wasn't what Kevin had said; rather, his demeanor that was unexpected. He stood fast after he briskly exited. Reggie imagined, at any moment, Kevin would jump out with his ploy, tell him how he was going to destroy him in next week's air guitar competition, how stupid Kristin was for taking his parking spot this morning, and how everything was actually alright.

It never came to be. Within moments Reggie's curiosity got the better of him. Each sluggish step brought him closer to the plexiglas window.

The small room was padded with a repetitive white rubbery foam that incorporated every inch of the wall. On the floor, a displaced red puddle that hovered in the center. The trail of red ended with a lifeless body. It was a young man. In his left hand, a cracked porcelain shard splattered with blood.

To put into expression, it was not absolute virtue that caused Reggie heart to soon quicken. It wasn't the loss of a human life that caused the dilation of his blood vessels. It wasn't even the fact that he held any affection towards this man. No, what caused Reggie's perturbed appearance was the realization that with this man's life, came the end of his career. Robert Sulls — the patient who he was supposed to monitor for only one more hour. That bastard.

(Wrote this just to practice writing. I am hoping to start on a novel whenever I feel/become good enough as a writer. Any feedback, appreciated. Thanks.)

January 28th, 2013, 12:02 AM
I didn't really get it. The conversations got me confused to what was going on. A lot being said that referred to things outside the story. I can see what your trying to do with the ending but it doesn't really have the impact it should. I don't know what else I can really say, hopefully one of the better critics on here can give some suggestions.

The piece is promising but not there yet.

January 28th, 2013, 03:31 AM
Hey Johnathan -

Thanks for posting this up, I'll give you my novice opinion. First, you should sweep through and identify punctuation errors, you'll find a few. I found the first paragraph a little convoluted, like you tried to pack too much stuff in it and didn't quite flesh it all out. Perhaps I stumbled over the characterization of the room, being "only" 16' x 22'. That's a pretty sizable "room" by any standard. If it was an apartment, and the 16' x 22' made up the entire dwelling, then that's a different story. But you said "room," so I overanalyzed that.

Jimmie >> Jimi Hendrix

The ending felt disjointed, going from high fives and "air guitar" to a bloody body in the padded room, which in the first para it seems you established the setting was inside of. There's a lot of time spent talking about the sports team and air guitar, and some of that energy should explain what the configuration of this building and these characters is/are. Also I didn't connect with the iPhone reference, seems you could open up a lot of possibilities by letting the time period be in flux until you decide when to set it. You never know when the convenience of not having the internet or some other such modern convenience might serve your story. :) Just my humble observations, hope it helps in some way.

January 29th, 2013, 01:33 AM
It helped a lot u 2. Just tells me I need to study scene transitions more. I was actually planning on making a complete story piece here, but my goal wasn't to make a story, but get some feedback on my writing as a whole. Believe it or not, I actually got what I actually wanted to know, so it worked out perfect. (to me, anyone can create a story, but writing is a art form in itself.)

Btw, I put in a random room size hoping it was small, haha oh well. 8-[


January 29th, 2013, 01:50 AM
Oh if you guys don't mind, can you please comment on some questions real fast. (I am trying to isolate some of my problems and focus directly on them.) I am a little busy right now studying, but it would help me a lot whenever I have some free time to work a new writing piece for fun.

1. The character Kevin was suppose to be a musical disco black man in his thirties. Is this how you pictured him from the dialogue, what was confusing?
2. Reggie is a standard white husky guy who happens to have a air guitar hobby. Fine, confusing, what parts please?
3. I simply wanted to set a random scene. Did it work?
4. Was the characters actions believable? Anything seem out of place besides the author transitions from scene to scene.
5. Do you think I should be adding more detail to the background of the characters? (note: I try my best to keep it as elementary as possible.)
6. Anything else that you really feel I need to know? (Please provide a source if possible like a book for me to review that does that point well. I learn best by reading the pros and seeing how they approach it.)

***Oh I should prob mention the plot that I was going for:

Scene: A mental hospital.

-Introduction to the setting
-Psych Ward outer room.
-Guy patrolling a patient and isn't paying attention.
-Guy comes in asks for a favor.
-Randomly approaches the room and sees the guy committed suicide.
-Sees he did and leaves fast to alert the staff.
-The guy originally patrolling sees and realizes hes in trouble.

Thanks for the feedback.

February 9th, 2013, 11:13 PM
I felt the writing was intriguing but I was having some difficulty following the dialogue. After completing the story I read through a second time and more of made sense. You did capture the jaded personality of someone who might be in that profession.

February 9th, 2013, 11:26 PM
I quite enjoyed this.
As to whether or not I saw the characters as you meant for them to appear, no, I did not. I think you did a very good job, but I agree with everyone else, the dialogue was confusing to read.
All in all though, good work!

February 12th, 2013, 10:19 PM
Here was my impression of the story. I pictured a seedy motel foyer where two guys were meeting. I had no idea what they were meeting for, so I just assumed drugs and kidnapping. After the conversation I thought the guy was looking outside and saw someone he was maybe hiding from? Then the story switched to a padded room, and maybe one guy killed another? Was he crazy? It was a little unclear.

Obviously this is not where you were going with this story. I would add a lot more description Use this short story to work on scene settings and character description. Use the five senses, feelings, sounds, sights, smells, even taste. You don't have to use them all, but set a goal to use two or three of them. See if that spices up the settings and clarifies your story. Don't try and hide the ending just to get a surprise reaction. You can hint at what's going on subtly so that when people read the end, they can look back and say "oh man, how did I miss this? look at the hints he dropped. What a clever story." You can definitely make the story have that "criminals meeting to discuss drugs and kidnapping" vibe, then turn it on it's ear at the end and show something completely different, but it needs much better execution and subtly. You had some of that going with the Thorazine comment, but you need to weave in a bit more in my opinion.