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daltonj
May 12th, 2013, 12:55 AM
Just a quick little thing I produced out of mere boredom. And I kinda liked the turnout so thought it was at least worth posting.

It's not titled 'Five Minutes' as an implication of "that's the amount of time I wrote it in." It's not. It is the amount of time in which the events in the flash fiction took.

Nonetheless, enjoy! ~



The room is dark with a gloomy depression. (One could actually see dust, idly floating, providing a murky expression.) It is small; there are no windows. The only object in that room - atop a sallow-stained carpet - lay smack dab in the middle: a recliner chair. And in the chair, a man. A multitude of liquor bottles lay scattered among the chair. But - the man - he just sits there...

Just sits there, sweating profusely, sipping at the remainder of his whiskey as his hand trembles and his face contorts. He sobs, on the brink of bawling blood. An arsenal of relentless thoughts flow through his conscious as a methodical torture; they strip him of who he is, constantly reminding him of the growing abyss with which he's burdened himself. Leave!

He crushes the glass in his hand. A few fragments fall while the others pierce into his skin. Blood floods the floor; alcohol enters the gaping wounds. Why'd you do that? he scorned, silently. Now you have to fetch yourself more fucking whiskey.

He sits up from his recliner, mindlessly stepping onto the fallen shards. Crimson pours from his hand. The thick glass remains embedded in his skin. Behind him footprints of blood stain the carpet.

Upon making his first steps on the kitchen tile, he slips. His body flails back in an instant. A violent subsequent collision of his head into a counter's sharp corner. He collapses to the cold floor.

He lies immobile and paralyzed as blood flows from the gash on his scalp, from the wound on his hand, from the cuts on his feet. He is bathing in gallons of his own blood. Wonderful, he thinks. Now I have to clean all this shit up.

Fortunately, though, he is dying. Good, he smiles and manages a grunted laugh. Now I don't have to clean all this shit up.

JamesOliv
May 14th, 2013, 09:59 PM
I sit here, sipping at the remainder of my whiskey - hand trembling, face contorted. As I sob, on the brink of bawling blood, the memories flow through my conscious as a methodical torture; they strip me of who I am, constantly reminding me of the growing abyss in which I've burdened myself with. Leave!

It is hard to critique a piece this short (especially when taken out of context). I'm not sure why he (you) is so upset. A I don't know if this is an overwritten reaction or a completely appropriate response to a tragic event. One big blip that strikes me is right here:

"...constantly reminding me of the growing abyss in which I've burdened myself with. "

So, is it an abyss "in which" you find yourself? Or is it a burden "with which" you have burdened yourself? There seems to be a little confusion there. This could be a result of a sentence being edited. Or maybe I'm misreading something, but that little bit certainly jumps out at me.

TheWritingWriter
May 15th, 2013, 03:06 AM
I sit here, sipping at the remainder of my whiskey - hand trembling, face contorted. As I sob, on the brink of bawling blood, the memories flow through my conscious as a methodical torture; they strip me of who I am, constantly reminding me of the growing abyss in which I've burdened myself with. Leave!

I agree with Dalton J, that it is difficult to critique a piece so short. What I can comment on is the alliteration in the piece. "As I sob, on the brink of bawling blood." Personally, alliteration is one of my favorite literary devices, next to parallelism. Aside from that...it's a pretty sounding sentence?

daltonj
June 2nd, 2013, 10:08 AM
JamesOliv, TheWritingWriter, There you are! Five more paragraphs! :)

Enjoy the added alliteration, - omg alliteration! - Writer.

escorial
June 2nd, 2013, 03:02 PM
i liked the way you described drink an self harm,the last line i did not like....when your dead you can't offer an opinion.

cassie30
June 2nd, 2013, 08:54 PM
It makes me sad. That being said I have to agree with escorial once dead you can't think or speak.

lowprofile300
June 2nd, 2013, 09:37 PM
Just a quick little thing I produced merely out of boredom. And I kinda liked the turnout so thought it was at least worth posting.

It's not titled 'Five Minutes' as an implication of "that's the amount of time I wrote it in." It's not. It is the amount of time in which the events in the story took.

You may notice that the word 'onto' is bolded. That's because it is used way too much (four times in just two short paragraphs). I'd appreciate some help with a replacement or alternatives.


Nonetheless, enjoy! ~



I sit here, sipping at the remainder of my whiskey - hand trembling, face contorted. As I sob, on the brink of bawling blood, tortured thoughts flow through my conscious as a methodical torture; they strip me of who I am, constantly reminding me of the growing abyss with which I've burdened myself. Leave!

I crush the glass in my hand. Most of the fragments fall while the others pierce into my skin. Blood immediately floods the floor; alcohol enters the gaping wounds. Why'd you do that? I scorned, silently. Now you have to fetch yourself more fucking whiskey.

I sat up from my recliner, stepping onto the fallen shards. Crimson poured from my hands. The thick glass remained stabbed into my skin. Behind me footprints of increasingly thick blood stained the carpet.

Upon making my first steps onto the kitchen tile, I slip. My body flails back in an instant. A violent sub-sequential collision of my head onto a counter's sharp corner. I collapse onto the cold floor.

I lay unconscious as blood flows from the gash on my scalp, from the wounds on my hand, from the cuts on my feet. I am bathing in gallons of my own blood. Wonderful, I thought. Now I have to clean all this shit up.

I died. Good, my corpse smiled and managed a grunted laugh. Now I don't have to clean all this shit up.


@Daltonj,( I think this is a great piece of flash fiction. A few changes to put things in perspective I suggest. I hope this helps you out.) I sit here, sipping the remainder of my whiskey - hand trembling, face contorted. As I sob, on the brink of bawling blood, tortured thoughts flow through my consciousness as a methodical torture; they strip me of who I am, constantly reminding me of the growing abyss with which I've burdened myself. Leave!
I crush the glass in my hand. Most of the fragments fall while others pierce my skin. Blood immediately floods the floor; alcohol enters the gaping wounds. Why'd you do that? I scorned, silently. Now you have to fetch yourself more fucking whiskey.
I stood up from my recliner, and carelessly stepped on shards of glass. Crimson poured from my hands. The thick glass remained embedded in my skin. Behind me footprints of increasingly thick blood stained the carpet.

Upon entering the kitchen, I slipped on the gray vinyl tile. I fell back in an instant, causing a violent subsequent collision of my head into the counter's sharp corner. I collapsed on the cold floor.

I blackout for a few seconds, as blood flowed from the gash on my scalp, from the wounds on my hand, from the cuts on my feet. I am bathing in a pool of my own blood. Wonderful, I thought. Now I have to clean all this shit up.

But wait, I am dying! Good, I smiled and managed a grunted laugh. Now I don't have to clean all this shit up.

lowprofile300
June 2nd, 2013, 09:44 PM
2x post, my apologies.

iflewoverthecuckoosnest
June 3rd, 2013, 02:41 AM
Good start, but I spot some logical inconsistencies. You explicitly stated that he was knocked unconscious. When someone's unconscious they cannot think. Also, how does he know he is dying and not just temporarily knocked unconscious?

daltonj
June 3rd, 2013, 03:21 AM
You explicitly stated that he was knocked unconscious. When someone's unconscious they cannot think.

Then this guy must be pretty special, or, perhaps, posses a sort of superhuman capabilites. C'mon... imagination, people!


Also, how does he know he is dying and not just temporarily knocked unconscious?

Oh. So you're implying a claim that if someone is bleeding by the gallons as they lay unconscious that they can survive. It's a logical assertion, even with help from the narrator to state that he is, indeed, dying.

iflewoverthecuckoosnest
June 3rd, 2013, 03:58 AM
You gave no clear implication that the character is superhuman, so you can't blame me for not assuming he is. To be fair, it is a short excerpt, and you may very well clarify that later on. My mistake on the gallons of blood part, though. I should have read it more closely. Nevertheless, I'm not the only one who was a bit foggy on what was going on in the piece, so you should work on contextualizing it more. I think that lowprofile's suggestions ought to help you clear things up. It's definitely an interesting start and the characterization is very good. Best of luck :)

daltonj
June 3rd, 2013, 04:08 AM
You gave no clear implication that the character is superhuman, so you can't blame me for not assuming he is. To be fair, it is a short excerpt, and you may very well clarify that later on. My mistake on the gallons of blood part, though. I should have read it more closely. Nevertheless, I'm not the only one who was a bit foggy on what was going on in the piece, so you should work on contextualizing it more. I think that lowprofile's suggestions ought to help you clear things up. It's definitely an interesting start and the characterization is very good. Best of luck :)

It's just some flash fiction, no excerpt. So I did use your suggestion and critique regarding the controversial "unconscious" matter. I agreed with you when you pointed it out - really, I was just giving you a hard time. ;) So thank you for that.

iflewoverthecuckoosnest
June 3rd, 2013, 04:12 AM
It's just some flash fiction, no excerpt. So I did use your suggestion and critique regarding the controversial "unconscious" matter. I agreed with you when you pointed it out - really, I was just giving you a hard time. ;) So thank you for that.

Okey day. Glad I could be of any help :wink2:

Jon M
June 3rd, 2013, 04:19 AM
.

daltonj
June 3rd, 2013, 05:38 AM
iflew is mostly correct. This is told in First Person present tense, meaning the events in the story are happening real-time. Problem is, the narrator sounds lucid and the narration is coherent from beginning to end, despite the fact this guy smacked his head on the counter and is dying. One rightly assumes there would be some change in the man's level of consciousness, and if that is so, then the prose style should change to reflect this.

Hmm. Thank you. I will tinker with it. Probably just going to change the narration to Third Person.


Additionally, the human body has about one and a half gallons of blood at any time. So 'gallons' is incorrect, but that may just be hyperbole on the character's part.

Hyperbole, yes.

lowprofile300
June 3rd, 2013, 05:38 PM
He crushes the glass in his hand. Most of the fragments fall while the others pierce into his skin. Blood floods the floor; alcohol enters the gaping wounds. Why'd you do that? he scorned, silently. Now you have to fetch yourself more fucking whiskey.
Most of the fragments fall while a chunk pierce his skin.


The thick glass remains embedded into his skin.
The thick glass remains embedded in his skin.


He is bathing in gallons of his own blood.
I believe someone already pointed out that you cannot have "gallons of his own blood". It's not practical. The average human body has 1.25 gallons of blood, or 8 pints. Try "He is bathing in a pool of his own blood."
Like I said before, this piece of flash fiction was fun to read. Cheers

daltonj
June 3rd, 2013, 11:14 PM
I believe someone already pointed out that you cannot have "gallons of his own blood". It's not practical. The average human body has 1.25 gallons of blood, or 8 pints. Try "He is bathing in a pool of his own blood."

That someone also pointed out that it may also be a hyperbole, which I then responded by saying yes, it was indeed a hyperbole. Thank you.

lowprofile300
June 4th, 2013, 02:13 AM
That someone also pointed out that it may also be a hyperbole, which I then responded by saying yes, it was indeed a hyperbole. Thank you.

No worries, glad I could help.

daltonj
June 4th, 2013, 07:29 PM
I added a paragraph to create a more sensuous atmosphere. I don't know if I like it or not. I feel like the scene works better without it; it's quite unnecessary. I don't know. Tell me what you guys think.

ForgedinFlames
June 6th, 2013, 05:42 PM
I think that this would flow a lot better without so many short sentences. Try using commas to give the reader a better sense of movement. For example, instead of,
Upon making his first steps on the kitchen tile, he slips. His body flails back in an instant. A violent subsequent collision of his head into a counter's sharp corner. He collapses to the cold floor.

try, Upon making his first steps on the kitchen tile, he slips, body flailing back in an instant followed by a violent subsequent collision of his head into a counter's sharp corner. He collapses to the cold floor.
Up to you, but I think that there are too many periods in this piece. Otherwise, I like the imagery. I'd like to know how the main character perceives the whiskey going into his wounds. A brief description of how it feels could be powerful and give some insight into someone who seems to be a masochist.

InkwellMachine
June 7th, 2013, 10:36 AM
Flash-fiction tends to hit on a particularly sour note for me, as I am the type of writer that typically spends hours poring over a single paragraph, whittling it down until it flows just right. This isn't bad though. The flow, I mean. It feels a lot smoother than much other flash fiction I've read. Then again, I feel it's packing an ending that attempts to be conclusive after only (nearly) 400 words, which really only serves to make the piece feel something like a note card cut in half.

Don't be afraid to treat your flash fiction and other itty-bitty pieces as what they are in the future: small. Packing an entire story into so few words is one those great tasks all fledgling writers desire to take on. Let us call this a "wounded dragon" situation, where people see an easy chance for glory and forget that dragons can breath fire despite a crippled leg or torn wing. Just because a piece is short does not mean you get to skip out on all the other things. It's not an excuse not to give this man a back story and make him into a person. But that's very difficult to do in only so many words. So you begin to see the problem.

So my suggestion for future writes of around this length would be to focus on some other aspect of story-telling than plot sequencing. You don't have to create a conclusive ending to finish a piece. A satisfying​ one will do just fine.