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ForgedinFlames
May 23rd, 2013, 07:50 PM
“This is how I deal with the stress,” she said, a cigarette locked between the index and middle finger of her left hand and a bottle with two sips of beer left clenched in her right. “Gotta have fun every once in a while,” she giggled. I hadn’t been to a party in almost a year, since deciding to sober up, but somehow I’d been convinced to make this small get together, where it seemed there was one girl for every guy and everyone was getting along just fine. Groping newfound lovers adorned two beaten couches within the dimly lit living room that Mel, the brunette I was talking to, and I stood in, beneath an amber faux-crystal chandelier as Indie Rock played in the distance. I could tell that Mel had consumed her fair share of intoxicants by the way she stood like the floor was made of marbles. She took a drag from her cigarette and although I couldn’t stand second-hand smoke since I quit, it smelled sweeter coming off of her lips.

“I’m just ready to graduate,” she said. “At least then I’ll be free to do what I want. I’ll make the rules.” There was a livid undertone to her soft voice, a bitter discontent I had once known. Her eyes were the green of damp forest moss and she had a small tattoo of a blue sparrow above her left breast. She was a rebel, the kind of girl I’d have fallen for when I was in school and went to parties like this regularly. For a brief second, I wanted to tell her that I was pissed off about the rules, too. I wanted to say, hold on babe while I get both of us a beer. Then we’d take our conversation to the porch outside, beneath the stars, and pretend that tomorrow didn’t exist. Instead, I was afraid to speak and break the link between our two separate dimensions. My head was clear. I was observant, calm and focused. “You’re out of school, right?” she asked.

“Yeah, graduated last year,” I replied. Her eyes lit up and fell upon mine with a glimmer as she smiled, swaying back and forth. I could tell she thought I had all of the answers. “What do you plan on doing after you graduate?” I asked her.

“I want to travel,” she replied. She closed her eyes tight and smiled, her face glowing bright red. She looked like she could have died at peace right then, lost in the sanctity of her dream. I closed my eyes too and thought about the fight I had before me; the sacrifices that I had made and would have to make to reach my goals, to find true success and happiness. I remembered the naivety I had when I was lost, finding solace in a bottle every other night, keeping my dreams contained in my head until they eventually faded away, succumbing to a complete disregard for the future. I took a deep breath, seeing the person I used to be in front of me.

“First, Mel,” I said. “You have to open your eyes.”

Topper88
May 26th, 2013, 04:27 PM
This is very well-written, though a bit lacking in substance. What's the message here? Realism vs. idealism?

ForgedinFlames
May 26th, 2013, 05:07 PM
Yeah, you got it (idealism vs. realism) and I realize that it doesn't lend toward an exciting story or clear message. My problem has always been in developing conflict and producing clear messages, as I tend to get caught up in the details, since much of my "fiction" is closely based on my life and typically ends up serving as a means of expressing emotions. It's like I'm trapped in a hybrid style of prose poetry/ flash fiction. I'm still working on the "blend". Thanks for the feedback.

Topper88
May 26th, 2013, 05:29 PM
Yeah, you got it (idealism vs. realism) and I realize that it doesn't lend toward an exciting story or clear message. My problem has always been in developing conflict and producing clear messages, as I tend to get caught up in the details, since much of my "fiction" is closely based on my life and typically ends up serving as a means of expressing emotions. It's like I'm trapped in a hybrid style of prose poetry/ flash fiction/ journal entry. I'm still working on the "blend". Thanks for the feedback.
Idealism vs. realism is a great theme, whether or not it's exciting is all about execution. The simple fact is that a guy telling a girl that she has to get her head out of the clouds just isn't very interesting. Neither character has any investment in the events here and in the end nothing is accomplished.

True, the story is only three paragraphs long, but for most stories investment + relevant accomplishments = excitement. I don't know of many stories that short that pull that off.

ForgedinFlames
May 26th, 2013, 05:35 PM
Alright, good advice. Thanks! I'll work on it.

escorial
June 2nd, 2013, 02:43 PM
very complex piece..i was struggling to understend who was who at times..packed alot in such a small piece.

Quick239
June 5th, 2013, 05:30 PM
I liked the writing and the simplicity of the story. Although its theme is in itself very complex, the story remains accessible to most and easily relatable to those of us who like to dream.

If I had one recommendation it would be to remove the parentheses from your writing style. They rarely fit into a story, even if a short one, and can easily be replaced with punctuation and by incorporating the message into the original sentence.

For example: "I hadn’t been to a party in almost a year (since deciding to sober up), but somehow I’d been convinced to make this small get together, where it seemed there was one girl for every guy and everyone was getting along just fine."

Could be replaced with: "I hadn't been to a party since I had decided to sober up almost a year ago, but somehow I'd been convinced to make this small get together..."

And: "Groping newfound lovers adorned two beaten couches within the dimly lit living room that Mel (the brunette I was talking to) and I stood in, beneath an amber faux-crystal chandelier as Indie Rock played in the distance."

Would become: "Groping newfound lovers adorned two beaten couches within the dimly lit living that Mel, the brunette I was talking to, and I stood in..."

My examples are most likely not flawless but I hope you see what I meant.

Keep up the good work :)

ForgedinFlames
June 6th, 2013, 04:52 PM
Thanks ,guys! I will work on fluidity and conveying a clear message with my next piece. Also Quick239, you make a good point about the parenthesis.