View Full Version : The Scortching chapters 3 & 4 (language)

December 3rd, 2013, 03:39 AM
Chapter 3

Jackson saw a door just a few feet in front of him on his left and made a break for it. He was inside and before he could slam the door shut, one of the men had already half entered. Jackson slashed at the man’s face cutting him from eye to chin. He screamed loudly in pain as the other man kicked in the door, throwing Jackson back rolling into the wall of the small storage room. He was dizzy and heard the boots walking briskly to him as he felt the straps of his vest being pulled up until he was face to face with the hunter. Jackson punched him in the gut and fell to his feet. He grabbed the man by the hair and kneed him in the face then kicking him back to the door. The man that was slashed struck Jackson in the face one after another until finally he put his arms up to block the blows. He kicked out the knee of the man forcing him to the ground as he punched him in the temple. The man was down and Jackson walked over to his blade on the ground and grabbed it. He sunk it into the skull of his attacker and watched as the body fell limp to the floor.

There were arms wrapping around him from behind as he was lifted in the air and slammed onto his back. The breath was knocked from his lungs and he was struggling to breath.
“Son of a bitch, you killed my brother, now I’m going to fucking rip you limb from limb”, the man screamed angrily as Jackson was rolling on his side still trying to catch his breath.

The man stepped on Jackson’s hand forcing his fingers to open and release the blade. He knelt down and grabbed it, tossing it from hand to hand gauging the weight of it. Finally, the air had flooded back into his lungs and Jackson was able to scurry backwards.“Where the fuck you think you’re going boy?” the man said as he lurched forward and grabbed Jackson by the foot.

He used his free leg to kick the man in the face, knocking out some teeth and sending gobs of blood flying onto the floor. He sprung to his feet and charged the man grabbing the knife hand as his body slammed against his attacker’s chest knocking him back into a locker. Jackson bent the man’s hand back until he heard a snapping of bone inducing a high pitched yell as the blade dropped to the ground. He grabbed it as fast as he could and began stabbing the man in the chest one after another until there was a cavity carved out and the man was no longer moving. He stepped backwards breathing heavily and let his back hit the wall as he slid down and was sitting on the ground. “Jesus Christ” was the only words that escaped his lips. He sat there looking from body to body wondering exactly what just happened.

He got up and scanned the rest of the offices in silence. He was alone finally. No more dangers and no more cannibalistic men. In the back office was a bag belonging to the corpses he just killed. They were filled with random and useless things, but he did happen to find five handgun bullets at the bottom of the bag. Lucky score, he though. He grabbed the bag and filled it with things from the store such as propane and flint. Anything he found useful. Once he was done, he continued his trek back to his hideout.

This house used to be so nice and beautiful. A white two story with light grey window frames. But now, it was charcoaled and ashen held together by sheer magic alone. It used to belong to a friend, his brother in arms, Sergeant Riddle. Riddle was killed in the scorching. He was searching for food with his family just a few blocks away. Shame really, to go out like that. He was in no position to find cover. The scorching was instantaneous and came out of nowhere. Who could really expect something like that while out with their wife and son? Guess it just goes to show that anything can happen. Anything at all. You never know when this day could be your last. Jackson had been here many times for dinner or the occasional weekend drinking parties. He knew this area very well. That’s why he chose to hunker down here when everything went to shit. See, Riddle was the kind of person that tried to be prepared for things such as hurricanes, looting, after civilization type scenarios. So he had this shelter built into the yard out back. A bomb shelter or world war three shelter he would say. Whatever it was, Jackson was thankful for his friend’s eccentricity. He walked around the side of the house and into the backyard where he saw the shelter door leading down into his only safe place in the world. The shelter was built maybe ten feet under the soil and hard wired to the solar panels installed on the roof of the house for energy needs. By luck they were still intact otherwise his living conditions would suck that much more. He entered the pin code on the digital lock and opened the heavy shelter door, must have weighed eighty to a hundred pounds, and walked inside, sealing himself off from the outside nightmare. There was a small suction sound as he closed the door and walked down the steps. The inside was rather comfortable considering his surroundings. It was roughly the size of four hundred square foot studio apartment. He had a bed, toilet, sink, even a stove to cook his food on although he rarely used it. Food was scarce nowadays. Food he could stomach that was. He relaxed in his table chair taking in everything that happened. He was grateful to be alive yet saddened by his loneliness. He only had himself for company and at times it drove him mad. Days he would stay in his shelter, depressed. Everything he knew had been taken from him. His friends, acquaintances, hell, the guy who would make his coffee in the mornings at the Green Coffee Shack. Even that poor bastard was gone.

How could he sit here and be grateful for another day when they would never have one again? Jackson cleared his throat and removed all his clothes. He walked over to the shower to clean himself of the putrid smell that transferred to him during his scuffle. His hair was long now, down to his neck; his beard just as long. There wasn’t a need to shave anymore, who was he going to impress? But he thought today, maybe he would cut it. More of a hassle really letting himself go like that. Always having to wash and groom it all down. So he decided to get rid of it all. His sink was filled with long hair and after ten minutes, he looked at himself in the mirror. He hadn’t seen his own face in months and almost forgot what he looked like. A young and strong man at the age of 26 with a strong jaw and beautiful blue eyes to complement his light brown hair. He stood there observing himself for a second before wiping his face and lying in bed. He had a single mattress cot in the corner of the room. After a long yawn, he rolled over on his side, back to the wall, and closed his eyes.

Chapter 4

3 days before the scorching:

The Boeing 747 rolled down the airstrip slowly. The pilots were going through their checks and balances prior to parking the aircraft in its designated spot. Jackson was staring through the window, brimming with anticipation. His heart was thumping, but in a very good way. His pulse was racing and his leg was tapping. Always seems to take forever from the time an aircraft lands to the time it parks. Plus it didn’t help that he was still in uniform, not the most comfortable thing to wear when flying.

“You seem nervous, everything ok son?” said the older gentleman at his right.
“Yeah, I’m perfectly fine, actually I’m very fine. I’m on my way home.”
“Where ya comin from if ya don’t mind my askin?” he questioned.
“I’m on my way home from deployment; I’ve been in Afghanistan almost four hundred days now.” He replied as he nervously shook his leg.
“Oh my, four hundred days ya said? Seems like a damn long time if ya ask me. How’d ya get suckered inta that?”
“My unit deploys every year, and it was our time to go. That’s just how it is I guess.”
“Four hundred days straight huh? Seems like a long time.” he said as he scrunched his face up.
“Well it was more like three hundred and ninety. It wasn’t continuous though. I got a two week vacation just over eight months ago. I came home and got to see my wife, so I guess it worked out a little bit.”
“Yea, I guess so. Well, it was nice meetin ya and I wish ya the best of luck ma friend. And thank ya fer what ya do. I know it takes a lot fer a man to leave his famly behind. So if anyone appreciates ya, let it be me son. Thank you.” He said as he extended his hand out.

Jackson shook his hand firmly and was overwhelmed a bit. Sure he had been thanked before but never so sincerely. He felt proud and couldn’t contain the small tears welling up on his eyes. The aircraft was parked now and the fasten seatbelt light had shut off. Everyone all over was standing and grabbing for their luggage overhead. Jackson waited for the gentleman next to him to get up and open the overhead compartment when he glanced down and saw he had a prosthetic leg. He made eye contact and the old man winked at him.“Semper Fidelis son” the man had said.

Now he understood. They shared a common thing and Jackson smiled as he got up from his seat and grabbed his camouflage backpack from the cubby.

“Good afternoon passengers, on behalf of Lieutenant Thompson and I, we’d like to thank you for flying with us today and hope you come back again. The flight attendants have opened the doors so please be safe on your way out and have a nice day”

Jackson was walking through the jet bridge and could see the families of everyone aboard. They were smiling and talking amongst themselves. He walked through the gate and into the crowd of people, and then stopped to look around. He looked in a full circle until he finally saw it. A huge cardboard sign that read “Welcome home Sweetheart”. The crowd parted at that moment as he saw the most beautiful woman with blonde hair and green eyes. She was dressed elegantly with a long white dress that had sleeves going to her elbows. Her hair was pulled back revealing the features of her face he fell in love with all those years ago and the diamond pendant he had gotten her for their third anniversary. He walked briskly and fell into her arms. She teared as she looked into his eyes and said “I missed you so much honey.” They kissed deeply and passionately. Jackson held her tight for a moment, smelling her hair. How he missed that smell. Her fragrance was the aroma of roses on a warm spring day. This is how he always remembered her. Then took a knee.

“Honey, you’re about to pop now! Geez! You’ve gotten so big already.”
“Oh shut it, don’t you have anything nice to say other than how big I’ve gotten?” she said as she smiled and ran her fingers through his hair.

Jackson kissed her round belly and put both his hands on her slowly. There, he felt it for the very first time. The tiny kicks of his soon to be little girl. He stared in awe and bewilderment. Such a thing was unknown to him and to experience it was overpowering. He smiled and looked at his wife as he chuckled a bit to himself.

“How long now?” he asked her as he stood up and patted his cheeks with his sleeve.
“Any day. The doctor says as soon as next week maybe. I’m so glad you’re going to be here. I was afraid you wouldn’t get here in time.”
“Nonsense, I wouldn’t miss this even if I had to fight my way through the whole world to get here. You know that.”

They held each other’s hands and walked to the baggage claim. They stood in silence and every few seconds, she would catch him looking at her smiling ear to ear. They did this off and on until she finally asked him “What is it? Just spill it already”.

“It’s just that, I never knew how this would feel knowing that I was going to have a baby, ya know. Sure I knew you were pregnant but this is the first time I’ve been able to touch you and see you since I came home eight months ago. It’s just a little much to take in all at once.”
“Well nobody told you to go fighting a war” she said as she rested her head on his arm.
“You know there’s nothing I can do about that hon. It’s my job, my duty. I’m just doing what I’m ordered to”
“Yeah I know, it still sucks though. Hopefully you never have to leave me again. You have to help raise this little monster too ya know. Don’t use work as an excuse to skimp out on diaper changing.”

Jackson laughed to himself and hugged his wife before walking over to the baggage carousel and grabbed his garment bag and rifle case. People in the area were staring at him, some proudly, others abrasively. After all, he was walking through an airport with a weapon in uniform. He didn’t care though. It was locked up and unloaded. They made their way to the parking garage and loaded his things into the SUV and drove home.

The night fell slowly as they pulled into the driveway of their home. A rather normal looking place. Orange on the outside with brown trimmings. Jackson had never liked the color of the house but it was that way when he bought it. He had shipped off just a week after the documents were signed giving him and his wife ownership of their new house. Now that his deployment was over, he would change that awful color to something a little fresher looking. He grabbed his things from the trunk of the SUV and walked inside as the door shut slowly behind him.

December 3rd, 2013, 11:55 AM
Celebrations are in order. Just broke the 20,000 word barrier on this story. 20,380 to be exact. 18 chapters in. Im feeling pretty impressed with myself since this is my first actual story and all.

December 10th, 2013, 04:25 PM
Is this a first draft?

You have a very good premise about the solar flares destroying our way of life, then you launch into an action packed sequence that after a while seems too rushed.

Who is Jackson? You change from first person to third person in chapter 1. You also suddenly give a paragraph over to the "hunters" who get their own point of view. I got confused as to who I was supposed to be reading about.

Who is the "I" in the prologue and paragraphs 1 and 2 of chapter 1, is that Jackson? If so then you should choose either first person or third person and do not change it.

It was action packed, but a little too much action. Try to stretch things out a bit, give the reader time to know who the character is.

December 10th, 2013, 04:38 PM
"He hadnít seen his own face in months and almost forgot what he looked like. A young and strong man at the age of 26 with a strong jaw and beautiful blue eyes to complement his light brown hair. "

I don't want to pick your story to pieces but please think about how your character describes himself. Anyone who thinks they have beautiful blue eyes will likely turn the reader off. It is often a cliche in many stories that a character will describe him/herself by looking in the mirror. But can you recall the last time you stood in front of a mirror and described yourself?

What you have written is not so bad because Jackson had forgotten what he looked like, but is he really the kind of man who thinks he has "beautiful blue eyes that compliment his light brown hair"? - This made him sound like he fancies himself.

Other than that and what I mentioned in my previous post your writing is good and flows well.

December 10th, 2013, 04:48 PM
Yeah this story is a draft so far. Just wanted to leak the first few chapters and get feed back. I'm at 20 chapters and 24000 words so far. In my draft the paragraphs are separated a little better to define the shift from first to third person.

The story is fast paced and the character is moderately introduced with bits and piece's over the span of the story in hopes that the reader gradually grows to really root for him. And yeah I see what your saying about the corniness of describing himself. I'll touch that up a little better.

I see what your saying about the hunter POV, never read it that way. Touch ups in order on that one too. Thanks :)

there are a lot of action scenes so far but its also balanced with story and character developments in a slow but gripping way. I actually wrote in a supporting character as well. But people read and never really comment that's why I haven't uploaded more.

December 10th, 2013, 06:41 PM
It sounds like you are in the creative stage of writing this. My advice would be to continue writing and get to the end of the first draft. Try not to ask for feedback because you could break your creative flow. When you finish the first draft then go back and look at the parts that may need to change.

December 10th, 2013, 08:31 PM
I can't say that I'm overly into the story. Probably should have read the first and second chapter. One thing I'll note, your dialogue seems very shotgun-esque. Let's drop some of the saids, add a bit of description, and draw it out a bit.

December 11th, 2013, 03:39 AM
Yeah the first 2 chapters actually got put into another post last night due to language usage. The story is still in draft. The earlier chapters are very "Drafty" compared to the much laters ones which are alot more refined. I spent one of my nights last week reading through all 24000 words and I could tell that my style of writing was getting better the later I progressed which means that I will go back later and redo the opening chapters.

December 11th, 2013, 03:41 AM
Glad to hear it Tbird.