PDA

View Full Version : The results



Pork Sausage
May 4th, 2014, 11:12 PM
Please be aware this piece has language that may offend also, this is my first post here, please let me know if I'm doing it wrong. Regards, Pork.





The Result




Malcolm remembered the hall to be bigger. The four hundred people packed into it seemed to bring the walls in close, almost on top of him. With every seat taken, the men, women and children, perched wherever they found space. Pictures of local fallen soldiers immortalised in black and white looked out above four equally spaced radiators that pumped heat into the already stifling room, raising the temperature to an uncomfortable level.
He sat on the edge of his orange plastic chair and swung his legs back and forth. A hand touched his knee; he gazed at his mother. She looked different today; her blond hair hung loose and rested over her shoulder, she looked like one of those painted dolls he'd seen in Harrods, with red lips and blue eyes, only prettier.

"Stop it little one, you're making the chair wobble," she said.

Malcolm carried on...

"Malcolm, stop it," She said again, this time with a little more vigour.

He frowned, puffed out his cheeks, lent forward and rested his feet on the floor.

"I know it's boring; we won't be long."

Malcolm looked back up at his mother, "Mummy, are we sitting at the front because we're important?"

"Yes, very important, Daddy's trying to make things better for us."

"What, just us? What about those people outside in the rain?"

"Yes, them too."

"Oh good..."

Malcolm rested his elbows on his knees, put his head in his hands and stared up at the stage where his Father stood with several other people. His thick black hair swept away off his handsome face with a generous layer of Brill Cream. At six foot three he stood taller than the other candidates. Malcolm swelled with pride as even at his young age he could sense the air of superiority his Father emanated.

Each candidate wore a different colour rosette. They jostled for position, but Malcolm's Father dominated the stage regardless.

"Mummy, look, Daddy's got a blue flower; that's my favorite colour," he said not taking his eyes off his father. "And it matches his tie..."

"Yes dear, it's my favorite colour too... Cross your fingers," she said needing to raise her voice a little over the crowd.

Malcolm lifted his hands, smiled and crossed both fingers for his mother to see.
"Mummy, I've crossed my toes as well..."

"Good boy." She smiled, put her arm around him and gave him a squeeze. "Here we go..."

A round man walked across the stage to a podium which stood to the left of the raised structure. He shuffled his papers and tapped the microphone. A dull thud erupted through the old tannoy speakers which peered down at an angle over the crowd.
The noise abated but didn't disappear as the man waited for as much hush as he was going to get.

"Oh get on with it you silly old sod," said Malcolm's Mother.

He frowned at her; she smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

"Well...he does go on it a bit."

All eyes turned to the man as the chatter turned to a low murmur.
"In the year of our Lord, Nineteen Eighty four, for the constituency of the London borough of Hanwell. I the undersigned being the returning officer hereby give notice that the total number of votes given for each candidate were as follows for th..."

Malcolm's mother made pincer like motions with her hands and wobbled her head from side to side.
Malcolm laughed, "Mummy, what party is Daddy in?"

"Conservative," she said.

"Glover, David John... London and class war candidate...thirty six votes..."

The hall managed a small clap, "That's not many is it Mummy?"

"No, but it's a good effort."

Malcolm fixed his eyes on his father. He'd moved to the centre of the stage to stand next to a short man. Malcolm knew the man supported Labour because he had a red rosette. He also knew that Labour were soft left wing nancies who, if they had their way, would let the black and Paki bastards in to do whatever they liked. He knew this because he often hear his Daddy talk on the phone to his friends. He didn't know what a Paki looked like but knew the bastards were invading the country. Daddy said they came from Pakistan but his friend Ally came from there, and he liked him. Malcolm was sure Daddy was working hard to stop the nasty ones coming in.

"Mummy, didn't the man with a red rosette used to have a blue one like Daddy?"

"Yes dear, he defected." A puzzled look spread across Malcolm's face, his mother saw his confusion. "He changed sides. He'll be back though, once he's lost his seat."

"Lost his seat?"

"Yes, the grass isn't always greener on the other side."

Malcolm thought about his garden and the lawn next door, "Sometimes it is..."

His Mother had stopped listening, "Quiet dear."

Malcolm crossed his arms in a huff.

The man continued. "Thomas, Linda Jane...Green Party...one hundred and seventy four."
"That's good isn't it...?"

"Yes dear..."

Malcolm knew she was a lesbian, but he didn't know what a lesbian did.

"Daddy's going to get lots of votes isn't he?"

"Yes dear... try to be quiet now, mummy needs to concentrate."

Malcolm stared at the floor; he swung his feet back and forth again.
The bald man kept going, Malcolm pulled at a piece of cotton that hung from his jacket. The zig zag of the stitching doubling in length as it yielded.

"Stop that Malcolm," said his mother, she broke the cotton with expert fingers.
A yawn spread through him and he covered his mouth with his palm. He rested his hands in his lap and glanced up at the stage.
He liked the man in the tall hat with a leopard-skin jacket. He only got seven votes, but didn't seem to mind at all, in fact, he looked quite happy.

"Wright, Samuel John..."

Malcolm sat bolt upright; he grabbed hold of his mother's arm "It's Daddy, Its Daddy..." He said, his voice rising to a high pitch. His mother didn't react; she stared transfixed by the man behind the podium.

"Conservative party...Seventeen Thousand five hundred and...." The hall erupted with shouts and claps. The man behind the podium waited for the noise to die down, "Fifty votes"

Malcolm's father began to shake the hands of everyone on the stage, except the man to his left. The hall went quiet again.

"Knell, Kevin Haldon, Labour... Fourteen...." Malcolm didn't hear the rest, he and everyone else knew it didn't matter. Malcolm watched his mother rush up to the stage full of excitement.

"MUMMY?"

She stopped, ran back and grabbed Malcolm's hand. "Come on Pal, let's find Daddy."

He followed her around the side of the stage, up the steps and through the jostling bodies. He could see his father being hugged by one person then another. Desperate to get to him; he followed his mother who pushed her way through the crowd.

"Excuse me...excuse me...."

He'd won, Daddy had won. He'd beaten the Lesbian, the paki lover and the man with the tall hat.
Malcolm felt himself being lifted. Light stubble brushed his face and a strong smell pushed the air from his lungs as his father lent in close to kiss his cheek. He held tight as a flash stung his eyes.
Malcolm heard people shouting from behind a row of cameras, the operators trying the get his father's attention.

"MR WRIGHT...THIS WAY MR WRIGHT."

Malcolm felt his fathers grip tighten as he pointed back to a large poster with his smiling face beaming across the crowd; it carried the slogan...
'The Wright way's the only way...'
Malcolm's chest puffed up; he'd come up with the slogan and had been there when the first one rolled off the press. Everyone had made a huge fuss of him for being so clever.

"Smile..."

Malcolm couldn't stop smiling; he put his arm around his mother as the camera flashed again. 'Me, on the front page' he thought.
From his raised position, his smile could be seen from the other side of the packed hall. His father had won. He'd been voted in.
Now he'd got what he wanted, maybe the noises would stop, and he could sleep.

qwertyman
May 5th, 2014, 10:27 AM
Hi Pork, I’m not ‘staff’ but I think you’ve posted correctly.

I presume this is a stand-alone piece and doesn’t develop into a story?

I think there is some over-description in the opening paragraph; nothing serious.

This piece raises an interesting point on POV. To this reader, you establish in the first paragraph that Malcolm’s POV is resident. I’m guessing Malcolm’s age to be six? (…when sitting his feet don’t touch the floor…father picks him up) Therefore, shouldn’t the vocabulary and aspect be that of a six year-old? Would Malcolm use words like ‘immortalised’. This is what I’m thinking as I read.

As I read on, the narrative POV becomes omniscient and then switches back to Malcolm’s and then back again, right to the end.


The noise abated but didn't disappear as the man waited for as much hush as he was going to get.
"Oh get on with it you silly old sod," said Malcolm's Mother.
He frowned at her; she smiled and shrugged her shoulders. "Well...he does go on it a bit."

Actually, he hasn’t said a word.


"Conservative party...Seventeen Thousand five hundred and...." The hall erupted with shouts and claps. The man behind the podium waited for the noise to die down, "Fifty votes"

I suggest rearranging this so that it reads ‘…and fifty votes’ to avoid re-reads.

I’ll guess this was written by a female Pork Sausage. Malcolm would be more interested in the ‘fallen soldiers’ and less familiar with the dolls in Harrods.

Brillcream is one word.

The Labour candidate changing sides, unless you have it included for an extension of this piece, is superfluous. I understand, for pace purposes, why it's there. But consider something else.

Nice easy flow, a pleasant read. I think you are delivering some kind of punch in the last line. I’m afraid it’s muddled. Who gets what they want? The father or Malcolm? If we were confident it was Malcolm’s POV, we would know it was him. I'm hoping it is the father hearing noises (voices?). We’d know they’d elected a nutter.

It's the difference between an incident and a story.

Pork Sausage
May 5th, 2014, 10:49 AM
Ideal, spot on, I did notice that the man hadn't said a word after I posted it! I've read this a thousand times and not see it before, its amazing how I could miss something so obvious, and you saw I straight away. Everything else mentioned is great, I'll learn a lot, and have another go. POV is an issue for me, and your dead right with what you said, more importantly, I understand why.
It is a first chapter of a novel and the switching sides thing is the main theme of the book. I suppose you wouldn't know if its relevant unless you read the rest.
And nope, i'm a dude, but my wife says I'm well in touch with my feminine side...

Pork Sausage
May 5th, 2014, 09:09 PM
Not sure if this is the done thing, but couldn't resist. Had to have another go after the great feedback above. Apologies if I've dropped a clanger.

The Result

Malcolm remembered the hall to be bigger. The four hundred people packed into it seemed to bring the walls in close, almost on top of him. With every seat taken, the men, women and children, perched wherever they found space. Four equally spaced radiators pumped heat into the already stifling room, raising the temperature to an uncomfortable level.

He sat on the edge of his plastic chair and swung his legs back and forth. A hand touched his knee and Malcolm gazed up at his mother. Her neat blond hair hung loose over her shoulder, and she wore more makeup than Malcolm had seen before.

"Stop it little one, you're making the chair wobble," she said.

Malcolm carried on…

“Malcolm, stop it,” She said again, this time with a little more vigour.

He frowned; puffed out his cheeks, lent forward and rested his feet on the floor.

"I know it’s boring; we won't be long."

Malcolm looked back up at his mother, “Mummy, are we sitting at the front because we’re important?”

“Yes, we’re very important, Daddy’s trying to make things better for us.”

“What, just for us? What about those people outside in the rain?”

“yes, them too.”

“Oh good…”

Malcolm rested his elbows on his knees, put his head in his hands and stared up at the stage where his Father stood with several other people. His thick black hair swept away off his handsome face with a generous layer of Brillcream. At six foot three he stood taller than the other candidates. Malcolm swelled with pride as even at his young age he could sense the air of superiority his Father emanated.

Each candidate wore a different colour rosette. They jostled for position, but Malcolm’s Father dominated the stage regardless.

“Mummy, look, Daddy’s got a blue flower; that’s my favorite colour," he said not taking his eyes off his father. “And it matches his tie…”

“Yes dear, it’s my favourite colour too... Cross your fingers,” she said needing to raise her voice a little over the crowd.

Malcolm lifted his hands, smiled and crossed both fingers for his mother to see.

“Mummy, I’ve crossed my toes as well…”

“Good boy.” She smiled, put her arm around him and gave him a squeeze. “Here we go…”

A round man walked across the stage to a podium which stood to the left of the raised structure. He shuffled his papers and tapped the microphone. A dull thud erupted through the old tannoy speakers which peered down at an angle over the crowd.
The noise abated but didn’t disappear as the man waited for as much hush as he was going to get.

“Oh get on with it you silly old sod,” said Malcolm’s Mother.

He frowned at her; she smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
“Well... he always does this, over plays his part.”

All eyes turned to the man as the chatter turned to a murmur.
“In the year of our Lord, Nineteen Eighty four, for the constituency of the London borough of Hanwell. I the undersigned being the returning officer hereby give notice that the total number of votes given for each candidate were as follows for th…”

Malcolm’s mother made pincer like motions with her hands and wobbled her head from side to side.
Malcolm laughed, “Mummy, what party is Daddy in?”

“Conservative,” she said.

“Glover, David John… London and class war candidate…thirty six votes…”

The hall managed a small clap, “That’s not many is it Mummy?”

“No, but it’s a good effort.”

Malcolm fixed his eyes on his father. He’d moved to the centre of the stage to stand next to a short man. Malcolm knew the man supported Labour because he had a red rosette. He also knew that Labour were soft left wing nancies who, if they had their way, would let the black and Paki bastards in to do whatever they liked. He knew this because he often hear his Father talk on the phone. He didn’t know what a Paki looked like but knew the bastards were invading the country. His father said they came from Pakistan but he knew his friend Ally came from there, and he liked him. Malcolm was sure his father was working hard to stop the nasty ones coming in.

“Mummy, didn’t the man with a red rosette used to have a blue one like Daddy?”

“Yes dear, he defected.” A puzzled look spread across Malcolm’s face, his mother saw his confusion. “He changed sides. He’ll be back though, once he’s lost his seat.”

“Lost his seat?”

“Yes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

Malcolm thought about his garden and the lawn next door, “Sometimes it is…”

His Mother had stopped listening, “Quiet dear.”

Malcolm crossed his arms in a huff.

The man continued. “Thomas, Linda Jane…Green Party…one hundred and seventy four.”

“That’s good isn’t it…?”

“Yes dear…”

Malcolm knew she was a lesbian, but he didn’t know what a lesbian did.

“Daddy’s going to get lots of votes isn’t he?”

“Yes dear… try to be quiet now, mummy needs to concentrate.”

“Do you think he’s going to win? I hope he does.”

Malcolm looked at his Mother but she was lost in concentration; he stared at the floor and swung his feet back and forth again.

The bald man kept talking, Malcolm pulled at a piece of cotton that hung from his jacket. The zig zag of the stitching doubling in length as it yielded.

“Stop that Malcolm,” said his mother, she broke the cotton with expert fingers.

A yawn spread through him and he covered his mouth with his palm. He rested his hands in his lap and glanced up at the stage.

A man with tall hat and a leopard-skin jacket waved at the crowd as his name was called out. He only got seven votes, but didn’t seem to mind at all, he carried on waving as he returned to the back of the stage.

The bald man adjusted his jacket, pushed his glasses back up his nose and readied himself, “Wright, Samuel John…”

As he heard the name Malcolm sat bolt upright; he grabbed hold of his mother’s arm and pointed towards the stage, “It’s Daddy, Its Daddy…” He said, his voice rising to a high pitch. His mother didn’t react; she stared transfixed by the man behind the podium.

“… Conservative party…Seventeen Thousand five hundred ….” The hall erupted with shouts and claps. The man behind the podium waited for the noise to die down,
“… And fifty votes”

Malcolm’s father began to shake the hands of everyone on the stage, except the Labour candidate to his left. The hall went quiet again.

“Knell, Kevin Haldon, Labour… Fourteen….” Malcolm didn’t hear the rest, he and everyone else knew it didn’t matter. Malcolm watched his mother rush up to the stage.

"MUMMY?"

She stopped, ran back and grabbed Malcolm's hand. “Come on Pal, let’s find Daddy.”

He followed her around the side of the stage, up the steps and through the jostling bodies. He could see his father being hugged by one person then another. Desperate to get to him; he followed his mother who pushed her way through the crowd.

“Excuse me…excuse me….”

Malcolm’s heart raced, his father had beaten the Lesbian, the paki lover and the man with the tall hat.
Malcolm felt himself being lifted. Light stubble brushed his face and a strong smell pushed the air from his lungs as his father lent in close to kiss his cheek. He held tight as a flash stung his eyes.

Malcolm heard people shouting from behind a row of cameras, the operators trying the get his father’s attention.
“MR WRIGHT…THIS WAY MR WRIGHT.”

Malcolm felt his father’s grip tighten as he pointed back to a large poster with his smiling face plastered across it. It carried the slogan…
‘The Wright way’s the only way…’

Malcolm’s chest puffed up; he'd come up with the slogan and had been there when the first one rolled off the press. Everyone had made a huge fuss of him for being so clever.

“Smile…”

Malcolm couldn’t stop smiling; he put his arm around his mother who stood next to them as the camera flashed again. ‘Me, on the front page’ he thought.

Malcolm’s smile could be seen from the other side of the packed hall. His father had won, he’d been voted in.

Now could Malcolm dare to hope? Now would the noises that fuelled his nightmares finally stop?

bazz cargo
May 5th, 2014, 09:29 PM
Hello Mr Sausage,
impressive first time out. Easy to read, coherent and interesting. I particularly enjoyed the child's POV. Nice little teaser on the end.

Although it doesn't make any difference to the story, I would have liked a clue as to Malcolm's age.

When posting different chapters I suggest you start a new thread for each one, that way you keep all relevant details separate and anyone reading them won't be put off by having a massive thread to trawl through. By all means add a link to your first chapter and any subsequent ones.

Great share
Thank you
BC

Pork Sausage
May 5th, 2014, 10:13 PM
Although it doesn't make any difference to the story, I would have liked a clue as to Malcolm's age.


Thanks BC, I cover that in the next chapter, but do you think it's needed to help the story visual in the first section?

bazz cargo
May 5th, 2014, 10:28 PM
do you think it's needed to help the story visual in the first section? Tough question, I write so I tend to look for details, a non-writing reader would probably not require help. Plus, have you finished the book and are now polishing the chapters? Or are you working on it as you go?

Chances are, after a good set of tweaks you will come back and fiddle with chapter one to make it fit the newly polished model.

Pork Sausage
May 5th, 2014, 10:51 PM
The story is down from start to finish. I'm going over it with a view to getting it a good as my ability will allow before I try to do something with it.