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View Full Version : The Five paths of the Founder. Chapter 1 (2600 words, mature theme, language)



Lucydity
August 12th, 2014, 01:54 AM
Hi, so this is an idea I though up of today, the first chapter doesn't really give too much away on what this story is about but it sort of sets up the main character, what kind of person he is etc and gets ready to setup the second chapter, which if people like it I will write.

The first chapter plays on how people act compared to how they're really thinking, their forms of escapism, how their life would be better if they had more and what really means something to them when things genuinly hits the fan compared to what they think is bad.

Rated: M for mature (language, sexual references / themes )


I've done my first edit so this is somewhat of my second draft.




The Five paths of the Founder

Chapter 1 - The workplace


The sweet warmth of my pillow and naked wife really stop me from wanting to get out of bed, until my emergency alarm starts to bleep. “You’re going to be late again, you know.” My wife Claire is just rousing from her sleep, yawning as she stretches and places her soft hand on my cheek. “Who cares, Kenn can go screw himself,” I say, but really I’d rather not get fired from this job, as boring as typing up statistics is, it brings in more than I am worth, but hey who else gets to sit daydreaming for the majority of their time at work, so I can’t really complain.
Shifting from my sheets and walking over to the bathroom in our one bedroom apartment I pull yesterdays towel up off the floor, it’s still damp, my mind was occupied with something else last night. Stretching out my back I turn over to Claire who is just sitting up covering her bare breasts with the beige duvet we got from a catalog.
The way she looks at me, with her brunette hair, wild and messy from sleep, falling over one of her brown eyes makes me want to get back in bed more than ever. She smiles at me and asks the same question she’s been asking for months, “When are we going to get a house together, Darien”,
“Soon, when I get this promotion.” Although I know this promotion probably won’t ever come , but avoiding moving into a new house means she won’t want kids yet, one thing I can wait for.

Stepping into the shower cubicle, I dance around trying my best to avoid the freezing cold water; the boiler clearly hasn’t been fixed yet. Eventually I become accustomed to the cold, letting the ice water run over my head and down my back, my world seems peaceful as it runs through my ears, blocking my hearing and allowing me to fall deep into a daydream. Walking through a damp forest, sword in hand and pressing on the enemy, the water from the shower being my rain, the aroma of damp soil, moss and leaves being inhaled as the mud engulfs my boots. Back to reality, I remember Kenn’s words last time I was late, “If it happens again I’ll be having words with Mr. Berriman himself.”
I dry my hair in the mirror, the black mess shifts around with ease, my deep green eyes stare back at me, with bags under my eyes from lack of sleep, the stubble on my face making another appearance; I can always shave tomorrow.
Buttoning up my shirt and neatly wrapping my tie into a knot, I feel Claires hands wrap around my chest from behind me, I can tell she isn’t wearing any clothes “You’re really going to make me late, you know.”
“You already are late, what’s one kiss off my gorgeous man going to hurt?”
I run my hand up the curve in her back, feeling her smooth skin and the bumpiness of her spine, her wet lips converging with mine; I wouldn’t mind getting fired if I could have a whole day of this. “Have a good day , Darien,” Claire says looking up at me with a smile on her face.
“I’ll try.” I will try, but Kenn will try harder at giving me the worst day possible.
“I love you.” I hear her say but I’m already rushing out the door, no time for more talk. Hurrying along with my briefcase in hand I look down at my watch, 8:30, “Not as bad as I thought,” I say to myself, It should only take me fifteen minutes to walk to work so I may actually be on time for once. That’s when I remember this is a crappy fake Rolex I got 3 years ago, the hand isn’t ticking, maybe I will be late afterall.

Twisting and turning through the crowd of people who clearly don’t have a job to go to, I try to keep a good pace, although I’d be dead of old age with the speed these people walk. A drip of sweat begins to pierce through my skin on my head and soaks into my hair slightly, just what I need right now, not only will I be late to work, but this heat will get me there looking like an obese man has just heard the word “salad”.
Crossing the road with the lights on green, I narrowly miss being hit by a taxi driver, who curses at me loudly out of his car window, one arm tanned more than the other from propping his elbow out in the sun too long.
Almost there, I rush up the marble steps and into the daunting skyscraper, I’m greeted by a “Berriman Electronics” sticker on the revolving door, I walk into the building and the air conditioning hits me in the face, nearly freeze drying the sweat on my forehead. The cafe looks empty, never a good sign if going off experience.
Striding towards the elevator my polished shoes click-clack on the light brown marble floor.
I pass the receptionist’s desk, reflecting and distorting my face with its polished, laminated mahogany. I glance at the clock above it, the hands resting to show 9:30, “Oh bugger.” I know I’m about to get a pasting off Kenn.
The receptionist looks up and gives me a professional smile to cut the awkwardness out of our eyes meeting, her dark hair ironed to her head and pinned back with a spring clip, her thin lips with bright red lipstick, a spot of it smudged onto her teeth, not a crease to show on her fresh blazer, unlike my own.
My stomach grumbles as I step into the supercooled elevator and make my way to the 19th floor, no time for breakfast, I’ll get something from down the road during my break. The doors of the elevator swing open on the 19th floor, to the sight of Kenn, grinning with his perfect white teeth, wrinkles around his light blue eyes, perfectly matched to his bleach blonde hair. You can almost imagine him waiting here for me, waiting to tell me how in the next 10 minutes I’ll be walking home with time off work, I’ll return on the date “never,” with my new job position, “unemployed.”
“Late again Darien, my my!” not late enough to punch you in the face. “Mr. Berriman wants to see you.” He spins on his heel and takes a quick stride into the office, head held high knowning he can finally get rid of me once and for all.
Knocking on the door to John Berrimans office I find myself staring at nothing but a dark brown wooden door with a golden door sign engraved with Mr. Berriman - C.E.O of Berriman electronics.
Sat on a nice sunny beach is where I’d love to be right now, a nice tanned body, laying down on a comfortable hammock with any strange coloured cocktail, handed to me by some sweet looking babe in a bikini who only loves me because I’m rich, that’s probably my next goal after being fired, winning the lottery.
“Come in.” Mr. Berrimans gruff voice demands from the other side of the door. Opening the door I feel the sweat on my palms as it slips off the handle, stepping into the room the smell of sweet cinnamon mixed with the overpowering odour of banana skin whiffs through the air.
John Berriman sits at his marble desk, what is it with marble anyway? “Take a seat over here.” Berriman offers his hand out to a simple “b” shapedchair, with a simple black leather padding to sit on and to support my back, a bit of a downgrade to his huge leather corporate chair, with arm rests and even a head rest as if he’s going to avoid getting whiplash during a conference. “It seems you’re late again Mr Cole,” strands of his white horse shoe hair flutter in the breeze of the air conditioning behind him. “Unfortunately yes, there was an accident this morning-”
“I don’t care!” His stern powerful voice cuts me off, then he continues as if I wasn’t trying to explain the rest, “I want to see you here dead on nine o’clock and not a minute later for the rest of the year, if you’re late one more time you’re out of here. Do you understand Mr Cole?”
“Yes Mr. Berriman, I’m sorry about being late again.”
“I don’t want an apology, I want you here on time, now go before I change my mind.”
Getting up, a small vapour of sweat is left in the middle of the leather on the chair, I hope he doesn’t notice that.

As I step into the open plan office, I can see Kenn over by the water dispenser, leaning with his elbow on the photocopier, probably getting dust on his pristine maroon supervisor’s blazer, he’s flirting with Michelle again.
I walk over, saving Michelle from having to force out one of her fake laughs that makes me cringe. “Still here, unfortunately for you Kenn, sorry to always be a dissapointment.” the sarcasm seems to fly right over his head.
“Yes well, let’s see to it that you’re here on time, is that clear?” as if I hadn’t just been lectured about this.
“Yes Kenn.”
Taking a seat at my small desk I turn on my computer and the ancient screen blinks on, the glass on the front is something you’d expect find on your great great grandmothers specs, the enormous box shape takes up probably five times the space on my desk than it really needs to, I’d be much happier with one of those smart flat screens most of the other people seem to have. Looking up at the walls of my cubicle I can see yesterdays statistics pinned onto the fabric, oh and when I said “open plan” office, I meant no one has their own personal office, but our walls consist of those blue “cost effective” pin boards surrounding you to stop you from opening conversation and making friends, no wonder everyone in here is so depressed.
Typing in statistics is pretty boring, but easy, that’s why I can mindlessly type stuff up and daydream about what it would be like if zombies suddenly came pouring through the doorway, the first thing I’d do is throw Kenn into them, see if he gives that sly smirk then as his blonde hair is dyed dark red from a zombie cracking open his skull with its teeth. All jokes aside it would still be the best thing to ever happen in this office, my first weapon of choice would be this computer screen, it has to be just about the largest and heaviest piece of crap in here, I’d wager I could take out at least five zombies just by throwing it with a mild push.
“Here’s your next load Darien, have fun” Kenn drops a stack of paperwork on my table that hits with such a large thud it almost rivals my weapon choice of what to throw at zombies. The elastic holding it together is stretching so far you can almost hear it screaming as the bands begin to shred in some areas.
As Kenn strides off I give him the finger while he isn’t looking, my focus shifts and I notice Michelle looking at me smirking and turning back to her own work, I feel myself blush a little, I spin around thinking of what it would be like to have Michelle sat on top of me, on my private jet with her blonde hair and huge breasts bouncing up and down on her tanned skin, matching the beat of some random hip-hop tune, with us on the way to a trip along the Great Barrier Reef, once i’ve won the lottery of course.
Only another hour and I can finally go for something to eat, whoever is in the cubicle next to me surely thinks there’s a demon in here waiting to devour their soul should he or she pop their head over to see what the hell this huge rumbling noise is, my stomach sounds like it’s roaring for food right now.
Staring into my computer monitor I can see the amount of sales for electronics, the sales increasing each year, the new technology being released and sold daily. I wonder what will happen once technology becomes so abundant that my job will be done electronically, I mean really, what a way to be fired from Berriman Electronics, to be replaced by a piece of electronics, typing up a report on electronics, brilliant, they should totally name their prototype Kenn.

Twelve O’Clock, at last! I rub my eyes, which feel like they’re on auto pilot from a mix of staring at a computer screen and daydreaming, things could be worse, I could be sat back at the apartment right now explaining to Claire how well need to “make ends meet” until I find a job. Either way I can finally quench this demon by letting it devour one of Margaret’s finest sandwiches. Leaving my briefcase on my chair I stand up and stretch, the ache down my back from sitting on this crappy office chair is another problem working here gives me.
Slamming my watch around I manage to get it working again, I set the time to the correct digits and set the alarm for Twelve Thirty, that should give me enough time to get myself some food and get back to the office on time, safely secured in my job.
A quick drop down the elevator which seemed peculiarly faster on the way down and I’m out onto the street, it feels like i’ve stepped out of the refrigerator and into an oven as my face is slammed by a wall of heat, the hustle of people on their lunch break storming through the streets towards the food court, following suit i’m swept away with everyone else like a herd of cattle. I can smell Margaret’s from here, the smell of fresh dough and toasted panini’s invades my nostrils pulling me along and towards where I need to be.
“One ham and cheese, toasted on italian bread please.” I slam my money down on the counter, the man pickes it up with latex gloves stained with some tomato sauce, his red and white striped apron and hat both stamped with the “Margaret’s” logo, his red hair and pale face, littered with ackney almost camoflauge him into the uniform, no wonder they hired him.

Wrapping my hands around the warm Ham and Cheese toasted sandwhich I leave for the park, perhaps getting something cold would have been a better choice with this weather but atleast it’ll keep the cheese melted.
The world around me flies by as I eat, what am I doing with my life? Where will I be in ten years? Still sucking up to Kenn and his wrinkled eyes? Living in a house with kids and Claire?
I wish I could just win the lottery and get it over with, or be suprised by finding out some rare talent I never knew I had, or even a promotion would be nice, but this world isn’t like that, you can see it just by looking around the park. The kid crying at his popped balloon, the couple arguing over which is the best new phone to buy, the homeless man being ignored by everyone who walks past, we’re all shit out of luck and can’t seem to get anywhere without either an extreme amount of luck or being born into the right family.

This Ham and Cheese is about the best thing I have at this moment in time, even my suit is tattered, my watch faulty, thinking of which I check to see the time, the hand’s stopped ticking again, looking up at the town center the clock reads 12:56. Holy mother of god i’m about to lose my job. I bounce up off the park bench and launch the rest of my Ham and Cheese into the hands of the homeless man, running towards the city center people seem to want to block my way, as if they know I am extremely late but would rather see me begging for Margaret’s sandwiches like that homeless guy. Barging my way through a crowd I hear people gasping in shock or telling me how good I look in my suit, well not really, but I’m too focused on not being fired to care what they are saying.
Just as I come close to Berriman's I’m confronted by a wall of people, “oh for fuck sake, really?” I leap through the crowd and hear a high pitched scream , my reflexes freeze every muscle in my body and I remember, on the way out the door I didn’t tell Claire that I love her, just as I see the truck.

Digiphant
August 12th, 2014, 05:22 PM
This is good. Really good. I'm not a big fan of writing in the present tense as a lot of people can't maintain it and start switching between tenses. This piece made it work, though. There are only a few things I would change:

Some of the sentences are actually multiple sentences run together. It may be that you were trying to create a tone of stream of consciousness in the work, but it gets quite distracting. For example: I say, but really I’d rather not get fired from this job. As boring as it is, it brings in more than I am worth and hey, who else gets to sit daydreaming for the majority of their time at work? I can’t really complain.

The only other point I'd like to mention is length. I like the way you've brought Darien's world to life, but you don't have to describe everything in such detail. For instance, in the cliff hanger sentence, too much detail slows the pacing and makes reading it awkward. It's a minor quibble, though, and one you don't have to worry about until it comes time to edit your work.

You've captured the essence of a soul-crushing data entry job very well and I can relate to how Darien feels. Let's just hope he can survive the truck.

Lucydity
August 12th, 2014, 09:51 PM
This is good. Really good. I'm not a big fan of writing in the present tense as a lot of people can't maintain it and start switching between tenses. This piece made it work, though. There are only a few things I would change:

Some of the sentences are actually multiple sentences run together. It may be that you were trying to create a tone of stream of consciousness in the work, but it gets quite distracting. For example: I say, but really Iíd rather not get fired from this job. As boring as it is, it brings in more than I am worth and hey, who else gets to sit daydreaming for the majority of their time at work? I canít really complain.

The only other point I'd like to mention is length. I like the way you've brought Darien's world to life, but you don't have to describe everything in such detail. For instance, in the cliff hanger sentence, too much detail slows the pacing and makes reading it awkward. It's a minor quibble, though, and one you don't have to worry about until it comes time to edit your work.

You've captured the essence of a soul-crushing data entry job very well and I can relate to how Darien feels. Let's just hope he can survive the truck.

I see, thankyou very much for the feedback, now you've pointed out the mistakes on my sentences I can see I really need to work on my grammar quite a lot.

Hmm, I agree with the final bit being long and akward to read, I tried to captivate his thoughts just before that event happened as he stepped into the road but I honestly struggled to keep it short enough to sound good, perhaps I will remove that part out and save it for the aftermath, where I guess the pace is automatically slowed.


For the rest of the story, I want to try to bring the life around Darien alive so people get a good feel of the city he lives in, should I write less detail on certain aspects but more events? So in a way more progression and development but less detail (but the amount of progression improves the detail translated to the reader)

Lucydity
August 13th, 2014, 12:11 AM
Also I find writing present tense easy when it's first person perspective, since it's basically how you would see things in real life and being able to easily switch to past-tense text when going through flash backs etc, For me personally it's the easiest way to write.

Digiphant
August 13th, 2014, 10:05 AM
perhaps I will remove that part out and save it for the aftermath

"I look to my left and I think of lying in bed with Claire just as I see the truck." Seems to work.

Don't get me wrong, you need some detail, it's just perhaps you could reign it in a little:


a simple chair with a steel frame which makes the shape of a “5“ from the side, only with the top missing, a simple black leather padding to sit on and to support my back

"a simple steel framed chair which is ergonomically shaped, but basic."

I would stress that this is only my opinion and that others might relish the extra touches. As it is from a first person perspective, it also tells us about how Darien thinks, so it's going to be a balancing act between pacing and characterisation. I think it's going to be a case of knowing when to let the detail take over and when to move the plot forward. I can't offer advice on how you would choose, so perhaps it would be better to continue writing as you are and then sort it out in the edit.

Lucydity
August 13th, 2014, 01:21 PM
Alright, thanks Digiphant, yeah I struggled a bit in explaining the shape of the chair XD perhaps I just need a little more research and some more proof reading.

Lucydity
August 13th, 2014, 01:53 PM
Also another thing just to add, if i'm talking in first person explaining what is going on, is it still ok to used italics as to what Darien is thinking? Kind of like how someone would in real life, and the rest is just detail being explained through the narrative?

e.g.

Sweat began to trickle down my forhead, Great.

Digiphant
August 13th, 2014, 05:20 PM
Hmmm. I don't read a lot of first person perspective stories, but I don't recall that style being used. It seems to me that if Darien was telling you this story in person, he wouldn't blurt his thoughts out would he? He'd say something like: "Sweat began to trickle down my forehead, leaving me wondering why I bothered with the shower." I guess you're essentially in the narrator's mind, so any thoughts would have to be expressed as part of the narrative instead of as a separate thing.