PDA

View Full Version : Aftermath (2575 words; dark; language)



sreeves2
August 31st, 2014, 05:16 AM
Hi, hello!
Okay, so this is the first chapter of a story I have been working on for awhile now. I'm really unsure if it's boring or immature; I know my writing isn't perfect, and I know I have a lot to improve on - that's why I'm here. PLEASE let me know what I can improve on. This story is aimed toward young adults, it has dark themes with subtle humor, and it's apocalyptic. I'm very disheartened about it now, actually, and I'm trying to think I should just trash this idea or not. Also, I wasn't sure as to where to post this fiction. It's key focus is romance, but it's very dark and frightening, so I eventually just decided to put in the romance section! Hopefully I'm not too wrong. But anyway, enough of my rambling. Here's the first chapter!

By the way, the setting of this particular scene takes place two months before the time the novel actually takes place in, the present. That's why I noted that it was 2 months prior.


---

2 Months Prior

“Darren, no,” I murmured as I tried to ease myself out from under my boyfriend. His dark green eyes stared down at me in confusion, his lips parted with ragged breaths gently running across my lips.

“What’s wrong?” He whispered.

“I’m not in the mood,” I said.

“Why not?”

“Because my parents are right in the room next over, and the world’s going to shit right now. I don’t feel like screwing around.” I stated matter of factly. Darren sighed to himself and reluctantly pulled away. His body laid next to mine on my small bed; the room was hot and stuffy since we hadn’t had a working air conditioner in weeks, but I couldn’t have been happier.

“Sorry,” Darren muttered. “The world really is going to shit, isn’t it?”

I hummed in response. I didn’t like to talk about what was going on in the news. Everything was so distorted and confusing. The media said one thing, and the president said another. It was like we, the people, didn’t know the real news, and that disturbed me.

I wasn’t one of the crazy people who believed that the government was hiding something from us, but I did know that something was up. I believe that we weren’t receiving the true stories.

“It’ll blow over,” I said finally, feeling Darren’s arm wrap around me as I snuggled against his chest. “Don’t you think?”

“I sure hope so.”

There was a sudden knock on my door, and Darren and I flinched apart, startled. My door opened to reveal my father, and normally he hated me closing my bedroom door when I had Darren over, but that apparently wasn’t one of his concerns at the moment.

“Ashton, Darren, please come here, we need to talk.” My father said. He didn’t give us a moment to respond because he was gone as soon as the words slipped from his mouth.

“Do you think we’re in trouble?” Darren asked, knowing my father could be very protective. There have been a fair share of times when my father sat with Darren and pulled the intimidation card. Darren had seen every single gun we owned in this house by now, thanks to my father.

“No,” I replied softly, pulling myself off my bed and wiping my hand across my clammy forehead. “But something’s definitely up.”

Darren and I hurried into the living room to find my mother and father sitting on the couch and my little brother, Sean, in between them.

“What’s up?” I asked everyone, standing idly in the doorway with Darren next to me.

“We just watched the news,” My mother said, “and there’s an epidemic going on right now. I’m sure you both have heard of the UVI virus?”

“Of course we have,” I said, wishing she would just come out and tell us the news. My mother was notorious for taking awhile to get to the point. “It’s all we’ve heard about for the past few weeks.”

“Well, they just found out it’s airborn.” My father said. “The entire country’s having a lockdown. They’re starting to quarantine people who they suspect have the virus. This is very serious news, kids, and I hate to say it, but they’re also cancelling all schools for the time being.”

Sean grinned at that, and I would have, since I, along with millions of other Americans, wasn’t a fan of school. But honestly, this must be a very serious issue if the entire country was cancelling all schools.

“We’re also going to have to stay in the house as much as we can,” My mother added. “The doctors are still trying to understand more about the virus, but so far they say 8 out of 10 people die from it.”

“And they haven’t found a cure yet, have they?” I asked quietly.

“Unfortunately, no.”

“They also don’t know how to treat it.” My mother added.

“We don’t want to scare you,” My father said. “But you do need to be aware of what’s going on.” We were all silent once he finished speaking, and it was one of those eerie silences where nobody knew what to say. Then, my father decided to speak up again. “I’m trying to fix the air conditioning again, but I can’t find a screwdriver. Ashton, do you think you could help me for a moment?”

“Of course,” I said, glancing at Darren, who was avoiding my gaze for the time being. I thought nothing of it, though, because the news we had just received was very grim and alarming. I swallowed thickly and followed my father into the laundry room, where he tended to keep most of his tools despite my mother’s constant complaining. We had a wall racked with tons of tools, and my mother claimed that it made the laundry room look like a tool shed. She did have a valid point, but my father never caved into her complaints and stubbornly kept his tools where they were.

“Don’t think I missed what I saw back there,” My father grumbled as he pulled out a bucket of more tools, only to find no screwdriver.

“What’re you talking about?”

“You know what I’m talking about.” He glanced at me with a skeptical gaze, not buying my innocent facade at all, much to my dismay. “If I catch you with him in your room with your door closed one more time, I’m removing it completely.”

“But how will I be able to change clothes without a door?”

“You have a bathroom.”

I could feel more protesting coming on, but I stopped myself. My father was evidently under a lot of stress, and he didn’t need to be dealing with me at the moment.

“You’re right.” I said instead. “I won’t do it again.”

“I’m only doing it for your protection.” My father replied softly, turning his gaze to focus entirely on me. My father and I were a lot alike, not physically, since I had my mother’s dark hair and brown eyes and (unfortunately) short stature, but my father and I were both down to earth and liked to cut straight to the chase. We didn’t sugar coat things, and we certainly didn’t hesitate to express how we felt in a situation (which proved to be a good and bad trait, however). “I know how teenage boys are, I was once one of those, believe it or not. And right now, pregnancy should be the last thing we need to worry about.”

This got awkward really fast.

“Dad,” I chuckled nervously. “Darren and I - we don’t do anything like that.”

My father merely rolled his eyes, not buying anything I said and resumed his search for a screwdriver. “Uh-huh.”

“Dad - ”

“ - spare me anymore details. I am your father, but I don’t need to know everything. My job is to protect you, not talk to you about sex.” My father said bluntly. “Anyway, can you go to the garage and look for a screwdriver? I’ve checked so many times, but I’m thinking I missed it.”

My father did tend to miss things when he was looking for them.

“Okay,” I said, more than eager to escape this awkward conversation. I made my way back into the living room and found Sean sitting on the rug, building a Thomas the Tank Engine train track. Darren was nowhere in sight, so I assumed he was back in my room. My mother was doing something in the kitchen, probably getting dinner ready.

I had just turned the corner into the hallway when someone grabbed tightly onto my arm, pulling me back into my room. I was shoved harshly against the wall was surprised to find Darren’s green eyes peering into mine.

“Darren, what the hell?” I exclaimed, though my words were cut short when he clamped his hand tightly around my mouth, muffling me instantly.

“Shut up,” He whispered. “Don’t make a sound, alright? I need to talk to you about something.”

There was something wrong with him, I could tell instantly when I saw his eyes. They were crazy and hysterical, and he seemed really sweaty - sweatier than I was, and I tended to sweat much easier than he did. He raked a hand through his hair, which was a nervous gesture of his, and it looked like he had trouble looking me directly in the eyes.

“I don’t have much time to explain,” Darren uttered finally, “so I’m going to be as brief as I can. I got involved with the wrong people, Ashton.”

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t talk,” He hissed through clenched teeth as he covered my mouth again. I could hear my mother ask Sean something from the living room, but their voices were too muffled. “Just listen. I got involved with a bad group of people, they’re a gang, and they’re very dangerous. They do terrible things, and I had no idea what I was getting involved with until it was too late.”

I couldn’t speak now, I was rendered speechless. I could remember Darren telling me how he was starting to come home late; I remembered him telling me how tired he was now, how he hasn’t been able to get much sleep.

But he got involved with a gang? Why in the world would he do that?

“And see,” Darren continued, “they have strict rules. It’s basically impossible to just leave the gang unscathed. It was too late for me to leave because they had already started the initiation.”

Initiation? I was starting to feel sick right now because I was starting to understand why Darren was looking at me like that. His eyes were getting glossy with tears, and his voice was getting choked with emotion.

“I am so sorry,” He said, evidently trying to hold back the tears. “But it’s too late. I’m so sorry, Ashton. I love you so much, but I can’t do anything now.”

“What are you talking about? What the hell is going on?”

Darren was about to reply, but his phone started to ring. Tears leaked down his cheeks upon hearing the noise, and he shakily pulled out his phone to see who it was. As soon as he saw, he started crying harder.

“I joined them because they said they would keep me safe,” Darren whispered. “They told me they took care of their members. They would ensure my family would be safe, but unfortunately, you’re not my family.”

“Tell me this isn’t happening,” I murmured. I felt like my entire body had gone completely numb, and a sudden wave of coldness swept over me.

His phone started ringing again, and Darren took a deep, shuddering breath, trying to keep his composure as he answered the phone under his breath. His conversation was very simple and contained only a few words, but I had a feeling he was talking to someone who certainly wasn’t good.

“Darren,” I whispered. I found it hard to speak now, almost like something was lodged deep in my throat. “Don’t do this. Please.” I didn’t have a clue what he was doing or what he was going to do because of the gang’s initiation, but judging by how hard he was trying not to cry, I could tell that it wasn’t going to be good for me or my family.

“I love you, Ashton Peterson, and I’m so sorry for doing this.”

Darren had grabbed me and suddenly flung me on my bed. I instantly screamed, my voice breaking through the silence all around us, and I tried to turn around to kick out at him, but his body trapped me up against my mattress. I could feel him fumbling with something behind me, and I screamed bloody murder, praying my parents would hear.

Something cold clamped around my wrists, binding them together, and I was turned around to barely catch a glimpse of Darren before I was backhanded sharply across the face. I had never been physically hit so hard before, so I was left feeling dazed and disoriented. I began to hear voices, which probably belonged to my parents, but I couldn’t quite focus on anything because everything was moving too quickly.

I groggily sat up on the bed. My cheek felt like it was on fire, and I couldn’t move my arms - they were trapped behind me. Darren was pointing a pistol at my parents, and my father was saying something while my mother looked like she was struggling not to cry.

“...get on the floor with your hands above your head!” I heard Darren shout. “If you move, I’ll shoot both of you. If you speak, I’ll shoot you.”

I knew it would’ve been smart to have lunged at Darren, since his back was to me and he couldn’t see me; it would’ve been the brave and heroic thing to do. I could’ve fought him until the end.

But at the moment, I was terrified. I felt like I couldn’t move. Seeing someone point a gun at my parents instilled a fear inside of me that I had never felt before. It was the kind of fear that made all your senses drawn to one thing; it made it hard to think or even breath. My brain was physically unable to keep up with the events happening right in front of me, I felt like it was all flashes, right before my eyes. And I couldn’t do anything but watch.

“Get up.”

The gun was pointed at me now. For a moment, I couldn’t move. I could only stare at the end of the gun, wondering what it would feel like to be shot right between the eyes. Would it hurt, or would I feel nothing?

Darren sighed loudly and pulled on my arm, forcing me to stand up. He had a firm grip on my shoulder as he tugged me out of the room. I was stumbling against him, and I had stopped to see my parents still lying on the floor. By now my mother was sobbing hysterically, and I wondered where Sean was.

Darren began forcing me along again, leading us to the front door. Instead of his normal white mustang, there was a white van with no windows on the sides. My heart dropped from the mere sight, and the closer I got to it, the more I knew I would inevitably lose my freedom.

He opened the very back door, revealing an open space to sit down, and there was a cooler off to the side. He shoved me inside, and when I locked gazes with him again, I felt like I was staring at a complete stranger. This was not the man I had fallen in love with. This was someone else entirely.

His phone was ringing again. He held onto the back door handles, answering the phone curtly. I didn’t bother listening to the conversation, but he caught my attention when he said:

“Get rid of them. We’ll take everything we can get from the house. They’re stocked with all kinds of supplies, her dad keeps all kinds of tools in the laundry room.”

I screamed. I lunged forward, seeing nothing but red because I knew he was going to kill my parents and Sean. But I was too late.

Darren had closed the doors, encasing me in utter darkness, and I was left alone to my shrill, helpless screams.

Apple Ice
August 31st, 2014, 07:38 PM
Hi, hello!
Okay, so this is the first chapter of a story I have been working on for awhile now. I'm really unsure if it's boring or immature; I know my writing isn't perfect, and I know I have a lot to improve on - that's why I'm here. PLEASE let me know what I can improve on. This story is aimed toward young adults, it has dark themes with subtle humor, and it's apocalyptic. I'm very disheartened about it now, actually, and I'm trying to think I should just trash this idea or not. Also, I wasn't sure as to where to post this fiction. It's key focus is romance, but it's very dark and frightening, so I eventually just decided to put in the romance section! Hopefully I'm not too wrong. But anyway, enough of my rambling. Here's the first chapter!

By the way, the setting of this particular scene takes place two months before the time the novel actually takes place in, the present. That's why I noted that it was 2 months prior.


---

2 Months Prior

“Darren, no,” I murmured as I tried to ease myself out from under my boyfriend. His dark green eyes stared down at me in confusion, his lips parted with ragged breaths gently running across my lips.

“What’s wrong?” He whispered.

“I’m not in the mood,” I said.

“Why not?”

“Because my parents are right in the room next over, and the world’s going to shit right now. I don’t feel like screwing around.” I stated matter of factly. He sighed to himself and reluctantly pulled away. His body lay next to mine on my single bed; the room was hot and stuffy as we hadn’t had a working air conditioner in weeks, but I couldn’t have been happier.

“Sorry,” Darren muttered. “The world really is going to shit, isn’t it?”

I hummed in response. I didn’t like to talk about what was going on in the news. Everything was so distorted and confusing. The media said one thing, and the president said another. It was like we, the people, didn’t know the real news, and that disturbed me.

I wasn’t one of the crazy people who believed that the government was hiding something from us, but I did know that something was up. I believe that we weren’t receiving the true stories and that bothered me. This is a direct contradiction and should be removed, I think.

“It’ll blow over,” I said finally, feeling Darren’s arm wrap around me as I snuggled against his chest. “Don’t you think?”

“I sure hope so.”

There was a sudden knock on my door, and Darren and I flinched apart, startled. My door opened to reveal my father, who normally he hated me closing my bedroom door when I had Darren over, but that apparently wasn’t one of his concerns at that moment.

“Ashton, Darren, please come here, we need to talk.” My father said. He didn’t give us a moment to respond because he was gone as soon as the words slipped from his mouth.

“Do you think we’re in trouble?” Darren asked, knowing my father could be very protective. There have been a fair share of times when my father sat with Darren and pulled the intimidation card. Darren had seen every single gun we owned in this house by now, thanks to my father.

“No,” I replied softly, pulling myself off my bed and wiping my hand across my clammy forehead. “But something’s definitely up.”

Darren and I hurried into the living room to find my mother and father sitting on the couch with my little brother, Sean, in between them.

“What’s up?” I asked everyone, standing idly in the doorway with Darren next to me.

“We just watched the news,” My mother said, “and there’s an epidemic going on right now. I’m sure you both have heard of the UVI virus?”

“Of course we have,” I said, wishing she would just come out and tell us the news. My mother was notorious for taking awhile to get to the point. “It’s all we’ve heard about for the past few weeks.”

“Well, they just found out it’s airborne.” My father said. “The entire country’s in lockdown. They’re starting to quarantine people who they suspect have the virus. This is very serious news, kids, and I hate to say it, but they’re also cancelling all schools for the time being.”

Sean grinned at that, and I would have, since I, along with millions of other Americans, wasn’t a fan of school. But honestly, this must be a very serious issue if the entire country was cancelling all schools.

“We’re also going to have to stay in the house as much as we can,” My mother added. “The doctors are still trying to understand more about the virus, but so far they say 8 out of 10 people die from it.” 8 out of 10 people where? That's an international crises, and still would be at a lot less. You need to explain this better.

“And they haven’t found a cure yet, have they?” I asked quietly.

“Unfortunately, no.”

“They also don’t know how to treat it.” My mother added.

“We don’t want to scare you,” My father said. “But you do need to be aware of what’s going on.” We were all silent once Then, my father decided to speak up again. “I’m trying to fix the air conditioning again, but I can’t find a screwdriver. Ashton, do you think you could help me for a moment?”

“Of course,” I said, glancing at Darren, who was avoiding my gaze for the time being. I thought nothing of it, though, because the news we had just received was very grim and alarming. I swallowed thickly and followed my father into the laundry room, where he tended to keep most of his tools despite my mother’s constant complaining. We had a wall racked with tons of tools, and my mother claimed that it made the laundry room look like a tool shed. She did have a valid point, but my father never caved into her complaints and stubbornly kept his tools where they were.

“Don’t think I missed what I saw back there,” My father grumbled as he pulled out a bucket of more tools, only to find no screwdriver.

“What’re you talking about?”

“You know what I’m talking about.” He glanced at me with a skeptical gaze, not buying my innocent facade at all, much to my dismay. “If I catch you with him in your room with your door closed one more time, I’m removing it completely.”

“But how will I be able to change clothes without a door?”

“You have a bathroom.”

I could feel more protesting coming on, but I stopped myself. My father was evidently under a lot of stress, and he didn’t need to be dealing with me at the moment.

“You’re right.” I said instead. “I won’t do it again.”

“I’m only doing it for your protection.” My father replied softly, turning his gaze to focus entirely on me. My father and I were a lot alike, not physically, since I had my mother’s dark hair and brown eyes and (unfortunately) short stature, but my father and I were both down to earth and liked to cut straight to the chase. We didn’t sugar coat things, and we certainly didn’t hesitate to express how we felt in a situation (which proved to be a good and bad trait, however). “I know how teenage boys are, I was once one of those, believe it or not. And right now, pregnancy should be the last thing we need to worry about.”

This got awkward really fast.

“Dad,” I chuckled nervously. “Darren and I - we don’t do anything like that.”

My father merely rolled his eyes, not buying anything I said and resumed his search for a screwdriver. “Uh-huh.”

“Dad - ”

“ - spare me anymore details. I am your father, but I don’t need to know everything. My job is to protect you, not talk to you about sex.” My father said bluntly. “Anyway, can you go to the garage and look for a screwdriver? I’ve checked so many times, but I’m thinking I missed it.”

My father did tend to miss things when he was looking for them.

“Okay,” I said, more than eager to escape this awkward conversation. I made my way back into the living room and found Sean sitting on the rug, building a Thomas the Tank Engine train track. Darren was nowhere in sight, so I assumed he was back in my room. My mother was doing something in the kitchen, probably getting dinner ready.

I had just turned the corner into the hallway when someone grabbed tightly onto my arm, pulling me back into my room. I was shoved harshly against the wall was surprised to find Darren’s green eyes peering into mine.

“Darren, what the hell?” I exclaimed, though my words were cut short when he clamped his hand tightly around my mouth, muffling me instantly.

“Shut up,” He whispered. “Don’t make a sound, alright? I need to talk to you about something.”

There was something wrong with him, I could tell instantly when I saw his eyes. They were crazy and hysterical, and he seemed really sweaty - sweatier than I was, and I tended to sweat much easier than he did. He raked a hand through his hair, which was a nervous gesture of his, and it looked like he had trouble looking me directly in the eyes.

“I don’t have much time to explain,” Darren uttered finally, “so I’m going to be as brief as I can. I got involved with the wrong people, Ashton.”

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t talk,” He hissed through clenched teeth as he covered my mouth again. I could hear my mother ask Sean something from the living room, but their voices were too muffled. “Just listen. I got involved with a bad group of people, they’re a gang, and they’re very dangerous. They do terrible things, and I had no idea what I was getting involved with until it was too late.”

I couldn’t speak now, I was rendered speechless. I could remember Darren telling me how he was starting to come home late; I remembered him telling me how tired he was now, how he hasn’t been able to get much sleep.

But he got involved with a gang? Why in the world would he do that?

“And see,” Darren continued, “they have strict rules. It’s basically impossible to just leave the gang unscathed. It was too late for me to leave because they had already started the initiation.”

Initiation? I was starting to feel sick right now because I was starting to understand why Darren was looking at me like that. His eyes were getting glossy with tears, and his voice was getting choked with emotion.

“I am so sorry,” He said, evidently trying to hold back the tears. “But it’s too late. I’m so sorry, Ashton. I love you so much, but I can’t do anything now.”

“What are you talking about? What the hell is going on?”

Darren was about to reply, but his phone started to ring. Tears leaked down his cheeks upon hearing the noise, and he shakily pulled out his phone to see who it was. As soon as he saw, he started crying harder.

“I joined them because they said they would keep me safe,” Darren whispered. “They told me they took care of their members. They would ensure my family would be safe, but unfortunately, you’re not my family.”

“Tell me this isn’t happening,” I murmured. I felt like my entire body had gone completely numb, and a sudden wave of coldness swept over me.

His phone started ringing again, and Darren took a deep, shuddering breath, trying to keep his composure as he answered the phone under his breath. His conversation was very simple and contained only a few words, but I had a feeling he was talking to someone who certainly wasn’t good.

“Darren,” I whispered. I found it hard to speak now, almost like something was lodged deep in my throat. “Don’t do this. Please.” I didn’t have a clue what he was doing or what he was going to do because of the gang’s initiation, but judging by how hard he was trying not to cry, I could tell that it wasn’t going to be good for me or my family.

“I love you, Ashton Peterson, and I’m so sorry for doing this.”

Darren had grabbed me and suddenly flung me on my bed. I instantly screamed, my voice breaking through the silence all around us, and I tried to turn around to kick out at him, but his body trapped me up against my mattress. I could feel him fumbling with something behind me, and I screamed bloody murder, praying my parents would hear.

Something cold clamped around my wrists, binding them together, and I was turned around to barely catch a glimpse of Darren before I was backhanded sharply across the face. I had never been physically hit so hard before, so I was left feeling dazed and disoriented. I began to hear voices, which probably belonged to my parents, but I couldn’t quite focus on anything because everything was moving too quickly.

I groggily sat up on the bed. My cheek felt like it was on fire, and I couldn’t move my arms - they were trapped behind me. Darren was pointing a pistol at my parents, and my father was saying something while my mother looked like she was struggling not to cry.

“...get on the floor with your hands above your head!” I heard Darren shout. “If you move, I’ll shoot both of you. If you speak, I’ll shoot you.”

I knew it would’ve been smart to have lunged at Darren, since his back was to me and he couldn’t see me; it would’ve been the brave and heroic thing to do. I could’ve fought him until the end.

But at the moment, I was terrified. I felt like I couldn’t move. Seeing someone point a gun at my parents instilled a fear inside of me that I had never felt before. It was the kind of fear that made all your senses drawn to one thing; it made it hard to think or even breath. My brain was physically unable to keep up with the events happening right in front of me, I felt like it was all flashes, right before my eyes. And I couldn’t do anything but watch.

“Get up.”

The gun was pointed at me now. For a moment, I couldn’t move. I could only stare at the end of the gun, wondering what it would feel like to be shot right between the eyes. Would it hurt, or would I feel nothing?

Darren sighed loudly and pulled on my arm, forcing me to stand up. He had a firm grip on my shoulder as he tugged me out of the room. I was stumbling against him, and I had stopped to see my parents still lying on the floor. By now my mother was sobbing hysterically, and I wondered where Sean was.

Darren began forcing me along again, leading us to the front door. Instead of his normal white mustang, there was a white van with no windows on the sides. My heart dropped from the mere sight, and the closer I got to it, the more I knew I would inevitably lose my freedom.

He opened the very back door, revealing an open space to sit down, and there was a cooler off to the side. He shoved me inside, and when I locked gazes with him again, I felt like I was staring at a complete stranger. This was not the man I had fallen in love with. This was someone else entirely.

His phone was ringing again. He held onto the back door handles, answering the phone curtly. I didn’t bother listening to the conversation, but he caught my attention when he said:

“Get rid of them. We’ll take everything we can get from the house. They’re stocked with all kinds of supplies, her dad keeps all kinds of tools in the laundry room.”

I screamed. I lunged forward, seeing nothing but red because I knew he was going to kill my parents and Sean. But I was too late.

Darren had closed the doors, encasing me in utter darkness, and I was left alone to my shrill, helpless screams.

So red text is what I think you should get red of. Brown are suggestions.

You tend to state the obvious too much, much of which is the red I've highlighted. You also switch between tenses frequently so be careful of that.

Other than that everything is good. Your grammar is sound and it really began to pick up towards the end.

Hope this helps

sreeves2
September 1st, 2014, 03:32 AM
So red text is what I think you should get red of. Brown are suggestions.

You tend to state the obvious too much, much of which is the red I've highlighted. You also switch between tenses frequently so be careful of that.

Other than that everything is good. Your grammar is sound and it really began to pick up towards the end.

Hope this helps
Wow! This was so so helpful! Thank you so much!

EmmaSohan
September 3rd, 2014, 03:15 AM
I think you have talent as a writer.

You start with a story of some problem, I think a plague. It interleaves nicely with her relationship with her boyfriend, and introduces her father. Then Darren turns into a Gangster and you start a completely different story where she is kidnapped and I assume her relationship with Darren is over. That's a huge bump.

More generally, it's like you started a marathon by running the first mile as quickly as you could. Both ideas are interesting. Having more than one problem in a book is a great idea. You are doing a lot of things right.

Just my impression! Try reading your favorite author and seeing how he or she introduces problems.

ak2190
September 7th, 2014, 07:45 AM
:) The spelling of airborne is with an "e".

Caprice
September 23rd, 2014, 01:01 AM
I agree with Apple Ice on a few of her suggestions for more depth. If there was an airborne outbreak of a killer virus I feel like life at home would be a little more chaotic than what's described here. The mother would be fretting while making dinner. The little brother Sean would probably be acting out in the face of lots of stress in the environment or shutting down. As it is, you paint a pretty mundane picture. I think you could ratchet up the tension in the house or you could slow down the state of the virus in the world at this point.

Second, I do like the unexpected whiplash of Darren's betrayal, but I'm not exactly buying him as the cold killer. You open to he and Ashton in a typical teenage raging hormone state, but Ashton quickly shuts him down and he acquiesces with no push back. He's about to beat her, enslave her and kill her whole family for their stuff. He needs to be more agitated at the opening.

Finally, I like the set up for the relationship between Ashton and her dad, but his dialogue sounds really stiff and formal for someone you describe as down to earth and apt to cut to the chase quickly. Give him some contractions, some non-verbal grunts, something. Just loosen up his language a bit.

I am interested to see how you meld the gang violence and the viral outbreak into one moving plot. Keep it going!