PDA

View Full Version : Bad Seed Chapter 4 (short) (language)



cdr112
September 12th, 2014, 11:23 PM
I woke up Saturday morning thinking about where to start, I figured the best place would be the last place I saw Trey. I walked into the cafe and it was jumping with people everywhere. All the different voices, sounds of silverware on plates, spoons stirring coffee in cups, food sizzling on the grill and waitresses repeating orders filled my head. It was a huge departure from the weekday trips Trey and I had made so many times. I glanced around for a few seconds and made my way out. I didn't have a clue what I was looking for but I certainly wasn't going to find it in there.
My next thought was to check out Treys place. I was nervous I might run into Detective Garcia but I figured I hadn't done anything so I had nothing to worry about.
On my way to my truck I noticed a newspaper headline that read..

ACCUSED SERIAL KILLER, SON OF BILLIONAIRE TED TILLMAN, FOUND DEAD

..it was big news around the city. There had been a series of murders that had taken place over the last eight or nine months and a suspect had finally been named. He had been accused but not arrested. He was the son of a wealthy businessman and honestly I never paid much attention to the case. It always seemed to me that the ones with money have a peculiar way of getting off the hook. I figured all his problems are over now.

I got to Trey's and used my key to get in. The place was still a wreck but now it was wrapped in yellow tape. I sat on the couch and picked up a picture of us from under the coffee table, it was from one of the fishing trips we had been on. As I glared at the picture I noticed something moving behind me in the reflection of the frame. I swung around to see a figure moving through the back yard looking into the windows. I hid as best I could as I made way to the back door. I slowly crept outside and put eyes on the trespasser. Once he noticed me he made a break for the fence. I was able to grab him just as he reached the top, before he could get over, I pulled him down and wrestled him to the ground....

"Who are you? What the hell are you doing here?" I yelled not letting him answer.

"Please get off me, I was doing what I was told!" He said.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" I shouted.

"A guy..a guy...he gave me a hundred bucks and said go look around over here and see if I see anything...that's all..."

"What guy? Detective Garcia?"

"Who?" He looked puzzled

"Who sent you here?" I was getting tired of holding this guy down

"I don't know his name..he told me to come here and see if anyone was still in the house." "Please man, let me go." He pleaded

I rolled off and let him get to one knee. He explained how he was walking to the bus stop and a guy stopped him and asked him if he wanted to make a quick Benjamin. In these tough times anyone would be willing to risk trespassing charges, or worse, to make a quick buck. As I explained the situation with Treys disappearance he looked shocked and it was fairly obvious he didn't have a clue who Trey was or anything about him. He said the guy that stopped him was an older guy with black framed glasses, like a throw back from the 50's. He wore a suit and a hat like all those TV sitcom dads from that era. The stranger in the hat and glasses said he would find the trespasser when he needed the answer to his question about the house. I was more confused now than ever. What the hell was going on? As the trespasser left I made my way back in the house. I went through the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and closets...nothing. I didn't find a single scrap of useful information. I was getting ready to head out when the phone rang. My mind was racing...do I answer it..who could it be..
I grabbed the phone...

"Hello Spence, I'll be seeing you soon." The dark voice boomed in my head.

"Who is this?" The line went dead without another word from the strange caller. I dropped the phone back on the receiver and made my way to Trey's bedroom. I grabbed one of the handguns from the safe and stuffed it in my waist. If someone was going to be seeing me soon I wanted to have some kind of protection.

talmaflower
September 15th, 2014, 12:58 PM
Hi, just a couple of thoughts... (I'm kind of nervous posting something resembling a critique in here! I hope this is the kind of thing that's helpful!)

I got to Trey's and used my key to get in. The place was still a wreck but now it was wrapped in yellow tape. I sat on the couch and picked up a picture of us from under the coffee table, it was from one of the fishing trips we had been on. --> I would split this sentence in two. As I glared at the picture I noticed something moving behind me in the reflection of the frame. I swung around to see a figure moving through the back yard looking into the windows. I hid as best I could as I made way to the back door. --> Feels like a lot of 'as' and 'I' here; looks jumbled to the eye although it makes perfect sense! I'd try to find a way of rewording it that sounds more natural. Something like "I made my way to the back door, carefully keeping out of sight."
I slowly crept outside and put eyes on the trespasser. --> Is 'put eyes on' a US expression? I've never heard it used in UK English. I'd be more inclined to use something like "... spotted the trespasser immediately, but..." and run it into the next sentence. Once he noticed me he made a break for the fence. I was able to grab him just as he reached the top, before he could get over, I pulled him down and wrestled him to the ground.... --> I'd split this sentence into two with a full stop where the first comma is.

Also, now this might just be a question of my personal style so feel free to take no notice, but as a reader I feel that a little more description just after our MC has wrestled the intruder to the ground wouldn't come amiss. Maybe it's because I haven't been in a fight since school, but I'm pretty sure that dragging someone off a fence and wrestling them to the ground is something our MC here would have some kind of feelings about. Now, I'm missing a bunch of context here; if they're a hard-as-nails hitman type of hero of course it's all in a day's work. But I thought something about the intruder would fit quite neatly here - he was a small guy, easy to overpower? He didn't struggle much? He looks pale, scared maybe? Is he breathing heavily, sweating? Is our MC nose-to-nose with a ratty face or a big bulbous broken nose or a peaky beak? The intruder's appearance and demeanour might not matter all that much in moving the story along, but a sentence or two would help me as a reader to get more 'into' the situation; to see it through the MC's eyes, to feel his closeness to the intruder and make his holding him down easily believable.


"Who is this?" The line went dead without another word from the strange caller. I dropped the phone back on the receiver and made my way to Trey's bedroom. I grabbed one of the handguns from the safe and stuffed it in my waist. If someone was going to be seeing me soon I wanted to have some kind of protection.

I really like the description of the 'dark voice' booming in the MC's head. It's such a weird and unexpected thing to happen in this context (sorry, I'm not sure if the MC is 'Spence' or not, but even if he is, it's a bit out of the blue), that again, something about the MC's thoughts would be useful. I appreciate that him going immediately to get the gun is his reaction, so we don't need him sitting there thinking "Well gosh darn it! If ever a situation called for a handgun, this is it!" - but maybe some indication of his immediate (in his head, rather than what he does physically) response?

cdr112
September 15th, 2014, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the critique!! Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. I agree with some of the points you made and will definitely take them all into consideration. This story is just something I'm doing on the fly, so some of the small characters that are meaningless to the story I'm not spending much time on (trespasser in backyard). Spence is the main character, I hope that seems clear to the reader. I can't express how much gratitude I have for your thoughts. I have a few more of these small chapters I want to get through to end this story...I hope you continue to read them and give me feedback!! Thanks in advance!! I'll be looking for your work as well and I hope I can maybe offer some advice even though I do not feel qualified to criticize.


cdr112