View Full Version : Untitled short story

November 3rd, 2014, 05:29 PM

The formidability of reality rendered me in a state of disbelief. I continuously tested the tangibility of my surroundings to ensure that I wasn’t dreaming. I left everything that my life was comprised of behind. But “life” — what does that word even mean? Surely not what it used to. Career, family, and happiness, once the driving factors of humanity, became trivial. Survival was the only thing that mattered now. The structural integrity of humanity had been compromised by a force it was not built to withstand.
An eerie ambience radiated from the countryside; the roads desolate and no sign of wildlife. The only movement I perceived was that of the semi-bare tree branches being whisked by the faint Autumn winds. My headlights permeated the thick darkness of the early morning. The only other source of light was the moon which illuminated the surface of the nearby swamps and outlined the silhouettes of the swaying cattails. The incessant droning of the engine masked the prevailing silence. A high pitch screech shattered that silence.
“The Global Weather Service for the entire planet Earth has issued a meteorite warning. Do not panic. Get to the lowest possible place in your area. If near a bunker or any other fallout shelter, take refuge immediately. This warning will last for the next seventy-two hours. Expect global power outages, possible disruption of metropolitan areas, and possible great loss of life. The Global Weather Service will continue to keep you up to date on the issued meteorite warning.”
It had been the same broadcast since I’d set out on the road. The words, however, had no less profoundness the more I heard it. Obscurity only enticed my anxiety. What the future held was all speculation at this point. The mesmerization induced by my thoughts were abruptly interrupted by the vibration of my phone.
“Hey! Are you okay?” I asked.
“Yes! Are you alright? I’ve missed you so much. I’ve been worrying.”
Her voice was soothing. I felt as if my uneasiness began to alleviate.
“I’m fine, babe,” I assured her. “Have you heard anything new?”
“No. On the news they said that NASA was working on intercepting it. Where are you now?”
Although I was struck with relief, I was unsure if the absence of news was for better or worse.
“Right outside of Bridge Creek, by Mount Hope. Can’t tell you how long it’ll take to get to you. Are you safe there?”
“Yeah, I think so. Please be careful Kaden, please.”
“You take care of yourself too and try to stay calm, alright?”
Softly she said, “I don’t know. I love you… I need you here.”
“Brianna, I love you too and I will be there. See you soon.”
“Okay… bye.”
A few seconds passed before I heard the the call end. Brianna and I had been together for one year and a month. Our relationship had been long distance during that entire span of time. We’d met online and would spend time in each other’s company on webcam daily. I had come to visit her for the first time as a surprise. What an amazing week it was. Until you are separated from the ones that you love, you don’t recognize the true value of their presence. When I initially heard the news about the incoming meteor, the first thought that had was to head for Brianna. Choosing between her and my family was the only dilemma that had presented itself. My choice may have been out of impulse but I had no regrets. My deep need to be with her at such a time of crisis ultimately outweighed anything else. My family painfully respected that. In a world governed by obscurity, there was nothing uncertain about my love for her. Nothing was going to change that.
An hour and eighty miles later, the jagged outlines of colossal mountains came into view. Contrasting with the deep indigo sky, the dark figures towered the treetops and stretched for miles in both directions, seemingly impassable. On the other side of the mountain was my destination, the city of Mainport.
As I neared the base of the mountain, the main road that I was taking dispersed into several separate roads. Each were narrow and riddled with cracks and craters. I merged onto one that wound through a valley. The environment became dimmer as the mountainous terrain and foliage began to fully encompass me.
The region’s bumpy, tortuous roads and incline disposition made it difficult to navigate. In the far distance, rays of sunlight seeped over the brim of the rocky forms as they gradually lessened in altitude. Further down the road, I could make out an imperceptible figure. I almost dismissed it as an hallucination until I eventually was able to recognize it as a white pickup truck. A man stood beside the truck, flagging me down. I heard him repeatedly shriek "Sir!" over the subsiding hum of the engine. The headlights gave the figure some color; he wore a trucker cap that made half of his face indiscernible. He had on a muddy brown denim jacket under which was a red and black flannel shirt. I rolled down the window and as he started towards my car, he pleaded, "Please help me, sir!”
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Tank ran empty. Been stuck here for about an hour now."
His stubble-covered face remained stern as he spoke, his mouth barely moved as he stressed each syllable.
"Where you headed?" I questioned.
"Cienega Springs to see my folks."
"Where's that?"
"About 15 miles east of here."
I paused briefly and glared at the road in front of me.
"Well, if you want I'll give you a lift," I said. "I'm heading to Mainport, so I can drop you off at the closest exit."
"Oh, I'd greatly appreciate that sir."
He took a seat on the passenger side, the aromas of coffee and smoke immediately filled the interior. We set off on the road.
"What a mess this is, huh?" I asked.
"Yeah," he replied with a sigh.
"Have you heard any news?"
Five to ten wordless minutes had passed and created an atmosphere of awkwardness.
"At least there's no traffic," I joked, attempting to break the silence and lighten the mood.
The man let out a grunt of acknowledgement. Ahead of us was a junction of roads that connected with the main expressway.
Suddenly, I heard a metallic click.
As I looked to my right, I found myself staring down the barrel of a handgun. I fumbled, almost losing control of the vehicle.
"Get out of the car."
"Wha- what are you doing man?"
"Stop and get out now!"
I immediately braked. He demanded that I take the keys out of the ignition and I obliged. He opened his door with his gun still drawn.
It was now or never.
In a split second, I grasped the front end of the firearm with my right hand and secured the man's shooting arm firmly with my left. I forced his arm away so that muzzle was facing the road ahead. Suddenly, the firearm discharged, sending a intense pain down my ear canals and glass bouncing off of the dashboard. I violently twisted the gun, breaking his trigger finger in the process. A series of cracks were heard followed by shrieks of agony. The man stopped attacking and instead stared at his mangled finger in terror. I positioned my back against the driver side door, and kicked him with both feet repeatedly until he rolled out of the vehicle, sending the gun bouncing off of the road. Hastily, I started the engine and sped off. Once the man had disappeared from sight in my rear view mirror, I slowed down and pulled over to the side of the expressway's entrance road. I stepped out and felt my body to see if I had been shot. Luckily, I hadn't been but my ears were still ringing. After closing the passenger door, I glanced ahead and in the distance was the skyline of the city of Mainport. Its skyscrapers jutted into the orange sky and surrounding their contours was a vivid aura of yellow. The spires of various buildings pierced vague blotches of clouds that hovered over the city. My eyes shifted downwards to the highway before me. The city-bound lanes were desolate, containing virtually no vehicles. On the other side of the divider, however, was a plethora of unmoving traffic that extended out to the horizon, as far as the eye could see.

May 13th, 2015, 09:29 AM
It's good for me. Just try to double-check to see some oversights.

July 19th, 2015, 04:28 PM
Tom: It looks like the start of a very interesting story.
For my taste, I find the description is a little too intense and it makes the story hard to read, the action and the dialog is great. Keep up the good work.


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Tom: I ran it through Grammarly and this is what they came up with:

[unnecessarily duplicated piece removed as it served no purpose]

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Sorry the copy and paste did not keep their corrections. Go to Grammarly and you can correct spelling and punctuation... free

July 19th, 2015, 05:19 PM
The formidability of reality rendered me in a state of disbelief. I continuously tested the tangibility of my surroundings to ensure that I wasn’t dreaming.

Your first two sentences need rewriting. They reveal almost nothing except that you seem to have a good vocabulary, but it reads as if you're trying too hard to prove that. The first sentence can begin, "In a state of disbelief, I..." without any losses of image or information.

"In a state of disbelief, I..." continuously tested the tangibility of my surroundings to ensure I wasn't dreaming? Okay, how? Touch walls? Pinched yourself? You see, I still have no picture to see in my mind. I strongly suggest that you go back through your story, cut some of the verbiage and concentrate on telling the story that you see, hear, touch, smell and taste in a way so that I can too.

Your grammar and spelling are good - you have a good vocabulary, and know how to write a sentence well. So you do have the tools, but need to use them to tell the reader your story, not to impress with your intelligence. I think you can do much better.

On a different note. If you look around the site at the stories people post here, you will notice that we put forth the effort to present them - yes, even excerpts or chapters - in an appealing way. You will get more reads if you do so - don't expect others to do that work for you.

I have been candid with you in these comments, and perhaps you may think I'm just a jerk at this point. However, I am taking the time to comment because I do see a lot of potential here, and I have made all these same mistakes myself. I am not a perfect writer, but I'm not too bad, and I have listened to those who have helped me, and continue to do so.. You have the option of ignoring these comments in whole or in part, as you see fit. Either way, I wish you every success with your endeavors.

July 21st, 2015, 05:32 AM
In my opinion, the story behind the words is very interesting. I think, at times, there are many words that beg to be eloquent, but are suffocated by lack of purpose. At other times, when you aren't trying so hard to inject beautiful words, the sentence turns out quite well. I think the strength of your writing shows clearly in the middle of the story. I love to feel a flow when I read, and I felt it there. It wasn't bogged down by unnecessary words and felt as though it was coming from an honest and natural place. Overall, this was very intriguing. Thanks for sharing it.

August 15th, 2015, 01:48 PM
Interesting but it needs to be less wordy.

August 18th, 2015, 05:59 AM
okay... really good writing. but did you have to go so overboard with overzealously gratuitous vocabulary. HAHA case and point. seriously if theirs one thing that makes me giggle is when everyone is trying write like their in the Victorian era.

October 28th, 2015, 03:42 AM
i tend to agree with some of the other comments--the outline of the story is good but it takes a while to get to it...it's almost as if you're trying to give to much detail and it's overwhelming to someone just trying to get into what it's all about...

April 6th, 2016, 02:56 AM
It is enjoyable to read, however, you may want to start your story a bit more realistic or true to a life event where it all started. And also, being too wordy makes your story quite long to get to the point. Try to check on what you can do, just if you want.