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View Full Version : Excerpt from "Trust me" (strong language, around 750 words)



DanCaetta
November 4th, 2014, 02:43 AM
The crops stood high for it being late August. I never paid much attention to them before. They were high and deep, and as I shined the flash light into the darkness we observed the winding and knotting of the plants. The light didn’t travel much into the abyss. With the car dead and waiting for us, we approached the rows on the other side of the road. Our friend and spectator, the headless cow, now wandering aimlessly back into his pasture. The crops smelled earthy, ethereal.

“Gimme the bags, Jimbo.” I snatched the black plastic bags out of his hands with a quick motion.

“You go first; I’ll take up the rear,” Jimmy said.

“The fuck you will.”

“You got the flash light, man! Just follow the cock. Your ex-girlfriend has the same philosophy.”

“I deserved that.” I started wedging my way in between the first layer of corn, doubled over. The stalks rubbed against my jacket like strange arms. The leaves were damp even though it hadn’t rained for days. My feet were trying not to trip over themselves. Jimmy dragged the shovel behind him as he followed me. After a few steps into the abyss, we were out of sight from the road; my car and a fleeting cow and silence was all that remained behind us. A few more steps and I felt like we were getting lost.

“Are we still going the right way?”

“Shit if I know, man. This is the direction it was pointing.”

“Stay close behind me, I don’t want to lose you.” I shoved the bags into my coat and put my empty hand out behind me, finding his arm.

“I love you too man!” Jimmy laughed. “Seriously, your ass is looking pretty good from back here.”

We shuffled our feet slow, towards where we think the rock was pointing. I glanced up a few times at the night sky. It looked as if the black was illuminating downwards, and it was almost blinding to stare at for longer than a few seconds. My left hand was out in front of me, the flash light only showing the next few feet. All the corn stalks were the same, as if we were walking a stretch of five feet over and over. Jimmy and I didn’t say anything, but my hand was still holding his arm. He let me hold it, or at least didn’t care if I did; but after a few minutes of walking, he jerked it back violently, and screamed.

I darted around and shined the light on him. He was brushing off his right forearm with him left hand in a hard stabbing motion, saying “gettoff me motherfucker, gettoff me,” and then “that’s right you little bitch,” while stomping the ground. I stood there. After stomping a few more times he looked up at me.

“What?” he blurted out, pissed off and a little scared. “I had an earwig on me!”

I tried not to laugh, but my face obviously distorted to show some kind of amusement.

“I hate those things. Nothing I hate more. They make my skin crawl!” He rubbed his ears and shivered, his body shaking the stalks around him.

Jimmy had an incident when he was a kid. An earwig crawled into his ear when he fell asleep in the overgrown grass out back by his kiddie pool. Thought he had water in his ear all day. He would stick his finger in it and try to wiggle the water out, but it never gave. Finally, at bedtime, he laid his ear down on the pillow, thinking it would drain out as he slept. But in the silence and darkness of the room, he heard small, muted scratching deep in his ear canal, [like the rubbing of a covered microphone], and he felt tiny feet crawl around inside of him. He screamed and jumped out of bed and into his dad’s, but that drunk asshole pushed him off, told him he was dreaming. He went to the bathroom and beat the side of his head, right above the ear, on the free standing white porcelain sink. He passed out before the bug came out, but when he woke up hours later, the feeling was gone, and he found an earwig crawling over the crack he made in the sink. He told me he never killed the thing. He just never went in that bathroom again.

LeeC
November 4th, 2014, 03:07 AM
Attention grabbing, but I'm sorry I don't have time at present to give your excerpt the consideration it deserves.

I'm just replying to say that it might be helpful to note that this is a continuation of a story you began in an earlier posting, with a link to such.

Yes I know that earlier posting is still hidden, pending the site character set issue resolution. If such drags on too long, you could always repost that piece with the "thingies" edited, and I'll pull the previous version. Or, if you wish, I could un-hide the previous piece for you to edit out the "thingies" :-)

Your call, write on,
LeeC

DanCaetta
November 4th, 2014, 03:41 AM
Attention grabbing, but I'm sorry I don't have time at present to give your excerpt the consideration it deserves.

I'm just replying to say that it might be helpful to note that this is a continuation of a story you began in an earlier posting, with a link to such.

Yes I know that earlier posting is still hidden, pending the site character set issue resolution. If such drags on too long, you could always repost that piece with the "thingies" edited, and I'll pull the previous version. Or, if you wish, I could un-hide the previous piece for you to edit out the "thingies" :-)

Your call, write on,
LeeC

You can delete the last post, please. I am OK with this standing as it is for now. If anyone wants to read parts of what came before, they can link to my wordpress site. I'll try to oblige your suggestions in further posts, and refrain from posting more of this until it's in its entirety, or at least post the unfinishedness in full.

Thank you.

EmmaSohan
November 6th, 2014, 03:31 AM
Same comments, I think. You engage me in the events of the story. The earwig, the darkness, the rock. You are differentiating your characters. Some things weren't clear -- I know the headless cow was discussed in the first part, but I didn't understand it then. With a quick reading. I am guessing you can fix those when you edit? So, still showing a lot of talent.

DanCaetta
November 6th, 2014, 04:05 AM
Same comments, I think. You engage me in the events of the story. The earwig, the darkness, the rock. You are differentiating your characters. Some things weren't clear -- I know the headless cow was discussed in the first part, but I didn't understand it then. With a quick reading. I am guessing you can fix those when you edit? So, still showing a lot of talent.

Thank you Ms. Sohan! The headless cow isn't really headless. Just a bad play on the actions of Jimmy.

“Watch out behind you!” I said quickly.
“Holy shit!” Jimmy darted quickly in one 180 degree movement, assuming a ninja-like stance that looked more like he was going to slap his attacker to death. A cow stuck his head out to say hello: he wondered up in the middle of Jimmy’s explanation.
He fake karate-chopped the cow’s head off, and then opted to pet the severed head.

He just fake karate chopped the cow after finding there was nothing to be afraid of... and then pet the cow. Like if your friend scares you and you throw your fists up in reaction, then give your friend a fake blow to the head. You pretend to knock his block off. Bad pun. Probably an edit out and something that doesn't add anything to the story anyways. I do appreciate the comments. Small things go a long way.

Laughing Duck 137z
February 26th, 2015, 10:21 PM
I've read this story a dozen times and it still cracks me up.

inkwellness
March 1st, 2015, 04:37 PM
The beginning hooked me right away. I'm new here so I don't have a lot of helpful constructive criticism. However, there were a few areas that were not clear and the last paragraph is really long and could be broken up into several effective paragraphs. Otherwise, it's a good piece of writing and definitely something that I can learn from. Thanks for posting Dan.

Cheeseburger
March 3rd, 2015, 03:44 AM
At first I was thrown aback by the sudden change of formality. You went from writing formal, literary stuff into two guys talking about cocks and fucks...

And then I saw this: "The stalks rubbed against my jacket like strange arms."

That was ummm... that was a really weak simile. lol.

PatriciaLoupee
March 3rd, 2015, 07:18 PM
The fact that I was able to read until the last paragraph means that I have good writing in front of me. It definitely grabbed me by the hand, and I walked along the guys in the cornfield until the end.

A few points to raise, though: adding to what Cheeseburger said, not only the sudden change in tone in the beginning is a bit confusing, it also didn't prepared me for the ominous crossing the guys had in front of them. And the bit about the earwig is a piece of backstory that seems a bit displaced - they had more important tasks ahead on which I'm more interested than that, even though the fact is interesting by itself. I think that an abridged version of the story would work better, and maybe later, over the next chapters (if there are going to be any), you could go back to it.

Best of lucks with your work, I really enjoyed reading it.

BurntMason84
March 9th, 2015, 07:19 AM
You know what this reminds me of a bit... Twin Peaks. Headless cows, ear wigs, Jimbos, cock following... I don't know what exactly is going on, but I completely intrigued!

Honestly, the bit of the ear wigs was kind of out of place or might have been led up to in a different fashion, but it was still awesome in the end.

New2writing
March 9th, 2015, 04:57 PM
Hi DanCaetta,
Thanks for sharing, it's a piece which has intrigued me...I want to read more!

I agree with the comments about the tone changing. This can be observed by comparing the first and last paragraphs which come from the same voice but yet seem as though they come from different characters.

Other than that, I enjoyed it. Thank you for clarifying the headless cow part as I began to find myself on some pretty surreal territory!

Brian A Seals
March 20th, 2015, 02:48 PM
Before reading this, I didn't even know what an earwig was, so thanks for including it. I don't have too much to add. Yes, I'll say the "headless cow" bit was confusing. As far as the "cocks" bit, I gathered that they were following a rooster. I personally didn't have an issue with any change in tonality that might be there, but that may be because I enjoyed the writing overall. I'd have to read more before I comment further

Monaque
April 1st, 2015, 10:46 PM
Enjoyed reading this excerpt, as many have commented, it grabbed me and didn`t let go. I`m not very good at critiquing other writers on their work, more comfortable writing but I`ll give it a go.

The crops smelled earthy, ethereal.
The two adjectives at the end felt a little weird put together. Did you use ethereal because there`s a link to another part of the novel later on?

“I deserved that.”
I can see why you said that but it kind of stunned the conversation, it might have been softened by adding 'Ok, maybe....' before it? or 'Maybe I deserved that,' I said starting to wedge myself......

The cow thing was creeping me out for a moment (don`t see too many headless cows about) until I read your explanation, as an excerpt it`s hard to make some judgments because some of it doesn`t have much context.
You`re good at conversation, really feel for the characters, which is half the battle.
Very good piece and I`ll definitely have a look at your wordpress link.