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View Full Version : Introduction - "Tim's Late Life Crisis" - 1500 words



MousePot
November 24th, 2014, 05:38 PM
Hi All

Sorry I've been away for a while, been busy moving into a new flat (which has been very exciting to say the least). Anywho, I've been working on this for a little while now and would love to get some feedback on it. This is hopefully the start of a much longer piece about an older gentleman struggling with his loneliness. The title is very temporary but serves its purpose for now. Oh, and while I doubt there is anything that will offend anyone, I will warn just in case that at some points it does discuss some adult themes, so just a heads up.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy, and all feedback is extremely appreciated!


Tim's Late-Life Crisis

The bench was old, damp from the early morning mist that clung to everything, and looked rather sad and tired of life. It was a bench that had been around for some time, had watched the couples and the children as they ran and canoodled over and near it, had seen the making of people, had seen the breaking of people, and frankly hadn’t been impressed. Not been moved some might say. The result was a bench that sagged at the bitter disappointment that was humanity, waiting patiently for its boards to fall through and its legs to give out because the humans who were meant to look after it had failed, as they often do, at their job.

Tim eyed it up as he approached, trying to judge just how wet the bench was, and if his comfy, out of fashion ‘leisure pants’ would protect his behind from the creeping moisture when he sat there. He then decided that he didn’t care, most of the nerves in his backside were dead by now anyway, and his feet hurt. Not to mention that Desmond looked fit to collapse at a moment’s notice. His pink tongue was flopped out as his panted from the five minute walk from the warm and comfortable hovel where they both lived.

Tim watched as the Daschund noticed the bench through the murky depths of an English winter morning, and made a straight bee-line for it with the new vigour that comes with the realisation that an arduous trial was at its end.

Lazy sod.

He let go of the lead, and wondered if that thought was really aimed at the dog, or himself, as he struggled his way after the hound, large puffs of smoky air chugging out with every step. His Doctor had told him that he, and Desmond, needed more exercise, and he had promised to think about it, then dismissed it out of hand. Tim ascribed very strongly to the idea that the only reason to exercise is so you don’t die young.

He managed to make it to the bench just behind Desmond, who, in a remarkably short space of time, had curled up beside it and was fast on his way to falling asleep. Tim turned, and slowly descended on painful knees until he could just about feel the soggy wood. He then collapsed totally into it, and let out a breath in appreciation. He barely even noticed the clammy cold soaking into his trousers.

A moment or two passed as he just simply enjoyed the sit, and then looked around, trying to see if there was anyone nearby. He half-saw some early risers moving around outside the park, but the misty morning had made them little more than outlines hurrying about. The park itself was empty, though that would probably change later. It was well-equipped and fairly popular with the village children, one of the reasons Tim tried not to come here too often. But for now the park was deserted and he had all the space in the world.

He looked around once more, a force of habit more than anything, then reached into his jacket pocket, and pulled out a ragged paper bag. After peering into the crumpled mess, he carefully chose a purple boiled sweet, and examined it closely. Changing his mind, he placed the sweet back, gently, then removed a green one. He popped it in his mouth in a self-satisfying way, slurping loudly, and then returned the bag to the hidden recess of his pocket, the sour sweet turning his mouth into an even more disapproving grimace.

“Eighty-seven bloody years old,” he heard coming from behind him, growing louder with approaching footsteps padding softly on the wet grass, “and you still suck on those damn things like a six year old sucking on a lemon dummy.”

The voice accompanied the hazy figure of a lanky gentlemen wearing a wearied tweed jacket and a flat cap that was clearly too small for his large head. The man was extremely tall, with a fine posture, apart from slightly hunched shoulders as if his head was perhaps a little too heavy for his body. His bushy eye brows were large enough to give the impression that they were in fact holding his hat up, but did nothing to hide the beautifully clear blue eyes beneath them.

The gent walked round the depressed bench to stand in front Tim, still sucking loudly and who had adopted a fixed scowl as soon as he had heard the newcomer’s voice.

“You know, with a face like yours, are you sure it’s such a good idea to eat something that makes you even uglier?”

“The sweets might be sour,” Tim said, rolling the treat around in his mouth for added effect, “but only something as annoying as you could make a person pull a face like this. What are you doing bothering me so early in the day?”

Dave, for David was his name, chuckled at the rebuttal and smiled, before putting on an air of mock offence. “Bothering you am I? Well if you’re busy I can leave you be, was only passing by as it was. Just give the word and I’ll leave you to your thoughts.” He then turned around, looking over his shoulder, his eyebrows raised to his hat in a questioning look, waiting for a dismissal.

Tim didn’t say anything, just maintained his scowl, meeting the blue eyes with his watery green. Eventually he made a non-committal grunt which could have been taken any way, but he did shuffle along the long suffering bench.

Dave crumpled into an easy smile, folding easily into the well-worn creases of his face as he sat down next to his friend. “So,” Dave started, after a moment or two of that peculiar silence reserved only for old acquaintances, “what’s dragged an old dog and his pet Dachshund out on a brisk morning like this? Eh Tim, what’s wrong?”

As with most of what Dave said, Tim ignored the dog comment, and instead reached down to give Desmond a bit of an ear scratch while he considered his next few words. He had quite a dilemma, and was hopeful Dave might be able to shed some light on it all.

“Well, not much to complain about all things told.”

“Is that right then?”

“Yup, right as rain.”

“Glad to hear.”

“You should be.”

“So nothing’s bothering you?”

“No, all things told not much to complain about.” He then looked away, suddenly interested in one particular patch of gloom directly opposite to the gently mocking eyes, all the while still scratching poor Desmond’s head with increasing ferocity. Thankfully the pooch was used to such treatment, and had not in fact woken up as of yet.

“Though…… there has been one thing on my mind recently.” Finally lifting his arm from the sleeping dog. “Wouldn’t say bothering me, but definitely on my mind.”

“Oh, how surprising.”

Tim turned to scowl, but was met with a pair of wiggling eyebrows, dancing in mock surprise.

“You’re ridiculous.” The brows continued to dance. “Anyway, what I was saying, what has been on my mind, is that company that makes those drones workers and what-not, the ones in the news.”

Dave, genuinely surprised at the direction of the conversation, interjected, “You mean Rossum’s? The robot company thing that keeps getting in trouble for human rights issues?”

Dave grunted that that was the one, and slurped at his sweet. “Well, I was wondering if you knew anything about it?”

“Well all I really know about is from the news. They started off selling ‘Sex Bots’ to perverts with too much money I believe. “Better than the real thing”.”

“’Better than the real thing?’”

“Hmm, that was their tag line. Caused all sorts of media outrage. I think they still make those sex dolls things, but now they mainly provide cheap labour for mining companies and the like. But why on earth is this bothering you?”

“On my mind, not bothering me. Anyway, why it is on my mind is, remember that idiot grand-nephew of mine, the one who made a fortune during that BitCoin craze?”

Dave groaned. “Don’t tell me the little blighter has bought one of those sex-bots? Is he parading it around in his ‘Chateau’ on the Thames, or wherever he is living now? Always knew he wasn’t right in the head, but that is just…..”

Tim looked away before answering. “Well, yes and no. You see, he has bought one, probably more than one knowing him. Thing is,” here Tim swallowed whatever was left of the green boiled sweet, “he’s now bought one for me. For my birthday.”

“Oh.”

“Arrived last night, still in its box in my living room.”

“I see.” A silence, very different to the one the two men were used to sharing, stretched out between them, making them both shuffle and fidget. “Well, I can see why that might be on your mind.”

John Oberon
November 25th, 2014, 08:13 PM
I thought it was pretty good, clean writing. The only thing I didn't like was that first paragraph. I think eliminating all that personification of the bench would improve it. It seems to intrude on the story. I liked it overall though. I like understated humor like this. Great character description.

Plasticweld
November 26th, 2014, 02:44 AM
This is a well told story, a couple of things stick out as being a little out of place. I do like the description of the bench and see what you are trying to do. I don't think that the analogy is quite right for the tone you are trying to set. Just the ending seems out of place to me

because the humans who were meant to look after it had failed, as they often do, at their job.



Dave, for David was his name This seemed out place.


A nicely told story with a twist, that gave great visuals and realistic dialog...Bob

MousePot
November 26th, 2014, 08:24 PM
Thanks Oberon, you make a great point, I've actually been thinking that the first few paragraphs have been too slow but couldn't put my finger on why, I think you may have answered it for me!

and thanks also plastic, one of my biggest problems I reckon is that I add far too many unnecessary sentences, thanks for catching some of them. RE the Dave was his name sentence, I'm struggling a little to introduce dave's name in an organic way (hence why I figured I'd just screw it and have the narrator do it xD), any suggestions?

Thanks again for reading ^^

SummerPanda
August 24th, 2015, 12:38 AM
I thoroughly enjoy any story that makes you work for the time and place, as you do. Until you start talking about robots I had no idea when this was set, at the point you show the reader that it is somewhat in the future, whether 10 years or 1000 years. I appreciate a story(and an author) that doesn't feel the need to beat it's reader about the head with all the specifics of when and where, and lets the details that matter to the story inform us in good time. Very well done.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the first paragraph, it gave a distinct impression of the bench, I could see it clearly. The only problem is that it is a lot of description for something that serves no more than it's basic purpose: to be sat on. If it were me I would cut that description right out and save it for something else, because it is a beautiful bit of writing, it is just out of place.

"The gent walked round the depressed bench to stand in front Tim, still sucking loudly and who had adopted a fixed scowl as soon as he had heard the newcomer’s voice."
This seemed muddy and cluttered to me, I knew who you were talking about, but the language seems confused, and maybe there is a word missing.

I'm interested in where this goes and look forward to seeing more.
Thanks for sharing.

MousePot
August 26th, 2015, 01:33 PM
Hey guys, I've posted an updated version of this in the prose workshop:
http://www.writingforums.com/threads/159586-Opening-Chapter-Tim-s-Scandal-(2500)-*Very-mild-adult-themes*

Would love some feedback on the changes and new content ^^

wainscottbl
August 29th, 2015, 06:46 AM
The bench was old, damp from the early morning mist that clung to everything, and looked rather sad and tired of life.

Great start. Very eloquent and catching.


Tim eyed it up as he approached, trying to judge just how wet the bench was, and if his comfy, out of fashion ‘leisure pants’ would protect his behind from the creeping moisture when he sat there.

Intelligent. So far I think it is very well written. This shows a very conscious mind that is good at giving details. You do a good job of balancing show and tell.


His Doctor had told him that he, and Desmond, needed more exercise, and he had promised to think about it, then dismissed it out of hand

Good voice


lanky gentlemen wearing a wearied tweed jacket and a flat cap that was clearly too small for his large head. The man was extremely tall, with a fine posture,

Lanky or good posture? Maybe gangley. Taylor Swift is gangley, graceful, with with an awkward sort of way. I can't think of anyone public that is lanky though. Semantics? I don't think so. Lanky is that ill postured kid who leans against the wall at school, like Smeryadkov in "Brother's Karamazov" if you remember him/know him. Gangley is ungracefully graceful. Like the lovely Taylor Swift. Sorry, I've got a thing for her. Not her music. I find her charming. Anyhoo!


still sucking loudly and who had adopted a fixed scowl as soon as he had heard the newcomer’s voice.

See? The tall kid louching against the wall without grace. As opposed to, forgive me:

http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/fp/Taylor+Swift+Karlie+Kloss+Taylor+Swift+Karlie+jsw1 IorGcubl.jpg

Karlie Kloss (right) is very composed and confident. There is a subtle misstep with Taylor, as if her abdomen's not completely screwed on. I know I'm pushing this and likely and being prententious or whatever, but, I don't know. Just want to give a little more proof on the difference I guess.



“Well, not much to complain about, all things told.”

Don't forget the comma. :-)



“Well all I really know about is from the news. They started off selling ‘Sex Bots’ to perverts with too much money I believe. “Better than the real thing”.”

You got too fast typing on your quotation marks! Double check em



Very good though! I mean your voice is pretty much perfect, it flows perfectly, it balances all the elements, the dialogue is good. Kudos.

MousePot
September 2nd, 2015, 03:40 PM
Hi wain

Thanks for the feedback!
That was a very interesting point you raised with 'lanky', as far as I knew I thought lanky was a physique type, and the impression I was going for was the idea of someone very tall and thin, but in control of his body, if that isn't the case I will have another look at that ^^

I've actually updated this and added a bit more in the prose workshop, I would love to hear ur feed back on the new section as well ^^

all the best

OpenMindedDude
September 4th, 2015, 09:49 AM
Woah, I wish I had the writing ability of you guys!