PDA

View Full Version : Dark-Pt2-1165 words



ickmonster73
April 17th, 2015, 10:34 PM
This is a continuation made from my first part, Dark (http://www.writingforums.com/threads/155475-Dark-5609-words). Small changes have been made to the first part, so if you'd like to see them, as well as any other progress, go here. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NmliREiTYAXWijYeaxGjBXfR9icKoXDu73Uue4Ub9ig/edit?usp=sharing) Thank you for reading, feel free to leave comments and enjoy! :)

We walked further until we were out of the line of sight of the hummer and kept moving forward a little bit until we encountered another obstacle. It wasn’t what I thought we would come across at all. “Is that… a wall?” I asked as we all stared in awe. Alex moved forward toward it. It was about a football field away when we stopped, but it reached way up into the sky. It was a very dark shade of gray, like the sky covered in clouds at night during the full moon. We followed Alex cautiously toward the wall and I began to feel sick to my stomach as we drew closer. My heart was pounding hard, as if it were trying to get out of my chest and away from whatever this unnatural structure was. The walk toward the wall took an eternity. Finally, Alex reached it. He stood about an arm’s length from it and waited for the rest to catch up. The wall did not seem to have a definite surface, and upon closer inspection writhed and swirled like smoke in a glass container. The feeling that was deep in the pit of my stomach was not a good one. “Dear God, Cassie, I hope you’re alright.” I thought as we all stood in silence before this great smoke wall.

“Well” said Nathan, “This is the way to the Springs. And seeing as this wall does not seem to end in any direction, I’m willing to bet that this is why the army is here.” “And why nobody can access the Springs” said Jeff. “Of course, you guys all think that the wall is impassable, don’t you?” Alex said. “Because I just happen to know of a little girl who must have come back through it.” And he gestured to little Eva, who, at the moment had her hands in the wall up to her elbows. Jeff grabbed her and pulled her back, wiping off her arms with his coat. Jeff gave Alex an irritated glance for not stopping her. Alex simply stood there with smugness radiating off of him. Eva seemed completely unfazed at any of this. Which, at the time, I’d say was cause for concern. “You think this is funny?” Jeff shouted “We don’t have any idea what this thing is and you just let her stick her arms in it?!” “Hey” Alex said nonchalantly “She’s not my kid.” I didn’t like where this was headed at all. Luckily, Nathan seemed to share my sentiment. “Hey! Take it easy, alright? You’re right, Jeff, we don’t know what this is. And Eva isn’t Alex’s responsibility, although we all need to be looking after each other.” He said, directing the brunt toward Alex. “How do you expect me to trust everyone when we don’t even know everyone” Alex redirected toward me. I put my hands up and backed away “Woah, I’m just here to find my wife, guys. And help Jeff find Sadie. So take it easy, I don’t think I’d be much of a threat to you anyway.” I said. “Well you know what? We don’t need your help.” Alex said with seething anger. And then he pushed me. Through the wall. As I was falling, all I could see was the thick black smoke that tasted somewhat metallic in my mouth. I heard shouting and felt a sharp pain on the back of my head. Then everything went dark.
I was bleeding, where was I bleeding from? I felt my body up and down, looking for the source. I brought my hands down from my neck and they were covered in thick, shiny blood. My eyes pulsed in and out of focus as I stared at my hands, not believing what I saw. I looked down and there was a river of blood coming down from my neck, drenching my shirt and then my pants, staining it all red. I sat there and choked as blood started coming out my mouth, staining the moonlit grass, standing out as if it were a sick cartoon. I was sitting, watching the pool spread around me with panic and dread. As I watched, a boot stomped in my blood, spraying me with it. I shrunk back in fear and looked up. It was Cassie. I smiled momentarily and then quickly realised something was not right. My eyes grew wide as she lunged toward me with unnatural force and lifted me off the ground by my neck. Blood trickled down her arm as she held me up with a satisfied smirk. I felt her grip tighten and begin to squeeze the life out of me, breaking my spine, breaking me.
I woke up choking as I took a deep breath. I was shaking so bad, I couldn’t speak, couldn’t think. I noticed the others were standing around me. But no Alex. I tried to ask where he went, but no tangible words came out. Nathan came and sat down beside me, telling me to lay back down. I was confused as to why, but i remember the sharp pain as I hit the ground. As I recalled it, I felt a trickle down my spine. I let Nathan coax me down. Was it night already? I looked up at the sky and it was nothing but a deep dark gray. I was also oddly warm. Why were there no stars? My eyesight grew dark, starting from the edges of my vision and I faded into a dreamless sleep.

I awoke feeling a little more than slightly groggy, but I still remembered that terrifying dream. I wish I had forgotten it. I looked around and saw that I was inside of a tent. I sat up and checked my bandages, everything seemed to be alright. I crawled slowly out of my tent and began to understand what happened. So, Alex pushed me through the wall where I fell on a rock, which I spotted on the ground, covered in blood. The rest of the crew must have either cast him out, or maybe he took off on his own in his rage. They must have decided to come through the wall and set up camp around me. I looked further out and saw the dark, uniform gray covering everything more than thirty or forty feet out. It was almost like a mist or a fog. But it was just barely light enough to see anyway. I was getting light headed. I took a seat on a log near the extinguished fire and began to think. Which is never a great idea to relieve stress and recuperate. All I could think about were the questions rolling around in my head anyway. What on earth was this wall? What purpose did it serve if we could effortlessly pass through it? Why did Alex blow up at me like that? But most importantly, where is Cassie and is she alright? Nathan crawled out of his tent.

NathanBrazil
April 18th, 2015, 06:01 AM
This is definitely a good step in the right direction. This unnatural wall has good, intriguing descriptions and has all the dark mystery that draws me further into the story. I like the bit with Eva and her arms halfway through the wall. Either she's so out of it she doesn't know any better, or she's inexorably pulled by something beyond the wall.

I like the use of the dream sequence here. Obviously the MC has been affected by this wall and the dream is serving as a foreshadowing.

The layout of the story is still distracting. If you could clean up the paragraphs and break out the dialogues that would make for an easier read.

If the military is so keen to keep everyone far from this mysterious wall, I wonder why it was so easy for them to get through. If they bypassed a group on watch, for example, it would make the military presence less foggy, and add some credibility.


Overall, I like this installment of the story. Well done.

Caragula
April 18th, 2015, 07:58 AM
Nathan's right on breaking out the dialogue, but it flowed nicely all the same, I kept a good sense of the exchange between multiple characters. One clumsy metaphor was "It was a very dark shade of gray, like the sky covered in clouds at night during the full moon." I just think you could think of a neater metaphor for that grey. The smoke in a container was fine.

ickmonster73
April 20th, 2015, 12:18 AM
The reason that comes to my mind as to why there isn't more military closer to it is because the people closer to the wall are more researchers brought in to study it than actually being dedicated to keeping people out as MC passed the military perimeter a little more than two days ago. Perhaps I should add that in. I'll try and keep up with breaking out the dialogue, I'm just used to a more cramped style since I used to write only for my own reading. Caragula, I wasn't sure if that metaphor would work or not when I wrote it, thank you for pointing it out. :)

NathanBrazil
April 20th, 2015, 03:20 AM
I think adding the researchers is an excellent idea and it would help flesh out that scene. Though the military may be sparse in this area, I imagine that they would still be present.

canary
April 25th, 2015, 09:03 PM
I read both parts, really intriguing! I have to know what's in Colorado Springs now (please don't make it zombies, though, or vampires :) ). I only have a few small things to pick on:

It can be a little unclear coming out of a dream/hallucination exactly what just happened. Right at the end, I think I'd rather find out from his asking the other people, or at least show us how he comes to his conclusions (e.g. "Looking around, I saw a rock that was wet with blood. I must have fallen and hit my head on it") rather than just having the narrator give us a summary of what happened. Does that make sense?

Just after he meets the group of people, he seems to give a lot of thought to their individual characteristics, even though he had no plans (I think) to stay with them at that time, (Jeff is a family guy, Alex is wary of me, Eva is attached to Jeff, etc.) which seems a little unnatural. In general there's nothing wrong with having him reflect a bit, especially as it's in first person, but I think you have the opportunity here to let the reader discover some of their traits through dialogue and action. Or to have the narrator give a specific example of why he thinks that, rather than summarizing the group. (e.g "I thought about the protective way Jeff laid his hand on Eva's head; he must really be a family-oriented guy" or whatever you like.)

One other thing--in the first part, you occasionally jumped from the narrator's viewpoint in the future, telling the story, to his viewpoint during the story, like this: "I don’t know if my tent will be enough, the way this weather is acting." It comes across as an unexpected tense change, and I found it a little distracting, along with the dialogue layout as others have mentioned.

Other than a few small things, though, I really like how the story is moving, and the introduction of the wall mystery. Nice job!

ickmonster73
April 28th, 2015, 07:46 PM
Hi, canary. Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your thought about the MC's dreams. I could probably make it more lifelike if I were to describe it that way (probably just a bit of laziness on my part) As to your thoughts on how MC gives so much thought to other characters in the story, I prefer to view it as insight into the MC himself. The guy doesn't have a lot of survival instinct and isn't really all that strong, so I try to make up for that with his wit and thoughtfulness. I don't want his desire to find his wife be the only real, decent trait he has. So instead of being kinda bland, I let him have the ability to tell who people are at a glance as well as being pretty sharp up top, which will come to fruition a bit later in the story. I'll keep your last thought in mind as well and see if I can add a bit more detail beforehand so the reader is more prepared.

ickmonster73
February 12th, 2016, 11:58 PM
Hey, guys, it's been a while. I've been super busy with work and haven't been writing much lately, but it's slowing down so I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I had an idea I wanted to run past everybody. Do you think it would be a good idea to have the story told from multiple viewpoints? I'm thinking of starting a chapter where it's Cassie' side of the story, what happened to her and maybe even from the viewpoints of some of the other characters. What do you think? I really appreciate your opinions so let me know soon, thanks.

Lsahlm
February 13th, 2016, 06:20 PM
Hi IM73. I love the creativity of the story since I like the unusual. That attracted me enough to read on. Still, there are a few things I noticed about the prose that I saw as standout. A list of just a few of the instances, though there were more:

A lot of "hedging" as opposed to flat out stating something:
A lot of "seems." If the mc wasn't quite sure about something, then it fits. But from the context of many of the "seemed" spots, they were definite observations, not guesses, so "seemed" just weakened the prose. I'd suggest a word search for all "seemed's." There are many.
"Somewhat" "About" more weakening words.
Adjectives that could be "defined" for more visual impact:
*We followed Alex cautiously toward the wall... (maybe they took tentative steps?)
There's quite a few of these, and not necessarily adjectives--as opposed to more more dramatic or visual in general.
Many repeated words that could prob be stated differently for more variety:
*The character's names (though in this blocky form, that helped a bit). But normally the names shouldn't have to be used so much.
*Forward/Toward (another word search)
*I looked down and there was a river of blood coming down from my neck, drenching my shirt and then my pants, staining it all red. I sat there and choked as blood started coming out my mouth, staining the moonlit grass, standing out as if it were a sick cartoon.
Extra, unnecessary words:
*...forward a little bit...
*It wasn’t what I thought we would come across at all.
*Alex moved forward toward it.
*The feeling that was deep in the pit of my stomach was not a good one.
*...Alex said with seething anger. (seething already implies anger, so adding 'anger' was redundant).
A few too many distancing "felts."
(Was vb'ing--was pounding, was sitting, etc.) instead of past tense.

A few things in context


It was about a football field away when we stopped, but it reached way up into the sky. (rather cliche-ish)

My heart was pounding hard (rather cliche-ish. Right down there with 'narrowed eyes' and 'clinched fist' as generic and non-unique), (more visual would have been to leave out the 'pounding' and go straight to this-->(My heart felt) as if it were trying to get out of my chest and away from whatever this unnatural structure was.

The walk toward the wall took an eternity. Finally, Alex reached it. (It seemed to take an eternity for him to reach the wall-"seemed" works here because it's hyperbole, not an actual fact)

He stood about (same weakening word as 'somewhat' and 'seemed.' They all have their place, but I feel they should be limited) an arm’s length from it and waited for the rest to catch up.

The rest is too bunched up to even attempt.
So it was all a dream? I was a bit let down, but maybe the first part might have helped with that.
I still liked the imagination of it all, but the prose could flow much better, I feel.