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View Full Version : **Lean In**



Pluralized
November 26th, 2016, 09:15 PM
Just word-barfing, to be honest, but thought I'd throw it out here so the wolves can shred it to pieces. Or, suggest some helpful ideas on how to expand into a more coherent story. Somehow when I write something it's tough to 'see' it after a certain point. Thanks!

***

When he leans in, softly inhales the air about her silent face, he sees the reflection of the bathroom light in her eyes. The ticking of the clock has stopped, as with her heart. He tries to gather his thoughts, stands up, wipes his hand across his sweaty forehead. It’s dark outside, but he senses the coming dawn. He peers at his watch and it’s stopped too. He stands silent for a time, does not breathe. He doesn’t seem to run out of air. The faucet! He turns the knob, nothing. Even the light seems to have dished out all the energy it had, and now stares softly at him like a challenge to figure it all out. He pushes the sliding window open and peers out, waves of disbelief surging up through his abdomen. There are birds hung in the air, cars stopped on the road with their faint lights. No wind, no sound at all.


She lies upon that hard white floor, still as the mountains.


He must move her out of the way so he can open the door and get out, but she’s heavier than he thought. He pulls her limp body to his, lifts her with great effort. His sobs come out unexpectedly, sounding pitiful and weak. The light has faded to a soft, silvery glow, and he’s in the bathroom with a dead woman, forever. Time has stopped. He feels urgency, the need to get out and see if the sun will ever come up. In the bedroom, there’s her suitcase, her shoes neatly set beside the door. Their clothes scattered here and there, the cat asleep on a chair. Not breathing, of course, but undead. He stands up straight, then runs back to the bathroom. If time has stopped, perhaps her heart will beat again when it starts once more!


She lies there, cold and blue. Her hair matted, her lips thick and pale.


His instinct is to shake her, to find out if she’s really gone. He slaps himself again, devouring the delicious stinging pain. He has to think straight, get this figured out. In the front room it seems the light has given out all its energy, and it hangs in the air like a satin cloud of nervous guilt. Before he realizes it, he’s done three pacing laps around the trailer’s small living room, then is at the fridge. The thought of food repulses him and his stomach is like stone. Light flashes inside his head, and the floor shakes. He runs back to the bathroom, sees the blood. Checks his watch, and it’s moving. The blood seeps out from her body, and he cannot open the door fully. She’s fallen and wedged herself against the door. He shoves and shoulders the door back and winces at the way her body is splayed along the small bathroom floor. An earthy, sour tinge paints the air, and he instinctively holds his nose. But her beauty has not left her. He leans over, screaming and snuffling. Red lights flash across the walls, and a fire truck goes by.
“I don’t care if you were the last Shriner in Pawhuska,” shouts the skinny old man from the front yard, “it’s time you got your shit together and left here.”
He gently slid the bathroom window closed, pulled the chain to turn off the light. And there he was, in that bathroom, with a dead girl.


“You can trust me,” the voice said. “I’ll never hurt you.”
“I feel like I’m losing my mind,” he said. “I have spent the last several days living in a world where time stops and nobody dies, and now she’s gone. I feel like there’s something I could’ve done, but just didn’t know what. Didn’t know how.”
The voice sounded cold, yet had an edge of sympathy. “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing you could do. Your attempt at stopping time was simply driven by your desire to change the inevitable. Do you have any idea how dangerous that was? To change the potential alignment of atoms, the flow of digital information across the world. The changing chemistry in all living things, which has always been based on time and space.” The voice paused, gulped, then he could hear a glass being set down. “And for what? The love of a simply country girl who never wanted you to begin with?”
He felt his grip on the phone tighten. Out in the yard, the old man cackled and called out his name.

Bard_Daniel
November 27th, 2016, 02:31 AM
Hey Plur! Great to see you around again!

I'm a little unsure what to make of the piece. To me, it's well written but I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. However, I think you can write your way into a story here. You're demonstrating having all the right ingredients to make a good story and maybe you just need to write more and then edit it, to your own specifications, to get where you want to be. You're a good writer and I think that you are capable of doing it. Other that that, I don't have anything that I can say. It doesn't seem like a finished story yet, or at least I don't think so, but I think you've got something here.

I would really like to see what you come up with with a revisit though! I'll be on the lookout! = D

Firemajic
November 27th, 2016, 02:07 PM
Plur... wow... I know you want feedback and critique, but I read this just for pleasure... and it was a pleasure... When my Mother was killed, I wished I could turn back the clock... I would have given my life, if I had the chance to change the course of events that caused her death...
I loved the pace of this story and the way it unfolded.. fabulous...

JaneC
November 30th, 2016, 04:52 PM
I agree with the others. I don't know what to say that the others haven't already. I really enjoyed it.

Lincoln
December 8th, 2016, 01:19 AM
It was interesting and well-written. You seem to slip up with tenses, though - sometimes in present, sometimes in past.

TKent
December 17th, 2016, 05:11 PM
Hey Plur,

I loved the imagery and tone. I was sort of thinking "horror" the entire time. Not sure if he actually murdered the girl or not, but that's the way I was leaning, and if so, having that come out slowly would be a nice direction, since right now, he comes across as a sympathetic character. I love the tension that results from a sympathetic character being a bad guy. Reminds me a tiny bit of the feelings I had when I read a story Joshybo wrote called "Still Life."

As a fantasy lover, the ability to stop time is a cool concept and I'm dying to know more about this voice on the phone as well.

What I wouldn't pay to have your skill with imagery. Actually, I have paid lots with books and classes and such. Haha! But it is so hard for me not to come off as contrived. I keep at it though thanks to folks like you writing stories that make me want it so badly :)