View Full Version : Untitled so far

April 22nd, 2018, 09:06 AM
I know where I'm going with it,but only halfway done. Just had the idea and thought I'd put it down on paper, so to speak. No title yet.
Hoping my writing is improving.

“Oh my god, it’s Tuesday!” Nedward Mancer heard the girl's words in the high school hallway while he headed for his next class. He couldn’t agree with the girl’s excitement, about it being Tuesday. If it was Tuesday, it meant biology, which meant today was dissection day. That would mean at least eight dead frogs, maybe more, pinned on boards, ready to be gutted and mutilated in the name of science.

Nedward, whose parents operated the town’s crematoruem, wasn’t afraid of corpses, or frogs. His concern, was how the school's football ‘hero’, Chester Whitton, would use those amphibious bodies to torture him, on his birthday. Nedward, who’d already thought of at least a thousand ways the adult-sized fourteen-year-old might humiliate him, knew Chester worked on a whole different level of deviousness.

The day started hopeful, with Nedward waking excited to be turning the big thirteen. Expecting at least one present before school, he’d burst in to the kitchen, about to wish his parents a very good morning. Instead of loving words, or enthusiastic hugs, he was greeted with hushed tones. Stern flat mouths wished him a subdued happy birthday, before both parents stood and left the kitchen, each in a different direction.

Nedward gathered the materials for his breakfast, stunned at how quickly the day's potential vanished, leading the way for a dismal birthday. He plonked down at the kitchen table and ate his birthday breakfast slowly, feeling very alone. And with no real friends at school, he settled himself in for a very lonely day. Even the fact he’d found a hair on his pale chest in the bathroom this morning, signalling his ascension to adulthood, couldn’t cheer him up. Then, he remembered today was dissection day today. Nedward knew his birthday wish would be hoping he could make it through biology class without having to deal with Chester.

In the classroom doorway, Nedward ignored jibes fired at him about his unusual complexion, from students passing in the hallway, another of Chester's contributions to making Nedward's school life intolerable. Chester started the insults the first day Nedward came to school, and encouraged everyone to keep it going. And it was still going, even after three years. With his wire-thin frame, whitish skin and a small tuft of black hair, a result of his parent’s unique European heritage, Nedward received the same treatment from most of the school, mocked and ridiculed at one point or another. It astounded him that, in an age of understanding and acceptance, he could still be such an outcast. He was clearly no jock, not being good at any type of sport. The goths, emos and nerds avoided him as well. Nedward knew he was smart, but not smart enough to join the nerds. Even the movie geeks wanted nothing to do with him, despite his amazing knowledge of horror movies. There were plenty more social groups , but Nedward didn't fit in with any of them. Apparently, if you didn't adhere to any group in high school, you didn't belong, or just didn't exist.

Nedward released a huge sigh as he entered the room, realising Chester hadn't arrived. With the sounds of Mister Neshim, the biology teacher, coming from the cupboard in the corner, Nedward smiled, knowing Chester couldn’t do anything to him.

Moving to his usual seat at the back of the room, Nedward caught a whiff of the thawing corpses as he shuffled between the desks. Eyes low, he shot quick glances at the students already seated. They mostly ignored him, although he caught some sidelong glances at him, whispering to each other as he passed.
More students entered the room, some had their noses held, complaining of the smell in the room. Nedward knew he’d desensitized to the stench of corpses, including the one splayed out on the bench before him.

He took his seat, noting the second tray filled with gloves, medical wipes, paper towel and some medical implements, including a scalpel. Something drew Nedward’s gaze to the frog, a small sound, emanating from inside the corpse. The corpse moved, as though it still lived, barbarically pinned down to stop it escaping. Nedward kept his eyes focused on the corpse, listening to that soft humming sound. The single hum became a chorus, as humming filled the room. Nedward looked up, tilting his head as he listened. He appeared to be the only one that heard it. The humming grew louder, more intense. Nedward squinted as pain built up behind his eyes, the humming growing louder still.

“Oh yeah,” Nedward heard a voice, breaking through the deafening thrumming in his head. Nedward exhaled loudly as the noise faded, looking up to see an evil grin on the chiselled face of Chester Whitton.

“This is going to be a great class today,” Chester laughed, making his way to his seat, his eyes never leaving Nedward.

The teacher, finally locating whatever he’d been searching for, came back in to the class room, much to Nedward’s relief.

“Right class,” he started, causing all heads, including Chester’s, to face the front. Nedward tried to calm the thump-thump, thump-thump of his heartbeat in growing his ears. It grew so loud, it almost drowned out Mister Neshim's instructions on frog dissection.

When it was time to work on the frog, it took Nedward a moment to calm himself, his heartbeat fading away, allowing him to hear the laughs and squeals of the other students as they started cutting open the frogs. Nedward picked up his scalpel and set to work.

Within minutes, he'd opened and dissected the frog, removed it's organs and placed them neatly on either side of the corpse. When he looked inside the frog, he heard the hum. Despite himself, he leaned closer, the sound building in his ears. Mister Neshim called out something, but the words were lost to Nedward in the hum reverberating from inside the frog. Nedward leaned even closer, unable to stop himself from listening.

When the classroom door closed, Nedward lifted his head, to see who’d just left. The humming vanished when Nedward saw Mister Nedward's head through the door's glass panel, heading down the corridor. If Nedward had any colour, he’d have turned white. He turned, to where Chester sat down. The chair, was empty.

A massive hand grabbed the back of Neward’s neck, pushing his head toward the tray with the dissected frog.

“Happy birthday, freak!” Chester’s voice squeezed out between clenched teeth. “I hope you like frog cake!” Nedward’s face was forced closer to the organs spread out on the tray. He pushed back desperately, but he continued moving closer and closer.

“I think we’ll start with the mud cake,” Chester laughed, causing others in the room to laugh also. Nedward struggled with everything he had, not wanting to be humiliated so badly, not on his birthday.

Then, the humming started again. With his nose almost touching the small heart, Nedward felt something, an essence, or a force, contained within the humming. Not knowing why, he took a huge breath. A mist, smoky, almost invisible, wafted up from the frog's corpse, sucked in through Nedward's nose. As it entered his body, Nedward felt incredible, invigorated, like he could lift a car over his head.

Nedward saw Chester’s face reflected in the tray as he forced Chester's hand back.

“What the?” There was outrage in Chester's words, as Nedward felt more pressure applied to his neck. Chester put more in to it, but Nedward didn't move.

“FREAK!” Chester blurted out, putting his whole body in to it, trying to force Nedward’s face down in to the body parts on the tray. There was movement, with Chester’s friends coming over to help. Nedward’s felt his arms pulled sideways. With three people on him, Nedward felt his head moving forward again. Smiling, he listened for the humming, but whatever had been there before, was gone. The corpse before him was silent.

His face moved closer to the organs on the tray. Nedward, realising there were more corpse in the room, reached out. He wasn't sure how, but Nedward was hoping to draw from the other frogs in the room. With his nose moments away from the frogs intestines, he felt his senses reach out. He touched the other frogs, found them, through their hum. The sounds were low and far away. As Chester forced his face down, closer to that gooey pinkish bag on the tray, Nedward drew in breath after breath, trying to draw in strength from the surrounding frogs.

“That’s it,” Chester chuckled, “cop a whiff of that!” Despite his effort, Nedward couldn’t stop himself from moving. Desperate, he felt the humming, from the other frogs. He realised, after a moment, he felt the humming. He wasn’t sure how, but he felt their vibrations, like the remnants of the lifeforce that once filled them. And when he touched them, they vibrated faster. So he touched them, stroking them, patting each one like a pet. Each touch made them vibrate faster. The hum increased in pitch, growing so so high, his ears hurt. But he kept going, he had too.

Screams filled the room as every frog, except the one in front of Nedward’s face, exploded simultaneously, covering the room in frog blood and guts. Girls ran crying from the room, shouting and screaming.

Nedward felt Chester release the pressure his neck, the boys holding his arms letting go also. Nedward sat up, looking around the room. The classroom door burst open, Mister Neshim rushing in, demanding to know what’d happened, who’d perpetrated such a vicious prank. All eyes looked at Chester, who was still removing bits of frog guts from the side of his face.

“What?” Chester growled, “it wasn’t me. Freakshow was in here before me.” Chester indicated Nedward when he spoke. Nedward couldn't hide his smile.

“What, so I cut open semi-frozen frogs, put some kinda firework in all of them so they would all blow up at exactly the same time? Then sowed them up, without leaving a mark? And did all this before class?” Mister Neshim's brow furrowed, realising how ridiculous it sounded.

“But his frog didn’t explode!” Chester grunted. “And, he’s the only one without any guts on him!”

“Hard to get covered in guts with three bullies covering you.” Nedward looked at Mister Neshim, but his reference to the bullies was either missed, or ignored. Chester's expression meant he picked up on the comment however, his thick frame tensing.
“Whatever.” Mister Neshim threw his hands in the air, before ordering everyone out of the room.

“This isn’t over freak,” Chester muttered as he passed Nedward, bumping him hard with his shoulder as he left the room.

“No,” Nedward said calmly, unsure about everything that'd just happened, "it definitely isn't."

May 4th, 2018, 07:46 PM
MadMickyG, you write very well and your descriptions are vivid and clear. These are traits of good writing. However, in my opinion, this scene lacks objective so we don't have much of a reason to tag along with Neward. This is like a very well described picture of a day, a bad day, but it doesn't have any plot elements to drive the text forward.

Try think about the story you want to tell. Where it begins, what happens along the way and what will be the clímax?

But keep writing, your prose is very good and clear.

Ralph Rotten
May 7th, 2018, 02:10 AM
Keep up the practice! Your writing is good and shows promise.

As a driver, you are a beginner until you rack up your first 100k miles.
With writing it's about 200k words.
Bruce Lee practiced for hours every day before he became an expert.
Writing's no different. You have to do it a lot to be proficient at it.

May 16th, 2018, 02:47 PM
I really enjoyed this!
I felt that the description of the humming was drawn out a bit. There could be a bit more understanding of who exactly Nedward is too. This line 'Apparently, he was too emo for goth, and looked too goth for emo, which was strange because he never considered himself either.' could be developed bit. Goth and Emo are too similar- maybe he wasnt sporty for the jocks, not intellient enoughfor the geeks - show that he doesnt fit anywhere. I understand where you were going though
Keep writing though :)

July 6th, 2018, 04:37 PM
Crematorium, for reference. Let's help him come up with a title.

July 8th, 2018, 06:20 AM
Hi @MadMickyG, my first critique on this forum, so apologies if I deviate from the way things are usually done here.

The idea of the story has potential, but one thing that struck me right off was that it seems to start twice. First, we learn that it's dissection day:

“Oh my god, it’s Tuesday!” Nedward Mancer heard the girl's words in the high school hallway while he headed for his next class. He couldn’t agree with the girl’s excitement, about it being Tuesday. If it was Tuesday, it meant biology, which meant today was dissection day. That would mean at least eight dead frogs, maybe more, pinned on boards, ready to be gutted and mutilated in the name of science.

But then we go into a bit of flashback about the start of the day, where he once again (for the first time for him) realizes that it's dissection day. Also, you've got "today" doubled in the sentence.

Then, he remembered today was dissection day today. Nedward knew his birthday wish would be hoping he could make it through biology class without having to deal with Chester.

Moving on, I'm a little confused as to why his parents are so cold to him, but it occurs to me that perhaps there's a reason for that, maybe the thirteenth birthday is when the family gift/curse manifests? This is just an excerpt, so I can't be sure, but if there isn't a reason for them to act that way coming soon, I would modify it.

Finally, some technical notes that may be out of date. The last time I dissected a frog, Ronald Reagan was president, but back then, the frogs weren't frozen, all the rana pipiens came in white pickle buckets, preserved in formaldehyde, and their blood had been removed and replaced with a bluish rubber which made their circulatory systems easier for students to see. It occurs to me that students probably shouldn't be exposed to formaldehyde, but frozen would make dissection quite difficult.

Anyway, an interesting beginning, I hope to see more sometime soon.

July 9th, 2018, 10:36 AM
Good one. I'm just curious if the name of the main character is a play on words? ( Nedward Mancer = Necromancer; and he also uses other's life force to make himself stronger )

August 12th, 2018, 06:48 AM
Aschendale, yes there is more to why his parents behave that way. I haven't written it yet, but I have the reason. I'm still working on my writing technique, so the double start was kind of how it came up. I'm sure it can be improved.
I never dissected frogs in school, nor have any of my kids. I wrote one way I thought i could be done. But your comments give rise to another method, which would also allow some thoughts from Nedwards point of view.

Gulsar, indeed it is.

As for a title, I was looking at something like 'A Summer Necromance' but hadn't decided on it yet.