Cindy (400 words)


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  1. #1

    Cindy (400 words)

    Cindy by Davi Mai

    My art is dying. When I go, I don’t think there’ll be many left to keep the craft alive. And of those left, none can match me. I am the last great master, and my name will go down in history.

    The stage lights blaze into my eyes as the curtain raises. The usual momentary blindness means I cannot see my audience, but judging by their loud applause we have a full house.

    The theatre is small though, at the back of this seedy Vegas casino.

    Cindy sits on my lap. She’s my latest. Strangely, as my career comes to its inevitable last curtain call, I’m taking even more care over the preparation of my dummies.

    I’ve been an hour preparing Cindy this evening. I made sure every strand of her lovely blonde hair was in place. Her blue eyes are bright and clean. I buy the best glass ones available. Her cheeks are rosy with blusher. Her little white pinafore dress with its yellow polka dots looks perfect. It's arranged just so, and voluminous enough to hide my arm. My hand is tightly squeezed through the hole in the back of her head.

    I’m in my best-performing suit and bow tie, shiny shoes and brill-creamed hair. I wonder who looks better, me or Cindy?

    It's her course.

    Cindy could outshine Marylin Monroe!

    We both look up at the audience and smile as my age-old routine begins. It’s the afternoon family show, so I remind myself to leave out the vulgarities.

    I go about my stagecraft effortlessly, years of mastery coming to the fore. Cindy is a hit, with her southern belle accent and innocent questioning that makes me feign frustration. The crowd is laughing. Those that thought my art already dead are the most surprised. They're nudging their partners, fascinated, as they can't see my lips move.

    I am the most expert thrower of voice, and my hand opens and closes Cindy’s jaw with consummate precision and timing.

    My eyes adjust to the glaring lights now, and I can make out the front row.

    A little black girl, with a purple dress and cute afro hair, sits between her parents. She loves the show — all squirming and giggles. I wonder if she’s staying in this hotel.

    Maybe I will make just one more dummy.

    Cindy won't last much longer, after all.

    I fear, soon, the make up won't hide her rotting skin.
    Last edited by Davi Mai; September 14th, 2020 at 11:56 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Nov 2020
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    Excellent. Love the twist. As someone who has a bit of trouble with quick and tidy yet interesting devices, i thoroughly enjoy and respect what you've done here. Wish I had more to pick apart, only the one line in the middle. "It's her course" I assume you meant of course, but other than that, i have trouble picking holes. Well done again.

  3. #3
    That was great. I loved the plot twist at the end, I love how you revealed that it was a rotting human that Cindy was using in her performance. Few notes, there are some grammatical errors I picked up on, I'll list them down there and some logical mistakes as well. But overall, great story, and great delivery.

    //


    1. "I have been an hour preparing Cindy this evening" I think it would be better paraphrased as "I have been preparing Cindy for an hour this evening"

    2. "Her blue eyes are bright and clean. I buy the best glass ones available." I bought the best glass ones available is grammatically correct I believe.

    3. "
    It's her course." It's her of course I think is what you meant to write.

    4. "
    Those that thought my art already dead are the most surprise." Dead should be replaced with died.

  4. #4
    I enjoyed this quirky piece but I thought it had further places to go and you may want to think about a longer version. Also might want to tone down the self-congratulation from the vent. Your grammar was fine with me but the other missed typo was 'Marylin'.

  5. #5
    Well done. The sentences kept my attention from beginning to end, and the twist about the protagonist being a serial killer was brilliant.

  6. #6
    This is truly amazing! I'm a huge fan of works that can change the course of a piece with just a couple of sentences, which you've seemed to do masterfully. There's just a few nitpicks:

    1.
    I feel like the "It's her course" was supposed to be "It's her, of course" which was just a quick fix

    2. The ending, in my opinion, can have one sentence cut and not much would change at all. You can either cut "Cindy won't last much longer, after all." and replace it with "I fear, soon, the make up won't hide Cindy's rotting skin.", or cut "I fear, soon, the make up won't hide her rotting skin." or you can cut the both of them. I just find that if you can cut words or sentences and it doesn't change the piece or, even better, it actually enhances it, it's safe to cut it. This is just a small nitpick on my part.

  7. #7
    Goddamn, that ending hit me like a truck. You’re a master, no doubt, and I mean that.

  8. #8
    I really liked the flow of your writing. The short sentences kept me interested and I felt your voice had memory to it. I expected a twist at the end as I read one of the comments before reading your story, but it still really good and gave me a little shudder when I read it. Are you planning to push it out into a longer story going into the murder of the kids? Could be a really interesting read Well done.

  9. #9
    Very creepy. I enjoyed this. There is indeed much more you can do with it.

  10. #10
    I like this a lot but felt rushed to the conclusion. I want to feel the atmosphere of the theatre and know more about the ventriloquist.

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