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Adorable - A short story, perhaps turning into something longer? (1 Viewer)

JoTheOtter

Senior Member
I still have no clue to approach this story. This... feeling of love is something I'm still learning, even now, as a gay man. I only ask for your critiques and analyses.

...

Adorable
JoTheOtter


“There will come soft rains” - Ray Bradbury

“My head keeps yelling at itself--
Silence sounds too loud to me.” - Anonymous

[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.” -Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Foreword:

[FONT=&Verdana]On the summer just before my freshman year of college, I first beheld the broken mirror known as Johnny MacAuley. At once, I became entranced by the angles of the scattered glass; so blue they were, as a cotton candy sky. You saw not only yourself staring back in shattered heaps, but also the soul which inhabited the glistening shards. It was iridescent, luminous, tragic. I didn't know how to approach such a figure, yet I stand, writing about him now.
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Johnny MacAuley... His name etched on the mirror pane. It was the label that life by happenstance was to describe a very unique, though somewhat socially awkward man. I know this just because of my own lack, and perhaps that was the spark of the fatal attraction.

[FONT=&Verdana] But hell indeed, he was a man, not any sort of boy: strapping, mature, and world weary. Still, he was what one could call “cute”: both as a soul and as a body coupled with a keen curiosity. The way his scruff flowed and touched upon his lip, chin, chest, and belly was like that of an auburn bunny. It glowed, yet was dark enough that one could see the texture of suave luxury. His fluffy eyebrows were always expressive, and held in them mysteries that even now I cannot fathom. It all held well together with the curvature of his face, and that hour glass figure-- which had both masculine and feminine qualities of shape: a jaw that was square, yet a nose and eye width which were reminiscent of a soft femininity. Muscles strung his body, yet slender immaculacy was to be had. Like a dancer, he poised himself as whatever eloquence he thought fit, and, to say the least, the boys came flocking for his milkshakes that were in his yard.

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God, I'm laughing at myself with all the $10 words I'm using just to describe the fucker.

Such a paradox tantalized the palates of men. He was exotic, yet familiar. Hell, it did not matter the gender nor the sexuality: all thought he was cute in some manner. Johnny stood in such a way that one could see trace amounts of women still hidden in his masculinity, and this made the poor straight boys blush and question. The women, of course, adored the facial hair, and the way he always seemed to be so innocent, and yet so rugged.

But those who truly adored him were the gay males of this world. Those souls that before birth touched the fabulous rainbow flame of male desire.

If fauns are the male counterparts of nymphs, then Johnny indeed was one. They lapped in the fruit of his stare and fluffy face, and the way he could blush like a fall leaf. When they connected hands with him, they could feel the fragile skin tight around his tiny hands-- how it just melted into them, fitted snugly into their palms. Yet they could also sense the hair on his fingers, becoming seductively aware that this was a man’s hand which submissively let them control it. The faun was theirs for that night. What delight it was to touch that which was natural, and yet still somehow from a fairytale.

Yet sadly it was only ever a night for most of them, either by their choice or his; even if he had known them for years, it was always only ever just a night. And each time, there always became a new crack...

His soul was too much of a fire for this Earth, and it needed someone with even bigger kindling for it to continue to exist: Brilliant fires burn out savagely quickly after all, and his being was very much like a red-headed supernova. Yet unlike the fury of a cosmic explosion, he was very much a stealthy red fox-- so stealthy in fact, he vanished from everyone’s life one day when the mirror cracked just a little bit too much. Even now, I still don’t know where he is; the only thing I can do now is to make a work that is full of his paroxysm, the spasms of a soul who, even now, still has left pieces scattered in the wind. Because in the end, it wasn’t just the physicality of his body-- it was the mind found beneath that blue, a sea worth describing. And for him, this is an open letter to that sunset soul as well as a beseechment of atonement.

Because in the end, he was alone.

1 The Sound of Silence

Oddly enough, It began at sunset, The 4th of July, before the fireworks started at the park. I was in a plain ole’ red tee with cargo shorts, and flip-flops. A homosexual fashion disaster, some might say. The scenery was very much like a set for a summer evening in a movie: barbeques grilled hotdogs and burgers, the smoke rising into ethereal dimensions; kids ran through the grass and stream, which circled the circumference of the park; and cicadas cried in their little world, unaware of the humans which flew around them. It was a tad cliche. Still, cliche is not always bad, and in that moment I was happy to have the set around me. It might have been a mixture of my breaking up with my boyfriend and knowing that college was just around the bend which made me lose myself so freely in the colors (so pink was that sky). And in the losing of self, many strange things may occur…

I walked towards an oak that laid off on the periphery, its roots tangled towards the river. The drone of the myriad was getting to me, and the sound of lapping water was tantalizing, hypnotic. Splish splosh, was the siren’s song to me, and I couldn’t help but follow its course. A wave took the sound from the rest of the world, and all I knew was the water and the tree. There was no “Jeremy” as I felt my way to that lone place-- only some sort of intuition guided my half opened eyes. Yes, again, a rose coated imagination, but so was the color of the sky. The roots of the oak were burnt orange, and the leaves melted with the ribbons of light. The sound from the park died as I made my way around the burnt orange trunk, and--

“Oh, fuck!”

A man sat barefoot with his head resting on his shoulder, plaid shirt back presiding on the oak. My hypnotic trance broke at once at my sudden outburst, and, I can’t remember fully, but I do believe I was redder than my entire surroundings combine. The sudden appearance of another human so close to me was flustering-- I wasn’t very social myself, and got shy very easily. The man, who I later would come to know as Johnny, tilted his head, as that of a cat reclining on his favorite perch.

“Eh…?” he vocalized, seemingly waking from a dream. “whosdat?”

Crimson was too soft of a color to describe my skin tone.

“S--shit,” I so eloquently began. “D--dude, sorry, man. Wanted I-- I mean, I wanted to get away from everyone and stuff, and usually no one is here, and, and…”

God, what was English to me? My mind could not comprehend it. Johnny stretched out like a feline, and rested his hands on his kneecaps. Blurred eyed, he looked towards his prey.

“This English which you vocalize with your throat, Sir, is very flustered. Relax, I’m just chilling, and don’t mind some--” he paused, and I saw his eyes scan me momentarily, then a smile flickered. “-- company.”

I nodded, noticing my heartbeat rising. “Er, okay, where should I sit?”

“Wherefore you ask such a thing? My dude, you may sit wherever you like. Hell, you can even sit right next to me: this lovely fat ass oak can hold two scrawny human beings such as ourselves.”

“Well, okay. If that’s okay.”

Except when you use the word “okay” too much.

“It’s as okay as you make it. I don’t mind it.”

Giving up on finesse and eloquence, I dumped my physical being onto the grass next to Johnny.

“Excellent. Now--” he yawned and placed his hand on his mouth; somehow, the motion was very refined. “--then. Jesus, I’ve been doing that all day. Sorry. Anywho, what be your name?”

“be J-- I mean, it’s Jeremy.”

“Aaaaand, last name?” His eyes were wide now, though he yawned just a second before.

“Oh, Bellamy.”

“Is that so? Well, well, it seems you have a name to your face!”

“You do… but I don’t think I have one to yours.” My shoulders reclined more. “You go by something as well?”

“Heh, hopefully.” He moved his fingers to his collar and started to pinch it a little. “I’m Johnny. Johnny MacAlley in full.”

“Irish?” I asked.

“Correct!” The pinching became harder, and he turned to me for the first time: his eyes were a very deep blue. “How did you know?”

I shrugged and pointed to his hair. “Red hair, I guess? MacAuley doesn’t sound very British, either.”

“Ay! Ye be right on that!” The sudden shift in accent surprised me. Then again, throughout the course of the conversation, Johnny had been changing up his phrasing quite often. It was a pellicular trait of his, almost eccentric. I noticed he was still pinching his collar bone, though the pressure had eased.

“Are you from there?” I inquired.

“Ay, not at all!” he exclaimed, continuing with the accent. “I have my wee life in but this wee state.”

“I don’t think modern Irish people say ‘wee’ anymore, if they ever did.”

“Ya saying I’m racist to white people?” He furrowed his brow.

I snorted. “All I’m saying is you would probably get beaten up at an Irish pub with that verbiage.”

“Looks like someone has hidden sass.” His eyes had a strange light to them. “My, my, my oh, oh my. You must know that I am the queen of that shit!”

“Oh? Prove it?”

“Well…” he put a finger on his goatee and looked ponderously at the top of my head. “you have a [/FONT]wonderful [FONT=&Verdana]hat on your head, Sir.”

“wha--”

I moved my hand gingerly upwards. I don’t remember having a hat on my head-- I almost never wore one! I pat the top, felt a slight crunch, a snicker to my left, then my eyes widening.

“A… leaf? The hell?” I removed my hand and looked at the foliage that was stuck to my palm.

“Oooooo, don’t look so green.” His snickering continued.

“Oh, shut up, red boy” I rolled my eyes, and dropped the leaf onto the ground next to me. “

“Some people would consider that a racist term, speaking thereof,” he retorted.

He was testing the grounds, seeing how I reacted to his personality. I would come to learn this about Johnny-- how he loves to test things and on what he can and cannot say in a conversation. His sass would be for him a double edged sword. Luckily for him, the sword was in his favor this time around.

“Yes, and one could simply take it as a compliment.”

He gave me a smirk, “ya saying you like auburn boys?”

“I could just like them as well on girls,” I retorted back, the blood now completely gone from my body.

“Your own auburn face says otherwise.” His smirk turned into a grin. “Plus you could possibly like both, if we’re going to argue.”

Cheeky bastard. I let out a sigh and accepted my fate. “...is that how you find out someone’s sexuality?”

“Sometimes.” He looked up at the sky. “Sometimes I just go for it and kiss them on the mouth and see how that works.”

“Excuse me?”

“Joking, joking! I’m not THAT upfront-- unless they are really attractive.” He gave me a wink.

And that was how we met. The banter continued for about the course of two hours, with us moving from the oak, to the creek, to the park, and eventually setting down on a bench, still far away from the others. The sun had completely set when we arrived; we could see little kids, or as we both were calling them “crotch goblins”, with their sparklers running to and fro through the field and back to their parents. The chattering of the crowd slowly began to subside as the main event of the fireworks was getting closer-- the silence eventually becoming so thick that even we became hushed and looked towards the sky. One moment passed, then another, and another-- each minute being marked by sounds of crackling sparklers and bang snaps. The stars began to glisten above, and, before the silence pressed too much, the night sky lit up suddenly like the sun.

And then came the bang.

Laughter and exhilitarion then filled the air. Sparks of green, red, blue and white blew away the stars, demanding all attention on them. BOOM, BANG, BA-BOOM, the pace quickening with each passing minute. The pride, the swagger, the veracity was felt to the very center of my bones, giving me immense energy. And then, through the cacophony, I heard Johnny’s voice.

“Here a moment, gone the other.”

I turned my head to face his; his eyes were still set to the sky with a look of somber and what appeared to be respect. His eyes reflected the lights sparkling through the sky-- the color of them completely black, a stark contrast to his usual blue. They were shining, blaring, yet silent. Looking back, those eyes at that moment were windows-- and inside them was a profound nothingness. Like black holes, they scooped up the light from the sky and took it. Looking back, I believe this was the very first moment I saw what his soul was: a deep ocean, undulating with brilliant transient light that one second is there, and is gone the next. I fell in love with him right there, but I never told him. I was too shy, and the people, even though on the other side of the park, were salient in my mind and how they may possibly hear me even over the vast distance and cacophony. I stayed silent, but I continued to look at him. The lights reflecting in his pupils grew more and more intense until all that was left was a new placed smile and the blaring light obscuring the darkness.

And then, finally, BOOM, just like that, his eyes went dark; the fireworks had at last stopped. I turned around and saw that all was left were globs of smoke that continued to shroud some of the stars. Clapping and whooping began, the pride and spirit of the spectacle still present in everyone’s mind.

“Soon, the silence is going to come back,” Johnny said suddenly.

I turned around; his face was once again somber. The abyss of his eyes returned.

“Well, that’s a gloomy comment to say after everything.”

He smirked. “All things change and move. Eventually, excitement has to turn back into calm. Voices turn into silence, sunrises into sunsets. Fireworks are splendid events that eventually turn back into what they once were: nothing. That’s just the way of our world, my dude.”

He wasn’t wrong. And on that cue, the rustling of voices turned into the sound of cars turning on, their lights filling the darkness briefly before vanishing. All things, in the end, burn out.[FONT=&Verdana]
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“Still…” I began, pondering this, “they can always be rekindled if given the right time, place, and fuel.”

He chuckled. “I suppose you’re right. I mean, hell, that’s basically the definition of the Fourth of July: Burning brightly for a moment, darkness for an entire year, then burning brightly once again. Things have their place in a cycle of things. Guess that’s what the scientists call ‘entropy’ ”

[FONT=&Verdana]He placed his hands underneath his chin, deep in thought.

Then he suddenly placed under mine, looking brightly at me.

Still, His face looked fragile at that moment. Even though it was completely dark, there was light in those eyes, and I knew there was. He looked like a completely different person to the one I just met. This one… well, I couldn’t place what it was yet. I still really can’t to this day. The only thing I do know now is that I wish I had only spoke about the beauty of his eyes to him, and said the feelings that were beginning to develop at that moment. Just a “I kind of like you. You seem like a nice guy. I would like to get to know you.” But I thought, [/FONT]
everything has a time and a place; it’s too soon to say anything, and especially not here. [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]And so, I moved myself to silence, again, darkness enveloping us further moment by moment.

“Welp,” he let out a sigh, after awhile of us looking at the now star studded sky. “I think it is time for me to get going.” He was digging into his collarbone once again, and I saw his were foggy to me. “It was nice to hang out with you, my dude. Could I possibly get some sort of contact info so we can, you know, maybe hang out some more?”

“Oh,” I said, startled, automatically taking out my phone. “Sure, I use Facebook more than I text-- is that fine?”

“Of course,” he winked, “hand your phone over so I can add myself.”

I consented, and he started typing. His eyes squinted, mouth taut, abruptly serious. He typed out his name on the screen, clicked the profile, and pressed “add friend.” He nodded, handed the phone back, stood up, and extended his hand. His face returned back to a smile and I saw once again the auburn boy I first saw at the oak.

“Well, I have to head out. It was nice meeting you.”

I nodded, not knowing what to say. “Yeah. See you, I hope.”

“Oh you will, don’t worry.” And with the cordial farewell, he turned around and walked into the darkness without another word.

Silence is a very odd thing, especially after being in a bunch of noise. It feels eerie, and, at least to me, [/FONT]incomplete-- [FONT=&Verdana]a thing that just implored for something, knowing it could never be anything at all. However, what I would come to learn is that silence was a very loud and full thing; I just hadn’t noticed yet. So loud and bright, indeed, that fireworks were just mere whispers in comparison. So incomplete it was complete and absolute. Maybe that was why it was always eerie to me; it was a paradox. Heh, perhaps that is why we say silence “thickens” the air instead of thin it. Nothingness fills more than something; something always must return to nothing. It was a profound thing, much like the silence of the sky after the fireworks, the silence of Johnny’s eyes-- the silence of my developing emotions towards them….

But the silence of the cracking of a soul was the loudest. The cacophony of a voice naught heard, the most discordant. That was what I would come to know of Johnny: in the most deep of quiet, was when he was most loud. I couldn’t hear it then, but I do now. And how I wish, oh how I fucking wish, that back then I had just said something more-- anything, really-- that gave him confirmation that I had some deeper affection to him. But no, instead I had said nothing. I was too shy, for stupid reasons. Humans frightened me with their soundless thoughts and prejudice, and I could not face the fear head on. Everything was incomplete. Everything is incomplete. Everything was going to be incomplete… it feels so full of nothing. I wish I could cry out to my past self and scream to him.

Instead, all I hear in the memory is the rustling of wind masking my voice, and I walk away into the darkness as well…

2. Conversation by Conversation

Summer kept moving along after our fated encounter. I remember keenly how each passing day I felt a little bit more nervous for college. I’ve always been nervous and shy, however; I guess growing up does not help the feeling whatsoever. They say your college years and youth are the best and let me just say: it’s bullshit. At least for me, I was constantly a shivering, wet chihuahua and mom, bless her soul, wondered if I was developing some sort of flu. I would stay in bed, blocking myself from the outside world, hiding away from others. Videogames and internet forums were what kept me sane during this transitory period of my, and one other thing…

Johnny MacAuley.
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The "short" story cuts off there. I'm learning how to approach this. [/FONT]
 
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Gumby

Staff member
Co-Owner
As a reader, it held my attention and I think it has good potential. It feels like it isn't over with the ending you have now. I found some of the wording to be awkward, it almost feels in some places as if you are not a native English speaker. I will have to come back to this and point out some of those instances when not pressed for time. I am sure you will get some much better feedback from our resident writers, I am a reader, but much more comfortable giving critique of poetry. Still overall I like what you have written so far and would read more.
 

JoTheOtter

Senior Member
As a reader, it held my attention and I think it has good potential. It feels like it isn't over with the ending you have now. I found some of the wording to be awkward, it almost feels in some places as if you are not a native English speaker. I will have to come back to this and point out some of those instances when not pressed for time. I am sure you will get some much better feedback from our resident writers, I am a reader, but much more comfortable giving critique of poetry. Still overall I like what you have written so far and would read more.

I'm going to acknowledge the fact that I write in a very oddball way that doesn't sound anything like how I usually speak, or how I even post normally. It doesn't sound natural sometimes; it's like another person is speaking in my place.

My first language is authentically English, but the way I write sometimes definitely does not sound "natural", especially when I write bigger works. That is something I do need to work on, especially when I get into complex existential topics with my characters and want to delve and explain a shitton of topics. As we say "show, don't tell-- but all also make sure that what you're 'telling' sounds natural and logical."

I do need to work on consolidating my ideas and not bouncing around too much: my mind gets excited at all the possibilities, and it can forget to stay grounded.


However, the fact that it did hold your attention is more than enough for me. If I can get the reader to experience certain things and feel certain "main ideas", then I'm on the right track. I just need to polish it immensely.
 
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