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He Greets Death With A Smiling Face (1 Viewer)

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pyroteqnix

Senior Member
Hey all!
This is literally the first short story I've ever written. It could be the stepping stone for a larger project so all criticism is welcome.
(P.S. My probably grammar sucks)
Here it goes:


He Greets Death With A Smiling Face:


...his father’s lips barely hid his smile, inadvertently twisting into a smirk. Whether or not he was aware of it was unknown. Yet his eyes told the entire story; ripe with disdain and mockery, a look the boy feared so much and knew so well.

He lowered his head, suppressing his anger and bade his father goodnight, rushing off to the solitary peace of his room. Once inside, he collapsed on his bed, weary from the troubles of the day. He hated his little room, its cramped and messy space always seemed intent to smother him, a problem of his own creation of course. Yet looking at the age stained walls, he is always drawn back to the fateful day where he tried to end it all in this very room. He closes his eyes as his mind tumbles down the never ending spiral of regret and longing. His heart bleeds whenever he thinks of it.


His eye’s crack open in snakelike slits, his lightning like gaze is tainted with sorrow.

“What’s my life really worth when I die?” he whispers.

The boy knew it was wrong, he knew it would hurt and disgust others; but he couldn’t shake the memory of his re-emergence from the black cusp of death. He couldn’t help but long to return to that primordial blackness and feel himself dissipate and merge with the eternal nothingness.

“I observe and engage, happening to all as it happens to me, a product of my environment with the sentiment of an alien, yet human.” he mused, “Why should I live?”

He didn’t hate life and had no real issues to speak of, but this could not stop his bohemic desire for the other side. It was a tragic romanticism; the fate of the conscious; to live in confusion whilst searching for clarity. He tried to keep his head out of the clouds; he knew all paradoxes can be reconciled and tried his damnedest to not let it affect his day to day affairs.

“But whatever for?” he murmurs as he drifts off to sleep.

Conscious yet fading. Firm while prone to change. Loved and despised. He exists like the shade of the present, reawakened to the knowledge of ages passed; unable to meld in with his surroundings for fear of what he’s lost, yet will not depart for fear of what there is.
 

Plasticweld

Senior Member
I think you could flesh out with some more detail to create a little more empathy from the reader.

I would also consider doing it all first person, there is too much of a mix between the narrator who is observing and then the thoughts of the main character.

Welcome to the forum!
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
He Greets Death With A Smiling Face:


His father’s lips barely hid his smile, inadvertently twisting into a smirk. Whether or not he was aware of it was unknown. Yet his eyes told the entire story; ripe with disdain and mockery. A look the boy feared so much and knew so well.

He lowered his head, suppressing his anger and bade his father goodnight, rushing off to the solitary peace of his room. Once inside, he collapsed on his bed, weary from the troubles of the day. He hated his little room, its cramped and messy space always seemed intent to smother him. A problem of his own creation, of course. Yet looking at the age-stained walls, he was always drawn back to the fateful day where he tried to end it all, right here in this very room. He closed his eyes as his mind tumbled down the never-ending spiral of regret and longing. His heart bled whenever he thought of it.


His eyes cracked open in snakelike slits; his lightning-like gaze was tainted with sorrow.

“What’s my life really worth when I die?” he whispered.

The boy knew it was wrong, he knew it would hurt and disgust others; but he couldn’t shake the memory of his re-emergence from the black cusp of death. He couldn’t help but long for return to that primordial blackness, to feel himself dissipate and merge with the eternal nothingness.

“I observe and engage, happening to all as it happens to me, a product of my environment with the sentiment of an alien, yet human.” he mused, “Why should I live?”

He didn’t hate life and had no real issues to speak of, but this could not stop his bohemic (hedonistic?) desire for the other side. It was a tragic romanticism; the fate of the conscious; to live in confusion whilst searching for clarity. He tried to keep his head out of the clouds; he knew all paradoxes can be reconciled and tried his damnedest to not let it affect his day to day affairs.

“But whatever for?” he murmured before drifting off to sleep.

Conscious yet fading. Firm while prone to change. Loved and despised. He exists like the shade of the present, reawakened to the knowledge of ages passed; unable to meld in with his surroundings for fear of what he’s lost, yet will not depart for fear of what there is. (this last paragraph is real pretty, but where is it going?)



For your first effort, it is a good piece of work. You have a good narration voice and a judicious use of adjectives. However, you kept breaking tense, and using the present tense rather than the past tense (see bold print above).

That's just mechanical stuff tho. Keep writing and practicing, the first 200,000 words are just practice.
But you are off to a good start tho.8)
 

Arachne

Senior Member
I'd go first person too, as the subject is so personal and angsty it would seem more natural. In such a short piece it would also save any confusion between identification of the mc and the father, because some of the 'he' s would become 'I' s.

You could develop it by including a flashback of the attempted suicide after 'His heart bleeds whenever he thinks of it.'

Lots of deep feeling in here, which makes it a heartfelt piece of writing, which, I know from another post, is important to you, so well done. It certainly took me back to my youth for a few minutes!

Arachne
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Like the others, I enjoy the voice - it hints at an epic, somber scope which I definitely think you should build upon. Yes, your grammar - well, I wouldn't say it sucks but there's work to do, but also you might think about the fundamentals. What, exactly, is happening here? What is the event that is different? I want to read more about this guy. Give us a hook, some uniqueness. He thinks he's going to die, as we all must. I understand.

So what about: But he lives.
 

Eviano

Member
I like the voice you use. There's a lot of emotion in there and considering how angsty this is, your best bet, I think, is the first-person, as someone already pointed out.
The grammar part's easy. I trust you can smoothen the rough edges easily.

You might want to mix in some more concrete senses in there too. There appears to me to be a good deal of telling of the emotions and cliche a la:
'Bohemic desire,' 'Tragic romanticism,' 'head out of the clouds,' 'cramped and messy space,' 'ripe with disdain and mockery,' e.t.c e.t.c

Be ruthless

Hope this helps. If not, chuck it out the window :)
 
I loved the first half of the story because I could feel the emotion. I unferstood very quickly the relationship between the boy and the father. I liked the phrase "intent to smother him" it gives it a sense of claustraphobia. I agree with some of the other comments, that hearing a bit more about the previous suicide attempt. I didn't really like the dialogue. It felt a bit too fancy for me and the ideas maybe a bit too abstract? A good start though!
 
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