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The Mysterious Disappearance and Trans-Substantiated Reappearance of Kyle Morgan (1 Viewer)

Jim Alias

Senior Member
After fighting with formatting, this is the best I could get this to look (a far more readable version can be found here with a formatting and structure that matches the intent with which I wrote the story [that is, to not be horrific optical gangbang]). Thanks in advance for sticking it out and reading through this; I put a lot of effort into it. For some background, it's already written and submitted story for a friend, but I am looking for unbiased critique of style, structure, prose, and all those deliciously essential elements of a story. Be brutal, but be honest. I want this thing in shreds by the time you're done. Enjoy (but not too much!)

-

From this angle, Kyle Morgan couldn’t help but imagine that the sun looked like the ripe, plump kneecap of a man indebted to a particularly unforgiving loan shark. It sort of always did at this hour, but now, as he watched it filter through the wooden railing posts of the tower next to him, the evening never felt more like the thick, springy body of a Louisville Slugger clenched tight in the fist of some vindictive mafia enforcer. Of course, it hadn’t always been like this, he thought to himself for possibly the fiftieth time as he turned the corner. There was a time, he thought, when the sun more closely would resemble the listless dangling of a tacky potted plant, wilting forgotten in a suspended plastic container, yellowing from thirst and exposure. He wasn’t sure if he liked that more, and kicked a can.
“Megasplash.”
It’s weird when you haven’t heard a name aloud in years but read it every day. Kyle Morgan wanted to scream it, just to somehow prove it had existed, to get the world to remember something it was trying with frustrating success to forget, but he didn’t think it’d do much good. Unlike the planet outside of the stupidly high chain link fence enwrapping the park like a mummy, Kyle couldn’t remember how to forget; and so, for the past two years, he’d come here every day.
To Kyle Morgan, the old slides looked like big beached whales of plastic and wood. Long since dead from dehydration, the monolithic beasts loomed over him like skyscrapers in a twilight metropolis, catching the last rays of the descending patella down the lane. Kyle supposed they were kind of beautiful in a nostalgic sort of way, but they’d lost a bit of their sentimental charm in the last few years since the place had closed down for what the whole world seemed to hope would be for good.
He was pretty sure it wasn’t just to be alone; that adjective would probably describe him at most discretely evaluated points of the day. Maybe it was a factor, sure, but it felt like there were more pieces to the jigsaw puzzle, spread somewhere across the shag rug of his life, hiding beneath cabinets or lurking under beds. He didn’t want to find them, though. He just wanted to be here.
Mentally, he called this one “Shamoo”, a big, twisted mass of black and white tubes, falling like the snarled hair of a street child from the top of the wooden tower now a good four feet from his left. This wasn’t the one, but he had some fond memories here. They’d started him off managing Shamoo’s flow. Despite his position making him sound like some sort of feminine product for an extensively trained sea mammal, that was essentially what Kyle had done, standing like a shirtless scion atop a wooden throne, issuing his divine mandates of “wait” and “go” to the never-ending tide of screaming children coiling around the staircase of the tower like some sort of nightmarish python. On his best days, he’d fancied himself the sole protector of order in a disordered world; on the worst days, he just wanted to fucking go back home.
Water park work was a popular summer job for students his age in this town, which practically was MegaSplash. Well, MegaSplash, its associated aquarium (the headquarters from which the “educational aspects” of going to a gaudy water park were touted, extended, and exaggerated), and the university. Outside of that, though, West Plainsworth had little to offer; it was quite possibly the most iron-jawed tourist-bear-trap in the southeastern United States, sporting billboard tendrils that choked roadways for hundreds of miles in all directions. In two years, though, West Plainsworth, once the flag-bearer for the little known “Waterpark-College” city archetype, had begun to run as dry as Shamoo’s barren tubes. All it takes is one day.
Kyle had been transferred from Shamoo (once referred to more professionally as “Typhoon Falls” by those who gave a shit and had no imagination) to the knotted monstrosity known as Caribbean Corkscrew on July 14[SUP]th[/SUP], 2009. Those familiar with water park management employment hierarchy would have been thrilled for Kyle, but he, like everyone else who wasn’t a complete fucking wet blanket, had no extreme positive feelings concerning the promotion. Between the vestigial remnants of OCD and his nearly crushing sentimentality, Kyle just had a bad feeling about Caribbean Corkscrew.
Perhaps mentally naming it “Two Moray Eels Fucking” wasn’t the best way to warm up to the monstrous slide, but Kyle was nothing if not consistent, especially with his metaphors, needlessly extended as they inevitably became. Still, TMEF was where he had his fondest memories as a lifeguard at Megasplash, standing at the pinnacle of the park and the town, literally and figuratively looking down on West Plainsworth as it extended into the horizon as if it was running away from something. He never really got tired of seeing his house from the top, but being able to see his house and his dorm building in the same 40 degree angle of vision put a sour taste in his mouth.
That sour taste was gone now; he’d long since spat out the hope of ever really leaving this town. He believed a part of him was still here, deep in the belly of Two Moray Eels Fucking, waiting to come out, and he wanted to be here when it happened.
He had high hopes for today; it was the second anniversary of August 1[SUP]st[/SUP], 2010, the fateful day previously referred to with authorial coyness. He still remembered it vividly, and often relived it with vivacious intensity probably unbefitting of such a perplexing, tragic, and frustrating situation. For most, August 1[SUP]st[/SUP], 2010 was off the calendar; for Kyle Morgan, it was the only day.
-
“Hey Sydney.”
“Hey!”
A meaty exchange in which several key ideas were elaborated upon, considered, and reconsidered, Kyle had thought to himself in the atypical silence that followed their brief exchange.
Like every day, Kyle Morgan, then 19, made a big show of getting ready for his day acting as a fluffer for the perpetual plastic porno that acted itself out above the town at all operational hours of the day. He liked to add sound effects when he removed his shirt, a habit that always amused Sydney. She was 20, but he always suspected that he was a good bit more mature.
At least, that’s what he told himself as he took removed his shirt while whispering “pchoooooooo” with the passionate fervor of a priest and the inflection of three stage rocket taking off. Sydney didn’t laugh this time.
“Hey, are you topping or bottoming today?”
“Topping.”
Ah, that explains it. Dan Gregory was a nutcase; if Kyle wasn’t acutely aware of Dan’s Catholicism, he’d suspect Dan’s devotion to the principles of “rotational synergy” to border on the religious. With all necessary respect to the chain of command, though, Kyle accepted his near-maniacal edicts, and, with Sydney, alternately managed the entrance and exit of the Caribbean Corkscrew. He closed a locker with a bit more force than he really needed.
“Ouch. You know, I hate bottoming too; one of these days Dan’s going to get fired for this shit. I talked to Caleb the other day; he has the staff on the Squid alternately run mechanical. It’s, like, why not let people do what they know how to do well every day? Forcing them to do shit they hate is just bad management.”
Kyle hated reciting that monologue, but, hey, it pretty consistently improved Sydney’s mood. He opted to inject some original content into the routine.
“How’s Ben doing?”
Sydney made a face that was somewhere between someone choking and someone who’d just realized they were going to take a painful tumble down a staircase.
“I guess that’s bad, huh?”
“As can fucking be. I’ve got a story later.”
Kyle laughed in a way he thought appropriate.
“Bated breath, Sydney, bated breath.”
She smiled as he bugged his eyes with mock excitement.
“You ready?”
She sighed.
“As ever.”
The walk to TMEF was always Kyle’s favorite part of the day. Down the alley in the 7:30-a.m-pseudo-twilight, right between Shamoo and The Squid, over the Lazy River (Kyle never really decided on a name for this one; it didn’t particularly resemble any horrific aquatic animal and was uncharacteristically easy on the eyes), through the food court, and onto the Jammin’ Jamaican Beach Plaza (the full name of which Kyle had made a point never to say). The gauntlet took nearly 15 minutes, and there wasn’t anyone he’d rather share that tiny slice of the day with.
“Ben’s basically an asshole.”
“What now?”
“Oh man, you don’t wanna know.”
Sydney knew that he did, and she knew that he knew that she knew that he did.
“I’m not running around that track today, just tell me.”
Kyle accompanied the question with a small laugh to soften the sharp prongs of his interrogation. He always got what he wanted to know out of her, but sometimes he enjoyed the process, and he was pretty sure she did too.
“Ugh.”
“Come on.”
“Uuuuugh.”
“Really now?”
“Ben’s been chasing my dog around with a vacuum cleaner.”
“What the fuck?”
“No fucking lie. Every time I step out of the room, he grabs the vacuum cleaner and starts chasing Lulu.”
“What the fuck?”
“He doesn’t turn it on because he thinks I don’t hear, but I can see him the mirror as I’m leaving. The guy doesn’t even have any fucking patience; the second I leave the room he’s chasing her around the room holding the vacuum cleaner.”
“I’m really not sure I follow here.”
“The guy is getting some sort of weird joy out of terrifying my dog. I knew he didn’t like her, but goddamn, you don’t chase a girl’s dog around with a vacuum cleaner without telling her.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s sort of a dick move,” Kyle said with no particular certainty that it actually constituted a “dick move”. A more brazen incarnation of Kyle Morgan would have admitted that the mental image of Ben Callahan, a tall, lanky goth kid pursuing a poodle in circles around an over-furnished living room while brandishing a Kirby vacuum cleaner like a rifle struck him as hilarious. This Kyle Morgan, however, knew better.
Sydney didn’t seem entirely placated by his accusation, but smiled when she pushed him, prompting him to smile so hard it hurt his cheeks a bit.
“Just a dick move?”
“Yeah, well, I’ve never been a huge fan of Lulu.”
Sydney laughed outright for the first time of the morning. It was about 13 minutes in; 9 minutes longer than it took on average. She really did hate topping the Eels; she hated heights and, frankly, he hated lows. He really needed to report Dan to somebody higher up in the park’s management (whom he made a point of not knowing).
“Yeah, well, I almost think he’s taking it out on the dog.”
“And ‘it’ refers to…?”
“He’s failing marine biology, and somehow he thinks it’s my fault.”
“Is it?”
“No.”
“Is it?”
“Not really.”
Kyle gave her a look that he gave her often. He’d trademark it if it he could; its effect was undeniable.
“Well, it’s my fault in the sense that having a girlfriend precludes him from actually fucking cracking a book.”
“Ouch. What about your study sessions?”
“We don’t tend to do much studying.”
Kyle really didn’t like to hear that, but he hid that fact.
“And somehow that’s your fault?”
“Either that or Lulu’s fault.”
Kyle smirked a bit as Two Moray Eels Fucking loomed before them like someone had decided to draw a dark purple interpretation of a Twizzler across the sky. Kyle hated this ride; enclosed, dark, and twisting, it was claustrophobic and agoraphobic at the same time. Despite offering as much space for fluid movement as the arteries of a proportionately scaled morbidly obese man, riding it felt a bit like jumping into a void or floating off into starless space. Thankfully, he almost never had to ride that shit.
Sydney gave a smile back that Kyle hoped was trademarked. Or maybe he didn’t, because he doubted anyone could replicate it anyway. Or maybe he should stop thinking about this because he’s pausing awkwardly and staring and oh shit.
“See you in a few hours.”
“You too,” Kyle said automatically.
Fuck. “You too?” thought Kyle as he walked away from her. Really? Really now? That was the second worst situation to say that in, just behind “in response to a movie theater ticket clerk politely instructing you to enjoy the movie”. Oh well. At least it kind of made some sense; like, he’d see her after their shift ended but she knew that and said it so why did he say you too…
Kyle’s train of thought (and locomotion) ended when he arrived at the base pool of the slide, his bare toes nearly stubbing on the soaked wooden beams that supported his officious lifeguard chair. His job as a bottom was simple; he simply reported via walky-talky to Sydney when the kid at the bottom had vacated the collecting pool and that it was time to send the next unsuspecting fool into the screaming vortex of TMEF. Boring and un-officious, but it had to be done, he supposed, if he didn’t want a pile of dead children cropping up at the bottom of the slide, which he didn’t.
He watched the sun as much as he watched the slide; back in those days it was like a lamp with no shade, arcing gracefully through the air as if tossed in some domestic dispute, waiting to shatter on impact with the horizon behind him at the end of the day. Kyle probably looked at that gaseous ball more than was healthy, but somehow, it managed to be more interesting than the unending stream of kids pouring of whatever exit-hole eels had. He was pretty sure it was a cloaca, but then again, that might be just birds.
In what was too cruel to be coincidental, he’d pulled his eyes from the orb in time to witness the event that would change his life forever. He stared at the pool for a moment; resting his eyes and watching a young boy with green swim trunks come flying out of the bottom of the probably-cloaca with what he considered unsafe speed. As the bruised boy, who didn’t appear entirely pleased with his 30 second experience prior, climbed out of the water, Kyle Morgan braced himself for the next grievous violation of his own personal speed limit.
“We’re clear, keep ‘em coming.”
Kyle’s next affront to reasonable waterslide procedures never came. That’s not to say the next child abided by the regulations Kyle mentally imposed on the riders of TMEF; there simply was no child coming out of the slide. Kyle’s heart stopped for a second; this had never happened before. TMEF basically always had a full line; there was absolutely no way green-trunks had been the final soldier out of Saigon, so to speak. The walky talky crackled and Kyle Morgan heard Sydney inhale. His stomach twisted.
“Are we clear down there?”
“What do you mean?”
“Did the fat little Asian boy with the red trunks get out of the pool yet?”
“Um…”
Kyle strained his eyes looking at the empty pool.
“He hasn’t even gotten in the pool, don’t send anyone down.”
“Holy shit, he wasn’t that fat. Fuck, give him like 10 seconds.”
The longest 10 seconds of Kyle Morgan’s life then proceeded to elapse.
“Nothing. Call the fire department.”
Kyle Morgan was beginning to pant heavily. This had never happened before, and he was practically afraid to get up and assist with what was inevitably going to cascade into a full blown emergency. Nevertheless he kept staring at the mouth of slide, hoping, praying that a young Asian boy would launch from it like a rocket. Kyle Morgan didn’t even begin to care how fast he would be going.
No dice. He wasn’t sure why he was so abjectly terrified right now, but he was certain that his eyes were dilated like those of a coke fiend. Every bit of light hurt, and he tried to close the gates by squinting but it just wasn’t going to happen. He practically threw himself off the lifeguard’s chair but began to run back to it, completely unsure of what to do.
“He’s just stuck in there,” he told himself probably four times, knowing full well that, despite his claustrophobic feelings about the slide, it could easily allow an obese adult through without so much as grazing their sides. He turned around again and again, like something between a ballerina and a pacing homeless person.
He already heard the sirens. He could pick out which member of the increasingly confused and frantic crowd receiving the children descending the stairs to the slide was the missing boy’s mother. He could hear Sydney shouting into the walky-talky. He knew that his position as a steward of TMEF, as he understood it, was probably at an end.
The firemen were here.
-
They took apart the slide looking for him that same day. It was crazy seeing them look in cracks that you couldn’t fit a finger into. Kyle Tran, the missing boy, was just that. It was inexplicable, inconceivable, and apparently irreversible. It’d also really rattled Sydney, probably as much as it had rattled him. They met at his dorm at 9 p.m.
“Then where do you think he went?”
“I have no idea, Sydney.”
“He couldn’t have just vanished!”
She wasn’t taking this well, but they were going to handle it. He sat down on the bed and looked up at her pleadingly.
“It’s not your fault.”
“Who’s fault is it?”
“I don’t know, Sydney, the park’s, fate’s, the kid’s? We don’t even know what happened, so I’m not about to parcel out blame. I just want to go back into work tomorrow and keep looking. He can’t have gone far.”
“Are you sure you didn’t miss him exiting?”
He remembered the frantic looks on the faces of the firemen as they dissembled every cranny of the tubes. They were concerned with bigger things than finding a fat little boy. They were looking for an answer.
If they couldn’t find one, what could Kyle Morgan say to console her? He opted to say nothing, which seemed to work. She sat down onto the bed next to him.
“I don’t understand what happened. I don’t think I want to go back to work tomorrow.”
It sounded like she was on the verge of tears.
“Have you called Ben?”
“No.”
“Does he know where you are?”
“No.”
“You really should, he’s probably freaking out even more than we are.”
His voice was cracking like an eggshell and his heart was in his throat, but Sydney made no move to call Callahan. She just sat there, and Kyle’s hyper-aware senses felt her edge a micrometer closer to him. His heart skipped three beats. He took that his cue, and placed his arm around her.
“It’s going to be okay, Sydney.”
“I can’t go back until they find him.”
“Take tomorrow off.”
The phone rang. Kyle could have split in two in that moment. He was finally holding Sydney Campbell in his arms, but the possibility that it was Dan on the phone calling to report the boy’s safe return was too much to ignore. They exchanged a knowing look, and Kyle rose to answer the phone.
It was Dan.
“Hey, what’s up?”
“Don’t come in tomorrow.”
“Why not?”
“Just don’t. The park’s closed, they’re bringing in the FBI and the NCMEC is getting involved. They’re going to want to question you; an agent will probably come by sometime tomorrow. I’m sorry, Kyle.”
“Alright, I’ll stay here in my dorm.”
Sydney knew from the exchange that she heard that the news they’d both hoped for hadn’t come. She sighed but didn’t rise, prompting Kyle to resume his position. Every fiber of his body was begging him to kiss her, but he was adamant.
“I guess we’re both taking tomorrow off.”
His smile fooled nobody.
Sydney told him she was quitting. He said that probably wouldn’t be necessary. She said she knew. He said he understood. They didn’t say anything for ten more minutes. She broke the silence.
“I need to leave.”
“Now?”
“I mean West Plainsworth. I can’t stay here.”
“Where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere.”
“Why?”
“I want to forget.”
“I want to remember.”
Kyle looked down at her, and their eyes met. He leaned in tentatively, and her mouth opened a little bit, a tiny black strip between her almost lips ever so barely perceptible. Kyle took that as his cue.
Before they knew it, that big gaseous ball was creeping over the horizon, as if it was blissfully unaware that the laws of the universe had ceased to function in Megasplash, West Plainsworth, Southern Georgia, United States, Northern Hemisphere, Earth, Solar System, the Milky Way. Kyle and Sydney chose to be like the sun.
-
The questioning went just as expected. Agent Daniel was a nice enough man, if a little bit desperate for any indication that Kyle and Sydney had decided to snatch the child out from under the noses of 30,000 people out of an enclosed, lubricated tube. Honestly, Kyle wished more than anything that he could tell him that he did, but it just wasn’t the case. Agent Daniel left disappointed, leaving as empty-handed as the vaguely-suspected-kidnappers.
“What do we do now?”
“I don’t know. I’m going to go talk to my mom,” Kyle said as he flipped on the television. Channel 8 News had mentioned the boy earlier in the morning, still missing as of a few hours ago. That was all he could find on any channel concerning the situation; every other channel was doing daytime specials on especially cute kittens or particularly exceptional stories concerning local dogs.
“I think I need to go back home too.”
“To Ohio?”
“Yeah.”
Kyle’s heart snapped like a twig. His stomach fell like a suicidal businessman at the precipice.
“Please, don’t.”
“I’m sorry, Kyle, but I can’t stay.”
“Why the fuck not?”
Kyle was shocked by his anger, but Sydney didn’t flinch. He wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. He was instantly sorry, but didn’t say it. He left the icy silence for her to break.
“I have no reason to be here, Kyle.”
That hurt, but he let her continue.
“I have no job, I won’t be able to get one, and it would appear that this town is outside of the jurisdiction of the laws of physics.”
“It would appear this whole planet is; West Plainsworth has never struck me as particularly special.”
“I can’t stay.”
“Do you think moving back to Ohio will make it easier to lie to yourself?”
“What did you just say?”
“Do you think moving back Cleveland will change what just happened yesterday?”
“What makes you think that I believe that?”
“Don’t lie, Sydney. I’m scared too.”
“How about you don’t call me a liar, you condescending asshole.”
Kyle sat silent.
“You’re right, though. I want to forget that this happened. I need to. I can’t stay here and know that the world doesn’t work. That nothing works.”
“That doesn’t mean you have to leave.”
“I don’t think I could forget, living in the shadow of that thing.”
“Even if I left, I don’t think I could ever forget. Do you think that you could?”
“I have to try.”
“The Sydney I fell in love with doesn’t.”
“The Sydney you fell in love with is lost with Kyle Tran, and I think that the Kyle Morgan I fell in love with is too.”
“At least we’re lost together.”
Sydney had nothing to say to that sudden blast of corny sentimentality.
“I’ve got to leave, though.”
“I think I understand.”
“Will you ever come back?”
“I hope I can.”
Kyle Morgan didn’t know how to respond to that, and Sydney didn’t make him. He could still hear the door close to this day.
-
And now here he was, bottoming a dried-out TMEF, all by his lonesome. They’d set it back up; seeing all the pieces lying open out on the ground concealing no hidden children was too frightening to bear. There was still a stagnant pool at the bottom of the slide, too. It was shallow, sure, but the whole scene looked entirely TMEF, maybe even more this evening than any other. He hated the evenings that he thought he could hear walky-talky static while he sat and reminisced. This was one of those evenings.
His eyes traced the slightly greening pool up the intertwining purple tubes, following them in demented, badly designed loop-de-loops up the incline of the slide toward the warping wooden tower from which they extended like a mosquito’s proboscis. Purple tubes on a purple sky; it was really a beautiful sight, even for the seven hundredth time.
Tonight, though, something was different. It was beautiful, sure, but something was out of place. There was an extra railing, or maybe a collapsed awning support…?
“Holy shit that’s a silhouette,” to quote Kyle Morgan’s mind verbatim. His heart raced, stopped, and raced again as he processed every possibility and emotion, but by the time he was finished he looked down and realized he was running and that he was smiling so much that his face hurt in a way that he hadn’t felt in two years. He was totally outside of himself, trying to keep from laughing and crying at the same time as he rounded the central support of TMEF’s staircase over and over, ascending, watching the horizon fall away like a shattered window, he himself rising far from the world of West Plainsworth beneath him and into the pastel canopy of the sky. He wasn’t even afraid of tripping.
He rounded the last set of stairs and burst onto the top plateau of Mount TMEF. He did three takes so fast that he didn’t even see her and almost started to cry.
“Hello, Kyle.”
Kyle couldn’t say anything.
“I couldn’t forget.”
“Neither could I,” was all Kyle could manage. He wanted to tell her that he knew she couldn’t, or that he knew she would, or that he had been here every day hoping or praying to some god that she would remember.
The force with which he walked toward her nearly tripped him, but he caught himself just as she caught him. They looked into each other’s eyes for half a second as a formality and locked lips with force enough to make him see stars.
In that moment they heard a splash down at the bottom of TMEF.
“Holy SHIT! Where is everybody?!?!? Where am I?”
Kyle had finally come out of tunnel, and he saw the most beautiful sunset to ever fall on West Plainsworth.
 
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CJ Tomlinson

Senior Member
I'm typing up a little review to post later, but quick question; was the little kid's (whole) name chosen purposefully?

It won't change my overall opinion (which is favorable), it's just that the ending basically takes two different turns depending on the name.
 

Jim Alias

Senior Member
I'm typing up a little review to post later, but quick question; was the little kid's (whole) name chosen purposefully?

It won't change my overall opinion (which is favorable), it's just that the ending basically takes two different turns depending on the name.

Haha, yes, it was very deliberate.
 

CJ Tomlinson

Senior Member
Alright,

First off, it's pretty impossible to rip solid stone to shreds.

Which is to say, I really liked this story and the way it was written.

Honestly, I liked so much about this that I'm not going to put every bit I liked. Cuz that might make it look like I'm a fanboy. Or something. So here's all the errors I could find along with a few of my favorite bits:

Of course, it hadn’t always been like this, he thought to himself for possibly the fiftieth time as he turned the corner. There was a time, he thought, when the sun more closely would resemble the listless dangling of a tacky potted plant, wilting forgotten in a suspended plastic container, yellowing from thirst and exposure. He wasn’t sure if he liked that more, and kicked a can.
Here; the first one doesn't seem to flow perfectly for me, but I don't really know how I would fix it. I think it's probably right the way it is but there's just something about how it's worded.

The second one I would change to "would more closely", but I think the way you put it might also be right.

On his best days, he’d fancied himself the sole protector of order in a disordered world; on the worst days, he just wanted to fucking go back home.
This might be one of my favorite sentences of all time.


the most iron-jawed tourist-bear-trap
I know tourist trap wouldn't work here, and I mean, what you chose here is perfect, but it seemed a bit off when I read it for the first time, I don't know why.

A meaty exchange in which several key ideas were elaborated upon, considered, and reconsidered, Kyle had thought to himself in the atypical silence that followed their brief exchange.
I was gonna say you missed a word here but just as I was typing that I got the sentence. Never mind, move along

Sydney gave a smile back that Kyle hoped was trademarked. Or maybe he didn’t, because he doubted anyone could replicate it anyway. Or maybe he should stop thinking about this because he’s pausing awkwardly and staring and oh shit.
Another one of my favorites

“You too?” thought Kyle as he walked away from her.
The switch from Kyle said to thought Kyle was a bit bumpy I think, but not that much of an issue.

Side note: Probably-cloaca = Epic awesomeness, nicely done

They took apart the slide looking for him that same day. It was crazy seeing them look in cracks that you couldn’t fit a finger into. Kyle Tran, the missing boy, was just that.
This was a bit confusing; was just what?

a tiny black strip between her almost lips
I didn't quite get that

“At least we’re lost together.”
Sydney had nothing to say to that sudden blast of corny sentimentality.
“I’ve got to leave, though.”
“I think I understand.”
“Will you ever come back?”

“I hope I can.”
I'm not sure if the two bold sentences should both be said by Kyle?





All in all, the story itself is pretty amazing. I personally hate straight up love plots, and yet found myself wanting these two splashers to be together. You pulled that off very well, without making it mushy or ridiculous, over the top. It just felt pretty real and awesome.

The twist (get it? like the slides? ok sorry) was pretty amazing as well.

The first time I read it, I got to the last few paragraphs, and when she was like "Hello, Kyle" I was like wait... OH! *goes back earlier* the kid's name is KYLE too! Than can't be a coincidence. So did Morgan say hello to Tran? No wait... TRAN? WAIT A MINUTE. *checks story title* WAIT *continues reading from where I left off...*

*finishes story*

*mind implodes due to sheer awesomeness*

True story.

The characters are well-rounded, the dialog flows brilliantly, the description is awesome and vivid.

This is honestly my favorite short story I've read in a long while.
 

Jim Alias

Senior Member
I'm very glad you enjoyed it. I'm going to fix the points that you brought up (silly oversights and un-edited bits, blech ](*,)), and also for other interested parties provide a googledocs link both here (for far better formatting) and in the OP. Thanks a bunch for your helpful revisions!
 

Randyjoe

Senior Member
This story gripped me from the beginning. It's taken a few reads to get my head around.
 
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