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Untitled (short story) (1 Viewer)

Red

Senior Member
Untitled

I watched in shock as my body fell limp to the ground. It made no sense. I don’t even remember any pain. But the dirt below my feet was slippery with blood. My blood.

From the ground my own eyes stared up at me, lifeless. And yet here I was, standing above myself, staring helplessly as my murderer cleaned the blood off his blade.

I shook my head, trying to remember how I had gotten here in the woods with this man. But no matter how hard I tried, I could only remember driving in my car. I had been on the phone, talking to Alyssa. We were paired up for a science project earlier that day in school, and our plan was to meet in the park while we discussed topic ideas. After that, everything is a blank.

“Will!”

I spun around, toward the voice that had called my name. But after searching the area, all I could see were the few trees that the faint light from the moon lit up. Beyond that was just darkness.

“Will!” There was movement off to my left. Alyssa appeared, sprinting towards me. Wait, no, not me. My body.

“No Alyssa!” I yelled. “Run!” She kept running, having not heard me. So I turned back to the man that had stabbed me, ready to fight him off, but he was nowhere to be seen.

Alyssa reached my body. She looked down in shock, tears rolling down her face. “Will?” she asked, uncertain. “Will?” Her voice broke, and her legs gave out beneath her. I felt my own tears rolling down my cheeks as she shook my shoulder, telling me to wake up. “Please,” she begged. “Don’t leave me alone!” Finally her head collapsed onto my chest and her body shook with sobs.

I knelt down beside her, wanting more than anything to comfort her. My hand reached out towards her shoulder, and I sucked in a surprised breath as my palm settled down onto the fabric of her sweater, rather than going through it like I expected.

Alyssa shot up, her eyes wide. She had moved to run but tripped over my body’s leg and fell flat on her face. Still trying to get away, she began to scramble forward on her hands and knees. Then she finally looked behind her and froze.

“Will?”

This time she was looking at me. Ghost me. Not my dead body.

“You can see me?” I asked with relief.

She nodded, her eyes still wide as she looked back and forth between me and the body on the ground.

“How—?”

“I don’t know,” I broke in. “I just have to get you out of here before he comes back.” I rushed forward and pulled her to her feet, surprised once again that I could touch her.

“Who?”

Looking closer, I could see that she was shaking, and all the color had left her face. Shock, I guessed. Her forehead was bleeding slightly from falling, so I gently wiped it away before it dripped into her eye.

“A man,” I started gently. “I don’t actually know who he is, but he has a knife. He killed me.” I paused as that statement sunk in. “Holy shit, he killed me!” This time both of us looked back at my lifeless body. I opened my mouth to say something else, but a rustling to our right had me gripping Alyssa’s hand and running off in the opposite direction.

Alyssa!” a voice roared.

“Oh my, God.” Alyssa nearly stopped dead in her tracks, but I kept pulling her along.

“What?”

She looked up at me in fear. “That’s my father’s voice.”

I stumbled. “Your father? You mean your dad is the one chasing us?”

I never got an answer, because at that moment a man leapt out from behind a tree and tackled us to the ground. The air painfully left my lungs as I got an elbow to the stomach. Part of me wondered why I could feel if I were dead, but a bigger part of me kept repeating the same thing in my head; Save Alyssa, save Alyssa, save Alyssa.
A fist came out of the darkness and slammed into my jaw, spinning me around and sending my face to the dirt.

“Dad!” Alyssa cried out in horror. She jumped onto his back and started hitting him on the head, over and over again, with a branch she had picked up from the among the dead leaves on the ground.

I spit the dirt from my mouth and struggled to stand, fighting off the urge to puke before running forward to help Alyssa.

Her dad was screaming as she continued to beat at him, and the stick she held grew bloodied. With a roar, he slammed Alyssa’s back into the tree behind them. I cringed as she grunted in pain, and reached her dad just as he crushed her back into the tree again.

Defeated, she dropped to the ground and struggled to catch her breath while I picked up my own branch and swung it toward’s her father’s face. Upon impact he stumbled backwards and fell to the ground, clutching his nose and groaning.

I ran over to Alyssa and pulled her up. “C’mon!”

We took off running through the trees, searching for the clearing that led to the park.

“Alyssa,” I panted. “What the hell is wrong with your dad?”

“He has anger issues,” she panted back.

“And you’ve been living with this man?”

“No.” We ran another minute in silence before she continued. “Last I heard, my dad was in prison for killing his co-worker.”

I laughed, but nothing about this was funny. “Great, we’re being chased by a convict.”

From somewhere behind us, Alyssa’s dad roared in fury, and I forced my legs to move faster.

We were running so fast through the darkness that we didn’t notice the body that lay sprawled among the leaves until we were right on top of it. Unable to stop quick enough, we tripped and fell to the ground in a tangle of limbs.

At the same time, Alyssa’s dad erupted from the bushes and grabbed ahold of his daughter’s leg. She screamed and kicked at him, but he reached for her other leg and began to drag her towards him. This time it was me who jumped onto his back, bashing him over the head in the same spot Alyssa had with the branch. He dropped Alyssa’s legs and she crawled away from his reach. I continued to hit her father until Alyssa shrieked, shocking me long enough that her dad could throw me off his back. I dropped to the dirt with a thud, feeling like every inch of my back was one giant bruise.

He spun around and trapped me beneath the weight of his body. It was so dark that all I could see was the blood pouring from his broken nose, staining his toothy grin red as he circled his hands around my neck and started to squeeze.

I fought to get my hands and legs free so that I could hit him, kick him, do something, but I was trapped. With difficulty, I turned my head and saw Alyssa sitting on the ground, looking down at the body before her with a blank expression on her face.

“Alyssa?” I tried to say, but all that came out was a strangled sort of noise from my throat.

Alyssa’s gaze slowly raised and reached mine.

“Will?” Her voice trembled. “I’m dead.”

I took a closer look at the body on the ground and began jerking my legs fast enough that Alyssa’s dad tumbled off of me and knocked himself out on a stump that stuck out of the ground. My entire body shook as I recognized the long blonde hair, now covered in blood, that belonged to the girl that lay dead before me. Alyssa. Her eyes stared up at the night sky, unblinking.

“No. No, no, no.” I forced myself to glimpse up at the living, moving Alyssa. “You can’t be dead.”

Looking over my shoulder, her face expressionless, she said flatly, “We’re all dead.” I followed her gaze and gasped. Her father’s body lay motionless on the ground, five feet from where we sat, in a pool of his own blood. His hand still clutched the knife that stuck out of his chest, right where his heart would be.

I shook my head, not believing what my eyes were seeing. Beside me, the man that had tried to choke me began to wake. I looked back at Alyssa, my brow furrowed in confusion.

“We’re all dead,” she repeated.

And suddenly, I remembered everything.

Alyssa and I met at the park and sat down on the grass near the woods as the sun went down. I couldn’t stop blushing whenever her leg bumped against mine. All I wanted to do was reach out and take her hand in mine. But I didn’t. She barely even knew me. But I knew her.

She was the girl with the long blonde hair, blue eyes, and perfect smile. The one who was nice to everyone and had a never ending list of friends. Seeing her in the mornings as I walked to class kept me looking forward to going to school, each and every day. We were in four classes together, but it wouldn’t be a shock if she didn’t notice I existed.

I was the boy who was described by others as the loner. My dark hair never fell right, the only clothes I owned were getting too small for me and had been torn in several places. I was too shy to make any friends, and other kids loved making up rumors about me. No one looked at me. No one talked to me. Not even the teachers. I was the boy who would go through high school completely unnoticed.

But then we were assigned partners in Biology, and the teacher placed me with Alyssa. I had expected her to ignore me; it’s what everyone else did. But when the teacher randomly picked both of our names from a hat, as soon as he read “Alyssa Timm and Will Gesing”, she turned around in her seat and smiled at me from across the room.

After class Alyssa walked over to my desk where I sat, putting my papers and pen back into my backpack.

“Hi Will.”

“H-hi,” I replied, then cursed myself for stuttering.

“Are you busy this evening? I thought we could start discussing our project together.”

I did a full 360 from my desk, looking for a camera, or waiting for Alyssa’s friends to pop up and start laughing at me, but the classroom had emptied out. It was just me and her. I focused my attention back onto Alyssa and her sweet smile.

“Yeah, sure. When and where do you wanna meet?”

We made plans to meet at the park across town just before sunset, and as soon as school let out, I rushed home and spent the next few hours trying to make myself presentable. My mom had to keep reminding me I wasn’t going out on a date, I was going to work on homework.

When I arrived, Alyssa was already waiting for me in the park, and I had to force myself not to run to her. We ended up sitting together on the grass near the woods that surrounded our town.

Everything was going perfectly. We decided on our topic, split the workload, and talked about ourselves a bit. I even made her laugh. Then the sun disappeared behind the trees, and we rose to leave.

As we walked away from the woods, still laughing about something I’d said, we never would have noticed the man running towards us if it hadn’t been for his heavy breathing.

We stopped walking, and I remember hoping that this guy was just on an evening jog. But he was wearing jeans and a jacket, and he kept running straight for us. Alyssa looked at me, unsure. With my heart pounding, I took her hand in mine and turned, heading for the woods and away from the man.

It wasn’t long until he caught us.

Alyssa has always been clumsy. As we ran, she tripped over her own feet and I fell with her. Her hand left mine and I rolled onto the mud and dirt a few feet away from her. Then the man was there, standing over her. Before she even had time to scream, he had pulled a large kitchen knife from his jacket. Alyssa’s eyes met mine, just as the knife entered her heart. She screamed. I screamed. But when her cries of pain fell silent and her eyes stared at nothing, I continued to yell until my throat felt raw.

The man took the blade from Alyssa’s chest and faced me. I scrambled up to my feet and ran deeper into the woods, unable to run fast as sobs rocked my body and fear took over. Leaves crunched on the ground behind me with every step the man took, and I made the mistake of turning my head to see how far off he was.

I fell.

The air was knocked from my lungs as soon as I hit the dirt. And by the time I could open my eyes and take a breath, the man stood over me. I screamed, and his hand grabbed me by my collar, lifting me to my feet. He held me there, his face inches from mine.

“She belongs to me,” he hissed. Then he thrust the blade into my stomach and I doubled over in pain.

When he pulled the knife out, my body dropped to the ground.

Then I was back to the here-and-now with Alyssa—both her and her ghost—as well as her dad with his lifeless body.

My eyes met Alyssa’s.

“We’re all dead,” I agreed, my voice breaking. “Dead.”
 
Last edited:

courtneyanne9

Senior Member
Love the story! My only complaint is that I thought "Alex" was a girl the entire time until you specifically said he was a boy. Maybe choose a less ambigious name? It totally changed the story for me when I realized he was a boy.
 
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CharlesAnthony

Senior Member
Love the story! My only complaint is that I thought "Alex" was a girl the entire time until you specifically said he was a boy. Maybe choose a less ambigious name? It totally changed the story for me when I realized he was a boy.

I concur with Courtney, amazingly well done. But I also thought Alex was a girl until you stated otherwise.
 

Silen

Senior Member
Another interesting concept, i seem to have found many recently on this forum, i look forward to reading more :D
 

Diogenes

Senior Member
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and that's saying a lot. I was able to read it from start to finish without nit-picking anything. Very good writing, and I can safely say I have no real criticism of it. If you haven't already, I highly suggest submitting to a short-story magazine(there's a few online you can find, can only sell to one and doesn't pay the greatest but is a great way to get your work noticed). Keep up the good work ^^
 

Apple Ice

Senior Member
dont have anything bad to say about it, very good. I think there is a small error though.
"we didn’t notice the body on the until we were right on top of it."
i think maybe the word "ground" was supposed to be there or something?
great story though
 

Cefor

WF Veterans
I hate to disagree with everyone, but I didn't really enjoy this as there's no conclusion; is this all there is to it? I also struggled with suspending my disbelief long enough to get to the part where Alyssa and her father are both found to be dead, too. Ghosts grabbing branches to whack other ghosts with? A bit out of the usual purview of ghostly beings.

Also... it's not quite so simple to plunge a knife into a heart. That's what your ribcage does, protects the vitals. You'd have to get it between the ribs and come from below, at an angle, to get the heart. Or you smash it through the ribs, I suppose. Again, a knife wound to the stomach would take longer to kill you than that, he wouldn't drop dead from it, at least. These things made me question the narrative, and that's clearly not what you want.

However, there were no obvious spelling errors or grammar mistakes, and that's a welcome change.

I don't mean to dishearten you, but I think that you need to finish the story... leaving it at the revelation that they're all dead means nothing. You began the story with the murder of your protagonist, you need to end it with him escaping his killer; being laid to rest, perhaps? In essence you began one story and finished another, I hope you see what I mean by this.

There's still opportunity for you to continue this, and I think you really should.

Keep writing!
Cefor
 
Okay, I'm going to be completely honest here. I really didn't care for it. It has potential but honestly it needs serious work. It starts off with promise, but after a paragraph or so it just became two talking heads or something, I had no idea who was what, what was who, all that jazz. It has no conclusion and only a half decent beginning. The fact that the dirt somehow is slippery from blood really pissed me off (sorry) but that would require a mass grave and a ton of blood. No one simply gets stabbed in the heart, you have to between the breaks of ribs near the arm pit, where you'll sever a major artery. That's how a killer does it, otherwise this guy whose just stabbed your protagonist to death is going to be covered in forensic evidence. As I said, this has potential.

Also a note to other reviewers, don't just say "I love it!" It's not helpful.
 

Cefor

WF Veterans
Okay, I'm going to be completely honest here. I really didn't care for it. It has potential but honestly it needs serious work. It starts off with promise, but after a paragraph or so it just became two talking heads or something, I had no idea who was what, what was who, all that jazz. It has no conclusion and only a half decent beginning. The fact that the dirt somehow is slippery from blood really pissed me off (sorry) but that would require a mass grave and a ton of blood. No one simply gets stabbed in the heart, you have to between the breaks of ribs near the arm pit, where you'll sever a major artery. That's how a killer does it, otherwise this guy whose just stabbed your protagonist to death is going to be covered in forensic evidence. As I said, this has potential.

Also a note to other reviewers, don't just say "I love it!" It's not helpful.

A note to you, my good man, don't just have a go. This, too, is not helpful.
 

Red

Senior Member
Cefor:
Thanks for the feedback - helped me out. If I do decide to take this story more seriously, I'll be researching things like how to stab people in the heart and hope the cops don't break through my front door. But really, thank you. I hadn't thought about all that stuff before. This was just an assignment for a class at school and it had a word limit, so I just did what I could with it. But now that's school's out I might go back and see what else I can do with this. Otherwise, I'll be able to use your advice on other stories I work on. I'll let you know if I edit this story - I'd like to get your feedback again!

Ohgodaspider:
First off, nice username. That's exactly how I react to anything with eight legs.
Because this was homework and it had a limit to how much I could write, I decided to purposely leave you clueless about the characters and wonder what's going on so I could focus a bit more on action, rather than descriptions. But if I decide to work on this more I promise I'd change all that and make sure the reader know who is who, etc. No conclusion was on purpose too, and I'm sorry I pissed you off. That's honestly the first time I managed to piss off an unknown person with just my words, so feel free to be honored. And just like I said to Cefor, if I work on this again I'll research the whole get-past-the-ribs thing. Glad you think this has potential!

To pretty much everyone else about Ohgodaspider's comment ("Also a note to other reviewers, don't just say "I love it!" It's not helpful."):
It's true, it doesn't help me to improve my writing. BUT it makes me happy. So if that's all you wanna say, go for it - I enjoy smiling. But to those who do offer 'helpful' comments (I know I say this a lot, sorry) thank you!
 

Diogenes

Senior Member
I'd like to note that while it may not be a final product, I can say with a fair amount of confidence it would do well with the right reader. A lot of readers don't bother to think what angle the knife would have to go in, in order to actually kill a human being. It seems a bit trite to be that nit-picky about it. If it were a murder-thriller and they were describing how the victim died then yes it would be pertinent but I got more of a supernatural Sixth Sense kind of feel from it.

As for a lack of ending, it didn't bother me much. The lack of ending leaves the outcome up to the reader, which is what you should be doing with supernatural suspense kinds of stories. It's not always about resolution, as can be displayed with just about any creepy pasta out there. Just remember it's all about the target audience. There's a market for just about anything nowadays, and I think this would make a fantastic addition to a Short Story blog or e-magazine. That's just my opinion though.
 

mninp

Member
Very interesting, I liked it. Your writing style seems very mature and it kept me captivated throughout. Godd job and keep writing!
 
i enjoyed this so much! one thing.. i thought the part where the ( ghost ) father fell off of will and knocked himself unconscious could have been a bit more detailed or long winded, as it seemed a bit too 'handy' to seem realistic. Other than that this is an amazing read and I cant wait to read more! well done!
 

QFMD

Senior Member
right, I know they have been a few nit picks with this, but I'll start off with I didn't like it, then I really liked it. Half way through the story, when everyones dead but just doing the same acts over again, I loved it. And yes I was left with questions after. But I think thats the best thing a short story can do. You are supposed to have questions, its what makes you think about it after, otherwise a story just becomes forgetable and this was not. Yes there are areas of work, but as a concept, its great, loved the conecpt. Ghosts all fighting around, on the same fight after they are dead.
 

Devi

Member
Hi Red, I am new to this forum and as this is my VERY first..yes first...review, I don't want to be too blunt but at the same time I dont want to be too nice either. I like the concept of the story however, I have a hard time in getting to know the characters. In the beginning, it seems that Alyssa and Will are "boyfriend and girlfriend" meaning that they are couple; known each other for a while. However, upon reading towards the end this was the first time meeting together and then they die, it's a bit for me to fathom. Also, the dialogue between the characters is a bit blase to me. For example,

I ran over to Alyssa and pulled her up. “C’mon!”

I would replace this with something more on the lines of "Get up Alyssa, please somebody help us!" I cried, choking back my tears.

I laughed, but nothing about this was funny. “Great, we’re being chased by a convict.”

I would replace this with
omething along the lines of “Oh my god, Alyssa, we have to get out of here! We need to get some help!"


But it all depends on what tone you are going for. If this is the tone you are going for, then by all means I think it should be structured in a way that can captivate your audience and leave them imagining a bloody, dark forest with a convict on the loose with a sharp knife.

All in all, keep it up. And keep on writing!
 

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