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Untitled Short Story

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Moonwolf
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« on: February 18, 2008, 08:36:29 am »

Here's one I wrote fairly recently. I'm not sure if I should expand on it or if I should just leave it the way it is. Some parts of it don't make much sense logically, but logic kinda went out the window when the idea first came to mind. I tried to space it out a little more than I have it on my word document, paragraph indentions are more noticeable on there and less on here. Hope you enjoy it!

FYI about my writing: Italics signifies thoughts of a character OR emphasis on a particular word

------------------------------

   Something was wrong.  She could feel it, could smell it in the air.  Her keen ears heard crying as her son came up the stairs and into her bedroom.

   “Moooommmyy. . .” her son, Charlie, cried.
   “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” she asked, setting her book down and moving away from the window seat.
   “I f-fell of my b-bike and hurt my knee,” Charlie sniffled.  She had known he was bleeding the instant he had entered the house.  The blood’s alluring scent couldn’t be hidden easily, although it had taken her a moment to realize what it was.  Charlie wiped his hands across his face, making a further mess of himself.

   “Let’s go find Daddy,” she said, swallowing with difficulty as she tried to push the smell of blood out of her nostrils.  She took his hand and started to descend the stairs.  “Robert? Robert!” she called through the house.  He didn’t answer.  Where could he be? There was a tug on the hem of her shirt.

   “Mommy, D-Daddy had to meet with those important people today, ‘m-member?” Charlie said, the edges of his sniffling almost gone now that mommy was holding his hand.  “Can’t you give me a B-Band-Aid, mommy?”  His question was full of innocence and the blind hope and trust that all young children have in their parents.  She tried to ignore the smell of his blood and the way his pulse beat within her hand.  She looked down at him and tried to smile.

   “Daddy’s told you before, sweety, Mommy doesn’t like blood.”  Liar. The word floated there in her mind and she tried to push it out.  “Why in the world is your father at work on a Saturday?” she muttered to herself.
   “He told you this morning—“
   “I know, Charlie.  Daddy’s doing what’s best for this family.”  She managed to successfully smile this time and patted her son’s wet cheek in a comforting way.  “Mommy will get over her fear of blood, just for you.”  She put comfort and love in her voice.  Charlie’s tension eased and he became relaxed, causing his pulse to slow.  His slowed pulse didn’t beat quite as hard against her hand.  They walked to the kitchen where she set him on the island’s counter top.  She retrieved and opened the hydrogen peroxide, its clean, medical scent clearing her nostrils, temporarily, of blood. 

   “Mommy, can I have a Dorsey Band-Aid?” her son asked cheerfully.  She smiled and grabbed a Band-Aid box with the cartoon dolphin on it.  After all the supplies were next to Charlie, she wet two paper towels and handed one to him.
   “Hold that on your knee, it will keep the wound from scabbing up and locking nasty things inside you,” she said, making a playful grimace.  He did as she bade and then watched her with worry in his eyes.  She wiped his face with the other paper towel as he spoke.

   “Daddy always said that when you’re scared of something take deep breaths with your mouth and imagine its something you’re not scared of.”  She smiled softly, appreciating his attempt to soothe her.  She decided to humor him for the time being.
   “Okay then, what can mommy pretend it is?” she said, leaning toward him.  The scent of his blood filled her nostrils again as it slowly filled up the kitchen.
   “Umm. . .how about mud?” Charlie suggested.

   “Okay, mommy will imagine its mud, alright?” she said.  Charlie nodded and lifted the paper towel.  She did as her son had said and breathed deeply through her mouth as she pictured herself wiping mud off of her son’s knee.  The problem with breathing through her mouth was that she could taste the blood now.  The image of mud slowly turned red.  Once again she swallowed with difficulty as she poured the hydrogen peroxide on the wound.  Charlie winced, but she was proud of his strength as he held in a whimper.  She placed her hands on either side of his little knee and blew gently as the hydrogen peroxide did its work.  When it stopped bubbling she quickly put some medicine and a few Band-Aids over the cut to keep it clean.  Her mind swam through a haze as Charlie’s friends came in for lunch.  She put away the medical supplies and fixed the children grilled cheese sandwiches.  All she saw around herself were swirls of red.  All that filled her nostrils was blood.  She was dimly aware of them leaving the kitchen and of fixing herself a small sandwich that she couldn’t force herself to eat. 

It wasn’t until she was standing at the sink washing the children’s dishes that her mind cleared enough for her to think solidly again.  She looked around her kitchen; at the refrigerator covered in magnets and Charlie’s drawings, at the yellow curtains above the window over the sink, at the kitchen table covered in a pale gold tablecloth and all she saw everywhere she looked was a tinge of red.  The smell of blood had not left the kitchen, at least not to her sensitive nose.  She licked her dry lips and felt a canine tooth that should not have been that sharp.  She closed her eyes, placed her hands on either side of the sink, and fought down the yearning, the need, for blood.  When she opened her eyes, she continued scrubbing stubborn cheese off of the plates.

   “Nicole?” her husband’s soft, deep voice filled her ears.  Something told her this wasn’t the first time he had said her name since entering the kitchen.
   “Yes, dear?” she put on a smile and made her voice cheerful as she turned to look at him.  It took every ounce of will in her to keep that smile and cheerful demeanor as she saw him.  The top two buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned, his tie loose around his neck, revealing his strong, tanned throat.  She could smell his delicious masculine scent coming off of him in waves.  His pulse beat gently against her ears from across the room.  One cut.  One little nick from the edge of her sharp tooth would be all she would need to get to those veins pulsing beneath his skin.

   The plate shattered in her hands.
   “Nicole.”  His voice was stern as he shortened the distance between them.  “What happened?” he asked, retrieving a small broom and dustpan.  She knew he wasn’t asking about the dish.  He knelt at her feet, sweeping up the pieces of glass.  Her fingernails cut into her palms as she felt a surge of power that welled up from seeing him on his hands and knees.  She was stronger than him and with him in this position he would have no chance of escaping her if she decided to take advantage of the situation.  He stood suddenly and walked to the trashcan where the glass tinkled as he poured it in.  He filled her vision before she even realized he had moved.  “Darling, you’re shaking.”  His large, warm hands covered her shaking fists.  She looked up at him as the kitchen filled with the orange-red light from the setting sun.  He brushed the hair out of her eyes and looked at her with concern.  “You look like you’ve had a rough day.  What happened?”  His attempt to mask the undercurrent of worry in his voice was futile.  Her eyes slid away from the red ceiling to the pulse in his throat as she spoke.

   “Charlie. . .he fell off his bike and. . .he hurt his knee, but I fixed it.  He’s all better now,” she said, her voice sounding hollow and unused to her ears.  She had to get out of this kitchen and away from him before she did something she would regret.
   “I trust everything went okay?” Robert asked, his voice full of understanding.  She simply nodded as her tongue wet her dry lips again.  The front door shut and the sound of running feet entered the house.  The feet sped by the kitchen with a quick, “hey, Daddy,” before hurrying off to the den.  Seconds later a television came on and the theme song to “Dorsey the Dolphin” floated through the house.  Robert’s right hand gently ran through her hair.  She licked her lips again—how were they drying so fast?—and tried to swallow as his movement made his shirt slide along his shoulder, revealing and then concealing his delicious skin.  Without warning, his left hand pulled his shirt collar to the side and his right hand pushed lightly against her head.  She resisted, knowing what he wanted and not needing—no, not wanting—to harm him.

   “Darling, it has been seven years.  I know how it must gnaw at you.  I wake sometimes in the night and find you awake staring at me the way you are staring at me now.  You may not remember those nights, but I do,” he whispered in her ear.
   “I can’t. . .” her voice was breathy despite her efforts to make it firm.  She closed her eyes, knowing that shutting out the image of his throat wouldn’t shut out the smell or heat of it.  “N-Not with Charlie here.  I. . .can’t.”  She wanted to give in, oh how she wanted to, but she knew she was right.  She didn’t want her son to grow up with his mother’s past and true nature hanging over his head.  Suddenly she was weightless.  She opened her eyes to see her husband carrying her.  He stopped at the den.

   “Charlie, your mother isn’t feeling well.  I’m going to make sure she gets tucked in. Aren’t you going to spend the night at Martin’s tonight?” Robert asked his son.
   “Yes, sir.  But I wanted to come back Dorsey before going back to his house. Martin’s momma doesn’t like Dorsey,” Charlie replied, looking up from the floor at them. “Is mommy going to be okay? Is it my fault?” Nicole’s heart broke at his words.

   “Mommy is going to be just fine because Daddy is going to take good care of her. It isn’t your fault. Now, you go straight to Martin’s after Dorsey is over, understand?” Charlie nodded at his father, the look of a happy, carefree child coming back to his eyes. Robert left the den and headed up the stairs to their bedroom. He set her on the bed, closed the blinds, curtains, and door. He then took off both of their shoes and tucked her in before entering the bed from the other side. In spite of her keen eyes, she could barely see him.

   “Robert—“ His kiss stopped her words. He unbuttoned his shirt slowly as his tongue probed her mouth gently. He found her sharpest tooth and before she could release the kiss, he cut his tongue on her tooth. His blood slowly seeped into her mouth, awakening a hunger that she hadn’t felt in seven years. Losing control she lunged toward him, drinking as much of that delicious liquid as she could. He held her back, cutting off the kiss. His smile was full of happiness and. . .desire? In all the years she had been with him it wasn’t until now, when she was resting on top of him, looking at that smile, that she realized how much he enjoyed this. Well, he did propose to me even after finding out that I am a half-vampire, she chuckled to herself.
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008, 08:20:07 pm »

All right, here we go Smiley

Opening
Fairly grabbing. I confess I did have a bit of a chuckle when the 'moooommmy' came out. I guess it wasn't meant to be that funny, but I'm cool that way. (Ignore me, please... Roll Eyes) It's good that you introduce the sense of smell here, 'cause it's important.

Conflict
The constant internal struggle is portrayed very well, and you keep on with it. I have to say that the kitchen with the kids actually got me feeling faint - really good stuff. Not much inter-character conflice, but the mum-dad-child relationship is done really well. It was a nice way to introduce the blood thing, among others.

Plot
Well, it wasn't Tom Clancy, but then, it wasn't meant to be. If you'd stuck a Tom Clancy plot in two pages of writing, you'd be either a llama or in an asylum. Huh. Or both. Anyway, my one criticism of the story would have to be the plot. Nothing much happens. I can see that that's deliberate - this isn't an action story. But the problem is that the story gears towards the jolt in the last sentence/paragraph, right? When you discover the narrator is a vampire. However, by that time, the reader pretty much has guessed that - you make it pretty clear. So once they've figured out tht the protagonist is a vampire (or a werewolf, I was thinking), they're waiting for something else to happen. And they reach the end and it's kind of like 'well... yeah.'

Setting
Um... nohing much to say here, but I'm doing a cookie-cutter review. Good job.

Characterisation
I sort of covered this already, but I'll mention that the kid and dad were rather flat. It doesn't detract from the story, because all the attention is on the narrator anyway. Just saying.

Dialogue
No comment. It doesn't sparkle with wit and humour, but again, it's not meant to and doesn't have to. Sorry these sections are all getting so short Tongue

Point of view
Oh goodness. I'm not going to criticise your use of third-person limited perspective because, honestly, I like third-person limited.

Show versus tell
Aha. You show the narrator's thoughts/feelings beautifully. Since the PoV is limited, you don't need to show the feelings of th other characters, though a little more telling might be welcome. Like when the kid asks for the Dorsey band-aid, what's he acting like? Some kids would be pleading (spoiled brats... I never got Dorsey band-aids), some would be focused on the band-aids as if the choise will determine who they get to marry, etcetera. Of course, it's unnecessary detail - but that may spark some ideas.
Oh, shoot. I just looked back and you did describe the Dorsey thing - perfectly. Well, it was a silly random example. I tried.

Format of the text
*Sigh*

Grammar an
Oh, wait. I had something to say about format. I like it. It's almost like my formatting Roll Eyes

Grammar and spelling
Pretty much flawless as far as I could see, but I didn't really focus on that. Certainly nothing major.

Style
Well, I've nothing much to say here either. You're no Garcia Marquez, thankfully. However, the snappy-ish sentences and clear way of saying things somehow remind me of suburban life, so it fits pretty well with your content. That, or I'm tripping again.
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-Midnight Oil, Bakerman
Moonwolf
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2008, 07:20:45 pm »

Plot
Well, it wasn't Tom Clancy, but then, it wasn't meant to be. If you'd stuck a Tom Clancy plot in two pages of writing, you'd be either a llama or in an asylum. Huh. Or both. Anyway, my one criticism of the story would have to be the plot. Nothing much happens. I can see that that's deliberate - this isn't an action story. But the problem is that the story gears towards the jolt in the last sentence/paragraph, right? When you discover the narrator is a vampire. However, by that time, the reader pretty much has guessed that - you make it pretty clear. So once they've figured out tht the protagonist is a vampire (or a werewolf, I was thinking), they're waiting for something else to happen. And they reach the end and it's kind of like 'well... yeah.'


That is one thing I was worried about. I kinda wanted to expand it into a larger story because it feels more like the first chapter of something rather than a short story. One of the problems I had writing it was believability. How believable is it for a half-vampire to sit by a sunlit window and read? How believable is it for a half-vampire to have a son that doesn't know about what she is or have any sort of "abilities" himself?

I don't usually write stuff set in the present day/sci-fi, most is in a fantasy world. I don't like getting too "scientific" with the details like "its a blood disease" or some such, because I don't know enough about biology or biological processes (I'm an English major Undecided ) to make it sound convincing. The fact is, writing something like that, there's bound to be someone that knows more than me about the matter and it will detract from the story if I bring something like that in.

So then I'm back at square one. Wanting to continue the story, but not wanting to continue the story and it leaves the story kind of cut off. *sigh* Oh the joys of being a writer...
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2008, 09:18:50 pm »

Well, you could always just patch it up to be a stand-alone story. Then you can at least have something coherent and well-written that's a credit to you, whether or not you intended it to be longer.

As for believability - you're the God of your story, so really, people who tell you 'half-vampires should fear the light' should take a flying **** at a rolling doughnut and stop being so traditional. Unless, of course, it's you who's telling you that, in which case you'd better sort out that schitzophrenia. Seriously, I'd say it doesn't matter. It's kind of refreshing to read something that doesn't adhere to the usual expectations, that breaks from the fold, whether intentionally or not. It stops your character from becoming a stereotype, and also makes her more human and 'likeable'. I mean, you could do some awesome characterisation stuff with fear of the light in a 'normal' setting, but it's something most people can't relate to, so it distances the character from them.
Meh. I'm raving now.
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Quote
He who keepeth a secret must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep.
-Sir Humphrey

Quote
Only a fool fights fire with fire.
-Me

Quote
The bakerman is laughing 'cause he's rolling in the gold...
-Midnight Oil, Bakerman
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