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Thread: Seabird's Short Stories

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    Seabird's Short Stories

    Plagiarism

    Charles Delacroux was peeling rubber down the highway, his right foot nowhere near the brake
    pedal, never once checking to see who else was in the road. Occasionally he would slam on the gas, flooring it, breaking the 100-MPH zone. He had yet to notice the sharp turn in the road, because he was leaning down to grab his soda. He completely missed the turn, veering off the road, his car spiraling in mid-air.
    The front end came down and connected with the ground, and Charles Delacroux’s neck snapped with a sickening crunch. Blood sprayed from his mouth, and his whole upper half flew from the bucket seat in his ’84 Camero, his body smashing through the windshield. Broken glass sprayed in all directions. Just before he hit the ground, the car erupted into flames. Charles’ leg wrenched itself onto a piece of twisted metal. His head flew forward again, connecting with the headlight of the car and denting his skull.
    Charles Delacroux was very dead.

    “Jesus Mark, that’s pretty crazy,” said John.
    John was visiting his friend Mark at the hospital. Mark had recently suffered an automobile accident. He sustained a concussion, seven broken ribs, and had to have his legs removed. He has a glass eye in his right eye, three missing fingers on his left hand and a huge gash across his forehead.
    In short, he’s pretty screwed up.
    When asked how he felt about the accident, Charles merely said, “I’m just glad to be alive”.
    The accident occurred when he fell asleep at the wheel. His foot, by sheer coincidence, slammed down on the accelerator. He eventually neared a cliff, which he drove off. It was a twenty-foot drop. The nose of his car rammed into the ground, crushing the entire front half of the car. He nearly had to be scraped from the seat of his car.
    “Yeah, well, I had a creative splurge after this accident,” replied Mark matter-of-factly.
    “A violent creative splurge…” mumbled John. “Well, I’ve gotta get home to the wife. I’ll see ya later. Expand on that story there.”
    “Alright. Nice seeing ya.”
    “Get better,” said John.
    Mark looked around at his surroundings. It was a pretty normal hospital bed. White walls, white sheets, the bedpan, tray for food, visitors chairs, and a TV above him.
    “Let’s see what’s on the tube,” muttered Mark.
    He grabbed the black and red remote and pressed power. The TV clicked on. It was currently set to the Discovery Channel, which he didn’t mind, except he wanted to watch a movie.
    He flipped through the channels until he found AMC. It was late Friday night, and that meant a horror movie would be on. Hellraiser was this week’s movie.
    Mark leaned back in his bed and watched. His back popped when he leaned forward again.
    At around midnight, he found that he had trouble sleeping. He picked up the notepad he had begun to write the story on.
    “Maybe this is the ending, and not the beginning…” He pondered this thought, decided he was right, tore that page out from the notebook, and started writing.

    He finished the story at four a.m., and reread it. He thought it to be very satisfactory, and put his notepad down. The TV was still on, and The Wicker Man was playing.
    “I hate this movie,” he said, but watched it anyway.
    The movie ended at five-thirty a.m. He turned off the TV and faked sleep when he heard the nurse coming down the hall.
    The nurse stepped into his room. Unbeknownst to Mark, she picked up the loose-leaf paper, folded it up, and put it in her pocket.
    When Mark opened his eyes, the nurse was gone. He decided that he actually was tired, and fell asleep shortly after.

    Mark woke around twelve p.m. He felt around for his story. He had a good part he wanted to add. He thought that the story was still too short, only thirty pages, and wanted to write more.
    “Where the hell is it,” he asked himself, groping around his food tray where he had set the story.
    He couldn’t find it. The story was missing.

    A week later, John called the hospital, asking for Mark. Mark took the phone when the nurse redirected the line.
    “Hello?” asked Mark.
    “Mark, it’s John.” Said John.
    “Hey John. ‘Sup?”
    “Dude, your story is in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Did you let someone borrow it?”
    “Hell no. I remember looking around for it. I lost it, but then it turned up again on my food tray.”
    “Yeah, well, it’s not under your name. It’s written under Dr. Samson Rodriguez. Dude, that’s YOUR doctor.”
    “Dammit!” screamed Mark. He pounded his fists on his tray. A nurse stepped into the room.
    “Sir, you’re disturbing the other patients.”
    “Screw the other patients! Someone plagiarized my story!”
    “Sir, calm down. I’m sure the story’s just similar to yours.”
    “The hell with that! It’s MY story! My friend John called me and told me all about it. Who took it? You? I’m pretty sure you did. I want to see Dr. Rodriguez, and I want him now!”
    “Sir, calm down,”
    “Don’t tell me to calm down!”
    The nurse walked over, pulled out a needle, and gave him a high dose of strychnine. His vision went blurry, then blurry and red, then black.

    Mark woke up in a different room. This one seemed more like an actual room, not a hospital room.
    “Where am I?” Mark asked, dazed.
    A man in a chair stood up.
    “The high dosage of strychnine the nurse gave you put you in a coma. You’ve been transferred to a rehabilitation clinic until further notice.
    “What about my-“
    “Story?” finished the man. “It’s made loads of money. It was put into a short-story omnibus selection. It won an O. Henry Award, and has been nominated for numerous other awards. In short, it’s the most successful plagiarized short story even written. “
    “Who are you?”
    “Samuel Rodriguez. The man who plagiarized your story.”
    Mark spat at the doctor. “You stole my story and didn’t give me any credit?”
    “That’s not true. You have been given full credit. Guilt set in. But, you’re going to pay the price for your success.”
    “Oh God,”
    “You have to continue writing. Writing until the day you die. You can stay in this rehab center until you do just that-die. All your meals will be provided and you will have a bed to sleep in and a TV to watch, plus an endless supply of paper. All free of charge.”
    “What’s the catch?”
    “The catch is that there isn’t one.”
    “Come on, there’s gotta be something.”
    “Well, if you really WANT a catch, I guess I can isolate you from humanity.”
    “Oh God, NO!”
    “Just kidding.” The doctor laughed, menacingly.
    “You son of a-“
    “No need for swearing here Mark. Now, come on, I’ll give you the grand tour.”
    The doctor led him around the center. He showed him the atrium, the lobby, the cafeteria, and, lastly, his own room. And what a room it was. It had a plasma screen TV, which was “88, and a king-size Temper-Pedic bed. The walls were painted with a mural of the ocean floor, and there was a fish tank with all sorts of exotic fish.
    “Jeez…” said Mark, awed.


    “It’s pretty incredible alright.” Said the doctor. “However, this is ONE of your rooms. I’ll show you your starting room,”
    The doctor led him outside. Cold air nipped at Mark’s face. He figured it was winter. They eventually neared a shack, with no windows. The doctor pushed Mark inside.
    “This is your room. Here’s how this works. You keep the money you earn. But for every ten grand you make, you get a new, nicer room than the one before.”
    The doctor slammed the door. Mark looked around. There was a cot, a bucket that constituted for a bathroom, and open windows.
    Mark noticed that there was a section of the wall, which was freshly coated with paint. He scratched at the paint, until he got the gist of the message. Four words were notched into the wall. They would haunt Mark for the next two weeks.
    The words were:

    “IT’S ALL A LIE”

    Mark screamed, kicked the walls, sat down, and wrote while tears dripped from his face.
    Two weeks later, after no food or water had been sent, Mike fell to the floor, dead from lack of water and starvation.
    Doctor Rodriguez stepped into Mark’s room and picked up his finished novel, which was about 300 pages. There was some blood on it here and there, but it was finished.
    Doctor Rodriguez walked up into the room with the ocean mural and plopped down on his bed. He read the novel in four hours. It was very good.
    He x’d out the part that said, By Mark Johnson, and rewrote, By Samuel Rodriguez.
    Samuel was a successful author alright…
    He laughed.

    Goodbye’s Last Forever

    “Where are you going?” I shouted at her.
    “Away from my nightmare.” She called back.
    “I can help you!” I pleaded with her, desperately.
    “No one can help me." And, with that, she was gone.
    This was the last time I would ever see my best friend, the one who I had only known for a few hours, the one who had cared so deeply for me, the one who had helped me with all my problems…
    I met her at a Starbucks Coffee shop. She was on her crappy computer, and she acknowledged this thoroughly. She would occasionally smack the computer in frustration. It really bothered her that Macintosh couldn’t build a better laptop.
    As she swore at her computer, I figured I could help her out a little bit. I sauntered vaguely over to her, tapping her on the shoulder from behind.
    “Do you need any help with that? Because you look like you’re struggling.” I said, grinning.
    “Eh, why not? This piece of crap isn’t gonna fix itself, now is it?” she said. I had expected her to get angry that I had patronized her, but she showed no sign.
    “So, what seems to be the problem with it?” I said. Being an amateur computer technician, I thought I knew quite a bit about computers.
    “Well, the Internet’s running awfully slow, and I can’t get my start menu to come up. I keep scanning for viruses, but it’s not coming up with anything. And I haven’t downloaded anything lately.” She explained.
    “Well, I might be able to help here,” I said, cracking my knuckles. “If I could use the chair…”
    “Sure, no prob.”
    I sat down in her chair. It was still warm from her sitting on it. I rebooted the computer manually, and then found the problem.
    “Seems like your virus scanner isn’t up to date, because there is one on here. Some new knock-off of SpyWare.”
    “Damn!”
    “I can get rid of it though. Do you have notepad on here?”
    “Yep.”
    I opened notepad and then typed an enormous amount of code into the screen. He then saved it.
    “Give the computer about a half-hour, and it should fix itself.”
    “Thanks! Hey, I never got your name.” She said.
    “Oh, uh, it’s Bill. Bill Krasinsky.”
    “Well, Bill Krasinsky, you just made my day! How can I repay you?”
    “Well, I could really use a coffee…” I said, grinning for the second time today.
    “Alright then! What would you like?”
    “Caramel Latte would be lovely.” I said.
    “Decaf or regular?”
    “Regular would be awesome.”
    She stood up to get my coffee. I saw here walk into the line, her brown hair falling behind her.
    She ordered the coffee and walked back to her table.
    “Ah, thanks!” I said, gulping down ¼ of my coffee right there.
    “Any time.” She said. “Hey, I don’t get the chance to talk to many people. Wanna talk for a little bit?”
    I really had nothing better to do, so I said yes.
    “Awesome! So, my first question is, what…”


    We talked for a good three hours. I found out that her name was Jill, and that she was a training architect, waiting to get over stomach cancer. I also found out that her uncle had recently died, and that she currently had just been evicted from her apartment.
    “You’ve had a lot happen in your life, haven’t you?”
    “Yes, I sure have. Wanna go walk around the park?”
    This made me slightly uneasy, but I said yes.
    I noticed that she was holding something that I hadn’t noticed before-a bindle-stick, the kind that homeless people carry. I figured that she had someone she would live with, but I had no idea she had nowhere to live!
    We walked down to Central Park, and walked the entire distance of the park twice without saying a thing.
    I felt a sudden bond, a connection between us. I thought we would be friends.
    “If you’re looking for a place to stay, I have some extra room at my house, if you wanted to stay there for a while…”
    “Thanks, but no thanks. I think that my work here is done.”
    “Work?”
    “Yep, my work. Goodbye, Bill.”
    “Where are you going?” I shouted at her.
    “Away from my nightmare.” She called back.
    “I can help you!” I pleaded with her, desperately.
    “No one can help me,” she said…


    Two men in the coffee shop that Bill and Jill had been in were discussing the abnormality of what they had just seen.
    “I know, and he was just talking to nobody!”
    “Crazy freak. I think he had some issues.”
    “Now don’t go ‘round making jokes about a guy with serious issues.”
    “Well, sorry, but it’s true!”
    “And then he walked out all like he was holding someone’s hand!”
    “I’m sorry, but he was bein’ a freak…”
    “If you had problems like that guy, you wouldn’t be talking.”
    “’Cause I’d be talking to invisible people!”
    “Now that’s enough!”
    “Hey, easy buddy.”


    Bill stared at the mist where Jill had just stepped away from the universe. He realized he was in a graveyard. The mist guided him to some place in the graveyard.
    He suddenly halted in one place, and couldn’t step further ahead. The mist parted, revealing a recently added, clean tombstone with a speck of bird crap on it.
    The tombstone’s words haunted him for the rest of his life. They said, in a strangely ironic way:

    Jill Fransky
    Architectural student and daughter of
    Jess Fransky
    1985-2006

    Bill nearly passed out, and he would never again be able to hear the name Jill Franksy without bursting into hot, erupting tears. She was his best friend, and he would never let his memory of her die.
    He had thought he had seen Jill before. He suddenly remembered. He had had a childhood crush on her from third grade to eighth grade. She had moved to California in ninth grade, and he had not seen her since.

    And with that, her slim figure dispersed into the cool night mist, with her bindle stick hanging limply over her shoulder. She was gone.



    True Colors

    Summers. Summers only mean something when you’re a kid. Kids like the three of us. My name is Jake, and I am a schizophrenic. Sure, I’m on medication for it now, but back in the 60's when we were kids, the meds were really experimental.
    There were three of us. Jess, Jeff, and of course me, Jake. We called ourselves the three J’s, and each of us had our own thing that was considered wrong with us. Jake was a hypochondriac, and Jeff was what we called at that time “retarded”. Of course, he really wasn’t, but he always seemed like he had Down’s Syndrome.
    Anyway, we all stuck together when we met that one, fateful summer. Everything was peaceful, serene, if you subtracted the bullies from the equation.
    The two bullies, (God, you don’t know how childish I feel when I say that), were named Frank and Al, and they annoyed the hell out of us. I couldn’t stand being near them, but when one whips out a switchblade and says they’re gonna kill you, what can you do but believe them? We talked about them behind their backs, sure, who the hell wouldn’t? But when they were around us, we went into what we called “minimal casualty mode”. We panicked. We did whatever they wanted us to.
    Everyone in the group had a pretty normal home life-except Jeff. Jeff had a hell of a time surviving even at his own home. His dad beat him pretty bad, and we could only protect him from bullies, not from his own parents. He’d come to school with welts all over his arms and face. One time, his arm was so raw that when the teacher held out his arm, he started bleeding. You really felt bad for him, but, sadly, what could you do?
    Jess was also was bullied pretty badly, but his parents didn’t beat him. He always wore gauze around his mouth and nose, leaving a small area so he could breathe and talk to us. He’d freak out if it fell off, so, the obvious thing for one of the bullies to do would be to take off the gauze and spit in his face. He’d sit in the bathroom, scrubbing his face raw-literally. He actually came to school one time with no skin on his left cheek. He used a brillo-pad. Can you imagine? A brillo pad.
    I never knew what to do with myself. The voices wouldn’t shut up. They told me to do fairly reasonable stuff, like go buy a soda, or pinch my sister. If I did it, they’d quiet down. And then I’d be fine.
    I kept it mostly to myself, until ’64, when one of the voices, (I had about 5 at that time, and it only got worse when I hit puberty), wouldn’t quiet down. I was, of course, at the local diner, the Burnt Toast Diner in Bangor, Maine, where we lived. I screamed bloody murder, and I got a hell of a whooping when we got home. This continued, and then my parents considered committing me. Instead, thinking better of it, they sent me to the Bangor County Psychiatric Hospital, where they tested me for all sorts of mental disabilities. Schizophrenia, bullseye. I was diagnosed with Disorganized Schizophrenia, which explained why I couldn't write very well. My letters were all scattered around, and I always had to stop and erase. My teachers couldn’t read my papers, so I had to read it to them, or in front of the class. That was hell.
    Our gang had a clubhouse, deep in the middle of the forest, where no one (except Frank and Al, who followed us), could find. It was a little shack we built with my dad’s wood and Jeff’s dad’s saw and hammer. Jess provided nails.
    None of our folks cared much. We’d stay out there for weeks at a time, just hanging out. We’d always bring food, and we always told them where we’d go and a rough estimate of how long we’d be there. Things were safer back then, and so they were fine with it.
    Al and Frank always kicked it over, driving out the nails and breaking the boards. We’d just start over. Eventually they saw that we would just keep going, and they didn’t want to do it forever, so they just stopped. We finally finished it, and, with some barbed wire that Jeff swiped from his dad. We wrapped the wire around some stakes and pounded them into the ground. It was our fortress… We played poker, told stories, all sorts of stuff. It was great fun…
    Then one day, Jess got into a car crash. His dad freaked out and drove off a bridge. Jess was in the car with him. His dad died, and Jess was left in critical condition, his neck broken. He was vomiting blood about every hour. We all thought he was going to die.
    Then one day, his heart stopped. The doctors ran in with defribilators and shocked the life back into him. He kept throwing up blood after that, and his hypochondriac behavior only worsened. Life sucked for him.
    For a while there, he didn’t come outside at all. He was always so concerned that some communicable disease was going to kill him that he didn’t even consider it.
    We eventually had to sneak in through his window and drag him outside. Of course, we wrapped his mouth with the gauze he always used.
    We went into the clubhouse and took out our ski masks that we had brought with us. We then took one of the chairs and tied him to it. We slapped him awake. We told him that he had better come outside, because, hell, it was summer, and that if he didn’t, then we would kill him. We also told him that, should he mention this to his parents, he would be in some deep crap with us. He complied. Then, we threw off our ski masks, laughing our asses off. God, that was hilarious. Jess knew how to take a joke, and he laughed with us. And then, he did something completely un-Jess like. He punched Jeff in the face. Jess laughed so hard, that he fell off his chair. He was crying! Oh God, I’ve never seen somebody laugh so hard!
    Of course, Al and Frank had to ruin it. The summer would have been perfect, had it not been for them.
    Here’s what happened…
    We were in our clubhouse, playing a game of poker and talking about how much we hated school when Al and Frank kicked the door down.
    “Well looky here! It’s the little sissies, playing cards!” taunted Frank.
    “Should we kill ‘em? I think so. How about it Frank?” asked Al.
    “Sure. Get their guts out. Beat the hell out of ‘em first.”
    They went to Jess first. Frank then whipped out a switchblade and slashed his cheek open. Jess squealed in pain, and Frank punched him square in the gut to get him to be quiet.
    “There’s pig’s blood on my knife, Al!” giggled Al.
    “Let’s get another piggy with it!” squealed Frank. He sounded like a pig right then.
    “GET HIM!” Screamed Frank.
    They charged at me, Frank with his knife drawn, Al with his fist in front of him. The Fist from Hell we called it. Al socked me right in the face. And then, the most incredible thing happened. Frank took the 2 seconds it would take to clean his knife, pointing the knife towards him to get the tip clean, just about ready to cut me. I saw Jeff out of the corner of my eye. He was charging towards Frank.
    Jeff jumped on Frank just as he polished the tip of his blade on his shirt. Frank fell down, and in that instant, the knife went through his stomach. Frank was scrawny for his age, yet tall. The tip of that huge switchblade protruded from his back.
    Jeff pounced on Al, his fingers in the form of claws, tearing at Al’s eyes. Al screamed for mercy, but Jeff didn’t show mercy to all. He grabbed Al’s head and wrenched sideways. There was a sickening crack, and Al was dead…
    Jeff fell to the floor, the blood of Frank and Al staining his shirt and hands. He started weeping, dry sobs at first, and then full-blown tears. Blood mixed with his Jeff’s tears. It looked like he was crying blood.
    We were afraid to go near him. He had turned into some kind of animal from hell…

    We told Jeff to get in the water, and swim around a little bit to get the blood off his clothes. And from then on, it wasn’t ever discussed. We hid the bodies in bushes near the clubhouse, leaving enough of the body out so somebody would notice it… And that was the end of it…


    That was childhood. I met up with Jeff again, and we went out hiking in the woods. Just like we had always though, Jess was dead. He got lung cancer of all things, and died peacefully. He refused chemo. He didn’t want to go down that road.
    So, Jeff and I were walking down the path, when we found what looked like a bone protruding from a bush. And then we noticed our old clubhouse. We pulled out the bone first, and to our horror, there was the skeleton of Frank, his clothes still on, however rotted, his switchblade still in his ribs. Jeff jumped back in horror. I just dragged it into the clubhouse.
    I was utterly surprised that they hadn’t found the bodies. But, then again, we were deep in the forest. I guess we should have put them somewhere where someone would have noticed, but, then again, when your friend is responsible for murder, you don’t think about much but that.
    After some searching, we found the corpse of Al too. I took that and threw it into the clubhouse too. Jeff was still sobbing. I told him to shut up and help me. He did. We positioned the skeletons in the chairs. I asked Jeff to get out the kerosene he had brought with him, which we had planned on using to make hot dogs. He handed it to me, and I poured kerosene all over that clubhouse. I grabbed my lighter from my pocket and threw it into the kerosene, flame exposed.
    Jeff fell to the ground, sobbing like the day he had when he killed Frank and Al. And something else happened when he was crying there, as the clubhouse burned too. He cried blood. Just like in the 60s.
    All our childhood memories now burned. Gone
    Jeff is dead too. He fell from the window of his 85th floor office. When he went to open it, his secretary came in, inquiring him about some paper, and as it opened, he lurched forward and hit the ground. He died instantly.

    I’m all that’s left now. And I like it that way. Someone has to tell people our stories.
    Summers…

    And for some lighter reading...

    Antacids

    “That is truly disgusting…” muttered Fred.
    “Well, if you want to start feeling better, you’ve gotta take the recommended dosage,” replied Joe.
    “Well, I mean really, it’s not helping much,”
    “It helps more than you think. These Tums are what keep you from bein’ so gassy. And I can tell you, my friend, you are very, very gassy,”
    “I can do without the smart comments, my friend.”
    “Alright, fine, just take the Tums.”
    Fred had always had a gas problem, and he constantly got gas pains, especially after eating a hardy meal. He always said that it ran in his family, but his friends think that that was a load of crap; he was a gassy individual, and that’s all there was to it.
    “I think that they need to make these buggers taste better. I mean my God, they taste like chalk…” remarked Fred.
    “I wish you would just take the antacids. You know we all hate being around you when you fart like that…”
    “Alright fine. Give ‘em to me,”
    So Joe handed him the antacids. He took the recommended amount.
    “God, that’s horrible Joe.”
    “Well, you could always go to the doctor like I told you.”
    “Yeah, well, screw the doctor’s office. What have doctor’s ever done for me, huh?”
    “They could, for one, give you some tasteless medication…”
    “Joe…”
    “Don’t try to give me some smart comment, I’m tired of the farts!”
    “Joe, I feel funny.”
    “What are you talking about?”
    “What do you think I’m talking about, I don’t feel so hot.”
    Fred started to sweat. He was blinking rapidly.
    “Jesus, Fred, how many did you take?”
    “F-f-f-f-four…”
    “Are you allergic?”
    Fred was too busy having a seizure to answer. He was convulsing rapidly on the floor; eyes rolled up into the back of his head, the whole nine yards. It would be considered a grand-mal seizure if there were a doctor there to tell you what it was.
    Then Fred stopped moving altogether. He had sort of been foaming at the mouth, and his eyes were still rolled into the back of his head.
    Joe knelt down beside his friend and started shaking him. When Fred didn’t get up, he grabbed the bottle of what he had thought were antacids.
    He had apparently misread the label. Because it didn’t say Tums. It said:
    D-Con Rat Poison. Kills Mice and Rats!
    Last edited by Seabird111; 04-22-2008 at 08:17 PM.
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    Reading 50+ Books Seabird111's Avatar
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    Anyone read them yet?
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    Cat Person DickZ's Avatar
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    There aren't too many people around here who bother to comment. Of course, your introduction which said "... these are really terrible" didn't significantly increase the likelihood of a response.

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    Lol, but how were they?
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    Cat Person DickZ's Avatar
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    I thought Goodbyes Last Forever (without the apostrophe in Goodbyes since it's plural and not possessive) was pretty good. I have to admit that because I'm a lot older than you, I have difficulty relating to your subject matter. Hopefully, one of the younger readers here will comment because your stories would mean more to them than they do to me. But it seems that while most writers here ask for comments, hardly anyone ever actually comments, including those who ask for comments from others.

    At the time I posted this response, your story had enjoyed 107 views, which means people are looking, but saying nothing. This forum is the identical format as a baseball forum I'm in, and the percentage of lurkers in this literature forum is something like five times greater. It's pretty discouraging to think that those interested in baseball are five times more likely than literature enthusiasts to discuss a subject, rather than to just sit there and read it silently.

    At any rate, you could make your material a lot more eye appealing by inserting a blank line between paragraphs so the story doesn't look like an overwhelming blob on a computer screen.

    And congratulations on posting your stories - for most people, it's difficult to do that, and overcoming that hesitancy is a great first step in learning to write.
    Last edited by DickZ; 04-23-2008 at 09:23 AM.

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    Reading 50+ Books Seabird111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickZ View Post
    I thought Goodbyes Last Forever (without the apostrophe in Goodbyes since it's plural and not possessive) was pretty good. I have to admit that because I'm a lot older than you, I have difficulty relating to your subject matter. Hopefully, one of the younger readers here will comment because your stories would mean more to them than they do to me. But it seems that while most writers here ask for comments, hardly anyone ever actually comments, including those who ask for comments from others.

    At the time I posted this response, your story had enjoyed 107 views, which means people are looking, but saying nothing. This forum is the identical format as a baseball forum I'm in, and the percentage of lurkers in this literature forum is something like five times greater. It's pretty discouraging to think that those interested in baseball are five times more likely than literature enthusiasts to discuss a subject, rather than to just sit there and read it silently.

    At any rate, you could make your material a lot more eye appealing by inserting a blank line between paragraphs so the story doesn't look like an overwhelming blob on a computer screen.

    And congratulations on posting your stories - for most people, it's difficult to do that, and overcoming that hesitancy is a great first step in learning to write.
    Thanks very much for your comment! It's very much appreciated .

    Most people actually think that Goodbyes Last Forever is really just OK, even mediocre. It's good to know that someone finally likes it more than that .
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    Student 117 pbmn's Avatar
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    I thought they were pretty good, although I noticed there were a few gramatical errors in there (won't go into detail unless you would prefer me to). One thing, however, that I think you should do in True Colors. Give the background information on the three friends before anything imporant happens; tell the reader while you introduce the characters. It'll make the reading a lot more smooth. Also, I noticed (as I actually just said for True Colors) that your stories seem a little jumbled up. Maybe, for example, take out the very first paragraph/section that starts off Goodbyes Last Forever or definitely make it visible that you are "flashing back" by including a space or two between the sections. It's your writing though, it's what you want to do. For Plagiarism, I didn't really understand what you were really saying. Of all the stories, that one was by far the, for lack of a better word, weirdest story of the four you posted. I didn't particularily like it, but the other three were good.
    Last edited by pbmn; 04-23-2008 at 05:42 PM.
    "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one"- Julius Caesar, Shakespeare

    "You always feel biologically trapped"- Lieutenant Frederic Henry, A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway

    "A woman is like a beer. They look good, they smell good, and you'd walk over your own mother just to get one."- Homer Simpson

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    Reading 50+ Books Seabird111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbmn View Post
    I thought they were pretty good, although I noticed there were a few gramatical errors in there (won't go into detail unless you would prefer me to). One thing, however, that I think you should do in True Colors. Give the background information on the three friends before anything imporant happens; tell the reader while you introduce the characters. It'll make the reading a lot more smooth. Also, I noticed (as I actually just said for True Colors) that your stories seem a little jumbled up. Maybe, for example, take out the very first paragraph/section that starts off Goodbyes Last Forever or definitely make it visible that you are "flashing back" by including a space or two between the sections. It's your writing though, it's what you want to do. For Plagiarism, I didn't really understand what you were really saying. Of all the stories, that one was by far the, for lack of a better word, weirdest story of the four you posted. I didn't particularily like it, but the other three were good.

    Thanks for your advice! I'll be sure to fix the grammatical errors.

    Yes, Plagiarism was weird. I had the idea that I could write a short story based on a car crash, and it took off in a really weird angle. I don't like it much either.
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    Before I get into discussing your three short stories, let me ask you something first. To which version of The Wicker Man does the character hate: the original starring Edward Woodward or the remake ( I use the term loosely) with Nicholas Cage? If it's the former, it's baffling, as the original one may be one of the best horror movie ever made; if it's the latter, then the character's disdain is completely understandable!

    Now about your three pieces, in general. First, although the advice about "write about what you know" really isn't that important, the corollary is true: it's probably best not to write about topics about which one's knowledge is spotty. Hence, I'd steer clear of stories about alleged plagiarism and corpses.

    Speaking of topics, avoid banal situations and/or stories and plots that have already been covered by other writers thousands of times before. If you want to write a story about a stock situation, it's best to attempt to treat it in a brand-new, original way.


    Despite the abundance of dialogue in your pieces, in the one in which we are introduced to the gal who is studying to be an architect tries, her entire life story is crammed into one paragraph. (More "tell" than "show.")

    Speaking of dialogue, it's general practice to skip a space betweeen speakers.

    And don't forget the most important rule about writing fiction: rewriting! Once you finish the first version, go back and cut out everything that is superfluous and unnecessary for the intended effect.


    If you have time, here are some threads you might want to look at before writing fiction again.

    Click this one for general writing
    "Cheap Advice"
    Cheap advice:

    and this one:


    Show, don't tell

  10. #10
    Reading 50+ Books Seabird111's Avatar
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    Goodbye’s Last Forever

    I met her at a Starbucks Coffee shop. She was on her crappy computer, and she acknowledged this thoroughly. She would occasionally smack the computer in frustration, muttering the occasional expletive under her breath.
    As she swore at her computer, I sauntered on over to her, figuring I could help her out a little bit. I was a little nervous as I went up to her, and I had every reason to be. She had long, brown hair that went all the way down her back. She was shorter, about 5”5. She had a thin face that looked knowing and carefree at the same time. It made me think of my pictures of my Grandmother I had seen when I was a kid.
    I walked up and tapped her on the shoulder from behind.
    “Do you need any help with that? Because you look like you’re struggling.” I said, grinning.
    “Eh, why not? This piece of crap isn’t gonna fix itself, now is it?” she said. I had expected her to get angry that I had patronized her, but she showed no sign of annoyance.
    “So, what seems to be the problem with it?” I said. I was majoring in computer engineering at MIT, and I thought myself to be quite the expert.
    “Well, the Internet’s running awfully slow, and I can’t get my start menu to come up. I keep scanning for viruses, but it’s not coming up with anything. And I haven’t downloaded anything lately.” She explained.
    “Well, I might be able to help here,” I said, cracking my knuckles. “If I could use the chair…”
    “Sure, no prob.”
    I sat down in her chair. It was still warm from when she sat on it. I looked at the screen for a few minutes, clicking around on the screen, testing the speed. I then restarted the computer manually. A few minutes after it came back on, I found the problem.
    “Uhm… You know how you have a media player up?” I asked, slowly.
    “Yep. I was listening to music while I typed my term paper. Why?”
    “Well, you clicked, “Burn Disc”. That’s why it’s so laggy.”
    “Oh my God,” she said, and then burst out into laughter.
    I ejected the blank disc she had somehow managed to put in there, and set it aside on the table.
    “Well, that’d be your problem,” I said, imitating a plumber.
    “You saved the day, Superman!” she said, doing a pretty cheesy imitation of Lois Lane. “Hey, I never got your name…”
    The question threw me off guard, and I began to stutter.
    “Oh, uh, it’s Bill. Bill Krasinsky.”
    “Well, Bill Krasinsky, you just made my day! How can I repay you?”
    “Well, I could really use a coffee,” I said, easing up a little bit.
    “Alright then! Interested in a Caramel Latte?”
    “That would be lovely.” I said.
    “Decaf or regular?”
    “Regular would be awesome.”
    She stood up, pushed her chair in, and walked to the counter. It was fairly slow at America’s Finest Coffee Shop, and she got the latte almost instantly.
    After a few minutes, she walked back with two Caramel Lattes, one with a shot of milk in it.
    “Ah, thanks!” I said. She handed me my cup, and I gladly gulped down ¼ of my coffee right there.
    “Any time.” She said. “Hey, I don’t get the chance to talk to many people. Wanna get a bigger table and talk for a while?”
    “Well, I’m not going anywhere for a while…”
    “Is this a yes?”
    “’Tis.” I said.
    “Awesome. Now, my first question is…”

    We talked for a good three hours. I found out that her name was Jill, and that she was a training architect, waiting for a heart donor. She had found out that the odds of a matching donor turning up in the three months she had left with her original heart were 100 to 1.
    “And how was your day?” she asked with a grin.
    “Wow… That’s gotta be tough,” I paused, and then said, “Going through all that, I mean.”
    “It was at first, but, time goes on.” She dropped her pleasant demeanor, and her eyes appeared glassy, distant, as if she were having one of those silent seizures.
    “That’s very philosophical of you,” I said, with a slightly worried undertone in my voice.
    “Yeah, it sure is,” she said, returning to normal. “You know, everyone tells me that I talk too much. What do they say about you?”
    “Who’s they?”
    “Y’know, everyone. Are you the really skinny guy, the guy who doesn’t talk enough? What are you?”
    “Well… People tell me that I’m the coolest guy they’ve ever met, and I have to say I agree…” I said.
    She laughed, but then said, “I’m serious. What do they say about you?”
    I had no idea how to respond to that. So, I responded with that.
    “Well… Would you like to know what I think of you?” she asked.
    “Sure,” I said, uneasy.
    “I think you’re the nicest guy I’ve ever met. I really think that.” She looked up at me, considering my face.
    No one had ever said that to me before. It made me feel like I was worth something at that precise moment. All of the time before this, I had never really thought too highly of myself, (with the exception of computer engineering), but now I felt on top of the world.
    “I mean, you’re the first guy who hasn’t tried to ask me out or anything. I can talk to you without having to worry about dating you.”
    “That may just be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me,” I said, still in awe at the kindness directed towards me. I hadn’t exactly had a lot of friends growing up, and this was a whole new experience for me. Meeting someone who I could instantly talk with without having to lie about my favorite band or TV show.
    “Could I get your number? I need to fill up my contacts. I feel weird having only two.” She said, grinning a grin not unlike my own.

    I gave her my number, and then said, “I’d think someone like you would have a lot of friends,” I said, returning the grin.
    “Well, you know, there’s lots of guys who want to date me, but not a lot who want to be friends with me. Listen, I’ve gotta go. I’ll talk to you later.”
    “Alright. Seeya later..”
    “Goodbye!” she said, waving.
    She walked to the front door, opened it, and walked away to a parked car. It was somewhat of a junker, but it looked as though it ran pretty well. She unlocked the door with her key and hopped in.
    I watched her until she started to pull out. I stood up from booth we were sitting at and walked to the door. I hopped into my own car, a 2001 Mazda, and unlocked the door. I started it up and drove home to my apartment.

    When I woke up, I opened the door to get the paper, like I usually do. I read the first few pages of the first section, and on the bottom of page 3A, the obits, I got the shock of my life.
    I saw this headline:

    21 Year Old Architectural Student Dies of Heart Failure

    Below that:

    21 year-old Jill Franksy died of Heart Failure last night at approximately 2:45 P.M. She was awaiting a donor for a new heart. She is remembered by her father, mother, and two brothers.

    And that was it. I threw the paper down and started to cry. Tears streamed down my face, leaving tracks on my cheeks.
    I kept re-reading the obituary, and what I found was most prominent was it’s length. It was short, and incredibly short at that.
    Why the hell was it so damn short? She was a great person! The obit should have been three pages at least! She was such a great person, and there was so much that could have been said.
    I will always miss Jill. And when I was crying, one thing went through my mind.
    “Goodbyes last forever,”
    That will always remain prominent in my mind.
    Goodbyes last forever, Jill. And the one you gave me will last longer than forever.
    Goodnight.
    Last edited by Seabird111; 04-27-2008 at 02:16 PM.
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    Reading 50+ Books Seabird111's Avatar
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    That would be the revised version of Goodbyes Last Forever. I changed a large amount of dialogue, the ending, and a lot of other little things too.

    I like this version much better. I hope you do too .
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    Reading 50+ Books Seabird111's Avatar
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    Woops! I deleted the top part, as it isn't relevant to the story. It remained from my original draft...
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    I didn't read the top part, but I read the bottom. I like it.

    “The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.” - Rumi

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    Reading 50+ Books Seabird111's Avatar
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    Thanks .
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    Student 117 pbmn's Avatar
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    I like it still, but I do prefer the first version (even if I have heard similar writing before). It was more... you. This one seems to be too forced, a little more unrealistic (yes, even more so than meeting a ghost!) Maybe give some more insight on Jill, help us to know her because obviously Bill is not the main character, he is only the vessel showing us Jill. And when I say tell us more about her, don't give just her basics/biography, give her feelings. Make us like her as much as Bill does. If you have any more, I would love to read them.
    "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one"- Julius Caesar, Shakespeare

    "You always feel biologically trapped"- Lieutenant Frederic Henry, A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway

    "A woman is like a beer. They look good, they smell good, and you'd walk over your own mother just to get one."- Homer Simpson

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