Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: before the dust began to fall

  1. #1
    Registered User Oliver Pockets's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    18

    before the dust began to fall

    It was 3:15 A.M. and the old white vans rumbled their way out of the brightly lit complex of buildings. The outside of the gate was dark and dirty, covered in soot and unrecognizable pieces of trash. The inside of the facility could be seen through iron bars set in thick metal doors evenly spaced at 100 foot intervals, the contrast between the inside and outside of the wall was... to say the least, completely and utterly opposite. The buildings were all two stories high and built of bomb shelter like concrete. the top story of each building was painted a dark red while the lower half was a gleaming white. Lights on the corners of each the buildings lit the compound with a bright sterile light. As the white vans drove through the gate and out into the sooty darkness of the city a black dash was drawn through red circles on a clip board held by a large gate-man with a red cap.

    The 50 or so vans drove out in a long single file line, leaving the bright compound far behind, soon the last two trucks veered away on a different street only to split up again leaving one truck driving down a solitary street lined with old telephone poles and a few overflowing trash bins. The van came to a stop outside of a lonely looking clapboard house sandwiched between two red brick apartment buildings. The van's driver checked his watch and pulled a white mask over his head before pushed open the door and stepping out onto the cracked and buckled sidewalk. He walked to the rear of the van and opened the door to allow another man wearing identical masks and white coveralls. They both quickly walked to the front door of the house, the first man pulled a small box from his pocket, opening the box revealed a key, the man unlocked the front door of the house with the key from the box and quickly stepped through.

    The house was dark; from a corner of the sitting room came the lonely heroic tones of a cello. The man with the key approached the dark corner that was producing the music, bending down he shone a soft light on a silver box, a large circular nob in the middle of the box was labeled decimal proportion, the man turned the nob and the cello slowly grew more violent. With that complete the man stood and turned towards the hall, walking swiftly to the end of the passage he and his comrade walked into the bedroom of a sleeping man ... the man who walked through the door last pulled a candle from a pack that had been slung over his shoulder, the man with the key pulled out another small box that contained a silver lighter, he lit the candle and set it on the bedside table next to the sleeping man.

    Soon the man began to stir, his eyes opened and he sat up swinging his legs over the side of the bed. After glancing at the candle flame he turned to the men in white and asked what they were doing. The man that had the key stuck out his hand and gave the young man a handshake, followed by a curt "please come with us, don't worry about bringing anything". So the young man stood up and all three of them walked out of the house leaving the cello playing loudly in the night.

    At approximately 4:30 A.M. the vans returned to the compound with their extra passengers. A line of young men and women formed and led into one of the buildings... they entered into a building through a large set of double doors and into the bright inner light of the structure; turned either to the right or the left depending on their gender, they walked to large rooms filled with bunks covered in white sheets. Their names were all imprinted on the foot of their individual beds. Without missing a beat each of the young men and women walked to their bunk and silently fell asleep. Behind them the doors to their rooms closed with a hiss of air and the lights clicked off.

    This is the last time any of them would fall asleep under a night sky




    ---input is greatly appreciated---

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    6,053
    There is a brooding sense of unknown threats and discomfort that runs through this story that works really well. From the title alone the reader senses this has something to do with preparation for some disaster, perhaps a nuclear holocaust or some such event.

    I found the episode with the cello music quite engaging, the intruder choosing to distort the sound rather than refine it since art would shortly become ephemeral to existence anyway?

    Well-written, with just a few minor quibbles.

    The minute detail regarding the key and opening the door was rather distracting and off-putting (unless there is a significance to keys, which I guess there is not).....

    and para. 3 - 'nob' should be 'knob' (trust me!!!)

    H

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    85
    Hey Oliver... I pretty much agree with what Hill said here. You do a nice job of perpetuating a sense of unease throughout the story. I'm just gonna add to the "minor quibbles" part.
    I feel like this story could be made better if you go through and pull out some unnecessary words. There's a bit of repetition in some of your lines that just seems out of place. There are a few lines that I might split up too. For example, "The 50 or so vans drove out..." Now, I'm no stickler for grammatical correctness, but that's a very long run-on sentence that really doesn't need to be. Run-ons work when they have a purpose... but I don't really see one here. It just kind of gets in the way. There's a few more like that too.

    But, all-in-all I think you have a really nice piece here. It's subtle, has some really nice descriptive language, and flows pretty well. Like I said, I think you could just do some "selective trimming" as far as word usage and sentence structure goes. But the ideas and general concept are great. Nice Job!

  4. #4
    Registered User Oliver Pockets's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    18
    thanks for the feedback. i definitely need to work on cutting out the junk while keeping the vital in... and unfortunately grammatical error's have always been hard for me to avoid. thanks again for the feedback

Similar Threads

  1. Lucidity
    By Tokay Gecko in forum General Writing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-16-2010, 05:50 AM
  2. The Void
    By noheroes13 in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-29-2008, 12:08 AM
  3. Complete (Horror)
    By Cenobite in forum General Writing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-14-2007, 07:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •