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Thread: Left Alone

  1. #1
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    Left Alone

    The door opens:
    1:"What's going on in here?"
    There's a boy sitting on the floor alone, full birthday party attire, ripping the pages out of books, a fresh stack beside him.
    2:"Oh.. Well it's a party"
    The boy looks around stretching his hands all about showing the grande party of one.
    "But you're the only one here?"
    The boy looks around, pure sadness sculpted in his face
    "Oh... Well yeah."
    "Where's everyone else?"
    The boy looks down at his books and starts ripping pages again
    "Oh......"
    "Well where are they??"
    The boy looked back up
    "There were people here before, even when I first arrived, but they left, they all left. Some laughed, some cried. But they all left."
    He went back to ripping pages.
    "Oh. I'm sorry I gue.."
    Snaps
    "No your not."
    Back to ripping pages.
    A pile has started.

    "... Are more people going to come?"
    Still ripping pages.
    "I'm sure they will, they always do. But they always leave."
    The room is empty besides the boy, and his close belongings.
    "Where's all your stuff?"
    The boy looks around then back at his books.
    "This is all I need, they took the rest when they left."
    "Oh, I'm sor.. Well maybe the next people will be nicer."
    Still ripping
    "I doubt it."
    The boy started ripping pages furiously from this huge book, he started crying, keeping the same demeanor and said
    "I hated this book, I really hated this book.. Well really I loved it, I really did, but when it ended I hated it, and reread it until I hated all of it, I tore out all the pages I liked."
    "Why?"
    "Maybe I wanted to hate it, I'm not sure. I've read all these books in this room, that's all I've ever done ever. But I still don't understand any of it. These books, these pages, me. I don't understand anything "
    "I'm sorry."
    "No you're not"
    Pages start to fill the entire floor.
    "Why am I here?"
    "I'm not sure, you came in without asking."
    "Can I leave?"
    "They always do."
    "Well do you need anything?"
    ...the boy thinks...
    "Yes... I need a lot."
    "I'm sorry to hea.."
    "No your not."
    Anger
    "Stop saying that! What do you need!?"
    The boy stops ripping and stands up, crying, staring at the mess he's made. He has something in his hand.
    "Will you please hold this"
    He hands him a matchbox
    "Sure"
    The boy searches the pile and pulls out one page under all the rest.
    "This was my favorite, I loved her, I should've left with her. I really should have. You wouldn't understand."
    "I'm sorry I don't"
    The boy mumbles the words under his breath. Then lays down in his pile he's made and hugs that one page tight against his lip as he cries.
    "Burn it all, don't worry about me. Just light it and leave..."
    "Okay..."
    The match is lit, then the whole box and it's thrown to the pages which light with a golden crisp.
    "Thanks, that's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me."
    The fire swallows the pages, then the boy, and then his room.
    "I don't understand but I'm sorry."
    The door closes
    "Thank you."

  2. #2
    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    I'm old fashioned and I like old-fashioned narrative, so when I first opened this and just saw what it looked like on the page, I though, "Oh, no!"
    Then I read it and thought, "Hey! This is really good!" The dialogue is engaging and the symbolism of the birthday, the people who have entered and left, the pages in the book, are nicely understated. I'm not sure about the ending. I think you might want to consider just leaving off the last "Thank you."
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

  3. #3
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    A few of the narrative lines switch to past tense--accident? Also, why are the first two dialogue lines numbered?
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 fountains View Post
    I'm old fashioned and I like old-fashioned narrative, so when I first opened this and just saw what it looked like on the page, I though, "Oh, no!"
    Then I read it and thought, "Hey! This is really good!" The dialogue is engaging and the symbolism of the birthday, the people who have entered and left, the pages in the book, are nicely understated. I'm not sure about the ending. I think you might want to consider just leaving off the last "Thank you."
    Thank you so much for the feedback! Besides one characters introduction in this novella I'm currently working on, I usually never write in this sort of style. I prefer the styles of Fitzgerald and Emerson and try to pull from them and add my own unique touch as well, as you can tell from my other story "One" that you generously commented on. But I wanted to portray metaphorically how it feels to be alone, with nothing but your mind and memories, reminiscing on past relationships with people that have come and gone. I thought about how I loved this one girl for so long and after the break up I hated her of course and I remembered when I was happy with her until those memories were addled with the hate that I felt and then the memories that were too pleasant to infect with hate I repressed; and I really wanted to portray that feeling as well. I solely wanted people to understand how I felt and not confuse them with overwrought prose so I thought this style would fit best for that purpose. The last "Thank you" is after the door closes and the other person leaves; it's supposed to be a reply to the other person for admitting he doesn't understand, but still apologizing. For the first time he feels like it's sincere, after he snaps back at him every other time he says it. Now that he feels it's sincere and the other person left and the boy isn't vulnerable to be hurt by him, he replies with "Thank you." to show development and progress in the boys emotion. Idk, I guess it might sound like hes saying thank you again for helping him. But I like old fashioned narrative as well ^_^ and I prejudge things all the time for that reason, but I'm really glad you like it and thanks for the reply!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    A few of the narrative lines switch to past tense--accident? Also, why are the first two dialogue lines numbered?
    The narrative line aren't really sentences, they're more like arrows to point you in the direction of the main road which is the dialogue; so I just wanted to make the arrows as smooth and easy to follow as I possibly could, and the tense I used for them is what was the smoothest to read. And I don't really explain the scene or the people all that well and not all the dialogue is attributed to a character so I was just setting the foundation that there were two speakers and that all the following quotations would be written in a 1 then 2 then 1 then 2 then 1 then 2 format so you know who's speaking. Thanks for the reply!

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    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    yeah, I think I would drop the numbers. They're not necessary and are probably distracting. The reader, I think, can figure out who's talking to whom.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

  7. #7
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    I agree with 108 fountains--if the author needs to step in like that to explain what's going on in the story, then the story itself needs fixing.

    I'm also not sure what you mean by "the tense I used for them is what was the smoothest to read." The tense shows when the events being related are taking place relative to the narration of them. Changing the tense on a line-by-line basis depending on what seems "smoothest" to read doesn't make sense, and also interferes with the story making sense. In effect, this makes the read less smooth.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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