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Thread: Success of My Imagination

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    An alternate multiverse

    Success of My Imagination

    I could feel him watching me from across the room, dark marbles for eyes intent on my every motion. No doubt another testosterone pumped egotistic thinking he could score with someone obviously miles above his level. I decided to not give him the satisfaction of my acknowledgement; rather I waved the bartender down for a shot. The man behind the counter walked to in front of me, a grin plastered on, as he asked me what I would like. He was an older man, his receding light gray hair combed over to the fullest extent and worn creases lining his face. He simply looked like a butler or server some fancy too good for himself would call Jeeves. From the angles of his wrinkles, however, it was easy to tell that they had not been caused from stress. He had smiled a lot throughout his life, laughed a lot. Lived a lot. He smiled now, as he gracefully waterfalled alcohol into a shining shot glass for me. I couldn’t help but smile and thank him as the drink was neatly set before me. He elegantly bowed, and returned my expression before attending to another’s desire.

    I clasped my hands together on the bar top, observing the muddy brown liquid I had requested. Very opaque and slightly viscous, it reeked of acetone as I held it to my face. Regardless, my head sloped back as I poured the concoction into my body. I nearly gagged as the flavor hit the back of my throat, and I barely suppressed a cough. The fluid lit a fire throughout me is it travelled through, I could feel savory heat embracing me, until it rested in the center of me. I waited a moment, hoping this irritable burning would hasten away, yet it remained infallible. I felt the urge to leave this dive, to call it another lousy night and trudge through the damp city streets to my shoddy apartment where I spent most of my time, yet I ordered another tonic. Of the same brew and manner, I downed the same, this time the fiery liquor not scorching my innards. Strange, I pondered the ideal of alcohol as my third shot glass was filled. The bartender leaned over the counter to tell me something, but I couldn’t seem to make out what exactly he was implying. I just smiled a large toothy grin sure to please anyone, until he strode away. Instead of any pain caused, the third made me feel much at ease. Warmth radiated from me, and I giggled for a moment as I pictured my face on the sun, protruding exuberance abound.

    With no rendition of the current time, I mulled over leaving, but for some reason my thoughts wouldn’t line up for me. I shook my head, and even tried to focus, but I just couldn’t complete an idea. My body felt oddly alien to me, and my appendages and muscles were not responding to my ill thought commands. Following what little instinct I retained, I pushed myself away from the counter before throwing my feet to the floor and standing. I hadn’t anticipated that my legs were limp noodles, as I careened into an unsuspecting couple on the dance floor. The female jumped back, shocked, and her partner caught me before I became friendly with the ground. His face was worried, as he lent me the balance I desperately sought after. Shakily, I stood on my own. The couple bombarded me with questions, but I slurred a gracious comment to them both before aiming for the screened wooden door that would lead me into freedom. Music from the DJ pounded through my skull as I swooned around the many admittances of the night, the beat beginning to match my unsteady footsteps. It seemed like a journey of a lifetime to the door, as it never grew closer no matter how eagerly I pushed myself to reach it. After thirty eight lifetimes, the worn brass handle was within my clutches.

    Before I could grasp it, a warm hand gripped my shoulder, and the door was opened for me. I turned to meet the bartender holding the door open for me, laughing about something. I laughed with him, he must have told a good joke, from the way he was looking at me. Before I stepped into the dark outside, I couldn’t help but ask him if his name was Jeeves. His eyes widened, and he released a rich laugh, as he nodded to me. His name really was Jeeves, what are the odds. The idea consumed me as the door thudded shut behind me, the upbeat music becoming a dull throb as the musty city air welcomed me back. I chuckled my way down the crack grimy sidewalk, happy with life over my guessing his name. A shredded newspaper lodged against my ankle, and I knelt over to budge it. Only then did I notice an oddly large shadow being cast upon me.

    A hand snagged my coat as my balance left me, yet it was too late to save this Lusitania. My shoulder caught the concrete; a jarring shock to the rest of me ensued, although surprisingly it didn’t hurt. It all felt warm to me, a seducing blanket of generosity thrown upon me. Whoever was lurking behind me leapt into action, trying to set me upright against a rough plastered brick wall. I laughed, tried to watch my toes wiggle through the front of my shoes. I had no way of knowing if I succeeded, yet I was content nonetheless. The person knelt before me, urgency spread over his features. He had sharp cheekbones that protruded slightly, and a jawline so straight it doubled as a ruler. The dim streetlamp bounced off of his eyes, turning them from what would normally be a liquid brown to a brighter, dashing shade. It took me a few moments of studying him before I realized that this was the man who had been staring holes in my back the entire night. Infuriated, I lashed out, lazily flailing my arms at him and yelling profanities. He staggered back, and poured forth a bunch of gob I couldn’t make out. He looked sincere, but didn’t most guys when they were trying to get laid? I refused to let my drunken haze hinder me from vehemently denying him and standing back up. I leaned sideways dangerously, and he stepped forward to catch me. I swung again at him, and snarled some despicable remark, before turning away from his pleading eyes and dejected look and walking away.
    Last edited by Squirr3ly; 08-31-2015 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Yikes. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your belief that writing means simply typing a huge block of text and then congratulating yourself on a job well done, with formatting and proofreading as optional activities to be pursued later if you feel like it, is incorrect. They are part of the work of writing, and your piece isn't finished until you've made it as readable as possible.

    So this is the feedback you've earned so far: Congratulations on trying something different for you (writing from a female perspective). Now finish the job and then ask again.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    An alternate multiverse
    I know, and I have already apologized for not proofing it. It wasn't my intention to sound conceited like that. I was just excited that I didn't utterly fail. I understand that proofing and formatting are not optional, and I am fixing this. However, I just wanted to put my work out there. I realize that making a text readable is critical, and it will be correctly done today. Thank you for calling me out on my mistakes, all help is appreciated.

  4. #4
    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Falls Church, Virginia
    It's a really interesting story. I like best that you left the possibility open that the man who followed the narrator outside might actually have had good intentions that the narrator might have misinterpreted. The "urgency" that spread over his features and his "pleading eyes and dejected look" all make me think that he was actually trying to be helpful or protective.

    As is, the descriptions and actions are well-written, but I think some dialogue (rather than all narration) would help much in bringing the reader to feel that he is there witnessing the scene. There are plenty of opportunities for dialogue - with the bartender, with the couple on the dance floor, with the man who followed the narrator outside. Yes, it will make the story longer, but that is a small price to pay for overall improvement. And you don't need a lot of dialogue, but what people say and how they respond even in short dialogues give the reader a much deeper insight into characters than strict narration.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

  5. #5
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    next door to the lady in the vinegar bottle
    Blog Entries
    Long detailed descriptions do not make a story. You've got to hook the reader in the very first sentence, if not the first word.

    If your aim is to come up with something original, then be original. Don't rely on the shorthand of overused phrases. Amid writing lore is the anecdote about a New Yorker editor who said that he (or she) stops reading at the sight of a cliché. How far would he get with your piece?

    One more time: show, don't tell.

    Even so, I'm glad you summoned up the courage to post something here. I do hope you will try again. Meantime, read as many modern and contemporary stories as you can. Over time and practice you will see your work improve.

    Welcome to the NetLit.

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