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So here it is. I only had one submission, so I only had one thing to… - smirkindabutt [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
smirkindabutt

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[Dec. 19th, 2009|08:43 am]
smirkindabutt
So here it is. I only had one submission, so I only had one thing to off of. I definitely didn't do justice to the mole. Let me know what you think!

It was frigid. I’ll never forget the biting cold of that day. The town had been subject to record lows all winter long, and it had to be that day it was the coldest. I decided not to shave that morning; it was always a pain with the mole on my cheek. Letting it grow might keep my face warm and it was the only day that I would leave my house. The first time I had left in a week, and the last time I would leave it for a week, as is my custom. It wasn’t just the cold that makes this one day so memorable, which would hardly be a day worth writing about. This was the day the Prime Minister of England would die.

 

I started the day like I started every Thursday, in fear. If I could find a way to have food delivered without having to interact with cheery delivery boys, I would have found it. I wish that I could get a food delivery system, or start a greenhouse in my tiny apartment. I would go vegetarian if it meant I could be alone. As I began my weekly journey to S-Mart the frigid air outside had a different feeling to it. There was an energy emanating from the people around that I hadn’t felt since I was a child. The last time I felt this strange sensation was when my parents took me to a parade downtown. I’m not entirely sure what it was celebrating, but all the people seemed concerned and excited about it. I remember one of the attractions in particular brought the crowd to a state of wild animosity. They were jumping and cheering as I tried to hide between my mother’s legs. My father felt I needed a better view and hoisted me onto his shoulders. Above the madness was the most frightening thing I had ever witnessed. Fists were flying in the air upwards as if they were keeping the clouds from falling and blocking their view. The cheering was so loud that I could barely hear when my father brought me down to eye level and said to me, “that man is going to usher in a better world for all of us Samuel.”

 

I didn’t believe him then, and he was proven to be wrong. Just another lying face telling us they will change the world, and then does absolutely nothing. How people stay with their political beliefs when they all lie, they all cheat and steal, but somehow their followers hold to their loyalties. When I got older I would jump from one party to another looking for a good candidate. I gave up after four years when I realized how fucked humanity really was.

 

I hadn’t seen a crowd that large since that election some 20 years ago, and now it seemed that same crowd had returned to me like a bad dream. I knew I had to brave it though. Perhaps facing this crowd, and wading through the thick of them would help me to overcome my fear, and I had to attempt it. People-walking was never my strong suit. It makes me flustered and annoyed, and a bit claustrophobic, but I put my head down and shoved through. What is normally a fifteen minute walk turned into a half-hour walk to the store. I went into the store and every face in the store was glued to the TV, I ignored them all and pushed a cart through. One thing is for sure, I am good at shopping. On a good day I can be out of the store in less than 30 minutes with enough supplies to barricade myself in for another week. If I needed paper products or cleaning products, it would take a bit longer, but not this week. This week it was all canned food, meat, and veggies.

 

One thing I found that’s nice about the grocery store is that the cashier will only try to be talkative for the first 3 sentences. If you don’t reciprocate they will leave you alone for the majority of the transaction. This occasion was different than the others though. I had to gain her attention, as she was stuck on the TV. I tried to be subtle, coughing, tapping my feet and hands, coughing again… I was about ready to run home and try again tomorrow when she finally turned and saw me.

 

“Oh, I didn’t see you there” Her face screamed distress as she began scanning and bagging. “I can’t believe this; I honestly didn’t think something like this would ever happen in my lifetime.”

 

“Yeah, crazy.”

 

“How could the government let this happen?”

 

I tried to ignore her, but she droned on and on, and as I glanced up at the TV that was when I realized what was happening. The Prime Minister of England, while visiting America, was shot and killed in the middle of the street. The Secret Service said they quickly apprehended the shooter, and he was being questioned right now. I stood in the store for a few minutes, myself glued to the television.

 

“Your total is $83.71, how would you like to pay for that?”

 

“Debit.”

 

I walked home slowly that day, thinking about the repercussions of today’s incident. Would the US government be held accountable? Would international ambassadors feel safe to visit the US within the next ten years? Would they be safe?

 

After I got back to my apartment, I quickly unloaded my haul and headed to the roof for a smoke. As I was heading up the stairs I was stopped just before the final flight. Two men in black suits and black sunglasses, right out of a comic book or a movie put their hands out as I rounded the corner. I stood for a few moments startled and confused and the men started questioning me. Asked me who I was, what I was doing there, and then asking me to return to my apartment and stay inside for at least two hours. They seemed annoyed that I hadn’t gotten the message to stay inside until their given time. I explained that I was out, and must have accidentally slipped through their security at the front door. This leads us up to right now. The face that was all over the TV as the man who shot the Prime Minister, I had seen him before. I gave him a cigarette on the rooftop three weeks ago when he shouldn’t have been there. I had set up a camera on the rooftop so I would never have to be bothered by anyone when I went up for a smoke. I’ve even on occasion hidden behind an air conditioning unit to avoid human interaction. It was foolish of me not to check this time, but my mind was racing with thoughts of the assassination. So just before writing this I ran to check the camera to see what was happening on my roof. It was the Prime Minister of England, and the face of the man who killed him. Only neither man was dead, and both men seemed happy.

 

I’ve piled everything I can against my front door, but I don’t think it will hold them for long. Their first knock was only 45 seconds ago. I don’t have anyone to send this to, so I’m posting it online. If you read it copy it, re-post it, do something. I don’t have time to think of the reasons behind what is happening, so just get the word out.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: xvampiratex
2009-12-21 03:37 am (UTC)
Very entertaining and fun read. I enjoyed myself, wasn't bored, and enjoyed the pacing up to a certain point. I appreciate the attention to detail, especially where the character's background is concerned. I can feel his agoraphobia and I can picture his facial expressions in my head thanks to your portrayal of his attitude. Foreshadowing the outcome in the beginning was a nice touch as well.

A few things, though, that may need work are specifics, logistics, and a little bit of pacing. I don't even know how old your character is, nor can I very well picture his surroundings. As readers, we need some of that to go off of, or else we can't quite bring that story to life in our imaginations. I feel like the pacing toward the end is off--like perhaps you rushed it a bit as opposed to the beginning and middle. I need to feel a little bit of a work-up to the big reveal rather than the huge surprise, because while surprise can be great, it needs fleshing out and it needs details (idk, an episode where he blacks out, maybe?) weaved throughout the story or else the reader is just going to sit back and go, "WUT." Also, I don't understand the logistics of the story. How did the protagonist manage to not only meet the Prime Minister, but meet him on the roof of his residence and without security? Is your character a person of importance or power? If so, we should know this. Why, exactly, was there a camera on the roof? I understand that it was for security, but on a roof? Sure your character is a little nutso and extremely paranoid, but I do think that that detail should be explained a little more in depth.

Again, I really enjoyed it and I hope to see more from you in the future. It's always really scary putting your work out there for people to read and enjoy and pick apart, but good on you for having the courage. I hope you appreciate my criticisms and find them helpful.

Oh, and the part about posting it online at the end? I really dig it. Polish this baby up and it can be a real class-act.
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[User Picture]From: smirkindabutt
2009-12-21 04:53 am (UTC)
Thanks Stixy! The criticism was very much appreciated. Tawny actually said a lot of the same things.

I haven't actually written in years, so yeah. Some stuff I left out on purpose to try and add an air of mystery to the character, and some of it I didn't have enough forethough (i.e. camera)

You are more than welcome to give me more ideas for next week! Even if you are the only one I appreciate it :)
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[User Picture]From: xvampiratex
2009-12-21 07:23 am (UTC)
Details and ideas for future stories:

-horde of squirrels attacking an object they do not usually eat (I'm picturing a severed finger, but y'know, do what you wish).

-hanging up garments on a clothesline.

-character has compulsion to scream at inappropriate moments.

-portrait of Jesus Christ on a wood-paneled wall.


I may use a few of these in the future for my own stories, too, but it's fun throwing things at you and seeing what you do with them.
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[User Picture]From: smirkindabutt
2009-12-21 08:51 am (UTC)
all of that instantly gave me an idea :)

I think I'm going to enjoy writing again. But this time I'm gonna let Tawny proof-read everything.

I'm gonna start a new thread for next week's story though, I'll copy your ideas into the main body.
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