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January 2, 2013
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“Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.”  

~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross



I feel a desolate chill suddenly sprinting up my spine. It whistles through the previously serene and deserted landscape. The cold is probably making my lips blue, but it’s tolerable kind- crisp and dry, not that nasty, humid type which drains away every bit of your body heat away and leaves you with a blocked up nose and a few sneezes.

Then again, that is most likely the only tolerable thing about this situation.

I feel my knees suddenly give way, body falling to the ground like a limp puppet which has just had its strings hacked off. I feel myself take a shuddered breath as the reality of what has just happened processes into my cranium. Onlookers stay silent, almost frozen by the scenario. It’s all so damn quiet.

“…No.”

Too quiet.

The snow is beginning to melt where my legs are pressed against it. It’s now soaking through the fabric of the trousers, and I’m sure it will become horribly cold within the next few moments.

And yet, strangely enough, I can’t care less. The numbness of it all makes me feel even more disconnected from both the cold and the world than I was to originally begin with, so the development isn’t too devastating.

He’s just a few feet away. His eyes are now almost closed, their usual colour glazed over. Snowflakes noiselessly drop from the heavens, shrouding his unmoving body, his crimson blood slowly seeping into the ground, turning the usual, clean white colour into a mush of red and alabaster.

The world stands still as I find myself crawling towards his limp body, softly calling his name. Nothing of this scenario feels real; as if what had just happened is some sick fairytale. I flinch as I finally hear someone walking towards us, the sound of the boots compressing the pearly ground shattering the otherworldly quiet.

It was him. Grinning like a cat that just got the cream.

I don’t want to look at his smug face, but I can feel his scathingly bright sky-blue eyes beat down upon us with the fierce expression of a predator that had just caught prey. So, I choose to glare at the weapon he’s been carrying by his side, the top of it still smoking from the shot it had fired less than a few minutes ago.

He drops into a crouch, his black trench coat drooping down much to the likeness of a cape behind his body. My breathing suddenly decides to hop into overdrive. Is he going to shoot me, too? He has no real reason to keep me alive; I am enemy of the ‘Revolutionary Nation’ party and have caused the man more than enough trouble. Getting rid of an annoyance such as I suddenly becomes all too tactical.

I look down at the snow as I brace myself for the worst. Has it always been this pristine colour?  It’s so bright, it actually kinda hurts to look at.

Hey, a gunshot isn’t a bad way to go! …He had fallen to the ground in an instant; screaming in pain, of course, but had gone quickly. Perhaps… It wouldn’t be all too bad.

Well, of all things to expect, I certainly don’t expect what actually happens next.

“He’s dead, boys. Come over, guys you will have to decide who’ll get the honour of dragging him all the way back.”

There’s this annoyed set of mumbles that emanates from the crowd of uniformed men. No! I feel a surge of panic run through me; I don’t want them to take him away! They don’t deserve to come close to him! Not after what they’ve put us through, not after what he has gone through. He, never in a million years, deserved to die in the way he had, and certainly not to be taken away by these horrid monsters that labelled themselves as ‘people’.

I’m about to grip his unmoving arm and refuse to let them budge either of us, but my arm is stopped before it even touches him. A gloved hand snatches at my wrist and is refusing to let go, not that I put up much of a fight.

I finally look up to find him staring at me with those piercing eyes. He doesn’t say anything, but shakes his head softly; his curled, light blond locks bouncing slightly as he does so. It’s now a strange moment, he’s staring at me, examining into what was probably a now dirty face that was red and puffy from the hot tears I feel trailing down my cheeks. This is all wrong. I want to yell and scream how much I hate, loathe and absolutely detest him. I want to strangle him and kick him and hurt him until he dies in the snow.

But…

I can’t.

I hardly notice them come over and drag him away, but when I do, I’m too numb to move. He finally decides to let go of my wrist, and the lack of the strong grip forces gravity to take its toll and push it to the ground.

He stands up, straightening his black collar. I’m going to be left here, to die alone on this cold ground. I’m now sure of it. It would save him a bullet or two, and there was no way I’d ever make it back civilization on my own.

I shiver, staring at the snow gently fall over the print that his fallen body had created in the snow. Soon there’d be no evidence either of us were ever even here, not that anyone would ever come looking for either of us.

To think, all this time, I’ve been trying to be strong. To support him and make sure that he saw that he was travelling with a friend he could depend on. I know he thought that I probably wasn’t the most dependable ally, however, I… I always tried to show him that I could pull through. But all that was nothing more than a stupid façade. Maybe, if I had really been strong, this would have never happened.

“Hey, you.”

I glance up, shocked. The harsh, thickly accented tone practically shooting straight through me like a bullet, but of sound.

“Yeah, you.” The man sniffs as he looks intently at my expression. He draws his gloved hand back down, offering to help me up, much to my surprise. “We’re going. Come on.”
I won't be posting up the whole book, but now that the second draft is done, and I'm working on Downfall Placebo (the sequel), I'll put up snippets here and there. I'm so excited, I mean, I know it sucks, and I still have a lot of ground to cover, but I'm hoping to get the third and final draft looked over by an agent.

Please give me some feedback, whether you loved/hated it, as I'm using it to improve <3
Feel free to tear it apart if you wish to. I won't bite! In fact, that's what I'm looking for.
Thanks so, so, so, so much <3

-Socks.

Rustic Alibi and all its materials, plot, ideas and characters (c) Sockseevil 2011-13.
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:iconthefs:
Hey there, my name’s Ed, and I’m here thanks to your submission to #GrammarNaziCritiques!

I wonder why you used the quote. I’m sure I’ll have a better idea once I get to the end of the prologue. Yeah, I see why it relates. It’s nice (even though I don’t quite see the reason you included it – what has that woman got to do with anything? haha)

I can tell that you knew exactly what was going to happen from the start. I mean, you chip away at the situation slowly so that everything makes sense. You’ve got a plan. That’s good, and actually quite rare in some of the writing I read.

Some specific comments:
-Watch out for overusing adverbs. Sometimes they don’t actually add anything to the story. For example, ‘suddenly sprinting’, sprinting is usually fast so the act of being sudden is probably implied.
-Your word choice is fantastic, you’ve pick words that have a good descriptive quality to them. You could cut down on superfluous words like:
“…like a limp puppet which has just had its strings hacked off.”
“…like a limp puppet with hacked off strings.”
-Be careful of using too many ‘specific words’ which then makes the narrative hard to follow. Sometimes, it’s much easier to understand something processing in your mind than in your cranium.
-Good use of a short paragraph to make a point.
-“It’s now soaking through the fabric of the trousers…” – ‘my’ trousers?
-“…the world than I was to originally begin with…” – I don’t know what this means.
-Another example of where an adverb can be exchanged: “Snowflakes noiselessly drop from the heavens” – ‘Silent snowflakes drop from the heavens…”
-“It was him.” – you’ve just had a paragraph starting with ‘He’s a few…’ so you’ve got two mysterious ‘he’s now. Is it possible to give them names from the start? So there’s no chance of confusion.
-This is more of a personal choice, but I never think ‘kinda’ is a good word to use. It’s so vague and colloquial. I think there are better words out there.
-There’s an interesting line when using present tense. You’ve set up a future narration style I think. Where the main character is recounting the story. This is clearest in ‘I certainly don’t expect what actually happens next.’ which should fall into the future tense. But because you’ve used ‘don’t’ it keeps it in present. Something doesn’t feel right about it.
-Again, another inconsistency with present tense:
“He doesn’t say anything, but shakes his head softly; his curled, light blond locks bouncing slightly as he does so.”
Because of the way this tense works, the moment he shakes his head, he is shaking his head. So saying ‘as he does so’ doesn’t work, he’s already finished. You could get away with saying ‘as he is doing so’, or at least ‘as he did so’ because in the present tense the moment has passed and it is now in the past. If that makes any sense… There’s a reason not many people chose to write in this tense: because it’s much harder! You’re doing well though. Better than most.
-“…gravity to take its toll and push it to the ground.” – push what? This is unclear.
-Watch out for using too many ‘now’s to force something into present tense. Usually, it doesn’t need to be anyway. Eg, “I’m now sure of it.” – saying ‘I am sure of it.’ is more than enough.
-“Soon there’d be no evidence either of us were ever even here, not that anyone would ever come looking for either of us. “ – repetition of ‘either of us’ stands out a bit too much and doesn’t sound planned.
-I do like the end. Is the man the same man as before? The one who shot the other man? It’s still a bit confusing without names. Is there a reason you don’t have names?

The characters were all good though. Names would be helpful, still! If the man is the same one from before at the end, there’s some nice questions about what his intentions actually are. The short paragraph explaining why the woman is there too is nicely placed. You could still afford to answer a few more questions, like where they are, what time period it is, what country? If you want to keep it ambiguous, you’ll still have that. By answering some of the simple questions, it actually raises more in the readers’ minds. If I told you that ‘The cup was hot’, you’d ask, ‘Ok, why?’ but if I said the ‘The mug was hot to touch’, there are more questions surrounding it. What’s in the mug? Who is touching it? Why are they touching it?

Let me know if you have any questions =D
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:iconseganut:
SegaNut Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
WHY DIDN'T I READ THIS SOONER!?!?!?!
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:iconactsofart:
ActsofArt Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I had trouble following this because certain necessary words were missing, I think you really need to work on grammar, word choice and sentence structure because reading this I felt like I had to piece everything together. For example:

I feel a desolate chill suddenly sprinting up my spine. this line didn't really work for me. I respect your trying to be creative with visual wordplay but it could be improved. Perhaps if you reworded it like this : I feel a sudden desolate chill sprinting up my spine I think that is more visually appealing at least to me. It whistles through the previously serene and deserted landscape. this line was just confusing to read after the first one because a chill doesn't really equate to wind and at first I thought he was scared because of the word usage of chill and spine. so the sudden transition from that to wind does not work you need to rewrite it to include a more descriptive element or in some way include the word wind or breeze.

but it’s tolerable kind you need to include either the word a or the that one mistake I could have overlooked but you fail to include those speech articles several times you need to reread it and fix those errors no editor is going to take you seriously if you make simple grammar mistakes like that.

humid type which drains away every bit of your body heat away watch those redundant typing errors it's a mistake we all make from time to time, but try to be careful.

It’s now soaking through the fabric of the trousers this is in first person so it should be my trousers.

it will become horribly cold I think you should try a thesaurus to replace certain words with more accurately descriptive ones. horribly cold could be replaced with terribly cold or ice cold or even freezing cold (I am not using a thesaurus because I'm not writing this you are you get to do the work)

even more disconnected from both the cold and the world than I was to originally begin with, so the development isn’t too devastating. this line just bugs me. I can't really pinpoint exactly why maybe just because it could be written better overall but that's true of the entire piece.

The world stands still as I find myself crawling towards his limp body, softly calling his name. Nothing of this scenario feels real; as if what had just happened is some sick fairytale. I flinch as I finally hear someone walking towards us, the sound of the boots compressing the pearly ground shattering the otherworldly quiet. I like this paragraph you have a deft style when it comes to descriptive sentences you just need to develop it more.

Well I'll stop there. I hope I wasn't too harsh and that this gives you an idea of what you need to improve on. :p
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:iconsockseevil:
sockseevil Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Oh, damn, I'm so, so sorry for not responding to this faster. I was going through my inbox after a while of not logging on and seeing this tucked away really made my day until I realised it was from a good month back. Once more, I apologise dearly D;

Thanks so much for taking a look and the feedback! I'm currently redrafting and this is excellent to look over at for improvement! Your analysis is fabulous, as is the explanation of my mistakes (golly, do I feel foolish for some of them xD), and it's beyond useful as I'm checking over my work now.

You have no idea how grateful I am for you doing this <3 And don't worry about being 'too harsh'. I was hoping that someone would be firm with me, and this was great. Thanks so much! <3
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:iconactsofart:
ActsofArt Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, that's alright. I wasn't on at all this past week and I probably won't be spending much time on here for a little while so I understand.

I'm glad I could help. :)
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:iconvienna-kangaroo:
vienna-kangaroo Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Writer
I think this is absolutely wonderful, and the way you've created the setting and already provoked strong emotions in your readers in reaction to your writing is fantastic.

And the dialogue. I just love it. ;o;
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:iconchocominte:
chocominte Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student General Artist
I love it! interesting scenario e o e
Though it upsets me that your original work receives much less attention than your fanfiction ; o ;
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:iconhotchick1157:
hotchick1157 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting, very interesting. I would definitely read this. :)
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