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It's Only the End of the World

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Old 10-16-2017, 03:57 AM
Elenita (Offline)
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Default It's Only the End of the World


Looking for any and all critique, specifically on mood and characters.


“Someone puked all over the piano,” Jeane announced as she threw her head back and twirled around on the piano stool, the ends of her pink-streaked hair swirling a circle through the confetti on the floor. “Ewww look it’s dripping between the keys.”

“Lemme see!” Sharon’s voice floated over the disco lights tumbling through the living room. The brunette shrieked as she skidded over and landed on her knees. “Yuck it’s all wet around here.”

“I think that’s piss,” giggled Mercy from the dining room table where she was sprawled, her knees swinging over the edge in rhythm to the electronic beats bouncing out of the speakers. She reached over blindly and latched onto one of the discarded beer pong cups on the table beside her. “This tastes like piss too,” she laughed as she poured it over her mouth.

“Girls please, aren’t we going to finish the night with at least a little dignity?” sighed Jeremy as he sauntered over to the livingroom with three beer bottles tucked under each arm. “And Mark--why the fuck are you crawling around under the tabl--is that a ping pong ball in your mouth?”

The orange sphere flew out of Mark’s mouth as he spoke. “Lookin’ for my pants,” he whined.

“They’re hereeee!” whooped Charlotte as she came dancing into the room and threw herself on the sofa beside Jeremy.

“You can’t really wear them anymore though,” Jeremy noted as he tossed the slashed and ripped pair of shorts over. “I think Sanjay attacked them with his pocket knife.”

“No, Sanjay didn’t do it. He’s in the bathroom--or he was when I was there.” Charlotte threw herself down on the sofa and wiped the vomit from the corner of her mouth from the back of her hand. “He even held my hair while I was spitting my breakfast lunch and dinner out. They do not have warning about compulsive vomiting on beer bottles.”

“You should drink this stuff,” Dave waved a bottle of Jameson whiskey from where he was laying on the carpet, his head resting on another empty whiskey bottle. “Ya know Jeremy, I love your dad’s stuff! I feel like a rich prick just drinking this stuff, even though it tastes--” he clamped his hand over his mouth to hold a gag back--”fucking awful.”

“He almost worshiped the goddamn stuff.” Jeremy set his bottles out in a row on the coffee table and uncapped them all. “He never even let me put anything near his fucking whiskey collection. He always said ‘Six more years and I’ll give you one on your 21st birthday.’ What I would give to see his face here now.” Jeremy shook his head. “It’d be fucking epic.”

“Where is he now, fucking your mom?” Jeane yelled.

“Probably.” Jeremy took a swing from the first bottle and then threw it across the room, the beer shattering into a wet splatter on the wall. “Jeane get your girls over here we wanna keep the party going.”

Jeane swaggered over to the table and grabbed the unconscious girl’s hand. “Come on Mercy, it’s almost time, let’s all stay together. Sharon get your face off the floor and help me drag Mercy over!”

“But I wanna know if it’s piss or not!” Sharon wailed, still bent over the spot where she had slipped. “It just doesn’t smell like it.” She dipped her finger into the puddle and smeared the droplets around. “It’s a little, kinda sticky too.”

“Is that all of us?” Charlotte asked, swinging her beer can into each person’s head as she circled the living room sofas and counted. “No, we’re still missing Sanjay.”
“Found him!” squealed Jeane, squatting beside the armrest. “He’s here.”

Five heads ducked behind the sofa and stared at the motionless boy slumped against the wall.

“Is he sleeping?” Sharon whispered.

“No, he’s a really loud snorer if he was sleeping.” Dave shook his head. “Maybe he’s dead, probably drank some cleaner when he was in the bathroom with Charlotte.”

“Yeah, I think I kinda remember seeing him looking at all the bottles there,” Charlotte nodded. “Or maybe he was drinking all the bottles, I don’t know for sure, most of my head was in the toilet bowl at the time.”

“Lemme check.” Jeremy reached out a hand towards the body. “Yeah I don’t feel a pulse.”

“Oh my god he’s dead!” Jeane shrieked.

“Shhh keep it down!” Sharon hissed. “Don’t disturb him.”

“I thought Jason said he was dead,” Jeane retorted.

“Yeah but maybe he’s traveling through the afterlife, he doesn’t want to hear your fucking voice in his spirit walk,” Dave added.

“Guys we should probably we call someone,” Charlotte said as she sat down cross-legged beside the body.

“Nah, they’re gonna make a big deal about it and screw up the vibe here.” Jeane staggered up and tossed her hair back. “Just leave him in peace. We have about twenty more minutes, let’s play a game or something. Something with shots cuz we’re all sick of this piss beer.”

“Truth or Dare!” Charlotte suggested.

“Truth,” hollered Jeremy from the kitchen where he was shoving dishes out of the cupboards. “Where are all the fucking glasses? Which of you assholes smashed all Dad’s shotglasses? Now we gotta use the crappy paper cups.”

“Okay, truth. Lemme think, lemme see.” Charlotte scrunched her face and chewed on her red painted nails. “I know! Truth: are you afraid?”

“No. Not at all.” Jeremy said as he reentered the livingroom with a stack of brown paper cups. “I’m relieved, really.”

“Because it means we won’t have to deal with our first hangover!” Dave whooped.

“No, because we don’t have to see Miss fucking Garish ever again.” Jeane threw her feet atop the coffee table. “I swear she was a witch in her past life.”

“Not the hot kind, though,” Jeremy said as he passed out the paper cups of shots. “Not the cool, slutty kind of witch that you wanna fuck while she turns you into a frog. Miss Garish would be an ugly hag kind of witch, the kind Hansel and Gretel cooked in the fire.”

“Honest to god she made me feel physically ill at times,” Jeane said. “If anyone ever made me suicidal it was her and her flower dresses. She always looked like a dead grandma.”

“No, no, no, you know who was the worst?” Charlotte waved her cup in the air. “Clayton William. I mean just his name is an asshole.”
“You’re just mad he choose Schiavone over you,” Jeane mumbled.

“It’s not like you had anyone ask you to the dance either,” Charlotte shot back. “You’ve been crushing on Colin for the last three years and you couldn’t even get him for one date.”

“Can we just all agree that we’re glad we never made it to prom?” Dave offered. “I had nightmares about prom already back in fourth grade.”

“We should toast to that, to escaping prom!” Jeremy raised his paper cup and then paused mid-air, his other hand feeling between the couch cushions for the buzzing of a phone. “Oh shit Jeanie looks like your parents are calling.”

“The fuck do they want?”Jeane groaned as the phone was passed over. “They already agreed to let me be here. They can never leave me alone!” She jabbed her finger against the screen, trying to type in her password. “I’m trying to get fucking wasted here and they have to call and fuck with my life.”

“Hey can you stop playing with your phone? We’re trying to have a toast here,” Charlotte complained. She reached over and pulled the phone from Jeane’s tapping fingers and threw it over her shoulder. “Okay! Raise your glasses, my kings and queens!” she announced. “To the shit we’re lucky to never have to live, to the fucks we’ll never have to give!”

The room quieted to the sound of slurping, last drops being gulped down and cups hitting the table. Charlotte glanced at the curtains brightening, the light outside widening, and she slammed her cup on the table. “Gimme another shot, hurry hurry.”

“Shhh,” Jeremy hushed as he held down Dave’s jittering knee. “Could you try to relax please?”

Dave’s eyes widened and he grabbed Jeremy’s hand, sealing his cold shaking fingers around Jeremy’s wrist.

“Jesus, Dave it’s no big deal,” Jeremy whispered, squinting against the rays of light piercing into the room. “It’s just the end of the world.”

The clock hand tapped on the midnight chime, the bell tolling once, then twice, and then again and again, six times, seven times. The flames rolled with the sound, licking through the window, swallowing the shards whole.

“Do you think it will hurt?” Jeane whispered to Charlotte.

Charlotte licked her lips, suddenly dry and parched. “I think…just a little.”

The night drowned in the blaze flooding in, bright and burning. It sizzled through the walls, devouring the kitchen counter, the piano, and searing it’s way across the floor.

“Should we say something?” Jeane whispered again.

Charlotte bit her lip, a tear hiding between her painted eyelashes.

“Lotte?” The word sizzled on her skin and rolled down in a bead of sweat.

The clock chimed a tenth time, then an eleventh. The heat flared milliseconds away as the bell sang a twelfth time.

“Goodbye” mouthed Charlotte as the light obliterated them.

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  #2  
Old 10-16-2017, 07:57 AM
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Huh. odd. never read something even remotely similar. Interesting.

No grammar mistakes, at least, not that I caught. I'll leave that to the rest of the community.

mood wise, why the heck would they be so emotionless about Sanjay? I get they're all plastered, but that can heighten emotions, not diminish them. I mean, come on. "oh he's dead." "don't disturb his spirit walk bro" "Ok, what's next?" the way you wrote this seems as the death was expected, even wanted. None of the characters were even phased by his death. Drunkenness doesn't turn us all into heartless sociopaths.

The mood is a bit too light. Even through the alchohol, dying is a dark subject. the mood should reflect this.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:03 AM
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"Someone puked all over the piano"
I loved the hook; it's silly and slightly gross, but it captures the feel of the story really well.

The story overall:
It feels kind of rushed, mainly because most of it is dialogue(which is fine). If you meant for the story to feel fast all throughout, and end fast: great, but if you didn't want it to be so high speed, try filling in a bit more exposition and description to slow things down.

One last thing: the characters.
I really like what you did with them; you created a common background between all the characters with things only they knew about each other.

One thing though, Sanjay's death probably shouldn't have been skipped over so almost completely IMO; I like the whole 'It's the end of the world it dosen't matter if we die' idea, but even if you're drunk and the end is nigh, a few more "oh shits" would be worth a million bucks.

Overall: A very interesting concept, and I hope to read more from you in future.

Last edited by Nicklegh; 10-17-2017 at 12:07 PM.. Reason: I can't spell
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:40 AM
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("...table is missing the e, but other than that it read well enough to me..." went the goblin not much one to judge though, then adding "...btw have you tried reading this work aloud to yourself, often that's the trick in seeing how it sounds then, nope you can't see how something sounds I know, so perhaps you could hear how it looks instead..." and with that the goblin gave up on trying to help, relating "...and besides, nobody sane ever reads this far anyway, so fortunately you haven't read this far now...")

Last edited by fleamailman; 10-22-2017 at 01:59 AM..
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:04 PM
Elenita (Offline)
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[/QUOTE] mood wise, why the heck would they be so emotionless about Sanjay? I get they're all plastered, but that can heighten emotions, not diminish them. I mean, come on. "oh he's dead." "don't disturb his spirit walk bro" "Ok, what's next?" the way you wrote this seems as the death was expected, even wanted. None of the characters were even phased by his death. Drunkenness doesn't turn us all into heartless sociopaths.

The mood is a bit too light. Even through the alchohol, dying is a dark subject. the mood should reflect this.[/QUOTE]

I figured if I knew I was going to be burned alive in ten minutes I wouldn't really care if someone else was already dead. Initially I had a character saying a line about how lucky he was to already be resting in peace but I took it out. They're reacting that way not so much because they're drunk but because they know they're all about to die. Maybe I should make that clearer somehow? Thanks for the critique.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:06 PM
Elenita (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Nicklegh View Post
"Someone puked all over the piano"
I loved the hook; it's silly and slightly gross, but it captures the feel of the story really well.

The story overall:
It feels kind of rushed, mainly because most of it is dialogue(which is fine). If you meant for the story to feel fast all throughout, and end fast: great, but if you didn't want it to be so high speed, try filling in a bit more exposition and description to slow things down.

One last thing: the characters.
I really like what you did with them; you created a common background between all the characters with things only they knew about each other.

One thing though, Sanjay's death probably shouldn't have been skipped over so almost completely IMO; I like the whole 'It's the end of the world it dosen't matter if we die' idea, but even if you're drunk and the end is nigh, a few more "oh shits" would be worth a million bucks.

Overall: A very interesting concept, and I hope to read more from you in future.
Thanks for your comments! Yes I have a problem with it being rushed because I'm trying to keep it within a certain word count, keep it a certain length. Any opinion on how to make the dialogue sound less rushed?

I like that you noticed the common background of the characters, I worked hard to make that come together ☺
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:02 PM
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[/QUOTE]

I figured if I knew I was going to be burned alive in ten minutes I wouldn't really care if someone else was already dead. Initially I had a character saying a line about how lucky he was to already be resting in peace but I took it out. They're reacting that way not so much because they're drunk but because they know they're all about to die. Maybe I should make that clearer somehow? Thanks for the critique.[/QUOTE]

Don't make it clearer, make your readers do some work, I figured it out and yeah if you have twenty minutes until the planet is done you don't waste peoples time with carring on abot a suicide. That would make me hate the character who did that.
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