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1000 Word Short Story

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Old 10-01-2009, 05:56 PM
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Default 1000 Word Short Story


I was writing for a short story contest, and this was one of my finished works. Read at your own leisure.

No title for it.


“Excuse me…excuse me…excuse me!”

The incessant calling woke me from my slumber and placed me in the middle of my bed staring at the ceiling. I recognized the voice instantly, for it was not the first time I had heard it. I searched my room for the painting I’d hung up when I first moved here, the one I had found on one of my morning runs. My eyes found their target, but the picture was visibly different. Instead of the lady in the summer dress standing in front of the lake with a little girl, there was just a huge face, which stared back at me.


“Ah!” was what my first reaction was to this new scene, but I followed up with a question, “Sara what are you doing? And where is you’re daughter?”


I suddenly thought it would be rather odd if someone were to walk in on me while I talked to a painting. They would think I was crazy, but little would they know, I already thought I was crazy.


“Felix,” said Sara, who had now backed up so I could see her neck and brim of her hat, “She’s gone missing again, and I was wondering if…”


“If I could go look for her?” I finished her sentence, this wasn’t the first time her daughter, Isabella, had gone missing.


“Let me guess, you think she went back to the mansion.”


“Precisely, since you’ve been there before, would you mind going to fetch her for me?” Her voiced trailed off when she saw me already standing putting on my shoes.


“Move out of the way, I’m coming in.”


And with that, I leapt forward toward the painting, and suddenly my room disappeared and the warm summer breeze was upon me. No matter how many times I visited, the scene of the lake always left me breathless, but I wasn’t here to enjoy myself, so I headed in the opposite direction to the mansion.


“Don’t get lost!” yelled Sara as the mansion came into view.


Thoughts of the last time I came still left me bewildered. As I approached the giant maze of rooms, I became a little hesitant, but I pressed forward and knocked on the wooden door. As I expected, there wasn’t an answer, just like the last time. I grabbed the handle and opened the door to the magnificent room. Again, like before, I stood in front of a large set of stairs, and to my left and right were doors.


“Hello? Isabella?” My calls rewarded me with silence.


“Well, I might as well start looking, she couldn’t be in too far,” or so I thought.


As nonchalantly as possible, I gradually made my way up the large mass of steps. There were two hall ways, both filled with more doors. Though hard as I tried, I could not see the end of the hallways in either direction. Suddenly to my great surprise, the door nearest to me on my right began to open, and laughter could be heard. A very elderly looking man stepped out, with a great white beard and a smile on his face.


“Leonardo, come back again! You welcomed anytime!” The voices deafened as the door began to close, and ultimately disappeared as it was completely shut.


“Excuse me, Leonardo was it?” as I spoke the man picked up his head, “You wouldn’t happen to have seen a little girl by the name of Isabella have you?”


“Why yes, I believe I have,” said Leonardo now making his way down the stairs.

I grew tense with anticipation, “Do you know which way she went?”
“I believe I do,” as he spoke he continued to make his way down.

“Can you tell me?”


“Can I tell you what?”


“Can you tell me where she is?”


He finally stopped at the foot of the stairs and turned around; the gigantic grin was easily visible.


“The little girl walked past me as she walked through our game. Quite a nice girl she helped me win a hand,” and with that he proceeded towards the front door.


“Uh, ok…thanks,” not knowing what he meant I walked into the door he had just came out of, and inside I saw the most peculiar scene. Seven dogs, all sitting in chairs, surrounded by bottles of beer, one smoking a cigar, were all playing cards. The door shut behind me, as it did one of the dogs let out a loud bark and said,
“Leonardo you back already?” He gazed up and looked at me, “You aint no Leo, who’re you?” As he spoke he took puffs from his cigar.


“I’m just on my way through to find a little girl,” I said, but as I spoke I could feel my eyes widen with disbelief.


“Oh, you lookin’ for ‘Bella?” said the same dog as before.


“Yes, I am.”


“Sweet kid, she went through that door,” as he spoke he pointed towards the other side of the room with his cigar.


“Thanks,” I uttered and cautiously walked to the door. I walked through hearing accusations of cheating behind me. When the door finally closed, I gathered my senses only to find an even weirder scene before me. Clocks everywhere were melting; at this point I welcomed the new discovery, as the card playing dogs was a much stranger encounter.


“Isabella!” I yelled, and to my surprise I had an answer.


“We’re over here,” as I heard the sound I saw a tiny hand wave me over.


There she was, sitting on a bench talking to another lady, who I had not seen before.


“Isabella what are you doing?”


“Just talking to my new friend Lisa del Giocondo, but that was to hard to say so she said call her Mona,” Isabella’s new friend smiled as she spoke.


“Well, we have to go; you’re mom wants you home.”


“Ok, bye Mona I have to go, I’ll see you again.”

Mona continued to smile as we exited the room.

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Old 10-03-2009, 09:57 AM
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You have a very interesting piece here Koin, I can even see this being extended into a novel, of course, that's up to you.
Let's get this critique started.
Originally Posted by Koin View Post

The incessant calling woke me from my slumber and placed me in the middle of my bed staring at the ceiling. I recognized the voice instantly, for it was not the first time I had heard it. I searched my room for the painting I’d hung up when I first moved here, the one I had found on one of my morning runs. My eyes found their target, but the picture was visibly different. Instead of the lady in the summer dress standing in front of the lake with a little girl, there was just a huge face, which stared back at me.
I think the line "and placed me in the middle of my bed staring at the ceiling." is a fairly weak sentence, given that the calling didn't actually place the character in the middle of the bed, he was already there and the calling just reminded him where he was. Also, the note of the picture being visibly different takes the reader out of the sense of shock that the character feels, so you may have to save that for after he jumps. I think you just need to leave in the part about the huge face staring back at him.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
“Ah!” was what my first reaction was to this new scene, but I followed up with a question, “Sara what are you doing? And where is you’re daughter?”
The part in the middle seems weak and lacks imagery. I would go with something more along the lines of ""Ah!" I shouted in surprise, "Sara, what are you doing?"" or something along those lines, the whole bit about being his first reaction, then following up with a question seems to take the reader out of the moment of shock and out of the story a bit.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
I suddenly thought it would be rather odd if someone were to walk in on me while I talked to a painting. They would think I was crazy, but little would they know, I already thought I was crazy.
This whole paragraph feels weak to me. I'm thinking it would be better to go with him thinking of how someone would react if they walked in right that moment. Also, it might be better to cut the part about "but little would they know" and just say "I already thought I was crazy." The "but little would they know" just seems unnecessary.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
“Felix,” said Sara, who had now backed up so I could see her neck and brim of her hat, “She’s gone missing again, and I was wondering if…”

“If I could go look for her?” I finished her sentence, this wasn’t the first time her daughter, Isabella, had gone missing.


“Let me guess, you think she went back to the mansion.”


“Precisely, since you’ve been there before, would you mind going to fetch her for me?” Her voiced trailed off when she saw me already standing putting on my shoes.


“Move out of the way, I’m coming in.”
This is all really good. The only issue is that you start a new paragraph when the same person is still talking, it threw me off for a few minutes. So just put "Let me guess..." with the previous paragraph to show that Felix is still talking and it's not Sara.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
And with that, I leapt forward toward the painting, and suddenly my room disappeared and the warm summer breeze was upon me. No matter how many times I visited, the scene of the lake always left me breathless, but I wasn’t here to enjoy myself, so I headed in the opposite direction to the mansion.
I think you need to cut out the second "and" and make "suddenly my room disappear" it's own sentence. Then, after "suddenly my room disappeared" make the description of the breeze it's own sentence. Right now you have a very long run-on sentence and it's difficult to read.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
“Don’t get lost!” yelled Sara as the mansion came into view.

Thoughts of the last time I came still left me bewildered. As I approached the giant maze of rooms, I became a little hesitant, but I pressed forward and knocked on the wooden door. As I expected, there wasn’t an answer, just like the last time. I grabbed the handle and opened the door to the magnificent room. Again, like before, I stood in front of a large set of stairs, and to my left and right were doors.
Overall, this is good. But the last sentence bugged me. The "Again, like before," is completely unnecessary and moderately annoying.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
“Hello? Isabella?” My calls rewarded me with silence.

“Well, I might as well start looking, she couldn’t be in too far,” or so I thought.
Again, you change paragraphs even though the same person is talking, it threw me off.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
As nonchalantly as possible, I gradually made my way up the large mass of steps. There were two hall ways, both filled with more doors. Though hard as I tried, I could not see the end of the hallways in either direction. Suddenly to my great surprise, the door nearest to me on my right began to open, and laughter could be heard. A very elderly looking man stepped out, with a great white beard and a smile on his face.
"As nonchalantly as possible," is not needed, I got the feeling from the word "gradually" that Felix was trying to be nonchalant."Though hard as I tried" is improper grammar, "As hard as I tried" would be proper, but there are dozens of ways to fix that and it's up to you which one you want to use. "to my great surprise" is unnecessary and takes the reader out of the story for a moment. You seem to do this quite a bit in this story, and, if you could take the times that you do out, then this story would be even better than it already is.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
“Leonardo, come back again! You welcomed anytime!” The voices deafened as the door began to close, and ultimately disappeared as it was completely shut.

“Excuse me, Leonardo was it?” as I spoke the man picked up his head, “You wouldn’t happen to have seen a little girl by the name of Isabella have you?”


“Why yes, I believe I have,” said Leonardo now making his way down the stairs.

I grew tense with anticipation, “Do you know which way she went?”
“I believe I do,” as he spoke he continued to make his way down.

“Can you tell me?”


“Can I tell you what?”


“Can you tell me where she is?”


He finally stopped at the foot of the stairs and turned around; the gigantic grin was easily visible.


“The little girl walked past me as she walked through our game. Quite a nice girl she helped me win a hand,” and with that he proceeded towards the front door.
The only issue here is that I could not tell the voice in the first sentence was coming from inside the door until later, I thought it was the old man speaking and the use of the word "deafened" usually refers to something really loud.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
“Uh, ok…thanks,” not knowing what he meant I walked into the door he had just came out of, and inside I saw the most peculiar scene. Seven dogs, all sitting in chairs, surrounded by bottles of beer, one smoking a cigar, were all playing cards. The door shut behind me, as it did one of the dogs let out a loud bark and said,
“Leonardo you back already?” He gazed up and looked at me, “You aint no Leo, who’re you?” As he spoke he took puffs from his cigar.
You have two different people (or, more accurately, one person and a dog) talk in the same paragraph, you need to break them apart. Also, "and inside I saw the most peculiar scene" is not needed, we can get the peculiarity of the scene from your description, we don't need you to tell us that seven dogs sitting in chairs playing cards is peculiar.

Originally Posted by Koin View Post
“Thanks,” I uttered and cautiously walked to the door. I walked through hearing accusations of cheating behind me. When the door finally closed, I gathered my senses only to find an even weirder scene before me. Clocks everywhere were melting; at this point I welcomed the new discovery, as the card playing dogs was a much stranger encounter.
Everything in this is good except for the constant problem you have in this piece. "I gathered my senses only to find an even weirder scene before me." is not needed. You may want to keep "I gathered my senses" but you'll probably have to reword it to make it grammatically correct without the unnecessary bits. Also. "at this point I welcomed the new discovery, as the card playing dogs was a much stranger encounter." this contradicts your previous unnecessary statement, and is unnecessary all on its own. I think you should describe the scene a little more.

The rest of the piece is good the way it is. I really did enjoy this piece, and I apologize if I came off as harsh about some of the things I did not mean to. I am really interested to see if this extends into something more, if it doesn't, then it's still good on its own.
Overall, good job!
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