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ForumsShowcase → Short Story part 1 rough draft.
Short Story part 1 rough draft.
2009-01-04, 4:51 AM #1
I finally started my rough draft...
Category: Writing and Poetry

I'm trying to write a story. I don't have any plot really other than a flimsy one I just thought of tonight when I was high. I started writing about thirty minutes ago and am trying to get the story to go where I want. I think it's a good start. I haven't done anything like this in a while and just wanted to flex my powers a little bit. I'll give 50 cent to anyone who can guess what it's going to be about...

Part One: Visitation

The television set was silently showing the Late Show in the corner. The man lounged on the couch, a cigarette dangling from his mouth as the Coltrane record spun on the player. It was all routine. Work had sapped him of most of his energy and he reconciled his aching muscles with the soft glow of the television set illuminating the room as the saxophone crept from the second-hand speakers on either side of the receiver. He never actually listened to the interviews or monologues of the late night hosts, preferring the images to be accompanied by one of his records as he sat on the dingy couch he had found out on the street a few weeks back. The cigarette smoke coiled its way towards the half open window and was met only with the sounds coming in from the street below.
At least part of the city was always awake and the man had the pleasure of renting the small room on a side street off of Ponce de Leon Ave. A few years ago, he had watched the games of the pimps, johns, and hookers from the window. Maybe a few more years than he actually thought. Now Urban White Flight was being reversed with Urban Renewal. The young eco-conscious middle class was moving back inside the city limits, attempting to avoid the snarl of Monday morning traffic on the freeway. There were no more pimps and johns on the corner these days. Well, at least not as many anyways.
The cherry reached the tip of the filter and the man dropped the butt into an empty beer bottle on the floor in front of the couch before reaching for his pack and lighting another. He used to have hobbies and had even gone out at night after work, prowling the bars and pool halls up and down Ponce trying to find some kind of human interaction other than bums hitting him up for quarters. Most people subconsciously detect the desperation that stems from loneliness and for some reason automatically react with a mixture of disgust and pity. This begins a cycle where the lonely reach out for some sort of attention, treated with either pity or contempt, and then after a few beers, finds themselves back at work the next morning only looking forward to that first cigarette break when they can be alone: wishing they had someone to share it with.
Tonight was going to be different. Unbeknownst to the man on the couch, the fresh cigarette in the same position in his teeth as the last, the television still silently connecting him in some way to the rest of the world, this lonesome routine was over and the world would never be the same.


She always went jogging at night. Maybe just because it was dangerous and she loved seeing her friends shocked faces when she told them the next day over her lunch break which park she had run through at an obscene hour and the number of bums leering from the park benches. The city had a good number of parks, however, most of them were little more than the territory of homeless men who preferred squatting in the open than trying to get a spot in one of the local shelters. Supposedly the police enforced the parks' hours and supposedly one could neither jog nor sleep in Freedom Park after 11pm. She had seen a police officer a few weeks ago on one of her nightly runs and they had just exchanged smiles. Most of the dangerous street people hung out at the shelters anyways, she reasoned, preying upon the nouveau homeless. Besides, the parks were decently lit up at night and were bordered by heavily trafficked streets, even at this hour there was no shortage of cars passing by that she could flag down if she ran into trouble.
Her running shoes were brand new and they squeaked as they hit the slick sidewalk. It was the beginning of winter and the weather had just been low-lying clouds and a kind of clinging mist. The temperature teetered between 40 F and 70 F almost daily. It was nice though because her New Year's resolution had been to start exercising every day and the warm weather was an added bonus.
Her route tonight took her past several restaurants and a few apartment complexes before the sidewalk curved down into the park. There were no bums on the benches tonight and she slowed down a bit just to take in the view of downtown at the crest of the hill in the center of the park. The lights twinkled like stars in the mist and she stood there for a moment just lost in thought about nothing particular. The wind began to creak the branches of the solitary tree on the hill and something suddenly didn't feel right. The hair on the back of her neck stood straight up. Look up!


The man's cigarette fell from his mouth, as his entire apartment was flooded with a blinding light. He threw his hand over his face and staggered towards the window. He had his eyes closed but the light was so bright and the sudden intensity had imprinted the last normal view of his life on his retina and the blurry outlines of his television and record player flashed red in his eyes for a moment. He kept his cupped hands over his eyes and squinted out the window. The light was coming from outside, right? It seemed to be emanating from the walls, ceiling and floors too. It was all too surreal and he tried blinking in an attempt to wake himself up. His eyes had finally adjusted and he peered out across the street into the park where he thought the light was coming from. It was just so bright he couldn't tell if it was coming from on top of the hill in the middle of the park or if it was coming from multiple places all around his apartment building. He was white-knuckling the windowsill and was frozen, transfixed at the scene he was witnessing in the park. The record needle had built up a coating of dust and was scratching in and out of hearing but the unsettling thing to the man was the fact that whatever he was witnessing made no sound.


Peevy knocked on the door to apartment 3B one last time. "Keith? Are you in there? I'm coming in!" Peevy unclipped the heavy key ring from her belt and began sorting through them, trying to find 3B. She was the apartment manager, but sometimes she felt like she was an RA for a college dorm. Van Nielson Homes covered half of her rent just to live on the property and keep an eye on the tenants and the guests that came in and out of the building. They said it was just that kind of neighborhood and that they didn't want the liability. Everyone tries to avoid liability, you know.
The police had woken her up at 7am by coming to her door and informing her that there had been a situation in the park across the street last night and that they needed to speak with all residents that rented rooms facing the park. Peevy had seen Keith sulk in late last night from work and had probably just passed out on the couch with a few beers and a few packs of Winstons. She tried to get to know all of the tenants at least a little bit, establish a sense of community but Keith had always given her the creeps for some reason. At the same time she felt a little sorry for him. His face wore a perpetual scowl and Peevy naturally felt the need to bring a little cheer into peoples' lives.
Finding the correct key, she slowly opened the door calling, "Keith? You okay, babe?" She wrinkled her nose. The apartment reeked of cigarettes and most of Keith's furniture was second-hand or worse. He had said something about trying to pay off some credit card debts or something at one time to her and so she just assumed he was trying to be thrifty. It didn't change the fact that Keith was an incredible slob.
Peevy slowly walked through the kitchen, "…Keith? It's just me! I need to talk to you real quick bud."
She came through the doorway of the living room and when their eyes met, she drew in a sharp breath. "Oh my god! Keith!"
"Those ****ing amateurs... You left your dog, you idiots!"
2009-01-05, 6:17 PM #2
I like it, especially the differing perspectives on Keith.
Lord Tiberius Grismath
1473 for '1337' posts.
2009-01-05, 6:43 PM #3
Less passive voice please.

Also one thought per sentence please.
2009-01-05, 11:22 PM #4
I think you might be trying to cram too much description into each sentence... this would be ok if your verbiage was a bit tighter, but as is, they tend to run on.

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