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Butterflies & Black Holes (Random Short Excerpts)

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  #1  
Old 05-07-2009, 01:24 PM
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Default Butterflies & Black Holes (Random Short Excerpts)


These are just 3 random extracts that were written as prompts/exercises/on-the-spot jottings... I haven't even got a full plot or story formed but it's my favourite of my current stories and any comments and criticism would be really helpful in getting back into writing. I'm not happy with my style of writing, and I'm sure there are many faults and such. It's (so far) an exploration of human mentality, isolation, and the notion of "love" growing in a sceptic. Lexi fears she is developing these emotions for her one and only friend, Connor, and it tears her apart.

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I))

The first time I ventured outside since Connor's death, it was one of those pleasant, summery spring days. One of those days when people would actually take time to spend enjoying life with their friends or family. One of those days when the breeze dances through the leaves, playing with people's hair and enticing the birds to join the dance. When the birds chase each other in circles and swoops. When everything has had it's contrast turned up - every colour is brighter.

I wanted to destroy the world. I wanted to destroy everyone and everything. I wanted to watch people suffer and scream as their perfect homes are destroyed in front of them. As their loved ones are taken from them and destroyed.
I wanted to watch the trees burn, the birds fall from the sky, buildings demolished, I wanted to see fire and sheer force rip people apart, infecting everything around. I wanted the world to suffer what i felt like inside.

I wanted nuclear warfare.

I wanted the apocalypse.

Instead, I got on a bus to the shops and bought all I could stand to buy - bread, butter and cheese. I didn't hang around in the shop, not even for change. They've taken everything else from me, they may as well have the rest. I wanted someone to hijack the bus back. I wanted someone to stab some of the passengers, rob them and rape the women. I wanted a terrorist to blow us all up. But the ride was uneventful and I couldn't wait to escape the idle conversations I heard all around me.

I bundled my one bag of shopping into the fridge, slammed it shut, then rushed to pull the curtains, plunging the small apartment into as much darkness as possible.



* * *

II))

Something inside was swelling under pressure, and all I could think about was how much more of it I could physically take. Even in the moments of silence where he would look at me, just stand and look at me, probably debating whether he should stay or leave, even then, the silence was crushing, the nothingness in the air crashing with the everything inside me to create this hideous, smothering noise, so much so that Connor's lips began to move with no sound managing to reach me through the invisible battle taking place in me.

Against the stillness in the room, everything in my head was spinning, pacing, pulsating with incredible energy. Like some sort of freak, cross-reality time-lapse. Silent noise seemed to be starving my head of the energy it needed to keep my body under control, my lungs suddenly deflated of air and unable to take any more in. Connor's eyes changed in an instant and he stepped towards me. So I grabbed something from my side and threw it. I wasn't aiming, but Connor had to duck to the side and even then it almost skimmed the side of his head, a half-second later crashing into fragments of plastic against the wall behind him. Fragments of plastic and a detached clock face - my alarm clock. Connor looked at me with wide eyes bursting with a look that said he was waiting for something else to come hurtling his way.

Then I screamed.

The sound scared the hell out of me. A ghostly, whimpering, high-pitched wail. Nails were clawing at my scalp and twisting hair around them before I realised they were my own. Connor stepped back as if a fire has just burst into flame in front of him, then I felt a simultaneous shooting pain in both my knees before I realised I had dropped to the floor.

I felt drops of liquid detach and fall from my cheeks and my chin before I felt the tears on my face.

"Lex," his voice settling comfortably in the air between us, restoring the silence. The proper silence. The crushing was fading away and I felt myself return.

What the f**k is all this?

I looked up at Connor, his face full of concern, his posture caught between two thoughts. My face screwed up and more tears followed, silent ones. He stepped forward and crouched down with enough distance for a fully outstretched arm to reach my shoulder. I stood too quickly, a headrush disorientating me as I underestimated the distance between me and my bed, and my leg caught the edge and I fell back onto it. Connor remained crouched down where he was.

"What's this about, Lex?"

"I didn't mean to-"

* * *

III))

Connor began tickling me with a feather. I instantly recoiled from the sensation that shot through the skin on my neck and down my spine, but he chuckled and settled himself back on the bench, gliding the tip of the feather very lightly across my skin. The more I struggled, the more he seemed to persist. His laughter made me laugh harder. It was too much for me sometimes, his laugh.

"Stop it! Please!" I pleaded for mercy. Connor seemed to pause, then flicked the tip of the feather at my cheek before letting it rest on the arm of the bench. I caught my breath and shuddered involuntarily, despite feeling my cheeks burning up.

I eyed him suspiciously, wondering why he hadn't discarded it. He caught my gaze and just returned it with a secretive smile.

He just laughed again, placing one arm around my shoulders and squeezing me sideways into him. I felt his lips momentarily on my head, then his cheek resting against my head. I was scared to move. I didn't know what to do, but I knew I could have sat there with him like that forever.

Connor made no attempt to move either. A short while later, however, he began tapping his fingers rhythmically on the arm of the bench. Still cherishing being so close to him, even feeling his heartbeat, I diverted my eyes from the river in front of us, to his hand, his fingers moving almost electronically. His skin was pale, and his fingers long and slender, and slightly bony, but perfect. I adored his hands. I would kill for the well-being of those hands. I shot a quick glance to my other side, where I could see his other hand dangling over my arm, a perfect extension to the arm resting snugly around my shoulder.

I returned my attention to his other hand. From the way he had pulled me into him, my line of vision fell comfortably in that direction. His fingers were mesmerising, lifting up and down like machinery.

Suddenly becoming aware of how tense I was, I made a conscious effort to relax my body. I felt my face disappear, letting all feeling float away, and suddenly feeling like I was merging into Connor's body, rather than resting awkwardly against it.

I wished the world would disappear around us, be sucked away into a black hole, leaving us suspended in nowhere. I would be his moon, orbiting him consistently, endlessly.


Last edited by psyence53; 05-25-2009 at 10:24 AM.. Reason: Revision based on comments
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2009, 06:35 PM
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For the last couple of days I have been trying to read short stories online. I find it hard to read from the screen. I was attracted to your story by the title "Butterflies & Black Holes (Random Short Excerpts)"

"Random Short Excepts" That appealed to me. And I was rewarded. I found myself engrossed in the story and for me these days that is rare.

I feel that these stories are born of truth rather than fiction. The first excerpt is my favourite. I say this because I feel the exact same way almost every day. To be able to put these feelings down in writing, I believe one must surely have had experience with them. I especially like the bus scene.

"I couldn't wait to escape the idle conversations I heard all around me."

I nodded and smiled when I read that phrase. I think you have done well. Lex's unashamed wanting for everyone around her to suffer and be in misery, I believe was a bold thing to write. It reminds me of myself. I'm glad you wrote this. It also reminds me of one of my favourite songs by a band named "TOOL" The song is called "Aenima" and below you will find the first set of lyrics from the song.

"Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this"

You can Google the full set of lyrics. I'm sure you will find it in very much the same vain as your first excerpt. The notion of anger and despair. Frustration. Just wanting it all to go down.

Also, I enjoyed the way you conveyed Lex's innabilty to press though her little sound barrier. As if her thoughts were the barrier.

" the nothingness in the air crashing with the everything inside me to create this hideous, smothering noise, so much so that Connor's lips began to move with no sound managing to reach me through the invisible battle taking place in me."

I could see it all happening in my mind. When Lex felt the tears detach from her chin. I could hear the rushing noise coming to a crescendo and stopping when Connor spoke. I could feel her battle. I could feel her insanity. The crushing!

"I felt drops of liquid detach and fall from my cheeks and my chin before I felt the tears on my face."

What a great way to depict someone coming to reality. To the here and now. This for me was beautiful. I've enjoyed reading your excerpts and discovered even more depth whilst analysing them. Thankyou.

Seanbags










"
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2009, 12:00 PM
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Wow, I never expected such a reply. I often have difficulty conveying things in words, and though writing fiction makes that easier, I am still never quite sure. But your comments give me hope that I may have it in me to actually write.

I like what I have heard of Tool, and I just looked up those lyrics, I like:

"I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down."

The song is pretty good, thank you for that ( i love new music ).

I love that you said you could see it in your mind. As a... struggling/unsure writer that means a lot.

I was honestly expecting a long time before anyone commented on grammar or something, but your words mean so much, especially for a story that is so close to me. Thank you! And thank you for even taking time to read it. Time can't be reclaimed so it's encouraging that anyone would read.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:48 PM
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I guess at the end of the people can write however they want to.. I think so long as you enjoy doing it.

Have you read "Soup Of The Day" yet? Thats a really beautiful little story too.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:09 AM
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This is skillful, proficient, high quality writing. Professional-quality, in my (non-professional) opinion.

I have no criticism to offer.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:52 PM
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Seanbags, I have, it's an excellent piece of writing - i thank you for recommending it! It's a really thoughtful piece, and one that alters you. I love that sort of thing, noticing what other people take for granted.

Glass_Pinata - thank you! That's really kind of you to say!
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:07 AM
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I have seen the flow you were going for, though, I am not a professional, way off from there, I would like to talk about what I have read. Your writing was very good, but there was a lack of feel to the writing. Although, I felt I could see the characters, the environment, and the emotions I could not feel the place where the theme was nor could I feel the true depth of the character. I am not trying to hurt feelings here, but, rather, would like to say that these could easily develop into a great story, each one. I feel I could see a fantastic book created from the three; one with depth, emotion, and the ability to pull in the reader. Personally, I LOVE to read, and am learning that I love writing just as much, so from my point of view I can see how you could develop this into something that most readers would enjoy and feel apart of. I find the best writings are those that could make a Butch Harley driving ganger cry or feel the depth. If you could give love to the story, pretty much your own blood and anger, love and hope, then you could create a master piece.

Are you looking at developing these ideas into a book? If so, I would recommend doing so; if not, I would recommend doing so. The stories remind me of a very disturbed and depressed person, so I would go with that. Maybe the book would be mainly a perspective through his/her eyes and how others see him/her, plus how him/her see’s him/herself.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:22 PM
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Gargarr, thank you. It doesn't hurt my feelings, this is exactly why I post things online, in hope of comments like this. It doesn't help that I had nothing set out when I wrote this. It was just based on feelings and thoughts, with no clear structure of a story, and no complete insights into the characters. I can see what you mean, there is something bland to it now I read it back. It is definitely about being disturbed and depressed. I hope I can write a book from this more than any other ideas I have at the moment.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:52 AM
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. When everything has had it's contrast turned up - every colour is brighter.
I like the description here, very effective imagery.



Instead, I got on a bus and bought all I could stand to buy - bread, butter and cheese. I didn't hang around in the shop, not even for change. They've taken everything else from me, they may as well have the rest. I wanted someone to hijack the bus back. I wanted someone to stab some of the passengers, rob them and rape the women. I wanted a terrorist to blow us all up. But the ride was uneventful and I couldn't wait to escape the idle conversations I heard all around me.

Here you got on a bus and bought bread and butter, which is surprising as I didn't know they had supermarkets on a bus
However, really good contrast in mood here in comparison to first paragraph, and this piece has a very strong and brave feel in it.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:21 AM
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Thank you, and omg, yes! This is why i like outside feedback! Other people spot the things you miss yourself. It was meant to be getting on a bus to go shopping, which i didn't explain properly. Thank you for pointing that out.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:01 AM
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Obviously you're a good writer. I really enjoyed this piece, and found it especially effective how you moved backwords in time, from her anger/bitterness after his death, to the cute discovery of their early relationship. I loved that, it makes it so much stronger/sadder to read in the end this kind of innocent joy, after you've read the ugly beginning, and you know what she eventually becomes. Very nice.

(And hah, I noticed the buying butter on a bus thing too, glad someone else pointed that out -- but it can be fixed with one or two words... 'to' instead of 'and' maybe)
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:56 AM
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Yes, definitely. And thank you, your comments are really valuable. I only posted the apocalyptic one first because i didnt want to jump straight into the lovey stuff. Your positive remark on this has made me consider structuring the book in this way, if it can be done. Thanks
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