WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction

Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.


Tortured Souls, 1600

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-15-2016, 11:09 AM
max crash's Avatar
max crash (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Keep, just beyond the orbit of mars
Posts: 2,239
Thanks: 147
Thanks 403
Default Tortured Souls, 1600


the real question about this piece is the intro, I wrote it for myself and am having trouble deleting the front few paragraphs as I intended --- I just can't decide if I should leave them or dump them
how about an opinion

Tortured souls


Tortured souls


The city of Poteau, Oklahoma is in the shadow of the world’s highest hill, Cavanal. That about sums up Poteau’s place in the world as well, in the shadow. The town itself has a population of about nine thousand. But it serves a much larger population from the surrounding area. Poteau is the county seat and in that capacity it draws people from all over the county. The town is still breathing but it has stopped growing. Some would say that’s a good thing, other would disagree. Me, Mary Jones, I don’t care one way or the other – but before I start to rave, I need to tell you some facts.

The old down town, burnt twice by some stories but I think it was just once. The fifties style buildings had common walls and when one caught fire the rest followed. It doesn’t matter today we have the rebuilt eighties version. The fact is Poteau was dying at one time before Wal-mart. It killed down town as soon as it opened; although there wasn’t much to kill. The cars and ease of travel to Fort Smith had the city in its death thralls. But that’s not the end of the story. The area proved to be the center of the county as far as a place to shop. Wal-mart built a super center. The Cavanal by pass crossed highway 59; that was the icing on the cake. It was like an electric shock to the city. The heart of the city started to beat again.

Back before my time the city was a big deal. I don’t remember that time. I like to go to Fort Smith. By the time I was fifteen and starting to run, the old downtown was starting to be re-inhabited. There wasn’t anything there that I wanted to buy but the buildings had shops in them. They were being renovated. Wal-mart is still the big deal. Fort Smith is for more important stuff like prom dresses, or a special date. Wal-mart is for everyday things and just stuff you need to live.

My mother works there. She says it’s as good a job as any. My father works at Fort Smith at Whirlpool. We have a nice house and food. I have a little money to spend. I had a good life - before Jacob Harper killed me. But we’re not there yet.

I went to Poteau high school, home of the Poteau Pirates. Now I’m not a cheerleader or anything I guess. I’m not that smart. I just get by like most of the kids. We find a form of peace in our un-noticed clichés. I was living the life of an average shy teenage girl in December of my senior year. I didn’t date much, twice in my life. I hoped for a prince or a toad to ask me to the prom. It didn’t happen last year but maybe this year. I didn’t expect to have to make a trip to Fort Smith to buy a dress.

I was one of the good girls too. So no big beer partied that let me finish the night decorating the back seat of some jock or bad boy’s car. I was nobody. The day I died was the biggest day of my life. I was famous for a while, a very short while.

I guess I’ll tell you how it happened; a few more hours in the Sun will be nice. I think I’ll start with the players in my little melodrama.

The players of my fate are first Missy English. Yes you know the type, cheerleader, bottle blonde and 4.4 GPA student; state honor society. She always wore the right clothes and drove a new mustang covetable. Not at all like me, I’m a blue jeans type of girl, maybe a nice t-shirt type top with my favorite hand-beaded Jean jacket. I didn’t dye my hair, its dark and I drive a S10 pick-up that started most days.

I did have several things on Missy. I was a thin person. I would have always been thin. I guess I still will. Missy on the other hand was doomed to eat unsweetened Jell-O, soda crackers and drink water for the rest of her life or blow up like a balloon. Sorry seems funny to put it that way, now. Anyway that’s the way she was. If she didn’t diet all the time she was going to be as big as her mother. Of course she doesn’t have that problem anymore either. I’m even beginning to like the dead version of her.

Missy also came to her fate at the hands of Jacob Harper. He’s not actually part of the story. But he is a prime player. His brother Snake is part of the story, I think his name is David but he won’t say. That’s alright; they are going to put a stone on his grave on Saturday. I’ll find out then. Surely they wouldn’t put Snake on his tombstone. Yeah he’s dead too. What can I say; it was a nasty day. The city crime stats went through the roof.

Back to Jacob, he was a tall unbelievably thin guy. He liked his crank, and cooked a good batch from what I understand. You stayed out of his way. He was just unpredictable. He could be nice- I heard he could be anyway. I thought of him more as the kind of guy that would take a puppy out of your arms, choke it to death and then give it back. I hope you don’t know the type.

Snake was a nice guy. He looks huge next to his skinny brother Jacob; but he’s nice. You just didn’t trust Snake. He was erratic without the drugs. The cops were always on his case. If a house was broken into or anything of value missing they stopped by to see Snake first. I have to admit that his outlook on death has been very helpful in easing my mind. Missy even spoke to him after he stole a candy bar for her. Strange, death just makes strange friends; I guess we’re friends.

Well that’s the players now for the story.

I guess I have to start back at the beginning of school. Missy was a bitch back then and Jacob was stoned. Both of these states were normal Missy was always a bitch to people below her level, which was most of us. Jacob was always stoned to some degree and looking to stay that way.

Snake wasn’t a druggy he was just a thief. He says he was a good one. For evidence he uses the fact that he only got caught the last time. I guessed that he would have been caught again if he hadn’t been shot to death that time. He sort of agreed.

Anyway! On that morning, the first day of school, our senior year. Missy had just gotten her new mustang. Jacob and Snake pulled in on motorcycles. They parked in the slot next to Missy. I know --- I was walking down the walkway at the time, and Jacob’s bike almost jumped the curb and hit me when he lost control of it. It fell over when it didn’t jump the curb and he hit his head on Missy car. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, how it kept from killing him I don’t know. Ha, I guess it just wasn’t his time.

He was lying on the ground and Missy was kicking the crap out of him in seconds. Snake pulled her off. She turned and slapped the hell out of him. He backed off. The principal was on the scene in the next second. He had already called the cops. We, the onlookers were told to go into the building. I watched out the door as the cops took Jacob away. Snake wasn’t taken away but the cop had his finger pecking on Snakes chest hard. I can only guess what he was saying. Snake was a tall healthy boy. If he did drugs they must have been steroids. He and Missy were allowed to go into the building at the same time. He held the door for her to go in first. She stormed in without a thank you.

There was an orientation in the auditorium. I sat with my mundane friends. I miss mundane very much. Anyway, I was close to the action between Missy and Boys. It was nice to tell the story and pretend to be a little excited. It was sort of scary.

Missy went to sit with her cronies. I’m sure the story she told wasn’t much like the one I told. Likewise Snake was telling his version to his mob. He was poking one of his buds in the chest just like the cop had done him. They were laughing.

It was two weeks later I think when I was summoned to the court house. It wasn’t a trial but I had to tell the Judge what I saw. Jacob stared at me the whole time. I was very uncomfortable. To make that story short – Jacob was sent to forced rehab. I doubted it would work. I think you have to want to quit for rehab to have any effect. Jacob didn’t want to quit.

The next months were just school. Snake dropped in from time to time. Missy lorded it over every one. I tried to not be noticed.

I was happy to go on Christmas break – sorry –winter break. I got the usual things for Christmas. You know socks and jeans; a new CD or two. It was on the twenty-eighth that this all came to be. My life was drab and sometimes sucked but I really didn’t want to die.

Anyway the twenty-eighth - I caught the headlines as I was eating my eggs and bacon. “Local Girl raped and murdered.” I reached for the paper and read on. It was Missy English – She was dead, murdered – raped and murdered. God missy was a bitch but this just sucked. I read on a little more. Her car was stolen and had not been recovered.

On an aside, Missy doesn’t like to talk about her death. She doesn’t like to be touched either. She tends to go ballistic. I know I’m not to that point yet but it is not a good idea for any one of us to go ballistic. It can get very destructive.

Where was I, oh yeah. Jacob was out of the program. He had not passed. He and Snake were about to leave town in Missy’s car. Don’t get that wrong, Jacob was the only one involved in Missy’s assault. He had just picked up Snake and they were going to make a quick stop at a bank to make a withdrawal on the way out of town. They didn’t have an account but they both had guns. It shouldn’t be a problem, right.

Well it was a problem. Somebody recognized Missy car at the bank and the cops were waiting for them to come out. Snake didn’t make it ten feet out the door of the bank. He wasn’t going to jail – he shot at the cops – they shot back – he died. He tells me he was hit twenty one times. It had to be nasty.

I heard the sirens as I walked to my truck on my way to work at Wal-mart. Mom had gotten me a job moving Christmas stuff to the back of the store. It was just a one day deal. I watched Missy Mustang fly past the end of the drive and the cop hot on its trail. I recognized Jacob Harper behind the wheel. He gave me a dirty look. I wish I had gone back into the house. The cops passed and I got in my truck backed to the end of the drive I was about to back into the road. I looked up and saw the Mustang. It had circled the block. Jacob was coming fast. I saw the car start across the yard. I now believe that you don’t hear the shot that kills you. Missy agrees that you just know it’s coming but you don’t hear it. Snake doesn’t agree, maybe the first shot didn’t kill him. My truck was struck in the driver’s door by the Mustang. I don’t remember any more about it.

I don’t remember the hospital or if there was a hospital. I don’t remember anything until I was at the grave yard. I was standing in a group of people, my mother and father, aunts and uncles and cousins. No one noticed me. This was my funeral. It was very sad for them I just thought it strange.

They left and I was sitting on the ground by my grave. This was it I was done with this earth. In a lot of ways I was glad. The man scared men, “Are you ready to go, Mary Jones.”

I looked up at the guy and smiled. “Do I have a choice?”

He smiled. “Yes, you have a choice.”

I was shocked. I heard the screaming from a grave site. It was the Harper family plot. Some creature had Jacob in its beak and was flying away with him. I scrambled to my feet, the man smiled, “unlike Jacob you have a choice.”

I was scared, “What kind of choice and why.”

He smiled. “You are classed as a tortured soul, first class.” He looked at me a while before he spoke again. “You were murdered, you led a good life and you have a choice.”

I wanted to know about the choice. He told me I could choose to go with him to “my reward”. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that and I told him so. He smiled. “Then you can choose to stay in a sort of guardian angel status to aid people like you were in life; the ones that are shy, and just need a little self-confidence to really enjoy life.”

He told me he would explain the rules if I chose that path. He also told me that I would be part of a pod. “In this case you will be in charge of the pod. It will contain a second class and a third class tortured soul.

I asked “Do we get missions or somethings.”

He nodded, “Sometimes but mostly you will be allowed to help whoever you choose.”

I asked, “Can I choose to go to my reward later?”

He laughed, “Of course you can but only on certain days.”

It didn’t take me long to decide to stay a while. He told me that ninety four per cent of tortured soles chose to stay a while.

The next I knew I was walking into a light. I asked where we were going. He smiled “To meet your pod and a couple of weeks of classes.”

I frowned, “more school.”

He laughed. “There is always more to learn.”
Well if you haven’t figured out who my Pod is by now you’re just dense. My second class was Missy. She had not lived a life that made one believe she would want to help people. The other was Snake he was referred to as a wild card. He had never really done anything to hurt people but he wasn’t one to give anyone aid either. But it was noted there were a lot of different things to be considered when forming a Pod and we were a good match.

Now you know how my Pod was formed. But you don’t know the rules or the fights we had finding a center we all could live with; that may be the wrong way to put it. We are dead.

__________________
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 12-16-2016 at 12:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-03-2017, 03:18 AM
IanG (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 469
Thanks: 14
Thanks 102
Default

You may not need to dump all the first few paragraphs, but spread the information more evenly through the story. It helps if you remind people of the setting every now and then, and if your descriptions are good spreading them through the work helps to keep people reading. You should have your narrator say that she's dead earlier, or people may well loose interest.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-03-2017, 01:46 PM
moonpunter's Avatar
moonpunter (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 267
Thanks: 15
Thanks 43
Default

Why open the story by talking about what happened before it opened? If it matters, start the story there. Readers are seeking to be entertained, and a history lesson only informs. Never forget that the only one who can hear warmth and emotion in the words the narrator speaks is you.

You're telling this pretty much as a storyteller—as you would speak it on stage. But on stage, storytelling is a performance art, and how you tell it matters as much as what you say, because in human communications, fully half the message is contained in nonverbal cues, like expression, gesture, and body language. And that doesn't address how much comes via where we choose to stop for breath, intensity, cadence, and what your golden voice contributes.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-04-2017, 01:43 AM
IanG (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 469
Thanks: 14
Thanks 102
Default

Interesting. I sometimes narrate a story out loud and yes, it is different as you say. I often tell a shorter version when speaking it, but emotion and gestures and facial expression are all crucial. People like Dickins often declaimed a work aloud, in a theatre, and many other classic novels were read aloud to friends and relatives by ordinary readers.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-04-2017, 02:40 PM
moonpunter's Avatar
moonpunter (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 267
Thanks: 15
Thanks 43
Default

Originally Posted by IanG View Post
Interesting. I sometimes narrate a story out loud and yes, it is different as you say. I often tell a shorter version when speaking it, but emotion and gestures and facial expression are all crucial. People like Dickins often declaimed a work aloud, in a theatre, and many other classic novels were read aloud to friends and relatives by ordinary readers.
I assume you mean Dickens. :-P
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-06-2017, 07:21 AM
IanG (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 469
Thanks: 14
Thanks 102
Default

Sorry, yes I did mean Dickens as in 'Oliver Twist' and many other novels.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-15-2017, 05:04 AM
Thismare89 (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

I like your story.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blessed Souls Cityboy Non-Fiction 0 04-14-2013 08:22 AM
Ten Souls of the Underworld: An excerpt from my Novel alidizzy247 Fiction 0 07-16-2012 07:31 PM
Lockhart City CyanideWyrm Free Writing 2 03-02-2008 08:11 PM
Lost Souls Magazine Jay Writing Markets 0 05-05-2006 01:32 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:49 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.