A Tale to Tell a Story to Share

Okay I just wrote this and for some reason I’m sharing it with everyone I can think of so I figured I’d share it with all you guys as well. It was inspired by a sig I saw around here so I figured why the hell not? So here goes…

[sub]A beeping fills the silent room stealing into Clarice’s dream and driving it away. With a groan she leans over and reaching out from her warm nest of blankets hits the button to turn the alarm off. For a moment she lays there her mind grasping for the elusive memory of her dream which leaves only the sense that she’s dreamt it before and that it was a very uncomfortable place. Sighing she lets the remnants go and wonders why she set her alarm today. It was a Saturday and she didn’t have to be at work or anywhere equally important. The blankness lasted only a moment before she remembers why. Today is Valentine’s and Jeff, her long-time boyfriend is going to take her out. She half expected he was going to propose the way he acted around her.

“Dress your best Clarice. We’ll paint the town red that night.” “Red? Won’t it be red enough from all the decorations?” Clarice replied teasingly. “Then it will be even redder when we’re through.” Jeff had replied seriously before kissing her. That had been the last full sentences they spoke to each other that night and Jeff had left for home, then work before she woke up again having been very tired.

A self-satisfied smile crosses Clarice’s lips at the memory as she slips from her bed. That night had been wonderful and she expects tonight to be even more wonderful. She glances around her room making sure everything is in order for tonight before she heads for the kitchen. She has a few errands to run before she will start to get ready and right now she can hear Sim, her tabby, yowling for food. “Be patient Sim. You’ll be fed in a minute.” Moving into the kitchen she grabs a can of the moist food and opens it with the can opener. When the motor starts up Sim quiets down and winds his way around her ankles. Dumping the food into his bowl he starts to scarf the food down and Clarice smiles indulgently. Sometimes she thinks cat’s can be so demanding and she doesn’t really plan on having kids because she doesn’t think she could handle that. Thankfully Jeff agrees with her views.

As Sim eats Clarice leans over and rubs her hand along Sim’s back enjoying the smoothness of his fur beneath her fingers. All of a sudden the world seems to shiver and tilt on its axis and she finds herself laying on the floor. Before everything goes black she wonders if an earthquake hit but Sim continues to eat before her eyes not reacting to anything and she recalls that Alberta never has earthquakes…

With a loud crash the jar tumbles to the floor. The broken glass and its contents scatter across the clean tiles and Steve winces when the viscous fluid splatters his legs and shoes. "What was that?!" Footsteps approach from the other side of the room and Steve's boss David comes around the corner of the shelves. Spotting the mess he shakes his head. "Steve I *told* you to be careful with these jars. They're important and very sensitive." Steve looks down at his shoes and half mumbles. "Yes boss." David shakes his head again. "Go call the janitor to clean up this mess. This one is a write off now." Bending over David picks up the brain from where it landed after the jar broke and carries it to the lab. He can probably dissect it to see if there are any differences though he would have prefered to have done it after the tests. As David takes the brain away Steve goes to find the janitor to clean up.[/sub]

Oh and if anyone would like to let me know what they think that would be greatly appreciated as well smiles Thanks

sneaks in, looks around cautiously, and gives a discreet little bump to the top of the thread list

Very nice, Topaz. :slight_smile:


You asked what I think so I’ll give it to you. Understand that when I’m editing a piece, and when others are editing mine, I value absolute honesty over pulling punches to spare feelings. I can’t learn how to improve if people are too scared to tell me the truth.

So here goes:

First off, [sub]why are we whispering?[/sub]. I’m not sure if it saves any room, but it does make it harder to read.

Secondly, you need to run through it and check your commas. There are one or two places where commas aren’t needed and quite a few places where they are absolutely essential because it reads differently without them.

Third, different speakers require different paragraphs.

Fourth, I don’t like the characters. It’s not that there’s anything bad about them…it’s just that there isn’t anything good about them either! I don’t know them. I barely know anything about them. Yes, I realize that in 300-500 words I’ll never understand them as well as Richard Rahl who has 4000 pages dedicated to him, but any character you want us to care about needs to be given time for us to care. All I know is that she has a cat and a boyfriend who loves her because you say he does. Why? Always ask why. Tell us why. If you haven’t taken the time to develop the characters then the reader can’t be expected to either.

I do like the ending. It’s interesting. It’s a nice twist. But you have to understand that I don’t care. The reason I don’t care is because Clarice wasn’t interesting enough to make me care. She woke up, fed her cat, and died. Give me a reason to feel and I’ll be right with you when the ending comes.

Ok… that response pained me enough that I feel pushed out of my complacency…

While I didn’t notice Ender’s first point (some of the formatting doesn’t show on my machine), and despite the fact that I agree (to some extent about his second and third, I feel that the way the story was written was fine. It achieves the goal of having a great impact in very little space quite well… something Hemingway would be proud of. I think that you did quite a good job with it, and that all it needs is some minor grammatical correction and a touch up on the transition when she is dropped.

Then again… I am not an English major, so take it or leave it for what it’s worth.

Le Sang

Thank you for your honesty. smiles I know I do need to work on stuff a bit (I was doing [sub]this thing to save space[/sub] I wasn’t certain if it would or not it just seemed it might.) I dunno what else to say except I’ll work on it and thanks again.