Tuesday, May 28, 2013

First 250 Word Smash! #18

Stupendous Author: Shannen
Horrendous Editor: Victoria
Working Title: N/A

We've put the rest under a cut! Trigger warning for gore and suicide.

He sits at his desk, hair in a mess, table in a mess, his life in a mess.

A piece of paper lies, untouched, in the midst of the chaos, white, clean, pristine. Crumpled paper balls fill the trash bin and he adds another into the pile after having written a single line.

“Fuck it if I can’t write anything I might as well just bleed myself on the damned paper!”

He grabs a scalpel, slits his throat, then sticks the weapon in the area where his heart would be. With his remaining seven minutes in the realm of the living, he hooks up a power drill, turns it on and drives it into his left temple. He smiles at himself, content, right before the instant blackout.


“Tate, honey, it’s time for school.”


She breathes in a shaky breath. It seems all too familiar. The silence, the position of the morning sun, maybe even the same day.. she does not want to remember. Even the same room..she takes a deep breath.

She turns the doorknob and gives it a gentle push. She gasps, her hands fly to her mouth, as she takes in the horrendous sight before her.
And she just stands there. Accepting her son’s demise far too quickly than she should. She has been expecting it, anyway.

Tate did a wonderful job.

She loves the red.

Strong Points--

Admittedly, it took me a few reads to fully grasp what I believe is going on. This is supernatural, right? He is already dead before he kills himself--or at least, that was my interpretation. And that was really cool to me, because you kept that part very subtle and open. It's a very minute detail, expressed in little things such as the mother's behavior and the simple way you worded 'where his heart would be'. Whether or not it was intentional, I really liked this.

You've also got some great descriptions in here. "White, clean, pristine" for the paper, just as an example.

And of course, that last line is a real punch. It's hard to ever forget a last line like that one.

Some Tips--

Your dialogue could be more realistic. For example, a writing teacher of mine often told us to be aware of how often people really address one another by name. Tate's only line would probably be a bit more powerful if you split it into two sentences, so it may be something you want to consider.

Also, if a supernatural edge was, indeed, what you were after, then I suggest plumping that aspect up just a tiny bit more. I like that it's subtle and that you never outright tell me what's going on, so please, don't lose that, but I need just a few more hints or clues if that is the angle you wish to take.

The sudden jump to extreme violence was incredibly jarring for me, but I have to admit that this isn't exactly my genre, so I'm not at all familiar on what may work and what doesn't work. I can only tell you that for me, it was very abrupt and it took me some time to recover so that I was able to continue reading.

Would I keep reading?

Unfortunately, no, not as it is. I do love the last line, but as I said, this just isn't my thing. And that's okay, you don't always have to cater to us. That being said, if you do resubmit, I would love to try again!

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