Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#1 Post by CrowSpirit » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:34 am

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The cold barren wasteland of Cotton’s mind trembled and blurred as thoughts and recognition failed. Breath caught, was smothered from his lungs, the monster that had been trailing him for so long had finally caught up, there Lally 2 stood, pillow poised over his face, attempting to smother the life out of him.

“Mmmff…,” screamed Cotton.

With a swift kick to Lally’s crotch Cotton pushes him and the pillow off his face.

Euch cough huhu…

Gasping for air, Cotton hurled himself at Lally 2. Midair Cotton is hurled down by Lally 1.

“Don’t you dare, retaliate against my brother. He’s been the only one to stand up to you, and now I’m gonna back him up,” declared Lally 1. Blood dripping from his mouth, while his body was completely void of oxygen, Cotton slipped into unconsciousness. While Cotton’s body writhed and twitched in pain, his mind was drifting back to the horrendous act he had committed.

Punch after punch flew through the chill desert night air. Deep set anger was burning at the core of every hit. Pain, humiliation, resentment, all the emotions that had been building within him since he had first stepped foot in this God forsaken place, they all were reflected a thousand fold in the violence of his swings.

“You bastard, YOU BASTARD, I’ll KILL ya! You think it’s just so great to pick on those weaker then you. Don’t you? Don’t you? Answer me you son of a bitch. You think you can just destroy us with your flashy trophies and fake smiles? I’ll give ya a trophy. I’ll make your face so black and blue; your mother won’t even be able to stand to look at you. I’m not weaker then you, you ass hole, do you think it’s funny to steal some little kid’s pillow, do you? I’m not like the rest of my sorry little group, you…you asshole, I’m not afraid of you…,”raged Cotton.

Blood was dripping from his fists, even though he was on top of the boy, he still managed to maneuver himself with the force of a standing attack. A loud sound like someone dropping bags of flour reverberated with every new assault. The beaten boy’s screams had died out several minutes ago and the voices of panic from behind him, the voice of his band of misfits, became merely a murmur in the back of his mind. Cotton was all but lost in his intense blood rage, not even noticing that the boy that he had been beating so thoroughly was all but dead.

If Shecker had been in a livelier mood he may have said, “…you’re beating a dead horse,” but he wasn’t in a livelier mood, no one was, actually it would be more accurate to say they were as silent as the grave, especially since that was what they were about to dig.


“Cotton, Cotton, Cotton…wake up”

Groggy and fuzzy Cotton came slowly back to consciousness. Teft, the only misfit left who seemed to care about what happened to him, was shaking him awake. Although Teft’s voice seemed miles away, Cotton still heard him, his voice like the sound of a jackhammer during a hangover, loud and painful.

“I’m up, I’m up you crazy felon,” said Cotton.

“Those are big words coming from a murder,” Teft said icily.

With a fish like gape, Cotton’s brain function seemed to come back. Along with function, came the guilty knowledge that a boy was dead, and at his hands. Without warning, Cotton vomited, as if his body were trying to rid itself of all the toxic and nauseous evil within him. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and the fact still remained true, and the guys who were almost his friends now were disgusted by his very existence.

Once the nausea passed , the real emotions set in, and all the facades of denial fell down, right then and there, in front of all the guys who had looked up to him for so long, Cotton, cried, he bawled his eyes out, and never for a moment stopped to feel humiliation. He was too immersed in trying to regain his innocence, for now he was the one that wanted to be the child, he wallowed in it. The red and blue lights of the police cars lit up the air black night sky, the wail was barely heard, nor the shouts from the officers approaching. For all 6 boys were just sitting, a look of death upon their faces, they were all cold and empty, and wondering if they would ever thaw their souls.

Epilogue.

I’d love to be able to tell you that these 6 boys grew up happily ever after, and that the world went on spinning merrily. Unfortunately I can’t, don’t get me wrong, the world still spins, but for those boys, life ended on that night. Their childhoods were killed and all that remains is powdery remnants. Lally 1 and Lally 2 get along, however Lally 2 became the more dominant brother, and Lally 1 no longer wanted attention. Lally 1 started to strive to be invisible; he never wanted to be close to anyone again. Lally 2 ended up the strong business type and hired himself a good shrink. Goodenow stuck to his understanding ways and now preaches the dangers of violence and aggression to AA members, seeing as he’s been a member since 17. Shecker followed in his father’s footsteps and became, the most handsome and funny stand up comic in the business, which was only his cover for his major drug addiction that he is currently in rehab for. Teft gave up his criminal ways, not wanting to become the monster that had controlled Cotton, and went into law and proceeds over murder trials. As for Cotton, he has his own padded room in St. Marcy’s mental institution. I mentioned growing up was tough right?

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#2 Post by Old Git » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:24 am

Really liked this. Gets in great emotion and some seriously good turns of phrase. Some very impressive lines in here.
Minor stuff needs cleaning up, for instance:

The cold barren wasteland of Cotton’s mind trembled and blurred as thoughts and recognition failed. Breath caught, was smothered from his lungs, the monster that had been trailing him for so long had finally caught up, there Lally 2 stood, pillow poised over his face, attempting to smother the life out of him.

The cold barren wasteland of Cotton’s mind trembled and blurred as thoughts and recognition failed. Breath caught, smothered from his lungs; the monster that had been trailing him for so long had finally caught up. There stood Lally 2, pillow poised over his face, attempting to smother the life out of him.

Also:

With a swift kick to Lally’s crotch Cotton pushes him and the pillow off his face.
For me this could be more dramatic.

With a swift kick to Lally’s crotch, Cotton shoves him, forcing the pillow off his face.

Short and snappy for action is often best, if not always.

Overall liked the snapshot of criminal kids and the gruesome result. I would say though that the opening left me perplexed, as an attempt on Cotton's life is left unresolved. Also, we have no idea of who the beaten boy was and why the rage was directed at him, although we certainly get the rage. That can be left unsaid, mystery works, but could also be explained to add to Cotton's motives and character.

Liked the epilogue, yet also left me wondering. I guess it added a sense that there was a lot more going on, and so I wanted to know more. Which is a very good thing really. The dialogue was very good though, written as would be said. You'd be surprised how many don't manage to do that.

But this is a very good piece of writing. Could certainly be extended into more. Written well, expressive, giving life to characters and with a point to make.
"It's my duty. My duty as a complete and utter bastard."

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#3 Post by CrowSpirit » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:54 am

...Your action phrase is longer then mine?

Part of the mystery lies in the fact that all the characters are from the book Bless the Beasts and Children. I enjoyed the characters in the book and the beginning; but the end, to me was pitiful and boring, so I rewrote and made it much shorter. I thought this idea of death was much more interesting then the one presented in the book. 3 chapters into the book it gets intensely boring. Which is saying alot from me since I found Lord of the Rings fascinating in 4th grade. ( I know people who can't even read the book now...which is sad since it really is quite good, it is just wordy and chock full of long names.)

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#4 Post by Old Git » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:59 am

Well that explains a lot, and quite naughty of you. :wink:

First of all, THAN, not then. :el: I shall keep doing this you know. :blackeye:

Also, longer in words, yes, but short bursts of rhythm. People underestimate rhythm in writing. Putting the commas in means it reads bang, bang, bang. Not baaaaaaaannnggg.
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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#5 Post by CrowSpirit » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:12 am

I understand what you mean. Yes, I agree rhythm is quite important. I'm out of practice with action scenes so I need to get back into the flow of them...

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#6 Post by Old Git » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:16 am

You want to know my shameful secret? I like doing long winding sentences in action, and keep getting told off for it.
So I preach but don't that often practice. :lol:
"It's my duty. My duty as a complete and utter bastard."

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#7 Post by CrowSpirit » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:21 am

Hypocrite. *sticks tongue out at you.*

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#8 Post by Howard Beale » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:37 pm

An interesting theme although having no idea who the characters are or the book they're from it's hard to engage with them. Still, that's no fault of your own of course CrowSpirit.

OldG has pretty much covered some of the main points that spring up from your writing style. What immediately jumps out at me is that you do suffer from overuse-of-comma-itis.
For example wrote:Once the nausea passed , the real emotions set in, and all the facades of denial fell down, right then and there, in front of all the guys who had looked up to him for so long, Cotton, cried, he bawled his eyes out, and never for a moment stopped to feel humiliation.
That one in particular had my mind tying itself up in knots trying to make it scan properly. It's by no means a massive failing as it's a problem lots of writers have when they're starting out. Even my first year uni work suffered from comma-itis a little initially and that was after years of English language and literature study. Old habits do indeed die hard, eh?

Your mix of tenses can be a little disconcerting too. Note, for example:
Gasping for air, Cotton hurled himself at Lally 2. Midair Cotton is hurled down by Lally 1.
Your first sentence here is past tense but the second is talking about actions in the present. I'd assume this is a result of trying to convey the quick, chaotic nature of the action taking place but it does come across as confusing ultimately.

Tonally, I'm not sure whether the epilogue really fits with the rest of the text. The introduction of the omniscient narrator sits uneasily next to such a graphic description of Cotton's inner anguish and feels very jarring to me. Cotton's guilt seems to be the most important part of the story so it's a let down to "pull back" so to speak and have an unknown narrator tell the reader (quite nonchalantly, too) of the events that have transpired.

Oh, and
THAN, not then. :el: I shall keep doing this you know. :blackeye:

THAN, not then.

THAN

:wink:

But anyways, keep at it CrowS! If you can tidy up some of the more sprawling sentences and pin down the tone you're aiming for I'm sure you can make begin to make something pretty good from this piece.

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Bless the Beasts and Children, the Dark Version

#9 Post by CrowSpirit » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:22 pm

Thank you for the feedback Howard. When I have a chance in the next few days I will go through and attempt to fix the mistakes, and then put forth the revision, hopefully the revised version will help eliminate many of the inconsistencies in the piece.

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