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[Other Original] Poetry, Short stories, etc. - #19 - Short story "A Moment Recessed"

Sonata

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Through some friendly advice I've decided to start writing some short stories to get the feel of what actually seeing something through to the end feels like before I try to flesh out and commit to more time consuming ideas. I'm not really great with deciding what constitutes what rating, so we'll just go ahead and say it'll all be rated M. So far I've got one story finished and am in the process of writing another, so we'll see how this goes.


1. Just a typical zombie story
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Sonata

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Hey man, I appreciate the help and thought you put in to it :)

I don't think business and sports radio would be taking about this, and aside from that, this seems like an extremely contrived way of delivering information. I mean, he just so happens to hear about this strange and plot-relevant fact over a radio? A phone call would work better in this situation.

I haven't actually listened to radio in several years and when I do it's more like the local college based classical station so I don't actually know if they would report on that or not. I think the way I justified it to myself whether right or more likely wrong, was that if any well known corporate big wig were to die then their death would likely be talked about since it would probably affect the stocks of the company.

You made good points about the whole radio part which I didn't really take into account while I was writing it. Perhaps if I had added in another line somewhere in there about tracking the radio signals and compiling a list it all would have worked out better? Since him hearing that whole phone call was kind of the reason he was approached in the first place and not because of his friend dying. A really important detail I just completely skipped over.

So, considering the police seem to have no control over these zombies, why are they randomly pouring the stuff down peoples' throats? And why didn't they tie him up or something if he was going to nom on the drivers?

In this part he was actually strapped down to the stretcher, but due to the strength that the 'zombification' gives he basically tore himself free in the previous paragraph.

I had also intended to include the military rolling in with tanks as well as a wall around the general city area to show that it had all been an experiment funded by the military but thought that having the MC drive to the city/state limit would be too unrealistic after he'd already been infected. My idea when starting it was that the doctor friend had been doing trials in a suburban area, hoping for a more controlled outbreak however he underestimated the power of the medicine and became infected himself. Other people who are in on it come in to neutralize the threat but it begins to spread. Agent Donald starts freaking out, knowing that shits about to hit the fan and tries to go public hoping that what he says will allow anyone to escape or even just reach the internet but is killed and the radio host is killed shortly thereafter indicated by his prolonged absence. Then they started to hunt down listeners so that nobody could have a chance to get the truth out before measures had been taken to properly contain everything.

All in all there probably was too much going on for the length I decided to make the story. I skipped out on some pretty important parts of the story as I see now looking back over it and I'll try my best to apply some of what you've said to the next story :)
 

Bay

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Hi, it's been a while since I read anything from yours, so decided to check this out!

I'll admit, I don't think I have too much feedback as Bardothren already mentioned some plot holes and such. I too was a bit eh over the infodumping at the beginning and I agree the government's involvement could have been expanded. Otherwise, things kick off nicely shortly after John interacting with the detective and the outbreak itself (and the ending) is pretty neat. Still a fun read there, and looking forward to reading more of your stuff!
 
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Sonata

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2. The We In I - The song included in this is called 'I care not to be there' http://www.pdmusic.org/1800s/54icntbt.txt

I kind of got stuck in this towards the end for a few days. I knew how I wanted to end it when I started it, I just couldn't get the words to move when I got there so the ending is less than desirable I would say.

Spoiler:
 

Bay

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I must say, this is an interesting take on the reincarnation concept here. I like the foreshadowing with the markings on the tree and then the different events Jenna went through. Not only that, nice to see each one isn't all that sunshine and gumdrops. The ending also has a pretty cool twist there.

One nuisance I have is Ada and Kieth's relationship and Ada's motivation for killing him. With the other two I get Nettie and Tommy's sweet while Clara and Ronald/Donald isn't. While I get Ada got heartbroken from the songwriter, I do have to wonder if Ada and Kieth's relationship wasn't as good either. Did Ada loved him at one point and then didn't anymore, for instance?

There's one other nuisance, though a somewhat minor one. I wonder why it took three/four years until the reincarnation stuff kicks in. I probably missed something there, so I don't mind if you pointed that out to me, lol.

This was a fun read, looking forward to more!
 

Sonata

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One nuisance I have is Ada and Kieth's relationship and Ada's motivation for killing him. With the other two I get Nettie and Tommy's sweet while Clara and Ronald/Donald isn't. While I get Ada got heartbroken from the songwriter, I do have to wonder if Ada and Kieth's relationship wasn't as good either. Did Ada loved him at one point and then didn't anymore, for instance?

There's one other nuisance, though a somewhat minor one. I wonder why it took three/four years until the reincarnation stuff kicks in. I probably missed something there, so I don't mind if you pointed that out to me, lol.

This was a fun read, looking forward to more!

As always I appreciate the feedback and thank you for taking the time to read. As far as the relationship goes, she was never truly in love with him and just used him to a certain end - creating offspring. Basically, Ada was still wholly Nettie. The woman had her heart broken and turned to something darker in hopes of finding something similar to what she lost. So she would take over the bodies of her grandchildren or older in attempt to elongate her life. She started by putting her memories into the girls which caused her to lose her own in the process. Then after they would grow inside of the girls and she would die or come close to it the memories would get more in depth and fill the holes in like with the more graphic visions that were towards the end of the story. The tree was like the base of the spell and the other recurring elements were catalysts. It simply took so long because there were so many memories to transfer over ad she was a bit older herself. Whereas the other versions of the woman she was a child or teen, this body was on her thirties. So there were more memories to be overwritten/taken into Ada.
 

Sonata

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3. I'm not drunk enough yet

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3. I'm not drunk enough yet

The poem itself has a dark, pensive kind of tone, but then I read the title and it throws me off. But still, I like the juxtaposition the title holds in comparison with the poem. I also enjoyed that opening line, "I'm standing on the ceiling and the whole world is falling," as it's a very interesting thought to have and I think that most people have felt that way one time or another in their lives. "These buildings leave me with no spaces."... I'm not even gonna pretend I know what that means because with poems anything goes, hah, but I'd like to be Captain Obvious and say that the narrator feels crowded in by life. So overall, I really enjoyed this little prose of yours, aeternum.
 

Sonata

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4. The Visitor

Sorry it took so long to get back here haha. Started to struggle in the middle of the story due to a heightened work load irl and then got stuck on the ending for a couple of days. Hopefully in the entries to come I'll be able to push these out at a more reasonable pace even if they aren't quite as long. Some actual short, short stories might be a nice change of pace instead of constantly trying to outdo myself in terms of length. Anyways. Here it is.

Spoiler:
 
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4. The Visitor

I really enjoyed the majority of this story, but the ending was both very abrupt and also jarring as it left the Visitor's motivations very confusing, which hurt a character I otherwise really enjoyed. You went to lot of work and detail throughout the beginning and middle of your plot an created an extremely eerie atmosphere whilst creating really full characters - aside from the Visitor who I assume was left intentionally vague. I really loved these parts.

But your ending is extremely rushed by comparison, although you do a good job of making the reader feel the falseness of the environment. My question though, is why? Why did the Visitor even bother to create that if he was just looking for a snack? Why did he go to all the trouble of creating a false world like that only to snatch it away in moments. You could assume he simply reveled in the despair he wrought but that's never communicated.

Overall a really good read and a very interesting concept/character that I wish you'd followed through on in the ending. Nicely done though for the most part!
 

Bay

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I too enjoy the set up there in the beginning and the middle. Gives a good idea of the family's living situation and how the Visitor comes to be. The part where Jakob's mother lashed him for mentioning the Visitor did made me feel sorry for the boy. I do feel the bit where the death of David's friend was mentioned felt a bit telling, could of have been a good opportunity to expand on the father there since you're going for the omniscient pov.

With the ending, I can see where Gimmepie is getting at with the ending. You have Jakob being confused of how his parents being happy for a moment, and then the Visitor starting pulling the family's teeth/skin apart. I think what I would like is more interaction between Jakob and the Visitor at the end. Perhaps Jakob feels slightly uncomfortable that this new "world" I guess is too perfect and then the Visitor saying something like "Your mother is right that you must face reality." That might wrap things up nicely in my opinion.

Even though Gimmepie and I mentioned the ending could use a bit more work, this short is very enjoyable overall!
 

Sonata

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5. I don't really have a title for this

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Bay

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So I looked through this before you posted so I won't repeat the more picky details I mentioned to you, heh.

I do admit the beginning did dragged on a bit with all the rambling, but the narrator was already aware of that, so I left it alone as that's probably part of his character. The premise of the fortune cookies predicting doom is pretty fun though and some of the stuff going on were unsettling. One detail I like, which may be weird coming from me, is the mention of the narrator's obesity. I guess because him trying to run away but he has his limits feels more real, if that makes sense.

And the ending, really like that last line there haha.
 

Sonata

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6. A question, or idea that's been bouncing around my head for a while

What is a personality? What is character? What makes a person who they are? How is it that a criminal comes to harm and a pastor comes to help? Is there some form of destiny at work, divine intervention, or is it just up to the roll of the dice? Can anyone just one day decide to do something and then instantly pursue it wholeheartedly? What causes humans to desire?

Everyone in this world is a culmination of every one of their experiences. From birth, we are all given equal rights, equal chances to succeed at whatsoever it is that we wish. The experiences that we have, the people that we meet, the choices that our family and friends make and the circumstances that they impose upon us all take part in molding us into the persons that we are meant to be. Perhaps there is a bit of destiny at play here, but as a whole, humans are left to their own devices. Thousands of years of other people's choices come down onto one person, stringing them through an ever shrinking hoop of what will be expected and accepted of them.

Before we ever even have the ability to speak, our choices in life dwindle. On a daily basis more and more options which were once available to us fall to the side. A scientist in New Zealand creates a new water-filtering respirator and suddenly there's no more need for a scuba tank, a diving instructor in Mexico creates a new type of life vest built into everyday clothes and suddenly there's no more need for lifeguards. Every day, someone else is accomplishing something that their experiences have been tailoring them for all their lives. So what is left for those who are still being suited, what is left still for those who are yet to be born into this world?

Religious people say, 'God has a plan'. 'God has a plan for everyone'. Mothers who have lost children look to these people and break into aggravated tears, asking and almost begging to know what kind of plan there could be for them and their children who never had time to finish growing. And many go without ever knowing; knowing that there is no 'higher plan', knowing that there is no destiny to propel us forward against our will. There is only what we have created and what we put ourselves, and each other through.
 
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Bay

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I admit for 6, those kind of pieces it's harder for me to comment on writing that's more a series of thoughts instead of a story. I think the third paragraph is my favorite due to giving a couple examples of inventions around the world. I sort of feel the last paragraph doesn't fit with the rest of what was written as the majority of the writing here has this choice and rights theme, then you have "God has a plan." Then again, I guess a lot of people will relate to someone's actions due to God's plan and that sort.
 

Sonata

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7. A Battle of Faith

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Bay

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I hope to see his ghostly hand tearing from my chest as the holy men cry out their lines, reduced to actors too dedicated to toss away the script they'd so arduously memorized for the play that never came and will never.

I love this imagery here.

The boy next to me smiles. His eyes glisten as he awaits my response and pain lingers beyond the shimmering pools of blue. My fantasies of meeting with this grand creator and all of my pain from never getting to meet him. My dreams of entering this holy land and feeling some grand presence and the comedown from its absence. The imagination which I had begun to nurture once more in hopes of accomplishing anything of importance at all. Those blue eyes, like endless oceans washing over me. I clutch at my chest, the familiar pain of void within my chest as I think of my childhood friend.

And I drown.

"No. God is not dead."

The first bolded part, by shimmering pools of blue you mean the eyes? If so, then both parts I bolded kinda says the same thing imo. Otherwise, I like the ending there.

Seems like this is sorta an extension from your last piece with the theme of God's plan going on. I think you got a decent mixture of inner thoughts and description this time around.
 

Sonata

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8. The start of a Poke-fic timewaster?

I've said a few times that I don't really care for pokemon fanfics or roleplays, but while I was at work today I was actually gripped with an idea for one that if done right I think could help me with some ideas/elements that I'll be implementing in other stories later down the line. So I guess if the whole premise of this one interests you guys I might continue it in a new thread? Idk. We'll see.

Spoiler:
 

Bay

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I admit, upon reading the news report at first I was like, "I've read so many fics with Pokemon being treated badly and then they or the trainer would revolt." But then we get to the conversation with Jack and Lappe and I must say it's so refreshing to see a Pokemon who would rather do their own thing. I'm pretty sure though the two will end up entangled in this FKPR business either way. In the end it'll depend is you're motivated/inspired with this idea, but I would be interested in it!
 

Sonata

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9. Idk.

I started to write this after reading a little bit of a webtoon that just came out a few days ago and know I had an idea for what I wanted to come from it. But after falling asleep somewhere in the middle of what I have I lost it. I drew a conclusion, but as per usual it just feels a little wanting...

Spoiler:
 
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