jnxed18 (jnxed18) wrote in sheepywriters,
jnxed18
jnxed18
sheepywriters

Story Submission

Hi guys!

I wrote a short story and I'm very nervous about this. I'm used to writing but not letting anyone read my work but I have to get over that fear and just let my peers tell me what they think.

So, I want you guys to read a part of my story and give me your honest opinions. Suggestions are totally welcome. I'm game for anything to make my story better.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read it and critique. It really means a lot.

<lj-cut text="Untitled">

Just a little farther.

We're coming home with you.” Someone on the right said.

I don't need your company."

"Oh but you do." A voice from the back said.

"No. I don't."

They laughed again.

She was shaking by the time she got home.

Glad we left though. That party was becoming a bore.” A voice said following her.

You seemed to be enjoying yourself.” She said walking into her bathroom.

She needed to wash her hands. She needed to feel clean, feel like there was nothing wrong with her.  

I was not. You weren't having a good time, so I wasn't either.”

She turned on the light and swallowed the growing lump in her throat.

That was a lie. They always had fun when they made her look like a fool. She avoided looking in the mirror as she set out to wash her hands. She turned on the tap.

Don't act like you weren't having fun. All those little snide comments you were making had you tittering with excitement. Then that jerk starting asking questions and you got all serious. Wrecked everything. You should be grateful we got you out of there. You're no fun when you get like that." It pouted.

"Why? You made me look like I'm crazy." She said soaping up her hands.

The voice let out a laugh.

I was just trying to help."

"Help? When have you or any of them actually helped me? You haven't done anything but ruin my life."

"We haven't ruined anything. We've actually made it better."

"Better?"

"Well, technically, better for us."

She felt something growing behind her, a pressure that was starting to make her heart race. Her hands were shaking as she rinsed the soap off before lathering them again.

"Why are you doing this to me?" She asked quietly.

She always wondered what she had done to deserve this.

"We've explained before but once more shouldn't hurt. Look in the mirror."

She shook her head. Every time she did, she saw shadows. Faces she didn't want to see.

"Look in the mirror. I'm asking nicely."

"No. I don't want to."

Her chest was starting to heave, the lump in her throat was getting larger.

"I can't explain unless you look. Go on, it won't hurt."

"No!"

"Do it. Now."

She was hyperventilating, her entire body was shaking but she wasn't going to look. She braced herself against the counter and shook her head.

"No."

"Am I going to have to make you?" It asked as the pressure built up behind her. It was starting to suffocate her.

She was gasping for breath now, her hands slipping as she grabbed onto the edge of the sink. She started crying. Her heart hammering in her chest.

"Fine. We'll do it my way then."

The pressure built up behind her, enough that she actually felt a hand yank her hair back and made her look into the mirror. She knew she shouldn't have but it was too late.

The hand on her hair grew tight and she saw herself in the mirror, a sallow face amongst the many bright ones that followed her. But the one that held her attention was the one holding her head up, a twin that gave her a cold smile as their gazes met.

What was happening, shouldn't have been.

"See? That wasn't so bad. Now, we're doing this because you belong to us. No one else. You know how many have tried to make us go away but we aren't easy to get rid of. I'm sure you've notice? The stronger we get, the harder it is.”

She looked at all the faces in the mirror, sobs making her breathing hiccup.

Of course she had. The pressure and the voices were constantly there and as time passed, they grew stronger and more persistent. They were consuming her, making her shell of who she once was.

We thrive in your loneliness, dwell in your bitterness, savor your despair. We rise taller every time you stumble because it makes the fall that much harder, that much better, that much sweeter. We love watching you cry, watching you belittle yourself, belittle others. It makes us stronger, makes us live. Every moment of weakness you have, gives us more power. But if you're happy, we can't do that and that's why we have to get rid of everyone. Why we had to get rid of him.” She said into her ear. It was soft, almost intimate, a secret just for her.

Her twin let go of her hair and put an arm around her shoulders. It was supposed to feel comforting. It felt like another weight.

As she looked in the mirror, the other faces crowded around her. The faces of her failures and her flaws. She felt the pressure built up again but not as harsh as before. It almost felt comforting.

"We're here for you. You don't need anyone else." Her twin said softly, mocking her.

Her sobs had quieted down. A stray hiccup as she looked at them. They stood around her, just watching. Some cooed at her tears but didn't speak. She reached up and wiped her cheeks before looking away. Her twin gave her shoulders a squeeze. She looked in the mirror again and only saw herself.

The tap was still running. Her hands were still soapy. Her cheeks were still wet.

She finished washing up before turning off the tap and reaching for the light. She headed back down the dark hallway and into her cold room. She toed off her shoes and crawled into her bed. She wrapped herself in her covers, pulled her pillow over her head. She closed her eyes, prayed it was for the last time, and fell into fitful sleep.

But she wasn't that lucky and they watched her as she slept.

She was never alone.

Not really.

Tags: form: prose fiction, genre: fantasy, genre: horror, writing post
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  • 8 comments
Hey! First off thanks for sharing your writing, you have a great draft here <3 i hope my notes help out!

Things That Are Awesome:
You have a really good concept here, and you do an excellent job developing this great sense of dread. Particularly when the girl is trying NOT to look in the mirror. I like that part a lot.

You also have some very snappy dialog here. Your intro in particular stuck out to me. The line that intrigued me the most was this:

“I was not. You weren't having a good time, so I wasn't either.”

Looking back out of context it seems very common, but I definitely got the sense something supernatural was going on there. Which I am 100% here for.

I also like how the beginning and the end kind of match, with her trying to escape her tormentors and no succeeding. It's very evocative for such a short piece.

Things to Look At:

Purely a style thing - you use "she" as the first word in a lot of your sentences. It sticks out particularly here:

She finished washing up before turning off the tap and reaching for the light. She headed back down the dark hallway and into her cold room. She toed off her shoes and crawled into her bed. She wrapped herself in her covers, pulled her pillow over her head. She closed her eyes, prayed it was for the last time, and fell into fitful sleep.

While it does read as "going through the motions," it also reads a touch repetitive. I might suggest playing with sentence structure to avoid this. I'd recommend one "she" sentence every 5 or so. It's not as noticeable at the beginning, because of the dialog, but it is there too.

I would also suggest looking at your two speeches. I know you're providing exposition, but it does feel like too much of an infodump. There's also something Stephen King says about monologues like this. They don't feel realistic. I would suggest breaking it up by including those other voices, having it be an interaction rather than the one main voice doing the speechifying. The girl herself might want to interrupt too.

Those are my thoughts! Thank you again for sharing, I really enjoyed it.
Awesome. Thank you so much. I'm definitely going to look into making the changes you suggested.

Yeah, I was thinking the same about the speech. I'll break it up and have you guys take another look when I edit it.

My repetitiveness is definitely something I have to work on and thanks for bringing it up. I'm so used to it, I bypass it and don't remove them in editing.

Thanks again!
First of: props for daring to share.

Second: comments

Good stuff:
you keep the possibilities about what's going on open. First I thought bullies, second maybe some demons until I realized it's (probably) voices inside her head/other personas
you never slap the reader around the head with information but give enough space for letting them draw conclusions on their own
I like the way you use the oh snap what's the English word ..how you use the space on the screen, sorta layout. It pushes and pulls a little.
And I would have loved to see it turn even uglier, you could both make this insanely, dark and trippy or make it suburban scary with following up with a bright day and the voices still being around.

Points of development:
Even though I understand the strength of repetition here, I would swap some 'she's' out with another word. 'the girl', for example, because you created quite some distance already anyway
I spotted one or two words missing. It helps me to read out loud ("loud") to prevent that from happening
Ah! Thank you, for both your suggestions and reading my story. And I'm sorry for the late response.

Yeah, I definitely need to work on my repetition. I made some changes since kahluaandcream mentioned the same thing. I also re-read it and added any words I might've missed. I might repost the entire story (if I could rework it to less than 1,000 words) with some of the changes.

Thanks again!
Oh, this is a minor mod thing, but could you tag your post with audience, form and genre?
Yes! Consider it done.
Oooh, I really like it. At the end, "toed her shoes off" sounds a little weird. The others already mentioned the repetition of "she" so, you know that already. Otherwise it sounds really good.
Thank you! I reworked it after taking all the suggestions and it definitely flows and sounds better. I changed the toed off part because it did sound a little odd. You guys have been so helpful.

I just sent my story in. Crossing my fingers!