English Creative

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English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-29, 19:21

This is a short story i wrote for an English Creative task. We had to take a newspaper article and use it as the basis for a short story. Bit cliche by the end but i don't care.

The windscreen wipers of the old Ute struggled to push the pounding rain from the window and the wheels sunk into the mud of the road, slowing the car to a crawl. Simon flicked a switch on the dashboard and the heaters blew harder in an attempt to remove the fog from the windscreen. In the same movement he turned the volume dial of the radio and a presenter’s voice announced the next song in the eighties mix. He’d only have a few more minutes to enjoy the reception before he went out of range.
Simon sighed and gripped the steering wheel again. It had been a long drive and he was looking forward to sitting down at home and having a nice cup of tea. Before he could do that though he would have to unload the Ute. Julie had probably already gone to bed and Simon would have to sleep in the spare room so as not to wake her.
Simon’s mind must have started to wander because he failed to see the rabbit on the road until it was too late. There was a slight thud as it disappeared under the wheel and Simon swore under his breath. Shaking his head to try and stay awake he then turned up the radio again just as the song finished. Another began and Simon sang along softly to the familiar tune.
A figure appeared on the road ahead, trudging along in the direction of Simon’s farm, and Simon stopped singing in bafflement.
“What are you doing out here, ay?” Simon asked under his breath and pulled over next to the drenched man. The man stopped and watched as Simon wound down the window.
“You need a ride?” Simon called out into the rain. The man considered it a moment and then slowly nodded his head. He walked around the front of the car and climbed into the seat next to Simon. “I can only take you as far as my farm but you can sleep there and continue on your way in the morning if you wish,” Simon told the man.
“Yes,” the man growled.
“Or you could make a phone call,” Simon suggested.
“There’s no one to call,” said the man, but Simon was busy bringing the car back on the road and didn’t hear him.
The man had long matted hair and his large bulky jacket only added to his already massive build. As Simon straightened the car again he glanced across and eyed the man’s large hand, which rested on the window ledge.
“So what are you doing out here in the middle of a storm?” asked Simon curiously.
The man stared straight ahead and remained silent for a moment. Simon thought he hadn’t heard his question and was about to ask again when the deep growling voice answered.
“I’m here because of my wife,” was the reply Simon received.
Simon frowned in confusion.
“Did she leave you out here?” he asked the man.
“No,” the man continued, still staring straight ahead. “There was some other stuff that led me here, but it started with my wife.”
Simon nodded but he still did not understand.
“My wife and I have been married six years now,” Simon said, deciding to move on from the man’s story of why he was in the middle of nowhere. “I just kept asking for her hand and eventually she relented,” Simon chuckled. “Then we moved out here.”
The man did not move a muscle and Simon peered at him out of the corner of his eye, intrigued.
“Is your wife nice?” the man asked quietly.
Simon nodded his head and said she was.
“Do you love her?” the man asked after a moment’s pause.
Simon shifted uncomfortably at the directness of the question. “Yes. Yes I do love her.” There was an awkward silence which Simon itched to break. “My farm is just ahead,” he eventually said.
A bent sign stuck in the middle of a pile of rocks loomed out of the dark and the car slowed to take the corner. The steering wheel swung around in Simon’s hands and the car slid to a halt in the mud.
“Could you get the gate?” Simon asked the man and the man opened his door and swung his leg out. There was a squelch of mud as he landed and the noises of the rain were cut off to Simon’s ears as the door slammed shut again.
The radio buzzed as the presenter announced the final song in the mix. Simon ignored the tune, which was too distorted from the bad reception, and watched the man disappear from the beam of the headlights to unlatch the gate. Simon wondered at why he would pick up such a strange man in the middle of nowhere but concluded that his conscience would have rested uneasily if he had left the man in the rain.
“Human kindness,” Simon said to himself reassuringly as he drove through the open gate. “Someone has to do it.”
The man climbed back into the car when he had shut the gate and his water drenched hair clung tightly to his face.
“You can sleep in the spare room which I’ll show you before I unload the stuff from the back,” Simon told the man as they pulled up outside the house. “Come on in.”
The two men climbed out of the car and into the cold. Inside the car the keys swayed gently back and forth in the ignition. The radio, still failing from the bad reception, spluttered back into life for a brief moment and the presenter’s voice crackled through with a news report; one last desperate attempt to send out a message before it died.
“...escaped this afternoon... do not approach... highly dangerous”
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Re: English Creative

Post by Strohble on 2008-03-29, 20:28

Spooky. I like it.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-29, 22:19

I've written a new ending, which i like better. There's a few other changes too. Which do you guys think is better?

The windscreen wipers of the old Ute struggled to push the pounding rain from the window and the wheels sunk into the mud of the road, slowing the car to a crawl. Simon flicked a switch on the dashboard and the heaters blew harder in an attempt to remove the fog from the windscreen. In the same movement he turned the volume dial of the radio and a presenter’s voice announced the next song in the eighties mix. He’d only have a few more minutes to enjoy the reception before he went out of range.
Simon sighed and gripped the steering wheel again. It had been a long drive and a long week away and he was looking forward to sitting down at home and having a nice cup of tea. Before he could do that though he would have to unload the Ute. Julie had probably already gone to bed and Simon would have to sleep in the spare room so as not to wake her.
Simon’s mind must have started to wander because he failed to see the rabbit on the road until it was too late. There was a slight thud as it disappeared under the wheel and Simon swore under his breath. Shaking his head to try and stay awake he then turned up the radio again just as the song finished. Another began and Simon sang along softly to the familiar tune.
A figure appeared on the road ahead, trudging along in the direction of Simon’s farm, and Simon stopped singing in bafflement.
“What are you doing out here, ay?” Simon asked under his breath and pulled over next to the drenched man. The man stopped and watched as Simon wound down the window.
“You need a ride?” Simon called out into the rain. The man considered it a moment and then slowly nodded his head. He walked around the front of the car and climbed into the seat next to Simon. “I can only take you as far as my farm but you can sleep there and continue on your way in the morning if you wish,” Simon told the man.
“Yes,” the man growled.
“Or you could make a phone call,” Simon suggested.
“There’s no need to make a call,” said the man, but Simon was busy bringing the car back on the road and didn’t hear him.
The man had long matted hair and his large bulky jacket only added to his already massive build. As Simon straightened the car again he glanced across and eyed the man’s large hand, which rested on the window ledge.
“So what are you doing out here in the middle of a storm?” asked Simon curiously.
The man stared straight ahead and remained silent for a moment. Simon thought he hadn’t heard his question and was about to ask again when the deep growling voice answered.
“I’m here because of my sister,” was the reply Simon received.
Simon frowned in confusion.
“Did she leave you out here?” he asked the man.
“No,” the man continued, still staring straight ahead. "She is the reason i am here."
Simon nodded but he still did not understand.
“My wife and I have been married six years now,” Simon said, deciding to move on from the man’s story of why he was in the middle of nowhere. “I just kept asking for her hand and eventually she relented,” Simon chuckled. “Then we moved out here.”
The man did not move a muscle and Simon peered at him out of the corner of his eye, intrigued.
“Is your wife nice?” the man asked quietly.
Simon nodded his head and said she was.
“Do you love her?” the man asked after a moment’s pause.
Simon shifted uncomfortably at the directness of the question. “Yes. Yes I do love her.” There was an awkward silence which Simon itched to break. “My farm is just ahead,” he eventually said.
A bent sign stuck in the middle of a pile of rocks loomed out of the dark and the car slowed to take the corner. The steering wheel swung around in Simon’s hands and the car slid to a halt in the mud.
“Could you get the gate?” Simon asked the man and the man opened his door and swung his leg out. There was a squelch of mud as he landed and the noises of the rain were cut off to Simon’s ears as the door slammed shut again.
The radio buzzed as the presenter announced the final song in the mix. Simon ignored the tune, which was too distorted from the bad reception, and watched the man disappear from the beam of the headlights to unlatch the gate. Simon wondered at why he would pick up such a strange man in the middle of nowhere but concluded that his conscience would have rested uneasily if he had left the man in the rain.
“Human kindness,” Simon said to himself reassuringly as he drove through the open gate. “Someone has to do it.”
As he spoke the song on the radio suddenly cut out and the presenter’s voice filled the car once more.
We’re sorry to interrupt our eighties mix but we have received important news from the Goulburn jail where a convicted felon has recently escaped. The man is tall and unkempt and is travelling on foot. Citizens have been warned to avoid all contact with the man as he is highly dangerous.
Simon’s blood froze as the song started up again, the upbeat tune contrasting his sudden fear. Simon could see the man shuffling along with the gate as it swung open and he tried to stay calm. His heart thumped heavily and his foot slammed onto the accelerator as he swung the car towards the man. The man watched in alarm as the car thundered towards him.
There was a thud and Simon pulled the car to a quick halt. He was breathing heavily now and he took a moment to relax himself. A glance in the rear-view mirror showed him that the man had not risen again and Simon quickly jumped out of the car.
The body was lying in the mud, not moving a muscle. Simon checked the body’s pulse to see if it was truly dead before heaving it up into the back of the Ute. After climbing back into the car Simon started up the engine and continued up the driveway and into the garage.
His heart was still thumping as he walked up to the door of the house and opened it as quietly as possible. Simon’s wife stood blinking in the light of the kitchen.
“You’re back,” she said happily. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too,” Simon said and kissed her quickly.
“While you were gone my brother called,” Simon’s wife said as they hugged. “He’s back in the country and said he’d love to come out and finally meet you.”
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Re: English Creative

Post by Strohble on 2008-03-30, 00:02

I lke the first one better.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-30, 00:23

Thanks for the opinion, Strohble. I've got until Thursday to decide which i'm going to use.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Strohble on 2008-03-30, 00:40

The first one is more suspenseful. The second kinda' felt weird from the transition of killing the guy to normalcy in front of his wife.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Alexios Komnenos on 2008-03-30, 05:31

First one was better. More interesting and frightening.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-30, 05:44

The problem is that the first one is more cliche and falls short of the minimum word limit while the second one lands prefectly in the word limit. My mate said that he liked the first one better too but that for better marks the second one may be more fitting.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-03-30, 07:30

While reading it I almost expected the man to be Julie's secret first husband, who had finally tracked her down.

I found the first ending a bit abrupt, and not really definitive. Sure, he was a highly dangerous escaped convict, but for all we know he could just sleep peacefully, have breakfast with them in the morning, thank them for their hospitality and move on. The second ending is more definitive and ironic.

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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-30, 14:24

Seleukos of Olympia wrote:While reading it I almost expected the man to be Julie's secret first husband, who had finally tracked her down.

I found the first ending a bit abrupt, and not really definitive. Sure, he was a highly dangerous escaped convict, but for all we know he could just sleep peacefully, have breakfast with them in the morning, thank them for their hospitality and move on. The second ending is more definitive and ironic.

But it isn't meant to be conclusive in either of them. Sure the second ending is highly likely Simon has killed the brother but who is to say that the man is her brother?

classic laugh The secret first husband thing was exactly what my mum suggested but i thought it was too much like a soap opera.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-03-30, 14:37

He could be her secret first husband who had tried to kill her but ended up in jail... That way you get the best of both stories.

Oh, and he went psycho when it was revealed that he was actually her long lost brother. He's been wanting to end that shame with a murder/suicide ever since. Everything fits together! classic tongue

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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-31, 01:23

I don't like your plots, Sel. I've rewritten it once, if you wanna change it go right ahead classic tongue
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Re: English Creative

Post by Kasey on 2008-03-31, 02:08

hmmm I have to say that the first one is proably better, and arent you allowed to be 10% under the minuimum word limit?
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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-31, 05:03

Yeh but it's always nice to fall in between. I'm still torn between the two and will have to make a choice sooner or later.

These past two nights i've found myself sitting down and writing a paragraph of an RE essay on fundamnetalism and then writing two pages in a story i have no idea the direction it is taking. So far i have a main character (Simon- i have very generic names until i complete my stories- this is probably the fourth one) who has found a lump in his armpit while he is at work. Then he walks to the bus interchange, gets a call from his mate, who has been trying to hook him up with his sister, to go to a party and is now sitting in the living room of the apartment. If the story goes anywhere i'll consider posting it here but it strays from the general historical and fighting contexts of most of the stories here and looks to be a longer story as well.

We'll see how things turn out.
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Re: English Creative

Post by Alexios Komnenos on 2008-03-31, 05:14

It would be nice to see something other than them. (Like my Pagan story, but that falls under "fighting" I guess.)
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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-31, 05:20

The question would be whether you guys are interested in reading about the ordinary life of some fictional character. He's our age, Alexios, so you would probably find it interesting.

As i said though, i want to give the story some direction before i consider posting it. If you are interested though i will put it up (just for you I love you)
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Re: English Creative

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-03-31, 05:59

Of course we're interested!
*Feigns interest*

No, really, I'd like to read it once the story finds its plot.

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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-31, 06:06

Sweet. I'll keep writing then.

Thanks for all your opinions too guys. I love you
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Re: English Creative

Post by Alexios Komnenos on 2008-03-31, 13:21

Post it! Post it!

(Although don't make his life too ordinary)
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Re: English Creative

Post by Tombles on 2008-03-31, 14:04

In the 2nd it seems a little strange that the conversation goes from 'It's because of my sister that I'm out here' to “My wife and I have been married six years now”. It made sense in the first one, because the other guy was already talking about wives, but it seems a bit odd in the second. I prefer the general plot of the second though

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Last edited by Tombles on 2008-03-31, 14:26; edited 1 time in total
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Re: English Creative

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-03-31, 14:14

Hah. I hadn't noticed that change. I only read the ending. Tombles is right.

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Re: English Creative

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-31, 14:17

@Alexios- The story is already at four pages. You can't do that out of talking about someone having a shower and then eating breakfast with nothing happening. It is interesting.

@Tombles- I was worried about that part in the second one and will consider either changing it or just sticking with the first story.
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