View Full Version : excerpt from short story

06-04-2006, 09:49 AM
[Just trying to get feedback. Tell me what any of you perusers think.]

His father took out the crumpled pack of Winstons from his left chest pocket, waved his excuse to leave from the table without a word, and proceeded to head out toward the front door. Gordie heaved his chest slowly, then began to follow.

The clouds were steadily sauntering through the evening sky. Some patches would faintly block the courteous lunar reflection, but this night was soft and clear. The breeze was cool and careful to the touch, like a loved one's gently removed move for forgiveness. Gordie ran down the hallway, until he reached the porch, and caught his father, who had lit up a cigarette and was wading in the brief moments between exhalations.

His father looked at Gordie with curiosity. "What you want, boy?"

"Can I smoke one with you, Pops?" Gordie looked up at him.

His father stared at him like a startled bear in the dead of winter, his ragged wrinkles jutting erosively from his forehead. "Hell no you can't! Where in God's name you get a dumb idea like that?"

"It smells nice."

"You got friends who smoke any of these?"

"No, Pops."

"You hear folks say anything to you about these?"

"No, Pops."

"Your mom com and testin' me again?"

"No way, Pops!"

"Then why you wan' smoke them for?"

"It smells nice, Pops. Not too much, though. Just a nice enough catch of it."

"Hell no it smells nice! I don' care if it smlels like Mom's peach pie fresh baked. You ain't gon' get one, and you ain't gon' say no more."

His father took a few more drags. His eyes would draw to and from the cigarette, reaching out from the flickering roan cinders to the faraway marigold lights of downtown. Sometimes he would take it in the way the French did - inhaling through their noses while exhaling out their mouths. Gordie's eyes strayed to and from his Pops, who stoid stoically as a granite slab of stone, whose only motion consisted of moving his hand - holding the Winston - to and from his mouth.

"Pops, why won't you let me have one of them?" Gordie looked up at his father, whose eyes had slightly softened, but still carried its ire.

"I wan' hear none of that, ya hear?"

"Why not?"

"It ain't up to you. It's my decision, and I say you ain't gon' get one, and you ain't never gon' ask me no more. Ya hear?"

Gordie heard. He still stood by his Pops, watching the wind blow the smoke from the burnt ember, flying off into the distance. The air would shift from one direction to the next, and he would catch a brief sniff of the tobacco whenever it erred his way. He closed his eyes, and fell back to the times when his Pops would take him to his buddies' hideout on Fridays, where they would play poker till the night gave out. Inside, he could barely make out their faces, drawn with thick, farinaceous palettes of bluish-gray haze, dabbed with translucent, watercolor tinges of alcohol and sweat, sketched in sorrel cackles and umber pretenses. But he would remind himself to behave - never to cough too loudly or act too interested - while the smoke would seduce him, its bittersweet scent filling him like the terse whiff of a redolently perfumed passerby, or the anxious insomnia before the first day of school - only a hint of hurried hurt, and he thought of Sally and her singing.

Sally of the emerald eyes. Sally of the ecru hue. Sally - to whom Tom Wately had proposed on the second day of school - on the whim of a dropped curl that Sally had innocently let down during science class. Wately, his attention deficit undeniable, pitting his pencil and pattering his toes, glanced over from the windowpane to Sally, back to windowpane back to Sally, sitting just in front and writing feverishly their educator's blathering dictation. Just then, through the incidental confluence of Tom's maturating immaturity and the Second Law of Thermodynamics detailing ENTROPY, a slip of Sally's bound hair came loose as she finished crossing the "T", and the failing-flailing-falling tress that consequently dangled like a willow-pillow-billow branch in the midst of autumnal bloom drove Wately to stare aghast, silently whispering in tongues and alliteration. After the teacher had dismissed them all, Wately half-crawled, half-skipped to Sally, turned to face her, and asked her with the eyes of a dismally caged animal, "Will you marry me, Sally O'Ryan?"

Everyone laughed, except for Wately. Even the teacher, blind as he was to the plight of his fellow male, tilted his neck from his quotidian chores and drew a curious glance at the outmoded gesture. If he had dared to deem closer inspection, he would have clasped a brief glimpse of the tumult raging underneath Tom Wately's perspiring pate - his eyes caught dead brown, his lips firmly ajar and vehemently shaking, a splash of crimson burgeoning about his cheeks, as if he held no other recourse. No one else did.

Not appearing as stunned as most would believe, Sally merely smiled closed-lip, jade her eyes, amber her hair, and passed on to her next class, guarded surreptitiously by her mates. The noonday light that emanated from the far side of the room had shaded much of Sally's face to Tom, who had deliberately blocked the door, opposite to the windows. He thought he had seen her blush, though he could know little more than a man staring at a mirror in darkness. He could only let pass with the stance of a fateful one who ahd seen his future, but did not understand its purpose.

06-04-2006, 06:33 PM
Didn't read all of it because I'm in a rush, but read most of it.

It's very good, I can see some influences from certain authors. Looks like you picked up a thing or two on dialoge from Hemmingway, which is a very good attribute. I think maybe some of the sentences are too wordy for what they're showing. And maybe add some more imagery for the smoke, it's really an interesting thing to describe. (I suggest reading a short story called "The Life You Save May Be Your Own"...I think you'd like it DR.) But it's awesome, good luck writing and perfecting the rest of the story.

06-04-2006, 06:40 PM
Is this story finished? If it is, then I really should tell you, the discription of the surroundings is great, but those of the converstion is a bit "normal", not really impressive.

And if it's unfinished, this story "may" be great .... http://www.kkwavefront.org/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif