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Re: [ticket2write] The Boy On The Bike (TBOTB) - Chapter 1 (2000w)

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  • william herring
    Patrick, I ve been saving this until I had a chance to read it. I like to read posts at least two times before I comment. Basically I agree with other
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 3, 2003
      Patrick, I've been saving this until I had a chance to
      read it. I like to read posts at least two times
      before I comment. Basically I agree with other
      critiques that this needs editing work. Here's one
      they missed: At one point in the chapter you say the
      worst consequence of missing curfew would be to sleep
      on the porch. Later, you say missing the curfew even
      once could cause him his spot in the dorm. You should
      probably address that. I like the potential this
      story has to be a gut-wrenching suspense tale,
      although I've never been able to kill a child in a
      story. Had one kidnapped, never to be seen again.
      But never killed. Looking forward to parts 2 and 3.
      --- Patrick Cristopher <jaezus@...> wrote:
      > 1)
      > Thinking back, if there was one solitary thing
      > Taylor Reeves
      > would want to change about the events of that night
      > it wouldn't
      > have
      > been the drive. It would not have been the weather.
      > Or the strange
      > boy propelling out of the darkness on a Huffy bike
      > while Taylor was
      > driving well over sixty miles per hour. The thing
      > he wanted most to
      > change was that last drink he'd gulped down before
      > leaving the
      > club. Unfortunately, he couldn't change a thing, so
      > the outcome
      > of
      > last night's indulgences was to stay the same: the
      > boy was dead.
      > It was that final drink to which he attributed his
      > lack of
      > good judgment (his own concoction of cranberry
      > flavored vodka and
      > rum, mixed with the kind of poisonous whiskey his
      > drunkard old
      > grandfather used to drink before he succumbed to
      > cirrhosis of the
      > liver a year ago). The potent mixture, combined
      > with the beers
      > he'd
      > drank earlier, had weakened his senses and caused
      > him to toss
      > caution aside as if it were nothing more than a
      > cigarette butt lost
      > in the wind.
      > Tonight, Taylor was loading his bladder with
      > another tumbler
      > of his "Grim Reaper". The memory of yesterday
      > evening's
      > incident
      > burned in the furthest recesses of his mind, branded
      > there for all
      > eternity like an evil, dark secret from hell. He
      > wanted to forget
      > all that happened, and hoped that if he drank
      > himself into another
      > stupor he'd either wake up having repressed the
      > haunting memory
      > or
      > would fall into a lifelong coma. He didn't care
      > which so long as
      > it
      > guaranteed him some peace of mind.
      > But maybe that was asking too much. He'd
      > manslaughtered a
      > child! Why should God grant him serenity if all he
      > had to offer the
      > boy's family was mental and emotional anguish? The
      > parents would
      > surely remain tormented from this day into eternity,
      > having lost
      > their offspring, yet never having the privilege to
      > lay the boy to
      > rest in a proper burial plot; never quite delivered
      > from their
      > grievance.
      > Never knowing how their son died in the first
      > place.
      > Taylor mixed another Grim Reaper and swallowed it
      > with one
      > gulp. The incident unreeled itself in his mind
      > again, unbidden;
      > unwanted. Once more he saw the entire ordeal unfold
      > as if it were a
      > private screening of a motion picture. He saw
      > himself, an ethereal
      > image stumbling into the rainy, moonless night, away
      > from the Cage
      > dance club for which he'd used fake identification
      > to gain
      > entrance
      > and buy beer. At the door of his car he dropped the
      > empty flask
      > he'd snuck his odd mixture of liquor into the Cage
      > in, but
      > didn't
      > bother to retrieve it.
      > Blue and gray blotches danced in the corners of his
      > vision.
      > His ears rang from the fading sound of the
      > disco-house music. Cold
      > blasts of autumn wind made his loose T-shirt billow
      > just above the
      > belt.
      > But the fresh air did nothing to clear his
      > intoxicated mind.
      > He slumped into the helm of his car, shoved the
      > keys into
      > the ignition, cranked the engine, and then rolled
      > down the windows.
      > The wind and rain should do him good, he figured.
      > Since he
      > didn't
      > live here in the city of Philadelphia the drive home
      > would be good
      > and long. He lived in a neighboring town called
      > Sutter's
      > End�a
      > small, no-way-out, everybody-knows-your-name type of
      > place.
      > He swerved twice on the stretch of road leading out
      > of the
      > city, both times because he had chanced a glance at
      > the fluorescent
      > illumination of the digital clock and needed to
      > squint to see the
      > time. He pressed down on the gas pedal, anxious to
      > arrive back to
      > the pseudo-dorm before the housemother�Edna Lomax,
      > the landlady
      > actually�retired after the Late Late Show at about
      > one
      > o'clock and
      > locked all the doors to the building before she
      > trumped off to bed.
      > If Edna locked the doors before he got there would
      > be no way to
      > enter the dorm unless he managed to wake his best
      > friend, Marc
      > Tolson, which was highly unlikely because he slept
      > like a bear in
      > hibernation.
      > Taylor hated that stupid curfew rule (the sheriff's
      > idea, citing
      > the
      > need for increased safety measures as if they were
      > elementary kids
      > instead of college students!) because he was always
      > just squeaking
      > by when it came to getting inside those doors before
      > the deadbolt
      > was latched. Sometimes he questioned the
      > intelligence behind the
      > operation: anyone could enter at any other time
      > since not one of the
      > students had a personal key because the damn place
      > was left
      > constantly unlocked�but he didn't complain. After
      > all, it
      > was rent
      > free and all the food you could eat, as long as he
      > got his narrow
      > ass across that threshold before the Late Late Show
      > bid Edna Lomax
      > adieu.
      > Taylor was not worried. He was actually jubilant.
      > If he missed the
      > curfew he would have to sleep on the porch in the
      > old fashioned
      > swing at worst. That consequence just didn't
      > compare to the
      > thrill
      > of the routine, this pattern of racing against the
      > clock just so he
      > could hear Edna tsk-tsk and watch her wag her
      > decrepit pinky at him
      > even as he slammed the bolt in place for the old
      > bag. The race was
      > a daily adventure that got his adrenaline pumping,
      > and though he
      > never purposely set out to run late, he knew that
      > subconsciously he
      > timed his departure from the parties and bars just
      > so that he could
      > creep under Edna Lomax's skin with his
      > nerve-wrecking near
      > tardiness. He fancied sometimes that she didn't
      > stay up for the
      > everyday for the late night movies but for the
      > chance to finally
      > best him in this game that had started quite
      > innocently and
      > unintentionally. But Taylor never gave her the
      > satisfaction. Every
      > night out he arrived home on time, even if it was
      > only by precious
      > minutes. Tonight would be no exception.
      > Taylor floored the gas � and lost control of the
      > car. He
      > veered too far to the right, but quickly managed a
      > slight control of
      > the vehicle on the slick road. He pumped the brakes
      > frantically as
      > he skidded precariously close to the guardrail at
      > the edge of the
      > road, which, had he gone through, would have sent
      > him falling into a
      > pure black abyss. He successfully deviated from the
      > sheer drop by
      > jerking the steering wheel farthest in the opposite
      > direction.
      === message truncated ===

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