Three Days- Simon 1

Posted: August 14, 2008 in City, Crime, Dark, Death, Drama, Dystopia, Electric, Fiction, Future, Horror, Imagery, Insomnia, Life, Nihilism, Sadism, Three Days, Ugly, Urban, Women

This is a new series that I will be posting in lieu of Brawl updates. Enjoy.

Behind me, I can hear familiar music: cheap electric horns and drum rolls. I stop wiping the counter and turn my attention to the television across the room. A newscaster bares pearly whites at his invisible viewers, and I snort derisively. The old man watching the news looks sternly back at me, then back to the screen.
I’ve never understood the purported charisma of such people. Their expensive suits, their good hair, their high-paying jobs. It always amounts to the same pompous attitudes and self-assured posturing. Though in these crazy days I suppose it’s better to be informed by an asshole than by no one.
“Our top broadcast tonight– the events surrounding the approaching ten year anniversary of the Three Days Massacre. The atrocities committed over the course of those three days are still burned into the minds of citizens who resided here during that time.”
My lips curl into a half-smile. Soon the festivities will begin.
There’s a younger man sitting at the bar, cranberry juice stewing in front of him, shaggy dark hair obscuring his eyes. He’s one of the players.
“However, some residents of Scorpi City are doubting that the activities of ten years ago will repeat themselves. This is due to the recent influx of families that have not lived in the area for very long.”
Good. The more idiots here, the more fodder for us to play with.
“Regardless, quite a few have decided to leave the city before the three day anniversary begins in anticipation of the danger that may or may not come. Here to bring you an up-to-the-minute report on the traffic situation is…”
I grab the rag again and it circles about the table. My eyes sing the tune triumphant as I think about what the upcoming events will hold for us all. There’s killing to be done, rampages around a city playground with no rules to strap us down.
“Stop grinnin’ and close up shop.”
Rudy. The young man with the black hair turns from his drink, watching my boss come from the back room to berate me. His green eyes flick over me. My boss is tapping a foot against the stained wood floor.
“Did you hear me? We’re closin’.”
“Sure thing, Rudy.”
I toss the rag behind the bar and smile up at my boss, my fat, aging bastard of a boss. I may pay him a visit when the party starts.
“So Rudy, are you leaving before–”
“Before what? Ain’t nothin’ makin’ me leave my town.”
I go into the back room and retrieve the mop. I place the yellow bucket underneath the faucet and watch as the water falls, as it surges up into a soapy mess.
“I mean, weren’t you here about ten years ago, Rudy?”
“Nine.”
Pulse quickening. Good news. He’s staying. The old man in the corner is getting up, lumbering to the front door as Rudy flips the sign to ‘Closed’. The guy with the black hair isn’t moving.
“So you weren’t–”
“You a real freak, Reeps, you know that?”
Pardon me for looking into my boss’s welfare. Next time the apocalypse comes up I’ll be sure to keep the subject off of the table.
A rustling from the back, and Rudy emerges with his coat. Nights have been cold lately. Odd for a California city.
“Lock the door when you’re done. And kick the guy over there out.”
“Sure thing, Rudy.” I plop the mop onto the bar floor and swash it around carelessly. Behind me, Rudy closes the door.
The guy with the black hair is still sitting at the bar. His glass is empty.
I ignore him and the mop continues to travel in a circular motion. I don’t do this job well and as a result it’s a dingy little shit hole. There are dark parts of this bar that have never and will never be truly clean, even with industrial strength cleanser and a stringy mop.
“How are you doing, Simon?”
I pause and lean the mop against the wall. Drake’s always been a pain in the ass around these times.
“You going to be enjoying the next few days? The anticipation, the waiting…”
“Of course. Who doesn’t?” I smile at the do-gooder. He can be quite the nuisance come the time of massacre, but he can only be a thorn in the paw of the few that he is near.
“I don’t.”
“You never did.”
“I just don’t see why this appeals to you so much. To all of you.”
I turn to this peacenik, this hippy, this fucking faggot shitting on the face of the fun that awaits me. I smile, polite, nice. Easy to deal with. I open my mouth.
“Get out of here before I bite your fucking head off.”

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Comments
  1. Tomy Wilkerson says:

    Very good start. You defintely set it up really nicely, I can see the frustration coming from the narrator and I can see the anticipation of this big event. I think this story is only bound to get better once it unfolds more and we can see the actual event. but very nice exposition

  2. James Choulos says:

    Nice beginning, my only critique is to make the characters a little more distinctive as to avoid reader confusion. Cool scene though.

  3. james says:

    i liked it man, keep going…i agree that the characters need to be more distinct….i was having trouble knowing who was talking sometimes…

  4. kayla sikes says:

    i feel douchey leaving such intricate critique after the nice, concise CSSSA kids, but omg :[ i’m just trying to be a helpful bestie, don’t kill me.

    what I liked [WHAT WORKED FOR ME AND RESONATED IN MY SOUL:]

    the setting. I can totally picture this dingy, formica-topped little shitty diner, you set that up very well.

    I like the device of using the news anchor. it feels fairly natural and it’s an unusual, interesting way to give us the back story.

    the segueway from the story to the traffic is fucking FLAWLESS. seriously, christ, I loved that. it’s so realistic.

    “Nights have been cold lately. Odd for a California city.” — I hope this is legit foreshadowing because it’s an excellent, subtle piece of it. also a nice way to throw in the setting.

    I’m excited to see where this goes. I think it has the potential to be absolutely epic and creative. just please don’t make it some gross bloody ‘yeah let’s kill people, FUCK YES I LOVE KILLING PEOPLE’-fest :[ cause ew.

    also, I really think you should have that old man come back in. he’s this quiet, practically meaningless background character and it could be very shocking if he returned, but well set-up.

    what I did not like [NEXT STEPS:]

    ok. first off, the character voice. I feel like you keep writing these characters that are bitter badasses. they’re constantly mocking everyone in the world around them and eventually you get an impression that they’re extremely high and mighty, which is not what you’re going for [or I doubt it.] it’s just- “I snort derisively.” that automatically makes me start disliking the character, ngl. and it continues in descriptions of the anchors. I feel like a much more endearing tactic, one that will immediately win readers to the character’s side, is NOT generalizing and lumping people off in negatives ways like this- actually pointing out unusual details about these people, ones that distinguish them from their group. and if you still wanna make it negative, don’t go ‘oh all these guys are blah blah’. actually point out little details about the dude. I think something I noticed in Fight Club [don’t kill me. I’s just sayin u no.] is that he uses physical descriptions, tiny ones, to show the character. like, the note that the guy has the huge white teeth, much more effective than a lumped generalization. I think if you didn’t do it in most of your stories it wouldn’t rub me the wrong way, but at this point I read all your stories in Ed Norton’s bored monologue about how much he hates the people of the world, which was cool for 2 hours, but. you know. you have the same issue in other small places- “the more idiots here, the more fodder”, “my fat aging bastard of a boss,” “this fucking faggot”, and of course the last line. it’s just so impossible to like this guy and I hope we aren’t supposed to in the future.

    btw, I guess I might be hypersensitive to things like this, but having him say ‘fucking faggot’ seriously just turned me off the whole thing. idk man, I guess people really are dicks and they really do say things like that, but. D: seriously, once again, if we’re supposed to like this guy, it’s very difficult to do right now.

    ok, so the first paragraph spoken by the news anchor? the first sentence is constructed awkwardly. if you say ‘our top broadcasts’, it should be a brief summary list of all the top stories. or just make it broadcast singular. then, news stations are very careful not to be passive. they make their sentences not only active but downright assertive. so that first fragment, “the events…Massacre” should be blended to make an actual, action-y phrase. also, you can just totally cut “who resided here during that time,” just make it ‘citizens.’ it’s too wordy. oh, side note, ‘Scorpi City’ made me think this was a Brawl-type fantasy world for some reason [from the name, since it’s like “Scorpion”] so I was jarred to figure out this is plain California. also, the whole reasoning thing- “This can possibly be attributed…”- seems contrived. I mean, if a news station puts forth a possible answer to a trend, they’re going to back it up and there’s none of that here. it just feels like a blatant setup for his next badass line about the ‘new fodder’.

    second news paragraph- “may or may not come” – wordy, just cut it to ‘possible danger’ or something similar. then on the boss’s dialogue- “Ain’t nothing making me leave my town.” ok, if you’re gonna do dialect, you have to go all-out or you look halfassed and like you really don’t know how to write in an accent. cut the ‘g’s on both ‘nothing’ and ‘making’ or just make him speak normally, since he seems to do that afterward, anyway. yeah, might just wanna keep his accent consistent all through. makes more sense. near the end- “around these times.” idk, sounds awkward for some reason, maybe put something more obvious than ‘these times’, like what’s actually happening.

    ok, off-topic, YOU NEVER CALLED ME. what the fuck’s up with that. I feel like I’ve been stood up you silly bastard. i put it on your facebook and everything, which is kinda dangerous! jeez! D:

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