The Library => Your Stories => Story Critique => Topic started by: Cornerandchair on 09:22:36 PM 06/11/17

Title: Loop
Post by: Cornerandchair on 09:22:36 PM 06/11/17
She stands in the bathroom of his apartment. She is uncomfortable and half undressed and regretting every moment at a rapidly increasing pace.
She looks at her face in the mirror.
Her hair is frazzled, her eyes are panicked.
Why did she do this? Why is she here? Why did she trust him?
Every fiber of her body is screaming to just run.
But she doesn't.
She can’t.
It's too late, too far, and too wet to run.
They were just going to hang out and talk, that was the plan. Why hadn't she realized how bad this would be when he offered a massage? When he pulled at her shirt? When he pulled off her pants?
Why was she such an idiot?
Now she had to live with this. With the pain. With the feeling of his hands on her skin.
She hates this. She hates her life. She hates herself. She hates him.
She walks over to the counter in the bathroom. It's messy, there's no sense of organization to it. Soap here, an empty food wrapper there, something she thought looked like a condom wrapper.
His razor.
With a trembling hand she traces its plastic handle. It looks cheap, and used. Maybe a little like her in that sense. She takes it in her hand and presses a finger to the blade.
A hiss escapes her.
It looks dull, but it’s still sharp.
Her finger slowly oozes blood.
And she thinks.
Why not just end this?
Why bother living with it at all?
So she shifts her hold on it and positions it over her wrist, and with a quick slash.
Her vision goes red with her own blood.
And then she comes to.
And she's standing in his bathroom again. Angry, desperate, and alone.
She walks to the counter again and takes the razor. She tests it on her skin. And then she leaves the bathroom.
Even in the dark she can see he’s facing away from her, his face dimly lit by his computer, playing a tv show long forgotten about.
She walks up and wraps her arms around his neck. A smile creeps across her face.
“Oh, hey sexy. Did you decide you want to pla-” With a quick slash…
Her vision goes red with his blood.
And then she comes to in his bathroom again. This time she's dressed. Her back is pressed on the door as he pounds and shouts through it.
She calls the police.
And then she's not there at all. She’s in her own room. Having declined his offer in the first place. She’a curled up in bed, listening to a podcast as she lulls to a peaceful sleep, unaware of what might’ve happened.
But none of those are what really happened.
Because here she sits, typing on her computer, her tablet, her phone. Different ways things could have gone different things she could have done.
She is trapped in a time loop.
And yet time is still moving around her.
But she doesn't realize it. She’s still stuck in his bathroom.
Angry, desperate, and alone.
Title: Re: Loop
Post by: Abysmii on 03:27:03 PM 07/04/17
I like the concept of this story a lot.  However, it seems like she's going backwards in time, not really looping.

The fear effect is slightly diminished at the end because she turns out to not be in any immediate danger.  What if the events were reversed?  And every time she tried to harm herself she got closer and closer to the bad man?  Just a thought.

Otherwise this was well done, good snapshot of an impossible situation the human mind will have difficulty processing.
Title: Re: Loop
Post by: lavecki on 01:13:55 PM 07/05/17
Abysmii, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. I think you may have missed whats happening, or else I just have a different interpretation. To me the story is of this girl who has gone through this trauma and is thinking about it. No matter how hard she tries she is thinking about how it could have gone different and that is keeping her trapped in the past. From my reading there isn't any actual time skip, loop, jump, etc. It's just her going over it again and again trying to think of where she went wrong and being unable to move past it.

Additionally I liked the story quite a bit. I'm not a big fan of using the same pronoun over and over and over but it works a little better here because I imagine the girl in the story is the narrator and that she is distancing herself from it.

To improve it, I'm not sure what you could do. There could be more impact in the ending if the pronoun shifted to "I" during the last part. A Freudian slip that wasn't caught before the upload.

"But she doesn't realize it. I'm still stuck in his bathroom.
Angry, desperate, and alone.

But yea, good story.
Title: Re: Loop
Post by: Abysmii on 12:37:16 AM 07/06/17
A question, Lavecki.  At one point she slits her wrist.  Then she comes to and goes to the razor again but puts it down.  If she is just recalling her trauma, then did she survive the slit wrists?  Is this story from a hospital?
Title: Re: Loop
Post by: Cornerandchair on 10:40:02 PM 07/16/17
I'm just going to step in for a bit here, because you missed a line Abyssmi
"But none of these are what really happened."
To hammer it in a little... She's looping back to what could have happened, but did not.

And to Lavecki,
about your "using the same pronoun over and over" which is a legitimate criticism that I understand completely, but... well I'll paraphrase something I said to DP about this story "I was hoping for depersonalization (of what happened)." And so I just avoided personal pronouns and names for that reason, and for a few personal ones.
Title: Re: Loop
Post by: lavecki on 02:22:42 PM 08/02/17
Right, I had the same reasoning for the pronoun. Like I said, I usually don't like it but I think it works well in this story, making the last pronoun slip more impact if you decide to go that direction.

Abysmii, while this was already answered by Cornerandchair I'll put my take on it. The trauma occurred prior to the wrist slitting, she is recalling things that she could have done after that initial trauma but these aren't things she actually did.