Author Topic: Fleming Storage Unit #131: Implanted Images (WIP)  (Read 1107 times)

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AllAroundPlayer

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Finally got a working idea going after several rewrites and drafts (all which were lost from my flash drive going missing. Yay.) Still not quite settled on the story's title as of yet.
Let me know of what you think of it so far.

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        I can’t really describe what I felt as I opened the unit. My mind seemed numb, just like my fingers stung as I removed the cold padlock and rolled up the metal sheet. In that quick respite, I was cursing myself under my breath for not bringing gloves. Then I stared at the unit’s contents. A large stack of sealed boxes and hoarded furniture lay shoved against the back wall. My mind went blank again.

   Was I really going to do this? Was I really going to loot through my father’s possessions in his absence? Even with him being gone for more than half of my life, it just felt…wrong. Digging through mementos left behind, unearthing memories I long since forgotten. Remembering... what my father had done and what my mom and I have been through since then. I felt like finding out whose bright idea it was to stick a guy they killed in this facility and strangling them myself.

   But I stood still, slipping the lock and key in my jacket and swapping it for a cellphone. I dialed a number and listened to the phone ringing. I began talking when my mom began talking on the line.

   “Hey mom. I’m at the storage facility you told me about.” I started pacing around the unit in circles as I talked. “I know you explained it before, but what did you want me to take out?”

   “You can go take whatever you want. I honestly don’t want to keep anything from your father. Bad enough on my mind as it is. Ron wanted to get rid of everything in there before we moved but there should be some stuff back in there you want, right?”

   I glanced back at the furniture and a sealed box labeled ‘VHS tapes’. “There are a couple things I want to look over, yeah.”

   “Well, be extra sure of what you want to take. The police will take everything you leave inside the unit by the end of the week. Have fun loading everything up.”

   “Gee, thanks.”

   “Ok, love you Mat. I’ll see you tonight, I hope?”

   “Yeah, I still need to sort things out with the landlord.”
   
      “Ok, see you tonight.”
   
      “Bye.”
   
        Another shot of cold came in, when I closed the call. It got me out of out my rhythm. Reminding me the place it was and how miserable it all is. I shuffled over to the shutter and folded it down halfway. That should help keep out the cold. I thought. I dug out a small flashlight from the glove compartment and I got to work.

        I was not in the mood to look through every single box right there. So, I started loading everything in the unit into my car. Shifting the shutter up and down in transport. Boxes and boxes began to pile up, flooding the whole car. From the trunk to the passenger seat. (I probably should have seen that coming from the size of the box pile.) However most of them, if not all, the boxes were opened. The masking tape stuck on the folds were sliced, which themselves were easily undone. The sides off the box came off several times blocking my vision. And when I got tired of moving the shutter so many times, one got caught on the shutter’s lip and crashed to the floor.
   
        There wasn’t anything much in that box really. Some old VHS tapes from before dad went missing. Most were recordings of football games and History channel documentary sets like Civil War, the World Wars, and other stuff similar to that. I shoved that box into the passenger seat.

Then I moved onto the furniture, which there was no room in the car.

         “Are you serious?” I yelled. My car was filled with dad’s old stuff and rearranging everything in the car could only fit a taxidermy deer head. I would have to go all the way back to my house, dump these boxes somewhere into the house, then come back to get the rest.

         “Fucking joy.”

         I quickly locked the unit up, key safely tucked away deep in my pockets, carefully got into the car, and drove away. I passed by several other people rooting around their units, almost everyone kept a blank, scornful expression on their face going back and forth. What seemed to be a mild inconvenience to me was really this huge burden placed on everyone who fed money into this business.

Feels great when the police screws everyone over, huh.
And thus the strangest things of all continue on.



Bosencaine

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You have a decent voice for your narrator, but your punctuation is sort of all over the place. You splice some sentences with commas where others should be left alone.
I have a few points, so I'm just gonna blast you with the specifics that hit me right away.

-Maybe cut 'stung' from the description of your character's hands. Saying they were numb but also feeling something could be combined into one phrasing, but both seems contradictory and awkward.
-"was cursing myself for not bringing gloves" almost seems present tense and like you're not committing. Your character cursed himself for not bringing gloves, surely.
-"Then I stared at the units contents" should probably be followed by a semicolon rather than a period (there are a few other places where you could combine your brief sentences into one, in fact)
-Mind your ellipses. They seem to make more problems than they solve.
-I love the term 'long since' in general, but you had long since.
-"what my mom and I have been through" could work if it's an ongoing condition, but I don't have enough story to know if that's accurate or not. Otherwise, you would want 'had been through'.
-In the dialogue again "go take" and "Bad enough on my mind" felt weird. Just 'take' (because the narrator is already there) and...some other phrasing for the 'bad enough' bit could work there, but I don't know what you really mean to say.
-'Began talking' happens twice in the same sentence. That felt a little weird.
-In the mother's dialogue, you could probably cut 'back' from "back in there" to make it sound more natural.
-The chunk of dialogue is very point by point. Maybe give some personal reactions from the narrator, or break it with some narrative to pace it out.
-"When I closed the call" felt weird. I know what you mean, but "hung up" might feel more natural. Also, maybe cut the comma before that point (there are other comma issues, but this was the first big one which hit me).
-You mention the door coming halfway down...I imagined the doors opening from bottom to top like a garage door.
-"-keep out the cold, I thought", not two sentences.
-The "I was not in the mood-" sentence could be combined directly with the "-so I thought" sentence.
-Your parentheses are a little unnecessary. You could just make that a regular sentence.
-"-most of them, if not all, the boxes-" would better be written as "-most of, if not all the boxes-" or "-most of the boxes, if not all,-". Or even "-most, if not all, of the boxes-", though this one is particularly conversational. I'm not sure enough of how you want to lean with that part to say which might work best.

There are quite a lot of syntax and punctuation errors, as I said. Just try to focus on what is a complete idea to make it one sentence and you should be able to clear that up easily enough.
I'd love to see where this is going. I'm looking forward to the rest of your draft.

Your narrator feels real, which is great, but I'm a little thrown by the start-and-stop structure of his narrative.

Good luck with it, and send me a PM if this isn't clear or you want something more specific.
« Last Edit: 10:53 AM, 11/23/17 by Bosencaine »
Nightmares can be such flimsy things with such voracious appetites. Turn them away once and they can starve.



AllAroundPlayer

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Can't believe I glossed over all of these mistakes, thanks for the critique. I'll fix them up for the final draft and submit the whole thing at the end. Don't really want to resubmit a continuation of each part with the whole beginning.  I spent more on whether or not it sounds consistent and further progressive than wording itself. I'll try to spot those before posting the next one.
And thus the strangest things of all continue on.