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16+ Language

She.

by justthisonce


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

The phone rang.

She flew down the steps of her apartment, clumsily yanking her arm through the second hole of her hydrophobic overcoat. Her coat was winter green with trimming that roughly resembled a doily. She wore it despite the forecast because of her perpetual anticipation of rain, and acute distrust of weathermen. Once she stood outside the small brick building, she returned the phone to her ear.

“Okay, talk now.” She said, retrieving a cigarette she’d left in the space between two bricks. She lifted it to her mouth.

“Mhmm.” She said, cigarette perched carefully between her chapped lips. She searched her cavernous pockets for a lighter. Once she found one, she lit it and inhaled comfortably. She exhaled stress.

Unburdened, and now laughing, she responded, “Oh really? You expect me to believe that?” She adjusted her casket hat so it sat perfectly imperfect on her head. Laughing still, she talked without reverence about her day. She spoke flippantly; knowing her caller didn't care about the content of her conversation so much as hearing her.

“What about you? What are you up to?” She knew what the caller would say. He always answered this question the same. Listening intently. Perched against his place of employment, or his girlfriend’s apartment in upstate New York. But she asked because she had nothing else to say.

“Really? Tell me more.” She walks down the street. She listens and laughs. “No! You have to. I beseech you.” She thought about how trite it all was, and felt like an idiot. Every telecommunicated conversation became irrelevant and circular. Its only purpose being to establish a connection beyond the screen. It lacked the kind of importance she desperately sought.

“Yes, you heard me correctly. I didjust say beseech.” She pauses. “What? I’m reading the Taming of the Shrew actually, and Shakespeare is fucking brilliant slash obsessed with the word beseech.” She’s walking directly in the middle of the street now, within the yellow lines that divide it. Maybe she should acknowledge the unspoken. Maybe if he and she had a conversation beyond their comfort zone, the caller would fall further into the rabbit hole of their undefined relationship. Rendering him incapable of escaping. Confirming her suspicion that he cared.

She laughs again. “Whatever, you’re full of shit.” She stops walking. Now she’s standing in the middle of the street, biting her nails. “Uh-huh.” She shrugs. Her enthusiasm begins to deflate. She drops her cigarette on the ground and doesn’t bother to snub it.

Weird. I miss you too.”

Can he hear me smiling? She thinks.

Alright, go ahead. Hang up now.” The caller’s line is suddenly silent. She relocates her phone to one of the cavernous pockets in her ugly green coat, remaining otherwise motionless. And bites her nails until they bleed. She turns to walk toward her apartment building, but the turn is is disjointed. Her eyes are distant and her thoughts are of him. The caller.

Fuck.

She slips another cigarette in the space between two bricks of her apartment wall. She drags herself up the stairs, her eyes swollen with tears.

She asks herself innumerable questions without answers.

Like, how the caller can say he misses her when the two of them know he’ll fuck his girlfriend just a few hours from thence? She laughs again, wishing (as she typically does) the phone would ring once more.


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Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:02 pm
shulchan wrote a review...



I thought this was really good. i don't really have much to say, because everyone really did say everything else, but I just wanted to let you know that you did a superb job and I would love to read more.

There was just this one thing that I found a bit disorienting- your tenses. You kept switching from past to present tense. For instance, this paragraph here is in past tense-

“What about you? What are you up to?” She knew what the caller would say. He always answered this question the same. Listening intently. Perched against his place of employment, or his girlfriend’s apartment in upstate New York. But she asked because she had nothing else to say.

But the line right after it is in present tense-

“Really? Tell me more.” She walks down the street. She listens and laughs. “No! You have to. I beseech you.”

And after that you go back to past tense again. It got me a little confused. You did this a lot throughout the story, not just in that instance.

But again, otherwise you did a great job! Keep writing!




justthisonce says...


Yeah.. thanks for pointing that out. I do an awful job of confining myself to one tense. I will work on that. My grammar is so far from flawless I shouldn't even submit things to this website. Hahahaha :) I'm here to grow though. Thanks again



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Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:39 pm
BookWorm97 wrote a review...



Hey there justthisonce

As I was reading the passage a lot of questions sprung to my head like "Who was this mysterious caller?", "Why did she rush to speak to this mysterious caller outside?", "Why were these people not together?" Please make a continuation and ease my mind!!!!

Personally the title "She." drew me in. I found it rather unique. Your style of writing was fantastic. It was very fluent and 21st century. The way it flowed encouraged me to read right to the very end without breaks.

I like the way we only able to read one side of the conversation, that was very clever of you. It switched on a few of my brain cells!!

There is nothing here for me to really criticise, only to praise!

Superb! Keep it coming!!




justthisonce says...


Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.



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Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:57 pm
StoneHeart wrote a review...



I've been having trouble with writing over-sized reviews that NOBODY has the time to read. Right now I'm working on dumbing down my reviews a bit, making them a bit simpler and easier to read. So . . . feel free to give me a speck of feedback on what you thought of this review (via PM -Love you if you do!)).

Okay, so first off: Nice work. No, really! Your wording was really good. You managed to put in some nice complicated, but well-used one's here and there. Your theme was well presented, with her pettiness and views. Good job there. Your way of writing is great too. It's a bit weird in places, but makes up for an overall good read.

Okay, so I'm cutting out half my intro and just going straight to the problems. First off: Your size. Small thing; yes, but if you can, then write short stories that are MORE than 600 words. You entertain a lot better that way. And think about it . . . you could have made a lot better story here if you'd filled in blanks and detailed out a bit more. But anyway, you did fairly well as is.

Okay, secondly: You have her do this telecommunication conversation . . . but you don't show it. You have her say random things, but they're all dead, empty, and completely cliche, because you don't show who it is she's talking to. What they're saying. Yeah, it works if you don't show, but it would be MUCH better if you did. Easier to understand, and a lot more interesting.

Third: Your description/ pacing has a couple glitches. I mean, look at this here paragraph.

She flew down the steps of her apartment, clumsily yanking her arm through the second hole of her hydrophobic overcoat. Her coat was winter green with trimming that roughly resembled a doily. She wore it despite the forecast because of her perpetual anticipation of rain, and acute distrust of weathermen. Once she stood outside the small brick building, she returned the phone to her ear.
“Okay, talk now.” She said, retrieving a cigarette she’d left in the space between two bricks. She lifted it to her mouth.


Okay, besides the fact that most people don't put their phone's to their mouth's, and you use the word 'coat' two times in 30 words . . . this piece really could be better. I know it's a short story, and pacing/ description aren't as important . . . but still, try to entertain your readers and give them a 'big' picture. Don't just show them her coat . . . show them the world! That's what writers do! They show their readers a WORLD! That they create. Bring that ability to its full potential and your readers will love it! (But watch yourself, too much detail will bore).

Nice job with the line about the weather. It showed a lot about her.

Okay, there! I hope this helped you. Usually I'd expand this here review to about two or three times this one's size . . . but as I said, I'm trying to dumb down a bit. Let me know if it worked. It's critical I do! Thanks! Remember: KEEP WRITING!

Oh, yeah, another quick note I'm just dropping in here: Watch your wording. Cussing really gives your characters a bad edge (showing lack of control and a temper) . . . it can define people in ways you don't intend. Be careful.


~Black~

(Goodness gradscious. Myne is the biggest O.o)






And this one was TINY!



justthisonce says...


Yay! Thanks for the "TINY" review. Much appreciated. :)
I will PM you.



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Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:37 pm
Sparkle wrote a review...



Hi, Sparkle here to review!

First of all, you have a very distinct and interesting tone and voice that really pulls the reader in. You use vocabulary well and your descriptions are good. Even from this short piece, I have a pretty good glimpse into the character and personalities of the protagonist and the character on the other side of the phone conversation.

Have you considered turning this into a book with chapters? Not that this isn't good, but I think it could be expanded on more. I am left at the end of this piece with lots of questions about the characters' relationship, the plot, and the reason(s) they aren't together.

Good job, though! This is a good start! Keep writing!




justthisonce says...


I think maybe I could. I've considered expansion solely because of the overwhelming response. Thank you so much for the review, by the way. It's good that you feel you understand the person on the other side of the conversation. I wasn't sure how clear that was.



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Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:11 pm
klara1882 says...



Hey there!

I'm Klara and I would like to say that this is lovely, I wish there was more to it. Actually, this is the first short story that I'm reading after a long time I've been off yws and it made me miss yws even more. It was simple, honest and just lovely. Great job, keep writing :)

Love, Klara




justthisonce says...


Aw, I really appreciate it. It's so fortunate you chose my story to return to reading. Thank you :)



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Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:42 am
EverythingsFine wrote a review...



I can relate to this character quite a bit, I myself find myself (that doesn't sound right to me but oh well) not trusting weathermen/women, and the forecasts until I see it with my eyes, but that's probably because where I live the weather just changes like a bitch...
And I'm studying Shakespeare currently in College, so seeing The Taming Of The Shrew being mentioned brought a smile to my face as I'm loving his work. Oh and let's not forget that I tend to stand in the middle of the road for about ten minutes, not caring about traffic... I don't mean to do it, I just find myself there. :')
The phone call reminded me of my phone calls, just saying the simplest thing to make the conversation go on for longer... Hell if I knew you I'd accuse you of basing her one me ;)
ANYWAY! Good story, I like the whole calling idea, and that you only hear one side of the conversation, so you have to imagine the other sidde of whats being said, this shows a nice little style that I haven't read for quite a long time, and It personally is one of my favorite styles of writing, as I love using my imagination in as many things as I can use it in... I tend to use it a lot anyway as I do Acting, so imaging scenarios and all that rubbish :') But yes. I love the story and would like to read on, just simply because of how so far the character is more or less a lot like me, so do please continue advancing on this... I'll be sure to read. (:




justthisonce says...


Thank you! I'm glad you could so readily relate. I'm also glad you have, like some of the others, identified a style or voice in my writing. Thank you so much!!



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Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:01 pm
Rurouni wrote a review...



This was okay..

It was a little confusing..
1) What is she doing in the street? Really, I'm curious and I don't understand that bit, who just walks into the street while on the phone, drops their cigarette and bites their nails until they bleed?

"I didjust say-" is "I did just say-"

It is somewhat confusing, and we need more info, that last bit doesn't make much sense to be honest, I don't understand it at all, the last paragraph is confusing also.

I think you should look over it and try to see these mistakes, even if you wrote it out of boredom.

Thanks,

pegasusgirl2




justthisonce says...


I totally understand. I bite my nails really often. They're tiny. So if I'm not careful they will bleed. I also walk down the middle of the street when I'm outside and bored (I'll often walk while talking or listening to music). It gives me something to do, like pacing. My street is very quiet at night, rarely any cars, and it's clear when they're coming. The "didjust" is a typo! I don't know how it was uploaded that way, but when I went to check my word document it was saved with a space. I'm just trying to provide explanations- but I totally see the confusion. I guess I was aiming for something not obtuse or obvious and failed. Although I would love, of course, a great response, your comment on the confusion and lack of information is actually really helpful. I'll be more thorough in the future. Thanks a TON for the review. I really appreciate it.



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Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:09 pm
whitepencil wrote a review...



Excellent! I wish this was longer!

I love your writing style! It draws the reader in and is unique. Very good! I liked the idea of listening to a phone conversation, but not knowing what the other side is saying. It's not often that we get to use our imagination to fill in the blanks like that, it's very engaging for your readers.

I'm not a huge fan of unnecessarily rough language. It feels jarring to me, like you're trying to appeal to an older, more "mature" audience by using "mature" language. That most likely isn't the case, but that's what it seems like to me. Just my personal opinion, though, as you've not left much for me to review on. It's too good to criticize!

There are some grammar issues like repeating words, but I'm not the type to pick them all apart for you. Thanks for the read, it was very enjoyable. Keep writing!




justthisonce says...


Thank you! I'm really awful with grammar. (I also have a sailors mouth!)
I agree with you actually, as I reflect on it. Cursing is whatever and sometimes a piece is strengthened by the lack of unnecessary garish words. I'm not so offended by it in this piece, but I think it could have been less obtrusive. Thank you again :)



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Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:45 am
Ary says...



Damn, that was good. First post and you've already learn to enchant the reader with your writing. I'm impressed. :D




justthisonce says...


I'm so excited about all this positive feedback, it's really encouraging. Thank you, Ary!



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Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:10 am
Wonder says...



Amazing. That was SUPER SUPER SUPER GOOD!!! At the end I was all like, "Aww." And my mouth turned down at the corners. :(

It's perfect. The story is perfect. Keep it just the way it is!! x3

~Wonder




justthisonce says...


Aww, I'm glad you took something away from it-even if it wasn't necessarily a happy feeling. Thank you a ton for checking it out. :)



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Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:05 am
KLovelace says...



*sigh* I love it, and almost cried myself reading it because it reminds me so well of my past.. I used to have someone in my life like that. You're an amazing writer, keep it up.




justthisonce says...


Oh my god, thank you so much! I really sincerely appreciate the feedback




By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
— Winston Churchill