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Tomorrow- Chapter Nine

by 90skids


Charles grabs my arm and tugs me out of the gym and into the corridor.

“What the hell are you doing?” I say angrily.

“I might ask you the same question.” He replies, his voice low and dangerous.

“Well, I was enjoying a run until that moron attacked me.”

“I’m not talking about that.” He says dismissively.

“Well, what are you talking about then?”

“You’re a fool, Rebecca.”

“And who are you to talk?” I hit back furiously, “Come on, you’re hardly exactly Mr sociable and, when you are, you’re hardly Mr sociable.”

“My social life is absolutely nothing to you.” He says, glaring at me.

“Social life?” I spit, “Codswallop, you’d need a social life for me to talk about it!”

“My life isn’t important. I’m here about you.”

“Well, what about me?” I demand.

“I’m asking you what you’re doing.”

“WHAT I’M DOING?” I shout, my temper rising to boiling point and, predictably, boiling over. “SINCE WHEN IS IT YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS WHAT I’M DOING?”

“Since you came here.” He says, biting his lip in an effort to stop himself from shouting back. My father used to do that when my mother yelled at him.

“NO ONE ELSE SEEMS TO CARE WHAT I’M DOING SO WHY SHOULD YOU?”

“Because-“

“YOU KNOW, YOU THINK THAT YOU’RE MR I-CAN-FIX-IT BUT IT’S NONE OF YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS!”

“I just don’t want to have to recover your dead body from the lake, that’s all.”

“What makes you think I’m going to end up in the lake?” I say sharply, in my shock forgetting to shout.

Charles looks relieved that I’m not shouting. “Listen, don’t shout but-“

“But what?”

He breaths in deeply, closing his eyes for a moment before continuing. “This place,” He says, gesturing to the magnolia walls, “Isn’t like other places. It’s not like a regular school where, if you say something which annoys someone, you have to apologise and it’s all over.” He closes his eyes again and pinches the bridge of his nose between his long fingers. I wait for him to speak again. “Here, if you make an enemy, you may find them standing over you in the night holding a knife and do you know what? No one cares if you die. There’s always someone else to step up and fill your place.”

“I don’t have any enemies. I only just got here.”

“I’m not going to lie, Rebecca-“

“I thought I was Elizabeth now?”

“You see, you’re smart but you show it. That makes kids like Isla a little jealous.”

“Jealous? Of me?” I say, laughing.

“Yes,” He says, “And it doesn’t help that Eddie’s taking an interest in you already.”

“Eddie, what does he matter?

“Have you not seen the way Isla looks at him?”

“Wait, Isla has a heart. Christ, it has been a day for surprises.”

“Everyone has a heart,” He says, staring into my eyes until I begin to feel uncomfortable and have to turn away. “I think that even you have a heart.”

“The sole purpose of my heart is to pump blood.”

Charles laughs. “Come on, Liz-“

“Liz? I’m Liz now?”

“Shut up,” He says through his laughter, “You do care.”

“No,” I say shortly, “I don’t.”

“Why not?”

“The more you care, the more you have to lose. I have nothing to lose.”

“Nor do I. I have no family or friends for them to kill if I mess up. If I disobey them, I’m the only one who suffers.”

“So why are you lecturing me about caring?”

“Because, for some inexplicable reason, I care about you.”

“Rubbish.” I say and, before he can stop me, I march back into the gym where Isla, waits, glaring at me angrily. “Save your breath.” I say sharply as she opens her mouth, preparing to speak. She stands there, glaring at me through the blood encrusted on her face, with her mouth hanging open. She looks so comical I could almost laugh. Instead of walking over to Eddie, who happens to be waving at me frantically, I walk over to a section filled with weights. I pick up the heaviest and lift it up, not without a fair amount of pain, above my head. I hold it there for a couple of seconds before throwing it onto a mat which is conveniently placed nearby. It hits the mat with a loud THUMP and everyone looks up, startled. I grin slightly and stalk out of the gym. Where I’m walking to, I don’t know and don’t care but, I keep on walking anyway. My father always used to tell me that, no matter how confused my head is, my feet will tell me where my heart wants to go.

I pound down the corridors until I find myself confronted by the spiral staircase which I walked up yesterday. I’m glad that I bypassed the room with the records. Sometimes, knowing all the details about something isn’t as good for you as you thought it would be.

I hurry up the staircase, repeatedly banging my elbows on the stone walls as I make my way through the trap door and onto the roof. The wind buffets me from side to side, my hair is whipped across my face, tangling the well-styled mane into a feral mess. I stagger through the unforgiving wind to one of the high walls where I crouch, sheltering from the cold. Despite the cold and the wind, I feel strangely at peace atop this high, isolated tower. I know that, I’m unlikely to fall over the edge if I keep low so, I shelter by the wall, deep in thought. I wonder what I’ve got myself into. I thought that this place would give me a house and a ticket out of poverty and obscurity. It seems that, my mother was right when she said that there was no such thing as a free lunch. For everything you do, for every choice you make, there is a price to pay. Sometimes, it seems, that price is a low one, a price barely worth acknowledging whereas sometimes, before you know it, the price has risen to astronomical proportions without your knowledge. What the price of this newfound security will be, I don’t know. All that I do know is that, if what Charles said is right, the usual rules which dictate our behaviour in society do not apply here. Murder goes against our deepest nature and yet, in this place, I am being trained to kill. We are all trained to kill so, with one false move, one false step, we could turn on each other. What’s to stop us? I suppose that, after you’ve killed several people, you probably become immune to the effects of murder. I suppose that, after a while, you ignore the way that a dead persons eyes turn glassy. The strangest thing is that, although people may perceive me as a natural killer, I’m not sure if I could ever do to someone else what they did to my family. You see, I don’t think that I could live with myself if I knew that another ten-year-old girl was watching as I put a bullet through her parent’s chests. If I had that knowledge, I think that, throwing myself off this tower would be preferable to living with myself.

I suppose that, if you have never had to watch someone you love die, you wouldn’t have as much trouble killing someone else’s son but, you see, I don’t want to destroy another humans life. I will not forgive the government for what they did to my family though but, I suppose that, there is a difference between killing someone who is trained to kill and killing an innocent civilian. But then again, for all our flaws, are we not still human? Does being a murderer mean that you are less human? Does being a murderer make you worthy of being murdered? If you take an eye for an eye, will the whole world still be able to see? I know that, in a fit of rage, I was ready to kill George but, now that I can see clearly, maybe killing him wouldn’t make me happy. You see, it doesn’t matter if I kill every single person who was present that night, my family still wouldn’t come back from the dead. It doesn’t matter how many tears you cry, nothing will ever reawaken the dead. Only fools believe in miracles like that.

The fact is that, although I do not want to kill, that is what I will have to do if I want to survive. At the end of the day, my father did not save me from their bullets just so I could be shot for refusing to do my job. I know that, whilst he would never be able to bring himself to be proud of me for killing other people’s sons, daughters, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, he would be able to accept that, in order to survive, that is what I have to do. I vow that I will never kill anyone unnecessarily, though. I will not become one of those people who kills anyone that crosses them; I will only kill those who either try to kill me or who truly deserve it. Although it goes against our nature to kill another human, I suppose that mankind’s natural capacity for revenge overrides this every time.

As I stand up, preparing to re-join the world, I suddenly understand what this organisations name means; Occidere, Occidi- Kill or Be Killed.


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Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:19 pm
Deanie wrote a review...



Hi there 90skid!

Wow, this was definitely your best chapter yet, and that was completely clear to me from the moment I read it. One thing I also liked about it was that this chapter was a bit shorter - it didn't feel so heavy for me to read and I know other reviewers would be more likely to review this one now :) So keep posting at round about this length, and all will be good! I am also going to say I like that Charles managed to admit that at the very least he does care about Becca, Liz, or whatever he wants to call her xD And I thought it was perfectly within Elizabeth's character to easily brush him off and stomp out on her own. That character is a feisty one and longs to be independent too. Along the way though, she does have somne very meaningful thoughts about what she has exactly entered herself into, and I thought the last sentence was perfect for this chapter and left me with a little chill running down my spine.

exactly Mr sociable and, when you are, you’re hardly Mr sociable.”


Okay, when we use the Mr. to refer to someone, please not that it does need a full stop after the letters. But seeing as that is only the beginning to the name, it does not mean that the actual name can go without a capital letter too. Sure, it's not actually his name, but it must be treated as if it were so in order for this to be grammatically correct.

Moving on from that, I would like to mention the characters emotions. I hope I am not getting the wrong end of the stick while I am reading this. But I believed for her parents to be dead and for that to be a sensitive sport for Elizabeth because it's something she has been running from her whole life. But here she mentions her mother and father fleetingly in the middle of an argument and it doesn't affect her at all? Yes, maybe she is over it, but you previously made it very clear that she is not over it and won't be for a long time. Which is why I expected something more emotional than a one liner to come from those thoughts because it's stirring up all those feelings she has tried for so long to compress. And we are readers need to really feel that, which was something I felt was missing.

Now let's comment on something that has more to do with formatting. Let's start with paragraphs. You obviously know how to use them because in this novel so far you've been working with them perfectly, so that isn't what I wanted to speak about. But having one really long and heavy looking paragraph in the middle of a chapter can look daunting and on rare occasion it is completely necessary and should be left just as it is. But the big paragraph you have in the middle of this chapter here could easily be broken into two, and I suggest you do that so it looks less chunky.

Continuing on from the talk to the paragraphs, in this certain one and the one that follows you use the words 'I suppose that' an awful lot. At first I thought it was building up to be a small repetition which would draw some focus to the feelings and thoughts she was trying to relate. But then it became overused and it became more redundant than repetitive. I suggest you taking some of them out because they weren't all necessary. With only the ones you really need left in there I would still try and find some synonyms for what you are meaning to say so we have a mix in vocabulary here!

Also, Elizabeth says she won't kill anyone except when she has to or they really deserve it. But who gave her the right to decide when someone truly deserves to live or die? And when exactly is that point? Isn't she worried her opinion might be more biased over others. I know - this subject choice leads to a whole can of worms which can then also be applied to this chapter. But if she is going into thinking mode I found it strange for her to mention she will judge but nothing think of some of the things I just mentioned. They should also be taken into consideration!

Well, I have nothing more to say because this was a fairly great chapter in itself. Write more of them like this, please, and keep up this quality!

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Deanie x




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Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:20 pm
turtlethatroars wrote a review...



Chapter nine, here comes a review!

Suggestions

“And who are you to talk?” I hit back furiously, “Come on, you’re hardly exactly Mr sociable and, when you are, you’re hardly Mr sociable.”
This part is a tad bit confusing.
edge if I keep low so, I shelter by the wall
Do you mean "if I keep low so, I stay by the shelter of the wall"?

Only suggestion and you know this whole spiel so no need for me to continue to repeat it. :)

Lovely Things
“Because, for some inexplicable reason, I care about you.”
D'aww. :)

An Overview
So overall I liked this chapter. You touched on some pretty deep subjects at the end and the concept of nature or nurture too. I like how you finally had him admit to caring about her. :)

Happy review day and keep writing,
turtlethatroars




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Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:49 pm
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AstralHunter wrote a review...



Salutations, once again.

I apologise for not reviewing your previous chapter, but someone had beaten me to it. Instead of reviewing a chapter which had already been reviewed twice, I thought you might appreciate our getting as many of your works out of the Green Room as possible.

So, here, in this chapter, your sentence structure is much better. I did not get the same feeling about your work being detached as I had earlier. In fact, the text reads far more fluidly now - it is now the opposite of the the musical term staccato: legato, Italian for "flowing". Not only does this make your work seem more sophisticated, but it might also encourage more people to read your work.

A different problem I had spotted in this chapter is a rather strange one - the fact that, you unnecessarily add commas after the word that, exactly like I had done just now. You see, commas are generally supposed to help the reader when they are reading the text. It must aid the reader in their journey through the literary world you have created - not hinder them. When you add commas unnecessarily, as you have done here, you interrupt the natural flow of the words, and by doing that, you are simultaneously lowering the reader's regard of your writing. In this case, you probably did not know that you erroneously used the comma, but might be exactly what deters them - the fact that you use something, but do not properly know how, almost like a pilot not knowing precisely how to fly his aeroplane. Now, I am not saying your are an inadequate writer, but I am saying you need to be careful not to use punctuation incorrectly.

There is such a wonderful old saying: "The plot thickens." It flawlessly summarises what has happened here, and I think it is good that you have let the protagonist, Rebecca/Elizabeth, have the revelation about the true nature of the organisation. This chapter is a profound improvement in comparison with the rest, but now you must simply find your balance.

This review courtesy of
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90skids says...


thanks :) I'm not sure what happened in the other chapter; I think I just got a bit carried away with myself but i'll go back and sort it out in a second.



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Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:16 pm
AdmiralKat wrote a review...



Hello! KatyaElefant here for another review! Happy Review Day! Let's see what we have here.

You have some rather large paragraphs, especially towards the end. I advise that you split them into smaller paragraphs so that the reader doesn't loose their place so easily. I also wish with the dialogue you had a little bit more imagery. Tell me how they characters are speaking, are they monotone, angry, or sad. Tell me how their face looks, do they look concerned or even tired. Those little details really help me see how they are talking to each other and how they express their feelings. You also might want to work on transitions, there was video in one of my classes that really helped me with this is where they said you need to connect your two ideas together. For example if you have: Luke Skywalker for president, as one sentence and I am hungry, as another sentence after it, you need a way to transition it. If you already knew this, I'm so sorry that you had to read this. If you didn't know this, like I didn't, then you just learned something new! :D Hooray for learning all the new things!

You have pretty great grammar and spelling with few mistakes. This makes your piece rather enjoyable because you don't have to stumble upon a mistake and then having to correct it in your head. You general idea that you are portray in here is really nice. I think that you plot will bring you far. Overall, great job! I think that there are somethings that you can improve on but you have done well overall. Have a nice Review Day! Keep calm(almost said clam) and keep writing!




90skids says...


Thanks for the review and happy review day!




Too bad all the people who know how to run this country are busy running taxicabs or cutting hair.
— George Burns