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Engulfed- Chapter one

by writerkitty


“I never wanted to be your son anyway,” I muttered under my breath.

“Stop mumbling.” The tall man in front of me said in a deep voice,” If you want to say something, just speak up. I’m a very busy man.”

I shoved my hands into my pockets, “Sorry if I wasted your time da- Professor. Walter.” I said as I walked past him.

“Matthew stop, I said stop!” His threatening voice echoed through the empty room. I stopped facing the exit.

Heavy footsteps headed my way; I remained still without turning back.

My hands were getting sweaty and my breathing was getting heavy, but this time, I managed to maintain a straight face.

“Turn around, son.” I felt his hand on my shoulder, “We don’t need to have silly arguments like this. It’s pointless. We must accept what we’re given.”

I lost it. I shoved away his hand and turned around clenching my fists, “It’s funny you say that. You didn’t accept what you were given. I didn’t have a super brain like yours, so you simply left us.” My eyes were getting teary, “Is that how you accept what you were given?”

He shook his head, sending his fingers through his gray hair. “You’re confused Matt…that’s not what happened. Your mother-”

“You have no right to speak about my mother!” I cut it. “She died because of you, I know you don’t care. But I’ll keep reminding you that.”

I ran out of the room before he could respond. My heart was thumping and the tears kept flowing down my cheeks.

It was unmanly for a fifteen-year-old boy to cry, but I didn’t mind that right now.

People in white lab coats walked past me giving me confused glances. I ignored them and ran across the white hallway panting and trying to keep myself steady.

“Matt!” Professor Emma shouted as she grabbed me by the shoulder, “What happened, why are you crying?”

For a thirty-five-year-old lean woman, she sure had a lot of strength in her.

I stopped with a jerk, “Everything’s okay…” I managed to whisper.

“You’re running away from your dad’s room. Did you two have a fight again?” She asked pulling me to a corner to avoid all the curious eyes.

“He’s not my dad,” I snapped. “He’s just the world’s best scientist…that’s all he is," I said breaking free from her grip. I was desperate to get out of this wretched laboratory.

I heard Professor Emma’s shouting but I kept running towards the exit. But when I reached the exit, I sneaked into the Basement right next to it.

I let out a low sigh as I closed the door drowning myself in total darkness. The basement was an unnecessary part in the laboratory. It was stacked with faulty experiments, unwanted inventions and other stuff like that.

I use it as a hiding spot when I want to be alone, it feels like the only place that suited me in my father’s laboratory. Unwanted, neglected and worthless, just like those old, dusty inventions.

I sat down resting my head on the door. My chest felt heavy.

I didn’t regret what I said to him, but renewing memories of my mother always left me in tears.

She was the only person who understood me left me in this world.

Everyone expected me to be a genius like my father, they failed to see that we’re two different individuals.

A small flicker coming from down the stairs brought me back to reality.

I got up slowly and made my way to the last step.

Maybe it was a faulty electrical wire or something. But there was no electricity in the basement.

The light got brighter, like the light coming from a low powered LED bulb.

I took a few steps forwards, trying my best not to step on sharp objects. I managed to find the source of the light; it was coming from a very old television, at least I thought it was a television.

The light suddenly disappeared leaving me in total darkness once again. My curious mind made me touch the screen; I expected its surface to be tough, but to my shock, my hand went right through it.

I let out a gasp and quickly pulled out my hand. The screen must be made of a jelly like substance or something. I couldn’t see anything so it was hard to tell. I turned around to head towards the door but the television began to let out an orange pale flicker again.

My heart started to pound as I reached out my hand towards the screen, it was pitch black just like an ordinary TV screen.

I shouldn’t have done that, at the very moment I kept my hand on the screen, the light grew brighter and began to suck in my hand.

I let out a panicked cry and tugged my arm, trying to take it out, but the more I tried to pull out my hand, the more it pulled me in.

Before I could cry out for help, the huge old fashioned television completely sucked me into its screen, leaving me in total darkness again. 


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Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:28 am
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saentiel wrote a review...



Hello, writerkitty! I'm here to review your work! I'm sorry in advance if my review isn't all that helpful. I'm trying to become a better reviewer, but I'm still not used to reviewing some of the things I'm going to mention in this review.

Your main problem with grammar is when you're writing dialogue. I'll put an example of something you put down below and how to fix it. This website also has a good example of the rules of dialogue, though it mainly focuses on how to use dialogue to move the story along.

“Stop mumbling.” The tall man in front of me said in a deep voice,” If you want to say something, just speak up. I’m a very busy man.”


“Stop mumbling,” the tall man in front of me said in a deep voice. “If you want to say something, just speak up. I'm a very busy man.”


You showed the tension between the protagonist and his father with their dialogue, as well as the dialogue with other people at the place where his father works, and I loved that! The reader knows almost immediately that they don't like each other, as well as learning that Matthew's mother is dead. Since this is only the first chapter, you haven't had many opportunities to show more of Matthew's character traits. It will be interesting learning more about him and seeing him develop as a character as the story progresses!

I feel like you did your best with the descriptions at the end of the chapter. The reader became more immersed in the story because of how you described what was going on. You should try doing this at the beginning of the story as well. Though dialogue can get a lot of information across to the reader, how you describe what's going on at the same time as the conversations is what lets the reader into the story.

I'm excited to find out what happens in the next chapter!

I hope this review helped. I really enjoyed reading this chapter, and I'm sorry if any part of my review seemed harsh! Also, please feel free to PM me if something I said doesn't make sense. I'd be happy to explain it to you. Keep up the great work - which I doubt you'll have trouble with - and good luck on your writing endeavors! I hope you have a wonderful day/night!




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Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:49 pm
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BiscuitsLeGuin wrote a review...



Hi there, here as promised :)

Nit-picks first:

“Stop mumbling.,Tthe tall man in front of me said in a deep voice,. ”If


I remained still without turning back.

"remained" feels a bit too formal. "stayed" would sound more casual.

I didn’t regret what I said to him, but renewing memories of my mother always left me in tears.

She was the only person who understood me left me in this world.

Everyone expected me to be a genius like my father, they failed to see that we’re two different individuals.

A small flicker coming from down the stairs brought me back to reality.

I got up slowly and made my way to the last step.

Why are these all their own paragraphs?

The screen must be made of a jelly like substance or something.

This sounds like Matt is deducing something but he's actually just describing it. "This must be jelly" would make sense or "it was made of a jelly like substance" would work.

Overall:

Character: I get a little bit of information about Matt, and it's enough for me to get a rough idea of who he is. The relationship with his father is also made clear and the relationship with Professor Emma is also done just the right amount. I think I'd like this chapter just to be a little longer, maybe with the rememberance of a memory of some time that is important to Matt's character and relevant to the moment, so that I know more clearly what's going on.

Setting: You drop this in a good amount and I'm easily able to picture what's going on. Good job!

Plot: Oooooh interesting. I'm not as interested in the dad side of it but it's not that you haven't done it well. It's just been done a fair bit before so that part's going to have to be really well done. The bit about getting sucked into the tv is suuuuuper interesting though! Definitely got me hooked.

Flow: Sometimes your speech punctuation is a bit inconsistent. It doesn't matter if it's not exactly correct, just have rules and stick to them.

Hope this helps and see you at the next chapter,
Biscuits :)




writerkitty says...


Thank you!
:D Your review was really helpful!



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Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:57 am
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maisewriting wrote a review...



Hello!
This is really cool, the whole TV thing was so unexpected (that's a good thing!) and now I want to find out what happens next! I have a few critiques, so here:

First, there's way too much dialogue at the start. It's a strong start, but it takes a while to figure out what's happening. Maybe write about where he is, what Matthew is looking at (the floor, the surroundings — introduce the setting this way).Also, tell us who the "tall man" is. Matthew knows it's his dad, so why shouldn't the reader?
Second, you really don't need that many paragraphs. At one point, you're adding a line break after every sentence. I would recommend having "I let out a low sigh" to "those old dusty inventions" one paragraph, "I sat down" to "two different individuals" one paragraph, then "A small flicker" to "low powered bulb" one paragraph. At the moment it feels really choppy and distracting.
I'd also recommend reading this aloud, you might find that some sentences don't really make sense. Also, go through and make sure that you're consistently using past tense.
Apart from that, though, it's really interesting! I'm intrigued :)




writerkitty says...


Thank you for the review! :D :D :D



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Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:10 am
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tswizzy22 wrote a review...



Strong start to this story in my opinion. It has a lot of good imagery making it easy to picture exactly what is happening.

I was definitely not expecting him to be sucked into a tv from the start of the story, but I like it, good twist.

It was very easy to relate to the main character, and I found myself sucked into the argument and taking his side against his father.

Good work!




writerkitty says...


Thank you for the review! :)



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Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:17 pm
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ZeldaIsShiek wrote a review...



This is ZeldaIsShiek here again for another review on an outstanding story! I was honestly very surprised and very pleased that this was written. I can't wait to see more from you! Here, take this FOLLOW! *+1 follower* There you go. Have a like, too! *+1 like* Now, let's jump right into this review!

I wish I could say I could say that I expected this to be an alien Sci-Fi story, but I honestly didn't. All I thought it would be was a story about a kid whose dad was a scientist and his mishappens through life. I didn't feel it had the makings of an astounding story... until I got to the Sci-Fi part! I really think that the misleading vibe in this story is intentional, as so many stories start this way, but I don't feel like you could not have intended to leave clues such as you did.

Clues such as that his dad is a scientist, they are in a laboratory, and the fact that the basement is filled with old inventions that presumably no one wants. The story really made me feel like I was a part of the story and that I was the 15-year-old boy in this story running through a laboratory to a basement next to the exit. You've managed to create an entire world for your readers by simply creating a short story. I am very bad at this, as I prefer to rush through mundane parts of my stories and get to the action.

As expected, this is the work of a great writer, and I sincerely hope that your book is completed and is published! If you were to sell copies to Barnes n' Nobles or The Cupboard Store, I would be the first to pick up a copy! Good luck!

-ZeldaIsShiek




writerkitty says...


Thank you so much for the awesome, inspiring review! ^-^
It really made my day!! :D



ZeldaIsShiek says...


No problem! Keep working hard and release the book! I'll be watching for the next chapter.



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Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:22 am
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RoseTulipLily wrote a review...



Greetings! Let's get right into the review!

Criticism:
“Stop mumbling.” The tall man in front of me said in a deep voice,” If you want to say something, just speak up. I’m a very busy man.” I find it rather odd that he would refer to his dad as 'the tall man'. I can see that the pair is not close at all, but maybe it would have been better to say that it was dad his dad immediately then give a brief physical description of his appearance and say he had a deep voice. But that is just my opinion, so make of it what you will.

'I shoved my hands into my pockets, “Sorry if I wasted your time da- Professor. Walter,” I said as I walked past him.' Is the correct way to say this.

"I lost it. I shoved away his hand and turned around, clenching my fists. “It’s funny you say that. You didn’t accept what you were given. I didn’t have a super brain like yours, so you simply left us.” My eyes were getting teary.“Is that how you accept what you are given?” Is the correct way to say this.

He shook his head, sending his fingers through his gray hair. “You’re confused Matt…that’s not what happened. Your mother-” I cannot help but feel "running" is a better replacement for sending in this sentence.

“You have no right to speak about my mother,” I cut it. “She died because of you. I know you don’t care, but I’ll keep reminding you of that.” Is the correct way to say that.

'People in white lab coats walked past me while giving me confused glances. I ignored them and ran across the white hallway, panting and trying to keep myself steady.' Is the correct way to say that.

Professor Emma shouted as she grabbed me by the shoulder.“What happened? Are you crying?”

'I stopped with a jerk.“Everything’s okay…” I managed to whisper.' Is the correct way to say that.

"She asked, pulling me to a corner to avoid all the curious eyes." Is the correct way to say that. I won't list any more examples of this because I think you get the point by about where to put commas.

'Before I could cry out for help, the huge old fashioned television completely sucked me into its screen, leaving me in total *darkness* again.' Is the correct way to say that

Criticisms aside, I liked this. It was a good beginning and I found it very easy to feel sorry for Matt. His grief for his mother is evident and it is not hard to understand his anger at his father. I think his father does truly love him, but that he's just made too many mistakes and has a lot to make up for. Emma seemed interesting too. Looking forward to seeing where this goes. Keep writing :)




writerkitty says...


Thanks for the review! :)



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Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:08 am
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Hannah wrote a review...



Uh, YEAH! What happens next?! If you can get the reader to say that after reading a part of your story, you've got a really good thing happening. It also makes me wonder -- why does the character come to the lab so often if he doesn't really get along with his dad? Does he have no choice, like is there no one else in the family that could keep an eye on him while his dad is working? I also wonder how he feels about Emma -- does he appreciate that she pays attention to him, or is he kind of indifferent? Or does he dislike it because he doesn't want any adult getting close to him if it's not his mom?

I'm excited to get to know the answers to all these questions as the story goes on.

I wanted to mention a couple grammatical concepts that you'll need to keep an eye out for as you work on editing this piece. First of all, make sure that you're keeping the same tense throughout the story. There are several sentences where you switch into present tense. For example:

It was stacked with faulty experiments, unwanted inventions and other stuff like that.

I use it as a hiding spot when I want to be alone,


The other thing you'll want to look out for is a thing called a comma splice. Splice means to kind of put two parts together. And so what a comma splice is two FULL sentences that are connected by only a comma, which doesn't work. You can connect sentences with conjunctions and commas, like

My heart was thumping, and the tears kept flowing down my cheeks.


But you can't put sentences together this way:

My chest felt heavy, I didn’t regret what I said to him, but renewing memories of my mother always left me in tears.


You would fix it by changing the comma after "heavy" into a period. There are several comma splices throughout this piece that you can search for when you start editing.

Other than that, I appreciated the focused attention you paid to the moment when the boy touched the TV screen. It is a really essential moment in the story, from what I gather, so describing every moment he took in that time really lets me, as the reader, live in the moment. Good choices there!

If you have any questions about this review, feel free to PM me or leave a reply.

Thanks for sharing!

Hannah




writerkitty says...


Thank you so much for the review!
I do switch into present tense by accident pretty often, I'll try my best to fix it! ^-^




We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions.
— Isaac Bashevis Singer