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The Voice

by Companion

-Note; Inevitably I've made a heap of a grammar mistakes so, pre-emptive apologies

Also, if you find the content alarming or disturbing, I do apologise, this is the result

of my effort to post more of my work on this site.

The Voice

Andrew was normal. His face was normal. His clothes were normal. The picture of his nephew on his desk was normal. His shoes were normal. His wife was normal. His kids were normal. They were definitely normal. Every morning his wife would kiss him on his cheek before he left for work. In the evening he sat in the living room, reading the newspaper while his kids played with trucks and dolls on the floor. On Friday, they ate pancakes.

But Andrew was hollow. A shell of painted plastic that smiled and laughed. A shell that kissed his wife every morning before he left work. A shell that sat at home in the armchair, smoking a pipe. A shell so accustomed to the routine of an idyllic life that it had begun to chip and flake . Andrew felt empty, so empty and drained that sometimes, when Andrew was alone, all alone, for 14 seconds each day, as he sat at his desk. He would dig a paperclip into his palm, just to feel something, just to savor the sheer rebellion of emotion. The rush of hiding the paperclip, of wondering if anyone had seen him. Because they couldn’t have seen him do something like that. Because Andrew was normal.

Andrew felt bad for his wife. She worked really hard sometimes and Andrew knew that she was smart. He had seen her reading once, a big book, but she had put that book away, in the closet. Because the book was big, and that was not normal. They never spoke about it. They didn’t speak about a lot of things. Like when their daughter Sophie had found a dead bird. She had never seen something like that before and asked Andrew why the bird was not chirping and singing. They washed her hands and buried the bird and told her to not leave the garden anymore, and she never did. Because they were normal.

But then Andrew had to work late, which was never usual. His dinner was put in the oven and his wife, after putting the kids to bed, went to sleep herself and dreamt of nothing. But Andrew, Andrew had been thinking about things, about big books and dead birds. Andrew had been thinking and as Andrew arrived home and sat on the couch in the living room in the dark. Andrew heard a voice.

It spoke in the darkness, it spoke inside of Andrew.

-Burn it all and dance in the ashes. Burn it all and scream, for the fury of roaring inferno shall drown out the misery of a life that has never lived. Burn it all.

And the shell of Andrew began to crack. And Andrew smiled and accepted the voice, because the voice was truth. He smiled in the dark and no one saw him. He smiled because Andrew knew no one was normal, like one big secret, and he had found out it before anyone else. Like a giant joke that only he could laugh at and Andrew did laugh. He couldn’t stop laughing, laughing at the joke that no one knew.

The matches struck and hissed and Andrew was screaming and laughing. He was dancing and roaring, rolling on the floor as the orange flames licked and spread from the curtains to couch. The house blazed and roared, the fire consuming everything and nothing. But no one noticed, no one called the fire-men, no one wondered or worried, because these were normal people, on a normal street where nothing like a fire happened. Where nothing like a madman burning and screaming, wreathed in flame and sobbing that he was sorry, that he was so sorry that others didn’t know. That others hadn’t heard the voice too.

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41 Reviews

Points: 612
Reviews: 41

Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:27 pm
Supermeggs12 wrote a review...

I'd say the repition in your words gets tedious. Try looking synonyms for words, you need more adjectives.

Overall, it was really chilling. I only noticed a few mistakes, pretty miniscule tbh. There was a nice hook onto that made me keep reading. I like your description and I would this is great. Keep writing and happy Easter.

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7 Reviews

Points: 1068
Reviews: 7

Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:45 am
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ElizabethQueen wrote a review...

This is awesome. The repetition in the first paragraph works really really well. The image of 'the shell of Andrew' beginning to crack is a powerful one, as is the very concept of Andrew being a shell.
However, the part when the Voice speaks to Andrew should be the most powerful part of the story but his words seem to get lost (the way that the story builds to that point doesn't lend itself to the power that these lines could have. Talking about Andrew's wife and kid detracts power from the Voice rather than builds this point to have the impact it could).
Also, the final paragraph would do better as two and I suggest you split between "everything and nothing." and "But no one noticed" as the first half deals with the concluding action and the final half is more of a conclusion.

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68 Reviews

Points: 3129
Reviews: 68

Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:19 am
ka67 wrote a review...

wow....I really enjoyed this piece! I'll start with the good things, like the entire idea. the voices, the pain that doesn't seem to be acknowledged but is rushing beneath the surface of everything. The insanity of struggling to be silent...such an incredible idea and piece!!

Well, first off since it is a tad late it seems I can't really see any spelling errors, but I do see a way to improve your vocabulary. such as the 'Where nothing like a madman burning and screaming, wreathed in flame and sobbing the he was sorry...' Maybe for the burning and screaming something possibly more gruesome? me think... "It was not normal for a fire to set the night on fire, nothing like an ill person who cried out and let his flesh melt off...sobbing for forgiveness, in apology that the others did not know..." However,I do enjoy that part!

Other then that, not much else to fix up except maybe give more out-of-the-norm examples. Maybe one with the boy? more with the woman? I do enjoy the story and wouldnt mind reading more! :D

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15 Reviews

Points: 811
Reviews: 15

Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:54 am
halfmetal wrote a review...

Wow! This was great! The overall idea was fantastic, and excitingly chilling.
However, I do feel that the word 'normal' is a bit overused. In one of your earlier replies, you stated you wanted the writing to reflect the mental state of Andrew. I like the idea, and you succeeded in doing so. However, taking one or two synonyms for 'normal' might help without damaging the plainness of the writing. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide, no matter my opinion.
The second sentence, "His face was normal," threw me off a bit. Instead of 'face,' 'appearance' might be more appropriate to describe the character.
I really like the ending. You went out with a 'bang!' I like your writing style and the overall impact was fabulous. Good work!

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213 Reviews

Points: 150
Reviews: 213

Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:35 am
dark wrote a review...

The only thing I have to say is that you don't use good adjectives. You wrote, "Andrew was normal. His face was normal. His clothes were normal." The repeating of the word normal tells me that you don't know how to use adjectives.
For example. If I wrote a sentence that went like this, " I have a good carpet with a nice colour and it's a good fit to the place." Wouldn't you want to know the exact details? I just want you to use better adjectives it your writing. All and all, this piece is perfect.

Random avatar
Companion says...

Hi dark,
I felt like leaving a note about this, I agree, the adjectives are poor, but for a reason. As a writing style, an oversimplified and empty sentence structure is really just a tool I wanted use to communicate the emptiness of the character himself. The lack of ambition and individuality. He sounds plain and boring, because he is. Until he cracks, in which I become more descriptive. I wanted the writing style to reflect his mental state.

Thanks anyways :)

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Points: 893
Reviews: 28

Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:32 am
Hopkin wrote a review...

Hey sup? this story was pretty mind going, the whole crazy thing was really good, loved it, normal the word used a lot, but for this story it worked, they way he went crazy was crazy good job, I liked how you said no one did anything because they were all normal, that was good.
I didn't see much that was wrong with it, in fact I believe that you have inspired me to write something insane, thanks!
good writing carry on! ;)

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Points: 893
Reviews: 28

Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:31 am
Hopkin says...

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32 Reviews

Points: 1990
Reviews: 32

Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:13 am
NoirLumiere wrote a review...

Hey there! Noir here, and I'll be your reviewer on this Review Day! 8) Let's rock.

First up: Concept. The concept of somebody trying to find various ways to feel, while not completely original, is still very entertaining to read about. Andrew looked for a way to feel anything through the everyday numbness he suffered, and I can relate to that. I am almost always emotionally numb, but writing helps me feel. This concept was fun to read about and easy for me to relate to it. 9/10

Next up on this list: Structure. The hook you used, listing something that was all the same. In this case, unanimous normality, sucked me into reading just out of sheer curiosity about what this would be about! The hook was fantastic. 10/10

The overall structure you used was very fluid and consistent. It was easy to keep going, which made it good to me. 9/10

Grammar: In the beginning you noted that there were probably lots of mistakes, and I only saw one or two. Unfortunately, my mind is a little out of it, so I cannot recall where they were. Sorry about that. 9/10

Ending: The end was spectacular. Nothing ends stories with a bang like fire does. 10/10

This gets my overall hyena rating of 9/10. Excellent with only a few adjustments needed.

This has been NoirlUmiere, and there's your review. Good night, and keep rocking!

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206 Reviews

Points: 1171
Reviews: 206

Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:08 am
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LadyPurple wrote a review...

Wow. That was dark and chilling. But I enjoyed it! I did not actaully find any errors. Maybe I missed them and hopefully someone else will catch them. I only really saw that you spaced too much at the top (you'll know what I'm talking about when you look at it). In the second paragraph. Other than that, you've got a great story here!
Keep writing!

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303 Reviews

Points: 11152
Reviews: 303

Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:03 am
StoneHeart wrote a review...

Madness, it's sad. . . .

I love it how this story has a meaning too it, it isn't just a story with a plot that makes you feel all mushy, it has a theme, a hard real one.

I feel you telling me that society creates creatures that are forced to act unnaturally, to do things that they really, as living, thinking beings, don't like to do, things that just aren't compatible with them!

Then eventually they just break, like Andrew. They can't take it anymore. Let them burn!

This is making me think of the joker in Batman.

You know what the joker was? The BAD guy! He wasn't good in any way, he was the essential bad guy! You really need to put that in, mad people may have a point, people like Andrew may be right, but 'let them burn' is the wrong approach! And you could really use to point that out.

You have a couple of small typo's, like SpacePeriodSpace's and that kind of little thing!

I like it how in the beginning you gave such random pieces of information about Andrew, how he was so normal! That was great, however, the story got a bit of a bad feel, and I think it would be good if you put some more enters between the bits of info!

Anyway, nice work, you have amazing potential here. I can see a story being built out of this, as a vague foundation!

Keep writing!


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