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16+

Beginning

by Johann


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Prologue

Looking down the buzzing street, the crow prepared its common kraa. Despite the constant buzz of the rush hour, nothing seemed to be able to disturb it. Like the shadow of a long gone thought, the crow just sat on top of the golden cross, observing the city and its unaware inhabitants. From time to time, it would remind people of its existence, only to fade from their thoughts a moment later.

The Golden Gate was ground zero of the medieval city of Vladimir. Baring the name of a once great ruler, the city wore both the scars of centuries of violence and the memories of of ancient fame. The Golden Gate, towered over the city. White as the purest snow of Syberia, it reminded people of their power to endure and withstand all hardship. Through its towers it showed the world the unrelenting spirits of its creators and, through it golden cross and picture of the Holy Mother it called people back to their faith.

People and cars were rushing up and down, never stopping for a second to think what they were doing. Never questioning where were their lives going, what would become of them once they were gone or even if anybody would remember them. Would they leave anything behind? Would they die unknown and unloved. Alone in a small apartment, smoking a cigar or drinking their last cup of tea? Would they make even one other human being smile? They didn't care about all that. For them life was simple. Go to work, pay the bills, make some nice food, meet friends once in a while.

He could not understand them. He could not understand how people could be so detached from anything of real meaning. How could they not see? How could they not understand how limited and petty they lived their lives. No real purpose. No love. No calling. No reason to keep moving day after day. They were just animals, living in huge colonies called cities, out of pure convenience and for sheltering themselves from natures wrath. But was that all there was? Nurturing your organism until the natural death of you biological body. Procreating in order to secure the survival of our species. Socializing with our fellow cohabitant in order to ensure a harmonious society... that how “clever” people talk nowadays. What a joke!

Reality was not what people were made to believe. What people chose to believe. There was no such thing as destiny, there was no such thing as biological life. Although it's easy to believe in that. Why take any responsibility when you could blame everything on destiny or biological program. You didn't cheat on her because you are an asshole. You cheated on her because men are programmed to procreate. You're brother didn't kill that little girl because he was driving 140 km/h while drunk. It was her destiny to die that day.

People were pathetic. None deserved the lives they were given. Wasting them away like they had ten. Drinking themselves to death. Defiling their bodies for a few Rubbles or just to tie some idiot to themselves.

We live in a time where people are completely disconnected to themselves and to God. Not the Christian God, nor the Muslim one. Despite centuries of killing each other for what they believed what the true God, everybody got it wrong. God was nothing. There was no God, nor was there a Satan. There was no Heaven nor was there Hell. They existed, sure. But they were nothing more than the two faces of the same coin called human.

God was the father who gave the last piece of bread to his son, even when he himself skipped eating. God was the mother who took the beating to protect her daughter. Flip the coin and you'll find the devil wearing the face of the wife who took everything from her husband but not the kid, or the face of the drunken husband who found no greater pleasure than to torture his family.

You could be born in a good family, find a beautiful girl to make your wife and one day you could find yourself in a hotel room, waking up next to her warm body, kiss her lips and think yourself in Heaven. On the same day, a nine years old boy wakes up and starts scavenging for food after last night's bombardment killed his baby sister. Would you consider that Hell?

If people could only wake up and realize that all the power to make changes was in their hands. If they just stopped being hooked to their own drugs and began to be honest to themselves and to others. Things could have being some much better. People could have being so much happier. But that was never going to happen. He understood that very well until now.

Matey loathed people. So much in fact, that he struggled to go to work and face his work mates. He didn't hate somebody in particular, just everybody in general. He couldn't even remember when did he start to hate them that much. To be honest, he was never a people's person. People were just making him tired. He never had a lot of friends as a young boy and that pattern followed into his adult life. He thought at some point, even his family had given up on him.

Matey was 38 or 37... somewhere around there. Maybe 39? He worked as a manager for a big energy company. Basically he sold his soul to the devil for 55.00 Rubbles a month. Not a very good trade but it could have been worse. At least he didn't have to borrow money for rent. He could give hide in his room without having to think of anything.

Having gotten away from work a bit earlier, the he was sipping a cafe in front of the Golden Gate, watching the crow on top of the building. It looked strange against the milky white sky. A single black spot on a blank canvas, as if somebody decided it was a good idea to drill a hole in the sky. From time to time, the hole made a sound, but nobody had the time to look at it.

It was freezing, despite the hot coffee he kept pouring into his mouth. It made him wonder what took Anya so long. He had been waiting for fifteen minutes already. He knew this was going to happen and even though it pissed him off every single time, he still couldn't bring himself to tell it to her face.

Anya was a university mate. They had studied business management together and that was it. One day she came to a class, sat next to him and then ignored him for the rest of the year. They had to work together on some group projects the following year and slowly became close friends. An event that sent shock waves through all his relatives. One crazy aunt even forced him to follow her to the church and swear in front of the priest with the hand on the Bible that he would never hurt Anya in any way, shape or form.

Anya was almost as tall as him and had the darkest brown eyes you could find in Vladimir. With her short black hair and her peaceful personality, she could calm down even a blood thirsty bull. Obviously, she was quite popular in university and could never complain of lacking the attention of guys. And yet, she decided to befriend the only guy most people were avoiding because everybody knew he was going to turn into a serial killer or something of the sort.

Matey could never understand her. But he was grateful. He felt peaceful in her presence. He wasn't sure how much darker he could have gotten, had she not come into his life. How much deeper could he have descended without really becoming a murder. Had she not come into his life, the long, thin scar on his cheek could have been a lot longer.

The sound of heels quickly trotting on the stone pavement, force him out of his dark thoughts. She was finally there. Looking up, he barely had the time to stand up before she clenched herself around his neck.

“So... should we go?” she asked.

“I guess.”


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95 Reviews


Points: 1798
Reviews: 95

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Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:07 pm
4revgreen wrote a review...



Hey, Che here for a review!
I saw this buried in the green room and thought it deserved another review, so here I am. I will start with any grammatical errors I see or places I think it could be improved then move onto all the positive things.

Looking down the buzzing street, the crow prepared its common kraa.

I think this would read better if you rephrased it to "As it looked down the buzzing street" it just flows better in my opinion

Despite the constant buzz of the rush hour, nothing seemed to be able to disturb it.

You already used the word "buzzing" in the previous line so I would advise not using "buzz" but instead choose another, similar word.

Like the shadow of a long gone thought, the crow just sat on top of the golden cross, observing the city and its unaware inhabitants

I don't think you need the word "just" in there. It reads better without it.

both the scars of centuries of violence and the memories of of ancient fame

You put "of" twice after memories. I'm assuming that's just a typo

The Golden Gate, towered over the city.

You don't need the comma in this sentence

through it golden cross and picture of the Holy Mother it called people back to their faith

It should be "it's" not it, and "pictures" and I would have a comma after "mother"

never stopping for a second to think what they were doing

This would make more sense if you said "think about what they were doing"

Never questioning where were their lives going

You don't need the "were" in this sentence

How could they not understand how limited and petty they lived their lives.

This would make sense if you rephrased it as "how could they not understand how limited and petty their lives were?"

There was no Heaven nor was there Hell.

This would have more impact if you simply wrote "There was no Heaven nor Hell."

a nine years old boy wakes up and starts scavenging for food after last night's bombardment killed his baby sister.

Should just be "year" not years and bombardment is a peculiar word choice- I would change it to "bombing"

power to make changes was in their hands

It should be "were" not "was"

and began to be honest

I would change this to "began being honest"

Things could have being some much better.

I assume you meant "Things could have been so much better"

He didn't hate somebody in particular, just everybody in general.

It would be better as "he didn't hate anybody in particular; he hated everybody"

He couldn't even remember when did he start to hate them that much.

It should be "when he had started to hate them that much"

people's person

It's just "people person"

Having gotten away from work a bit earlier, the he was sipping a cafe in front of the Golden Gate,

I assume you meant "there he was"

They had to work together on some group projects the following year and slowly became close friends. An event that sent shock waves through all his relatives.

You should but a semi-colon ; after "friends" to link both sentences together

Obviously, she was quite popular in university and could never complain of lacking the attention of guys.

You should rephrase this as "and could never complain about not getting attention from guys"

The sound of heels quickly trotting on the stone pavement, force him out of his dark thoughts.

it should be "forced" instead of "force"

Woah, I'm sorry, I just saw a lot of potential in this story and so want to help you achieve that!

Now for the positive things:

I really loved this story. You included so much detail, and there was so much vivid description that really set the scene. The character of Matey came across really strongly and I liked the significant of the crow.

I would absolutely love to read any more of this if you have written it, as you have really hooked me in!

Keep writing!

Regards, Che :-)




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Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:58 pm
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Tuckster wrote a review...



Hey there Ionut! Tuck stopping by for a quick review :)

Bearing the name of a once great ruler, the city wore both the scars of centuries of violence and the memories of of ancient fame.


through it's golden cross and picture of the Holy Mother, it called people back to their faith.


his work mates
I think the more common way to say this is "coworkers", although that might vary by region/country.

He thought at some point, even his family had given up on him.
This sentence feels incomplete.

Having gotten away from work a bit earlier, the he was sipping a cafe in front of the Golden Gate, watching the crow on top of the building.
I think you meant coffee?

Overall Thoughts

I loved your usage of metaphors throughout this poem. The way you used imagery was a good way to describe things and really made this stand out. I particularly liked the line about how the crow looked like a hole drilled in the sky—I thought your metaphors were very original and not cliche.

The transition from the philosophical meandering the MC does for a while back into daily life felt like a hard transition, in my opinion, and I think you could've done a better job easing into that transition instead of just dropping the reader back into the story. While I liked the way your MC is thinking and how that sets him apart from everyone else, I thought that the philosophical portion got a tad bit long and might end up being a distraction to your reader.

I was also somewhat confused on what position you took on god. In the second paragraph, you mentioned statues of Mary drawing people back to their faith, but later went on to describe that God was not a being, but rather something that could be found in selfless acts of kindness and decency. While that's an interesting perspective to explore, it seemed to contradict your previous Catholic-sounding statements.

In general, transitions were somewhat lacking throughout and made your introduction seem almost all over the place, which is not a good first impression to leave with your reader, but other than that, this was phenomenal. There are obviously a few things you should touch up, but other than that I really enjoyed this read! Hopefully this didn't come across as too harsh, and if you have any questions, let me know and I'd be happy to provide clarification! I hope to read more from you in the future!

~MJTucker




Johann says...


Hello MJTucker

First of all, thank you very much for the review :) I truely appreciate you takeing the time to read my writing and I am glad you enjoyed it a bit.

Now, for the typos... I always miss those :) so I am always glad when somebody points them out and I can correct them.

It is true that the transitions are quite abrupt and harsh. The reason for this is that this piece of writing is more of a draft than an actually finished segment. It needs a lot of polishing but first I need to write the other parts of the story so they all connect together. I just wanted to see if anybody would be interested to read this kind of a story.

When it comes to the religious part, the two statements are not contradictory but perhaps a bit difficult to understand withough further explaining. The key here is not to out the equal sign between faith and God. Faith, in the context of the story, is about the convictions and beliefs people have being taught and live after. God (from the MC's point of view) is not about traditions and rituals (that make up the faith) but about kindness and love. So while the picture of the Holy Mother draws people closer to their faith, it does not draw them closer to God (as the MC understands him). This is why he states that people are still disconnected from God.
Hope I was able to make things a bit more clear, even though this is a pretty complicated point :)
But if you have any questions, you can always ask me :D

Also, it's true that the philosophical part was a bit long, but I did that in order to set the tone for the rest of the story.
I discovored that it's a lot easier for me to write this kind of stories because the type of philosophical wanderings the MC does is what I also tend to do in real life.
The way I imagined the story, it's not going to be an action blockbuster :) and most of it is going to follow this philosophical trend.
I still hope people are going to enjoy it :)

Thank you again, for your time and if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask :D




Why do we only rest in peace? Why don't we live in peace too?
— Alison Billet