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Twist (Part 1 of 3)

by Tuckster


Part 1 (of 3)

Twist ducked behind a trash can and did a quick roll, hopping back to his feet and dusting off his hands. A wealthy high-school age kid had just walked down a caldesac, probably cutting through the alleys to get to his Green Manor home.

Of course, Twist doubted that he was going to an actual manor. It was a slang expression used in London, green referring to money and poking some fun at how they seemed to have houses made out of money. Which made him the perfect target for a robbery. 

There was no time to waste. Twist followed him carefully, staying out of sight and moving silently. His footsteps fell lightly on the pavement, making very little sound, and his ears stayed tuned for any sort of indication that he should abort his mission.

Rich Kid was still completely oblivious to the danger he was in. Twist's hand crept over his knife, preparing to make his jump. As soon as Rich Kid turned down an alley, Twist shot out at him and shoved him against another wall, one hand over his mouth and the other holding a knife at his throat. Rich Kid's eyes were petrified, wider than teacup saucers. “Promise you won't scream and I'll move my hand,” Twist whispered in his ear. Rich Kid nodded, and Twist removed his hand.

“I'll call the police,” Rich Kid rasped, clearing his throat.

Twist snorted. “The police are too busy investigating the bigger crimes going on. They're understaffed and mismanaged, to the point where a handful of petty thefts wouldn't concern them in the least. All power is in my hands. You are completely at my mercy.”

To be honest, Twist enjoyed the feeling of power that he got when he had a victim at his fingertips.The knowledge that he could do whatever he wanted without punishment was exhilarating, In theory, he could be arrested for his crimes, but London was a place of so much crime the police couldn't be bothered with such petty things as theft when there were abundant threats and murders, and the entire process that convicted criminals had to go through was ridiculously meticulous.

“Fine, fine. What do you want?” the boy snapped.

A wry smile spread across Twist's face. “No need to be short. Just pass me back all of your money, and then we'll all be good.”

“I don't carry any,” Rich Kid sniffed.

“You've gotta have something of value,” Twist thought out loud. “Any jewelry?”

The boy gave him a look of confusion, and Twist shrugged. “You never know.”

“You can take whatever you want. There really isn't anything that you have any interest in.”

Twist forced his backpack off his shoulders and started to rip out the contents, ignoring the boy's complaints. He held up a silver medallion and raised his eyebrows at Rich Kid.

“It's not real,” Rich Kid defended himself.

It could fool one of the stupider merchants on the underground, Twist thought. He pocketed it, just in case he found a situation where it could pass as real.

He pulled out a handful of bills and counted them. Remarkably, it totaled to about 7 pounds. He sighed in something like relief and shoved the bills in his pocket greedily. That could buy him dinner.

He leafed through the contents of the backpack, pulling out a case of colored pencils and a blank notebook. The notebook hadn't been used or even marked, and it was probably worth about 5 pounds. He could cash that in with some gang so they could make their plots on unblemished, white paper instead of the old scraps they fished out of dumpsters. 

Twist reached for the boy's pants pockets. Rick Kid instinctively jerked away, but Twist shook his head and motioned for him to come closer.

“I'm just making sure you're not hiding anything. Stand still.” Twist continued to grope in his pockets, and coming up with nothing, went for the other. Still nothing. This boy was pretty dry, but maybe his jacket pockets would have something.

Twist found a half-eaten sandwich wrapped in a ziploc bag, and, despite its grossness, he pocketed that as well. Food was food, no matter who had eaten it. Rule #6 of surviving on the street- Take all food that is offered or available without endangering yourself or other members of the gang, regardless of who its previous owner was or what condition it is in. It can be inspected later. It all went together with the theme of “Act now, think later” that the street orphans lived by.

Twist finished his full-body search and then nodded at Rich Kid. “Anything else you want to tell me?”

Rich Kid shok his head, and Twist allowed him to walk away. Just as he was turning his back, he heard heavy footsteps behind him and whirled, knife in hand. Rich Kid had lunged at him with a pocketknife grasped in his hand, but Twist had caught it just in time. Twist shoved Rich Kid up against the wall, wrenching the knife out of Rich Kid's fingers.

“Listen, Rich Kid,” Twist breathed in Rich Kid's ear. “I don't know who you think you are, but you attacked me when my back was turned. In the London streets, that's a violation of our code, warranting what we call a swipe on the wrist.”

Rich Kid's eyes were wide again, and he started to struggle. Twist's muscles were developed from years of surviving alone, and he managed to restrain Rich Kid without much difficulty. He turned Rich Kid's hand over, pulled out his own knife, and slid the blade against the back of Rich Kid's wrist.

Somehow, Rich Kid didn't scream. A few tears slid down his cheeks, and blood started oozing out of the 5-inch-long wound, but he bit down on his lip and refused to give Twist the honor of seeing him scream and writhe in pain.

Twist released him, and Rich Kid scurried away down the alleys, cradling his injured hand towards his body as he disappeared into the streets, certainly never going to try this shortcut home again.

[b]A/N: I wrote this, along with two other parts, during a long car ride while listening to some podcasts, so while I would appreciate any feedback, please understand that I have a lot going on right now and it might be a while before I implement any editing suggestions and that this will probably not be expanded into a larger chapter. Same goes for my other two parts. Thank you. Once again, any feedback will be appreciated and considered, but probably applied to my OTHER writing and not this writing. [/b]


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Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:01 pm
ExOmelas wrote a review...



Hey there,

Nit-picks:

just walked down a caldesac

This might be a British/American thing but I've usually seen that written as "cul-de-sac".

Twist snorted. “The police are too busy investigating the bigger crimes going on. They're understaffed and mismanaged, to the point where a handful of petty thefts wouldn't concern them in the least. All power is in my hands. You are completely at my mercy.”

I think the rest of this explanation after the first sentence isn't really necessary, it also doesn't feel like it fits with the tension of the situation, like they would just stand there chatting.

punishment was exhilarating, In theory

That should be a full stop instead of a comma.

“You've gotta have something of value,” Twist thought out loud. “Any jewelry?”

The boy gave him a look of confusion, and Twist shrugged. “You never know.”

I don't understand why there's confusion here.

Remarkably, it totaled to about 7 pounds. He sighed in something like relief and shoved the bills in his pocket greedily. That could buy him dinner.

In London? ;)

I don't know who you think you are, but you attacked me when my back was turned.

This seems like something the guy would be aware of. I think it would make more sense to just tell him that doing so is against the code.

Overall:

Character: I like the character of Twist. There is a fairly humorous tone that works well for making me sympathise with a criminal. I also like Rich Kid, but I am unsure if that was your intention. I like his actions, ie not going down without a fight, but you don't tell me a lot about his expressions or body language, especially towards the beginning. I'm not really sure what I'm meant to think about Rich Kid, whereas I am with Twist. This just makes it a bit harder to engage because I'm unsure what it is you're trying to tell me with this story.

Setting: There's a good amount of this towards the beginning but just always remember to keep it up. It might help to know what kinds of things each are wearing so I can contrast them, maybe what it smells like in the alleyway so I can get an idea of crime. I'm also unsure what time period this is. This sort of mugging sounds like nineteenth century gothic stuff, as does the stuff about killers on the loose. Most of London's police's attention goes to terror and hate crime at the moment. But a lot of the language seemed kind of modern and I'm just not sure.

Plot: I really like the way that Rich Kid stands up for himself. If Twist is a criminal, but you blur the line to show he's not all bad, I think you do the same for Rich Kid. You do really well at blurring the good/bad line, so good job for that!

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)

p.s. I have't the slightest clue why the BBcode for your author's note didn't work :P




Tuckster says...


Thanks Biscuits! You were right about cul-de-sac, I'll fix that. And the rich kid was confused because he was a male, and typically males don't carry around things like expensive perfume or necklaces. That's what I was going for. 7 pounds seemed like it would buy a thing of fish and chips (sorry, that's the only British food I know), and I didn't want Rich Kid to look too weird carrying around more than 10 pounds, because he's coming home from school. Other than that, I really appreciated your character notes and will keep it in mind for future writing!

Thanks again,
MJ



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Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:18 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Heya MJTucker! KaraStevens here for a (hopefully) quick review! Hopefully this'll count for my KotGR Log, but here we go. Just warning you, I might be a little rusty, but whatever.

This is going to be a little difficult as well since you asked for no feedback. I'll fix some typos and stuff I found in there as well as correct you on some mistakes, then I'll tell you how I thought of this.

GRAMMAR AND TYPOS TIME!

I found only a few issues in this category, so this'll be relatively short.

Which made him the perfect target for a robbery.


This is a fragment. The best way to fix it is to change "Which" to "This."

To be honest, Twist enjoyed the feeling of power that he got when he had a victim at his fingertips.The knowledge that he could do whatever he wanted without punishment was exhilarating, In theory, he could be arrested for his crimes, but London was a place of so much crime the police couldn't be bothered with such petty things as theft when there were abundant threats and murders, and the entire process that convicted criminals had to go through was ridiculously meticulous.


I found a few problems with this paragraph, so I'll get them all. First of all, after the period after "fingertips," there should be a space. After exhilarating there should be a period, not a comma. Also, you have already mentioned that the police don't care about theft, so that got a little redundant.

“You can take whatever you want. There really isn't anything that you have any interest in.”


The last "you" should be "you'll."

shok


Just wanted to point out the typo.

OTHER THINGS I NOTICED:

As I mentioned before, you don't need to repeat that the police are bad at their job/ too understaffed to deal with ordinary thiefs.

Also, I've noticed that you've attempted code and the @ symbol in your works. They don't work on this, but for some reason everywhere else. I don't know why, but they don't. Just a reminder for the future.

Otherwise, I really didn't notice anything.

OVERALL:

I understand you might be busy, so I'll just make it brief and blunt. I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite story I've read on here and certainly not the best you've written. Basically, I liked it, and the idea and stuff, but I liked your essays and some other stories better. It might be because you were listening to podcasts (I myself am a sucker to Rob Has a Podcast and Disney podcasts) so I don't blame you. This doesn't mean you shouldn't continue it; I'll definitely read it if you do so I can find out more about Twist's story. It means that you could improve.

Also, I would suggest (after making all three parts) to compile them into a short story. Three parts isn't a novel and I think that "The Adventures of Twist the Pickpocket" would make just a little more sense if it's a short story divided into parts.

Happy writing and keep on trucking!~

Squire Kara R. Stevens




Tuckster says...


Hi Kara, and thanks for the review!

When I said I didn't want feedback, I meant that if somebody said that they thought I should give it a heavy round of editing, it might be a while until I got around to it. I would definitely appreciate any advice that you have, but I just wanted reviewers to be aware that I wasn't implementing their advice because I thought it was bad, just because I have a lot on my plate.

Thanks for letting me know, I didn't realized bbcode didn't work in published works. Hopefully it still made sense.

Part 2 is coming out tomorrow; I didn't want to publish all three parts in the same day so I broke it up by days. I agree that it wasn't quite a novel, but I put it there because it's a three-part short story that's broken up into something like chapters. I'll keep that in mind. :)

Best wishes,
MJ



zaminami says...


Ah. Thanks for the clearup!




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