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E - Everyone

Dead Inside

by Nerrvany


Jason dragged himself along the ground, too exhausted to walk, too tired to talk in anything above a moan as he shuffled through the night. He ached inside, the emptiness of who he was consumed him. He finally breathed a sigh of relief as he made it to his apartment before the sun rose, accidentally slamming the door as he collapsed against the thin wood. He pulled out a bundle from his coat and, going to the small kitchen of his apartment, he prepared his breakfast. While the raw meat sizzled in the pan, he opened his laptop, a treasure he’d found pieces to and managed to piece together with the piecemeal knowledge he retained from his old life. He sighed as he hauled his carcass to the kitchen, too tired to bother with anything more than a shuffle.

“what am I even doing with my life? I have nothing left, no family, no friends. Everyone left me because of who I am. I feel so empty. No one wants to talk to me, I hurt everyone around me.”

He found his only solace in sitting on the ragged couch in the murky darkness of his living room, typing on his computer using the neighbors’ wi-fi, again curtesy of the skills he barely retained. Chat rooms were the one place people still talked to him, anonymity making conversation manageable.

Recently he’d found a group of friends who he really felt at home with. They would discuss their inability to talk to other people, how their looks kept others from liking them, and mostly how they all felt so empty and lifeless. Jason found his friends were his only comfort from his life, he could talk about his confusion, his fear, things no one else would understand.

One day, after they had become fast friends, one of them suggested a video call. Jason protested, but they all assured him they wouldn’t judge him. They were all friends, they all had the same problems, and they would accept him.

Jason smiled, “the same problems. They’ll accept me” Hope soared in him as he accepted the video call. The webcam light flashed, and the voices came through.

“Hey!”

“oh my gosh, I didn’t expect your voice to sound like that.”

“This is so cool!”

“Hey Jason, your room is too dark, I can’t see you.”

“-uh, sorry. Give me a second.”he rasped, and then grunted as he stood up and shambled over to the light switch by the door. He sat back down and then stiffened as he saw the others.

“They said we were the same”

He saw their faces, smooth unbroken skin, shining eyes, smiling teeth.

And they saw his face.

The cracked skin, the patchy hair, the red, bloodshot eyes, the occasional gap where teeth should be, and the dried scabs all along his neck and jaw.

Shocked gasps came through his speakers before he slammed the laptop closed.

“they said we had the same problems”

His broken chest heaved a sob as he staggered out of his room, walking down the stairs, ignoring the screams as the day-dwellers saw him. He’d never gone out during the day before, but now he didn’t care. He was well and truly alone.

“They said we were the same”

Screams continued to echo in his head, somewhere sirens sounded, rushing to deal with the infection threat within the city. He didn’t care. He hadn’t cared for a long time, but he’d lost what comfort there was in his life. He was alone.

Completely dead inside.


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7 Reviews


Points: 296
Reviews: 7

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Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:14 pm
ashotto wrote a review...



Hey! Its Ash for a review..

This was a really good story. They way it was structured and paced made me want to read on and I empathised with the character, and your paragraphing was done really well.

I just have a few small things to remark on. This is just a very small detail, but when the story starts it's at night but he's making his breakfast? And then he leaves the meat sizzling in the pan? Very minor detail but I just picked up on it (maybe I'm wrong and there's time between the two). Again, in reference to the time passing, I was a little confused when they had the video call. Was it when he just got home after walking around or was it on a completely different day? Maybe I'm just not picking up on obvious things in the text, I'm not the brightest XD

Another thing to maybe consider is capitalisation/punctuation. Perhaps it was a typo or purposeful but when Jason speaks (To himself I think) for the first time the sentence begins with a lower case letter, which can be a little irritating. This also happens on the video call... I don't know. Also, when you write in italics with the phrases "They said we were the same" etc., consider adding a full stop at the end of each one for effect.

Other than the minor details, I really thought this was a good story. I was able to connect and empathise with the character and it was laid out very well. Sorry if this review seemed kind of mean, not my intention at all :)

Keep writing.
~Ash




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23 Reviews


Points: 1567
Reviews: 23

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Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:21 pm
Pomeroy wrote a review...



Hey pal! Not a lot left to comment on since I procrastinated writing a review. Most (read: all) of this is going to be either nit-picky or subjective, so feel free to just blow me off.

First, I want to reiterate outvader's comment on the lack of proper capitalization and whatnot. For me, personally, that's a quick way to get me to stop reading a story, especially when it comes to dialogue (which is really the only place you seem to have that problem). So just do a quick read-through to capitalize, add periods at the end of statements, things like that.

The last sentence of the first paragraph is basically repeating the same thing as the first couple sentences. This might just be me, but it feels *too* repetitive. Also, at this point I feel like you've already shown pretty well that he's an exhausted, shuffle-y guy. We get it. I feel like you could drop the entire "too tired to bother with anything more than a shuffle."

The second paragraph doesn't need to be in dialogue. Think of the whole "show don't tell" rule. This could far more powerfully be shown rather than Jason just telling the reader about his hopelessness and loneliness.

"His broken chest heaved a sob as he staggered out of his room, walking down the stairs,"
"Walking" sounds a little too... composed. I would suggest maybe "stumbling."

Yeah, that's about all the nit-picky things I have.

I feel like it could have been longer, and I'm definitely a fan of getting a glimpse of what Jason was like before he became sad and broken. Either way, though, you did a nice job at articulating his grief and getting the point of this short story across. Kudos to you on that part. Being able to relay an emotional message in so little text is impressive, and I think you did a good job of it.

I hope I was even at least a little bit helpful. Keep writing, pal!

p̶.̶s̶.̶ ̶I̶ ̶l̶o̶v̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶a̶ ̶l̶o̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶'̶r̶e̶ ̶s̶u̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶u̶t̶e̶




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5 Reviews


Points: 202
Reviews: 5

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Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:33 pm
KaitoSSK wrote a review...



Hey, Nerrvany.
I'm going to leave my review of your work here.

First, i thought the description is a part of your work, but when i read your work, i was a bit disappointed that it didn't relate in a way or two.
The story is pretty deep and i am loving it!
Too bad you didn't describe how Jason was from the start. I understand his insecurities in the story tho.
And also i was hoping that you can explain how Jason's personality is other than insecurity, get what i mean? It's like, you can just say for example, Jason was a cheerful guy until something happened to him or something like that, it leaves a bit more impression to the readers i think.
Anyhow, i enjoyed this short story of yours. It leaves an emotion to me since i can relate to this story.
Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your next work




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91 Reviews


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Reviews: 91

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Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:17 pm
Kazumi wrote a review...



Hey there, it's me outvaders. I'm just passing by to write up a short review for this equally short story. Before we get started though, welcome to YWS! It's a pleasure to provide you with your first review.

Anyways, let's get right into the beef.

First thing I want to talk about is the description of the story. You know, the short passage that is seen under the name of your work in the Green Room. "THIS IS NOT A TYPICAL DATING WEBSITE, NO CREDIT CARD INFORMATION REQUIRED. SIGN UP NOW" was the description of this short story. Although I find it funny that you try to imitate those clickbait ads on second-rate sites, you shouldn't waste the description. The description is where you make your first impression upon potential viewers. I'll admit, it did a nice job of making me click. However, it turned out that that description was not at all related to the short story itself, making me feel misled. Please don't be misleading. Nobody wins in making misleading titles; your viewers will feel deceived upon finding out they have been clickbaited, and you in turn will receive backlash from your viewers. It's simply unethical.

The second thing I'd like to point out is errors in mechanics. Specifically, non-capitalization in quoted text and "Wi-Fi." It's a good idea to proofread (read a work to mark its errors) your stories after writing them. Creating works with zero errors in grammar or mechanics is the most basic level of good writing. Once you have that down, you're well on the way to becoming a good writer. I'm not going to stick to this topic for too long, since it's easily learned. Just look it up on the internet or ask someone on this site if you need some help in this aspect.

The third thing I'd like to critique is the lack of variety in the sentence structure in the first paragraph. Almost all the sentences here start with either "Jason" or "he." Both are pretty much the same thing since they both refer to Jason. All of these sentences are very long. All of these sentences are either complex or compound-complex sentence types; no simple or compound types whatsoever. They all also have so many commas, therefore reducing the pace of all the paragraph to a crawl.

I point all of this out because you run the risk of distracting the readers with your stale writing style. Humans are very good at pattern-finding. Once they find a pattern, they can't unsee it anymore. When a reader finds a recurring pattern in your sentence structures, they'll naturally shift their attention away from your narrative and dwell on that pattern. This isn't what you want them to do as a storyteller; you want them to focus on your story. So switch up your writing style to avoid distracting them from the narrative.

Also, if you didn't get some stuff in so far, that's alright. They're all technical English stuff anyway. Just look them up on Google kek

The fourth thing I'd like to call out is the cartoony-like feel of the second paragraph. The entire thing's basically Jason talking to himself about how he has nothing left. I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I'm gonna guess you got this idea of talking to oneself from a film or something. In visual media like movies, you can only show an idea of what the character feels through images and/or sounds. But this is literature. In literature, you can convey to the reader word-for-word exactly how the character feels, with a clarity unparalleled by any other storytelling medium. So don't have your character blurt out what they feel, 'cause literature can do more than that. Delve into your character's state of mind. Immerse us with your words. Convey to us word-for-word exactly how your character feels.

I think those are all the major flaws I want to point out. Despite all that was said though, I think this story has its own merits as well.

I'd like to praise how much of a well-rounded character Jason is. He's mainly defined by his seclusion from his society and his aching want for companionship. While these don't make automatically make him a good character, you develop these qualities to make him so. I noticed several little details related to him, such as his improvised laptop, his relief when he got home before sunrise, his really crappy place, his usage of the neighbor's Wi-Fi, etc. I believe that these nuances or little touches to his character makes him feel like a real human.

Due to this, I feel that the story's climax at least hit the mark. I'll be honest. The entire climax is rough and unpolished, to be honest. But you nailed it anyway. When the big revelation came around, it actually made an impact on me because I felt as if it was a real human who got affected by the events of the story. For that I think it deserves my like.

So that's it for this review. Basically:

-clickbaity description
-errors in grammar and mechanics all around
-lack of sentence variety in par. 1
-cartoony second paragraph
-overall very rough and unpolished in quality

+very nuanced and well-defined character
+compelling climax

Don't get the wrong idea with all these cons I listed. I think the pros outweigh the cons. I think this short story is pretty good. Just avoid doing the things I listed in the cons, and keep on doing the things I listed in the pros.

I'll see you next time around.

-outvaders




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5 Reviews


Points: 72
Reviews: 5

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Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:15 am
Travis says...



I really liked it!!!





As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.
— Calvin