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Not What It Looks Like

by Persistence


      "This is not what it looks like," he said. "You see, Batman, I'm not saving you, I'm saving you… for later. The poison was never meant to kill you, only paralyze you, and I'm sure that, if you could talk, you would agree that what doesn't kill you, simply makes you… smile!" Joker laughed hysterically. "Don't worry, Bats. Your face may be frozen, but I know you're grinning on the inside. And the people will grin too when they see what I have in store for them! Don't worry, it won't be a dull show – in a minute, you'll regain control of your body. Through this beautiful, High Demolition camera they'll watch you make a choice. But you're not the only one they'll be watching – in the corner of their home screens they'll see a bus. On the bus are over twenty unwary passengers, and one, very wary, very eager… boom-gizmo! You see, it's different when you allow people to die – you're not obligated to move a finger to save them. But when you kill someone with your own hands… it's personal. Behind door number two: Philanthropist of the Year, family man, Gotham's sweetheart, press this button to kill him. One simple twitch of a finger to take his life, and all those others will be spared. Make Gotham see that we are not so different after all… Oh, look! It's starting already! So many jokes, and so little time… Ten minutes, Batman. Don't forget to smile for the camera!"


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383 Reviews


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Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:38 pm
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Sujana wrote a review...



What is this? A 250-word short story that has the same power as a 2000+ one?

And it's about the Batman?

I believe I've encountered perfection, but unfortunately, that cannot be possible.

Honestly, while I did like the constriction and the creativity, I do think the idea was a little overdone. We've seen this before, somewhere. The villain makes the hero choose between two equally horrendous acts to prove that the hero is no knight in shining armor. But I think I liked it despite that because of Batman's one rule (that sometimes gets broken depending on the writer); to never kill another human being. Which is why the situation is so tense.

But it does leave the ending a mystery. Will the Dark Knight choose one of the horrible choices, or somehow find a third option? That's the best thing about short pieces--they always leave gaps the reader can fill with their own imaginations.

Anyway, good work on this one. Liked it.




Persistence says...


Hey! Thanks so much for your review. I really appreciate it. Sorry that I didn't reply. I thought I had. Anyway, your review was really motivating. It helped a lot. Thanks again.



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Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:54 pm
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SinisterPotatoe wrote a review...



This was a short story. I really like what you did with it. I think that this is what would happen if batman ever lost to the joker. We always see the dark knight prevail and save the city, but you my friend have shone what would happen if batman ever lost to the joker. I love it, and I like how you managed to cram all of this into one paragraph and still tell an entire story with so few words. Someone could say the same thing but it would take at least several pages. You managed to portray batman's defeat in just a few words, and that is truly amazing. Good work, I hope to see more of this from you in the future.

Sincerely SinisterPotatoe




Persistence says...


This is kinda late, but thanks for the review!



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Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:43 pm
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Lightsong wrote a review...



Hey, I'm totally attracted to this piece because you mention about how short it is (250 words). :D

Well, I totally want to echo what steam has said. This dialogue-centric paragraph makes it tiring to read, and is much better being split into little, shorter paragraphs.

About the content, I think I lost it when you mentioned about the bus. And about the killing someone instead of letting him die part. I dunno, it just doesn't connect with how Batman's paralyzed... I only that someone in the bus is trying to kill others, and Batman is supposed to watch it? But then, what about the button thingy? What does it do? I think you're trying to fill in so much for a 250-words story.

250-story is more to flash fiction, and you need to put it the exact best words to actually describe the beginning, the middle, and the end. I think the opening line suffices to be the beginning, and the other parts you can do with more actions than talks. In this case, you can stick with one paragraph only. Also, the use of ellipsis is bothering me because they are too used here, what with the last six lines have two using ellipsis.

Well, I think that's all I can say here. I do think Joker is an interesting character, and to deliver that kind of impact to me through dialogues in a 250-words is pretty nice. Keep up the good job! :D




Persistence says...


Omg why didn't I reply to these reviews? I am so sorry.

I really appreciate it, that you took the time out of your day to write it. Thanks so much. I remember all of these reviews but I thought I'd replied to them. Sorry it's coming so late.



Lightsong says...


Pfft, don't worry about it. I myself think a like (or lack thereof) is enough a reply to the reviewer. XD



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Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:31 pm
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Pan says...



AAaa, i love it, not only because I like Batman, but because I can see this scenario... Ending with Joker hiding and not only Batman saved, but the bus as well.

Waaah.




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Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:24 am
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steampowered wrote a review...



Hello CandyWizard, steampowered here to review your work! Since this is really short, it’ll be a short review, but here goes. :)

Even though I’m not a fan of Batman or the Joker (having never seen any of the films) I still found myself getting hooked by this opening. You’ve immediately set the scene, and whilst I know very little about the Joker I know he’s pretty much insane, and you’ve shown his character really well in this one paragraph. When I saw it was just dialogue I wondered how you’d pull it off, but actually I think it works pretty well!

I do, however, feel there are a few little things which you might want to think about – feel free to take or leave any of my suggestions, they’re only suggestions!

So whilst I said earlier that I liked the dialogue, the sheer size of this paragraph loses much of its potential impact. For example:

"You see, Batman, I'm not saving you, I'm saving you… for later.


This was my favourite bit, but because of the size of this paragraph, I didn’t notice it as much as I ought to have done. Even if it’s the same speaker, you can split up speech into multiple paragraphs. Just remember not to put a closing quotation mark at the end of the paragraph. I’ll show you an example of how you could use this:

"This is not what it looks like," he said. "You see, Batman, I'm not saving you, I'm saving you… for later.

"The poison was never meant to kill you, only paralyze you, and I'm sure that, if you could talk, you would agree that what doesn't kill you, simply makes you… smile!"

Joker laughed hysterically. "Don't worry, Bats. Your face may be frozen, but I know you're grinning on the inside. And the people will grin too when they see what I have in store for them!

"Don't worry, it won't be a dull show – in a minute, you'll regain control of your body. Through this beautiful, High Demolition camera they'll watch you make a choice. But you're not the only one they'll be watching – in the corner of their home screens they'll see a bus. On the bus are over twenty unwary passengers, and one, very wary, very eager… boom-gizmo!


So you can split up a monologue into multiple paragraphs. Feel free to let me know if this doesn’t make sense and I’ll try and explain in more detail. :)

The other thing you could do is perhaps describe more, because you don’t have any description in this. Describe what the Joker does, how he moves, the place where they are. Set the scene up so the reader can really picture what’s going on. How did the Joker trick Batman? Where is the camera?

Hopefully this review wasn’t too discouraging – you definitely have a promising start, and I’m looking forward to reading more!

-steampowered

P.S: I lied about it being a short review. xD




Persistence says...


Thank you so much for your review!

I completely agree about the paragraphs, body language and scene bit. We were given the first line, and had to write a story of exactly 250 words, and we had to do it in one paragraph only. So I wanted to write as much as possible with as few words as possible. It makes me so happy that you liked it! ^^




Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.
— Francis Bacon