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Claustrophobic Chapter 2 Part 1

by Raelyn723

After the expected lecture from my father, I was free to go. I had learned by now how to undo all of my IV’s and other attachments. I gently tugged at the needle in my inner elbow, sucking in a breath, as always, when the air hit the tiny hole. I made the bed so that next time I came in, it wouldn’t be wrinkled and uncomfortable. I then slipped into the clothes that had probably been sitting in here for weeks without me noticing their absence.

The stairs were made of some sort of metal. That meant that whenever I made my way back up to the world of ‘happy’ illusions, my feet nearly froze off. By the time I reached the door, my teeth were chattering.

Something different happened then, something I never could have predicted. I hesitated. Before opening the door, I looked back down at the lab my parents kept me in. What would happen if I stayed down here? There were so many bad things that happened at the bottom of those steps, but what if I stayed? I wouldn’t have to face the terrors of the outside world again. No more shaky hands behind closed classroom doors. No more sweat dribbling down my neck while riding in the car. No more dateless nights because of the dark and the suffocating closeness of movie theaters. The only thing I would have to fear down here would be the room.

Could I handle it? Living with only one fear that I knew was coming? Or would it be better to go through this door, and have the possibility of facing my other fears?

My hand was already resting on the handle.

It was a couple months before my parents decided it was time again. They used to have to trick me, telling me that they had bought me a surprise and it was waiting just on the other side of the door. Each time I knew that they were lying, but I wanted so badly to believe that they wouldn’t ever subject me to that again, that each time, I fell for it. My dad would shove me back into the room and slam the door. Then all the bad things would happen all over again.

For the past two times, they hadn’t even bothered. They didn’t trick me, or bribe me, or anything. All they did was tell me that they needed me and, of course, I was there. It’s weird to think about it now, but honestly I thought it was normal. I knew that the kids at school didn’t have fears like mine but I thought, if they did, that their parents would do the same thing. I thought that all the people with phobias would be treated like I was—in the name of finding a ‘cure’.

But I was so wrong. I learned that on the day of the sixth test. My parents had warned me that morning. They said I could even stay home from school if I wanted. That maybe that would make me more comfortable and their test would finally be a success. I said no. I knew I’d miss quite a few days afterwards, my body recovering from the shock. I numbly wondered if I would die early from all the strain on my heart. That was how I did everything that day—numbly. That is, until seventh period.

That was when Dawn Peirce walked in.

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53 Reviews

Points: 4226
Reviews: 53

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:35 am
zohali93 wrote a review...

Ok so this took a different turn.

I got a bit confused because I thought that the main character was locked up in the basement.(also I don't think you mentioned the gender of main character. I just assume it's a boy. And also his name...) Also I'm not sure why he's deciding between staying in the basement or going out. Weren't all the bad things happening in the basement? (Sorry I'm just confused)

I'm a little dissapointed because I was expecting something to happen. But it's still good.

Also there's this line:

I then slipped into the clothes that had probably been sitting in here for weeks without me noticing their absence

Isn't the correct word to use here 'precense' instead of absence?

The cliff hanger here isn't as strong as the first one before, or so I think. But it's alright here.

This chapter was a bit too short. You sid you would add on too it so I won't have to say much about it.

Well I guess thats about it. :)

Raelyn723 says...

Okay I can explain a little if you want... but I think you want me to explain it in my writing... :) In my defense though, I would like to point out that this wasn't really meant to be a cliffhanger. This chapter is going to be continued and it will (hopefully) make a lot more sense. I just had a lot of studying to do that day so I didn't continue it. I wanted feedback though so I posted what I had. He is not "trapped in the basement" necessarily. He feels loyal to his parents and he doesn't think what they're doing is wrong, so he doesn't report it, so they don't need to keep him locked up. For the decision of staying or not, I was trying to show that there were choices he could make to get away from most of his claustrophobic tendencies and that he had options... but maybe that didn't work. He is a boy. The name is pronounced Dan-yul not Dan-yell. It is a boy's name :) and he meant that he hadn't noticed the absence of those clothes from his room. I can see where it might get a little confusing :) I'll go back and edit.

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1176 Reviews

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Reviews: 1176

Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:52 am
Twit wrote a review...

Hi Raelyn!

I skim read the first chapter to get an idea of the story so far, and I was surprised to see that you switched from third to first person for this chapter. Are you going to continue in first from now on? I’d suggest against switching back and forth as it could become too difficult and disorientating. Was there a reason for this switch?

I then slipped into the clothes that had probably been sitting in here for weeks without me noticing their absence.

This feels like a third person thing to say, if that makes sense. Like, it would make more sense in third person because there’s a distance here. “Without me noticing their absence”. You can say in third person that someone hasn’t noticed something’s absence, but you can’t in first, because they can’t notice that they hadn’t noticed something. I don’t know, it could be just a silly nitpick because I’m still wondering about the shift from third to person between the first chapter and this one, but it feels off.

But I was so wrong. I learned that on the day of the sixth test.

I’m a little confused about the timeline here. It seems like the tests have been going on for a while, but the sixth test doesn’t seem that long. Daniel knows how to take out his IV, which suggests a long time. You start with the present, and then the past, and then it seems like the present continuing, and now back in the present. Like, present, flashback, montage sequence, present. I’d like a better idea of how much time has passed and when the tests started and everything. It helps to have things clearer in my head. ^_^

You have a strong premise here, and it’s a cool idea. Hurting to help, or is it really helping? It’s a cool idea, and I’m interested to see how the relationship between Daniel and his parents are explored. Are they really interested in helping him or just furthering their careers or a mixture of both? Do both parents feel the same way about everything? It’ll be cool to see how that plays out. ^_^

Your narrative is good, and you seem to be in Daniel’s head well enough. This did seem rather sparse in descriptions, though. I’d like a clearer idea of what the basement looks like, smells like, sounds like. Take the stairs for instance—you say they’re metal, but you could add so much more. What colour metal? Do they shine dully in the fluorescent light? Are they shiny enough so Daniel can see a vague reflection of his face? How do they sound under foot? Are they rough or smooth? This is just one example, and I don’t have any great attachment to the stairs, so I don’t mean to answer all those questions, lol. Just try and make the scene more vivid. Daniel’s experiences down there are terrifying, and affect his whole being, so make us experience it with him, let us see and smell and hear what he does.

PM or Wall me if you have any questions! :D


Raelyn723 says...

Thanks for the review! I switched to first person because it was suggested after I posted the first chapter and I thought I'd try it. I'll try to add in more descriptions and everything :) I appreciate it!!!!

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94 Reviews

Points: 6016
Reviews: 94

Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:19 am
Nook wrote a review...

Hi Ri! This really amazing! I love the emotions that he's conveying in this chapter and it FEELS SO REAL!! I don't think I have anything bad to say about this. At all. And the 1st person change has gotten some good results! And your writing's not stiff at all! They never were!

Raelyn723 says...

Thanks Aqua!!! Glad it feels real... I think. Just don't start dying cause it feels real okay? But seriously, thanks :D it's really nice to see how the writing comes off to other people :)

aqua1213 says...

Haha! Don't worry! I won't die!

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38 Reviews

Points: 276
Reviews: 38

Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:25 pm
xxFleetingEternity wrote a review...

(Sorry, I kind of suck at reviewing, just so you know.)

So I know that I didn't review the first chapter, and I'm sorry for that. But, I am going to review the second, so here it goes:
This is, to put it lightly, amazing. I love the background information you gave on him, as well. The cruelty of his parents as the tried to 'cure' his claustrophobia. The way he actually believed it was normal.
Also, I have high praise for the emotions you were trying to convey. I love the paragraph about the stairs. The "'happy' illusions" part, particularly. It gave him a lot more depth as a believeable character, just from those two words in a seemingly innocuous paragraph.
I also thought the change from third-person point of view in the first chapter to first-person for the second was intriguing. It gives the story a lot more depth.
Overall, if this is an unfinished chapter, I simply cannot wait to see how brilliant it is when it comes to being complete. You have a definite voice, great grammar, and great prose. I will continue to read this story- in fact, I will regularly check to see if any more work has been done on it. This is beautiful, and the suspenceful cliffhanger is great.

Also, you may want to thank thetraveler for recommending this story to me. She's the reason I'm here.

Raelyn723 says...

wow thank you! I wasn't sure how the whole "happy" illusions part would come across so I'm glad you liked it! It will probably take a week or so before I update each time. Thank you so much for the feedback!! I will be sure to thank her too! :)

No problem. I love psychological stories; they're mosty what I write as well. If you'd drop by my profile and leave me a message some time, I thing we could instigate a very interesting conversation.

The brain is wider than the sky.
— Emily Dickenson