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Prologue - Kindness

by TheCircusOfMyMind


What is kindness? Is it helping other people? Is it being true to yourself? Is it lying to make people feel better? Honestly, I don't think there is such a thing as kindness. It's just a word. Because whatever you do - kind things or not - it won't help you through life. Just think about it. What happens to the nice kids in the movies? They get bullied. What happens when you do something nice? People think you do it for selfish reasons. And what happened to the nicest man I knew? He died.

His name was Fred Rallen. He was this sort of fat man in his mid-forties. He had grey hair and the nicest, most blue eyes you'd ever seen. He owned a pharmacy down on Blew Street, where he also lived with his wife. I used to go there quite often. It was really nice and warm there. The walls were covered in medicines and stuff, but somehow, it felt good being there. It felt like home. Sometimes, Mr. Rallen would invite me upstairs for coffee, but I always turned him down. It wasn't like I thought he was going to kill me or something, I just liked the relationship we had. He was nothing but a nice man who sold drugs. Perfect.

Where was I? Right, his death. So, one day, Mrs. Rallen comes home. She walks up to the elevator where she sees her husband hanging with a rope around his neck. The news surprised us all. Why would the happiest man on earth kill himself? And who are "us all"? That's me, and the rest of this mad world we call Solum Bridge.

Solum Bridge is a small town just outside New Jersey. The name fits us all very well. You see, solum is Latin for lonely, and I think everybody here is a little bit lonely. At least I am. And why do I think everyone else is lonely? It's simple. I am just like everyone else. I'm a person who, just like everyone else, exists. And what do I do but exist? Not much. But then, who does anything besides existing? Maybe you've climbed Mount Everest. Maybe you realized everything is made of tiny things called atoms. But I don't care about any of that stuff. You're still a person who, just like me, exists. There's no difference between you and me. Except, there seems to be. We make it seem as if people aren't like each other. We judge people by the way they look or talk or think, but what we don't realize is that it doesn't matter. What I'm trying to say is that we are all the same stupid people. That's right - I said stupid. Because let's face it, we are. We're stupid, mean and crazy. Or perhaps you have another explanation for all the things we have done to this world? That's what I thought.

We hate people when we actually should hate ourselves. We should hate ourselves for being part of the human race. This kind of living creature has ruined the world for everyone. We built cities, we kill animals, we play an important role in global warming, and so on. And we don't even seem to notice this. We don't seem to notice that we're part of this awful thing called life.

People hate dictators. Why? Because they try to make decisions for everyone and make this place worse than it already is. But what difference does it make? We're all going to die someday. Someday, we get to leave each other and this world. I can't wait.

I guess that's why Mr. Rallen decided to kill himself. He wanted to end his life just because people are stupid. Turns out, he was the smart one.

And who am I? I am Mary Somner, and 18 year old girl who lives with her younger brother and mother. I don't really know what to do with myself. I just sit in my room and write. I do know one thing about myself. I become another person when I'm around people. In public, I act like I'm kind, beautiful, innocent and confident. That's not the truth, though. This is: I am not beautiful, I am not innocent and I am most certainly not confident. And kind? Well, no one is. So, that's me. Or the two sides of me.

May 18th 2017 10:56 AM

I am sitting in my room, watching the time pass by. Outside my window, there is a police car, which lights up my room in red and blue colors. I guess they are driving around town, searching for clues.

I hear my mother call my name. I put on a cardigan and walk downstairs. Leaning on our house, is Sheriff Adams, with one hand in his pocket and the other one lifting his hat.

"Ms. Somner?" he asks and places the hat back on his head. I answer by walking up to him."I'm just going to ask you a few simple questions". I nod, confused. "So, where were you around 9:30 PM, April 21st?"

April 21st 2017 9:13 PM

I take a sip of my drink and look at my friends. Well, "friends". They're part of that other side of me. They're partly the reason I act like someone else. But that's okay. I'd rather have friends who see me as someone else, than friends who see me for who I really am. Because if they did, they wouldn't be my friends.

They are laughing and dancing. I am standing by the bar, ordering another drink. This is the last one, I say to myself. I thought the same thing, three drinks ago. The room keeps spinning as I let go of the bar and stand on my own two feet. I wouldn't really call it standing, though. Let's say it's an attempt to stand. I feel my legs shake as I make my way to the exit. I walk out the door and towards Blew Street.

May 18th 2017 10:59 AM

"Uhm... Not much" I mumble. "I don't remember any details, but I believe I was out with my friends".

Sheriff Adams looks at me under the brim of his hat and smirks. "Drinking?". "No" I lie and smile politely. The Sheriff just stares at me.

"Excuse me, but why are you asking my daughter all these questions?" my mother asks and breaks the silence. She always does this. As soon as alcohol comes up in a conversation about me, she gets really uncomfortable.

"You didn't hear?" Sheriff Adams says surprised. We shake our heads in unison. "Mr. Rallen didn't commit suicide. He was murdered".


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Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:21 pm
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MJTucker wrote a review...



Hi there! MJ stopping by for a short review :)

most blue eyes
This should be 'bluest'

It wasn't like I thought he was going to kill me or something, I just liked the relationship we had.
This seems like a pretty hasty assumption to make, like, when I turn down someone for coffee, I hope they don't think it's because I'm afraid they'll kill me.

This is: I am not beautiful, I am not innocent and I am most certainly not confident.
I think you mean either 'The truth is" or "That is,"

My one critique here is your change in styles. At first, this was a very abstract and philosophical reflection on what kindness was and the point of life and all that, and you transitioned back into that a little bit later, but in the middle you had a bit of a story-telling effect, when you had some speech interruptions (stutters, where was i's, etc.), and then it turned into more of a journal. It seemed inconsistent, and didn't flow very well together.

It also felt more like three or so separate stories that took place using the same characters and setting and time, but since the style was so different, I had trouble connecting them and feeling that it was one complete story.

But overall, I liked some of your reflections on the meaning of kindness, and some of the little statements that the narrator slipped in there showed a lot about her personality. She also did a good job highlighting how a lot of depressed teenagers can feel like they switch back between two personalities, the happy-bubbly one and the insecure-anxious one. So keep writing, and experimenting to find out what style works best for you!

Best wishes & RevMo cheer,
MJ




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Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:26 am
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Carlymillie says...



Nice ....I liked it...




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Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:35 pm
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Dracula wrote a review...



People think you do it for selfish reasons. And what happened to the nicest man I knew? He died.
Oh my goodness, this was such an effective way to lead into the story. I love it!

I used to go there quite often. It was really nice and warm there.
I'm going to give you a nitpick because I don't know what else to improve. 'There' sounds a little repetitive here.

We hate people when we actually should hate ourselves. We should hate ourselves for being part of the human race. This kind of living creature has ruined the world for everyone
Throughout the whole first part you do this amazing thing where the character transitions from philosophy-professor language to dear-diary language and it's so well done. You incorporate the backstory into your character's deep contemplation of life and it very effectively shows me their personality.

"Uhm... Not much" I mumble. "I don't remember any details, but I believe I was out with my friends".
I would only suggest changing 'believe' to 'think' or 'pretty sure'. Only because it makes it sound like she's aware she knows something and is trying to hide it. Or perhaps she is??

The flashback was great. I admit I had to double check the date but only because I must not have paid enough attention to the bold details because I was too immersed in the story. :D I thought your writing was great. Tag me in the next part please.






Thank you so much! This is my first time writing anything for real so i am really glad you enjoyed it!



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Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:45 pm
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Kays wrote a review...



Hi there TheCircusofMyMind. This is Kays here dropping in for a review with a bit of extra time today--I wasted my morning away and took a longer time getting ready than usual so I'll grab my Team Tortoise review now. Without further ado, let's delve right in.

Why is this a prologue?

Seriously. That's the first and most confusing part about this chapter at the very forefront. Why I'm wondering this is because...this holds an awful lot of seemingly vital information for the rest of this novel in this prologue. The truth of the matter is--not everyone reads the prologue. If there's information that needs to be known for readers of the whole novel, make this the first chapter. Judging from how this is written and general context clues, this is important that Mr. Rallen didn't commit suicide and is instead murdered. I'd highly suggest making this the first chapter for the reasons that I've listed. This seems important and unfortunately, not everyone reads the prologue.

The second issue that I have with this is the opening. While I'm a fan of the first person perspective that is able to slip into the head of the protagonist and while I'm a fan of when I enjoy slipping into their shoes, what I don't like is the amount of telling going on at the beginning of the novel. Instead of telling us all of this information through the mouth of the protagonist, show us what's going on. While there are appropriate places to tell as said by this lovely article that DarkPandemonium is forming for the Knowledge Base section of YWS that can be seen here.

Moving on, the end of the first part is the stereotypical opening where the main character tells the reader their name, age, and a bit of other information that points us towards progressing the plot. The problem with this is the fact that this is lazy. Give us information more through scenes and dialogue and not the narrator talking to the reader or thinking in their head. The problem with that and the problem with flashbacks or information being regurgitated in this way is that nothing is changing. When somebody is thinking in their head, nothing changes. In contrast, when somebody tells somebody us in a scene, there is something changing: The character(s) are learning and reacting to this information that they most likely haven't heard before. Find new and different ways (even though thoughts can be executed well or done well...in moderation) to display this information. Another example is the dates--why does this need to be said? That's not a huge issue but it's another one that I wanted to bring up. Work on making that opening stronger and less thought-based and more scene-based.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day.

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The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch somebody else doing it wrong, without comment.
— T. H. White