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Strange Life

by girl_m0sh


Hey guys, im new to this forum...heres a peice a wrote for my english 154 class, creative prose.... i need some SERIOUS feedback on this story.....

Life is Strange

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

As the seconds turn to minutes, and the minutes turn to hours, all we can do is wait. The stucco walls in this room are painted in a vile green color, reflecting the lingering smell. The fluorescent lights that hang above my head are sending beads of sweat down my neck and shivers up my spine. The constant buzzing they emit is ringing in my ears. A faint outline still remains on my thighs, from where my hand was placed earlier. I wipe my clammy hands on the couch cushions. As the hours turn into migraines, our sorrows weld together through the concern which we share. No body knows how long we’ve been sitting here; it must have been at least four hours since we got the call. People are scurrying by, yet nobody is telling us anything.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

I begin to focus on a fly on the wall; crawling up towards the ceiling with no particular destination, its gasoline-spill eyes fixed on nothing. It jumps off the wall and flies towards the light, bumps into it and reacts to the heat falling a few inches before dizzying off to land on the clear blue water cooler. The fly scuttles down the side of it, going in the same direction as the beads of water dripping down the inside of the cooler. My attention drifts over to the clock again.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Friends have brought us coffee, lunch, dinner, snacks, pillows, blankets, everything. Everything but the news we yearn to hear. My coffee gets cold, the lunch gets hard, the dinner starts to smell like embalming fluid, the pillows are lumpy and my wife stole my blanket. Even if I had a comfortable pillow, I don’t think I could allow myself to be taken to yet another level of consciousness. My dreams would be nightmares, and my nightmares would wake me up only to have me back in this stuffy room. A horrible nightmare I don’t wish upon anybody.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

As I sit here thinking about what’s happening to me, I can barely breathe. And the more I breathe, the more it takes my breath away. I think back to the phone call I got all those hours ago, before the migraines and fluorescent lights. I was sitting in my black leather chair thinking about taking a sip of my mud-sludge coffee, but then remembered how thick it felt on my tongue and decided against it. I started staring at the painting on my wall of the boat on Lake Lovering, trying to take my mind off this boring day. What I would give to be away from it all. No work, no stress, just some quiet time to fish and think. The sound of the phone ringing shattered my concentration. “Mr. Brown...” It was a voice I’ve never heard before, so I just tuned out. Kept bending and re-bending my green paperclip. I found that even though I wasn’t intentionally listening, I picked up everything this woman was telling me. I snapped the paperclip in half, hung up the phone and went to pick up my wife. Racing down the busy roads, my mind was back in my office, in the painting, on the boat; no work, no stress. I picked up my wife, and got here as soon as possible. We’ve been waiting ever since.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

I rest my head on the wall. The coolness of it surprises me and almost calms me a bit. I see a man sitting next to me, head in hands. I wonder if he’s here for the same reason, if his mind is reiterating the same sad song as mine. He lifts up his head, and the lines on his face are so notable. They look like the cracks on the terracotta tiles in my kitchen, deep and spread out but accentuated by stress to a certain area. He’s balding at the top of his head, but I guess we all do at this age. Out of the corner of my eye I see the door open. A woman in a light pink uniform walks in. Finally, the answer we’ve all been waiting for.

Tick.

Tock.

Expressionless, she commences her walk over.

Tick.

Her lips part,

Tock.

The words roll off her tounge,

Tick.

“Excuse me Sir…”

Tock.

I hear the sound of the door swinging open again. A second pink uniform walks in, same expressionless glide over to where we were sitting.

Tick.

“Excuse me…”

Tock.

“Congratulations.”

Tick.

“I’m so sorry….”

Tock.

“You have a baby girl”

Tick.

The man next to me let out a yelp of excitement, wrinkles smoothing over his tired skin.

Tock.

“We did everything we could…but we just couldn’t save your daughter Mr.Brown.”

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.


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Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:41 am
fraey wrote a review...



Hello there.

Popping in to give you some feedback on this story of yours.

First off, I think that the repetition of "Tick tock" does a decent job at dividing this, but it gets a little grating after a while. By placing the text in long blocks, to begin with, your reader is already at odds with this story as it's more difficult to really stay in tune with what's going on. The fact that the ticking gets to every other line at the end is actually a little better on the formatting side, but it was also kind of distracting.

Continuing on, I think the best part of this is the fact that the reader can catch on to the setting. By describing the walls bright green and the workers in pink uniforms, I can at least assume this is some sort of hospital or healthcare place. Added with the very lengthy detailing of a man waiting out news that could shatter him and his family, I can guess it's concerning someone they love. And that's a decent thing to be able to do, by not going out and saying "this is a hospital I am waiting at" and such.

Finally, I would like to discuss the way this is laid out. I was pretty confused by how long some of these sentences seem to be and never stop running. I feel like the part of him getting the call should be in its own section, as that's a pretty important detail to connect with your reader.

Overall, I think that this is definitely a piece that can make someone feel sad, but this has too many words and parts to muddle through the emotions.

That's all I've got for now.




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Sun Jan 30, 2005 4:36 am
Sam says...



Oh...I know it, Dreaming Mouse! that was so cool...oh my gosh no critique!




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Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:00 pm
dreaming_mouse wrote a review...



That was so sad and moving! I was crying at the end of it :oops:, you're a very talented writer! I loved the way how you described everything including the fly! The attention to detail was so amazing it was like I was there! I aslo love how you put across how the character was feeling without even telling us, the tension and worry these people are feeling etc.

My only criticism is though that I found some sentences hard to grasp and had to re-read them a few times. Perhaps you could go over this and read it outloud so you can see where it runs smoothly and where it runs rough?

Again I think you're a talented writer and I hope you keep on posting because I would love to read some more of your stuff!




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Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:05 pm
Emma says...



Awwww thats so sad! I I didnt really expect that!

Why didnt you save the baby!!!!!!

Save the BABY!!

THE BABY HAS RIGHTS!!!

That was really good. (BABY) I can see you (BABY) as an author (BABY).





Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
— H. Jackson Brown