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Young Writers Society

18+ Language


by julia002

Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

We pulled up to Tommy’s place, he was always inside, refusing to have his face shown in the daylight. The door was never locked, the drapes were pulled, and it was always 3 am at Tom's.

No jobs, no light, no rules.

Tommy talked like he was crossed with tequila, he always told you the truth no matter how much of a dick he sounded like. I don't remember when I started smoking, I don’t remember when any of us started smoking. It's like we were sucking our moms' tits one second and the next we were sucking tree.

I do remember when we started fucking those girls that lived upstairs. Lee Man acted like it was nothing.

“Yeah, she came over and I fucked her on the spot man. And let's just say…” He puffed, “You could tell she was a pure virgin.”

He said it like it wasn’t his first time too. We stopped calling him Lee Boy after that.

I used not to like it when girls kissed me before sex, all I was thinking about was nutting, why the hell should I be that close to your face?

With Shawna it was different, I always wanted more of her skin. Her sparkly eyes always dragged as she looked up from my thing and it got me high. Shawna didn’t let Tommy kick it with her like the other neighbor bitches. Tommy liked to pick up the real young girls, then throw them out on the streets like they were whores.

“I show them real life, I’m a teacher.”

Tommy always said “real life.” Sitting in his living room, drinking beer at noon, that was real life. I wondered if Mrs. Caddy ever thought about me, I was supposed to be in third period right now. She never told me to pull up my goddamn pants or clean up my language in class. Mrs. Caddy never sent me to the principal's office because my eyes were red. She told us that school prepared us for “real life.” Tommy told us that that kind of real life didn’t exist.

One of the girls came over, I didn’t know her name, but I recognized the tattoo peaking beneath her belly button piercing. She said the characters meant Trust in Chinese.

“Tom, I need to talk to you.” She said in between her smacks of gum, Tommy waved his hand to make her speak. “In private.” She rolled her eyes and dragged on the i in private.

They walked off into his room, and we couldn’t make out what she had said but he had already started yelling.

“Get the fuck out of my place!” He screamed, and I put my weed down.

Her voice stayed small, and we all hushed to listen to her, “Listen, Tommy, I don’t need your bullshit right now. Just get the fuckin’ money so we can forget this.”

Then he hit her. He had done this before with his girls, but his time was different. She didn’t scream for help, she stayed quiet. She started whispering real fast to him and I was dying to know what words were coming out.

“I’m getting the shit out of here,” Cooler finally got up.

That's what we always did, if something went wrong, we fled. We didn’t want the cops on our ass. I couldn’t bring myself to get up. I sat there with only the fly on the wall to keep me company, listening to him beat her in her silence. Every hit to her skin broke a part of my chest. The window was cracked open and I heard cars swish by, unknowing of the girl with the Chinese tattoo.

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1177 Reviews

Points: 135463
Reviews: 1177

Sat Jun 03, 2023 3:49 am
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alliyah wrote a review...

I have to agree with the other reviewer this piece definitely has a gritty realness to it. Lots of themes explored in these short paragraphs - is this part of a larger piece, or meant to be a one-off story I wonder.

The only grammar / spelling error that tripped me up was this one, "Then he hit her. He had done this before with his girls, but his time was different." -> "his" should be "this". So overall really good editing.

I understand the sweep of the story to basically be about a group of friends "coming of age" through a sort of self-imposed trial-by-fire -> they're getting involved in drugs, and sex, and violence, and trying to figure out what makes these boys really "men" and the girls "women".

The narrator has done their share of drugs and sex and cussing trying to figure out where they fit in to all of this - and they seem to have found a close relationship in Shawna, but they also seem to sort of lust after their teacher Mrs. Caddy. All the characters described seem immature which makes the little note about "Lee Boy" now being called "Lee Man" really ironic.

The one girl that they can't remember the name of has a tattoo that says "trust" which is also an ironic note because it doesn't seem like there is a lot to trust between all these characters - they're learning and unreliable and fire-y. By the end of the story I don't feel much sympathy or connection to the narrator because I'd group them right with Tommy for not stepping in to defend the girl - but it seems like everyone in the group is in a very bad situation. The last paragraph implies some sort of legal trouble too, maybe connected to the drugs.

Each scene is vivid and though they don't connect very smoothly from paragraph to paragraph they all do have the same vibe and feeling which makes the whole piece feel connected.

Short stories thrive on vivid symbolism and characterization - by the end of the story I don't know if I have much of an idea of what makes the narrator stay or leave or learn - what are their stakes in this story, why as a reader should I care about them? I think that could be investigated a bit more.

You do great on symbolism from the tattoo and the names - but I'd love to see even more incorporated in there - maybe a repetition of the word "trust" somewhere else in there. The repetition / different interpretations of what it means to be "real life" is another good thread in here that I think could be drawn out more.

One curiosity I had was what made you title this piece "LOUD" - it seems like Tommy's actions are loud, but the narrator is silent when they should be loud, the victim is quiet as it says "she didn't scream for help, she stayed quiet. She started whispering"... - it seems like there is a lack of voice here, and I wonder if the title really hits the main message / theme of the piece? That might be something to consider further.

I think it was also an interesting choice not to name the narrator in the story - but I think it works for this one too.

Overall easy to follow, makes me want to read more, and brings up some interesting threads of themes to follow. I hope you keep on writing!

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31 Reviews

Points: 5383
Reviews: 31

Wed May 17, 2023 1:46 pm
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MerleBlackbird wrote a review...

Before I get extra rambly, I have two words for this piece: dark realism. The writing feels very real, detailed, and lifelike. It's hard to sympathize with any of the characters presented, because the boys are all obnoxious, disgusting, and immature, and as such, they see girls as shallow and meaningless. Presented in such a shallow and meaningless light, the girls are not characters that the reader can sympathize with either. The effect of this piece is an overall withdrawal of the reader from what is happening: the characters feel lifelike, sketched as they are through the perception of a drugged out teenager (I'm assuming his age.) At the end of this short piece, I feel like I'm waiting for the main character to wake up - something which maybe might happen if there was to be more to this. Without a continuation however, this story is certainly a disturbing depiction of what "real life" can be like for people who lock themselves in their own worldview and do not care to be awakened to the needs, feelings, or ambitions of others. In conclusion: a disturbing and effective writing piece.

I want to understand you, I study your obscure language.
— Alexander Pushkin