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(so don’t lose me, follow me home) : 2/4

by mephistophelesangel


2. Garrett

“Always knew they were some weird ones,” Garrett finds himself grumbling to Janet; a phrase that’s been said more often than not in the past week or so. “Knew it the day they moved in.”

Subjected to her husband’s complaints, Janet shakes her head in annoyance and gives Garrett a good slap on the arm. “They’re fine boys, sweetheart. Leave them be,” she replies. A pitiful glance and a sigh follows, and Garrett feels a sharp pinch of annoyance. The wrinkles on Janet’s face deepen. “Some poor boys too. Poor, poor boys. Wonder if they’d like some cherry pie? Do you think they would, honey? Or chocolate chip cookies?”

Garrett gives a weary sigh and doesn’t bother replying. Ever since the two men had moved in next doors, Janet had been contemplating whether or not they would enjoy her various baked goods and dishes. Although Janet never explicitly explains it, he’s been with her for too many decades to be ignorant of her soft spot regarding things like this. Abandoned kittens, a puppy lost in the rain, or a man with a scar crippling his face and another who seems unable to communicate in the most basic ways. Just those things.

Janet starts to talk about how it’d be just fantastic if she could invite ‘those sweet boys’ over for dinner. As she goes over the various menus that she’s capable of cooking up, Garrett scowls silently at the two men who are the topic of their discussion - and who are, apparently, planting flowers in their garden. The new neighbors, Steve and Riley. The more bitter part of him grumbles that those probably aren’t even their real names. The two men are so secretive and withdrawn that the only reason Garrett remembers their faces is because of how crazy they are. Or at least he thinks. They’re halfway insane at the very least.

Steve -the tall redhead with an ugly scar- is crouched down on the grass, carefully placing a flower pot into the hole that he has just dug. As he fills the hole back up, Riley, sitting stiffly next to him, pays no attention and stares off into nothing. In the blond man’s hand is a glass of water, untouched and unmoving. Earlier, Garrett had seen Steve fold Riley’s fingers around the cup. The movements, too gentle to be seen as a simple gesture of kindness, had sprouted a strange, slimy feeling inside the old man.

As Garrett watches in scorn, Steve finishes up with filling up the hole, in which now resides a blue flower plant that sways softly in the warm summer air. Steve points at the flower and says something to Riley. The other man gives no response -at least none that Garrett can see- but Steve keeps talking. Crazy, as I said, Garrett mumbles sourly to himself.

“Just look at that flower,” Janet exclaims next to him, and Garrett starts, forcibly broken out of his thoughts. “Beautiful color, isn’t it? What a wonderful taste!”

“It’s an ugly blue,” Garrett grumbles back, but Janet either doesn’t hear or completely ignores him. Shaking his head, Garrett turns his attention back to the house next to his. He had planned to spend the afternoon in a lazy way with Janet, lounging in the comfortable chairs on the front porch and talking about nothing. But those ‘sweet, poor boys’ had to decide to plant some stupid flowers in their front lawn, ruining his whole plan. Now he knows that Janet will just keep on talking, as she has done for the past few days whenever she had a good view of the new neighbors.

Steve begins to dig another hole. While Garrett watches in boredom -after all, there is nothing else to entertain him other than some squirrels and lawnmowers- Riley gets up slowly. Frowning, Garrett watches him shuffle towards the only tree in the lawn, admittedly shocked at the first movement that the blond man has shown while unguided by his companion. Janet grows quiet next to him, and he knows that she’s cocking her head in curiosity and watching.

In slow but sure steps, Riley approaches the tree. Steve apparently has just noticed Riley’s absence, and turns his head. He stands up, dropping the trowel in his hand. Simultaneously, Riley begins to steadily thump his head against the tree. 

Janet puts a hand against her mouth and whispers something that sounds like How horrible.

His scowl even deeper than before, Garrett crosses his arms over his chest and glares at Steve as he rushes over to Riley and gently pulls him away from the tree. Even from far away, Garrett can see the blood dripping from the cuts on Riley’s forehead. With an arm around Riley’s shoulders, Steve guides him back inside.

“Always knew they were some weird ones,” Garrett announces for what seems to be the hundredth time, breaking the heavy silence on his porch.

He almost misses the way that Steve’s body jerks violently then falls still.


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Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:23 am
Magebird wrote a review...



Hello, mephistophelesangel! I'm here to review your work! I'm sorry in advance if my review isn't all that helpful. I'm trying to become a better reviewer, but I'm still not used to reviewing some of the things I'm going to mention in this review.

I didn't have any problems with this work's overall grammar, so I'll move onto the other parts of the work.

Like with the last chapters, descriptions are definitely your strong point! They kept me engaged with your writing, and did a great job at helping me imagine what was happening over the course of the work. Your characters are also interesting, especially Steve and Riley. You went into further detail about them this part, and I liked having more information on the mysterious part of your story.

My favorite part of this is the very last line. The entire chapter leads the reader into believing that Riley is the stranger one of the two, but then you end it with Steve's body violently jerking. Though it was jarring, it fit the mood of the piece.

My one suggestion is to add examples of how secretive and withdrawn Steve and Riley are. As of right now, it seems that the only reason they haven't talked with their neighbors is because Garrett views them so negatively.

I hope this review helped. I really enjoyed reading your work, and I'm sorry if any part of my review seemed harsh! Also, please feel free to PM me if something I said doesn't make sense. I'd be happy to explain it to you. Keep up the great work - which I doubt you'll have trouble with - and good luck on your writing endeavors! I hope you have a wonderful day/night!

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Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:49 am
Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review!

I may as well follow the rest of this short story seeing as I want to know where this goes and I already read the first part. Why not? I've got nothing else to follow at the moment so without further ado, let's jump right in. The change in perspective is a little confusing. I also wanted to note that the names Jamie and Janet are a little similar. They both start with J and they're both five letters long, so it's easy for the reader to mix these names up even if Jamie is only in the first part thus far. I still suggest changing one of these names to be a little different so they're more distinguishable to the reader just in case.

“Always knew they were some weird ones,” Garrett finds himself grumbling to Janet; a phrase that’s been said more often than not in the past week or so. “Knew it the day they moved in.”


The semicolon doesn't work well here compared to what a comma can. This isn't an independent clause. I believe I saw this in the last part as well, a couple of grammar errors in the sense of punctuation. In which case I suggest educating yourself a bit more on punctuation or specifically how semicolons work.

The largest flaw of this chapter is that this is telling instead of showing. Let me explain what I mean by this. We'll use the first couple of paragraphs for an example here. There isn't any dialogue and instead we're only seeing Garrett's thought process through the third person perspective.

Janet starts to talk about how it’d be just fantastic if she could invite ‘those sweet boys’ over for dinner. As she goes over the various menus that she’s capable of cooking up, Garrett scowls silently at the two men who are the topic of their discussion - and who are, apparently, planting flowers in their garden. The new neighbors, Steve and Riley. The more bitter part of him grumbles that those probably aren’t even their real names. The two men are so secretive and withdrawn that the only reason Garrett remembers their faces is because of how crazy they are. Or at least he thinks. They’re halfway insane at the very least.


This drives me crazy. Dialogue is almost always better at character development than talking about talking. The first sentence in particular is what irks me with that. Don't be afraid to add a scene to flesh out their characters a little bit more. I understand that this is planned to be on the shorter side, though that doesn't give the excuse not to use dialogue, an element that I found to be a little lacking this far into the story.

The ending is again a little odd and confusing though I hope that this is resolved in the later parts. I'm interested to see if there's another perspective change or if we go back to Jamie. I'm fonder of the characters we're with now because they have a smidge more development. That's just the personal preference for now. We'll see what happens next.

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

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Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:27 am
midnightdreary wrote a review...



Hi! So I read your first chapter and I was intrigued. I don't think this will be much of a review, but I'd just like to share my thoughts on this.

So I like the way that you've shown Steve and Riley through the point of views of other characters. That's been cool, since everyone thinks they're both crazy (which I'm assuming they're not????) I also like how we've gotten to know a little bit more about Steve and Riley from the last chapter. So I hope you keep the information about them slowly appearing as I keep reading.

The one thing I didn't like were that Garrett and Janet seemed like tropes. Garrett being the mildly homophobic old man and Janet being the sweet, mildly ditzy old lady. It also seemed like Garrett doesn't respect Janet, which also kind of bothered me. But, I feel like that was just part of Garrett's character.

Anyways, I'm excited to continue reading!





"She doesn't even go here!"
— Damian Leigh