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Joe's Tavern

by ogema


Here is a story I'm working on. Any comments would be helpful, thank ya.

You are about to enter a world beyond your imagination. It might seem normal at first, but as you delve deeper into its innards you'll soon realize that your first impression was exactly correct.

---

"What'd you get on the test?"

"I got a 72!"

"Whoa! I got that too."

"Whoa. What'd Jacob get?"

"Man, he got the same thing."

"Awesome."

---

Michael slowly pushed the front door to his home with his right hand, while his left hand excitedly gripped his test. He rushed into the kitchen and found his mother, Emily, on the telephone. He raised his left hand and shoved the test into Emily's face. This, of course, was not the best course of action. Emily's eyebrows lowered and her eyes looked at Michael in a way that made his heart stop beating. Luckily for Michael, his mother remembered that she was on the phone and her face relaxed for a moment. Michael's heart took this opportunity to beat.

"I'll call you right back," Emily calmly said into the receiver.

Michael's heart started sprinting. Blood rushed to his face and his feet lifted up to back away. Emily ended her conversation with a short beep and immediately glared at Michael whose bladder took this opportunity to release its grip and release its contents onto the front of his pants. The warm liquid streaming down Michael's leg let out a stench quite unlike any other. Suddenly the room was filled with an aroma that caused the hair on the back of Emily's neck to stand up. A small puddle at Michael's feet was preparing its invasion on the carpet. The battle was to begin any second.

Emily heard the battle cries let out by the invading army and she yelled with a force of frustration that broke two dishes four towns over. She threw the paper towels at Michael with such a force that he fell down on his butt. Michael dumped the paper towels onto the army, soaking half the warriors into the paper towel. Michael's quick thinking saved the carpet from a crushing defeat.

This is about where Emily started in on Michael.

"How many times have I told you not to interrupt me on the phone?"

The answer was around forty-eight and eight seventeenths. Of course, Michael didn't know this number, so the question was a bit odd.

Emily walked over to the war zone and stared down at her urine-soaked son. Michael looked back at her with teary eyes. This did not help the situation. Emily bent down until her face could feel the temperature of his tears. And she said "Go to your room, you're grounded for a month."

Michael was astounded. He came home to show his mother his spectacular grade on his Math test and he gets grounded. If Michael had known what the word 'irony' meant he might have found this situation ironic.

I chose this moment to walk in from the hallway where I had been watching this charade.

"Now, don't you think you were a bit strict on him?"

"No, it would have been nice to use your help," Emily lobbied my attempt at humor.

"Never mind that, what's for dinner?"

"I thought we'd go to the new burger joint down the street and get some dinner tonight," Emily said as she turned to look at my face.

There has never been a time in my life that I had not wanted to sink my teeth into a nice juicy piece of meat, lick the salt off of fried sticks of potato and feel the invigorating feeling of freezing soda flying into my mouth through a straw. I love fast food, always have--always will.

I darted out of the front door and jumped into my bright red pickup truck. I had to turn the key at least three times before the engine decided to come to life; but once it did it hummed like a baby. Granted it was a baby with half a gallon of chlorine bubbling in its lungs and a windpipe the size of a straw.

I slammed my foot down on the pedal and flew through the park--passing trailer after trailer. I pulled into the drive-thru window and I slowly stopped in front of the speaker box placed outside.

"Wood you like ta buy the brand new apple pie, it only cost two dollar, n' it taste real good," a charming young man said through the speaker.

"No thanks, I want two number 4's, as big as you make em', a number 7 with extra salt and ketchup, one number 3 and one number 4. And I want five extra large sodas."

"Ok, pull to the next window," the same voice said to me.

I released the pressure on the brake and edged forward until I was directly in front of the window. A man's face appeared. "Twenty nine thirty two," the man said. This was the same man who took my order, except he didn't look so young and he definitely wasn't charming. He could barely fit his hand through the window, not because his arm was too large to fit through it; but because there was not enough room inside for him to move. The man must have weighed four hundred pounds, and his fat took up every inch of the room. There was no way he was going to be able to take my money. So I set it on the counter, gave him a quick smile, and pulled forward to get my food.

And that's when the waiting started. I looked into the window and couldn't see a single person, so I returned my concentration to the road ahead of me. I decided to count how many blue cars passed in order to pass the time. One. Two. Three. And that's when I realized that my favorite song was playing on the radio. I quickly lost myself in the lyrics and the eight-minute guitar solo. When a man's voice broke the silence I decided I was tired of listening to music anyway. I shut off the man's voice with the push of a button; and that's when I had an epiphany. I realized that cars are not made with entertainment in mind. A person could easily go crazy sitting in a car with nothing but a radio and buttons to keep him busy. I glanced over at the window again and this time I saw a rather large looking woman standing behind it. I reached through my window and tapped on the glass to get her attention. As she opened the window she rolled her eyes in disgust.

"What do ya want?"

"How long is this gonna take?"

"It will be one more minute."

And I went back to counting blue cars. But as I counted four cars, my body begged me to sleep. And that must have been when I granted its request.

I woke up due to a loud reoccurring noise in my ear. I reluctantly opened my eyes and glanced to my left. There was a large woman holding a bag shouting at me. And that's when I remembered what I was doing. I grabbed the bag with my left hand, and I extended my right hand out the window. I pulled all my fingers against my palm and then I released my middle finger into the air. I gave her the universal sign for love.

I returned my gaze to the road and at the same time I peeled out towards home.

I walked into the house and Emily jumped me at the door. She was yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs about me being gone for so long. That's when I noticed the time. It was nearly midnight. I had been out for a solid three hours. But boy did I feel rested.

I also felt hungry. So I thought it would be smart if I ate something. Luckily I was holding a bag, which happened to be filled with my favorite type of food. Fast food, but don't get me started on that.

As I took a huge bite out of the hamburger the juices filled every inch of my mouth with a certain feeling. A feeling that I recognized from somewhere, but I was unable to put my finger on exactly what feeling it was.

I wrapped my fingers around my drink and jammed the straw down my throat, and as I pulled the soda into my mouth with all my might I was hit with another epiphany. I knew what that feeling was. It was the feeling of pure satisfaction. I'm not sure how I could forget that feeling, but I stopped worrying because my favorite new reality TV show came on.

I watched for two hours as ten children were forced to go to school. It was a new show called "The Klassroom," which followed ten children around through their kindergarten classes. It quickly became the best show on television simply due to the fact that the cast was perfectly selected. There was a nerd, a jock, a homosexual, a Goth, and a group of popular kids. The nerd was always answering questions about how much one plus one is and how to spell "class". The popular kids always sat in the back of the classroom--from where the teacher was unable to see them passing notes between each other. The notes mostly always made fun of the nerd, but occasionally they made fun of the Goth for being pale or having black fingernails. No one made fun of the homosexual because he was the teacher's son. And everyone knew that making fun of him was off limits. Plus how can you make fun of a kid whose clothes always match? Exactly, you can't. The show would have private time with each student in between classes where the kid could let out his emotions about anything. The kids would talk about girls, music, class, the teacher, boys, drugs and movies. It was a stellar two hours of television. I want to meet the genius that came up with this show so I can give him a hug. He has to be the smartest person in the entire planet.

After dinner I threw the empty Styrofoam boxes outside for the dog to eat and I went to bed.

---

When I woke up it was seven A.M. and I had a sensation in my stomach that yelled for me to feed it. And that's precisely what I did.

I stepped over the hundreds of toy soldiers scattered all over the floor and I narrowly missed the spot of the war from last night; then I finally came to the refrigerator. I pulled it open and I was swamped with a smell that sent the fast food from last night up into my throat. I took in a deep breath, which neutralized the meal that was trying to escape. I turned my head away from the refrigerator trying to find some fresh air and as I did this I stuck my hand into the piles of food that were emitting this foul smell. My hand grabbed what felt like a sandwich, I ran my fingers along the edges and the absence of anything slimy put me at ease. I pulled it out and took a big bite without looking at it.

Luckily, this sandwich was free of mold. Unluckily, this sandwich was not exactly a sandwich. It was a bundle of paper towels wrapped around Michael's art project. It was supposed to be a vase. It was a big project in Michael's class, which he had been allowed to bring home just two days ago. It had to be kept in a cool place in order for it to stay intact. So Michael wrapped it in paper towels and set it in the refrigerator. Now the project was missing a large chunk of it. A large portion of this chunk was shifting down my esophagus but the other half of it was lodged in between each of my teeth and all throughout my mouth. Clay is rather hard to chew, especially after it has been molded.

I ran over to the sink and stuck my head underneath the faucet. I filled my mouth with water, tilted my head back and furiously swished the water around my mouth. Then with the force of a speeding bus I spit the water out of my mouth in no particular direction. I was hoping it would somehow find the sink, but it instead went all over the kitchen floor. At that precise moment I noticed the clock out of the corner of my eye. My breakfast had taken entirely too long and I was almost late for work.

As I went sprinting across the kitchen floor I slipped and nearly broke my neck, but again I was lucky only to hit my head. I got up still kind of woozy, went outside and set off for work.

---

I hate her so much. I can't believe she grounded me! I didn't do anything wrong! She is such a bitch!

Man school tomorrow is going to suck! I have no idea what I'm doing in Math. I wish Mr. Hopcroft would learn how to teach. He's the worst teacher in the world. I could teach better if I didn't have any arms and if I couldn't speak. He's such a dumb ass loser, especially when he makes those lame ass jokes. "Anyone want a piece of pie? Okay, 3.159." Har, har, har. What a dork. The only reason I can stand that class is because of Lindsay. She is so incredibly hot. She wore a skirt today and her legs looked incredible, they were so tan and sexy. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. She also wore a really tight shirt and when she bent over to pick up her pencil I could totally see down her shirt. Her tits are massive! I would love to have my way with them! Mmmmmmmmm.

I hate being grounded. This is such bullshit. There is nothing to do--I'm going to go crazy just sitting in here all day. Wait, I know what I can do.

---

"How am I supposed to know what you were supposed to do? Why should I know? Fine. I'll see you tonight. Goodbye.

"Sorry Joanne, Billy just called me on his way to work. He's so forgetful.

"Oh yeah, so what were we talking about? Oh right! How was shopping? Did you get anything special?

"Yeah, he won't let me spend any money either. Men are such pigs.

"You did? Did you flirt with him? Yeah, I know you're married, but looking isn't against the Ten Commandments. Oh come on! You can't tell me that you haven't looked at another man since you got married. Whatever.

"Look, I should probably let you go. I have some things to take care of around the house before Billy gets back with dinner. I'll talk to you tomorrow! Bye."

I can't believe she's never looked at another man since she married Steve. That's so dumb. Speaking of dumb, I need to finish yelling at Michael. He better be in his room.

"OH MY GOD! MICHAEL WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

"Where did you get that magazine young man? Don't lie to me! You got it from a friend? Give it to me, NOW!

"God is very ashamed of you young man. He does not approve of such actions. You need to pray to him for forgiveness. No, do it now! Just wait till your father gets home! He will be very upset with you."

---

If it wasn't for coffee and cigarettes I would not be alive. The coffee wakes me up and the cigarettes calm my nerves. Those are the only two things that get me through the day.

"GET OUT OF MY WAY, ASSHOLE!"

I yelled as a car cut me off. I took a puff of my cigarette and held the smoke in my mouth until I was about to burst. As I exhaled a funny feeling suddenly swept over my body. It was as if I had left something unfinished at home. Maybe I left the oven on? No, I didn't turn it on. What could it be? I'll just call home to find out.

I flipped open my handy dandy cell phone and pushed buttons until I had finally dialed the correct number.

Ring. Ring.

"Hello?" It was Emily. She'd know exactly what I forgot to do.

"Honey? What did I forget to do this morning?"

"How am I supposed to know what you were supposed to do?" She barked back across the telephone lines. Maybe she is just being a jokester. I'll ask one more time for good measure.

"But I forgot to do something, what was it?"

"Why should I know?" She replied once again.

"Well, maybe I didn't forget to do anything after all. I'll see you later tonight!"

"Fine. I'll see you tonight," she replied obviously angered by the whole conversation.

"I love you!"

"Goodbye," she said as she ended the conversation.

Wow. RCHNFMS. What could that mean? It could be an acronym for something. Really Caring Hermits Now Fearing Manly Seals. Radical Cats Have No Feelings Minus Sarcasm. As I searched my mind for more words to complete the acronym I had a sudden epiphany. I had missed my exit for work! I must have been so engaged with all the commotion of deciphering the license plate that I forgot to turn off the highway. Dave is going to kill me!

---

"Sorry I'm late Dave. There was a huge accident right in front of me on the highway. There were about ten or twelve cars piled up. It caused delays for everyone."

"Oh. It's okay Billy. We only have one car to work on right now anyway," Dave, my boss, replied calmly.

I am a mechanic at Dave's Auto Shack. Our slogan is: At Dave's, we'll fix your car faster than slaves! I've been working here for a while now and I've met some interesting people. There was this family from Wisconsin that came in sometime last year...

"Billy, can you come over here?" Dave shouted from across the garage. I walked over to the other side of the shop. I walked quickly but not too quickly, I don't want Dave to think I'm desperate. As I approached I noticed a noise that sounded like a television. It took me a minute to realize that I was hearing a baseball game. I walked into Dave's office and saw him lounging back in his chair with his eyes fixated on the television. Maybe he'll ask me to sit and watch the game with him.

"Do you like baseball Billy?" Dave asked as he slurped beer out of a mug.

"Yeah, I love it. There's nothing like baseball I always say."

"I despise it. It's a boring sport, really. Oh, and by the way. You're fired. Get your things packed up you have until noon to be gone."

---

Fired. The word alone is harsh. The moment I heard that dreadful word my heart stopped beating and my body went limp. I couldn't believe it. This was easily the worst moment of my life. Ten times worse than the time I ran out of toilet paper while at a restaurant. This is just horrible. Emily will kill me.

I lowered my head and walked out of Dave's office. I didn't look up again until I was sitting in the driver's seat of my truck. The box to my right contained four items. A stapler, a phone book, a picture, and a bag. Within the bag was my half-eaten breakfast, which I had stopped to get on my way to work this morning. Within this box that occupied the passenger's seat was everything that was in my office except the trash can. There were plenty of trashcans in the world, and it was not my benefit to take the one from my office.

I just drove. I drove to the only place that I knew I could sort things out: Joe's Tavern.

---

My first drink arrived just as my butt hit the uncomfortable seat at the bar. I ordered two more and then lifted the drink to my lips and watched it disappear in a matter of seconds. It felt like the inside of my throat had caught fire, but unfortunately that day was a holiday and so no firemen would have been there to extinguish the fire. Fire. Sounds like fired. The word brought back horrible memories from earlier today--memories that I didn't want to relive. I closed my eyes tightly and brought my hands to my face. I sat in the seat for a moment the whole time just running my hands through my hair and gently massaging my forehead with my ten nimble fingers.

When I opened my eyes my drinks had arrived. Moments later the bartender brought two more drinks and I watched as one went straight into my throat. Then I sat there with my eyes focused on the next drink. I watched the bubbles rise to the top one after the other. It was an endless cycle. Bubble. Pop. Bubble. Pop. Bubble. Pop. It was the most fascinating thing I had seen all day. I wish I were a bubble. I placed my hand around the glass, and then lifted it to my mouth. And then I sent all those bubbles on a vacation to my stomach where they would congregate with thousands of other bubbles that had taken the same trip minutes before them.

I leaned back into my chair as I took a deep breath. My head followed the momentum of my body and I found myself looking directly at the roof. At this precise moment I felt the urge to yawn. It might have been the strange color of the ceiling, or maybe I was just tired, but whatever it was I had to yawn. And that's precisely what I did. I opened my mouth wide and exchanged air with the world.

When I looked back down my drinks were all gone. There were two empty glasses sitting in front of me. I knew I did not finish those. I specifically remembered having left two full glasses. But who drank them? It had to be the man sitting next to me. He looked very suspicious. His face oozed of thievery.

"HEY! What'd you do with my drinks?"

"What are you talking about?" The man said.

"I had two drinks sitting here, and now they're gone. You took them, I know it!"

"You are drunk. Get out of my face," the man was not happy.

"No. I want my drinks back. Give them to me!"

"Look. I don't have your drinks. You drank them and forgot. Shut up and leave me alone," the man said as his rage mounted.

At that moment I got the bright idea that pushing him would get me my drinks back. And so I shoved him with my hands as hard as I could.

The man cursed and yelled as he rapidly got up from the floor. The next thing I knew I was lying in an alley with a very immense feeling of pain coming from my face. I tried to stand on my feet but they collapsed from underneath me. They must have been broken. I couldn't move. Every limb of my entire being was paralyzed to the core. I couldn't do a single thing.

And then a white light appeared. I knew this must be it. This had to be the moment that I had heard about so often in church. My life was finally ending.

Was I really dying? Could this be it? Could Death finally be coming to take me away?

Wait. I'm just drunk. Suddenly the white light disappeared and my vision returned to the alleyway. Using my hands as support I pushed myself to my feet very slowly. I very carefully lifted my body up off of the ground and I stood on my feet. I watched as the world spinned violently around me, but I was somehow able to stand in the midst of this. I slowly walked over to the side of the building, which I used to balance as I walked towards the road.

As I approached the road I started to hear a noise. It sounded like a buzzing sound. I looked around in the air adjacent to my head for insects of any kind, but there weren't any. The noise was still there and getting louder. I had heard that noise before, but I just couldn't place it in my mind at that moment. And then it hit me--I realized where I had heard that noise before. I glanced to my left just as a loud screeching sound shattered my eardrums.

I felt my whole body slam into something very hard. Everything was spinning. Everything was silent.

All I could think about was this simple fact: People are stupid.


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Points: 240
Reviews: 124

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Thu May 12, 2005 1:00 pm
Reyu wrote a review...



*pinches griffonkeeper*

Yes, this is not fantasy.

I am astounded, Griffinkeeper, that you spent as much time as you did analyzing this story.
Even with the hour you spent, you somehow still managed to completely miss how the story is supposed to be interpreted. I found your analization rude and unjust.

I believe this to be a work of humor, set in a "semi-fantasy" realm, where the normal literary rules to not apply.
I found it written well enough to ignore some minor errors... Yes Griffin, minor NOT fatal.
It is a common mistake to skip around in person's and with time (and shorter stories) it can be rooted out.
I had this same problem for a while.

Anyway, I found this very funny and it played out in my head the same way Anime humor is played out in Video.
I completely loved the imagery, especially the part when the dad eats his sons project LOL :)

Good luck, and keep writing.

~Reyu




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Points: 2146
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Thu May 12, 2005 5:33 am
Griffinkeeper wrote a review...



This one is a little difficult to review, so I'll do my best. I'll just comment on what I see.

Here is a story I'm working on. Any comments would be helpful, thank ya.


You are about to enter a world beyond your imagination. It might seem normal at first, but as you delve deeper into its innards you'll soon realize that your first impression was exactly correct.


Perhaps this was an attempt at a prologue. I can tell you right now that it serves no purpose and should be deleted outright. It creates no suspense at all. There are better ways to sell your reader the idea that this story is different.

---

"What'd you get on the test?"
"I got a 72!"
"Whoa! I got that too."
"Whoa. What'd Jacob get?"
"Man, he got the same thing."
"Awesome."

---


This obviously dialogue. The problem is we don't know who it belongs to. Perhaps you are eluding to some unknown character or maybe just to the phone conversation below. In any case, you should introduce the speakers with the very common ["blah,"X said] type formula. I can't say I was impressed with the dialogue either. Make it longer, integrate it with the next paragraph, or delete altogether.

Michael slowly pushed the front door to his home with his right hand, while his left hand excitedly gripped his test. He rushed into the kitchen and found his mother, Emily, on the telephone. He raised his left hand and shoved the test into Emily's face. This, of course, was not the best course of action. Emily's eyebrows lowered and her eyes looked at Michael in a way that made his heart stop beating. Luckily for Michael, his mother remembered that she was on the phone and her face relaxed for a moment. Michael's heart took this opportunity to beat.

"I'll call you right back," Emily calmly said into the receiver.


Now we are getting somewhere. We are introduced to Michael and his mother, Emily. Unfortunately, we only know their names. We are missing Michaels age though. This makes it near impossible for the reader to picture the main character. For all we know, Michael is anywhere from 6 to 16 years old. Without an age, I am unable to determine if his actions are realistic. I'll assume a young teenager, which is what Reichieru did.

Also, unless the mom is real formal, you probably shouldn't go around talking about her on a first name basis. It confuses the reader by making them think the mom and the son are on the same terms. This isn't the case.

The rest of the paragraph seems outright stupid. His mom is giving him a third degree look, but for what? This isn't indicated at the beginning, which makes us go through the dialogue and the resulting actions with no clue what is wrong.


Michael's heart started sprinting. Blood rushed to his face and his feet lifted up to back away. Emily ended her conversation with a short beep and immediately glared at Michael whose bladder took this opportunity to release its grip and release its contents onto the front of his pants. The warm liquid streaming down Michael's leg let out a stench quite unlike any other. Suddenly the room was filled with an aroma that caused the hair on the back of Emily's neck to stand up. A small puddle at Michael's feet was preparing its invasion on the carpet. The battle was to begin any second.

Emily heard the battle cries let out by the invading army and she yelled with a force of frustration that broke two dishes four towns over. She threw the paper towels at Michael with such a force that he fell down on his butt. Michael dumped the paper towels onto the army, soaking half the warriors into the paper towel. Michael's quick thinking saved the carpet from a crushing defeat.

This is about where Emily started in on Michael.


So now Michael is urinating on the carpet. Perhaps in anticipation of being executed by his mother. Frankly, this is stupid. If a guy needs to go to the bathroom, he uses the bathroom. Since no reason was given before hand, this seems to be stupid. Clarify, or better yet, delete.

"How many times have I told you not to interrupt me on the phone?"

The answer was around forty-eight and eight seventeenths. Of course, Michael didn't know this number, so the question was a bit odd.


Who cares what the number is. Really? Also, if she is so angry about him urinating on the carpet (which might be more horrifying to a mother, due to the amount of work they put into a house) than why does she get angry about him interrupting her on the phone! This is not consistant with the behavior of a mother, and since we are assuming a stock character (seeing as nothing odd was mentioned at the beginning) all of this means nothing. See what happens when something is left out of an introduction? It piles up and will kill your story every time.

Emily walked over to the war zone and stared down at her urine-soaked son. Michael looked back at her with teary eyes. This did not help the situation. Emily bent down until her face could feel the temperature of his tears. And she said "Go to your room, you're grounded for a month."

Michael was astounded. He came home to show his mother his spectacular grade on his Math test and he gets grounded. If Michael had known what the word 'irony' meant he might have found this situation ironic.


Perhaps, but I think it is lame for him to pee his pants and then expect his mom not to punish him. Besides, if he had nothing to hide, why was he feeling scared out of his wits? Am I supposed to believe his mom was angry about being interrupted by her son?

That isn't how a parent acts under any circumstance.

I chose this moment to walk in from the hallway where I had been watching this charade.

"Now, don't you think you were a bit strict on him?"
"No, it would have been nice to use your help," Emily lobbied my attempt at humor.
"Never mind that, what's for dinner?"
"I thought we'd go to the new burger joint down the street and get some dinner tonight," Emily said as she turned to look at my face.


HOLD THE PRESSES!!

I chose this moment to walk in from the hallway where I had been watching this charade.


You mean all of this was in first person?! You just destroyed everything you did before this paragraph. We assumed that this was a third person omni-potent viewpoint, and now you've changed it to the first person viewpoint of someone who hasn't even been introduced yet! This character should have been introduced at the beginning, Michael's viewpoint should have been eliminated. This isn't a simple spelling error or even a grammar error. This is a perspective error and it is LETHAL!

So now, I have to switch to the first person viewpoint. Everything before this needs to be re-written from this guys perspective.

There has never been a time in my life that I had not wanted to sink my teeth into a nice juicy piece of meat, lick the salt off of fried sticks of potato and feel the invigorating feeling of freezing soda flying into my mouth through a straw. I love fast food, always have--always will.

I darted out of the front door and jumped into my bright red pickup truck. I had to turn the key at least three times before the engine decided to come to life; but once it did it hummed like a baby. Granted it was a baby with half a gallon of chlorine bubbling in its lungs and a windpipe the size of a straw.


Make the pick-up truck ugly. It would fit better with the difficulty it takes to operate. If he thinks it is beautiful, let him tell us so, but don't describe it so.

I slammed my foot down on the pedal and flew through the park--passing trailer after trailer. I pulled into the drive-thru window and I slowly stopped in front of the speaker box placed outside.


You mean they live in a trailer park? This might have been important enough to put in the first paragraph.

"Wood you like ta buy the brand new apple pie, it only cost two dollar, n' it taste real good," a charming young man said through the speaker.
"No thanks, I want two number 4's, as big as you make em', a number 7 with extra salt and ketchup, one number 3 and one number 4. And I want five extra large sodas."
"Ok, pull to the next window," the same voice said to me.


Wood is what beavers eat. I also think it is kind of interesting how the guy goes from sounding like a hick to speaking normally without the accent.
I released the pressure on the brake and edged forward until I was directly in front of the window. A man's face appeared. "Twenty nine thirty two," the man said. This was the same man who took my order, except he didn't look so young and he definitely wasn't charming. He could barely fit his hand through the window, not because his arm was too large to fit through it; but because there was not enough room inside for him to move. The man must have weighed four hundred pounds, and his fat took up every inch of the room. There was no way he was going to be able to take my money. So I set it on the counter, gave him a quick smile, and pulled forward to get my food.

And that's when the waiting started. I looked into the window and couldn't see a single person, so I returned my concentration to the road ahead of me. I decided to count how many blue cars passed in order to pass the time. One. Two. Three. And that's when I realized that my favorite song was playing on the radio. I quickly lost myself in the lyrics and the eight-minute guitar solo. When a man's voice broke the silence I decided I was tired of listening to music anyway. I shut off the man's voice with the push of a button; and that's when I had an epiphany. I realized that cars are not made with entertainment in mind. A person could easily go crazy sitting in a car with nothing but a radio and buttons to keep him busy. I glanced over at the window again and this time I saw a rather large looking woman standing behind it. I reached through my window and tapped on the glass to get her attention. As she opened the window she rolled her eyes in disgust.


This is filler. Make some use of it or else.

"What do ya want?"
"How long is this gonna take?"
"It will be one more minute."

And I went back to counting blue cars. But as I counted four cars, my body begged me to sleep. And that must have been when I granted its request.


This is unbelievable! He has entered a drive through that takes longer than the counter!

I woke up due to a loud reoccurring noise in my ear. I reluctantly opened my eyes and glanced to my left. There was a large woman holding a bag shouting at me. And that's when I remembered what I was doing. I grabbed the bag with my left hand, and I extended my right hand out the window. I pulled all my fingers against my palm and then I released my middle finger into the air. I gave her the universal sign for love.


Now I feel this feeling coming over me, it is a dislike of all your characters. There is nothing to redeem them. I am not even halfway through.

I returned my gaze to the road and at the same time I peeled out towards home.

I walked into the house and Emily jumped me at the door. She was yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs about me being gone for so long. That's when I noticed the time. It was nearly midnight. I had been out for a solid three hours. But boy did I feel rested.

I also felt hungry. So I thought it would be smart if I ate something. Luckily I was holding a bag, which happened to be filled with my favorite type of food. Fast food, but don't get me started on that.


This timing is impossible. Even the general theory of relativity doesn't allow for it.
As I took a huge bite out of the hamburger the juices filled every inch of my mouth with a certain feeling. A feeling that I recognized from somewhere, but I was unable to put my finger on exactly what feeling it was.

I wrapped my fingers around my drink and jammed the straw down my throat, and as I pulled the soda into my mouth with all my might I was hit with another epiphany. I knew what that feeling was. It was the feeling of pure satisfaction. I'm not sure how I could forget that feeling, but I stopped worrying because my favorite new reality TV show came on.

I watched for two hours as ten children were forced to go to school. It was a new show called "The Klassroom," which followed ten children around through their kindergarten classes. It quickly became the best show on television simply due to the fact that the cast was perfectly selected. There was a nerd, a jock, a homosexual, a Goth, and a group of popular kids. The nerd was always answering questions about how much one plus one is and how to spell "class". The popular kids always sat in the back of the classroom--from where the teacher was unable to see them passing notes between each other. The notes mostly always made fun of the nerd, but occasionally they made fun of the Goth for being pale or having black fingernails. No one made fun of the homosexual because he was the teacher's son. And everyone knew that making fun of him was off limits. Plus how can you make fun of a kid whose clothes always match? Exactly, you can't. The show would have private time with each student in between classes where the kid could let out his emotions about anything. The kids would talk about girls, music, class, the teacher, boys, drugs and movies. It was a stellar two hours of television. I want to meet the genius that came up with this show so I can give him a hug. He has to be the smartest person in the entire planet.

After dinner I threw the empty Styrofoam boxes outside for the dog to eat and I went to bed.


Oh. My. God. You spent all that time describing this one guy going to get some fast food and coming back with dinner? You've got to be kidding me.

---

When I woke up it was seven A.M. and I had a sensation in my stomach that yelled for me to feed it. And that's precisely what I did.

I stepped over the hundreds of toy soldiers scattered all over the floor and I narrowly missed the spot of the war from last night; then I finally came to the refrigerator. I pulled it open and I was swamped with a smell that sent the fast food from last night up into my throat. I took in a deep breath, which neutralized the meal that was trying to escape. I turned my head away from the refrigerator trying to find some fresh air and as I did this I stuck my hand into the piles of food that were emitting this foul smell. My hand grabbed what felt like a sandwich, I ran my fingers along the edges and the absence of anything slimy put me at ease. I pulled it out and took a big bite without looking at it.

Luckily, this sandwich was free of mold. Unluckily, this sandwich was not exactly a sandwich. It was a bundle of paper towels wrapped around Michael's art project. It was supposed to be a vase. It was a big project in Michael's class, which he had been allowed to bring home just two days ago. It had to be kept in a cool place in order for it to stay intact. So Michael wrapped it in paper towels and set it in the refrigerator. Now the project was missing a large chunk of it. A large portion of this chunk was shifting down my esophagus but the other half of it was lodged in between each of my teeth and all throughout my mouth. Clay is rather hard to chew, especially after it has been molded.

I ran over to the sink and stuck my head underneath the faucet. I filled my mouth with water, tilted my head back and furiously swished the water around my mouth. Then with the force of a speeding bus I spit the water out of my mouth in no particular direction. I was hoping it would somehow find the sink, but it instead went all over the kitchen floor. At that precise moment I noticed the clock out of the corner of my eye. My breakfast had taken entirely too long and I was almost late for work.

As I went sprinting across the kitchen floor I slipped and nearly broke my neck, but again I was lucky only to hit my head. I got up still kind of woozy, went outside and set off for work.


This isn't a fantasy story at all is it?

---

I hate her so much. I can't believe she grounded me! I didn't do anything wrong! She is such a bitch!

Man school tomorrow is going to suck! I have no idea what I'm doing in Math. I wish Mr. Hopcroft would learn how to teach. He's the worst teacher in the world. I could teach better if I didn't have any arms and if I couldn't speak. He's such a dumb ass loser, especially when he makes those lame ass jokes. "Anyone want a piece of pie? Okay, 3.159." Har, har, har. What a dork. The only reason I can stand that class is because of Lindsay. She is so incredibly hot. She wore a skirt today and her legs looked incredible, they were so tan and sexy. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. She also wore a really tight shirt and when she bent over to pick up her pencil I could totally see down her shirt. Her tits are massive! I would love to have my way with them! Mmmmmmmmm.

I hate being grounded. This is such bullshit. There is nothing to do--I'm going to go crazy just sitting in here all day. Wait, I know what I can do.


YOU DID IT AGAIN! Another perspective change! The (---) helped a little in anticipation of this, but this story is not solid if you can't stick to one viewpoint.

---

"How am I supposed to know what you were supposed to do? Why should I know? Fine. I'll see you tonight. Goodbye.
"Sorry Joanne, Billy just called me on his way to work. He's so forgetful.
"Oh yeah, so what were we talking about? Oh right! How was shopping? Did you get anything special?
"Yeah, he won't let me spend any money either. Men are such pigs.
"You did? Did you flirt with him? Yeah, I know you're married, but looking isn't against the Ten Commandments. Oh come on! You can't tell me that you haven't looked at another man since you got married. Whatever.
"Look, I should probably let you go. I have some things to take care of around the house before Billy gets back with dinner. I'll talk to you tomorrow! Bye."

I can't believe she's never looked at another man since she married Steve. That's so dumb. Speaking of dumb, I need to finish yelling at Michael. He better be in his room.

"OH MY GOD! MICHAEL WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
"Where did you get that magazine young man? Don't lie to me! You got it from a friend? Give it to me, NOW!
"God is very ashamed of you young man. He does not approve of such actions. You need to pray to him for forgiveness. No, do it now! Just wait till your father gets home! He will be very upset with you."


YOU DID IT A THIRD TIME!!!
---

If it wasn't for coffee and cigarettes I would not be alive. The coffee wakes me up and the cigarettes calm my nerves. Those are the only two things that get me through the day.

"GET OUT OF MY WAY, ASSHOLE!"

I yelled as a car cut me off. I took a puff of my cigarette and held the smoke in my mouth until I was about to burst. As I exhaled a funny feeling suddenly swept over my body. It was as if I had left something unfinished at home. Maybe I left the oven on? No, I didn't turn it on. What could it be? I'll just call home to find out.

I flipped open my handy dandy cell phone and pushed buttons until I had finally dialed the correct number.

Ring. Ring.

"Hello?" It was Emily. She'd know exactly what I forgot to do.
"Honey? What did I forget to do this morning?"
"How am I supposed to know what you were supposed to do?" She barked back across the telephone lines. Maybe she is just being a jokester. I'll ask one more time for good measure.
"But I forgot to do something, what was it?"
"Why should I know?" She replied once again.
"Well, maybe I didn't forget to do anything after all. I'll see you later tonight!"
"Fine. I'll see you tonight," she replied obviously angered by the whole conversation.
"I love you!"
"Goodbye," she said as she ended the conversation.

Wow. RCHNFMS. What could that mean? It could be an acronym for something. Really Caring Hermits Now Fearing Manly Seals. Radical Cats Have No Feelings Minus Sarcasm. As I searched my mind for more words to complete the acronym I had a sudden epiphany. I had missed my exit for work! I must have been so engaged with all the commotion of deciphering the license plate that I forgot to turn off the highway. Dave is going to kill me!

---

"Sorry I'm late Dave. There was a huge accident right in front of me on the highway. There were about ten or twelve cars piled up. It caused delays for everyone."
"Oh. It's okay Billy. We only have one car to work on right now anyway," Dave, my boss, replied calmly.

I am a mechanic at Dave's Auto Shack. Our slogan is: At Dave's, we'll fix your car faster than slaves! I've been working here for a while now and I've met some interesting people. There was this family from Wisconsin that came in sometime last year...

"Billy, can you come over here?" Dave shouted from across the garage. I walked over to the other side of the shop. I walked quickly but not too quickly, I don't want Dave to think I'm desperate. As I approached I noticed a noise that sounded like a television. It took me a minute to realize that I was hearing a baseball game. I walked into Dave's office and saw him lounging back in his chair with his eyes fixated on the television. Maybe he'll ask me to sit and watch the game with him.

"Do you like baseball Billy?" Dave asked as he slurped beer out of a mug.
"Yeah, I love it. There's nothing like baseball I always say."

"I despise it. It's a boring sport, really. Oh, and by the way. You're fired. Get your things packed up you have until noon to be gone."

---

Fired. The word alone is harsh. The moment I heard that dreadful word my heart stopped beating and my body went limp. I couldn't believe it. This was easily the worst moment of my life. Ten times worse than the time I ran out of toilet paper while at a restaurant. This is just horrible. Emily will kill me.

I lowered my head and walked out of Dave's office. I didn't look up again until I was sitting in the driver's seat of my truck. The box to my right contained four items. A stapler, a phone book, a picture, and a bag. Within the bag was my half-eaten breakfast, which I had stopped to get on my way to work this morning. Within this box that occupied the passenger's seat was everything that was in my office except the trash can. There were plenty of trashcans in the world, and it was not my benefit to take the one from my office.

I just drove. I drove to the only place that I knew I could sort things out: Joe's Tavern.

---

My first drink arrived just as my butt hit the uncomfortable seat at the bar. I ordered two more and then lifted the drink to my lips and watched it disappear in a matter of seconds. It felt like the inside of my throat had caught fire, but unfortunately that day was a holiday and so no firemen would have been there to extinguish the fire. Fire. Sounds like fired. The word brought back horrible memories from earlier today--memories that I didn't want to relive. I closed my eyes tightly and brought my hands to my face. I sat in the seat for a moment the whole time just running my hands through my hair and gently massaging my forehead with my ten nimble fingers.

When I opened my eyes my drinks had arrived. Moments later the bartender brought two more drinks and I watched as one went straight into my throat. Then I sat there with my eyes focused on the next drink. I watched the bubbles rise to the top one after the other. It was an endless cycle. Bubble. Pop. Bubble. Pop. Bubble. Pop. It was the most fascinating thing I had seen all day. I wish I were a bubble. I placed my hand around the glass, and then lifted it to my mouth. And then I sent all those bubbles on a vacation to my stomach where they would congregate with thousands of other bubbles that had taken the same trip minutes before them.

I leaned back into my chair as I took a deep breath. My head followed the momentum of my body and I found myself looking directly at the roof. At this precise moment I felt the urge to yawn. It might have been the strange color of the ceiling, or maybe I was just tired, but whatever it was I had to yawn. And that's precisely what I did. I opened my mouth wide and exchanged air with the world.

When I looked back down my drinks were all gone. There were two empty glasses sitting in front of me. I knew I did not finish those. I specifically remembered having left two full glasses. But who drank them? It had to be the man sitting next to me. He looked very suspicious. His face oozed of thievery.

"HEY! What'd you do with my drinks?"
"What are you talking about?" The man said.
"I had two drinks sitting here, and now they're gone. You took them, I know it!"
"You are drunk. Get out of my face," the man was not happy.
"No. I want my drinks back. Give them to me!"
"Look. I don't have your drinks. You drank them and forgot. Shut up and leave me alone," the man said as his rage mounted.

At that moment I got the bright idea that pushing him would get me my drinks back. And so I shoved him with my hands as hard as I could.

The man cursed and yelled as he rapidly got up from the floor. The next thing I knew I was lying in an alley with a very immense feeling of pain coming from my face. I tried to stand on my feet but they collapsed from underneath me. They must have been broken. I couldn't move. Every limb of my entire being was paralyzed to the core. I couldn't do a single thing.

And then a white light appeared. I knew this must be it. This had to be the moment that I had heard about so often in church. My life was finally ending.

Was I really dying? Could this be it? Could Death finally be coming to take me away?

Wait. I'm just drunk. Suddenly the white light disappeared and my vision returned to the alleyway. Using my hands as support I pushed myself to my feet very slowly. I very carefully lifted my body up off of the ground and I stood on my feet. I watched as the world spinned violently around me, but I was somehow able to stand in the midst of this. I slowly walked over to the side of the building, which I used to balance as I walked towards the road.

As I approached the road I started to hear a noise. It sounded like a buzzing sound. I looked around in the air adjacent to my head for insects of any kind, but there weren't any. The noise was still there and getting louder. I had heard that noise before, but I just couldn't place it in my mind at that moment. And then it hit me--I realized where I had heard that noise before. I glanced to my left just as a loud screeching sound shattered my eardrums.

I felt my whole body slam into something very hard. Everything was spinning. Everything was silent.

All I could think about was this simple fact: People are stupid.


At this point you may be wondering why I didn't comment on the remainder of this story.

I am really frazzled by this entire story. Not because of any brilliance it has. I'm surprised how you could possibly think this is a fantasy story. There is nothing here to indicate that this is anything to do with the Fantasy genre by a long shot.

You must have put some effort into the story, due to the incredible length of it, but I'm flabbergasted that you put it in the wrong section. This can't be happening.

You used perspective changes without regard of whose perspective it was. You used cussing, which enhanced the dialogue, but didn't endear your characters any. The question that needs asking is this: What is the point of this story?

This is difficult. One of the central themes seems to be that trailer trash are complete trash. You didn't seem to convincing at actually portraying their condition, although you are skillful with the trash part of it.

The other themes? What other themes?

Perhaps my skills for analysis have failed me. This story has done nothing for me, except rob me of one hour of my life. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps you are a genius. Somebody tell me this isn't true. Pinch me, I need to wake up from this nightmare.




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Wed May 11, 2005 2:09 pm
Rei wrote a review...



First of all, your intro is very cheesy, and a bit insulting for a fantasy writer to read. You wrote it, so it is therefore not beyond your imagination, so why should it be beyond everyone else's



"What'd you get on the test?"
"I got a 72!"
"Whoa! I got that too."
"Whoa. What'd Jacob get?"
"Man, he got the same thing."
"Awesome."

This has the potential for an interesting start, but it should be at least a page or two so the reader can be introduced to the characters. A strange coincidence can be a good hook, but it's an even better hook when it's happening to real people who have names and faces. They may exist to you, but not to the reader if all we get is six lines of dialogue.




You've got a good narrative in the first scene. Nice diction and sentence structure. However, while the action is described well, the actions are not making much sence. Michael is a young teen. Young teens know how to use the toilet, so why would he suddenly, without warning, pee like that unless he had a medical condition? And why would his mother ground him for a month like that?

I chose this moment to walk in from the hallway where I had been watching this charade.

Who the heck is this, and why should we care?

"I thought we'd go to the new burger joint down the street and get some dinner tonight," Emily said as she turned to look at my face.

This sentence is a bit long. We know she's refering to tonights dinner, so it should end at "street".

"No thanks, I want two number 4's, as big as you make em', a number 7 with extra salt and ketchup, one number 3 and one number 4. And I want five extra large sodas."

So far we've only been introduced to three characters, so who are the other two meals for?

"What do ya want?"
"How long is this gonna take?"
"It will be one more minute."

Huh? Once again, confusion as to what's going on.


I gave her the universal sign for love.

Usually a sarcastic statement like this is sounds bad, but I liked it here. It suited the narrative.

I walked into the house and Emily jumped me at the door. She was yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs about me being gone for so long. That's when I noticed the time. It was nearly midnight. I had been out for a solid three hours. But boy did I feel rested.

Doesn't seem like the most realistic way to react to the situation.

It was a stellar two hours of television. I want to meet the genius that came up with this show so I can give him a hug. He has to be the smartest person in the entire planet.

I think you spent a little too much time on the TV show. The story got rather tedious after that, and I had to stop. I'll try to read more later. There is no reason for me to care about this character. We don't even know his name, or his relationship with the other characters. I'm guessing this is a tourist fantasy. With that kind of fantasy, you need a good introduction to who your protagonist is before he slips into the fanatsy element. Take the movie Labyrinth for example. You learn so much about the protagonist, Sarah, before you even see one goblin. She's a teen with a big imagination, who's parents are separated. She hates her stepmother for always making her baby-sit her half-brother. She doesn't go on dates, even though she is at the age when most girls do that sort of thing. In many ways, she is still very much a child because her room is filled with games and toys one would expect of a ten-year-old. This sets up the story, and makes us care. With your story, I don't care, and if it were a published novel, I'd return it right away.





Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
— Jules de Gaultier