QueryTracker Community
December 15, 2018, 07:53:53 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Note: This forum uses different usernames and passwords than those of the main QueryTracker site. 
Please register if you want to post messages.

This forum is also accessible by the public (including search engines).
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Death for Sale (Urban Fantasy, Adult)  (Read 74 times)
Aightball
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


« on: December 08, 2018, 06:08:45 PM »

I'm currently in first round revisions on the full MS.  The ms goes to my writer's group for critique soon and I want to get some feedback on the first five pages here.  All suggestions and critiques are welcome!

1

June 2018

Death is for sale. It doesn’t matter what stage of death you’re in, it’s going to generate money. And I am one part of that system. life.
All around me police run, calling to each other, and a camera snaps now and again. Yellow tented plastic printed with black numbers line the ground, marking a bullet here, a blood spatter there, and whatever else counts as evidence these days. It looks like an episode of CSI or something, but it’s real life. A man shakes his head when the police point to a body on the ground. Nearby a crowd watches and someone wails with grief.

The metal legs of the gurney unfold as I pull it out of my van, rolling it toward the center of the street. Headlights from police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances light the scene where a young man lies in the street, blood staining his shirt. His startled eyes stare at the starry sky, mouth slightly agape, hands frozen over his stomach.

Violence in small town Iowa is rare and it brings a crowd. Folks line the streets around the crime scene, murmuring to themselves, trying to see who was involved. The gurney rolls over the uneven ground and I steer around a pot hole. As I lower the bed and unfold my body bag, the neighbors inch closer, most in their pajamas.

“The big city folks need to stay in the big city,” a deep man’s voice says. “This has never happened here before and I don’t want those problems here.”

“It’s happening everywhere.” The neighbors murmur agreement, as a woman shakes her head. “It was coming here sooner or later. Let’s pray for the family instead of shouting our opinions.”

Ah yes, prayer, the go-to of small town Iowa in a crises. They pray and they cook in this part of the state. No doubt, the family of the victim will see two sides: one side filled with anger and opinions and the other filled with prayer and food. And who knows where this kid came from; could’ve been visiting family for all I know. Still, a shooting is unusual in Larchwood, Iowa and the police will have their hands full working the case.

Doctor Musselman joins me as an officer waves us over. Unzipping a black body bag, I lay it on the ground, then put on a pair of gloves. With the help of Doctor Musselman, we get the body secured and I zip it up. Once it’s on the gurney, I roll it to the van, the legs collapsing as I lock it in place.

“I’ll meet you at the morgue Carla,” Mussleman says, walking toward his county vehicle. Lyon county is small enough that he doesn’t get a lot of calls, mostly car accidents, not so many shootings. But times are changing and rural Iowa has to change with them.

A young man with curly dark hair sits next to me as I put the van in drive, his eyes focused out the window. Finally, he sighs.

“What happened?” I ask, as I turn toward downtown.  

He shrugs, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his shorts. “I dunno. Dude walked up to me, all pissed off and stuff, waving a gun. Pretty sure he was f**king high. He took my wallet and shot me. And you can see how that ended. Who would’ve thought in small town Iowa, eh?”

I nod, looking both ways at the intersection. Small town Iowa isn’t exactly hot bed of criminal activity. Hell, where I live, people still don’t always lock their doors or even take the keys out of their cars. Living in a small town is supposed to be safe, idyllic, not like the big cities. Yet tonight, on the streets of a small town in far Northern Iowa, some dude got shot and killed. From the murmurings I overheard at the scene, it may have been someone high on meth. That epidemic knows no demographics and is becoming an increasing problem all over the country. The county building is up ahead, Mussleman’s black SUV already in place.  

“Yeah. Well, I hope they catch the guy who did it.”

“Me, too..”

“I’ll cross my fingers for you, dude.”

I pull up to the garage door, which opens on my approach. Once I’ve pulled in and shut the van off, the doctor comes out and waves. I open the back and help pull the gurney out. This is my youngest pick up tonight; the other two deliveries were elderly and infirm, straight to the funeral home.

The prep area is in the basement and it’s a silent, awkward elevator ride down. I have never been a big fan of elevators, and like them even less with a dead body along for the ride. My imagination always makes me think the person breathes or twitches, even though they likely don’t.

Finally, I help pull the kid onto the prep table and we get him out of the bag. There’s a wash station and I clean the bag before folding it and heading back to my plain white, unmarked vehicle. My phone is already buzzing, since I cover a pretty wide area; the joys of being a contractedcurrier of the dead. If all I had was my home area most nights would be dreadfully boring. I glance at the text to see where I’m headed to next.

I take my phone from my pocket and glance at the message. Got an add on, love. Out of area in Sioux Falls, car accident, older gentleman in his fifties.  At the hospital.  Normal person is out sick, so if you could fill in it would be much appreciated.  Thanks so much!

No problem, Petunia, I’m on it.

Petunia is my bosses secretary and one of my favorite people. She’s a British gal who dresses like she’s still in the 1950s and her favorite color is pink. Getting back in the van, I head toward the border between Iowa and South Dakota

Of course there’s a f**king traffic jam going on; why not? I pull up behind a truck and smash my hand over the horn, which makes a comical ‘meep’ sound, more like a moped. This is a two lane road in no man’s land and I bet it’s never seen this much backed up traffic.

I hit the horn again and the driver in front of me shoots the finger out their window. My own finger waves back as I slow behind them. Sticking my head out the window, I can’t believe I’m in a traffic jam in BFE northern Iowa. Seeing flashing lights up ahead, that answers that. I inch along with everyone else, finally clearing what looks to be an accident; probably drinking, given that it’s the middle of the damn night. I finish my drive into Sioux Falls, picking up speed as I hit the interstate.

I take the next right and pull up to a large hospital. The dock is open and waiting and I back up flush to load. I hop down and greet the same guard that’s always working when I pick up here.

“This one’s going to Mortimor Funeral Home. Need the address?”

“Yeah, probably better. After this, I’m done for the night. Kind of glad it’s my last night; I’m ready to have one job for a while.”

He punches the address into my GPS. “Have a good night. Going to miss you.”

I give him a hug. “I know. I won’t miss the work but you guys I will. Have a good night.”

I took the job for the sole purpose of helping Dad with some debt. Farming isn’t easy these days, especially if you’re a family farmer. Big factory farms are the name of the game and a lot of little guys are being bought up by the big guys. There are still family farmers working hard to feed our world but it’s getting more and more difficult to make ends meet. So, rather than Dad losing the farm or declaring bankruptcy, I thought I’d see if I could help. This isn’t the job I had in mind but sometimes, a person’s got to do what a person’s got to do.

We load the body and I’m on my way across the city. A sleepy young man meets me at the funeral home and I help get the body into the freezer. Death is a twenty-four hour business the year round.

“Thanks. Have a good night.”
Logged
rivergirl
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 194
Offline Offline

Posts: 967



« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2018, 01:43:12 PM »

June 2018

Death is for sale. It doesn’t matter what stage of death you’re in, it’s going to generate money. And I am one part of that system. life.
All around me police run, calling to each other, and a camera snaps now and again. Yellow tented plastic printed with black numbers line the ground, marking a bullet here, a blood spatter there, and whatever else counts as evidence these days. It looks like an episode of CSI or something, but it’s real life. A man shakes his head when the police point to a body on the ground. Nearby a crowd watches and someone wails with grief. great opening parag!

The metal legs of the gurney unfold as I pull it out of my van, rolling it toward the center of the street. Headlights from police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances light the scene where a young man lies in the street, blood staining his shirt. His startled eyes stare at the starry sky, mouth slightly agape, hands frozen over his stomach. I'm relieved I get an inkling of the speaker right away.

Violence in small town Iowa is rare and it brings a crowd. Folks line the streets around the crime scene, murmuring to themselves, trying to see who was involved. The gurney rolls over the uneven ground and I steer around a pot hole. As I lower the bed and unfold my a body bag, the neighbors inch closer, most in their pajamas.

“The big city folks need to stay in the big city,” a deep man’s voice says. “This has never happened here before, and I don’t want those problems here.”

“It’s happening everywhere.” The neighbors murmur agreement, as a woman shakes her head. “It was coming here sooner or later. Let’s pray for the family instead of shouting our opinions.” had to read this a couple of times. a crowd can't murmur this in agreement, only have a similar sentiment. I"d make this either the sentiments of one observer in the crowd (the woman shaking her head" or have the crowd murmur their grief or whatever they are feeling collectively.

Ah yes, prayer, the go-to of small town Iowa in a crises. They pray and they cook in this part of the state. No doubt, the family of the victim will see two sides: one side filled with anger and opinions and the other filled with prayer and food. And who knows where this kid came from; without a subject here, this semicolon doesn't work could’ve been visiting family for all I know. Still, a shooting is unusual in Larchwood, Iowa and the police will have their hands full working the case.

Doctor Musselman joins me as an officer waves us over. Unzipping a black body bag, I lay it on the ground, then put on a pair of gloves. With the help of Doctor Musselman, we get the body secured and I zip it up. Once it’s on the gurney, I roll it to the van, the legs collapsing as I lock it in place.

“I’ll meet you at the morgue Carla,” Mussleman says, walking toward his county vehicle. Lyon county is small enough that he doesn’t get a lot of calls, mostly car accidents, not so many shootings. But times are changing and rural Iowa has to change with them.

A young man with curly dark hair sits next to me as I put the van in drive, his eyes focused out the window. Finally, he sighs. (I've read quite a ways down (maybe not far enough) and never get an explanation of who this person is. My preference is for you to spell it out for your reader so they're not guessing. it sounds like he was involved in the shooting but for the life of me i can't understand why he'd be in the hurst or ambulance. please consider spelling this out a little more.

“What happened?” I ask, as I turn toward downtown. 

He shrugs, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his shorts.This is totally nitpicking put putting hands in short pockets while sitting is very tough. maybe he rubs his hands across his shorts? “I dunno. Dude walked up to me, all pissed off and stuff, waving a gun. Pretty sure he was f**king high. He took my wallet and shot me. And you can see how that ended. Who would’ve thought in small town Iowa, eh?” (okay this is a small town. your reader gets it. don't go overkill. your character is more likely to say who would've thought that would happen here?

I nod, looking both ways at the intersection. Small town Iowa( enough with the small town!) isn’t exactly hot bed of criminal activity. Hell, where I live, people still don’t always lock their doors or even take the keys out of their cars. Living in a small town suburbs is supposed to be safe, idyllic, not like the big cities. Yet tonight, on the streets of a small town  Angry in far Northern Iowa, some dude got shot and killed. From the murmurings I overheard at the scene, it may have been someone high on meth. That epidemic knows no demographics and is becoming an increasing problem all over the country. here's a great opportunity to see what our protagonist sees. I can't see the road at all. is he driving by farm fields or restaurants? The county building is up ahead, Mussleman’s black SUV already in place. 

“Yeah. Well, I hope they catch the guy who did it.”

“Me, too..”

“I’ll cross my fingers for you, dude.”

I pull up to the garage door, which opens on my approach. Once I’ve pulled in and shut the van off, the doctor comes out and waves. I open the back and help pull the gurney out. This is my youngest pick up tonight; the other two deliveries were elderly and infirm, straight to the funeral home. This is totally nitpicking. all the commas interfere with flow. consider putting in more contractions or breaking up into two sentences. This is my youngest pickup tonight; the other two deliveries were elderly and infirm. They went straight to the funeral home. If you can't "hear" the difference, never mind

The prep area is in the basement and it’s a silent, awkward elevator ride down. I have never been a big fan of elevators, and like them even less with a dead body along for the ride. My imagination always makes me think the person breathes or twitches, even though they likely don’t. I love how you've put me in your character's head. this is so important.

Finally, I help pull the kid onto the prep table and we get him out of the bag. There’s a wash station and I clean the bag before folding it and heading back to my plain white, more nitpicking but the excessive adjectives interfere with your flow and don't really add much. the van is unmarked so of course its plain. unmarked vehicle. My phone is already buzzing, since I cover a pretty wide area; the joys of being a contractedcurrier of the dead. Choppy. re-word.My phone is already buzzing.It's part of the joys of covering such a wide area and being the only contracted courier of the dead. check your spelling on courier.  If all I had was my home area most nights would be dreadfully boring. I glance at the text to see where I’m headed to next.

I take my phone from my pocket and glance at the message. he's already looking at his phone. see above. this is a repeat. Got an add on, love. Out of area in Sioux Falls, car accident, older gentleman in his fifties.  At the hospital.  Normal person is out sick, so if you could fill in it would be much appreciated.  Thanks so much!

No problem, Petunia, I’m on it.

Petunia is my bosses secretary and one of my favorite people. She’s a British gal who dresses like she’s still in the 1950s and her favorite color is pink. Getting back in the van, I head toward the border between Iowa and South Dakota

Of course there’s a f**king traffic jam going on; why not? I pull up behind a truck and smash my hand over the horn, which makes a comical ‘meep’ sound, more like a moped. This is a two lane road in no man’s land, and I bet it’s never seen this much backed up traffic.

I hit the horn again and the driver in front of me shoots the finger out their window. My own finger waves back as I slow behind them. Sticking my head out the window, I can’t believe I’m in a traffic jam in BFE northern Iowa. Seeing flashing lights up ahead, that answers that. I inch along with everyone else, finally clearing what looks to be an accident; probably drinking, given that it’s the middle of the damn night.choppy. I finish my drive into Sioux Falls, picking up speed as I hit the interstate.

I take the next right and pull up to a large hospital. The dock is open and waiting and I back up flush to load. I hop down and greet the same guard that’s always working when I pick up here.

“This one’s going to Mortimor Funeral Home. Need the address?”

“Yeah, probably better. After this, I’m done for the night. Kind of glad it’s my last night; I’m ready to have one job for a while.”

He punches the address into my GPS. “Have a good night. Going to miss you.”

I give him a hug. “I know. I won’t miss the work but you guys I will. Have a good night.”

I took the job for the sole purpose of helping Dad with some debt. Farming isn’t easy these days, especially if you’re a family farmer. Big factory farms are the name of the game, and a lot of little guys are being bought up by the big guys. There are still family farmers working hard to feed our world, but it’s getting more and more difficult to make ends meet. So, rather than Dad losing the farm or declaring bankruptcy, I thought I’d see if I could help. This isn’t the job I had in mind but sometimes, a person’s got to do what a person’s got to do.

We load the body and I’m on my way across the city. A sleepy young man meets me at the funeral home, and I help get the body into the freezer. Death is a twenty-four hour business the year round.

“Thanks. Have a good night.”

I just read the happenings of someone's night at work. I'd introduce the plot a lot more quickly to keep your reader engaged. I'd prefer to know i was reading about a teenager a lot sooner so I can see him a little better. You can sneakily give us some visuals on him. we saw the other guys shorts, but you could have easily let us see our protagonist a little better. it would speak volumes about who he is. maybe he wipes a hand across a torn tee-shirt or something. I was visualizing a middle-aged man. I also have trouble seeing a male teenage boy hugging an individual he sees occasionally with his job. a fist bump feels more appropriate but then i don't know your character like you do. I don't believe his name is up there. would have been super easy to insert. The writing overall is very good. watch those choppy sentences. read your work out loud to see if it sounds choppy.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!