QueryTracker Community
September 21, 2018, 08:25:48 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: Pale Beauty 5 pages literary/historical  (Read 1188 times)
Kjk
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 1
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


« on: October 16, 2017, 10:43:47 PM »

CHAPTER 1

If we were to meet one day along the caramel beaches of Havana, I would complement you on the fish you've caught or politely critique the pearly shells you've collected. Only to wander back, as if my day had ended, to my tin roofed shack not twenty feet from the shore. But if I were to catch you gazing longingly past the rippling Cuban tides, I would move as quickly and carefully as I could just to document and examine what muse had enchanted you so.

Yet, I had no doubt that my presence would startle as you caught me sneaking from the corner of your eye. In fact, that would be my hope. To create two people who, while on the cusps of awkwardness and at the edge of frothy blue waves, were waiting for a moment. But just as inexplicably, I would break the silence with a simple smile and brush away the tense air with a wave of my hand. What I wanted would again not be there.

For you see, my muse is pink hair bouncing off the sun. Tender kisses that hum’” I love you,” long after their gone. It’s a song, a beat, a rhythm. It’s a butterfly that speaks pigeon in a world full of penguins. Mine is the fantastic; it’s the world when it skips a beat: click, click, ti-click. And me? All I wanted was to rip you away, steal you from some beautiful reverie only to see the expression I must have had so long ago.

My intentions weren’t always so perverse. In fact, during most empty days as I stared awaiting stragglers along the seashore, I couldn’t help but associate some vague remembrance of a point to my daily routine. I was once like a dancer, pirouetting across the world. Today, I’m just a shadow, silhouetting within rippled, metallic walls. But like an idea that escapes me, I sometimes find myself grotesquely entertained by merely the shade of who I was. Even if that purpose that once rushed and prodded in my veins was lost to the corners that tread my mind.



CHAPTER 2


Yesterday was somewhat like today; the waves leapt and fell in hypnotic like curves. The sun, still bright and hot, caused my tiny home to shimmer with spirals of multicolored light. And the sleepiness of it all, was just as overwhelming as the day that came before and many others. Yet, what was different about this Monday, was I didn’t succumb to the tiredness that so often envelops me.

Normally as I sat barefooted on the matted beach floor, I would eventually lie back and allow the waking hours to pass me by. Unless, of course, the rustling of some stranger spurred my senses. But today, no stranger happened by.

  Instead, emptiness filled me. It crawled up my legs like a nest full of spiders and overtook the lazy afternoon. I could have conquered this feeling, as I had done with past bouts of anger and frustration, by simply searching out and destroying some distant neighbor’s yard. However, this was different. Somehow this void numbed me and, unexpectedly, its hollowness turned me to tears.

Covering my eyes, I turned away from the expanse and toward my shanty home. I felt ashamed. Falling limp, my entire body crashed as my face was forced to the floor. Once I raised my tear and sand meshed lips, I caught a startling reflection against the rusty sheds distorted metal. My eyes, glazed over, were on fire. Each like red-hot glass balls that were furious with both the world and me.

Afraid and excited, I wondered aloud, “Are these the windows to the soul?”

Soon this fit waned away as the sun grew tired and began to color the sky with red and orange streaks. I became nervous after realizing it would be night soon. As a rule, I tried not to stay out after dark. I had convinced myself that this beach was cursed. Haunted with a seemingly inexhaustible windswept memory. I heard once that this was where things went to die and I had come to believe it as true. What better place than this?

To live the remainder of a life at the edge between two points, only to be called one day by some delusion into the wide suffocating ocean. Cleanly and carelessly stolen away. Perhaps to the sea floor or who, except those that were gone, could ever truly know. Leaving all that remained with a cruel and sudden swiftness. Stunned, yet fully convinced that the gods were heartless.

In truth, it was too tempting and too easy a thing to be stolen away by the water. During my time here, I learned that the oceans heart was as big as the world. A heart could be beautiful and gentle, it could also be sad and vicious.

As I looked away from the water, I noticed the fat Canadian, who was remodeling the Rosario hotel, glaring at me from the far-off ridge. Disgusted by his presence, I turned my head only to jump back from where I was seated. During the mere seconds that it took a plume of sand to rise and fall from my landing, my fear stricken heart felt like it had slammed into my chest at least fifty times. While my frightened eyes strained to make sense of what was happening, I was left staring at a strange woman who appeared out of nowhere.

“Is she a ghost,” I whispered, “come to drag me away into a cold, watery grave?”

The closer I looked, the calmer I became after realizing the stranger wasn’t some spirit. Instead, she was a pregnant woman standing with her naked feet along the oceans crest. The young girls white dress swayed gently above the surf and her dark skin glowed even though the sun had already begun to settle away. Like the furls of a rose, the youth’s black hair fell just past her shoulders. Each sable curl, almost perfectly, repeated as if they were links in a delicate chain.

The pregnant girls’ feet should have been tickled by the rushing water, yet, her expression only showed concern. She seemed to carry too much worry for someone who appeared no older than nineteen. For many, staring into the great expanse typically brought terror; especially since so much was grander in the world of the sea. The weight of it would often collapse one’s confidence, eventually leading them to hurry away and return their senses to land.

However, for others, like this one person, the ocean presented an option; a chance to explore their minds and utilize the blue escape as a canvass. Nothing would be greater for such people than to turn away from the dirt and toil of the land and simply forget the problems that plagued them. For some reason, I had a notion; I think she wanted to die.

Just when I decided to ignore her, a car filled with obnoxious laughter streaked across the sand. I recognized the mayor’s son, Ignacio, and his friends as they emptied themselves on to the beach. Per usual, they gleefully yelled and screamed while shoving and tugging at one another.
Not wanting to attract their ire, as I had done in the past, I quickly turned away. Yet, just before, I noticed the mayor’s son staring in my vicinity. Thankfully, however, I was passed over. His focus was instead on the beautiful young woman as he shouted something in her direction.

I was uncertain if it was disgust or fear that led me to not want to pay attention. There were times when a numbness invaded me and I became devoid of emotion like an empty vessel. During such instances, trouble all too easily followed whenever I was angry, unready or unfocused. Those moments often brought unwanted attention upon myself. Especially, when I openly harassed Canadian or European tourists with questions.

However, when more sensible, I did my best to stay away and pretend nothing else existed. I was trying exceptionally hard today as the chorus of laughter and catcalls crept closer like a swirling, frigid wind.

The mayor’s son asked confidently, “Hello beautiful. Want to share a drink?”

She turned with each hand on her belly, perhaps hoping that might answer his question.

“Oh, looks like you got started early,” he smiled, “It’s okay, we can still have some fun.”

Grabbing her by the waste, Ignacio pulled the young woman towards him as she whimpered.

“No! “the fierce woman hit him on the chest as he and his gang laughed.

“Look, boss,” one of his goons pointed to me as I also realized that I was staring intently this whole time.

Letting go of the girl, the mayors’ bratty son glared in my direction and slowly walked over to me. His face always seemed stern and now it was colored with a look of disgust as he kicked a plume of sand toward me. The sparkling bits of beach fell lightly over my face and nearly covered my legs completely.

Ignacio knelt before me, “What are you looking at you dirty thing?”

Unsure why, I just continued to stare. Perhaps, I foolishly hoped that my blank expression would lead him to ignore me. Maybe even convince the mayors spoiled son that I was just some fool who didn’t deserve anymore of his attention or effort. Still sneering, he slowly turned his head to discover that the pregnant woman had disappeared.

With a smirk, Ignacio stood back up, only to lean down slightly, as he dropped the nearly empty bottle of liquor.

“It’s okay. We just wanted to see what we had to clean up. Let’s go.”

The gang of misfits laughed all the way back to their car, tossing sand into the sky as they sped off. Alone again, and like a fool, I began to plan my revenge. For I no longer felt like a dead thing, but one that burned alive with rage. Until then, I stared ahead waiting, watching and dreading what each wave might bring.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 11:35:27 PM by Kjk » Logged
drose
Full Member
***

Karma: 3
Offline Offline

Posts: 65



« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 07:45:12 AM »

CHAPTER 1

If we were to meet one day along the caramel beaches of Havana, I would complement compliment you on the fish you've caught or politely critique the pearly shells you've collected. Only to wander back, as if my day had ended, to my tin roofed shack not twenty feet from the shore. But if I were to catch you gazing longingly past the rippling Cuban tides, I would move as quickly and carefully as I could just to document and examine what muse had enchanted you so.

Yet, I had no doubt that my presence would startle as you caught me sneaking from the corner of your eye. In fact, that would be my hope. To create two people who, while on the cusps of awkwardness and at the edge of frothy blue waves, were waiting for a moment. But just as inexplicably, I would break the silence with a simple smile and brush away the tense air with a wave of my hand. What I wanted would again not be there.

For you see, my muse is pink hair Not sure what visual metaphor you're going for here bouncing off the sun. Tender kisses that hum’” I love you,” long after their they are gone. It’s a song, a beat, a rhythm. It’s a butterfly that speaks pigeon in a world full of penguins. Mine is the fantastic; it’s the world when it skips a beat: click, click, ti-click. And me? All I wanted was to rip you away, steal you from some beautiful reverie only to see the expression I must have had so long ago.

My intentions weren’t always so perverse. In fact, during most empty days as I stared awaiting stragglers along the seashore, I couldn’t help but associate some vague remembrance of a point to my daily routine. I was once like a dancer, pirouetting across the world. Today, I’m just a shadow, silhouetting within rippled, metallic walls. But like an idea that escapes me, I sometimes find myself grotesquely entertained by merely the shade of who I was. Even if that purpose that once rushed and prodded in my veins was lost to the corners that tread my mind.



CHAPTER 2


Yesterday was somewhat like today; the waves leapt and fell in hypnotic like curves. The sun, still bright and hot, caused my tiny home to shimmer with spirals of multicolored light. And the sleepiness of it all, was just as overwhelming as the day that came before and many others. Yet, what was different about this Monday, was I didn’t succumb to the tiredness that so often envelops me.

Normally as I sat barefooted on the matted beach floor, I would eventually lie back and allow the waking hours to pass me by. Unless, of course, the rustling of some stranger spurred my senses. But today, no stranger happened by.

  Instead, emptiness filled me. It crawled up my legs like a nest full of spiders This metaphor says more about restlessness than emptiness to me[/color] and overtook the lazy afternoon. I could have conquered this feeling, as I had done with past bouts of anger and frustration, by simply searching out and destroying some distant neighbor’s yard. However, this was different. Somehow this void numbed me and, unexpectedly, its hollowness turned me to tears.

Covering my eyes, I turned away from the expanse and toward my shanty home. I felt ashamed. Falling limp, my entire body crashed as my face was forced to the floor. Once I raised my tear and sand meshed lips, I caught a startling reflection against the rusty sheds distorted metal. My eyes, glazed over, were on fire. Each like red-hot glass balls that were furious with both the world and me.

Afraid and excited, I wondered aloud, “Are these the windows to the soul?” [color=red]Sorry, this sounds cliche[/color]

[/color]Soon this fit waned away as the sun grew tired and began to color the sky with red and orange streaks. I became nervous after realizing it would be night soon. As a rule, I tried not to stay out after dark. I had convinced myself that this beach was cursed. Haunted with a seemingly inexhaustible windswept memory. I heard once that this was where things went to die and I had come to believe it as true. What better place than this?

To live the remainder of a life at the edge between two points, only to be called one day by some delusion into the wide suffocating ocean. Cleanly and carelessly stolen away. Perhaps to the sea floor or who, except those that were gone, could ever truly know. Leaving all that remained with a cruel and sudden swiftness. Stunned, yet fully convinced that the gods were heartless.

In truth, it was too tempting and too easy a thing to be stolen away by the water. During my time here, I learned that the oceans heart was as big as the world. A heart could be beautiful and gentle, it could also be sad and vicious.

As I looked away from the water, I noticed the fat Canadian, who was remodeling the Rosario hotel, glaring at me from the far-off ridge. Disgusted by his presence, I turned my head only to jump back from where I was seated. During the mere seconds that it took a plume of sand to rise and fall from my landing, my fear stricken heart felt like it had slammed into my chest at least fifty times. While my frightened eyes strained to make sense of what was happening, I was left staring at a strange woman who appeared out of nowhere.

“Is she a ghost,” I whispered, “come to drag me away into a cold, watery grave?”

The closer I looked, the calmer I became after realizing the stranger wasn’t some spirit. Instead, she was a pregnant woman standing with her naked feet along the oceans crest. The young girls white dress swayed gently above the surf and her dark skin glowed even though the sun had already begun to settle away. Like the furls of a rose, the youth’s black hair fell just past her shoulders. Each sable curl, almost perfectly, repeated as if they were links in a delicate chain.

The pregnant girls’ feet should have been tickled by the rushing water, yet, her expression only showed concern. She seemed to carry too much worry for someone who appeared no older than nineteen. For many, staring into the great expanse typically brought terror; especially since so much was grander in the world of the sea. The weight of it would often collapse one’s confidence, eventually leading them to hurry away and return their senses to land.

However, for others, like this one person, the ocean presented an option; a chance to explore their minds and utilize the blue escape as a canvass. Nothing would be greater for such people than to turn away from the dirt and toil of the land and simply forget the problems that plagued them. For some reason, I had a notion; I think she wanted to die.

Just when I decided to ignore her, a car filled with obnoxious laughter streaked across the sand. I recognized the mayor’s son, Ignacio, and his friends as they emptied themselves on to the beach. Per usual, they gleefully yelled and screamed while shoving and tugging at one another.
Not wanting to attract their ire, as I had done in the past, I quickly turned away. Yet, just before, I noticed the mayor’s son staring in my vicinity. Thankfully, however, I was passed over. His focus was instead on the beautiful young woman as he shouted something in her direction.

I was uncertain if it was disgust or fear that led me to not want to pay attention. There were times when a numbness invaded me and I became devoid of emotion like an empty vessel. During such instances, trouble all too easily followed whenever I was angry, unready or unfocused. Those moments often brought unwanted attention upon myself. Especially, when I openly harassed Canadian or European tourists with questions.

However, when more sensible, I did my best to stay away and pretend nothing else existed. I was trying exceptionally hard today as the chorus of laughter and catcalls crept closer like a swirling, frigid wind.

The mayor’s son asked confidently, “Hello beautiful. Want to share a drink?”

She turned with each hand on her belly, perhaps hoping that might answer his question.

“Oh, looks like you got started early,” he smiled, “It’s okay, we can still have some fun.”

Grabbing her by the waste, Ignacio pulled the young woman towards him as she whimpered.

“No! “the fierce woman hit him on the chest as he and his gang laughed. No need to tell us she's fierce - show this by having her hit him harder or some other gesture/expression

“Look, boss,” one of his goons pointed to me as I also realized that I was staring intently this whole time.

Letting go of the girl, the mayors’ bratty son glared in my direction and slowly walked over to me. His face always seemed stern and now it was colored with a look of disgust as he kicked a plume of sand toward me. The sparkling bits of beach fell lightly over my face and nearly covered my legs completely.

Ignacio knelt before me, “What are you looking at you dirty thing?”

Unsure why, I just continued to stare. Perhaps, I foolishly hoped that my blank expression would lead him to ignore me. Maybe even convince the mayors spoiled son that I was just some fool who didn’t deserve anymore of his attention or effort. Still sneering, he slowly turned his head to discover that the pregnant woman had disappeared.

With a smirk, Ignacio stood back up, only to lean down slightly, as he dropped the nearly empty bottle of liquor.

“It’s okay. We just wanted to see what we had to clean up. Let’s go.”

The gang of misfits laughed all the way back to their car, tossing sand into the sky as they sped off. Alone again, and like a fool, I began to plan my revenge. For I no longer felt like a dead thing, but one that burned alive with rage. Until then, I stared ahead waiting, watching and dreading what each wave might bring.


I like this very much. It's certainly literary in style and the MC is intriguing. Does the encounter between the pregnant woman and the hoodlums lead to an inciting incident? I think it's fine to set a melancholy scene in the opening, but by the second chapter/scene, I want to know more about the MC and what the stakes are in the story. Perhaps break up the narrative by introducing the pregnant woman a little earlier.
Logged
billiek
Newbie
*

Karma: 2
Offline Offline

Posts: 22


« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 11:20:36 AM »

I liked the dreamy quality of the beginning but I would suggest starting the book at the line "The pregnant girl's feet should have been tickled by the rushing water, yet her expression only showed concern." because that's were it seems that things begin. I wouldn't even mention her being pregnant in that first line, it can be told a few lines in. And don't say that she looks no older than nineteen, but something more subjective, like "not old enough to drive/be out of high school/be carrying a child of her own/…." Something that gives the narrator's opinion of the apparent situation. (like, does the narrator think she's too young? A captivating vessel of a new life? A person of questionable morals? No different than everyone on the island?)

Also, the paragraph above this, you mention that this stranger is "a pregnant woman," "young girl," "youth," so I wouldn't use the term 'woman' here as it confuses the image.

Lines like "For some reason, I had a notion; I think she wanted to die." Kill that first part and simply state "I think she wanted to die." It sounds more powerful.

There's also some spelling/grammar issues that need fixed, like where you used "their" instead of "they're" (para 3) and misplaced or missing possessive apostrophes, and waste when you meant waist.

Finally, I stumbled in some of my reading. I suggest reading your work out loud to yourself (physically out loud, not just in your head). If you stumble while reading than a reader will stumble while reading. I've found that this trick avoids my "filling in the blanks" of my own writing in my head and works best if I do it after having a glass of wine (just like speaking a foreign language or hanging wallpaper). Read, redline, read, redline, over & over until you can read it cleanly without pause or stumble. You'll uncover where you use same words too close to one another, use some words too frequently, where your punctuation doesn't work, or how choppy a sentence reads. Or how long it goes on for.

Sorry, one more thing. The way this reads, as if in the moment (thus the dreaminess), I think it would read better in present tense. There's a dissonance, the "in the momentiness" (yes, I just made up that word) and the past tense. They kinda clash.

You have what sounds like a good beginning to an interesting story once you work on it a little.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 11:38:39 AM by billiek » Logged
Kjk
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 1
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2018, 07:42:22 PM »

Thank you guys for the suggestions and help. I tried my best to incorporate all of your advice. It has helped tremendously. Yeah the encounter does lead to an inciting incident. I'm not familiar with a lot of the terminology so I had too look that up. Thanks again.
Logged
Vortigern
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 5
Offline Offline

Posts: 47



WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 10:21:44 AM »

I read through your excerpt as well as the following comments by drose and billiek.

I agree with everything they posted. They caught many of the things I did, in addition to a few extras I hadn't thought about.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed your first five pages. Aside for the previously mentioned issues, I felt it was quite good and  it drew me in. I tend to enjoy reading things with a literary feel.  Thumbs Up
Logged

Inspiring Imagination Between Two Worlds
Adw
Full Member
***

Karma: 4
Offline Offline

Posts: 51


« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 07:42:29 PM »

I agree with the fellow commentors, which isn't entirely helpful I suppose, since it doesn't add anything new. However, I have read it twice because I find the language lovely, poetic and definitely literary. Good luck to you.
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!