Part 1: Chapter 3

Part 1: Chapter 3

A Chapter by Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova

Chapter 3


Many years back government had instilled a sense of fear within us, and their complete control held us accountable as well as kept us from abomination. But now there isn’t a care in the world, and the government we once thought of as iniquitous and cruel has left us in a situation much, much worse. I remember when I first met S.Z. He told me all about himself right off the bat. He explained how his name stood for “Still Zigging.” A very weird name, which connected him to me from the start. He told me about the death of his family in the Demolition War, and how that shaped his opinions to the present day. He mentioned that he was a “Lord of the Rings” fan back in his time, and how great stories such as that made him realize the power of words. I wish I could get a feel for that. I wish I could step into his world for a day; welcome challenges with open arms, ready to overcome them. I wish I could live the life of a normal human; I only wish there were normal ones left. But I guess, in the end, it’s only a passing thing. A mere whisper in the winds of forever. Time will go on, and S.Z and I will go on right along with it. I only wish I could hope. -Journal Entry 2, October 7, 2101


Lora finished up her last sip of black coffee with a gulp. It tasted like her feelings; dark and mysterious; with a salty bitterness to it. She looked at S.Z and realized how true these feelings were. But where could she escape? There was no paradise within her mind; no paradise within her soul. No open door within her heart, and no golden gate welcome her home from the darkness. Her coffee tasted worse with these thoughts.

She sighed. “Ready to go, S.Z?” she said.

S.Z smiled. “Yeah. What are you going to do the rest of the day?”

Lora laughed. “Oh, you know...probably something incredibly exciting. I’ll likely not survive, for the adventure I’m going to undertake is going to be an extraordinary one for the ages. Someone will have to write a book about it. Then they’ll get beheaded. But the one doing the beheading will be reading my entertaining life story while he sharpens the axe.”

S.Z spurted coffee from his nose and mouth, his laugh uncontainable. “Now you’re talking, Lora!” He stifled. “Can I go? I swear I won’t be a nuisance. If someone is going to write about it you’d better believe it’ll be me.”

“Yeah, but then you’ll be beheaded. The world can’t have that.” Lora said. Then she sighed again. “But we both know that’s completely outlandish. I guess I’ll be headed back to the office now.”

They swung open the door and took a step outside, the cold air instantly wrapping itself over them. “Bye, S.Z.” she said.

“Bye, Lora.” He turned to walk away.

Lora turned in the other direction to leave as well. Then, she heard a noise. It was a noise she could not recall in the halls of memory within her brain. It had somewhat of an awkward beat to it, and, in a way, it made her blood boil with anticipation and wonder.

She was standing on a street corner, ready to cross the street. Then an anxious, scared look covered her face. She whispered to herself. “Holy...oh,  crap. No freaking way.” The noise was from the Pinches. The Pinches were a group of “police.” Basically, they thought of themselves as the police, even though there was no official police group. They went around the country “punishing” people by beating them in every way imaginable. Very often they would take their victims to a particular area in a park, beside a tall tree, where they would then harass them in every way possible to “teach them a lesson.” They were far too strong to resist, and Lora knew not to do anything out of the ordinary when around them. Heck, she could jaywalk and they’d practically kill her.

Lora felt it safe to assume they weren’t coming through the area to go to Coffee.

They parted, and Lora began to stroll ever so casually back to her store. She turned the corner and kept going, a murky wall beside her.

“What a morning…” she thought. The stress of her world was unbearable. Now someone wanted to kill the one person she could trust in the world. The one person that kept her going. The one person that fueled her each day so she wasn’t driven into madness. The one man’s soul that she could benefit from.

“Ugh…” she thought, dreariness overcoming her. Then a million pounds of pure force pummeled into her. Well, to be more accurate, she pummeled into it. Also, it wasn’t quite a million pounds. No, rather it was a large, green dumpster. Lora fell back hard, but instantly jumped to her feet in astonishment. She hadn’t seen a real trash can in many, many years, much less a dumpster! Most people tossed their trash on the ground or just burned it, and that was that.

“What...is...going on?” she thought. She kept on her way, in a daze. Then she felt two strong hands snatch her from behind, grabbing her arms. She also felt her gun slip from her shoulder and into the person’s hands.

She whirled her head around, looking over one shoulder and then the other, her blond hair flailing every which way. Three men stood behind the one that had grabbed her. They all had fat, ugly faces and she knew immediately that they also had fat, ugly personalities. The one that had hold of her carried a name badge on his huge, purple shirt. It read “Phil Shmock.” He gave her a toothy smile, and she took a mental picture of his yellow, moldy teeth. She decided she wouldn’t be ordering double photo prints.

“Hello, darling.” Phil said, grinning menacingly while emphasizing each word with yellow spit flying out of his mouth. “I’ve been hoping to run into you since me and my big, strong colleagues over here noticed you in Coffee with that skulk S.Z Write. Hmmmm, love?” He pressed his face right up with hers, smacking his lips with saliva.  

Lora mouthed words of anger and pure hatred, then shook her arms violently to try to escape Phil’s nasty clutch. “Get the hell off me.”

“Ohhh, listen love, I don’t wanna hurt you. You’re precious. But S.Z Write? Hmmm, I do want to hurt him, yes. You wanna know why? Oh, I’m sure you know why, beautiful one. Hmmm…?” He grabbed her face and dug his black nails into her flesh. “Darling...it’s because I read his freaking idiotic excuse for a story. A book if you could call it that. Each damn word was against the way we run things around here. Because, baby, when the government’s gone, somebody’s got to be in charge...you know that, don’t you sweetheart? Hmmm? And guess who that...somebody...is? The handsome face you’re looking at now, hon. The face of America that in the very least represents the success we have become.

What…? in the...hell? Stop giving me that look, love...I know you know what I’m talking about. S.Z’s damn novel. You haven’t freaking read the crap? Ok, well I don’t give a hell, you’ll find out eventually. I’ll show you it myself when S.Z Write is dead...we’ll be cozy together at my place. Yes...safe and comfortable. You’d like that wouldn’t you...yes, hmmm??”

Lora opened her eyes wide. She knew the only way to escape him would be through her youth, intelligence, and trickery. “You know what Phil...loved one, precious one, my only love...I would like that, as a matter of fact. You could come back to my place babe...we could skip right to that part. Because, love, that was my favorite part of everything you said...you really are so, so handsome...if only I could be released from your strong...so, so strong...grasp, in order to kiss you, everything would be perfect between the two of us and I could love you forever. Just, uh, let me go, babe.”

Phil loosened his grip on her. “But how do I know I can trust you not to just run from me when I release you? I know, I’m not as stupid as I look.”

“No, you look plenty smart, hon? That’s why you’re the face of America...the brains of America! Hell, you are America, aren’t you sweetheart? Anyway, babe, you’re a sexy beast and I love you to pieces all the way from the earth to the stars. I want you, and badly.” Lora leaned in and gave him a soft kiss on the cheek. “But I don’t want your “colleagues” to be here while we’re doing our little thing together with S.Z’s book. Would you mind?”

Phil let go of her completely. He smiled, his hideous teeth boasting little pieces of dried meatloaf. “If you do something for me, then I’ll believe you.”

“Ok…” Lora said.

“Tell me that you hate S.Z, and tell me why.”

Lora couldn’t do it. She looked at her feet and thought it over. S.Z trusted her, and she trusted him. She considered him close as can be. She had known him since the darkness had come out. So, in other words, he’d been there for her in the worst of times. She couldn’t do it.

“I refuse. S.Z is my friend.”

Phil showed his teeth then slapped her across the face. “I don’t care! Gus, Goyle, Flynn...go fetch me my favorite knife from--” He paused, looking at Lora. “...our place.” He finished.

Lora cringed at hearing the names of the two men who had created the “Wanted” sign for S.Z Write, even though she had assumed it was them the whole time. But she was going to be alone with just Phil! She would have to act fast.

Gus, Goyle, and Flynn left immediately. Phil grabbed her blond hair and dragged her up the street. They turned the corner, and kept going before stopping in front a yellow, dirty, and utterly thrashed apartment building.

Phil looked at her with his gray, misty eyes. Lora couldn’t find anything in them; they were mysterious and evil looking. “You know what, Phil? I will tell you something. I hate you.”

She slapped him hard across the face. It felt good. “How dare you! Why, you little--” He couldn’t finish his sentence because Lora had grabbed a glass beer bottle that someone had littered, then smashed his flabby head with it. He fell to the ground, unconscious. Lora looked around in a complete circle, and nobody was near. Then, her eyes stopped on her reflection in the apartment building’s windows. She viewed herself, carrying that glass bottle at her side like a weapon, as a nothing. What was she doing? In the first place, why was she living at all? The freedom to do as she pleased had even lessened without a government, thus leaving her in nothing but despair and desperation, lacking hope. She didn’t care about the beautiful blue eyes staring back at her, or the thin blond hair flailing behind her, or even the big, large nose plotted on the middle of her face. She suppressed a glare, closing her eyes.

“Cretin.” she said angrily to Phil’s unmoving body. She turned to walk away. Then she was tackled to the ground by one of the many Pinches that had hurriedly rushed to the scene.





© 2015 Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova



My Review

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Featured Review

This is much more entertaining. I liked the way you described her irritation and the last part of the chapter.
Your punctuation needs some work because I can't tell when you've started conversation or when she's thinking something. Also, you described Lora as a bit rough in the beginning. She threatened to put her gun to a man's throat because he bumped into her, right? How does she suddenly veer from that to delaying tactics? It would be better if she tried to get away a bit unsuccessfully first.
Shouldn't living in such a dangerous world make her a bit better at holding on to a weapon?

I'm very interested in where this is going, actually, and can't wait to see the polished, perfect published book.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This is much more entertaining. I liked the way you described her irritation and the last part of the chapter.
Your punctuation needs some work because I can't tell when you've started conversation or when she's thinking something. Also, you described Lora as a bit rough in the beginning. She threatened to put her gun to a man's throat because he bumped into her, right? How does she suddenly veer from that to delaying tactics? It would be better if she tried to get away a bit unsuccessfully first.
Shouldn't living in such a dangerous world make her a bit better at holding on to a weapon?

I'm very interested in where this is going, actually, and can't wait to see the polished, perfect published book.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The journal entry at the begging added to this work, making it even better. The character interactions are superb, and you know I like that. I think I'll read the next chapter soon :)

Also thanks for the kind words about my blog :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

NIcely done work so far. Keep it up and the book will be complete.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A very good chapter. You shared some history and create a dangerous situation. I liked the world you create. Allow the reader to fall into new places and thoughts. I still like the personal feel of the story. keep the reading wanting to know more. Thank you for sharing the excellent chapter.
Coyote


Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova

2 Years Ago

Thanks so much! Your positivism means a lot to me!
Coyote Poetry

2 Years Ago

A very good tale and you are welcome. I will come back and read more later tonight.
Great story so far!.........

Posted 2 Years Ago


Well done, it was a lot better. Don't be afraid to slow it down twice as much, but for a rough sketch it's perfect. Yeah, it does help a lot for the explaining. (I loved the insult at the end, it felt much better.) you could still fix the Mary Sue description at the end though, she can't look all that perfect.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova

2 Years Ago

haha :) thanks
Alverrann

2 Years Ago

Not necessarily, but her lips shouldn't be blood red, and she shouldn't see her own eyes as beautifu.. read more
Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova

2 Years Ago

yup, I know what you mean :)
Mary Sue. Ever heard that name? Your character is the typical Mary Sue if she's that perfect. Give her some flaws, man! People can't relate to Mary Sues!

Also, at the very beginning, that piece with the description of the self-appointed police was really forced, it's like putting up a sign to the reader saying, "Important information right here, read it quick, I couldn't think of another way to put it into the story!" That, as a general rule, is never a good way to tell the reader stuff. Slow your story down and weave it in.

The abrupt attack by those creeps was really random. Also they way she played up to the guy was unrealistic. I don't really see her as the type to do that so much as fight tooth and nail, or at least trick him off her more subtly. But if Phil is that much of an idiot, I guess he deserved it. :)

You have great descriptions for everything, tons of detail and all that good stuff—just make sure your characters don't talk like you, the author. Give them their own voice, cause no one in their right mind describes a situation in so much wordy detail unless their an author. For example, in your last chapter Lora describes the "silhouetted people lit up by a lamp" just like that. It should have been something more along the lines of, "a bunch a creeps hangin' around a lamppost whispering things about you" most people, I think would describe things that way.

I felt like the profanity was unnecessary, there are better ways to say things unless they're an integral part of your character, (which I would hope they're not) get a thesaurus, there are some really creative insults.

Finally, again, you moved too quickly. The chapter felt like a forced one, attempting to get you closer to the climax, whoch is everyone's favorite part. Just take a deep breath and slow down, it's hard to do for every author, but all the good ones have managed, so you should be fine.

It really is great, and has tons of potential, don't just get better. :) I'll read on now.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova

2 Years Ago

Alright! This helps a lot! I'm definitely going to spend a few hours tonight making some changes, th.. read more
Alverrann

2 Years Ago

I'm glad, cause I don't want to make you stop writing! The idea is just to help you write better.
Living in such an uncaring and desolate lace, I would also find myself wondering why we still live, go on and keep the pretence that this is normality going. but I'm sure I wouldn't be alone in thinking this, or finding a reason to continue.
As if things aren't bad enough in this life, you find yourself policed by the bullies and stupid, to add further vinegar to the wound.


Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova

2 Years Ago

Yes :) hopefully it isn't too depressing for you to keep going...is it? should I tone it down? thank.. read more
alifeacoustic

2 Years Ago

No, absolutely not. One of my favourite books of all time is 1984 and this has the same man versus t.. read more
This is a really awesome story so far. I really like how you describe the setting whether it's something the characters say or just describing what is going on. I can imagine what this world looks like.
I also really like how every chapter ends with a nice cliffhanger, just begging the reader to continue. Very nice work. I can't wait to read the rest!!!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

OK, in the first chapter you could use a little more narration to add a little more detail is setting up the story. The same thing for the second chapter, you introduce new characters without much of an introduction, no who, what or where. You need to include these things, you have them in your head but haven't shared them with your readers. Your punctuation and grammar could use some touching up in a few places. I would suggest that once you finish the whole story you get someone other than yourself to edit it, fresh eyes and all.
Now, the story is rather interesting, it started slow for me because the lack of background made me try to fill in the blanks. The first chapter had enough originality that it made me want to find out more, but the change of setting in the second chapter without narration to explain or set thing up I felt a little lost. But once again the originality made me want to keep going. Chapter 3 started much better with narration that filled is some of the blanks in chapters 1 and 2. The story moves at a nice pace, your descriptions of visuals in nice, now just do the same with setting the actions of your characters as well you have a much stronger story line.
I don't want to discourage you by all this, you can always get someone who knows the rules of writing to edit your work (I was lucky enough to have had my own personal editor for over 3 decades), schools turns them out by the hundreds each year. But only a hand full of people who know how to tell a good story comes along to put them to work :~)
I look forward to reading and reviewing the next 3 chapters, I want to know about S.Z’s novel Ha! Ha!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on September 23, 2015
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Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova
Of Stars and Whales and Sam Bova

Middle Earth, The Shire



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"Even Darkness Must Pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer." -Samwise Gamgee I love to write, and I hope to become a published writer some day. I ho.. more..

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