Chapter I

Chapter I

A Chapter by Andrew Schecker

A series of monotone beeps resonating through the room with each monotone chirp.  Charles attempted to remove this incessant beat from his mind.  He hated this sound.  Countless nights of listening to this harmony had provided Charles with an immaculate knowledge of each pulse and the slight inflection given off with every twenty-seventh tweet. 


The room was dark and calm. Charles wrestled with sleep in the center; the only noise to be heard was that of the heart rate monitor which had reduced his existence to one sound.  Beep, alive.  Beep, alive.  Beep, alive.  The walls of the room were bare and a sickly yellow from years of poor maintenance.  The walls had been a pure white at one point. This fact was obvious to any person who gazed close enough to see the outline left by the fixed furniture.  The room had lost this glamour long ago and no one cared that it had fallen from grace into a world of grime and dust.


When he was first brought to the room Charles wondered how old it was.  There was nothing modern or sleek about it.  It held the air of an overly efficient design that lacked any human touch or beauty.  Charles pondered on how long it had gone without being cleaned beyond the standard requirements of sanitation.   Now Charles only wished to escape these walls.  He had grown used to the color and smell quickly enough.  Charles only wished to be gone, to escape this oversized coffin.


Charles knew this was his coffin.  The doctors had told him the long, overly complicated name of his ailment but he had forgotten it almost immediately after they left the room.  All Charles knew was that his heart was failing and that he was going to die.  With each wave of pain that ran through his chest and with each emergency room visit, Charles found himself hoping more and more that his heart would just make up its mind and let him fail to reach the emergency room for a change.


Just as the predictable beat of the monitor was about to place Charles in a trancelike sleep, a cacophony of light and noise founds its way through his door.  As quickly as the peace had been disturbed it was returned, with one exception.  There stood a cloud of balloons laced with the commercial phrases expected to be found in any hospital.  Squeaking and twisting their colorful strings, the balloons soon parted to make way for a young and vibrant face.  A curious glance ran peered through the shadows and fell upon Charles.


“Sorry, I hope I didn’t wake you.”


“No, I just lie in bed hoping some random woman to burst into my room carrying enough balloons to take them to the moon.”


“No need to be so rude.  I did say I was sorry.”


“I don’t care how sorry you are, you’ve got five seconds to get the hell out of my room or I’m calling the nurse.”


“Please don’t do that.”


“Why shouldn’t I? I’m well within my rights to get you out of my room.”


“Look, I’ll be out soon enough.  I just need to stay here until the guard passes.”


“I believe that is why you are supposed to come during visiting hours.  So you don’t wake up old men trying to die in peace.”


“What?  You’re dying?”


“Yes, what do you think all these cords and tubes are for around me?  Do you always ask such stupid questions?”


“Excuse me for caring about another human being.”


“Caring?  I don’t give a rat’s a*s if you care or not.  I’ve known enough people in my life to know trash when I see it and right now I’m looking at a dumpster.”


“Now, that’s uncalled for.”


“Why are you still here? What are you doing here?  Why are you bothering me?”


“If you must know, my friend go into a car accident and I am coming to make sure they are doing alright.”


“They probably got what they had coming, bet there was boos involved.”


“Does it matter?  He’s my friend and I’m here for him.”


“After hours.”




“You couldn’t wait until tomorrow morning to see him?”  I’m sure he’ll still be here sucking up electricity that could be used for those who actually need help here, not some boos hound he decided to get behind the wheel and drive over a kid.”


“What are you talking about? He hasn’t driven over any children, he doesn’t even drink.”


“Sure, let’s just wait and see when the cops come to ask him questions.”


“Why are you so mean? What did I ever do to you? What did my friend ever do to you?”


“You think I give a damn about you?  You’re just some annoying b***h who burst into my room at two in the morning to see some fool who turned right instead of left.  I laying here waiting to die and do not need to be reminded of the worthless s**t that manages to somehow survive and prevail in this god forsaken world.”


“What? What are you talking about?  The world is a wonderful place filled with wonderful people.”


“You can take your f*****g rainbow world and get the f**k out of my room.”


“You know what…”




“Now just a second…”




“Who do you think…”




“I’m trying to talk to…”




“Fine, whatever.  I’m getting out of here.”


“One.  Get the f**k out.”


“Screw you.”


With those words the Charles was once again alone and left to once more fight the urge to strangle the b*****d who invented the heart rate monitor.  Charles was happy to be alone again.  He didn’t need anyone to stand there and watch him make his final rounds. 


Alone with his yellow walls, Charles felt his heart slow down and the morphine finally start to take effect.

© 2010 Andrew Schecker

My Review

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I apologize, but I really have to go into editor mode with this piece because I picked out a lot of things while reading. I apologize in advance if this offends you, but I'm honestly only trying to help and it's really just issues with sentence structure.

In the very first sentence, you have an issue with tense. It would be better and make more sense if you used resonated in... "A series of monotone beeps resonating through the room with each monotone chirp." Also with the sentence: "A curious glance ran peered through the shadows and fell upon Charles." It doesn't quite makes sense to have "ran peered" this might be a typing error that you missed.

Yet another issue with: “No, I just lie in bed hoping some random woman to burst into my room carrying enough balloons to take them to the moon.” The problem in that sentence is the "hoping some random woman to" it isn't correct in terms of tense or grammar. The "to" just doesn't work to make this sentence whole. If you have "hoping FOR some random woman to" then it would make sense.

“Yes, what do you think all these cords and tubes are for around me?" This is another part that has awkward tense. "are for around me" just doesn't sound normal or how one phrases sentences. Maybe if you had "what do you think all these cords and tubes around me are for?" it would be better and less awkward.

You also have a typo with "my friend go into a car accident" the "go" could use a "t". Hehe... go-t... goatee... I'm just being silly but that really did make me giggle haha. Also, you're using the wrong spelling with boos... those are something an audience does. Booze is alcohol. Yet another thing... you have a misplaced quotation mark in the paragraph that starts with "You couldn't wait until tomorrow to see him?" Right after that you have an ending quotation mark but the dialogue continues.

And lastly... "hound he decided to get behind the wheel and drive over a kid.” I think you mean "WHO decided to..."

Now on to the content of the piece... I really enjoyed this. Such a normal, everyday coincidence made into such a cynical, argumentative story. Very interesting, real, characters. You really accented the cynicism with this old dying dude. I loved the beginning when you described the room and how it's falling apart, left alone and decrepit just like an old dying man who no one cares about anymore. It's past it's prime and no one cares to repair it. Great commentary on society and the world woven into this one. I also like how the girl isn't overly unrealistically optimistic and hippy-happy about the world. She's someone people relate to, she gets irritated with people who are so completely negative and who are a******s. Good realism in this. Well done.

Posted 12 Years Ago

This made me stop: is this what all dying hospital patients think? It certainly made me think. "Beep. Alive. Beep. Alive. Beep. Alive." Very concise, and it contributes well to the mood of the main character, Charles. The dialogue, although very snippy on Charles' end, made me second guess, again, what dying hospital patients are really thinking. So far, I like it.

Posted 12 Years Ago

I finished the first chapter and i will be going through all the other chapters....
This was concise,sharp and the character sketch is very intriguing...i like the way your protagonist are portrayed in a gray shade always...mostly tending towards the darker realms of human character ...their depression,sorrow makes them very interesting to read...i love the way you add a lot of detail to your make even plain walls seem a part of the story.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on May 26, 2010
Last Updated on May 26, 2010


Andrew Schecker
Andrew Schecker


I am an English teacher living in Japan. I have a lot of free time on my hands and I want to start filling up that time by writing. I have been told I have a talent with words, but I want to hone th.. more..

Chapter I Chapter I

A Chapter by Andrew Schecker