Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by Josh Ames

Jason frequently took walks at night. He felt alone, away from the stresses he dealt with during the day. Every night was the same. Jason would put on his steel-toe boots, and start walking the same predetermined route through town. He headed east, passing all the closed, dark shops, then turned right and headed towards the edge of town.
Jason used these walks as a way to analyze his day, his life. 
"I can't believe they're making me work this weekend." He thought to himself, getting closer to the edge of town now. 
He spent most of his time working in a small factory, pushing out car parts all day. This didn't bother him though. It's not like he had a woman in his life, nor any friends. No one he actually considered a friend anyways. 
He made it to the edge of town, and saw the familiar public park he used to play at as a child. Behind the park were miles of dense woods, which circled most of town. As familiar as everything appeared, he couldn't help but notice a shadowy figure on the ground, right in the middle of the park. 
"Probably Tom again," he joked to himself, walking towards the motionless figure.
Tom was the local drunk. Every night he'd drink himself stupid, then wander home on foot. Usually he'd make it home just fine, but once in a while he'd end up passing out on the sidewalk. 
"Tom is that you?" Jason was only feet from the figure, and could see now that it was indeed a man. 
"What are you do-" but he was cut short as he took in a breath of something horrifically nauseating. The smell was so repugnant that it knocked him backwards a couple steps. The fresh air from the summer night had instantly become unbearable to breath in. 
Jason looked a little closer at the man, who was lying on his side, back against him. Was the smell coming from this man? Jason put his hand on the man's shoulder and shook him softly to try and wake him up, but something felt wrong. He pulled hard and turned the man on his back. He fell backwards in terror, using his hands and feet to scramble further away. The man's face was pasty white, his mouth open in an awkward way. The blood coming from his chest was shining in the moonlight. He got to his feet, knees weak. He looked around, hoping for some help, even though the nearest house was a mile away. 
"What do I do?" He started to contemplate his next move. 
"I have to call the police, d****t, why'd I leave my phone at home!" He began to turn towards town, but saw someone, or something running towards him, moving quickly. Jason was frozen, uncertain whether he should run or stay still. After a few seconds the dark silhouette became clear. It was a woman, probably in her early twenties, no older than Jason. 
"We have to leave, NOW!" she said hurriedly, trying to catch her breath.
"What?" Jason said. "Listen, there's a dead body. We have to call the police!"
"There's no time! Just trust me, we have to leave right now!" She looked terrified. Jason knew he had to listen to her.
"Fine, lead the way!" 


© 2015 Josh Ames


Author's Note

Josh Ames
Please critique my first chapter. It is my first attempt, and I'd like to hear what people have to say!

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Featured Review

Intriguing. A nice start. "It's not like he has a woman " should probably read had instead of has. Otherwise, you should know that the smell of death is not like any other smell and would never be confused with any other smell. It also takes some time after dying before the odor becomes apparent so don't try to fool us into thinking the murder is still hanging around. If you are moving that way you might want to just leave the whole smell thing out. You don't really need it and accuracy is important because you need your readers to believe every word.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

their were some ironic parts like leaving a cell phone or like haveing a women appear out of no where but over all good work hope it contuines well .

Posted 5 Years Ago


Definitely a good hook. I'd enjoy reading more. Very believable! Nice detail work.. It makes me question if the areas written about aren't real places (or experiences for that matter) from your life, which is the sign that you did a great job explaining.
One thing I would change though:
"..The blood coming from his chest was shining in the moonlight. He got to his feet, knees weak. He looked..."
When you switch over to talking about Jason you should use his name the first time (ie. Jason got to his feet..) because the last "he" you were referring to was the dead body.. and I'm assuming the dead body isn't the one that got to his feet but it reads that way. Obviously you didn't mean that but just for a smoother read.. yea.. I'm rambling. It's late. ;P



Posted 5 Years Ago


I agree with the comments about the smell. Also, "The vital fluid coming from his chest was shining in the moonlight" made me stop in the flow of my reading and wonder: what fluid? Lymph, for example? Spinal fluid? My point is, you don't want the reader to pause in that way when you're building suspense. Just point out that he was bleeding from a wound in the chest and spend your effort on creating tension.

The chapter flows well overall, but has hitches in it here and there that could be tightened up. I suggest you read it aloud to yourself-- the awkward bits will immediately become apparent.

Also, try and avoid cliches like "stricken with fear" "She looked terrified" works just as well, don't you think?

By all means keep writing. I'd like to see the next chapter.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Josh, I like your opening. You have clear wording and good descriptions.

There isn't a lot of detail here about what's going on yet so it's hard to say if things fit yet.
A few details that might be important. Your corpse is stiff, so rigor mortis has set in. This takes between two and six hours to happen meaning this is not a fresh kill. I got the impression the young woman running up has something to do with the body, which of course we aren't sure yet, but might be problematic if you are going for accuracy.

Jason's reaction is perfect though and I love that he left his phone at home as that creates good tension and that feeling that he's cut off from help. Good strong starting point with lots of potential.

Looking forward to more.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Josh Ames

6 Years Ago

Thanks for the feedback! I tried to improve the accuracy after my first draft, but still have that o.. read more
Intriguing. A nice start. "It's not like he has a woman " should probably read had instead of has. Otherwise, you should know that the smell of death is not like any other smell and would never be confused with any other smell. It also takes some time after dying before the odor becomes apparent so don't try to fool us into thinking the murder is still hanging around. If you are moving that way you might want to just leave the whole smell thing out. You don't really need it and accuracy is important because you need your readers to believe every word.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very nice start to your chapter, It left the reader wanting to know more. I only saw a few tense changes that were minor, but overall your writing was great, really nice use of wording that captured the senses and imagery of the reader!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Josh Ames

6 Years Ago

Thanks you very much for the feedback! It means a lot, and i'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Added on April 29, 2015
Last Updated on May 2, 2015


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Josh Ames
Josh Ames

Toledo, OH



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A Book by Josh Ames