I. Sinking

I. Sinking

A Chapter by Writer #00

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I. Sinking

            I can’t move.

            The light filtering in through the ceiling of water is faint--retreating--and I wonder if it’ll be enough to penetrate the deep, suffocating shadows I can feel myself slowly sink into.  My chest is tight, my breath but a nonexistent vestige of fleeting memories.  My eyes are stinging, beginning to add to my liquid encasement. 

            I want to swim.

            I want to escape the warm, wet, air-stealing blue and propel myself upwards--beyond the ever-growing darkness--and break through the surface water into clear, fresh, heavenly crisp air.  Oxygen.  I crave it even more now that there is nothing I can do as it slips from my lungs and admits fatal, nauseating…

---

            I woke up in darkness, covered in droplets of water.  I panted, gasping heavily for breath and throwing my covers off me.  My pillow was soaked and my ears still felt as if they’d been submerged deep in the ocean; pressure clogging their canals.  It was as if I were still asleep, as if I were still drowning in the fabricated waters of these nightmares.

            I was shaking and vulnerable even as my eyes adjusted to the dark and the familiar shapes of my room came into being.  I could still feel the water all around me, touching me, invading me, killing me.  I swung my legs over my bed and stumbled in a dazed state between wakeness and sleep to the other side of my room.  I groped along the wall for the light switch and flicked it on after a few seconds.

            You’re getting pretty good at this, aren’t you Harrison, I mused to myself, remembering the first night I’d been attacked by those terrors and how long it’d taken me to gather the courage to flip the switch.

              The soft, yellow light from my desk lamp dispelled the images of death my mind always managed to conjure up after those horrific nightmares.  Sitting back on my bed, I quickly glanced at the digital clock resting atop my chest of drawers.  11:45. Fifteen minutes this time.  The dreams were getting longer.

            I sighed, collapsing onto my mattress.  It looked like I’d be sleeping with the light on again.

---

           

             I re-awoke at around 9:00, the side of my face lightly scraping the coarse beginnings of a post-pubescent beard against myarm. Looked, err,felt like it was time for yet another shave. Curse you, testosterone. More importantly, I also awoke with the urge to tell someone about what’d been happening to me these past few weeks.  I would have told my mother, but if she found out I’d been having disturbing recurring nightmares, I might find myself sitting across from a therapist in no time.  I mean, she had my little sister, Salem, psychoanalyzed for Fairytale Syndrome the moment she began going through her princess phase. 

          I entered the living room where Salem sat slumped back on a couch, reading Pride and Prejudice, her hair--a lighter, more coppery brown than my brother’s and mine--slung delicately over one shoulder.  I could smell potatoes and onions cooking on the stovetop and the scent of grilling chicken from the foreman grill on the counter beside the fridge. 

            “Are you the only one up so far?” I asked, untying the bread bag next to the toaster and taking out two slices of potato bread.

            Salem looked up from her book.  “Hmm?”

            Two pieces of lightly browned toast popped out of the toaster.

            “Your toast is ready,” I told her, deciding not to repeat myself.

            She finished her page, marked it with a dog-ear (I could never bring myself to do that to books--it felt like a sacrilege) and retrieved her toast, placing the slices on a plate and spreading a thin amount of butter on them.  I began toasting my bread and waited at the kitchen table for it to be ready.  Salem quickly scrambled an egg, squeezed the grease out of the chicken she’d grilled, and spatula-d a bit of sliced potatoes onto her plate.  She sat across from me just as the toaster released my bread.

            I buttered and jammed the slices accordingly, poured myself a bowl of corn flakes, and returned to my position at the table. 

            I stared at my little sister. As she ate, she moved around her plate of food in a precise, counter-clockwise motion.  She did bizarre things like this from time to time--usually when she was trying to keep her mind off something--first devouring the potatoes at twelve o’clock, then the eggs at nine, chicken at six, toast at three, and ending with the ding of her spoon clanking on the inside of her teacup as she stirred sugar into it.  She looked up from her drink after taking a sip and, discovering its temperature to be overwhelming, addressed my…staring.

            “Why…are you looking at me…?” she questioned, her trademark expression of worried curiosity radiating from her face with the lift of a brow and a flash of quizzicality in her eyes.

            “Why can’t I?” I replied, not sure how to lead this conversation in the direction of my nightmares, “Who said I was looking at you anyway?  I happened to be looking in your direction…not at you specifically…unless you’re a direction, of course.”

            Salem narrowed her eyes as if to ask: What in the world are you talking about?

            “Well,” she continued, noticing my sogging cereal, “aren’t you going to eat?”

            “Um, yeah...I just like my flakes a bit softer than the norm.”

            “I know that, but it’s nearly mush.  It looks like it’s been pre-digested and spit back out into y--“

            “Sal, please, I’m eating.  I interrupted, beginning to feel nauseas at the sight of my own food.

            She raised a brow dubiously.  “Are you?”

---

            So, I ended up losing my appetite and not telling Salem about my dreams after all.  I waited for one of my parents to wake up, got his permission to use Sputter, the family hand-me-down-car (yes, we name our vehicles…my Mom cleverly named her truck ‘Notdads’), and drove to my good friend Kamila Jung’s house.  Obtaining Sputter was almost conflict-free now that my older brother, Weston, had finally saved up enough money to rent an apartment and move out.

            Having to stop at a red light, I produced my phone and dialed Kami’s cell, putting her on speaker (which was probably still illegal given my age, but I figured it would be best to give her a heads up before I just popped by at ten in the morning).

            [cell phone ringing]

            “Hello?” Kami answered, the sound of something breaking echoing in her background.

            “Um…hey…it’s me.”

            “May I ask who’s calling…more specifically?”

            [shouting]

            “Uh…it’s Harrison...what’s th--“

            “Oh, hey Catmouth!--“(according to her, the way my lips are structured remind her of a cat’s muzzle…don’t ask me how) “--I swear, you always sound like a woman over the phone.”

            [nervous laugh]

            “Is everything okay over there?”

            “What?  Oh, that noise?”

            “Yeah.”

            “It’s just Sunflower.  A sparrow flew in and now she’s going ballistic trying to catch it…which makes my Mom go ballistic trying to catch her.”

            “Oh…is this a bad time?”

            “No, no--“

            [“Mom!  I’m on the phone right now!

            shouting stops

            “Oh!  Sorry, sweetie, I’ll try to quiet down.”]

            “--So?  What’d you want?”

            “Um…can we talk?”

            “Yeah, sure.  I’ll meet you at the park.  Bye.”

            “Oka--“

            [hangs up]

            I shook my head.  I’d just arrived at Kami’s street, but I presumed now wouldn’t be the best of times to drop by unnoticed. 

            Park it is, apparently, I muttered to myself, making a U-turn for Meadow Park a few streets back.

---

            I wasn’t exactly sure where in the park I was supposed to meet her, and I didn’t want to call her just in case she was driving, so I decided to take a little walk on the mile-long dirt path surrounding Meadow. 

            What I liked about Meadow Park is that it wasn’t your conventional playground park, which meant it wasn’t going to be riddled with kids and toddlers making a raucous and ruining the peace--well, my peace of mind, that is.  I always felt on edge whenever little children were around me, running about without any direct adult supervision.  My mind would manage to flash every possible unfortunate event that could occur at a small, neighborhood park.  I remembered volunteering at this one day camp my school, Conifer Heights Academy, held on its campus last summer.  As a Friday activity, the camp was to take its children to the park for a picnic and games…let’s just say that the group I was put in charge of ultimately ended up hating me just because I was trying to protect them from falling off an unnecessarily tall slide and snapping their little necks.  I don’t know why…maybe they all had a secret deathwish or something.

            Halfway around the path, I spotted Cane, the center fielder of Conifer Heights’ Baseball team, practicing his throws with his sister (whose name I do not know).                          I avoided an awkward situation (Cane and I hadn't spoken in years, but more on that later) by veering off the path and cutting across the grasses of the park to sit on the benches near a vacant basketball court.

           About six minutes later, I saw Kami standing in the Meadow parking lot, her eyes scanning the park for me from under her characteristic visor.  I stood up, waving to her, and caught her attention.  She came jogging to me in her usual attire, jet-black ponytail swaying rhythmically behind her: a long sleeved shirt (white, today), navy blue athletic pants, and a matching sweatshirt tied tightly around her waist.  I smiled, it was the beginning of summer, but she’d keep that sweatshirt with her regardless of the season.

            Kami sat down beside me, stretching out her legs and yawning.

            “So, Catmouth,” she began, comfortably spreading her arms over the back of the bench, “what did you want to talk about?”

            “Um…” I wasn’t quite sure how to begin now that the opportunity had arrived, “how’s Sunflower?”

            Kami cast me a knowing look from the shadow of her visor. “She’s fine, but that better not be why I jogged all the way to Meadow Park.”

            I chuckled nervously, flicking my thumb with my middle finger, and trying to invent some sort of believable question that would avoid my bringing up my many nights of sleeping with the light on like a five-year-old.

            “Salem’s been doing some bizarre things lately,” I told Kami as seriously as possible, recalling her eating pattern this morning, “and I was wondering if, maybe, you could tell me if that’s something characteristic of girls her age.”

            Kami didn’t buy it, but she was still curious as to what said ‘bizarrities’ were.

            “Like what?”

            “Um…for example, at breakfast this morning, she ate her food counterclockwise.”

            Kami mulled over this, but I could tell by her facial expression that she was no longer as interested as she had been a couple of seconds ago.

            “You know, Catmouth,” she voiced at last, looking directly at me, “I think the only person I’d be worried about is you--what the heck are you doing analyzing the direction in which your sister decides to eat her food?”

            I pulled my lips taut. “I guess that is a bit strange.”

            “It was probably just something she does subconsciously.  Anyway.  Tell me the real reason you wanted to talk…you know I can tell when you’re lying.”

            “But I wasn’t lying about Sal--“

            “Okay, but you are trying to tiptoe your way around the order of business you truly wish to discuss with me, aren’t you, Catmouth?”

            “Fine, fine.  Do you really want to know?”

            “I didn’t particularly care until you called me, but yes.”

            “Don’t…laugh, okay…”

            “Believe me, I’ve seen you mess up plenty of times at the bat and haven’t used any of them against you.”

            “Okay…and it hasn’t been that many times--“(which was true, because I bruise easily which was cause for my mother to make a special arrangement with Coach Jung (yep, that’s Kami’s dad) for me to be backup shortstop) “--Remember the last week of school when you and some of the other team members were asking me if I was getting enough sleep?”

            “Yeah…because the circles under your eyes were so dark I almost considered changing your name to Raccooneyes.”

            “O…kay…thanks for rubbing it in.  That’s what I want to talk about.”

            “I don’t get it.  Do you need a prescription for something that removes eye bags...? (because my Mom’s got one).”

            “No…it’s about why I hadn’t been getting that much sleep…I thought it would be a onetime thing, so I didn’t think to tell anyone, but…”

            Kami’s eyes widened, her ears reddening.  “Don’t tell me…you’ve been…getting home late.”

            “What? No…what are you implying?”

            Kami sighed, relaxing again, “Okay, good, continue.”

            “Um…o…kay,” I obliged, not quite understanding what had gone through her head, “Anyway, each night since about three weeks ago, I’ve been having…I’ve been having…”

            “Just say it,” Kami urged, her fists clenching and ears heating again, “I’m beginning to get suspicions.”

            “I’ve been having nightmares!” I blurted out, hopefully eliminating any sick thoughts she may have fabricated as to the nature of what I was having so late at night.

            Kami let out a relieved laugh.  “That’s it?  I was totally beginning to think you’d become one of those reckless teenage boys, if you know what I--“

            “Yeah, yeah, I get it,” I said, waving her worry aside, “but it’s no laughing matter.”

            “Of course not.  Nightmares can mess with you big time.  My dad said he went through a phase in high school when he’d refuse to fall asleep for fear of facing his nightmares.  So, what’s the dealio?”

            I told her what I could about them, how they kept getting longer, how it was the exact same thing each time, how I woke up not breathing, how I was immobilized, how the water felt like it was touching me and pulling me under.  She now sat beside me, her legs crossed, chin resting between her thumb and curled fingers, eyebrows knit tightly.  It was her thinking face, the one I saw whenever she was devising a strategy for our next game, or wondering which type of pitch she should signal for Dale Diaz, our star pitcher, to throw. 

            “Sleep paralysis,” she announced after a few minutes.

            “Pardon?”

            “That’s what you’ve got.”

            “Care to elaborate?”

            “It’s pretty self explanatory,” Kami replied, “all in the name: it’s a sort of glitch in the dream cycle where your body is aware that it is paralyzed right before or after REM.”

            “So…my dreams about being paralyzed…I’m actually paralyzed?!”

            She nodded.  “Your body automatically paralyzes itself during REM to prevent you from acting out your dreams. During sleep paralysis, you know you’re being paralyzed which results in a number of enhanced sensations from the outside world into your mind.  It’s like the opposite of sleep walking and they can last for short periods of time, as you’ve described.”

            I thought about this for a sec.  Sleep paralysis.  It made sense, I guess.  But something still nagged me.

            “What about the dreams themselves?”

            “What do you mean?”

            “Why in the world would I suddenly start dreaming I was drowning?”

            Kami’s brows knitted once more as she searched for an explanation.  “When’d you say these dreams started?  The last week of school?”

            “No.  That’s when you guys started noticing I looked a bit off.  They actually started a week before…it was a Friday night, I think.”

            “May 26th, wasn’t it?!” Kami suddenly exclaimed, a look of revelation hitting her face.

            “Um…yeah, now that I--“

            “The day Dale’s mom came to talk to the team about the summer baseball retreat?!”

            “Yeah, but how--“

            “The retreat’s going to be on an island this year and Coach Jung--“

            (“Your dad,” I murmured.)

            “--specifically mentioned having the team engage in many water-related activities alongside the baseball summer training.  I remember you shuddering at the prospect of swimming in the ocean--and when I invited you to my beach party in eighth grade, you lied to my face about having something to do that day…I always thought you just didn’t want to come to my party, but maybe it was something bigger--“

            “It wasn’t,” I protested, “I just don’t like the beach.”

            “Is it that you ‘don’t like’ the beach?” Kami interrogated, now pacing around the bench like an eagle circling its prey, “or is it that you’re afraid of it--afraid of the ocean?”

            “I’m not ‘afraid of the ocean’.  I love the ocean…I used to want to be a marine biologist when I was in elementary, you know that.”

            “So?  Cane was into murder mysteries, but it doesn’t mean he enjoys murder.”

            “What in the--how is that even comparable?”

            Kami abruptly changed the direction of her pacing and flung something at me.  I flinched, covering my face with my hands as something splashed all over me.

            “Ha!” Kami said, pointing an accusatory finger at me as I spat out the water and blinked droplets from my eyes, “hydrophobe!”

            “What are you talking about?  That doesn’t prove anything except that I become flustered when something is randomly tossed at me during what was supposed to be a serious conversation.”

            Kami smirked smugly, satisfied with herself in spite of what I’d just said.  “In denial, that’s all.  There’s no need to be embarrassed of your fear.  I’ll always be here if you need to talk to someone about it.  See you tomorrow, don’t forget to pack something for the ride,” she concluded, reminding me of the lengthy flight I and the rest of the team would be taking to the Island of Ichthyes for this year’s summer retreat.

            And with that, Kamila Jung, manager of Conifer Height’s varsity baseball team, walked off, leaving me dripping with water (hopefully she hadn’t begun to drink from the bottle). 

---

            That night, I lay awake in my bed, the light shining brightly from the lamp on my desk, and two duffle bags resting on the mat in the middle of my room, thinking about what Kami had said. 

            Sleep paralysis.

            I’d researched methods of prevention the moment I got home.  Apparently, sleep paralysis is linked to stress and anxiety and the most effective way to ward it off was to reduce this stress.  I stopped reading the article the moment it said that the excessive use of electronics is a great contributor to interrupted REM, and, therefore, the dreaded paralysis.  I didn’t think there was much more to it, anyway, since most of the methods were simple suggestions on how to relax one’s self.  All I had to do was relax.

            I put earbuds in my ears, pressed the ‘play’ button for one of my favourite tracks that I’d downloaded onto my cell, and opened a bag of Classic potato chips.  I finished the chips, crumpling the bag and tossing it into the waste bin by my chest-of-drawers, then closed my eyes and let the soothing compositions of Debussy lull me to sleep…


            I’m sinking.

            The water is pulling me under, grabbing me with its currents.

            I can only struggle in my mind as my frozen body sinks lower and lower into the depths of these wretched waters, aided by something, though…

            I can see it, out of the corner of my eye, a shadowy hand as wet and tepid as the suctioning liquid, holding my wrist tightly--tighter than my disappearing breath, more frightening than the reality of having my lungs fill with water and my body descend to the dark bottom, utterly lifeless.


© 2013 Writer #00


Author's Note

Writer #00
This is the first chapter in SOS...starting a book's usually one of the hardest parts for me, so, if you feel so inclined, tell me what you think...yeah.

Also:
You may notice some random-looking quotation marks ("). It took me a while, but I finally realized that, for whatever reason, WC converts elongated dashes to quotation marks.
Thanks to all those who helped me better this chapter (it still needs work, of course, but I'm saving that for when I start my rewrite), especially in the realm of establishing Harri's gender...hopefully it's more obvious now.

My Review

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Reviews

Writer I am seriously impressed by your writing skills... I hope your on your way to having some of your idea published ... really you could do it... this story .. well beginning of one held my attention and make me want more and thats always a good thing in writing a novel.... amazing work... keep at it love !! :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Thank you, I've actually put this novel on hiatus for a while until the summer, but I will definitel.. read more
I'm seriously blown away by this. You're a phenomenal writer, and an epic storyteller. More on your awesomeness at the bottom (This bit is after-the-fact, but the rest was scribed as I read).

"I groped the wall for the light switch and flicked it on after a few seconds." I would add the word "along" after "groped." It'll keep it from sounding sexual and help the reader to glide over it without a hiccup.

"... touching me, invading me, killing me." Oh, the ethos! These kinds of trailing lists are my all-time favorite way to add wicked amounts of drama in a single sentence. This one was very well done.

" Sitting back on my bed, I paid a quick glance..." I would just say "quickly glanced" instead of "paid a quick glance," just has a simpler flow, I think...

YES! Awesome job making him sound like a him ;-P Consider simplifying the "Looked, err, felt like..." bit. Maybe just, "Yup, time for a shave."

"...going through her princess-phase." Don't need the hyphen.

TOTALLY with Harrison on the dog-ear thing. Just the thought of it makes me cringe... actually, you should see what my wife does to my books lol. Her purse is like a trash compactor ;-/

Oh man, I LOVE your level of detail. Even some of the authors I've been reading around here lately that have been impressing me haven't managed to get it this balanced. You've really got it right, with this one. The whole flow and the pace at which it moves is just spot on. I don't feel bored, but I don't feel like I'm left wanting.

Lol, "Are you?"

"Having to stop at a red light, I produced my phone and dialed Kami’s cell, putting her on speaker (which was probably still illegal given my age, but I figured it would be best to give her a heads up before I just popped by at ten in the morning)." This I didn't get. Maybe it's just because I'm gettin' on in years and I don't know the laws anymore or something, lol. (Or maybe because it's late and I only got like 5 hours of sleep last night ;-P)

Did you forget to go back in and finish those piece where it had the action brackets? "shouting stops" and "hangs up"

"...with below-twelve children and toddlers..." I would just say "kids and toddlers" to ease up on it a bit. Readers will get it. ;-D

"... maybe they all had a secret deathwish or something." Lol, that's hilarious. The nuance in your writing is just fantastic. Harrison (and all of your characters, really) feels insanely real... is he?

Oh man, Kami's killin' me. This is some top-notch stuff. I feel like I should be eating popcorn and grinning like an idiot while I read it.

"They actually started a week prior..." Didn't buy "prior," in the Harrison's dialogue there - sounded more like the tone of the narration than something he would say. Maybe just "afterward," or something.

"like a vulture circling carrion..." I get it, but the metaphor refers to a predator circling something dying. I feel like a true predator-prey relationship would spell it out better. Maybe even just something like, "... around the bench like a predator closing in on its next meal," or something.

"...hopefully she hadn’t begun to drink from the bottle..." Oh my gosh, you're killing me here! This is good stuff. I wish I had even the slightest inkling of your grasp on literary humor.

Fantastic. Absolutely brilliant. If I was Siskel, Ebert, or Roeper, and this was a film, I'd give it every appendage I've got. I'm seriously extremely impressed. When you get published, remember us little guys.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

O.O
Thanks so much for this constructive review! I made the changes you suggested (except the.. read more
Well, I for one quite enjoyed this. It clearly gives off the 'teen' vibe, but there's nothing wrong with that. The bit about nicknames was brilliant. I, like poe, laughed my backside off at it.
I quite like the feel of the whole thing. The interaction between Harrison and Kami is great, and the little tangents and awkward stutters and silences are brilliant as it really goes into detail of how Teenagers actually talk. WOO!
Another point. I feel proud to say this, but I too, have a character called Cane. so like... Excellennnnt! (Air guitars.) [Ever watched 'Bill and Ted?']
Annnnyways, this is a great story, and i can't wait to read more of it. Keep it up! :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

That's good to know, especially because I've been told he sounds like an adult at parts ^^''
.. read more
ok i read a fair bit of this, it's got a nice pace to it and good dialoug :) good prose definatly.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading a fair bit of this : )
Mizo4

6 Years Ago

no problemo send me a read request and ill read more when my minds not so swamped with uni essays
Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Oh, good luck writing them and with the whole process!
I would completely omit this segment:

"If you couldn’t already tell, my mom could be a bit melodramatic. I mean, ..."

Yes, as a reader, I can already tell that the main characters mother is melodramatic. Lol. And continue with the little sister part, because it continues to clarify that fact. You're writing works very well to show us these things without having to tell us for reassurance that we got it the first time. And believe me, that is more of a compliment than a complaint, and probably one of the highest ones I've passed out here on Writer's Cafe.

Another issue I saw was repetition. Again, this is so damn easy to fix, so it's not something to worry about as you are in the actual writing process of your story. By all means, repeat away, just be sure you go back to eliminate it. For example, I saw here:

"“Are you the only one up so far?” I asked, untying the bread bag next to the toaster and taking out two slices of potato bread."

Bread was repeated, but this sentence can be easily rephrased. No biggie.

I'm not too fond of the brackets. (I think they're called rounds? LOL. I bet I sound stupid because I know what they do but I have no idea what they're called.) I think things would appear more smoothly if you put a --blah blah blah-- giving some emphasis on the side thought. I will sometimes skip them when I'm reading certain things, but with this being a story and not a 'professionally published newspaper article', you don't want people to do that with your writing. Anyways, that's probably more of a personal issue. It's nothing big either.

So I'm critiquing as I read, and I just have to add that I literally laughed my a*s off at the nicknames of the cars. Well done! I like a bit of humor.

Okay, so throwing my writers judgement off to the side, and reviewing this as a reader, I absolutely loved this in every way. The characters are fascinating, and are easy to imagine. I don't have to struggle to see what's going on, and for the most part, the actual reading part flowed more smoothly than the strokes of a van goh painting. Amazing opening chapter.

Oh, I just read the notes and saw the part about the brackets/quotations so ignore that part in my review. LOL.

I thoroughly enjoyed it overall.

Take care,
--Christoph Poe

98/100

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

I've had worse blank moments, so I totally understand.

That's an amazing last name. I .. read more
Christoph Poe

6 Years Ago

Haha, you're fine! (I wasn't accusing you of lying.) And thank you! I'd like to think so myself. I j.. read more
Writer #00

6 Years Ago

I'm sure it doesn't, don't worry : )
Your writing style is fantastic (green from envy I am - green like master Yoda), so fluent. The descriptive part is fine, I had no trouble imagining what you described. The dialogues are well-written. I managed to find only one thing to b***h about. I suspect you're overusing the eclipses. It's not a bad thing, but it's a kick in the groin for your great writing style. Especially the dialogue looked awkward due to the punctuation. If you fix that, the text will be shining like Bruce Willis' head.

Characters. I can definitely tell from the start that the main character of the story is a man. Testosterone, shaving... no doubts here. You portrayed his persona fine; he's has quite distinctive character traits and is very balanced. I mean he's no emotional wreck, has flaws, is not a superhero, just a normal guy. I like characters like him. You also took your time to introduce the family dynamics thoroughly, giving the clear view of Harrison's environment.

Plot. So far I got to know the main hero of the story, his family, some of the friends and learnt about the nightmare-problems. Not much happened, but I began wondering what will happen next, especially that you promised sirens in the title.

All in all, good job!


Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Okay, you're not the only person to mention the ellipses bit so I guess I should really find a way t.. read more
The story is nice, interesting, engaging and the writting style is good aswell. I don't have a habit of completly disecting a persons story and then telling them word by word what's wrong with it and where they've made a mistake. The other reviewers hav done it for me. So in simple words I think this story is awesome.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading, glad you thought it was awesome : )
I think that this is a fantastic start to a book. The story and writing is engaging, and the characters have been fleshed put fairly well. It was a very enjoyable read for me. :)

I do have some suggestions for you, though.

I noticed that you use eclipses quite frequently when your characters are talking. Although it is plausible and dramatizing at times, I feel that you use them a little excessively, and it makes the dialogue awkward in places. I would suggest reading those sentences out loud to yourself. This can help eliminate rocky phrasing and punctuation.

I was very engaged with the dialogue between Harrison and Kami, but then you suddenly threw in a phrase in brackets that threw me off. "[cell phone ringing]". I have participated in plays, and those three little words suddenly transported me from a book to a stage script. I could be mistaken, but I'm not sure you want to throw the reader that far away. It disengages them, and makes it that much harder to bring them back to where you want them. Here is how I would fix it (please, feel free to deviate :) ). "The cell phone rang a few times until Kami answered "Hello?""

Another thing that seemed out of place was the description of Harrison and Cane's strained relationship. This is my personal opinion, but I don't think a passing glance would warrant a flash-back to why the two had such a strained relationship. I get the feeling that your trying to point out that Cane will become important later on in the story; however, with that mere cursory glance, the longer introduction of that character seems out of context. If maybe Cane were to say "hi" to Harrison and try to start up a conversation, then Harrison could be confused, and eclxplain to the reader why through his explanation of the boys' history. That would make more sense to the readers, and not be quite as blatant foreshadowing (I have to work on this all the time with my own writing).

I love Kami's character r. It is very real and quirky; very much the teenage girl. Harrison, however, is a lot harder for me to pin down. I understand that he is the same age as Kami, but his speech is inconsistent. Sometimes, he sounds like a normal teenage guy, and other times, he sounds like an adult. I would establish a more consistent voice for him so that he becomes a more solid character for your readers. I did notice in one of your previous comments that you are trying to make him sound quirky and a little awkward. If so, that's totally fine. The way he talks now would match that, but the way other characters react to his awkwardness does not establish exactly what you're trying to do. A few strange glances, perhaps a snide remark from one of his siblings, would put into the minds of the readers that Harrison is awkward. As it is right now, he just sounds inconsistent and hard to place.

Truly, I really did enjoy this chapter. I believe you have a wonderful storyline going for you, and great characters to carry it along. All it needs is some fine-tuning, and then it will be absolutely, amazingly fantastic. :) I definitely plan to keep reading.

-A. L.





Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

I must say you're avatar is both cute and disturbing. Chipmunk cheeks must have the elasticity of a.. read more
A. L. Allen

6 Years Ago

You are most welcome! :)

Yes, I did mean ellipses. I apologize for the typo; I wrote th.. read more
Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Auto-correct seldom does correctly correct : )
My first thought when reading this was that, other than being incredibly well written, the characters were relatable. I don't know about others, but that always makes a story more enjoyable for me. For instance, I too, name cars. Or at least, my girlfriend and I named her cars! The story is interesting and keeps me wanting to know what is going to happen next. The writing flows and the characters have an energy about them and mannerisms that make them instantly likable to me. I loved this first chapter and intend to keep on reading! Great work.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Thanks for giving this a chance, and glad the characters were likable. Nice to know other people na.. read more
Writer, I loved this chapter. I loved your characters (each and every one), their liveliness, and energy. I loved how your layout of this chapter had flow and was easy to read. You even made something as simple as eating breakfast interesting and seemingly important. I love how you put insight and action in dialogue when on the phone. I felt like it was cheeky and felt like it was necessary in creating a harried conversation. I especially enjoyed reading about your psychological elements in this chapter because I am majoring in psychology and it something I can relate to. I also love how you include Debussy.

When you describe Harrison's dreams (oh I hope that's his name haha) I felt like I was the one trapped and drowning although I love water. I seriously cannot wait to read on to see what exactly becomes of these dreams~ Because I also love love love mermaids and their stories whether they are sirens who drown sailors or beautiful mythical creatures.

There only a few things things that I had trouble with but did not mind. "Shuttering" it should be "shuddering". I am not sure exactly what the setting is..is it in Japan? It sort of seems like it? Harrison is a guy right? He sort of seems like it. Also it seemed like it was in modern times. OF Course, I know I will just have to read on for these questions to be answered since this is only the first chapter so I hope you won't worry much about my questions because I know it wouldn't be any fun for the reader to have all the information displayed before them in the first chapter hehe.

Anyways, I loved it :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Thanks much, and I'm especially glad you liked the characters since I'm trying to make better ones (.. read more

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Added on June 29, 2013
Last Updated on July 25, 2013
Tags: song, of, SOS, sleep, paralysis, sleep paralysis, sirens


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Writer #00
Writer #00

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I'm participating in the Summer Writing Project through Jukepop.com, an online serial website, those entering had to submit a novella on Jukepop.com. The finalists will be decided by the number of +V.. more..

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