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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-17-11, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Default Run - An Ongoing SF Piece

Yo guys. I know this is a GW fiction section but I thought I'd post this up for some feedback anyhoo.

I'm currently working on this piece for an anthology of Cardiff writing set to be released in the fall. It's a competition open to all Cardiff U.W.I.C students so the competition should be pretty varied.

Anyway, my submission will be a sci-fi piece following a fugitive who has escaped a government program to create an army of telekinetic and telepathic super soldiers. I won't give anymore away yet :p

So here is the piece. I would love your thoughts/criticisms/ideas/comments. This is a raw version, totally unedited. I like to bash out as much as possible before I start editing (a habit picked up in the NaNoWriMo)


Shit.
Down again.
I scrape my hand as I fall, the gravel covering my bloody palm. I hear the dogs somewhere behind, so I run, as fast as these useless sticks will carry me. One foot in front of the other, left right left right left right until my legs are bloodied stumps left right left right until my lungs collapse and I hit the floor. Run home, Alex. Run as fast as you can and don’t look back. Forget about the dogs. Forget about the cars. Forget about the guys with guns. Forget about what they’ll do if they catch you.

They’re close now, there’s no time. I can hear the birdsong of their radios. I feel the skin on my knee crack as I raise it. Blood runs down my leg, like when I pissed myself in front of Suzy Harris when I was a kid. Bitch never let that go, right up until college. Oh, if she could see me now.

I pull myself up a ladder and I climb; hand over hand, until I find myself staring out at the city of Cardiff below.
Should be safe up here.
For now.

I heard my father screaming before his shaking hands woke me. His eyes were wide and bloodshot. He pulled me from my bed and threw a set of clothes at me. He dragged me down the stairs where my mother waited at the bottom in her dressing gown, holding my sister’s hand. Both looked terrified.
‘John,’ she pleaded to my father, ‘there has to be another way.’
‘No,’ he said, pushing them outside towards the car, ‘it has to be like this.’
As the cold night air hit my face, I met them for the first time. My father was on the ground before I knew what was happening. My sister’s screams filled the air for but a second before she was silenced. My mother tried to fight off the attacking men, but the crack of a baton sent her to the floor.
The men moved around my sister, I tried to call out but my face was pushed into the soil. I managed to steal a glimpse. One of them nodded.
A gunshot.
My parents screamed. I saw my father break free of their hold and charge. Another shot and he was down.
My mother sobbed.
Another gunshot.
Cold hands grasped at my face as a light was shone into my eyes.
‘Well,’ someone spoke; I turned to see a large man with a scar running along the side of his face.
‘This is the one,’ another replied.
‘Bag him.’




I hate mornings.
It’s warm out, but I keep my hat pulled low and the collar of my coat pulled up. I walk to the closest cafe, my brisk pace matched by the business men rushing to work. It’s a nice enough place, comfortable seats, pretty clean tables and it’s quiet. I order a glass water of water from the girl behind the bar and take one of the free newspapers to an empty booth at the back of the cafe, furthest from the windows. I put my back to the door and watch the room using the mirror hanging in the corner.

I’ve moved from the headlines to page seventeen, a little picture and two paragraphs of information. Apparently police are set to catch me any day now. Yeah right. The piece ends with the same bullshit. Advise Extreme Caution. Consider Mister Warren armed and dangerous! Anyone with information should call- I close the paper and slam it on the table.

The headaches are getting worse. I can feel it behind my eyes, pressing on my temples. I take a couple of stolen paracetamol from my pocket and chase them with the water. As the waitress passes I order another. She looks at me funny. Probably sick of me ordering the free stuff all week. I should probably go somewhere new tomorrow. Don’t want to draw too much attention to myself.

The bell above the door jingles and two police officers enter. They order two coffees and breakfasts and sit by the window. The one with his back to me takes his hat and coat off and places them on the chair next to him. The other one keeps his on. His face is a tiny reflection in a dirty mirror but I can tell that this guy’s a hard ass.

The waitress approaches them and hands them their food. She leans in close and whispers something to the hard ass. He nods to his partner who turns to look at my back. Did she recognise me?
I get up and move into the bathroom. As the door closes I move straight for the windows. I push my elbow against it but it won’t budge. I’m trapped. My heart hammers in my chest as a bead of sweat drops from the end of my nose. No choice, I’ll have to go back out there. Maybe I can make it to the door before they get up.

I open the door of the bathroom as casually as I can. The waitress smiles at me. The empty smile of someone forced to be polite. The police officers are nowhere to be seen. But their breakfast is still there, along with the hat and coat. A trap.

I realise quickly enough to block the first attack, but not the baton strike from behind. My knees hit the ground and I see double.
‘Hit him again,’ one of them says. I manage to roll away and kick out. My foot hits something soft. A groin? I don’t stay long enough to find out. I bolt for the door, throwing the waitress a look she’s not likely to forget in a hurry. As I yank the door towards me a shot is fired. When did police start carrying guns? One of them shouts something. I ignore it and keep on. I sprint down Queen Street and make a right into an alley, knocking into a homeless man’s trolley, sending cans of food and bottles of whiskey rolling in all directions. I get up and keep on, pushing myself as hard as I can. One of the officers fires another shot. It hits the wall besides me and the side of my face is peppered with hot dust.

I turn down another alley, vaulting over a line of bins. Footsteps echoes behind me and the police call out again. There is another shot followed by white hot pain in my arm. The force of the bullet sends me into a spin and I’m not quick enough to dodge the dumpster. I hit my head and feel something scratch along my face. As I turn over to face the police, the larger of the two approaches, holstering his sidearm and taking out his baton.
‘I’m going to enjoy this, punk,’ he says.
‘No please,’ I beg, ‘you don’t understand,’ the headache is back, boring through my skull.
‘Don’t worry. I’ll make sure to do just enough to keep you out of hospital.’
‘No,’ I can feel it boiling to the surface, ‘you don’t want to do this.’
‘I really do.’
As he raises his hand I lose control.


When I opened my eyes, they were all stood around me, smiling.
‘Excellent’, one of them said, a frail looking old man with thick glasses and a cane, ‘you have taken to the treatment wonderfully Mr. Warren. How do you feel?’
‘Where am I?’
‘Never mind that. Are you experiencing any nausea? Aches? Any discomfort at all?’
‘I have a headache.’
‘That is to be expected at this stage Mr. Warren. Tell me, do you remember anything?’
‘Wha-? No.
‘Good’
‘Where am I? Where are my family?’
‘As I said, don’t worry about that now. You’re family are safe. They are waiting for you outside. Now just a few more tests.’
A man in uniform moved forward, a scanner in his hands. He had a line of bright pink scar tissue running along the left side of his face. He smiled at me. Something in my head clicked. I knew everything.
‘You killed them,’ I said.
‘Wha-?’ the old man said.
‘My family. They’re not outside. He killed them,’ the headache was getting worse. My neck felt hot and my temples throbbed.
‘Doctor,’ the scar faced one said, ‘I thought you said he’d have no memory of it all?’
‘Just a temporary setback Fuller. Nurse, bring me one 100 cc of inhibitor. Calm down Alex, it will all be alright soon.’
‘No,’ something behind them crashed to the floor, ‘let me go.’
‘Pulse is up doctor,’ one of the nurses said, ‘brain activity spiking.’
‘Get me that God damn serum now!’
‘LET ME GO!’ my shackles shattered and I fell to the ground. One of the guards rushed forward as the doctor made for the exit. With a flick of my wrist the guard was thrown across the room. I needed a weapon, and in the second, one was in my hand. I had never fired a gun before. But it was a good a time as any to start. As I raised my hand a shockwave crashed over me, sending me sliding across the floor. Fuller stood across the room, arms raised.
‘I’ve been waiting for this,’ he said, injecting something into his arm. He threw up his arms again and another wave washed over me. I resisted this time but still fell. Fuller stood over me and drove his leg into my side. Something cracked and I cried out. He kicked again and again, each blow met with the crack of bone. I threw my arms out my headache flared. Fuller was down, pinned beneath a set of shelves. I was on my feet. How? I didn’t know what was happening to me, so I ran. For two years I ran.



It’s been a month since I flattened those two police officers with the skip. After that what was a page seventeen of the local newspaper search, has returned to a national front page, news and internet manhunt. It’s getting harder to move around. The train stations are crawling with police, and checkpoints have been set up on the A48, 470 and M4 as far as Bristol.

A man walks into me, his shoulder slamming into mine hard. I turn to see him smiling at me. Creep. I’m hungry, need something to eat. I check the pockets of my coat. Empty. I hate stealing, but when you’re the most wanted man in the city, maybe even the country, you make do. I wander into the market and pick a stall. The old woman behind inside won’t see me, and even if she did, I’d be gone before she could do anything. I wait for her to turn to serve someone and grab a couple of apples and a banana. As I turn away from the stall I see the man that knocked into me. He is staring at me, shaking his head and smiling. I notice police move to the door of the market. They have found me. Shit.
‘Alright,’ someone calls, Fuller, ‘Warren is here somewhere. Fan out and fins him. It’s ok folks, just stay calm. This will be over quickly.’

Something tight wraps around my neck and I feel breath on my face.
‘Lieutenant,’ the creep who had knocked into me calls, ‘I’ve got him.’
My temples burn and I feel it again. I push out my arms and the man is forced off my back. A shot is fired and a woman screams. The crowd breaks and there are bodies everywhere. Men, women, children, white, black, Asian. All scrambling for the exit. I become lost in the crowd, just another terrified bystander rushing to safety. I pass a man dressed in military garb, looks American. Trust the yanks to be in on this.

The crowd bursts into the road. There is a screech of tires and a car takes out a couple as the cross. As I am forced into the road I see a young girl fall down. A horn sounds as a truck approaches. I push myself through the crowd and move as quickly as I can. I throw myself into her and our bodies tumble out of the truck’s path. A woman rushes to me and embraces the girl.
‘Thank you so much,’ she says before looking at me, ‘you’re that Warren bloke. The one from the TV. Those army guys are after you.’
There is a moment of silence between us as she decides whether or not to turn in the man who saved her daughter’s life.
‘Get out of here,’ she says. I nod in thanks and move off.

‘Warren,’ someone calls out behind me. I turn to see one of the soldiers approaching. I raise me hands in surrender and he points his rifle in my face. The scent of the gunpowder burns my nostrils. It reminds me of fireworks as a kid.
He’s nervous. I see the beads of sweat run down his face. He’s nothing more than a child.
‘Don’t move,’ he says in his manliest tone.
‘Where you from son?’
‘Shut up,’ he puts the weapon closer to me.
‘What’s wrong junior, it past your bed time?’
‘What? No. Shut up,’ a little closer.
‘You ever seen a woman’s breasts kid? Of course not, you’re probably gay.’
‘Shut up,’ he puts the barrel to my forehead. In one move I take hold of the barrel, twist the weapon from his hands and drive my fist into his jaw. I feel bone break and the boy cries out. He’ll be alright, lucky for him. I take the weapon and eject the magazine. I’ve never used a rifle before but I’ve seen enough movies to know which end to point at the bad guys. There are shouts in the distance. Fuller and his men are closing in. I take another look at the soldier that is laying on the ground, sobbing, and run.

Fuller is taking no chances. The streets are filled with police, military, dogs and jeeps. A group of soldiers come in front of me as I turn the corner. I open fire before they can issue there warning. Seven shots, four down. I’m no expert, but it feels good to fire the rifle. I aim for their legs. I’m not a murderer, not by choice anyway.
The noose tightens and I am bathed in light. A helicopter flies overhead, the setting sun reflected in its jet black body. A voice echoes from a loudspeaker aboard it, but I don’t hear what is said. A police van turns the corner and I throw myself into the lobby of a hotel. The woman behind the desk screams at the sight of the gun. I apologise and move for the stairs. I vault them, four a time, for six flights until I crash to the floor, rasping for breath. I can hear Fuller and his goons at the bottom so I drag myself to my feet and continue the climb. My calves burn as the lactic acid works its way through the muscles. I grunt though the pain and push myself on. My breath is quick and shallow, my mouth arid and my eyes watering.

I burst through the door onto the roof of the hotel and am hit by cold air. I take lungful after lungful as I place my head between my knees. I can feel the headache starting. The pressure is building on the back of my neck and behind my ears. A begin to hear a ringing before the pain spreads to my temples and above my eyes. My vision blurs and I feel something, something that was there all along. I feel power.
‘Alright Alex,’ Fuller says as he circles me at a distance, weapon raised. His men create a perimeter, cutting off my exit. I’m trapped here, or so he thinks.
‘Fuller,’ I say. I can hear a train at the station close by. ‘Why me?’
‘You were perfect. You were the first. The first to use such powers without chemical aid. You belong to the agency Alex. Those headaches, the doctor can make those go away. Just put the gun down and come with us.’
‘And forget the fact that you killed my family, locked me up for three years and chased me for another two. Yeah, think not pal.’
‘I don’t want to use force.’
‘Neither do I,’ I strike out, each stretch of the arm a powerful wave of kinetic energy. Six men are down before the first shot is fired. Fuller is fast, before I can raise my own weapon he is on me. He disarms me with a swipe and knocks me back with another. Someone brings their rifle down on the back of my head and I taste blood. I kick out and force the soldier off balance. With push he’s over the edge. I hope he’s alright, but he’s not. I hear his body hit a car below, followed by screams.
Fuller strikes again, another jab to my ribs. He’s strong, stronger than he was last time. My legs buckle and I fall. He brings his foot up and drives it for my face. I managed to roll behind chimney and catch my breath. Fuller laughs.
‘You might not need them,’ he takes something from his pocket, ‘but drugs have their benefits.’
He injects himself with the needle of blue liquid and stands silent for a moment.
‘This is a special blend,’ he says, sending a wave of energy over me. His body crashes into me and we tumble like lovers and his weight pressed on my chest. My breath stops in my chest and my vision turns double. Fuller pulls his arm back and punches, three times, into my face. As he draws his elbow back for a fourth blow I take his wrist in my left hand and snap his arm with a blow from my right. He stumbles backwards and I move away.
‘Hold it right there,’ he says, weapon raised, ‘don’t make this any harder Alex. There’s nowhere left to go.’
‘There’s always down.,’ I laugh. He fires; the round strikes me in the soft tissue of the shoulder. I throw out my arms and use all my will throw him off the building. As I fall over the edge I see his body do the same on the other side. I take a single breath before my body slams onto the roof of the passing train. I brush myself off and sit down as the train rolls away from Cardiff into the night.
I know now what I’m capable of.
And I will have my vengeance.


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers


Last edited by imm0rtal reaper; 04-25-11 at 08:02 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-17-11, 08:17 PM
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Here's my thought on your piece, its mostly to do with the flow of your story and some grammar corrections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imm0rtal reaper View Post
Yo guys. I know this is a GW fiction section but I thought I'd post this up for some feedback anyhoo.

I'm currently working on this piece for an anthology of Cardiff writing set to be released in the fall. It's a competition open to all Cardiff U.W.I.C students so the competition should be pretty varied.

Anyway, my submission will be a sci-fi piece following a fugitive who has escaped a government program to create an army of telekinetic and telepathic super soldiers. I won't give anymore away yet :p

So here is the piece. I would love your thoughts/criticisms/ideas/comments. This is a raw version, totally unedited. I like to bash out as much as possible before I start editing (a habit picked up in the NaNoWriMo)



Shit.
Down again.
I scrape my hand again as I fell, the gravel covering my now bloody palm. I hear the dogs somewhere behind. So I run, as fast as these useless fucking sticks will carry me. One foot in front of the other, left right left right left right until my legs are bloodied stumps. Left right left right until my lungs collapse and I hit the floor. Run home, Alex. Run as fast as you can and don’t look back. Forget about the dogs. Forget about the cars. Forget about the guys with guns. Forget about what they’ll do if they catch you ,just keep running..
Close now. No time. I nowfeel the skin on my knee crack. Blood runs down my leg, like when I pissed myself in front of Suzy Harris when I was a kid. Fucking bitch never let that go, right up until college. Oh, if she could see me now.
A ladder. Sweet vertical freedom. I throw myself onto the ladder; hand over hand, until I find myself staring out at the city below. Tiny people with tiny problems driving tiny cars. Makes me sick. They’re close now. I can hear the birdsong of their radios.
Should be safe up here.
For now.

I heard my father screaming before his shaking hands woke me. His eyes were wide and bloodshot. He pulled me from my bed and threw a set of clothes at me. He dragged me down the stairs where my mother waited at the bottom in her dressing gown, holding my sister’s hand, both looking terrified.
‘John,’ she pleaded to my father, ‘there has to be another way.’
‘No,’ he said, pushing them outside towards the car, ‘it has to be like this.’
As the cold night air hit my face, I met the Death Squad for the first time. My father was on the ground before I even knew what was happening. My sister’s screams filled the air for but a second before she was silenced. My mother tried to fight off the attacking men, but the crack of a baton sent her to the floor.
The men moved around my sister, I tried to call out but my face was pushed into the soil. I managed to steal a glimpse. One of them nodded.
A gunshot.
My parents screamed. I saw my father break free of their hold and charge. Another shot and he was down.
My mother sobbed.
Another gunshot.
Cold hands then grasped my face as a light was shinned in my eyes.
‘This one’s clean.’
‘Bag him.’



I hate mornings. I wake from the dream to find myself still living in a nightmare. It’s warm out, but I keep my hat pulled low and the collar of my coat pulled up. I walk to the closest coffee shop, my brisk pace matched by the business men rushing to work. I order a water and take one of the free newspapers to an empty booth at the back of the store, furthest from the windows. I put my back to door and watch the room using the mirror hanging in the corner.
I’ve moved from the front page to page seventeen, a shitty little picture and two paragraphs of information. Apparently police are set to catch me any day now. Yeah right. The piece ends with the same bullshit. Advise Extreme Caution. Consider Mister Warren armed and dangerous! Anyone with information should call- I close the paper and slam it on the table.
The headaches have started again. I can feel it behind my eyes, pressing on my temples. I take a couple of stolen aspirin from my pocket and chase them with the water. As the waitress passes I order another. She looks at me funny. Probably sick of me ordering the free stuff all week. I should probably go somewhere new tomorrow. Don’t want to draw too much attention to myself.
The bell above the door jingles and two police officers enter. They order two coffees and breakfasts and sit by the window. The one with his back to me takes his hat and coat off and places them on the chair next to him. The other one keeps his on. His face is a tiny reflection in a dirty mirror but I can tell that this guy’s a hard ass.
The waitress approaches them and hands them their food. She leans in close and whispers something to the hard ass. He nods to his partner who turns to look at my back. Did she recognise me?
I get up and move into the bathroom. As the door closes I move straight for the windows. I push my elbow against it but it won’t budge. I’m trapped. My heart hammers in my chest as a bead of sweat drops from the end of my nose. No choice, I’ll have to go back out there. Maybe I can make it to the door before they get up.
I open the door of the bathroom as casually as I can. The waitress smiles at me. The empty smile of someone forced to be polite. The police officers are nowhere to be seen. But their breakfast is still there ,along with the hat and coat. A trap!
I realise quick enough to block first attack, but not the baton strike from behind. My knees hit the ground and I see double.
‘Hit him again,’ one of them says. I manage to roll away and kick out. My foot hits something soft. A groin? I don’t stay long enough to find out. I bolt for the door, throwing the waitress a look she’s not likely to forget in a hurry. As I yank the door towards me a shot is fired. One of the officers shouts something. Stop? I ignore it and keep on going. I sprint to the end of the street and make a right knocking into a homeless man’s cart.The impact sent me reeling onto the pavement. But I get up and keep on, pushing myself as hard as I can. One of the police officers fires another shot. It hits the wall besides me and the side of my face is peppered with dust.
I turn down and ally, vaulting over a line of bins. Footsteps echoes behind me and the police call out again. There is another shot followed by white hot pain in my arm. The force of the bullet sends me into a spin and I’m not quick enough to the dumpster. I hit my head and feel something scratch along my face. As I turn over to face the police officers, the larger of the two approaches, holstering his sidearm and taking out his baton.
‘I’m going to enjoy this, punk,’ he says.
‘No please,’ I beg, ‘you don’t understand,’ the headache is back, boring through my skull.
‘Don’t worry. I’ll make sure to do just enough to keep you out of hospital.’
‘No,’ I can feel it boiling to the surface, ‘you don’t want to do this.’
‘I really do.’
As he raises his hand I lose control.



This is about a third of the length the end piece will be. I'm currently just running with it, letting whatever comes into my head reach the page.


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
This what I think could be changed if not but a few hints more, but I really do enjoy this type of story telling. Very interesting so far and I hope to see more.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-17-11, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers dude. You spotted a couple things that I'll change.

I'm looking to get as much feedback on this as possible as I really want to bag a place in that anthology to add to my portfolio.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-17-11, 10:11 PM
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its simple really. Write it, then sleep on it, then read it out loud and finally read it again. Take your time.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-11, 04:30 AM
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Ok, just a few things strike me that could help.

1. Break up the story into small paragraphs so people could read it quickly, cleanly and excitedly. When the story is broken up it is easier to follow, not cluttered.

2. Leave the f-bombs out and most of the heavy cursing as this offends some readers. you can lose a whole audience of people who otherwise would enjoy your work. Most warhammer and warhammer 40k, starwars, and Halo series keep it clean. The story is still told and the gore and violence is still there, nothing is lost by keeping the text clean. You may even win some people over to your writing style.

3. Make sure the story flows and is easy to understand. If you cannot smoothly read the story than someone else will have problems as well. you could lose readers and potential buyers later on.

4. Do not give up and have fun. The writers circle is an awsome place to gain knowledge and perspective. If you need an example of proper breaking up of the story you could read any of my stories.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-11, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
Ok, just a few things strike me that could help.

1. Break up the story into small paragraphs so people could read it quickly, cleanly and excitedly. When the story is broken up it is easier to follow, not cluttered.

2. Leave the f-bombs out and most of the heavy cursing as this offends some readers. you can lose a whole audience of people who otherwise would enjoy your work. Most warhammer and warhammer 40k, starwars, and Halo series keep it clean. The story is still told and the gore and violence is still there, nothing is lost by keeping the text clean. You may even win some people over to your writing style.

3. Make sure the story flows and is easy to understand. If you cannot smoothly read the story than someone else will have problems as well. you could lose readers and potential buyers later on.

4. Do not give up and have fun. The writers circle is an awsome place to gain knowledge and perspective. If you need an example of proper breaking up of the story you could read any of my stories.
The piece is broken into smaller chunks, but the forum formatted it into a big chunk lol.

I appreciate that some people don't like swearing, but if you were being chased by people who were trying to kill you, you'd swear too. I may tone it down a little. But some of it will be staying.

For point 3, are you saying you couldn't follow the story? I'm confused lol.

Cheers so far.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-11, 03:30 PM
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Ok. Here goes. In order to break it up and maintain the break up of paragraphs do this. When you are at the place where yo want to start a new paragraph hit Enter 1 time. that will seperate and space the work. Hit enter again and it will seperate it further. By hitting enter 2 times it will keep the spacing when you post it.

2. You want to sware than sware. By all means.


3. I didn't follow the story because it was in one block and I did not want my eyes to bleed by trying to focus on one line of words among many. So I did not finish reading the story as I was getting a headache. I read half the story before I got fed up.

I once entered a 9,000 word short story in block format with black letters on black background. I lost 17 rep points.

So I was not meaning to be critical, but you asked for feedback and I know how valuable feedback is.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-25-11, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Yo guys, the finished first draft has been edited into the first post.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-25-11, 08:48 PM
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I saw a few mistakes but nothing serious.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-25-11, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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imm0rtal reaper's Flag is: Wales
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cardiff
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Originally Posted by ThatOtherGuy View Post
I saw a few mistakes but nothing serious.
Care to point them out :D

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