May 26, 2012

Love in the basement

The love of my life is missing. I have looked everywhere but I can't find him. My wife and I went looking for him all day yesterday. We looked in the park, the woods behind our house and at the bus station. The last time I saw him, he appeared peacefully asleep under the influence of our favorite drug, NyQuil.

I had taken a few too many shots of vodka that night. I was woken up in the morning by my sobbing wife.

"His chain was undone. Nick is missing."

I woke up instantly. This was the first time that anyone had tried leaving us. They usually loved us. Whatever we asked them to do, they would do so willingly, smiling, hoping to please me.

I thought Nick loved me too. True, he had been here only four months. But he had replaced Nikita in my affections. Nikita did not take it lightly. She had been in the basement for four years and thought she should get preference for my attention.

To pacify Nick, I had tried explaining to Nikita, but she wouldn't listen to me. Angry, I cradled her soft, nimble neck and strangled her.

Nick understood me now. That he was now my favorite. He helped me bury Nikita's body in the woods. My wife, Nick and I had enjoyed a celebratory meal afterward, in the basement.

But now he was missing. I am so worried for Nick. He can't bear to be away from me.

I waited for two more days. My wife thought we should move. "But what if Nick comes back?" I asked her. "I don't want him to think that I abandoned him."

The next day, Nick didn't come. But the sheriff did. And he brought dogs. They found Nikita. And Nick's bed.

I am famous now.

But I only want Nick.

Wrote this for a writing exercise on 'Unreliable Narrator'. 


Anonymous said...

Like most pieces, this reads better than it sounded when you read it out at the meetup. The short, sharp sentences suit the mood that you want to convey, and though there are some extra words that you could get rid of to heighten the effect, a very good (and frightening) scene overall.

(I am taking a leaf out of your book and posting as an anonymous person.)

Rush said...

Thanks SK! I love using short sentences, and invariably end up using three word sentences in most of my pieces. Let me know if there are any extra words in particular that jarred, and I will try to incorporate that.

Lol, you aren't paranoid about your googleability though :) Mine comes from grad school + jiju who thinks FB shouldn't have ANY pics of me

Anonymous said...

Sentence length is one of those things that should change with the genre. Short sentences fit the mood of tension, high drama and darkness. If you look at books/movies like Sin City, Pulp Fiction etc, most of the sentences they use are sharp and snappy.

Whereas if you're writing mythology/fantasy (for instance), you should look at using longer sentences rich with imagery and description, and also try and make your language a little 'magical' - use 'for' instead of 'because', do not use sentence contractions and the like, etc. (But lyrical prose is a whole different subject.) So maybe that's something you can work on with all your mythological stories. We can always have a discussion on what 'lyrical prose' is and how we should practice writing it.

But a couple of examples with this post:

"The last time I saw him, he appeared peacefully asleep under the influence of our favorite drug, NyQuil."

Could have been:

"The last time I saw him, he appeared peacefully asleep. NyQuil does that to you. We like NyQuil."

"Angry, I cradled her soft, nimble neck and strangled her."

You could lose the word 'Angry'.

As a general rule with a piece like this, one should go back and check if there is any more scope to add 'creepiness' to it; either by losing words, by shortening sentences, or by adding things in.

Sorry for the ramble, but I hope it helps :-)