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Heartlander

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universetwisters
  • universetwisters

    Leben Heißt leben

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#1

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

Longswood, Illinois was an idealistic representation of small-town America back in 1999. It had a diner, houses that were few and far between, and a population under 500. One of those people was named Craig. Let's talk about Craig. He was born in 1973 to two loving parents, had a complete childhood with a dirtbike and a train set, and was on the high school track team. However, since his graduation, his luck began to run dry. He got kicked out of college after streaking during a football game, sold his dirtbike to buy video games, and let himself give way to raves and hard drugs that one would expect to find in raves during the 1990s. He was fired from the local fast food joint, and was living in his friend's basement apartment, taking hard drugs and watching miniature locomotives run in circles to ease the pan of his hard life that fell to pieces right in front of him.

Today, August 17th, 1999, was like any other day. Craig woke up, took his daily dose of bath salts, turned his train set on, and went to the refrigerator to get some breakfast. "Bummer", Craig thought, as he stood in front of his empty refrigerator. He want to his room to find his wallet, but then he remembered: He traded his wallet for an HO scale GP38-2 at the previous model train convention. Fed up, high on bath salts, and starving, he decided to go to the bank and rob it. That way, he could buy all the food, drugs, and trains he wanted, so he hopped into his friend's rusty station wagon and began the trek to the next town over, where the bank was, with nothing but the clothes on his back and Dutch techno music blaring from the old wagon's speakers.

But what would drive a man like Craig to rob a bank? Society would. Craig was fed up with society and the way it treated him, and in his eyes, society was fed up with the way Craig treats it. Every time Craig did something good, society came up and slapped him in the face. Every time Craig did something bad, society came up and slapped him in the face. There's no leeway with Craig when it comes to being a functioning member of society, and that's what made Craig upset. But there was no turning back. Craig abruptly stopped his car on the sidewalk, and entered the bank.

Craig walked into the bank, calm and nonchalantly. Everybody thought he was just there to make a deposit, despite the fact that he was shaking, blood was coming out of his nose, and his pupils were as dilated as a cartoon character's. He quickly looked around the bank for the nearest threat, which was a security guard. With a high-speed sprint and a cry of "AARRRRGGGHHHHH", he headbutted the security guard, took his pistol, and waved it at the crowd of bank-goers. He cried out "I'M HERE TO ROB YOU OF YOUR GOLD AND RICHES", before aiming the pistol up at the ceiling and firing numerous times, scaring the bank tellers and forcing the bank-goers to drop to the floor and cover their heads. Craig jumped on top of the bank counter, kicked the teller in the face, and reached his hand into the cash drawer, earning himself about $500.

Craig, content with his achievement, decided to go home with the money and brag to all his friends about it. He calmly opened the bank door and walked outside, and met a group of police officers, all pointing their guns at him. "Put your gun down". "No", Craig said, and he pointed the security guard's gun he stole from the security guard at them. But before he got a chance to fire, he went down in a miraculous hail of gunfire. That's the story of poor Craig, who thought society had turned it's back on him, and ended up getting shot by policemen after robbing a bank for $500 to spend on toy trains and drugs.

The end.

AceRay
  • AceRay

    In my restless dreams, I see that town...

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#2

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:12 AM

Are you Craig? Are you planning on committing a bank robbery and this is you calling for help? I can certainly imagine your member photo being pasted all over the papers you know.

Anyway, assuming this is a fiction story and not a cry for help by a disturbed future spree shooter, this was okay. It felt less like a story and more like a biography of some guy's life at the start, it was a bit dry and there wasn't enough flavour. Also devolved into "Craig did this, Craig did that." a few times and felt very matter as fact at times about details.

Maybe this was part of the style. The narration was very matter of fact, eg "Let's talk about Craig." It felt like whoever was telling the story was sitting opposite me on the table and they were describing what happened. This is not inherently a bad thing but I think it could have been developed.

I know I joked about it earlier but I really do get a Columbine feeling about this. Its near the date of the shooting, which was April 1999. This guy is like an expy of Eric Harris, a successful but slightly sociopathic young man who felt anger at the world for not being exactly the way he wanted it. There's a few slight differences of course like age and planning the attack and such but the idea remains the same. If this was a metaphor for how crazy people blame society for their own violent nature, then it worked. The trouble is that we don't really sympathize with Craig because he brought all this on himself. Maybe we're not supposed to like Craig and maybe we are simply looking into his fall from grace from a distant point through simple descriptions and maybe pity him too. Maybe this is Craig telling his own story in third person and the description of how society screwed him was him bragging to the reader. Maybe I'm a porcupine.

The taking of the gun was far too matter of fact in its description. Its like "oh, he has a gun now." Wouldn't the security guard have fought back or something or did the drug addict's headbutt knock him out? What if there was another security guard, Craig just sees one and attack immediately. In fact at parts it doesn't really seem like you put much thought into it. Why did nobody care that Craig was bleeding when he walked into the bank? How did he have the keys to the car? Was his friend at home or did he steal it? Would a drug addict really say "bummer?" Wouldn't he swear of something? Why does anyone want to be friends with this dumbass anyway?

So, yeah, its a mixed bag for me. I can't tell if this was undescriptive because you're a poor writer or a brilliant writer. Colour me clueless.

universetwisters
  • universetwisters

    Leben Heißt leben

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#3

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:18 AM

QUOTE (AceRay @ Thursday, Jan 24 2013, 19:12)
Are you Craig? Are you planning on committing a bank robbery and this is you calling for help? I can certainly imagine your member photo being pasted all over the papers you know.

No, the video I made posing as Craig was some old cosplay video I did for a friend! lol.gif It's entirely fictional, so you can rest easy!

QUOTE
If this was a metaphor for how crazy people blame society for their own violent nature, then it worked

Bingo wink.gif

I might add onto it if the need arises, or hell, me and my buddies even might make a short movie out of it tounge.gif

orbitalraindrops
  • orbitalraindrops

    Homie

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#4

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

I like this Universettwisters. Your a good writer. That with your truthful love of toy trains is why your on my respect list. I love it when people are honest about there hobbies. Either way this is a good piece of writing as it fulfilled the primary quality of what I think it is to be a writer - to entertain smile.gif.

universetwisters
  • universetwisters

    Leben Heißt leben

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  • Joined: 26 Feb 2011
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#5

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

QUOTE (orbitalraindrops @ Sunday, Jan 27 2013, 15:33)
I like this Universettwisters. Your a good writer. That with your truthful love of toy trains is why your on my respect list. I love it when people are honest about there hobbies. Either way this is a good piece of writing as it fulfilled the primary quality of what I think it is to be a writer - to entertain smile.gif.

Thank you for your kind comment! I'll be sure to keep writing. Hell, I'm writing something now, and I think all of you will be quite impressed wink.gif

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

    МОКРЫЕДЕЛA

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#6

Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

The only real problem I have with this is that it's very expositional. It reads like a report.

QUOTE
Today, August 17th, 1999, was...

Either I'm going mad or there's a bleeding of tenses here. "Today" - Present tense, "was" - past tense.
I know people could say "Today was a sh*t day", but I found this part odd.


I think this might be better as first person. Write it AS Craig. having a narrator say "it's society's fault" seems a bit... I dunno, detached. I think as a first person piece, it could be a lot more personal, delving into Craig's psyche more, perhaps even referring to event like someone would say; merge the narrator and the protagonist into one.


Not a bad piece though but it just doesn't click for me.

VProductions
  • VProductions

    Mack Pimp

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#7

Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

QUOTE (Mokrie Dela @ Monday, Jan 28 2013, 12:11)
The only real problem I have with this is that it's very expositional. It reads like a report.

QUOTE
Today, August 17th, 1999, was...

Either I'm going mad or there's a bleeding of tenses here. "Today" - Present tense, "was" - past tense.
I know people could say "Today was a sh*t day", but I found this part odd.


I think this might be better as first person. Write it AS Craig. having a narrator say "it's society's fault" seems a bit... I dunno, detached. I think as a first person piece, it could be a lot more personal, delving into Craig's psyche more, perhaps even referring to event like someone would say; merge the narrator and the protagonist into one.


Not a bad piece though but it just doesn't click for me.

Maybe 'Today has been a sh*t day' would be better.




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