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Visiting Vancouver

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Zugzwang
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#1

Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:05 AM

Part One: Hostel

YVR airport, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Sam had never been this far from home before- it was delightful. He went through customs in Toronto, so his first stop was baggage claim. He wasn't in a rush to get there. He was still smiling outside the gate, strolling slowly, letting the Canadian air enter his lungs. What a marvel that such a thing was even possible, that one morning you could be in Connecticut, and that same evening you're in Vancouver. For $600 of his mothers money he could traverse the continent, as a novice traveler, this impressed him.

Eventually he had strolled down to floor one, joining a crowd of his fellow travelers in front of the machine about to spit out their baggage. He looked around, still marveling, trying to find the one's who were returning from a trip, while he was just starting his. He felt bad for them. This dichotomy of travel always struck him; there are those departing and those arriving, and those departing are in for just so much more excitement.

Eventually he got his two bags, one with a strap and one that rolled. They both had the same logo on them; a metal square containing the Eiffel tower. Maybe there next, he thought.

Before long he was exiting YVR and entering a taxi. Another jolt of excitement surged through him as he realized he was no longer in a port of entry; he was in the city. "Where are you going?" The driver asked, the sound of his voice coinciding with the smell of leather
"C & N Backpackers hostel. 927 Main Street."
"Alright..." It was clear from his voice that this wasn't a common destination, but it was one he could find.

The ride was quiet, thankfully. Sam never liked talking to taxi drivers. He had his mind occupied.

"The place where you're staying... I think it's mostly, eh, drug addicts who stay there." The driver finally said.
"Oh alright" Sam mumbled, still absorbed in thought.

It's Canada, how bad could it be? He thought. This assumption was of course derived from the American image of Canadian's, and while he knew that, he couldn't help but think there was some truth to it. All of his friends up here were beautiful, and while he'd only seen pictures and text, and heard voices and seen faces only rarely, he was confident that this was a better place.

There they were. A stones throw away he saw a bridge, 'Historic Chinatown'. He'd check it out later, he thought.

He opened the door to the hostel and walked up the stairs. A concierge was still up, despite it being after midnight. "Hi, I'm Sam Adlershof, I reserved a few days here online."

"ID?" the man asked. He spoke in what sounded like a German accent. Sam handed him his passport, which he'd acquired only a couple weeks prior. "....Under the name 'Wendy'?"
"That's my mom."
"Okay. Here's your key," He pulled out a key from a drawer by his computer "If you need to smoke,"
"I don't smoke" Sam chuckled. The concierge rolled his eyes
"go to the balcony. Do not smoke in the rooms."

Sam entered his room, number 27. There were two bunk beds, a small mirror, and nothing else. It was perfect.
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Zugzwang
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#2

Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:45 AM

Part Two: Pacific Centre

"Fresh off the plane man" It was Dan, the first time Sam had seen him in over a year.
"Dan! Been too long," the two hugged "I was worried you'd forget I was coming"
Dan chuckled.
"You idiot." Suddenly he was less excited "You know about the plan... Anyway, you tried poutine yet? Let's go, we gotta do some catching up."

It didn't take long at all for Sam to notice the city was busy, but the Pacific Centre epitomized this characteristic. There must have been hundreds of people, all buzzing around, with their own lives, going about their own business, yet they all did so under the same roof. At least during lunch hours.

"So what do you think?"
"f*cking delicious" Sam managed, his mouth occupied with food.
"Just some gravy, cheese curds, and fries but they do go well together don't they?"
"They do," Sam swallowed "So Dan... What's the plan?"
"I got some supplies you're going to need here" he gestured to a backpack occupying the seat next to him "The gun... bullets... I put together 400 Canadian to cover your expenses and help you have a good time while I get the rest of this thing set up- but you can use USD just about anywhere."
"What else needs to be set up?" Sam's attention had been taken off his meal
"We have some more surveillance to do. We found three guys who we know were involved with the rape, but we're still staking out a fourth... Might've been a getaway driver."

The word 'rape' stung. Sam preferred to speak about the ordeal in euphemisms; the attack, the assault, involved with 'what happened' would have worked just fine. But Dan was more direct. It wasn't that he spoke carelessly- quite the opposite. He concentrated on what he had to say, and in that concentration he often lost the ability to sugarcoat things for Sam's benefit.

"Why don't I go shoot the other three while you guys figure things out about the fourth?" There was a pause in the conversation. The two had been reunited half an hour ago and they were already discussing what needed to be done. It was unfortunate, Sam thought. Sam looked forward to moments- seeing someone for the first time in years, taking his first step on Canadian soil, many moments. Many instances. But moments fade quickly; and living life as a serious of good moments with stressful waiting periods in between was no way to live.

"Sam, for this to work... the way you want it to at least... You need to be able to go up to Emily, when it's all been figured out, and you need to say 'I killed every last motherf*cker who was responsible'. You need that moment to be perfect. You need it to bring her to tears. And I'm telling you now- It won't be perfect if you say 'I killed three of your attackers, and the fourth just slipped threw my fingers.' This is a job that needs to be done completely, Sam," Dan sighed "But I think you know that."
"Yea..."
"Take this stuff man." He handed Sam the backpack "And keep your cell on you. I'll keep you posted"


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Ziggy455
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#3

Posted 21 August 2013 - 09:41 PM

I think you should get more views because, in my own opinion, you are a good writer and you've got potential. I was thoroughly intrigued by this. You threw me off with Sam's optimistic, newfound amazement at travelling. Everything's all happy and fun, like an epiphany of life through travelling, and then you hit us with the notion that he's really here to settle a score on rape. It's good, it works extremely well at pulling the reader in. I'd continue to read this if you got the next part up.

Editorial wise, there's a few missed commas and such but I'm sure if you threw this into a word processor you'd have no problem, or even sending me it beforehand. I can spot the mistakes easily enough. I'd love to see this continue, because it's definitely got the potential to be a great read.

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#4

Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:54 AM Edited by Zugzwang, 22 August 2013 - 09:30 AM.

Part Three: Skin With Scars

Seven hours passed since the meeting at the Pacific Centre. Not a single significant event in any of them; nothing on par with lunch. It was interesting-and sad-how life resumed as normal so quickly even after something as important as a friends arrival in his city. Dan entered his apartment.

"Saving any for me?" He laughed. His two roommates were sprawled across the couch snorting coke off the glass table in front of them.

"Not if I can help it." Connor was a druggie, but he was fun. The type of guy who could do every sort of drug every day of the week but never really have any get a grip on him.

"Guess I better keep all this Jack for myself then."

"f*ck you come have a line." They laughed.

Dan put the bottle, still encased in the crumpled brown paper bag, on the glass table about a foot away from the coke. He then picked up the bill his roommates were using and did a thick, premade line off the table.

"So Dan..." Alora, the other roommate, looked at him with a smirk "Here's your cut for the week." With a flick of her wrist she tossed him a roll of fresh, red fifty dollar bills. He put up his hand and turned away.
"Keep it, keep it."
"Thought you'd say that. You're so good at selling drugs but I have to say you could use some work selling women." Alora and Connor laughed, Dan did not. He began walking to the kitchen, after picking up the bottle of whiskey once more. It wasn't too far- it was a one bedroom apartment.
"It loses some of it's charm when one of your girls gets gang-raped." He got out a cup and a few ice cubes and estimated a good dose of whiskey to put on top of that. Before long he was walking back to the living room.
"Dan, sweetie, I think we both know Emily was going to have to grow up at some point and... experience some occupational hazards."

There was just silence. Before long, Alora was breaking it again.

"Now, sweetie," she began again, with the same sarcastic intonation on the word 'sweetie', "what confuses me, is that your way of... dealing with this occupational hazard... was to fly her exboyfriend up here and have him kill the guys responsible," Dan just grunted and kept sipping, "You know Dan I took a few slaps myself out in the field and I never saw you do much about that."

Dan sighed, he put down his glass.

"You weren't gangraped"

"But say I was... Would you be paying Connor here to go shoot up some brothel?" Another laugh was shared by Connor and Alora, but not Dan. Connor couldn't hurt a fly when sober, let alone the way he was most of the time.

"Connor's not Sam."
"Oh? Well tell me what's so different about Sam, won't you sweetie?"

"He's scarred." The tone of this response was bold enough to grasp Alora and Conner's attention more fully. Dan finished his glass. "I always say 'people with no scars have bad skin' well.... Sam has been seeing one damn good dermatologist. I've known him longer than I've known both of you put together. He's a good guy, but he has a lot of rage inside him. It's disgusting even." This line got him strange looks, so he explained "The things he'll do to these guys are not things that I feel comfortable wishing on any human. He's a loving person; he loved Emily with all his heart. I really believe that... And I really believe these guys are lucky if he just bashes their skulls in.... I really don't think they'll be lucky."
Alora began to reply, though more cautiously.
"So if you wouldn't wish his... hidden rage... on anyone... Why did you fly him up here?"
"There are a lot of reasons for that. I guess the biggest one is that he's my closest friend and I'm selfish. If he doesn't kill them, he'll kill himself. He's not going to live with that much anger."

The mood in the apartment was now much darker, it was just like lunch earlier that day- such ephemeral friendliness before the serious discussion. Conor broke the silence.

"Do another line man!"
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Ziggy455
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#5

Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:21 AM

I gave it a read, and I liked it. It's keeping the narrative of the story well, and it's also a valid scene for a bit of exposition -cleverly disguised, as it always should be- that works well. The only noticeable thing that seems out of place is the dialogue that is clunked together.

QUOTE
"Saving any for me?" He laughed. His two roommates were sprawled across the couch snorting coke off the glass table in front of them.
"Not if I can help it." Connor was a druggie, but he was fun. The type of guy who could do every sort of drug every day of the week but never really have any get a grip on him.
"Guess I better keep all this Jack for myself then."
"f*ck you come have a line." They laughed. 


Space the dialogue, like below:

QUOTE
"Saving any for me?" He laughed. His two roommates were sprawled across the couch snorting coke off the glass table in front of them.

"Not if I can help it." Connor was a druggie, but he was fun. The type of guy who could do every sort of drug every day of the week but never really have any get a grip on him.

"Guess I better keep all this Jack for myself then."

"f*ck you come have a line." They laughed.


You'd be surprised how many times people have passed up my older work due to the fact the writing is stuck together. suicidal.gif

Editorial-wise again, there's no massive mistakes. You've got a few little missing commas and such, but as it's already been uploaded, there's not much of a reason to proofread (feel free to send me the next part though) and the best way for you to improve this upon yourself is by writing the part, and leaving it for half an hour. Come back to it and slowly read through it, looking for missing punctuation marks. A fresh perspective does wonders!

There's no really any grammatical mistakes though, which is good. Let's see where it goes from here with Sam, who I'm starting to envision more and more.

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#6

Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:31 AM

Thanks for the feedback Ziggy, I really appreciate it. I tried spacing the lines out, does it look any better?

Ziggy455
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#7

Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:33 AM

Yes, it looks much clearer. Of course it's not a big thing really, it's just a way to clarify the work and makes it easier to read. Definitely better than everything stuck together.

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#8

Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:49 AM Edited by Zugzwang, 28 August 2013 - 03:59 AM.

Part Four: Day Off

Sam was bored. A strange feeling to have after being placed in such a lovely city with enough cash to spend on all the attractions; but, again, that was part of the problem. He didn't know where to start, what to see, how to fully appreciate all that was around him. He was a bad tourist.

But was that even an accurate description? Here he was, sitting in McDonalds, eating breakfast, like he was about to go to work. And, indeed, that was accurate. On some level, he was here on work. Off the books work, work he was doing more for the satisfaction- if that was the right word- than the paycheck, but work is work on some level.

He took another bite of his McGriddle. It was excellent; he remembered his father telling him 'McDonalds has been so successful because you can walk into one anywhere and a Big Mac in Hong Kong is the same as a Big Mac in New York'. But here he was realizing that that probably wasn't even true. He was almost certain the Canadian McGriddles had more maple flavor than their American counterparts.

It would be a shame if this trip was just the job. He realized that was a big part of it, but if he was going to go home without seeing what there was to see, it would be quite the regret. He reckoned if your first international travel experience and your first murders overlap, your first visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery or Telus Science World might as well overlap too.

He took a sip of his drink, it was a sugary fruit punch of some sort. All sizes, small to large, were the same price since he got there. That was a nice thing. He loved paying in Twoonies as well. There was something so great about the two dollar coin, but he couldn't quite put it into words.

And what about Dan? He certainly wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. Fox too, she was just across the border in Washington. He hadn't seen her since childhood. He wasn't sure he could work it in though; more pressing matters were at hand. It felt weird calling them pressing matters, however, given that he had no way of making progress on them at the moment, and there he was sitting in McDonalds eating a sandwich and pondering his predicament instead of acting on it. Life was like that.

He got up, dumped his tray, and strolled down to Science World.

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#9

Posted 29 August 2013 - 04:31 AM

Part Five: No More Number Four

It only took two rings before Sam answered his phone.

"Hello?"

"Hey man" It was early, Dan's voice was tired.

"How's it going?"

"Really well. You know the uh..." Dan paused. Back in his apartment Alora was waking up. "The get away driver? The fourth guy?"

"Yea."

"Shot him"

There was a long pause; Back in the hostel Sam was lying in bed, no one else around him.

"You shot him?"

"Yup.. Yea. Yea I shot him"

A lot of thoughts raced through Sam's mind, but he couldn't pick a single one out and really think about it, the myriad of thoughts became a single feeling; sadness.

"Alright."

"yea..."

"Did you..." Sam found it hard to use the right words "Like... Did he say anything?"

Dan's voice began to tremble.

"Uh, no. No he did not."

"I wish I was there Dan... I wish I could have hurt him. Or not even that. I wish I could have talked to him."

"Really? What would you say?"

"I don't know- something obscene. Something really gross, even. He'd deserve it. Emily's beautiful, in every sense of the word, he's scum. Dirt. Feces. sh*t. Worthless."

"What if he.. asked for forgiveness or something?" The fear in Dan's voice was clear, but Sam's mind was too clouded to notice.

"I bet Emily begged too." Now it was Sam's voice that was plagued with emotion "And I bet they didn't give a f*ck. So, I wouldn't give one for them. Emily was, in a lot of ways, all the beauty I ever saw in the world, and this man that you killed helped soil it." Sam caught his breath "She hasn't said a word to me since it happened, Dan. Before her I didn't have friends- I had you, sure- but I didn't have anyone else... and then in one night, I get liquored up, we skype, and this long distance relationship blossoms and suddenly there's a brightness. These f*cks made it dark, and I will f*cking massacre them."

"I think remorse is always possible; and I think remorse is always absolving"

"I think bullets are absolving, and I think the other three are absolutely f*cked."

Yet another pause.

"Why don't you come to my apartment at 5? Take the skytrain over to Waterfront and I'll give you a ride the rest of the way. We'll deal with the other three."

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#10

Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:53 AM

Part Six: Three Dead

 

They were at Dan's apartment; Everyone. Conor was on the bong, flipping channels. Alora was sleeping off one big night. Dan and Sam were just entering.

 

"No time for sugarcoating; you know what's going on," Dan spoke seriously. It was appreciated. The day was for killing. "You've learned how to use that Sig I hope. You're going to have to use it well."

 

"I'll have no problem pulling the trigger. That's what I can tell you." 

 

"That's all I need to hear. These guys are deep in Chinatown, pretty close to your hostel actually. Now here's what we haven't talked about," Dan looked Sam in the eyes, Sam's were dark, Dan's were emphatic "You need to be quick. You don't need to be a medical expert. Get a couple rounds in them, anywhere on them, and they're done. Emergency services won't be in a rush to scoot over to Chinatown for some gangland hits. You shoot the three dudes, wherever you can, then you go out the back and meet me in the car." Dan smiled faintly "Then we'll come back to my place, pass around a blunt, and celebrate a job well done. How about that?"  Sam grinned. "I want to smoke these bitches first."

 

The ride was silent, but short. The roads were clear at that hour. They made it to the target with no issues.

 

"Devin, Mark, and Trevor. They're on the first floor, sitting on the couch- I promise you. They won't be hard to find." 

 

Sam nodded. His eyes glazed, skin pale, determination evident.

 

"Get back out here in five minutes. I'll be waiting." Dan, too, was more somber.  "Kill them... For what they did to Emily." 

 

Sam was out the door without further conversation.

 

"For what.... They did to Emily...." Dan waited in the front seat.

 

He entered the house. There was smoke, but the fire had not begun yet. Step, step, step, with each the floorboards creaked. Deterioration was evident. This house was an anomaly in what Sam embraced as a beautiful city. He moved along through the doorways, through the rooms, passed the hallways.

 

He had thoughts of his first kill. Would it change him? Not likely. A void can only be so empty, a blackhole can only be so dark. The real question was, how would the bullets feel to him, when they were killing them? How would the sound of his lead cracking their bones bring him ecstasy? He was mechanic. He was not worried. This was what was to be done.  He longed to see them. To see someone capable of the evil required to abuse beauty and to abuse them, to turn them into what they were; meat.

 

"Devin?"

 

The trio sat in front of him.

 

"yea?" Devin was casual.

 

"Mark?"

 

Laughs. The three laughed, confused, nervous, it didn't matter.

 

"Are you Mark?"

 

"Yea I am. Who are you?"

 

Sam tilted his head, and looked at the third.

 

"And are you Trevor?"

 

This prompted panic. Clarity evoked their fear. They knew what this was.

 

Sam drew his gun, and the first shot was fired- a lucky one, too. The round struck Devin right in the neck, instantly knocking him to the floor. As the other two fled, Sam turned his attention to the exit.

 

Pop, pop, pop.

 

The second round was dead on, a blow to Mark's shoulder that ended his escape attempt. The second hit Trevor in the wrist; an injury he may have recovered from, if it weren't for the third round shattering his spinal cord.

 

And there they lay. Three rapists, massacred, rightfully, with only four bullets. It was a triumph. It was pride. It was something undeniably good, and something that Sam felt he had done perfectly.

 

Sam rushed back to the car, Dan waiting anxiously. They began to drive, in quite the hurry.

 

"...Well?" Dan was shaken.

"I did it." A smile across Sam's face.

"...Three dead men. sh*t. What a night."

There was a pause, Sam turned in his seat, his thoughts pleasent and logical.

 

"Three dead. Killed by one man."

 

 


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#11

Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:13 AM

Part Seven: Whidbey Island

 

The rest of the night was for drugs, as promised. Sam hit the happy medium; forgetting enough to know he had fun, but remembering enough to be able to look back on it with a smile. Alora had cooked breakfast.

 

"Good morning." Sam was not normally a morning person, but this was not a normal morning. There was only joy; no regret, remorse, or questions.

"Good morning" Alora said with a smile "It was an even better night though" with a laugh.

"It was, it was."

"I'm surprised you're up this early though. Beer is one thing..." She took a bite "Xanax is another" Another bite "Weed is another" Another bite "Oxy is a fourth... Vicodin a fifth..."

"And led a sixth. It's 12:30, this is a good way to start the weekend" 

"If you say so"

 

It was a good breakfast. Dan entered. 

 

"Where've you been?"

"Picking up this" Dan tossed a black backpack at Sam. It was filled with rolls of twenty dollar bills, USD.

"What's this for?"

"You have the Amtrak to Seattle at 6:30. Stay wherever you have to, with that pack it shouldn't be an issue, but we're doing some border hopping before it becomes difficult to"

"I'm kinda liking it here. What's the problem?"

"Better safe than sorry. I don't think anyone can tag you for this sh*t, but it's a good idea to live your life in ways that ensure you're not put in jail."

"I haven't seen Emily yet"

 

There was a pause, a sigh, a shake of a head.

 

"You will. I swear to God you will. But you're staying down there for at least a couple weeks."

 

Another sigh, another pause.

 

"Let me get off at Mount Vernon, I have a friend in Coupeville, she'll pick me up"

"Fine with me man, just get past that border"

 

 





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