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Living After Midnight

Recommended Posts

Author's Note: I wrote this off the top of my head and out of boredom, so it probably sucks, but I hope you enjoy anyway. This will probably be a stream-of-conscious one-shot for now, but I may do a more organized and outlined follow-up, who knows? But for now, enjoy this story about nothing.





It was a dark and stormy night. No really, it was, clichéd as that may sound. But it didn't matter for Sam. The wind rattled the windows of the young man's trailer, but he didn't care. No matter the weather, it was just another sleepless Saturday night for the bored college student.


"Same sh*t, different night. That's summer for you." he thought to himself.


For Sam, summer vacation was a monotonous hell. It was a 20-hour work week at his pathetic part-time summer job, and then a whole lot of nothing. His friends were all out actually enjoying their summer with friends and family. As for Sam, his family lived closed by, but they couldn't be more distant. But that didn't matter.

The young student was on the couch in his pathetic living room, clad in an old tank top and black track pants. Why bother changing for bed? He wasn't going to sleep this night. The smell of Mountain Dew and Jameson Whiskey stained his breath, his clothes, and the couch. Between the lack of sleep and the excessive consumption of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. Sam should've been dead by now. Or at least a fat tub of lard who couldn't get out of bed. You know, like the ones you see on those reality freak shows they air on TLC. Lucky for him, he walked to and from work every day, giving him some exercise. But if the body is a temple, then Sam's body was a temple of doom.

Every Saturday was the same, he couldn't sleep and so he stayed up all night doing whatever he could to stave off boredom. Sometimes he'd play video games, other times he'd watch anime or movies, Ghost in the Shell being one of his favorite anime shows. Once or twice, he stayed up listening to the local classic rock station. Every time, he would drink either Mountain Dew, Jameson, or both. Hell, he spent the night of his own twenty-third birthday like this, watching all four Urotsukidoji movies out of a mix of boredom and irony all the while guzzling the sweet poitin from Ireland green, distilled from wheat and rye. God knows why. And that was just two days ago. Hentai and whiskey, what a way to celebrate such a milestone. It was pathetic and Sam knew it. Sam was pathetic and he knew it. Hell, the whiskey was good but the hentai of Urotsukidoji was terrible. Made for a great horror plot, but terrible porn. How anyone could get off to tentacle demons having their way with innocent women was beyond him. But for Sam, those type of films were like a train wreck, you didn't want to stare, but you couldn't look away. Sam didn't enjoy the Overfiend saga the way it was intended, but from an ironic point of view, it was funny. Urotsukidoji made Sam feel sick in a wonderful, wonderful way. Tragically ludicrous, ludicrously tragic and so on.


This night was marginally more dignified. Sam was watching informercials instead of sleazy and antequated anime porn tonight. It was the two-hour long one with the knives and swords that looked cool but were too cheap to be of actual use. Cutlery Corner or something like that. There was the host doing his best to sell Sam a flashy katana in his signature Texas drawl, but Sam didn't buy into the hype. A katana for only thirty dollars? An entire shelf of pocket knives for less than fifty? Too good to be true.


"I already have a functional combat knife, dumbass. Cost me over two hundred dollars. I don't need your crap. If the Reds invade or the zombie apocalypse comes, I'm ready. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm just an armchair survivalist. If there was a communist invasion or a zombie outbreak, I'm just as f*cked as the rest of us." Sam said to himself out loud. Sam lived alone and at times, he would get so bored and sleepless he would literally talk to himself out of boredom. Not in a crazy "hearing voices" sort of way, more like he had no inner monologue and was thinking out loud.


As the wind rattled by his windows, Sam turned the volume up, trying to drown out the sounds of the wind, rain, and thunder outside his trailer. Sweet summer rain. At least at night, He knew the next morning that it would just be muggy and miserable the next day. But Sam didn't care, it was a weekend. He didn't need to work this week anyway, having earned some vacation time. As long as he didn't have to walk in the humid air that morning, he was fine.


For Sam, summer sucked. College classes were over, and he was alone and bored this year. But none of that mattered, if he could get through this stormy June night, maybe, just maybe things would get better. He had met a buddy at a bar who invited him to a local live-action role-playing game that would happen next weekend. Was it nerdy? Hell yes. But Sam was so bored and full of spare time he didn't care.


But for now, it was as he said...


"Same sh*t, different night. That's summer for you."

Edited by Osric
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Mokrie Dela

A couple of observations


1) when ending speech with 'he said' or variations thereof, use a comma not a full stop.


"Not again," he said. --- Is correct.

"Not again." He said. --- is not. the best way to explain is that it's the same sentence. Remove the speech marks and you can see it clearer:


Not again. He said.

Not again, he said.


2) monologue


This is largely a stylistic choice but generally you don't use speech marks. It confuses readers with actual speech. Use "hello" for speech but just use italics for thoughts. Hello, he thought.



As for the piece itself, I like the character. It starts off sounding almost as if it's barrated by the character (part of me wonders if it'd work better as first person). There were moments where you repeated 'pathetic' and it sounds a little too harsh from the narrator - the repetition sounds a bit lazy - what's pathetic about it? A small degree of elaboration would be good.


As a piece it doesn't go anywhere. It's essentislly a guy sitting in his home. No conflict, no major event, just exposition, essentially. In a story sense it didn't tell me anything or show me much.

It's a pretty good basis for a story, but it feels to me like its unfinished and lacking. I'm aware how you wrote it, so taking that into consideration, that's fine.

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I will keep those tips in mind about the speech marks and monologues. I hope you enjoyed my story about nothing. I might use the same character of Sam in actual stories somewhere down the line.

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Mokrie Dela

Sometimes that's how it works out. The important thing is, in my eyes, that you've written something. And to be honest, It's not bad. If you build on it, take your time and let the character and concepts mature like wine, then you might end up with something solid. It's nice to see people posting here so keep it up.

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