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Jeff Burke

"Heart´s Song, Chapter 1, Chapter 2" by Jeff Burke

SciFi/Fantasy text 5 out of 20 by Jeff Burke.      ←Previous - Next→
 
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Welcome to Heart's Song, a story of Love's tricks and wiles. Often a blessing, sometimes a curse...
The first and second chapters of The story. Decided to group them together when I broke up the story because they are relativly short.

UpdateP:3-29-04: Thanks for the help...hope this works better.
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←- Dragon's Fate | Heart's Song, Chapter 3 -→

Chapter 1

Marius was hiding something.

Dana just knew it. Not that she loved him any less for it; heavens above, she had her own skeletons. But it still hurt: after all they’d been through, as long as they’d been together, he wouldn’t tell her what was obviously bothering him.

He’d come close, a couple of times. Sometimes he’d glance at her frown, and she just knew he was about to tell her something, something important. But he’d always shake his head and ask her to pass the ketchup or something like that.

The telephone began to ring loudly. Quickly setting down her college biology textbooks, she stood up and stretched her stiff joints. The phone rang again, impatient.

"I’m coming," she called irritably. Marius always made fun of her for talking to her telephone like that, but that bloody ringing always seemed like it was asking for a response. Walking into her kitchen, she picked up the small white receiver and put it to her ear.

"Hello?" she asked.

"Hello," a mechanical-sounding voice replied. "Would you be interested in signing up for a-" That was all Dana heard before pulling the phone from her ear and pushing the "OFF" button with a look of disgust. Damn telemarketers, always interrupting her when she was trying to study. Hadn’t she joined that program to have herself removed from their calling lists?

As she dropped the receiver back into its charging rack, she glanced up at the clock and blinked in surprise. It was already eight O’clock? She must have gotten lost in her book’s descriptions of X- and Y-chromosomes, fruit fly heredity patterns, and organism taxonomy. It was a fascinating subject, to be sure, but she had to eat sometime, didn’t she?

Nodding to herself, she glanced around at her small cluttered kitchen, dirty dishes still stacked in the sink. After walking to her small refrigerator and groping around for a moment, she pulled out some leftover steak. She didn’t like the stuff all that much—pasta was her favorite food, especially chicken alfredo—but Marius absolouly loved it. Then again, he loved any red meat; watching him eat was like watching someone butcher a cow. He literally licked the bones clean.

Well, steak may not be her favorite food, but it wouldn’t keep forever. She sighed. She could practically hear her mother’s dry, sardonic "Waste not want not, Dana."

Walking to her microwave, she set the plate full of meat inside, and set the timer for a minute of cooking. Pressing the button labeled START, she grabbed the remote control to her little white TV. Immediately, the high, dynamic voice of an anchor-woman flooded the room.

"…And in other news: The body of Sarah Mayes, wife of the late Richard Mayes, was found today in what one expert called ‘the most vicious mauling in recent years’…"

Hadn’t Richard Mayes been the owner of that restaurant? What was it called? Mc-something. McNabbs? Yea! Dana had been there once, the food was really good, but the place was expensive. The guy had probably been up to his armpits in money. The voice died as Dana turned the television off. She didn’t like to see women on TV; it always made her feel odd.

She walked over to the window, and examined her reflection in it. She didn’t understand what Marius saw in her… Her cheekbones were much too prominent, her nose was huge, her eyes were so brown they made wood seem light, and her straight brown hair was absolutely boring. She always felt so… commonplace compared to some of the women on the television.

She’d actually complained about her nose to him once. They’d been on a picnic deep in the woods when she’d just flat out asked him. He’d stared at her for a second, with this incredulous look painted all over his face, when he’d suddenly started laughing.

"You think your nose is too big?" he’d exclaimed, tears streaming from his eyes. "You have no idea of what a big nose looks like!" She’d stared at him. It wasn’t funny! She had honestly been considering surgery to get her nose fixed. When he heard this he’d laughed even harder, but eventually calmed down enough to speak.

"No, don’t!" he’d said with a smile. "I love your nose, it’s perfect."

"Do you really think so?" she had asked, still not sure if he was poking fun.

He had nodded. "Dana, everything about you is perfect." The smile faded from his lips. "Someday, I’ll show you one that’s ‘too big’, okay? You just keep yours exactly the way it is until then."

He was like that. She never felt common when she was around him. He always knew the right thing to say…

The phone rang again, snapping Dana out of her daydreams. She sighed, and grabbed the telephone. "Look, you," she snapped at the receiver, jabbing her finger at it. "If this is another telemarketer, I’m going to pitch you into that garbage can—" she pointed to the black, plastic container, as the phone rang again "—and then go out and buy a shiny new cell phone, got it?" It rang what almost seemed an affirmative, and Dana hesitantly pressed the big, central "TALK" button.

"Hello," she said, putting the phone to her ear for the second time that night.

"Dana?" a strong baritone voice asked quietly. Dana grinned.

"Marius! How are you, honey?" she asked, feeling mildly stupid for not having something better to say to her boyfriend of five years.

"Not so good, Dana." he answered. Dana blinked, that wasn’t exactly the I’m fine, dear. How are you? she’d been expecting. "We need to talk," he continued, "tonight."

Dana frowned, this wasn’t like him. "Marius, what’s wrong?" she asked, worriedly. "Is everything all right?"

He didn’t answer. Dana briefly pulled the phone away from her ear and glanced at it, to be sure the damn thing’s batteries hadn’t died. It was still running. "Marius?"

"Do you remember when we first met?" he asked suddenly.

Dana frowned. What did that have to do with anything? "Yeah, but-"

"It was a concert for the university band," he interrupted. "Do you remember what you played?"

"Barber’s Adagio for Strings," Dana answered, "but I still don’t see what this has to do with anythi-"

"You walked up on that stage and played that song. All I could see was you." He laughed. "Anyway, you got off the stage and I didn’t even think about the other players. They’d go up on stage, and all that I would hear would be that adagio, no mater what they actually played. I got up-"

"And you met me in the lobby," Dana injected sharply. "Now will you please tell me what this is all about? What’s wrong, Marius?"

"Your D-flats were out of tune, you know," he said, still off wherever the hell he was. He certainly wasn’t in the real world, that was damn sure. Maybe she could draw him out of whatever bloody dream world he was in and back into reality.

"They were not!"

She heard a slight laugh on the other end of the phone line. "You always get so defensive about that. Is it because of your mother?" He must have taken her silence as a yes because he continued. "Dana, when are you going to stop thinking about that woman? She was-"

"My mother, " Dana cut in, "was a slave driver, Marius. Do you know what I would come home to every day? ‘Dana, where have you been?’ ‘Dana, you only got an A minus on your report card, what’s wrong with you? Don’t you appreciate all your father and I do?’ Nothing I did was good enough for that woman, and I don’t like talking about her, so I would really appreciate you not bringing her into this. Okay?"

There was a long pause.

"Dana, I love you. You know that, right?"

Dana sighed. When had he become so dramatic? "Of course I know," she said tersely. "And I love you, too."

"No, you don’t."

Dana blinked, startled that he would say something like that. "What?" She heard a deep, hissing breath on the other line. He always did that when he was working up his nerve to do something.

"You don’t know me, Dana. The real me. Not even half."

"What do you mean?" Dana asked, too shocked to say anything else.

"Do you remember that spot I used to take you to?" A chill ran up Dana’s spine and spread out into her arms and legs; the hair on the back of her neck rose.

"Yes," she said softly.

"Can you meet me there. Tonight?" The blood drained from her face. She literally felt her face go pale.

"Tonight?"

"I know it’s a long drive and that it’s late already, but it would mean a lot to me."

"But- I- I- I’ve got a biology exam tomorrow," Dana stammered.

"You could get your doctorate tomorrow with what I’ll show you, Dana." he said, obviously anxious for her answer.

"I- I’ll come."

There was a loud sigh in her ear. "Thank you, Dana. I’ll be waiting for you when you get there, okay?"

Dana bit her lip, "Okay," she said shakily. "I’ll see you in a few hours." There was another long pause.

"Dana?"

"Yes?"

"I will never hurt you."

Dana blinked a couple of times. "What?" But the only sound that came from the phone was the dial tone. He’d hung up.

She stared down at the phone receiver, then blankly turned it off. Why did he want to go there? Anywhere else would have been better. Anywhere! Her head was spinning; she didn’t want to go. It was too far, and he didn’t know what had happened the last time. It was late, and he had no right to just call her up and demand that she take a four-hour trip. It was rude, it was mean, it was…

It was for him.

Groaning, she glanced at her watch. She searched around the cluttered room for a couple of minutes. When had she become so messy? And why couldn’t she find her key-

Her hand brushed up against the pocket of her blue jeans. Oh, there they were. Dana grabbed a random coat out of her little closet, and then hurriedly put on the first pair of shoes she saw. She opened the door, turned off the lights, and stepped out, barely remembering to lock the door behind her.

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Flicking her turn signal, Dana slid into the lane of traffic on the right. The slowest lane. She was in no hurry to go back to that place. How could he do this to her? Make her go back there? Didn’t he know?

Dana shook her head. No, of course he didn’t know: she’d never told him. He would say she was crazy, a raving lunatic if she had told him what had happened. Hell, even she though she was crazy.

Dana suddenly realized that her she was clutching the steering wheel so hard her fingers were beginning to numb. She took a deep breath, and counted to ten. She couldn’t afford to panic; strange things happened when she panicked. Bad things.

But even as she felt her muscles relax some, memories flooded her mind. No! She wouldn’t live that all over again, couldn’t. "One times one is one," she began, "one times two is two, one times three is three…"

It wasn’t any good, though, even trying as hard as she could to focus on the multiplication tables, the memories of a night over two years past flashed before her minds eye as though she were there now, instead of safe in her sedan…

She was sitting in a beautiful little niche in the woods. It was quite some ways to the nearest town or city. With the autumn colors in full flame, the woods were stunning. Everywhere she looked: red, orange, yellow. It was beautiful, but it was lonely. She could almost feel the crushing weight of the loneliness.

Almost, if not for the fact that he was there. Sitting right next to her, his firm, muscular shoulder touching her own. She looked over to him, and his eyes met hers, and she couldn’t help but notice how odd they were. There was light in them, when they were looking at her: joy, happiness, even love. But there was something else. Something that seemed much too close to fear. But that was just silly. As long as she’d know him, Marius had never been afraid of anything. Ever.

But there was still that fear in his eyes… He frowned at her, as if trying to make a decision about something. His mouth opened and closed a couple of times, and his eyes didn’t really see her. They stared through her, sort of.

"What’s wrong?" Dana asked. Marius blinked, as though surprised that she was there. But then all the doubt was gone from his face, hidden by smiles and by the gentleness of his voice.

"I’m just thinking how lucky I am to have someone like you." He reached up and brushed a strand of her lifeless hair out of her eyes. "Someone who’s not afraid to be who she is, no matter what." He gave her a small, sad smile. "I wish I was as strong as you are."

Dana laughed a little, but he only gave her that same tired smile. "What are you talking about? You’ve got abs to make the governor of California jealous!"

"That’s not what I-" He stopped and sighed. "Forget it, lets just enjoy the view, okay?" he asked, not a trace of irritation in his voice.

Dana layed down on her back, staring at the sky. These woods stretched on for miles and miles. Acres of red and yellow leaves… Dana couldn’t help but wonder how it would look from the air. It must be quite a sight.

"It is," Marius breathed beside her. Dana frowned for a moment, she must have been thinking aloud.

Some time later, she noticed how regular Marius’s breathing had become. She smiled to herself. He’d fallen asleep. And why not? The food was eaten, there wasn’t anyone around for miles, and even if there was, Marius was there with her. She glanced around the small clearing one last time. Everything was so serene, so peaceful…

Her eyes flew open. Everything was dark! She’d gone blind! She rolled from her side to her back and nearly wept with relief when she saw tiny little pinprick stars shining overhead.

How long had she slept? It couldn’t have been more than six o’clock when she had settled down next to Mari-

He was gone! Dana frantically searched the spot where he had been lying with her hands. It was cold. She bit her lip; he’d been gone for a while, then. But he’d come back. He had to, didn’t he? Dana rose to her knees and searched her pockets. She still had the keys, so where could he be? Maybe he was-

A sharp snap caught her attention. Tears of fear stung in her eyes. She could hear breathing, but there wasn’t enough light to see more than a dozen or so feet by.

"Marius?" she called. No answer, just another cracking noise, then another. "Marius, this isn’t funny! Stop it!"

No answer but an increase in the frequency of the footsteps. Is that what they were? Yes, Dana realized. They could only be footsteps. And they were too heavy to be Marius’s. She suppressed a scream. There was someone in the woods with her, someone who was not Marius!

She could hear breathing, but she couldn’t see where it was coming from. It seemed to be all around her. The trees! The trees were throwing the sound. Suddenly, the cracking footsteps stopped. Slowly, Dana turned around.

There was a man standing in the little clearing. She couldn’t see much more than a deeper shadow against the woods, but she knew it wasn’t Marius. Quickly, she glanced toward the car. It wasn’t more than twenty feet away. A rustle brought her back to the man. He was now noticeably closer. If she could get to the car, she could lock the doors, and then simply drive away. But could she get to the car? The man was so close…

Dana’s mind raced to think of anything that might be useful. Did she have any mace? No. Hadn’t she taken that self-defense course? Yes. Had she learned anything? No.

She ran. She ran like she had never run before, sprinting up to the car, fumbling with the key. She hurriedly picked out the key in the dim light, and shoved it into the lock.

Something hit her on the side of the head, and stars exploded in her eyes. A thin, wiry, hand grabbed her shoulder and spun her around wrapping itself around her throat; another grabbed the neck of her shirt, and with a sharp pull, tore it to shreds. She started to scream, but one of his hands came up and covered her mouth.

She bit down on a finger, as hard as she could. The attacker sucked in a breath, and the hand fell from her lips. She drove her elbow into his sternum, and began to wriggle as hard as she could, trying to escape the hold he had on her. Her eyes caught a slight glitter, and something cold pressed itself against her throat.

"I wouldn’t do that again if I were you," a thin, raspy voice warned, hot on her neck. He shifted the knife to the hand that was wrapped around her neck. With the other hand he began to feel his way down her chest. After several seconds of him playing with her breasts, the hand crept downward, over her stomach, finally settling on the clasp of her khaki shorts.

He began to play with the button, trying to get it to undo itself with one hand. The hot, rank breath on her neck began to speed up, coming faster in his anticipation. The knife slid a fraction of an inch away from her throat, then bit more. Should she try and get away? No, he would kill her, slit her throat without a moments pause. The knife slid a little more distant from her. S

She’d rather be dead, then—then—

Dana brought her foot upwards as hard as she could, driving her heel into the man’s groin. He gasped, and his arm dropped from her neck. She began to run, as fast as she could. She was going to make it--

Dana found herself on the ground, a heavy weight on top of her. She beat at it with her fists, but the man only grabbed her wrists and pinned them against her bare chest. The man leered down at her, a sadistic grin paining his face. That tongue licked his lips, as if in anticipation.

With a rush of air, a huge black shadow blocked out the stars. The man glanced up and screamed. Then, as quickly as it came, the shadow was gone, and so was the man. Dana laid there for what seemed like hour, breathing shallowly and shivering—no, she was trembling. She felt the clasp of her shorts. Still intact. She was okay! She was okay! The man was gone…

Dana sat upright. What had that thing been? That huge black shadow… She scanned from side to side, but she couldn’t see anything in this darkness. A soft rip caught her ear. What was that? What was going on? Another ripping noise, followed by a loud grunting and something else… Almost imperceptible—a slow, steady hissing sound, almost like- She gasped, realizing what the noise was.

Something breathing. Dana scrambled backwards. She didn’t stop until her shoulders thumped solidly against the metal side of her car. Solidly, and loudly.

Another loud grunt from the darkness…this one sounding almost surprised. Loud sniffing noises, and then a slight rustle. Dana tried not to breathe, tried not to move. Whatever it was, maybe it wouldn’t find her. Suddenly, from out of the darkness, a loud hissing breath reached her, followed by silence. It must have seen her, Dana realized.

Abruptly, a massive rush of air made Dana shield her face, covering her eyes from the dust and leaves caught up in the blast. Three more came, but none were as powerful as the first, and they eventually faded into nothing more than a loud noise, which too faded into the air.

Dana uncovered her face. Was it gone? She listened now, and only silence greeted her ears. Not even the crickets were chirping. It was almost an hour before she managed to work up the nerve to open her car door and drive away.

As the memory faded, the hiss of air from the car’s vents was unnerving, far too much like thin, rasping breathing. She couldn’t help but glance to the passenger seat, just to make sure it was empty. Even though there wasn’t anybody in the car with her, she couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. Without warning, something cold pressed itself against her neck, and Dana barely bit back a scream.

Terror welled up in her, and she fought to suppress it. No! Her hands shook on the wheel as she pulled the car over to the side of the highway. She reflexively slammed on the brakes as another mass of fear slammed into her.

She couldn’t let it happen again, not ever again! Not like the theater! Taking quick, shallow breaths, she wrestled with the fear, forcing it down. Something brushed against her shirt, and tears filled her eyes as another wave of terror broke over her, bringing with it twinges of pain.

Dana’s eyes widened. No! Not again! She forced her breathing to become deeper, more regular. Clamping her shaking hands on the steering wheel, she battled the fear, and slowly—very slowly—it began to subside.

Some time later, Dana wiped a tear from her cheek, and then rubbed her throat. She hadn’t been cut, but she could still feel the knife against her throat as, as if it was still pressed there. She shivered in fear, quickly suppressed it. She couldn’t let the fear win…couldn’t let it take hold. Bad things happen whenever she thought to hard about that night. Most of the time she could forget, but it always came back, eventually.

She shook her head. What was she doing? She’d sworn that she was never—

never—going to visit that place again. Not in a million years would she be dragged back there.

Yet she was. And less than two years later. Even after almost being raped and killed, she was going back! Maybe she

was crazy. Regardless, she’d never told anyone. If she had, She’d have been thrown in the funny farm faster than she could say "schizophrenia."

Not even Marius knew. He’d asked why she had left, and she’d asked where he’d gone. To take care of personal business, he had said. Because she was cold, she’d said. She never even mentioned that she’d almost been killed while he was out in the woods emptying his bladder.

The subject never came up, but he’d never asked her to go back either. Until now. A green sign floated in the darkness outside the car: WHITE FIELD Rd. ¾ MILE. Her exit.

She scowled. Marius, this had better be good.

←- Dragon's Fate | Heart's Song, Chapter 3 -→

DateNameComment 
8 Mar 2004:-) Ben Cameron
I'm going to give a running commentary of my thoughts whilst reading it. Also, I'm going to take the liberty of assuming you want some heavy editing. Thus, what I say next, though, is only my opinion and since you wrote it, everything could be quite wrong:

Unless the fact that she was going to be a biologist with a music minor, would it not be easier just to say:
-> She leapt up out of the cozy chair she had been waiting in, and dropped her *biology* book on the floor. *Hurrying around her music stand, she sprinted for the phone and only fumbled it once* before setting it against her ear.

Out of interest, why is she studying biology when she's heavily into a thirty-something year old man?

"It was him!"... Personally, I don't like outright statements. Use a description to give her more character / personality. We pretty much know who it is, so if you mention that *a thrill ran down her spine*, or *she hugged herself in joy*, it'll give us a stronger image of her, whilst still telling us it was Marius on the phone.

I love their talk on the phone. It's very convinving and real - especially the way they finish each other's setences - well done on that count.

I will never hurt you - is that meant to be "I *would* never hurt you'?

When you mention that she'd almost been killed in that clearing, immediately after she said that "of course" she'd go, you create a small contradiction. Could you mention that Marius doesn't know she was almost raped? Because I was wondering why Marius could be so insensitive to get her to go back to such a place.

She'd almost been killed in that little clearing. She almost scolded her self for being so scared over such a little thing, then decided she had reason to be scared.
->I'm assuming here, you're going for anguish and fear? In that case, could I suggest removing "she almost scolded herself..." because there is almost nothing more serious than attempted rape and murder, even after two years. Also, remove 'little' because any word here that minimises anything, will minimise the effect on the reader.
Since so much has been removed, you could then add in some more details to heighten the tension for the reader.


full flame, the woods were stunning. Everywhere she looked: red, orange, yellow. It was beautiful, but it was lonely. She could almost feel the crushing weight of the loneliness. Almost. - why is she lonely with the love of her life next to her?

She ran like she never ran before, sprinting up to the car, fumbling with the key - why didn't she start running the moment she saw him and knew he wasn't Marius?

"Remember the movie theater..." - what about a movie theatre?
18 May 2004:-) Rebecca A. Morgan
The above commentors caught all that I had seen, so I won't repeat and post them again.

Now, I agree that you seem to have minimalized her character, and that she seems really shallow... you really need to work on putting more emotion and description in the rape/flight/murder scene. Other than that, I really liked it and will continue reading this story in number four!
2 Jul 2004:-) Lisac3
>her eyes were so brown they made wood seem light,Dana suddenly realized that *her she* was clutching the steering wheel so hard her fingers were beginning to numb.Dana layed down on her backThe knife slid a little more distant from her. S

She’d rather be dead, then—then—<

Is there a bit missing from here, right after that lone “S”?

Also, regarding self-defense classes, if you have a friend who has taken one, talk to her about it. We were taught to use anything handy, not just mace, (which is often useless anyway), but also keys, which she had, can be a great weapon. I’ve often walked through the night in a state of paranoia with my keychain palmed, and the keys sticking out between my knuckles, ready to scrape out my non-existant attacker’s eyes out. If it actually works, that’s another story...

You do a great job fading in and out of the flashback, though the second set of italics may be too long.

Okay, I don’t know if this is the edited version, or the original, but I don’t think Dana seemed shallow. She could be, but I’d need to see more of her to say. Right now she seems real. Real women obsess over their looks and relationships. Not necessarily good, but it happens. It’s when they do it to the exclusion of everything else that shallowness creeps in and they need to be decapitated.

As for suspense, I think it’s great. You do a good job alluding there’s something up with Marius, and while I have a few guesses, the clues don’t fit exactly with my ideas. So even if I’m right, the nature of the beast will be different then my original expections, and I like that.

:-) Jeff Burke replies: "This is the edit. I'll fix those errors...sometime. When? I have no clue.

It's good to know I managed to fix her, then. Whew. And no, I've never met anyone who took a self-defense class. Kinda made that part up. Not to accurate, I guess.

And Hey! I want replies on my comments! Gimmiegimmiegimme!"
16 Aug 2004:-) Alice Muffin Girl Smith
By "minimalist," I mean you don't come out and bluntly state what your character is feeling. You give us the situation, you give us their reactions and a few stray thoughts, and you let our minds take over connecting the dots to create what they're feeling just then as well as their personality as a whole. It's a good style. The one I prefer to read, actually... I also think it's rather rare on Elfwood, since it takes a pretty advanced writer to pull it off. No offence to the rest of Elfwood!

:-) Jeff Burke replies: "Ah. that's really cool-*abruptly notices the rather large compliment in there*Aww...thanks..."
16 Aug 2004:-) Alice Muffin Girl Smith
~ You might want to clarify which aspect of that night gives her the fear she'll be hauled off to the funny farm: the near-rape, or the winged thing carrying him off and the impressions of the animal's presence afterwards. The near-rape definitely didn't seem to be a "funny farm" experience, but it's what her memory seems to be the most focused on. So a stray line about how no one would believe how she escaped him, or something similar, might be wise...

Interesting choice, using the italics to make the flash back seem realer than the present moment... A good one, though, I believe. She certainly wasn't living in the present moment, during this chapter...

Excellent incorporation of the flashback. And an alarmingly good portrayal of emotions. I don't know if you've re-written it since Hanna commented, but I thought the minimalist route was a good tactic. Frankly, you seem to always take the subtle road when it comes to characters -to suddenly make your character portraying outspoken emotions would be far more jarring to read, I think. Also, I read it as her trying to focus on escaping as much as possible, and trying to tune out everything else as much as possible. So the minimalist thing definitely worked with my perception of her mind set...

But she should gorge on ice cream. Ice cream sandwiches, to be specific. All the soothing mind-numbing power of ice cream, neatly contained in a chocolatey exoskeleton so you don't have to bother with spoons or bowls. And you get to lick your fingers afterwards, but you don't feel like a pig because you didn't get all that</i> dirty.

Lalala... It's funny. Ice cream binges are the one womanly stereotype that we gals actually encourage. 'Cause it's just so true. And tasty. And it makes us ever so happy. ^_^ Out of curiosity, is there a male counterpart to a woman's ice cream bingeing?

:-) Jeff Burke replies: "No, there isn't. See, we can just eat ice cream. We don't require any kind of special situation to do so. Lucky us, eh?

If you mean things we do when we need to feel better, though, yes. It usually involves one part of a man's body colliding violently--and at high speed--with another man's body. A great example of this is Hockey. Another fantastic example is Lacrosse. Football, water polo...

I did re-write this, though I still didn't think it was any better...

What do you mean by "minimalist?" It's been a while since I rewrote this. And no, Michiganians don't spell that word like that. I didn't look close enough at my spell checker."
16 Aug 2004:-) Alice Muffin Girl Smith
--- Chapter 2 ---
~ Hell, even she *though* she was crazy. < "thought"?
~ Dana suddenly realized that *her she* was clutching the steering wheel so hard her fingers were beginning to numb. < ?
~ the memories of a night over two years past flashed before her *minds* eye as though she were there now, instead of safe in her sedan... < "mind's"?
~ Did she have any mace? No. Hadn&#8217;t she taken that self-defense course? Yes. Had she learned anything? No. < Ouch! Reality stinks sometimes, don't it? ^_^ In other words, I like the lines. Oh yes. Great character development in a rather amusing way, but it actually manages to contribute to the dark atmosphere of the moment.
~ A thin, wiry*,* hand grabbed her shoulder and spun her around** wrapping itself around her throat; another grabbed the neck of her shirt, and with a sharp pull, tore it to shreds. < I think you should relocate that comma to there.
~ No, he would kill her, slit her throat without a *moments* pause. The knife slid a little more distant from her. *S* < "moment's"? And should that random "S" be there?
~ The man leered down at her, a sadistic grin *paining* his face. < "painting"? Though what you have right now has a certain ring to it...
~ It was almost an hour before she managed to work up the nerve to open her car door and drive away. < Errhm... Did she ever stop to wonder what had happened to Marius? Seems to me like, from her perspective, she'd pretty much abandoned him there without even knowing where he'd gone...
~ Bad things *happen* whenever she thought *to* hard about that night. < "happened"? "too"?
~ If she had, *She'd* have been thrown in the funny farm faster than she could say "schizophrenia." < Interesting choice of capitalization... Also, are you sure "schizophrenia" is the mental disorder you're goin' for? Speaking as one who took a Psych class last year, and now pretends to know something of the subject. Grr, now you've got my mind doing annoying things... like trying to remember the third type of schizophrenia. There's catatonic, paranoid, but what's the third? I don't think it's that less mild paranoid case; I'm pretty sure that's some other disorder. I want to say disjointed, but that ain't right. Definitely not disassociative... GRR! That's gonna bug me all night...
16 Aug 2004:-) Alice Muffin Girl Smith
--- Chapter 1 ---
~ She didn't like the stuff all that much&#8212;pasta was her favorite food, especially chicken alfredo&#8212;but Marius *absolouly* loved it. < Okay, that's the second time I've seen someone writing it like that, and I'm pretty sure the first time was also you. Is this a regional spelling of which I'm unaware? Seems weird that someone just a few states over would have a completely different method of spelling, though... Did you accidentally enter this into your spell check's dictionary one day? 'Cause in ol' Minnesota, we spell it "absolutely."
~ watching him eat was like watching someone butcher a cow. < *sticks out tongue* Excellent description.

*grins* Love the talking-to-phone bits. ^_^ Inanimate objects can't move, but that doesn't mean they can't hear... ^_~

Excellent opening chapter -just the right amount of suspense to keep us readin', but not so much that it seems jerky or cheesy. The pacing was porridge bowl number three. *cough* Sorry: been reading children's tales all day. The pacing was juuuust right. ^_~ And the character development, as always, was the stuff published work is made of.

Lalala...
14 Jun 2005:-) Katie Collishaw
hm. Interesting. I just didn't like how even I could figure out that Marius was a dragon. And I can't figure anything out, at all. And then, Dana's thought process.. She seems to cut herself short all the time, which just boggles my mind. We don't really just end our thought like that.

Then, her reaction during her memory when she first wakes up. Most people don't freak out and go," AAAAH. I'm blind." They usually wake up, see that it's dark and go, " Oh crap, I overslept." But, perhaps she isn't a normal person?

I really liked the beginning though. Marius is hiding something. Hey, Isn't that the name of one of the vampires in The VAmpire Lestat. Yeah it is. =) hmm.. I think that's it. OH yeah, It's kind of weird to me atleast that in two chapters we don't see her boyfriend once. But, then again. Two chapters go through what? one night. eh. Just me.

:-) Jeff Burke replies: "Well come on: I was hardly trying to keep it secret. This one was all about it's concept. I wanted to pull off the same scene under two narrators. It happened, but--Now just because YOU don't cut yourself short all the time doesn't mean somebody else doesn't. What if I was suffering from the crippling effects of attention deficit disord--Hey, look: a duck! And no, I don't have ADD. One of my friends is convinced I have autism, but I don't really know what to make of that. *eyes narrow hatefully, pupils glinting a strange greenish color.* Vampires... I have real issues with them. At least, with the way they're portrayed in modern stories. No. I HATE Ann Rice's vampire stories. I named him after the brother of a friend of mine. "
15 Jun 2005:-) Katie Collishaw
hmm. for one who wants the absolute positive truth you don't seem to take it very well =P

:-) Jeff Burke replies: "Sorry...but I really really dislike vampires. "
7 Jul 200745 Ed Smith
I read this about half a year ago, and I loved it. I mean, language sucks so much that I can only say 'love'. the whole four chapters are written expertly and beautifully, with excellent paragraph transitions. Also, there is a lot of detail, something that doesn't come to often in the world of Internet writers. I noticed few spelling or grammar errors in the entire four chapters, except for a hanging 'S' in chapter 1.
nice job, BTW, in chapter 4, switching the point of view to Marius, it gives a bonus perspective and, because you may have already read the first three before, you'll know what Dana is going through, but not Marius. both of them have had a very stressful day. 6-_-
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'Heart's Song, Chapter 1, Chapter 2':
 • Created by: :-) Jeff Burke
 • Copyright: ©Jeff Burke. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Dragon, Heart, Love, Lycanthrope, Romance, Shapechanging, Song
 • Categories: Dragons, Drakes, Wyverns, etc, Lycanthrope, Were-folk, etc, Romance, Emotion, Love
 • Views: 884

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More by 'Jeff Burke':
Heart's Song, Chapter 4
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Dragon Awakening, Chapter 4
By Night, By Day
Dragon's Awakening, Chapter 3
Dragon's Awakening, Chapter 2

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