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Jeremy Whiteoak

"Poetic" by Jeremy Whiteoak

SciFi/Fantasy text 1 out of 6 by Jeremy Whiteoak.      ←Previous - Next→
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After what seems like forever the end of his paranoia is in sight.
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←- A Perfect Fit 02 | The Stone of Mount Phiss -→
Run! Run! Run!

The crackling sound won't let me escape. I wake up in a cold sweat and look around, first under my bed then in my closet. Finally I search every other nook and cranny that I can think of.


It's all clear. Not a soul to be found. I start to breathe easier. I look at the calender I have up on the wall. It'll be ten years tomorrow. Ten years... Wow. The mere thought of it boggles me. I've really escaped them. I've really done it.

I get a glass of water from the fridge. Ice-cold. I shiver a little but think nothing of it. It is icy after all. I shiver again. Damn, it's getting cold. I go back to my room and see that the window is open. That's odd. I don't remember leaving it open. Then again, that's just me, forgetful.

It's really quite amazing that I made it this far. I mean, really, no one who knew would have thought it possible. An average guy like me escaping... them.

The mere thought of them makes my stomach turn. Perhaps it's because I've become so consumed with leaving them behind. I smile, a sickly looking thing, I'm sure. I don't bother looking in the mirror though. I don't even know why I have one. I don't like looking at myself. Not anymore. Not after...

I stop myself. I'm already sick to my stomach. I don't want to make it worse. I take a second look around the apartment. Better safe than sorry. That's what I always say, and it's true. It's the only reason that I've stayed alive this long.

Checking the window, I see a television on across the street. It's almost five stories down but I can still make out the faint glow. I smile, again, I'm sure that it's a sick disgusting thing. I haven't truly smiled since before they captured me.

That day from so long ago...

I hadn't been the only one captured, but I had been the only one to escape. The only one to live - if you can call this living. I suppose it's better than the alternative. I stop myself. No. I know it's better than the alternative. I can still see my best friend's eyes. There's no way that I could have stayed after seeing that.

Strangely, thinking about him makes me feel better, despite knowing what happened to him... what had been awaiting me. I feel the edges of my mouth curl up.

Is that a real smile? Bewildered, I rush to the mirror. It is! I can almost see it. The thought of a smile appearing on my face makes me want to, well, smile! I almost laugh for joy. Ten years tomorrow! Tomorrow I'll be free!

Ah, freedom! Was there ever a sweeter word? No, of course not. Not one single- I stopped. I could see them. The beady red eyes glowing in the dark. Watching. Staring. I could feel them burning into me. I want to cry. I quickly turn around. I don't know why. I guess if I was going to go I want to be able to look it in the eyes.

A sharp gust of air leaves my lungs dry. It's only the digital clock that I have lying on the end table next to my bed. I look at the numbers on the clock and blinked. 23:58.

23:58. I repeat to myself. Is it really true? Tomorrow is only a couple of minutes away!

And then I feel it. I turn around and there it is.... a smile! An honest to goodness smile! It isn't one of the putrid imitations pasted onto my face that had made me detest looking in the mirror so. No, this is a healthy looking smile. I stroll over to the wall and press my palm to the faint indentation found therein. A few seconds later, the soft hum of Derring's Final Symphony comes vibrating through the walls.

It was to have been my victory music. To be played when I knew for a fact that they could not get me. But with that day so near I decided that it wouldn't be premature to play it, now only a minute to.

The smile never leaves my face. Not when I crawl back into bed. Not even when I hear the chittering sound. The one sound that I had learned to fear more than death itself. It doesn't even leave when I lift the covers and see the first set of eyes open. Not even when a dozen more seem to appear. That smile never leaves my face.

And the whole time all I can think of is how poetic it is. To have been found right when I was about to be free, right after I've experienced my first real smile in ages. Some might call it ironic. As for myself, well, I thought it was just poetic

Even when my eyes turn towards the clock. 23:59 it read. I smiled even as they dragged me under the covers and into the nothingness that is their home.

Simply poetic.

←- A Perfect Fit 02 | The Stone of Mount Phiss -→

11 Apr 2007:-) Désirée Dippenaar
Hehe~ I quite like the ending actually. It's true, it is quite poetic that they turned up just when the narrator thought he was safe at last. I like how you never really mention who "they" are, but leave it to the reader to notice or speculate ^^

*smiles galore* Thankee! These are things that I was trying to get across to the audience. I only think of 'them' as the unknown. I think that the unknown is what scares man the most for that exact reason, you just don't know what's hiding around the corner, waiting for you to drop your guard. The known can be just as frightening, but once you've encountered a thing, even if it's only in your head, you have some idea of how you might react, to what degree of fear it can take. The unknown however, hooboy, your fear can reach new heights all because you don't know what's there.
*looks up at his ranting and hangs his head* heh, sorry.

I think the story would have been okay without the last bit though, with the man coming in and noticing that no one is there.

I'm gonna be honest with ya, I had the whole story in my head, perfection as I saw it, but by the time I had worked out the major kinks in the first part I had forgotten exactly how I had wanted it to end. The entire story was simple enough when I came up with it but got complicated as I wrote it down and fleshed it out. I was not satisfied with the ending either. As soon as I can remember how I wanted it or can come up with a ~decent~ ending, I'll get it up as soon as possible.

One problem I noticed was that you changed tenses half-way through. You started present-tense and then changed to past.

GAH! I do that more often than I like to admit. WAY too much. *sighs* Oh, well, thanks for pointing that out. I think I've gotten so used to melding tenses into some twisted mockery of the real thing that I just don't notice anymore. Bleah.

Other than that, I quite liked this story! ^^ Was very interesting~Thank ya much! *takes the praise and stuffs it into a box marked 'Praise Box'* There we go, should be safe in there. *smiles gleefully*
11 Apr 2007:-) Lindsay Verde
Watch out for those short, choppy sentences. They tend to disrupt the flow of reading and can annoy readers.

Well, the only reason that I used this style of writing was for the narration. The reader is kind of "in" his mind while all of this is going on. Though I will try to make sure that the flow doesn't stop.

Don't forget to show the reader more than what you have to tell them in the story. Don't be afraid to put in descriptions to tell the reader the time and place that this character is in. It allows us to delve right into the story and helps in our imagining ourselves right there along with the characters.

*chuckles* If you could see half of the other stories I've written you would see that I usually put too much detail into my tales, I think if I ever decide that some of them are worth putting up you'll be able to see the difference. I was purposely trying to go in another direction then that where I usually go.

Then again[,] that's just me, forgetful.

I mean[,] really, no one who knew would have thought it possible.

It'[s] the only reason that I've stayed alive this long.

Checking the window[,] I see a television on across the street.

I smile[] again[,] I'm sure that it's a sick disgusting thing. - watch out, you're starting to repeat yourself, which can get annoying to the reader.

The only one to live [-] if you could call this living. - you hardly ever see ellipses in actual writing.

Strangely, thinking about him [made] me feel better, despite knowing what happened [to] him - what [was] awaiting me. - since it's still awaiting him if he gets caught I presume.

Bewildered[,] I rushed to the mirror.

It was only the digital clock that I had l[]ying on the end table[,] next to my bed

A few seconds later[,] the soft hum of Derring's Final Symphony came vibrating through the walls.

right after I experience[d] my

Finally[,] the door slid up into its chamber and waited.

Stepping into the room[,] he placed his palm onto the indentation in the wall and gave it a little twist.

He [was] walk[ing] back towards the entrance when he saw a pair of red eyes open beneath the bed.

The ending didn't really feel like an ending, it left waaay too many questions.

Heh, I hate that in any piece of work. I have to remember to look at the reader's pov more carefully next time.

What were the red eyed things, why was he running away from them? What did they do to him? What did the landlord know about them? Did he work for them? If this is part of a larger piece, this would work, but if it is a stand alone, the ending is unsatisfactory for the reader.

Overall, an intriguing piece, but you can make it even more so by adding in more description. It doesn't have to be major, huge paragraphs of adjectives, just a little here and there. For example, when you "I can still see my best friend's eyes" - mention what color they are, whether they're frightened or not, etc. What was in his best friends eyes that made it so that he couldn't stay after looking into them?

To be honest I wasn't entirely satisfied with this piece. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will try and keep your suggestions in mind when I rework this little guy.
12 Apr 2007:-) Lindsay Verde
Don't take my comments too harshly, I don't mean to be mean.

*holds up hands* Hold it. I didn't mean to make you think that I didn't like your criticisms or such. I do, I appreciate that you took the time to lend a hand. Perhaps how I received your critique made you think this, if that's the case I'm sorry.

Really, if I had thought that you spoke just to be mean then I wouldn't have even bothered replying to your comment and might have removed it if it wasn't appropriate.

I just know that I dislike when I get comments on my pieces that I want advice on that constitute somewhere in the vicinity of "wow, I really liked that" or "you're the best writer I've ever read" ... flattery and praise has its place, but if I'm going to improve my writing, I need the faults as well as the good parts pointed out.

I concur, in fact if someone were to spew a load of praise at me and little else I would probably be suspicious of their sincerity. They probably just want me to check out their own work. Although I must admit, (tho not in this case) after a certain piece gets a fair amount of comments, repetition can occur and, instead of repeating the same trite expressions, I prefer to concentrate on what I thought about the story in general, excluding what can and should be done.

I am bad at pointing out the good parts that I liked (unless they stand out significantly ... in which case they're usually something that I found humorous), so I just stick mostly to critiques.

I understand the point of view you're going for, but I think that you sacrifice flow by using that style. Maybe if you add in a bit more narration, it won't seem so choppy. And what I mean by this is that it seems like small little sentences "I did this", "I did that" ... where everything is told and nothing is shown. I think it would fill out the story a bit more and give it more color to add details. And like I said before, they don't have to be huge details.

No, yah, I hear you. That's something to think about. I want to try and stick to what I have but I also want it to be an interesting, if not captivating, read for the audience. I'm open to suggestions and appreciate the time you put into typing out your thoughts. I mean, if -nothing- really stood out as good in your mind (regardless of whether you're bad at it or not) I would want to remedy that if I could. Staying within certain parameters of course.

But hey, probably better than my first piece up on ew, most definitely better in the grammar department *crings* Morwood Tales is still up on my page ... I really must get to editing that before more people read it. But if you take a look at the intro ... now that is descriptive heavy writing ... but I meant it to be so. It was an exercise in seeing how much descriptive things I could put in there. But the rest of the story isn't nearly in danger of being as descriptive.

*chuckles vigorously* And here I thought that I used a lot of detailing in my other stories. *stands up and claps heartily* Bravo! I'm not the only one I see. 12
19 Apr 2007:-) Heidi Hecht
Nice little teaser. You've got me wondering who "they" are. I know Lindsey already said this but be careful about repeating yourself, especially with the smiling thing. Yah, I understand where everyone's coming from but it just felt right to me. Like this one story I read in a Hitchcock horror collection. The story went on but this one fact kept popping back up like a bad zit. Or an internet pop-up. ;p I guess I was just trying that style. Usually you just have to mention it once.
2 May 200745 L. Shanra Kuepers
A tall handsome man Ok, all of that above, just don't worry. As you will see in the revised version, it is no longer a problem. I don't know why I put it in, really. I went against my instincts and I've only had that feeling reinforced by comments.That said, I really liked the mystery in this. Well, minus the 'tomorrow' bit, because that just makes no sense to me the way it stands. However, I think it's fine that way. Perhaps he was just making that up as a way to give himself hope. It irks me, yes, but as you can see, I can up with at least one reason why it works the way it stands. ^-^ I'll leave what you do with it up to you.
*grins* Don't worry, it works. Think of it this way. Having been in their custody he knows how they operate and knows the intricacies of how they operate. I was going to go on longer but suffice to say that he knows they will only chase after him for 10 years exactly (down to the last second) once he escapes. After that they would leave him in peace, which is why he so looks forward to the 10 yr. anniversary. It literally means freedom. *clears throat* Ahem, anyway, where was I? Ah, yes. I love pieces that don't spell everything out for the reader. This does that. I'm presuming that the They are in some ways related to the monsters in the bed and in the closet, which gives this an added dimension of intrigue. Don't get too many stories about those. ('Monsters and co' being the only example I can think of.) Very, very nice concept. As said, I like the execution of the narrative style (in terms of sentences) as well. Is this part of a larger work? It'd be quite intruiging if so.

I hadn't really thought of that. I don't think I would, though. I'm sure that I'd just mess it up. I like this, more or less, as it is and want to keep it this way. That is, after I make a few changes, of course. I also really like the concept of time used (even if I have issues with the execution). We don't know his age, so maybe his best friend was a tatty old bear and he's about to turn 18 or 21 or something. I also liked the implications of the last thought. This pieces makes the reader ask questions, and the good kind of questions, are I'm sure you may have noticed by now. *claps hands like a lil' monkey.*

Well done! ^-^

Thank you much! Glad you enjoyed.
2 May 200745 L. Shanra Kuepers
I felt the edges of my mouth curl up. I know exactly what you mean. Unfortunately, that just seems to be one of my greatest problems. *sigh* Either you write this in present tense (and increase the impact of frantic thought immensely) or you write it in past tense (and have more room for descriptive descriptions), but not both. The choppiness I really think you can get away with, given the pov. He's hunted, so he's probably never getting enough sleep and always worrying. Does that to your mind. Even if he feels he's rid of them, those things are going to be second nature to him for a long time.

That said, I should admit that I'm not a fan of first person, nor of present tense. To be honest I hate writing in the first person and present tense. Just doesn't sound "right" to me.Voice-wise, I think you've got this down. It's constant, it fits the story. I do agree with Lindsay's comment on more description, but try to focus on things like the coolness of the water. He's going to have trained his ears for suspicious noises, for example, because if he hadn't been paying a lot of attention to his surroundings, whoever 'they' are would have caught him long ago. (Unless they're toying with him, in which case, he'd still have developed those instincts out of believed necessity.)

"Tomorrow I would be FREE!" Yikes! I did not catch that. I don't remember doing that on purpose so, uh, yah. Heh.

I stopped. As the author everything is going to be pretty obvious to me. I know this. I guess I thought that this would be obvious to others as well. You see, it doesn't matter what he's doing in specific because he stops everything. As soon as he sees those eyes his whole existence is just jolted. Kinda like when you see someone facing a rattlesnake on TV and they just stop, body and mind frozen in time.

me destest looking <- detest (I'm not pointing out the picks that Lindsay already caught, by the way. Unless, as you may have noticed, I disagree or have things to add.)

minute 'til. <- 'til? You mean until? (Prepositions are not words to end sentences with, by the way. Well, in that sentence they are but in yours it's just confusing. I want to read 'still', but those keys are a little too far apart to be a typo.)

I though, I thought it was just poetic <- Depending on what you want the sentence to say it should read 'I thought, I' or 'I, though, I'. If it interrupts or disrupts a clause (words like 'however', 'though', 'indeed', and relative clauses), it goes in between two commas. 'sWhy I'm not sure how to read this: it's ambiguous.
2 May 2007:-) Sarah-amy haley
Simply poetic! Loved it, I read this awhile ago but the comment wouldn't load 8
Anyway, this is a really original story that scared me alittle when i first read it. Hee hee. Thankee. That's just what I was going for. I tried to think of what might scare me. And darkness, the unknown, always the factor of fear there. Now it's day time so slightly less frightening, but still very good.
12 Jun 2007:-) Paulina Szulejewska
i like it, i REALLY do. i'm sorry, i'm not a very good nitpicker...

a bit confuzzled about the entire thing to be honest, but maybe that was your intention. i like it when people leave it kind of open ended...
or maybe they don't, and i'm just kinda slow...
ACK!! but thats SO FRUSTRATING... he was ALMOST THERE...

hehe, dun mind me... lol. Not at all. Glad you liked it. Sorry it left you confuzzled tho. I meant to post the rework up some time ago, but never did.
6 Jul 2009:-) Jake Diebolt
You did a good job here conveying the sense of paranoia, though we get little enough of an idea of what the room looks like, or what measures the character is taking to keep his enemies out. A tinfoil hat? Soundproof walls? Duct tape on the windows?

I figured from the get-go that he would get taken, just not by what. From your description, I find myself imagining tiny mechanical spiders...or highly aggressive, psychotic squirrels. But those are just the things that chase ME most of hte time, so Im probably biased.

For the most part, I liked not knowing for sure what the creatures were, or the circumstances of the character’s capture. Its the paranoia, the build up, that matters...although I find myself wondering why ten years is a limit to the creatures...

Overall, a good story. It just needs to be spiced up with a little description, just enough to put an image into the reader’s heads. I wont comment on grammar and punctuation - mine is bad enough sometimes.

13 Jeremy Whiteoak replies: "Heh, thanks a lot. One of my earlier works. Wrote it in one sitting actually. I like how it came out for the most part but seems if I try to fiddle with it some more the result is simply sub-par, so I leave it as is.

Oh, and thanks for not commenting on the grammar, I’ve since left that devious organization behind. I mean really, unless a story is just so hideously written that it obstructs all understanding it’s not so great a deal.

Glade you enjoyed it."
26 Feb 2010:-) Rachel Lawlor
Very tragic. "Poetic" is really a good word to describe it.

It’s vague, though. I’d like to know more about the back story - though I could see that being in a second piece (I feel including it here would muddle things up). It kind of bothers me, those slight hints at what happened to the narrator without any real information.

Though the previous commenter made a good point - the important part of this story is the build up and the feeling of paranoia, not necessarily what caused it (hence the muddling up if you included it in this piece). And you really did get the paranoia feeling down well.

On the other hand, I think the vagueness works really well for the actual creatures that take him. Just red eyes and chittering noises keeps it nice and creepy. The less detail, the more our fear of the unknown kicks in. I really like getting to use my imagination, too; the creatures make me think of demonic mice.

All in all, a pretty nice piece!

:-) Jeremy Whiteoak replies: "Thank ya’ kindly.

The back story. The more I think about it the more I’m actually tempted to write up an official one. Despite my previous misgivings.

I’m glad I was able to translate the sensations I had in my head when I was writing this. I don’t usually delve into the spookier side of writing. This was all a little new for me actually. Normally, I hate a sad ending, but I rather enjoyed this one.

I’m glad you enjoyed it. 2"
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 • Created by: :-) Jeremy Whiteoak
 • Copyright: ©Jeremy Whiteoak. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Darkness, Escape
 • Categories: Vampires, Zombies, Undeads, Dark, Gothic
 • Views: 361

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