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Fiction: Footsteps
Posted by angel_of_death on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 07:02 AM PST

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Jane woke to the sound of footsteps passing by her door, they where heavy and random, and she knew what it meant. It was not an unusual occurrence in her household; it was her farther coming home drunk. Jane curled up in her bed and closed her eyes, all she had to do was wait soon it would come, even tho Jane was young she was wise. She heard her farther open the door of her parent’s bedroom, it creaked slowly echoing through the house, she heard him stumble round, waking Janes mother. Her mother was still drowsy and disorientated from the pills the doctor gave her, and did not have time to get a good look at her husband, the husband she had loved faithfully for 9 years, no matter what. For the rest of her life Jane would wonder why her mother had never just left, just packed up and left, why had her mother let things get so bad, go so wrong.

Her mother shot of some remark and immediately regretted it, after some mumbling, and some yelling the first blow was given to Jane’s mother, it was the first, but not the last. For years Jane had listened to her farther beat her mother over the littlest things, a burnt dinner, a high bill and even tho it was Jane farther at fault, her mother always took the punishment for it. Jane knew that tonight would be long and loud, and that eventually he would come for her, Janes never really knew why, why her daddy would hurt her, but he did. It seamed like forever that the sounds kept coming, the screams of fear from her mother that would follow Jane for the rest of her life, the occasional thud of her farther throwing something, of glass breaking, the sobbing and begging of her mother and her farther yelling, his voice cut Jane up inside, it filled her with anger and pain.

It seamed to go on forever, and then it stopped, for that one second of silence Jane was frozen, she was paralysed with fear and then she panicked, tears sprang from her eyes, he was coming she could feel it, she felt the floor boards shake as he thundered towards her room, she could hear the yelling get louder. Her bedroom door burst open and light from the hall flooded her floor, blinding her. Jane closed her eyes tight and tried to go to another place, memories flashed across her mind, of her mother and farther hugging, of Jane falling asleep in her daddy’s lap, of her farther saying sorry again and again, of her daddy hitting her for the first time.

A huge hand reached under the bed to get her, she tried to avoid it but her fathers hand grabbed her shoulder none the less. Jane screamed in pain as she was ripped out from under the bed, she closed her eyes and cried, for help, for somebody, for anything. She was silenced by a slap across the face but still sobbed quietly to her self, as her farther dragged her down the hall the tears streamed down her cheeks, because her mother had promised her that this would never happen again. Just as Jane and her farther reached her parents bedroom Jane realized her tears where red, her fathers weading ring had left a gash across her face.

As her farther burst into the bedroom Janes blood ran cold, it had never been this bad, the room was a mess, everything as a mess and it scared Jane to her core. Everything in the room was on the floor or broken, there was blood on the bed and on the floor, it was dim because her farther had broken one of lights. Jane let out a sob as she saw her mother in the corner, she almost did not recognize her, she had blood on her hands and her cloths had been ripped, they to where covered in blood. But it was her mother face that would haunt her dreams, it was purple and red from the bruises and blood, her eyes where closed and Jane feared that her mother was dead. But when she opened her eyes Jane saw pain and sadness, it was like she was peering into her mother soul, there was no happiness only anger, and then Jane saw a glimmer of hope.

There was more yelling, Jane could only catch some off the words, then her mother pulled out a gun. She pointed it at Janes farther and in a quivering voice said five words Jane would never forget ‘I told you never again’ then there was the loudest bang Jane had ever heard, but it was the silence that followed that really shock Jane up.
The first thing Jane felt was a shudder pass all through her fathers body, then he lost all of his strength, she could feel him begin to fall to his knees, he dropped her and she landed on her feet, he landed flat on the ground.

Jane just stood there wondering what to do, she knew deep down that her daddy was dying, and she wanted him to leave, but in a way she wanted him to stay. Jane took a step forward and laid a shacking hand on her farther back and she felt the most amazing thing, life, and then it was gone, something changed about him he looked the same but was different. In his eyes, she saw the anger melt away and she saw, for just a split second the love that he had for her. He reached out for her, but she stepped away, it was a reflex reaction, but she wanted to run to him, for that last hug, for the last goodbye. ‘Come here darling’, her mother voice pulled her out of her trance and she walked over to her mother. Jane at age 7 watched her farther die by her mother’s hand, and for the rest of the night she stayed curled up in her mothers lap, falling asleep to the smell of blood and gunpowder.



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Total ratings : 6

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Footsteps | Login/Create an account | 17 Comments
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Re: Footsteps
by RedQueen (-)
on Oct 20, 2004 - 04:37 PM
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Great story. I mean, the subject matter is horrifying and all, but the plot development, the point of view, and the climax are all very good. Outside of small mechanical errors, I'd say this kicks ass. The conflict, the imagery, the soul-gripping realism of Jane's fear and confusion... you got all down perfectly, I think. The last line is haunting and fitting.


Re: Footsteps
by Merry_Widow on Oct 20, 2004 - 08:57 PM
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To be entirely honest, the grammatical errors were way too distracting. You also do a lot of telling instead of showing. Instead of just saying Jane was scared, show us the fear in her body language, in the way she is seeing things, in her actions.
What you have here is a good start to a story, but it needs to be cleaned up.


Re: Footsteps
by Starlight (elenmea@hotmail.com)
on Oct 20, 2004 - 09:28 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.geocities.com/nony_one/index.html
There were a lot of spelling and grammatical errors that really ought to be corrected. Also, I think that there was a bit of overuse of the main character's name, Jane, throughout the story. That somewhat distracted me a bit more than the spelling actually did. I liked the description in the story, and it moved along at a really good pace. It kept me interested as I read it, and I liked the wording you chose at the ending. Overall, once you get past the grammar and the spelling, it was a very good story.


Re: Footsteps
by callei on Oct 20, 2004 - 09:49 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://http://
Ok see this is why I usually edit things, so that people dont get the critisisms (that they deserve) and why I BEG people to spell check and read it out loud BEFORE they send it to me.

And this is a good, clean edited article compared to what i usually get sent.

And you people bitch that I am a spelling and grammar Nazi when i send things back to you and say "please clean this up or its not going up" or "what they hell are you trying to say in this? its looks like alphabet soup!" I figure its better to be laughed and by just me than by everyone that comes here.

So neener.

(i thought it was a good bit of story, and since "everyone" said they wanted me to stop correcting, cleaning, and folding other people's stuff, i posted it as it came. well I added some spacing so it was easier to read..., but that is all!)


Re: Footsteps
by feralucce (feralucce@wayoutonthecorner.com)
on Oct 21, 2004 - 12:27 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.wayoutonthecorner.com/feralucce
i... can't... I just... can't


Re: Footsteps
by Kira (mod_complex-at-hotmail.com)
on Oct 21, 2004 - 09:38 AM
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Predictable.

This same story has been told in nearly exactly this same way hundreds of times in hundreds of different formats. The characters are all stereotypes. The drama feels forced to me...going back to someone's comment (sorry, I forget who) about how it is easy to make drama out of a large life event (ie, someone murdering someone) but much more challenging to find the drama in smaller, mundane situations.

And the spelling, grammar, and vocabulary all need lots of editing.


Re: Footsteps
by Domkitten (saradevil@saradevil.com)
on Oct 21, 2004 - 02:57 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.saradevil.com
I hate to harp on the spelling and grammar thing, but really. If there had even been a little consistency in the misspelling I would have been willing to overlook it, but there wasn't. It just kind of rambled. I get this a lot myself in my writing before I clean it up so I know I’m being honest when I say, “what is with all the commas?” There seem to be a lot more then you need.

This is a great big powerful moment, right, this little girl watching her father die. However, the little girl’s ability to cognitively process the events going on precludes her being a little girl. She is looking at it from a much older point of view so I found the statement that she was 7 very distracting in the end. I can see it from a teenager, but not from a child of seven. Just the fighting back alone, at that age with that level of abuse, seems unreal.

Again, it’s a great big moment, so you have all that pain and emotion, but it’s horribly unfocused, and smacks of one to many “message” movies then an actual story.

Why can’t you build up some dynamic here, something that makes the reader really feel the pain, the bitterness of this little girl? You try to bring in some imagery of the time when the father was not a “bad man” but it’s too little to late, and it makes your antagonist evil, the girl good, and the mother a puppet figure. It becomes very black and white, predictable, and dry.

It’s not that this can’t be a good bit of writing. But it could be a more interesting bit of writing as part of a larger piece, perhaps. It’s a good start, but try branching out into another subject something without all the built in drama to push it forward.

Examples, a picnic, a walk in the park, getting picked up from school, these are all events that your characters could relate too. These are things they would have done at some point. Knowing that the finale of their relationships is the murder and abuse, could you not weave that tension into a different scene? Or, some real work, you have the event, now what happens. Could this be the beginning of something more interesting?

Really, Britva did a fabulous job with the fiction workshop ( http://www.shmeng.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=667 ), and you can even submit a story to him for feedback before posting it as an article. You’ll still get the constructive criticism and you can write better, more interesting, and more intensely layered stories.


Re: Footsteps
by Moinlen_Drigenu (-)
on Oct 25, 2004 - 03:53 AM
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A moment of truth before something cruel yet kind happens. It can be depicted in so many ways, but most oftenly comes out in this form. Something that most are afraid of, yet most likely to think of. A death or a murder for the good of one other, yet the sadness of something that can only be stopped by one way in the imagination. Well written, the abstract style of writing allows lots to be twisted by the mind and thoughts. Something that some like other don't. Tops story.


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