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thessilian's picture

Alien Chemistry

By thessilian in Teleport Us

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Description

Teenagers make stupid mistakes every day.  We've all seen a story on the news about some poor kid who has fallen in with the wrong crowd or run off and disappeared.   But what if the people who are supposed to protect these kids are only out for themselves?  What if their teachers, or even their own parents won't help them? 

This is the story of fifteen year old Brooklyn, and her friend Britney, as they try to get some control back in their lives, starting by selling themselves on a street corner.

Comments

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 21, 2013 - 12:43am

Like it a lot. It does feel a mite rough around the edges in places, and while the child prostitution theme really works it gets a bit confusing at times. I guess what you want is for the reader to make the transition from revulsion over the fate of the little girls to the realisation that there is something altogether different that the man is after. You tend to jump a bit back and forth. 

Love the ending. Push of the little thing. Really good. 

thessilian's picture
thessilian from UK February 25, 2013 - 4:03am

Thanks for the read and the comments.  I'll take them on board when I look at a re-write. 

SuziO's picture
SuziO from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia February 21, 2013 - 9:31pm

I love the idea of this story, and the way that it paints a picture of the world, without telling you everything. I was left wanting to know more about the world you have created. However, there were a few spots where it lost me a bit, in particular, around the time when they are picked up by the teacher. The description of what is happening here could be a little clearer.

Well done!

thessilian's picture
thessilian from UK February 25, 2013 - 4:06am

I'm glad the sparse details worked for you.  Thanks for the note about the teacher picking them up, I'll try to clarify that section.

Cheers for the read.

courtshipofthemonsters's picture
courtshipofthem... from Seattle, Washington is reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen February 22, 2013 - 9:07pm

Oh man, you have great voice! Your descriptions were superb and I loved the little descriptive details in your story, like the bit about the barbie. Your whole concept was very original, but I found myself getting a little lost at parts. While the voice was great, the structure could have been a little clearer (not that I'm one to talk about structure). I wasn't sure how we jumped from certain parts to others. The ending was definitely surprising, and it was nice to read something that wasn't super cliche'! You did a great job, it just needs a little polishing. Thanks for sharing!

thessilian's picture
thessilian from UK February 25, 2013 - 4:07am

Thank you so much for the read.  I think I've lost most readers, so I need to look at the structure and make sure it's clearer.  I'm so glad you enjoyed the ending. I'll give this another re-write and try to apply your comments.

 

Cheers.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. February 28, 2013 - 7:40pm

A very smooth read! The world you setup reminds me a great deal of Half Life 2, though a little less apocalyptic. You did a good job of making the opening look like one thing and then turning it into another.

Excellent work!

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) March 8, 2013 - 5:58am

This is an interesting world, with a defined story arc, and I enjoyed it.  It's a strong opening, and that first paragraph grabbed me.  The idea of these youngsters working street corners but with virginity intact was intruiging.  While you didn't lose me, the middle section could do with a little more clarity, the part in the car in particular.  The ending is pitch perfect - it closes the arc really well.  Good story!

Hildur Enola's picture
Hildur Enola from Iceland is reading The Anansi Boys March 27, 2013 - 10:18am

Hi, I read your story and made some comments in the attached file.

Liam Hogan's picture
Liam Hogan from Earth is reading Hugo Nominations March 28, 2013 - 2:55pm

Definitely got potential, this one. Needs neatening up, some, though, for full effect!

I'd assume that when the Alien is introduced, that they are inside the (presumably war of the worlds type) alien craft, which makes the explosion make sense, but it's not clear. Nor is it clear how the Iceni are attacking the other craft - how they can coordinate getting onboard multiple ships at the same time, nor how they can recruit enough suicide missions?

You need to explain a little more about the bombs as well - I get and like the whole mixing of things required, but we don't really see that - we know Brooklyn is going to trigger it, but what part does the electricity play? Why would the alien bring it on board?

I think you could play the "good side" of the Alien tech stronger, to make the contrast to the fact they feed on humans stronger. We might also want to hear how the humans in power are won over, and willing to turn a blind eye.

It's a good idea to work your way through what is in the story, making sure each part  belongs, and does it's work. For instance, why does Brooklyn free herself, if she can activate the bomb with her mind even if she is restrained? The language is generally good, distinct, but there does seem to be moments when you overplay what you need to say.

The interaction between the girls and Mr Moore in the car is tricky - both parties are playing a part, though the girls know he is and he doesn't know they are. And you have the moment when he realises he is getting two "for the price of one" rather underplayed. See if you can heighten the tension. Maybe even mention the girls are scared of men, because maybe one of them is making the girls disappear (misdirection, but a plausible act on their part).

Why would Suzie Ellis be harvested so soon? Only two weeks? These girls have had their powers (getting stronger) for 8 months?

But the ideas are good, and with a little work it would be even better. Thumbs up for the effort and inventiveness!

Adam Christopher's picture
Adam Christopher May 5, 2013 - 1:49pm

Hello!

I really enjoyed this story - I thought it was the perfect length, and it met the parameters of the challenge, being:

1. Explore a utopian/dystopian theme - I thought the setting was great. The descriptions and backstory were vague, but nicely done, with just enough information to keep me intrigued by it all.

2. Feature a technology that's scientifically plausible - it did, but possibly this was the weak part of the story. I liked the little twist where we discover they're not prostitutes in the traditional sense, but there could have been a bit more explanation seeded in. It's a minor complaint though.

3. Feature a non-human character - I would have liked to have seen more of the creature, and how it and Mr Moore interact (he seems to just sit around while the creature feeds on Britney). It wasn't entirely clear what the aliens were extracting from the girls, but that almost doesn't matter - as readers of this short vignette, we don't even need to know. I felt like that about most of the plot, actually - not all of it is understandable, because there's a whole world here and we're only seeing a tiny moment in time, but I think it worked. I could just go with it. Any more exposition would have turned into an "As you know, Bob," moment, and would have made the whole thing much drier.

It was well written, although the rhythm of the prose was bumpy, particuarly in the first half. This is where I get pretentious: all writing has a rhythm, even straight prose (as opposed to poetry or lyric). The rhythm is possibly that unidentifiable X-factor that lives between the lines and makes one book a page-turning bestseller and another one just a great book. I found it difficult to latch onto the rhythm of the writing to start with, although it does improve. For a short piece, this is a key part of the work, and it didn't quite work for me.

However... the writing is great and it's very nearly there. Reading the work aloud will help a lot with smoothing things over. There was definitely a voice in the work, and I'd be interested in reading more by you if I saw your name in the contents of an anthology.

Great stuff. A little more polish, a little more knowledge of how your own voice works (which will just come from writing and writing and writing and writing and writing) and I think there's something damn fine going on.

-- Adam