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tobygibbons87's picture

GHOSTS

By tobygibbons87 in Arrest Us

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Description

"GHOSTS."

 

Three friends gather before the funeral of a fallen comrade where their actions and choices are examined by a guilt-ridden protagonist.

 

Word Count: 3956.

Comments

Damon Lytton's picture
Damon Lytton from Augusta, Kansas is reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow July 6, 2014 - 1:52pm

Hey Toby,

I really liked this one.  I feel like this has a perfect balance between dialogue and description.  You let the dialogue lead when it should and break back in when it's not enough.  I thought you built three distinct characters and played them off each other brilliantly.  I loved that final line and the way it colors everything that preceded it.  It's the kind of Tomato Surprise that couldn't work in most other mediums but is beautiful here.  It also highlights a gray area that I've always been interested in (e.g. corrupt cops and criminals don't look all that different).

Honestly there's not much I would change in this story.  Maybe a little more on who Kerry is - though, I undertand why you couldn't look too much into him without giving away your twist.

Good work, Toby.  Keep it up.

YouAreNotASlave's picture
YouAreNotASlave from Birmingham United Kingdom July 7, 2014 - 4:39am

Similar to the above, i thought the dialogue was very strong, characters too. Theprotags haunted state really comes through and the british slang estabishes astrong identity and flow within the conversation. The final line at the end worked well too, nice tightly packed read that was easy and anjoyable.

A few things, though, I think the protags disinterest in mark cud be shown stronger, for someone just trying to pretend to listen he asks a lot of questions in the introductory bits of conversation. And im unsure if mark is the sort of character whod be fucked on energy drinks if hes snorting clatter all the time. I would also maybe like a bit more elaboration on the kind of trouble they were in with kerry, but obviouslythis has to be constrained by the public environment in which the characterspeak, something i thought was carried out well. 

A final very personal gripe, the two supporting characters being mark and jez just reminded me of peep show and ihad to actively not think of the pair as david mitchell and robert webb. Obviously thats just going to affect a small number of peopple.

Oerall nicely executed, had a bit of an irvine welsh feel about it: it all felt real and seedy and tense. Thumbs up!

tom

Juice Ica's picture
Juice Ica from Rhode Island is reading The Twelve by Justin Cronin & Beautiful Creatures July 8, 2014 - 8:53am

I really enjoyed this. There isn't all that much I would change as Damon said. The dialogue was some of my favorite bits, it was snappy and on point. I really got a feel for the 3 characters and what they were going through and that final line was perfect. Well done!

Aud Fontaine's picture
Aud Fontaine from the mountains is reading Catch-22. Since like, always. July 12, 2014 - 9:50pm

Toby,

This was brilliant. I definitely have to agree with the Irvine Welsh comparison; not only did this have a similar sort of tone (particularly the way you made a sort of mantra out of the list of drugs) but the way you did the dialogue was very well handled. As someone not native to the UK it takes a very steady hand to implant the accent in my head without it feeling forced and you pulled it off naturally. I also really enjoyed how you juggled the talking bits with the narration of this guy going almost completely out of his mind. Personally, I would've enjoyed a little bit more of the latter but that's just me. The way you have it now works swimmingly. I agree with the other commentors though on the lack of Kerry. It's obvious why you only made the one mention of him, but that mention is so sinister it makes you want more. Maybe they could glance him at the funeral and that sends the protagonist reeling? Just a suggestion from a greedy reader. Also, I feel like they spend an awful lot of time at the bar when you could probably wrangle a bit more tension by sending them to the funeral earlier. This could also give you the opportunity to drop a few subtlle hints about their dual professions, peaking the reader's curiosity a little more. Overall though, this was a really well written piece and exceptionally fun to read. Kudos.

Aud.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) July 15, 2014 - 4:33am

This is really effective, and an entertaining read. I do like that little spin at the end - it made me take a mental step backward without seeming out of place and just there because you wanted a twist. The characters are good, though I thought Jez could have been brought into the story a little earlier.

The dialogue is mostly good, though I think you could cut down the conversation about Mark's ex, which adds nothing to the story. I agree with Aud in that the funeral is such a great place to ramp up the tension. We have the anticipation at the bar, but don't spend a lot of time getting Johnny to the one place that is really going to set off his guilt. I think that's a shame.

I can see why others want more mention of Kerry. Personally I think this is fine as it is. Keep mention of him to minimum, and let the reader fill in the blanks. The Kerry in my head is probably a damn sight scarier than any you could put down on the page.

Solid thumbs up from me.

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK July 16, 2014 - 7:40am

Like it. Very authentic and gripping, and the dialogue was excellent. Great stuff.