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pgreenbergcrime's picture

Last Stop, Hell!

By pgreenbergcrime in Arrest Us

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Description

It ain't easy being a car salesman. Especially if you're a psychotic sociopath. Stay out of his way and for God's sake don't sort his sock draw.

Comments

Hooper Triplett's picture
Hooper Triplett from Tucson, AZ is reading Fever Pitch June 6, 2014 - 7:48pm

The story arc didn't work for me.  The parts of the story didn't seem to naturally or ironically lead to the conclusion.  Felt disjointed.  If the point was to demonstrate how depraved or sick the character could be, it fell short.  He came across petulant - not sinister or frightening.

Part of the challenge might have been the use of the names of known people which didn't appear to be an homage or relevant to the story.

Needs another proofreading.  At least one dropped quotations mark.  Some inconsistent formatting.  Shorthand for Cadillac is Caddy (or even Caddie), but not Cady.  Martini shouldn't be capitalized.  All minor but adds up to preventing the reader for being immersed.

Devon Taylor's picture
Devon Taylor from Allentown, PA is reading Doctor Sleep June 6, 2014 - 10:33pm

Interesting story.  The writing itself was pretty good, aside from a few punctuation issues.  There didn't seem to be a whole lot of motivation for this guy to be doing what he was doing.  I can't say that I found him all that interesting.  He was kind of just an asshole.  But maybe that's what you were going for.  It was interesting that it turned out to be his mom at the end.  I don't know if that was supposed to be a surprise or not, but it certainly caught me off guard.  Overall it was a decent story, if a little brutal.  Thanks for sharing!

Devon Taylor's picture
Devon Taylor from Allentown, PA is reading Doctor Sleep June 6, 2014 - 10:33pm

Interesting story.  The writing itself was pretty good, aside from a few punctuation issues.  There didn't seem to be a whole lot of motivation for this guy to be doing what he was doing.  I can't say that I found him all that interesting.  He was kind of just an asshole.  But maybe that's what you were going for.  It was interesting that it turned out to be his mom at the end.  I don't know if that was supposed to be a surprise or not, but it certainly caught me off guard.  Overall it was a decent story, if a little brutal.  Thanks for sharing!

Grant Williams's picture
Grant Williams from Wichita, KS is reading Friday June 10, 2014 - 10:04am

I think with a little work it could do quite a bit more.  It has taken me a little time to consider the story and what I think you were getting at.  It's obvious he hates women or objectifies them to the extreme, and from the ending I gather that's due to his broken relationship with his mother.  I think in order to drive that point home, the story might need to be trimmed down a bit, possibly brushing over some of his exploits with women and maybe adding a bit more about what's wrong with his mother and maybe where his father is.  The character is consistent in his behavior, so it's clear that you know who he is, but I think the reader needs to know a bit more about why so he doesn't just come off as a prick.  The story moves, so even though you are reaching the long side of the word count it doesn't feel long, so that's good.

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK June 12, 2014 - 3:18am

I really wanted to like this, but your guy isn't a sociopath, and some of his actions and decisions didn't fit with his character. Plus I didn't like the ending, sorry. Perhaps if it was a depressed car salesman on a downward spiral of destruction as an act of rebellion against his life, trying to get laid but failing, and ultimately crashing the car and laughing as he realised he'd hit bottom, that may work. Keep at it, though. There's a lot of potential. (Sorry, that sounds really patronising, but is not intended to!)

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) June 13, 2014 - 3:43am

I have to agree with Seb – your protagonist is neither psychotic nor a sociopath. He is repulsive and petulant, with a bizarre penchant for screwing himself. Most of his actions are bewildering, and his motivations are fuzzy in the extreme.

The reveal at the end that the woman at home is his mother rather than a wife is effective, but we’re never close to understanding why he wants her dead. If she’s that irritating, there are far better methods to get away rather than murder. What makes this his only way out? He goes to the bar to work out his strategy, but this consists of writing just two words down on a napkin – “accident” and “fire”. Then by the end he’s just fixated on the latter word, and acknowledges that he’ll have to go on the run. Moving to Vegas and running his own business (with no capital) doesn’t sound like the best plan to avoiding the authorities.

Both times as he is about to get what he wants with women, he decides to hurt them instead. With Brenda, there is literally no reason. There doesn’t seem to be much in either encounter to set off his anger. Its fine giving a character like this a quick to flare temper, but there needs to be a trigger. There needs to be something where we as a reader feel that tension of knowing this is going to set him off.

I wasn’t sure why you seem to be using the names of people in the music industry. Is there any point to doing this that I am missing?

You have a lot to work with here. The protagonist could be an interesting one, and he has enough of a unique voice to suggest you could have a good story here. My personal opinion is that you need to work on the motivations, or at least do a better job of letting the reader understand the motivations more. He’s a nasty piece of work, but we need an in with him.

Best of luck.

coded's picture
coded from Earth is reading Purple Flame July 9, 2014 - 8:09am

Hi pgreenbergcrime,


Wired name…
T’was a cool story. However, it didn’t quite cut it for me.

One of the reasons being; the name you chose.
‘Last Stop, Hell!’? That title opened my imagination but killed it DEAD when I read the last page of your story and…. But I guess I can excuse the title since finding a suitable name isn’t that easy. ;)


I must applaud you on your description though. It ain't easy being a car salesman. Especially if you're a psychotic sociopath. Stay out of his way and for God's sake don't sort his sock draw. It’s kick-ass-good! ;)

Is it me, or is your character name-less? I honestly at this point don’t recall reading his name.
And that woman he detests oh so much.
Who is she?
Why doesn’t he like her?
What did she do?
What is her name?
Is she insane or sick or something?

A back-story or paragraph would be helpful at this point. Because I’m still wondering why he burnt the house down.
Or, did the house even...? *sigh*
At the end I was like, “Okaaay then.” *scratched head* “whut? That’s it? Is this some sick joke? Where’s the rest of the story?”
okay the kitchen is on fire. And…?

“It’s Hell, Ma,” I answered. “Welcome to Hell!”
I can probably come up with one hundred things that is just ‘NO’ in relation to the above quote.
‘Ma’, is that mother for short?
Is that like the sexy thing guys call their spouse? You know, like; hey ma, sup ma, whatchu doin’ ma?
‘Hell’ psstkk the kitchen’s on fire for crying out loud! ‘Welcome to hell!’ *rolls eyes*
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

 

And what’s with these?
• I get up and make for the door?
• I drive my elbow into his ribs, on my way out.
Aren’t you writing on the past tense?

 


Besides that, I love your character traits of Mr. IDidntGet HisName. I appreciate the crazy’s. *wink*

Besides your awesome description I liked this part.
I also adjusted Mr. Happy who seemed to be excited at the prospect of a little exercise.

 

The CrazyRabbit Lady
CrazyRabbit.

Rate my story, i'm open to criticism :)
http://litreactor.com/events/arrest-us/the-demons-that-fill-you-with-fear
 

Cmangano's picture
Cmangano from Maine July 28, 2014 - 2:55pm

You have a strong beginning here that I think gets lost because  it takes so long to come back to "her". The mother has an odd characterization of putting dog hair in Ziploc bags? Is she just a clean freak, maybe spend some more time on her character. At the end is he engulfed in flames and laughing? No shrieks of pain or panic? Overall I think you've got a decent story aside from those things and a few spelling errors.