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BIgoldbutter Snowmanjam's picture

The Republican

By BIgoldbutter Sn... in Arrest Us

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Teaser: When a strange drifter with a red cape arrives at Hostal International on Hollywood Boulevard, things quickly go awry for the late night bellhop...

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Alec Cizak's picture
Alec Cizak June 30, 2014 - 8:42pm

Lot of good description in this story.  I don't know if the constant shfting from past tense to present tense and back again was intentional or not, but it made the story a little difficult to read.

David Gillette's picture
David Gillette from Tustin, CA is reading Transmetropolitan July 1, 2014 - 11:20am

I like the flow. I think you telegraph the ending a bit, but you have a great concept. Time to tighten that up with some of the dialogue and spelling. Once you do that, I think you're in the zone. Also, you may want to consider tying the police into. I'm thinking they could be there in the end as he makes a disturbance to arrest him, that way you hit the prompt of the contest more on the nail.

Joe P's picture
Joe P from Brainerd, MN is reading Wheel of Time July 2, 2014 - 4:12am

You have some good things going for you with this story. I think your writing style flows and is readable. You made a couple interesting characters and put them in an interesting situation.
But I think you lack a real conflict. Aside from a guy who can't seem to find a room for the night, there's no real danger or conflict. There needs to be something one of the characters needs to achieve or conquer or survive or escape to make a story.
We realize pretty quick after the Somali Pirate incident what's going on. After that happens, we're really out of surprises. Sure the guy goes off and does more things, but how does the situation change? Maybe I'm looking for more than just these two guys and who they think each other is. But if that's the main conflict, it lacks tension. The importance of that relationship needs to be jacked up.
A few small notes I made while reading:
I know I'm pretty cautious when it comes to mentioning politics in fiction. People might get the impression you're making a political statement, and then you've just isolated 50% of your potential readership. It didn't bother me, but it might others.
I liked the nod to Jesus and Superman when he gives the guy a name. I enjoy little hidden treats in a story.
I felt the ending was a bit abrupt. It feels a little like it in ends in the middle of the story. We can guess but don't know that the narrator believes who the man is. We don't really get any clues about how the narrator reacts.
I liked that the narrator starts off as a jaded cynical jerk, and then softens as the story goes along. I'd like to see him complete that arc by doing something truly sacrificial. Something that outs him at risk. That might be the real core of your story.
That's about all I got. Keep writing!

mattymillard's picture
mattymillard from Wolverhampton, England is reading Curse of the Wolf Girl - Martin Millar July 2, 2014 - 3:48pm

Hey mate!

I really liked the concept, and for this reason I gave you a thumbs up - but there were a few things that I wasn't so keen on. I do think that it is something that could really work with a bit of refining though, so well done for getting an intriguing story out.


My suggestions / comments are below - feel free to adjust / ignore as you wish, it's obviously your story!!!

First of all - I found it really difficult to like the bellhop. This isn't particular a problem for the story, but the fact that he was the narrator made it a little difficult for me. I thought that either he needs to chill out a bit, or the narrator shoudl be impartial. I felt that instead of the drifter antagonising him, the bellhop was actually just being aggressive and a little judgemental. Maybe the drifter needs to be more of a pain to make the current structure work more.

Secondly, I felt that between the first and second visit there was a big section missing. Something - maybe some commentary or more scene setting may help here. It just felt like the story arc had lost a big part.

Thirdly - this may have been my e-reader (?), but there were no speech marks! Makes it tough when reading the dialogue, especially when you have quite a few comments around it (which were good - i did think the dialogue worked well).

Overall a cool concept though, which is why I gave it a thumbs up! I really like the drifter character - this was really well portayed.

Well done,


Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK July 4, 2014 - 3:32am

Like it. I think you need to cut out the 'I thought' bits, though. The ending is a bit of an anticlimax as well. Why is this guy talking to this kid? What makes him want to be friends with him? It's an interesting story that feels like it needs another paragraph or so at the end. Also, watch for spelling mistakes and typos, there's several. Still, an interesting story.

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) July 11, 2014 - 5:52am

I like the central premise, though I think the execution makes it lose impact. As others have commented, the revelation is telegraphed, and by the time the Somalian pirates are dealt with, we all know what is going on. In those cases, what you need to do is subvert expectations, so the ending becomes a surprise. Your ending goes nowhere, because nothing has really changed. The protagonist is still blissfully ignorant.

The gap in between events further weakens the story. If this were happening on consecutive days there would be more immediacy. I’d like to see the relationship between the protagonist and the hero developed. If there’s a friendship developing here, it would make more sense to the story. There’s nothing at risk here. It’s a quirky story, but there’s nothing to latch on to, which no matter how you write it, is going to make the whole thing feel passive.

A little more development and I think you’d really have something here.