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Untitled Story, Rough Draft.

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  00:37:56  11 August 2005
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Fux0r666
resident smart-ass
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On forum: 06/04/2003
 

Message edited by:
Fux0r666
08/11/2005 0:40:56
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Untitled Story, Rough Draft.

This is a story I brewed up randomly as a challenge. It is in the rough draft stage, and I want to give it a rest while I see if I want to keep going with it and give it a proper shake-down. It is derivative of another idea- A friend of mine was writing a short blurb about an over-published S:SoC creature for some other website, and the situation was so inherently absurd that I thought I would try to flesh it out. I wanted to see how natural I could make it. I tried a few different techniques which I will go into later. For now, here is the story:


Untitled

Pripyat. That was their destination. It is the staging area for all whom seek fame and fortune in the zone. It is heavily surveyed- yes, you are always being watched from afar- but it is rarely patrolled. The Russian government conducts the odd raid that a stalker has to be wary of, but rarely do they send in anything more than second line regulars. Even then, the patrols are infrequent. Walking through an area that is heavily built up with trigger happy thieves is not the most effective way to maintain order. There is much money to be made in the zone, and that money attracts the most desperate scum that this global village has to offer. Whether or not they conducted raids, they cannot stay in the zone indefinitely. Displacing this scum, these stalkers, is only a temporary solution. They will always come back when the soldiers are gone. Where there is violence and money, there will be those who are willing to do anything to commit the former in order to attain the latter. That is, at least, the going theory. In any case, soldiers are rare, and stalking is rampant.

Upon entering the city, a group of five stalkers noticed a vehicle- a Moskovich- lying on its side in a shallow ditch.

“What do we have here?”

“Who cares? We’ve got the loot. Let’s split before the bar closes. I want to see if I can fence some of this off before tomorrow.”

“I think someone just took the corner too fast. We should see if we can turn it over.”

“Are you nuts? You see an upside down car in a death zone full of gravitational anomalies, the least of which could flip your car over and pop your head- if you were lucky- and you want to go down there to poke at it? Have a look-see?”

“You’re an idiot. This is too good to be true. I’m going down there.”

The stalker approached the over-turned car cautiously, reading their instruments and checking for signs of aberrant electromagnetic or gravitational fields. He found none. He found no bullet holes, nor any signs of mechanical failure. The other watched in anticipation of something horrible, but received only the gentlest anti-climax. Their interest piqued, they decided to help right it onto the road. Once it was on its wheels, they even found that the small car was curiously unblemished except for a crushed passenger side mirror. Their inquiry and the lack of evidence that it provided left a few very important questions left unanswered: Why is this car here? Who put it here? And, most importantly, what happened to them? A few of the group were getting uneasy, and the day was growing long in the teeth.

“Well, this is a prize, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not every day you find a perfectly good car in the middle of this wasteland…”

“We don’t even know if it runs. I think we had better check- but be careful. We don’t even know why it’s out here.”

Cautiously at first, the five probed and prodded the vehicle, looking for any signs of aberration or anomaly. They gained the courage to open the doors and the hood, and checked the little relic for mechanical soundness. After a while, one of them even sat in the thing, much to the unease of his companions.

“Why are you all standing way over there with wide eyes, like does caught in the headlights? There is nothing wrong here. We’ve found nothing.”

“I really think we’re missing something.”

“Maybe he’s right? Maybe it’s not a death-trap. I mean, stranger things have happened in the Zone.”

“Damn straight. Stand back if you need to. None of you are riding in this thing if you mess yourselves.”

The steering column housing came off without much of a fuss. Apprehensive or not, they were all very interested in whether or it ran. After a little fussing with the ignition wires, the Moskovich roared to life, its tiny engine whirred and its lights glowed warmly in the growing shadows of dusk.

One of them was visibly stirred. In fact, there was a kind of excitement in the air, now- a palpable charge. The sky shone a deep red in the west, stretching across the heavens in a vast gradient, terminating in a dark, electric blue in the east. “This is great! What should we do with it? We can’t take it out of the Zone, it’s radioactive- but, these running vehicles are a hot commodity. We need to hide it! But shall we keep it or sell it?”

“What’s this we business? I’m the only one here with balls enough to even approach the thing. If I wasn’t here, this thing would still be laying on the roadside.” The man in the car protested.

“Surely you don’t mean go back on our bargain.”

The shadows were deepening now, as the sun plunged behind the city’s structures. The visible world was shrinking, and the colour within was being washed out by the Moskovich’s lamps.

“What bargain? I remember no deal about automobiles. Finders, keepers!”

“We all found it. Besides, our deal was about finding anything of value. This has value. You’re not betraying us, are you, you son-of-a-bitch?”

“Kill the lights, would you? It’s too dark out here for that shit. Someone will find us!”

“I’ll turn out the lights when I have parked it. It’s my car!”

“Oh, screw you! Quit being a baby and get out of the car before someone gets shot.”

“Oh! Before someone gets shot eh?”

“Don’t you accuse me o-“

“Listen; don’t you see what he’s doing? He’s trying to get you to give him a reason to fuck off with the car. Everyone, just chill out. We need to turn off the headli…”

“Oh, first I’m a traitor, then I’m a baby, and now I’m a fucking manipulator? Fuck you, you, b-grade psychoanalyst. There’s no way that you’re going to double speak your way into getting your grubby hands on what’s mine! Our bargain was about artifacts! I’ll see you in hell before you tell me that I agreed to give you everything I find until our contract is over! I found this quarter at the fucking bus stop while I was on my way home after our meeting. You want a share of that, that too, you fucking vultures?”

One of the stalkers leveled his sidearm. “Enough! I’ll fucking put a bullet in your head if you don’t get out of that fucking car right now!”

Then, there was silence- breathless, like a membrane was closing over them. The thrum of the Moskovich could barely be heard over the suffocating stillness. The man in the car stared out of the rolled-down window. He drew back his head slowly, the features of his face melted into the shadow beneath the car’s roof. The sun was now quietly setting beyond the Carpathian Mountains. Shadows swelled and merged. The gentle, earthy hues of the day drained out of the world, leaving a solemn, grey murk in its wake. The car was being consumed by the halo of its headlights, and the stalker in the car was no longer visible.

“Look, assho… look man,” the Stalker lowered his pistol. “I just want those lights out. Put the lights out and we’ll talk about this.”

The Moskovich whirred away, a whisk of steam could be seen weaving through the headlights. Evidently, it was slowly leaking coolant.

“Okay, man?”

The Moskovich jarred to life, its tires spun. It swerved around in a couple of tight circles, pitching outward. Stones were spat up from its tires at the group as it passed, forcing them to shield themselves.

“Good lord! What is he doing?!”

Its tail end swung at the stalker with his side arm, smashing him off of his feet, its brake lights glaring.

“I think he’s trying to run us down!”

“Shoot it!”

The stalkers drew on the car and fired, but the car swerved and jinked wildly, ambling down the gravel road. Some scored a few glancing hits. After the initial volley, the stalkers stopped shooting and regarded what was unfolding before them: the car was mindlessly jumping curbs and smashing over ditches, with its engine revving and its brakes hammered on. Eventually, several meters down the road, the car hit a rough spot and was flung onto its roof, shedding a door into the bushes as it went. It slid to a halt and then slipped into the drainage ditch beside the road and came to rest on its side. As it popped over, its engine went to idle and its brake lights extinguished, but the engine continued to thrum. They approached the vehicle with their weapons drawn to check to see if their associate had survived. The glare of the remaining headlight exposed a swirling haze of dust and smoke, and the air was thick with the acrid smell of burning brake-pads.

They expected the worst, but what they saw shocked them to the very core. Their comrade’s headless corpse lay strapped in, broken and bloodless in the front seat- his mashed head was wedged underneath. There were pinholes with a raised circular contusion around them all over his exposed skin. On his collar bones there were massive, purple handprints crushed into his flesh. However, no trace of any creature or man was left. He was wrong. It was not too good to be true, but too horrible to be real.
  00:54:45  11 August 2005
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Fux0r666
resident smart-ass
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 06/04/2003
 

Message edited by:
Fux0r666
08/11/2005 0:56:13
Messages: 1927
I deliberately kept the stalkers annonymous. I wanted the story to sort of feel like you were watching them on a camera. I did get a little personal with them at some points, because I was sort of mixing techniques (by accident, as it happens). I think the results are a little confused and mixed, resultant from a lack of planning.

The two techniques I used were realism and naturalism. Realism and Natrualism are both movements in literature that occured in the early 20th century. Naturalism succeeded realism. Realism was sort of the documentary approach to literature, a little like reality TV without the gameshow aspect. Naturalism was more psychological, involving the perception of people and how it affects their behaviour and interpretation of their environment. That technique was used for atmosphere, as I changed the setting to reflect the mood of the characters. All in all I think it comes off as kind of half cocked, but I'm looking forward to your appraisals.

I deliberately paced it slow because I think that movies are a better venue for action. There's little intellectual content here because I didn't have anything to say that was deeper than the circumstances that I was creating, but I think it's reasonable as a piece of escapism. Anyways, I'll stop reviewing my own work and leave it to you.
  01:19:31  11 August 2005
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Siege
Resident Puck-Stopper
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On forum: 07/18/2004
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Two words: P-imp! Very enjoyable read.
  07:23:27  11 August 2005
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Amoki
back with a vengeance
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On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Not bad, En Theos, not bad at all! I don't care about the literary jargon, the content is good. The points worth recommending:
1) You actually has something that lead to the confrontation (climax?). In this case this is done via dialogues.
2) Keeping the no-nam-face status of the character is good - refreshing is more to the point. It saves time of course, but it also stands out from the Yuri's and Oleg's out there.

Of course, to say nothing of the ability to fit the horrific and the unknown nature of The Zone in the story itself! The fact that you are able to archieve this in a remarkably short length of words is... remarkable.

Of course, we're not looking at the work of an amateur, are we?
  07:54:19  11 August 2005
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Fux0r666
resident smart-ass
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 06/04/2003
 

Message edited by:
Fux0r666
08/11/2005 10:14:14
Messages: 1927
Actually, this is my first work of creative story writing since high school.

I must say that I'm deeply surprised at the positive reaction thus far, espcially from Amoki (Siege doesn't count because it was his idea that I ripped off). Thank you for your praise. That said, any kind of input is welcome as long as it is constuctive.
  23:39:31  11 August 2005
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Siege
Resident Puck-Stopper
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 07/18/2004
Messages: 797

---QUOTATION---
Actually, this is my first work of creative story writing since high school.

I must say that I'm deeply surprised at the positive reaction thus far, espcially from Amoki (Siege doesn't count because it was his idea that I ripped off). Thank you for your praise. That said, any kind of input is welcome as long as it is constuctive.
---END QUOTATION---



Where the f*ck is my cheque?????
  09:31:02  12 August 2005
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Fux0r666
resident smart-ass
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 06/04/2003
Messages: 1927
I thought I already paid you... you know... in private.
  23:20:19  31 October 2005
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ThatGuy25
I'm lost... got a dollar?
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On forum: 12/22/2003
Messages: 90
I enjoyed it. No lame attempts at character development (Like, my brother got killed in the Zone and im out for revenge), no random gun-battles, no hordes of creatures getting mowed down by Rambo McStalker... just a bunch of cons arguing over a car, then getting the crap scared out of them.

A few grammar mistakes, but since its a rough draft, thats to be expected. Only thing I'd do is make the dialogue a little more dumbed down, like with slang (This group didn't strike me as scholars, so matching speech makes it flow a bit better).

In the end, a well done, simple story. Suggested title: "Dude, That's My Car!"
 
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