ProjectsWhat's NewDownloadsCommunitySupportCompany
Forum Index » S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Forum » Stalker stories
To Icaurus 9...

1 2 | Next 10 events »| All Messages
Posted by/on
Question/AnswerMake Newest Up Sort by Descending
  18:46:42  26 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
To Icaurus 9...

Icarus, first of all, welcome back to the forum. Not much has change; just that I am now literary forum mod and some measures have been taken against the cheating of the contest

Secondly, no I did not delete your thread. SOmething has happened while they fixed the forum that makes your thread disappear. I have no idea what it is, but I cannot fixed it too. You are on your own.

Thirdly - Great story! but there are loopholes that I need to take examples from your story to make you understand. So if you don't mind, post it again

Fourthly - the contest only stop accepting entries on April this year
  08:44:23  28 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
Icarus Nine
(Senior)
 
On forum: 09/23/2003
Messages: 64
Who is this "Icaurus" feller and why is he ripping off my name!?!
But seriously now... you're t3h m0d? Much belated congratulations! XD

R.I.P. my first thread in much too long. Killed by forum bugs... fate hath a cruel hand!

As for the story, loopholes...? Frightening. Plotholes, meh, those I can handle. But loopholes, those are scary. Haunt me in my sleep they do! Skeery loopholes... o.o

And it's good to be back. Even if it is 5 months after the party is over.
  08:45:58  28 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
Icarus Nine
(Senior)
 
On forum: 09/23/2003
 

Message edited by:
Amoki
10/29/2004 4:11:54
Messages: 64
And the story follows... curious hole things, musst find them!


--- Such Always to Traitors ---

"You son of a bitch!"
The words still echoed in his mind. Son of a bitch. Yes, that's what he was, an honest to god son of a bitch. He laughed. That phrase, it had a certain hilarity to it. Even more hilarious because it was true. Wasn't it? The words of a dying man were always true. "You son of a bitch," he whispered to himself, smiling. His life was set, son of a bitch or not. All thanks to that little, dull steel lunchbox he was carrying.

The walk seemed short, even as the time went by. Adrenaline still coursed through his veins. His step was light, as was his pack. Despite the Ukrainian weather and the ever dreary landscape in the zone -- everything here seemed dead, even that which was alive -- it was almost... beautiful.

At the road, he stopped. Looking down the road, he saw a parked Moskvich. His face fell, no trace left of the smile that had been there just seconds earlier. His stance too became weighted, tired, and his breath became quicker and more erratic, faintly hissing as he took in air.

He raised his hand to the Moskvich, a query. The lights flashed on, then off. All was clear.

He ran towards it, occasionally looking behind him. The toe of his left boot hit a nook in the dirt road as he looked behind a third time. He barely managed to stay upright as he stumbled; his other leg stomped down on the ground to take the brunt of his momentum. A small object clattered on the ground, probably having fallen out of his packet. He didn't look to pick it up.

Reaching the passenger side door, he opened the front door and ducked in, slamming it shut. The lunchbox he set between himself and the driver without thinking. The driver, a man in his thirties, slightly overweight, slightly smelly, with a slightly red-haired beard and slightly intelligent. "Where are the others?"

"Just go," he answered, still breathing quickly. He repeated it with more urgency, "go, we have to go." Wearing the look of a hunted animal, running scared, it was a wonderful act. A bit overdone, but the driver couldn't tell. The Moskvich started and at the sound of gravel grinding under the tires, his breathing slowed.

Hearing the sound, he truly was relieved. That much closer to freedom, and the edge of the zone.

"Ed," the driver said, "what happened? Are they dead?"

Ed, how he hated that name. It was only a pet name, but still, it annoyed him to no end. Maybe it made him slip. Just a little. Or maybe Club -- a rather fitting nickname for the driver, given his round features -- was just that stupid. "I don't... I... I don't know, just, keep going." The Moskvich stopped, rather abruptly. He put his hand on the lunchbox so that it didn't fall off the seat.

"What do you mean? You don't know? We have to go back... to find them. We have to find them!"

"We can't go back."

"Yes, we have to. To find them!" Club shifted the Moskvich into reverse and adjusted the rearview mirror. "We're going back!"

"No." He should've just told the poor fool the truth, that they were dead. "We aren't." Club couldn't be trusted to make conclusions on his own.

Inside a car with closed windows, the sound was deafening. His ears rang for several seconds, as he watched the blood drip down the window from Club's lifeless head. The smell of gunpowder had never much appealed to him. He'd smelled it several times, and now it was starting to appeal to him. Or maybe that smell just reminded him how much closer he was getting to the fabled finish every stalker sought. Reaching over, he opened the door and pushed Club's body out.

The driver's seat was warm. The door handle and steering wheel were greasy. Everything that Club touched got greasy, as if his sweat was composed of cooking oil. He tried to ignore the thought as he adjusted the mirrors and got the Moskvich going again.

The body had a tokarev and matching ammunition, as well as probably countless supplies of candy bars and other junk that the slob would eat while waiting. A real find for whatever stalker might happen upon the body, and a waste to let it lie there. But with what was contained in that little steel lunchbox in the seat next to him, he could afford to waste as much as he liked.

As he drove, the realization that they were all dead hit him. Last of a group of second-rate stalkers. Stalker Ed dead at last, and now? Jason Banick, he liked that name. "Jason Banick," he muttered to himself, "call me Jay."

The car swerved. The sound of gravel was replaced by a thumping sound, and a different kind of grinding. He brought the Moskvich to a stop. The front passenger-side wheel was flat. He kicked it. "Damn thing," he cursed at it, willing it to reinflate itself. The spare tire had already been in use for a week. The others couldn't be bothered to buy another when they had the chance.

A few minutes later, he was sitting on the car's hood, smoking. By pure luck, an old pack of cigarettes had been nearby. Only one of the cigarettes wasn't too soggy to be worthless, but for the time being, it was all he needed. At least he'd brought matches.

He whirled around as he heard a sound, some rustling from the bushes. Discarding the cigarette quickly, he grabbed and aimed his Makarov into the bushes and examined the scene as a whole, watching for movement, hoping the noise wasn't something a 9mm bullet couldn't handle.

The person that suddenly appeared almost got riddled with holes, if not for the confusion of his body language. With raised hands, the man looked as if he'd been caught stealing cookies and was yelling in something in russian. A rifle, perhaps a Dragunov, was strapped to his back; more importantly, it wasn't in his hands.

"I don't speak russian." he replied to the man, now obviously a fellow stalker, lowering his makarov. "Do you speak english?"

The man eased as the gun lowered, and said something, slightly frustrated, in another language, maybe polish.

"And I don't speak that either," Jay grumbled. He waved his hand to the man, like one might use to brush a fly away, hoping to make the stalker go away.

The stalker gestured to the flat tire, saying something else in polish, which again was unrecognizable, though clearly an offer by the tone of voice. His offer refused, the stalker eventually gave up, said something that, by tone of voice, probably translated as "goodbye" or "asshole", and walked down the road, further into the zone.

"...and don't come back." It was a silent whisper, more out of frustration than any hostility. With the cigarette now useless in the dirt, and knowing he couldn't stay here forever, Jay walked to the passenger door of the car and opened it, reaching for the lunchbox. The sound of a gunshot rang clear in the air, and a rush of air zipped just past his head. He didn't need to look down the road to know where it came from. "Son of a bitch!" he cried.

As he leaped in the car to get the vehicle's bulk to provide cover, another shot rang out. The bullet, by pure luck, bounced off the rear door and grazed his calf. He didn't have time to wince, opening the driver's door and scrambling out of it.
The box! He double-backed to get it from the seat, when another bullet hit the window by his head. The box could wait. He ran away from the car, taking cover in a ditch a short distance away. Counting a few seconds, he peeked up and saw nothing. A few more seconds, another peek. A minute goes by. He hears a sound to his left, but looks and sees nothing. He looks back to the car. There he is, the bastard, checking out the car. Jason fires four shots, hitting at least once, as the stalker takes cover inside the car.

Minutes pass. Nothing happens. Not a sound. He watches the car, no movement, nothing. Climbing out of the ditch, he walks to the car. "Damnit!" he cries again, ducking to the ground. The stalker appears by the car, gun in one hand, box in the other, standing rather lazily in the open. It was no consolation, neither of them had any significant cover, and they were seperated by only 20 yards.

The stalker aims his gun with one hand and fires, hitting the dirt. Shooting back with his Makarov, now prone to the ground, Jason hits twice, then a click. The stalker doesn't even flinch, and fires off another shot, again hitting the dirt. Jason hurries to reload his Makarov with another clip, finally slapping it in. He looks just to see the box crash into his head.

The corner grazes his forehead. Pain burned at the skin above his eyebrow, his entire head feeling hollow and shaken. The stalker was slowly walking closer. Click. Another shot from the Makarov. Blood spurts from the stalker's chest. The stalker stands for a moment before falling to his knees, then on his face.

Something didn't seem right. The stalker missed twice with a rifle, then hit him dead on with a box. The wound from that still stung, though not like the shot to his calf. He walked over to the stalker, limping, and pushed the corpse over. Three chest wounds, the last a hit to the heart. By rights the man should've been on his knees before he ever got a second shot off.

As he relieved the stalker of his items, hoping to find some bandages, something tugged at the back of his mind. He didn't even notice it, until a hand touched the back of his neck, cold as ice. He twisted about, aiming his Makarov at thin air. There was nothing here. But it felt too real to be nothing.

There, in the brush. He almost didn't see it. The thing moved. He fired. A hit, by miracle.

The scream it made was unearthly. By the sound alone, it couldn't have possibly been born on this earth. It stood up again, holding itself where he presumed it had been hit. It almost looked human, but he didn't want to find out. It ran towards him. He fired until it fell again, emptying a clip. He loaded another, last clip.

It thrashed and wailed, but didn't get up. Instead, it crawled. The tuggings at the back of his mind were faint and unfocused, distraught by pain. He stood up, wincing at the pain in his calf, and walked forward. It looked at him and made another, different sound. He fired again, and again. Two, three times he fired. It was still making that sound... it was almost familiar. A laugh. A mocking, derisive laugh. "Die, you son of a bitch!" he growled at it. Over the sound of the firing Makarov, it was a whisper. ...you son of a bitch, the voice, his voice, echoed in his mind, laughing. The thing bled from the neck, and the voice became fainter, until it was there no longer. The body twitched its last.

He found the lunchbox more or less where it had landed, its contents spilled all over the ground. A bucket's worth of galantine, and more: tiny squid-like creatures that seemed to live on it, now worthless. Their value would've bought him a lifetime of wealth, a wealth that he had killed his only allies for.

"You son of a bitch." He didn't laugh.
Now, he just watched the sunset from the roof of a broken Moskvich, listening to the sounds of the beasts in the approaching darkness.
  04:52:57  29 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Heh heh... plot holes, not loopholes.

Like I said, your story is great. I like the way you manage to carry the tension throughout the story. Tension... that is a very, very big cathcy word. Only a few stories manage to carry them through. What make your story so fluid is your tension, and coupled with your flow of words of course. I can tell you honestly that about 70% of the total contest entries rely on the flow of words to keep things going, not tension. I don't know whether you realise it or not, but your short, clipped sentence and paragraphs generally create a fast-paced atmosphere that encourage the readers to read through the whole thing

Not only so; you also manage to leave the plot to the last. Generally speaking, there are 3 times of stories, and they are just like ballons. One is flat-out ballon that doesn't have any air inside, but an interesting look outside. The Second one is the one that let the air out in a bang. The LAst one is the type that leaks out air slowly; these kind of stories are, for example, "the difference between you and me" and "Fallen". Yours go to the last one, which unforunately happen to be somewhat the best of the best of the contest. Bloody hell, if you actually submit this thing 5 months ealier, you will not only end up in the "Verdict 2 Hall of Fame", I'll bloody make sure you end up in the top 20! Oh well, too bad

Up to this point, you can actually count the length of the raving-review part, because not a lot of stories, I really mean not a lot of stories, get good reviews to me. (Cut out those part with explanations though )

Now to the bad parts. Embrace yourself:
1) Characterization - the common 7.62X51 that kills most stories from going to the top. Your story need a little bit of life, a strong emphasis on identity especially. What is this man's nationality? What is his personality? Family? Why must he come to the Zone to earn a living instead of being in the 'normal' world? His character's motivation is too common, but not really that important though because your story already stand up from the rest. Also... try making your story more 'special'. For example: believe it or not, Black Americans only happen twice in the contest!

2) Plot - someone who come to the Zone don't even know survival Russian? Or Ukrainian?

Also, unless I misunderstood the plot... why would the "Polish Stalker" came to talk to him and shoot him later instead of just blast him when he doesn't know? And when you are in the Zone, you happen to be in a position when every help matters. You just don't wave a good Samaritan/a Shylock with a dark agenda off unless you see something is not right with the guy. And no description on the mutant when the event is carried out when there is still light.... These are mistakes you must correct if you want your story to be better. A lot better.

Also... try a little flashback of what really happened to his 'fallen' comrades. That will provide more substance to your plot, which is only around above-average.


Well, I think that is my review. Hope it is good enough for you.
  04:58:50  29 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
IceShade
Tactical Ignorance
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2004
Messages: 1037
Oh, a little nitpick .. Stop using the word 'clip' .. okay?
  17:40:00  29 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
Oh, a little nitpick .. Stop using the word 'clip' .. okay?
---END QUOTATION---



Eh, hate to put people down, but here goes nothing.


---QUOTATION---
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=clip

clip-
1.To cut, cut off, or cut out with or as if with shears: clip coupons; clipped three seconds off the record.
2.To make shorter by cutting; trim: clip a hedge.
3.To cut off the edge of: clip a coin.
4.To cut short; curtail.
5.
a.To shorten (a word or words) by leaving out letters or syllables.
b.To enunciate with clarity and precision: clip one's words.
---END QUOTATION---



I was afraid of making a mockery of myself, so I refered to the Internet for reference, and apparently I am correct.

What I meant in the comment is that I recommend short, clipped sentence for fast-paced description. Instead of: "Amoki shot Iceshade with a 12-G shotgun and he diead a painful death", short clipped sentence goes like "Amoki shot Iceshade with a 12-G shotgun. HE diead a painful death."
  18:53:05  29 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
IceShade
Tactical Ignorance
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2004
Messages: 1037
Actually, I was referring to 'clip' in the story, used as 'magazine'.

Two really different things
  03:24:46  30 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
Amoki
back with a vengeance
(V.I.P.)

 

 
On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729

---QUOTATION---
Actually, I was referring to 'clip' in the story, used as 'magazine'.

Two really different things
---END QUOTATION---



Hehe, I DO make a mockery of myself despite an effort not to. Talk about luck

Yes, Iceshade scores a point.
  06:16:36  30 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
Icarus Nine
(Senior)
 
On forum: 09/23/2003
 

Message edited by:
Icarus Nine
10/30/2004 6:22:53
Messages: 64
Wha? You expect me to use a 3-syllable word (magazine) instead of a 1-syllable word (clip)? Bugger!


---QUOTATION---
Embrace yourself:
---END QUOTATION---


Only when it's cold out.

To be serious...
Aye, this story is severely lacking in the plot and character development area. It was meant to be. Complicated plots, dialogue, etc. are beyond the scope of a short story, especially one that's finished in a day.

Also, I was mostly inspired by the stories without much plot or character development or even dialogue. They just seemed to convey the most Zone-like atmosphere of any of the stories, even if in the end you're left with the same sensation you get looking at the bottom of an empty bag of potato chips (or crisps, if you prefer).
I'm making myself hungry.

Combine that with what you said, and I guess this story is the literary equivalent of junk food. Yum!
  06:20:44  30 October 2004
profilee-mailreply Message URLTo the Top
IceShade
Tactical Ignorance
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 04/05/2004
Messages: 1037
Hopefully it doesn't make you fat. If it does ... best you go check with someone.
 
Each word should be at least 3 characters long.
Search:    
Search conditions:    - spaces as AND    - spaces as OR   
 
Forum Index » S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl Forum » Stalker stories
 

All short dates are in Month-Day-Year format.


 

Copyright © 1995-2021 GSC Game World. All rights reserved.
This site is best viewed in Internet Explorer 4.xx and up and Javascript enabled. Webmaster.
Opera Software products are not supported.
If any problem concerning the site functioning under Opera Software appears apply
to Opera Software technical support service.