Dramatine -- a short story serial:

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Dramatine > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 13 > 14 > 15 > 16 > 17 > 18 > 19 (*New!*)


    1 
She has to hold up her right arm as she stirs the noodles in the pot, lest the steam catch the IV filtration unit on her forearm. It would tickle her skin inside. On the counter beside rests the soufflé au fromage – cheese cakes freshly baked from the oven – and the filet mignon. Sweet, salty and sour; the scents of the kitchen would overwhelm the nose with such delight.

The humid air of summer does not help either with the smells. The fans blow the scent out the open windows for those outside lucky to catch a glimpse of her cooking.

Quon stirs the noodles over and over on the wok, tossing the strands over each other with the spatula, smiling heartily as she does it. Mix and mix. She has already added the onions and tomatoes, along with a helpful dose of the soy vinegar (for that tinge on the tongue).

It is coming along very nicely. All that is left is to test its taste for any inconsistencies, meaning a simple peck to the tongue. Mm, needs a pinch of salt.

When she finishes her cooking, Quon brings the plates and utensils out onto the umbrillaed balcony table. She enjoys a nice sight to accompany her dinner, whether it be the grassy fields of the countryside, or the bird's eye view of the streets below here. If she has anything to say about it, there is something with having wind-kissed cheeks that makes it pleasant.

The sun shines and blooms an evening hue, a few inches above the cityscape horizons. From the ninth floor of the apartment, one can oversee the playground park – the joyous children swinging and laughing beneath the green trees, the passers by walking the alley, and the occasional car on the streets down the way. One may savour the carefree air of the moment, the friendly talk echoing.

Quon goes for the soufflés first. With her picking fingers, she munches on each piece with an almost feverish fervour, oh sweet, oh how sweet the fluffiness is, yes, and the plate is all crumbs before she knows it.

In the paling blue sky the birds fly, and amongst them float a fleet of hot air balloons.

edited 22nd Oct '11 8:36:21 PM by QQQQQ

Truly beautiful. :)
    2 
What a wonderful day it has been for her. Quon can recall sweet scents of daisies, the irises when she walked through aisles of flowers at the market. She had laid herself upon the grassy field at the park, with afternoon's rays glazing upon her. It felt soothingly warm when the cool breezes came and brushed and relieved her, like the tender feelings one has if a voice whispers you can always smile, no matter the worries. She saw the dandelion seeds fluttering in the winds; some of which would catch in the hairs and clothings of those who also enjoyed the moment then.

She licks her last drops of the soup, and that is all for the evening's dinner. Her stomach gurgles with a certain contentedness which could only come from well-made, appetizing food. Yum! Quon plops these empty dishes right in her arms, and she offers them to be scrubbed clean in the dishwasher.

It still feels nice out, doesn't it? Ohh, she hears the lively sounds, and they compel her to have a visit of the streets. She does not deny her urge; she decides to follow this whim, wherever it may take her.

But what if M. Alphonse feels lonely?

Quon visits M. Alphonse' room, where her cat lies, his eyes closed and his self curled upon his wooly yarn ball. She lets her steps fall lightly here, for M. Alphonse is the kind of cat who prefers nice surprises upon his waking. Inching her fingers beneath his tummy, Quon picks his chubby self up – M. Alphonse rouses and purrs out a “Mew!”

“I am going away for a while,” she whispers in his ears. “So I will have kind Gloria look after you. Mew mew mew.”

His head turns around for a look, and she smiles, her fingers gently stroking his back, her carrying him over to the doorsteps.

She finds her beret in the closet, its colour as dark as charcoal, and places it snug on her head. As well, she finds her parasol for travelling.

Then she's off, walking the hallways over to two rooms past. She rings the doorbell, cuddling M. Alphonse by the breast. Alphonse.. she remembers the boy whose name she has borrowed for her pet. He was kind. He was open. She met him, years ago, miles away across the oceans.. He still writes her of his doings, oftentimes.

M. Alphonse bears a resemblance to his human counterpart in which he likes to pounce around and eat chocolate cake.

The door creeps inwards. An eye peeks out and sees Quon standing. Then the sounds of locks unlocking and Quon sees Olly, who stands ragged in his white, sweated undershirt. “Oh, heyo Quon!” he greets. “You comin' for a visit? Or you want my help on somethin'?” Olly rubs his beaked nose, as he puts on a cute face for M. Alphonse's benefit.

“I will be taking a walk,” Quon says, “and I need someone to care for my cat. Is Gloria home?” (M. Alphonse has taken quite a liking for her.)

“Ohh, yes she's right in!” Olly takes M. Alphonse from her, offering him a squeeze on the ears. He turbulently shakes up his arms, giving the cat a rough bumble. “You want to come inside?”

“It's alright.”

“Ah, sure. One thing, he likes what we eat, right? A share of our dinner? No bitter cat food stuff?”

“Yes.” Quon nods.

“Aah, 'kay. Well, be seeing you.”

M. Alphonse purrs, his hazel eyes meeting with Quon's – there is a pensive look to his expression, as if this is the last time they will see each other. Then Olly shuts the door, and she can only guess at best as to what happens after.

edited 5th Sep '11 8:51:54 AM by QQQQQ

    3 
Rue de Miniac resembles more an elaborate alleyway than a street in which Quon's apartment hems one side in, and at the other a facing apartment. No car bothers to squeeze itself in here; only people wander the spiralling patterns of the stone walk. As one of the nice ladies in this society, Quon blooms her parasol over her head, tilted to the setting sun's glare. She walks a gentle, graceful walk towards the main street. Past one couple who embrace in a private corner – what passion keeps their lips locked. Past the people who busy themselves immersed in their vroggles. You can smell the various dinner fragrances that steam out from the windows. (It is a guarantee that the mouth will water often and the tummy gurgling for this city's cuisine. But in spite of this, the many people here are as variant in their fullness as anywhere else.)

In her way rolls a ball stopping by her feet. She looks at it almost a bit inquisitively, and she hears a tiny voice pip out, “Give it back.”

The children often play upon the streets at summer, feeling as free as they do now. Sometimes they would play simply, a game of chase and tag, or a game of football with either chalkings, lampposts or other boundaries creatively adapted for a moment. Othertimes, Quon would see a more elaborate setup – older children would have these weapons spraying water at each other, or mock-duel excitedly with a flash of their lightswords. It makes havoc for many of the adults, but for most of the time it is something to be accepted, to be looked upon lightly.

(Why, she remembers a red balloon one time stuck on her balcony, with the string caught upon the bannister.. A petite toddler had lost her grip below, and she cried out for her airy companion's return. So Quon fetched the balloon back. The memory fills her with a heartly warmth.)

The ball rests still at her feet. More and more of these boys and girls come approaching her.

“Sasquatch's team kicked it outta bounds,” a boy says. Sweat glistens over his bare chest, he must have done quite the exercising. “Gimme the ball!”

A girl says, “No, the ball bounced off Tony's knees – that makes it ours! O.U.R.S.!

“Hey, you're the one who kicked it..!”

They fiddle and argue along themselves in a confusion, and Quon is stunned upon what to do. Towards the back, she notices a couple of them who do not join the rabble, but instead who stare waiting for her action.

“—I've a coin, we can flip for keeps..”

Then she lifts the ball up— in the great tradition of le Mariachi di Finistro, she launches the ball with precise twirls of her parasol. This has them clambering like iron filings to a magnetic thingy. There we go. She giggles.

As Quon resumes her walk, she hears, “Madame? You want to play with us?”

She stops. The sweating, shirtless boy looks back at her, beside his equally shirtless friend. She considers his offer – she ought to, at least, and with all things aside, who is to say she can't enjoy this fun?

So she says, “Alright.”

She lays her parasol by a nearby bench, where one vigilant boy watches over the juice cannisters and taken-off shirts.

edited 5th Sep '11 8:52:26 AM by QQQQQ

    4 
The principle of Football goes like this; you kick the ball into the in-between of the goalposts. When Quon watched the sports on the television with Lillian, Lillian had been so kind enough as to narrate the goings-on of the active spectacles; it had all seemed so confusing to Quon's naive eyes before. So much happening at once, and it had been a wonder how other people could enjoy it. But eventually, Quon could distinguish between the teams, and each players, and the players' actions. There are rules enforced in the game, and these rules exist for the sake of fairness.

So they say.

She stands amongst the children, near the back of the gathering of the corner kick – more an observer than a participant. Her skirt billows. It stands obvious she is part of the clothed team; what scolding might she get from passersby if she were to undress herself here and now?

A sky fish glides above, obscuring the sky for but a moment. When the shadow leaves, the ball leaves.

The kick sends it launching, only for a shirtless one to intercept it on the tummy. He knees the ball, puts a foot on it against the ground – shouts "Jose!"

Jose stands to the side of the shirted-team's goal (two cones spread a minute apart), and the shout alerts him to the flying, revolving ball that is hurling his way. He swerves his round head to the ball's approach – tilts it slightly, the ball deflects to the exposed gap by the goalie's left—

The goalie, by the tips of her fingers, avoids the shirtless team's goal. Her blonde, flowing hair dilly-dallies, like a mimick of her rapid-fire hands catching a hold on bally. It is now time for goalie to send it over to a teammate in a tactically advantageous position. Inclined to feel generous however, Goalie chuses to have newcomer Quon have a try.

Quon notes the Goalie's nod and watches her hands swerve overhead in a throw. The ball is halfway towards, before Quon knows it (oh my!) her hands are raised, she winces, eyes wide shut, and her palms feel the ball bounce off.

"She touched it!" she hears someone blurt. Quon little by little peeks open her eyes, seeing many of the children gawk at her as if flabbergasted. Has she never handled a football before? She can only blush with naive embarrassment.

The ball rolls and rests along the sidewalk curb. Nobody here chases after it.

"I'm.. sorry," Quon says – but these words don't seem to quell their accusing glares. She adds, "You cannot touch the ball by the hands? I'm sure?"

"..yes," the goalie says. "..You do know how to play, don't you?"

Quon gazes aside, and she goes, "I have only watched football games before.. this is my first time playing actually."

"Oh." The goalie looks her over. "My advice, one playa to 'nother, kick it with the corners of your feet. Not on the toes, like many people think. That'll sprain faster than you can say 'Jacques Chrétien.'"

Quon winks. (A gesture inherited from Alphonse. One effect to note is how some people react to this from her; a smile along the cheek, or a blush and giggle. Certainly it lightens situations up.) The goalie doesn't return affections.

A shirted boy with his suave false moustache gathers the football, and hands it back to Goalie. This time she lets the ball be and runs-kicks it out towards the opposing side. Quon feels a little left out, guilty that she is a burdensome player with little skill. She tries to not let this discourage her, as she hops to the shifting action.

Kick kick— kick. Kick kick? Kick! Kick.

From one pair of legs to another the ball zaps forth. Some whose legs left naked and some wearing striped sports jeans— ah, one of the boys has an IV tube poking out at the thighs.

Some of these legs move casually, without a care – some legs rush with all competitive, forceful haste. Some legs cutishly prance as if they dance a pas de deux in ballet.

The players converge upon the shirtless goalie, whose bulky self stands stout, pivoting and strafing close with the zigzagging ballie. His face, with the intent look and smug half-smile, makes him look confident that nothing will slip by or under, not while he guards post. He is a brick wall.

Kick. (That is with an especially strong inflection.)

Quon sees the ball come across the opposing goalie's chest (it looks like caramel ice cream verging on melting) – and this chest caves in from the hit, before bounding back like a rubberband—

The ball whirrs, finding its way to one of her apartment's fifth floor balconies. But it does not find its way back down. It has disappeared.

All the players let out annoyed sighs.

edited 5th Sep '11 8:53:05 AM by QQQQQ

I jotted some things down on a sheet of paper as I was going along, so I apologize in advance if they seem vague. Okay, so I'll get the critque out of the way for Part 1:

- In the 1st sentence, you didn't have to repeat that she was weary of her right arm when you said, "catch on her right arm." Other than that, I was interested and wanted to read further. "Ooh, why did she have an IV?"

- The "over and over" and "mix and mix" were sort of repetitive and didn't really add anything. Can you maybe find another way to restate this?

- "Bird's eye view of the streets below here." Did you mean below her?

- In the 6th paragraph, the odd change in POV to the "One can oversee" and "one can savour" seemed a bit jarring. I think that those should either be put back into Quon's perspective, "Quon can oversee..." or should be restated all together: "The joyous children and amiable passers by were visible from the ninth story window."

Okay, so to the good part:

Great opening! The sensory details were fantastic: I could almost see the scene in my head, hear the laughing from the playground. I was especially happy to you provided details that would appear to the senses that are often ignored in a lot of fiction: taste and smell. As I was going along, I actually wanted to be in Quon's kitchen so I could have a bite of her souffle and smell the sweet, salty, and sour blend that was described.
- In the 1st sentence, you didn't have to repeat that she was weary of her right arm when you said, "catch on her right arm." Other than that, I was interested and wanted to read further. "Ooh, why did she have an IV?"

I wanted to hint at how Quon perceives our world a little bit differently. Skin tickling inside at her IV unit — like the tickling numbing you'd feel when you put your arm in a blood pressure instrument. She is sort of different from you and me, because her blood tends to pick up 'toxins' her kidney does not filter out. It is a leftover detail hinting where she came from.

- The "over and over" and "mix and mix" were sort of repetitive and didn't really add anything. Can you maybe find another way to restate this?

I wanted to get that feeling of stirring the noodles, even though I know it'll sound repetitive. I think I can put this better, actually.

- "Bird's eye view of the streets below here." Did you mean below her?

Aah— a typo has snuck in while I wasn't looking!

- In the 6th paragraph, the odd change in POV to the "One can oversee" and "one can savour" seemed a bit jarring. I think that those should either be put back into Quon's perspective, "Quon can oversee..." or should be restated all together: "The joyous children and amiable passers by were visible from the ninth story window."

You found it awkward? It is something I see reading from my books.. I suppose it's an archaic habit to put the reader in a hypothetical place.

Great opening! The sensory details were fantastic: I could almost see the scene in my head, hear the laughing from the playground. I was especially happy to you provided details that would appear to the senses that are often ignored in a lot of fiction: taste and smell. As I was going along, I actually wanted to be in Quon's kitchen so I could have a bite of her souffle and smell the sweet, salty, and sour blend that was described.

grin This is what I have been going for. I wanted to capture the carefree Summertime into words, and put it into here. A lot of good food I get to eat during that season, and it's always good trying out imaginary tastes. Quon is someone who senses appeal to the most; almost to the point of Synesthesia. If you'd let her paint the sunset sky..

edited 7th Apr '11 7:17:52 PM by QQQQQ

Okay, for Part 2 (most of these are kind of nitpicky and can be taken with a grain of salt):

- I know that both parts were written in present tense and you can't really change it once you've already started, but is there any reason why this in present tense? It doesn't add anything for this section, but then again that is probably because this scene is so short.

- The Yum! doesn't add anything in the middle of the sentence. I think for things like this, considering at the point Quon was the only person in the story, you should put it in her terms. Like, "Yum!" Quon thinks as she plops the empty dishes...

- Picks his cubby self up might be better as "picks the chubby cat up."

- "As well, she finds..." Should maybe be "She also finds"

- "Olly rubs his beaked nose, as he puts..." I don't think that there needs to be a comma there. A pause isn't really necessary

- (M. Alphonse has taken to her) I think that this line would be better if Quon was saying it to Olly.

-Alright- All right

Other than that, this was another good part. It wasn't as striking as part one, but I don't think it was intended to be. I liked that we got to know Quon a bit more through her interactions with the M. Alphonse and her neighbor. And the closing sentence made me want to read on more.
I know that both parts were written in present tense and you can't really change it once you've already started, but is there any reason why this in present tense? It doesn't add anything for this section, but then again that is probably because this scene is so short.

I prefer to write with Present Tense because I see it all as a stream-of-consciousness from the character. It feels more immediate, like you're there with her instead of this word wall separating you from some recorded memory. Judith Guest used present tense very well to showcase the familial turmoil in Ordinary People, and I also enjoyed Neal Stephenson's quirky style.

Other than that, this was another good part. It wasn't as striking as part one, but I don't think it was intended to be. I liked that we got to know Quon a bit more through her interactions with the M. Alphonse and her neighbor. And the closing sentence made me want to read on more.

I wish I could have had a cat, so I could show M. Alphonse's rather stingy personality better. They have their attitudes, these cats. You might catch them hiding in a dark corner, and the next second later they would pounce over on your back and get clingy. It's little doubt why people would consider them the paragons of cuteness. waii

I should hope to make each chapter/segment strike a chord in the reader. They were written haphazardly; you might notice months had passed before I posted the next segments, so consistency ain't guaranteed homie.

My advice when reading; take it as it is on your first readthrough. You might encounter a few portions which seem bizarre, if only remember that Quon has a different pathology of seeing things. This, and the unmentioned state that it takes place a yee-bit in the future. (2026 to be precise).
I don't particularly like cats, but I would get one solely for the purpose of naming it M. Alphonse.

Even though it is supposed to take place in the future, it has kind of the atmosphere of a time in the past. Then again, I'm judging this by only reading the first two sections (so far). It has kind of a small village-y, Kiki's Delivery Service kind of feel. I know that it isn't your intent, but I mean that in a good way.
On to Part 3 (More nitpicking, again, ignorable)

- (It is a guarantee...), (Why, she remembers...) I think that the parenthesis here are unnecessary, considering that they both continue to establish the setting and character. And it is still only Quon at this part, so both of these can be put in her terms, or just stated as more description.

- Aruge along themselves- Among themselves?

- Keeps..!- Why are there two periods?

- Alright- All right

This part was just as good as the other two in establishing the character through her interactions with the people around her. I also liked that she stepped into her world a bit, allwoing us to understand more of her setting and the social/cultural structure of her area.

Just out of curiosity, what is Dramatine going to be about, exactly?
- (It is a guarantee...), (Why, she remembers...) I think that the parenthesis here are unnecessary, considering that they both continue to establish the setting and character. And it is still only Quon at this part, so both of these can be put in her terms, or just stated as more description.

Anecdotal asides from yours truly. I might need to reduce the para-bombing.

Aruge along themselves- Among themselves?

Whoops.

This part was just as good as the other two in establishing the character through her interactions with the people around her. I also liked that she stepped into her world a bit, allwoing us to understand more of her setting and the social/cultural structure of her area.

Just out of curiosity, what is Dramatine going to be about, exactly?

Reading through what I wrote, it's like having a look at my old drawings. It's more simplistic than what I'm capable of, and I can see ways which I can put write the parts better. I guess Old Shame material has a quick expiry date. This happens when you're writing a serial; you get used to what you're writing about with your writing habits itself, and you start to metamorph like a caterpillar into the butterfly. Dramatine is an interim project I do in order to cover various material in the span of one night, from relaxation to the unseen cosmic forces amongst us, to organized crime and fleeting love, to a playground-like society which technology has helped to create; its carefree and hedonistic qualities. (I consider myself a fledgling sociologist.)

It's me exercising as a writer, in the hopes that once this story is finished, I'll be able to take on bigger writing projects with the experience.

Even though it is supposed to take place in the future, it has kind of the atmosphere of a time in the past. Then again, I'm judging this by only reading the first two sections (so far). It has kind of a small village-y, Kiki's Delivery Service kind of feel. I know that it isn't your intent, but I mean that in a good way.

A wish-fulfillment of mine is to be able to escape real life worries, into an idealized moment where I can breathe easy and relax. This'd seeped through when I first thought writing this story; actually ARIA was on my mind, though I like Hayao Miyazaki's films also. Remember the time when you were young, innocent and you had all the time to play? I also want to distinguish it from the cliched hypersleek, ultra-hip feel of other such futuristic stories.

edited 9th Apr '11 10:00:04 PM by QQQQQ

You shouldn't consider your old works in both drawing and writing old shame. It's a good thing; it shows you how much you have grown as an artist and as a person. My mom and I were talking about this the other day. You don't realize how much you evolve, how experiences shape you, how your style and outlook on things changes over time. It's kind of cool that in writing, you have a record of all of that.

The other day I went through a bunch of old notebooks, and it's almost shocking how different I am now, even from the ones from a year ago. Considering that it's all handwritten and dated I can see my entire creative process. The original idea. The first sentences re-written constantly. Were I crossed out one word in favor of another one. It's interesting, but I also know that I will never be able to get into that mindset anymore.

How many parts of Dramatine will you add before you feel that it is finished? Do you even consider finishing, or are you ready to move on to the next thing? And I like that you have taken a different approach to a futuristic story.
I'm not sure how much more segments I'll have, until I reach an ending. I suppose 40 at the least. As a side note, it's always interesting to learn how others perceive your work. Everyone sees something different.
Yeah. I don't really share my work all that often, so I don't really know.

Now for Part 4:

- "on the television with Lillian, Lillian had be so kind..." The second Lillian should be crossed out, and 'she' should be in its place

- "He swerves his round head to the ball's approach—tilts it slightly, the ball deflects to the exposed gap by the goalie's left—" Something about this sentence is awkward. I couldn't quite pick out what it was, but I had to read it three times. Maybe it is the punctuation?

- "..Yes," the goalie says, "..You do know how to play, don't you." The two periods before the dialogue don't really serve a purpose

- (A gesture) (It looks like) I think that you should get rid of the parenthesis but keep the asides. They are interesting and they do enhance the text, but when I read them I feel like I'm being taken out of the story for no real reason.

- "Some legs move" "Some legs cutishly" Combine these two sentences, "Some legs move...but while others cutishly..." It feels a bit repetitive

As always, another good part. You are really good writer, in both your prose and your awareness. You realize that you are growing and are capable of so much more. I had a good time reading these, and I hope the commentary helped a bit.
Thanks so much for your hints — already I work on the fifth segment, and I hope it's an improvement over the previous. I don't consider myself a good writer. Even though a few might wish to say so. I merely write with a vision.

edited 10th Apr '11 2:58:04 PM by QQQQQ

17 chihuahua010th Apr 2011 03:14:44 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
You're not that bad of a writer. Your writing is more descriptive compared to mine.

Quon was in the Character Beach House, right?

She was. Here you'll find her as a much younger person.
    5 
Their calls out to the homeowner remain unanswered. There is no grumbling up there. Not a face to stick out, nor even a flounce of the ball back onto the street.

Quon tells them she may fetch their ball if they watch over her parasol. The boy who sips by the drink canisters promises her this. He tells her his name is Victor. A lock of brown hair dangles over his eye and freckled, plumy cheek.

She keeps in mind it is the eighth dwelling from the right side, where it had landed. Minute portions of jazzy music entertain her ears, before the elevator doors slide open and she is greeted with the sanguine walls of the hallway; a few dark stains and crumbs relieve the carpet from its monotonous tan. It looks slightly more messier than her floor. The M. Mouse Cleaner of this floor has spent too much time lounging in his cubby hole.

A potted plant rests by this lobby's nearby dim corner – its droopy, wrinkled leaves yearning for the waters and the wild. It makes her a little glum inside to see a life deprived of its necessities, only sustained by the indirect, flourescent lighting and the occasional feeding of the janitor's soapy washwater.

Quon overhears the strife, an argument of a desperate husband and a loyal, concerned, anxious wife. Weighty words about money, their lack of it, their yearning for it.

"Why should I declare our family impoverished?" he goes. "We are not rats! I still can feed all three of us!"

"Then what!" she shrieks. "Your employer'll make you more his slave! You'll sit, wasting away at your desk longer while we get poorer? He took two hundred.. two hundred dollars off your salary! Who knows, he's going to cheat you more! At least get a safety net under! Welfare pays fine even if you slip up!"

"Can it! I won't slip! I won't! We'll just have to live more frugal— And you see these vagrants rotting by the dumpsters? Guess what, I heard they tried welfare too! What good that did 'em. Oh, do you want to see me peddling money wearing a sign? I can do that..! Look at me, I am the Abbot of Workplace Sins! Pray to me, oh ye followers and I absolve thee! I shall lead you through the Red Sea of pent-up bosses to the promised land! Yaaargh!"

"Aauuugghhh—!"

Quon cannot bear listening any more; it is utterly draining for her spirits. The least she does for them is wish them well, passing by.

She strides through the hall, and spots a little child playing his train set out in the open. He vrooms his blue engine, hauling its tiny passengers, pausing only to extend the tracks out of a pile of closeby pieces. "Chugga-chugga-chugga.." Quon gives him her smile when he glances momentarily out of his play. He blubbers, "Brurururu!" suddenly giving the train some magical flying powers.

Finding room no. 512, she pauses a pace from the dull green door. She closes her eyes to her immediate surroundings and nudges awake her extranormal sense. Sounds dim and blur to her like they're filtered through obstructing walls and instead of the hum of the air conditioners or the voices or the boy's playing, she hears a flowing waterfall in her inner ear. A light blossoming in her heart.

She takes this light of her consciousness outward, seeping beyond the barrier of the door, and she wanders past the entrance, searching for a living soul who would answer her call. The balcony window lies open to the outside, she learns, and the linen curtains breeze with the push of the air. A pot of paprika sauce rests on the kitchen counter, beside the pepperball cruncher and a jar of ripening smide. She grasps a sense of an ongoing dream nearby, with as much certainty as she would of creating a tasty dish or the wind taking the kite out of her reach. O ari rai, O?

At last Quon finds the dreamer who sleeps in the bed, whose dream is like climbing the spiralling staircase to a floating field of strawberry hedges as the sun crawls behind the clouds. When the strawberries loose into the wind, they ruffle into little red chips that go amongst the fluttering jays in the stratosphere. It carries a strong nostalgia; there awaits the dreamer's beloved, resting against the thick tree trunk in the midst of the field. He holds a bouquet of pink lillies under his arm as he rubs the aged dandelion head in his two fingers to free its seeds to the air. He will make the dreamer very happy, for he will kiss her and hug her when she arrives, and share with her the diamond ring to propose his love.

Quon feels sorry she has to interrupt, it makes her blush too; but she has the football to get. The children will grumble without it. She opens her eyes, and rings the bell. At first she hears nothing. Ringing again, the bedsheets rustle, and then gentle footsteps which come and peek out to see her standing here. Her, a stranger to this home. Her, with her hands folded at front. The door creaks open.

"Hello?" The face, over many years, has become worn with the texture of dried tofu. The full lips pout. But the blue eyes still carry a young eagerness, and they look back at Quon with much regard.

"A ball had landed over your balcony," Quon says. "I would like to have it back."

"Oh? I don't suppose I've heard anything.. you caught me while I was asleep, and I'm kind of a heavy sleeper. If you'd clapped beside my ear, I'd mumble out random gibberish. But I wouldn't bore you with meaningless trivia about me. What's your name, miss?"

"Quon."

"It's a delightful name. Why don't you come inside for a while? I can make you some tea while I fetch your ball for you."

The woman swings the door inwards. Quon notices the green vines which grow to border the doorframe within. Their effect, although the aesthetic is striking, is fully appreciated once you cross the threshold. When she steps inside, she can sense it all over herself; her skin tingles like it had been touched by a charged wand, her stomach loosens, and her head opens to a calm, relaxed bliss.

edited 5th Sep '11 8:53:30 AM by QQQQQ

meh.

QQQQQ, I can't help but feel you're story lines are a bit dull. You don't dive into the issues of your story, but rather strafe along the inconsequential issues. You emphasize non-important issues to developing the plot.
Hi QQQQQ

I do have a few things to point out.

Personally, I do not enjoy reading present tense. In some cases it works, but in this case it makes a bunch of your sentences sound awkward. As well, I think there should be more characterization in your story. There is no rhyme or reason to take an interest in this "Quon" as I know nothing about her.

This story seems like more of a screen play's "set up" than an actual story.
23 0Emmanuel13th Apr 2011 03:46:36 PM from Between Elbe and Rhine
Author At Work
[up] Well, it's not that long yet, so we could still be in the "setup phase" of the story. It feels more like a mood piece to me anyway, not really plot-heavy.

Anyway, I've been meaning to comment on this for a while, but, alas, I'm a lazy lurker!
I really like your style, Q. It's very descriptive and wonderful at creating atmosphere. Your prose feels very light and effortless. Although that may be influenced by the subject of the scenes so far. wink

I also noted the way the narration follows Quon, always very close, but without feeling intrusive. The reader stays an observer, even when seeing the world through Quons eyes. The present tense works very well with that, I think.
I probably didn't explain all that very well, but suffice to say, I find your style to be unique and interesting. Keep it up!
Love truth, but pardon error. - Voltaire
[up] Ja, thankies! Knowing I've touched another makes me blush. I will make more writings.

[down] Spoilsport.

edited 12th Sep '11 8:48:09 AM by QQQQQ

QQQQQ, when writing stories, plot is the main objective. You don't try to convey a sense of stirring noodles to the audience, you want to include background information to advance the plot. I can honestly say that I have no connection with Richardsred or soviet, but you will obviously take that with a grain of salt. I am merely here to critique writing as I see fit, and it remains solely a critique. I never emphasized that it was perfect, but a mere suggestion from a fellow writer.

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