Whistle While You Work [SWC]

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  1. #1
    Biznis Kitty Zolar's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Default Whistle While You Work [SWC]



    Just like clockwork, the tide rises precisely at what I can guess is around 10:30 AM. The sun’s rays reflect off the water and shine in my eyes. I curse under my breath and raise my left hand to block off the blinding light. I still sit by the fire and cook today’s catch. A few shellfish and what appears to be a carp of sorts. Although I have never seen a red carp in my life, but it tastes just the same.

    The ocean’s waves hit the shore in a calming rhythm. I hear birds in the forest behind me singing to their friends. A whale on the horizon breaks the water’s surface for air and then quickly goes back under. The white sand has large crabs crawling across it searching for food.

    The water just near the coast has a few large rocks that harbor large shellfish on it. Seagulls also rest on the white-shit covered rocks. It seems like this could be one of those tropical islands that celebrities always go on vacation to. It just must have never been discovered.

    It seems like there was never a search party that came out to look for people. I’ve never seen another jet or a boat that came looking for me or someone else. Had they forgotten? Maybe they just didn’t care, that’s probably it. They just don’t care.

    I can’t go back to civilization. It’s as simple as that. They abandon me: I abandon them. Life goes on.


    Years have past since the crash. Years of being on this god forsaken island. I’ve attempted suicide multiple times, but my friends have stopped me. They weren’t here when I first found I was on the island. No, no, no. They came just a few months ago.

    I can’t describe them. No, they are too perfect. They are better friends then what I had in that fucking city. I fear to swear in front of them; alas I do not know how they will react. Even though they don’t talk often, they speak to me all the time. They are the best friends a man could ask for.

    I stroke my beard, which happens to be grown long enough to pass the middle of my chest. My hair too, has grown to long lengths. I was never a large man, being around 5’6”, the last time I was measured, which was about twelve years ago. I’ve always been a skinny man, it doesn’t help that I don’t eat everyday now on the island. My tongue licks my dry lips and I feel the few remaining teeth I have with my tongue.

    I look at my toes, the extremely dry skin almost has the feel of sandpaper. Eh, what does that matter. I have taken on the habit of biting my nails. My fingernails are jagged and uneven. The blood underneath them has dried and turned a brownish color. I scowl at my hands. Before I made it here, I was a well-groomed man. He would be disappointed in me. Ah, fuck 'em!

    I remember all of the years I wasted in school. I can’t believe that I used up so many of the years in my life for something so pointless. None of the stuff I learned in there is helping me here. Majoring in Psychology is pointless now. Back then it seemed like I could make a living off of it, but now I fear that it may have backfired. My mind is unstable and I know it too.

    I am on the verge of breaking down again. So many things are running through my head at this time, I just can’t handle it. I stand up quickly and grab a rock in one swift motion. I throw the rock into the forest that both feeds and shelters me. I let loose a scream of every emotion going through me. I hear a clunk and a bunch of birds start flapping their wings.

    I walk to the ocean to see if any ships are visible on the horizon. Not that I want to go back to the city, but just to see another human being for the first time in over a decade. Nothing is there. This does not sadden me though, I haven’t seen a ship in months and they have never seen me.

    Clothes. Ha! Clothes. The closest thing I have to clothes here is a small skirt-like article made of bird feathers and rodent fur. It is good enough. It just passes the middle of my thighs and is all I ever wear. Ha! I am proud of this because I made it.

    My day needs to progress and I stroll back to the fire that still burns brightly and stoke it. The smoke from it burns my eyes, but I continue to prod it with a branch. When it seems like it could last for the time that I will be gone, I stop.

    I toss a log in the fire and get on my way. I grab my spear and a canteen made out of a coconut and get on my way. It’s incredible how tough my feet have gotten after walking on the rocks and thorns in the forest. At first my feet would bleed for hours, but now not any blood gets shed.

    I would get lonely on this trek through the forest everyday, but thankfully my friends follow. I make conversation with them about the weather and how they are feeling, they respond happily and answer quickly. Oh, how I love them!

    I haven’t traveled to much of the forest due to how large it is. The trail I am on at the moment is the one I normally take, easily marked by all of the cuts on the trees and flattened plants on the ground. Following this route a long time ago I found a small spring near what I’m guessing is the heart of the forest. It is my source of fresh water and sometimes food.

    I fill the canteen up with the water and look at my friends. They smile at me and I smile back. The healthy green leaves that live on the trees rustle as a breeze rolls by. I hear something run away from me and I think of how the breeze carries scents. It must have smelt me. I shrug it off and continue down the trail with my friends chit-chatting with me.

    About ten yards ahead of me, I see a decent sized bird sitting on a low branch. It is looking away from me; which makes it an easy target. I have gotten enough practice with throwing a spear that this is an easy shot for me. I whip the spear at the bird and it easily hits the bird in the neck. It falls to the ground and bleeds out. I walk over to it and wring its neck just to make sure it is dead. Looking at it more closely now, I see that it is a brown and white bird. These seem very common here and I have killed and eaten plenty of these. What is strange about these birds is that they have a red crest that lie back from their head like combed back hair. I have never seen anything like this outside of the island.

    Actually, I haven’t seen anything from civilization recognizable here. Not even a damn hummingbird or robin. Everything here is either huge or just straight fucked up.

    I grab the dead bird by the feet and hoist it over my shoulder. Without a doubt it’s forty pounds. Today was a good day for hunting; in what seemed like minutes I got this large bird and a canteen full of fresh water. I look up through a clearing and see that the sun is setting. Time flies when you are having fun and with my friends I couldn’t be having any more fun than this.


    Sitting on a makeshift seat made out of a stump, I pluck the feathers of the bird I killed about an hour ago. It is getting quite dark and the fire illuminates the area so I can see. My head throbs as I continue working on the bird. I whistle my favorite tune and the bird is ready to be cooked in no time. This will be my first meal in around four days and I am starving. For the abundance of food here, I usually only catch and eat maybe one or two substantially sized animals a week. Other than that, shellfish are my main source of food.

    Whistling has been one of the few things I enjoy on the island. I can make up my own songs, sing along with the birds or if my memory is decent enough, I can whistle one of the songs I remember hearing on the radio. I have become quite good at it.

    I set the bird on the fire and wait for it to cook. The best part about my friends is they are never hungry, so I can have all of the food. Ha! I fear they shall starve to death, but they haven’t eaten in months and are still look like they did the day I met them.

    Minutes pass and the bird is ready to be eaten. I tear off one of the legs and begin to chow down. The grease and fat from the bird drips down my face and onto my lap. I don’t mind and neither do my friends, they aren’t one to judge. I finish one leg and grab another. The meat is incredibly tender and I love every second of eating it. I finish the second leg and throw both leg bones into the forest; maybe some creature will come and eat the few remains of the bird, who knows?

    I dig my dirt-covered fingers into the breast meat and rip some off. This is the best part of the bird so far! So very juicy and succulent, this should be in a five-star restaurant! I will stop eating after this piece of meat; I can’t guarantee there will be food tomorrow. I cover the rest of the bird in some large leaves and place it under a shelter of rocks. I made to hide food from the animals here. Filthy, mooching bastards always steal my food, unless I cover it like this.

    With the meat secure, I head back to my house and enter the small shack made of wood and mud. I walk up to a small cot that I made and lay down. My head is resting on a pillow made of moss. I made everything in here and am proud of it. The fire outside radiates heat which enters my small estate and keeps me warm. Sleep comes easy to me now, unlike the first night here in which I slept on the sand and nearly froze to death. I close my eyes and I am asleep in seconds.


    “Everyone on the plane needs to get a life jacket on immediately. A bolt of lighting has hit our right-side engine and we are going down. Please try to remain calm.” Pilot Roger Brown spoke through the intercom on the large passenger jet he was in charge of getting to Heathrow Airport in London from New York.

    Panic swept through the aircraft. Punches were thrown and the inside of the jet was in chaos. The jet was losing altitude quickly and few people managed to get life jackets on.

    Picking up speed on the way down, the aircraft hit the surface of the water at a sharp angle and skipped across the water like a flat stone. Each time it hit the water, pieces of the jet were broken off and people were flung from one side of the jet to another. Screams and thuds are all that can be heard inside the jet.

    The airbus finally came to a stop after being torn to pieces. Oil spilt into the water, along with hundreds of bloody corpses. A few unlucky souls were still alive; most had missing limbs and blood pouring out. Screams are heard from the people with wounds and the oil getting in the gashes and stumps only adds to the pain. Waves take many of the bodies underwater, for the few survivors that means they will drown.

    A couple of survivors have minimal injuries and are attempting to swim away or grab onto pieces of the ship that are floating. The pouring rain and thunder add to the misery of the crash. A huge, dark blue wave approaches the wreckage and starts to lift pieces of the plane high above the regular water level. Soon the floating bits and pieces are being crushed under the weight of the wave and most of the survivors are killed. A large flash of lightning crosses the sky.


    I awake from my slumber, the same old dream that used to keep me awake for days, repeated once again in my mind. It’s disturbingly vivid, but I have grown used to it. I stretch my arms and look out on the horizon. Birds rest on the rocks; which lie in the island’s cove. I don’t ever try getting these birds because of the risk of losing my spear.

    I get up and look at my fire that is dying after staying ablaze for over a couple of days now. I grab an armful of wood from the pile I found and managed to cut down in the forest. It should stay lit for a while.

    While whistling, I grab my spear and canteen and head into the cove. The water’s temperature catches me by surprise. My feet are freezing as I continue deeper into the water. I see a few of the red carp I had before. No, I refuse to go through the de-boning of that fish again. Way too many bones. Frowning, I continue to scan the water for anything but those fish. I see a few stingrays, or something that looks just like them and step away from them. I don’t feel like dying today. I must be scaring away all the fish with the noise I am making with my movement.

    No catch today, and I walk out of the cold water. The breeze makes my legs get colder and goose bumps rise all over my body. A shiver runs through my body and my friends laugh. I curse at them.

    I try to dry off my legs as best as I can without a towel. I accidentally rip out some leg hairs and my legs burn. Once again my friends laugh. Asses. I stroke my hair and feel how greasy it is. I dip my hands in the cove and vigorously rub my hands back and forth in my hair. I feel my hair sticking up and pat it down. There, I am clean. Ha!

    I walk a few paces up the sand towards my shelter; it looks pretty nice considering it’s made by someone who never built anything in his life. The one thing that has actually benefited me from my old life in the city is all of the survival shows on television. I watched those so often I put the information to memory.

    I walk over to the rock container-thing and get my bird out of it. My stomach is growling. Ha! Growling. Most people don’t know what its like to go days without food. They think that they are hungry after not eating for a few hours. They don’t know shit. Their stomachs growl when they just ate. Their stomachs growl when they aren’t hungry. They are pathetic.

    I unwrap the bird. The leaves and rocks have done their job once again. The bird is still there in the condition I left it. Legs ripped off and one breast gone. I rip off a large chunk of the remaining breast and chow down. Once that piece is gone, I rip off another and another and another. Soon there is no more breast left. What a shame. The bird has no meat on its wings, so the bird is not to be eaten anymore.

    I tear open the bird and grab the heart and liver. Or, at least what I think is the heart and liver. These will be good bait for trying to fish. Hopefully. Although there is no blood in the bird anymore, my hand comes out from the chest of it covered in a liquid that I can’t name.

    I shrug and walk towards the cove. I wash my hands and the organs off in the crystal-clear water. I look at myself in the water’s reflection and smile. My teeth aren’t looking too good and a few have fallen out. Oh well. I’m not trying to impress anyone, unlike most people that live near other people. It’s ALL about impressions, first impressions and last impressions. Ha! I don’t need to work on how I look because impressions don’t work on dead animals.

    Getting up, I hear a loud, dull sound come from far away. I look to the forest. It must be some mating call from an animal. The sound rings again, louder and closer now. I begin to get scared. I tell my friends to go and hide. They do not listen. I run towards my shelter and trip on a hidden rock. I get a mouthful of sand, but get up and keep running again. As I get to my home, the sound happens again. It sounds like it is just feet away from me.

    In my mind, I am imagining all of the possible things that could be making such a noise. Planes aren’t possible. Boats seem extremely unlikely. I can’t think of anything that would make such a noise. It is such an ugly noise!

    This isn’t natural, this sound. I enter my hut and grab all things I could need. I grab my spear, a knife I made, my canteen, and a few pieces of wood and the bird’s organs. I leave my house, not sure if I’ll ever be back. The sound gets closer as I step out from my hut. I can now hear the sound of waves. Which frightens me even more considering the water was calm today.

    My hands are full of things that I can’t live without. The sand is getting hot beneath my feet as I sprint down the coast away from the sound. I head into the forest via the trail I always take. I keep running until I reach the clearing with the small spring. I stop and fill my canteen. I take a quick sip to help cure my dry mouth. It works for a few seconds. My chest hurts from sprinting so far that I have to take deep breaths.

    The animals, or whatever the fuck they are, are nowhere to be seen. They must be hiding as well. All I see is a small little creature with a lilypad on its back swimming in the shallow water. I’ve never seen something like this before, probably because I never stopped here for longer than a couple minutes to get water.

    The thing stares at me as I back away from the spring. It’s a creepy little fuck. Ha! I am not scared. You may think I am scared, alas I am not! The sound reappears once more and I am scared. How is this little thing not scared of this horrid noise?

    From what I can tell I am maybe a quarter to a half mile away from the cove, but the sound sounds as clear in here as it did out there. The sun is directly on top of me signaling that it is noon.

    I begin to climb a tree when I hear something I haven’t heard in years and it scared the shit out of me.

    “Well? What now Rick?” A human voice said somewhere in the distance.

    “Let’s just sit down and eat lunch. Man, I’m just starving,” The voice that must belong to Rick says.

    “Sounds good man. Hey, what’s up with that hut thing over there?” The voice says to Rick.

    “I don’t know Chad, let’s go check it out bro!” Rick says.

    I shiver thinking about two other people entering my house. The fuckers! If one thing is changed in there they will pay! I get up and begin to quietly walk back down the trail towards my house. Minutes pass and I hear the two humans laugh multiple times. I reach the opening of the trail and look towards my hut. I see them grabbing things and throwing them out of my house. They are both blonde and one is very tall and muscular and the other is just shorter than him and muscular as well. Both are wearing shorts with flowers on them. What fucking girls!

    I begin to approach my house and one stops and looks at me.

    “Hey Chad, there’s a guy right over there,” Rick says pointing at me.

    “What? You better be lying, Rick. This sounds like the start of a horror movie,” Chad says sounding as serious as possible.

    Both men walk towards me and are giving me strange looks. I drop everything but the spear. I point it at them and they stop dead in their tracks. They are probably fifteen feet away from me and I am shaking.

    “Woah, man! No need for weapons here. We aren’t going to hurt you.” Rick says trying to calm me down.

    I focus my eyes on them and see they are unarmed. I lower my spear, but keep in hand. They get closer and I am tempted to raise my spear. Finally they are right in front of me. I look like a dwarf compared to them. They ask me a few questions, but I never speak to them. I nod or shake my head. Just when I thought today couldn’t get any weirder. I see out of the corner of my eye, my friends walking into the forest down the trail in which I came.

    “Where the fuck do you think you are going?” I yell at them.

    The two boys look at where I am looking. Rick looks at Chad and whispers to him. I can only hear one word and that is ‘crazy’. Immediately I am filled with rage.

    “Crazy? I am not fucking crazy!” I scream at them. My friends are now deep enough in the forest to not be seen. “How am I crazy? My friends are the ones who are crazy! Going into the forest alone! Ha! They could die!”

    “What friends, bro? We didn’t see anyone,” Chad says to me. “We don’t think you are all there. How about we get you to a doctor?”

    The sun is setting. If having fun makes time fly, then fear must make it soar because last time I checked, it was around noon.

    I shake my head. “I’m fine, please rest though. Take your time. I will leave you alone.” I seem calm, but rage is building in me. These people want to take me to a doctor. Ha! I won’t leave my island. Civilization left me to die. No one looked for me. No one cared.

    “Are you sure, man? Really it’s no problem. Are you inviting us to stay the night?” Rick replies.

    “Yes, now go. Rest. Do whatever,” I say monotone.

    “Okay, thanks bro.” Chad says.

    I watch them walk to my hut and go inside. I smile, they aren’t leaving tomorrow. In fact, I’m going to make it so they can’t leave. I laugh and pick up my things. I also grab a rock to sharpen my spear and knife. Whistling, I walk into the forest.


    Night has fallen and the bugs are loud. I am certain everything will go as planned. Ha! You think I am crazy, eh? Crazy people can’t survive more than a few days without food, they will eat themselves! Think I am fucking crazy? Bullshit! People need to learn not to insult people right in front of them!

    I hear the snores of one of the boys, if one is asleep surely they both are asleep. As I walk out of the forest I see the same creature with the lilypad on its back. Joined with it this time is a small blue thing with no mouth, but a swirl pattern on its stomach. It looks like a small tadpole. I stare at them for a minute. They stare back. What do they want?

    The blue tadpole looks as if it is angry. The lilypad creature looks scared. I don’t understand why they are both here, looking at me. I frown and spit at the creatures and continue out of the forest.

    The boys are definitely asleep now. Neither is moving and both are lying down. I laugh quietly. I move in on the two and see how they got here. A large boat is anchored to the cove about fifty feet out. I do not know what to do with the boat, but the kids on the other hand, I have been plotting for hours.

    I walk up to them and check if they are asleep. They are. I then grab a rock about the size of my hand and smash it once onto each boy’s temple. Ha! I am no crazy person! They don’t know what crazy is! I check their pulses, both have one, but they are out cold.

    Everything is going according to plan. I flip the boys onto their backs and begin to prove I am not crazy.

    A part of me thinks that this action may be too radical for such a simple insult. No, no, no! I must continue on with the plan. I mustn't be insulted! Especially, right in front of me. My fingers twitch and my head shakes. I feel nervous and all the horrible outcomes of this rush through my head. What if they find me and bring me back? No! That can't happen! I shall die before I go back there. People should learn that insults lead to shit.

    My head throbs. I don't know why. The unbelievable pain makes me forget what I am doing for a moment. It comes back to me and I carry on hesitantly.

    I get up and walk toward Rick who lay unconscious. I spit on him. He was the one that brought it up, he should suffer. I look at Chad, he will be next. I walk towards the fire near my hut, grab a log that is on fire and hold it in my hand.

    I begin to whistle an old tune about death. It seems to suit the mood. Whistling while you work always seems to soothe the mood. This is one of my favorite songs to whistle and due to that, one of my most practiced, and thus, best songs to whistle.

    I walk towards Rick and raise the log. The fire at the end of the log is heating my hand up and I am about to let it go. I stare at the fire for a second and put the log on Rick. I walk back to the fire and grab more logs. I set them on Rick again. I repeat this until all of the wood from the fire is on Rick, or at least all I can grab.

    You would be surprised how flammable clothes are, or at least his are. He is ablaze in seconds and the smell is terrible. Once the fire can go long enough on its own on Rick, I moved the logs to Chad. He is in flames quickly as well.

    I walk into the cove and towards their boat. It is easy to see even in the dark of night. I find my way up onto the boat and look around. I haven’t seen something so high tech in years and this looks even more advanced than the computer I had for my job. I find a pen and some paper and scribble a quick note on it. I forget what some letters look like and look at the instruction manual to get a refresher.

    When the note is finished I put it on the windshield of the boat. I get off the boat and go back to shore. The water is cold, but I am not phased. The bodies are still burning and beginning to turn black. I feel confident about what is happening. I am tired and want some sleep.

    I go to a nearby rock that birds like to rest on and lean up against it. When people do dumb things, they deserve to pay. My eyelids start to get heavy and the last thing I see before I fall asleep are the two creatures staring at me.


    I wake up to see the bodies burnt and the fires out. The final leg of the plan happens now. I grab and drag one of the bodies to the water and get it to the boat. After a few minutes of struggling I get it on the boat and lay it on a seat. I do the same to the second body. I then put the key into the ignition and start the boat. I make sure the note is secure and turn the boat towards the open sea. I sigh and push the throttle on the boat to its maximum and jump out off the boat.

    What’s done is done.

    I wade back to the shore and sit in my house. This place is my home. My friends? Haven’t seen them since these people got here. What happens when someone finds the note? I don’t know yet.

    I am feeling pretty good about what has happened so far. I haven’t gotten to mark how many days I’ve been here. I grab my knife and chisel two more lines in. I smirk, twelve years, eight months and twenty-eight days.

    Life is good.

    I look out my door and see the two creatures once more. This time there is a third. A small white creature with a green hat-like thing and a red crest stands next to them and looks guilty or regretful. I can’t figure out what they are doing. I haven’t ever seen anything like this before.

    We stare at each other for minutes. They then suddenly walk out and disappear, I am horribly confused.

    Then it hit me on what I just did. I killed two innocent people. I must be crazy. They could have just left and I stayed here all happy. Just because I didn't want to go back to a civilization, I killed them. All emotion leave my face. The weight of my act is just immense. The worst part is, I can’t do anything to make up for it.

    I weakly begin to whistle. The same song I whistled while setting the logs on the boys. Sad, sweet and full of regret.


    “Captain! There is a boat up ahead! Looks like no one is on board, should we investigate?”


    Two men jump on board of the small boat from their crab fishing boat to discover two burnt corpses. The boat is out of gas and

    “Captain! We have a huge problem here! Two dead! Both are burnt!”

    “Damn. Any evidence that we could report?”

    “Uh, there is a note right here.”

    “What does it say?”

    “Didn’t search. Didn’t die. Life goes on.”

    Last edited by Zolar; 17th August 2012 at 01:04 AM.

    [22:18] [URPG Chat]: (commanderbadass1) How dare mell fuck his hoe every night

  2. #2
    Registered User Luciole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Whistle While You Work [SWC]

    Ooh, yay. First time using the Claim Button. [presses] CLAIMED.

    (I should have it up by... Wednesday, probably. If not, feel free to pester me about it. :3)

  3. #3
    Registered User Luciole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Whistle While You Work [SWC]

    General Review
    I liked it. Really. It’s a nice little psychological read. You present a very ironic character: the psychologist who goes reverts to a primitive state after getting stranded on a tropical island that may-or-may-not be filled with Pokemon. And I like it. I like this story. Your style is easy on the eyes, your word choice flows well, and—while you aren’t the perfect writer—I’ll definitely be looking out for other things you write in the future.


    Okay. Now onto the tough stuff.

    You start out your story with “Prologue.” but don’t ever call the other subdivisions by names, which is a little confusing. It kind of made me think that the entire story was a prologue, but whatever. Not really a big deal.

    The actual beginning was great, though. You provided suspense, Pokemon cameos, great description, and an introduction to your tone and style. Great intro. In fact, there isn’t a lot to say about this, just because it was so well set-up. If your other intros are as good as this one, you’ll be in the clear for this section.

    The plot was… Well, there wasn’t a lot of it, really. In fact, the story seems much shorter than it really is for this reason, exactly. I wonder why. Your premise was great, if somewhat cliché. “Man gets stranded on an island for years, reverts to a primitive lifestyle, and ends up killing two vacationers who attempt to help him.” It’s great. Maybe it’s just the “in medias res” set-up you used that made it seem so… Thin, really.

    Now, nothing of any great weight happens within the story. No one changes. We’re basically given a glimpse into the mind of this man, and how such things could affect even the most intellectual of individuals. (However, I did find that having him be a survival-show enthusiast was a tad too convenient. Besides, if I lived in the same hut for twelve years, I would’ve made something a little better fortified than what you described as somewhat lean-to like. But I digress.)

    Plot in a story is where characters are changed by a conflict that occurs in the story. Your conflicts and changes were... Limited, to say the least. Remember to think of this when coming up with plots for future stories. I get that you were probably on a restricted timeline, due to the SWC, but try to keep that in mind. There should be conflicts and change that really drive stories.

    Anyway, enough with that. Let’s look at some more minor points. I was kind of confused as to why you picked the specific embodiments of emotions that you did. The Pokemon you picked weren’t explicitly angry or fearful or guilty Pokemon. I understand that, with the way URPG works, you are limited in how you write your stories to the Pokemon you want. But I’m sure there could have been other ways to incorporate the Pokemon you wanted while staying true to your story.

    Something else that confused me was whether there were actual Pokemon on the island. You mentioned Pidgeotto—or Pidgeot, though I believe it’s a Pidgeotto. That one was real. But he created the Ralts, Poliwag, and Lotad all in his mind. Does that make Pokemon real or unreal in his universe? He said he’d never seen such things as anywhere except the island. Maybe with some greater length, issues like this might’ve been worked out, but see if you can’t limit the confusion your reader will feel when writing psychological stories.

    Grammar and Style
    Your grammar was very good, throughout most of the story. It was very pleasant, in that aspect. One thing I noticed when you used dialogue, however, was this:

    “’Well? What now Rick?’ A human voice said…”
    In this sentence, you miss a comma. There should be one directly after “now.” This is something I noticed a couple of other times with your dialogue. If there is a part of the sentence that does not explicitly contribute to making it a fully-structured sentence, you should probably put it after a comma. Or before a comma, depending on where it is in the sentence. And, obviously, there are exceptions to this, but that’s the general rule. “What now, Rick?” would have been correct. Rick’s name adds to a reader’s understanding of the situation, but not to the structure of the sentence, as “What now?” would have made complete grammatical sense. That’s really the only issue I saw with your grammar.

    As for your style, it was very easy to read. Which is what you want from a story, so you’re good there. Interestingly, you wrote the story completely in present tense. Normally, that makes it all sound very odd, but you pulled it off. It was even kind of symbolic, in that your main character is a man who lives only in the present, and no longer worries about the past. It was a good, solid choice you made as an author.


    Expanding on that style thing, your natural style has a lot of detail. And, generally, it’s very good detail: Very few are unnecessary to your story, and your exposition fits well with the progression of the plot. There are, of course, a few things I’d like to point out specifically.

    - “I was never a large man, being around 5’6”, the last time I was…”
    In all actuality, exact height is kinda superfluous. How much difference would it make if he were 5’ 5” or 5’ 7”? Very little. Try to keep that sort of thing in mind. Readers need impressions, and not measurements.

    - “The closest thing I have to clothes here is a small skirt-like article made of bird feathers and rodent fur.”
    Now, this was something that confused me. Why? If I were stranded on an island alone, I wouldn’t worry about clothes. And I’m an assimilated member of modern society. Your character has progressed to a survival-of-the-fittest savage, and I would gather that he isn’t worried about clothes. Such skirt-like articles are made in less advanced cultures for modesty around the other sex, and this is only in certain societies. There are indigenous tribes of the Amazon rain forest that do not bother with clothes at all. I would consider these details when crafting your image of a character. If he were really as crazy as you made him, he’d probably be a nudist. It’s good that you brought up his outer coverings as a detail, but make sure they fit.

    Something else I’d like to point out that I had some issues with occasionally (but not enough to really quote any specific example) is your lead character’s dialogue. You paint him as a man who has totally succumbed to the temptations of a primordial lifestyle, and broke his ties with the developed world. However, the way he speaks is very… Developed, intellectually. And not crazy. I understand he’s a college graduate, majoring in Psychology, but he’s reverted to a primitive state. I don’t know if he should be saying some of the things that he says. I’m not actually totally sure how to alleviate this problem. You possibly try out different POV’s, but that could open up a whole other can of worms. Just try and keep dialogue fitting to the character, okay?

    Okay. Now for the fun part. The climax.

    It was very good. You built up to it well with a strong rising action, and led through it with an unpredictable act of insanity and revenge. Always a pleasant thing to read. :3 His descriptions of the event were just right: on-point, detailed, and rife with tone. Really good. Pat yourself on the back.


    I clocked your character count at 21,103. So you’re past the required character count. But character count isn’t everything, and I feel like there wasn’t a lot of actual plot to back this up. Still, you passed the Length Test, and that’s an accomplishment in itself.

    Way to go. :3 I know that my grading is a little harsh, but I only do that t help strengthen your next story. This was good. Be proud of it. And if you find that even one thing I’ve said might improve upon your natural writing ability, I’ll consider this a job well done.
    Last edited by Luciole; 29th September 2012 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Grade was put back in after SWC.

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