Crime Novela - 1st Chapter Rough-Draft (criticism welcome)
Somewhere in the distance a wolf howls at a mysterious planet, a sliver of luminescence amidst a great void, but a remnant of its former self. With this animal cry the creature worships the harbinger of darkness. Prey sleeps while the killer prepares to feast. Spiritually, I am allied with the carnivorous predator. Driven by powers beyond his control into a world where he is said not to belong, I imagine his teeth glistening beneath the pale light of his celestial goddess. With the knowledge that his exile is false — the vast expanse of lands his for the taking, his since the beginning of time — I imagine blood dripping from those same sharp teeth. Even more than physical starvation, it is mental starvation, a lack of peace of mind, that breeds his desperation. Wishing him luck in his hunt is not necessary, for within desperation lies a certain insanity, a craziness to die. Ten men or more are nothing against such a force. Gazing towards the heavens, I too pay my respects.
The lone sentinel sat at his post in a heroin induced trance, nodding in and out of consciousness. At one point, he dreamed that someone was coming for him. He did not know who or why, but he had some ideas. He did not attempt to strengthen his will in an effort to alter the content of his dream as he was not familiar with this concept. Thus, the darkness emerging from the depths of his soul continued to grow and his demise seemed eminent. Suddenly, his pursuer, the unidentifiable dream specter, had placed a gun to his temple.
He awoke . . . and it was so.
The name of this careless guard is not important. He was merely one of many similar men who were part of a loosely knit syndicate of ruthless drug dealers and vicious robbers. At the head of this organization sat none other than “Wide Awake” Willy, the man himself. But, we’ll get to him later.
The unfortunate man’s heavily tattooed face strained as his eyes attempted to identify his assailant peripherally, not daring to actually turn his bald head. He was in his early twenties and of Mexican descent, wearing a white wife-beater undershirt, long black basketball shorts, matching black house slippers, and heavily tinted Loc Sunglasses — the time was 4:00 AM. Head to toe Mara Salvatrucha-esque tattoos and a set of haggard gold teeth were the only authentic showcases of his physical thuggery, any other outward appearance was that of a junkie. His head was tiny with gaunt, sunken cheekbones along with a barely perceptible nose and mouth. The scrawniness of his face extended to the rest of his body, especially his arms, which were completely marred by the intravenous drug users’ trademark. The man’s most distinct characteristic was a set of ink devil horns that marked his narrow forehead, complimented by a tiny cross under each eye in place of the traditional teardrop. He was a killer no doubt, they were all killers, but his nature was impulsive and foolish rather than cold and calculating. Even he considered it a miracle that his life had lasted so long.
The 12’’ blue steel barrel of the pistol-grip Mossberg 500 Cruiser, a veritable sawed off shotgun with much greater accuracy, reflected in the window of the make-shift security hut. Its pressure against his head seemed to increase unceasingly. Time grinded to a halt and his only hope was that the trigger had not yet been pulled.
The all-too-real ghost from his unconscious spoke. “Show us the way.”
A wide smile spread across the captive’s face and his gold grill shimmered in the moonlight. His adrenaline level retreated back towards normal, replaced by his usually narcotic buzz. He may have been a killer, a veteran even, despite his young age, but before all else he was a rat. Nothing was more important to him than his own selfish interest and desires. He longed to live for a few more moments.
“Follow me,” he replied.
The man rose cautiously from the worn La-Z-Boy recliner that seemed ridiculously proportioned to the 5’ x 5’ free-standing structure which housed it. He walked out backwards, the pump-action shotgun now attached to the base of his skull, and began moving slowly towards the warehouse. The slight breeze of the humid night made him acutely aware of how much he had begun to sweat.
“A few more moments.”
He now realized that there were two entities following him not just one, but he was still unable to visualize or sense anything distinguishable about them. Their movements were impossibly silent and they seemed to blend perfectly into the darkness, one with the night.
“Demons,” he thought to himself, acceptingly, ”Come to pay me what I am owed.”
Outwardly, the warehouse looked no different than any of the other thousands of similar buildings that littered the Bay Area. Battered aluminum siding framed its two-story exterior and its business entrance was slightly less than a quarter mile from the roadside frontage of the industrial park, the security outpost lying roughly between both. It’s only peculiarities were the lack of signage, the excessive amount of security cameras, and the all-encompassing 20’ tall fence, the apex of which consisted of two sets of three lines of barbwire, each set at opposing 45 degree angles. In addition, a patrol of savage pit-bulls roamed the premises ready to attack the slightest nuance without mercy. Even the warehouse’s employees, of whom they were accustomed to, were not always safe from their ferocity. The fact that the dogs did not react in the slightest to these two apparitions only caused the man to more seriously contemplate the moral trepidation their presence inflicted upon him.
In his mind his fate had already been sealed — nevertheless, a few more moments.
Dominic, the shotgun wielding individual and his partner are the heroes of our story. You might call them villains. Motivated by revenge, their skills honed and resolve strong, they were unstoppable.
The trio quickly reached the small steel side-door of the warehouse. As the trembling hostage reached to press the intercom button in order to be granted entrance, Dominic crouched down low behind him. He already knew that no one seriously monitored the cameras, but he was not here to take any chances. His partner, carrying a silenced 9 mm handgun, had dropped back a short distance, providing him with cover that would not alert their ultimate target.
“Yo, let me in, mane.”
It was that easy. Almost too easy.
The dimly lit, dust-smelling warehouse was empty except for a large room that had been partitioned in the far left corner and a metal staircase against the right wall leading to a single small apartment on the second floor, their destination.
“The loot is up there,” the man confessed without provocation.
“Yes,” Dominic answered. He nudged him forcefully with the gun. “Keep moving.”
They walked casually along the wall of the building, right and then left at the corner. The hard part was over. The real fun was about to begin. Just as they began to ascend the stairs, Dominic’s eyes, which had not stopped scanning the surroundings, caught site of a situation that he had not foreseen. The roof of the single-story, partitioned room was made of glass and its contents were brightly illuminated. Inside he counted 10 young Latina women, completely naked other than the white painters masks over their mouths. They worked methodically breaking down, cutting, and then bagging what looked like hundreds of kilos of heroin, an assembly line of sorts. Their required nudity was an effort to keep them from attempting to steal even the tiniest amount of the drug that was worth far more than its weight in gold. Obviously, the warehouse had just received a huge shipment of their most coveted product. The revelation did not cause him to miss a step.
“Open the door,” Dominic instructed the man as they reached the top of the stairs.
“One more moment,” the man convinced himself. And, he was right.
Their entrance was spectacular. The traitor’s job complete, he flew into the room propelled by a grandiose blast to the spine. Just as Dominic had suspected, only one man sat unexpectedly on a couch spanning the far wall of the room. He wasn’t quite terrified yet, but he was certainly startled. He did not even notice his welcome gift in the form of a 9 mm bullet to the stomach that accompanied his two guests. They were seated next to him before he could reach for his own gun. The dead man joined them as well.
The man on the couch, his eyes gradually starting to pop out of his skull, could have been the sentry’s brother. He carried more weight and less tattoos, wearing khaki pants with a slightly lower forehead, but it is relatively safe to say that they were the same person.
“Where is your boss?” Dominic asked calmly. The menace in his placid demeanor was clear, reflected even more so in the way he held the lifeless body of the man’s associate in his arms. It wasn’t the profusely bleeding and bullet-riddled corpse that affected the man, as he had witnessed many of those in his day, but rather, the manner in which this ski-masked assassin dressed in all black, eyes full of rage his only visible feature, manipulated the face of the fallen like some kind of fiendish ventriloquist.
Dominic lounged leisurely on the couch, his right arm draped around the neck of his recently deceased victim who was comfortably squeezed between himself and the wounded interrogatee. Farthest from Dominic and to the immediate right of the trembling man sat his faithful partner, equally outfitted and relaxed. With the television in front of them playing a game-show, they were almost the quintessential image of familial bliss, almost — that is because the 60” flat-screen TV with piano-black finish and the ridiculously expensive black leather couch, both fine examples of modern design, did not belong in any normal home, nor did the dirty needles and random drug paraphernalia that adorned the glass coffee table at their feet — that and, of course, the stark brutality of the scene. The TV show’s theme song provided a laughingly ironic ambience. “This is Jeopardy!”
With his left hand, Dominic used two fingers held up like a peace sign to maneuver the dead man’s expression in response to the question he continued to ask. The expansive array of tattoos on the puppet’s face, especially the set of horns on his forehead, made the act all that more ominous.
“Where is your boss?”
“No comprendé,” the man pleaded, pretending that he did not understand English.
The corpse of his associate frowned in accordance.
“¿Dónde está tu pardron?”
“No se,” the man lied, the urine stain growing on his pant-leg.
Dominic nodded to his partner who reacted by shoving and then withdrawing two gloved fingers into the uncooperative man’s fresh abdominal bullet-wound, the silenced Glock Compact still expertly trained to the man’s head. The dead man’s neutrality changed to sadness once again.
¿Dónde está tu padron?” Dominic replied with no change in the tone of his voice.
Apparently, his unyielding tranquility did not manifest in the countenance of his new friend. “¡No sé! ¡No sé!”
The warm, wet orifice was penetrated much deeper and rougher this time, the grizzly fingering causing the man to shriek hysterically. In achieving this desired response, the torturer’s gratification mirrored the symbolic eroticism of the act. The man began to pray into the still unhappy face of his dead friend. The religious significance of Satan’s horns and God’s crucifixes further dramatized the precariousness of his fatal situation.
“Por favor, madre de la muerte . . ."
“Nosotros estamos tu madre de la muerte ahora,” Dominic interrupted softly, a softness in direct contrast to the indescribable anger in his eyes and therefore that much more unnerving to the man they rested upon.
With the finality of the question somehow perceptible, perhaps to a kind of instinctual sense of self-preservation, coupled with the two fingers stroking the g-spot of his wound in a come-hither motion, the man erupted with an orgasm of compliance.
“The Plaza Hotel!” Todos los noches. ¡Por favor!”
Dominic’s suspicions confirmed, the execution was instant and without ceremony. The man’s parting vision was a ghastly and devilish grin.
Last edited by Charlie Hustles; 17.05.2010 at 00:13.
i think you meant to put this in the LOLZ thread.
Originally Posted by JH408
You've got a good "voice" going, and I like your descriptions.
I don't understand who the narrator is. He seems to have a voice all his own, is he a real person or just the omnipresent narration that will be there for the whole story?
If you intend to make this longer than a short story, being told who the good guys are isn't needed. As you develop the story for the reader we will understand who they are and get our own feeling about them about if they are good or bad. This also goes against the style that I think your writing in. Your descriptions and tone are clear, it took me out of the story for a second when you told me who the good guys were or when you told me that i'd find out about another character later. That goes into the question I have about who the narrator is.
Don't spend to much time describing characters who are going to get shot if they serve no purpose to the overall story. You spent creative effort on the "rat" who got shot by bringing us into his dream and then blew him away a few pages later. It was a good device to use to show that style of the story you're going to present, but it should be used for a character we are going to care about and be invested in throughout the story. Not a throw away goon.
I was also confused by the opening narration. You use "I" but who is "I?" The narrator? The Guy with the shotgun? What was the purpose of that and what did it bring to the story?
Don't spend to much time on minor details. I understand you want the reader to know the environment your characters are in, but you can build a tension with the scene of the "good guys" fingering a wound in an interrogation effort much better than the descriptions of the cool TV and expensive couch. You're having a guy literally torture a dude but it gets glossed over in description to pants, tattoos and TV's. That's come intense stuff you were describing. I'd spend more time on that.
I like it so far. I'd read more for sure, but it needs some tightening up and more focus on the voice your looking for.
I do like your descriptions. It's good stuff.
Keep it up.
Thank you, Geoff. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and critique.
The narration is supposed to be 3rd person ominiscient, but the part in italics is Dominic speaking in 1st person. My idea was to have him give a short narration before the beginning of each chapter that would be clearly defined from the chapter itself. At first , the question of who is speaking and what it has to do with the story might be a bit of a mystery to the reader, but as the book progresses they would figure that out.
I definitely see what you're talking about with the saying too much about the good guys and whatnot, I kind of felt the same way. Same with having too much detail. I guess I just kind of envision the story like a movie playing in my head and I want the reader to see exactly what I'm seeing, but the whole point of a book compared to a movie is allowing the reader to fill in the blanks. That is one thing I must certainly work on.
There are definitely some other things I want to change, but I kind of just wanted to get a feel for whether or not it could hold people's interest and actually sound like a real book. I know people don't like "walls of text" on Be-Mag, but I do and so do some others, so fuck it. That being said, thanks again for being one of those people who don't mind reading something longer than a paragraph. I'll let you know when I edit it and write some more.
Last edited by Charlie Hustles; 16.05.2010 at 23:05.
I don't think you're using to much detail, I just think you should use more detail on other things.
I really like the scene with the dudes fingering a bullet hole. You're showing your two protagonists are pretty hardcore dudes and they take no time feeling bad about the pain they are inflicting. Spend more time establishing that.
Keep it up though, and props on posting that stuff on here. I wouldn't.
It's hard to even write something that long, so props on doing that. It's one thing to write it, but it's a whole other thing to let other people read it, so props for even posting this.
I know you've said everything I write and post is stupid so maybe my criticism is too, but here you go anyway
What's going on makes sense. You know how to move a story along. No problems there.
One of the things that struck me after reading the whole thing is that for an action/crime story it never really had my pulse beating quickly. Action is hard to do and even harder to do well, but it just kind of felt like it was moving along like "and then this happened...and then this happened...and then this happened", while interesting at first it just kind of dragged along.
For an example of a dude that does action/crime really well, check out:
Try the amazon "look in inside" feature and read the opening chapter, it's fucking badass.
Last edited by Knucklehead; 16.05.2010 at 23:46.
Reason: Bad grammar
Word, man. Thanks for reading. I don't really think you're writing is stupid, I just don't like the whole "I'm always drunk" thing, but I don't really like to drink so that is probably why. I do think that it has a lot of appeal to a wide audience, though. A lot of people dig it and that is a good sign. I'm just kind of specific about what I enjoy reading, and I'm not really into the whole "fratire" deal, like I have said before, but a whole lot of people are.
About the pace of the action, I think that might have a bit to do with what Geoff was saying about misplaced details. I will work on that for sure. I will check out that book as well. Next to writing, probably even more so, reading is the best way to get your game up.
You forgot "w" on the word weight......... give up killyourself.
Shit you already fixed it.......in that case keep it up kiddo.
I couldn't really explain it, but it seems like half the time your voice (not your point of view) changes pretty dramatically. You go from using grandiose and colorful descriptions of scenery to using common vernacular like it's nothing, and it was quite jarring. There are also a couple of instances where you speak a little too directly to the audience. There's no problem with that, but as far as I can tell, you're an omnipotent narrator, not a character narrator. Saying things like "But, we’ll get to him later" treat the audience in more of a conversational format rather than story-telling, which also served to bring me back out of the setting, and worked heavily against your attention to detail.
There are also a few minor grammatical errors, little things like punctuation, and using "it's" instead of "its". Things like that.
Read it, nothing to add that hasn't been covered by geoff and tco. Although I think parts might work better formatted properly, and I have a tough time reading long shit on the computer.
was gonna say why did you put so much effort into describing the rat if he gets killed right away, but geoff already cover that.
i liked it and would probably read more ...
Read it again today a little more sober. Some parts have ALOT of detail but i enjoyed reading it and would read more.
I ate ostridge on friday.
That should be either the opening or final sentence for a book.
Originally Posted by K