Hostages: The Final Revision.


Thank you everyone for your support on my story. I thank many people for their wonderful ideas especially thisisambr.wordpress.com who corrected my spelling mistakes, sentence structure and grammar for me. ☺ This will be the final edition but you are still welcome to leave your opinions. X The Sleepy BookNerd

Hostages:

I sit down at my dresser and stare into the mirror. I smile, slip on my heels, adjust my glasses and rush downstairs. I fly out the door, my dress flailing behind me.

Asher my date gives me a ride to the school dance. As we pull up at the school I can already hear the school band playing an ancient Beatles Song. We get out of the car and walk up to the school’s entrance. We are ushered inside, to the main school hall, where bunting floats down from the ceiling, and punch and food is set out an tables. Couples are waltzing onto the dance floor. Asher creeps up behind me and hugs me from behind, making me jump. “Well, hello there Miss Tuft, would you care for this dance? He asks bowing before me and taking my hand, kissing it extravagantly. Everyone then turns their attention to us and I blush and pull my hand away. “Yes, you may Mr. Sullivan” I said, smiling as he grinned and led me to the dance floor. Suddenly without warning, loud gunshots rang out in the air and everyone screamed. The scene was one of chaotic confusion as people ran, some falling as they were hit.

I turned in horror as Asher’s eyes glazed. He crumbles to the floor like a rag doll, the light leaving his eyes, and the blood began to seep through his crisp white shirt. My first instinct is to sweep Asher into an embrace and bring him back to life. But instead I stand there mortified as I stare at Asher’s body. More gunshots ring out and people fall to the floor like odd dominoes that can’t stand upright. I see everyone else running and then I start running, my heart pounds, my feet slam against the floor.

As I get to the hallway I try to decide where to go. My brain is foggy as I hear more people screaming. I anxiously run in the direction of the girls toilets.I swing the door open and see a group of girls in the corner, the running mascara lines their faces like tiny black veins. A girl with honey blonde hair and squinty brown eyes holds a finger to her lips and then taps the keys on her phone, desperately trying to get hold of someone. I stop for a second and decide to head for the P.E lockers. I skid down the hallway towards the changing rooms. I burst in the room and look for a locker. There’s one in the corner that looks like I could fit into. I squash myself in there, it reeks of sweaty socks and body odour but I couldn’t really care less. I ask him to let me live but I’m interrupted by the sound of the bang on the locker. Somebody’s trying to see if the locker is hollow or not. I hope it’s the police or a fellow classmate, but as the door is yanked open I see it’s not, it’s the man himself, a gun in his hand and alcohol on his breath.

He pulls me out and sits me down on the bench. he slaps me across the face and spits at my feet. I begin to cry, my mascara runs down my cheeks, I put my hands in my lap and look at him. He has olive skin and dark curly hair, one piercing green eye and a dark brown one. “My daughter went missing years ago” he sprays, his voice choking up “She was bullied and didn’t want to be here anymore. She came to this school and now we can’t find her she’s missing, my little girl… Her name was Brianna Evans.” He begins to sob “I’m gonna make sure that girls like you know what you did to her!”
I begin searching my brain for a Brianna Evans. My brain clicks and I remember her. My friends bullied her, taunted her for her looks, her family, even her boyfriend. I had left my friends when they started to bully her and tried to help Brianna but she refused.
“I tried to help Brianna!” I say exasperated “I tried to stop my friends from bullying her.”
“You liar! If you actually did help her she would have come back to us, she is gone…” he shouts fiercely
“No I couldn’t, the help I gave her obviously didn’t work, she needed help from an adult!” I wail, ” Please don’t kill me, I can help you, please, please…” I murmur over and over again.
He holds the gun to my head as I burst out into hysterical tears. The man fingers the trigger, he strokes it. Suddenly a gunshot rings out and my life is all hazy, I’m not sure if I’m dead or not.

As everything becomes a little clearer I see the man on the floor, he gives me a flashback of what happened to Asher and I begin to shake. The police had got to him and shot him but the bullet ricocheted and hit me in the shoulder. My shoulder stings and I feel light and drowsy. Before I black out I remember Asher and pull mysrlf out of it to see him again. I see the policewoman at the door beckoning me out, there’s lots of shouting and running around. The policewoman puts a blanket around me and leads me out through the main school hall. I see bodies all over the floor, being bagged up and taken for autopsies. I run over to Asher as they’re about to bag him up and bat them away. I stroke his tie and take his wallet, phone and corsage, for his family to keep and plant a kiss on his lips. His ash blonde hair falls across his face and his face looks peaceful. I let them wheel him away. As I’m lifted into the ambulance I see the other hostages, some have injuries and some are guilt-ridden. I know one thing now, that nobody kills for the right reason and that man took away Asher and thirty three other students for a reason whether it was right or not.

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13 thoughts on “Hostages: The Final Revision.

  1. Nice job with this! It’s a lot of detail and progression in a short piece, and you’ve done a good job with your revisions. Not to sound critical, but there are just a couple of grammar fixes still to be done to help the story flow. They’re just minor things, but it may help tie it all together. I really enjoyed the overall feel and the closing message. Well done, and definitely keep writing! 🙂

      • Perhaps it was intentional, but you started switching tenses late in the second paragraph. That could be left alone or changed; it’s ultimately all up to you, since it’s your piece. More importantly, it would make it easier to read if your dialogue was formatted differently. I was always taught to start a new paragraph every time someone new began talking. It makes it easier for the reader to keep track of things and also for the writer to make sure all of the quotation marks and punctuation are there.
        To help with flow, I would only suggest keeping a string of inner feelings and/or monologue with your narrator. Toward the end, I think a stronger presence of emotion, or even just addressing the lack of (perhaps due to shock), would tie up a few loose ends.

  2. This is my first time reading something from you and I think it’s pretty good. I didn’t expect it to turn into an action piece, I thought it would be a cute dance scene between the characters. Haha.
    Since you seem to be accepting constructive criticism, I’d like to point out these mistakes I found:
    “Everyone then turns their attention to us” Here I think it should be “turn” not “turns”
    And then I don’t understand why the whole piece changed into the past tense?
    ““Yes, you may Mr. Sullivan” I said, smiling as he grinned and led me to the dance floor. Suddenly without warning, loud gunshots rang out in the air and everyone screamed. The scene was one of chaotic confusion as people ran, some falling as they were hit.
    I turned in horror as Asher’s eyes glazed. He crumbles to the floor like a rag doll, the light leaving his eyes, and the blood began to seep through his crisp white shirt.”
    I’m not sure about this, but if you’re right then just ignore me. I tend to mess up my tenses too. Heh. Also the “suddenly without warning” sounds a little weird to me, because “suddenly” already means “without warning” so it sounds strange when put together. That’s just me though.
    Other than that I think it’s an interesting short story to read. I followed you and I look forward to reading your other short stories in the future 🙂 If you’re interested, you could read my short stories too if you want, and I accept constructive criticism too 🙂

  3. interesting read, good job 🙂 there’s some minor things like using tenses but all in all it was fun. and thanks for visiting my blog.
    oh by the way, if you have time check out http://www.storytimezones.com/ and if you can, contribute. if you’re interested just send me a message, i’ll hook you up 🙂

  4. I love this version! Especially how you now added the bit about Brianna Evans…it adds up to the climax nicely 🙂 One thought …
    “You liar! If you actually did help her she would have come back to us, she is gone…” he shouts fiercely
    Here you require a capital H fr he and a full stop. A few others as well…
    Great story 😀

  5. The story is fantastic. Very good I will say, you were actually asking for constructive criticism right?
    I believe, just a little touch to the characters you think are important will make this story really memorable- a little touch to make them real, so that readers can see them in mind’s eyes.

  6. Grammatical errors and past-present-tense errors aside, good use of direct, active sentences. They compliment the short story nicely. There were about two or three weirdly phrased sentences, for example: As everything becomes a little clearer I see the man on the floor, he gives me a flashback of what happened to Asher and I begin to shake.
    I had to re-read that twice to understand that what your character meant that theman reminded her of how Asher crumpled to the floor. It might be better to say instead: As everything becomes a little clearer, I see the man on the floor and I’m reminded of Asher. I shake.
    Or something like that. In that instance, I’m using the fact that the direct, action-filled short story will allow for short bursts of quick, active sentencing. So something short and direct like “I shake” will work for your story. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving it like that you can always add a simile, metaphor, adjective, what-have-you.
    Also, when people speak and the author decides not to use a full stop, you end their speech with a comma, for example, in this sentence: “My daughter went missing years ago” he sprays, his voice choking up
    It would read as: “My daughter went missing years ago,” he says, his voice choking up. The comma allows one to continue the sentence while also signaling to the audience that the character isn’t speaking. What will also help with these sorts of oversights is beginning a new paragraph for when characters speak. It definitely makes it easier for me when I write dialogue and easier for the audience to read.
    In this sentence: “I tried to help Brianna!” I say exasperated
    I think exasperated may not be the word you’re looking for since exasperation is the feeling of annoyance or irritation. I don’t think your character would be annoyed at this man since he is holding a gun at her. I think at this point your character is begging, pleading, or entreating this man to listen to her and not shoot her brains out. Might want to work out a better adjective.
    And I’m not too sure, but I don’t think the forensics department allows people to take personal items from dead people at a crime scene. From what I remember of “Bones” and “Law & Order” (yes, those are my oh so amazing reference points har-har) they normally bag personal items from a crime scene since it might become evidence later on. Only after they’ve run it through do they allow the family members to take the items home. From what I remember, might want to do some Googling on that.
    Finally, that last sentence, when I re-read it, sounds a bit odd: I know one thing now, that nobody kills for the right reason and that man took away Asher and thirty three other students for a reason whether it was right or not.
    I’m not too sure but it sounds a bit contradictory(?). Like, your character and us as the audience understand that, that man killed thirty four people for a reason, but even when someone kills with a reasoning it’s never the right reason. Or rather, it’s never the right thing to do, I don’t know. It could just be me but maybe phrasing that sentence better will have it make more sense and also leave the audience with a bit of Wham-o feeling.
    Overall, great little tidbit of a story that really makes the audience do a double-take as to where the story is ultimately going to end up. The great thing about this sort of story is that you can always leave it as is or decide to flesh it out further.

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