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Plea

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Plea

Postby Scriven » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:33 pm

M David Schafer
Plea

It still smelled the same, after nine years away his childhood bedroom still smelled the same. Light from the streetlamp flirted into his room, illuminating a desk that still held his G.I Joes and several of his final term papers.

James wanted to grab two more hours of sleep, but he should have known better. He pulled on a pair of jogging shorts and his academy shirt and headed downstairs. Carefully creeping down the steps he remembered so many times when he would be sneaking in at 5:30 instead of sneaking out for a job.

“Morning,” his mother said, her voice cracking softly. She looked worn, her black hair thoroughly coated with gray she sat the breakfast bar in her red night robe. The smell of fresh coffee hung in the air. “Coffee?”

James walked over to her. In the three years since he had seen her it looked like his mother had aged a lifetime. Lines crossed her brown skin and it looked like James could see every vein in her well-used hands.

“Did you get any sleep?” he said walking into the kitchen.

“A little,” she said, sitting next to several casseroles in glass pans covered each covered with a different color of Glad Wrap. “When you get old you don’t sleep anymore.”

“Sorry,” James said, pulling a glass out of the cupboard.

“Going for a run?” she asked, turning to watch him.

“Yeah, couldn’t sleep.”

“You always were more of a morning person then your brothers,” Susan Ash’s hands wrapped around the mug but didn’t move. “Ryan would sleep until noon if I didn’t wake him.”

“Remember when you went on that conference?” James asked filling his glass with water. “Dad and Ryan were late for everything. I finally started waking them up with a super soaker.”

His mother laughed for a few seconds and then took a sip of her coffee. “Really? I never knew that.”

“Yeah,” James stood next to his mother as he gulped down the water. “Well I want to get started.”

“Okay,” his mother said. “I think I’m going to make pancakes for breakfast.”

“You don’t have to do that Mom,” he said.

“I know, but I want to do something,” she said. “It’s been so long since I’ve had all my boys home.”

The colors of the cement block and stucco homes changed slightly, different cars parked in garages and a few more lawns were overrun little else changed in this old community. As James started his jog it seemed as if he started running through some lost childhood dream. It was all familiar, known to him, but different.

He jogged up Lemon Street and turned left on Harmon, passing the bus stop where he spent hours waiting in junior high.

Passing over a bone-dry Tillman canal he turned right on Grover Street, following his old jogging path in high school.

The community began to wake up around him, ready to face a damp Thursday. He passed a woman he swore he used to see running with a massive Akida. A few people who had to work the early shift at Kennedy Space Center or Patrick Air Force Base were starting to pull out of their driveways. James waved as they passed by him.

He ran his high school loop and instead of pulling into the driveway of the old gray house he kept going.

It was about 6:20 and the teenagers were starting to file out of their homes and line up for the drive to Stone Junior High School in Melbourne. He was deep into his thoughts before he heard the first scream.

A woman was screaming. Not the “I hit my hand with a hammer and boy does it hurt scream,” but the “Oh damn I’m going do die scream!”

A police officer is never off duty, the line drilled into him at the academy and later by fellow officers in Charleston bolted. James picked up his pace and ran toward the scream.

The screams continued as James broke into a run. Someone down the street from his childhood home was being murdered. He flew past the teenagers at the bus stop, as he got closer to the screams.

James stopped in front of a tan and red house with a tocca tile roof. As a kid Mark and his sister Debbie Chiles lived here.
Instinctively James grasped at his belt only to find moist morning air instead of his service Glock.

“This is why I should own a cell phone,” James said as he caught his breath. His heart was beating inside his chest like it was pumping gallons of blood every second.

He pounded on the red door.

“POLICE! OPEN UP!”

The screaming continued, but it was louder now, sounding almost like it was coming from outside the house.

“*beep*,” he muttered. Two states out of his jurisdiction, no weapon, no radio, no back and still required to perform as an officer.

James ran back from the house. An old lady came out her front door carrying a cordless phone.

“Mrs. Hatcher?” James yelled, recognizing the woman.

“James Ash? Is that you?” she yelled back.

“Yeah, I’m a police officer now,” he said, trying to determine where the screams were coming from. “Call 911.”

“I’ve tried James, but all the circuits are busy, I can’t get out.”

“Just go back inside.”

James started to move around the house when he saw her. Hanging out of a narrow bathroom window a longhaired woman was screaming as she tired to free herself from whatever was inside.

“Hold on ma’am, I’m coming.” James said.

Hysterically thrashing and screaming she flailed at James as he tried to free her from the slit window. Finally he lifted her on his shoulder and pulled her free.

“What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” she felt like a wilted leaf in his hands. Blood smeared on her face and hung in great patches on her cotton nightshirt and flannel pants.

“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God,” she repeated.
Suddenly the door of the stockade fence flew open and a tall, thin white man in his forties rushed at James. Wearing a white wife-beater and boxers blood ran from a wound on his shoulder and splattered about his face like a feral dog tearing apart its prey.

“STOP POLICE!”

He rushed at James growling in anger.

James blocked with his arms and threw the skinny man to the ground.

“What is going on here?”

Suddenly the middle schoolers at the bus stop broke into one high-pitched unified scream.

Cursing he ran back to the street. As he backed up James saw the man lunch at his wife and bite into her neck.

The kids were scattering as two large men rushed at them. James took off running toward the bus stop.

“BACK AWAY FROM THE CHILDREN!” he yelled.
What the hell was going on? Where were the Palm Bay Police?

One of the men turned toward James. Just like the other man blood covered his face and ran down his chest.
People began to emerge from their homes, and seeing easier prey the man rushed at Ed Reed and tackled him.
James wanted to stop the chaos, help someone. Put an end to this madness, but it was getting worse by the second. More screams, more blood, more panic.

A long yellow school bus started up Lemon Street, the engine roaring. Several dark forms hung on to the bus, reaching in at the screaming children inside. One man burst through the glass protecting the driver and the bus suddenly veered off the street, ran up a slight hill and smashed into the living room of a house.

“Oh my God,” James stood dumbfounded with chaos whirling about him like a buzz saw. All he could do is run, run home.

James bolted towards his childhood home. A man crossed his path, fleeing from a woman who looked like she could have been Mrs. Johnson, his sixth-grade teacher.
Red. He saw a red night robe standing at the end of the driveway in front of his brother’s rental and his Toyota.

“Get inside Mom! Get inside!”

“What’s going on?” she yelled, her #1 Nurse coffee mug Eric had given her as a birthday present 10 years ago still in her hand.

“I don’t know. Just get inside!”

James stopped just long enough to take her by the shoulders and pull her inside.

“What is going on? I heard screams and then a crash,” his mother asked. “Has there been some kind of accident? Can I help?”

“Not right now Mom,” James said. “You need to lock all the doors and get Ryan and Eric down here.”

“Where are you going?” she asked as he started to run up the stairs.

“I need to get to my car.”

James thundered up the steps and raced into his room and grabbed the keys from his chipped dresser.

His brother Eric stumbled out of his room, his boxers sagging about his waist.

“What’s going on?” he mumbled, still half asleep. “Why you runnin’?”

“Just go downstairs and help mom,” James said as he thundered down the steps again.

The house still smelled of coffee and pancake batter. It was dark and felt as warm and comfortable as being wrapped up in a thick blanket. Outside had turned into a warm, damp hell.

A neighbor’s house on the far side of the street had caught on fire. People were fighting hand-to-hand. He popped the truck with the remote, threw back the hatch and reached into the trunk.

James left Charleston in a hurry and forgotten to take his weapons out of the car. He packed his shotgun and pistol in the trunk at Georgia truck stop.

Finding the butt of the shotgun James pulled it out. One of his neighbors he vaguely remembered rushed at him. Like the others he was covered in the blood of a fresh kill.
James smashed the man in the face with the butt of the unloaded shotgun and kicked him away. He reached in the trunk and pulled out his gun belt. He kicked at the man again.

Keeping one eye toward his former neighbor and the street he felt around the trunk looking for his bullet case. James just had bought a case to hold two sleeves of bullets and several extra clips for the shooting range.

Finally touching grasping an edge he pulled it free and ran back to the house. The door had closed and he rammed his shoulder into it, but it didn’t give.

“MOM!”

He put down the case and turned the knob. It was locked.

“Damn it!”

His neighbor had gotten up and was rushing him again. James pulled the pistol from his belt and fumbled for a clip.

“MA OPEN THE DAMNED DOOR!”

He dropped to a knee as he tried to free the clip from its leather holster.

James kicked again and this time landed a blow to the man’s chest. He only pushed him back a few feet, but it gave him time to free the clip.

“GET BACK!” James yelled as he fed the clip into the Glock.
The man growled and lunged at him once more.

Glock 27s are the choice of many police departments. Charleston chose to use .40-millimeter rounds for its officer’s weapons. The bullet hit the man on the shoulder and tore his limb free from his body.

He staggered back, looking at where his former appendage used to hang. James expected him to drop, but instead he lunged again.

James aimed and at point blank range the bullet ripped a jagged hole in the man’s head. Blood, bone and brain matter exploded over the porch, landing against the concrete with a sickening slap.

The body flailed for a few seconds then collapsed in a heap.
Suddenly the door opened behind him.

“I’m sorry you told me to lock the doors,” his mother cried.

“Not with me on the other side!” James said, attempting to wipe the gore from his face.

James rushed inside as his mother locked the door behind them. Ryan and Eric stood before them. “What the hell is going on?”
Ryan asked.

“The world’s gone mad,” James said. Suddenly realized he stood in his mother’s house covered in blood and gore on her white-braded floor mat.

“What do we do?” Eric asked.

“Lock all the doors, board up all the first floor windows and hope the mother *beep* forget how to climb,” James said.

“Shouldn’t we do something?” His mom asked.

“Right now the best thing we can do is hole this place up,” he
looked into the garage. James sent his brothers into the garage for plywood.

“I, I need to get to work,” his mother said, picking up her purse from the kitchen counter. “They’ll need everyone today.”

“Mom, I think they can get by without you today,” James said.
Creak! The loose step on the stairs! Had one of them gotten in through the second floor?

James whipped around, gun at the ready.

“Oh hey James, did you get in last night?” a very tired and very pregnant sister in law asked. “Did you change your hair? I like it. What’s going on?”

“Uhm, Uhm,” What was he supposed to say. “Thanks, I got it for the academy.”

“What’s going on outside,” Alice asked, the sleep clearing from her eyes.

“Oh, about that,” James said. There’s just no good way to say this. “Uh, I think the world is ending.”

“What?”

“Yeah, there’s zombies running around outside,” James watched Ryan carrying in a load of wood and Eric following him with several hammers. “Yeah, it’s like all the bad parts of the Bible happening at once. I, I have to go.”

Ryan dumped a pile of two-by-fours down and started nailing one into the wall.

“What happened to the hurricane wood?” James asked.

“Ask Boomerang Boy,” Ryan snapped. “He and his slacker friends built a halfpike out of it.”

“Damn it!”

“Yeah,” Ryan said looking over at his brother. “If we all die because we can’t get the downstairs boarded up in time I hope you and your slacker friends had a lot of fun.”

“Shut up already,” Eric said, attempting to board up a window.

“This is all the wood Dad had in his shop. We need to find some more,” Ryan said. “Maybe block some of the windows with furniture or something.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Alice asked. She hadn’t moved from her position on the stairs.

Ryan turned and looked at his wife and suddenly his face changed, as if all the worry and fear melted from his face. “No honey,” his face brimming with a smile. “Just stay there and keep being pregnant with our firstborn son.”

“It’s a boy?” James picked up a hammer. “I hadn’t heard.”
Suddenly there was a massive crash from the dining room. James saw something moving on the beige Berber carpet.

A body was lying slowly moving on the floor. A young shirtless woman was trying to step through the gaping hole in the bay window.

“GET BACK….” James leveled his gun at the man’s head. “Ah hell, they’re not going to listen anyway.”

Just as in training to he slowly squeezed the trigger while holding the gun perfectly level. He didn’t hear the boom as the gunpowder exploded, sending the bullet flying from the barrel at the speed of sound.

He caught the woman on the top of his head. She went sprawling backwards, breaking the rest of the window as he fell.

“Damn,” Ryan said. “Help me with the table Eric. We can use it to hole up the window.”

James vision was reduced to a narrow cone as the adrenalin pumped through his body. He looked down at the body lying on the floor. It was one of his neighbors, Mr. Bill.

Once he told the boys that they should wash their cats every month. The image of Ryan running screaming from the bathroom while one of their cats dug their claws into his shirt sprang into James head.

Slowly he brought the gun barrel in line with Mr. Bill’s head. He had to put him down. Slowly he began to squeeze the trigger.

“NO!” his mother shouted. “No, he might still be… normal!”

Maybe she was right. He had to check, he had to.
James bent down and looked into the face of his neighbor.

Bleeding and his eyes rolled back into his head, but it looked like he might be breathing. James put his hand in front of Mr. Bill’s mouth and felt a hot, moist breath.

“Well I guess he’s still breathing,” James said, turning around.
Sudden pain gripped his forearm as the women screamed. His head whipped around. Mr. Bill had clamped down on the meat of James’ forearm.

He beat him with the butt of his pistol. Once, twice, three times. Finally blood spattered from Mr. Bill’s head as liquidly gray matter began to seep from his head.

Again and again he pounded on the man’s head. James could feel warm blood trickling up and down his arm. The world began to go black.
***
A fly, something, a buzzing, droning, moved just on the edge of reality, just on the edge of the darkness. It called to him, forcing him to dive deeper toward it.

James opened his eyes and slowly became aware of his body. He was lying on the couch in front of the TV Dad had brought home when 15 years ago. Was everything a dream?
Why was he home? What happened? What had been a dream?
How old was he? Why was he handcuffed?

“Mom, James is up,” a voice said.

“Thank God,” his mother said from the kitchen.

He heard footsteps rushing toward him. He lay on the couch in his parent’s house handcuffed. A long sash of blue gauze wrapped tightly around right arm. That’s right, he been bitten.

The barrel of his gun appeared above his face.

“Are you yourself little brother?” Ryan asked.

“Yeah,” James said. “At least I think so.”

“Good, he can talk,” Eric said, crowding around. “None of the zombies can talk, well they can in Toe Tags, but that’s really beyond the point.”

“That’s good,” James said. “Now does anyone want to de-cuff me?”

Eric pulled a handcuff key from his pocket and clicked the handcuffs open.

“Those aren’t mine,” James said, rubbing his wrists.

“They’re mine,” Eric said.

“Well that’s disgusting,” James said.

His mother brought him a glass of orange juice and several ibuprofen tablets. James swallowed them dry and then drank down the juice.

“How long was I out,” James asked.

“A few hours,” Mom said. “All day really.”

“Yeah,” Eric said pointing at the television. “While you were sleeping the world went to hell.”

James turned to watch a weary CNN talking head drone on about the “Outbreak” while information scrolled under a giant graphic reading “Terror in Florida,”

“It’s already worse then 9-11,” Ryan said. “They said there could already be more then 100,000 dead, well deadish.”

“So the bad news is we unintentionally released the undead, but the good news is the car is okay,” Eric said.

“Did you just make a Simpson’s reference?” Ryan asked.
“I’ve been sitting on that one for a while.”

“They said we are supposed to go to some of the local churches and Patrick Air Force Base,” Mom said. “But we didn’t want to risk moving you.”

“Staying put was probably the right move anyway,” Ryan said. “I think the entire neighborhood is wiped out.”

“The Orlando stations say they’re boarded up in the studio,” Eric said. “It’s like Dawn of The Dead outside.”

There was a pause in the conversation and suddenly the screen changed to a black woman standing in front of a powder blue CDC backdrop.

“I repeat we do not know the infection is spread by bites,” she said. “There is no need to kill everyone who has been bitten. If proper precautions are observed this outbreak can be contained.

“We have shut down the Florida boarder and are proceeding with the evacuation of Jacksonville.”

The anchor returned to the scene.
“We hate to interrupt these press conference but we now have video conformation of outbreaks in Savannah, Atlanta and Charleston,” the anchor said. “It appears initial reports that the outbreak was confined to Florida were unfounded. … More as this story develops.”

The thermometer tasted like glass and rubbing alcohol. James sat on the stool of the breakfast nook and remembered all the times throughout his childhood he sat and watch his mother prepare a can of chicken noodle soup for him.

She came over and pulled out old thermometer of his mouth and held it up to the light to read it.

“How is it?” James asked.

“Still high,” she said. “You’re definitely fighting an infection of some kind. If I could only get some lab work done or had some damned proper antibiotic you might have shaken this thing by now.”

“Have you learned anything new,” he asked.

“Still haven’t been able to contact any of the docs,” she said. “But there are a number of sites up on the web; they’re sort of like clearing houses of information for the medical community.

“We know this virus isn’t airborne or all of us would have been infected. It could be blood born or in the saliva we just don’t know. But once it enters a host body it works like a fast version of cancer or AIDS, infecting the body’s cells and immune system.

“Is it the bites?” James asked.

“Most people who have been bitten turn within the first 48 hours of initial infection,” she said, replacing the thermometer in its plastic container. “Course it could be carried by misquotes for all we know.”

“So why haven’t I,” James paused. “Turned?”

“Well my best guess is that Bill turned while he on our floor or shortly before,” his Mom said. “I think the pathogen hadn’t saturated his system yet. Hopefully you only got a small dose, so your body should be able to fight it off.”

“Let’s hope so,” James said. “How are you holding up?”

“Well we were supposed to bury him today,” his Mom said.

“I’m sorry,” James said. “I forgot all about it.”

“Well four cartons of Marlboros and a bottle of scotch a week will only get you so many days in this life,” his Mother sat down at the stool across from him, a glass with dark liquid in her right hand. “I knew it was coming, I told him, warned him but it was his life he’d say, and I didn’t want to nag.”

The television continued its non-stop drone in the background. Twenty-four hour news had taken over almost every channel now. Different reporters repeated the same information again and again.

“Well I should turn in,” James said. “Isn’t sleeping the best way to heal an infection.”

“Can’t hurt,” his Mom said.

Ryan and Alice had fallen asleep on the couch, Ryan’s hands cradling her swollen belly. As he turned to go to his room he saw a light coming from under his brother’s door. He knocked and a few moments later his brother answered the door.

“How many of those handcuffs do you have?” James asked.

“A few, why?” Eric asked.

“Because I’m not sure who I’m going to be when I wake up in the morning,” James said.

The sweat soaked cotton of Ryan’s wife beater stuck to his body like a glove. He checked the thermostat; it was still set at 78. The fever must be burning him from the inside.

His mother retreated into her bedroom at nine and Ryan and Alice hadn’t been seen for two hours. Only Eric was left, sitting in front of the aging television, watching the news scrawl by.

“The infection reached Washington,” Eric said. “It was supposed to be evacuated but the interstates clogged, people were caught on the roads. They showed footage a little bit ago, total chaos.”

Static distorted the screen and Eric stood up, reached by behind the television and slipped the cable back into place.

“This thing is almost as old as I am,” Eric said. “I know you’re a cop and all now but do you mind, when we can go back outside again, looting Best Buy or something?”

James stood behind his brother. Sweat trickling down his arms flickered in the flashing light of the television.

“We need to go to the roof,” James said, his voice dry.

“Why?” Eric said. “I’m tired of throwing things at the zombies. It’s not like there’s anyone else left out there to talk to.”

“We need to go to the roof,” James said. “The grip of his pistol felt hot and sticky in his hand.

Eric turned around and James saw his face tense for a second before going slack. “*beep* brother, are you alright? Should I go get Mom?”

“Mom can’t do anything,” James said. “I need you to go up to the roof with me.”

“Oh, okay, sure,” Eric said pushing himself up off the couch.

The Ash house was one of few homes on Lemon Street with a second story. The top floor covered only about half as much space as the first floor did and windows in Eric and James’ room let out onto the red tile roof.

“Look I don’t have much,” James said as he stepped out into the damp night air. “But if this whole thing is ever over I want you to have it. Get out of the parent’s house. Just do something.”

“What do you mean?” Eric said. “Come on man, you’re just joking right?”

“I can feel it Eric,” Ryan said. “This thing is eating my brain or something. I’m forgetting things, people, Dad. I can’t even remember Dad’s face anymore. I look in the pictures but I can’t remember a single thing about him.”

“But we don’t know you’re one of them,” Eric said. “Mom said it could just be a bacterial infect or something.”

James gripped the pistol by the barrel, turned and thrusted it at his brother. “Mom lied.”

“You’re stronger then me, just do it yourself,” Eric responded.

“We’re Catholic man,” James said.

“And what Catholics don’t frown on murdering your own brother,” Eric shouted. “Yeah, I remember Father O’Brien saying how shooting your own brother in the head was perfectly acceptable in God’s eyes. Oh, wait; I must have missed that part of Catechism.”

“It’s not murder,” James said, waving the gun around in a small circle. “It’s mercy. Hell it’s just a few ounces of pressure on the trigger. It doesn’t take much. You’ve played Doom, you know how it goes.”

Eric took the Glock by grip. “Jesus Christ man I can’t just shoot you.”

“If you don’t you know what’s going to happen Eric,” James
said. “If you don’t do it I’m going to go back downstairs handcuff myself to the damn bed and I’m going to wake up one of them.

“You know what’s going to happen. Who’s going to have to do it then,” James watched the gun turn and twist as Eric shifted about. “Don’t make mom do that.”

“You’re a *beep* you know that right?” Eric said. “You’re this big brave policeman. You know what has to be done, but you can’t do it yourself.”

“I’d do it for you,” James said.

Eric didn’t say anything, but his body tightened as if he had turned a spring inside.

“It only takes six pounds of pressure to move the trigger,” James said. “Don’t try to shoot or pull, just squeeze.”

Eric bright his arm up and stiffly pointed the weapon
at his brother.

“Now, ease up, don’t lock your elbow or you’ll rip your shoulder off,” James said. “A forty cal has a kickback so be ready for it. Now there’s a little glowing dot on the sight, just line that up with my forehead.”

“I’m sorry,” Eric said.

“Don’t be,” James said. “Now just slowly close your finger around the trigger.”

Eric jumped as the hammer snapped and ignited the gunpowder that sent the bullet flying toward James at the speed of sound.

James’ body shuttered and twisted as he spun off the roof and fell to the ground before. Eric stood alone, his feet astride the tile arch of the roof.

“What the hell happened?” Ryan yelled, his head thrusting out of the window. “Where’s James? What did you do?”

Eric stood on the roof, feeling each breath as it entered and left his body. He looked up. The stars were beginning to fade into the pre-dawn glow.

“What he asked me to.”
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Postby Bmat » Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:25 pm

It is a chilling story. It flows beautifully, and the descriptions work. Jame's impressions as he reacquainted himself with his old home were vivid. The only place that really made me stop reading and wonder about it was when the mother was "sitting next to several casseroles in glass pans covered each covered with a different color of Glad Wrap." It doesn't make sense to me. I tried to think how she could be sitting next to several casseroles. I assume that these are gifts from the neighbors because of her loss, but perhaps a rewording would help- on the table, on the kitchen counter, in the refrigerator.
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Postby Scriven » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:40 pm

Wow, so much good feedback from so many people. This forum is clearly worth my time and effort
I run a blog covering publishing and writing with a huge slant toward Fantasy and Sci Fi.

http://firstfolio.blogspot.com
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Postby Bmat » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:49 pm

Scriven wrote:Wow, so much good feedback from so many people. This forum is clearly worth my time and effort


Especially since you are so grateful when some takes the time to read and critique.

To be fair, though, you have contributed a good amount in the writing forums. Plus, the story is a worthwhile read.

It is completely acceptable when you critique someone else's work to put a link to your own thread here at SV at the end of your comments and suggest that the poster read and critique yours. It is also acceptable to bump it up, which you have done.
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Postby NeoScribe » Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:21 pm

I normally don't read the stories here but Bmat offered it around so I thought, what the heck.

I thought this was really cool! I was always suprised by what happened next. And the last part with James and Eric was actually a shocker even though it was enevitable. You described the paniced scene on the streets very well.

Biting? Isn't there anything else though besides biting?
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Postby clknaps » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:25 am

Scriven wrote:Wow, so much good feedback from so many people. This forum is clearly worth my time and effort


Are you still an active member of this forum? If so I'd be happy to read and critic this work, I just want to make sure you'll read it.

Please don't feel frustrated with a lack of response, I've found that on most requests for feedback you'll only get 3 to 4 responses from members, and one of them will always be from Bmat. The longer your post, the less responses you'll get. That's just the nature of the beast here. I'd suggest you join critters forum if you want guaranteed responses to your submissions.

But, as the saying goes, you'll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar. I know it was probably done in haste and anger, but posting a response like this will only decrease your chances of getting good feedback. CLK
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Postby clknaps » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:27 am

Oh, and one more thing, if you're still out there. It really helps us the readers if you let us know exactly what kind of critic you're looking for. Grammar? Plot? Character development? etc, etc. Thanks, CLK
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Postby berry » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:50 am

Hi Scriven
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, it was believable and compelling. The characters felt real and the sense of the city having fallen into chaos was palpable.
Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Berry

I know you posted a while back but I have been out of it for a while.
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Postby Bmat » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:52 pm

clknaps wrote:
Scriven wrote:Wow, so much good feedback from so many people. This forum is clearly worth my time and effort


Are you still an active member of this forum? If so I'd be happy to read and critic this work, I just want to make sure you'll read it.

Please don't feel frustrated with a lack of response, I've found that on most requests for feedback you'll only get 3 to 4 responses from members, and one of them will always be from Bmat. The longer your post, the less responses you'll get. That's just the nature of the beast here. I'd suggest you join critters forum if you want guaranteed responses to your submissions.

But, as the saying goes, you'll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar. I know it was probably done in haste and anger, but posting a response like this will only decrease your chances of getting good feedback. CLK


True. I wondered what time and effort the member referred to. Hopefully the member has read and reviewed a number of submissions by other members. This would indeed be time and effort toward the forum.

and one of them will always be from Bmat.


: sigh : I try. Mainly I like anyone who posts to get some feedback and encouragement. I am delighted when others take over in this task. I found the statement by this member to be a bit insulting, and maybe I shouldn't have, but I responded in kind. My time is as valuable as the member's after all, and I am not obligated in the least to critique any submission. It is completely voluntary. I do it to help out. Just as I assist in the moderation of this site -to help out.
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Postby clknaps » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:05 am

Bmat wrote:: sigh : I try. Mainly I like anyone who posts to get some feedback and encouragement. I am delighted when others take over in this task. I found the statement by this member to be a bit insulting, and maybe I shouldn't have, but I responded in kind. My time is as valuable as the member's after all, and I am not obligated in the least to critique any submission. It is completely voluntary. I do it to help out. Just as I assist in the moderation of this site -to help out.


And you do an excellent job of it, Bmat, I for one appreciate you! Hopefully this author will return soon and be more active.
Personally, I joined this site for the sole purpose of critiquing and getting critiques, so I do my best to review all the work posted here. I actually wish more people would post stories for me to read! :)
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Postby clknaps » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:31 am

Scriven - Just finished reading this, a nice job. I noticed a few grammar/punctuation errors, would you like me to offer corrections?
Believable, a little tragic. I would definitely read more. CLK

Oh and you have an extra "p" in your signature line http: for your blog so the link doesn't work.
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