This is an impressive, innovative, and well thought out psychological drama. You are either a professional in the field or you are a very discerning researcher and story teller. You have an uncanny perception of the possible intra-psychic dynamics of a catatonic schizophrenic. Whether one actually has these delusions while in this psychiatric state - who can know? But you make it convincing in your writing - it caught my attention - and that is the sign of an exceptional writer: pull the reader into your frame of reference, your story, your world view.
The story is complex. I had to read it a couple of times to "get" it. I have the essence, but got a little confused with "Willard" talking to "Jack" while looking through the glass at "James" in a catatonic state. Is Willard "real", or did Phebes create a third alter ego?
Your last sentence: "What on earth made you change your name to Jack Fleming?” confused me. Maybe it should be obvious, but you lost me there.
I found some aspects of your story to resonate with the nature of a short story I have written called "The Appointment". I would be interested in what you might think of it. It's fantasy - but fun, If you feel inclined to take a look at it click on my briefcase profile.
What a wonderfully interesting story you have written. You have some great phrases, musical to the ear. I liked "to appease the wanderlust that had been recently crawling throughout my body, particularly in the sole of my feet, giving me the itch to go about seeing new places again. This journey would assuage that itch." And it was easy to relate to your feeling of jeopardy being held in the womb of a derelict van, winding its way on treacherous,rain slickened roads, subject to breakdown or a fateful catastrophe. You had me holding on to my seat What a ride! I also liked the phrase about the van going into "mechanical constipation again."
Very well written. I would just suggest more paragraph breaks to rest the eyes of the reader. We need to catch our breath on a ride like this! Thanks for taking me along on this memorable journey. I think I want to add the Philippines to a future travel destination.
Fabulous story. Well written. Your descriptions of the settings, the events, and your characters reactions are excellent. An easy read; I felt I was there oberving the events. i liked your dialogue very much. No typos or grammatical errors that I could see. And you surprised me with the ending, but it's very believable. Good work!
A moving, exceptionally well written story that puts you there, on the battle field: there in the midst of the civil rights struggle; there in the internal reflections of our protagonist as he makes sense of it all, as he achieves insight, meaning and purpose. There as he reaches out to another, fully understanding his pain and , with attention deflected, he pays the ultimate price. I think the perspective in this story is riviting and true for many people and I have no doubt that this, somewhere and sometime, literally, happened much this same way to a black soldier in Nam...I just feel it to be true. And the way you have written this story, the way you pulled me in and held my attention throughout, convinces me it's not - really - just a story. there's a message here, and it is very articulately stated.
There's passion here, but some of the phraseology needs work. For instance it's too formal and awkward to say a face is "accompanied" by tears. Also the notion of hair sitting "atop his head" doesn't work. Is it unattached? Is he wearing a toupee? Perhaps a phrase like: Red sand swirled violently under an orange sky, pelting his frail skin. Defiantly, he turned his tear stained face into the stinging gale and cried out: “why? why can’t I have her...just one more time?”
I don’t think you need to decribe the hair to get your intended effect.
I kind of got side tracked trying to figure out the tree. Every thing above Alex is the sky, so where is tis tree actually located? I think it would be more powerful to NOT reference the sky but rather to contrast Alex with the tree and its mass. Perhaps: “Towering above him stood a massive tree, rugged and stalwart. Its bark, hardened with age and black as night, shielded...” Well, again, here I have difficulty understanding. What is the purpose of the tree? Is it symbolic of something or someone? I guess you answer that question in your last sentence but the link is weak. How exactly does the black bark of a tree protect someone? Was the tree deaths’ arc that sheltered the dying soul from the tribulations of life and lost; a repository for the soul?
I think, and I mean this to be helpful, the reader shouldn’t have to work this hard to comprehend meaning in the story. I also think that Alex’s lost love could have more appeal for the reader if, when he cries out for her, he mentions some attribute he loves about her. I don’t mean necessarily a physical attribute, perhaps it was something she said or the way she said it; an unfulfilled promise they made to each other; or lamenting the cruel way she was taken from him, and so on. Each of his cries (presumably to God) essentially say the same thing. They don’t really advance the story. Think more about that; how can the story be advanced in a way that provides important new information and holds the readers’ attention.
Keep writing. The concept is good, you just need more refinement in your writing. But then, that’s exactly why we risk ourselves publicly on writing.com, so we can learn from others. So, don’t let yourself get discouraged. Besides, maybe most people wouldn’t agree with me.
I can relate. I'm a hospice social worker; I see people trapped in their bodies just as you have described. The helplessness, the lack of control, the total dependence upon others, the eternally slow passage of time... You have written a sensitive, insightful "view from the mattress" as it were, and have given voice to the innermost drama, do I chose life, such as it is, or do I exit this existence. I'm sure , in reality, many people so trapped have this profound and disturbing conversation with themselves. I can only hope that persons in this state are able to find another outlet, beyond the physical, to express themselves and find meaning in life. Well done.
It reminds me of brain storming free thought. Kind of dark, sad, hopeless and depressing. Some good phrasing such as "lost in cold country days dreaming of warm city nights." Perhaps it was intentional but, as a reader, I kept tripping up on the misspellings such as "hopfiled", "repitition", "geting". Probably want to make a habit of spell checking your piece before you submit it for publication. But, having said that, if this is intended to portray the freewheeling thoughts of a drug addict with a death wish, I don't suppose the prose would be gramatically correct.
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