by Arahn Huddleston
Just my personal opinion: The story has potential. The concept is good. I felt the piece had way too much repetition: in the names the hooded man, the suited man and often in your use of extra words and sentences to say the same thing. To hurry with haste is one example. If you hurry then you do it quickly. The verb says it all. Beware of your possessives . You need apostrophes. I suggest you delete every word in your story that is extraneous. I'd like to read this again after you improve it.
My comments and suggestions are in RED. Blue is to highlight something from you.
(Note: I’m making suggestions and telling you my honest opinion---but I’m no expert.
Take what you like and trash the rest. Linggy)
The night seemed to bring with it a grim silence; there were but a few sounds that could be heard. Even though it was no later than nine thirty, there were no cars out on the roads. The only humans people that walked around were in police uniforms. They wore navy blue suits with a red line (space)
going vertically down their sides. It glowed red, as if to distinguish themselves during the dark hours.
The city was small; a tall, metal barred fence enclosed it with a wide solid metal door being the entrance. Along the outskirts of the city, there was a large grassy hill that stood above everything. A shadowy hooded figure emerged. He stood in the darkness, and stared (space)
across the sound (unclear). A breeze blew his hood slightly off. He readjusted it, and overlooked the city, listening to the silence (if there is no sound, how can you listen to it?). He was quiet; not even his breath was audible. He peered down at the city, as though studying every crevice, building, and every brick. Suddenly, he turned around, and with haste he hurried down the steep drop of the hill, disappearing into the night.
"Where is he? I thought he'd be back by now." Asked a young lady. She had on jeans and a dark red hoody. Everyone in the room was dressed in somewhat dark colors. The walls and floors were made of wood; wood that had been aged and rotted with rain and years of neglected maintenance. There were older men, younger men, older women and younger women.(There were older and younger men and women.) There was a range of different age groups among the people in this room. In a far corner, two men and a woman sat on the wooden floor playing cards.
“We’re a few cards short,” Said an agitated man as he looked down disapprovingly at the hand that he was dealt. “You can’t play without a full deck of cards; we’re a few cards short.”
“Stop making excuses, Gibson. It’s not the cards, it’s the player and how the player plays the game.”(It's how you play the game.) Said a younger, more sly (slyer or slier both possible)looking man. He laid down his set of winning cards on the floor.
“Damn-it!” Gibson shouted. “You can’t play this game with missing cards.” He furiously (threw explains how)threw his cards onto the floor, stood up and walked away. Gibson walked over to a nearby window and peered out into the twilight. He had brown shadows around his eyes, and had a weary expression on his face. “Where is he, anyway? I thought he would’ve been back by now.”
“He’ll get back when he gets back,” the young, sly man said. “Just sit back and wait, like the rest of us.”
Gibson sucked his teeth.
The young woman walked up to Gibson.
“You look tired.” She said.
“I am tired. We’re all tired.” He looked around at everyone. They were all weary and exhausted, as though they had been growing impatient after waiting a long time for something to happened that never did. An old black Labrador twitched it’s leg as it slept on a dirty blanket next to it’s owner.
“Poor Charlie,” A small, skinny boy said to his dog. “Look mommy, I think Charlie’s having a nightmare.” His mother was silent; she was reading a book with her legs criss-crossed. She slightly nodded her head at her sons(son's) remark, without turning a single her eyes away from the page. The boy stared at his mom for a few seconds before shifting his attention over (back) to Charlie.
“Mommy, I’m hungry.” He complained. She remained silent, and he continued. “When can I eat, mom?” He began to whine now; his mom tilted the book.
“You’ll have to wait, dear.”
“But I’m hungry, mommy.” He started to cry.
On the opposite, less populated side of the room lay a teenaged girl with a bloody towel wrapped around her leg. Gibson walked over to her and stood over her still body. He shook his head. He muttered something under his breath, and took off a worn cap on his head and wiped a tear from his eye.
“Alright,” the young man playing cards said. “I’m done; I’m out.” He threw the cards on the ground and stood up.
“That’s it, Carl?” Asked the young woman he’d been playing cards with.
“You’re too easy; I always win. I always beat you.” He walked across the room, stepping over people who slept peacefully in the midst of all of the talking. Carl opened a door which led to the kitchen. There were five large shelves of various canned meats and vegetables.
At the end of the room sat an old woman. She was sobbing. Carl walked over to the shelves, observing silently.
“How long before we run out?” He asked.
“A few days; maybe five. Six at the most,” She answered.
She cried harder.
The hooded man slightly trotted down the hill top, stepping over rocks and leaping over large roots sticking out of the ground. He knew where every boulder, tree stump and root was, and could avoid it (them) even in the middle of the night. He slowed down his pace upon approaching the leveled terrain on the bottom. A wolf howled somewhere from afar; it sounded dry and empty.
He reached a clearing; there was just open land, with woods enclosing it, like a fence. At the end of the clearing was a wooden building. From faraway, it looked as though it was vacated and destroyed. He casually approached it.
He soon stood in front of a large wooden door with a small peek-hole that had been wide enough for someone to look through it with both eyes. The hooded man (He) knocked two times,(twice) paused for three seconds, and knocked once more. Someone slid a metal slip off of the peek-hole from inside.
“What’s the code?” the person (man) behind the door asked.
The hooded man said nothing. He stood in the darkness, as silent as a corpse. The metal slip covered the peek hole again, and after a moment, there were a series of loud kinks. The large door opened, and whoever lied beneath the hood walked into the shed.
Everyone became silent and still; the little boys(boy's) mother tossed her book aside and sat up a bit more. All of the attention was now directed towards the hooded man. Carl walked out of the kitchen and leaned against the doorway, staring. The older woman in the kitchen stopped crying and used to a metallic walker to make her way to the doorway. She stood behind Carl and stared at the hooded man as well.
The little boy sat quietly next to his mother and wiped his tears away with the back of his hand. He lifted his shirt to his face, covered his nose with it, and blew. His mother scolded him for a brief moment.
The hooded man walked through the crowd; everyone shifted to make way for him, following his every movement with their eyes. Gibson nodded at the hooded man as he walked past him. In a dark and shabby corner of the room was a wooden crate. The hooded man grabbed it, and dragged it to the center of the room. He stepped on top of the crate, and after looking around at all of the faces in the room, he held up two fingers.
“Two years ago, a corrupt politician took power (over) of our city. Four years before that, the US constitution failed after a plague swept across the world, including our beloved nation. About seventy percent of our population was wiped from the face of the earth. Who can count? That’s about two hundred and ten million casualties. No one knows exactly where the plague came from; maybe it was transmitted overseas while having goods imported. Who knows. This disease is said to have destroyed eighty percent of all humans on earth. Planet earth; a planet that inhabits nearly seven billion human beings. A planet that is the only planet that we’ve discovered that can be safe enough to support life. (needs rewriting. too many "planets and repetition) That’s eighty percent, which adds up to about- four million human lives gone. All of this occurred in the span of time of a few years; forgive me for not being able to have approximate numbers.
“America lost hope in most of the constitution. People gathered together, forming townships, appointing leaders to handle how their small little worlds operated. And for a while, everything seemed ordinary. Now fast forward a few years into the future; allow me to take you back to two years ago. A man we all hate was somehow brought to power. With executive decisions and a small police force backing him up, he banned the town of any affiliation with other outside towns. This includes the banishment of any trading outside of the U.S. I hope I’m not losing any of you just yet; we’ve done quite a bit of time traveling.”
He looked around; every head was pointed in his direction. Even Charlie sat fully attentive, wagging his tail.
“I’m taking us back in time a little, tracing the genesis of all of this, so bare with me, if you may.” (This is repetition. He HAS their attention, go on with the story)
“We’re with you!” Someone shouted from the depths of the crowd.
“Yeah,” Gibson said. “Go on.”
The man smirked from beneath his hood.
“This politician began setting curfews, and rewriting laws as well as adding new laws. Laws that limited our freedom and broadened his. Old historical books were banned; people who were suspected of having any outside affiliation were prosecuted(comma) some were even killed. All of this because that politician he believed that in order to maintain peace and order, freedom would have to be limited. Freedom.” He let the word linger in the air; it seeped into everyone’s’ minds. (who's POV is this? How can he know this?)
“Freedom seemed like an illusion. The very word is bewitched and warped. AQ group of people in that town believed in the true meaning of freedom. We had dreams of spreading the true meaning of freedom with not only everyone in the city, but people outside of the city. Things didn’t go so well. They kicked us out. Women, kids, dogs, and the elderly. Now you ask yourselves why we weren’t killed, don’t you? (rewrite this) Anyone know why?”
“Too many people,” Carl said. “If they killed a group as large as us, then others would’ve wondered why they did such a thing. It would’ve raised more skepticism, suspicion, and mistrust; not to mention fear. Then the idea would’ve sprouted like a buried acorn. They couldn’t risk it.” He sat down.
“I couldn’t have put it any better myself,” the hooded man said.(why not give him a name?) “They couldn’t risk killing us and spreading the idea that they weren’t free; that at one time the people held the power. At one time,” he repeated. “Now we’ve reached the Genesis of everything.” He waved his hands around the room. “Right here. This is where everything begins. They’ve made a real mess of things; we’ll clean it up. We’re the new generation. Everything starts over tonight, and I promise you all that by sunrise tomorrow, freedom will echo through the streets. Their end is our beginning.
( Where? Who?) A few hours later, sitting in a dark corner of an empty room was a weeping man in a business suit.
He cringed as he heard gunshot after gunshot echo into the room from outside of the building he was in. He sat up and crawled over to a wide window that overlooked the city. There were people running everywhere; uniformed officers lay dead on the ground. There were other uniformed officers who seemed to be facing off in a shootout with a group of rebels who took cover behind a car. Most of the street lights were shot out, so there was only a dim light that illuminated(ing) the city. A nervous man barged into the room, tripping over nothing in particular and falling on the ground.
“They’re taking the city,” the man said, weeping. “They’re too powerful. They’re taking the whole damn city.” He stood up and ran out of the room. The man in the suit stared out of the window again, looking down into the street. There was no live humans nobody alive down there. There were only corpses that were scattered across the city; the majority of those corpses were in navy uniforms.
A dog viciously growled behind him. He leaped to his feet and turned around. Walking from out of a shadow of the room was Gibson, holding Charlie on a leash, and the hooded man. Charlie snarled at the man in the suit, showing his teeth. Gibson stood slightly behind the hooded man.
“You can have a seat,” the hooded man said.
The suited man (give him a name and tell us who he is) nervously sat down in his office chair.
“I’ll give you whatever you want,” he said. His voice shook when he spoke.
“I don’t want anything from you.”
“You don’t have to kill me,” the suited man said.
“I’m not going to kill you.(comma)” Said the hooded man said.
The suited man became more calm, as though a bullet had been sucked from his chest.
“Do you remember how America used to be?”
The suited man sat still, and quiet.
“Gibson,” the hooded man said. “Do you remember how American used to be?”
Gibson slightly nodded, glaring at the suited man. “I miss the old America. I miss the old way we did things.”
“The disease changed those ways,” the suited man argued.
“That’s no excuse for all of the people you’ve killed for not submitting to your every will.”
“I didn’t kill any of you; I let you all go, didn’t I?”
“At your own benefit. You knew that killing all of us would have ultimately been bad for you. But you’ve killed our loved ones.”
Gibson frowned. “You’ve had Gibsons(Gibson's) wife killed, although I don’t think you remember.”
The hooded man walked over to the window and pointed outside. “Do you see this?” He asked the suited man. The suited man looked outside of the window; there were dozens of rebels standing in the streets; all of them were staring up at the window, holding an array of different guns and other weapons. “All of them; rebels. Give me one reasons why I shouldn’t let them have you.”
The suited man turned around; the hooded man sat back in the office chair with his feet on the desk.
“I never really wanted it to be like this.” He said, and held his back to the window. The hooded man nodded at Gibson, who then stepped forward, pulled out a pistol, and emptied the clip into the suited mans (his) chest. He flew out of the window and descended unto the rebels below; they took cover.
There was a moments of silence. Gibson breathed heavily, while the hooded man sat nonchalantly in the office chair. He rolled it around, and stared out of the window that the suited man fell through.
“Go and tell everyone to alert the citizens that they’re completely safe,” he said. “Then assemble a team to go to the safe house; bring anyone back who we left behind. We’ll have to collect all of the bodies too, but that can wait a little while.”
Gibson nodded, and made to leave with Charlie.
“Leave him here.”
Gibson released Charlie, who ran over to the hooded man. Gibson left the room. The hooded man patted the top of the dogs head as he sat back in the office chair, overlooking the city, whistling.