Please read my short storygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
This story begins and ends in the dusty town of Fort Stockton, Texas. Just so you know, Fort Stockton is the type of town you pass through and say to yourself “thank God I don’t live in a hell hole like this.” The adults coined the phrase “the Fort”, and us kids call it “the Fart”. It not all that bad except for the lack of fun things to do and a lack of employment opportunities. It is both of these things combined that led both my Dad and my older brother to the state penitentiary in Huntsville Texas. My name is Woody Thornhill and this is my story…
By the age of 9 I was trying like hell to follow in my Dad’s footprints. If I wasn’t throwing rocks at passing cars, I was fighting in the playground of Davy Crockett Elementary School. The fights always seemed to get started over the stupidest things. Someone would say something about someone else’s sister or the way the other was dressed. Not that anybody in “The Fart” had room to talk about being richer than the next. Money around here was about as tight as Mrs. Perry’s ass. She is the old lady that lives at the end of the street. She is always complaining to my mother about my “lack of respect” for her property. I always ride my bicycle across her back yard on the way to school each morning. When school let out for summer vacation, I woke up one morning and felt like something was missing from my life. So I got up and rode my bike down to her house and kept riding in circles until I saw her come out. She liked to water the weeds in the yard and play with her stupid cat. It was then that I made a “B” line toward her house. Seeing her throw her little fit was better than hearing the ice cream truck on a hot August day. My mom had repeatedly asked me to stop. I think she gave up after the fifth or sixth time. Mrs. Perry warned my Mother she was going to take “drastic measures” if my “derelict behavior” continued. She got so mad at the kid who lived on the other side of her she picked up her tin trashcan and threw it at him. It happened at least a couple of times, so I figured I could handle anything she could throw my way. I will fill you in on one extremely important detail. I snuck over to her house the night before and filled the trashcan up with water. Yep, there I am riding my bike straight for her back yard and she see’s me coming. She came off the back porch and poised herself to let me have it. She let me get closer to her and at about the distance of ten feet she jerked on the handles and let out a wail that would scare flies off shit. She immediately went to one knee asking the Lord for help and cursing my name at the same time. It serves her right for trying to throw a trashcan at a poor helpless 11 year old. This time, her threat to call the authorities was not a threat. Officer Charles “Magnum” Miller pulled me off my bike at the Nu-Way grocery store, on the corner of Lee Street and South Mill. Me and my friends called him “Magnum” because of his desire to look like Tom Selleck’s character from the television show “Magnum P.I”. He has the mustache and slick hair look down, but was about 100 pounds heavier than Mr. Selleck. He was the officer that came to the school in the afternoons to try and catch parents speeding or running stop signs. We all hated him. He tried to tell me I was “just as bad as my old man”, and he said, “that the apple never falls very far from the tree”. My reply to his lame attempt at intimidation was, “So I guess your mom is a fat slob too then”. This escalated my level of humiliation. I was put in the back of the car and taken to my neighbor’s house to apologize. I was let out of the back of the car and walked over to her back door step with his hand on my shoulder. Like I was going to run away. Where the hell was I supposed to sleep? Like it would have tough to find me, but I guess I will let him have the illusion of power. When we got to her back porch, you have never seen such a bigger pity party. She had called some Baptist friends to tell them about her “horrible experience”, and the old bats had rushed right over. So now instead of apologizing to one person for what I had just done, I had to apologize to four people. I started to say the two words I was supposed to say, but my smart mouth got me in trouble one more time. I was searching my mind for one helluva clever quote and the only thing I came up with was “If you don’t like me and my bicycle, then call 1800 Eat Shit”. That was definitely not the cleverest thing I had ever said. This was compounded by the fact that my mother was pulling into Mrs. Perry’s driveway the moment the last syllable left my mouth. I received a two-week grounding and the ass whooping of a lifetime. I knew my Mom hated to do it, but at the same time she was determined to beat the spirit of my father out of me. It was up to her or my future would be identical to my dad’s.
Just started it - please leave feedback. Thanks in advance.
-- quaid mason (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 2001
Other than the fact that Woody needs his mouth washed out with a super sized bar of Lava soap and another butt whoopin' until he's screaming "I'm SORRY" twenty or thirty times, it's just fine.
-- (Critic@here.com), July 21, 2001.
Woodys mouth is terrible, whats the point, lots of us grew up in terrible surroundings, And the disrespect for elderly people is in this story, just turns me off. Irene
-- Irene texas (email@example.com), July 21, 2001.
I agree with Irene and critic. If I want to hear "gutter talk" i'll go downtown to the poolhall. hoot. Matt.24:44
-- hoot (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 2001.
Yup, his mouth needs washing out. Profanity isn't necessary for a good story, or for humor, regardless of what Hollywood tells us. Forget cheap laughs and strike to things that will touch people's hearts. That's my two cents anyway. By the way, if my neighbor's kids acted that way, I'd find a way to put up a little electric fencing. But I can't say that I didn't do some very nasty things when I was a kid!
-- Rebekah (email@example.com), July 21, 2001.
Thanks - what I am trying to get across through out the story is that his dad thought him his onery ways - his language is foul, and his actions are on the wrong side of right, but this is not a christian story. No offense to those who are, but kids cuss. That is not something that can be denied. You may think your kids don't, but you are not aroung them 24/7 - don't get hung up on the language, look deeper into the character of the participants. Which characters would you like to see developed more, besides woody. Woody will come around in the end, but not in the christian sense. He is a character that was raised in a troubled house. Sorry, if it does not fit into your biblical mindset. There are other works out there that can teach lessons. Sometimes you need to show people the other side so that they don't end up like it. Wether you agree or disagree with the characters, I still appreciate your opinions. Just keep in mind that it was not written for the church crowd.
-- quaid (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 2001.
I cerainly got the idea, however, I don't think it's necessary to fill any kind of story with a bunch of cuss words. I wonder what audience you are thinking of appealing to?... My advice, from a person who has written, and played music, but never made much money at either one,yet still have my self respect in tact, is to write a story that YOU like. Write because it's in you and you haven't a choice. Don't pander to anyone or anything. If you are supposed to get a thing out, you just do it.
The premise of the story is fine, but I really do think the language is a distraction as opposed to a validation.Undoubtedly kids do swear, but even as a really bad kid, which I was, we didn't swear ALL the time. It was more of an expression not the whole statement. You have a talent, and aside from the block that the language causes the idea is coming across. On a more critical level, if you are writing from a first person recent past tense, the use of the foul language along with more adult phrasing is a detraction. Do you follow what I'm saying? Like referring to the Baptist ladies as old bats (very kid like) and then saying the problem was compounded (very adult)....That's my opinion, for what little it's worth! Best of luck to you!
-- Doreen (Crtic@here.com), July 21, 2001.
Dorren - I appreciate it. I see what you are saying. If I am writing from the mind of an 11 year old, don't switch and use words like juxtapose or trite. Thanks. I will revise the language to tweak it a bit...
-- quaid (email@example.com), July 21, 2001.
I think your story has great potential. I can see a troubled 12 year old boy whose family life is a lot less than good. By using such foul language he's trying to show everyone (and himself) how tough he is and how he doesn't "need" anyone because people will hurt you and let you down.
I'll look forward to reading more.
-- Trevilians (Trevilians@mediaone.net), July 22, 2001.
I like the story so far, but I have to admit that his line to Mrs. Perry bothers me. Not because I wouldn't expect profanity from a troubled 9 year old, but because it didn't sound like the gutter talk I hear from the kids around here. That may just be regional. I don't watch much t.v., and I think that's the kind of line kids hear there, so maybe I'm wrong. Somehow that line didn't seem to fit.
-- Sheryl in ME (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 23, 2001.
I have to admit - I have had reservations about that line. I tried to remember what I would have said, and that is not something I would have said, but it just seemed to fit. I am changing it to tone the language down.
I appreciate all of the help. I write for a regional magazine, and have had a fair deal of success. I hope to keep getting feedback from you nice people.
-- quaid (email@example.com), July 23, 2001.
Hey Quaid, that's cool, but I need to ask you a favor if you don't mind, please tag any stories that have language elderly Christians will find offensive.Just say something in parantheses on the title line like (some #!*^!). That will greatly help and allow folks to avoid reading something they find upsetting. I DO think you have a talent and you are more than welcome here, but it would be greatly appreciated if you could do that. Thanks a lot, and best of luck to you!!! I hope you sell tons!
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 23, 2001.
Thanks for the warning. I was not thinking about tagging my work. No offense was meant to christians. I myself believe that HE sent his only son to die for our sins, but that is not the only part of my personality. I also have a side that likes to express myself and some of the things that I want to express are not exactly nice and pretty. People know pain and suffering and no one should tell anybody how they should or shouldn't express that pain. (No offense is meant by this, but I believe that being christian is not all that I am. I have more to offer people than just scripture (Which I do not know very well)). I appreciate everybody's advice and I will follow some of it. The thing I hope you can do is over look the "religious slams", because there is nothing there. I am not making fun of anyone. I am recalling a time when my next door neighbor, who was holier than thou had a pity party throw for her because her cat was lost. The baptist ladies treated it like it was the biggest thing since Jeseus cast the money changers out of the temple. That's it. Thank you for reading my story, being new to this community I was not aware of the religious politics that are played here. I respect all of your opinions and will take some to heart. Creative medium are all alike in one sense. If you don't like it, change the station, turn off the radio, or quiting looking at/ reading it.
Thank you all. I will post more as it comes out (with tags for the elderly religous people who don't like to read about the darker side of life.
-- quaid (email@example.com), July 23, 2001.
I really like your story so far but again its that line. i dont mind profanity it just dosent feel right. hmmm.. maybe something more wity like im sorry i stoped you from throwing a garbage can on a kid. well this stinks too so whatever.
-- Benoit Brind'Amour (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 04, 2003.
hey quaid i saw that there has been a lot of criticism on your work .who knows u still read the feed back or not but now ;as m a literature student ,i can assure u that u can have so many readers of the kind of work u wrote or r still writing.....As the seasons do change......!
-- chinki (email@example.com), August 07, 2004.
You say you are a literature student? You need to learn the kings language and how to spell correctly. u and r don't come across as being from the mind of a college student. Grow up and write correctly.
-- manifoldman (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 2004.
I have just started to write about this again. Will keep you updated.
Thanks... I just like to write short stories.
-- Quaid (Quiadmason@yahoo.com), August 09, 2004.