Friday, September 14, 2007

First Sentence: Blood, Hell, and High Water

This is graphic, so please read at your own discretion. It's nothing worse than I've written before, nothing like Chop Shop if you remember that one, but, hey, it's me... Here's my contribution:

Blood, Hell, and High Water

By Lucas Pederson

Black, like charred bacon, I saw what no one should ever see.

My eyes scanned over the thing which lay at my feet on the fishing boats' aluminum floor. I watched as it writhed there, the treble hook I had been using in hopes to catch a northern pike or two, caught deep in its black membranous flesh. My gorge rose, and I swallowed it down quickly.

Soft mewling noises wafted up from the pitiful creature squirming on the floor of my boat.

"Godam," Josh, my good friend, whispered directly behind me. He was staring over my shoulder.

I gave him a sharp nudge, not to move him exactly, but so I could distance myself from the thing on my boat floor.

Josh backed up without a word.

The black blubbery mass mewled, its leathery flesh, like a bat wing, pulsed.

"What the fuck is that?" Josh asked.

I could only shake my head.

It wasn't a fish, nor anything else one might find in a lake. No. This was something...different. Something alien and grotesque. Beyond all words and knowledge. Something perhaps even ancient, or maybe even beyond that. Something evil. Yes. That sounded right. Something evil.

A shudder ran through me, and I took another step back. The boat rocked.

"Shit, man, stop," Josh nearly screamed. "We're runnin out of boat!"

I stopped. My eyes never left the creature lying there amongst the empty beer and soda cans, and vacant cigarette packs.

I only knew one thing.

"Give me the net," I said.

Something jabbed the small of my back.

"Here," Josh said.

I turned just enough to grab the fish net and then checked the small black thing.

I froze.

Now, I saw two green eyes glaring up at me from that awful mess of writhing flesh.

Steeling myself, I reached out with the net, meaning to scoop it up and toss it back in the water, praying never to see something like it again. I would cut me line and set it loose. Better that than letting it lay there in my boat, writhing and mewling up at me, glaring at me with those demonic eyes, just letting lay there as I stood staring dumbly down at it all fucking day.

Before my next so much as touched it, however, the creature reared. A soft smucking noise, like that of a suction cup being pulled from a pane of glass, sounded and the thing rolled to the front of the boat, end over end, as if were a ball instead of living thing.

"Jesus," I gasped and I heard Josh pull in a breath of his own.

Then the small black being started to make loud clicking noises.

I glanced back at Josh. He shrugged where he sat next to the boat motor.

And just as I was about to turn back the thing in my boat, something long and silvery slipped out of the water behind Josh, and wrapped itself around his neck.

I whirled, the boat rocked hard to the right, then the left. I steadied my balance and hurried toward my friend. Josh made a choking sound, and then the tentacle, or whatever the fuck it was, constricted, like a python around a rat, its thin coils cinching tighter, tighter.

Josh's eyes balls popped from their sockets and dangled on their pink stalks against his ashy cheeks.

I screamed. Blood burst from Josh's yawning mouth and sprayed in every direction. I screamed louder. Then the silver appendage whipped hard to the right, tearing Josh's head off with it.

More blood spurted in every direction. A warm mist dotted my face. And I screamed.

Behind me something growled deeply.

I whirled, nearly losing my balance and going over board into the murky lake water. I stood gaping at a creature that resembled a mutant crocodile. Its long triangular jaws snapped at me. It two green eyes one tall red stalks rolled to me and away, as if saying, "Aren't we both just having the shittiest day?"

A long black tail whipped and lashed at the boat's sides.

It was the writhing mass I had caught. the thing which had started everything. I knew it was the membranous monster, but I couldn't believe it. This was some change from what it had been.

It rushed at me from the front of the boat. I instinctively shot the net between us, and its snapping jaws clamped down on hard enough to bite it in half.

I let the net go. The evil croc-like thing roared.

A silvery flash to my left and suddenly I felt a hard thud strike my thigh. I instantly collapsed, screaming in agony now, instead of horror. The pain flood over everything. And when I looked I saw blood jetting from a large gash in my thigh. The femoral artery. The thing from the water, not the demonic crocodile, but the other thing. The one that had decapitated Josh.

Before I had a chance to get up again, the black crocodile like monster leaped on to of me. Its jaws, which were lined with what appeared to be millions of tiny sharp fangs, clamped down on my right shoulder. The pain was exquisite.

I felt the boat rock drastically, and the next I knew, I was subm,erged in cold silvery tentacles swirled about me, and the crc-beast continued to gnaw away my shoulder.

My death had been bad. My life before had been bad. I was not a Christian, nor was I a straight arrow in life. Perhaps that's why I'm Hell, writing this.

This little story is for me, okay? For me. Because, Hell is Hell. And between my daily punishments for a life more int he dark than in the light, I get breaks where I get some alone time. My time is almost up now. Then it will be back to the whips and the razors cutting away mys skin, inch by inch, slowly.

I wrote this for me, so I can cope.

Hell isn't what you'd think it is. There's now fire consuming the place, but it's full of putrid water. Water as yellow as urine and stinks just as bad. Hell.

The End

There, finally I got it out. Finally. Let me know what you think of this one. Be honest. Thanks for reading!!


Charles Gramlich said...

This was fun. I enjoyed it. I thought it was headed in a different direction, that the thing in the boat might turn out to be intelligent, or something. But there are some cool special effects writing in this one.

Travis said...

I'm not sure about the word choice of exquisite for the pain when the creature bites the guy's shoulder. I would suggest a simile to reinforce either the graphic or the terrifying nature of the attack.

I liked the idea of writing from hell. Perhaps you could include some references to the "life before had been bad". Like maybe they had been in poaching in protected waters. That could fill out the story and make it less of just a slasher piece and give it more substance.

Good job.

Christina said...

I like this. How did you do with your story entry? I heard back and Cutting Block gave me a "not interested" letter back, but at least it was worded nicely. I think I'll put my story on hold and edit it a little more before I try to send it out again.

Lucas Pederson said...

Charles, thanks! I was in a pissed off mood when I wrote this story, and I'm still coming down from that awfulness as I write this. I needed a release. I couldn't continue on with my newest novel, my brain was malfunctioning on me, I couldn't write. Then I sat down, typed this first sentence, sat there, gave it a couple days and then suddenly I was writing. It came in flood and all my problems, no time to write, no time to go fishing, no time to spend with my wife and kids because I'm always working, spilled out through my finger tips and appeared on the monitor. As the story says, I was in Hell. A sort brain freeze Hell, a nightmare limbo where nothing was happening. But I think that's turning around now.Thank God. Later, buddy!

Travis, I chose exquisite because I could think of no other way at the time to show the readers (and myself) how awful the pain was for the main character. Perhaps it was wrong, but it felt right at the time, in fact it still feels right. Yeah, there should have been more explanations there about his life in our world. But this piece was a grinder. To make it work for me, I needed it gritty and bloody and to the point. I was in the process of healing my yielded mind and freeing up my writer's side. It was good. Thanks!

Christina, thanks lady! My story entry came back with about the same. It appeared to be persaonal, although I'm not sure. It sure was worded well. IT made me almost feel like I had been accepted. Too bad for both of us..but, it's another lesson. We must work harder, be brave and submit flawless work. (Or damn near). Good idea about the editing will be a good idea. I'll do the same, but I when I got my rejection I sent another story out to them right away. See I write two stories for every one I submit. I've got lots of stories I'm flogging around in right now. So, if they didn't like my first try I hope and pray they like my second.
Talk to ya later!

Travis said...

Thanks for the thoughts about your word choice. I like a glimpse into the mind of the writer for process. This does work in the context of why you wrote it.

Donnetta Lee said...

Oooo. Dark and gave me the creepy crawlies. What a humdinger of a mood you were in! I thought that was clever--writing from Hell. I think I visited once or twice myself.

Lucas Pederson said...

Travis, thanks buddy.

Donnetta, well, long time no see!
Yeah, I was in a pretty bad state for a few weeks. I finally coming around now. And I'm writing again!I'm glad it gave you the creepy crawly feeling. It was what I was feeling too at the time. The writing in Hell part I hoped would convey what I felt. I did in fact feel as though I was sitting there in some dark dungeon in the deepest pit in Hell, clacking away on an ancient typewriter while screams of agony and sorrow blew at me from all directions. I was scary. But I'm better now, and it was the writing of this story that gave me the nudge I needed to rise up out of Hell. I'm sure you have been there a couple times, I think we all have...
Thanks for reading!!!

Christina said...

I was thinking about submitting something else, but I might try other markets since I don't write the horror I think they are looking for. My are more mental situations. Good Luck!!

Fab said...

Hi Lucas. I finally could free up some time to get to blogging again. I liked this story. A darker kind of story and a good one.
I'll try and stop by sooner to check your work!

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