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The freakasaurus

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Old 03-12-2007, 11:31 AM
gary_wagner
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Default The freakasaurus


Doctor Jameson told me I have to write this paper as part of my counseling. I don’t want counseling; I just want to be left alone to try to act normal. I know I’m not, but I know what it is and even though the snooty director won’t choose me for a part in the school play, I know how to act. Oh, gee wiz, who gets the parts in the play? The popular kids, that’s who. Big surprise there. Teacher’s pets get even more doggie treats. Us freaks don’t get anything.

All right, I guess that must be some of those, “suppressed anger” issues Doctor Jameson says “we” need to work on. What he says when he says “we” is “me”. He wants me to work on them. This paper I have to write is supposed to start “us” off on the right path. I wish he would stop using terms like “us” and “we” and “our”. I’m fifteen, not ten. I know psychologist “feel good”, “we’re in this together” babble when I hear it. Does he think he’s the first counselor or psychologist I’ve ever seen?

So now, I’m probably going to have to start over because he isn’t going to like it when he reads what I wrote above. Maybe not, though. He said I should be “me” in what I write. Well, doctor, this is me. I’m mean, I’m weird, and if you can fix me then good luck – no one else has been able to so far.

I have a list of questions that I’m supposed to answer in this paper. “What makes me think I’m different from my classmates?” Well, doctor, if you can see me then you know right off the bat one of the things that makes me different. I’m fifteen and I’m the size of a sixth grade boy. I’m smaller than most of the sophomore girls, and the absolute smallest of the boys. I have to take showers after gym class with hairy boys who like to point and laugh at me because puberty hasn’t come yet. “Late, but still normal”, says my doctor. To my mom, no less. Thanks, Doctor Phelps, for telling my mom that I don’t have any pubic hair yet. I especially appreciate you doing it when the nurse was there in the room with me. I guess if you don’t have any hair in your crotch you don’t get the common courtesy of privacy and being talked to – instead of being talked about, as if I’m not standing there in a stupid gown that let my butt cheeks hang out for the whole world to see.

Yeah, I know – there is some of that suppressed anger again. What was I supposed to do, yell at the doctor and tell him to shut his stupid mouth, my mother, the nurse, and anyone else he felt like telling didn’t need to know about my, “puberty problems”? What is it that got me sent to counseling, anyway? It wasn’t for suppressing my anger. It was for kicking the shit out of Bobby Kling because after many years of being a willing victim, I decided that no bully was going to hit me again without me fighting back with every shred of strength left in me. So, I broke his nose with my elbow. Got him to stop, didn’t it? I wasn’t going to stop that time until he either knocked me out cold or killed me – neither one mattered much at the time, or even now for that matter.

All right, so I went a little off topic. Back to what makes me think I’m different. Well, besides the size and puberty things, there are the words of my, “class mates”. Let me think of a few things they have said and names they have called me that would make me think I might be different from them, “you’re a freak”, “you’re a creep”, “you’re weird”, “idiot”, “weirdo ”, “retard”, “dweeb”, and my all time favorite pet name, “Freakasaurus”.

More questions from Doctor Jameson I’m supposed to answer here. Next one? “Why do you have thoughts of suicide?” Once again, have you seen me, Doctor Jameson? Have you heard me talk to you? Maybe you were one of the normal ones when you were in high school – not a freakasaurus with “anger suppression”, “disrupted growth”, and “delayed puberty” problems. You say, “but you have so much life to live ahead of you”. That’s the problem, doc. Life hurts. Do you understand how much it hurts? They kill suffering horses, don’t they? What makes people like me less valuable than a horse?

But, talking about it is all the further it’s ever going to go. I know that, and I think you know that, doc. Reverend Peters told us that suicide is a mortal sin and that there is no chance of saving yourself from an eternity of burning in agony in hell if you take your own life. He has described hell enough with all that fire and brimstone and burning and gnashing of teeth and even showed us artist’s paintings of people screaming and burning in a lake of fire to know that this hell on earth is probably not as bad as that real hell. I guess you could say that he has scared me out of hell by scaring the hell out of me. I know I’m not supposed to swear like that, but that’s a sin that God will forgive me for, as long as I don’t die before I ask Him. Oops, too late, Satan, I just asked forgiveness and you don’t get me now.

“What do I want from life?” Now, there’s a good question. I don’t think I want a lot. I’d like to be popular instead of a freak. I’d like to have some friends I could hang out with who wouldn’t treat me like an idiot or like their little baby brother. I’d like to have a girlfriend or just have any girls at all who didn’t look at me in disgust when I try to talk to them. But really, most of all, I just want to be normal. I want to be like all the other kids.

If I can’t be normal, I’d like to be invisible. Not really invisible like in the movies. I know that’s not possible. I mean that I would like to just blend into the background and have people not even realize that I’m there. I was working on that before I lost control and broke Bobby’s nose. Since I know I’ll never be normal, that’s what I want. To shut up, shut down, and shut out the world.

So, its back to acting. I know how to act normal. I know how to act like I don’t care. I’ve been working on my invisible act and I have gotten pretty good at it so far. Now all I have to do is act like I’m cured and you’ll leave me alone, doc.

There’s one more thing that you don’t know about me, doc, and you never will because this paper is for me – not you. I know how to write and I know how to say what people want to hear. The paper I write for you, not this one that gets burned when I’m done with it, will say all those things you and all those other doctors and counselors want me to say.

I messed up, I let some of the real me out, but it’s not going to happen again. Not only was Bobby the last bully to ever beat me up, you, Doctor Jameson are the last counselor that I will let try to fix me. I know what’s wrong with me, I know how to pretend I’m normal, and I’ll fix myself from now on.

How is this for an opening in that phony paper, doc? “Doctor Jameson is helping me to understand myself better and I am beginning to realize that the problems I am having are a normal part of maturing into adulthood.” Can I lay it on thick, or what?

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Old 03-12-2007, 02:19 PM
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this might sound terrible (and let me apologize up front) but i'm just not buying that the speaker is a 15 year old boy....i guess i hear some of my fencers in my head and they don't sync up.

lemme look for examples....
>>Oh, gee wiz, who gets the parts in the play? The popular kids, that’s >>who. Big surprise there. Teacher’s pets get even more doggie treats. Us >>freaks don’t get anything.

gee wiz, doggie treats, and freaks....those words throw flags for me...

2nd paragraph....i really think a 15 year would be throwing out some 'bastards' and 's--t' and stuff like that. maybe sorter, stronger sentences, something a lot closer to real speech patterns.

>>How is this for an opening in that phony paper, doc?
this also throws a flag....i don't know if they'd use the words phony and doc....i flash back to bugs bunny, for some insane reason

i hope this helps a bit. sorry if it's harsh. it's well done, all and all, but i'm thinking voice might be the death of you here. i wouldn't have put the pg-rated narrator much above 12 years old. i think older kids would write close to speech patterns with cussing....more anger and less sarcasm?

but, that's just me....i could be totally off the mark.

hope it helps.

ennubi

ps: my story is rpgs and it lives in super secret forums
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:17 PM
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That's exactly the type of comment I was looking for. It's been a long (long) time since I was 15 and the fact that I went too young is somewhat encouraging. I think I can mature the voice to that of a 15 year old if I know those things (like some of those you pointed out) that seem to be age inappropriate.

You weren't harsh at all. I knew it was going to be a stretch for me to sound believable as a fifteen year old. I hope that I don't have to resort to a lot of gratuitus swearing to make this sound right. I threw the religious background references in here to try to explain the small amount of swearing. I have read stories written by teens recently and I don't want to have to resort to that in order to make it sound right. I think the swearing is a crutch that many younger writers fall back on for the shock value and to try to imitate maturity but to me, an old fart, they just come across as rude and childish.

I'll do some more reading of young writers here and elsewhere and look at those items you pointed out. If I can come across as the right age early in this piece, I think I can pull it off as long as I get rid of the glaring discrepencies. Thanks for the help and comments.
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:28 PM
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wow. that's cool. glad it was what you needed. <wiping brow>
it's scary going out on a limb like that, but i thought i should say what i saw.

honestly, do have any way to hang out with mid teens?
i go fencing- they hang out there....now, my 2 illustrations are
probably a bit biased- one is a hockey player/one is a bit self-destructive.
the lingo has changed so much. like, for instance- curb-stomping, i'd never heard of this....you open someone's mouth, put them on a curb...and the rest becomes self-apparent. then here's the 'emo' epitaph, a dire insult indeed. modern teen language has become wierd!

i think, in the big way, that age bracket tries to be adult most of the time (except for reversions) as they see adults to be (caricatures).

of course, this is one major case of imo to the extreme . sounds like you have a good plan- good luck on your project

ennubi
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:09 AM
gary_wagner
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I can't think of a way to hang out with mid-teens, or even around them just to watch them that wouldn't make me look like a creepy old man. Makes me think of the old pervert on "Family Guy".

I'm trying to go back to that age in myself and apply my thoughts and feelings from that time to this story. The trouble is that puts words, phrases, and images from the 70's in here and that makes it look odd. I might need to set this in the 70's early on to prepare the reader for period correctness.
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:05 AM
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I think that's what you need to do. Most of the insults don't work right now. It's more likely that the person who uses them will be teased for using them.

The voice isn't really unconvincing. I think the sarcasm would belong to a fourteen year old more than anything. If you are planning to shift it back a couple of decades, then fifteen might work better.

Anyway, this is as good a piece as I've come across lately. It's quite refreshing to read your work - you don't ramble as many writers would in a monologue.

All the best!
CA
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:49 AM
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Thanks, CuteAngel. I originally wanted this to be a current-day teen so real current-day teens might be able to relate to it. But now on second thought, there may be some value in setting this back in the 70's so that people can empathize and relate to the emotions of the events and realize that these same situations have been occurring for a long time and continue today.
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:19 PM
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I do agree that the voice could be matured a bit. However, it could also work the way you have it. If he is a freak he might spend many hours watching TV and if he wacthes a lot of cartoons then he could be mimicking how they are talking. Also you mentioned how he has found a way to tune himself out and make himself invisble, well with him doing and if he was still young (say 12) when he learned that trick than that could explaing the reason why he talks younger than his age.
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