Welcome back to My OLD Writing, a series for Horror-FAIL Friday where I go back and share some of my earlier (and often terribly written) stories along with side comments and observations wondering what on earth I was thinking. The current story deals with a group of over-dramatic college students at a hoity-toity photography school. Lila has the hots for her new biology teacher, Mr. McFadden, but also doesn’t realize that’s really NOT OKAY. Her best friend, Samus (randomly named after a Nintendo female heroine), is experiencing some strange flashbacks to his friend, Ross’s, death. McFadden is also experiencing these weird bouts while wide awake (trying to teach a biology class about cloud formations). And then, there’s Lila’s cat, Angelo, who needs as much supervision and attention as a dying patient in a geriatric ward for his so-called heart problems. Let’s rejoin the characters and find out what the hell this is all about. Maybe.
A black Honda Accord raced down a wooden fishing dock, with three police vehicles racing after it. (A wooden fishing dock? Wooden fishing docks aren’t very long…wouldn’t exactly be able to race along one for too long…) The sedan crashed through a pyramid of cardboard boxes temporarilly blinding the cop cars. (Why are there cardboard boxes on the dock?) Inside the Accord, Mr. McFadden was looking around at his location cluelessly and his hands seemed to be the steering wheel, always knowing where to turn.
[Wait. So…last we knew, he was teaching a class. What the hell happened? And why are his hands a steering wheel?]
Mr. McFadden had no control over his arms or legs though, which seemed to be moving by themselves. In disbelief, he checked his license hanging on the rearview mirror, Tucker McFadden was inscribed. It was him.
The flashing lights in the rearview mirror were blinding as was the sun which shined in his eyes. [The sun probably more so, I’d imagine.] He veered to the left, instantly knowing his mistake. He saw the dock end and he was too late to stop. He shielded his eyes as the car plummeted into the icy water.
His windows were down a crack and began to leak the water into his car. […The water would have been coming in at other places BEFORE it got in the teeny tiny crack in the window!] He tried to close and open the windows but the electric device had short-circuited. He cried out in horror, “Help! Help me!” but no one heard him. He held his breath when the car finally submerged. He pulled at the seat belt, trying to rip the material, but it clicked loose easily instead. [Panicking like an idiot…]
Then, he swivled his body, and used all his force to kick the window. [Fun fact, the pressure has probably equalized to the point where he can just open the door now without much trouble.] His first try failed, the second time a long crack formed in the glass. He smashed his legs against it over and over, trying desperately to get free. [YOU IDIOT! He didn’t even try the door handle.] His lungs burned and his eyes stung. At last, the window shattered into a million little jagged pieces. [He counted.] They shimmered against the sunlight [underwater?], briefly suspended in the water. Tucker pushed off the seat and swam into the splinters of glass. He felt a long triangular part scratch his temple; blood emerged and floated in his eyesight. […HOW?] A small one had cut at the corner of his eye and another on his bottom lip. When his face had cleared them, they scratched and scraped his arms and neck. [WHY AREN’T THEY SINKING!?]
The whistling of the wind alerted him of how much colder the air seemed to be than the water. [Not sure why this is in a paragraph all by itself.]
His eyes opened and he was in his science classroom with the class curiously watching him. His breathing was shallow and he felt the corner of his eye. A stream of blood ran down the side of his head while another was pooling on his lip. He felt the lengthy scrape on his right side and his heart-beat quickened.
“Excuse me, class. I’ll be right back.” he said, shocked as he exited the room. All the students gasped and talked amongst themselves and one took out a pencil and paper and began writing a letter to Lila. [Really? A letter?] When he was done, he signed it, “Benny J.” [Ah yes, Benny. Samus’s friend who seems to have the ability to grow his dreadlocks out at will.]
A knock at the door startled Tucker as he carefully placed a white bandage over the scrape on his forehead, wincing when he blinked too much. The scratch on his eye was still painful and he wished to keep it closed. [THEN KEEP IT CLOSED, YOU BIG BABY!] He rose and sucked on his lip painfully.
A pink glow lightened the room and cast across his battered face. He opened the door instantly recognizing Lila’s face. She seemed transfixed on the wounds on his face and almost forgot her question. [What POV are we in? I’m confused.]
“Hi, Uh…excuse me for not remembering your name. I’ve got a pretty bad memory.” [Sounds like he’s a great teacher.] Tucker contemplated hard. “Lisa?”
“Nope. It’s…” She began.
“Wait, wait a minute. It’ll come to me. Um…Linda?” She shook her head each time he got it wrong. “Lara…Laura…Lola…Leeta… [JUST LET HER TELL YOU HER NAME!] Lila…” He question, totally unsure.
“It’s Lila. Lila Pullman, from your first period Biology class.”
“Oh yah, Lady Curtain. So what’s up?” [Freaking idiot.]
“I came by just to ask if you were okay?”
Tucker froze and licked his bottem lip absentmindedly. […]
“My friend is in your third period Biology class and he said you didn’t seem okay. What did you do to your eye?” [For the last time, juvenile Katherine, college isn’t the same as high school! They don’t have PERIODS! …]
“I…cut it–with a piece of glass,” he said, [Apparently, Tucker went to the William Shatner school for speaking.] trying not to lie or say the truth. [What.] She looked at it hard and reached up to it. He shrunk back at first, but then let her gently stroke it. [WHAT!?] He breathed heavily and cringed at the tickle of her finger on the scratch. [Fifty Shades of Stupid].
“How can I help you, otherwise?” he pulled back and gave a wry smile.
“I also wanted to give you these. Tomatoes, the only things that grow in my garden,” she offered, holding up a woven basket filled to the top. [What garden? She lives in the dorm! How does she have a zillion tomatoes?] She saw him stare at it suspiciously. [I would, too.]
“My garden’s full up and Samus is tired of them. Angelo likes them though.” [Tomatoes are poisonous to cats! You moron!] He took them and gestured her in. [NO! Send her away!] She took a step in, scanning the new surroundings. It was homey, complete with a stone fireplace and a polished mahogany staircase leading to the second floor. Paintings of sunsets on rocky shores hug around the fireplace and a bureau with an Orion television stood in the left corner of the room. The walls were painted white and the rug was aqua green. [The rooms sounds like a cross between a cheap motel room and a musty old library.]
“Who’s Angelo?” he asked setting the basket on the window. He thought to himself that maybe the only way to get her to leave was to just act like nothing happened. [Why did you invite her in then? Why didn’t you tell her to go away?!]
“He’s my cat.” She answered, hugging her shoulders. She took a couple steps admiring the warm, cozy feeling that surrounded her. [Get out of there! What’s the matter with you?]
“Cat? Cats like tomatoes?” Tucker questioned, returning to her side.
“Well, not may ordinary cats, but mine does.” [GRRRR…]
“Are you hungry? I was just about to have something.” he stepped over to the refrigerator and opened it. Then he looked back, waiting for an answer.
“I’m not that hungry, actually. I had a big lunch.” Lila said, seeing the sun set over the treeline. “You’ve got a really nice view from up here.”
“It’s one of the advantages of living at the top o’ the hill.” he smiled as he settled into a red comfy chair. [I thought the school was at the top of the hill.]
“Chocolate chip cookies and apple pie? That’s a pretty odd combination, don’t you think?” she inquired, giggling at the odd combination. [You don’t need to mention it twice. Also…why are we talking about this?]
“Are you kidding? I’ve been eating this stuff since I was a kid. You sure you don’t want a bite?” he offered, holding up a fork full. [Dude. STOP.]
She looked at it thoughtfully. She reached forward and slid the food off the fork with her teeth and into her mouth. Her face was curious; when she swollowed, it stayed.
“Well, what do you think?” Tucker asked impatiently.
“It’s…sweet from the chocolate, and sour from the apples.
…It’s a pretty good combination.”
“Told ya so.”
“So, how did your I get cut again?” Lila asked, consintrating once more on his awkward wounds. [His “I”. I actually wrote “I” instead of “eye”. My word.]
“Glass.” He said after a moments hesitation, his eyes were almost nervous. [Don’t you mean his “I’s”?]
“How did it happen?”
“Someone was hot. So I opened the window and the globe kinda smashed into the glass when I did. A couple of pieces got me here and there but I’m fine.” He lied, taking a sip of milk and trying to act natural. [Never before will that sentence be uttered ever again.]
“Oh,” she had expected he’d say something like that, so she turned to the window to gaze upon the darkening sky. [You expected he’d come up with an obviously false story that could be refuted immediately by twenty or so witnesses?] “I’ve got to go. I was supposed to be back to check on Angelo a long time ago.” She stood and walked to the door checking to make sure she had everything. “See you tomarrow.”
“Yeah. Are you sure I can’t drive ya or walk ya back?” he offered rising from his chair. [Seriously? He wanted to get rid of her a few minutes ago and now he’s going after her like crazy.]
“I’ll be fine; it’s only a couple of short steps practically.” she urgently but thoughtfully answered.
“Alright, I’ll be seeing ya.”
“Bye.” she said turning and walking down the stone steps.
“Bye.” he softly said as well, watching her disappear into the shrouded darkness.
So. I don’t understand these characters. AT ALL. They act so interested in one another and then can’t wait to get away from each other three seconds later. Also, cats and tomatoes don’t mix. Don’t get any bright ideas. Also, chocolate chips and apple pie shouldn’t be consumed together. Two different kinds of dessert, both beautiful but to be enjoyed one at a time. Unless you’re Tucker of course and you’re a total creeper hitting on a student. Don’t do that either by the way. Yeah.
Stay tuned for the next installment of my OLD writing!