Friday Flash Fiction: The Cloud

18 01 2008

This post has moved. You can read the story here: http://www.neilbeynon.com/fiction/the-cloud/

Ok. Fumbled this one. Guess that’s what happens if you leave it to the last minute. There are actually two stories here, if you look hard enough. Feedback as ever is welcome.

The Cloud
By Neil Beynon

The funeral was today.

I was compelled to go although I didn’t want to. Dreadful affairs. Communal displays of emotion make me feel dirty: dreary black clothing on even drearier grey stone and all that leaking. Yuk. I was told I was going; Steph unjacked me without even asking.

I could have died.

They brought Gramps in a wooden box. I don’t understand why? You’re not allowed to bury in the ground anymore, the fire awaits one and all, you’d think they’d come up with a more efficient holdall for corpses. But no: its tradition.

There were a surprising number of people there. And not all bartenders either. I was a bit taken aback, the family were out in force – I thought he’d alienated them all. Perhaps they came along just to make sure he was really gone, not just in another stupor.

Stranger things have happened.

This post has moved. You can read the story here: http://www.neilbeynon.com/fiction/the-cloud/

 

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8 responses

18 01 2008
GLP

This is coincidentally similar to Martin’s offering this week – everyone’s come over all cyberpunk all of a sudden! There are some great phrases – “luggage laden eyes” is my favourite. And I like the final two sentences. Good stuff.

18 01 2008
dan

Not sure if it’s as bad as you make out. It’s like the old school story of the computer club geek who can’t talk to girls taken to a logical conclusion. My only quibble would be that you seem to be trying to make the narrator appear…not exactly heartless, but divorced from ordinary human interaction while at the same time giving him a strong attachment to his childhood. For me, that doesn’t quite add up (maybe that’s where the two stories thing comes from?). Perhaps that could have been avoided by making it Steph’s grandfather’s funeral and dropping the childhood reminisence? Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.

18 01 2008
Neil

Thanks for the feedback guys.

19 01 2008
Neil

I’ve had to delete one of the comments I received for this story and I’m a bit upset about it.

I invite feedback and am grateful when people provide it, especially if they’re spotting genuine grammatical errors. An example of good constructive feedback can be seen above.

What I’m not cool with are people who don’t read the story properly and then imply things about my views.

The character in The Cloud is nothing other than a white male computer geek. The sentence construction is based on the way the character talks, a character that spends most of his time jacked into that world’s equivalent of the Internet. His use of a certain word implying snide laughter on other people’s part means just that.

It’s also worth bearing in mind I am writing from the UK and so, unless explicitly set in America, my character’s are not speaking American English, slang or otherwise.

19 01 2008
Martin McGrath

Your guy is dying to get into cyberspace, my guy is dying to get out…

I like the voice here, there’s a definite sense of that nerdish obsession with detail/borderline autistic that works well.

If I had a criticism it might be that the end comes a little abruptly and working out exactly what happens required a couple of read throughs. I liked the last line, though.

19 01 2008
Neil

Thanks for the feedback Martin.

20 01 2008
D. Peace

That was really powerful. Thank you for writing it.

I’m sorry you had to go through that experience. Personally, I think you’re better for not drinking and I am right there with you: I think drinking is overly glamorized by culture and the actual effects are only negative.

Again, thank you for sharing. You’ve done an amazing job.

By the way, I’ve chosen you for a writing on the internet-type award. Recipients are asked to post three rules for powerful writing. Read more HERE

21 01 2008
Neil

Thanks D.Peace – I’ll post my entry later today or tomorrow.

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