Advice for a Short Story

TckTck12TckTck12 Mind LibraryPosts: 1

You don’t remember how you died (but maybe you are not supposed to remember). You don’t know what happened to your body after death (but you can still wiggle what were your toes and fingers). You do not care how you got here, because now you are here and (nothing) will reverse that.

You did not realize you were dead (in the beginning). You (woke up) to the sound of the garbage men slamming the dumpster onto the sidewalk, and to the smell of compost that lingered behind the stumbling truck. You did not know that ghosts could smell, but it seems as if one learns something new every day, no matter if one is (alive) or indisposed. 

You are not sure what works and what does not. You do not (need) to expel waste, but you also have not consumed anything (yet). (Do ghosts eat and drink?) You (feel) empty where you suppose your stomach was, but that could mean anything from (hunger) to lack of a stomach. You remember a quote (just not right now), but while you know that the ground is pitted in some places and flat in others, and while you know that the puddles are rain from a sky between the color of sidewalk and the absence of stars, you do not know if you (think). Therefore, you do not know if you (are).

But really, does it matter?

You (walk) in the city of a stranger’s hands, and you do not know if the pressure towards the very bottom of your (body?) is what it might be or a phantom (pain) from an inaccessible memory.

You can probably see is what you decide, because you see the ground and the puddles and the garbage cans and the telephone poles which, by (instinct), you avoid. You still are not sure if others can see you, because no one (bumps) into you in their scramble on the (hot? cold? rough?) pavement, but maybe they do and neither of you (notice).

You (walk) through a park-- a big park, a park of chloroplasts among mitochondria (and hey, that’s science. Are you smart? Are ghosts smart?)-- and that is how you (finally) know you can hear too, and that you have been hearing (all along). There is music that thumps on the ground like air on the walls underground, and (it makes your heart beat a bit faster) you could (never) forget music.

Then, the park is out of you (or is it something else?) and you are on a sidewalk, on a step, on a road. The road has white lines and yellow lines and it has noise too, which you can now sorta hear. Loud noise that grates on the clouds like metal on ceramic, noise that gets (closer) louder. Noise that changes sound, sounds like quacking, wailing geese darting with wings raised on the lawns of somewhere (you just were).

And there is light like the memory of something feverish and there is a (pain) that burns even more but a different kind and that doesn’t make sense because you don’t (think) that ghosts (feel pain) or die, even if that is what is happening to you (right now) and you know there is a (reason) for why you are (dying) a second time but you cannot remember it and your (eyes) are in a puddle and why does that not (bother) you?

So, that's my short story... Does it make sense? 

Come Autumn, I want to submit this to my school's literary magazine, and I would love any and all criticism. Details would be nice, but a simple "Good" or "Bad" would also suffice-- I would rather scrap it or rewrite it than submit something that is not my best work.

Name-wise... would "Ghost" be fine? Suggestions are most welcome.



  • RaibeanRaibean Oceanside, CAPosts: 144 ✭✭
    Your use of parentheses is very interesting, but may be more suited to poetry than a vignette. Because it is a vignette, the narration is more focused on the moment than building an actual story. You might try rewriting as poetry (which actually wouldn't be hard, you would just need to use the Enter key more liberally) or encapsulating a story within this single scene.
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