Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

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Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Teh Wozzinator on Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:06 pm

This is one of my stories for Mark's contest--I'm writing another, but in case I can't finish it in time (I'm busy...) I'm posting this. Mark said we could have multiple entries... anyways:

Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab?

Dillon was at James’ house, and as he waited for James to finish his second taco he casually asked, “So, I, um, heard that you have some werewolf power thing? What’s that?”

“Oh, that,” James said, wiping sour cream off his lower lip. “Yeah, this guy gave it to me for free, as a test, so I thought it’d be cool. So yeah, I took it.”

“But what does it do?”

“Oh, there’s this thing. I turn into a cougar every full moon, but I can also change whenever I want, too.”

“Where’d you get it?”

James instantly became suspicious. “Why do you want to know?” he asked.

“Because—I’m telling you this ‘cause I’m your best friend—I want to try it.”

“No! Really, Dillon, you don’t want it. It hurts whenever you change, and full moons are not fun at all. And there’s this thing… sometimes I just randomly turn into a cougar. It’s not all it seems like, ‘k? And you can’t take it back. Just, just forget it.”

A flame of malice appeared in Dillon’s eyes for a moment. Then he sighed. “Okay, James… ok,” he said, and walked out of the house.

--

James was walking down the street, going to the grocery store because he needed some ham for his supper. He mingled with the crowd, also heading down the main street: Peterston. He wondered about Dillon and the way he was acting. James knew it would be better for him if he forgot about it. Why couldn’t Dillon listen?

James was yanked back into reality—literally—by a huge red claw. It pulled him into an alleyway and Dillon found himself being attacked by a giant crab. It was huge; twice James’ size, and James struggled and dropped out of the claw. Immediately, he switched to his cougar form. “What the heck do you want?” the cougar growled.

The crab seemed to smile and said, “You, James, what else?”

“Dillon…? But it takes nearly a week to change, how could you have even found the flippin’ dude that fast?”

“James, I had changed already, you didn’t know that? Remember my trip to Germany? There wasn’t one, I spent that week changing. I’m just glad I didn’t accidentally change when I was talking to you today.”

“Why were you asking me if you already knew?” James shook his head, obviously confused.

“It was a test. I was seeing if you trusted me.”

“I trust you! You’re my best friend, Dillon.”

“No, you don’t trust me. You don’t trust me to make my own decisions, only what you want me to do.”

“Dillon, I had my reasons! You know why I didn’t want you to!”

“Huh. I can take a little pain; you think I’m a wimp or something? This is so worth it. And switching at odd times? Heck, makes it tough to get a girlfriend, but I wasn’t going to get one anyways.”

“Dillon, I’m sorry, but I really just thought I was doing what you’d want.”

“Sorry. Such a simple word. Anyone can use it. And anyone can lie. You failed my test. You wouldn’t tell me what I wanted to know, even though we were best friends. That’s another meaningless word: friends. Anyone can change their mind. And I have.”

“C’mon Dillon, please. Quit it!”

“No!” The crab’s claws reached out to James, and he—in the form of a cougar—jumped between them, diving for the other side of the crab. He kicked out and hit the stalked eyes of the crab.

The crab briefly turned into Dillon, just long enough so that he could turn around, and now James saw that he was trapped against the back of a brick building. There was no escape, and James jumping between the eyes wouldn’t fool Dillon twice in a row.

The crab hissed and said angrily, “You caught my weakness, why didn’t you attack my eyes?”

“Because!” James yelled. “You’re my friend, Dillon!”

“I’m not your friend!” Dillon bellowed, then suddenly changed and hissed quietly, “I’ll be your death….”

A huge claw slammed towards the cougar, and he barely dodged it. A hole opened in the building, and a young man sitting in a cubicle cursed loudly.

James dodged to one side, but the crab followed his every move, now focused on one thing. He wanted his best friend dead.

The buildings surrounding the alley were ripped to shreds that day, deep tears that would be marked forever. James grew tired quickly, and finally, the cougar was caught between two sharp, red shells.

The crab lifted him up and slammed him into the wall… once… twice… three times. James heard a crack and felt blood pour unstoppably from his head. His back was covered in bruises, and he could feel blood coating his fur. The jeans and t-shirt that still covered his lean, golden body were ripped in scores of places. How the heck am I supposed to replace these? James thought. They’re freaking designers! He could tell he was going crazy by thinking thoughts like that at a time like this. His life was worth a crapping lot more than the clothes!

The crab threw him in the air, and the cougar flailed helplessly. The crab caught him and did it again. Then he threw him into the wall. James wished that it was like the movies, and the building had dented. But that wasn’t the case. James almost fell out of consciousness; it was only his were-cougar strength that saved him. That and the will to live. That will seemed stronger now.

James slid back down the building, and the crab laughed. Suddenly, James saw his chance to escape. He acted without hesitation, as the hole would close if he waited.

He dived under the crab, the only place besides its eyes were it was weak. He reached up as he scrambled through, feeling the pale pink skin rip through his claws. He felt blood soak into the fur on his paws. He ran out from under the crab and jumped out of the alley, changing back into a human in the air. He sprinted out into the street, ignoring his torn clothes, the blood covering his half-naked body, and the frozen people who had watched the fight.

He heard sirens, and thought, Someone called the cops. Then he heard a horn and glanced to his right. An ambulance was flying straight towards him. He was close enough to examine the grill.

His last two thoughts were: An ambulance, how ironic, and Well, at least it wasn't the frickin’ crab that killed me.

He was slammed into the intersection of Peterston and 4th, the upside down and backwards AMBULANCE his last living sight.

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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Saruukhai on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:28 pm

Oh my god... I don't believe it... I wrote out a large reply to this post and i pressed delete by accident and now its all gone. Evil or Very Mad I'm sorry but I'll have to write the response tommorow, I've just wasted about 30 mintues of my life writing a response that got deleted in 2 seconds. I'm mad, I need to calm down. I promise I will reply as I found it a very good story, that's all I can say for now, I'll be back.
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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Mark on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:48 pm

Did you press delete after it was posted? If so, I may be able to recover it.

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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Saruukhai on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:50 pm

No while I was writing it and lost everything. I have moments of frustration when things like this happen, I just hate it when you spend a lot of time doing something then it turns out to be a waste. As I say I'll write it up again when I'm feeling better. Sorry about this Crying or Very sad
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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Mark on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:52 pm

No worries. In that case I can't do anything... sorry.

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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Teh Wozzinator on Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:47 am

Well, next time, if you accidentally highlighted it all and pressed delete, you can press control>z and it will undo your last move. I've had that problem before... thank God for undo. XD

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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Saruukhai on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:26 pm

Omfg, omfg omfg I did it again, I bloody did it again! Evil or Very Mad this time I clicked on "Watch this topic for replies" when i was scrolling down from your work after finding something I liked. I dont believe this, I really dont, you probably dont believe me though. Im getting sick of this its happening more than usual, I think Im writing too much, just like on my journals, the computer takes forever to load them then when it finally does it, it says that it cannot be posted for some reason or another.

I'll make this simple, would you mind if I add small bits of my response over a small period of time? I just think that I'm wasting my time when it gets deleted after I've wrote so much. I honestly want to kill myself, I've asted 20 minutes now. *sigh* I'll have to do it again later, Im really really sorry about this.
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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Saruukhai on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:18 pm

Right... I'll try again.

I'm sorry, I know that we're meant to write as much as we can about how we can improve, what was good / what was bad but after writing this response out several times I just don't feel I can write another lengthy annotation of your work. Sorry. Crying or Very sad

I'll put as much as in as I can without making it too long, I dont want another mishap.

I liked the way you used your title, I think it draws the reader in and makes them wonder what the hell you are talking about. Good going on that. I like the themes you have in this short story, friendship, betrayal, death and trust. Trust and friendship is so easily lost, sometimes for the most simple reasons like a friend of mine I cant trust with anything I have. (he gave someone a piece of paper I needed and I cant get it back, if I cant trust him with that how can I trust him with anything bigger?)

I liked the way you described the fight scenes and the humour you involved the the guy sitting on the toilet I think it was and the way that James was thinking that his jeans were designer made. I also liked the humour in his death at the end-

"His last two thoughts were: An ambulance, how ironic, and Well, at least it wasn't the frickin’ crab that killed me.

He was slammed into the intersection of Peterston and 4th, the upside down and backwards AMBULANCE his last living sight."

Another thing I found was funw as the arguements between them, I love it when the villain torments the hero before he kills them, although it kinda ruins the plot of being an evil genius and something I hate writing about as the villain is incompetant when I dont want him to be.


As I said before the fight scene is well described and though it is only a short story you can sense the atmosphere and the tension between them. I'm also sorry if I'm making this too analitical for you, just that we're taught to this stuff and it sticks after you've been doing it for several years without end.

However there are also moments for improvement.

One part says that Dillon was attacked around the corner about half way through, isn't this meant to be James? just a small point there but I got a little confused.

Another thing that you could do is improve the characters friendship a little at the beginning. When we first meet them we have no idea of how strong their relationship is, maybe you could add a paragrpah or two that just outlines how close they are, I think this could dramatise the betrayal and the fact that Dillon cannto make his own decisions. You could also increase the pain that Dillon is feeling that he cannot make his own decisions, I think it may give the reader a more just cause for why hes doing it unless he really is a psychopath.

Only minor but here is there no reference that he turned back into the crab-

"The crab briefly turned into Dillon, just long enough so that he could turn around, and now James saw that he was trapped against the back of a brick building. There was no escape, and James jumping between the eyes wouldn’t fool Dillon twice in a row.

The crab hissed and said angrily, “You caught my weakness, why didn’t you attack my eyes?”

Only slight improvements but then it is your choice to listen, but on the whole I thought it was a great story even though it was short.

I dunno why I even done this, I'm no good at critiqing, never have been, never will be. No
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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by telana_kiarr on Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:47 pm

This is probably your best story that I've read. I love the use of description. I'm really tired now, so I won't be doing a full critique, but I don't think you need it.
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Re: Friend or Foe? Life or Death? Cougar or Crab? (PG-13) (For Mark's March 2008 Sci-fi contest-1,133 words)

Post by Teh Wozzinator on Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:15 am

Saru, if you keep having that problem, here's a suggestion: post your comment with just a couple minutes worth of work, then edit it and do a few more minutes. That way if any is lost, it won't be very much.

Thanks all for the comments and critiques.

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