He led Andy back to his cell and closed the door making sure no one was around.
“What are you doing?”
“Yeah. I’m fine. Considering…”
“I know. But are you OK?”
Durden raised an eyebrow looking at Andy’s hands.
“Oh. You noticed…”
“Hard not to. Do you remember a couple of years back when a woman here in town went missing and was found dead?”
“I remember what happened to your wife. Sorry for your loss…”
“Listen to me. I’m hoping and praying you didn’t do this because I don’t think I could control myself. You get me?”
“Good. Either way, I’m going to find out who killed your wife without any doubt. I want you to know that. There will be justice.”
Durden pointed to Andy’s hands.
“It’s not gonna get any easier, trust me. You might want to find something else to use as a release, ok?”
Jeff woke up shivering from the cool air blowing into the cell. The fluorescent light temporarily blinding him. As he sat up, he licked his lips and swallowed trying to wet his dry mouth. He looked around slowly remembering where he was. Standing up, a dull pain hit his back as he hunched over. The concrete bed was not forgiving. He stretched and felt the satisfying pop of his bones. He walked up to the bars and saw the guards sitting and talking. One of them was walking by the cells dragging his baton across the bars causing an annoyingly loud bang with each hit. Then a loud beep sounded from the ceiling and a voice statically announced, “Roll Call!” The cell doors rolled open and Jeff stepped out along with the other inmates ready for another day in paradise.
As Jeff mowed his overgrown front yard that his wife Jennifer had been asking him to do for days, he couldn’t help but stare at the open window of the neighbor’s house across the street. Inside stood the husband waving his arms holding some sort of paper. He could never remember the guy’s name and didn’t really care to either. The neighbors quickly walked into the frame of the window shoving the husband and began what looked like yelling at the man. Jeff couldn’t help but keep staring as the husband clenched the paper in his hand pushing it into his wife’s face. They continued the shouting match for about five minutes until the wife stormed out of the scene and outside to her car driving away. The husband looks at the paper one last time before throwing it on the floor and sitting defeatedly in the chair behind him. The silent film ended and with that so did Jeff’s interest into the lives of his neighbors. “Looks like we got a divorce on the way,” Jeff quipped aloud to himself. He finished his duty to his wife and headed inside with a proud grin on his face thinking how nice the lawn looked and how good of job he had done.
As stated by Gardner, “Detail is the lifeblood of fiction.” This is completely true and applies to every form of fiction. Without details, there is no believability. You can’t capture a reader in your story unless they believe that it could have happened no matter the setting. When reading Smith’s story I noticed a lot of details that helped establish the location and feel of Tabitha’s surroundings. This includes the examples of Wal-Mart and Sonic and The Strip. This also includes Momma’s house and everything around it. This helped me visualize the setting and made it a believable world.
However, to me, it felt like the characters lacked the same amount detail that was put into the setting. It was hard for to believe that she would be engaged to Daniel. Throughout the whole story, she talks about how she doesn’t believe in God and yet she gets engaged to a Preacher? The only reason I could see for this is that it is part of her wanting a sign from God or help to believe in God but I didn’t see that in the story. The only clear detail of their relationship is when she says what he is saying is bullshit. I think it would have been better to have some detail about why she would be engaged to him and why she loves him. I was just hoping for some more character development.
I understand this a short story and there probably wasn’t room for this, or Smith had a clear vision of what their relationship was. It just didn’t convince me and that’s just my opinion. It did have great detail when it came to the setting. It was just lacking on the side of the characters, for me. It was still done well and used a great amount of detail when the story did.
For my first story, the character I have been thinking about most is a 20-something male with hazel eyes within a face that never seemed to focus on what was in front of him. He grew up in a somewhat ordinary household with parents that loved and cared for him. He’s been told his whole life he can do whatever he wanted but could never find it. So, he went to college thinking it would be there. He usually tries to wear some sort of graphic tee or button up shirt with his jeans every day. He’s pretty smart, or so he’s been told. His name is Andy and no one will ever see him again.
Some images that haunt me are:
- My dreams (aspirations and literal dreams)
- Embarrassing moments throughout my life
- Wasting time/my life
- Father and son relationships
- Other people’s success and accomplishments
I like to think I would be willing to speak out and criticize my government regardless of the consequences. There is no way for me to know for sure because of the freedoms I was granted. Let’s say I would. This is because of my upbringing and ideals. If the government was truly doing harm and something that is objectively wrong, I think it is imperative for people to speak out. That’s the only way to change things for the better.
However, personally, you never know until you are in those situations. There are a lot of things people would do hypothetically but when it is real there is no telling how one would react. In this case, if it was something that I felt needed to be changed it must be a big problem because I am usually passive when it comes to this stuff. But, if criticizing the government is just a couple of jokes and I could get tortured or imprisoned I would definitely say those jokes. That is just based on who I am as a person. I like to make fun of and criticize everything so if the government is forcing me to change who I am that would not fly with me. This is why free speech is so important. That way the dystopian futures of Sci-Fi don’t become reality.