Advertisement
Remove
Settings

A note from Eyeball1844

First chapter of a new series! Any comments would be appreciated. If there are some mistakes you see, point them out to me in the comments.

Attention: This chapter should read mostly fine but I will come and re-edit it later. When that happens, you will see a strike through this announcement.

The car rolled up the twisting driveway and parked in front of the garage.

Ray stared at the house until the windows began to fog up and he lost feeling in his fingers. It was late spring but that day was particularly cold. He took a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket. Blank eyes skimmed the already memorized letter.

The paper, signed by his principal, notified him and his family of his graduation. While most other seniors were celebrating, he went to work and came home as usual. Accomplishment, happiness, joy, he expected to feel at least one of these things. Instead, the paper left him empty.

It took him three long years as a senior to graduate.

He threw his work vest to the passenger seat and stepped out. Through the gaps between houses and over the fences, passing cars illuminated the closed grocery and general stores while their engines and wheels mimicked the sound of skates on ice.

He liked that feeling. The feeling that life always happened whether or not he was around to see it.

As he walked by the windows to his home, he ducked. Past the windflowers and yellow camilas his mother loved, he saw his brother and sister sitting on the couches. They had their phones in their hands while the television played in the background.

His fingers clamped onto the key like a wrench as he eased the door locks open. He slid through the smallest crack he could and closed it only when it fit perfectly into the sturdy wooden frame. The handle was guided into place and he slipped off his shoes. Laughs of an audience played through the television speakers, giving him the opportunity he needed to disappear into his room.

His younger siblings had a bad habit of turning the volume up too loud. Their mother, who was usually mild mannered, had blown her top multiple times because of it. Those two were probably hard of hearing at this point. 

“You’re back,” Claire stated, pretending not to see him sigh.

“Yeah.”

“Congrats and all again,” Aiden said without taking his eyes off his phone. “But I can’t go to your graduation. I already made plans with a few friends of mine for Friday and I can’t just cancel on them last minute.”

“What?” Claire’s raised voice made him shrink back. “Stop lying. Mom and Dad told us at least two weeks before that we had to go.”

“Shut up. If Mom and Dad aren’t going then I’m not going.”

“No. If I have to go, then you have to go! If you don’t then I’m gonna tell them.”

Aiden clicked his tongue, “Fine, but I’m leaving as soon as it ends. If you graduated the first time, nobody would be embarrassed to go to your stupid fucking graduation.”

He stared at his siblings as they returned to their phones. The scene of a family exchanging banter around a table followed by a chorus of fake laughter stemming from the television stoked his anger. His throat strained with words he wanted to say but stayed caught, unable to leave.

There was no point arguing with them. He just wanted to rest.

The room he lived in had a queen-sized bed tucked in the far corner, with its sheets balled up and pillows in disarray. Next to it was a nightstand with a few comics and papers strewn about, being held down by half filled water bottles and cups. The dresser’s bottom three drawers were left open with pants and sleeves hanging out. 

With a touch, the room was brightened by a stainless steel lamp. It sat on a glass desk, clinging on with its rubber lined rims. He sat and waited for his computer as it whirred to life. A dusty, generation three Pokemon poster hung behind his monitor. The edge of the poster was loose, the dirty tape no longer able to keep it attached to the wall.

A message flashed on his screen when he opened his favorite MMO. A new patch was out. He switched to his teamspeak while it downloaded in the background.

“You’re finally on, Vis” Bakkar said. Bakkar, the leader of the group, had a gruff voice and liked playing his dwarf with a Scottish accent. He first met him when he saved his fighter from a trap. “Finish with the update yet?”

“I’m downloading it right now.”

“We’ve been waiting for an hour. If I knew it was going to take this long I might have just gone in by myself.

“And die fast?” a guildmate of his said.

“Better than dying slowly with you guys,” he retorted.

“He told us yesterday he had work. If you want to punish him, just have Nadina not heal him for a good minute or two. Let him use up a couple of his potions.”

“Uh, no,” Nadina said. “If we lose the raid because of it you guys’ll blame me. So no. I won’t just let him die while you hit the boss with your shitty sticks.”

“Excuse me, I use a shitty ‘mace’ not a shitty stick,” Bakkar corrected her. “Ignoring the Nadina—You mentioned you were graduating, right? Congrats!”

“Yeah, good job surviving. It only gets better from there.”

“You mean worse. College was hell.”

“Don’t listen to them. You did a good job graduating,” Bakkar said.

“Oh yeah, thanks.”

“I remember high school. I hated being forced to work in groups.”

He agreed. If he was unlucky enough to be in a class with group assignments, he hoped he had a friend in there and that he was their only friend. More often than not, he wasn’t and the teacher would have to shoehorn him into one. He wasn’t ever anyone’s first choice.

“Okay,” he said, “I’m logging on right now.”

“Great,” Nadina said. “Let’s start. I wanna get done before twelve this time.”

He smiled bitterly as the rest of the group chat roared to life.

He was glad he wasn’t completely alone. Only in this game did he seem to matter. Still, in a couple hours it’d be over and life would resume. He had no prospects, no friends or family who supported him wholeheartedly. College would be a nightmare judging from his high school performance. He had no hopes, no dreams. He hadn’t a clue where he’d go. 

Through and through, he was a zero.

Advertisement

Fiction
Index
Next
Chapter
About the author

Eyeball1844

  • The Odd Penguin

Bio: I enjoy writing. That's kinda it. I also like video games.

Achievements
Comments(16)
Log in to comment
Log In

Vera Anne Wolf ago

Preface: I tend to write lengthy feedback on the stories I review. Take all such feedback with a grain of salt and feel free to use, ignore, or delete as you see fit. I use them to collect my thoughts and summarize my review.

  • The car rolled up the twisting driveway and parked in front of the garage. He stared at the house until the windows began to fog up and he lost feeling in his fingers.

^ As this opens, the car appears to be the subject. Minor really, but could be worded differently.

^ “He stared at the house…” Something that always baffles me when reading a story in 3rd person is why a lot of writers don’t open any chapter/book with the characters name? Why the mystery/suspense which translates as confusion to readers who don’t know who we’ve been introduced, if they’re the MC, or if they’re even important?

For myself personally, its like I have to wait for confirmation to care, because if I assume it is the MC, and its not—disappointment. The longer I have to wait for confirmation, the more I become irritated.

  • It took him three long years as a senior to graduate.

^ Since you mentioned principal, I assumed we were talking high school, but how does it take 3 years to graduate high school? This might be a cultural thing but kids aren’t allowed to work if it gets in the way of school where I come from. Let alone holds them back three years. Not sure if we’ll get some clarity on this.

  • If you graduated the first time, nobody would be embarrassed to go to your stupid fucking graduation.

^ Okay, so this makes sense given that you can’t stretch the senior year over three years. So basically the first two years he failed to achieve a passing score in enough classes to prevent his graduation. Now, the question is why? The opening had me thinking maybe it was because his working got in the way of his studies like he had to work because his family needed money. But for some reason, the fact that his two older siblings are just causally couch crashing and chatting about plans and excuses—it doesn’t feel like they’re pressed to work, so maybe he did just struggle because school was hard for him. Interesting.

^ Either way, can’t say their the most supportive family. Though (and this might be a cultural thing) he could have just gone for a GED instead or repeating his senior year 3x.

  • His throat strained with words he wanted to say but stayed caught, unable to leave.

^ tail end is a bit awkward.

  • The edge of the poster was loose, the dirty tape no longer able to keep it attached to the wall.

^ Nice bit of details here.

  • “He told us yesterday he had work. If you want to punish him, just have Nadina not heal him for a good minute or two. Let him use up a couple of his potions.”

^ A$$holes everywhere in this story xD

  • “You’re finally on, Vis”

^ Okay, so the question is, is Vis an in-game nickname or is it derived from his real name? If it’s just a game nick, this is probably the first time I’ve ever seen a book fail to introduce the MC’s name in the first chapter (where the MC is introduced*). Something to consider.

ArthurScott ago

Awesome chapter! Short and sweet!

The car rolled up the twisting driveway and parked in front of the garage. He stared at the house until the windows began to fog up and he lost feeling in his fingers. It was late spring but that day was particularly cold. He took a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket. Blank eyes skimmed the already memorized letter.

Do not recommend beginning with a pronoun unless the point of the narrative is to suggest that the MC doesn't know their own name, as seen in some openings where characters suffer from memory loss.

I can tell the sentence length is pretty much identical, but that's okay! My hope is that it varies itself as the narrative continues! :D

I also like the cinematic opening; I can imagine this scene playing after some hefty opening credits XD

Aiden clicked his tongue, “Fine, but I’m leaving as soon as it ends. If you graduated the first time, nobody would be embarrassed to go to your stupid fucking graduation.”

I already like the conversation; these two clearly've known each other awhile. Their voices are unique and flow right off the scene. I highlighted the comma because it should be a period as it isn't a dialogue tag.

“You’re finally on, Vis” Bakkar said. Bakkar, the leader of the group, had a gruff voice and liked playing his dwarf with a Scottish accent. He first met him when he saved his fighter from a trap. “Finish with the update yet?”

Missing comma here ^

He was glad he wasn’t completely alone. Only in this game did he seem to matter. Still, in a couple hours it’d be over and life would resume. He had no prospects, no friends or family who supported him wholeheartedly. College would be a nightmare judging from his high school performance. He had no hopes, no dreams. He hadn’t a clue where he’d go.

Speaking of high-school and college, I got my final results back today and it seems I'm not going to study English after all. I did so poorly!

I love the character interactions, as well as the neat opening. Some minor conflict already! Awesome!

Auraptor ago

Always love the little bits before the adventure starts that characterize the MC. Can relate.

(I know, not super helpful like what the others wrote, but I'll save details for the review. My reactions to the chapters themselves are more stream of consciousness.)

hi&hello ago

Since it's "collage" I'm assuming this is the U.S. so I'm just wondering if trades school isn't a thing there? If he doesn't want to persue higher education there are other options--makes me wonder why he isn't taking those especially with how expensive college is. If that was you intention, good job! I'm interested.

Maddy0410 ago

Never did care much for group projects >_<

BarriaKarl ago

A bit too heavy on the self pity. What kinda of loser let his younger siblings talk to him like that?

At least you got a graduation. Not even that I got and I was always a good student. This pity part doesnt make me like him one bit...

Primate ago

Good opening. The characters are well written and their dialogues are great. Sets the tone. Well done, author.

LelandLL ago

That is sad life to have a life like that.

grovekeeper ago

He has no positives in his life? And escapism? I really hope you dont have depression, author.

The story doesnt make much sense though, he took three years, why? Is he stupid?

Log in to comment
Log In