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Writing Play Time for Fowl Children


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I'm currently writting a novel about a family of six children (with very unusual and long names!) and their lives as they go through a very difficult time. I want to post part of the story up here to see what you guys think about it, and I would love any and all critisism. If this story seems to get some favor from the OB, then I'll continue posting what I have up here.

"Elysia." The gentle calling of her name made her eyelids flutter, and she felt like she could come back, but she was just so tired... Maybe in a little while, after more sleep, she would wake.

"Elysia" More urgent now. She must wake up, the sound of her name is pulling her toward consciousness. She opens her he eyes slowly.

At first, all she can see is white. Then, the gradual forms of objects and people begin to take shape. She sees her mother, and a person she doesn't know. Standing in the doorway is her oldest brother, Edward, looking very upset.

The person she doesn't know is speaking. "You overdosed on fetanyl. You've been out of it for a few house, but you'll be alright."

She groans, not from pain, but as the memory of how she got the drug into her system surfaces. She had been at a party, Heather's party, and everyone was in the basement, including four of her five older brothers. How could this have happened?

They had all been sitting in a circle, ready to share the fetanyl. One of Heather's college friends had brought it. Some boy, she couldn't remember his name, had helped her because she didn't know how to do it. He had tied a rubber band around her arm, causing her vein to protrude, and then stuck in the needle and released the heroin. The next thing she remembered was waking up here, in the hospital.

Music was blasting away on the speakers as five of the Fowl children entered Heather's house. They were instantly swarmed with people eager to say hello.

Each of the Fowl children was blessed with a classy, uncommon first name and two uncommon middle names that began with the same letter. Edward Artemis Atticus Fowl, the oldest child, was not at the party, since her had been in college for two years now and had moved on. While in high school, Edward had been top dog. Alphonse Ernesto Evander Fowl had been in college for a year but still wanted to participate in the end of the year senior party. The identical twins, Darren Darius Damien Fowl and Nathaniel Margarito Matthew Fowl, were inseperatable and had just finished their senior year. They were there for the last party of their senior year, for the final memory of high school. The youngest Fowl boy was blessed with a different style of name, and that made Gar Ballodair Broderick Fowl a unique and very popular child. Everyone knew his name and he was one of the most crushed-on people at school. The youngest Fowl child, and the only girl, Elysia Maribel Maritza Fowl was popular, beautiful, spunky, and intelligent, but not conceited even though she knew it.

The Fowl children greeted everyone who came to them and then pushed their way through the crowd, sticking close together. In front of the stereo, the furniture had been pushed away to make a make-shift dance floor, and many people were dancing. The Fowl children decided to join in.

Three songs later, the only ones still together were Darren and Nathaniel, and that was because they were always together.

Soon, whispers that the "stuff" had arrived and would be distributed in the basement spread. Everyone began making their way downstairs.

Heather was in he middle of the basement floor, yelling for people to get in a circle. The crowd obeyed her command and arranged themselves into something that resembled a circle.
Al's first instinct as he sat down was to locate his siblings. The twins were almost directly across from him, Gar was on the right side of the circle and Elysia was on the left. Alphonse gulped. He knew what was to come, all the drugs and hallucinations, and lots of stupid things. He knew he couldn't stop his siblings from taking the drugs if they wanted to, but Edward and Alphonse has made a promise to each other never to take drugs and no sex until marriage. Edward still stood by his promise, and so would he.

Besides, the whole business was just so unsanitary and stupid. Twenty, maybe thirty, people using the same needle to inject a drug into themselves that would make them do stupid things, pass out, and remember nothing of it the nest morning. Not his idea of fun.

The needle was passed to him, along with the drug, and he just passed it on. He watched intently as it made its way to Gar. Gar refused it and passed it on. The twins were the nest of his siblings to receive it, and he knew they would try it: they were too curious not to. Alphonse watched as the twins put a small amount of the drug in the needle and injected have into Nathaniel's arm and the other half into Darren's arm. They passed the needle along and it made its way to Elysia. As the youngest and only girl of the Fowl children, Alphonse knew Elysia was always out to prove herself. He hoped she made the right choice.

She handed the needle to the guy next to her, and Alphonse let out a held breath. Then he watched as the guy put a rubber band around her arm, slapped her arm gently a couple of times, and injected her with heorin.

It looked to him to be a large amount, perhaps too large for Elysia, and it didn't take long before the drug began to take effect. Elysia was laughing hard, then suddenly she fell over, gargling like there was Listerine in her mouth rather than foam.

Al jumped up from his spot and rushed to her, his younger brothers close behind. Everyone was forming a circle around her, but the brothers pushed them back.

"Elysia!" Darren yelled, but she did not react. She began to make choking sounds.

"Elysia! Breathe!" Nathaniel screamed.

"Al! Al! Clear her airway!" Gar knew what to do, and had a level enough head to not forget in the panic of his sister's near death situation.

"Wha- What are you asking me to do?" Al looked at Gar with a confused look on his face.

"You need to get whatever she's choking on out of her throat! Use your fingers!"

With the strength only a brother's love for his sister could grant him, Al slid his fingers down Elysia's throat and cleared the chunks of vomit blocking her airway. He turned her around, so if she threw up anything else, it wouldn't just go back down her throat.

"Call the ambulance!" Al called to someone, anyone. He just wanted his sister to be safe, for everything to be okay.

Edward, Edward... What would you do? Alphonse thought. Edward always knew what to do. He had always been the leader, and now he was almost living his own life. But then again, they were all getting older, and sooner or later, they would have to start living their own lives too.

The ambulance arrived, and the brothers were told only one of them could ride in the ambulance. They all looked at each other, and decided without a word that Alphonse would be the one to ride with her.

The ambulance was small and cramped and white. Alphonse shoved himself into a corner in order to avoid getting in the way as the paramedics shoved a pipe down his sister's throat and injected her with various things.

Alphonse pulled out his black Samsung Messenger r450 and called, instinctively, Edward.

After four rings, a groggy voice said "Hello?"

"Edward. Edward we were at a party and Elysia overdosed. We're in the ambulance now." Alphonse spoke quickly, slurring many of his words together.

Edward still got the message. He knew Alphonse and Alphonse knew him. "Is she going to be okay?" He asked.

"I don't know. I think so."

"I'll see you at the hospital." There was a click on the line as Edward hung up.

Certainly with Edward there, everything would be okay. Wouldn't it?

At the hospital, Elysia was rushed away and Alphonse was told to stay in the waiting room.

Darren, Nathaniel, and Gar arrived at the same time he did, since they had followed the ambulance in Alphonse's car. Alphonse had driven them all to the party.

Gar's eyes were alight with worry and concern as he asked, "Is she gonna be okay?" He shifted his feet nervously.

Alphonse shrugged. "I think so. She seemed fine as she can be, you know, considering, and Edward's coming."

As if on cue, they heard a familiar voice yell in unfamiliar anger, "Where is she?" Their oldest brother Edward entered the hospital, their mother following close behind. They did not expect to see their father, and, of course, he wasn't there.

A devoted religious man, he has left the family about ten years earlier, claiming he did not know id his life was where he wanted it to be and he was on a search for himself, his spiritual self. He has promised he wouldn't be gone long. Ten years later, still nothing.

Edward's voice boomed throughout the hospital again. "Damn it, Alphonse! Where is she?"

Al shrank, unaccustomed to being the object of his brother's immense temper. "They took her to a room." His voice was small and tight. He feared he did not have enough information.

Edward nodded, seemingly appeased. "Come on, Mother. We should go be with her."

And they left.

Gar could feel the tension in the waiting room, thick and oppressive. He found it hard to breathe.

The twins looked at him, and he could feel their emotions, made them his own. They were all worried and didn't want to lose their only sister.

"Gar," Nathaniel said gently. "I'm sure it'll be okay." He didn't say it in order to reassure Gar, but rather to reassure himself.

What had they been doing?, Gar wondered. Why had they gone downstairs? He had seen the twins take a small amount of heroin each, but as he looked at their faces he could see no traces of its symptoms in either face. He wanted to say something, but he didn't have the words for it.

Al came to join them in the waiting room, and Gar could almost feel the tension physically double. His siblings had always told him he was too tuned in to his own emotions as well as the emotions of other to be healthy.

Gar took a step forward, full of concern and worry for his only sister. "Is she gonna be okay?" He asked nervously shifting from foot to foot.

Al shrugged, trying to seem less concerned. "I think so. She seemed as fine as she can be, considering, and Edward's coming." Edward always made things better. His name meant "happy protector" after all.

Suddenly, a familiar voice raised in unfamiliar anger yelled out, "Where is she?" Everyone looked at the door, knowing who was coming.

Edward, an angry Edward. Gar could practically feel the flames and lightning in the air. Edward was pissed.

Behind him was Mother, looking tired and red-eyed. Gar wanted to hug her and comfort her, but Edward's anger kept him in his place.

"Damn it, Alphonse!" Edward bellowed, his voice echoing off of the quiet hospital walls. "Where is she?" A vein was beating in Edward's temple and he crossed the room to tower over Alphonse.

Edward was not tall, had never been, but Alphonse seemed to shrink and Edward grow larger as his rage increased. When Alphonse spoke, his voice was meek.

"They took her to a room."

Gar was worried for Al now, worried Edward would strike him from producing so little information. Edward wasn't a violent one, but he had been acting differently, strangely, lately.

To Gar's surprise, Edward merely nodded and said, "Come on, Mother. We should go be with her." Edward left, their mother in tow.

Alphonse let out a held breath once out of Edward's presence. Gar found himself letting out a breath too, one he never even knew he held.

"She'll be alright. It's not your fault." Gar offered encouraging words to Al.

Al slumped himself into one of the waiting room chairs, and the rest of the boys did the same. "Edward seems to think it is."

"We're all reacting differently to the stress. The twins have been quiet, although we usually have a very hard time shutting them up!"

They all laughed, although it was somewhat strained. The back of Gar's skull buzzed and felt like it wanted to explode. As a child, he has never had very good control over his emotions. When he was sad or upset, he became a very angry child and wanted to destroy anything he could get his hands on, physical or otherwise. He was no longer like that, but some days he could almost feel it surface. He didn't want to be that child anymore though.

So, he waited patiently with his brothers.

A few hours later, Darren and Nathaniel were talking quietly, Gar was trying to find a comfortable napping position in the uncomfortable chair, and Alphonse was humming every song he knew.

Darren looked up and said, "I think she's awake." Nathaniel pointed in order to address the unasked question, "How do you know?"

A doctor as coming towards them, glancing at a clipboard as he walked. When he reached them, he asked, "You're the Fowl boys?"

They nodded.

"And very foul have you been indeed." The doctor muttered under his breath. "Your sister has woken up, and everything will be fine. She'll be released home in the morning."

A smile spread across all their faces and they looked at each other. They jumped up from their seats, yelling, whooping, and hugging each other. They were overcome with joy.

The doctor took the opportunity to sneak away.

Edward was fuming; he was raging mad. Perhaps his entrance into the hospital had been a little much, but of all the times... Yelling at Alphonse had been horrible. He should have never done that, not to the one brother that truly understood him. But the thought of losing his only sister made his mind clouded and his judgement skewed.

He just wanted her safe.

He stayed by her side until she showed signs of waking. That was when he ran out of the room and called the doctor.

While the doctor explained to Elysia what had happened and what her condition was, Edward stood in the doorway, looking at Elysia and chewing his lip.

When the doctor was done with the diagnostics, Edward asked him to "please inform the other Fowl children that their sister was awake." The doctor nodded in agreement.

Edward turned to Elysia, fresh anger brewing up inside him, boiling his blood. "What the hell where you thinking?!" Edward slammed the door closed and crossed the room to be by Elysia's bed. "You could have killed yourself!" Edward threw a hand into the air.

"I didn't." Elysia stared at him coolly.

"But you could have! You had us all worried sick!"

"I'm sorry." Elysia suddenly broke down crying. "It was so stupid and everyone was doing it. And that guy was helping me."

"Gar didn't do it! Alphonse didn't do it! Anything the twins do, you know you should think twice about! And at least they were smart and only took a small amount!"

Elysia was crying harder, sobbing, gasping.

"Edward, dear, leave her be. She's tired, as we all are, and needs her rest." His mother put a cool hand on his shoulder, gentle yet restraining.

"I'm going home to get mine then." He said, and he opened then slammed the door.
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  • 1 month later...

I'm going to forego my typical M.O. of editorial comments at the moment, though there are several places that need mentioning in that regard. The most I'll say at present is watch your tenses and your spelling. There are a lot of little words that Word didn't pick up as misspelled because they're not actually spelled wrong. They're just the wrong word. And in the first section, there, you switched from past to present tense one paragraph in, and then back again for the last paragraph before the switch.

Those are all things that need mentioning, but they're also things that you need to be looking for yourself. The reason they call it the first draft is because once you finishe it initially, you still have the whole story fresh in your head and you know almost by memory how it should go, which can keep you from seeing little errors. You've had some time away from the piece, so now is a good time to go back and read it again, word for word, and noticed the slips you made and didn't immediately catch.

What I feel does need mentioning is a larger, much more serious issue. I want to talk about knowing your subject matter.

For this . . . I'm hesitant to call it an excerpt, it feels more like a piece written for some writing contest about not doing drugs . . . for this piece, you chose the drug fentanyl as the party drug of choice. However, I'm not certain you really know what fentanyl does, or how it's used recreationally.

Fentanyl, as you indicated, is related to heroin. But you also indicated it was heroin, and this is not true. It's related to heroin because it is an opium derivative, and heroin is a derivative of morphine, which is the active ingredient in opium. But they are not the same.

This means that the methods for recreational abuse are likely not the same, either. With a bit of research, I have found that while both drugs are more potent than morphine itself, heroin is only about one and a half times as potent, while fentanyl is one hundred times more potent. Fentanyl is not typically injected recreationally, as opposed to heroin; in fact, a dose of fentanyl would likely barely register on a typical syringe, making it hard to tell when a dose was large or not. Instead, it is typically obtained in gel packs, which are then cut into pieces and consumed that way.

Additionally, neither heroin nor fentanyl are hallucinogenic drugs. They are narcotics, and while they still give a pronounced rush and then a euphoria (during which the user typically nods into a half-conscious state), narcotics are more about feelings than visual sensations.

I could go on about methods used to procure and distribute them (heroin can be laced with fentanyl from time to time, to increase the volume of the sell), as well as point out differences in overdose symptoms for hallucinogens and narcotics, but I feel you need to do the research yourself so you can adequately prepare yourself for your writing.

Writing anything without knowing the material is a poor decision. I recently wrote a piece of fiction which involved a character using a longsword, and I was forced to spend many hours studying German Longsword forms and stances and combat so that I could accurately portray how he fought. The longsword is a semi-two-handed sword, and treating it like one would treat a rapier or a scimitar is foolhardy.

From what you wrote, I do not get the impression that you completely understand the drug that caused the situation central to the story, and while the story itself may be fine (to that end I have yet no comment), you must remain convincing in all your story, and not just leave certain details to be incidental. If you do, you risk ruining your believability as an author, for if you can't be accurate in the little things, how can we trust you to be lifelike in the larger events?

I will leave you with that for now. If you want, I will look at your story structurally and stylistically later.

Edited by Allamorph
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