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Diamonds in the Sky [Fan Fiction]

posted by Red Panda on - last edited - Viewed by 1.7K users

On his way west James picked up a hitch hiker, a young woman carrying a paper bag and a leather purse, wearing jeans and a shawl--which she didn't take off, though it was more than ninety degrees out and James had no air conditioning. He was driving an old Toyota Camry with a bad valve system and one long crack in the windshield. He pulled over for her, and she got right in, put the leather purse on the seat between them, and settled herself with the paper bag on her lap between her hands. He had just crossed into Texas from Oklahoma. This was the third day of the trip.

"Where you headed?" he asked.

She said, "What about you?"

"LA, maybe."

"Why maybe?"

And that fast he was answering her questions. "I just graduated college," he told her, though that wasn't exactly the truth. He decided to take a year off from his graduate program after he spent two months in the county jail for assaulting a man at a local bar. He was a bad character. He had a bad temper that got him into plenty of trouble already, and he just wanted to go to LA, to wide open spaces. Just to experience it, really. He had a feeling that people didn't require as much from a person where there was that kind of room.

He didn't have any family now. He had a one-hundred thousand dollars from his father's life insurance policy, and he was going to make the money last a while. He said, "I'm trying to figure out a lot right now."

"Not me," she said.

"You figure out where you're going?"

"You could say that."

"What are you thinking?"

She made a fist and then extended her thumb, and turned it over. "Under," she said. "Down."

"I don't understand what that means."

"Does the radio work?" she asked, reaching for it.

"It's broken," he said.

She pressed the button anyway. Then she sat back and folded her arms over the paper bag.

He took a glance at her. She was skinny and long-necked, and her hair was the color of dark chocolate. She looked just old enough for high school.

"What's in the bag?" he said.

She sat up a little. "Nothing. Another blouse."

"So what did you mean back there?"

"Back where?"

"Look," he said, "we don't have to do any talking if you don't want to."

"Then what will we do?"

"Whatever you want" he said.

"What if I just want to sit here and let you drive me all the way to LA?"

"That's fine," he said. "I don't mind."

"Well, I wouldn't want to do that. We can talk."

"Are you going to LA?" he asked.

She gave a little shrug of her shoulders. "Why not?"

"Sounds like we have a plan," he said, and for some reason he offered her his hand. She looked at it and then smiled at him, and he put his hand back on the wheel.

@Red Panda said: To Be Continued...

64 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I actually prefer the rewrite you did trying to be a smart ass. It's more believable to me, anyway. If she's not on a cross-country crime spree, she probably would be just some dumb kid with a gun and a thumb up her ass. I could picture her being the type of airhead, used to getting by on looks alone, that would want to play 20 questions to pass time. And I imagine any man not interested in having sex with children or talking to idiots would be annoyed and kick her out. I'm still not seeing a problem with anyone's critique, only your writing.
    But I do agree that it's nice to have you distracted. I don't post often, but I do read the forums a lot. Seems like you're always in the center of some drama.

  • @AceStarr said: What is this crap?:eek:


    JK

    Had to get you back for my thread

    good work :D

    The only honest post.

    @AceStarr said: maybe if we ignore red panda he'll go away...

    @AceStarr said: what a donkey.

    @AceStarr said: I DO love your story though, it takes enough of your time as not to troll the forums anymore... so, good on ya mate! Don't stop!

    @AceStarr said: I do agree that it's nice to have you distracted. I don't post often, but I do read the forums a lot. Seems like you're always in the center of some drama.

    Is is common to personally insult the author in literary critiques? I don't know, you all are the experts.

    But to think the "I love Red Panda" members don't like my writing. I'm surprised.

    I know I may seem a bit unappreciative of distinguished authors and literary critics such as yourselves feedback, but I want to clarify that I'm most grateful for your repetitive expression of hate for me and my work. I always say why say something once when you can say it twice, and with hate. Thank you again.

  • @Red Panda said: The only honest post.
    Is is common to personally insult the author in literary critiques? I don't know, you all are the experts.

    But to think the "I love Red Panda" members don't like my writing. I'm surprised.

    I know I may seem a bit unappreciative of distinguished authors and literary critics such as yourselves feedback, but I want to clarify that I'm most grateful for your repetitive expression of hate for me and my work. I always say why say something once when you can say it twice, and with hate. Thank you again.

    I didn't know you could navigate a webpage with blinders on. Both Milo and myself gave you genuine critique.
    As for hate? Please. If a bit of banter online is what you consider hate, I would love to see you face any situation in real life.
    For the longest, I did think that you were just a troll, because you turn harmless situations into a whirling shit storm. I see now that the real issue is that you're a tantrum-prone cry baby.
    If you refuse to take critique on your writing, maybe you will at least take some advice for your personal life:
    Don't dish what you can't take, and quit posting up your "work" if you don't want to hear people's honest opinions on it.

  • @Desmodus87 said: I didn't know you could navigate a webpage with blinders on. Both Milo and myself gave you genuine critique.
    As for hate? Please. If a bit of banter online is what you consider hate, I would love to see you face any situation in real life.
    For the longest, I did think that you were just a troll, because you turn harmless situations into a whirling shit storm. I see now that the real issue is that you're a tantrum-prone cry baby.
    If you refuse to take critique on your writing, maybe you will at least take some advice for your personal life:
    Don't dish what you can't take, and quit posting up your "work" if you don't want to hear people's honest opinions on it.

    I have to admit I was starting to suspect you had something personal against me. Perhaps maybe you even dislike me. Now I see it was completely my imagination.

    I was rolling on the floor laughing with all the banter in this post. You're a funny one ;)

  • "Oh, God," he said.

    "Look, I'm not going to shoot you while you're driving the car. We'd crash if I did that."

    "Oh," he sad. "Oh, Jesus, please--look, I never saw anybody shot before--"

    "Will you stop it?"

    He put one hand to his mouth. He was soaked: he felt the sweat on his upper lip, and then he felt the dampness all through his clothes.

    She said, "I don't kill everybody I meet, you know."

    "No," he said. "Of course not." The absurdity of this exchange almost brought a laugh out of him. How astonishing, that a laugh could be anywhere in him at such a time, but here it was, rising up in his throat like some loosened part of his anatomy. He held on with his whole mind, and a moment passed before he realized that she was laughing.

    "Actually," she said, "I haven't killed all that many people.."

    "How--" he began. Then he had to stop to breath. "How many?"

    "Take a guess."

    "I don't have any idea," he said.

    "Well, she said, "you'll just have to guess. And you'll notice I haven't spent any time in prison."

    He was quiet.

    "Guess," she said.

    James said, "Ten?"

    "No."

    He waited.

    "More than ten?"

    "Maybe."

    "More than ten," he said.

    "Well, all right. Less than ten."

    "Less than ten," he said.

    "Guess," she said.

    "No."

    "Eight."

    "No, not eight."

    "Six?"

    "Not six."

    "Five?"

    "Five and a half people," she said. "You almost hit it right on the button."

    "Five and a half people," James said.

    "Right. A kid who was hitchhiking, like me; a guy at a gas station; a dog that must've got lost--I count him as the half; another guy at a gas station; a guy that took me to a motel and made an obscene gesture to me; and the guy at the diner. That makes five and a half."

    "Five and a half," James said.

    "You keep repeating everything I say. I wish you'd quit that."

    He wiped his hand across his mouth and then feigned a cough to keep from having to speak.

    "Five and a half people," she said, turning a little in the seat, putter her knees up on the dash. "Have you ever met anybody like me? Tell the truth."

    "No," James said, "nobody."

    "Just think about it, James. You can say you rode with Harleen Quinzel. You can tell your grandchildren."

    He was afraid to say anything to this, for fear of changing the delicate balance of the thought. Yet he knew the worst mistake would be to say nothing at all. He was beginning to sense something of the cunning that he would need to survive, even as he knew that the slightest miscalculation might mean the end of him. He said, with fake wonder, "I knew Harleen Quinzel."

    She said, "Think of it."

    "Something," he said.

    And she sat farther down in the seat. "Amazing."

    @Red Panda said: To Be Continued...

  • @JabbaDaHuttX7 said: There are plenty of things wrong with this story. First of all, the 'flow' of the narrative feels aimless; there's plenty of back-and-forth pointless banter and it seems like you have no idea where the story is going. The character descriptions are also quite superficial, akin to "This is a beautiful girl" or "This is my ideal concept of what a character from my personal fantasy is like."

    As others have mentioned, it's strange that a college graduate aged fellow's first thoughts are to bonk a girl who, as you mentioned yourself, was 'just old enough for high school' (that's like, what, fourteen?). On an abandoned road? I am not against the portrayal of pedophiles, hebephiles or what-have-you in fiction but it seems to me like the narrator (you) was completely oblivious to any age gaps between the character and the reader while attempting to portray her in an attractive/desirable light, or any age related differences for a (possible) ensuing relationship between the two lead characters, for that matter. Which leads me to believe that:

    A) This piece of prose was created by a small boy of a similar age to the female lead.

    B) You're a pedophile. In which case I hope the moderators take a look at your posts and alert the local authorities as soon as possible.

    Either way, this story sucks. May you stick to poetry in prison (because I do not care for poetry.)

    Look, I can't sit here and explain a story that people don't read fully and that isn't even finished.

    Like, there is not an abandoned road in my story. That shows me you're not paying attention.

    I get people want a reliable narrator, a really likable protagonist, and just familiarity in general.

    To personally attack me and call me a pedophile I actually find offensive. That's a very serious charge.

    First, I write. I'm not the narrator. That's freshman level English.

    Second, there he was thinking about having sex with her, but it never got explicit and was never brought up again. Not even hints of it. And it serves as tension: here is this guy with a dirty mind with a girl who kills men she thinks has dirty minds.

    Third, this isn't even a love story. There's no romance. There's not even touching.

    Fourth, I honestly think this story is above some people's head. They can't understand it. They don't read a lot, especially serious fiction, and it catches them off guard.

    Name a book for adults and I'll point out some screwed up shit that happens. In the "Kite Runner" there is a scene when a boy rapes another. That book was a best seller. In "50 Shades of Grey" the rich guy is a stalker-ish person. That book is wildly popular. In "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" the main character gets raped. Another best seller. What I'm presenting is very mild.

    I can't please everyone. You don't like it then don't read it. That simple. Just coming here, talking shit, ranting, with vague "this sucks" isn't useful. You're just being a jerk, like other people. It's not helpful, it's just trolling.

  • pot calling the kettle black ...

    i guess the mods areletting this continue cos as other have said your putting your energy in to your own public rant thread which is mildy connected to the walking dead..

    but i wonder with some of your posts are actually typed up by someone older than you, cos the grammar your use varies it's more accurate in your normal troll posts or rebuttals than in your story..

    and incase you didn't know the book world is probably the pickiest most analy retentive profession when it comes to perfection of spelling/grammar and flow.

    as you say these 'mature books' may of been about dark stuff or taboo subjects but they are well written unlike your work.

    being vague in a book is a big no no, since there are only words to go on you have to describe everything but with out droning on about it what your doing to akin to quick fire sentences that do not blend together it's almost like you took a shot gun to a couple of books and picked up the biggest pieces of what remains and posted them..

    check out my save carley page and see my fan fics

  • All I can say is, if I were writing it, it'd be something more like this:

    James had just crossed into Texas from Oklahoma and was heading west when he noticed a female figure in the distance. At least he thought it was a female figure – there weren’t many curves to the body, but the walk was definitely feminine. He wondered if offering her a ride would be any kinder than letting her walk. After all, he was driving a beat up Toyota Camry with a slew of internal problems, including a broken AC and no radio. Plus the crack in the windshield didn’t help much with the view.

    But as soon as the kid turned around he couldn’t say no. She couldn’t be older than 14, if that. What in the hell was a kid doing walking down this little-traveled road? Something in the back of his mind nettled him. If she’s out here, miles from any town, she’s nothing but trouble. Again he almost passed her up, but the big smile she gave him as she stuck out the thumb on one hand and began to wave with the other halted him.

    He pulled over and rolled down the passenger window, but he didn’t unlock the door. “Where you headed?” He asked, as he observed her attire. She was wearing jeans and a shawl-styled shirt. Seemed practical enough. Dumb kid was probably running away because she had a fight with her parents and thought that she’d just pull the sleeves up when she got too hot. James didn’t miss being a teenager at all.

    “Wherever you’re headed.” She said. Something in her voice put the hair on the back of his neck up. There was something jaded about her, something too-adult. He didn’t like it. She’s just a kid. He told himself. Could you live with yourself if you left her here to die of exposure?

    “Well, I’m thinking about heading to L.A.” James said. “I don’t have any place to be, so I’m still not sure. Where are you from?”
    “Why do you care? L.A. sounds great.” She tugged at the door handle and frowned when it didn’t open. “Aren’t you going to give me a ride?” She pouted, trying to look sexy. James shook his head. This kid was going to get herself killed if he let her stay out here.
    “Sure, kid. Hop in.” He unlocked the door. She was in, seat belt on, purse beside her, lunch bag in lap in a flash.

    For a while, they were silent. James though back to when he was 14, about a million years ago, it seemed. He had been a wild kid, too. He’d done his fair share of ditching school and running away. That was before college, before jail. His face darkened at the thought. Maybe he still was a dumb kid. Getting into a bar fight and spending a couple of months in the county jail wasn’t exactly the adult thing to do. Now, with his “college career” on hold and his father recently deceased, he had no ties to any place. His family was gone, he wasn’t in school, and his father had left him a little money. It wasn’t a lot, only one-hundred-thousand dollars, but it was enough to start a new life.
    His stomach rumbled, interrupting the silence. He glanced at the crumbled paper bag in the girl’s lap. “What you got in there?” He hoped it was two double hamburgers. Maybe some fries, too.

    “Nothing!” The girl nearly shouted. She griped the bag tighter, making it smaller, trying to hide it in her hands. “Nothing,” she said again, more calmly. “Just another shirt.”
    “Uh-huh.” James eyed her more carefully. Her clothes were old, cheap, but the handbag was real leather, expensive. “So you ran away with nothing but your designer handbag and an extra shirt? Was it spur of the moment?”
    “How do you know it’s designer?” She asked, a cruel smirk touching her lips. “You gay? I thought real men didn’t care about that sort of thing?”
    James hit the brakes. What he wanted to say was, ‘You ungrateful little shit, you have some nerve to talk shit to someone doing you a favor!’ What he did say was, “Excuse me?” His voice was pure venom.

    The smirk had become an uncertain grimace. “What?” She barked, trying her best to sound tough. “It’s just an observation, is all.”
    “Well, keep observations like that to yourself. If you don’t want to talk that’s fine. But keep in mind that the only reason I’m taking you anywhere is because I know your dumb ass would die out here alone.”
    The girl didn’t look at him, instead she stared down at her hands as she said, “I’m sorry…What was your name?”
    “James.” He said tersely.
    “I’m sorry, James. I won’t be any trouble to you, I promise. I just want a ride.”
    “Fine.” He said, but he was worried. There was no way this kid wouldn’t be trouble.

    To be continued…

    Also, I'd like to point out that I make my living ghost writing. If you ever want to hire me, I'd be willing to give you a frinemy discount. :D

  • Is there any zombies/walkers in this story? Is it even in TWD universe?

  • Are you joking? Who would actually read through all of this? Before someone says "me", I get it soem people have no lives but I dont come on the forums to read a novel.

This discussion has been closed.