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NotQuiteCockney!

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SinCity Tue 07-Oct-08 20:30:27

My email keeps crashing hmm here is the revised chapter you said you would look at Thanks again, sorry about having to post it on here again.

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Jacob sat on David’s unmade bed, watching as he half heartedly packed clothes into a tatty old rucksack. As he looked around the room, he realised how much of David’s personality had been ripped out when the rock music posters had come off the wall, the drawers had been emptied and the miniature horror movie figures had been cleared off the shelf. Now the room was abandoned, cold and bare.

“So you’re really going then?” Jacob asked.
“yep” replied David, not lifting his head as he spoke.
“This is stupid, you have no money, nowhere to stay, you’re going to get yourself killed”

David picked up a photograph in a dirty silver frame from his bedside table. The baby girl in the picture was Brooke, his niece who had been born six months earlier to his 14 year old sister, Danielle.
“Dying young is not unique to London, mate” David said as he shoved the photograph roughly into his bag before zipping it closed, a look of indifference on his face.
“I can lend you some money….”
“I don’t need money” David replied abruptly. He then lifted his head and softened his expression slightly. “But thanks anyway”.

David stood up and threw the bag onto the bed next to Jacob. He walked over to the other side of the small room, opened a drawer and pulled something out.
“Here, something to remember me by when I’m rich and famous” he laughed as he handed a small, clay figure to Jacob. It was the ‘Bogie Man’ that he had made in pottery class two years ago. Jacob tried to fight back a tear which stung his eye but it glided down his cheek stubbornly. Quickly, he wiped it away with the sleeve of his sweater.
“You soft shit, I know you’re all ‘emo’ these days but don’t cry over me for gods sake!” David laughed.
“Seriously Dave, where are you going to stay when you get there? You can’t just sleep on the streets of London, you’re 16. It’s stupid…” Jacob protested.
“Things always have a way of working out and anyway, anywhere is better than here, trust me” David said as he lifted the rucksack from the bed and headed to the door.
“You coming? Or you staying here?” he added, with a slight grin.

Jacob took one last look around the mostly empty room and headed to the door where David stood glancing over what had been his home for the past 16 years. However bad that home had been.
“Are you letting your parents know?” Jacob asked as they walked out onto the small, cramped hallway.
“No, they won’t notice I’m gone”
“Don’t be stupid, of course they’ll notice”
“Trust me, they won’t notice and if they did, they wouldn’t care. Wait here a minute, I need to speak to Danielle” said David, placing the rucksack on the floor at the top of the stairs before knocking lighting on Danielle‘s bedroom door. Jacob waited outside as David entered the room and closed the door behind him. It was a cheaply built house, owned by the council with paper thin walls and hollow doors and as Jacob leant against the stair banister, he clearly heard the conversation inside Danielle’s room.

“Please don’t, don’t leave me on my own. Why can’t I come too?” Danielle asked in a trembling voice.
“Because you have to look after Brooke. I don’t have anywhere to stay when I get there, we can’t bring her up on the streets. Don’t be so bloody stupid”. David argued.
“Maybe … maybe Jacob would look after her…” Danielle whispered. Jacob’s heart skipped a beat. Surely she couldn’t be serious?
“Have you heard yourself? He’s 16, he’s going to college in a few weeks, why the hell would he want to take on someone else’s kid at his age?? She’s your baby, you have to look after her!” David said.
“But how can you just leave like this? Just walk out and leave us? I hate it here”
“I know, I’m sorry. Listen, I’m a selfish bastard and I’m doing it for myself. I admit that, but I am sorry”.

Jacob admired how David was always completely honest and truthful, although sometimes a little too truthful he thought.

“Not sorry enough to stay though … ?” Danielle asked quietly.
“No, but once I get somewhere to stay, I’ll come back for you”
“You’re full of shit” Danielle snapped.
“The world is full of shit, you just have to get used to it instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and expecting it to change” David said.
Jacob heard footsteps moving towards the door. He turned his head the other way in an attempt to disguise the fact that he had been listening to their conversation. The door opened and David emerged, looking as always, completely emotionless.
He grabbed his rucksack off the floor and headed down the narrow staircase.

Jacob followed him. As usual, he tried to avoid standing on the piles of dirty clothes which lined the stairs and tried not to breathe too deeply as the stench of nicotine, mouldy food and baby urine filled the air. As they reached the bottom of the stairs and headed out through the front door, Jacob almost breathed a sigh of relief to be able to breathe freely again without worrying about what was going in to his lungs. He hated himself for feeling this way, it was almost like the school bullies who would worry about ‘catching something’ if they stood too close to David but the air inside his house really was hard to tolerate.

They walked solemnly down the garden path before coming to an awkward standstill at the gate. Jacob tried desperately to think of something to say but silence seemed the safer option. Finally, David spoke.

“Thanks mate, you know … for everything”
“Anytime” Jacob replied with a false smile.
“When I find somewhere to stay, you can come down … we’ll have a laugh” David promised. Jacob nodded his head to silently agree but deep down, he knew this would be the last time he saw David.
“Look after yourself Dave, don’t do anything stupid”
“Look after my sister Jake, she needs you”. David said, his intense eyes penetrating Jacobs stare.
“I’ll try”

With that, David smiled before turning around and heading down the street. Jacob watched him as he went, his old jeans which were blatantly too small for him, his stained jacket and his small rucksack holding everything that meant anything to him. He fought back more tears, knowing David would not approve of such soppy behaviour and as he disappeared around the corner and out of sight, Jacob turned and walked in the opposite direction.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 17-Oct-08 07:24:30

Oh, sorry, just saw this now. Sorry to hear your email is acting up, maybe try a webmail thing? (I couldn't live without email!)

Will look at this after school run etc - comments back today.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 17-Oct-08 08:09:19

Ok, here it is. My comments are in []s - let's hope that doesn't confuse MN.

Jacob sat on David’s unmade bed, watching as he half[-]heartedly packed clothes into a tatty old rucksack. [slight confusion - I would say 'sat on the unmade bed, watching David half-heartedly ...'] As he looked around the room, he realised how much of David’s personality had been ripped out when the rock music posters had come off the wall [nice], the drawers had been emptied [how much diff does empty drawers make? leave out?] and the miniature horror movie figures had been cleared off the shelf [nice]. Now the room was abandoned, cold and bare.

[wait, if he's half-heartedly packing - well, he's cleared everything out? bit conflicting]

“So you’re really going then?” Jacob asked.
“yep” replied David, not lifting his head as he spoke.
“This is stupid, you have no money, nowhere to stay, you’re going to get yourself killed”

David picked up a photograph in a dirty silver frame from his bedside table. The baby girl in the picture was Brooke, his niece who had been born six months earlier to his 14 year old sister, Danielle.
“Dying young is not unique to London, mate” [voice is a bit changed here] David said as he shoved the photograph roughly into his bag before zipping it closed, a look of indifference on his face. [what is a look of indifference? Not specific enough. I'd say 'with a blank face'? Or something like that.]
“I can lend you some money….”
“I don’t need money” David replied abruptly. He then lifted his head and softened his expression slightly. “But thanks anyway”. [nice]

David stood up and threw the bag onto the bed next to Jacob. He walked over to the other side of the small room, opened a drawer and pulled something out.
“Here, something to remember me by when I’m rich and famous” he laughed as he handed a small, clay figure to Jacob. [handed? or tossed? he's on the other side of the room, right?] It was the ‘Bogie Man’ that he had made in pottery class two years ago. Jacob tried to fight back a tear which stung his eye but it glided down his cheek stubbornly. [glide stubbornly?] Quickly, he wiped it away with the sleeve of his sweater.
“You soft shit, I know you’re all ‘emo’ these days but don’t cry over me for gods sake!” David laughed. [nice]
“Seriously Dave, where are you going to stay when you get there? You can’t just sleep on the streets of London, you’re 16. It’s stupid…” Jacob protested.
“Things always have a way of working out and anyway, anywhere is better than here, trust me” David said as he lifted the rucksack from the bed and headed to the door.
“You coming? Or you staying here?” he added, with a slight grin.

Jacob took one last look around the mostly empty room and headed to the door where David stood glancing over what had been his home [glancing over his home] for the past 16 years. However bad that home had been.
“Are you letting your parents know?” Jacob asked as they walked out onto the small, cramped hallway.
“No, they won’t notice I’m gone”
“Don’t be stupid, of course they’ll notice”
“Trust me, they won’t notice and if they did, they wouldn’t care. Wait here a minute, I need to speak to Danielle” said David, placing the rucksack on the floor at the top of the stairs before knocking lighting on Danielle‘s bedroom door. Jacob waited outside as David entered the room and closed the door behind him. It was a cheaply built house, owned by the council [omit? too heavy-handed] with paper thin walls and hollow doors and as Jacob leant against the stair banister, he clearly heard the conversation inside Danielle’s room.

“Please don’t, don’t leave me on my own. Why can’t I come too?” Danielle asked in a trembling voice.
“Because you have to look after Brooke. I don’t have anywhere to stay when I get there, we can’t bring her up on the streets. Don’t be so bloody stupid”. David argued.
“Maybe … maybe Jacob would look after her…” Danielle whispered. Jacob’s heart skipped a beat. Surely she couldn’t be serious?
“Have you heard yourself? He’s 16, he’s going to college in a few weeks, why the hell would he want to take on someone else’s kid at his age?? She’s your baby, you have to look after her!” David said.
“But how can you just leave like this? Just walk out and leave us? I hate it here”
“I know, I’m sorry. Listen, I’m a selfish bastard and I’m doing it for myself. I admit that, but I am sorry”.

[I'm not sure I buy this convo - would a 16-year-old be this self-aware? wouldn't he just avoid his sister, or leave her a note? Or pick a fight with her?]

Jacob admired how David was always completely honest and truthful, although sometimes a little too truthful he thought.

“Not sorry enough to stay though … ?” Danielle asked quietly.
“No, but once I get somewhere to stay, I’ll come back for you”
“You’re full of shit” Danielle snapped.
“The world is full of shit, you just have to get used to it instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and expecting it to change” David said. [nice]
Jacob heard footsteps moving towards the door. He turned his head the other way in an attempt to disguise the fact that he had been listening to their conversation [awk - He moved his head to hide the fact he'd been listening in?]. The door opened and David emerged, looking as always, completely emotionless. [surely, he wasn't looking emotionless inside the room? I'd say looking, again, completely emotionless - or, better still, concrete description of his face.]
He grabbed his rucksack off the floor and headed down the narrow staircase.

Jacob followed him. As usual, he tried to avoid standing on the piles of dirty clothes which lined the stairs and tried not to breathe too deeply as the stench of nicotine, mouldy food and baby urine [does baby urine smell different from the regular kind? Does it smell strong enough to overpower ther rest? Wouldn't you smell the baby poo more?] filled the air. As they reached the bottom of the stairs and headed out through the front door, Jacob almost breathed a sigh of relief to be able to breathe freely again without worrying about what was going in to his lungs [I'd just have him take a deep breath - bit heavy-handed this bit]. He hated himself for feeling this way, it was almost like the school bullies who would worry about ‘catching something’ if they stood too close to David but the air inside his house really was hard to tolerate. [voice problem 'tolerate' - stand?]

They walked solemnly down the garden path before coming to an awkward standstill at the gate. Jacob tried desperately to think of something to say but silence seemed the safer option. Finally, David spoke.

“Thanks mate, you know … for everything”
“Anytime” Jacob replied with a false smile.
“When I find somewhere to stay, you can come down … we’ll have a laugh” David promised. Jacob nodded his head to silently agree but deep down, he knew this would be the last time he saw David.
“Look after yourself Dave, don’t do anything stupid”
“Look after my sister Jake, she needs you”. David said, his intense eyes penetrating Jacobs stare.
“I’ll try”

With that, David smiled before turning around and heading down the street. Jacob watched him as he went, his old jeans which were blatantly too small for him, his stained jacket and his small rucksack holding everything that meant anything to him. [wait - he's got all the posters, all his clothes, that picture, and the movie figurines in it? Or has he sold some of them?] He fought back more tears, knowing David would not approve of such soppy behaviour[.] and as he disappeared around the corner and out of sight, Jacob turned and walked in the opposite direction.

[I like this bit, it works better than the classroom one. More concrete details are needed - your POV is pretty clear, and the characters are interesting. I'd talk about where David is looking, maybe, or more concretely about his facial expression or body language (shrugging, hunched shoulders, whatever). I don't totally buy the conversation with his sister - yes, he'd feel selfish and guilty, but wouldn't a normal boy pick a fight in response to that? I know his USP is that he is bright etc etc, but I can't imagine someone being this emotionally competant, raised in the family he's clearly been raised in. I think him getting angry at her, because he feels guilty, or avoiding her entirely, would ring more true.]

GhostlySinCity Tue 21-Oct-08 13:37:43

Thanks again Notquite, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this!
I agree about the convo with the sister. I think I might take that part out.

I'm totally stuck on this story now though, it seems to have hit a dead end sad

NotQuiteCockney Tue 21-Oct-08 19:43:56

Work on something else?

I have about 10 tiny bits (ideas, snippets, longer pieces) ... actually, I lie, last week I had 10 tiny bits, this week we had a new exercise and now I have 15. Whoops.

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