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The Marker. Need help/feedback with a short story!

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posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 05:30 PM
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Hi, first off thanks for even considering helping! This a short story submission I'm sending into a magazine, Palm-Sized Prompts. It's prompt states that your character needs to do something but doesn't have the right tool, so he has to improvise. Just looking for any feedback or fresh eyes to notice any inevitable errors, thanks!





Reaves donned the White shoe protectors and ducked under the tape, entering into the cramped apartment. He closed the door on the officer outside and walked past a room with a blood stained cradle, past a crumpled body of a teenage girl lying in the hallway.

“Reaves,” Detective Carter greeted him, a puff of smoke balling up towards the rotating fan above them as he spoke. Reaves eyes trailed it, taking in the specks of blood that covered the roof and walls. More rose from the bed in the far corner in lines and arcs.

“An unhappy ending, you think?” Carter smirked as he followed Reaves’ gaze to the naked body.

“You’re the Detective, you tell me.” Reaves let his gaze linger on the body, before taking out his notepad and beginning to scribble in it.

Carter leaned sideways, craning his neck to see what he was writing. Reaves tilted the notepad away, finished writing, and re-pocketed it. “You’ll see what it says in the report,” Reaves said facing him. Carter exhaled loudly, crunching the cigarette into an ashtray.

“Another one, huh?” Carter spoke after a minute, “this perp’ sure gets around fast.”

“Is that some sick type of admiration? This is the work of a sick mind, an evil son of a #.”

Carter moved fast. He grabbed Reaves by his collar, and pulled him close before Reaves had even blinked. “You listen here,” he whispered. “Don’t for a second think I wanted this to happen. You just keep your mouth shut and take those little # photos of yours and we can be on our merry way. OK?”

Carter released him, walked over to the window and leaned against the sill. Reaves breathed in deeply, calming himself. He laid his toolkit on the floor and flipped the switches back.

“No!” he moaned.

“What is it?”

“I must have switched cases with Ruiz at the station. There’s no markers in here.” Reaves scanned the room for something he could use, noticing a yellow box of matches on the floor two feet away. He leaned over and picked them up.

“Ah, don’t open that!” Carter began, shuffling forward as he dug through his pockets. “I think their mine.”

“I only need the cover for a marker, you can have the matches.” Reaves slid the box open, startling at the sight of a red lump of flesh lying where the matches should’ve been. He dropped the box, the lump of flesh falling out onto the floor. It was an ear. Reaves noticed writing on the box, barely noticeable under the blood.

Call me x.202-555-0131

Reaves looked up from the box in time to see Carter unholster his pistol and aim it right at him.

“I told you not to open it.” He muttered sadly. “Officer, get in here quick!” he shouted.

Reaves was still crouched down with his mouth hanging wide open when the officer ran in.

“Now Reaves, explain yourself!” demanded Carter, a smirk faintly visible on his lips.




posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 05:48 PM
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a reply to: RoryRahl23

Good writing, but are you sure it meets the criteria? "your character needs to do something but doesn't have the right tool, so he has to improvise". I don't think what your wrote is what they are looking for.

I could be dead wrong, I am not a writer, never entered anything like this and never seen Palm-Sized Prompts.




posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 05:50 PM
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a reply to: RoryRahl23

Crime scene contamination: smoking?
Matchbox : perhaps archaic, time period 50s maybe. Then police tape?

before disposable lighters became ubiquitous, after police tape, but before crime scene contamination prevention measures?

You might have to lose the shoe protectors and tape.



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 05:52 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

He's the photographer. His tool case would include a measuring scale. Matchbox would be a suitable substitute. Matchboxes have a standard size.



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

I have thought the same, not sure either. This is what it exactly says:

Your character is trying to complete an important task, but they are missing something vital. They need to improvise. What are they trying to do? What is missing? What do they adapt to use in the situation? Does their resourcefulness pay off?



perhaps I could introduce the missing marker soon, or do you think the concept of tool doesn't relate to the marker.

Thanks again, really appreciate it!



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: RoryRahl23



or do you think the concept of tool doesn't relate to the marker


It does but I think they want a lot of the story to be about the makeshift tool and the use of it. In your story it seems to be just a small detail.

Again I may not know WTF I am talking about



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: pthena

Good point, you are right about the 50's, in my head I had it envisioned as a Noir type setting. I will drop the shoe protectorss and tape. About the smoking, do cops not do this? I don't watch enough of the shows to have a clear idea of exactly how they'd go about it, I suppose these cops suit more the "Sin City" types.

Thanks for the help, I knew there were a few kinks to iron out but it's sometimes impossible to see them.



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:16 PM
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That was good. I suck at writing so I can't criticize, my stuff is pure dialog because I suck creating a scene. You made me see the room and the characters over all personalities. You have great talent. And all in under 2 pages... Amazing!



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

No I had the same thoughts alright, it is more focused on the dialogue and feels like it mentions the matchbox and a few paragraphs later it's over. Will give it some thought!

And everyone's a writer, some just don't know it yet



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: watchandwait410

Thank you, I appreciate the feedback!

I'm sure you are better than you think. I read somewhere that anyone who reads is automatically building up their skills, at being able to critique on other people's work or writing themselves.
edit on 10-3-2019 by RoryRahl23 because: I'm a NEWBIE



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:31 PM
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originally posted by: pthena
a reply to: LookingAtMars

He's the photographer. His tool case would include a measuring scale. Matchbox would be a suitable substitute. Matchboxes have a standard size.


What I was having a hard time envisioning is an ear fitting in a matchbox.

Unless it was the infant's?



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari

Could well be! When I first typed it out it was just flesh, but then I thought that when a killer takes a memento (that's not right, there's another word for it) it wouldn't be just flesh, an ear made more sense. Thinking of it now though I don't believe he would take a body part, it's normally an item.

Thanks for reading BTW!



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: RoryRahl23

Trophy.



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: RoryRahl23

Trophy is the word, and I thought it a good read!



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 06:53 PM
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a reply to: Lumenari

Thanks!



posted on Mar, 10 2019 @ 08:06 PM
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a reply to: RoryRahl23

It was indeed a good read. Just make sure that the publication where you are entering your story, doesn't have a rule about previously published works. I would imagine just writing here might count? Copyright is confusing to me, so not sure on that.

Good luck with your writing endeavors!




posted on Mar, 11 2019 @ 05:17 AM
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a reply to: Night Star

Are these posts not locked to the public? Whoops... I think you might be right!



posted on Mar, 11 2019 @ 05:22 AM
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a reply to: Night Star

This is what it states on the website: "My submission has appeared on my personal blog/social media page, is it eligible to submit?

As long as you don’t have thousands of followers, it’s fine to send us your work."

So I think it might swing it. Oh yeah thanks for reading!



posted on Mar, 11 2019 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: RoryRahl23

Good, looks like you'll be ok then!





posted on Mar, 11 2019 @ 12:54 PM
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a reply to: Night Star

I edited it and submitted it. I took a lot of what everyone said on board, I won't put it into the thread though, not gonna push my luck with that!

If anything comes of it I'll be sure to link it in here.

Thanks to everyone who read!





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