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HellishWhiskers
Mar 29, 2012

She was an awkward girl


I've never done this before, so I'm sure that there'll be no regrets or shame. In.

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HellishWhiskers
Mar 29, 2012

She was an awkward girl


Distance
987 words + 1 word title

October 30th

Pension was late this month - again. Lousy bureaucracy - never works as intended. I should've never bought those bonds - would've stayed rich, never would've ended up here. Maybe that way, Kolya wouldn't be gone, either.

Martha has already gotten her check - something she just couldn't wait to brag about this morning. Annoying woman - the next time her sink clogs she'll have to look for someone else. I'm tired of being the building's gopher - been doing this for years, and all I get is ungratefulness and spite.

Boris Arkadyevich has been up to his devilry again. I'll have to look up if "Castling" is real or something he just cooked up to weasel out of a mate. Hogwash, I wager, though I finally convinced the old goat to try checkers tomorrow. I've been getting too worked-up over our games, that should let me calm down a bit.

October 31st

"Never played a game in his life," he says. "Must be beginner's luck," he says. God forbid I'll play anything with him again!

Pension check was in today, and not too soon - Boris Arkadyevich reminded me about the visit. Every year it happens, and every year I forget. I'll have to go down to the City to get the usual - chairs, plates, cots and whatnot. Thank God for the program - our building never had enough of that stuff for the visits and it was complete chaos every year until three years ago.

November 1st

The line was absolutely horrendous today - couldn't they spend a little more money on us? Always cutting corners, the tightwads. Nobody helped me load the stuff either - a bunch of young bucks and all they do is stand there, slack-jawed, while we do all the work - just as usual. The City is going to hell, or, maybe, it's just the price fixers getting rich off of the visits. Kolbasa is getting more and more expensive each year, and they got rid of the veterans' discount - how is a man supposed to feed his guests nowadays? I'm out of stamps, too, but, at least, I have the pension. Still, they should do something about that - got to write the Mayor about it.

Everybody's nervous, as usual this time of year. The militia is out and about, too - the visitors get a bit rowdy, occasionally. It's like it's in in the air, or something. Even Boris Arkadyevich was out of sorts today - I won twice, which is more than I usually do. It's odd - every year the day comes and goes and life goes on. What's there to worry about? It's not like there's something new to say, something new to learn, and, yet, everyone's like a hamster before a snake - enthralled and useless. I wish I could just leave for the day, but the rules won't allow it. Besides, it's rude to let others handle your burden. Martha did, two years ago, and we know how that turned out. Just get through the day, and it'll be over before you know it.

November 2nd

Spent the day mucking about and polishing the coins. They help keep Dad occupied, and he always loves the new additions, although he loves the stories behind them even more. He looked good and was cheerier than usual. I'm guessing that he's finally getting used to the situation.

At about nine, there was a whole lot of shouting from Martha's apartment. Annoying woman - year after year, she just can't keep it down. I had to go and calm her down a bit - her husband just stood there with that apologetic look on his face. What a sad, sad man. Not my business what happens between those two, but I just wish they would finally square it away.

Just like the last year, Lada asked me if I "wanted to know." Hah. Her "memories", as she calls them - what's the point? I refused for so many years, yet she keeps asking me over and over again. It doesn't even make too much sense. She would know what I'd say without asking me anyway, yet there she is, that sad half-smile of hers, her eyes full of pity, year after year. Rubbish, the lot of it. I've gone on for this long, I can wait. I don't need her pity, either.

Kolya, now that's who I worry about the most. He isn't taking this very well, not at all. Getting more and more distant - there's simply no talking to him. He just sits there and stares past me like a blind dog without a bone. Can't blame the youngster for wanting this to be over and done with, but I can't help but worry that it's more than that. I wish I could help him - Lada doesn't seem to care too much, and I don't think she ever did anyway.

Before she left, Lada told me to not worry about Kolya. "He simply has a hard time adjusting to everything," she said. "You can't help him," she said. I couldn't take that - had to leave for a breather. They weren't there when I came back.

November 3rd

The Twenties' 5-zloty coin arrived today. What a shame - it missed Dad just by one day. Boris Arkadyevich's visit went fairly smoothly, or so he says himself. Tried to get me to tell him about mine in detail, the old devil, but I know how that game goes. Martha came by - wanted to thank me for help yesterday. Silly. Better not forget to pick up the new tap tomorrow, otherwise I'd look like a fool, showing up at her place with nothing. If she wants to pay for the job, I won't take the money. It isn't proper, and I'm just doing what's right - we all need help, sometimes.

HellishWhiskers fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2013 around 07:08

HellishWhiskers
Mar 29, 2012

She was an awkward girl


Oxxidation posted:

Distance (HellishWhiskers)

Oh God, the hyphens, theyíre coming straight at me, I had a dream it would end this way

Seriously, I donít love hyphens, I just tell them that to get them into bed, but when you find yourself abusing a punctuation mark to this extent you should really backtrack and break up some of those clauses with periods and such. They loving wrecked the pacing, which is a shame, because the story itself isnít half badóitís badly in need of some editing to trim out the extraneous sentiments, and it needs a stronger conclusion, but the tone is unwavering and captures that weary Russian charm too well for me to hate the piece outright. This is really one that you should get back to later. Maybe itís just because overbearing gloom gives me a great big hard-on, but I see potential here under all the hypens.

Bad Seafood posted:


HellishWhiskers - Distance

You know - there's just something about this piece that really bugs me. Can't quite put my finger on it - but I'm sure it'll come to me in time. I'll keep you posted - okay?

I actually thought this one started off strong but lost its way a bit as it went along. The sharp and short prose near the beginning lends itself well to the quick and dirty thoughts of someone recounting time in between being irritated at the people he lives with. I think if you did this again with a sparser style all around it would come across much more fittingly.

Much obliged for the crits - this is my very first time writing pretty much anything ever, plus English is quite the second language for me (I'm *gasp* from Moldova and speak mostly Russian). I was fairly dissatisfied with the conclusion myself, but I, being the lazy ponce that I am, chased myself into the corner of having to finish the bloody thing without being able to better flesh it out. Still, I'm fairly surprised that I didn't end up with a sawblade in my forehead just because of that.

HellishWhiskers
Mar 29, 2012

She was an awkward girl


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