An extract from my novel, The Searcher’s Want.

Hello

As promised I’ve posted some of the first chapter for one of my stories. It has only been through a few edits but I would some feedback on this little part to gage how it is so far. I’m planning on posting the second half of the chapter in the future. So…

The following is the first two and a bit pages of my NaNoWriMo 2012 started novel, The Searcher’s Want. It centre’s around a group of hunters or ‘Searchers’ who hunt down and kill demons across the UK. There are groups like this around the world but this focuses on the UK contingent based in Manchester. There are four different kinds of demon that all possess certain skills for death, destruction, and general chaos. This wasn’t why they were created but they have rebelled and over hundreds of years developed into a real threat to mankind. The searchers, led by their immortal leader the searcher general, find and kill these demons before they can cause any large scale damage.

The demons are responsible for most of the crimes that happen in the UK. The searchers work in secret to stop them. This extract sees our hero, Aaron Watch, in the middle of a search and kill order (mission) for a demon spotted in the Northern Quarter of Manchester.

Feedback is more than welcome. Note: The extract is 1332 words long.

The Searchers Want.

By John Robert Sermon.

 

                This particular demon had always been good at blending in with its surroundings. It has a well-constructed mask over its head to cover its true form along with stylish gloves to cover the talons. The way it dresses would lead you to think this catcher demon was just some fashionista type with too much money to burn and not enough sense.

No one in this fancy looking bar is paying much attention to it, or him as far as they could see, except maybe for the barman who was making good tips. You would have to look to the far end of the bar to find someone who cared. The searcher is keeping a close eye on his prey. Aaron Watch has a job to do.

“Can I buy you a drink?” she asked the demon after watching him for quite some time. The bar was busy for a Tuesday night. The ‘Mox’ bar was a place known to be an easy pick up spot for anyone looking for something that didn’t mean anything.

“I would say you can. Whiskey please. On the rocks.” The demon said. They had become very good at sounding charming, sophisticated, and most importantly, attractive.

“Coming right up. Oh barman, service please?” Aaron knew from looking at her that she is prime meat. She’s tall with an ample chest and backside to match. All this was just about held in by a tight, ill-fitting dress which showed it all off. He also spotted how pretty she was and the look in her eye.  The type of girl you met in this bar all looked as if they were destined for something greater but got very lost along the way.

“You shouldn’t stare you know.” A woman said as she leaned in and blocked Aaron’s view. The bar curved round so he could sit at the end of it and watch discreetly. He had always been good at spotting women who fancied the look of him and moving away whilst on a search and kill. Aaron was not a great looking man but he was nice enough and a lot of women thought so too. Every so often he would take advantage of this but not on this night.

“You shouldn’t talk to strangers.” He replied before taking a big gulp of water.

“I could change that for you if you like?” she said leaning in a little more. Aaron hadn’t taken a proper look at her yet as he was trying to keep as much of his eye as possible on the target. The demon was still at the bar and had just started to drink his newly acquired drink.

“And how could you change it?” Aaron asked turning to face her. What struck him first was the look in her eye. It seemed to be of forced desperation which put him on his guard. She wasn’t the best looking woman he’d seen but she did have nice, light brown skin and high cheeks bones. She was another woman who was ample chested and round bummed but in this case it was all in proportion, unlike the catcher’s possible prey. These kinds of women could either be prostitutes or actual women. It was difficult to tell.

“By flirting with you a little bit.” She was an actual woman. She was clean and had bright, searching eyes. He could tell she had not let her soul go so cold.

“You’re a cheeky one aren’t you?” He said with a smile. Aaron had a slightly chiselled jaw and nice teeth. His brown hair touched his ears in a by design scruffy way. She took her time eyeing him up at close range which he liked. If she kept smiling, he was in. If she became serious, she would be polite until she got her drink and then she would make an excuse. He learned this long before becoming a searcher.

“Do you like that?” she purred leaning in a little bit more. Aaron suddenly realised where he’d seen this before. He glanced over at his catcher demon, still entertaining his ample and potential meal, and glanced back at his. She matched his glances.

“That’s Sarah. She had her eye on you as soon you walked in. We’ve both been without men for a while so we figured we’d help each other out. I however, when asked to chat you up for her, decided I wanted you instead. She then spotted the hunch back at the bar and went straight over. He’s cute, but you’re sexy.” Her eyes changed as she finished talking. In truth, he wasn’t really listening. He was making sure his demon was occupied. He couldn’t take the demon out and kill it until it did something. If the demon walked out with Sarah he’d have to follow. This would mean that he would have to walk out with his woman and when all four of them met for the first time, the demon would run having immediately identified that he was a searcher. Searchers can identify demons from a long distance whereas demons can identify searchers from a short distance. It’s something Aaron wanted to avoid. He liked to kill his demons quickly and without them really knowing what had hit them.

“You keep looking over there. What can I do to keep you looking over here?” She said brushing her hands against her chest. Aaron was interested and to find a woman who looked like she did and wasn’t a prostitute wasn’t something that happened every day.

“Could I have your number?” He said hoping to get the number and leave. He would wait outside for the demon and kill it there.

“You can but under one condition. You kiss me in such a way that would make me want to see you again?”

“Kiss you in such a way? You don’t usually come here do you? Or dress so revealingly.” At this her face changed and she noticeably calmed down. He had an inkling she was putting on an act from the start. He glanced over and he could see that the demon was starting to charm Sarah now. It was the start of his move.

“No I don’t. I’m a secretary at a law firm in town. I usually wear suits or just casual jeans and the like. I only came here because Sarah wanted to and she is in the mood for sex.”

“That’s fair enough but you don’t have to dress like this. You could come in wearing your pyjamas and still be the prettiest woman in the room.” A more natural looking smile crossed her face and she leaned back taking something out of her handbag from over her shoulder.

“Here. It’s my business card. Call me and we’ll have a proper date.”

“Yes we will.” He’d been told enough times that he’s a ‘smooth operator’ but never really understood it. She stood up and straightened her long brown hair a little before putting some behind her ear. She walked off towards Sarah and the demon. Aaron looked at the card. Isabella Woodley. Williams Kim & Associates Barristers and Solicitors. “Isabella.” He put the card in his pocket and looked back at the demon. Isabella walked over and put a hand gently on Sarah’s shoulder and whispered into her ear. Sarah nodded and as Isabella turned to walk away spotted something on the demons neck. Aaron knew what it was immediately. Some of its mask was coming away to reveal the purple scaly skin underneath.

“What is that?” Sarah said looking frightened. Isabella looked over at me and frowned. Did she know this was why I was spying on him? Instinctively, Aaron got up and started to walk over to them. The demon turned and spotted Aaron, downed his drink, and quickly walked out of the bar. As Aaron passed them, trying to look casual before a full on pursuit began, Isabella continued to frown as she watched him leave.

Thanking you and moving forward.

Hello all,

My last post concerned the first page of the novel I’ve started to write, and will pick up again soon until it’s finished, from NaNoWriMo 2013. I asked for constructive feedback and received it quickly and efficiently. It will always amaze me how in some cases complete strangers can be extremely helpful. In this and in life in general. Anyway…

I would like to thank, in no particular order, Quinne Darkover (awesome name) who sent me, in a separate attachment, in the margin feedback on my story sample. It was very helpful and when I go to edit my story I will refer to your comments thoroughly. Sean Cleary, who is always helpful with feedback and straight to the point which is what I prefer for this type of thing, Lori Fetters Lopez ( @fetterslopez ) who gave me a very good insight as per usual. She also mentioned about passive voice use which has shaped my edit massively. Always reliable. Prof Godel Fishbreath (another good name) who gave me some food for thought regarding my starting paragraph. And my good friend and new follower to this blog, Leigh Yeats ( http://iseethingstwice.wordpress.com/ ), who advised me well and showed me some good reference material and feedback regarding passive voice use. Thank you to you all.

So, from all of this I have gone over the page and made some adjustments. Most of them were making it read in the active voice and not the passive where applicable. I always seem to have trouble with this. I know what the difference is between active and passive voice but I always seem to forget about it at the crucial time. When I’m writing! It is very annoying but that’s why I asked for feedback. Otherwise I would be walking around thinking I had the voices in the bag.

Okidoke, I’m going to leave you now. Going to go and continue reading Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which is shaping up to be epic. I’ll be looking at my story again tomorrow so I’ll let you know how that goes. Hopefully I won’t go nuts and decide to change the whole thing. From what the feedback so far has told me, it’s pretty solid. And I agree.

Bye Bye

To be rude or not to be rude?

Hello

Over the past week or so I’ve only done any writing on one day. I know it’s not very much but I found myself either busy, hung-over or doing chores. I probably could’ve done more writing in-between but I’ll make up for it over the next week. Don’t you worry.

Within the writing I actually managed to do, I found myself with the task of writing an ‘after sex’ scene. I had contemplated writing an actual sex scene but I prefer to let the reader imagine what went on between the sheets. Although on second thought I’m not so sure.

This scene was from my vampire myth story and concerned the main female character and one of the chief male support characters. Amanda and Peter are having an affair behind their friend Marks, and other chief male support character, back. They all work at the same Admin Company and were all friends with the lead male character of the story, Bruce. Bruce knew about the affair but kept it a secret as he was close with Amanda. Now that he has become the End Solution and the United Kingdom’s only recognised vampire (of sorts), Amanda has chosen to try and find him to make sure he is ok. Mark is willing to help her But Peter is not. Even with all this Amanda continues to see Peter. I think you know enough now.

It starts inside a room of the hotel they usually use. Both are discussing Bruce and their particular views on the subject. This is mostly to enhance Amanda’s need to find him and to show that Peter is against it. It’s all about character building people! Anyway, throughout the scene they are naked as I don’t think two people, who only really have sex and barely don’t do anything together when Mark isn’t there, would be too bothered about walking around in such a way.

Now I’m getting to the title of this here post and the end of it.

I was considering re-writing the scene with a bit more happening as they are naked. But I don’t think this is in keeping with the tone of the whole story so far. However, it could act as I a bit of a twist in the tone that could set up the same kind of twist in tone sporadically throughout the book for impact. So, my question is this…

Do you think it’s a good idea to be explicit, shocking, drastic et al in stories just for effect or should it always be in line with the tone of the story?

Your feedback would be awesome.

Bye

 

A new short story of mine.

Hello

This is a short story I finished a few months ago. I’ve been over it many times but would like a fresh view and feedback if possible.

It’s about a man who has lived all his life with a high pain thresh hold. This means he doesn’t feel the cold or the heat in the same way that everyone else does. He can feel these things but only at the last minute. He has felt trapped and lonely for most of his life so far. Until he decides to go for a run one Saturday morning…

The doctors have never been able to fully diagnose his condition. They settled on an extremely high pain thresh hold but it did not explain why he could not completely feel hot or cold temperatures. He is twenty nine years old, six foot tall, has short blonde hair and a nice looking face. His name is Oliver. There is no known cure for him.

“They won’t treat you differently.” his pixie like mother said one Friday morning in the kitchen.

“How do you know?” He replied. She looked around nervously and then back into his eyes. He gave her a kiss on the cheek but before he could leave she gave him a warm hug.

Oliver’s job was to distribute work to the employees of a small administration company. None of them knew about his condition. He and reluctantly his parents decided that only they would know. Oliver consequently only let a few people into his life at any given time through fear of being looked at or treated differently. He thought some people might find it cool but he didn’t want to take that chance.

“I can’t come out after work mate; I’m cooking dinner for my Mrs” His Italian looking friend Peter said. Oliver nodded and said they’d do it another time. He always felt lonely when Peter did anything with his other half. He felt the same way whenever he saw a couple holding hands. He quietly made his way home.

“Oliver!” his dad said from the bottom of the stairs. He had fallen asleep in the bath again which to him felt like he was wrapped in a slimy blob from the neck down. He only got out and got dressed after seeing how shrivelled up his body had become. “What’s that on your hand, son?” his dad said as he got to the bottom of the stairs. His dad was a short, portly, overly concerned man who fussed over him a lot. Oliver knew he was just trying to be his friend so he didn’t object.

“Oh, I burned myself the other day. It’s alright now though.” He said looking at the red mark on the outside of his right little finger. He burnt it whilst frying some bacon and as always only moved his hand when it was too late. He’d felt the pain but only at the last possibly second. He did like being able to withstand high amounts of pain but what he really wanted was to be mindful of going near a fire or being out in the cold for too long.

The following morning he decided to go for a run. As he was running on a clear Saturday morning he spotted a fire engine up the street. Getting closer he saw the wild flames climbing up the house next to it and remembered to stay back because of the heat. He looked up and saw a room and heard the cries of a baby inside.

Oliver knew he had a good chance of saving the baby. He quickly ran into the house and climbed the now almost completely fire ridden stairs. He knocked the door down and grabbed the baby as the smoke began to build. It made him cough ferociously as the stairs collapsed with an almighty bang. He went back into the baby’s room and shouted down to the firemen. They quickly sent up a ladder and brought them to safety.

“Can’t you feel that?” the mother said after taking the baby and hugging the life out of him. A news reporter and camera had appeared just behind her. Oliver looked down and saw numerous red marks on his legs and arms. He had briefly forgotten he was wearing shorts and t-shirt.

“Not completely. I can’t feel hot or cold.” He said without thinking. He’d never felt happier than after saying those six little words. It was as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
In the following weeks he became a local celebrity. He received an invitation to attend a nerve damage conference and accepted it for his mother’s sake. Peter insisted he go along with him. They sat down and waited for it to start.

“Hello, I’m Michelle.” A cute brunette girl with a flower in her hair said as she sat down next to him. She put out her hand and he was reluctant to shake it. “It’s ok. I can’t feel hot or cold either.”

Another draft of a short story of mine.

Hello

This is another draft of my take on the vampire myth entitled ‘The End Solution’. I have posted one draft before in a previous post if you feel like comparing them.

Feedback would be awesome. Thank You

End Solution.

This attention following my unwanted rise to fame is running me ragged. They keep coming thick and fast even though they swear they mean me no harm. How can riot police scream such a phrase? I’m sure they can’t find me in here. I need to take my mind off this so I can relax and try to recover. I’ll do my usual trick. But I think I’ll commit my rebirth to this note book I took from them. I’m not about to let them get away with anything. Once I get things sorted, they’ll be sorry they ever tried to stop me.

Work was what it was; Nice but a bore. I could do everything on my team without really thinking about it which is standard when working in administration for over a year. The internet became half of my working day as a result. I was always just biding my time in that place. There’s only so many times you can be told something will come around so keep up the good work before slowly beginning to lose your will to live. Though thankfully my friends help me stay alive.

“Hey, Avenly. Get some work done! I don’t pay you to look at the news.’ Peter said this usually once or twice a day when ever one of the higher ups walked passed. He would then come over and read the news with me closely followed by Amanda and Mark. We were close friends and had had many a good night out together. I tried to go and see them but no matter how much control I think I have, it still isn’t enough. I watched them have a drink a few weeks ago before Amanda turned round and clocked me. I managed to run away before she came out to find me.

What the government has done to me fills me with a mixture of anger and hope. Anger that they would do such things to normal people just because they were different and feel they have the right to and hope because I can use what they did to me to put the country right. I realise the power I have but all I need is a complete plan. I can smell the ones that need to be killed but do I go at it randomly or in some kind of order?

The day I was created always goes through my head along with those bloody news reports. They established long ago that each person who committed a fatal act had a chemical in their blood that facilitated such an act. The tests they ran on the volunteers, who turned out to be criminals that were forced into it for their freedom, conclusively showed that this chemical could be removed and they could re-enter society without any threat to anyone. The volunteers were never freed at all. My visit to the government building to read and take some documentation on the subject some five days ago, which has increased the number of police after me,  showed me that some of them were found to act ‘in an undignified manner’ and were exterminated because of it. The documents show exactly what they did to my creator and the two hundred thousand. I won’t let them get away with this.

From my desk I could see the building where those tests had been conducted and are still probably being conducted now. The question I always had was how would they locate and extract the chemical. I thought I’d be happy knowing the answer, but now that I do and I am the answer, happiness is far from how I feel.

I left work that day and went passed the building to go home. It’s an ominous thing to look at with its Lord of the Rings style two towers that seemed to glare down on people. Every so often the light would catch it and it almost looked like the towers had eyes. I continued until I saw the crowd outside its main entrance as usual. They were always there trying to get information or complaining about the tests they were doing even though till that point it had clearly made the country a better place. I can see their side of things now.

I glanced up at the windows of the smaller office building that joined the two towers together and saw my creator running wildly through the corridor. I was frozen in shock. I can’t believe that that was all I could do. How small of a man was I until this all happened? I can’t imagine acting like that now.

He blasted through the main doors of the building with a wild and confused look in his eyes. Hair everywhere and whatever wasn’t covered by hair was covered by blood. People were screaming and running but I just couldn’t bloody move. I wondered why he was in such a state which gave him enough time to reach me. I tried to move but his grip was too much. His eyes seemed to say that he’d chosen me as he jumped and easily knocked me to the ground. When I tried to get him off me with my meagre strength he looked me in the eye and I couldn’t and still can’t really believe it. Was that happiness in his eyes? Like he was happy to attack me? I know now that he was. Still in shock I allowed him to bite me and though it lasted only a minute I felt its effects immediately.

It felt like he was sucking and blowing on my neck. Taking blood out and putting it back in again to mix it with mine was what it was. When he jumped off me I could feel it course through my body immediately and I had the overwhelming feeling that I was constantly drinking my favourite drink but as I drank my thirst increased. It was as glorious as it was painful. I miss that feeling and the few I’ve fed on so far haven’t come close. I fell to the ground and as I got back up, the feeling changed. A distinct odour filled my nose and made my fingers tingle. It was the same feeling I got whenever I caught the smell of my favourite cake being made or meal being cooked. As people ran past, still screaming and frightened, they all gave off the same odour. I leant against a nearby pole and just took the smell in. It was like nothing I’d ever smelt before. It was the chemical coursing through their veins.

I received a text message from Amanda which said something like ‘Hey Bruce RU ok? I can see people running around. If UR ok, we’re going for a drink in the usual place xx’. I genuinely thought to myself, Why not? I could have one drink and smell my friends. That has to go down as the best and worst thought I’ve ever had. As I casually strolled back through the crowd towards them standing outside work I noticed a few people directing horrified looks at my neck. As far as I could tell the blood flow had stopped but my neck and shoulder were covered along with most of the right side of my shirt. I suddenly felt weak at the knees and then it happened.

Everyone around me became irresistible and I had to suck the chemical out of all of them. I started to run but my knees wouldn’t let me. As I slowly got towards my friends they all smelt the same. The smell became more intense as I got my knees back and ran past them. The worried looks they gave me still haunt my dreams and I think Amanda shouted after me but I’ll never know.

Reports came to light later on, which differ from what I stole surprisingly, said that not everyone that had the chemical extracted had committed a Fatal Act. Two hundred thousand separate cases of people wrongly accused of fatal acts that had had the chemical extracted became completely different people. This quickly fuelled the countries news. But the country showed how fickle it could be when it forgot about the two hundred thousand after the discovery of my existence when the man who had bitten me, a ‘volunteer ‘and my creator was found. He eventually killed himself but only after revealing my full name and who I worked for. I always got teased about forgetting to remove my work badge when I left the building, maybe I should’ve listened.

I now know that I can accurately tell who will and who won’t commit a fatal act. I’m the ‘End Solution’. My creator was a prototype and the ‘End Solution’ can determine who’ll commit a fatal act and deal with it accordingly. They are completely unbiased as the chemical has never ‘Soiled their blood stream’. I’ve never had the chemical in my system so I’d never commit a fatal act which is why he chose me. He was the last experiment to go wrong and when he bit me I became the first one to go right.

They want me to return so badly and will do anything they can to help. I know that if I do return, they will apparently make me a ‘national hero’. All I can see in being a ‘national hero’ is being experimented on no matter how they sugar coat it. I’m not turning out like my creator or the two hundred thousand and why should I? With the power I have, I could rule the world.

I’ve been roaming around now for the past three months. I fed on a few people who had strong chemical smells coming from them and who turned out to be career criminals. I can walk near people, who all smell divine, and not attack them but I can only do this for six hours or so before wanting to drink them all. The only time I’ll be able to return is when I’m in complete control. Whatever they did to my creator has consequently made me gain muscle and my senses are much sharper. Thinking of which, I can smell them again. How did they find me? ‘