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The Devil's Pen

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Question: which version of this story did you prefer?
version 2 - 0 (0%)
version 3 - 9 (100%)
Total Voters: 9

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Author Topic: The Devil's Pen  (Read 1929 times)
Stacy Dohm
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2007, 03:52:27 am »

You know, I heard that Robert E. Howard only wrote his Conan stories cause the ghost of Conan was standing oover him, "haunting" him. Cool, huh?
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2007, 04:16:39 am »

I tell you what I wouldn't want Conan breathing down on my neck, the guy Howard wrote about makes arnold look like a, forgive my french a "****."

Well, He did think that the stories were coming from outside of him, but all writers do (I shouldn't say that, it is to broad a generalization.) He was fascinated by the picts and cast then as the oldest type surviving race from the antideluvian world.

Almost all his heroes where cast in that conan type mold, kull and bran mak morn for instance. He did speculate about it having to do with his own past lives.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 07:53:30 am by unknown » Report Spam   Logged

"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
Jennifer O'Dell
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2007, 03:09:53 am »

I read both versions of the story. The second version kicks ass (so far anyway).  The first version you might actually be better off turning into a poem, Unknown, as it has all the elements needed - irony, violence, stuff like that...
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unknown
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2007, 03:29:20 am »

Hi Jennifer

How are you, hon? Grin

It would make a good poem wouldn't it?

I'm glad you like it so far Jennifer, I changed it around a little bit again, but I am little unsure about what I am going to do with the ending.
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2007, 12:34:59 pm »

The Devil's Pen  1


My name is William Hargrove, The year of our Lord 1827, October, the seventeenth, I do solemnly swear upon my honor and before almighty God, that this is a true and accurate account of the events of my life.

I do freely and willingly confess to unspeakable acts of villainy and debauchery. Which are the result of various defaults in my character; defaults that show me to be a base, and vile creature. You will not hear from me vain justifications for what I have done, or pleas for mercy. What I have done, I have done.

An untamed beast lives and breathes just below the surface of us all, straining against the confines imposed on it by our polite and mannerly society, the beast waits beneath the mask.

This is both a warning and a plea to those whose lives are ruled by passion. Pay heed to the warning in my sad tale, and hereafter build your lives on the rock of reason, and take every advantage from this sure and sound footing. Oh, brothers, dear sweet sisters let not the ravings of the insatiable beast we call emotion get its claws into you. Lock the ravening beast away that rages with carnal desire. Lock it away in a cage of adamantine will. Then cast away that key forever.

***

It was a less then a year ago today, and yet it seems that it was another man entirely, that stood before the podium receiving awards, an acclamations. My future seemed as bright and hopeful as any young man’s and I was filled with exuberance as professor Peacock handed me my Doctorate in Literature. I remember the words of the balding and rotund old scholar, as if they where spoken yesterday, “"Congratulations William, I should say Mr. Hargrove, you are bound for a bright and distinguished future, I and the other professor's have gathered together our meager resources to buy you this." He then presented me with the most exquisite instrument of the writer’s art that I had ever beheld: long and flowing, gracefully balanced, sharp and golden tipped. "This is for the marvelous outpouring of inspiring and profound works you have produced while attending this University, and we hope it will remind you of your alma mater when you become rich and famous! We also hope it will inspire you...to give generously!" he said laughingly. I stammered some words of thanks and appreciation to my doting professors and the crowd cheered as he grabbed me and lifted me bodily from the stage in his bear-like grip.

It was the glorious climax of my youthful life. A lofty height of self-fulfillment and pride that I would never reach again, but my mind was not upon this once in a lifetime moment, no my mind revolved around Suzette, always and forever-sweet Suzette. I turned my back on my doting Professors, I ran from hard won friendships cultivated over ten long years. Ten long years of hard work and difficult trials at the Academy had finally borne fruit, but I was to blind to see it. I ran off the stage not even bothering to stop and congratulate anyone, I ignored old friends who tried to wave me over and who obviously wanted to celebrate our moment of triumph.

Nothing could stop me from rushing to Suzette, and once their I would unfurl my love for her like a banner and wrap her in the glorious folds of my love’s embrace forever, as my Bride. Oh sweet Suzette, whose wondrous charms could enchant the devil himself and that delighted me beyond--what even the noblest efforts of the poet's pen, could ever hope to paint upon a literary canvas. I flew along the winding narrow streets to her door. Each fleeting moment was a torment, an agony without my sweet Suzette, my mind pleaded, my heart ached-so, I must be with her at once, I must get to the door that holds behind it my hearts ambition, my life’s desire, and my dream forever, my sweet Suzette.

***

We stood where we always met to be alone together. It was just beneath an old and distinguished gentlemanly oak, the last surviving member of the old oak forest that once covered these rolling hills, It stood well over a hundred feet tall, its branches forked out at twenty feet above the ground, it stretched one mighty limb across a small stream that ran lazily through the manicured grounds of the Estate. The moonlight played a soft and wondrous sonata of light and shadow upon Suzette’s lustrous hair as it gently rustled in the breeze. Her eyes of green were torturing me, tormenting me with a mischievous sparkle; Her lips-oh the sweet lips of Suzette; so delicately carved by the hand of God, so rich, so moist, so full of the promise of sensual delights, oh and when those lips move to speak; the angels are stunned to hear the soft and wondrous sweet trebled tones of my Suzette. "William, I am so very proud of you, Congratulations” she said, “My father will be pleased. Perhaps he can be convinced to throw a celebration party in your honor. I have a brand new dress that he bought me and I am just dying for an excuse to wear it."

“Let us not speak of your father tonight Suzette.” I said, “Let us think and speak only of each other.”

I held her soft girlish charms firmly against my body; my soul weeping in joy at her touch, “I love you, I think of you only, day and night. I cannot eat, I cannot sleep, and my mind is on you always and forever, sweet Suzette.”

“Oh my William, you are such a romantic devil, do you so shamelessly use that silver tongue of yours, on all the girls,” she laughed.

She began torturing me with kisses that flowed warm and sweet like summer wine, intoxicating me with passion. My heart pumped; my loins ached and my head reeled in delirium. I could stand it no longer. “I only dream of you, I want you to be my bride, say that we may be together always and forever Suzette.” I fell down on my knees, for I worshipped her above all things in heaven, above all things on earth: she was my earth mother, my moonlit virgin goddess.

“William, I am to young to marry!” She looked down upon me astounded, then pulling away and turning her back to me “Besides I cannot marry you without my father's permission and you know how he feels about poets! He loathes them. He thinks they are the lowest type of man, all light headed and dreamy eyed, practically useless.”

I rushed to hold her once again, I reached out and held her around her tender waist from behind, pulling her slowly against me once more nuzzling my face in the tantalizing sensuousness of her hair. Breathing heavily almost panting, pulsating with pleasure, my mind enthralled by the sinful suggestiveness of this embrace, “You are not to young to marry,” I whispered in husky voice. “I know that you will be sixteen this coming May.” I begged, “Please Suzette I love you more than any man has ever loved a woman, I would die a thousand agonizing deaths for you, I would sell my everlasting soul to win your love,”

“I don’t want to hurt you William. I am very fond of you, I am!” She said breaking free from my arms, she turned and looked deeply into my eyes. “But I cannot marry you. My father means to make the best match for me, in his eyes that means a man of wealth, of power and you have neither, William. Perhaps if you went to my father and asked him for a job, in a few years if you do well, he might consider the match.” She said in a soft and almost apologetic tone.

"Suzette,” I pleaded, “I am nothing if not a poet. Could you marry a man who was nothing, I cannot wait years, I can hardly wait another day, one more hour is an agony you cannot fathom,"

"Hah,” she said angrily, shaking her finger at me, “William you are a lying scoundrel! You say you would sell your soul for me. But to win me, you will not even take an honest job! It is but a small thing I ask.”

“A SMALL THING!” I yelled in my frustration,” To you perhaps, but If I gave up my poetry then what have I to offer you. For then I would only be a hollow reed of a man, a ghostly shell. A puppet from which the strings had been cut falling to the stage, never to rise again.” I knew I could never make her realize that what she asked from me was more than my soul. What she asked of me was to relinquish the divine spark entirely, to become nothing forever.

“You think you can change my mind with flowery phrases and stupid metaphors!” Suzette yelled back angrily, “I am not some brainless twit, William. You either take a job with my father or I don’t want to see you again.”

“I would do anything for you Suzette, anything foul or fair. But this--this I cannot do, it would destroy us both in the end. It would turn my all-consuming love to cruel, vengeful hate.”

“Bloody Christ William, get a hold of yourself, I mean it. You have a choice? Well?”

“I can’t” I replied.

Oh, it was then, and it was there that my dreams of loves sweet bliss were shattered, like the sparkling glass upon the rough and jagged stone. She didn’t love me, I new it then, she was infatuated with the idea of being with a poet, but it was not what she really wanted. Now that I think back on it, perhaps all she wanted was to hurt her father, who she seemed to talk about incessantly.

What a tragic, fateful day it was, why did my greatest triumph have to come upon the same day, in the very same hour as my most bitter defeat! Oh cruel and wicked fate that cast its baleful glare upon me. That brought me to the threshold of heaven's glorious, pearly gate, then sent me crashing head long to ruin against the muddy mundane earth. The pain was too bitter, the grief like bile ate at my heart. My soul turned sour in that dismal hour of despair.

***

I drank myself to sleep every night and started up again as soon as I awoke. I had become a drunken leach, a wanton cynic almost overnight. Strange as it is to relate something very real had changed within me. For the first time in my life I had no desire to write. I gave up the beliefs of a lifetime discarding them like you would an old shoe with a hole in sole. I no longer believed in myself, in God, in love, in honor. In fact I quit believing in anything noble or decent, anything that raises us just a little above the beasts of the field.

My reasoning was that I was a fool to continue to play societies little game for I had already played and lost, and the stakes were quite high for I lost the only thing that really mattered to me. My old life was gone, my world shattered beyond all hope of recall. So what did I care if my soul became stained with vices unnumbered and inequities mounting up so high they toppled over on an astonished moon. So I suppose it is not that surprising after all, that I gave up my belief in the fanciful lies they tell to children, lies of justice, ha, and of righteousness, of chastity, and purity for what are they really but coercion. No, the illusory world of honor, no longer held any allure for me. Yes I had become the lying scoundrel she had accused me of being and more, much more.

The man without a vice, is a man who hasn't given that vice a chance yet. I should know, I have tasted each and every one of them that stuck my fickle fancy. But I shall not try and recall them all here, all the meaningless nights of drunken debauchery, of the wild and often dangerous search for forbidden and sinful pleasures. Suffice it to say, I have spent many a night in gambling halls, opium dens and the like… since the day of my graduation. I have chased every winking barmaid. I fondled every round and tempting bum. I mercilessly attempted to seduce every female old, young, thin, round, dark or fair, I didn't care, for what did it matter…it mattered not at all.

What purpose would it serve, to recount violent, desperate back alley couplings, or the nights dancing naked as a savage at sabot bonfires, the unholy orgies in the Mortimer Family Crypt, that filled to overflowing with the delightfully degenerate and the irrepressibly depraved. Why should I confess every detail of the nights I spent reveling in strange carnal delights with knowing, wanton, warm and willing ladies of the evening? What purpose would it serve to enumerate my arrests for drunken brawling, public indecency and the like? I couldn’t even tell you for sure how much coin I extravagantly, carelessly cast away at Madame Rousseau’s House of Pain. Ah, what a wonderful venue it would have made De Sade himself blush. But what I can tell you is that the last of my meager inheritance was gone by this time. Suffice it to say, that of these things I am guilty and much, much more.

I shunned all my former associates like the plague, all the tall up standing men, and all the polite and chaste woman who used to call me friend. Their world was foreign to me now; it was far too full of cheerfulness and pleasant looks, too full of dreams and quaint ideals that now turned my stomach so. I preferred the company of base born, crude and malodorous men, and loose women who sold their charms for good honest coin, stamped by the realm, and not for a vow and a band of gold to display around a finger.

***

I was evicted from my flat. The landlady screaming and throwing things at me yelling “Get out, get out, you filthy son of a ****!” I didn’t really pay that much attention to her tirade. I guess, I realized all along that it was only a matter of time before I would be out in the street. I gathered up what meager belongings I still had or could carry with me, and took one last look around. There upon the table lay the pen, the reminder of another life. “I should be able to get quite a bit for this beauty, perhaps I shall get drunk tonight after all,” I remember thinking. If only I had sold it then, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to part with the exquisite, well balanced, long and flowing golden tipped pen.

I made my way out into the streets the pretty little flower girls were pedaling their pretty little flowers, the street vendors shouting out in practiced harmonies to lure the buyer to their wares. As I wandered aimlessly unbeknownst to me, my feet chose to tread a familiar coarse and I stumbled upon the old church on Harrington Lane, where I had spent many a Sunday morn.

I saw her, sweet Suzette her father was handing her up into a carriage. Then all my pain and anguish came flooding back, my head throbbed, my breathing short, my heart squeezed in a vice. I fell to my knees in an agony indescribable; people gathered round they wanted me to see a doctor, how could they know how useless a doctor was for what ailed me? I was only fooling myself no matter what depths of depravity I sunk to, no matter how drunk I got, I could never forget her.

I knew she would always be there, Her mischievously sparkling green eyes taunting me, her delicately carved lips smiling seductively, her hair rustling in the moonlight. She was the cause and cure, for my fall from grace. I must have sweet Suzette no matter the cost, no matter the price, but how? Sweet Suzette shall be mine forever. I swore this by all the God's in the heavens above and all the tortured fiends beneath.

***

I brought the girl into the alley behind the Roosters Tale. A seedier dive you could not have hoped for. I held her luxurious raven black hair in my hand and stared into her intriguing coal black eyes, those eyes fascinated me. I imagined that no one could keep things hidden from those eyes; they must hold the secrets of the stars, of life, of death, perhaps of love itself. Her mouth was exquisite, ripe, plump and succulent with the most enticing little gap between her top two front teeth. Her name was Myra, she was a thin, taunt and lively little wench, and for some reason, I began to fondly think of her as my little gypsy secret keeper, when she had finished using that exquisite mouth of hers to pleasure me, I gave her good honest coin, stamped by the realm.

“My head floats in an unruly sea, tempest tossed and lisping from taking on too much bloody wine,” I said trying to think of something clever.

“You are in a lot of pain aren’t you mister?” She asked.

“Yes honey, but I’m in a lot less pain now, than I was a moment ago.”

“You’re funny,” Myra giggled, “I think I can help you, come with me.”

“I’d love to honey” I said, as I winked at her.

“Stop! she smiled and asked, "Can you afford a carriage?”

No Honey, but I could use a long walk anyway, it’ll help clear my head.”

We came to Myra’s camp just as the sun was setting in the sky. It presented us with an amazing display of the maker’s art, broad strokes of smoky deep purple, streaked with scintillating highlights of crimson and splashed nonchalantly with a melancholy vermilion, you out did yourself tonight old man. I said to myself as we drew closer to the wagons of that vagabond troubadour tribe. I violin played soft and haunting strains somewhere in the night. She made a series of hand signals as we neared, obviously to communicate with men set about the camp to guard it. The campfires were already burning in the fading sunlight and the women folk were cooking the evening meal, in heavy black iron pots hung from tripods over small stone encircled fires. The men were gather in small groups talking among themselves, or sitting on the steps of the circled wagons enjoying an evening smoke.

She walked up the back steps of a red and yellow painted wagon. It was longer and taller with more elaborate scrollwork then the rest of the wagons in the little caravan. Myra knocked. The round windowed door swung open slowly and there stood an elderly women, her white hair contrasting sharply with the red paisley kerchief she wore about her head. A string of gold necklaces about her withered neck. But what held my attention were the eyes she peered out at the world with, the same coal black knowing eyes that my little secret keeper had, “This is Esmeralda…William… Grandmother I have brought this man William to you, he is in need. Will you help him?”

She looked me over carefully, as if she was weighing my soul on scales in her old head. “Give me your hand, William” she said finally in a tired, world-weary voice, “Oh you poor man.” She sighed, “Be careful of this one Myra,” she warned. “You are a very passionate man William, I can easily see that, so very passionate it is killing you, eating you alive inside. Here I shall show you.” She traced a path with her wrinkled finger over my hand as she spoke. “You are unlucky in love your heart line is so deep, so strong, but severed. You are torn between two paths the lifeline diverges, both paths you deeply desire but the paths do not intersect. You shall be offered a choice, I have never seen the like…I cannot help you my boy, but you have my sympathy.”

“Is there no one who can help me?” I asked.

“Perhaps there is one, but I warn you it is very dangerous and foolish.” she said

“I can’t live like this!” I said.

“Very well, come back tomorrow night.”

***

I returned to the Camp the following afternoon, Myra ran out to greet me. “Hello William, It is all arranged. I will take you to the man who is to be your guide.”

“But where am I going Myra?” I asked

“Ha, ha, ha why to see Old Kate of coarse!”

“Why?” I asked confused.

“She knows things William, she maybe able to help you.”

I kissed her cheek and said, “Well, wish me luck.”

***

My guide was as black hearted a scoundrel as one would ever hope to meet. One had but to look into his eyes, to see he would cut your throat for a halfpence. He was a large bulky man with a shaggy mop of brownish black hair, perhaps six and half feet if he stood upright. For he was hunched and twisted, one eye completely white. You could still see the scar from the wound that had taken the sight from that eye. It stretched from the middle of his forehead to just below his left cheek. I have never met anyone who looked so much like he had just stepped out of a Penny Dreadful.

The eerie song of the whippoorwill accompanied us on our strange journey through the reedy marsh. My guide lifting his lantern high in the gloom and every so often he would sweep it from side to side as if looking for the path. How he found that path through that nasty foul smelling fen in the twilight mists is a mystery to me to this day. “What are those lights, there!’ I pointed out to our left.

“Them be, corpse candles. Don’t youse know nuffin,” He grumbled.

“What are corpse candles? My good man.”

“I hain’t your good man, I be Kate’s man, and if ‘n ya got any more damn questions youse can ask um a her. Yah limey bastard.”

***

It was well into the dark of the night when we reached the Witch's thatched and squalid hut. I feared for my life, for they could just as easily have cut my throat and taken my purse as answer my questions.

“What dosst thou sseek young massster? What bringesst thou to ol' Kate, a love potion perhapss, No, now I ssee your dessire, I ssee thy need is far, far greater.” Hissed the thin lips of this creature. I shall not say woman, for her tongue had the sibilant tones of the crafty serpent, the sound chilled me to the bone I shuddered with revulsion. The bridge of her nose was far to wide, the pupils of her eyes too narrow, too yellow. This was no daughter of Eve's. Some monstrous half-breed perhaps but bred with what?

“It iss not me thou seekesst, William but another, HE shall be there, waiting for thee at the crosssroadss, he knowss of thy plight and the impotencess of thy God.” “Ha, ha, haaa,” she cackled.

I doubted not her powers, an instant after being in her cold reptilian presence. Ol’ Kate gave me a time and a place where HE maybe found. I had sworn an oath not to reveal this to a living soul, on pain of her vengeance. The vengeance of this witch I fear worse than the law, worse Black Death itself.

***

I waited at the appointed time in the appointed place, an owl was hooting softly when HE appeared as a black robbed and hooded man. “You have something William which I am willing to bargain for.”

“What might that be?” I asked.

“First tell me what it is that you want?” HE said.

“I want Suzette!” I nearly screamed the emotions released just by saying it aloud overwhelmed me.

“That I’m afraid that is beyond even me, free will and all that, you understand. But perhaps I can help you to win her hand yourself. What is that in your pocket William Hargrove?”

“It is a pen.”

“No William it is a weapon, perhaps the most powerful weapon of all for with it you can sway minds, move armies and crumble empires. I thought that you being a poet might understand this.”

“I understand,” I said.

“No William, I don’t think you do, but never mind that, you did not come here for a philosophy lesson now did you? You came here because you are obsessed with a woman.
This is my offer; I will enchant this pen of yours so that it produces only masterworks of the highest caliber. Perhaps then you may discover for yourself the power of the pen.

What is it you want in return?

Come now William, don’t be drool, I shall see you again on the day of your death.

***

Long and flowing, gracefully balanced, sharp and golden tipped, yes I discovered the power of the pen for myself and it was a bitter lesson indeed, It has brought me wealth and fame. But what matters it…it matters not at all.

For I never really cared about wealth or fame; I had wanted to create, to bring something to life from my heart, from my mind, something that flowed from my own soul. But what flowed from the Pen were not my words and so it had taken from me that which I had refused to give up for sweet Suzette on my graduation day…my poetry, my divine spark.

I had thought the choice the Gypsy woman saw in my hand was the choice I was to make at the crossroads, but it was not. It was the choice I made when Suzette asked me to go to work for her father. I am guilty of being a fool, that and much, much more

So being a hollow reed of a man, a ghostly shell. I climb upon a chair and affix the noose about my neck and when I jump, I shall truly be a puppet from which the strings have been cut falling to the stage, never to rise again.

I love you always and forever my sweet Suzette.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 07:24:34 am by unknown » Report Spam   Logged

"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2007, 03:46:49 am »

hang down your head Tom Dully,
hang down your head and cry,
 hang down your head Tom Duly,
poor boy your bound to die

I met on a mountain, it was there I took her life
I met her on a mountain, stabbed her with my knife

hang down your head Tom Duly
hang down your head and cry

hang down your head Tom Duly,
poor boy your bound to die
« Last Edit: March 16, 2007, 08:16:16 am by unknown » Report Spam   Logged

"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
Veronica Poe
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2007, 04:17:01 am »

Well, I read the story so allow me to offer you my critique of the revised version.  Had me going till the end, at the end, however, the story loses itself.

He does not kill himself.  Not only is suicide an impractical solution to his problem in this case, dramatically, it simply doesn't work.

Suzette may be cute, but I can see nothing in her for a man to kill himself over. Her character doesn't come across as charming, enticing or even supportive. The fact that she ridicules his profession shows that they really didn't know one another well at all. From a psychological viewpoint, I find it always a bit sad that men (and women) always seem to be attracted to the people who treat them the worst.  That demonstates immaturity.

Now then, if he is killing himself over his inability to express himself any longer, that's a different story, and yet I really don't see that either.  Every writer gets writer's block occasionally, irritiating yes, but hardly worth killing one's self over. Half the challenge is trying to work it out. And yet, if he was actually using that as an excuse, we are feeling nothing of his agony towards the loss of his creativity, nor his loss of self.

Equally, I don't see him killing her either, which was in the earlier drafts. As I said, she simply isn't worth feeling that passionate about.

I think the story needs a new ending.  Perhaps no one kills anyone.  Perhaps the writer becomes quite successful with the devil's pen, Suzette wants him back because he is, and yet, because he sees her as she now is (not what he imagine her to be) he has none of it. That, to me would be the most logical ending of them all, though, I admit it would still need that ironic twist.

Peace,

Veronica

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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2007, 04:30:50 am »

Thank You Veronica

Thank you so much for that honest and thoughtful review. This was wonderfull of you, I was wondering whether the ending worked, and now I no.

the suicide doesn't work

the murder doesn't work

what am I going to do now?

Actually we don't really get to know Suzette at all and maybe that is a fault in the story. You have to remember to she is only fifteen.

This guy isn't very rational, he is totally self indulgent and lets his emotions rule him, also obsessed people usually can't think rational about there obsession thats what makes stalkers so dangerous,

Also I don't think the supernatural stuff is working very well either,

I think I need a couple more scenes before the end,
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2007, 04:44:35 am »

Don't get discouraged, it just needs a little tweaking is all, but you are right in that a suicide and/or murder simply doesn't work in this instance.

(A murder might work if it was simply a poem, as someone said earlier).

One question, had he been fooling around with barmaids before or after he broke up with Suzette?  If it was prior to that, I am afraid it would be unrealistic for him to have developed such an infatuation.  It's been my experience that most men who practice womanizing aren't snared quite so easily, and they wouldn't be by the chams of a 15 year old.  If she was some type of older seductress, perhaps. Beating someone at their own game, and all that.

His death would only work if, after she left him he was so crushed that he had lost the gift of writing he was so admant to not give up for her anyway.  Depression and death would naturally follow. I don't really like those types of stories.  Not only does it send a bad message, as I said, the girls simply isn't worth it - we are all simply just flesh is all, even the best of us.

Her death doesn't work unless it's done in a poem, and done in some ironic fashion.

The ending needs not something depressing, but "irony," and it doesn't matter in which way you get it, only that it works.

Also, remember a suicide is a bad way to end any story.  People read for escapism, never to be reminded of just how bad the world is.  I think all of us are al quite aware of that already.

Peace,

Veronica
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2007, 04:50:59 am »

He only starts all that stuff after she rejects him

what I want is something really scary, and centered around the pen

About him losing his ability to write, its more like he could write, but he is already known for the stuff that the devil pen writes, so he can't write his own stuff.

your right that doesn't work either, he could just not use the pen and try to make it on his own, after the Pen him really famous






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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2007, 05:17:49 am »

I think the story either has to be about one thing or the other - either the pen, or the rejection of the girl.  It could be about both if you were writing a novel, not so much if it remains a short story.

I doubt that he would still be that affected by the loss of her if had all that sexual history by the time he had seen her again.  He might, and we might be moved by his feelings for her, provided she was a nicer person, someone more human herself, and if she was just as tormented by the loss of him - that's love, though, and I'm not certain you really want to write a love story.

I hope I'm not making it sound like it as a lot of problems, it doesn't.  It holds your interest and it is quite good.  I just don't think that material concerning his sexual dalliances works all that well, nor do I believe the ending works.  As I said, it needs a bit more irony. Why not just try and come up with a new ending?

Peace,

Veronica
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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2007, 05:34:07 am »

Veronica

Well the girl is the motivation for him to get the Pen.

I'm stumped...

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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2007, 06:30:46 am »

Yes, but he doesn't seek the pen, it is thrust upon him:

Quote
“No William, I don’t think you do, but never mind that, you did not come here for a philosophy lesson now did you? You came here because you are obsessed with a woman.
This is my offer; I will enchant this pen of yours so that it produces only masterworks of the highest caliber. Perhaps then you may discover for yourself the power of the pen.


Nor does it actually help him get her back, does it? He may become rich and famous, but not very much is made of it. The pen may as well not be in the story at all if it's to be given such short shrift.

Perhaps you should change it so that the pen actually makes him incapable of writing again, that it was all a terrible trick to get him to give up all that he held dear.  He doesn't become rich and famous, he just dies.

Then, you would have some irony back in it again.  It would still be awfully depressing, but you'd have irony. 
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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2007, 06:48:47 am »

Veronica

You make an interesting point, there isn't enough about the pen in the story. You are right the pen is thrust upon him.

I am pretty sure he dies at the end, I would half to dump the intro to the story if he doesn't.

Its a question of under what circumstances and motivation cause his death.
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« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2007, 07:01:21 am »

That's another thing, don't make him hang  himself!  Hanging is too depressing.  Have you ever seen a dead body that's hung itself? Very grisly.

Pills, a car accident, even a death by firearms are all preferable to hanging, if you need to end it witrh a death (I'm not sure you do). 

I think you have an idea yourself what needs work and what is just fine, as I said, just needs a little tweaking.  Off to bed now.

Peace,

Veronica
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