Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drop The Needle 36

TITLE: Spook


I stood in front of the sheet-covered mirror over my dresser. I had shut off the light, a cool breeze blew in through the window.

The door to my room opened, and the silhouette of my mother's head appeared against the light in the hallway.

"Yeah, I'm here," I said.

My mother flipped on the overhead. "What's with you and the dark?"

Fastening my belt and banding my shoulder-length hair back into a tail, I glanced at her with my good eye. I figured she should know the answer to that by now.

She watched me closely, one hand on the doorknob, the other covering the light switch. Her graying hair and blotchy skin made her look ten years older than the thirty-eight years she was.

"I like it that way," I said, walking past her and picking up my brown work shirt lying on the bed.

My mother jerked her head at the mirror. "I can't stand when you do that."

I kept my eyes on my shirt as I buttoned it.

My mother went over and pulled the blue sheet off the mirror, tossing it over her arm. "You're a beautiful boy," she said, patting it down.

I hated when she coddled me which was, at least, once a day. "I'm eighteen," I said. "I'm not a baby."

I walked over and closed the window, shutting out the fresh air.

Her hand fell on my back, curling like a claw.


  1. Yep. You're description of Mom works for me here. I get the sense that she's really caring, if not doting, and it seems like she's doing everything in this scene to get the MC to feel better about himself. The last line about the claw threw me off, though.

  2. I think I got a good sense of their relationship, if not Derek's mom so much. What stood out about her is that she looks older than she is. I liked the claw line, it shows the stress she's under as well. It made me think of Rocky Dennis, honestly, although I can tell by the title it's quite different.

  3. I think the last line defines mother the best. Good work.

  4. The mother seems concerned for her son and conflicted. She comes across well. The last line is wonderful. On the whole, I learned more about Derek from the scene. From this short piece, I love him as a character.

  5. Some of the phrasing, and the typos I found kinda threw my focus away from the characters. The mom seems like a typical mom, just offering comfort without saying really saying much; nothing fresh or unique to her characterization, IMHO.

  6. I think the description of Mom works for me. She wants what is best for him, but they have different ideas as to what that is. I'd love to read more of this.

  7. I got more of a sense of the MC than his mother in this. He comes across as a surly teen, but his mother seems more like a piece of the scenery than a character -- until that very last sentence. That was a bit spooky. What's up with the claw?

  8. I got a strong sense of the MC, but I was surprised that it was a boy. I think the talk about mirror and clothes pointed me in that direction. The mother sounds intriguing. Is she a witch, or just a witchy mother?

  9. I'm thinking the mother is the SC.

    The scene seems to tell me more about Derek, the MC, than about his mother. Just a few hints about her come through: That she doesn't like him covering the mirror. The orderly gesture of patting the sheet over her arm.

    Her hand on his back, like a that was a surprise. Maybe she's not the nice stereotypical mom after all?

  10. Good eye? He has a bad eye? What happened.

    Is he horribly disfigured, hence the covered mirror?

    Is Mom crazy? One minute sweet, the next evil?

    Since we don't know where in the MS this scene is, these questions could have already been answered, but if it is the beginning, I'd definitely be reading on.

    :) Terri

  11. Without knowing why the mc has the mirror covered and a "good eye" (implying a bad one) - I don't know if Mom is a stereotypical mom or if she's torturing him. That last line makes me wonder which it is.


  12. Derek seems really weird....his mum is the SC, there isn't much to gauge her character on, but she loves him, and hates what he's doing.

  13. I'm guessing the mom is the SC. I didn't get too much of a sense of her from this scene - seemed pretty typical.

  14. This is great.

    My impression is that Derek is on the Vamp side of things, hence the darkness and covered mirror, and his mom's starting to put two and two together.

    The only quibble that I could think of is the description of her for whatever reason made me think of Norman Bates in his "I'm my own mother" get up. I couldn't tell you why...

    Another thing is the last line -

    Her hand fell on my back, curling like a claw.

    The "fell on my back" doesn't work for me, because I imagined her hand falling from the ceiling.

    The good thing is I was able to see her two ways - dangerous from Derek's perspective and sympathetic from a further off pov (I mean, if I were her and just realized that my son was a vamp, I would freak out and it would take a certain level of courage to confront him).

  15. Thought about it a little more on a second read.

    I might have been reading too many vamp books lately, which is why I jumped to that conclusion.

    On SECOND thought, you do have clues hinting as a Phantom of the Opera disfigurement type thing. The good eye, darkness so he doesn't have to look at himself, covering the mirror so he doesn't see his reflection, his mother anxious to boost his confidence and make him see himself as she (pretends?) to see him. And she's ticked off in the end by his attitude.

    Sorry about leaping to conclusions earlier.

  16. The description of the mom's attitude is great. She's very doting, and loving. I dont quite get the last line though. It didnt seem to fit...

  17. I think you define the mother very well--the last line especially shows, at least to be, she's borderline obsessed about her son even if she doesn't see it and only thinks she's caring and being protective of him.

    Nice job.