Thursday, November 16, 2017

Drop the Needle #2

TITLE: A Terrible Thing
GENRE: Adult Horror

Walter finds his best friend Ellyn at the top of her homemade rock-climbing wall. He’s afraid of heights, but he’s more afraid of staying put.

He was sweating within the first ten feet. Like he’d hit the halfway point of a marathon in the dead of summer, his clothes were positively sticky. The wind blew harder twenty feet up than it had on solid ground, though he doubted that explained why his arms and legs shook the way they did. It would have been easier if he’d been able to put any weight on his right foot, but a lot of things would have been easier had he not had a reason to hop into bed with Oliver.

Ellyn hollered down encouragements, but at thirty feet, forty feet, Walter’s head swam too much, his heart crashed too hard to give her the attention she deserved. Then a hand grabbed his. Calloused and chalky, a rush of sweet warmth swept through him, and he pulled himself up and over the wall, flopped down onto the plywood floor. She rolled him over and pulled his head into her lap. She rubbed her hands through his hair, laughing.

“God, you are so gross!”

He smiled weakly. She returned it with a grin, only she was looking at him upside down.

“Still tough to believe people pay to do that.” His heart continued to va-boom, but he expected that when he was with Ellyn McAdams. But he did not expect her to kiss him. Soft at first, but then harder, more urgent, and now he was off his back and she was on hers. She tapped him on the arm. He stopped.

“Sorry,” he said.

“Lenny’s inside.”


  1. Nice scene! I love his emotions as he climbs the rock wall. Perhaps a little bit more - after the "deserved" - of that sensation while he climbs? Does he look down behind him? And then the what-the-wha? of a kiss at the end surprised me. He gets all riled and ready and she's like, "time to go!". Maybe describe the kiss a bit more? Is her hair poking out of a helmet and dangling in and tickling his face? But I also like this cut-off could-have-been kiss as well. I'm also left wondering what the story is with Oliver. Good job!

  2. Don't have any nitpicks really. This is nice! Sounds interesting! I agree with Jean. We could have a few more reaction shots so to speak. What does she do when she realizes he's gross and she has sweat on her fingers from running her hands through his hair? What does he do when they are suddenly not kissing anymore. Is he breathless? Do his lips feel swollen?

  3. I'm kinda confused. :( "It would have been easier if he’d been able to put any weight on his right foot, but a lot of things would have been easier had he not had a reason to hop into bed with Oliver." This sentence is very heavy. I had to read it over several times because of its structure, and its meaning. Who is Oliver? Solid imagery. I can easily visualize the climb and his body's physicality. I like the sweat (though the 'positively sticky' made me giggle) and the heart action, and I'm a sucker for an upside down kiss. Nice! Definitely want to read more! Also...find out about the horror!

  4. I think the idea here works, but I didn't feel a lot of emotion here, and I think it's because he doesn't come across as interested in her in this excerpt. It's all about the wall and climbing, and when he does think about someone, it's Oliver, who he's already slept with. There's nothing here that says he's interested in her until almost the end, and it's just a statement, - he expected that when he was with Ellyn.

    Perhaps consider showing the scene instead of telling it. Get us inside his head. What is he thinking, feeling? How is his body reacting to her? Is she the only reason he is climbing that wall? Make us feel like he really wants her and she wants him.

    On another note, you have him flop over the wall and fall to the plywood floor. He's 40 feet up. That's 3- 4 stories high. You may want revise there.

  5. I think it's a hard scene to jump straight to since we don't know anything about Oliver and why his foot hurts etc, but the writing was great. Definitely got a feel for how he felt about climbing a wall haha! The last paragraph, I actually missed that she really did kiss him the first time, since "he did not expect her to kiss him" I didn't realize that is in fact what she was doing. Great job!

  6. I’m not sure how much sexual *tension* there is here, it’s more of a sudden “boom” kind of thing? I think we need more emotional content after they roll over, just a sentence or two to make the reader *feel* what exactly the tap is putting a stop to. You did a really good job with the start of that paragraph, but then it feels like it just… stops. And I also agree with another commenter that it would be nice to see a quick reaction shot of Ellyn just before the kiss.

    In other news, there are a couple of places where it feels like something is not connected in the right place… “calloused and chalky,” for instance, definitely belongs in the previous sentence, and I think “Lenny’s inside” would flow better right after she taps him on the arm. Overall, it's a nice scene and I think I'd enjoy spending more time with these characters.