Everyone says they want to write a book. However, either you don’t have to time, the ability, and the right idea (that someone hasn’t done already). I came up with the idea for what I think would be a great book, but I soon realized I have no idea how to actually write a book. All the best writers say one key is to practice over and over again. So, I decided that I would try to write a short story. Ender’s Game, one of my favorite books, started as a short story. So, here is my first attempt at writing something. It is hard for me to write anything without feeling that it is really lame, cheesy, and amateurish. I would appreciate and tips or constructive criticism.
Hit and Run
I heard myself take a deep breath. I do not know when I stopped breathing, but before I knew it my body took the breath it needed. For what seemed like an eternity, I stared at the lifeless body of my sister, my best friend, Emily.
I hoped that I was only imagining the gruesome scene before me. There seemed to be so much blood, and the right arm was bent in a way it is not meant to go. Then the driver of the van that had struck her suddenly sped off with tires spinning. Without realizing how I had gotten there, I was next to my sister’s side, trying to talk to her and will her to respond.
It already seemed to be too late to save her, but I could have be wrong. So, I called 911. It was all that I could do to think of the name of the street we were on. I did my best to answer her questions, but I knew that the only thing that mattered is that Emily got to a doctor as fast as possible. Only a miracle would save her if she was not already dead.
Very quickly, a small crowd had gathered, and one person trained in CPR asked for permission to help. I nodded my head through the tears that blurred my vision. The stranger performed CPR for what seemed like an eternity before the police and ambulance showed up. Then I woke up.
It had been six months since my sister was put into a coma by a hit-and-run, and still no one knew who hit Emily. For a long time I was depressed and angry. I barely left my room. I tried my best to distract from myself from painful memories, but no matter how hard I tried, they still came back to haunt me. Then, one day my memories seemed to materialize before me as I saw the very car that haunted my dreams. I had gone to the store to grab a few groceries for dinner when I walked right past the car I had seen a hundred times in my nightmares. I turned around and walked up closer to the van. I looked around and no one seemed to notice my interest in the van.
Someone tried to repair the damage done when the van struck Emily, but it wasn’t a perfect repair job. There seemed to be slight ripples in the metal, and the front grill seemed newer than the rest of the vehicle.This had to be the van that hit Emily. I decided to try to look into some of the other windows to see what I could learn about who was using the van before I called the detective assigned to my sister’s case. However, the door to the van opened before I could realize what was happening, and, from behind, someone pressed a strangely sweet smelling cloth to my face.
I realized my struggle had proved useless when I woke up a little while later, bound and gagged. I was in the back of van with a bag over my head which made it impossible to see and difficult to breath. I frantically struggled against my constraints, but they didn’t seem to loosen. I tried to toss the bag from my head, but for some reason it would not come off. I had never felt so helpless and terrified in my life. I couldn’t rule out the possibility that they were taking me somewhere to kill me. A thousand different awful scenarios raced through my head. I tried to imagine a scenario in which someone might come and rescue me, but I couldn’t remember anyone in the parking lot when I got kidnapped who might notify the police of my kidnapping. I decided that I was alone, and no one was coming to rescue me.
Partially resigned to my current situation I began to ask myself ‘Why me’? My frantic mind was able to settle on a few likely truths. One being that the supposed accidental hit and run my sister suffered was not an accident. I had not accidentally run across the vehicle that had struck my sister. Instead, it and its occupants had laid a trap for me. I couldn’t think of anything special or valuable about my sister and me. Why did they hit my sister and why me?
As the car moved I tried to follow some of the examples I had learned from television shows about trying to memorize facts about the noises I was hearing and length of time between turns, so I could try to figure out where I was and send for help if I got the chance. Instead I found myself losing count and not being able to specifically label any of the noises I was hearing that didn’t come from a van and traffic. We could have been anywhere.
After what seemed like an hour, I was lifted up to my feet, and I was lead out of the van. I was taken to a room where my blindfold was taken off and the duct tape painfully removed from my mouth. A bright light was pointed towards my face, while another bright light cast a stark shadow over the face of the person who sat in front of me. A friendly lady’s voice addressed me. She began by saying, “It won’t do you any good to resist answering all of my questions. So, I hope you will cooperate and kindly provide me with all of the information I ask for. What kind of activities was your sister involved in before her accident and supposed coma.” “Supposed coma,” I said. I saw here myself. It was too painful for me to go more than once, but everyone knew she was in a coma. “Yes. We know that you sister is not really in a coma anymore. Are you claiming that your sister and parents have not revealed your sisters true activities?” I decided to keep my statements as simple as possible and tell the truth. I was too stressed to try to be clever with my answers, and I didn’t want to find out what tortures this ‘lovely’ lady would order if I appeared to resist her questioning. I said, “There is not way Emily is in a coma. Someone would have told me. My parents are not that good at lying and deceiving me. I assured them that if anyone knew whether or not she was in a coma I would. Yet, in the back of my mind I hoped what she was saying was true, and I racked my brain for any clues that might prove that was she was saying was true.
I had seen Emily get hit by a van right in front of me. I saw paramedics care for her unconscious body. I spent countless hours those first few days right at her bedside, but I couldn’t bear to go back. Only an elaborate hoax that Emily was in on could have falsely convinced me that she was in a coma, and she would never put me through that. It was too ridiculous of a possibility to be true. However, I hoped it was true, and there must be some reason I was being forcible questioned. So, again, I thought back to the day of the accident and those first few days. I went through every moment in my mind.
Suddenly, I seemed to remember seeing Emily ahead of me on the sidewalk. She turns towards me and then screams as she sees the van in the street is not stopping. I am the one in the street, and I am the one hit by the van. Suddenly, Emily’s scream fades into a searing pain that overwhelms me. At first I thought I had been struck by a person, then I thought I was back at the scene of the accident after being struck by the van.
The pain and everything else began to fade to a white nothingness.Then after some unknown amount of time shapes slowly began to form right in front of me. I was soon able to see Emily, my parents, and someone who looked like a nurse. I tried to speak, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even control the movement of my eyes.
I wondered, had it been a hoax? Had Emily secretly recovered for some reason? Maybe her accident was faked. Maybe she never was in an accident. Was I waking up from being hit by kidnappers, or from being hit by a van? Was I in a strange kind of heaven, because Emily had died and my parents had been killed too? Would I ever be able to find out?
Forrest lives in Colorado with the wonderful Katie Clark and their two sons. Forrest was raised in North Carolina, graduated from BYU with a degree in political science, and loves to dabble in lots different things. Plus, he is a big MLS fan.
Kristalyn Ford says
I am almost done with Ender’s Game! I really like it!
I really like your short story! It held my attention well and drew me in right away. The one thing I could suggest is maybe trying to somehow make the character’s emotions and/or feelings come out a little more in the kidnapping scene. It didn’t feel as suspenseful as it could have. Maybe it’s becuase he was looking back, but it just seemed like he was calmly evaluating what to do next. I can’t wait to hear more!
I really like it!! You kept me at the edge of my seat. Keep practicing because I can totally see you writing a book.
That was really good! I SO want to know what happens next. Keep writing!
Forrest Clark says
Thanks for the encouragement!
The beginning is strong, but then you do too much jumping and the ending is super rushed. You need to build the suspense the questioning until the very end, making the reader guess as you go. You give it all away too soon. Also, in the second half, too many of the sentences start with “I”. You need to switch it up and have different sentence structures.
But, a fun idea! There’s my hopefully helpful criticism. I love editing. 🙂
Forrest Clark says
Thanks, editing is very important. When I first finish I’m just happy I got a decent idea down, and I am too lazy to refine it. I’ll see if I can refine it sometime.