Cane

Chapter 1

Cane locked himself in his room. The bright yellow paint on the walls was fading and the door was navy blue. All around him was his drawings. His work was the manifestation of a frenzied nightmare. He panted over to his bed, scrunching his neck up against the headboard. There was a bang on his door where a poster hung. The portrait was a man of ink. It wore a clown mask, and a sickly smile beckoned him. He turned the pages of his notebook, hunting for a blank page. He found one and drew lightly. There was another bang and his mother’s cry. He closed his eyes for but a moment. “Do you honestly think I wouldn’t find out?” James slurred.
A breathe in and a breathe out. He formed a head and upper body with delicate strokes of his pencil. Long hair draped down to the shoulders and a soft dress adorned the shape.

“Shut up!” his father exclaimed. He formed her dark eyes and lips, careful to keep his hand steady.

“No, no, no,” is mother, Debra begged. “Please.” She stared back at him with a gentle smile and innocent eyes, and yet there was an eerie ghostly nature about the sketch. “Do as I say and this won’t happen,” James threatened as he slammed the front door, his wife in tears. Cane put his notebook down as if it was a bomb and covered his face, taking in shaky breathes. He walked into the family room, Debra wiping her eyes. She put on a tired smile as if she was putting on makeup, and fumbled for a cigarette. The fan buzzed over head, spreading dust as it ran. Cane avoided her beseeching eyes, catching a glimpse of a new bruise on her leg. He sat down on the dark tan couch by his grandpa, avoiding burnt out cigars on the floor. Grandpa was a wrinkly and senile old man.  “What’re you watching?” Cane pondered.

“Wheel of Fortune,” Grandpa rasped. “It just spins, and spins, and spins and never stops.”
“What’s the cate-”
“Have you seen the shadow people yet?” Grandpa interrupted. “N-no. That was just a
drawing I made, Grandpa. It isn’t real.”
“Oh yes it is.”
“Okay. What do you think the puzzle is?”
“It spins, and spins, and spins and never stops.”
“No, it only seems that way,” Cane reassured. “It stops even-”

“Don’t forget where we’re going today,” Grandpa interjected once again.
“O-okay,” he stuttered.
“Don’t forget.”

“I won’t, I promise.” Grandpa smiled. Cane raided the old crusty fridge for the usual. It was sparsely filled save his dad’s giant bottle of Vodka and some cartons of dairy. The inside walls looked like an ant farm. He poured himself a bowl of cereal and sat down at the table. The kitchen itself was small, and the sooty linoleum floor was cracked at the corners. Mold had grown in the corner by the back door like a quiet robber peeking in. The walls were the same piss yellow color as his room.

Cane began to graze slowly. “Cane? You do love me, don’t you?” Cane’s mother asked. “What do you mean?” he asked between bites. “I mean, I am your-” She was interrupted by Grandpa’s ranting. She rolled her eyes and sighed. She stomped over to the family room.
“You’re not hurt, you idiot,” she screamed. “You’re just looking for attention.”
“No, no. It really hurts; my foot.” he whimpered. “Get over it.” She began to walk away.
“Would you make me a sandwich?” Her eyes flashed angrily. Cane braced himself.
“No!”
Cane got up quietly and went back into the fridge, careful not to make a sound. “Why no-” Grandpa started. “Because you’ll knock it over and say I didn’t make it right,” She seethed. Cane began to assemble the sandwich. “Please? I promise I’ll be good,” Grandpa implored. “No,” she retorted. “You waste our food, you waste our toilet paper, you broke too many plates to count. You’re a grown man. Is it too much to ask you to grow up and stop acting like a child?”
“I am not a child,” Grandpa growled. his hand trembled as he cut the sandwich in half.
“Get up and do it yourself, you overgrown leech,” she snapped. “It’s not freakin‘ rocket
science. There’s a kitchen. Go use it!”
“I’m too-”
“Now,” she screamed, eyes wide. “Here,” Cane offered, holding out the sandwich. His mother looked over, holding back. “Really?” her tired eyes entreated him. He did his best to look away. He placed it on the table.
“Are you listening to me?” she said, grabbing his arm. He tried to walk away, but she latched on tighter. “Hey,” she got close to him. His eyes fell to the ground. “Look at me,” she said, grabbing his chin. “Let go of me,” he whispered, rigid. He stepped out from the back door behind the kitchen table. “You didn’t make it right,” Grandpa answered dismissively, knocking the plate to the floor.

Cane rested his head against the metal covering, closing his eyes. He turned to smack the wall with his fist when he saw it. There was a small, thin light between the frilly trellis. He took it off in curiosity. It was an odd color of blue, almost silver. It pierced through the holes of the covering. He furrowed his brow and climbed in to take a closer look. He reached its origin and saw that it curved down into a chasm. It wasn’t coming from a flashlight or any logical device. It just hung in the expanse in front of him. He pulled himself closer, spreading the dust. The ground felt clumpy under his hands.
Chapter 2

The tunnel stretched further then he could see. He craned his neck to get a better look. Quite suddenly, the ground around him shuttered and fell, bring him with it. He twisted around to watch the orifice sealed behind him.

4 thoughts on “Cane

  1. tukkerintensity says:

    Hello, Cane author 🙂

    The first sentence I really liked – it was easy and it kept me reading.

    I think you run into a number of tense issues.

    The first paragraph I get a little confused with who you are talking about at times. It takes some work to figure out if you are referencing Cane, James, the poster or the drawing.

    I think sometimes you say breathe(s) when you mean breath(s).

    “No, no, no,” is mother, Debra begged. ~ His mother (or Cain’s mother actually be very clear)….just a typo.

    He formed her dark eyes and lips, careful to keep his hand steady. ~ I understand what is happening here just not sure if it is quite right. Maybe “He traced her dark eyes and lips with his steady hand.” ? or something to make it a little less awkward sounding.

    She stared back at him with a gentle smile and innocent eyes, and yet there was an eerie ghostly nature about the sketch. ~ I found this confusing…is this the drawing Cane was doing or is he drawing the scene that is playing out (the Father abusing his Mother?).

    “his hand trembled as he cut the sandwich in half.” ~ This sentence should probably reference Cane.

    Cane rested his head against the metal covering, closing his eyes. ~ I don’t know what this metal covering is. Actually I know this is a hook of sorts but the whole paragraph could use some tightening up as it is hard to picture for me.

    When writing dialogue a new speaker should be on a new line not all in one paragraph (this could have been a result of how we posted our content but if not I just thought I would mention it).

    You used quite a few adverbs and might want to hunt some of those down and eliminate them if you can.

    I learned a lot about Cain’s family life but not too much about Cain in this fist bit. He certainly lives in a tough situation. I would have liked to have been introduced to some more of the Fantasy elements as this book is flagged fantasy.

    It was an interesting read and I can definitely feel the weight of Cain’s living situation. I read the whole thing and would read more to see how/if he can get out of this oppressive atmosphere.

  2. Jim says:

    You set up a tense situation well. But I got lost concerning who was talking, etc. Here’s an example from your text–

    Cane began to graze slowly. “Cane? You do love me, don’t you?” Cane’s mother asked. “What do you mean?” he asked between bites. “I mean, I am your-” She was interrupted by Grandpa’s ranting. She rolled her eyes and sighed. She stomped over to the family room.
    “You’re not hurt, you idiot,” she screamed. “You’re just looking for attention.”
    “No, no. It really hurts; my foot.” he whimpered. “Get over it.” She began to walk away.
    “Would you make me a sandwich?” Her eyes flashed angrily. Cane braced himself.
    “No!”

    I think it’ll be somewhat easier to follow if you use the customary paragraph break between changes in speakers.

    Good luck.

  3. Briana says:

    I am going to admit that I was thoroughly confused. At first he’s drawing, which is cool, but it keeps jarring off to some commotion in the other room- and he doesn’t exactly react, we don’t know how he’s feeling. Then he goes to his grandpa who keeps talking about the wheel spinning and asks about the shadow people? And he replies that it’s just a drawing….so I was confused, is this fantasy where his drawings come to life? From there I lost interest, I felt like it was all jarred conversation that I couldn’t keep up with and still had no idea what was going on. They were fighting, his mom is nuts, and grandpa is a jerk and they all fight. Throughout it all, I never got a sense of the character’s age or a real plot. My suggestion is to tighten up the writing and mix in character emotions and thoughts along with the dialouge and make sure the conversation is leading somewhere. Some of the things the grandpa said didn’t seem to progress the story.

  4. Belinda Rimmer says:

    I liked the opening, a boy drawing out his nightmares. I liked the idea too of a game spinning and spinning and never stopping. I wondered how these two things added up and was tempted to read tot he end to see if they did. Unfortunately, like the above, I lost interest as there were too many characters being introduced. Also, I think it would have been better to use less description to portray your characters. There were too many references to eyes.
    The last paragraph offers something interesting too. Would it be possible to get him to this point without so much background?

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