I had just turned and was being chased down the street by a man with an axe. It had been a calm, quiet evening before I ran screaming out of a rambling old terrace house and into the night. I wore ponytails and a short school uniform. From the street you could see into a large sunroom at the front of the house where a woman with wild hair, wrapped in a bathrobe was shouting at me. Her yelling broke the stillness of the evening. “You get back here Sunita Cameron you little devil!” the woman roared, “Don’t think you can get away from us! We’re your parents and no one else is gonna put up with you.”
I ran down the darkened street with the man behind me. He had a beer belly and wore a blue singlet. Lights in the neighbouring terraces switched on as we passed. The man hollered: “You should run girlie ‘cause when I get a hold of you, you’ll know about it all right!”
“Well you’ll never catch me ‘cause you’re too old and fat!”
After we’d nearly reached the end of the street there was the sound of a police siren. I looked back and both of us stopped. The man dropped the arm that held the axe and we turned and ran back to the terrace. We raced inside, closed the front door, and I leant against it, panting from the run. I couldn’t stop laughing.
The woman, Suzie, removed her wig and dressing gown, under which she was wearing a leopard skin top and black leggings. The man, Simon D pulled out the cushion that was his beer belly and took off his wig to reveal blonde spiky hair. He then closed the sun-room blinds and returned the axe to the belly of a plastic baby doll lying on the coffee table. There were fake roses spray-painted black around the doll along with a crucifix. In one corner of the room was a mannequin missing an arm, wearing a Greek fisherman’s hat and a studded belt. A folded over futon mattress served as a couch. There was an armchair and the sunroom housed a large table with a stereo and several crates of vinyl records.
“You’re pretty good at squealing at the top of your lungs Sunny” said Simon D as we all headed into the kitchen.
“Why thanks Si, you’re pretty good at roaring expletives yourself!” I said.
It wasn’t the home I escaped from. It was where I ended up after I left: in a share house in Womerah Avenue, Darlinghurst, just down the road from Sydney’s King’s Cross. There, in this run-down, five bedroom old place, pranks and mischief were the order of the day. I was wearing my real school uniform but it was as much of a costume as what the others had on. I was an impostor as a school girl. I hardly showed up and did very little actual school work.
“So now the show’s over, who wants a drink?” said Simon D.
He and his boyfriend Simon A (also our flatmate), loved drinking white wine, smoking French cigarettes and shopping. He took a cask of Riesling out of the fridge, while Suzie washed up a couple of glasses. She worked in the factory of a record company, had black spiky hair and wore psychedelic paisley shirts with loads of earrings. Not only did she have a killer wardrobe, she also had an impressive record collection.
“Should I put some music on?” I asked walking back into the sunroom.
“God yes,” said Suzie, “as long as it’s not something of Brad’s.” Brad, our other flatmate was a stylish hairdresser who wore a lot of eyeliner and had concrete blonde hair with pink tips. Every morning he’d dance around in the living room to Hayzee Fantayzee before he left for work.
I liked them all and rent was only thirty bucks a week, cheap at the time because instead of one large room I had two really small rooms. One had my single bed and my clothes rack in it. Its walls were plastered with band posters and a large Jolly Roger flag. There was a table full of toiletries and jewellery, a small stereo and two practice pads (for my attempts at learning the drums). The other room was where I was supposed to study for my Higher School Certificate. It had another single bed, a small desk and a bookshelf. Needless to say I didn’t spend much time in the study.
But then again I didn’t spend much time studying at my parent’s house either. They didn’t chase me down the street with an axe but we clashed over many things.
6 thoughts on “Fizgig”
This put a smile on my face. I was confused at first but after a little while I got a really fun picture. This doesn’t feel YA, and it is hard to follow in places, but it sounds like it would be full of humor and fun.
Hey thanks. On the strength of your response I’m going to change the “YA” category to “mainstream” and revise the whole draft for clarity. But thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
I once saw a movie called The Dark Crystal and it had a Fizgig in it. It was a little pet that was 80% mouth and 20% was the rest of the body. If Sunita is studying to get her highschool degree I’d say this is young adult, otherwise maybe it’s new adult fiction. Your opening flows well and is easy to read, but at the same time things often get confusing. I’m having a hard time figuring out what you’re trying to tell me with the story, and so it’s hard to comment. You open with a man chasing her down the street with an axe, only to reveal that it was all fake. So I feel cheated. I get that it’s comedy but I still want to get a better feel early on for what the story will be about. Is the story mainly going to be about Sunita and why she left home? Then I suggest you make that a bit more prominent in the first three paragraphs and hook me with a question about her future. I’m sorry if I sound rude, I just want to be honest.
Hi Bjorn, Thanks for your critique. I didn’t think you were at all rude and appreciate the constructive criticism. This is only a first draft so any ideas on how to improve it are welcome. Your comments ring true and I will take on board your suggestion about giving the reader more of an idea of what the story is about and indicating something about Sunita’s future.
I have heard of the Dark Crystal fizgigs. They sound both cute and terrifying. I chose this title because of its archaic meaning which is “a silly, flirtatious young girl”. But the furry litlle monsters with big mouths aren’t necessarily an incompatible image to use either. Thanks again.
I like the way you introduced your characters smoothly and the way you narrate in the first person POV but I’m little confuse of where they really are, maybe that would be reveal later as the story goes on.
Hi, I think you have some promising material here, but there are some problems which are preventing it from working. I think you need a clearer goal for the opening. There is no conflict. It starts well with a schoolgirl being chased by a man with an axe who turns out to be her father, and then turns out to be her flatmate, and from there it’s all happy bubbles and I’m left wondering why to bother reading on. There is a lot of telling – especially watch out for sentences containing words like ‘there was…’ For example, it would be more effective to say, ‘Fake roses lay scattered around the doll,’ than ‘there were fake roses…’
Definitely lots of potential, and you have the ability to use humour which is difficult, but it needs really hard editing and tightening up. Best of luck.