|Reviews for Any Minute Now|
| Lime-Cat chapter 1 . 8/12/2008
First off, this review has been long overdue. I'm not too good with reviewing stories, but I'll try my best.
You have very good, clear descriptions in this piece. I was able to "see" the entire story in a movie-like way from your first person POV, following every turn and action. I love this effect and the delivery of your story - it has a very nice tone of voice that catches the reader. All the seemingly minute details (i.e the microwave towers, population sign,etc.) contributed to this as well.
I had a difficult time imagining the shape of Jessica and Buck's car following their accident. If there was some indication as to how the car is positioned in terms of the road, it would paint a better picture. For example, what kind of car is this? A truck, sedan? Is this car in a ditch or did it crash into a tree or a fence? I'm only able to see what was described in the distance from the car and not anything immediately surrounding it, which kind of disappointed me as I was looking forward to that kind of info.
I love the smell of barbecue - rather, the smell of burnt charcoal. I don't think this smell should be associated with the smell of burning flesh as it doesn't seem appropriate.
"Jessica still recovering, I go to the other side, where the rear door opens easily and Garrett, Buck's brother, slides unconscious down to the barren ground. I pick him up and, with Jessica's help, manage to straighten out his wheezing body on the bed of my truck." - You had said in the first sentence that Jessica was recovering from what I assume to be smoke inhalation, so why is she immediately able to help you move Garrett on to the bed of your truck? Either it was a very fast recovery or some time has passed and I have missed it.
" ... I ask, “Why didn't you call an ambulance?” She says, “We were drunk! Buck's dad would kill me!”" - I don't really like Jessica's character here, but it is understandable to a point. Yes, it is most likely the case that they will be severely punished for drunk driving and subsequently being involved in an accident. However, would she rather have her reply in a literal way? Because that is exactly what happened. Although I doubt Buck and his girlfriend could be saved in that situation, it would still be the better option to call for help - say, an ambulance. Another thing, even though I know they can't do anything for Buck and his girlfriend, were Garrett's injuries so bad that you couldn't call in an ambulance to take care of the bodies of Buck and his girl? I mean, I would think that's the most humane thing to do instead of leaving them there to burn. I'll assume there was cell phone reception out there because otherwise, you couldn't have received a call from Jessica.
"A maddening moment for Jessica and I, Garrett finds it extremely fortuitous, as he chooses it to rise from his supine posture and stab me in the shoulder." - I'm confused about Garrett at this point. What is it, exactly, that drives him to hurt someone else so passionately? Is he a really violent person? I wish I knew more about Garrett's personality so that I could somehow try to connect this scene to it.
"So thinking, I break Garrett's left leg." - Credible, but how did you break his leg, with your bare hands?
"I am however, mistaken in my estimation of his crazed determination, as he continues to slice at me, cutting into what I assume to be vital ligature in first my right leg, and then, as I fall, my left." - Again, I can't quite picture this in my mind. What position are you in? Did you fall near him when the truck ran into the ditch? I would assume you would have less injuries and Jessica more grave injuries since you said you crashed "headlong into the drainage ditch." She was in the front steering while you were in the back pushing. Did Garrett fall out of the truck?
"Apparently satisfied, he crawls off the way we came." - How far did he get? I'll assume he sustained at least a head injury in the first accident. Now, he has a broken leg, so it doesn't seem likely (to me) that he'd get very far.
"I hear sirens in the distance." - So, I'll assume (again) that Jessica is now in a hospital, an ambulance just picked up Garrett and no one but Jim saw your truck in the distance? That's harsh.
It didn't seem like your nameless protagonist wanted to be saved after what you said about your attitude towards life, but I like how you ended it. In a way, I wanted to know his name, but it seems fitting that you left him without a name to add to the effect of the isolation he felt at the end. I feel sorry for him.
If I seemed harsh in my review, I really didn't mean it. I was just itching to know more details. (See? I told you it would take me about 20 minutes or so for this review.)
| theflyingcrabsareeatingmyhair chapter 1 . 6/24/2008
I gotta hand it to you, you're a pretty good writer. Your style is clear and consistent, it's easy to follow, and it flows well.
This is a pretty interesting story you've got here, and it works great as a one shot. Still not really sure why this guy had it so harsh, but then again, I live in a big city, where for the most part being gay isn't that big a deal, not to mention being raised in an environment where gay rights were strongly advocated.
Anyway, sorta depressing, really gruesome. I forget your summary, but a friend of yours was telling me that the original was "a gay guy dies" which definitely doesn't do this justice, so I'm glad you switched it up. I vaguely remember the new summary not quite showing me the quality of your writing, but at least piquing my interest enough to assure that I would read it.
So, if I were a rude psychoanalyst-type person (which clearly I sort of am, if I bring it up, I suppose), I would really have to sit and think about this story's fixation on fire and blood. I'm sorta tempted to do that anyway, because now that I've thought about it, I really want to stick my ideas out there, but before I do, let me commend you on the fact that you wrote a story that makes me want to do any such thing. It's really hard to write something that has legitimate symbols in it for the reader to contemplate, and usually takes more feeling and skill than most people have. Hopefully, that's enough of a compliment for you to bear it while I indulge.
Obvious: hot-blooded near the end. The fire as the main character dies, "hoping" someone will come save him as they see the smoke. Smoke can mean fire, softly smoldering just out of sight, but still hot; or it can mean a dying fire, burning inefficient fuel. Like the fires with the green wood that smoke a lot. Anyway, the blood is steaming outside the body, implies that the smoldering flames came out and now they're burning where they can be seen. At least, I guess. I'm no camper or anything, so sorry if this is completely off the mark.
Now, the fire burning could just be an internal symbol for rage, and so even though I think there's more to it than that, since it works int he context of this story, I'm going to let it go and move on to what the blood itself signifies. How is it independent from the fire imagery... well, the stabbing. Near the end, lots of stabbing. No clue what's going on with the leg break action. So uh... this knife is sharp enough to penetrate so the blood can get out... I don't know where I'm going with this. I would guess this whole thing is some actualization of events that involved a sharp pain followed by a long, drawn out one, followed by ineffectual efforts to escape an inevitable death that were ignored. Eh. That's not quite right, but I'm not the best English student (just do it for fun), so my head is starting to twist around itself a little funny because I don't know what's going on. So, there you go, for my little analysis on my choice parts. I can think more later.
You've got a few holes in here, least to my way of seeing it:
-Burning human flesh doesn't smell like a barbecue, especially not when gasoline is involved. Barbecue is a unique way of cooking, and the smell is mostly derived from the charcoal used. Now, if you've smelled it before and really believe that it was a barbecue that you smelled, I would disagree with you and call you creepy ;D... I think that there's a better word to describe that, anyway. Regardless of how your nose works, I think that's a very cold way to describe dead friends, relating them to food.
-It's sorta odd how quick they just seem to drop their dead friends in the front seat. Do they not care about them or something? Sure, they have more important things to worry about, so to some extent I can understand why the main character is so cold about it, but Jessie really seems like she should be more traumatized...
-Being drunk is a lame excuse for not calling an ambulance when you can smell your friends' burning flesh in the front seat of the car and the other three of you are dangerously close to dying as well. Maybe I'm assuming they would use more common sense in the circumstance than is reasonable, but honestly, fear of a friend's dad being greater than the fear of you and your friends burning to death? And... after reading it to the end, I can sort of understand this. Being drunk is a little at odds with the real issue here (the son is dead, who cares who was drunk at this point...), but you've got a pretty good explanation going here, it just wouldn't hurt to draw it out.
-Why was Garret so eager to kill his rescuer?
-I can assume that they were rescued by Jim, but just to clarify, what happened to Jessie? And that other guy they rescued from the trunk?