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Old 01-29-2010, 03:21 AM
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Default The Clown Priest [PG-13]

The Clown Priest

An ice cream truck jingle, jangled from a rust white speaker on top of a beat-up mail truck with a smiling clown imprinted on the side. The truck weaved back and fourth through the suburban street like a snake slithering through tall grass. The driver was a heavyset man that wore old, worn out, purple and yellow, poke-a-dot pants, and countering shirt. Patches and pockets were a dead giveaway that this costume was old, or was designed to be ironically funny. Frills puffed out of his sleeves and collar as it choked his neck fat, which had a complementing, not a 5 o’clock, not even a 6 o’clock, but a 7 o’clock shadow. He had big floppy yellow-red shoes that were stain puke-green. His faded red, curly hair was covered by a faded red, curly wig that he wore with his costume. He was suppose to be a happy hobo clown, with a white undercoat face, big red smiling lips, a yellow star on his right eye, and a purple spot on the other, but instead it was almost translucent, and looked like a fake tattoo loosing its color on his face. The big red smile slumped down with the rest of his face and his big, rolled forehead squished the star and spot against the tops of his eyes.

He drove with the permanent glazed look as he approached his next job. He had worked at children’s parties, openings for comedians, a couple circuses, a traveling show, or two, and even entertained a couple bands back stage during concerts. Today was yet another child’s birthday party. As slowed the truck to a halt near a lower-upper middle class house and took out three yellow pills bottle and popped the first one open. He closed his eyes, plugged his nose, and downed a little more that the prescribed instructions and downed it with a flask of vodka. He threw the Prozac away, and grabbed the next one, Xanax. He finished it off with another shot of pure, Russian vodka and reached for the next bottle. He swallowed the Zoloft with a gulp as it fell into his gullet.

He stumbled out of the truck and hazily limped over to the house. He knocked on the door for what he thought was three times and said,

“So-bo, er… thro-yo, no… bo-mo, jo-ko, lo-sto, woe-ro, ryo-go…” He thought for a minute to clear his mind, then finally gave up and said,

“The clown is here-” he was cut off by his own burp as an overly ecstatic woman opened the door, obviously the mother of the child whose birthday it is. She welcomed him and gestured him inside as she said squeaking at the end with excitement,

“Hello Bo-bo! We’re so exited to see you here; the children are outside waiting for you, just go out there and do your thing!” She led him to the backyard where all the children sat and loudly hollered. Bo-bo slumped over in front of the children and said with an fake, under excited voice,

Hi kids… I’m Bobolinni the clown, but you can call me, Bo-bo.” He was low, raspy, and smelt of alcohol, cigarettes, and feces. He first took out an air pump and a deflated long balloon from his enlarged pants. He put the balloon on the air pump and pumped it up. The balloon filled with air and elongated into the air. Bo-bo didn’t stop until the balloon popped and startled half the kids, and a few supervising adults. The rest giggled, or laughed obnoxiously. Bo-bo sneered and sarcastically laughed. He was a failure in his eyes, but in other peoples eyes he was funny, that’s why he became a clown in the first place, because whatever he did, he failed, and others found great joy in his misery. He gave up on the balloon animal idea and changed to a magic trick. He took out a bright red cloth and said,

Watch the cloth kids, okay?” He tried at a facial expression, but nothing moved, not one hairy, unwashed wrinkle winced at the attempt. He made a fist with one hand and started pushing the cloth into it. He was really wearing a fake, skin color thumb over his real thumb and was pushing it into it, but about halfway through, he paused. His eyes half closed and crossed as he started to lean over. He shook awake and started back up, but soon after it he started again. The kids watched as some of the adults inspected him oddly. He finally stopped moving as his eyes rolled into the back of his head as he collapsed on top of a couple kids in front of him. One of the parents yelled

“Oh my God!”

“Someone call 9-1-1” yelled another. The kids screamed and scattered as a few dads tried lifting the heavy clown off the kids, hoping to save the kids, not Bo-bo. Everything went blank for Bo-bo as he slowly passed out.

Bo-bo’s eyes fluttered as he awoke. He coughed a bit to clear his dry throat and swallowed the old, musky saliva in his mouth. He looked around and found himself in a bed at an Emergency Room. A nurse was standing next to him filling out paper work as he softly said in a kind, mature voice,

“Why hello, sleepy-head. How are you feeling?” Bo-bo rubbed his head as he mumbled under his breath.

“Ala-…alka… Alka-Seltzer please…” He male nurse laughed a bit and simply replied,

No can do, but here’s some carbonated water for you, pretty much the same thing if you ask me.” Bo-bo guzzled down the water before realizing he had an I-V stuck in his arm. The nurse left and Bo-bo ripped the I-V out. It hurt, but he didn’t feel it, he was too drugged up on anti-depressants. He walked out of the hospital unnoticed and walked into the streets. He didn’t have his clothes, just the old, ripped underwear and the gown the hospital had provided. He walked through the slums of the city before reaching an alleyway. He heard some chattering and a helpless voice cry out. He slowly glanced over and saw three wild Zubats harassing a little Mr. Mime Jr. They were surrounding it using Leach Life attack as they drained the feeble Mr. Mime Jr. as it wailed out in distress.

A sudden feeling of the urge to help the poor creature overcame the discommoded clown. He felt a joy in helping it, maybe this was the turn around he needed. After this he could help save a child, maybe save a woman from getting run over by a car and they could fall in love. He could join a church and become a minister, or a priest. He felt a slightest bit of happiness as he grabbed two of the three Zubat with one and the last one with his other hand. He smiled at the Mr. Mime Jr. as it graciously smiled back. Soon the anti-depressant pills wore off like a hammer bringing down its pressure on a nail. All the happiness that Bobolinni had, disappeared and his faint smile vanished along with it. He grabbed the third Zubat with the hand holding the other two, giving him a free hand. He crushed the fragile bones of the Zubats and he reached for the confused Mr. Mime Jr.

His expressionless face turned to anger as he slammed the Mr. Mime Jr. into the brick wall behind it. He started choking it as it squirmed and squealed in his hand. He slowly moved his dirty, uncleaned hand from its throat to its face and grasped it tightly. He shook it around violently as he wrung its neck. He tossed the limp, raggedy body to the ground. He then turned to the three Zubat in his left hand. He bit the head of on and ripped it off, spitting it toward the motionless body of the baby clown Pokemon. He let go of the decapitated body and grabbed the wing of another Zubat. He savagely jerked it side-to-side as its wing ripped from its body spilling blood all over.

He could feel his heart palpitate as he glared at the last Zubat which looked back fearful of what Bobolinni, the ever so funny clown will do, fearful of its life, and fearful of how it will all end, with a sudden bang, or with a long and ever going torture that would plague Bo-bo’s mind forever.

Ready for Grading
Pokemon: Zubat
Characters: 7,837

Last edited by Zombie Muse; 01-29-2010 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: The Clown Priest [PG-13]

EDIT: Oops, sorry, Seq, but Susaka had asked me to grade this back on Friday. ^^;

Plot: To be honest, there was hardly one. You told us the day of a drug-addicted clown, and that’s about it. Most of the story was description about his appearance and what he did at the birthday party. What was supposed to be the climax of him landing at the hospital due to the overdose and/or combination of drugs and alcohol was only a few sentences long. This also takes away some of the realism of your story. A patient who has just overdosed would probably have his stomach pumped and then be closely monitored for any lingering effects; he did, after all, almost died. I find it highly unlikely that he would walk out unnoticed.

To add to the lack of plot, we knew next to nothing about Bo-bo. Why was he a drug addict? Why was he having a bout of depression? How did he end becoming a clown? Yes, this story is for a Zubat, but lack of elaboration can make even the simplest of stories dull and pointless. Do not slack off just because you’re going for a Simple Pokémon. It can develop into a bad habit and will make you take a step back rather than forward when it comes to your writing. Also, since you’re a well-known writer, we graders know what we expect from you; we know what you put effort into and what you just whipped up for a quick Pokémon.

In a nutshell, add more meat to your plot by elaborating on characters’ histories and actions. Be careful to keep the story realistic by doing a bit of research on the topic you’re writing about, such as drug overdoses and the dangers of mixing alcohol substances with drugs. Most important of all, do your best on all of your stories. As a writer, you want to improve, not regress. If you want to write a short story such as this one, maybe you can experiment with your writing style or genre. Take each story as an opportunity to improve.

Introduction: All of it was just a paragraph of description. It’s good that you gave us a very detailed description about your character, especially since he’s a clown and can vary in looks, but again, you gave us no information as to who Bo-bo is, other than a drunk and a drug addict. All main characters, even if the story is short, need background information in order for we, the readers, can understand their actions. For example, there are many reasons why one would become a drug addict. Some love the rush that it gives them while others are merely trying to gain attention (Munchausen Syndrome). Others have simply given up on life and would rather go by slowly deteriorating themselves. You gave us hints that Bo-bo was unhappy with his life (the comment about his failures and the anti-depressants), but that’s all they were: hints. I can only guess what led him down that road, and that’s not good enough. With character history, I can connect with the character. I can either pity him for his sad life or look down at him for making the choices he did. Right now, I can’t do neither.

Grammar/Spelling: Sloppy, very sloppy. At first glance, the grammar and spelling looks fine, but as I read, I found missing words, awkward wording, fragments, missing punctuation, and so on. This is another indication that you didn’t put as much effort into this story as others.

I will point this out, though: You’re tendency of writing “he/she said,” on one line and the actual dialogue on another is very distracting. Keep the dialogue and dialogue tags on the same line. Also, avoid using such a small font size for your story. It makes it hard to read. X_o

Length: Ok.

Description/Detail: You had a lot of description in your story, and that wouldn’t be a problem if the description wasn’t more than the actual plot of the story. No matter how much description you add to your story, it CANNOT overshadow the plot.

Your description was very detailed, but remember when I graded your Horsea story and commented that you used too many adjectives in a row to describe a single object/person? Well, again you have too much description at once, but it’s a bit different this time. Instead of describing one thing too much, you wrote all of your description basically jumbled up to make it look like a continuous string of detail; I am, of course, talking about your opening paragraph. In one sentence, you describe the motion of the truck, the rusty microphone, the smiley face on the truck, and the condition of it. You have to make sure you do not overload the sentence with description after description. It becomes very confusing and messy, as though you were running out of time. That first sentence could easily be two or three elaborated sentences. For example, in one sentence, describe how the car moved and the rusty microphone on the top. In another, describe how it was beat up and the smiley face on its side. Just like that, the paragraph is more coherent without sacrificing the description. Make this a rule of thumb, if you think it’ll help: at the max, describe two details of an object or person in a single sentence. In my opinion, if it’s more than two, the sentence will become awkward.

Also, when it came to describing Bo-bo, you told us in a list rather than showing us. Try describing a person’s characteristics and clothing through their actions. When he steps out of the truck, describe his shoes. When he drinks his vodka, describe his clothes as they’re being stained with alcohol. It will make your story run a lot smoother.

Last of all, you neglected to describe the Pokémon in your story as well as minor surroundings and characters. Because of this, I only got a partial picture of what was happening rather than the complete portrait I was looking for. Even if it’s some scant description, minor characters and surroundings have to be seen rather than just inserted like second thoughts.

Battle: Instead of a battle, we get the mutilation of Pokémon. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of that kind of thing, but hey, it’s your story. I’m still getting used to the “Pokémon don’t have to battle” rule.

Again, in this section, we come to the topic of realism. I find it hard to believe Bo-bo could tear through skin, muscle, meat, and bone twice (once with his bottom teeth and another with his top teeth) and rip off a Zubat’s head. The bones may be hollow, but a human’s teeth are not exactly adapted to tear through all of that like an animal’s teeth are. At the very least I think he would chip a tooth or feel some kind of pain, even through that anger. I also have to wonder why exactly Bo-bo became so enraged after the drugs wore off. Yes, he’s depressed, but depression doesn’t exactly make one want to murder helpless creatures. In fact, I think a depressed Bo-bo would rather just walk way with the scene and wallow in misery.

Outcome: It was hard to decide but, Zubat captured! But just barely. Please keep in mind that we graders know what you can dish out, we know that this was a half-hearted attempt in comparison to your other, much better stories. Don’t water down your talent like this, okay? I know you can do SO much better. Keep in mind my description and dialogue advice. See ya! :3

*goes to watch more Pandora Hearts*

- Kat

(Banner by the epic Neo Pikachu) TAC Challenge: I'm learning Finnish! ^-^

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