Every Breath You Take - by VampPhan, Chapter 1, Young Adult

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Every Breath You Take - by VampPhan, Chapter 1, Young Adult

Post  VampPhan on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:05 am

Tucker and Mia are two seemingly normal teenagers in a small Floridian town. The more disturbing sides of their minds are gradually revealed as they become obsessed with eachother, unaware that the one they're stalking is stalking them as well. (Points of view will continuously alternate between Tucker and Mia throughout the story.)
Chapter One

Hunter Park was lively that June afternoon. Old couples sat on benches and read newspapers, mothers pushed their children gently on swings, and young people jogged around the pond. It was a little surreal to the eight year old boy who was learning how to fish with his father. He was excited by the fresh, open atmosphere since he had never been to such a place before. Sunlight glinted on the water and in the boy's red hair, highlighting some copper strands.

"How long is this going to take?" he asked his father with a sigh, holding a small fishing pole. The two had been standing on the bank for only a little over a minute, but it felt like an hour to the child.

"Just be patient, Tucker."

In a few more minutes, (which dragged out for days to Tucker and flew by for his father), there was a tug on the boy's line, and his face lit up as he exclaimed "I got one! I got one!"

"Reel it in quick!"

Tucker was rather pleased with himself as the tiny fish landed on the grass, flailing around, and the father congratulated him but said it should be thrown back. The boys smile faded.

"Why? I just caught it!"

"Yes, but it's too small to eat. You can try again" said the man, unhooking the shining fish carefully. Tucker reached for it and quickly flung it back in the pond, afraid of the sharp scales. The two continued fishing for a while, before the little boy became bored and frustrated, since all he was catching were throwbacks. Glancing to the pond banks, he saw a few people throwing bread to some geese. One of these people was a little girl, about his age, with short dark hair.

"Hey Dad, can I feed the birds?" he asked as he set down his fishing pole, eager for a new adventure and an opportunity for socializing.

"Feed? With what?" said his father with amusement. Pointing at the girl, Tucker said "Bread". A little unsure, but not wanting to disappoint the excited child, the man replied, "If she'll share with you, go right ahead."Smiling, little Tucker walked down the pond bank, slightly nervous but excited. Finally, he approached the girl. She glanced away from the goose at her foot to look at him with friendly eyes. Light brown spots speckled over her nose and cheeks.

"Can I feed the ducks too?" he asked her, looking at the winged creatures that waddled around noisily. She corrected him.

"The ones with the long necks are Canadian geese."

"Oh…I knew that." Tucker replied casually. She smiled a little and handed him a slice of bread from her plastic bag. Tearing off a piece, he tossed some out at the water and watched as a goose snapped it up.

"What's your name?" asked the girl as she continued feeding a duck nearby her. He replied a bit shyly, "Tucker"

"I'm Mia."

The children amused themselves with the birds while the girl's mother read a book and Tucker's father fished. As the sun started to sink, Mia asked if Tucker wanted to swing. He accepted simply, and they raced to the playground. To the red haired boys shock, his new friend beat him to it. She stuck her tongue out on him, kicked back, and started swinging. When Tucker reached one, they competed to go higher than the other. This time, they tied, no matter how hard their little legs kicked. Tucker, being a bit of a showoff, thought of a way to win anyway.

"Watch this!" he said, taking a huge swing back, and as he reached the highest point forward, he let go. Mia's grey eyes widened as he sailed through the air with a bewildered, giddy face, which he shielded when he landed with a thud in the sand that was boxed in around the swing set area. Tucker's arm stung and ached from his landing, but he got up, brushed himself off coolly, and beamed at Mia. She applauded him, and he bowed (a sign of gratitude he had learned not from any person but from a slightly excessive amount of cartoons). Then, his father's voice floated over the playground.

"Tucker! Time to go home!"

The boy's smile disappeared and he began to trudge back to the pond, giving an apologetic look to his friend of five minutes. She looked as disappointed as he. They both waved goodbye, and Tucker ran back to his father after a last glance at Mia.
Nine Years Later


I really wish I was in elementary school again. Back then at least I wasn't a ridiculously shy freak who couldn't ask any decently attractive female for a pencil without stammering or mumbling. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I wasn't exactly interested in them when I was eight. As far as I was concerned, boys had short hair and girls had long hair, and that was the only difference. Now, I'm 17, and I've only had four girlfriends: Mandy, for three hours on a dare in 6th grade; Juana, for 20 days on the internet in 8th grade; Cindy, for a week because I felt sorry for her in 9th grade; and Anne, a girl I genuinely liked and dated for three months of 10th grade before she cheated on me.

Yep. I'm awesome.

Maybe I inherited my bad luck from my dad. He didn't date much either, and a year after I was born, my mother bailed and ran off with an old ex. Very classy and original, right? So now, my dad constantly grumbles and rants about the viciousness of females, though he is never actually rude to any in person. I think he's afraid of them. I mean, I know that my mom wasn't the nicest lady, but I don't think he's reasonable to condemn the entire sex because of her. But my father isn't extremely reasonable anyway. Maybe that's why mom left.

Anyway, aside from my awkwardness and mild phobia of women, I am in constant envy of my three best friends. Andrew, my friend since 9th grade, has had the same girlfriend for three years. That's like a millennia in high school. His polar opposite, my friend for two years, Judd, has a new girl every week. And my very best friend is the luckiest: he has no women troubles at all. He just sleeps, eats, and slithers. My pet ball python, Silas, has less of a love life than me. And that is why he's my best friend.

Oh yeah, and needless to say, I'm a virgin.

Sad, sad, sad.

I don't mean to sound like David Copperfield or whatever, because I'm sure all of this is my fault, though I never consciously chose to be this way. What "rebellious, sex-crazed teenager" (as society thinks of me and every other adolescent on the planet) would WANT to spend Saturday nights watching 1980's horror movies alone with a bag of Doritos, talking to a pet snake, instead of going out, hooking up, partying, doing whatever teenagers supposedly do? Yeah, nobody. Fun nights such as mine are reserved for me and guys who wear suspenders. But by the first day of senior year, all of this didn't matter. If I had been busy with a social life like a normal person, I might not have risked life as I knew it in an attempt to make it paradise.

I've lived in Malcolm, Florida , for the entirety of my 17 year old life. And over these 17 years, I've had friends come and go, as well as quite a few boyfriends. The only problem with this is, most of the guys were imaginary. I guess it was my childish, neurotic way of coping with the repetitive cycle of failed relationships that actually happened. An imaginary Adonis with every trait a woman fantasizes about was always much better than the reality of an immature boy with severe acne and the emotional sophistication of a donkey. There was only one who was very mature towards almost everything. He felt a little giddy at the beginning, seeing as I was his first real girlfriend. Then, he figured out a relationship is actual WORK. (Oh dear, texting someone a few times a week is so hard! Ah!). So on the basis of wanting freedom, he dumped me out of the blue.

As far as my family, I can say truthfully that it's ideal. My dad works in an office, designing advertisements, mom manages a seafood restaurant, and my abnormally tall 10th grade brother, Peter, just vegetates on the couch. And best of all…we all pretty much ignore each other. All that crap about "family together time" and "communication" being good for people of my age group is a total farce. I feel so sorry for my friend Amanda—her parents constantly hound her about feelings and talking about things and family trips and pretty much every detail of her life. My parents feed me, occasionally lend me money when my job doesn't pay enough for something I need (or want really badly), and they bought me a decent car, so I'm happy.

Socially—aside from the few boyfriends I've had—I'm not considered "popular" nor am I considered "unpopular". I'm just not considered. If someone was asked if they knew who Mia Fulton was, they would most likely say they didn't know, or if they did know who I was, a face was all they knew. I have a few girl friends who I hang out with here and there but I could hardly say we're as close as sisters or anything. Amanda is one of them, then there is Leila (the token Indian), and Lucy (the friend everyone eventually has—the slut that means well). Usually we swim in Lucy's pool or hang out at the bowling alley. If we ever see guys, they go to Lucy first, then Leila, and if Amanda and I are lucky, we might get to share one geeky boy. But usually my days are spent by myself, watching TV, reading, doing homework, surfing the web, and other wonderfully boring and pointless activities.

So that was my life before Tucker Greene happened.

The last day of summer vacation…I spent it like every other day of vacation: doing nothing. Except that evening, I had gotten bored of watching idiot T.V. shows, eating Doritos, and lazily browsing random sites. So, I thought to rent a movie or a game. I shouted where I was going to my dad, who was making something in the kitchen, and he replied back in a muffled voice that sounded approving, as it should be. Taking my wallet from my desk, where it had been laying for a week untouched, I stuffed it in my pocket and headed out to the garage. After I had gotten in my old Civic and pulled out of the driveway, I switched on the radio. Immediately, Weezer's "Island in the Sun" filled the car with laid-back melody. I smiled a little. If Judd had seen me enjoying anything except hardcore metal, he would have immediately screamed "GAY!" and changed the station. As for Andrew, he would probably say nothing, but personally enjoy it more if country was playing. Silas enjoys everything I listen to.

It only took me ten minutes to drive to the older part of Malcolm, where most of the houses were built in the 60's. Equally as old was the video store, which still appeared to be rotting on the outside. Inside, however, it was kept clean and up to date. I managed to park close to the door, and I didn't even bother locking my car as I sauntered inside.

Inside, there was a platinum blonde woman who appeared to be about 60 years old, with way too much makeup on and pink sweatpants that said "Juicy" on the back (trust me, there was nothing 'juicy' about what it was covering). She was browsing excitedly in the romance section, along with a nearly bald man with a beer belly who looked rather miserable.

In the family section, a plump mother with two loudly arguing children made a weak attempt to quiet them. And in the back corner of the store, a person (I say person because I honestly couldn't tell if it was a dude or a chick) peered at the other customers over the gaming shelves. His/her mohawk was purple. Avoiding these characters, I quickly shuffled to the horror isle.

I picked up random DVD's, scanned the summary on the back, and put them back, working my way from the left end of the shelf to the right. My attention was diverted from trying to figure out what Face was about when I felt a warm breeze, meaning someone had opened the door to enter or exit. I kind of hoped the mohawk creature had finally decided to slither its way out of there, but I was surprised to see two more customers enter. One was a rather tall boy I had seen around but I didn't know anything about him, and the other was a girl I had never seen in my life. I had lived in Malcolm since I was born until I was eight, when I moved temporarily to Tampa (because of Dad's job), then moved back in ninth grade. I knew the face of most everyone my age in this town. So who was this?

Just out of curiosity, I glanced at her a few times, taking in a new feature every time. One glance, I noticed how her dark, wavy hair would probably fall a few inches down her back if she didn't have it up in a messy ponytail. I looked down, scanned a DVD and put it back. In the next glance, I saw her heading to the isle next to mine. She had small, sharp features and freckles over her nose and cheeks. She didn't seem to be wearing any makeup, or at least not enough that I could tell. I looked down again. Oh let me look at this Friday the 13th case because I have no idea what that's about…isn't it about a werewolf? No? Hm..oh it's about a masked killer. How original and new! See how interested I am in this movie? I'm not looking at you at all…, I thought, joking with myself silently. After a few seconds, my eyes slowly moved towards her again. She had shifted closer, to the other side of the horror shelf, but on the opposite end from me. Casually, I continued going through DVD's mindlessly so I could get close enough to see just a tad more. She wore a plain yellow tank top and cut-off jean shorts, and while she was no stick figure, she was of an average, slightly slender build. Height was average as well. Probably shorter than me, but I still couldn't tell from this distance. A minute later, she had filed through enough movies to be close enough. I was right.

Eventually, through all my nonchalant scanning, I found a movie that sounded interesting enough to stop glancing at this girl every fifteen seconds. I read the summary and checked out the actors in it, estimating the suck factor of it all. The suckiness appeared very low compared to the other lame crap that was there. I was about to start heading to the cashier when I realized that the girl was standing only three feet to my right, still uninterestedly going through the same stupid cases I had looked at.

Seeing a perfect shot, I swallowed and prepared myself to make a side comment about the one she was looking at. And of course, just as I was going to say it, the other guy returned from the video game isle, with two cases in hand.

"Ready to go?" she asked him, flipping a random DVD around in her hands. He nodded and they walked together to the cashier. As they checked out, I could practically hear Judd scoffing at me in my head. I smothered his mocking with my own. I hope you're using protection, dude, at the rate you're going with the ladies! Such a suave stud you are, Tucker. Very direct. You just go forth and conquer, don't you? You could have said something in the time she was here, and it would NOT have been weird at all if you were commenting on something casual, but no, you can't even say "I wouldn't get that one if I were you, I saw it and it sucks". She'd probably laugh and ask why, and you could have made up some random crap about terrible acting and camera shadows and cheap settings. You would have sounded all professional, and she might of even been impressed and asked you about it, and you could have started talking about some other movies, and she'd say "Oh I've seen that one too", and so on and so on. And within two minutes you could at least establish an acquaintance, which you could pick up and develop into a small friendship tomorrow at school. But no, you just have to be a pathetic, cowardly MUTE.

I slunk out of the video store as alone and empty handed as I had entered, but feeling a lot worse than before.

Well, Creature of the Deep definitely sucked as bad as it sounded. On top of the fact that nearly every female in the movie ended up topless and the creature looked as authentic as an animatronic rat, the DVD was so scratched up that it would pixilate and skip around scenes. Whatever. It was laughable in some parts. It's not like I had anything much better to do.

Glancing at my digital clock, I saw it was only 9:30 PM. I wasn't close to tired. Bored, I pulled out my phone and texted Lucy.

Hey what's up?

I only had to wonder what this particular friend was up to for a few moments before she replied. To my surprise, she didn't reply with "g2g busy" or something equally vague yet suggestive.

Bored. I was going to go out and do something with Tyler but he got grounded.
Tyler wasn't Lucy's boyfriend. Very few guys she mentioned were actually in a relationship with her. She just had "dates" here and there. Mainly, it was the same group of boy-toys who usually played around nearly as much as she did. To some it might sound trashy, but her drama it was a source of entertainment for me, and my inner feminist could appreciate how she treated guys the same way they often treat women.

Why is he grounded?

Lucy's boy-toys varied in looks and personality, but they all tended to be on the bad side. Tyler however, was my favorite of sorts, though I had never even spoken to him. Why was he my favorite? Because he frustrated Lucy by being a ridiculously good-looking but extremely conservative Christian. I was technically Christian as well, but I looked pagan next to Saint Tyler. Which is why stories about him and wild Lucy together were always so amusing.

He has a D in Arts Survey.

I immediately responded.

Arts Survey is the most retarded "class" ever! How could he have a D?

Right after I sent it, I knew why. A minute later, the phone vibrated again.

Because it's so retarded he won't waste his time on any of the busy work. So his parents grounded him. Even though he's a senior. Kind of extreme.
That was ridiculous. The last time I was "grounded", I was twelve and it was for breaking something. And I was grounded by not being allowed out…which I couldn't do anyway because I never went out. So basically I got yelled at a bit. Otherwise, I can't remember doing any mischief or being punished for it. So far, I've been a pretty good kid.

I talked to Lucy a while about this, texting back and forth, and finally I fell asleep with the phone in hand, waiting for her to reply again.

Last edited by Mosha on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:10 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : grammar errors)


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Re: Every Breath You Take - by VampPhan, Chapter 1, Young Adult

Post  Firebrand on Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:04 pm

Some general stuff first, before I get to the content of the review. Grammar stuff.

"This was the first time he had been to the park." I think there's a way to show, and not tell this. It seems a little jarring to have it just stated outright.

""What's your name?" asked the girl as she continued feeding a duck nearby her. He replied a bit shyly.
"Tucker"" Personally, I would change this so that he says his name and has the speech tag on the same line.

"girl's mother read a book and Tuckers father " Should be "Tucker's father". In that same paragraph, there is "He accepted simply", and I don't think simply is the term you want here. It doesn't really fit.

In the first bit from Tucker's perspective, you did something I've seen a lot. You just dumped a bunch of information in a style of "here's how it is, I'm not going to subtly introduce it". Not that it's bad, but there are better ways to do it.

"My dad works in an office, designing advertisements or something" I'm pretty sure a seventeen year old would have a fairly good idea of what her parents do.

"doing homework, surfing the web, being bored, etc." Etc. is not a term I really consider using in my writing. There are other, better ways to express it.


As to the content of the actual chapter, well, it's not usually my cup of tea, but it was well written. I think though, in the future, you might want to focus strictly on one of the two characters for the breadth of the chapter, and only switch perspectives at chapter breaks. This streamlines the action. I've been guilty of the same thing, but when you have two distinct perspectives, you're better off finding a continuity.


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Re: Every Breath You Take - by VampPhan, Chapter 1, Young Adult

Post  VampPhan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:43 pm

As for knowing what Mia's parents do exactly and the main characters' inner dialogue, I appreciate your input but I think I'll keep what I have because how I portray a teenage thought is based on my own teenage thoughts. I still don't know how to describe what my own dad does for a living, I just know the basic idea.
I'm nearly finished with this story and the point of view continues to go between Tucker and Mia, the lengths of each part varying. I think having both points of view gives more dimension to the story.
Thank you for pointing out my grammatical and sentence structure errors though. It's very easy for me to not catch little mistakes like that. I'll definitely fix them in a Word document, but I'm a bit confused as to what we should do after recieving reviews. Should I correct these mistakes and repost?


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Re: Every Breath You Take - by VampPhan, Chapter 1, Young Adult

Post  Mosha on Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:20 pm

You can edit your original post for correcting grammar mistakes.
Also you can add a divider at the bottom of the body text and write your explanation.
(Additional messages)
P.S. As of now I am changing "Publishing Policy - Authors please read" to reflex this, thanks for bringing it up.

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