A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

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MonsieurMoustache
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A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by MonsieurMoustache » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:34 am

Death's bony finger pointed at the cradle. The exam was blond-haired and rosy cheeked.

Malady blanched. "Aren't there any older ones?"

Death checked his wrist-hourglass meaningfully. Malady felt her grades slipping by the second.

The child gurgled.

Malady considered. Something flashy, to impress Master Death, but quick, for the kid's sake.

She sneezed out a yellow cloud. The baby coughed - got poxmarks like demon's kisses - retched something blue - went cold.

Death gave Malady a thumbs-up.

"I don't BELIEVE it!" cursed the baby's soul, which stood ankle-deep in its body. "Reincarnation paperwork takes forever! You better stamp my frequent dier card."

___________


Wanh-wah. Sorry to end on a pun. Word count was tricky on this one. Do dashes count as words? I hope not. Malady's just getting shown the ropes by her dad's Boss. I'm sure she'll make a great Pestilence one day. Would love feedback. And a better title. EDIT: Advice from Varda helped me rewrite. Title change as well.

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Re: A Day in the Afterlife of Pestilence Jr. (Apprentice The

Post by Varda » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:48 pm

Overall, I like it! My favorite part is the baby's soul standing "ankle deep" in its body - immediate mood reversal after watching the baby die. I really do dig the end-pun, incidentally. I know there's a fear of overusing the rimshot since drabbles often work that way, but it works well in a story like this, which looks so grim on the mortal side of things but gains some fun from the ethereal perspective, where less is at stake.
MonsieurMoustache wrote:But Death and his schedule were intimate.
The word "intimate" threw me in this bit. I think you're trying to communicate that Death is a real stickler and won't change his schedule for anyone, right? It feels like another word belongs in place of intimate if that's the case. Something like "unmoved" or "unmoving", or "punctual". Hard to think of something with the right flavor.

Definitely would recommend changing the title, though. I assumed at first that the baby was Pestilence Jr. since Malady already has a name, and because the baby was so unsurprised to see them at the end. Like he was a little brother Malady was playing a prank on. :) I'll noodle on it... need caffeine before I can access the rest of my word-hoard.
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Re: A Day in the Afterlife of Pestilence Jr. (Apprentice The

Post by MonsieurMoustache » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:00 am

Varda wrote:
MonsieurMoustache wrote:But Death and his schedule were intimate.

I originally rewrote that to "Death's schedule was his bible" but felt that was a little too charged. Then I just got rid of it and used my words to buy some more time with Malady. Thanks for your feedback, stachebro. Helped me finetune it. I think this could be one of my best drabbles if I can just figure it out - I'm always so eager to post that I don't give them age time. I look forward to your critiques too much!

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Re: A Day in the Afterlife of Pestilence Jr. (Apprentice The

Post by Varda » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:58 pm

MonsieurMoustache wrote:I look forward to your critiques too much!
Me too, my friend!! :D

Okie doke. Draft 2 is much stronger! A couple of fiddly bits that jumped out at me on this read-through:
MonsieurMoustache wrote:The test was blond-haired and rosy cheeked.
"Test" can have a few meanings depending on the context. Since this context is explicitly academic, how about "exam"? Sets the stage quicker for the teacher/student relationship and Malady's youngish age. And that way we know it's not a test in the sense of "test of strength", etc.

Also, just an opinion, but I think this sentence would be a tad stronger if moved to directly after "Aren't there any older ones?".

Now I'm off to take an exam of my own. Let's hope there won't be any dead babies involved! ;)
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Re: A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by gunsofchekhovia » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:38 pm

I missed the first draft, but this is spectacular. The ending is positively groanworthy. Good work.

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Re: A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by MonsieurMoustache » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:08 am

gunsofchekhovia wrote:I missed the first draft, but this is spectacular. The ending is positively groanworthy. Good work.

I love ending on a groan. Building a drabble is like a musical composition - it requires finality and a degree of 'Well, that's enough of that."

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Re: A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by Varda » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:24 pm

MonsieurMoustache wrote: I love ending on a groan. Building a drabble is like a musical composition - it requires finality and a degree of 'Well, that's enough of that."
Well put, Mr. M. I really love this drabble, by the way. One of your best yet.

...And your animated avatar... disturbing if you've just left the browser page open and it starts blinking at ya... :shock: :D 8)
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Re: A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by MonsieurMoustache » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:19 am

Varda wrote: Well put, Mr. M. I really love this drabble, by the way. One of your best yet.

...And your animated avatar... disturbing if you've just left the browser page open and it starts blinking at ya... :shock: :D 8)
That was the idea. I didn't want it to interfere with people reading my drabble, but I rather think they will have a sense of unease when reading most of them now thanks to old Bea. We should tighten our moustache mythos. Have a live chat or something and hash out some ideas for the overall plot to tie down the whole story line.

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Re: A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by Varda » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:47 pm

MonsieurMoustache wrote:
Varda wrote: Well put, Mr. M. I really love this drabble, by the way. One of your best yet.

...And your animated avatar... disturbing if you've just left the browser page open and it starts blinking at ya... :shock: :D 8)
That was the idea. I didn't want it to interfere with people reading my drabble, but I rather think they will have a sense of unease when reading most of them now thanks to old Bea. We should tighten our moustache mythos. Have a live chat or something and hash out some ideas for the overall plot to tie down the whole story line.
Heck yeah! We should get the Whisker Kinfolk assembled and polish up the details. It's just about time to get recording. I have grand plans to turn my closet into the most outrageous soundproof recording room ever. :twisted:

Varda casts Summon Dr. Bonsai! Varda casts Summon The-Hest-of-Hale!
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Re: A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by MonsieurMoustache » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:11 am

Varda wrote:
MonsieurMoustache wrote:
Varda wrote: Well put, Mr. M. I really love this drabble, by the way. One of your best yet.

...And your animated avatar... disturbing if you've just left the browser page open and it starts blinking at ya... :shock: :D 8)
That was the idea. I didn't want it to interfere with people reading my drabble, but I rather think they will have a sense of unease when reading most of them now thanks to old Bea. We should tighten our moustache mythos. Have a live chat or something and hash out some ideas for the overall plot to tie down the whole story line.
Heck yeah! We should get the Whisker Kinfolk assembled and polish up the details. It's just about time to get recording. I have grand plans to turn my closet into the most outrageous soundproof recording room ever. :twisted:

Varda casts Summon Dr. Bonsai! Varda casts Summon The-Hest-of-Hale!
Yeah, we've left it kinda tight. We need to hurry. I think we still need a conclusion and a couple standalones. Hey, do you have Google hangouts? Maybe we could arrange a group brainstorm.

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Re: A Day in the Afterlife (Apprentice Theme)

Post by Varda » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:18 am

MonsieurMoustache wrote: Yeah, we've left it kinda tight. We need to hurry. I think we still need a conclusion and a couple standalones. Hey, do you have Google hangouts? Maybe we could arrange a group brainstorm.
Sure, let's do it! I've not used Google hangouts before, but I've not go problem learning.
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