I re did the first thirteen lines. Let me know if this is better and clearer to read and not so "clunky". Thank you. It's also finished, so if anyone else would like to read it, I'll send it to you.
Dr. Desmond stuck the needle in my arm and pressed down on the button, pushing the blue fluid into my blood stream. I cringed, looking up at him. He smirked. The light gleamed in his ruby eyes and his long gray hair hung below his waist. My girlfriend suggested I see this doctor, and he promised this would make me better. I wondered now if this was a mistake. “How do you feel?” Dr. Desmond asked, his voice distant. “Dizzy,” I replied, seeing thousands of black speckles racing across my sight. “I feel like I’m… I’m dying.” I felt my heart slow down so much I thought it might stop. “Good,” he said. “You’re supposed to feel that way.” I looked up. My eyes widened. “What’s happening to me, Doc?” I started seeing three of everything.
Older 13 lines
Dr. Desmond, who had gray hair passing his waist, stuck the long needle in my arm and pressed down on the button, draining the blue fluid into my blood stream. I cringed, looking up at him. His eyes gleamed off the flourescent light above and he smirked. He’d told me this would make me better, and I’d believed him. But I felt dizzy now, and my vision blurred. My girlfriend suggested I see him, but now I wondered if that was a mistake. “How do you feel?” Dr. Desmond asked, his voice distant. “Dizzy,” I replied. “I feel like I’m… I’m dying.” My heart slowed down and I thought it would stop completely. “Good,” he said. “You’re supposed to feel that way.” I looked at him. My eyes widened. “What’s happening to me, Doc?”
[This message has been edited by XD3V0NX (edited September 02, 2010).]
I find the idea intriguing, but the story is hard to read. I realize this is not very helpful so let me see if I can clarify what I mean.
Dr. Desmond, who had gray hair passing his waist, <~~I found this structure awkward. I read it as his hair was moving and went past his waist, then I realized that the old guy just had long hair. stuck the long needle in my arm and pressed down on the button, draining the blue fluid into my blood stream. There are a lot of ideas in this one sentence, you might want to split up the sentence, or even move some of the elements to a later part of the story. I cringed, looking up at him. His eyes gleamed off the flourescent light I'm pretty sure his eyes didn't gleam off the light, the light might have gleamed in his eyes... above and he smirked.<~~~I don't know why, but this structure seems wrong to me, maybe one of the sentence structure people could give a reason, but I suggest moving the smirking to the beginning of the sentence.
He’d told me this would make me better, and I’d believed him. But I felt dizzy now, and my vision blurred. My girlfriend suggested I see him, but now I wondered if that was a mistake. This little segment felt awkward to me, it starts out in the past "He's told me" then moves to the present "I felt dizzy now" and then moves back to the past "My girlfriend suggested". I would suggest putting all the past stuff in one paragraph and let the present action flow. "My girlfriend suggested that I see this doctor, and he promised me this would make me better. Belatedly I wondered if this was a mistake. I felt dizzy now..."
“How do you feel?” Dr. Desmond asked, his voice distant. “Dizzy,” I replied. “I feel like I’m… I’m dying.” Interesting, but how does he know what dying feels like? Maybe a line of description on what he is actually feeling. My heart slowed down and I thought it would stop completely. Perhaps make this more immediate, "I felt my heart slow down so much I thought it might stop completely." “Good,” he said. “You’re supposed to feel that way.” I looked at him. My eyes widened. “What’s happening to me, Doc?” This might be a question for the medical peoples, but if his heart is slowing down so much, would he be this lucid?
These are just my thoughts as I read it, good luck with it, it sounds like a good story.
I agree pretty much word for with with what the first post said. The story idea is interesting, but the writing is a little clunky when it switches between past and present tense. Also, I would never waste the first sentence of a short story on description of someone's hair unless you're writing a story about a barber or something. The reason I say that is because when you only have 2000 words to get the story across, every word counts. I think I have an example that will make sense.
Last night I was watching a show on TV where a CIA agent and her contact were running from a group of bad guys in a warehouse. The contact had a gun, but it was old and she'd never used it. She said something like "I'm not even sure if it works." That would be a waste of dialogue unless it hooked back into the story later, which it did. As soon as she said it, two scenerios crossed my mind: either the gun does not work at a pivitol moment (and the contact dies) or it does, but only after a tense moment where the audience isn't sure there is a way out of what looks like an impossible situation. Either way, the comment set up the outcome. (The gun worked, by the way, and the contact saved the CIA agent, only to be shot moments later. Very sad.)
Anyway, I'm not saying leave out all description, but you might want to save it for later. But that's just one person's opinion.
Let me know how it goes when you're finished! At 2000 words, I'd take a look at it for you.
As far as the title goes, I like “Injected” best out of your list. It is simple, straight to the point, and preserves some of the mystery of what is going to happen. If you go with anything indicating what is being injected you a lot of the suspense of the opening.
As for the 13, I have an extreme fear of needles so the idea hooks me and terrifies me all at once. I guess I am an easy mark for needle horror.
I do have some small nits though, and here they are: I would drop the description of Dr. Desmond from your first line. It makes the sentence read awkwardly and it doesn’t seem important enough to be given first line status. I second the draining/pushing comment by NoTimeToThink, pushing creates a better sense of a threat as well, a violation. The light would gleam off of his eyes, not the other way around (light is reflected, not eyeballs). From “he’d told me” to the dialogue it feels very telling particularly the “I felt dizzy” especially when the MC tells Dr. he feels dizzy a line or two after. Maybe you could show it to us differently the first time and loose the dizzy echo. Lastly, you don’t need the “asked” and “replied.” The question mark lets us know it’s a question, and it’s clear the MC is replying so “said”s work all around.
I'd read more once you get it all straightened out. Sounds like a great story to be. I like 'Injected' as a title, too.
Based on my E.R. days, I can say that most people I observed who's heart was slowing down became very lethargic and their words were very slurred, if they even tried to speak. Something about the brain not getting its due. Good luck with it.
Thanks all. I have adjusted accordingly and I have finished. It stands at 2,200 words. I understood not to start with description. I had a feeling I was doing that part wrong, but I decided to have that up there to see what others said.
Trisha: I just sent you my story. Thank you for looking at it for me.
PB&Jenny: I'm about to send you it. By the time you get this, it should be in your inbox. Thank you for taking a look at it for me.
Bemused: I agree. I thought the title "Injected" sounded best. That's why I posted it as that. I just wanted to know what others thought. Thank you.
No Time To Think: I agree with you. Draining doesn't sound right. However, I thought about it, and wouldn't it sound better if instead of "Pushing" I actually use injected? I mean, that's the title of my story, so it could work if I said "Injected" rather than "pushing" or "draining", right?
Jayazman: Thank you for taking the time out to go through each sentence pretty much. I adjusted accordingly to your comments. I think it reads smoother now.
Unfortunately, I cannot post my new thirteen lines at this precise moment, since Microsoft Word isn't working on this computer now. When I get access to a computer that actually works (lol), I'll post them up to see what you all think of them.