New link in the top of page "IRC Chat".
Register | Login
Views: 92876004
Main | Memberlist | Active users | Calendar | Last Posts | IRC Chat | Online users
Ranks | FAQ | XPW | Stats | Color Chart | Photo album
01-19-21 10:35 AM
0 users currently in Muses' Sanctuary.
Xeogaming Forums - Muses' Sanctuary - XGF COMPETITION ENTRY: The Convict | |
Next newer thread | Next older thread
User Post
Lord Vulkas Mormonus

Vile
High Xeodent of Xeomerica.








Since: 10-29-04
From: North Carolina, United States. World, Sol System, milky way

Since last post: 1119 days
Last activity: 201 days
Posted on 08-18-10 12:39 PM Link | Quote
Note:

Yeah, I know that the majority of writers/readers here aren't horribly religious, and as such will have mixed feelings regarding the themes presented, but I thought I'd post this story anyway, since all my better ideas would have to be far longer than this. But that also means that you'll be the best critics as far as writing style and mechanics go...so...enjoy!

The Convict

Gray walls. They were the last thing he would ever see.
The convict gingerly felt the bruises which the guards had inflicted upon him. A merry Christmas indeed. Injuries covered his chest and back; the guards had continued to beat him long after he had stopped resisting. It was no less than he deserved, he provoked the guards whenever he could, and they beat him for it.

He had driven everything from him, until only the gray walls, only this cell remained.

The convict was on death row, accused of having murdered a police officer with a knife. This wasn't the first of the convict's crimes, either. He had previously run against the law for burglaries, drug possession, and assault. With that sort of reputation, it was no wonder that he was given the death penalty. He was to be executed in only ten hours, on Christmas Eve. It was to be a death by electrocution.

The convict tightened his fist irritably. What did these bruises matter if he was to die in a mere ten hours?

“You have a visitor.” The convict looked up as the cell door opened. Who would still be mad enough to visit him? His wife divorced him and took his children, his parents and siblings disowned him long before he was even jailed, and most of his friends were too disloyal to visit him even as he was about to die.

A man walked in, wearing the formal robes of a priest. The convict looked at him. “I'm a sinner who has caused nothing more than chaos and despair on this earth. What could you want with me?”
 
The priest looked at the convict, an odd sadness in his eyes. “My name is Johnathan Penn, and I'm here to speak of God.”

The convict smirked. “Clearly you missed the memo, Johnathan Penn. God forsook me long ago, when he destroyed my family and left me in this cell to rot. Even my rotting remains won't be left at peace. They'll be lit up bright, just in time for Christmas.”
 
The priest shook his head. “God loves all his children, even you. Put your trust in him, and while he may not save your life, he will at least save your soul.”
 
At this the convict couldn't help but laugh. “You speak of trust? I once trusted in God was you did. I sung louder than any other man during church. I obeyed the commandments, I listened to the preachers as they stood up in their pedestals, just as you do. But where was God when my wife left me, stealing my children with her? Where was God when I was disowned by my family? Where was God when I was left penniless on the street, forced to steal for my life? Where was God when I was framed for murder! Was he watching after me?”
 
A teardrop appeared in Johnathan's eye, a gesture that seemed odd in the convict's miserable world. A gesture that seemed wrong in these gray walls. “God gives men trials that they may show their faith. You may die, but if you die with God, you will live with him again in Heaven.”
 
“No,” the convict said, shaking his head. “My legacy is that of chaos. Even God isn't merciful enough to save a man such as I.”
 
The priest nodded, and sat down in the single chair in the convict's cell. He simply sat, silently. There was silence for several minutes. The convict fuming, the priest only sitting, mourning for a man he believed destined to Hell.
 
The priest finally spoke. “What was your favorite hymn?” he asked.
 
“It was Glory to God once.” he said. “It spoke of peace on earth and good will towards men. Heh, to think I used to actually believe that that was possible.”
 
The pastor nodded. “Mine is A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, do you know why?”
 
The convict shook his head. “Why?”
 
“Because it shows what God's nature truly is. In the song, he disguises as a poor and wretched beggar, and asks a man for food. The man says yes. Christ asks for shelter, the man says yes. Finally, Christ asks for the man to die for him in much the same manner as you are now about to die. Christ will challenge us, we may even die for him, but if we hold strong, he will save us.”
 
The priest stood. “And now I'm afraid that I must take my leave.” The priest stood.

“See you,” the Convict said.

The priest turned. “Ask yourself,” he said. “Did God drive you out, or in your misery, did you drive away God?”

The convict could do nothing but laugh. “You are a strange man, priest.” He leaned back against the wall. “Go speak to a man who will live to see your teachings.”

What did that man know of God? What did that man know of the Convict's life? He laid down, and stared at the walls. They were gray, but perhaps not as gray as he'd believed. Black flecks, stains from another man's urine, never cleaned up.

It might not be gray, in color, but it was still devoid of happiness. Of pleasure, of love. It was nothing. He fell to sleep.

He had come home to find his house empty. His wife's belongings gone. He had no children for. It wasn't her, it was him. He was unable to bear the children she wanted.

She wasn't greedy. She took her clothes, her movies, her desk, her books. Nothing else. Maybe she was in a hurry, maybe she didn't have space to move everything, but she left plenty.
 
“Wake up.”
 
The convict's eyes opened slowly. The first thing he saw was the chair the priest had been sitting in. A gray chair, of course. In it, was a white piece of paper. The convict sat up, grabbing the piece of paper, and look at it. “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief,” the title said. The convict shook his head, and pocketed it in his blue pants.
 
“It's time,”

The convict looked up at the prison guard who had spoken. “I'm to die now?”
 
“Yes.” It was a strange feeling to the convict, strange to know that in a few short minutes, his life was to be over.

The convict nodded. “Very well.” The cell door opened, and several guards walked inside. They cuffed him, and the convict held the paper in his hands, hidden from view. The guards walked him along the hallway.
 
The convict looked at the piece of paper, cupping his hands so that only he could see it. “In prison I saw him next,” the convict read. “To meet a Traitor's doom at Morn. The Tide of lying tongues I stemmed, And honored him 'mid shame and scorn. My friend's utmost zeal to try, he asked if I for him would die. The flesh was weak, my blood ran chill, But my free spirit cried, I will.”
 
The guards opened a door and escorted the convert into a small room. A room with only a chair inside. “Then in a moment to my view The stranger started from disguise. The tokens in His hands I knew The Savior stood before mine eyes. He spake, and my poor name He named,“Of Me thou hast not been ashamed. These deeds shall thy memorial be; Fear not, thou comest unto Me.”

He looked into the viewing room. Gray walls still, walls that had seen sadness, walls that had seen hate. It was empty. No friends, no family. What did the priest know of God? The Convict had nothing.

“Did God drive you out, or did you drive away God?”

The convict lost his job after his wife left. He got into drinking at first, until he was kicked out of his apartment for lack of rent. It was all downhill from there. The church helped him at first, but even they left him when he refused to stop drinking.
 
A tear streamed down the convict's face. He felt a firm hand grabbed his arm, and felt himself pushed into the cold metal chair.
 
“Dear God,” he finally whispered. “My Heavenly Father. You have tested me, and only at the end do I realize the truth.”
 
Water was dripped over his brow. “I left you.” A metal helmet was placed on his head. “I may be late, but please,” the guards left the room. “forgive me for what I have done.”
 
He saw a man in the viewing room grab a lever. “Father, let me return to you!”
 
The man pulled the lever, and the convict was no more.


(Last edited by Stinky Underpants on 08-21-10 06:20 PM)
Phoenixocracy

The one true Xeodent








Since: 01-08-10
From: Xeomerica

Since last post: 293 days
Last activity: 293 days
Posted on 08-20-10 07:55 AM Link | Quote
EDIT: I don't think I count as a judge anymore, considering that I'm not in this. So my score were removed.

Good job, though.


(Last edited by Phoenix on 08-22-10 01:15 PM)
Elara

Divine Mamkute
Dark Elf Goddess
Chaos Imp
Penguins Fan

Ms. Invisable








Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 4 days
Posted on 08-20-10 04:39 PM Link | Quote
Ok, finally time to post a judgement....

Grammar: 9

Good as always.

Spelling: 10



Plot: 9
Nice, simple... went a little bit fast.

Characters: 8

I honestly love the priest's character. He seems far more developed than the main character, and his dialogue seems far more natural. A lot of the convict's dialogue seemed forced and artificial. His mental narration though was very good.

Description: 8
The repetitiveness of the grey walls I felt was a nice touch for a prison. The only thing more that would have been nice was a description of the convict and the priest themselves.

Creativity: 8

You made a bold choice, in my opinion. In some ways the redemption of the death row inmate has been done, but usually not for a short story piece. Plus I do like the way you did it.

Overall: 52

Overall, a very good effort and a good read.



Edited to update scoring.



(Last edited by Elara on 08-24-10 02:33 PM)
Lord Vulkas Mormonus

Vile
High Xeodent of Xeomerica.








Since: 10-29-04
From: North Carolina, United States. World, Sol System, milky way

Since last post: 1119 days
Last activity: 201 days
Posted on 08-20-10 07:25 PM Link | Quote
Well, I was sort of hoping I'd have until the 21st to edit it, but you know...

I guess I didn't.
Elara

Divine Mamkute
Dark Elf Goddess
Chaos Imp
Penguins Fan

Ms. Invisable








Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 4 days
Posted on 08-20-10 07:53 PM Link | Quote
If you wish to edit it, I will take that into consideration and alter my scoring. You did submit early so that puts you at a bit of a disadvantage.
Lord Vulkas Mormonus

Vile
High Xeodent of Xeomerica.








Since: 10-29-04
From: North Carolina, United States. World, Sol System, milky way

Since last post: 1119 days
Last activity: 201 days
Posted on 08-20-10 09:00 PM Link | Quote
Yeah, you'll notice I left a good 800 words for editing/additions. I'm sure I'll be tightening up my story tonight, especially in the beginning.
Phoenixocracy

The one true Xeodent








Since: 01-08-10
From: Xeomerica

Since last post: 293 days
Last activity: 293 days
Posted on 08-20-10 09:48 PM Link | Quote
EDIT: Explained in my previous post.


(Last edited by Phoenix on 08-22-10 01:16 PM)
Elara

Divine Mamkute
Dark Elf Goddess
Chaos Imp
Penguins Fan

Ms. Invisable








Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 4 days
Posted on 08-24-10 02:33 PM Link | Quote
Alright, edited my post to update my rulings.
Xeios

You WANKER!








Since: 08-16-04

Since last post: 3671 days
Last activity: 1841 days
Posted on 08-25-10 01:15 AM Link | Quote
Now a post from Xeios, the 'mean' judge.

Grammar: 7

Well done, I don't understand why everything was in separate paragraphs, a couple of sentences make up a paragraph, usually 4-6, and yours seemed much shorter than that. Fragments and what not. You could use a bit more variety with sentence structure, call your main character something other than the convict occasionally.

Spelling:

I refuse to grade spelling, everything has a spell-checker anymore.

Plot: 6

The plot is used as a device to relay the characters, and as such an excellent job is done. I would've liked to see a bit more expansion, a bit more in terms of progression on the characters. Specifically, an almost too brilliant end would be: "The man pulled the lever, the convict was no more, the convert became eternal."

I think that would more than tie in your religious message, and leave an almost haunting afterthought.

Characters: 8

The only reason I've scored your characters as low as I have, is because it sounded as if you were speaking for both characters. The mannerisms of the Convict in particular would have been more than due a different feel than the mannerisms of the priest. He felt as though he wasn't unique enough, making him more doubtful, instead of almost seeming like he was playfully disagreeing with the priest instead of being as doubtful as he was. The priest also felt as though he gave up too easily, which would have been understanding if the convict was being violent or very unapproachable. The priest had more than enough time and more than enough of an opening to try and save the convict's soul. Also, a priest would've asked the convict's name, presumably.

Description: 5

Well done, repetitive though. Everything that was described was gray, perhaps he would have noticed some blue skies outside of his bars before he was taken from his cell. An almost international sign of hope.

Creativity: 7

One of the most creative pieces I've read for this contest, coupled with a near-mastery of the pen to bring this through. I would have liked to see more of this story, and if there are any flaws with the creative energies of this piece, they all lie in the convict's almost typical back story. Personally, I believe it would have been better had he actually committed the murder, which he claims he did not, if only because a truly penitent soul can be forgiven of everything, which he proved he was in the end.

Overall: 33

Why do each of these stories I read keep getting better? Either way, I really liked your work, and I hope that my criticisms can help with the construction of a revision later, or at least be in the back of your mind when you write your next work.
Phoenixocracy

The one true Xeodent








Since: 01-08-10
From: Xeomerica

Since last post: 293 days
Last activity: 293 days
Posted on 08-26-10 08:18 AM Link | Quote
*Ahem*

Grammar: 8

A bit could use changing. Some of the sentences almost seemed forced into the story, like they don't belong there. Otherwise, great.

Spelling: 10

Shocker

Plot: 8

Defined, but a bit is still hazy. I would add in more background and give more of a reason for some things.

Characters: 9

Much improved since the first draft. Good job.

Description: 8

I would have liked to see a bit more of the characters, but the grey was a good way to show how the convict felt. It was a mood setter, so no complaints there.

Creativity:8

While redemption is an overdone theme, I thought you handled this well, and in your own way.

Overall: 51

A good job, and I would like to see more if you choose to rewrite this.
True Flight

The One








Since: 08-21-04

Since last post: 1499 days
Last activity: 1484 days
Posted on 08-26-10 09:29 AM Link | Quote
Grammar: 8
I see what you are trying to do, Douglas Coupland wrote the same way at points. So it's good gramer.

Spelling: 10
No errors

Plot: 8
There was a beginning, a satisfying climax, and an end.

Characters: 7
I can see how the characters are. I love how you put the accepting angel infront of the chaotic demon.

Description: 9
You did exceptionally well making it seem like I was there.

Creativity: 2
Sadly, this reminds me of Dead Man Walking. One of the stars in that movie was Sean Penn. See where I'm going? The prisoner was even visited by a Sister. Yes I know it's a common thing. This is pretty much the end of the movie.

Over all: 44
Lord Vulkas Mormonus

Vile
High Xeodent of Xeomerica.








Since: 10-29-04
From: North Carolina, United States. World, Sol System, milky way

Since last post: 1119 days
Last activity: 201 days
Posted on 08-26-10 09:46 AM Link | Quote
For the record, I have never seen Dead Man Walking...although I think I'm about to, xD.
Cairoi
This isn't about you and your loud mouth,
This is about me and my fucking beard.








Since: 08-29-04
From: PA

Since last post: 3446 days
Last activity: 3069 days
Posted on 08-29-10 07:32 PM Link | Quote
Grammar: 9

Paragraphs were short. 'Bout it.

Spelling: 10

hurf durf

Plot: 7

As a singular scene with a short climax, I got a somewhat small feeling from the story as a whole, but in terms of the interaction between the characters and the progression, it performs admirably within its space.

Characters: 7.5 (round up to 8 if you must)

You have the makings of two very good characters here. They are relatable, realistic, and unique. In terms of the two, the character that exhibits the most flaws in terms of writing is the convict. You touched upon his background, and it is there where I think you could have sold the piece utterly. You compact his moment of revelation to a short flashback.

"The convict lost his job after his wife left. He got into drinking at first, until he was kicked out of his apartment for lack of rent. It was all downhill from there. The church helped him at first, but even they left him when he refused to stop drinking. "

EXPAND. Show some of these scenes, even if they are nothing but brief glimpses. If you give that a sympathetic light, and you trace with the artistry I know you are capable of, you provide an excellent return path to bring him to where he has come now.


Description: 7

You can compose a scene, but you definitely need something else in there to completely capture what you're getting at.

Creativity: 8

I'm not a religious person by any means, but some of my greatest role models have been religious, so I hold nothing against them. In an age where the worship of god has been bastardized into an excuse for bigotry and hatred, I've met a few people who believe in a God that is forgiving to everyone. These people are rare.

This story shows you as one of those people. While the basic setup has been used many times, it is your style, and your choice of language that sets this piece apart. It is unique on its original, masterful take of a classic story.

Overall: 46.5
Next newer thread | Next older thread
Xeogaming Forums - Muses' Sanctuary - XGF COMPETITION ENTRY: The Convict |



xeogaming.org

AcmlmBoard 1.92++ r4 Baseline
?2000-2013 Acmlm, Emuz, Blades, Xkeeper, DarkSlaya*, Lord Alexandor*
*Unofficial Updates
Page rendered in 0.227 seconds.
0.064