#1
Bob Leyland opened his eyes and stood up. He looked around behind him nervously and, seeing that nobody was interested in disturbing him, Bob began walking and left the snowcovered park. Bob walked unsteadily down the sidewalk, looking at all the people walking by going the other way coffee morning briskly and certainly.

Bob felt his forehead pulse slightly as his heart pumped blood through it. He stepped barefooted out onto the street for a couple of steps and STOPPED frozen solid on the worn asphalt as a bus ran a redlight and came within two inches of his nose. He resumed walking as the rest of the crispy morning tie people caught up with him and flooded around him, taking no notice of his terrible smell, greasy dandruff hair, or torn up faded clothes.

Bob walked several more blocks and took a right, arriving at a small, semi-rundown church with a line of people outside it. He got in the back of the line for five or six seconds and waited, until a large man with a messy slop apron on came out the cracked paint-peeling door and said "Sorry guys, no more". From the crowd came general noises of frustration, disapproval, and hunger. Bob noticed his friend Mike in front of him in line. "Hey mike!", Bob called. Mike turned around, made a face of recognition, and walked towards Bob. "There's another place we might be able to eat at, it's a couple blocks over", said Mike. And so they started walking.

At the next church, the same big line was formed outside, and the same sort of fat slop man with a kind face came out and said the same sorts of things to the crowd and the crowd made the same sorts of hungry noises as before. And Mike told Bob there was one more place they could try and they went there then and same old line same old slop man same old apologies same old noises dirty people smelly grease hunger every morning after morning after newspaper crisp coffee walk morning.

So Mike and Bob walked on, aimlessly, unnoticed by anyone or anything.

Turning a corner, Mike and Bob ran into another friend, Jack, wielding a rusty butter knife. "Hey Jack!", Bob started saying until the Jack was transformed into a "Jaaghrgahckgagh!", because Jack jumped onto Bob and lightning quick, before Mike could do anything, sliced his throat open. Bob lay on the concrete, bleeding out a puddle across the entire sidewalk as people walked through it, getting blood on their shoes and ankles. Mike stood for a second in horror as Hungry Jack stooped over and began carving Bob up, sawing out pieces of quivering flesh, heart still pumping blood through his body and out onto the sidewalk and onto people's shoes and ankles, and eating him right there on the concrete.

Mike looked around. The people walked by without noticing, splashing in the blood, getting it all over themselves. Never noticing a thing. Jack began cutting Bob's clothes off in order to access the parts with the most meat, throwing them off onto the curb as the people walked by and walked by and walked by, hundreds of them walking by just looking up and not noticing anything strange at all, just the same old sidewalk and same old morning coffee briskness ties and the same old disgusting manged animals eating roadkill on the very edges of that same old apathy, just barely perceived enough, sometimes, to make it on those charts.

Mike bent over and dug in with his fingernails.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
#2
I think you could write some really great short stories. This topic however seems really overdone to me. Despite your prose which i do like: ("Bob started saying until the Jack was transformed into a "Jaaghrgahckgagh!", "going the other way coffee morning briskly and certainly.") the topic of the homeless being invisible and driven to the inhumane has just been hammered into my brain from a multitude of sources.
i need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah.
#3
I don't feel like your narrative voice is fully here in this piece. It feels like you tried to tone it down or had an off day when you wrote this. I feel like with such a bizarre and gruesome ending, you could have (and should have) really let your weird, quirky, over-the-top poetic voice shine in this piece.

As it is, it's an interesting and well-written narrative piece, but it just doesn't strike me like much of your other work does.

#4
An interesting idea, it's a bit survivor story ship-wreck on an empty island, but instead of an island, they're in another hostile environment, the city.

However, I don't think you've quite suspended my disbelief enough. I was following you, until wait, all of a sudden their "friend" jumps out and starts eating Bob? First off, you haven't shown me enough of who Bob is for me to really get upset when he gets killed. There's so much more you could explore with the homeless, drudge up a little sympathy as to how he got to where he is, what was his life before he became homeless. Did a terrible tragedy befall him leaving him without a friend in the world? I can also quite easily sympathize with the simple state of hunger, and you've set it up through their situation and actions, but what's going through their minds? Are they experiencing any physical ailments attributing to starvation? More importantly, I think, what was going through Jack's mind before he spontaneously turned to cannibalism. Is he insane? Or in such desperation throes that he was willing to do anything to eat? You've got a good start here, I just think we need a bit more to set us up for such a gruesome end.

Crit?
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If I'm not raw, I'm just a bit underdone.
Last edited by Svetlova at Aug 15, 2011,