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Lou`s Big Leap

by Ryanking261 

Posted: 22 February 2018
Word Count: 538
Summary: Lou must make an impossible jump to save his skin. Hunted by monsters, it's do or die.

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Lou gazed at the canyon before him. This one was larger than the others he had leapt across by far, albeit with a craggy island in the middle of it. He could feel the increasing rhythm of his heart beating, he could hear it in his head and his eyes seemed to almost be beating as well. One mistake and it was all over. A simple slip or miscalculation and he would be dead, never to be seen again.
                His worry was interrupted by the roar behind him. Lou had nearly forgotten why he needed to make this jump at all. Peering over his shoulder, as if trying to not get caught with his hand in the cookie jar, his eyes widened in surprise. The beast had a friend now. Both looked hungry. Both looked at Lou with their smoldering eyes that barely contained their animalistic hatred of the man they wanted to have for dinner.
                They were closing the gap quickly, almost faster than Lou expected. I’m dead either way just standing here, he thought, but at least falling beats getting digested. Just barely. Lou backed up and then began sprinting as quickly as he could towards the edge of the chasm. He surprised himself with how fast he was moving. Must be the adrenaline, he mused to himself while wondering why he never went for the track team in school. It probably would have helped with this next part.
                The edge of his foot came to the edge of the rift before him and he pushed off with all the strength he could muster. He aimed for that center island and hoped he would have enough momentum to make an immediate second leap. The island came closer and closer and the pounding of the beasts feet further and further. Then the island started to fall from his view. Lou reached out in vain as he began to free-fall. There was nothing to grab on the sheer side of the island and he was too far gone to grab the edge. The beasts looked on, primal amusement shone in their eyes, before they turned around and headed back home.
                Lou considered screaming but looking down into the void beneath, he knew it would be no use, he would just be screaming forever. He could see no bottom to this pit, so when death came it would be a shock. He supposed that was better than seeing the bottom and anticipating the white-hot pain of all his bones breaking at once. “I really should have done track in school. Hurdles would have helped,” Lou said to no one in particular. “No, no they wouldn’t,” replied a voice from below him.
                It was Lou. At least, it looked like him. “I did hurdles. I messed up. Not my fault though and not yours either,” Lou number two grumbled. In truth it wasn’t their fault that they didn’t make the jump. Player two, a seven year old name Toby, could never make that jump and never beat this level. Toby turned off the video game in disgust. Lou and Lou number two blinked out of existence. Lou number three never even got a chance, not that he’d ever know it.

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Comments by other Members

Carlyagain at 14:11 on 24 February 2018  Report this post

It is lovely to see you in CC. 

I thought the twist at the end of this piece was great. 

I'd been confused by the MC's reaction to much of the action, as in the following: 'Lou considered screaming but looking down into the void beneath, he knew it would be no use, he would just be screaming forever.'. This felt odd, as an ordinary person wouldn't analyse whether they need to scream or not. Ditto, some of the commentary around the athletics team. However, I don't know how an avatar would think, so who am I to say whether it fits well with the character.
This is where I managed to turn myself in circles on first reading, so I'll stick to a few other pointssmiley

The following line didn't work for me. A hand in a cookie jar may receive a slap, whereas he's going to die if he doesn't get a move on. The eyes widening in surprise is something someone else would say if they were narrating in third-person, watching him. He would feel a stab of fear, hear thumping, etc. The fear factor has doubled with the arrival of another beast.

Peering over his shoulder, as if trying to not get caught with his hand in the cookie jar, his eyes widened in surprise.

Both times I read the following line I had to reread, as I read 'falling beats' together. I think this is me though:

I’m dead either way just standing here, he thought, but at least falling beats getting digested.

he mused to himself = he mused (he is alone, so he isn't musing to anyone else)
name Toby = named Toby

There are times when more immediacy would be great, rather than telling us he wondered. 'If only he'd...' or 'Why hadn't he...'

while wondering why he never went for the track team in school.

I liked how you portrayed the beasts' amusement as they turned away.

This line was good as it made me think about the feeling of landing and all a person's bones being smashed to pieces:

the white-hot pain of all his bones breaking at once

The ending is a complete surprise, with a great twist. I can imagine the young boy throwing his control down in disgust and storming out of the room. Thank you for posting. I enjoyed reading this.


Ryanking261 at 14:41 on 24 February 2018  Report this post
Thank you so much for your commentar and critique! I find myself not liking the track team line as I read it again, but I wanted to try and give a sense that these video game characters have lived a life, or at least they believe that they have.  I think I could have done it a better way but I’m not sure exactly how. Your commentary, and that of some friends and family has highlighted to me a problem I seem to have with going between first and third-person. 

I am glad you enjoyed the ending and the story itself and again I thank you sincerely for taking the time to read and critique. :)

Carlyagain at 14:52 on 24 February 2018  Report this post
It's lovely that you have friends and family who read your work. I think you have a great imagination and there wasn't a huge problem with your first and third-person, just a few picky points on my part. 

It's great that you bring your video game characters to life. This story needs that or we wouldn't feel for them as their lives are extinguished.

When you say you're not sure how, I know how you feel. Sometimes writing can be a frustrating process, as someone picks something out and you can't see how it can be reworked but know that it should be. There are blogs where you can learn more about writing. I can provide more detail on these if this would be helpful.

Ryanking261 at 14:59 on 24 February 2018  Report this post
Oh yes, anything that helps me hone my craft or consider things/techniques I might not have otherwise. I would appreciate it very much. I sometimes feel regret at waiting 10 years to pick up a pen again. It’s not too late to make the dream a reality if I continue to apply myself though. 

Carlyagain at 16:19 on 24 February 2018  Report this post
Mary Wesley was in her seventies, so you have plenty of time. cheeky

Nicola Morgan used to do a blog called 'Help I need a Publisher'. You'll still find many of her posts (look on the list to the right of the screen) including ones on narrative drive, point of view, etc:


Emma Darwin has a useful blog on writing techniques, etc. 

This one is on psychic distance: http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/psychic-distance-what-it-is-and-how-to-use-it.html 

This one is on point of view: http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2011/10/point-of-view-narrators-1-the-basics.html

The Writers' Workshop offers a variety of writing advice on this page: http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/writing-a-book.html

I do look forward to reading more of your work. Just remember that it is your work and feedback is just that.

salli13 at 06:36 on 28 February 2018  Report this post
Great fast paced story. I didn't see the twist at the end coming, though i did wonder if it might turn out to be a dream.  The Cookie jar' comment felt totally out of place to me too.  Agree with most of Carltyagain's other comments.  But i thought that you wrote quite succinctly with very few excess words.

Deewrites at 11:46 on 28 February 2018  Report this post
I agree with the above.  I thought it all came together well with a twist at the end. I liked the fantastic element even before I realised it was a game.   I was not sure if it was an excerpt or it was complete though it worked as a complete piece. 

Two further technicalities;  “I’m dead either way just standing here”  Just standing there would not be “either way” but one of them Also “Then the island started to fall from his view”.  Wouldn’t he be the one falling if he missed it?  These weren’t a major problem though.
Nice one!  Dee

Ryanking261 at 09:42 on 01 March 2018  Report this post
Thank you both for your comments and critiques! 

I must say, after not writing for so long I had seriously been wondering if I could still write at all, much less something that anyone would enjoy. I am glad that you all did enjoy it.

Deewrites, as to the point about the island falling from view, I tried to imagine what it would look like if one were to be making a jump towards something and fall short and for some reason the wording "fall from view" seemed appropriate, though I think I can see what you are trying to say. 

Salli13, thank you as well. I think the cookie jar comment is probably out of place the more I read it, though at the time it felt appropriate to put in. Out of all the feedback I've received on here and other sources that line seems to be the one most often pointed out as not quite belonging.

I am excited to be writing again and I hope to continue my growth.

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