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First Chapter of Untitled Work.


Guest Brandon T.

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Guest Brandon T.

SO. This is my newest thing. I was reading October Gray and I couldn't really figure out how to turn it into something that was less... like itself. So I took instead all of the themes I was trying to work into that piece and decided to put them somewhere else, into something new even. This one doesn't have a title right now. And I know, paragraph size. I'm working on that. =( It got better toward the end, I was able to feel it out a bit more, but if you guys have any suggestions for breaking it up, I'm all ears. I'm all ears to any suggestions--especially for a title?--so throw them at me. This story's about... Hm. I don't know what it will be about, but it's inspired by a couple of things. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and that movie In The Land of Women that came out a couple of years ago. SO. I'm going for something new here. I'd just like to know what everyone thinks. Grammar, content, clarity, general construction. Especially the dialogue because I suck at dialogue would be great.

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He should have kept walking. He should have put one foot in front of the other--forcing them if he had to--until his legs remembered how to work on their own. And it would not have been that hard of a thing to do at all. After all, he did it every morning when he rolled out of bed. One foot in front of the other, stumbling through the sleepy haze of half-waking; down the hall toward the light, and the smell of bacon. Aware but not aware, awake but not awake. One foot, then the other, and so on and so forth until he no longer needed to keep track. Walking. He had never thought of taking it for granted, but somehow that's exactly what he had been doing. Assuming he'd be able to walk when he needed to. But he was young. Young people always took things for granted. He could almost hear his father's voice ringing in the back of his mind, ringing through the curling smoke of his tilted cigarette with eyes glinting, slanted, amused even.

Then again, no one ever wanted to think about the things they wouldn't be able to do when the time came. Just like he hadn't even begun to imagine that the one time he needed to keep walking, he wouldn't be able to. And now he was paying the price of his lack of preparation, staring in the eye of the jerk he'd just insulted because he had not been able to walk away. Shit. Shit! What was he going to do? Eyes to the left, blue and worried, then to the right, just as blue, more worried. His brothers, his protectors, no where to be found. Gone home more than likely, don't worry, you'll be fine! What a laugh. They knew what he went through when they weren't around, they had to know. Black eyes didn't fade so quickly that they failed to notice them before some bully got away with thumping his face with their fists. Not that it would have been a problem if they hadn't deserted him. With them around, no one dared. No one was bold enough. They knew this, they knew! But, no, they had traded his safety for Halo, on Legendary, Wiley, Legendary! Well, fuck, Legendary. Fuck it. Because right then, in that moment, beating Halo on Legendary was not going to help him avoid yet another beating.

His own fault really. Why did he have to be the smart one? He didn't have nearly enough muscles or bloodlust to fend off bullies. Jealous morons. Jealous of his brains. Brains which he would have traded right then and there if the slightest chance of escaping existed. Sadly, no such luck on his part. His dad was always saying, more teasing than jovial (but not quite so menacing as the bully, thankfully), that his mouth was too big for his body. To quick for his brain. Shit. Just walk away, Wiley. That's all he'd had to do. Walk away. The panic in his stomach coiled, tightened, and then relaxed in a long, shuddering stretch. He felt the cool periphery of his worry tickle at the base of his throat, a giggling apprehension caught up in his chest. So what if he insulted you, that was nothing new. Just walk away! But, damn. He'd talked about Tennessee. Tennessee. If there was any rule not meant to be broken, it was the one that forbade talking about Tennessee Glory. You didn?t! The perfect son of one of the town?s founding families, snatched away by fate, laughing fate. That asshole. Asshole.

Had Tennessee been alive, he would never have been so quick at the mouth. Had his other brothers been around, he most definitely would not have so readily cornered the youngest Glory brother for a little game of harass the runt. Damn it, Wiley. Damn it. The string of internal curses continued as Wiley stared into the green oblivion of Robert Caden?s blistering gaze. No pointed, glacial daggers. Just an unbounded, unfounded hate. Unbridled emotion too infinite to be sharp, just blunt in its size, a frank dislike. But there was so much of it. Too much to ignore. As if it wasn?t enough he put up with it the entire day, withering beneath the steady, penetrating heat of Robert?s calloused dislike like wheat in July. If this didn?t beat all. Staring into Robert?s eyes was like staring into the eyes of someone born to hate him, and considering the bad blood that ran between their families, he wasn?t quite sure that wasn?t so. There was an instinctual, primal desire in Robert, Wiley could tell, to hate him and all that he was about. Not because of anything Wiley had done to him or anything Wiley would do to him the future, but because Rob?s dad had hated Wiley?s dad and Wiley?s grandfather had hated Rob?s grandfather.

His brothers hated Rob. Tennessee had hated Rob. But he couldn?t hate Rob. He didn?t know Rob. They had shared cookies once in kindergarten, but that was the extent of their socializing. Their circles were entirely different, as different as they could be in a small town with limited people their own age. In small towns, things were muddled and blurred, alliances made and crossed and contorted. There were no outcasts. Unless your last name was either Caden or Glory. In which case, the lines were clearly drawn and would be until the end of time. Us against them, them against us. Beat in his face, Wiley, he?s not worth the air in his body! Walk away, Wiley, he?s not worth the trouble! While he had considered himself above the petty rivalry of his forefathers for so long, he hadn?t been able to rise above after hearing anyone with the last name Caden bad talk Tennessee. Perfect Tennessee. Who had been going places, big things ahead! Boy with the golden arm, better than any Glory before. Rising star plucked from the night sky like an overripe apple. Maybe boys in their prime were ripe for destruction. Maybe. But shit if it hadn?t felt good to turn around and verbally flay Robby Caden?s ass from here to Durrango County. But now. Now. In this moment, in this minute, Wiley felt winded. Winded and scared. No big brothers to hide behind this time, little Wiley. Gonna get what you deserve this time, Wiley. Not so wily now, are you?

?What did you say to me??

Wiley?s chest fell into his lungs, all the air escaping through his mouth in a single, shivering hiss. The moment of truth always seemed to rear its ugly head at the worst possible times. Like when he couldn?t walk. Oh, damn. Of all the days to suddenly forget how to put one foot in front of the other. To feel so distant and detached; moving any part of his body now felt like he was jerking at a puppet with stiff, stuck limbs, when had that happened? He could see Robby. Red hair, blond eyebrows, angry green eyes, and a twisted snarl. He wanted to laugh. Robby was quite possibly the goofiest looking person he had ever seen with his too long nose and oversized mouth. The way his stomach stuck out over his waist in a bold curve downward and the oversized palms of his hands covered in white, broken calluses. His eyes were wide-set perfect circles like fine china with an intricate, dainty webbing of red veins. Normally, Robby was funny looking. But when angry, he was comical. The heated expression was exaggerated to the point of being a farce. Laughable. His eyes may have been convinced that he hated Wiley, but the rest of his face seemed to be trying to make up its mind.

This was no time for laughter. No time for that, unfortunately. Now was a time to turn around, walk away, and go home. Maybe shout at his brothers a little for leaving him to the wolves. No greater crime than to be born smarter than everyone around you, doomed to absolute misery. But his mouth was wooden, his legs were wooden, everything remained stiff and locked into its place, neatly stowed away. Robby suffered no such problem and advanced, belly swaying, but not jiggling. Probably all muscle. Maybe a little muscle and slightly more fat. Thick arms, thick hands, thick legs, thick all over. Robby was scary. Too scary to stand up to. Unless he said something else about Tennessee. Then maybe he?d find some scrap of self-control to throw away and just so happen to push his fist into Robby?s face. Oh, oops. A mistake. Slight improvement, at least you?re not so ugly now. That was Milo?s voice, laughing and slightly higher than Jake?s. If only he could give his hallucinations shape, this wouldn?t be a problem.

?I said, what did you say to me??

?So I heard. Come on, Robby, let?s not be repetitive.?

Damn it, Wiley. Keep your mouth closed. Closed. Shit!

?You little shit, you talk big , but you ain?t nothing. Your whole family ain?t nothing.?

If at all possible, Robby?s face became redder. It was always so flushed. So very flushed. Like apples. Delicious, red apples. Wiley tried not to look at Robby. He knew he would have laughed and laughed hard. Here he was trying his best to be threatening and all his intended victim could think about was apples. What a joke. A big joke. Literally. Wiley?s gaze sidestepped Robby as Robby advanced forward, shoving his chest into Wiley and planting a finger firmly into the boy?s chest, twisting the fabric beneath the rough, scratchy fingertip. Oh brother. Wiley swallowed the moist air from Robby?s heavy breathing, crinkling his nose and clenching his hands into loose fists. Robby was close now. Too fucking close. Too damn close. Even for someone as wirey and lanky as Wiley, this was far enough.

?Aren?t and isn?t, Robby. You know, they have English remedia--?

Wiley?s incredibly witty reply was brought to an abrupt halt as his mouth filled with blood and surprised gurgles that muffled his dry humor. Robby twisted his fist, knuckles digging into the side of Wiley?s cheek, quickly drawing back his hand to take another jab. Which left Wiley staggering off to the side, up on one leg, hopping about. He turned and launched at Robby?s waist, driving his weight forward and feeling the vibration of bone on bone ring through his shoulders and arms. Shit. Before he knew what was what, up suddenly turned into down and down into up, his body pitching over and flopping to the ground before an oppressive, blunt weight landed atop him. Fingers found hair and shirts and strands came loose, coming to settle in the grass. Oh damn. Damn. Again and again, Wiley felt the thudding of his skull on the grass, fists lurching into his stomach and chest while his own fists found awkward lines and angles against Robby?s cheeks and shoulders, their bodies twisting in the grass, rolling.

And suddenly, he was able to breathe again. The sky was blue once more and all was well. Aside from the thunderous pounding in his head. Awareness came in a tepid stream; a sticky warmth beneath what he assumed was his nose, the dull pulsing in his hands, the off-center ache somewhere in his shoulders, the low burn where his chest turned into his stomach. The light from the sun came in bent, slanted angles over the flatlands, his eyes staring over his head at the tree with its sun-dappled branches swaying in the breeze, a carefree observer to the latest skirmish in an age-old feud. Somewhere in a faraway place, he heard shouting, but the peace he felt now was undisturbed, unbroken, easy. Fighting in school. Of all the things he could have done. Fighting in his place. The one place that he outshined his brothers--except for Tennessee because no one outshined Tennessee, not even the sun--was now sullied by their equality. He was no longer better, but only just as good. The behaved, quiet one. Now just as rowdy as the rest. The Glory arrogance on display for all the world to see! Shit. Shit.

?You?re twice his size, man!?

?He started it, asshole. Besides this ain?t got nothing to do with you so just stay out of it.?

?I wasn?t gonna let you punch his face in, dude. Let it go. And move on.?

?Dude? I ain?t your ?dude?, ?bro.??

?Nah, brah. I guess you ?ain?t?. Now beat it.?

?The only beating I?m going to do is that little bitch, even if it?s through you--move.?

?Sorry, bro. Can?t do that. See, I have this nasty affliction called fairness. Punching people smaller than you? Nah, brah, that?s not gonna happen so get lost, I mean it.?

?Oh, you mean it, let me change my fucking diaper. Get real. Mind your own business.?

?This is as real as it gets, asshole. Now, for the last time, scram. Before I put you over my knee and spank you.?

?This ain?t over, ?dude.? Little shit?s gonna get his. And you too.?

He blinked. There, right where he had been, squaring off with Robby as ill-advised as it seemed to be, was some stranger. With long hair. Not that long actually. Just longer than what he saw day to day. That was movie star hair. To the chin, full of sun, and wavy. Hair he?d seen before, but only on TV. Skin everywhere beneath the loose green shirt. Exposed and tan. Like he?d been dropped off from some boy band tour bus in the middle of nowhere. Wiley stared. Blankly. There was confusion, yes. Much confusion. Though he assumed that he owed this guy his gratitude. He?d probably saved him hours worth of dental work and facial reconstruction. Wiley pushed himself to shaky legs and dusted loose bits of grass and blond hair from his jeans.

?Thanks man, I owe you one.? Raspy voice colored in humor, blue eyes cast down, hiding behind dark curls. The apology of someone two inches from losing your face.

?No worries, bro.? Wiley?s eyes raised immediately, narrowing in natural suspicion. The voice of the outside world. Clear, resonant. The voice of the sea and hours of sunlight. But not sunlight peeking from between oak leaves and pine trees, but open, unadorned sun out over the ocean, rising up out of the surf and sand. There was an easy familiarity in it. One that Wiley mistrusted immediately.

?Bro? That?s gonna get you into a whole heap of trouble around here, buddy.?

He retracted his scrutiny, dusting now at his arm, voice calm, measured. Wrist pressed to his nose, scrubbing at the trail of blood and getting nowhere in wiping it clean, Wiley took the moment to study his would-be savior. White blond hair harsh in the afternoon sun, broad shoulders, and a white shirt where there should have been an exposed stomach. The lime green shirt billowed about his thin body, stark against the white and against the tan skin while freckles dotted the landscape of his long nose, spanning the smooth planes just beneath his eyes, a deep and arresting blue-tinged gray. He looked like a stranger should have looked. Too much color. Not enough brown, not enough green. There was nothing earthy about him, as if he?d dropped out of the sky or trekked in from the sea one somber day. The air around him was unsettled, restless, enigmatic in its movement. Stranger. Outsider.

?Really? That so? Sweet irony.? The Stranger chuckled to himself, hoarding his joke for himself. Care to explain? No? That?s fine too. A crooked smile cracked Wiley?s bruised lips, white teeth flashing, eyes fixed on The Stranger. The irony of the situation escaped him, but he didn?t bother to ask for clarification. He wiped the blood from his nose down the side of his pant leg before he grabbed his backpack from the ground, tentatively sliding the strap over his shoulder, all the while beneath the intent observation of Stranger.

?Well, man, hey, thanks again.? Their hands touched at the palms, the other palms finding backs and shoulders bumping briefly.

?No worries.? Carefree, like air, like the ocean. Churning, dark with mystery, leaping, jumping, singing.

?I guess I?ll be seeing you then.? From the white hair, back beneath the blue sky, Wiley pulled away and turned loosely on his heel, carefully watching the Stranger watch him.

?See ya, bro.? The Stranger lifted a wide hand, his palms white mingled in with the red. It the same cursory gesture he had seen countless times, a flippant goodbye, as if nothing substantial had just passed between them at all. In a way, nothing had, but Wiley felt strange thinking of The Stranger in such detached, abrupt terms. His curiosity had gone a long way in endearing the white hair, the visually abusive clothing, and the buoyant voice to his mind, but that was always his fault. Forever letting his imagination and wonder get the better of him. Already he?d concocted a story that explained away all of the mystery, all of the distance between them, and they were out on his back porch, sipping lemonade, watching the day creep along. See ya, bro! It felt cutting, perfunctory, routine. But was altogether belied by the warmth hidden in The Stranger?s eyes. Some friendly spark lurking there. I see you watching me watch you, too! Like laughter bubbling up in the chest, the disquiet rippling all the way up to the eyes.

Wiley knew what he would do before he was even aware of knowing. He rocked back on the curve, casually thumping his heel against the grass.

?So, you lost or what??

A laugh. Staccato. Throaty. Bird song in the summer. What was so funny about an earnest question? Wiley?s grin grew wry, pensive and his fingertips wiped again at the space just beneath his nose. He watched The Stranger?s shoulders lift again and again, punctuating each note in the melody of his amusement and the way his head tilted down as if to see if his feet too found the not joke just as funny. Maybe they did and maybe they didn?t because soon, The Stranger?s eyes raised and cast a smiling glance at Wiley. Wiley, for his part, let his eyes smile back, enjoying the inclusiveness of the moment.

?Yeah, man. I?m lost.?

?Well, that much was obvious. What are you lookin? for??

?Just like that?? Sincere surprise dripped into the amusement on The Stranger?s face. Wiley lips pressed together and curved to the right and up, amused.

?Just like that.?

?Thanks so much, man. Just tell me where I can find Glory Place and I?ll get out of your hair.?

Wiley found himself unable to speak, air knotted and twisted in his lungs suddenly. Glory Place. What on Earth would a stranger be doing looking for Glory Place? Visitors were rare. Visitors at Glory Place were even rarer. His daddy has once told him that the only thing a grown man came into Halewood for was if he was looking for something, usually trouble. The Stranger shifted on to his left foot, toes wiggling in what might have been unease, but Wiley couldn?t quite be sure. His face had found a strange geometry in the quiet moments that lived and died in the space between them, one part-smirk, part-smile, part-bewildered, blank stare. He dropped his fingers to his side, letting them twine through the bet loops.

?What might you be needin? at Glory Place??

?Whoa, bro. Calm down, huh? I just need to know where it is. Some guy told me that it was yonder? but I?m hip to the lingo around these parts.?

Wiley laughed through his nose in quick, staccato puffs of air at the attempted drawl, eyes cast down at a slant as if the grass was more amusing than what had just been said; partly the truth. Hip to the lingo. Right.

?I?m calm. Calm like a cucumber, but since I owe you one and I?m headed that way, I guess I?ll let you follow me. Come on.?

He shouldered his pack higher, watching balefully as The Stranger ambled forward, barefoot, and collected his own bag from the grass, white smile, white hair shimmering in the sun. Barefoot. Who walked around barefoot? A great deal of people, this was true, but his feet were white just like the rest of his body was brown and his long. And they looked soft. Much too soft for the land around here.

?Thanks so much man. I spent like three hours looking for?? The Stranger drew short, blinking. Watching. Watching himself be watched. I see you too, the eyes said. ?What??

?Got any shoes??

Whatever question The Stranger had been expecting, that one hadn?t been it. He looked surprised. Wiley?s stomach gave a pleased toss.

?Yeah, man. I got shoes.?

?Good. Put ?em on. Hot gravel isn?t going to leave the best impression of our town.?

?Oh, so you -do- have gravel. Score for me!? Wiley felt the sarcasm hit him like autumnal sunlight. Not hot, but bright and warm. Heat on the skin. He ignored it and watched the intricate extraction of flip-flops from the backpack and then the slow, steady slipping of white, too soft feet into them. Leather. In his mind, Wiley was watching the dust rise up from the road that they would have to take to Glory place rise up with each slap of the faux-leather on the gray sea of crushed stones. He was listening to the crunching that would speak of their footfalls, punctuated by the passing birds above, strident calls rippling through the crackling bramble. Wiley loved gravel roads in all of their shifting, slipping, sliding beauty. Long, solitary stretches of pale azure coiling through thickets of brown and green, animals darting between shadows, lurking in the cool, dense underbelly of the woods.

?Yes. Gravel -and- asphalt. This is your lucky day.?

?And here I thought it was your lucky day.?

Wiley shut his eyes and laughed quietly to himself, giving his head a subtle shake. ?Maybe we?re both lucky. They don?t gotta be mutually exclusive.?

?Mutually exclusive. Big words.?

The barb stuck him in the chest, but this time he kept his tongue in check. He may have remembered how to walk, but he wasn?t going to press the matter. ?Yep. Big words. Books, you know about books, right? Books have lots and lots of those suckers. Whoddathunkit??

The Stranger laughed. The same laugh. With his billowy green shirt and bright smile, eyes crinkled at the corners. ?Oh, you?re much quicker than tall, dark, and ugly back there. Fair enough, I?m sorry for implying things about your intelligence.?

Wiley shrugged, chuckle deep and caught in his chest, rumbling like ominous thunder.

?Didn?t say I wasn?t stupid.? A long lapse dropped between them. Wiley watching The Stranger. The Stranger watching Wiley.

?No, I guess you didn?t. Now, where is this gravel, I?ve heard so much about??

?Just through here.? Wiley dropped in right behind him, adding his words to the eradication of the quiet. But Wiley knew that you could never quite get rid of all the quiet in this town. It was always there, lurking between the syllables, waiting for a chance to spring up and drag the pace of conversation off to do horrible, unspeakable things to it. It was a part of everything both said and done. But he enjoyed eating it up with words, the same way he liked chopping at kudzu, knowing that it would grow back just the next week, longer than ever. Tasks without end, something you could set down and come back to, knowing it would bet there waiting for you.

He turned, motioning along the grassy path that cut in front of the red brick school, toward a place beyond the big oak tree where the grass turned to dust. A dark hole in the woods, black instead of green. He walked toward it, slowly at first, listening for the rhythm and pace of The Stranger?s feet. The slapping of leather on grass. When he heard it on his heels, he increased his speed, smile on his lips.

?Dude, this is so cool of you. Thanks so much. Again.?

How they had gone from him thanking The Stranger to The Stranger thanking him, he didn?t quite know, but it didn?t matter much. They were headed to Glory Place now. As strangely as it had all occurred, it was the state of things.

?No worries, bro.? The phrase felt foreign in his mouth, like he?d swallowed the ocean. But The Stranger got a kick out of it and laughed, their shoulders bumping. The pain spawned from the impulsive act was nothing, really. His stomach hurt like hell, his nose was probably going to be purple tomorrow, and he was pretty sure that was all sorts of grass and leaves stuck in his hair, but when put into perspective to how badly his ass could have been kicked, he was loathe to complain.

?I?m not a total space cadet, you know. Sometimes I?m serious. And dour. I?m actually quite brooding and deep.?

Wiley snorted, shrugging with a loose smile. ?I?m sorry for implying things about your intelligence.?

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Looks interesting, and there are aspects of your style I like.

I'd suggest three things:

1) get to the action faster in the open. Cut more to the chase. Hell, start with the lead character getting clocked, hit the dirt, taste blood in his mouth, then he goes back over the situation as a quick flash-back while struggling back to his feet. There's a lot of ways you could go that would move things at a quicker pace.

2) watch out for those long back-and-forth dialog stretches where two people are talking, each in a separate paragraph. After three or four of them, some readers (myself included) might get confused as to who's speaking. My personal crutch is to have one or both of the characters perform some action -- cock an eyebrow, shift their position, pick something up, sit down, get up, walk faster, change their direction, etc. -- any of which helps break up the dialog and make the page more interesting.

I agree, there are situations where a rapid back-and-forth conversation works, like in detective fiction or courtroom scenes. It might also help if one character speaks in a unique voice, or at last in a way that distinguishes itself from the other. For example, your lead character might have a drawl, and the other character curses more. Or one character speaks very precisely, very formally, while the other drops his G's and speaks very casually. There's all kinds of tricks you can pull.

As it is, I got confused when the fight started, because I didn't grasp until a second read-through that a crowd had gathered to watch. That definitely left me a little disoriented. Maybe one sentence to let us know that other people were beginning to form a ring around them.

3) in 3rd person omniscent, I'm a fan of italicizing the lead character's internal thoughts. Their point of view stays as-is, but when it becomes their exact words, then the italics distinguish their unspoken words from the rest of the text. So for example:

------------------

He felt the cool periphery of his worry tickle at the base of his throat, a giggling apprehension caught up in his chest. So what if he insulted you, that was nothing new. Just walk away! But, damn. He'd talked about Tennessee. Tennessee. If there was any rule not meant to be broken, it was the one that forbade talking about Tennessee Glory. You didn’t! The perfect son of one of the town’s founding families, snatched away by fate, laughing fate. That asshole. Asshole.

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Not all agree, BTW. Some writing texts eschew italics completely, on the belief they call too much attention to themselves, and I concede the point. I'd say they need to be used sparingly, specifically for thoughts or selective emphasis, just here and there. It's a creative choice.

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Ah! Jane Austen explains a lot! ;)

As I said in the 'October Gray' thread, your style isn't mine, and I'd far rather read J.K.Rowling than Austen. I tend to write in first person narrative, and find third difficult.

In both 'October Gray' and this I found I was having to re-read an awful lot, which is probably due to the rather dense nature of your prose ... or the even denser nature of my brain. More probably the latter.

Take the first paragraph. It's about walking. We don't know who, other than he's a he, or what's happened to make him think about walking.

The first sentence: 'He should have kept walking.' If you'd added 'Wiley knew' at the beginning, then instantly there's a character to latch onto.

Anyway, with deference, here's another version of your first paragraph:

Wiley knew he should have kept walking; knew he should have kept putting one foot in front of the other until his legs remembered how to work on their own. It wouldn't have been hard. After all, he did it every morning when he rolled out of bed.

When all's said and done I enjoyed it, and would much like to read the rest.

Camy

PS If you ever want to post in the flash fiction forum, please do.

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Hey Brandon -

For me, this worked a lot, lot better than October Gray. This piece had some tension, some direction that it was going, and lacked the overwhelming imagery of the first piece. I'd really like to read more of this one.

cheers!

aj

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Guest Brandon T.

Well, that was a frustrating day or so. Haha. Thanks, Des. I tried to sign in the other day and when I read what you'd posted about spambot clean out, I thought you guys suspecting me of being a spambot. Haha. But! Thank you for getting it sorted.

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Well, that was a frustrating day or so. Haha. Thanks, Des. I tried to sign in the other day and when I read what you'd posted about spambot clean out, I thought you guys suspecting me of being a spambot. Haha. But! Thank you for getting it sorted.

We are so pleased to welcome you back Brandon. You don't look anything like a spambot. :icon11:

Sorry for the inconvenience but it's good too see you back.

As you may have seen we have been having a difficult time with the spam, hopefully we have a handle on it for now.

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