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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Stranded: Chapter One *Now Playing!*  

Zzz: New SG! First piece of writing in a long time, but I'm well and truly back xD

The cold, dusty wind blew at his naked body, sending him into a fervent shiver. Slowly, Siddharth trudged on, dragging his body as fast as his feet would let him. He hugged himself tight, fingernails digging into his skin, as he tried to stay as warm as he could. Two hours ago, he had gone against his better senses, and ran away from his asylum.

"Bad, bad decision" he told himself, as he limped across the empty highway. He quite frankly didn't know where he was, or where he was going. There was nothing he knew for sure, except that he'd lost his meds, and it was only a matter of time before the voices in his head came back. "Jimmy and Jonny" he muttered.

"Where am I?" he asked out aloud, but no one would answer. It was pitch dark, and he did not have the slightest clue as to where he was and how he got there. The last thing he remembered was climbing over the fences of his asylum, along with a bunch of inmates, whose names he did not know. But now, none of them were in sight. He was lost, alone, and cold. Helpless. There was not a soul in sight, and he badly, badly needed help. Maybe he shouldn't have run away. Maybe he should have stayed locked up. The allure of freedom had instigated his escape attempt. Fat load of good freedom had done to him. Siddharth was pretty sure that his time had come, and he'd die on the streets today.

"Jimmy and Jonny" he muttered again, waiting patiently for the friends that lived within his head. Feeling exhausted, Siddharth slumped to the ground, his muscular body falling face first on the road. "Someone come get me" he pleaded, before blacking out, the mist forming a chill, icy blanket around his body, cradling him to sleep.

****************

Good evening, and welcome to the Sunday Review, with your favorite host, Varun Malhotra! the radio blared. Officers at the Chennai District Prison sat huddled around the radio, listening intently to every word that was being said. "Pompous bastard" one of them muttered, voice dripping with disgust. No-one else said a word, but they all silently agreed. Varun Malhotra was the most pompous man in the country. Any little piece of information that he obtained would be blown out of proportion in the most astonishing way, especially if it made the authority look bad. Authority bashing was his second favorite topic, right after Sex life of Random Celebrities.

Bad time to live in Chennai folks the suave voice continued, crackling through the airwaves. Turns out that Siddharth Dhawan, the notorious murderer has gotten away from prison. Initial reports suggest that he'd broken out with some other inmates, but then killed them all once they were clear. No one is really sure how this diagnosed mad man was able to escape he said, and then there was a faint chuckle before Varun continued. But the only two options are that he did it himself, or that he had inside help. Which means our police are either incompetent, or they're both incompetent and traitors. Either way, I strongly suggest you get out of this city, I know I am the voice crackled, before an officer shut the radio off.

"What do we do, boss?"

"Wait for him to show up" Kannan replied. "He won't stay hidden for long" he quipped, but he didn't believe what he said. A charismatic mad man makes the most dangerous criminal. There's no method to his crimes, no motives, nothing. And they'd just let the most dangerous of the lot walk out from their custody.

Kannan bit his lip, worried. This was going to be a long chase.
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Andolyn



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 852
Location: sitting barefoot in a tree in the beautiful land of Ardara, writing my tales...

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:06 pm    Post subject:  

Well this is exciting!! I can't wait to hear more! I was feeling sorry for the guy in the beginning, but then we learned his identity, and now I'm not sure! I'm very intrigued and interested to see where this goes.
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kkdestiny



Joined: 05 Oct 2010
Posts: 674
Location: The Library of Interfable History

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:53 pm    Post subject:  

I honestly sill feel kinda bad for him, having voices in your head, I imagine, could be maddening...also there's the chance of a skewed view on the world.
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Vikas Muralidharan



Joined: 29 Aug 2010
Posts: 600

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:21 pm    Post subject:  

This is a really amazing start to the story. Brilliant writing and an extremely well-set plot.

I realize Im doing this for all new SGs here and that it can be really annoying, but the only reason Im nitpicking and pointing out extremely minor flaws is because I cant find any major ones, so yes, here it goes:

Quote: Authority bashing was his second favorite topic, right after Sex life of Random Celebrities.

Im not sure about the use of the word "topic". This could just be me, but it doesn't read well here.

Apart from that, it's absolutely wonderful. I love how you named the character Siddharth, and had an obvious Arnab reference tho xD Something Indians would get. Sigh :P

EDIT: omfg Siddharth Dhawan and Varun Malhotra? Really? -.- :P

Anyway, this was absolutely brilliant! Waiting for chapter 1!
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:04 am    Post subject:  

Vikas Muralidharan wrote:
EDIT: omfg Siddharth Dhawan and Varun Malhotra? Really? -.- :P



Sorry, ran out of character names xP
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:29 am    Post subject: Stranded: Chapter One *Now Playing!*  

Disclaimer: Foul language may be present.

Chapter 1: In Chennai

Chennai or Madras, as it was earlier known, is the Gateway of Southern India, and the capital of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The fourth largest metropolis and the third most important port in India, Chennai is flanked by the breathtakingly beautiful Marina beach on the eastern side and the city skyscape with its eclectic mix of temple towers, steeples, minarets and star hotels on the west. From classical concerts to trendy nightclubs, Chettinad to multi-cuisine restaurants, museums to Internet cafes, the city is an amazing combination of traditional Indian culture, thriving alongside modern lifestyle and chic. A true heaven on earth, the city offers everything, from the quaint to the ultra modern, and is one of the few cities where traditional values co-exist exquisitely with the new age.

It was here, in the midst of this city, that Siddharth had settled himself down on a dusty pavement. Seated opposite to the St. Thomas Basilica, built over the tomb of the apostle Thomas, Siddharth's face scowled with disgust. Dusting his pants off, Siddharth helped himself of the pavement, and limped towards the Marina beach, still muttering choice words of disgust. "This is a Hindu country" he said out loud, but there was no one to listen. It was the dead of the night, and he was ambling across the main road, a single streetlight flickering in the distance, as the cool sea breeze blew his wavy unkempt hair in all directions, giving him a Medusa hair-do. Stroking his beard as he walked, Siddharth tried to recollect events of the past day, wondering how he'd gotten from being a naked, left-for-dead being, to a raggedly clothed man this night.

Think, Sid, think! he chided himself, but he honestly could not remember. He was a schizophrenic man in his mid-forties, so he didn’t have a particularly good memory.

That, and some of his undiagnosed illnesses might be messing him up too.

Tired, Siddharth ambled to a stop. Shutting his eyes tight, he tried to focus. He figured if he tried hard enough he could remember what had happened, but he wasn’t very hopeful.

Nothing.

Frustrated, Siddharth dropped to the ground. Nothing in his life seemed to make any sense. His childhood wasn’t anything special. He wasn’t born in to a poor family. He was, as a matter of fact, quite well off. His parents were both highly successful lawyers, and they’d made sure that he had had access to every facility that was available, irrespective of whether it was necessary or not. He was placed in a well reputed English-medium private school, and was given a pocket money of 5000 Rupees a month. That was slightly higher than what his driver was being paid.

Yeah, He did have a personal chauffeur when he was 10, hired solely to drive him to school and back, and around the town whenever he felt like it.

Despite all his riches, or maybe because of it, Siddharth never felt like he belonged anywhere. He developed a very introverted personality, looking to avoid any and all human conversations. Unlike the clichéd rich boys on TV, Siddharth never partied. He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, his idea of relaxation was to sit at home, curled up with a good book, some good music, and good food. However, he still was a teenager, and often longed for attention, something that he found hard to come by. His parents were never home, busy with their jobs, and though the maids did do a good job of taking care of him, there was nothing in the world that made him feel as comfortable as he did in the embrace of his mother’s arms. He didn’t have any siblings, and he lived on a sprawling private property, which meant that he had no neighbors either. To make things worse, he didn’t particularly have any friends, mostly due to the fact that he wasn’t good at making any. Acquaintances stayed just that, and there was no one he could call when he felt lonely, something that happened often. “Burden of the Rich” he had called it, but people laughed at him. To the outside world, he was a privileged kid, immune from depression, anxiety, and anything remotely unpleasant. But the battle that raged within his soul was very real, amplified by the fact that no one really believed him, which meant that no one really helped. The only place he truly felt at home, was in fact, his home, but that came crashing down when his parents got a divorce, leaving him stranded.

And thus began Siddharth’s life long relationship with depression. He was embarrassed to admit it, and had never gotten himself diagnosed by a professional. He was pretty confident he knew what was wrong with him, and who could really blame him for the self diagnosis? It was a fairly easy one to make, and he was right. Siddharth was depressed 15 year old kid, with everyone he knew too busy to lend him an ear. So he did the only thing that he was accustomed to do when he needed answers. He googled prescriptions, took the advice of Internet doctors, and voila! Recipe for disaster. Right now, he had no idea what meds he had bought, but he was pretty sure that that was the single biggest mistake that he had ever made. That one decision, on that particular day is what he believed altered his future, shattered all his dreams, and led him to live a particularly worthless life.

Bang! Siddharth jolted up, his senses on high alert. That was the unmistakable sound of a gunshot. Crouching low, he crawled forward cautiously, trying to identify the shooter. It had to be the cops. India had extremely stringent gun laws, so it was hard to imagine that it could be anyone else.

Bang! Another shot, and this time, Siddharth felt the bullet skim through his hair, missing his skull by an inch. Siddharth froze with fear, his instincts screaming multiple instructions to his body, but he was incapacitated by fear. With his heart pounding against his ribs, Siddharth shut his eyes, and waited for the shot that would take his life, his ear singed from the last shot.

Bang!

Siddharth opened his eyes, shocked. This shot had come from his left, unlike the last two ones. Maybe someone was looking out for him, but the most logical explanation was that he was caught in crossfire. Before he could react, multiple gunshots blasted out from both sides, firing incessantly. Siddharth ducked, covering his head with his hands , praying that he would survive this ordeal.

With his eyes shut, Siddharth couldn’t really figure out what was going on. The gun fight barely lasted 5 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. When the shooting had passed, Siddharth cautiously got up, moving very slowly to the edge of the beach, looking for any signs of life. Before he could move any further, he heard a blood-curdling scream from his left. His initial reaction was to run, but when he had a look at the source, he stopped. About 50 metres away, lay a man clutching his arm like it’d fall off if he let go it, crimson blood oozing out of his shoulder. He squirmed and flopped around in the ground, but his eyes were dead set on Siddharth. Siddharth froze under the gaze, the black orbs seemed to reflect some sort of otherworldly power, drawing him closer. He couldn’t quite figure out what emotion filled those eyes, but he did know that they would turn lifeless if he ignored them any longer.

Behind him, Siddharth could hear the other fighter clamber to his feet, and then fall back down. He wasn’t as injured as the first man was, but was still losing blood none the less.

“Come here” the man yelled at him. Or atleast he had tried to. What Siddharth heard was a meek, raspy voice. “We need to go” the voice said, piercing through the darkness.

Siddharth was confused. One of the two had tried to kill him a few minutes ago, he wasn’t sure which. He also knew that neither of them were trustworthy, given what they’d just done to each other. He could try running away, but he couldn’t really be sure how far he’d get. Besides, there was no telling if these guys had the rest of their gang camping out somewhere nearby. Siddharth closed his eyes, and took a deep breath before making his decision.
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Lilith



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 1597
Location: Happily curled up in a Daemon's lap

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:56 pm    Post subject:  

Intriguing choice in protagonist. Perhaps he should call back in a low voice to ask the man just what on earth was going on and why he wants Sid to 'come here' before he does anything else, keeping himself out of trouble as much as possible... until his 'mental friends' return to make decisions for him, I assume.
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Novelest_Ninjagirl



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 700
Location: The inn. Probably. Come check!

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:28 pm    Post subject:  

It was a little bit jarring to go from the descriptions of his reflecting on his past to the present-gun fight, but I'm sure that was intentional.
As far as what to do, I suppose pretend you're not there isn't an option. I would recommend making a break for it anyhow. He doesn't know these people, he doesn't owe them anything. Especially after they almost killed him.
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Andolyn



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 852
Location: sitting barefoot in a tree in the beautiful land of Ardara, writing my tales...

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject:  

Great first chapter! I'd also suggest running. Lol

This city sounds like some place I'd visit. I'll have to mark it on my bucket list. :)
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sagittaeri



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 367

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:23 am    Post subject:  

I'm so excited to see an SG located in India... having never been there, I'll be living vicariously through your writing! ^_^

Excellent descriptions of Sid's personal battles! I'm enjoying it thoroughly. However, personally I found it somewhat confusing to follow (maybe it's just me). While I suspect it's intentional given the character's mental state, I humbly request that you separate the past and the present a little clearer for poor lil' me. XD

I agree with the others. Sid can't trust either men, so he should run from both of them!
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:45 am    Post subject:  

Thank you all for your comments! The original version actually explored Siddharth's story via a conversation with Jimmy and Jonny. Kinda relieved I didn't do that now, would've probably confused all of you XD Anyway, I take all your comments. It was actually partly intentionally done, to bring out Siddharth's mental state but of course, I did not intend to confuse the readers.

Poll will be up shortly! :tu2:
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Seraphi



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 503
Location: Penna, having a hot cup of tea

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:35 pm    Post subject:  

Loving it. The transition between back story/a walk down memory lane and the present, I thought, was good. It works well considering what we know about Sid's mental state. And the sudden shock of it really sucks you in and ups the adrenaline while you read (if that makes sense haha).

I would say...Sid should approach the more injured of the two and grab his gun. With a weapon in hand and a closer proximity he can try to see what exactly is going on. If the guy seems untrustworthy shoot and run. I am curious.to see how Jimmy and Jonny will factor into his actions, though ;)
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Vikas Muralidharan



Joined: 29 Aug 2010
Posts: 600

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:19 am    Post subject:  

Loving how this story has developed. As for what to do, RUN!

And Andolyn and everyone else, yes visit sometime! He's described the city accurately! Hometown pride xD
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:09 am    Post subject:  

Poll up! With an additional option, cuz there's got to be four xP
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sagittaeri



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 367

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject:  

Time to run! :D (Voted)
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Cyberworm



Joined: 19 Aug 2007
Posts: 651
Location: Spatially found, temporal lockdown.

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:29 pm    Post subject:  

Caught up. Now, I have to agree that it's an excellent choice of a protagonist. The story takes a bit to get into since there are some unfamiliar terms, but it's not a big deal and is actually giving it authenticity. Which I like a lit.

What I would suggest, though, is to work the interpunction and paragraphs in such a way as to clear the thought process and happenings. Having actions and dialogue in the same paragraph can be a bit overwhelming in a psychologically strong story like this one. I would suggest cutting the paragraphs into smaller, concise pieces that describe a single or maybe two actions, or simply placing a dialogue in a separate sentence every time it's interrupted by an action.

Overall it's very well written, I might've seen a few spelling quirks and a few missing commas, but I'll do a fine tooth comb sweep once I get more sleep and get back to reading it.

For now all I can say is great job, I expect a great story to be made here. :D
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Smee



Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 5215
Location: UK

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:30 am    Post subject:  

Seems obvious to me - check the injured guy's pockets for money.

Are you crazy, did you not see those eyes?

Wah wah, I'll look after us, don't I always? We'd still be naked, lying in the road if it were down to you.

And we'd still be crying, locked in our cell if it were down to you. Don't give me that bull.

~

Erm... I think it's best I leave them to their discussion.

Excellent to see you writing again Vishal, and the extra years of maturity shine right through. :)

The prologue started things off well - I love the idea of a character with voices in his head, and can't wait to 'hear' from them properly.

I'm personally not a fan of the way you did the flashback part (your original style sounded better). It read to me like a character sheet from a role playing game, and I feel it was a bit too much of an information dump.

Right now we have him fading in and out of memory blackouts, presumably whilst some other personality is in control, and he's just been caught in the middle of a gun fight. That's exciting. It doesn't seem relevant to be learning that he likes mummy cuddles and had no friends growing up.

That was half the chapter that could have been used to really draw out the drama of this battle, and also given you space to bring in Jimmy and Jonny.

On a side note - As an introvert myself, we don't seek to avoid all human conversations. It is just draining to have to be 'on' around people, and it takes alone time to recharge again after. Actively disliking other people/interactions falls more in to the anxiety/shyness/anti-social spheres.

Option 2 seems closest to robbing the guy, I'll go with that one.

PS: I agree with Andolyn - Chennai sounds amazing!
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themightyzan



Joined: 18 Sep 2015
Posts: 57
Location: TN

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:05 am    Post subject:  

I really really like this! You don't see many protagonists that have mental issues, at least that are admitted to that quickly and openly. I'm interested to see where this goes.
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject:  

Smee wrote:
I'm personally not a fan of the way you did the flashback part (your original style sounded better). It read to me like a character sheet from a role playing game, and I feel it was a bit too much of an information dump.

On a side note - As an introvert myself, we don't seek to avoid all human conversations. It is just draining to have to be 'on' around people, and it takes alone time to recharge again after. Actively disliking other people/interactions falls more in to the anxiety/shyness/anti-social spheres.


So happy to have you read this! :)

I get what you mean, there was a large part of the chapter that had no action, and was mostly just descriptive in nature. I was actually focusing on establishing his character, and while I actually did intend to keep the action out, have him sit down and introspect, getting comfortable living inside his head before the real world jolts him back in, I understand where you're coming from. In hindsight, there was really nothing happening there, and I could've used that wall of text to build something there, something like Jimmy and Jonny perhaps.

Oh oh, As for introversion, I apologize for how that came out. I'm introverted myself, so I totally understand what you mean. His active dislike of human interactions/himself is a symptom of his depression, not introversion, but yes, I should have worded that better.

Thanks for commenting! I'm actually so glad you're reading this :)

And thank you too Zan! Hope you'll all enjoy this!
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:58 am    Post subject:  

Zzz Sorry for leaving y'all like this, but the poll's closed now and the next chapter is on it's way!

Results of the Poll
Ask the less injured man what's going on before thinking over his offer: 11%
Grab the gun from the almost dead guy and try to figure out what's going on: 33%
Pretend you're not there/you're deaf, call the cops and slowly get away: 0%
RUN!: 55%

Just gonna leave y'all with this picture of Chennai before getting back to writing...


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Novelest_Ninjagirl



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 700
Location: The inn. Probably. Come check!

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:08 pm    Post subject:  

Funny to see that run was the winning option when so many of us commented otherwise. Can't say that's not what I'd do though.
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:09 am    Post subject:  

Bump. Poll Closed, and new chapter is on its way! If you guys need to do any re-reading to remember what this is, please do it now :P :D
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Andolyn



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 852
Location: sitting barefoot in a tree in the beautiful land of Ardara, writing my tales...

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:25 am    Post subject:  

Yaaaaay!!! So happy to see you back!!
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Novelest_Ninjagirl



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 700
Location: The inn. Probably. Come check!

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:57 pm    Post subject:  

Just letting you know that now that you're back, I can't wait to see this advance!
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Seraphi



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 503
Location: Penna, having a hot cup of tea

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:00 am    Post subject:  

Welcome back, Vishal! Good to see you return. I excitedly await more :3
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Emperor



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 471
Location: San Diego, CA

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject:  

Opening scene.

I like the story thus far. I have a few minor notes of critique if your interested in the few areas that seemed to pop out at me.

I enjoyed the tease of our fist character being aware of the "voices" in his head - very intriguing.
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Lebrenth



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1481
Location: Utah

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:58 am    Post subject: Existing SG  

Oh look, a storygame by Vishal, already primed and a finished poll too. Are you interested in continuing this, Vishal?

I love these lines, by the way:

Quote: So he did the only thing that he was accustomed to do when he needed answers. He googled prescriptions, took the advice of Internet doctors, and voila! Recipe for disaster.
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Vishal Muralidharan



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 867
Location: City Of IF!

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Existing SG  

Lebrenth wrote: Oh look, a storygame by Vishal, already primed and a finished poll too. Are you interested in continuing this, Vishal?

I love these lines, by the way:

Quote: So he did the only thing that he was accustomed to do when he needed answers. He googled prescriptions, took the advice of Internet doctors, and voila! Recipe for disaster.

Awg, this one was four years ago, I'm not sure I quite remember the plot details I was going with, or the plans I had at all. I'll have a think about whether I can work around this though, because it is already underway.
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Lebrenth



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1481
Location: Utah

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:25 pm    Post subject: No pressure  

There's something to be said for sticking something out even when you're not excited about it, but this one is pretty old and it only went one chapter in. Don't stress about it!
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