Sep 7, 2009 by

Read UTAH 1 here

Read UTAH 2 here

Read UTAH 3 here

Round 4 Challenge: Weave an element of Fyor’s story into your own passage. It should be no more than 450 words.

At one p.m. on an unseasonably cool day for late August, Corey entered the Halfway House diner and sat at a booth facing the door.

The two farmhands at the far booth murmured as she walked in. They’d seen her climb out of the southbound 16-wheeler after it had screeched to a halt. The Halfway House was on 22A, four miles from Shoreham and about eight from Bridport and Cornwall. One didn’t come across 13-year-old hitchhikers in these parts.

The waitress came over from behind the bar.

“Honey, you expecting someone?”

“Yes, I… a friend of mine.” Corey said. “He should be here soon,” she added hastily.

“You ain’t bothering anyone sitting here. What can I get you?”

“Just a coke if that’s okay.”

Corey hadn’t live chatted with Jacob since Delia had cancelled the Internet after walking in on her that night. But Corey had been venting her frustration to him in emails from school and the library. A week ago Jacob had proposed she come visit him in Vermont. At first Corey had nervously laughed it off, but as her resentment grew at her mother for having cut Internet from her life, she began considering it. Finally she told him she’d come for a visit, a friendly visit, nothing more. “What kind of a man do you think I am? ;)” he wrote back. “I know a nice diner we can meet at. Then you can decide.”

Two days later, instead of going to school, she caught a bus to Kutztown and bought a Greyhound ticket for Burlington.

Corey didn’t know this man as Jacob. Nor did she know him as The Unseen. To her, Jacob was Ronaldo, his chat room pseudonym. He didn’t spend much time on social sites. But there were times when his sexual appetite would occasionally rear up. When that happened he would troll the dating forums for cyber sex. Because he lived in a remote cabin on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, there weren’t many possibilities for him to meet his dates in person.

When he first saw Corey’s online profile, he felt an overwhelming desire to possess her. He knew he risked a great deal by setting his sights on a minor but he was overcome by lust. He couldn’t believe his fortune when she accepted the invite.

At 1:47 Jacob parked his black station wagon outside the Halfway House; at 2:38 they were laughing and talking over club sandwiches and onion rings; and at 3:07 they were driving down a dirt road towards his cabin.

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  1. I have no desire to eliminate you, but am torn between wanting you to stay and not wanting to know where this is going. You have obviously successfully incorporated Fyor’s darkness and ‘twistedness’ into your story! Brrr.

  2. Eros

    Utah, your story scares the hell out of me. This is one of the worst nightmares of any person that has children in their lives. I am not a parent but I do have several nieces and nephews that are getting more and more interested in the internet, but I think I will talk my sisters into not letting them use it until they are 17 or 18 now. You have tapped into one of the new universal fears here and I like the way that you are exploring it. I hope to see more. Love, Eros

  3. Eros and Anna, I’m not sure if I should say thank you or I’m sorry… :) Brrr indeed! I have managed to even scare myself with this story. I had no idea it was going to move in this direction. I suppose this is what happens when I try to weave Fyor’s story into my own!

    • Sounds good Utah but I find it hard to believe – we are all aware of this type of situation and the risks involved; its process is not knew only the wrappings, direction and outcome will vary.

      I hadn’t really picked up on it in round 3, Fyor’s line had taken an earlier and different but equally disturbing story line and my comments related to that actually equally apply to yours.

      I didn’t vote for Fyor because although I do not like the concepts, and there are many, I do recognise that a lot of disturbing thoughts are out there and are not dealt with by ignoring them. It’s a dilemma; and one that is in fact one that should be addressed and not swept under the carpet – but how to do it constructively while not further polluting the universal mind!!!

      • Yes, I agree with you JDEvolutionist that it’s hard to believe. But the stories I read in the news suggest that there are things hard to believe occurring all the time. Like the American Fritzl as they call him. Who would have believed that?

        I too didn’t think Fyor should have been eliminated. Perhaps my incorporation of his story was my way of protesting the vote. Although I must say that, like you, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this new path it’s taking me down…

        • It was your comments to Eros and Anna that I was finding hard to believe – the bit about ‘knowing where it was going’, I feel that you must have had a fair idea as to where it was heading!

  4. Eros

    No need for a sorry here.:) Scary story are there to teach us about the darker sides of humanity, so that we can keep them from getting us. Love, Eros

  5. I am no longer on the fence with your story. I think I’m in.

  6. As the author of Dark Eagle, I can see why you’re not on the fence anymore! But we’ll see how the others respond when the votes come in. It’s a gamble. After all, Fyor got voted off. The darker sides of humanity, as Eros called them, are not to everyone’s taste.

  7. I don’t think you have to worry about being voted of Utah. Any man who wants to chat with a teenage girl more on the side of “young” than “old” was never going to be there for purely “entertainment” reasons.

    You’ve chilled me to the bone. As a mother the internet is my worst fear for my son as he grows up. I can only imagine the added fear of having a daughter.

    The short snappy sentence structure at the end ramps up the sense of fear, apprehension and anticipation. Congratulations on another stellar piece of writing.

  8. Thanks Jodi. The internet is still a kind of wild west isn’t it? We’re all trying to understand how it works and how to create laws and rules for it.

    Just ten years ago the issue was how much television parents would allow children to watch and what channels. With television, even if children watch adult content, it’s a one-way viewing process. On the Internet the adult content can talk back, and write back, and video back. That is the terror. It opens our home up to the world.

  9. A pleasure reading your reviews Dan. It’s interesting to read more detailed thoughts about our writing than comments can accommodate. Ironically, the part of my post you liked the least, my closing paragraph, was the part I liked the most. What you wrote might be applicable if I had more space to flush out the scene, but with only several dozen words to spare, I thought that was the best way to squeeze out all the tension I could get. Food for thought for both of us.

    You felt that Fido was put down before that dog deserved to go but did you think that Fyor deserved to be executed at such an early stage? I was quite surprised by that vote.

    Thanks and bravo.

  10. I thought Fyor’s last posted piece was his weakest and that probably had a big impact on the vote. That said, I don’t think he was the weakest contender last week and probably deserved another crack.

    As for your story, I am still looking forward to seeing what happens next. So, despite my criticisms, you haven’t lost me as a reader yet.

  11. and at 3:09 i took a nap.. zzzzzzz

  12. craig

    Finally I disagree with this Tony. Maybe it’s just the order of the writers, but refreshingly, I like this one. I anticipate meth and guns. former for the girl and latter for the search dogs. chains, snow, sunken eyes, gums with some half-teeth, isolation, head wounds. Kid Rock in the background

  13. seldom seen

    craig i don’t think there’s any doubt we’ll see meth involved in a novella here. you could in fact argue its propelling nora to fleshier and more glistening heights. and clearly there’s been some nasty head wounds there as well…you’re just looking to the wrong contestant to find that stuff.

  14. Oh my. It seems someone is having fun here. Tony is living up to the title of his blog (although I’m not sure about the “saint” part). Craig, I think Seldom Seen is right. I’m not sure I can offer you meth, guns, head wounds, sunken eyes, and gums with half-teeth. I think that was more Fyor’s forte. But search dogs, chains, snow and isolation… maybe.

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