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The Fallen Kite (part2) 1st draft

by robfra78 

Posted: 05 September 2006
Word Count: 889
Summary: Part 2 of 3 of short story (which will need some work), so comments/criticisms welcome
Related Works: The Fallen Kite • 

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I had reached the end of the small forest. Nothing.
“Ben,” I called again. Nothing, but what did I really expect? I contemplated whether to go back to the house through the forest again, or to go across the field and come back through the estate. The night was drawing in now, and although the rain had subsided, it was still drizzling to an extent although I only determined this when I took down the umbrella. Still, it was a warm October night and the light rain was quite cooling against my face and the back of my neck. I realised I was perspiring under all the layers of clothing I was wearing. I considered taking off my jumper and tying it around my waist but decided against it. I might not notice if it came off and it was a reasonably expensive Ralph Lauren jumper. I dialled home.
“Jane, what did the police say?” I asked in a panicked voice which surprised me.
“They’re coming to the house.”
”Really, I thought they wouldn’t do anything for twenty-four hours for a missing person.”
“For God’s sake, he’s only three!” A sob stifled her anger, before she eventually added, “they’re sending round two officers.”
I started to say ‘I’ll head back’ but she hung up.

A few days ago I noticed I had visible lines. Worry lines. I started paying more attention to the commercials in case the advertisement pitching anti-wrinkle cream came on, and when it did later in the evening I forcibly removed Ben from my field of vision and ignored his picture of “Mummy and Daddy”. The ad promised 35 percent less wrinkles, and I shushed Ben when he repeated his request to look at his drawing. I felt somewhat relieved by the ad, took a sip of my whisky, and then looked at his picture, albeit fleetingly before Jane thankfully took him to bed. In his crude picture the only thing of any discernible notice was that Jane was drawn much taller than I was.

Next day at the office and I had the anti-wrinkle cream in my suit pocket, although it already been applied in the car park using my rear-view mirror. I called Louise into the office from my office phone, assuming that she would be pleased at this summoning. I watched her through the glass windows. She put the phone down, swung her long blonde hair back and got up slowly, mouthing something to one of the trainees. I watched her walk to the office; she met my eyes and then looked downwards before entering the office. Motioning for her to take a seat, I made a phone call to my personal assistant asking to hold all calls. When I put the phone back, I smiled at her waiting for reciprocation.
“Well Louise, how are you?”
She started to pull her dress down with both her hands. The hint of a smile briefly threatened her lips, before retreating into a grimace.
“I’m ok thanks Mister Jones.”
“Please, just call me Steve. You used to…”
“What is this about Mister Jones?”
I cleared my throat, slightly peeved by her formality.
“Well Louise, you’ll be glad to hear that I’ve put you forward from the trainees for our accelerated management programme. You’ll have a position like mine in a couple of years.”
“Yes,” I interrupted, smiling again, expecting her to jump up and down like a crazed child at Christmas, and disappointed by this albeit beautiful yet sullen, embarrassed figure in front of me.
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“I hope that isn’t a reference to last year,” she replied, looking down at her feet.
“Of course not,” I snapped, louder than I intended, and then in a lower tone, “you’ve demonstrated the most leadership qualities out of the group.”
She thanked me quietly and excused herself, presumably not hearing me offer a celebratory drink after work. I emailed her later in the day with the name of a trendy wine-bar with a question mark after it but she obviously already had plans.

I started to cross the field, remembering that I once took Ben here on a windy evening to fly an over-elaborate, over-sized kite that I had bought on a whim on the way home from work. Jane looked at me as if I was mad. “What’s he supposed to do with that?” she asked.
So I took him to the field, partly in protest on that breezy July night, and started to fly this kite for his benefit. Initially, he took interest but then I tired of trying to explain why he couldn’t fly it. He didn’t seem to understand it’s power was out-with his control and he lost interest as rapidly as it was gained. He started running around the field and I shouted at him to come back to me. The kite fell from the red summer sky, its colours twisting and spiralling toward the ground. It crash-landed not far from Ben, who was almost oblivious, running around randomly as if he was lost. After reeling in the kite I took his hand and we made our way back home. We were probably only out of the house about half an hour and my lingering memory was that we both seemed angry at each other for reasons that were unfathomable.

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Comments by other Members

disandland at 21:13 on 05 September 2006  Report this post
Rob I like this - I know the type of person this guy is. Into status and climbing the corporate ladder. The odd playing away with junior members of staff. Buying expensive presents for his kid rather than show any interest. This being the case, this next phrase doesn't sound right for some reason:

and it was a reasonably expensive Ralph Lauren jumper

I'm not sure why. Perhaps its something to do with the fact that there is nothing 'reasonable' about this guy. He wouldn't have a 'reasonably' expensive jumper and neither, do I think ,would he describe it as such. I think that's why it sounds wrong anyway.

Any thoughts yourself?


JenDom at 09:48 on 09 September 2006  Report this post

Part 1:
I read 'tear' wrong [read it as tear=rip] before I realised my mistake. I really would put it down to my own stupidity but I did have to reread the first few words before I got the hang of the sentence.

Parts1 & 2
The time shifts break the flow of this excellent story. One paragraph of the here and now (son missing, wife distraught) followed literally by next paragraph in the past focusing on his 'other life', his job.

The best aspect of this story is the protagonist himself. He is so emotionally detached and full of his own importance at work that I could read about him all day just to find out what the hell makes him tick!

I guess I'll have to wait for part 3 to see where this is going. All the best!

[I am still new to this very confusing site, so apologies for this very amateurish review].


robfra78 at 16:37 on 09 September 2006  Report this post
JenDom - I didnt consider it an amateurish review at 100, and you've given me something to think about it, which is always helpful. Thanks!

I felt the timeshifts were necessary to explain and delineate his character, but I will give them consideration. I look forward to reading something of yours shortly!!

Thanks again

hmaster at 23:09 on 09 September 2006  Report this post
Howdy again Rob.

Something that bothers me is that I can't see a father not being distraught that his three-year old son is missing. I don't think a three-year old would be on a very long leash and this situation would be extraordinary, causing some consternation. For me, that's the thing that jars.

Here's a fragment I don't think made sense:

“Yes,” I interrupted, smiling again, expecting her to jump up and down like a crazed child at Christmas, and disappointed by this albeit beautiful yet sullen, embarrassed figure in front of me.

He interrupted her after saying one word but was disappointed in her reaction...? I feel like he would have hung back for a moment waiting for the reaction.

I see that this two part story has turned into three, yeah, that one bites me too. Once you put the words down, it's a whole lot longer than you thought =)

I'll be the contrary opinion and say that I don't mind the breaks in flow, switching back to the "present" and selected slices of time from the past. (this is probably because I love nonlinear writing, but I think Stephen King moaned he didn't in On Writing)

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