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My first short story- Advice needed.

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I've started a Creative Writing Course and for the next Module I have to submit a Short Story. I've dug up my story from the Trainstation Anthology and I need some advice and criticism from you guys.

Its the first writing Ive done since I left school, its very rough and also semi autobiographical so any help you can give me would be great.



When I woke up this morning the first thing I thought was I need a drink. Now it doesn't seem like such a good idea. It's snowing outside and the only way to keep warm is knocking back this cheap whiskey. The Whiteport trainstation is the easiest place in town to spend the night. The nightwatchman knows me by now. According to the news it's Monday January the 13th and this bad weather wont let up for a while. Some kid in a highschool went nuts with a gun and reduced the overcrwding in public schooling. In other news a dog gave birth to kittens in Brazil.


They say alcohol will remove any stain you come across, for me it removed everything, my wife, my job my house and car. But I'm getting ahead of myself.


My Mother died while giving birth to me nand since then my Father has never forgiven me. There were three of us in the house, me, my Dad and his anger. You could light up Vegas with all his pent up rage. To help matters I was the quietest kid in school. I thought tha everytime I did something wrong I would get beaten but even the bullies weren't that malicious.


When I was twelve I took my first drink. All my problems and insecurities went away. Most people don't like their, a bit like their first cigarette but to me it tasted divine, like sweet nectar. I was hooked and drank myself through adolescence, one pitfall after another. By fourteen I had progressed to spirits and soon gave up my interest in sports. Never being big or tough enough for Football I played a little soccer but that won't get you any luck with cheerleaders. I finished highschool almost top of my class and got accepted into a college in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to study Law like so many other Mc Donalds staff. On first arriving on campus it seemed that my feelings of low confidence and poor self-belief couldn't cross borders and were left behind. I was grateful to find a place where I could start over again, lay a new foundation and rebuild my directionless life. Little did I know that eventually that self-doubt would slip security and catch up with me?


When I was first introuced to Cocaine I shyly shook its hand, keeping my distance but curiuos of my new acquaintance. As it progressed I started to grasp it with both hands never failing to express my gratitude of seeing my best friend again. One line of that white powder and I was on an escaltor goin up towards optimism and a floor full of confidence and energy. Unfortunately, I didn't forget to visit te depression department on the way down.


The only good thing that came out of my further education was meeting Molly. How could a guy with Irish blood not love a girl called Molly? Behind every good man is a good woman but in my case no matter how good a woman she still couldn't cure me. Swearing I wouldn't drink again was followed by a week long bender accompanied by nosebleeds and permanent shakes. Miraculously I graduated towards the bottom and I made a promise to get help.


On April the first eighteen years ago I checked into a reputable psychiatric hospital and began the twelve steps of recovery. My life got back together until January the thirteenth 1991, a man who was laid off at the factory in town decided to stop off in a local bar for a few drinks and careened into her head on, wiping out the best thing in my life instantly. At least she didn't suffer. I was almost fifteen years sober and once again alcohol had become the lowest common denominator in my life.


NowI live here at the station where a few months ago they decided to start playing classical music over the PA to give us lowlifes a bit of culture. Jimmy my mate wil be along shortly and we can see what he made from begging. Everyday he sits by the post office with his legs tucked in pretnding to be a Vietnam vet. The farthest East he's ever been is New Jersey. In his youth he was a promising baseball player and even had trials with Chicago but I reckon it was more like;y he was on trial in Chicago. We go in seperate directions and search the payphones and vending machines for spare change. Jimmy's a good guy whose life went down the tubes around ten years before my downfall. I used to pass him on the street and throw him an odd bit of change. His opening line was "Can you spare a kidney? If not, a dollar will do". He often remembers people's faces so it makes them harder to pass without them giving him something. He's been panhandling a lot than me and has become a bit of an expert at it. Back in Chicago where, where he's from he was a grifter. He read the obituaries everyday and a few days after a funeral would present a bill to the deceased wife for a load of dirty magazines. The widow not wanting other people to know about it would pay up out of embarrassment until he tried it on a blindmans wife. Going into the kitchen to get her pocketbook she returned with a shotgun and he was too afraid to try it since.


After I lost everything I resorted to helping women push their trolleys from the Suoermarket until I was told to get lost by security once too often. I never had the brains or balls to be a grifter.


We spend the night watching the news cahnnelover and over again. As each hour passes the death toll from the highschool shooting increases steadily. Students pour their hearts out on TV while admitting there was always someting funny about that psycho. The obligatory Congressman arrives to denounce Stephen King and Marilynn Manson. At 9:20 pm his English teacher comments that his favourite novel was Catcher in the Rye. 9:40 and the NRA announce an upcoming rally before the funerals are over.


By now the cafe is closed and we can rummage through the bins for some craps. There is enough food to keep us two from spending on anything other than alcohol. We used to go to the back of the local Mc Donald's until they started pouring bleach in the bins.


Let me tell you about Molly, she was a sweeheart and stuck by me through thick and thin. I always knew I wouldn't survive without he. We were married one month after I left Rehab. My advisor warned me not to make any major decisions but there was no stopping us. Young in love and invincible, that was us. I miss her so much its untrue, a feeling in the pit of my stomach that just wont go away. Sometimes I think of other things but any little reminder is a ammerblow to the chest. Time heals everything but the scars remain.


I think I've had enough of this miserable existence. I go through this every night but tonight I think I'm going places. The 11:30 from Columbus to Trenton passes straight through and doesn't stop. I think I'm going to go see my wife.