They call me "The Enigma"

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They call me "The Enigma"

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:50 pm

Don't suppose I could get some feedback on the first draft of some english coursework I'm writing?

Got to be 1000 words and I have to write a commentary explaining why I did what.

I meant it to be in the style of a Roald Dahl short story (the ending should be changed really). Teacher has called it "above the class average" but that's still shit and to be honest I don't think it really has any literary techniques in at all but anyway enjoy!


The office was shrouded in darkness, with a sickly half-light escaping through the blinds. In front of him sat a chair and a desk. The silhouette across the desk began to speak. “This brings me great disappointment.”

“When I heard you had won, I was not at all surprised. Let me explain. What you have done defies all odds. You have beaten a system designed to favour me. This is not supposed to happen.” Frank couldn’t help but think to himself for a man known only as the Russian; he had a distinctly English accent. “It has not happened before in my lifetime and quite frankly, it would be foolish of me to think that it had happened now.” The wall of monitors behind The Russian flickered into life and there he was all over the screen, he had seen everything. Every hand muck, every sleight of hand, even the scraping of white paint which had been stuck to the ace of hearts. There was no escaping it, as he gaped on in silence as every trick up his sleeve appeared before him.
Suddenly, the film cut and the room was left in darkness again. Frank was left sitting speechless. Through the half-light, he imagined a sinister grimace stretching across the man’s face. His defeat clearly provided him quite some pleasure. “You’re clearly quite talented. It must have taken years to perfect your skills. Unfortunately, technology has advanced. Now, we have cameras and cowards like you are punished.”

Frank briefly found the courage to ask. “What will you do now?” There was a long pause. It was if a firing squad had taken aim and any breath would be his last.
“A good question” was the reply. “Tell me Frank; are you aware of the penalties for your actions?” Frank swallowed nervously. “What you did was fraud. You could go to jail for a very long time, my friend. Now, that would be a shame indeed. Would it not?”
Frank suddenly broke from his expression of defeat “Please sir, I only did it for my family…” he pleaded “W-w-we can’t lose the house”. The smile never left his face, a grotesque grin that belonged to a nightmarish creature. Another pause followed. A grandfather clock ticked away in the corner. Every second was torture for Frank.

Finally, after a few minutes and an eternity of torture, The Russian announced his verdict. “Tell me, Frank, do you play Roulette?” He did not pause for a response. “I say you play a game of Roulette with me, if you win you keep everything and the tapes get lost.” He leaned under the desk and produced an ornate box layered in inscriptions from a distant culture. In the silence, he gazed at the box. One of the engravings was the Chinese symbol for luck. After considering the proposition for a second Frank enquired “What if you w-”. He stopped mid sentence, as The Russian unlocked the box and presented Frank with the contents. He no longer need ask.
Even in the shadowy twilight, he could make out its shape. An instrument of both sorrow and fear. Frank’s expression mirrored the latter. The Russian lifted the object and placed it on the leather furnished desk. There was brief moment of inactivity as both men’s gazes met. Frank sat uneasily before reaching for the revolver. It was if he had been shocked by a thousand volts, as his ghostly white hands shook uncontrollably. He felt weak, when he came to lift the weapon; the barrel hung down as if ashamed of what was to come. An unwilling accomplice.

Frank inhaled deeply, in and out and slowly he shut his eyes. He brought the revolver to his head and spun the barrel. The shot could not be heard outside the soundproofed room and neither could The Russian’s pain.


Please tell me how and why this is shit/good/causing your grandmother's bowel cancer.
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Re: They call me "The Enigma"

Post by NightSwimming on Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:43 am

Well, I don't know what your other classmates have been submitting, but in my opinion this is definitely A grade material. Maybe your teacher didn't want to give anything away, or wanted to make you put in extra effort by downplaying your true results.

Just one question - should the Russian have a capital 'T' on 'the'? I didn't quite catch whether he was called Russian or The Russian.

Other than that, fantastic piece of work.

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Re: They call me "The Enigma"

Post by Pararaptor on Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:47 am

It's good, but a few sentences are awkward & the thing about the russian having an english accent is kind of lame.

I think the thing about fiction is it's easy for a piece to be technically good but for it to be a really good it needs to carry a message or a moral or something. Certainly you have good skills with language, & in future it would be good to apply it to something with a bit more of a meaningful theme.

But I don't know shit about how this stuff is graded, which by the sound of it is what you're looking for. You can spout the most retarded shit in English & still do great.
Some bloke got the highest score in the class at my school for linking Metamorphosis' apple-throwing scene with the garden of Eden. Not the whole book, just that scene.
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Re: They call me "The Enigma"

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:45 pm

NightSwimming wrote:Well, I don't know what your other classmates have been submitting, but in my opinion this is definitely A grade material. Maybe your teacher didn't want to give anything away, or wanted to make you put in extra effort by downplaying your true results.

Just one question - should the Russian have a capital 'T' on 'the'? I didn't quite catch whether he was called Russian or The Russian.

Other than that, fantastic piece of work.

Ta Smile Not sure she thinks its that good. Long story but this is my second draft. My other draft was me being lazy and just doing cheap description with no overall purpose yet she wants to merge them. THE WHOLE REASON I DID ANOTHER DRAFT WAS BECAUSE THE FIRST DRAFT HAD NO EVENTS AND MADE NO SENSE TO LEAD ON ANY FURTHER! Anyhow!

Yeah, thought I had done that it's just a place-holder really cause I couldn't think of a decent name for an ominous chap. In my mind, he is Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction.

Pararaptor wrote:It's good, but a few sentences are awkward & the thing about the russian having an english accent is kind of lame.

I think the thing about fiction is it's easy for a piece to be technically good but for it to be a really good it needs to carry a message or a moral or something. Certainly you have good skills with language, & in future it would be good to apply it to something with a bit more of a meaningful theme.

But I don't know shit about how this stuff is graded, which by the sound of it is what you're looking for. You can spout the most retarded shit in English & still do great.
Some bloke got the highest score in the class at my school for linking Metamorphosis' apple-throwing scene with the garden of Eden. Not the whole book, just that scene.

Yeah I thought that might be the case. Was going to make a point of it but never bothered. The other thing is I didn't want it to be overly serious at the time. Thought it might lighten the mood a bit. Which is a silly thing to do really.

Not really, the gradings pretty simple. Just wanted to see if you could spot an flaws although that's not really a worry seeing as it's been simplified.

Fucking hell! That's a joke! Although I was always taught if fruit is involved, mention the Bible.
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Re: They call me "The Enigma"

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:55 pm

The secret is to use italics.

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Re: They call me "The Enigma"

Post by GrinningManiac on Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:49 am

I really enjoyed it. The pacing occasionally falters (but what extended piece of prose dosen't?) but mainly in the last sentence, which moves FAR too fast for what is quite a neat little twist. I had to read it twice to let it sink it. Consider breaking it into two sentences and perhaps leaving a dramatic paragraph pause.

Like this.

And this.

The actual concept is awesome, the imagery evocative and I enjoyed the "I'm not buying your crap" silence that ensued after the "please, my family" begging. Very Vetinari-esque.

But as I say - I think you've nailed what you want to write and now you just need to fine-tune how you're expressing it.

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Re: They call me "The Enigma"

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:25 pm

New draft folks. Improvement? Too much imagery I reckon but do tell me if it worked for you.

Honestly not sure where to go with it now. Need to rephrase a few sentences and sound out the grammar but otherwise.... well, you tell me....

Was meant to this in class. But out of 20+ questions that we were meant to answer to give feedback to one another. the anonymous cunt who did mine wrote... "Interesting 3.5/5"

WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO LEARN FROM THAT!? Seeing as I am being forced to draft until I get full marks... well its fucking bullshit thats what...


The office was shrouded in darkness, with a sickly half-light escaping through the blinds. Outside, a violent storm had been underway for some time. Furious javelins of lightning were being cast down to the earth as it if were the retribution of an angered deity, enacting his chaotic vengeance, a brutal display of showmanship hidden under the thin veil of justice. Frank had never really appreciated Greek mythology. Intermittently, the room would be illuminated by the vengeful storm.

In front of him, sat a grand office chair and an exquisite mahogany desk, both coated in the same emerald leather. A smile flashed across his face as he thought of the couch and recliner set that his wife had insisted on buying, it had been the first victim of their poverty. The silhouette across the desk began to speak. “This brings me great disappointment. “When I heard you had won, I was not at all surprised. I can see your confusion. Let me explain. What you have done defies all odds. You have beaten a system designed to favor me. This is not supposed to happen. It has not happened before in my lifetime and quite frankly, it would be foolish of me to think that it has happened now.” The wall of monitors behind The Russian flickered into life and there he was all over the screen, he had seen everything. Every hand muck, every sleight of hand, even the scraping of white paint which had been stuck to the ace of hearts. There was no escaping it, as he gaped on in silence as every trick up his sleeve appeared before him.
Suddenly, the film cut and the room was left in darkness again. Frank was left sitting speechless. Through the half-light, he imagined a sinister grimace stretching across the man’s face. His defeat clearly provided him quite some pleasure. “You’re clearly quite talented. It must have taken years to perfect your skills. Unfortunately, technology has advanced. Now, we have cameras and cowards like you are punished.”

Frank briefly found the courage to ask. “What will you do now?” There was a long pause. It was if a firing squad had taken aim and any breath would be his last.
“A good question” was the reply. “Tell me Frank; are you aware of the penalties for your actions?” Frank swallowed nervously. “What you did was fraud. You could go to jail for a very long time, my friend. Now, that would be a shame indeed. Would it not?”
His home was without a telephone, electricity or water. For months, waves of letters had been arriving, utilities, bills, banks, more bills. He had begun to burn before reading so that he could salvage the heat from them. His wife had left around the same time the hot water had, his eldest daughter had assumed her place. Although, he had always felt it was solely up to him to care for his offspring. Much of the time he couldn’t even do that, his circumstances forced him to work every hour available at the docks. He had worked their most of his life but once the vigor and vitality of youth had abandoned him, his wages no longer seemed justifiable for his ability. They had tried to keep paying him but, with the number of ships diminishing by the day and thousands of uneducated, unemployed youths waiting to fill his position, what use did they have for an old man?
Frank suddenly broke from his expression of defeat “Please sir, I only did it for my family…” he pleaded “W-w-we can’t lose the house”. The bank had kindly sent a representative from their “reclamation service” to ensure payment was delivered in some form. The bus driver had taken pity on him and let him off the fare. Fortunate, considering the alternative was a five mile walk. The smile never left his face, a grotesque grin that belonged to a nightmarish creature. Another pause followed. A grandfather clock ticked away in the corner. He imagined himself spread out on a rack, completely at the whims of his tormentor, slowly being drawn out. Every chime on the clock intensifying his suffering.

Finally, after a few minutes and an eternity of torture, The Russian announced his verdict. “Tell me, Frank, do you play Roulette?” Frank said nothing, even in the present half light, he could not see a roulette wheel in the room. “I say you play a game of Roulette with me, if you win you keep everything and the tapes get lost.” He leaned under the desk and produced an ornate box layered in inscriptions from a distant culture. In the silence, he gazed at the box. One of the engravings was the Chinese symbol for luck. After considering the proposition for a second Frank enquired “What if you w-”. He stopped mid sentence, as The Russian unlocked the box and presented Frank with the contents. He no longer need ask.
Even in the shadowy twilight, he could make out its shape. An instrument of both sorrow and fear. Frank’s expression mirrored the latter. The Russian lifted the object and placed it on the leather surface of the desk. There was a brief moment of inactivity as both men’s gazes met. Frank sat uneasily before reaching for the equalizer. A rather peculiar nickname now it occurred to him, after all surely a revolver does nothing other than to make combat unequal? His stomach turned sour and it was if he had been shocked by a thousand volts, as his ghostly white hands shook uncontrollably. He felt weak, when he came to lift the weapon; the barrel hung down as if ashamed of what was to come. An unwilling accomplice. Frank inhaled deeply, in and out and slowly he shut his eyes. He brought the firearm to his head and spun the barrel. Frank paused briefly, cast back briefly to his days as a choir boy, he could not help but be reminded of the fire and brimstone engulfing Gomorrah.

The shot could not be heard outside the soundproofed room and neither could The Russian’s scream.


Once again thanks a fuckton, people! I really need this to help me actually have a clue what to do! THANKCHU!

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