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A LONG WALK HOME Kyle Coare .........................................
He leaves work the same as any other day, but this time its night, its past midnight in fact nearer one and it’s a cold night, with a slight fog forming. He holds the letter tight in his hand, knowing he needs his wife to see this and help him fill out the next part. Along the corridor of disused, neglected buildings, he strolls he is happy with this part lights all around and no other people come into these parts very often, though you do sometimes get the odd drunk trying to cadge a fag, and some times rent boys, but they just pass by with the use of the modern mp3 player, his wife had brought it for him last Christmas, and now he wouldn’t leave the house without it.
Past the closed burger van still letting out the scent of stale oil and burnt meat, he comes to a junction of roads the road left takes him he does not know, he’s never been left it could be a fascinating new world but as he does every night, and has done for the past 3 years he turns right.
Onto the main street of a tiny town, just one road with some shops, and a giant Tescos. The car park of the supermarket is empty bar a few straggling cars doing their shopping over night and a teenager obviously trying to impress his date by doing donuts in the car park, little does he know this is making things worse, she had gone out with the intention on sleeping with him, but this car based boredom has shown her he’s not her man as he will find out in about 15 minutes when she walks off into the distance!!!!!!
There is an eirry silence in the air, but as he walks he starts to hear a sound that fills him with fear, he pulls out one earphone to hear more, so colliding with his rock music he hears background music, surprisingly rock music, so he takes other ear out, this is acceptable for a while!! The sound gets louder the closer he gets to the large local park. As he walks he feels a smash against the side of his face, already feeling blood trickle ever so slowly towards his neck.
He ducks avoiding the second stone that is thrown at him, the third hits him on the shin but the stones don’t hurt as much as the abuse that the local teenagers shout at him, they don’t know me he thinks how can they say such nasty things, he walks a little faster and soon the teenagers are back to drinking their cider smoking their marijuana and laughing at porno mags.
He carries on walking at a brisk pace past the closed shops with their lights off and their windows covered, past the garage he would normally buy a sandwich. Quickly putting his ear phones back in he hears a glimpse of “dark end of the street” one of his favourite songs and bemoans the fact he took them out at all!
Normally he finished at 10 and if overtime was offered it was at latest 11
Tonight was different they needed the workers to stay late, he protested but finally gave in, you cant be the only person to go home whilst everyone else carries on working can you!, so he got back to packing the pies as they came down the line, knowing, his wife would moan, but would still spend the extra money before he has even seen it. Sometimes he wonders quite why he bothers, his wife stopped loving him years ago, he stopped loving her even before that, but till death us do part was always a rule to him and it seems to her
He is now walking amongst the posh houses, still, quiet and peaceful. This is not so bad, he thinks to himself whilst also thinking of the lovely dinner his wife will have made him for when he gets home, probably a microwave version of some classic dish from either tesco or asda, that doesn’t taste like classic dish or any dish at all unless your reviewing cat food!!.
He comes to the turnoff for the final stretch of his journey, he walks across the barely lit field until he gets close to the railway bridge, this bridge is about 2 or 3 meters long but its pitch black and you can’t see what is on the other side. He walks into the darkness, hears a noise, its only his own breathing echoing in the short tunnel and as any man like any child he cant stop himself from shouting “echo” and listening as it fills the short tunnel, small joys!!.
At the other side of the bridge he finds himself alone much to his own relief, talking of relief he decides he needs to urinate so here is as good a place as any, I knew I shouldn’t have had that last coffee at work, but it was my only chance of a break, damn went through me like someone took my head and attached it directly to my bladder though!!! Oh he thinks to himself, it looks like Elvis, damn wish I had a camera!!
The last part of his journey takes him through some woods so he starts on the little mud path into the woods, the moonlight coming through the trees. As soon as he is in the dark wooded area his fear is up, he can see shadows moving, dancing in the moonlight and unfortunately his music has suddenly changed from 60’s classic rock to modern Goth stuff with darkness bleeding through the lyrics.
As he walks slowly uphill his heartbeat raises faster, the thoughts in his head keep manifesting themselves onto the trees, there a group of men, oh no just a bunch of logs. No wait they are not logs they are alien crocodiles with massive teeth, obviously even he saw that was daft!!
The sweat from the long laborious quickly paced walk and from his fear is flowing now, there is a slight chill in the air, the cool wind sending shivers down his spine the cooling raindrops cooling his brow but not enough to cool him down, and is being more iritance than help.
Wait, what was that noise, sounded like a scream, and again. Two big black birds flap about in the trees squawking at each other, he carries on. Just a corner to go, soon be home, he breathes, trying to calm his already jumpy nerves, ive done this walk hundreds of times why should today be any different!!, calmed, almost believing himself for a minute he takes the corner fast.
The light is blinding his heart is in his mouth. “sorry to scare you young chap” comes the voice”just walking my dog” Was not ready for that, heart racing, if he had an heart condition it would have given up and walked away at this point, but his body still quite young and strong holds up! And he also knows big Joe and his jack Russell would never do him any harm, Joe lives about three houses down and has helped in a few occurrences, with fixing a fence and giving advice on good seeds for strong summer flowers, can’t remember them now, but sure they were written down
And he is out of the woods safely just 100 feet till home almost there, In fact can see his road, its just at the end of this short road, but along the way he knows a few people he hasn’t been “friendly” with since school even if this was well over 10 years these guys still hold a grudge.
Oi you, get off our street dweeby nerd boy, this hurt he was way past boy, had children, and if he had a fighting bone in his body he knew he could take any of these guys, but rather than let it bother him he sets off having found a bouncy track on his mp3, and ignores the now silent abuse thrown his way, also missing the line I saw your misses with some guy earlier in the night, they seemed quite cosy.
Upon reaching his street, he sees his house the lights are all out, it’s a pain brick building built in the 50’s basically a two up two down with a bathroom, but none of the lights were on, his wife always waited up for him, normally to throw a bill in his face that she had created, here’s the bill for my new dress they are behind, that sort of thing.
He opens the gate, remembering the night he stole it from some one on the estate, back then the house was his parents, they have both moved since, well they were having a party of teenagers, bad idea, well one of the teenagers walked right through the gate, didn’t think it was actually possible, but with own eyes saw it!! So obviously he went about as far as he dared, or could be arsed to, and took the nearest gate, it fit and worked well, only problem was original gate was just wooden no colour this one was bright red, with the number 25 etched into its skin…….
So as he walks up towards number 150 he gets chills again but he can’t wait to sit down with a cold pint so he lets it drift
He walks up his garden, the darkness coming from the back of the house sets his nerves off again, thinking someone is there the garden is along an alley alongside the house where no light manages to reach, day or night, yet plants grow it’s a strange area, but not one to look at in the early hours of the night He tries to put the key in the lock slips a few times, the dogs barking in other gardens doesn’t help, he vows never to get a dog, and ventures towards the keyhole again this time straight in, opens the door, to be greeted with pitch black, just about making out the lights coming from his back window, was there movement? Nah just my eyes.
He manages to walk into his living room, turns on the light and walks towards his kitchen, oh this beer is gonna be so great, a twelve hour shift, you just want a beer, ill think of food later. He cracks the top on the sideboard, catches the lid and throws in the bin in one smooth move, he’s done this hundreds of times, he walks into front room, points remote at TV, and tells it to go to his favourite sports channel, he turns to check how he looks in the mirror, oh im sure im gorgeous he says as he does everyday.
He glances into his mirror to see the splatters of blood ooze over it from the fresh wound to his neck, he sees the face of his killer as they slam the knife in further snapping his spine and spraying more blood around the room like a fountain of red paint, his last view is of his wife standing over him with her kitchen knife dripping his life’s blood into the carpet, everything goes dark Wow Elvis lol!! Aarrggg
His wife finds the note, we are sorry, it says, your insurance claim is not yet complete, we still need these further bits of info from you………………
whilst i agree with a lot of the critisism, i kinda like my writing style, i dont try to be normal, its meant to be a bit wishy washy almost fairytail. I agree its bad but maybe your not seeing this side of it?:!?!?!
anonymili 03.08.2011 21:19
Agree with some of the comments below but it made for quite a chilling read overall, well done!
torr 19.07.2011 10:26
She might at least have given him time to drink the beer and catch up on the sports news. I rather liked this - good atmosphere development, shock denouement - but would agree with the other comments to the effect that it need a bit of tidying up round the edges.
Somerset Maugham is the acknowledged master of the short story, and his full range is ... more
represented in this collection. In acclaimed stories such as "Rain", "The Letter", "The Vessel of Wrath" and "The Alien Corn", Maugham illustrates his wry perception of human weakness and his genius for evoking compelling drama and an acute sense of time and place.