Razed Expectations | Teen Ink

Razed Expectations

December 24, 2009
By Vanished BRONZE, Change, Colorado
Vanished BRONZE, Change, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 53 comments

Wisps of smoke danced into the wintry air from my lips, creating ornate designs that could never be replicated. I carefully tilted the corners of my lips into a smile that I meant to be wry. Of course, it's difficult to articulate emotions that I can't feel, but I find that irony is relatively simple to demonstrate. I inhaled the toxic vapors of the cigarette casually. Its sinister, black cancer couldn't cripple a seventeen-year-old boy with no lungs, let alone a heart.
I glanced in the direction of the horizon, and flinched. The sun was dying flamboyantly, casting its radiant colors across the sky. Its last waves of light caressed my cold, pale skin. I wanted to snarl rebelliously as I felt its warmth slide against me deviously.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
My muscles went rigid, and I had to focus madly on controlling my shaking hands. I would know that voice, that beautiful, disastrous voice, in the realms beyond that of Earth. I grated my teeth, reeling in the disturbing sensations that she unknowingly always aroused in me.
I cocked my body towards her arrogantly, and lifted my mouth into a crooked crescent moon. I felt my eyes flashing, but I worked vehemently to fixate an arctic, hard tone into the dark of my indigo irises.
“I find the sunset lifeless and meaningless, actually,” I countered flatly, and a beat too late.
She laughed merrily, and I struggled within myself as my mind and body became entranced by the beautiful movement of her laughter as the colors of the sun played about her.
“You amuse me, Darian. How can you have such a pessimistic view of the world? The sun will not be lifeless until it disappears beneath the horizon, and the night falls. It’ll rise tomorrow, though,” she said.
I dared not think of her name. I hated the way my soul-if I had a soul-thrilled when her voice lingered over my name. It reminded me of music. I had to close my mind defiantly as I thought of music. I wanted nothing that resembled passion.
“That’s an inane notion that foolish women entertain. You want poetry, and ridiculous vows of forever. You aren’t difficult to read. If you want that sunset to mean something, then you want unrequited love. It doesn’t work like that,” I growled unmercifully, angry at her for unleashing the flood of feelings upon me.
Her lovely green eyes shifted into hard emeralds.
“What do you know about me, Dare? And what’s so wrong with having dreams? And why are you talking to me like that? I was simply commenting on the sunset.” She tossed her red curls, clearly miffed.
I lifted my chin, and blew smoke in her face. It was easier on me when she was angry. I don’t know why she bothered with me. Why she was brave enough to confront me. Why she didn’t follow the laws of the superficial high school we both attended. Why she didn’t stay away from me, like everyone else.
“You’ll die from that smoking, Darian.” She glared at me. We’d had this argument a lot. I lifted my eyebrows, and turned away from her, signaling that the conversation was over.
She didn’t obey, and I sighed.
“You know, Dare, you could let yourself feel. You could understand it.” Her voice was soft, a whisper in the darkening air. She was air. My air.
I reviled the potency of the emotions I could feel pulsing through me. I ran a hand through my black hair nervously, my body skidding with strange, unfamiliar energy. I didn’t want to answer her. Why didn’t she leave?
I made a fatal mistake when I looked at her. Every nerve inside of me screamed, as though my body and internal organs were recharging hurriedly in the rare moment of my awakening.
I think I felt my heart beat hesitantly.
My voice seemed like that of a stranger. It had a rich, deep tone to it. It had color.
“Understand what?”
Something in my expression changed the way she was looking at me. It may have mirrored the arrangement of my own features. She became vulnerable in that instant.
“Kiss me.” She whispered brokenly.
Surprise jolted keenly through me. God, I wished I was numb again. Everything felt electric-too intense and too vivid. Emotions scattered across my being, a mutinous invasion of the raging war against myself. I was defenseless and an easy prey to her request. I breathed jaggedly, and there was a husky vibe to it. Want. I recognized it more clearly as it bloomed vibrantly through me.
And she was waiting. For me.
I destroyed the walls I had so warily built as I leaned towards her. She lifted a creamy hand and laid it tenderly against my cheek, the expectation making her bold. I moaned, and closed my eyes. My own hands loosened, and reached for her face greedily
Something hot-burning-ignited against my skin. I wrenched myself away, dazed by the unpleasant sensation. Had a spark traveled through our bodies? That’s when I noticed the cigarette kindling like a faint ember beside my marred hand. It had burnt me. The throbbing pain brought a wave of consciousness through me. Reality. And I stared at her face, inches from mine, and something clicked inside of me. Gears that began humming smoothly, like a tuned clock. I pulled back, and tossed her hand away like it stung. I grimaced as the vitals within me slowly resumed their state of nothingness, and shook my head to clear it of its nonsensical ideas.
She watched the change take possession of me, and tears began to collect in her eyes.
I found that I could care less.
I grinned at her, and mocked, “I taste of cigarettes, Clara.”
She got up shockingly to her feet, and backed away as if understanding for the first time what I was. Tears stained her nondescript face.
I smiled, that careful replication of a smile, and said acidly, “Did I humor your silly fantasies well?”
Her face crumpled entirely, and she pivoted away and ran sobbing from my scathing ridicule.
The sun died, and all was dark.


The author's comments:
Reality sings truthfully against the generic lyrics of fantasy. What does your soul and heart sing of?

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This article has 206 comments.


on Apr. 2 2010 at 6:54 pm
To be called talented is a great thing, but to be called talented by the talented, that is a truely amazing feeling. Thank you form the bottom of my heart.

on Apr. 2 2010 at 6:52 pm
I just have to say that you are a wonderful writer.

Wambach Gay said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:48 pm
I forgot to mention above, but I love the way colors are such a huge part of your writing, because you use them to your advantage.
Holy crap. Again, this story is riddled with moments of brilliance, among lines that aren't as strong as they could be. I think one thing you could work on, as mentioned in my previous comment, is the dialogue. Fix that, and you're on your way.

Fantastic job.

Wambach Gay said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:45 pm
First thing's first: I adore your title. A play on words always excites me when reading.

Now, for the critique (before the compliments...)

Sometimes, I feel your dialogue gets a little stiff and unrealistic. That, merged with the dialogue that flows well, makes for an awkward reading. Maybe try thinking how real teens talk to each other, even the pessimistic and highly cynical ones.

That aside, I thought some of the lines in this were pure strokes of genius. Examples:

"She was air. My air..." (Oh-so-romantic, yet so simple. These short sentences work wonders when placed against longer sentences)
"...It had a rich deep tone to it. It had color..." (the juxtaposition used here is absolutely brilliant, his voice against his attitude that's slowly breaking apart)
"...Cigarette kindling like a faint ember beside my marred hand. It had burnt me...Reality." (This is just about my favorite part, right down to the final word of the story. The emotion here is described so well, and the images produced are beautiful).
"I smiled, that careful replication of a smile...the sun died, and all was dark." Brilliant part here; so heartbreaking, because you could tell that, as much as he wanted to, he couldn't let himself fall any more for her.

Final sayings: Absolutely beautiful short story, with just a few bumps that withhold it from being brilliant all the way through. It easily could have been cliche, with the good-girl-falls-for-bad-boy plot line, but you managed to make it come across as fresh and unique, and with such likable characters.

Kudos to you!

Mermaid Blue said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:44 pm
I read it and enjoyed it. I love the first sentence. It reads almost poetic in a way. I think the whole thing does, actually. It flows well. Some of the dialogue is a little stiff, but I think you wrote a creative, beautifully worded piece.

Sarah!!! said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:41 pm
It was fabulous I love the end even though its sad I think you could have used a few more describing words but it was great anyway.

Tommy said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:39 pm
I sense a writer trying a little too hard to impress. As with Carrie, I think you've gone a touch overboard on the adverbs (which often detract rather than enhance the words they are modifying). I'd also prune some of the more colourful adjectives. You're sliding towards the purple end of the prose spectrum (the stuff of old-fashioned romance and/or fantasy novels).

Carrie said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:38 pm
I think that you have a knack for imagery and for developing characters. Your character felt very real and very unique. You tend to use too many adverbs in your writing. A little hint for writing, “Adverbs are the root of all evil.” Hahaha. Once you edit some out, you may understand.

Darian puzzles me in the beginning and makes me really want to read more. I LOVE the way that this red headed girl is breaking social norms to be around him. This is excellent so far.

“She was air. My air.” what a beautiful line.

Ugh, this was amazing. I love how, un-cliche it was and the fact that you wrote it from a guy’s point of view. This was just BRILLIANT. I would pick this if it were a project.

LovelyDark said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:37 pm
I thought it was really good, could have used a little bit more detail but, other than that fabulous. I must say I was sad at the ending, she tried so hard and ended up crying. I liked your beginning sentence, it was strong and well written. I love it, amazing:)

Beanz said...
on Apr. 1 2010 at 9:35 pm
It was good, I loved that part about the sunset, being lifeless and boring. But you put too many I's in the beginning of your sentences. Use variation.

angie said...
on Mar. 28 2010 at 12:47 pm
Wow! u have major talent! this had very nice, vivid detail. it went from dark to did she really get him to kiss her to dark once again. NICE! :)

on Mar. 22 2010 at 10:08 pm
Green8a8 SILVER, NY, New York
8 articles 1 photo 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
im the author of my life, unfortunately im writing in pen therefore i can't erase nothing about it.-by some crazy friend of mine

i was wondering if he ever tells her what he really feels, i thought you meant for the reader to expect more. I htink it was pretty great, but i guess i always like happy endings lol. But would like to see more of them, and their relationship, i think they left at an unfinished state. Hope that helps =]

Wow! said...
on Mar. 22 2010 at 6:24 pm
Your work is very talented in a different way. It's like the distinct tenor between humor, light emotions and easy flow to artistic, beautiful and inspiring for your "Opulence" to the "Razed Expectations." Good luck with your writing, both of you!

Vanished said...
on Mar. 22 2010 at 6:20 pm
Actually, the story should be complete. It's meant to capture a simplistic moment in which emotion is prevalent. Where do you feel the story ended? What do you think should have happened? Thanks for the opinion, and for the worthy analysis. The story is considered complete by the author, but the writer has composed other short stories of the same origin. ;)

on Mar. 21 2010 at 7:16 pm
sasssgirrrl22 PLATINUM, Pearl River, New York
29 articles 0 photos 267 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Giving up is not a part of my vocabulary."
"Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."
"Truth be told I miss ya, truth be told I'm lying."

luvvvv it xD

on Mar. 20 2010 at 11:05 pm
Allison101 BRONZE, Milwaukee/Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
4 articles 5 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love doesn't make the world go round, it just makes the ride enjoyable. -Franklin P. Jones

ohhhh amazing :) I loved it.

on Mar. 20 2010 at 3:05 am
1COR13 PLATINUM, Anchor Point, Alaska
28 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimmi Hendrix

two thumbs up!!!!

on Mar. 20 2010 at 1:43 am
xoxoLissieM SILVER, Manila, Other
6 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Stop acting dumb cause your usually the smart one and I'm the dumb one!"

wow...the article captured me right from da beginning!! amazing i say:)

on Mar. 18 2010 at 7:24 pm
Green8a8 SILVER, NY, New York
8 articles 1 photo 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
im the author of my life, unfortunately im writing in pen therefore i can't erase nothing about it.-by some crazy friend of mine

i agreeeeeee

pleeasseee im dying of suspense here

Wow! said...
on Mar. 15 2010 at 4:36 pm
You're Welcome, AquaGem! Wow, thanks for writing back! "Razed Expectations" is a beautiful story, and its deep and meaningful, unlike yours.


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