First 5 pages of the Dybbuk!

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Anigirl
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Joined: November 25th, 2013, 7:50 pm
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First 5 pages of the Dybbuk!

Post by Anigirl » February 5th, 2014, 10:13 pm

First 5 pages of my first novel! Let me know what you think and if it sucks, rip me to shreds!

New York City, 1976:
He was young, only around thirteen. His eyes were dark brown and sparkled with delight as he sprinted across the field, beads of sweat rolling down his neck and forehead and moistening his dark brown hair. He grinned from ear to ear as, with a powerful kick, he sent the ball flying across the field. Another young boy of about the same age with messy blonde hair leapt in a futile attempt to prevent the ball from going into the net. However, the kick was far too powerful and when the ball made contact with the blonde boy's arm, he fell to the ground and the ball landed in the net. The brown-haired boy grinned proudly as the other boys applauded and the coach gave him thumbs up.
"Good work, Alex!" cried the coach happily, "Nice kick!"
The brown-haired boy, Alex, nodded and then ran over to the blonde boy and helped him to his feet. The blonde boy panted and gave Alex a smile of appreciation.
"Thanks, pal," said the blonde boy, dusting himself off. Alex nodded and then giving his friend of brotherly slap on the arm said, "You did good too, Markus."
The blonde boy, Markus, shrugged and shook his head slightly, "Thanks, I should be fine as a goalie, as long as the other team doesn't have a kicker as good as you."
Alex shrugged modestly and then his keen ears pricked up. He elbowed Markus in the side and pointed to the nearby bleachers. Markus looked over his shoulder and smiled when he saw two men sitting side by side on one of the metal seats. One looked similar to Alex, with dark hair and dark eyes, a circular hat on the back of his head. He grinned happily and stood up, waving to his son and crying, "Good kick, Alex!"
Alex smiled and waved to his father. Markus smirked and waved to the other man, who, unlike Alex's father, did not show as much energy or enthusiasm. He sat calmly on the bleachers, a small smile playing on his lips, clasping his hands together as he kept his eyes on the boys. He didn't wave in response to Markus' wave and instead just nodded as if to acknowledge that he had seen him. That seemed to be enough for Markus and he smiled.
The coach called for the boys to get back in their positions, reminding them that they still had more practicing to do. Alex ran to his position and Markus stood protectively in front of the net.
Alex's father sat down, a proud smile on his face as he watched his son sprint across the trimmed grass of the soccer field. He turned to the man beside him, gave him a friendly smile, and extended his hand. The other man smiled and shook it.
"You must be Markus' father," said Alex's father, "Good to meet you. My son has told me a lot about yours."
"Only good things I hope," said Markus’ father with his usual half smile and a polite nod. Alex's father chuckled and nodded.
"Only good things," he assured him, "My name is Moshe Herzl."
"Konrad, Konrad Franks," said the other man, "Good to finally meet Alex's father. Your son is very good at soccer."
"Thank you," said Moshe, "He practices all the time, it's his favorite thing to do."
"Maybe he can give Markus some lessons," mused Konrad as his son once again fell over and failed to defend his goal. Alex's father shook his head slightly, his smile faltering at Konrad's somewhat disparaging comment.
"Alex is a good kicker, but he's no goalie. Markus is quite a good goalie," Moshe said in an almost pleading tone, as if asking the other man not to underestimate his son.
"Hmm," said Konrad with a shrug, keeping his eyes trained on Alex rather than his own son. He sighed when Alex kicked the ball into the goal once more, despite Markus' attempt to block him. He pursed his lips and shook his head in disappointment. His eyes then flickered to Moshe and he smiled slightly.
"I don't usually come to their practices, just to their games," Konrad admitted. "But I had off today and didn't have much else to do, so I figured I might as well come to see how Markus was doing. I was also hoping meet his friend I've heard so much about."
Moshe smiled slightly and queried, "You're often busy?"
"Often enough," sighed Konrad, "I'm an accountant, not exactly an exciting job."
"You dislike your job?"
"No, it's just not that exciting. I don't dislike it per se, but it's just not a job that makes for interesting conversation."
Moshe smirked and nodded in agreement, "True enough, though personally I wish I had a boring job. I'm a taxicab driver."
"You?" said Konrad, arching an eyebrow and looking at the dark-haired man in disbelief, "You don't seem the type."
"And why is that?" asked Moshe, his eyes twinkling with amusement. Konrad shrugged and smiling slightly said, "Well, I somehow can't see you swearing at other cars or waving your fist at pedestrians."
Moshe chuckled and cocking an eyebrow said, "That's a bit of a stereotype."
"Maybe, but in New York's case, I think I can safely say it’s an accurate one," Konrad replied and Moshe chuckled once again.
"In some cases, perhaps," Moshe admitted. Konrad's eyes then flickered to the circular cap on the other man's head. His eyes glimmered with slight interest and he tilted his head to the side.
"Jewish?" he queried casually. Moshe nodded.
"Naturally, have you ever heard of a gentile named Moshe?"
"Fair point. Since you're wearing a kippa, am I to assume you're quite religious?"
Moshe chuckled a little bit and shrugged, "Religious enough that we go to synagogue every week, which is more than I can say for many other Jews." The Jewish man's eyes then danced with glee as he added, "And religious enough that Alex is having his bar mitzvah soon!"
"Oh?" mused Konrad nonchalantly.
"Mm hm," nodded Moshe, "Markus is invited, of course! Has he not told you of it yet?"
Konrad shook his head.
"Perhaps Alex hasn't gotten to inviting him yet," Moshe assumed, "He does have a habit of leaving things to the last moment."
Konrad said nothing in response, but pursed his lips and glanced at the field where the boys continued to play soccer. It wasn't long, however, before the coach decided that it was getting too dark for them to continue playing and that they had to pack up and go home. They all promised to meet again on Thursday and, after wishing one another good day, they gathered their things and started to make their way to their houses. That is except for Alex and Markus, who made their way to the bleachers to meet their respective fathers.
Konrad stood up and stretched his legs before giving his son a small smile and putting an arm around him when Markus ran foreword to hug his father.
"I didn't think you'd come," said Markus, looking pleasantly surprised. Konrad shrugged and patted his son on the shoulder.
"I was off today, so I decided to come and see how you were doing," Konrad explained in brief. Markus grinned and looked at his father with appreciation. Konrad's eyes then flickered to the young Alex and he smiled warmly.
"I was also hoping to finally meet this mysterious Alex friend you've been speaking of so much," Konrad admitted, nudging his head to indicate Alex. Markus glanced over at his friend and smiled, Alex returned the grin.
"You've been talking about me?" queried Alex, tilting his head to the side in curiosity. Markus shrugged and grinning said, "Yeah, but mostly just about how you keep kicking my ass every practice."
"Markus! Language!" scolded Konrad with a stern look at his son.
"I picked it up from you," said Markus impishly. Alex and his father both laughed and Konrad let out an annoyed sigh.
"No excuse," he grumbled, "Your mother would've grounded you for a week just for that."
"Ah! And speaking of mothers, Alex my boy, we have to get home," said Moshe, putting a hand on his son’s shoulder. Disappointment flashed across Alex's face; clearly he wanted to spend a little more time with his friend and get to know his friend's father, but nonetheless he nodded in agreement.
"Atta boy," said Moshe, then he smiled up at the two Franks'. He nodded at Markus and said, "Will you be back here on Thursday for the next practice session?"
Markus nodded.
"Good! We'll see you then! Maybe I can buy you boys some ice cream after practice. With your father's permission that is."
He looked pointedly at Konrad as if to ask for his agreement. Konrad Franks smiled slightly and nodded saying, "I don't see why not."
Markus smiled cheerfully at the prospect. Moshe shook Konrad's hand courteously proclaiming, "It was good to meet you, Mr. Franks."
"Good to meet you as well, Mr. Herzl," said Konrad, then he turned to Alex and nodding graciously said, "And good to meet you as well, Alex, I hope to see you again soon."
"Thank you, sir," said Alex politely. His father started to lead him to his car. Alex looked over a shoulder and waving once to his friend cheerfully said, "Bye, Markus! See you at school!"
"See you, Alex!" said Markus, waving. The two Herzls got into the car and drove off while Konrad put an arm on Markus' shoulder and led him to the car. Once they were both seated and strapped in Konrad's expression became hard and serious.
"You didn't tell me Alex was Jewish," he said sharply. Markus' head snapped over to his father as the elder man started up the car. He arched an eyebrow and then scowled.
"Is that a problem?" he snapped almost defensively. Konrad turned to his son.
"Don't," he snapped, "talk to me in that tone, young man."
Markus crossed his arms stubbornly and leaning back in his seat responded, "I told you his name was Herzl, Herzl's a Jewish name. You're so smart, you should have been able to assume he was a Jew."
"Don't smart-mouth me," snapped Konrad, his eyes flashing with anger. Markus winced for a minute, but quickly regained his posture.
"Well, why is it of vital importance that I tell you the religion of my friends?" queried Markus, then he glowered at his father and hissed, "It isn't a problem that he's a Jew, is it Dad?"

Sweet Venom
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Joined: February 20th, 2014, 12:23 am
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Re: First 5 pages of the Dybbuk!

Post by Sweet Venom » February 20th, 2014, 1:10 am

I like the ending where the tension begins to build. Is there any way you could get to that point quicker? I'll admit you lost me a bit with all of the dialogue. I wasn't really sure where the conversation was heading and I got a bit bored. I'm not invested in these characters yet to be interested in their small talk. Is small talk interesting to you? To most people it can be boring. It definitely gets more interesting near the end though. You need some tweaking at the sentence level. Try reading it out loud. This is great. I love reading other people's work. Keep at it!


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