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Author Topic: The Beginning of my story...  (Read 4530 times)
deadwrtr
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« on: April 19, 2006, 08:10:57 PM »

Please, let me know what you think...

BIG BLACK SPIDER
By Eric D. Scheck

"Jesus, what a stink!"  Eric said, face turned away from the bedpan he was emptying.  The worst of his duties was right in front of him, and his stomach reeled.  Belsing Regional Medical Center was chugging along at full speed, the emergency room nearly filled to capacity, and it seemed as if every patient was on a bedpan.

"Code brown duty, eh?" Paul said, popping his head around the corner.  Cupping one hand over his mouth, he mimicked a radio dispatcher.  "Attention all techs, code brown in the utility room, code brown in the..."

"I get it, dispatcher dickhead." Eric said, tapping the bedpan against the commode.  The smell was overpowering.

Paul recoiled in disgust, making exaggerated gagging noises, covering his mouth with his hand. 

"Jesus Christie, what the hell are these people eating?"

Eric flushed the oversized toilet in response, disposing of the bedpan in a nearby hazardous waste bin.  "It's a dirty job."

"But somebody has to do it, and I'm damned glad that someone isn't me." Paul finished, turning away and walking down the hall. 

Eric shook his head, washing his hands in a nearby sink.  Drying his hands, Eric noticed a biohazardous vacuum canister sitting just inside the door.  "That boy better learn to take care of his own mess."  Frowning, he slipped on a pair of latex gloves and tightly grasped the top of the container.   A thick, viscuous fluid shifted slowly in the cylinder, some of it clinging to the sides.  Oddly, it was a pale yellow.  "Bile" Eric thought to himself.  "Man, when I can start identifying this crap by its color, I've been doing it too long."  Carefully pulling off the tightly sealed lid, Eric poured the contents into the bio-waste disposal toilet, gagging a little as the gelatinous material clung to the sides, oozing wetly into the swirling water. Flushing again, Eric rinsed the container out, then throwing it into the trash. 

Belsing Regional was once world renown for its treatment of lung disorders, bronchitis, cancer and tuberculosis, but now was making a name for itself in hip and knee replacements. There were many older areas of the hospital that were leftover from that era being readied for remodeling.

Deep below the basement, a large capacity biohazard waste tank lay nearly forgotten, its contents consisting of organic, infectious goop decades in the making.  Bile, blood, infectious waste, vomit and fecal matter, as well as a slew of infectious diseases, all percolated quietly in the darkness.  For years, a variety of enzymes had been used to destroy the infectious waste, but that had been a long time ago.  Now, the tank was little more than 3/4 full, the surface glimmering with an iridescent sheen whenever the congealed top layer was disturbed.

The tank had 4 pipes of various sizes emptying into it, rusty, vile entry points for the bio-medical waste from different areas within the hospital. Each had ancient bio-filters that were difficult and dangerous to change.  One narrow pipe led up and out, a ventilation tube that was designed to remove most of the smell so that the stench didn't backflow into the hospital. The other three were inlet pipes.  Latched on to one aperture was a small figure, its claws wrapped around the slimy pipe, its mouth, covering the end as it sucked in voracious delight, eyes rolled back in its head as it swallowed its grisly meal.  Loud, nauseating swallowing sounds emanated from the small shape, its belly swelling as it feasted.  Soon, the slop finished pouring out of the pipe and into the creature’s maw.  Belching loudly, the thing slipped back into the gruelish mess that was its home.  With a few bubbles to betray its passing, it was gone.
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 07:02:16 AM »

Good idea for a story - all that bio waste simmering away down there.  I can imagine all sorts of possibilities leading off from this scenario afro

What really happens to all that stuff?  I take it anything that can be flushed goes straight into the main sewer, doesn't it?  Scary thought.  Anything big and bulky gets incinerated, doesn't it? (just imagining amputated bits and bobs floating around in there)  This is something you need to research if you don't already know the answer (I expect you do), because if it's not the norm, you really need to make up a cover story for why it's like it is.  Perhaps a twisted old caretaker who's not doing his job properly, or a contractor who took shortcuts during construction - this could maybe even be a new(ish) facility where the technology has gone awry?

As for the writing itself, I noticed a few tense shift problems with individual words, rather than phrases -

Quote
[After] Carefully pulling off the tightly sealed lid, Eric poured the contents into the bio-waste disposal toilet, gagging a little as the gelatinous material clung to the sides, oozing wetly into the swirling water. Flushing again, Eric rinsed the container out, then throwing it into the trash. 



Quote
Belsing Regional was once world renowned for its treatment

"leftover" should be two words in this instance - "left over"

Quote
Flushing again, Eric rinsed the container out, then throwing it into the trash. 

Belsing Regional was once world renown for its treatment of lung disorders, bronchitis, cancer and tuberculosis, but now was making a name for itself in hip and knee replacements. There were many older areas of the hospital that were leftover from that era being readied for remodeling.

Deep below the basement, a large capacity biohazard waste tank lay nearly forgotten, its contents consisting of organic, infectious goop decades in the making.  Bile, blood, infectious waste, vomit and fecal matter, as well as a slew of infectious diseases, all percolated quietly in the darkness.


There's a bit of a tenuous link between these three paragraphs, because you go from Eric's actions into back story and then into the present again, in a different location from the one Eric's in.  I think you need to smooth the transition between these things with a 'device', like following the bile down the pipe to its destination - that way you keep the POV straight, going from close third person to omniscient.

What is the POV going to be in the rest of the Novel?  Is Eric going to be the MC - the protagonist?  If not then I would stay out of his head completely, if I was you.

I'd need to see more before I could say for sure, but I think you could start off better than this - it wasn't until about half way through that you hooked me (around about where the bile puts in an appearance afro ), so I'd say what goes before could do with a bit of attention and more of a hook.  I wouldn't get too hung up on writing the first chapter, though - you can always come back to it after you've written the rest.  Too many novels never get written because their authors allow themselves to get stuck on the first chapter.

Really liked the image of the glowing tank of goo, and the creature feasting on the end of the pipe.

Good work - keep it up! smiley
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2006, 07:45:54 AM »

I liked the beginning, but agree with Blunt's comments re POV, etc.  I liken the first draft of the first chapter to "clearing my throat." Don't worry, you'll re-write it a hundred times. This story sounds like it could become a medical waste Chernobyl story. The vile ooze takes on its own life and/or births a plague that hasn't been seen in centuries (except 1 case of Bubonic plague just showed up recently). This story has possibilities. If you make it SF AND horror, there are places for it, like the APEX Digest. Keep going, don't stop!

My favorite job--bedpans.  bleh And, pulmonary toileting. I gag at the memories. 

One of the funniest bedpan incidents occured when I was in allied health training (1973--a million years ago) and I was walking down an end hallway. A classmate was standing in the hall, holding a metal med tray (I said this was a million years ago), saying, "All I wanted to do was give two Xyloprim." He had the shocked look of a man with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Seems poor Bob had gone into a TB patient's room (on precautions, gown, mask, etc) and the large patient was sitting on a bedside commode. He was done, wanted to get up and go back to bed. Bob, an LPN and good guy said, "Let me get help."

Bob returned with an orderly, and as the orderly pulled the man from the front, Bob pushed from the back, bracing his foot under the commode.  As Bob pushed the patient upwards, leaning into his knee and foot, Bob slipped and fell over backwards. Seems no one had put a BEDPAN in the commode and Bob stepped into a nice big, FRESH pile of stool.

All he wanted to do, was give two Xyloprim.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2006, 09:59:24 AM by SharonBell » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2006, 09:54:50 AM »

I thought for sure you'd say he tripped over a log.... grin
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 09:55:25 AM »

Well, yeah, he did!  grin
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deadwrtr
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2006, 05:55:11 PM »

Sometimes it takes new eyes to point out the mistakes, so I appreciate your comments. 

Yes, I know what happens to biohazardous waste (the bigger bits do get incinerated) but you'd be surprised where the liquidy stuff goes.    Some of it is discharged right back into local lakes and rivers (skinny dip, anyone?)  Other stuff...

Discharged to a public sewage system if the waste is liquid or semi-liquid (i.e., human blood, body fluids, biological solutions) and has been chemically decontaminated (such as use of chlorine compounds, quaternary ammonium compounds, phenolic compounds, etc.).

Guess what?  It's not always chemically decontaminated.  Most often, enzymes are used to break the nasty goo down into harmless bio-syrup.  That waste is decontaminated,  recycled and pumped back into the general population for consumption!  Woohoo! 

Keep in mind, city water has strict regulations on allowed contaminants.  Think about that the next time you buy a $2.00 bottle of mountain spring water fresh from artesian wells.  Bottled water companies don't have nearly the number of health inspectors to keep happy. 

The more solid bits are sometimes used as fertilizer.

Occasionally at work, when a new guy (or girl) comes in, our resident smart alec will pull the nasty on him or her, usually this involves drinking apple juice out of a urinal, or eating chocolate pudding from a bed pan.

At least I think it's chocolate pudding. 

Anyhow, thanks for the comments.  I have about 6 more chapters done... shall I post more?  If so, where?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2006, 05:58:42 PM by deadwrtr » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2006, 06:14:57 PM »

Quote
I have about 6 more chapters done... shall I post more?  If so, where?

Good question - you don't really want to post too much of it here in the first chapters section, because it's open to the public and hence the search engines.  I was wondering how much interest there would be in a Novel Club section, if we were to set one up.  Several Doomers are/were writing novels for NAY, but I'm not sure how that's going now and whether it's still on or not.

If there's a demand for it, I could add a novel group that's hidden away like the Crit Group is, or we could organise a buddy system, where authors exchange chapters with a partner for crit and scrutiny.

I'm open to suggestions, as always smiley
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deadwrtr
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2006, 09:02:19 PM »

Quote
I was wondering how much interest there would be in a Novel Club section, if we were to set one up.  Several Doomers are/were writing novels for NAY, but I'm not sure how that's going now and whether it's still on or not.

If there's a demand for it, I could add a novel group that's hidden away like the Crit Group is, or we could organise a buddy system, where authors exchange chapters with a partner for crit and scrutiny.

I'm open to suggestions, as always smiley

I'm up for it.  Sign me up!  Or, just let me know when it's ready.

Thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2006, 02:48:55 PM »

Posted in the relevent section  afro
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