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The Room (My First Short Story Attempt)



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megatron532

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So I've been thinking that I want to write a novel one day, and my only experience in writing is from English class in school. Basically, I figured writing short stories and posting them here for critique would be good for me. That said, here's the first of my stories, entitled "The Room":

Hello to whoever ends up reading this, my name is... well in truth I've forgotten my name. That's what this place does to you I suppose; strips away your memories of anything outside of this room. I'll tell you what I do know; I woke up in this room some time ago--how long ago? I'm not sure--in a wooden chair. The chair was, still is, placed in the back right corner of the room. I say back corner because my back was to the wall when I awoke seated upright in the chair. The first thing that caught my attention was a box in the center of the room, highlighted by the lone lightbulb hanging from the ceiling directly above it. I couldn't make out many details of the box from where I was seated other than the fact that it was made of cardboard. In the corner across from me was a notebook and pen, which is what I'm using to write this all down. In the corner to my left sits a knife, it's one of those large hunting knives with a serrated edge. And in the corner to my upper left sits a mirror, roughly the same height as me. The floor and walls in this box are made of cement, cold against my bare feet. Where are my shoes and socks you ask? I haven't the slightest idea, they were missing when I woke up. I remember walking to get the notebook and pen. The red ink pen. The red from the pen practically burns my eyes, it's the only color in this room, everything else is gray or brown. At the moment I'm sitting in the corner where I found this notebook.

Speaking of the notebook, I never thought to check the other pages for anything... Okay, so I just flipped through the pages in this notebook and all but one are blank. The pages are completely blank, which is something I didn't notice before. There are no margin lines, none of those blue lines showing you where to write are there. The cover misleadingly states that this a seventy sheet college ruled notebook. As for that one page that isn't blank? It's a stick figure man drowning in a box with the words 'CURIOSITY KILLED HIM' written underneath. All in that damned red ink. Looking at myself in the mirror now I see that I'm wearing a gray t-shirt and gray sweatpants. All my hair has been shaved off, every last bit of hair on my body is gone. My eyes are gray, too. I can see that I'm a white man and that I probably haven't eaten in a few days though I don't feel hungry. I'm starting to feel thirsty, though. Maybe there's a bottle of water in that box in the middle of the room. Stepping towards the center of the room I notice there are no windows or doors anywhere in this room. I'm a bit scared now, it has only now occurred to me that I may have been here much longer than I think. What if I wake up every day in this room with no recollection of the previous day? Why is there no way in or out of the room? How did I even get here? Was life before this room all a dream? Has my whole life really just been me in this room with a notebook, mirror, chair, knife, and box for company? I step closer to the box, into the light. Instantly my skin is warmed by the light, I hadn't realized how cold I'd been. I notice the box is taped shut and remember the notebook page. Maybe the only reason I'm still alive is because my curiosity hasn't bested me yet and the box has been left shut. Maybe whatever's in the box will kill me. I don't see how though, the box is no larger than my head. How could something that small possibly kill me? But now I'm starting to feel pangs of hunger, my throat feels considerably dry. Perhaps there's water or food in the box. I step towards the knife in the other corner. Picking it up, it's a bit heavier than I expected. I seat myself in front of the box and consider opening it. I look up and notice an opening in the ceiling near the light covered by a board of wood. I figure that must be how I got into the room. I set the knife down and reach for the ceiling, just barely brushing the board over the opening with my fingers. I try stabbing at it with the knife, but it doesn't seem like its going to budge.

I tried moving it for quite some time before my hunger started to become unbearable. So now I'm sitting again, contemplating whether I want to die of hunger or what's in the box. I definitely don't want to die slow and painfully, and for all I know the box may not kill me after all. If worse comes to worse I always have this knife to off myself with. So I've decided I might as well open the box, pray its food and water, and if its not I'll kill myself. I don't really like the options I've been presented with, but what do I have to look forward to? This room? I'd rather be dead than starve to death alone in the dark and cold. And so I slowly run the knife through the tape sealing the box, throw the knife away, and tear at the box myself. It's more durable than I expected it to be, but it does open. Looking inside I find the box is empty. Infuriated, I pick up the box and shake it, hold it upside down, throw it across the room. My throat is unbelievably dry at this point and I'm starving. I take a seat in the chair again and press the knife to my wrist. I can't bring myself to do it. I don't want to see that piercing red leak from my body. I sob for a little while and then place the knife where I found it. I put the box back, too, because I have nothing better to do with my time. I'm tired now, I think I'll go sit back in the chair and try and sleep, hopefully I'll starve to death before I awake. I neatly tear out this notebook page and return the notebook to where it was. Sitting down, I can feel how tired I really am...

Hello to whoever ends up reading this, my name is... well in truth I've forgotten my name. That's what this place does to you I suppose; strips away your memories of anything outside of this room. I'll tell you what I do know; I woke up in this room some time ago--how long ago? I'm not sure--in a wooden chair. The chair was, still is, placed in the back right corner of the room. I say back corner because my back was to the wall when I awoke seated upright in the chair. The first thing that caught my attention was a box in the center of the room, highlighted by the lone lightbulb hanging from the ceiling directly above it. I couldn't make out many details of the box from where I was seated other than the fact that it was made of cardboard. In the corner across from me was a notebook and I awoke with a pen in my hand, which is what I'm using to write this all down...

Its not the best, but I do plan on cleaning it up in the future. Please leave some constructive criticism for me so I can better myself in the future. And, of course, thank you for taking the time to even read this story!
 
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Thedran

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For a short story I thought it was really good. You kept me reading it and made me want to know what the heck was going on. I don't really have much to say in terms of criticism as it is just a short story, though I would like a continuation of it.
 

megatron532

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Reading it over, I think I may decide to continue it, just because there's not really an explanation or any sense of closure, which honestly bothers me.
 

Thedran

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I liked the fact that it is a cycle though. Again, I couldn't see this being a massive story but for a short story I think that it is really good.
 

Annoyance

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You should indent between paragraphs to make it easier for us to read! :D
Just a tip.

I may take a gander at this when I'm done posting my current critiques.
 

Annoyance

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Okay, great.

Just so you know, the second I see the words "I want to write a novel," I become a lot more harsh and honest. If I'm not, someone more cruel will be worse in your future; at least that's what I feel.

But, like I said, I have two things to finish up before I get to this. Busy busy busy.
 
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