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    dots Submission Name: Jack-in-the-Boxdots

    Author: deadsqrl
    ASL Info:    25/m/denver
    Elite Ratio:    4.05 - 8/10/6
    Words: 2488
    Class/Type: Story/Satire
    Total Views: 872
    Average Vote:    No vote yet.
    Bytes: 13342

       they told me to write it.

    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.


    "Tell me about Jack."

    "Jack is the best brother a guy could ask for. He's really the only person I know who would give as much as He does for the sake of His family, His brothers especially. Me, Andy, and Joshua are all blood, but Jack's father left our mother years before she met OUR dad. Come to think of it, Jack says so much about His father, and He seems really driven to impress him, though I've never seen him. Maybe they correspond through the mail? I don't know. Anyway--when our mother went crazy (that seems strange to see it written out like that) He quit school in the middle of a semester just to help take care of bills. OUR father was gone at that time too, a fat alcoholic with a tattoo of an eye on his forehead, he wouldn't have been able to make the kind of real sacrifices Jack made to keep our family afloat for that critical period. I only wish I could do something to make up for His lost opportunity for schooling, as all three of us got a splendid education on His dollar. He always paid those bills with this huge, unforgettable, forgiving smile on His face. I couldn't feel bad at the time. One day, before He got arrested, we met in a restaurant on the south side of town (He was always down in the slums, befriending the lowest classes He could find) and He told me about how low He was on account of something His dad had told him. He looked me in the eyes and very seriously said He hadn't done enough to help the people around Him. I might have been a little rough on Him now, looking back I can see that, but it seemed liked the most ludicrous thing He could say. I told Him how much He'd helped me and the influence He had in my life, and He shrugged it off like it was something meaningless. Something He'd do for just anyone habitually. I ordered some drinks, and He only had water, though I coaxed Him to get something alcoholic, celebratory. He refused, but I still motioned for a toast, mostly so I could reiterate my point about His selflessness. "Thank you Jack" I said, "Because if not for You, I wouldn't be here today to enjoy this food." At this He looked hurt and put off. I meant it with all of my heart. He retorted "Don't thank Me, for the wait staff and the cook are working hard to make all of this for you, and you need but sit back and enjoy!" I became infuriated later, after a few drinks of course, when He went to pick up the bill. I demanded He let me pay, and told Him how He'd given me enough. I said I didn't want anything from Him, that I'd never asked Him to do all the things He did throughout our childhood for me. He was so calm about His reply that I stormed out of there to get in my designer car and speed off recklessly. He had said that my excesses were my nature, and giving was His. He didn't want me to be like Him, because His life was a life of penance for something He didn't even seem to understand. How does a man live like that?! I hate to admit it, but a part of me was glad to see He was up to something--illegal I mean, and He got caught. At least now He has something to repent."

    "Jack was my best friend-But I never did trust the man. He was always talking all this whack shit about lost souls and feedin' tha poor and all this nonsense. But anytime I seen Him git ahold of a dolla, He get hisself a Slurpee or some shit. Not that He didn't give almost all of His time and such to helpin' people, hell, there ain't no more lost a soul than mine, probly why He hung around me so much. I knowed He come from money, but tha nigga was broke anytime. All the time. So yeah, He told me He was going away and I was like "Hold on there Jack-in-tha-box (what I called him on account of this real funny time I was walking down Broadway one night, only to find this Fool setting Hisself up a cardboard box ta sleep in for the night. I told Him if He was so down-and-out He could crash with me, but He refused, talking more of that bullshit about possession and life and I was too drunk to hear it anyway) what war are you off to win now?" And He just looked at me sad, and told me how much He loved me and shit, which I thought was cool till He kissed my cheek, I was like "Whoa nigga! save it for your momma!" you know, cause I ain't into all that gay shit. Then He said He was off to organize some righteous protest against the war. I told Him to be careful, cause I seen what the cops have been doin' ta anyone who's speakin' their mind about this whack job president and his war. I could hardly believe myself when I saw the reward poster with His face on it. I found Him under tha 6th highway bypass down where it's real shady and was like "Hey Holmes, they got a price on Your head!" And He just looked at me again, with those sad brown eyes of His, and said it don't matter to Him if they catch Him or not. So I was like, how could You say that!? So He started on this crazy rant I'd heard before about His father, and how He needed to make big changes. I'd never bothered to ask Him before, but shit was hittin' tha fan so I said "How come You got to live Your whole life trying to impress Your father, who, from what I've seen, and man I've seen a lot more than you know, hasn't been around for You or Your momma since day 1?" He said His dad knew when he needed to tell Him something, and that he sent Him letters now and that he had some great plan for Him or some shit. I told Him I didn't like this plan or where it was takin' Him. I had more than enough friends end up in prison and this was the last Motherfucker I wanted to see get put away. Yeah, I feel like shit, after what happened and all. Even when I donated tha reward money to charities and shit, I still feel like I killed tha man. I'm just waitin' for a letter from His dad to tell me what the fuck I had to do with his "great plan" cause it's some fucked up shit right there let me tell you. My damn court appointed therapist has me on suicide watch, I can't even eat with a fork anymore!"

    "Ahhh Jack. Jack Jack Jack Jack. I don't know where to start. Let's start at the beginning. I met Jack through a sort of liberal reading group. We hit it off right away, He was just such a caring guy who really seemed to, you know, believe in something. Maybe too much. We'd walk for hours downtown and talk about what was wrong with the world, where we were all headed. He was very fatalistic about things, like He thought the world was this beautiful ice sculpture that no one had to carve. Just wind and time, and then Wham! there's an ice-skating hippo. God I loved Him. It wouldn't be the first time I fell in love with a non-accessible man. I think He might have been gay, but that doesn't really answer ALL the questions I had about why He would never fuck me. He'd hold me so tenderly, and then He'd obligatorily pry me off of Him. Yeah, gay. So what's a girl to do? I moved on, got some on the side, whatever. When He showed up at my door saying He was wanted for some terrorist plots and organizing a revolt I took Him in for a while. I have a safe hidden place, you know. He saw I had another man over and I think it may have hurt Him to know I wasn't being faithful. Maybe it was more that it was His brother, Andy. But fuck that, He never staked any claims on me! I cared for Him so much and said, right in front of Andy, that I'd do anything for Him if He'd just take the time to ask. "Time" He said and just stared off into space. Andy said some harsh words to me, that he'd later apologized for, so I won't bother telling you in detail, other than that Jack chewed him out pretty bad, which surprised me. I'd never seen Him get that angry. His tone changed, but the things He said were pretty much standard Jack-isms. You know, "Who are you to judge, you don't know what her life is like, how she's come to this, and I doubt you really care all that much. When will people think about anyone but themselves?!" He turned, very confused it seemed, and said, before He left, "And who am I?" I didn't want to let Him leave, what with the cops crawling all around, but He's as stubborn as the rest of us. He may have been on something, I don't know, all I know is that at the courthouse, He could have said any number of things to lighten his sentence. No one was gonna buy the suddenly mute angle. They just grew more suspicious of Him. He wouldn't hurt a fly."

    "I've been taking care of Margie now for 9 years, that's when her condition grew unbearable for her family. I was sort of doing a family favor until they admitted she needed to be taken away to somewhere more suited for someone in her...condition. Poor thing, you can't talk to her unless you know what she responds to, which isn't much, though we're making progress...very slowly. Jack. Now Jack is something she'll respond to. I don't think she understands what He's done or what's happened to Him, and oh I don't have the heart to explain it to her...again. I don't even really understand myself, He was always so responsible, He was the only one paying me for almost 6 years, then His brothers secretly took over the cost of my living and such. Jack started very small but was such a fast learner He moved up very quickly in world, so I was surprised when He quit His job. This was of course, after all of his brothers were through school and I was being taken care of. It's hard work, and can be very trying sometimes. It's not that Margie is violent or anything, but she requires a lot of...emotional attention. The stories I have heard! Let me tell you, she swears Jack was born from a time when she had sex with an imaginary friend! I said "Sweetie, we all do that, none of us get pregnant that way, or I'd have a litter!" She is very insistent though, and of course, only Jack was born this way. After all these legalities, it has become quite the pressing question concerning who the father is. She easily recalls Bud, her husband, her no-good eastern dirtball. I was glad to not hear him stumble in that night when he kidnapped Jack and took him god-knows-where. Jack showed up hours later and said simply that He was the newly appointed man-of-the-house. I believed Him, though He was a child we worried about when He left, He came back a fully realized adult. And He showed it. Lord, I was always worried that Margie's condition was hereditary. Jack got strange around the same age as His mom did. I think they may have the same imaginary friend, if that's not enough."

    Letter found on the suspect: Son, the time has come for you to make a definitive change in the world. I watched you (as I always have) try to send me mail. I can't risk exposure by getting it, or maintaining a regular forwarding address. I can only watch and wonder what it is you're trying to say. I have been observing, though, how meticulously well you've been following my instructions. I need you to gather some soft minded people, followers who will not ask too many questions, and stage a very deliberate, very public protest. It is very important that you can control your flock, for it needs to remain a NON-VIOLENT protest. I have set things up so that you will become wanted regardless, and I have also set up a date for your capture. These are things I will communicate with you in a different way, something less traceable. All you need to know is that you will be with me soon, and you will get your chance to elaborate on any message you want to hook to this scheme in the future. Also, I heard you screaming on the rooftop about fairness and real justice, I think you may have been heard throughout the heavens! You need to keep it down, I'm nearby. I realize it isn't fair for you to have to do the things you've done, and to not know why or what or who I am even, but listen. It's so very very close. Be strong, Son. Trust in me and fear nothing.

    "I couldn't accept a plea of insanity. I have never been in a criminal case where the defendant so obviously wanted to be punished! So yeah, He was crazy. The evidence showed that very clearly, from the sudden change in lifestyle, to the letters from His father that were shown to be in His own handwriting, with His fingerprints all over them! If He would have given me any defense at all, I certainly wouldn't have convicted Him. If only the media wouldn't have had such a close eye on the trial from the beginning. It was a lynch mob! A nation's eyes were all turned to me to make an example of Him. He was no terrorist, He was a psychopath! But I think the public feels safer now with Him behind bars. I sincerely hope when He gets out He can find some help, just someone to believe in Him and pull Him out of His egocentric delusions."

    Submitted on 2006-07-28 03:55:56     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      The way this story is told is very good and I think you can get even more out of it. You could begin to play with the concept of truth, by letting more then one tell about the same episode, which would give this character some more depth.
    I do not think you are achieving much as it looks now. Also, the constant capitalization of Jack when he is talked about (He, Him, His etc.) is too much. The religious allusions are so obvious that it is kind of calling your reader stupid, or at least unable to read the text. The capitalization also takes away some of the power of having to decide what this guy is.
    The plot development I think, is getting no were. It is a story that have been told before, and if that is the only thing you want to play on, then it will end up to thin. You might want to add to it, by questioning righteousness, fairness, religion as such, idols, schizophrenia etc.
    The hole Jesus/crazy guy in a modern world have been done.

    Also you could go into what this guy achieves. What is altruism is it possible to be altruistic and only is it a positive thing. The answer might seem simple, but diving into the concepts might show that it is a very complex matter. The templar’s had a rule about killing another man saying: do not look at who you are about to kill, look at who you are saving. In other words they kill to save lives – they scarify, not them selves, but the ones they kill so to save the lives of someone else.

    Why not let the beliefs of Jack be played out against some post modernistic philosophy. Let his story be told by someone who believes that we all posses the truth, and the notion of absolute truth is ridicules. There are many good themes which can be put into this story, and there are some stories that you just touch, but do not elaborate on, why not let these characters really paint these stories with their own brush. Let them be disgusted to see a man in a box etc. As it is now, I see that you have developed a language to each of the storytellers, but they need some more dialect. By dialect I mean social conciseness, they need political, moral and ethical views, which will show when they chose how to tell their stories.

    Well, just some suggestions. Use any or all of them, and remember that this is your story and keep it your story!

    All best,
    | Posted on 2006-07-29 00:00:00 | by tZar | [ Reply to This ]
      I liked this-though I can see if I read it quicker I might get lost in the transitions from one speaker to the next. Mostly because this was all dialogue-the character voices were different enough to tell there had been a change, but it took a second to realize that. The images painted by the dialogue were very clear but again there isn't much transition between speakers- I guess that was deliberate but again it might confuse people. Why did you capitalize Him, His He etc- was that a reference as well? I thought the letter was wierd until you explained it was writen in his own handwriting...then it made perfect sense. Good work - this was interesting :)
    | Posted on 2006-07-28 00:00:00 | by laursal | [ Reply to This ]

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