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.

WSO22 said...
on Apr. 2 2014 at 11:54 pm
I'm the author of this story, looking back with amusement at my first very short story.

on Aug. 19 2013 at 4:00 am
dejarenee SILVER, Goose Creek, South Carolina
6 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Write to Liberate"

At some points your story line gets a little lost, but your first few lines really captured me!! Nice job!

on Nov. 4 2012 at 9:11 am
MikaylaT BRONZE, Exeter, New Hampshire
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
In that moment, I swear we were infinite.

It was an interestng story, I'll admit. It kept me on my toes and left me curious and wondering. The only thing I'd think about changing, is the excessive vocabulary. It's great that you know a lot of interesting words, but I think the abundance of them all at once in the story took away from it a little. 

on Nov. 2 2012 at 3:45 pm
TickTockBANG SILVER, Botkins, Ohio
8 articles 0 photos 44 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I believe that what doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger." --Joker

Overall, I really liked this story, and I'm really curious to know about what Darian's deal is. This plot could have easily been corny and just stupid, but you avoided that with how you made Darian and Clara; Clara wasn't one of those "ermahgerd I luvs youu" girls that a lot of characters in her position can be.   I would watch your word usage, though, like other people have said. Too much takes from the story. Your broad vocabulary in setting descriptions and maybe a word or phrase here and there would be enough to make the telling of the story interesting and allow a reader to get immersed. 

Ilikedit said...
on Nov. 2 2012 at 10:32 am
Interesting that so many people are critical of your vocabulary. Maybe it's just me, but I actually like the florid vocabulary. (Actually it didn't even seem that florid to me.) I think most teens read books w/ dumbed-down vocab, so they get mad when they don't understand words...idk I also liked it because I can understand Darian; I've tried to do the same thing to myself. People who haven't experienced that just don't understand.

on Oct. 5 2012 at 7:07 pm
angiechick526 BRONZE, Jeifoqnh4iqrf3n, Pennsylvania
4 articles 0 photos 9 comments
good but not very romantic if u ask me

on Sep. 21 2012 at 12:44 pm
kaiterbug BRONZE, Goose Creek, South Carolina
1 article 0 photos 5 comments
Let's see...I admire your broad vocabulary, but the usage was too much. Less is more. Try to emulate Ernest Hemingway "I went to the river. The river was there." Example of where you should have kept things simplistic:" I felt my eyes flashing, but I worked vehemently to fixate an arctic, hard tone into the dark of my indigo irises." Why not say you glared at her? Show, don't tell is a good thing but you don't have to shove it down the reader's throat. Example:" I cocked my body towards her arrogantly, and lifted my mouth into a crooked crescent moon." There are too many unnecessary descriptive terms. You described the character’s actions more than you describe the actual setting. Where is this scene taking place? “The sun was dying flamboyantly, casting its radiant colors across the sky.” All the reader knows is that it’s taking place outside and there is a sunset. The characters are cliché. There’s a “cold” hearted bad-boy, a girl that’s desperate to change him, and they’re secretly in love. You did do a good job distinguishing between the characters. His way of speaking tended to be harsh: “That’s an inane notion that foolish women entertain.” Her way of speaking was more pleading: “You know, Dare, you could let yourself feel. You could understand it.” Overall it was cliché and uninteresting.

on Sep. 21 2012 at 12:42 pm
Its.beautiful. BRONZE, Goose Creek, South Carolina
1 article 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you." — Erich Fromm

I applaud your ambition, BUT this piece needs work. The development of this story was lost in your use of vocabulary. Your choice of words, took away from the overall story line. The language does not fit with the character's dialogue or the basic narration. This resulted in the failer to establish a setting, character development, or character relationship. For example, " That's an inane notion that foolish women entertain." , and  The sun was dying flamboyantly... This does not match the image of two teenagers having a conversation. The majority of the imagery is not clear due to the excessive amount of fancy language, such as: to snarl rebelliously, tilting the coners of your lips into a smile, etc. The continuous use of adverbs distracts the reader from the actual action. It was very hard for the reader to connect to the piece or evoke any sense of emotion. Revision is needed. 

on Sep. 19 2012 at 11:35 am
avidDreamwriter BRONZE, Ridgeville, South Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Not all those who wander are lost"- J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of The Rings

First of all, let me congratulate you on writing one of the many stories out there that tend to give a bad name to the emo/gothic population by being overly stereotypical, dramatic, and too descriptive of emotions that "aren't supposed to exist" within your cookie-cutter character, Darian. And Clara's no better, she's just as simplistic as him. You over-use descriptive language, adjectives, and adverbs, creating actions that would normally be physically impossible, such as "I carefully tilted the corners of my lips into a smile that I meant to be wry". How would you even do that? A better way to have put this would have been "I put on a wry smile". You hide the absolute flaws behind the story and the characters by using a wide variety of words that you probably went through a thesaurus to find, and you didn't really need that many words. The dialogue seemed very choppy and unnatural, especially when Clara said, for no reason at all, "Kiss me". My guess is that you ran out of ways to keep the plot moving and decided to revert to the usual scene of two people kissing to make something happen. And what do you mean by "Its sinister, black cancer couldn't cripple a seventeen-year-old boy with no lungs, let alone a heart."? Does he literally have no heart or lungs? If so, is he dead? If not, what is the metaphor behind the words? And the phrase itself is very melodramatic, in fact, this whole piece is distilled melodrama slapped on a website with the hopes that people will pay attention to it and give you that attention. Job accomplished: you got my attention, but I couldn't help but laugh at everything you wrote because of how unrealistic the actions and dialogue are, and because of your misuse of certain words. Example: "I cocked my body towards her arrogantly". Your word choice makes for an awkward action for the readers to imagine. A better way of putting this would have probably been "I turned to her". You don't always have to use words that end in -ly.

on Aug. 28 2012 at 11:40 am
MissMaegan SILVER, Port St. Lucie, Florida
6 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have too many fantasies to be a housewife. I guess I am a fantasy."

--Marilyn Monroe

This was beautiful and wonderful :) You really have gift. A quick question though, I was a little confused on one thing. Was Darian declaring his lack of emotions and organs (heart, lungs) as a metaphor because he was so damaged and dark...or was there another, more fantasy-like reason? I don't know, just my mind wandering. Beautiful job <3

Edmund said...
on Aug. 23 2012 at 7:41 pm
"Hardheaded girl!¿No ves que no es seguro? Do you not know how close you are to Mexico!?" Victor's voice rose into his familiar octave of exasperated frustration. I grinned to myself as I swung around the corner of mi familia's restaurante, wondering idly who had fallen victim to my brother's easily piqued anger. Victor's stoic silhouette wasn't startling; I was accustomed to the erect posture, the tendons that jaunted from his smooth skin, the clenched hands. His back was to me, but I knew how his eyes would be hard, flashing dangerously. His gaze was directed towards someone, though, that halted me in my amused gait. If Victor ever had a rival to match his poised anger, it was the figure of Luz. Our newly hired waitress stood as stiffly and vertically as Victor, her arms folded stubbornly across her chest. Her pretty features were set in stone, the delicate lines defiant and cold. Set against the wild hair that defined her to us, her eyes, usually slitted with laughter or wide with reveries, were just as hard as Victor's were. Her lips were braided into a sneer.

on Aug. 17 2012 at 4:23 pm
super8 PLATINUM, Manhattan, Kansas
30 articles 9 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out!"

Excellent excellent excellent use of vocabulary and description. I can feel the passion in this story. I also love the abrupt change his feelings take towards the end of the story, the reader never suspects it. 

on Jun. 23 2012 at 8:13 am
writer3499 GOLD, New Bedford, Massachusetts
11 articles 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"it's impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all-in which case you fail by default."

that was amazing! it was really intense and dark...i really liked it.  Would you mind checking out my work?

on Apr. 18 2012 at 9:36 am
ShelbyMarie93 PLATINUM, Lexington, Nebraska
35 articles 1 photo 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When Death to either shall come -- I pray it be first to me." ~Robert Bridges
"Life is not a jump; it's a headfirst dive."
"Within you I lose myself; without you I find myself wanting to be lost again."

╚══`.¸.Isaac H.

I think that the word choice the author chose was perfect.  It didn't seem overwhelming, in the least bit, and I think it helped portray the dark, yet sophisticated character in the piece.  I really enjoyed this and would totally jump on the chance to read if you wrote more about it!  Amazing job!

on Mar. 5 2012 at 10:17 pm
JesusFreak3 SILVER, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
6 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When everything around me falls to pieces, I've got something more in my life. When I'm broken only God completes me."
Krystal Meyers
"God is love"
"An eye for an eye makes everyone blind."

:O wow that's really interesting

sonJaNae said...
on Mar. 5 2012 at 9:24 pm
sonJaNae, Fort Wainwright, Alaska
0 articles 0 photos 68 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No one can change a person, but someone can be a person's reason to change" -Spongebob Squarepants

Wow! This was amazing! At first I sort of just skimmed the first few lines, not sure if I wanted to read it, but I was draw in almost immediately! This is lovely!

on Feb. 12 2012 at 4:26 pm
billgamesh11 BRONZE, Grafton, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 278 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's always darkest before the dawn." ~Florence and the Machine

Oh, reality. This jerks us back to it very well! I am so wowed, my jaw is on the floor! I can't find any words to describe this but: Wonderful. Please Keep Writing!!! :):):);)

BluBliss GOLD said...
on Dec. 30 2011 at 3:16 pm
BluBliss GOLD, New York, New York
14 articles 0 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Bella's love for Edward was like, "Omg. He's hot. He's mine because he sparkles. Now I'll brood the wholle book while I'm with him."

The ending is great. Because when something ironic happens, it sticks in our heads. The description is grand, but on closer inspection you use alot of adverbs. The usage was powerful, but the amount of them stood out. Otherwise, I loved it. I even texted the whole thing to my best friend an she said, I quote, "AWWWW!!"

on Dec. 30 2011 at 9:32 am
Jappyalldayeveryday, Detroit, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 163 comments

Favorite Quote:
They say that good things take time, but really great things happen in the blink of an eye

Extremely well written, but of course the ending upset me

on Dec. 8 2011 at 8:38 pm
Pianoartist BRONZE, Kechi, Kansas
2 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Give up.....on me giving up." - Naruto Uzumaki ;)

That was absolutely brilliant!...im speechless