Sub for later reading.
Fricity frack - I wont read all that!
j/k I will read it later....
TryhardNobody - what the hell? So Granger told his wife he found someone else, then moved out but stayed in same school district? And he didnt know that was his kid? He woulda had to have known kids name was Jeff right? Why would he have to memorize the address of his kid from a paper scrap in the locker? He didnt know who the kid was but the kid knew who he was? No matter what it was a good story because i read the whole thing and im tired as fuck
Thanks. He told the kid that he had to memorize the address because he was trying to explain how he found him at home. I thought it would be a way to show that he was worried about his son realizing it was his father--so he, Granger, came up with the locker story even if he didn't really need one.
He knew it was his son, but in his typically fucked up way of solving problems he tried to "fix" his son without letting on who he was.
And thank you so much for reading it, TryhardNobody!
If you're looking to get it published, you need some work on sentence structure.
ex. "A week passed, then a month, then summer came."
-s/b "A week passed, then a month, and then summer had come."
A different phrasing would help the transitional development, too. ie. "Weeks turned to months and one season moved to the next, until the heat of the summer months was upon Granger. During the summer, he worked fewer hours since the high school only offered morning classes in due to the small number of students seeking extra credits. It was in those few hours that he found himself spending more time on the couch, watching TV or buried in a book. He stopped running in the morning.
Additionally, your paragraphs should end on a thought that points to the next thought. "He stopped running..." would best be served as the opening sentence in next paragraph or continue to beef up the shittyness of the summer months in the current paragraph.
ill read it a little later
I'm not really convinced with the ending though.
Interesting read Andre. I am wondering if you thought of the story arc first and then filled in the blanks? At times the characters feel like they exist for the purpose of the story arc rather than having lives of their own. As I read the description of the kid, I feel like "oh, I am supposed to dislike him," and as I read your description of Granger, I feel like, "the author really wants me to feel bad about him." I'd prefer it if the characters had a bit more complexity. Maybe Granger goes through the lockers of the hot girls at the school. Maybe the kid doesn't seem like a complete dickwad.
Some of the details need to be filled in more. Leftover Chinese food sounds like it exists just for the effect (the reader is supposed to feel bad for Granger), but tepid, reheated kung pao is specific enough to sound like exists on its own. You could even talk about how it had its own appeal -like the crisp brown edges on fried bologna. (Another example, compare "dilapidated old car" to a "rusting station wagon with mismatched hub caps.") Grape juice sounds too fancy. Purple Flav-o-Ade sounds more up Granger's alley. Also, what shows does Granger watch? You can have a lot of character development just by stating that he watches "the Weather Channel" or "Bravo" religiously.
The kidnapping requires a bit of suspension of disbelief on the reader's part. For me, it didn't seem realistic that the quiet janitor would one day lose his shit and kidnap some shitty kid. I could believe the story a bit more if he follows the kid around a bit and then confronts him with a tire iron when he finds him alone.
The final twist of the story is decent too, but it might pack more of a punch if the kid never verbalizes that Granger is the dad. Perhaps when the kid turns the tables, he can go ballistic on Granger, letting him know how Granger doesn't know shit about him or his life, how hard he has had it, how hard it has been on his mom, etc. In that tirade, the kid can reveal details that make Granger realize that its his kid. In the end, maybe Granger says something barely audible to let the reader know that he realizes that he's that kid's father.
You could also tweak the storyline a bit more to get more out of your ending. So even though Granger seems like an okay guy with some fucked up behaviors, the reader should cheer for him as he plots his revenge against the shitty kid. Then when the kid turns the tables, both the reader and Granger realize that Granger is scum. This would give the ending a bit more punch.
Lastly, I gotta say, I don't care so much for the name Granger. It sounds too much like "Ranger," and it seems to allude that this mild-mannered janitor is a secret badass or has a secret life (which he does). I think that a more common last name would work better. Or better yet, use a plain-ass first name. When I went to school all of the teachers, workers, and administrators were "Mr." or "Mrs." but the janitor? His name was "Carl."
I guess Carl is my achetype for a janitor, and maybe I am projecting him into the story. Nonetheless, if you can perhaps recall your own high school janitor, you could build a more solid template for Granger. For example, here is what I remember about Carl:
Carl was giant drunk of a man who seemed to barely shake off the remnants of the previous nights booze to stagger into work everyday. He had a daughter who went to the school he worked at, but no one knew. He probably kept quiet for the sake of her social life. He took a shining to me because he would see me running to school in the mornings. He'd pull me over in the hallways, gimme high fives, and talk about how, back in his day, he was quite the athlete himself. I didn't know whether I should feel bad for him or laugh at his outlandish personality, and I always felt uncomfortable when he tried talking to me, but I was never unfriendly to the guy.
Love to read your writing Andre. Thanks for sharing and please keep posting.
Where is Jason tornado in all of this?