SEVERED – Part 1, by Ismael Rodriguez

Pressures from all sides can lead to misunderstandings.

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Mia-admin
1 month ago

Yikes! That was intense. What a vile child. Good execution. My only suggestion would be to add body language to the dialogue. Well done.

R.L. Nel
Member
1 month ago

Whoa! You do the macabre so well! I loved this! From how the twins communicate via telepathy to Annie snitching on them. The ending is chilling. Iā€™m so glad that there are two more installments! Well done, Ismael!

Stevie
Member
2 months ago

YIKES! I felt hot and then cold. I did not expect that AT ALL. I was uncomfortable with the bullying traits that Mac was showing, but this I did not expect. I came to this story because I was reading your Part 2 and realised I needed to read this one first. I feel sad for George though, misunderstood, lumped together with his brother, punished for things that he seemed to have tried to prevent. I cannot even begin to imagine what happened next. Part of me thinks Mac is innocent of this, and it’s a coincidence… I’m off to read part two. So dark, so intense, thanks for sharing.

Melanie
Member
3 months ago

Hi,

What a wonderful dark story interwoven with realistic family dynamics. The relationship between the twins is creepy and sets the story well, as does the obnoxious little sister.
There are a few plot holes that don’t work for a short story, and the ending feels a little rushed.
Well done.

Peggy
Member
3 months ago

How coincidental that we both went with stories involving twins! Yours is the quintessential good vs evil twin story, but taking evil to the darkest level! I liked that they are able to speak to each other telepathically, I liked the contrast between their characters, which you portrayed very well, and I liked the interaction with the family as shown through the Spanish expletives and phrases. I found myself quite sympathetic for George, and hope if you do continue this story that he finds more courage to stand up to his “older” brother and hold him accountable for his actions. This was dark and intense and I liked it! Well done.

Dionne
Member
3 months ago

I really enjoyed this story. I want more of it, what happened to Mac? Why did georgie have a headache? I enjoyed the relationship between mac and annie, it really gave a foreboding feel that came with that end line. Well done.

Deb Snyder
Member
3 months ago

Hi Ismael, Great read! Like other commenters, I did have the idea that the boys were really one person with split personalities. I also had the confusion at the end, after Georgie wakes up, as to why he had a headache, his mother had an ice-pack, etc. I also really like the use of Spanish in the dialogue; as long as the context pretty much shows what the words mean (which you do very well), it just adds to the atmosphere for me. A lot of tension and a sense of foreboding woven all through the story. Well done, thanks for sharing this!

Glen Benison
Member
3 months ago

Hi Ismael, man you went deep into the dark side on this one. A very gripping and well paced story. You have the reader holding his/her breath often as the ugliness and threats unfold……never a moment to lose one;s focus.
I like their ability to communicate in thoughts and you had me wondering just for a while if they might be conjoined twins (at the hip perhaps).The scene in the father;s office was full of great imagery even if brutality ruled the moment. As for the severed head….stunning. God job. I won’t be sleeping tonight šŸ™‚

Seyi
Member
3 months ago

Hey Ismael, and trust you all coping ok? I recall these characters from the KWC story. You’ve taken the dominant twin to new psycho levels though. You’ve received plenty of commentary already, and I join everyone else in wanting/needing a resolution to the ‘Annie-not-dead, just-kidnapped’ plot thread. Can’t wait. I particularly liked the line ‘We both laughed like real brothers for a few minutes,’ it shows, very economically the tension that normally exists between the brothers. Dialogue is crisp, flowing, as always. All the very best, stay strong and regards. Seyi

Jane
Member
3 months ago

Hi Ismael, I must admit I do not remember this one from KWC. But that is fine, it stands alone perfectly well. It was very twisted and evil, with a nasty shock at the end. But I must say you wrote it beautifully. It kept me totally mesmerised the whole way through.
I do wonder who has done such an awful thing. Surely Mac is not capable of doing this to his sister…..
Well done and thanks for sharing.

Charles R.
Member
3 months ago

Hey Ismael! This was one dark story.i think you did a really good job by sustaining tension through out it. Having the ‘bad” twin missing at the conclusion got me thinking that maybe Georgie-Boy was actually not a twin but, a split personality(Mac+Georgie-Boy) – I think allowing your reader discover this psychological personality split would have been a cool twist to your ending.
When you consider that the “twins”communicated telepathically – this would make sense that there was only one brother and not two – who was flipping back in forth from good/passive and bad/aggressive personalities.
This suggestion would offer the reason forGeorgie-Boy’s sleeping in late – as he was undergoing a mental blackout when” Mac” committed the criminal activity.
Anyhoo… That’s my two cents.
Good job my Friend and I look forward to your next one

Kim
Member
Kim
3 months ago

Hi Ismael

so glad you’re back on 12SS – its like a family reunion !
I also remembered this from KWC – who could EVER forget! – and yes, your writing on it now, is stronger than it was back then.

Agree with Doug – some plot holes – why are they all walking around like they got hit over the head at the end there and not recall it?

I think it might read better if you leave out the synchronised thought-sharing thing ( even if it’s based on fact) – it will eliminate a bit of the confusion – call it artistic license if you will,

your characterisation of the socio-psychopathic brother is truly frightening, made more so , if I recall, you said it was based on your own experiences – that totally gives me the chills – whatever happened to your real brother?

I liked the insertions of spanish – to me it gives it a great ‘authentic seasoning’ which I enjoyed. I would like to see more cultural references in the way the family interacts/connects with each other .

I’ll be honest – if you continue this story, I might be too scared to read it!

Bhavna K.
Member
3 months ago

Whew! This story is dark and scary – something out of a Stephen King novel. For a while, I thought Mac was a voice in Georgie’s head. Then I see that the little sister is as manipulative as Mac is and I thought we have a new villain. But then…yet another plot twist. I’m both terrified to read on and compelled to read on. Well dne!

Deryn
Member
3 months ago

Hi Ismael – how are you doing? So good to read you again. Something about this reminded me of Lionel Shriver’s We Need to talk about Kevin (great book and really a decent movie adaptation) – What a nasty piece of work Mac is. Which KWC prompt does this reference, as I’d like to go back. Am intrigued, with a severed head, how Annie is merely kidnapped??!! I loved the scene where Annie snitches on them, the fake sobs and the tongue she pulls…such realistic sibling behaviour. Great piece!

Anne
Member
3 months ago

OMG! Ismael, I remember reading the tiny glimpse of this one while we were doing KWC and requesting you to expand this one. If I had thought it was sinister then, this piece is downright scary dark. You’ve have this Anne’s head (thankfully still joined to the rest of my body) spinning with this one. So so good. Thanks for sharing, my friend. It’s always great to read you!:)

Joyce Finny
Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Ismael

Oh what?? Don’t tell me she turns into a zombie or something!!

BTW Anne thought perhaps the reason you had named the character Annie was to take revenge on her for using your doctor’s name David Bright and scarring you for life!! šŸ˜€ šŸ˜›

Joyce Finny
Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Ismael

Oooh!! *rubs palms* this is getting exciting! Looking forward to the next month! šŸ™‚

Anne
Member
2 months ago
Reply to  Joyce Finny

Haha. Thank God she hasn’t become a zombie! Or I’d really have been scarred like I did with Ismael with my David Bright. šŸ˜›

Joyce Finny
Member
3 months ago

Oh my God! When I started reading this, I got a bit confused thinking I ended up going back to that older story, but then realised you had fleshed out that story here, as.this was much longer. God! This was dark! I wonder why George also gets blamed along with Mac. Does Mac make sure that the blame falls on George as well? But to think he’d kill her that way!! Makes me shiver!!

Doug Liberati
3 months ago

Oh my. That was dark. I don’t know where to start. First of all, this was pretty well written and kept my interest throughout. I was a little thrown off when they were sharing thoughts, but then realized they were twins, most likely identical. I suspected something was going to happen to the little girl when the brother didn’t get it. But i was not suspecting what happened to the office and the general violent destruction that took place.

I would suggest two things to strengthen this, but it might require a few more words…First I would plant a suggestion that Mac has more than one knife early in the story. He calls the switchblade a toy, and the final weapon is a large hunting knife, so maybe he implies the switchblade is his toy, not his “real” knife. Then the larger one will not come as a surprise at the end.

Second, I would try to provide some explanation about why George slept so late. I inferred that it was because he was spent from the violence of his brother, even though he did not do it. But I could be completely wrong. Also, I was surprised everyone was just discovering the mayhem. His mother was injured (cold compress) were they all knocked out?

just some thoughts. Good job.

R.L. Nel
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Doug Liberati

Whoa! You do the macabre so well! I loved this! From how the twins communicate via telepathy to Annie snitching on them. The ending is chilling. I’m so glad that there are two more installments! Well done, Ismael!