View Full Version : Jack And Jill Went Up The Hill And Ran In With American McGee

2008-01-07, 01:59 PM
So, for my English class we were doing a creative writing project rewriting Jack and Jill.
Considering I finished it just now, I thought I'd post it and see what ya'll think.
Criticism? Praise?
Praise would be nice considering my overpowering self criticism.
Yes I have issues.

Anyway, Jack and Jill. (http://jibar.deviantart.com/art/Jack-and-Jill-74042090)

Full text here if you can't open it, or... well. The link was just easier. And gets me visits.
Jack smiled. He did that a lot. It wasn't a particularly handsome smile, or even a happy smile. Truth be told it was quite the horrible smile, the sort of smile a mental patient might give before commiting some heineious act that rational men would only hear of from their television sets. It was this smile which made most people rather afraid of Jack, as well as his appearence. Tall, gaunt, with an emanciated face and prominant chin and a head of long dark hair. His eyes were heavily set and often hidden behind a drooping fringe, which made eye contact both rare and unsettling.
Now, back to his smile. Usually this smile was brought about by some form of malicious yet brilliant plan being worked out behind those haunting eyes, though in rare cases this smile of his was brought about by those humourous daily comic strips often printed in newspapers. He was ever so fond of them.
This was one of those rare cases though when the smile was born of something wholly different. As previously mentioned, there are smiles that are given by mad men and their dark deeds, and this was one of them. Jack was not mad though, quite the opposite, he was rather fond of the idea that he was indeed the only sane man alive, and the rest of the world had gone mad during those many long, lonely, loathsome months spent in that nice hospital.
Outside his shattered window, that rather annoying whir of sirens as they churned out their cat screechs drifted through. The flashing lights of blue and red played across the wall opposite him, creating rather spectacular shadows as they moved across his lackluster and damaged furniature.
Before him, across the shattered and splintered floorboards lay an assortment of maps, lists covered in times and activities and the occasional newspaper. The walls were equally plastered with both peeling, faded wallpaper and photographs. Of all the articles in this room, these photos had been lovingly cared for. Each was pristine, undamaged, and had the lightest scent of almonds from a half-empty can of fragrance Jack recovered from a local pile of rubbish.
Everytime he looked at this photos, he smiled. Jack would have liked to say that this smile was different from his normal smiles. He would like to say this smile was one of happiness, of caring, of love. But it wasn't.
All the photos were of the same person. This person just so happened to be female, slender with a pretty face and long raven hair. They weren't the same picture though, no, that would be strange. Even Jack knew that. Instead each had been taken in a different location. Some, the woman clearly knew the photographer was there and was smiling, others had been taken from strange angles, often from behind pieces of foliage or other unusal locations. The largest of these photos was framed, and appeared to be one of those huge pictures of all the students taken during their final year at school.
Jack smiled. Just the thought of her brought it on. The police lights illuminated all his hard work in a deep red hue that almost made him giggle with joy. He did so love those little cinematic details that cropped up in life, it made the whole experience rather enjoyable.
The actual police were across the street, dealing with Jack's crack fiend neighbours. They liked to occupy abandoned buildings and Jack often had to chase them away from his own. That's not to say he didn't like them. He relished conversation with them, and found many of them to be perfectly nice fellows despite their own issues. Many of them would even go so far as to call Jack a friend, though not a close enough friend for him to let them stay in his home.
Of course, it did get lonely sometimes. Ever so lonely. The photographs were the only thing that kept him sane these days, their constant watch soothed him. Jack had no friends other than the crack heads, he found people generally quite rude and mean spirited. A pet was right out of the question, Jack hated animals and they hated him. He found them dirty and stand offish, and couldn't stand to let them anywhere inside his home. This reputation seemingly spread among strays, and now Jack was hard pressed to find any animal that didn't attack him on first sight. But none of that mattered.
No, Jack didn't need anything. He did not need friends, he not need pets, he did not company. Only the photos that adorned his wall, and those humourous daily strips in the newspapers. Those were the things that made him smile.

Jill was having a hard time in her life. Most people had a hard time in their life, indeed it was this very reason that the emo subculture managed to bloom as it did. A whining, self-pitying outlook on life would lead many people to believe they had a hard time in their life, and it is very hard to argue with the majority.
Jill was herself, an emo. She would argue otherwise, but the red streaks through the otherwise dark hair, selection of stripped socks and fingerless gloves left her argument rather lacking. It also did not help that this argument would take place upon her MySpace page with fellow emos-in-denial, while at the same time debating the current music of the Lost Prophets and Fall Out Boy.
Anyway, her clique was not what was giving her a hard time in life. No, her profession was the key. Jill was an actress at heart. She dreamed of one day starring in some cult classic movie like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She liked that film immensly. Being an actress at heart does not make you an actress though, and in Jill's case this was incredibly explicit. She was a terrible actress. No, terrible is not the fitting word. Even terrible actresses still get roles, if they didn't Keira Knightley would be out of work. Jill was not terrible, for this reason. She was diabolical.
Jill and her diabolical acting had been going to auditions for years now. No role was beneath her, she craved the chance to perform. One chance was all she needed, and that chance was being constantly denied to her. Until then, until that golden moment, she made ends meet working as a waitress at a particularly unkempt resturant near her flat.
While many people can cope with this kind of lifestyle, broken dreams and all, this wasn't what made Jill's life difficult. This was largely down to the increasing paranoia. Normal people can attribute paranoia to a natural government enforced level through CCTV, others thanks to smoking pot a little too much while young, Jill's was because of an irrational fear built up by people in black coats.
It was nothing really. When she woke up in the mornings, she would open her curtains and some man in a dark coat would be outside. This was probaly just a neighbour who woke up before her. While at work, similar people would walk past the window often, lingering just a little. Jill rationilised it was someone who had agreed to meet a friend nearby. On her walk home, she would take a walk through the park. She enjoyed taking a while to sit and read lines for a new audition on a bench underneath an oak, the fresh air and sound of yapping dogs quite calming. A nearby bench was often occupied by a rather haunting man who seemed to also enjoy sitting and reading, though sometimes he instead had a newspaper and was wrapped in mirth.
It struck Jill once that perhaps these people were all the same, and coincidence kept pairing them together in key locations. She dismissed this thought idly though, she only ever saw the park man in great detail and so could not compare him with the others.
It didn't matter anyway. They never appeared to be doing anything, so Jill was fine. It was her last stretch home that worried her. There was a section of the park where it met the area where she lived, and single pathway stretched between two other apartment buildings. Usually filled with litter, and with vague foliage growing in areas it was not the kind of place a young lady should be found in. The single street lamp that illuminated the area was prone to failure, and the electrical company was loath to properly repair it.
Jill always walked down this route. It cut a good fifteen minutes off her walk home, all other exits from the park took her out into the city centre and Jill always felt a little scared in the city when buisnesses closed, though it was her own fault for never heading for home until it grew dark. The route, while unsettling in its own manner, provided a better alternative as most people refused to use it.
Every now and then though, she could swear there was someone or something else there. The occasional russle of a plastic bag in a windless alley, or the snap of breaking branchs in one of the plants brought her out of own thoughts and made her spin round, but there was nothing there. There was never anything there. It was nothing more than idle fancy on her part and she dismissed it as such. Yet, whenever she got home, she would lock the doors and close the curtains, just to be sure.
This was Jill's life. An unfulfilling job, broken dreams, small moments of reprieve and mounting fear of her surrondings. A normal life by all accounts.

August 23rd. Notable for the execution of William Wallace in 1305, the capturing of Hong Kong by the British in 1839 and the death of River Phoenix in 1993. Jill didn't know about any of these events, so it was almost another day for her.
She woke up a good hour after her alarm, grabed a dry shirt from a radiator and pulled on some trousers she found draped over a chair. She shivered lightly as her flat was unsually cold, so decided against her usual morning shower. Dragging a brush quickly through her hair, biting down as it ripped through a few knots, she dashed into her kitchen. Feeling her way through a pile of dirty dishes and unclean cups, her fingers found an apple in the hidden treasure that was her fruit bowl. Slipping into a pair of shoes she ran for the door and slammed it behind her, then ran back and locked it, stuffing the keys into her back pocket.
She hurried down the stairs, through the main door, across the street and through the alley, the foliage rustling behind her. Faster through the open spaces of the park, wind blasting into her face, down the filling pathways of the city, skidding round corners until eventually she slowed to a halt and bent over double to catch her breath in front of her resturant.
Her boss, a large bellied man with wiry facial hair, screamed at her in his fury. The breakfast rush attended to by only one waitress, Jill a good fourty five minutes late, and customers complaining had put in quite a foul mood and so now he took it out on Jill. She hurridly tied the apron round her waist making subservient apologies and tended to the clientel.
Around lunch, there emerged a great clamour from out back. The boss hurried to investigate amidst worried conversation from both clientel and staff. This clamour wasn't anything normal like a cat knocking over a bin, there was a screech of metal on metal, the shattering of glass and the angry yells of somebody. The boss returned shortly after, and pulled Jill through the kitchen and into the back alley.
A huge pile of rubbish was stationed just outside a window. The window itself had been shattered, though how was a mystery, and all the rubbish had been spilt out of their bags thanks to large slashes running down their sides. A man who looked quite out of breath was waiting expectedly while leaning against a wall.
Jill was instructed to go grab more bags and put as much of it away as she could, then sweep up the glass while the boss spoke to the other man. She went about her duties without question, not making any conversation with the other staff who asked her all kinds of questions. Eventually the boss returned indoors just as she deposited the glass in a proper bin. He didn't say much about what had happened, only that the police had been called.
Thanks to all this commotion, the staff were given the rest of the day off as all the eaters had left. While all the others happily walked off without a second word, Jill could feel her stomach simmer with quiet fear, stuck with the feeling she was being watched. She glanced around carefully but saw nothing. Shaking herself, she set off at a slow pace, trying to be as aware of her surrondings as possible.
She had an audition lined up later that evening for a role in the local theatre company's new show, but in her morning rush she had left it at home. Besides, she needed a good cup of coffee to calm her nerves and their boss had conveniently forgotten it was pay day after the incident, so going anywhere was out of the question.
She took her time to get home and collapsed onto a chair as soon as she was indoors. While she waited for the water to warm, she searched for her script. She looked on every mantle, on the coffee table, behind the few chairs, even where the pile of dishes had been that morning. Eventually, she found it in her now freezing cold bedroom. There it lay right in the middle of the bed. She shuddered again, the feeling of being watched had come on her again, and she was glad she hadn't opened the curtains since she woke up. As she settled down with her cup of coffee and began flicking through the script, police sirens drifted through her windoe, most likely off to the resturant.

Her day grew weirder and weirder. Apparantly the police were visiting the apartment complex as a whole, with a strange man being sighted creeping around putting many of the eldery residents in a state of unrest. One of the third floor flats had even seen the mystery figure outside their window on the fire escape.
On the walk to the theatre, she was sure there was a bright flash followed by muttering as she walked past an alley, but when she looked there was nothing there and attributed it to the wind. There was another mystery when she walked past her resturant and found police talking to her boss, but thought it was only about some of his questionable health and safety rules.
These were soon driven out of her mind by the audition. As she climbed onto stage, the spot light blinding her, the anticipating stares of the casting team and director, the expectant silence, it left. She forgot all her lines, and stood, her mouth slowly flapping as she struggled to get some noise out of her mouth. After a far too long period of time, the director mercifully thanked her for her time and ushered her off stage.
As soon as she was outside and alone in the chilly night air, she gasped. This was the first time she had forgotten lines in her life, and the fear and embarrasment that had built up at that moment were now released as she shrank down by a wall and silently cried, trying to take deep breaths. Then she heard it.
Footsteps nearby and a sharp crash as glass was broken. She cried out in shock, and in response footsteps hurridly ran in her opposite direction.
She started to breath heavily again, grasping for as much air as she could to placate the cold tingle running up her spine. She looked down the nearby by street that formed the back of the theatre. A broken pipe lay next to a now glassless window, and a group of people were crowded around. She avoided their sight, fearful of the possible implications of it all.
She strode briskly back to her flat, trying to stay as much as possible to the main roads. The crowds of people trying to enjoy the night life comforted her a little, though put her at unease at the same time. And then, then she saw him.
Somehow, without fully realising, she had seperated from the stream of people and found herself walking past that same alley where she had seen the flash earlier that evening. This time, standing in full veiw, was the man from the park. Up close, he seemed strangely familiar. She had seen those haunting eyes before, covered by that black fringe. Just looking into them made her stomach plummet. It took all her self control not to scream.
He took a step closer. She tried to move, she tried to look away, she tried to do something but no matter how much she willed it she was frozen to the spot, staring into those eyes, not daring to blink. He took another step, only a few feet away now, and smiled. It was the most horrible smile Jill had ever seen, and proved the final straw. She span round and ran as fast she could. It didn't matter where, only that it was away from him.
She glanced behind only briefly to see him following, his long stride letting him inch closer and closer with every second. Her breath quickened, her heart threw itself against her chest and her legs moved as fast as they could.
She could hear him. Those thunderous footsteps getting louder and louder, filling her ears. That dreadful, ominous crash as each foot fell. She couldn't scream. Every breath she had left was put to making her move that little bit faster.
Silence. It had all gone quiet. The only sounds were her own feet clip clapping on the pavement and the steadying gasps of her breath. She slowed, gently and looked behind. He was gone, just like that, and in front of her was her own apartment building. She would have smiled, she could have even cheered, but now all she wanted to do was get indoors and lock everything she could lock. She just wanted to feel safe.
Her apartment was still cold, and Jill finally realised something was wrong. She closed the door quietly behind her and listened. The steady tick of a clock, the sound of a car passing outside, a woosh. The woosh. Wind. Her window was open.
She entered the bedroom, tiptoeing, the floorboards creaking just a little too loud. She took a long look round. Bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, alarm clock, lamp. Everything was in its rightful place. She paused. When she had got home earlier, her flat was tidy. It wasn't tidy when she left. The dishes weren't on the side, there weren't any cloths on the furniature, her script had been placed carefully in the centre of the bed. He had been in here. Forgetting all notion of stealth, she ran to the window and threw the curtains apart. It had been shattered, and all the pieces inside had been carefully picked up and disposed of. Outside on the rickety fire escape, a few shards shimmered from the street lamps.
A hand wrapped round her mouth, silencing the scream. She struggled and kicked as another hand wrapped around her waist, but they were too strong and her arms were pinned. She gasped as the last of her breath seeped from her lungs. The assailant moved closer, their face coming close to hers. They took a deep breath, smelling her hair ever so gently. She strained her eyes, growing fainter by the second, finally seeing him, finally knowing her attacker and she saw him smile.
With all the power left in her she jumped backwards. He was taken by surprise, releasing his grip just enough for her to grab a lungful of air and throw him off her. Jill glanced around, noting the open wardrobe door where he must have hid himself, and then ran out of the room, slamming the door. She scanned the kitchen, but anything that could vaguely be a weapon had been hidden. She didn't see the door open, but she heard it, and she ran. Out of her flat, down the stairs, through the main doors, always he was just a few steps behind. Down the street, skidding round corners, skirting round street lamps, his breathing heavy. Through the alley, her sides screaming, her chest bursting, her heart thudding. Too scared to scream and too tired to run. He was there, at the end of the alley, waiting for her. His coat billowed in the wind, that hair floating gently, his eyes fixed upon her, his teeth shown in a hideous smile. The alley had been plunged into darkness, the lamp giving up again and finally she screamed. She poured all her fear into that last expulsion of hope, she put everything she had left into it. The lamp flickered on, and she ran. That was all she could do, even with pain seeping through her every inch, tears streaming down her face, her lungs begging for rest. She plowed straight into him, catching him unaware again, and continued through up into the park.
It ended there. Forgetting herself completely, she meandered aimlessly over the verdant green pastures, her legs pushing on of their own accord, hoping to God that there would be someone else there. A midnight jogger, a drunken lout, a homeless man, anyone to hear her plight, to save her from this shadow of a man. His footsteps boomed again, and she gasped. She couldn't scream. She couldn't win. All she could do now was prolong the inevitable.
Against the night sky it arose ahead, blotting out the meager stars. A hill, and on the other side of this hill, the city. A city that right now would be filled with pubs closing, theatre emptying, cinemas ending, offices giving up their last, a city filled with people. With help. With this one vague hope she ran, the incline making her body hurt all the more as whatever energy was left drained. Like an ascension to heaven was her climb, at the top lay help, a place where she would be safe. No longer did she pay heed to the noises her persuer made. Now her mind was filled with the city beyond this infernal obstacle.
There, at the top she stood, the climb seeming to take hours, even days. And below she could see them, people. Dirty, heaving, sweaty people. They entered the park through the far gate, spreading out, each to their own homes. Preparing her body for this last ordeal, she smiled. He swung.
The heavy wrench connected with the back of her head, ripping a sizable chunk out, knocking her to the floor. He looked down, tossing the wrench to one side and removing his gloves. He stroked her face, slowly, gently. Beautiful, even in death. She was cold, and white as a wedding dress. A shame what was about to happen, truly, though this didn't occur to him. He picked her up, carefully, holding her as a man would carry his wife across the threshold. Jill, the girl with the untidy flat, dissapointing job and broken dreams, lay in his arms at last. The moon illuminated her still form, held so tenderly, so lovingly. Jack smiled.

Also: Yay, this is the first story I've actually finished in months.

2008-01-07, 02:03 PM
That last part sickened me...:smallyuk:
Freakin' Psychopath.

2008-01-07, 02:16 PM
My computer won't let me open it as usual, could you post it here please? :smallsmile:

2008-01-07, 02:17 PM
My computer won't let me open it as usual, could you post it here please? :smallsmile:

Be warned. It's morbidley obesse.:smalleek:

2008-01-07, 03:34 PM
Be warned. It's morbidley obesse.:smalleek:

I'd have settled for just "morbid".

I thought Jack was supposed to break his crown... or did you reinterpret "his crown" as Jill?

Great story. :smallsmile:

2008-01-07, 04:15 PM
That is awesome. :smallamused:

2008-01-07, 04:36 PM
The ending was a bit of an anti-climax. All that tension was built up and then ended with a blow to the head...

Other than that, I think it's a chilling and modern rendition. I'll never be able to think of the rhyme in the same light ever again.

2008-01-07, 08:33 PM
I'm gonna have nightmares. That was sickening, but well written. VERY well written, and a great horror story.

2008-01-12, 03:53 AM
Aww, thank you. It's nice to know I'm haunting your dreams.
I'm glad to see I got the reaction I was hoping for.