Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
"You know, there's somebody up there."

We were in school then, and sometimes we'd just spend the summer nights lying on his roof and looking up at the planets and stars until we fell asleep in each other's arms. We'd lie there and sometimes he'd say, "You know, there's somebody up there." You mean aliens, I'd ask, you know, with the green skin and the U.F.O.s and the phasers and whatever else. He'd say no, silly, he didn't mean aliens, he meant God, and he'd laugh, you know, but it must have hurt him, me not knowing God and all that. He always went to church and he never swore and he never got drunk with the other guys and we didn't have sex. I asked him why, and he said it was because he loved God. Did he love God more than he loved me, I asked, and he didn't hesitate for long before he said "Yes." But you know, I liked him that way. I liked that he didn't try to touch me or ask if he could see me naked like the other guys would say to their girlfriends. I loved that he loved God more than he loved me.

After we were through with school, he went to the university north of our town and I went to the university south of our town and we'd only see each other every couple of months, but every time we did he'd kiss me when we said goodbye and he'd tell me to remember that there was somebody up there. I'd miss him, but while my friends had boyfriends that cheated on them and my roommate got pregnant and dropped out and one girl in my French 101 class eloped with the Spanish professor who was seventeen years older than she was, I'd get texts from him that said "I miss you" and "I love you" and I knew that they were the truth.

He graduated with a Master's in Bilingual Education and me at the top of my class with one in Sociology. I went to his graduation and he came to mine and after mine he asked me if I'd marry him and move to Arizona. I said yes, yes I would, because I knew that I loved him and he loved me and even though we hadn't had sex, I knew that I'd move across the world just to hear him tell me "there's somebody up there".

When we had our first baby and I held her little hands for the first time, and when I felt her warm breath and looked into her big blue eyes, I thought that he might be right, maybe there was somebody up there that I couldn't see, who had given our little girl to us.

He took the kids to church and I came too and I prayed and I started to believe. I joined his church, got baptized and all that. I guess I didn't really know there was somebody up there, but every time he said it, I could feel something inside me that told me he was right. I trusted him. I believed that he knew the somebody that was up there, and that someday I'd know too.

When our little girl had turned seven and she was killed at school by a man with a gun, and I knew that I'd never see her blue eyes again or hear her laugh or play with her on the lawn or build pillow forts or help her put a Band-Aid on her scraped knee, I cried and he held me and cried with me and he said that there was somebody up there taking care of her for me.  I couldn't believe him because if somebody was really up there, that somebody wouldn't have taken her away from me.

I think it hurt him when I stopped praying and believing and going to church. He loved me and he wanted me to be happy and he wanted me to believe but I didn't want to believe. He stopped telling me that there was someone up there because every time he did I'd cry and sometimes I'd hit him and some nights I made him sleep on the couch while locked myself in the bedroom and cried. He kept going to church and he kept praying and every time he did I'd leave the room because I hated it. I hated that he loved God more than he loved me.

After our last baby was born, I heard that our little girl's best friend from school was graduating high school as valedictorian and I cried because I knew that that could have been my little girl wearing that cap and that cape and giving that speech to the school. He sat beside me and let me cry on his shoulder, but he didn't tell me that somebody was up there like he used to, and for some reason, that made me cry even harder.

When we were getting older and our second daughter was about to go to college, he had a sudden asthma attack at work and I got a call from his boss. We didn't even know he had asthma, he had always been very healthy and he only had a light cough every once in a while. I drove to the hospital as fast as I could make the car go and I was hoping, but not praying, that everything would be alright, but when I got to the hospital and by the time I got to the room he was in he was in a coma. I sat next to him for hours that seemed like weeks and I held his hand so tight and when I kissed it I could taste the tears that fell from my eyes onto his fingers, and that night as I fell asleep with my head on his hand I wondered why somebody up there would let something like this happen to someone who was only forty-six and who had a family and who went to church and who loved God as much as he did.

For weeks he didn't wake up and the doctors knew he was dying but they couldn't fix it and he would probably never wake up, but I stayed at his side and I loved him and cried enough that I could fill oceans and our kids would come and cry with me and we would fill the oceans of a hundred worlds together, and they all knew that somebody was up there, but I didn't.

One day, even though he couldn't hear me, I talked to him for hours as the tears ran down my face and sometimes my voice choked so much that I couldn't make words. I asked him if he remembered when we were young and we'd lie on his roof and look at the stars, and did he remember when he'd send me so many messages when we couldn't see each other and kiss me so lovingly when we could, and did he remember how we felt when our little girl was born and how small she was and how little her hands were, and did he remember all the birthdays and all the church ice cream socials. And, I asked him, did he know what he said to me, when we watched the stars and when we kissed and after each child was born and on every birthday and at every ice cream social? Did he know what it was? And he opened his eyes and he looked at me and he smiled and he said "there's somebody up there."

And then when he closed his eyes for the last time, and I sat by his bed loving him so much, and the tears ran down my cheeks, I knew that he was right.

There is somebody up there.
I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO STAY ON MY HIATUS CAN I?

but anyway, this story here is one of the reasons that I went on hiatus in the first place, and I decided I need some immediate feedback

The only thing I had to go by for this was "faith". I went with it, and this is the result. Also, I've really been interested in stream of consciousness lately.


Should I leave the first line in or out?
"You know, there's somebody up there."

I ask for in-depth critique, but if you can't give critique, comments are wonderful too :)


:iconthewrittenrevolution::iconlive-love-write:
Feedback on style: are the run-on sentences effective? Do they add anything, or are they simply annoying to read?
Add a Comment:
 
:icongryffen:
This story uses an old archetype, concerning faith, the loss of belief, and finally, the regaining of it. However, it's told in a way that catches your attention and truly connects you to the speaker as she tells her (heart breaking, really) story.

The opening line is short, to the point and good at grabbing your attention. The only distraction here is the quotation marks - they leave you with the question "who's speaking?" without ever really giving an answer. It seems to be the speaker, but if so, why are the quotations never used later on, when the line's repeated? Or, even, whenever else she's remembering her spoken words?

The use of run-on sentences is well used, as well; they help to speed the story up enough to keep it from being boring, without setting so fast a pace that it clashes with the message being told. Furthermore, they establish a stream-of-consciousness feel, allowing the reader to connect with the speaker, and understand her emotions.

What comes across the most to me, however, is that this story maintains a strong theme based around faith and how it affects the members of this family, without ever crossing the line into proselytism. It's a highly emotional story, not a sermon.

In all, a very emotional piece that leaves readers heavily connected to the speaker, her emotions and her ordeals as she struggles to maintain belief in the intangible, while being faced with the all too tangible atrocities of the world.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
13 out of 13 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconalunimum-gone:
alunimum-gone Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2016
This kinda hit me hard...
Reply
:iconajax-thats-my-name:
Ajax-thats-my-name Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
Wow, this was so great! :D :D
Reply
:iconpre-heated-death:
pre-heated-death Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
I feel horrible saying it this way,but I really do not like reading stuff on DA for some reason (I think it may be the preview thing). However, this caught me -- I like the first line, and I love the stream of consciousness feel, which is odd, since I thoroughly dislike James Joyce. The run on sentences got to my internal editor, but I actually think that it works for the story and style.

To tell the truth, too, I love your characters. There are no names, but you know exactly who these people are. I love how underwritten every scenario is, but how each part works to further the character development.

Yeah. And it's cool.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011
Thank you so much for your comments.

Your comment prompted me to re-read it again. Wow... it needs editing for sure. Thank you, though. I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed it. I've heard a lot of "I don't usually, but..." comments on this, and I love every one of them. It seems to me that maybe I'm doing something right if I can get people liking something they wouldn't usually like.

You're the first to point out the characters, and I'm glad. As I said, it's been a while since I re-read this, and what you said shed new light on it to me. I guess that's funny to say about my own writing, but I think I can learn about my work from my readers, right? So thank you, I think with what you've said I can fix this to make it even better. I love hearing these things because it lets me know what is most important, what parts of my writing are most effective, so I can enhance them.
Reply
:iconart-acheiver-4eva:
art-acheiver-4eva Featured By Owner May 26, 2010
It's a REALLY REALLY deep emotional story. I felt it, and it kind of meant something to me, even if I don't believe. There was some punctuation errors, like lack of fullstops after appropriete sentences. Besides that, I loved this story
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner May 26, 2010
Thank you very much, I'm glad to hear you liked it, although the lack of full stops is completely intentional :)
Reply
:iconart-acheiver-4eva:
art-acheiver-4eva Featured By Owner May 26, 2010
ahh i get you
:)
Reply
:iconrazzigyrl:
razzigyrl Featured By Owner May 21, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
:love: This just made me cry. It's beautiful!

!yoJ
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner May 22, 2010
Thank you very much! And thanks for :+fav:ing :)
Reply
:iconanne-locke:
Anne-Locke Featured By Owner May 20, 2010
This almost made me cry :/ but I agree wholeheartedly... sometimes we realize the truth only in the worst situations.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner May 21, 2010
Thank you very much for your comment, and thank you for the :+fav: as well :)
Reply
:iconanne-locke:
Anne-Locke Featured By Owner May 22, 2010
My pleasure! :D
Reply
:iconsarah-is-nameless:
sarah-is-nameless Featured By Owner May 20, 2010
While I'm not qualified to critique it, nor am I much of a believer, this was incredibly touching and well written. Brought tears to my eyes, I must confess, great job.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner May 21, 2010
Thank you very much. I'm glad to hear you liked it :)
Reply
:iconpk4only:
PK4only Featured By Owner May 11, 2010  Professional General Artist
Love it! & the title you've chosen gives your terrific story perfect bookends with the last line --- why would you move it or lose it? If you did you could call it ..... Loves Me ... Loves Me Not -- it's great as is !!
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner May 11, 2010
thanks very much!
Actually, the title is simple "You Know,"
That line "You know, there's somebody up there" IS the first line of the story, but I see what you mean about the bookends. Thank you very much! :)
Reply
:iconcoleen18:
Coleen18 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010
Your wonderful deviation has been featured in the first issue of "Scribbles" : [link]!!
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010
Thank you so much! :)
Reply
:iconcoleen18:
Coleen18 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010
You're welcome!! :D
Reply
:iconcoleen18:
Coleen18 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2010
It is a wonderful piece full of many feelings. It is sad and happy and sweet in the same time. I really enjoyed reading it. Good job! :D
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010
Thank you very much for your comment! :)
Reply
:iconravensquill:
RavensQuill Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2010  Student Writer
:love: Featured here: [link]
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010
Thanks so much! :)
Reply
:iconravensquill:
RavensQuill Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Student Writer
Truly my pleasure. I plan on writing a critique up for you soon. This piece really impacted me.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Wow! Thank you, I'm so glad to hear that :)
Reply
:iconlostkitten:
LostKitten Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Your literature has been featured in this month's Unseen Literature! :D
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010
Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:icondaymoose:
daymoose Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
:iconthewrittenrevolution:

very nicely written. :thumbsup: i liked the run-on sentences--they helped the story flow, and made it "feel" like a train of thought.

the repetition of "somebody up there" got a little bit tedious towards the end, in my opinion... but maybe that was the point. i dunno. it's your story, don't change anything if you don't want to :D

and yes. i agree with the message. there is someone up there. :)
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
Thanks for your comment and critique :)

I DO have a reason for repeating "somebody up there", yes, although not really for a "tedious effect".
In each paragraph, the narrator enters a new stage of her life, and throughout her entire life, the idea that there is "somebody up there" is what drives everything that she feels and does. So in each stage, I repeated that phrase. I guess you could call it the central motif of the story.
Thank you very much for pointing it out though, I love to hear how my writing affects people :)
Reply
:icondaymoose:
daymoose Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
ahh. gotcha :D

in any case--excellent work :)
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconteardownthefence:
teardownthefence Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010
I absolutely love and agree with this. It's amazing.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010
Thanks so much :)
Reply
:iconracheludin:
RachelUdin Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I like the run-on sentences, however, I think it works better when you give the reader time to pause every so often with shorter sentences as in:
I loved that he loved God more than he loved me.
in the first paragraph, which gives time for the reader to pause and absorb. (This is pacing stuff). And the last sentence.

Also not all run-on sentences are long. That's a myth.

Also, when you destroy grammar for a run-on like this, what it does is pack a lot of information into a space making it more of a challenge for the reader to absorb. Natural speech actually is made up of lots of fragements, run-ons, pauses, etc. What you''re technically doing is not run ons, but trying to make all the sentences long. However, I think if you place a few key phrases and sentences that are either fragments or complete short sentences of key ideas in, the impact will be a little greater.

I'd also suggest you check out writing like Gertrude Stein which is stream of consciousness and doesn't always use run-ons, but is often effective. ^_^ Just for a little Literary reference.

If you sprinkle the shorter sentences throughout, it will make this cake look shinier.

Overall, nice job at breaking grammar rules in an effective way.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Thanks for your feedback :)

I wasn't exactly trying to "make the sentances long", but I wasn't really going for a "natural speech" either. I put myself in the mind of the character, and I wrote what I thought. (Perhaps the long sentences reflect the way in which I think?)
I do see what you mean though, about giving the reader time to pause with shorter sentences.

Thank you for the recommendation, I'll be sure to check it out :)
Reply
:iconstars-alive:
stars-alive Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
Agree with all of this. ^
Reply
:iconiamnotalone:
IamNOTalone Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I can't give a good critique. I'm no good.

But, please keep the first line. It sets it up so well. I love it. It works really well.
And I think the run ons work well too.
Made me want to cry...

I hope that you believe like the man in the story did. I know I do. I hope that everyone comes to. But I won't preach. That doesn't work.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Thank you very much :)

Sadly, I'd have to say that I'm a little more like the woman. But I guess I'm in her last stage. The regaining of her faith. :)
Reply
:iconiamnotalone:
IamNOTalone Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Well I'm glad you are in the last stage. ^ ^
Life is too painfully short to live without God for long. If at all.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2010
Definitely true :)
Reply
:iconmesatired:
mesatired Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010   Photographer
It didn't matter to me that it was predictable, there was so much emotion in this piece I ended up crying at the end. It's a beautiful piece and I was so wrapped up in reading it that I forgot to look out for things to edit.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Wow, thank you so much. I'm very glad you liked it :)
Reply
:iconmesatired:
mesatired Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010   Photographer
Welcome!^^
Reply
:icondash-of-balder:
dash-of-balder Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful. Just beautiful, really. It's rare to find such a sweet, evocative and simply moving piece about a topic that so many people rage and rail against.

You never once come across as trying to push belief down the reader's throat, but instead let them come to his or her own conclusion. My favorite images have to be the ones you craft of the way they grew up, how they stuck together even though college and her uncertainty about faith. Excellent.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Thank you very much!

Yes, I wanted to make sure I wrote something that ANYONE could read. I've gotten so many comments saying things like "I'm atheist, but this story still touched my heart", so I guess that means I've succeeded. :)

Thank you for your comments :)
Reply
:iconda-blue-monkey:
Da-Blue-Monkey Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice story, I am not just saying that because I'm a Christian. I wouldn't blink until I finished reading it. The run along sentances did good. Good job using the line repetivly without it becoming annoying.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010
DRY EYES, BLUE?

Thank you :) I'm really glad you like it, it means a lot to me :)
Reply
:iconda-blue-monkey:
Da-Blue-Monkey Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ALWAYS.

You're welcome.
Reply
:iconcelestial-elevator:
celestial-elevator Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010
Well, I'm picky and don't fave often, but this story was just so emotionally beautiful. The protagonist seems to go from love to bitterness to love again. She seems very human that way. A very well written piece, I loved reading it. Oh, and I think you should leave the first line as it it, it's great.
Reply
:iconallyneallyne:
AllyneAllyne Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
Thank you so much for your comments :)
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

Featured in Collections

Literature. by Concrete-Love

Literature by Maethorial

Literature by hotdoghea2


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
March 13, 2010
File Size
6.6 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
1,950
Favourites
63 (who?)
Comments
105
×