A Teardrop In My Heart by Cory O’Neile

So here’s how it kinda happened. It might not have happened exactly like this but whatever, that doesn’t matter. It’s close enough and it’s a good story, so just deal with it. I woke up from my sleep with a desperate, roaring, aching, painful, awful, painful, terrible, painful, aching ache in my heart. It hurt so much, like I’d been stabbed or something. Had I been stabbed? Perhaps. By a dagger made of heartbreak and crying.

My name is Allyss(It’s pronounced the same as Alice, just so you know). Allyss Teardrop. I sighed a sigh and got out of bed, walking over to my wardrobe and looking at all my clothes. I put on a low-cut dress, with my tight skinny jeans (blue) underneath the dress for extra cool. I had my old sneakers as well, they belonged to my deceased father when he was a child a long time ago, and he’d passed them on to me when I turned ten years old. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided I didn’t like it, so I took off the dress and put on a turtleneck sweater as well. It was bright green. I kept on my sneakers because they went with any outfit at all. After I decided I liked that I took my tiara out of a case and put it on my head. It sparkled. I looked at myself in the mirror and checked myself out. I have plain features, or that’s what I thought anyway. A lot of people tell me I’m staggeringly hot. I had long tresses of chestnut-mahogany hair with ruby-coloured highlights that shone like a million rays of sunlight whenever I walked out of the shade. My face was the shape of teardrop, just like my namesake, and my skin was like a baby’s bottom, except for a ridiculously disgusting vile pimple on my chin, about a centimetre to my left side of my face from the centre (that means that when you look at me, it looks like it’s on the right side). There always seemed to be at least one pimple. I hated it, since the day I was born. The pimples stopped me from being beautiful, I knew it. Maybe that was why he didn’t like me.

After breakfast I slid down the stair-handle and walked out the front door to go to school, but I didn’t want to because he was there, and if he was there that meant that I’d have to face him again, which I could barely think I could stand. Not after what had happened. That fateful day (yesterday) which had ended with me in tears, crying myself to sleep before the nightmares began. I couldn’t think of anything else.

“Hey, Veronica!” I shouted with glee when I arrived at school. Veronica’s my best friend, but also my confidant, my secret keeper who I can tell all my darkest secrets.

Someone bumped me and I fell to the ground before grazing my knee on the concrete. I turned in anger and jumped up to my feet. “Hey!” I exclaimed.

“What?” answered Claudia, my arch-nemesis and the reason for my heartbreak. She had thin straggly hair and about a million times as many ugly zits as I did.

“Skank!” I cried in fury. “Why’d you push me over?”

“I didn’t push you over!” she sneered, and walked away. I watched her walk away and steal some food from a kid in a younger grade.

“I’ll kill her!” I challenged.

“She’s a bitch, don’t worry about her,” offered Veronica apologetically. “Let’s just go to class.”

“Okay,” I conceded.

“Hey, what’s that?”

“What’s what?” I inquired.

“You’ve got blood on your shirt!”

“What?!” It was true! I looked down and saw a spot of crimson life staining the front of my turtleneck sweater. “Oh no!” I sniffed. “Wait. Can you smell that?” I leaned closer to the stain and sniffed deeply, and then I laughed. “It’s only tomato paste!”

“What?” doubted Veronica.

“I had tomato paste and ravioli for breakfast!” I shrieked in mirth.

“Are you sure it’s not blood?” Veronica asked worriedly.

“No, this is definitely tomato paste,” I responded wisely. We went to class.

My maths teacher is mean. He wrote a really hard sum or equation or whatever it’s called on the board and told us to do it, scratching his fingers down the board as he did so just to make it more difficult to concentrate on the sum. I’m the top maths person in the class so I was able to do it, but he didn’t even congratulate me when I told him. And then I saw him. It was lunch, and my lost love walked by. He walked up to me.

“Hi Allyss!” he smiles with that amazing, handsome, beautiful smile. His teeth were as white as paper. For a moment my heart beat so fast I thought he’d be able to hear it, and I couldn’t slow it down.

“Kane Jean-Paul Tansei,” I breathed. “Hi.”

I couldn’t help but forgive him. I could never hate him. On the spot, right there and then, I knew that I would love him forever.

This is the story of Allyss Teardrop and Kane Jean-Paul Tansei. It has many chapters and many adventures, and I can tell you now that they’re all true. Cross my heart and hope to die. So read on, dear reader, and if you don’t like it then you obviously have no taste. Enjoy!!!!!!

 

 

 

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Cory says:

“A Teardrop in my Heart is bad for a whole load of reasons. While writing it, I tried to deliberately incorporate a number of staples of bad fiction, taking inspiration from the typical bad fanfiction stereotype. In doing so, it’s almost a homage to that stereotype by referencing a lot of the standard tropes involved in amateur fanfiction. The main character is just inane and irritating; her name is spelt with an alternate, inefficient spelling for no good reason and her surname is a symbolic noun that is extremely unlikely to possess.
To add to this ridiculous symbolism, her face is in the shape of a teardrop. Allyss spends an inordinate amount of time describing herself; a full third of the story is a single paragraph detailing her choice of clothes (which don’t match and would look ridiculous, such as wearing both jeans and a dress, just for “extra cool”) and her facial features. Purple prose is used in this description, with painful adjectives and over the top similes. Her hair colour is said to be “chestnut-mahogany”, two shades of brown that are completely different. The standard Mary Sue trait of apparent staggering beauty is in place, but also the idea that Allyss has that she’s horrendously ugly despite everyone telling her otherwise. This is a very transparent attempt to demonstrate what could be construed as “humility” for Allyss. She also has a pimple on her chin, a flimsy flaw often employed to stop the otherwise perfect character from actually being perfect, that comes across as poorly constructed. During the scene in the maths lesson, she’s mentioned as being the top maths student in the class.
The other characters reinforce Allyss’ status as a Mary Sue. Veronica exists solely for Allyss to be able to gossip and share secrets to, and has no personality of her own besides making Allyss feel better. Allyss’ rival is likewise a very flat character, acting cruel for no reason and offhandedly stealing food from a first-grader to emphasise her antagonistic qualities. The rival, Claudia, is also described as being extremely unkempt and ugly, a direct opposing force to the idealised Allyss. This creates a terrible theme of beauty equalling goodness and ugliness representing evilness. The maths teacher is vaguely mentioned and has no purpose in the story than to provide conflict for Allyss, which also has no bearing on the plot whatsoever. It’s a completely needless scene.
Finally, Allyss’ love interest could be seen as almost a male counterpart to Allyss; perfectly handsome, and can do no wrong. Whatever he did to cause Allyss’ heartbreak (which is never actually mentioned or explored) is instantly forgiven the moment he smiles his perfect smile. His name was specially chosen to be extremely unlikely, mixing together three vastly different name origins and cultures; Kane, meaning “fighter”, of Irish origin; Jean-Paul, meaning “God is Gracious”, of French/Hebrew origin;, and Tansei, meaning “handsome”, of Japanese origin. The writing style itself is bitchy and often goes off on random tangents, but skips over scene changes and provides little evidence of setting. In the case of the maths scene, it swaps between the classroom and the schoolyard in the same paragraph, with no warning whatsoever. The scene about ravioli/tomato paste and the maths scene itself appear in the story simply to fill in time and make it appear longer, and have no purpose or reason in what exists of the plot whatsoever.
Like I said before, an entire third of the story is Allyss describing her clothes, and the story often forces Allyss’ opinion. She often breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the reader, and her prose-style is very whiny and overdescriptive, yet cuts out important information and is annoyingly expressive. During the story there is not a single occurrence of the dialogue tag “he/she said”, but instead goes through a series of poorly chosen descriptors such as cried, sneered, challenged, offered, inquired, conceded, doubted, etc.

6 thoughts on “A Teardrop In My Heart by Cory O’Neile

  1. Constructed so carefully! It read like twilight, the boredom oozed out from the computer screen.

    Even the stimulus ‘tomato paste’ shoved in randomly…

    Well done : )

  2. A first person narrator describing herself in the mirror is another pet peeve of mine 🙂

    Given your irritation with symbolic, random names drawn from different cultures, how do you feel about Buckaroo Banzai? 🙂

    I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I’m always fascinated when people from other English speaking countries say things differently than here in America. “Maths” instead of “math” is one I just learned about recently. I’m not saying our way is “right”, I just find it interesting.

  3. Amber, even in Australia we’re rather torn on math/maths XD I say maths, and the official spelling in Australia is maths, but a lot of my school peers say math, it’s more of a personal choice these days 🙂 I, for one, find it very interesting how you guys call jam “jelly”, and jelly “jello” 😛

    As for Buckaroo Banzai, not actually sure 😛 I think I like the alliteration, so it doesn’t irritate me or anything. Never actually seen Buckaroo Banzai, but I’ve heard of it 🙂

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