Critique what I’ve written for a Short Story Satire assignment so far?

Question by Katie: Critique what I’ve written for a Short Story Satire assignment so far?
My topic was mercy killing.

Inhale deeply. Suck in as much air as you can, because you won’t get another chance until that gun goes off. If you do exhaust your supply and your swelling chest nudges the butt of the rifle- even only ever so slightly- there goes your aim.

When you pull back the bolt on a .308 Winchester, a tiny, lead bullet ascends from its clip into the chamber. Tug the bolt back into place, and you’re ready to fire off one thousand three hundred and thirty five pounds of force. All it takes is one last, little tug. Pull it slowly, steadily. Don’t jam the trigger down; you don’t want to be expecting the resounding crack of the gunpowder or else you’ll flinch. Gradually increase the pressure until-


At a speed of over one thousand and eight hundred miles per hour, that miniscule shred of metal has enough power behind it to cleanly penetrate the five inch thick skull of a cow. Digging a narrow, perfectly ‘O‘-shaped tunnel through the squishy, pinkish folds of the cerebellum, it’ll leave behind a path of oozing, red mush. The bullet will blast a jagged, gaping hole through the back of the skull, splattering the animal’s dirty, matted hide with a white and red flurry of bone shards and brain bits. By the time the shot finishes its one-way route, what’s left of the head should resemble something a little like the raw, hormone-loaded ground beef you buy at your local grocery store for dinner.

Now exhale.

You’ll smell firecrackers. I always think of the Fourth of July. Nineteen summers ago, sitting on the oldest, mustiest smelling blanket my mother could find and stirring up a cloud of microscopic, winged insects every time my hand or foot rolled into the grass, I had my first hamburger. My new friends always ask me, their eyes lighting up with a sort of morbid curiosity, “Was it good?”

Each time my teeth sank into the tender sandwich, a combination of delicious juices and tangy sauces would flow into my mouth, engulfing my taste buds. The lettuce crunched audibly, satisfyingly, adding not so much to the sweet, sweet taste of the beef but to the experience overall. For those five or six bites, I experienced pure bliss.

“No,” I always tell them.

“I wanted to barf,” I always say. Then they smile sympathetically and pat my shoulder and offer words of comfort like, “You were young” and “You didn’t know what you were doing.”

Was that pardon enough? Ignorance? It didn’t dislodge the hard, curdled lump of self-disgust sitting between the digesting remains of a lentil walnut loaf and the chunk of a falafel pita sandwich in the pit of my stomach. To imagine the price paid for such a short-lived delight… I am a monster.
But that’s one of the beautiful things about life: redemption.

That empty Saturday night when the seed of atonement was planted in my mind, my television screen seemed to cast an almost celestial-like glow. Some ‘80s war flick was being replayed for the fourth time that day when I finally reached the point of absolute drabness and clicked on the channel.
The rat-a-tat-tat of some WWII semi-automatic weapon was the monotonous background to the plethora of muted colors on screen. An army green soldier, his dirt-coated face scrunched into one of pleading agony, hung haphazardly half-way into a trench; his hands, pale white peeking through layers of grime, clutched a soaked, black spot inches above his heart. Enter stage left: a second, handsome, young soldier ran up to his fallen comrade, an enormous gun bouncing at his side.

“Tex! C’mon, Tex! You’re gunna be all right! You’re gunna be all right,” cried the protagonist dramatically, emphasizing each emotion that passed across his face with a waggle or a flick of his heavy eyebrows.

“No,” gasped the fallen soldier, tears brimming but not falling in the corners of his eyes, “just… [Dramatic pause, accompanied by a rattling inhale…] make it stop hurting. Make the pain go away.”


Best answer:

Answer by when done
Need to visit a rifle range and fire a Winchester .308 to hear the sound and feel the recoil of the rifle. There is no tug to the trigger, but just a steady pull as you have stated. As to the speed of the round, do not know where you received this information but the rounds leaving a rifle are measured in muzzle velocity (MV) and muzzle energy (ME). Muzzle velocity is in feet per second and muzzle energy is the foot pounds Lost? Look up .308 Winchester round speed on Google and you will see the different types of rounds the the .308 fires.

The shot at the cows head, how far away are you from the kill shot? Why shoot the cow? Was it to be butchered for its meat? If it was to be butchered then you would use a smaller round to kill the cow. This would be most likely a twenty-two round for a close up head shot. As to your description of the kill shot, this would depend on you using an armor piercing round or a standard soft lead that will mushroom once it hits it target.

After you tell about the shot, what does the next two paragraphs have to do with your topic of mercy killing. What I am reading is where you went back 19 summers for some reason or another and had your first hamburger and your new friends ask how it felt. Do you always tell your friends the story of how you shot a cow before you eat a hamburger? Are you asking your friends to show you some mercy for shooting the cow? What is the meaning behind the type of food you are describing? What is the monster in you?

Need to get real with this war picture that you are trying to describe. Army green soldier half way into his trench. Dirt coated face, his hands peeking through grime clutching his chest where the hole is inches above his heart. Is this poor soldier face up or face down? Army green sounds like the description of his clothes. His buddies description and his comments do not fit picture. Person shot in chest first thing buddy does is to stop the bleeding and then complete necessary first aid. Tex would be in lots of pain and tears would be all over face. Tex asking to stop the hurt and make the pain go away, shot that close to the heart will cause bleeding to be heavy and fast would not last to long.

Might want to ask local police or medical people just how long one would last with this type of wound.
Is his buddy going to put him to rest? Is this the mercy killing that you are trying to tell me? Story going from shooting a cow in the head to a soldier in the battle field asking for help what are you trying to say to me. Need to do more research on what you have wrote about, seems like a lot of guess work and no facts to back up what you are saying in your story.

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