Definitely dark, Jess, and probably possible. I'd like to think not likely, though. Poor George. :( Well done second person! At first I thought the narrator/dealer was George. So sad when the red-haired man appeared. Great description and build-up, and I really liked how the beginning circled around to the end.
I was confused, though, at the Aurors showing up. I don't know if Aurors would follow drug dealers, unless there was something Darker going on. But then, you couldn't have included the bit about George being known and recognized, so that's fine. I wasn't sure why the dealer gave him the bag, though, and why he was glad? I wish he had kept it, left George with the Aurors empty-handed. Poor George. :(
Well done if damn depressing, twin!
Well, there is a bit of twisted logic in this story. As the narrator/dealer mentioned, he's seen George's case a thousand times. He knows the cycles of behaviour, as well as the eventual consequences. Which is why he left George holding the figurative and literal bag. He knew that being caught with drugs would mean trouble for George, but he also knew that it would mean rehabilitation efforts. Maybe he thought he was doing a guy a favour by getting him out of a bad life, and in my universe, he did. There were a lot of other things going on, but mainly, it was a quick bout of mercy from a typically cold-hearted drug dealer.
The Aurors, IMO, are like the wizarding FBI, whereas the MLE are like regular police. Each have departments for murder, organised crime, robbery/theft, vice, and all that, but cases get bounced up to the Aurors when the normal MLE forces fail. This dealer had been in the business for a long time, and his senses were good. He'd been tailed for ages, with his case being punted up to the best of the best. That's why they were there. And if the dealer were a wizard, which he is, then that would make him the problem of the Ministry of Magic.
And that was really long winded. But, you can probably figure that most of this info being added in any more than subtly would've cluttered the story immensely.
Anyway, second person is still a dirty whore, but I beat it to bits. :D
Have seen this scene countless times on tv, in movies, so much that at points I knew what was coming next, because it's a cycle, a known one, and you know what the stages to this sort of addiction are.
The story was really good though. The element of surprise was perhaps not in how it unfolded but the idea of the story itself, unique, and more importantly, well-applied in the wizarding world. Well-setup. The thing that kept me reading was to figure out the "buyer". Interesting choice with a lot of future one-shot potential. Haha.
There's one thing you might like to know. I thought when I read the summary that the narrator is a woman. For some reason, there's something in the wording like the narrator is amused and at the same time shrewd about his (her) clients. And the way the narrator's observation are written, it sounded to me like a woman. But that's just me. Merely letting you know how I read it. Though, in the second half the voice began to sound manly. Of course a man's voice suits better in the story.
I like this because it's a non-judgemental perspective, perhaps because the person selling it makes money out of it. It has lead me to think more of their side than those who stand on George's. When you see this on tv, the dealers are always portrayed in a negative or part-negative light. Here I find myself almost sympathising with him. I realise how senstive this topic is, how intriguing it is to probe into the POV of the person who is dealing the drugs out. When people have other people at their mercy. . . .
Hmm, interesting point that you bring up about the narrator. I honestly didn't want their identity specified in any way, since that's the way things tend to be in the underworld of illicit substances. A client may know the dealer's street name, but that's never actually their name. I like having a level of anonymity for the role. I really hadn't intentionally put a feminine or masculine voice to the summary or to the narrative, though the dealer feels like they should be a male in my head, so you're right on that. I might peruse the summary and tweak it a bit, make it a little less female-sounding.
This was meant to be the story that's been told a thousand times, because that's what it is to the dealer. He has seen countless people come to him from various backgrounds, but they all end up the same in the end. That was deliberate on my part.
I'm not sure why I picked second person for this, but I suppose it just seemed to fit in my head, so I'm taking the fact that you hadn't commented on it as a sign that it wasn't done poorly. I've never used it before, and it's not something I particularly enjoy reading, so yay if it turned out okay.
Thanks for the great review. :)
This was a very interesting story, Jess. As you said, it's an extreme way that George could have dealt with his trauma, and personally I don't think it would have happened that way but it was still an interesting read, and very well written (not that I expected anything different from you).
I loved the use of second person - it's one of my favourite perspectives to read and to write (I've used it in three of my stories). It works wonderfully in this story, because I almost felt like I was that character in that situation having to make that decision.
I liked how you used the drug dealer as the focalising character, but the story was really about George through this character's perspective. I thought that worked really well, and in a way it's more tragic to watch George's demise (not sure that's the right word... anyway) from the outside, rather than from inside his head.
I loved the repetition of the first paragraph at the end - it gave the story a cyclical feeling, or the idea that George is only one case and that this situation will repeat itself for many other people.
Right from the beginning of the story, you wove in a sort of inevitability. In the line It was always going to happen it was more obvious, but even before that I had a sense of... impending doom? (I don't think that's the best way of phrasing that either...).
Just one little thing - second last paragraph, you wrote "You feel good about the decision you, because this George...." - I think you're missing "made" after the you.
I think you caught the essence of what I was going for exactly. It was supposed to be a sort of outside view that gave us a foreboding of someone we DO know and care about succumbing to the evils of temptation. Drug dealers would almost have to have an... adjusted sense of right and wrong in order to be able to continue with their line of work, so in selling to people, they're not screwing up lives; they're meeting a demand -- no more, no less. In a way, I think I wanted the 'narrator' to be a neutral party, and George be a primary focus.
Not going to lie, I am not a fan of second person. Done wrong or overlong, it's almost taxing on the brain, so I don't think I could've made this fic any longer, despite my best go at making it over 1000 words. It's really hard to sustain the flow and not overload the 'you's and 'your's. I think I did fairly well for my first go at this POV.
Anyway, thanks for the review. Honestly, I half expected my first review for this to be something like, 'How depressinggggg!' (I get that a lot, lol). Also, thanks for pointing out that typo. Ironically, I think I accidentally chopped it out while proofreading. :/