1. katica
    Offline

    katica Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    11

    I need a word for a sound

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by katica, Jul 1, 2011.

    Sorry if what I am writing disturbs anybody. It's a sound involving death.

    Basically, the upper half of a man's body and the lower half of his body are tied up separately and the ropes pulled. He is ripped in half and dies. What noise would a person being ripped in half make if that were to happen to someone?

    I tried "rip" and "pop" but am not sure if either of those is right.
     
  2. MRD
    Offline

    MRD Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Wales
    A lot of screaming I'd imagine, and then a loud snap, followed swiftly by silence.

    If it's a medieval setting, where somebody is undergoing a public execution, then the crowd would also be cheering and making noise.

    Perhaps there would be multiple "snaps" and "pops", as each of the victims joints give way in turn? I'm not really an expert when it comes to torture and execution...
     
  3. Omega14
    Offline

    Omega14 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Great Dunmow, Essex, UK
    I would say some hollow popping as limbs became dislocated, followed by the sickening squelch of flesh being torn apart and a splatter of entrails on the ground.

    Urghh.

    But taking into account MRD's point about whether it's a public execution, whether you would hear these noises above a jeering crowd ... who knows?

    I imagine the sorts of noises that happen when you tear a cooked chicken apart with your bare hands.

    I have no idea how long it would take to pull a person apart though - seconds, minutes? Could have some bearing on how many sounds you want to incorporate.

    Sounds delightful. :)

    Rachel
     
  4. MRD
    Offline

    MRD Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Wales
    Sounds painful to me...

    I'm not sure flesh would tear along side bone, it is more flexible, after all. Perhaps muscles would be torn from bones?

    I doubt that skin would tear though, unless there was already a cut on the victim's body before they began their stretch. The cut/wound would grow under the strain.


    I do wonder, however, if being "stretched" would be an effective execution method. Torture - yes, but kill? I don't think so.

    Perhaps a bit of research would answer these questions...
     
  5. Omega14
    Offline

    Omega14 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Great Dunmow, Essex, UK
    It was certainly used. I do remember learning about execution by dismemberment, where people were tied to horses or vehicles and literally pulled apart. Pretty gruesome, but they did do it in Mediaeval times. :eek:

    Truly horrid. I'm sure there must be some info out there that might help. Whether it would be detailed enough to answer the original question, I don't know!

    Rachel
     
  6. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    MRD brings up one very valid point. The body tissues would not sever at the same rate. Since the skin is generally far more pliable than bone, it is going to stretch a bit before the bones get into the 'party'. Then you have to consider the HOW of these tissues separations. Is it going to be one clean division? Or will the body be split from side to side or stem to stern? The nerves within the spinal column probably won't make any discernable sound and, unless the victim is alive and awake during this process, would not be heard, regardless of whether there were spectators. The body would, of course, divide at the joints and not in the bones themselves.

    To get a general concept of the sound of tearing flesh, take a stack of paper (ten or twenty thick), wet them and let them dry about half-way. Then take them and tear them in two. Or, even more accurately - though far more gross - go to your local butcher and buy a bit of pork skin (at least a couple of feet square but bigger is better). You may have to enlist the aid of a friend or two for this. Have your buds grasp opposite ends of the skin and tear. (If they cannot, you can always affix each end to the bumper of a car and have your friends slowly drive off in opposite directions. This should give you a fairly accurate idea of what the sound of human flesh being rent would sound like.

    A couple of notes: 1) A pig's body reacts more closely like human tissue than any other animal. 2) In the pre tv days of radio, they used to mimic the sound of a body hitting the ground (as a suicide jumper hitting pavement) by slamming a watermelon with a sledgehammer. It was banned as sounding too lifelike! So much for realism!
     
  7. MRD
    Offline

    MRD Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Wales
    That seems like a very odd of favor to ask of friends, I can certainly imagine some raised eyebrows.

    Another way could be to look into eye-witness accounts from Medieval times, although you may have trouble finding detailed accounts of the actual "stretching".
     
  8. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Hey! I didn't promise it would be easy! ;o)
     
  9. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,962
    Likes Received:
    5,486
    Eew. I'd probably wimp out and use a phrase like "...and indescribable ripping sound..." or even just "...an indescribably horrible sound...".

    ChickenFreak
     
  10. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Whose pov are you using? When you read old eyewitness accounts of hanging etc it's very rare that this type of thing is uppermost in the narrator's mind. Mostly they are caught up either in the horror of the whole experience, or they mention the reactions of the crowd, or the behaviour of the victim just before s/he dies. I can't see any possible need for going into such minute detail. Just set the scene and the reader's imagination will supply the rest. I don't want to get too personal here, and I appreciate the warning the OP gave, but please excuse me if I say this is really quite a sick idea and not a good thing for anyone to dwell on, especially as I believe the OP is young.
     
  11. sidtvicious
    Offline

    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Inferno, office 752. Take a right turn at the wat
    SCREAM! kerplumpkkkkcriiak Silence.
     
  12. Suadade
    Offline

    Suadade Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sweden
    Skrrrrrwuuaaash.
     
  13. Marranda
    Offline

    Marranda Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Is the person tied at the hands and ankles, or tied around the chest and around the waist?
    If the person is tied at the hands and feet, I can't imagine the joints of arms and legs holding together enough to tear the torso in half since the torso is the thickest part of the Human body, and (in my mind) should be the hardest to literally rip in two...
    But this would also mean there are several loud, and many low/hallow sounding pops and cracking sounds as the wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees, and hip joints all seperate and pop out of place... Maybe followed by what sound Jell-o makes when you pull a knife out of it- kind of like a thick sucking sound- when the limbs start to tear off the body.

    But if the person is tied around the chest and waist, I can see how the torso would tear apart.
    In this case I would say there would be a quick series of sharp snapping sounds as the vertibrae in the spinal column pop apart, and then that same jell-o sound followed quickly by the sound of the intenstines hitting the ground- maybe... take a 5gal bucket of fake blood, mix it with chunks of boneless raw chicken and wads of thick paper (allow paper to sog up a bit) and then dump on the ground to get the audio imagery of how intestines plopping on the ground would sound- and then the sounds of the two ends of the body hitting the ground (possibly sounding like a wet punching bag?)...


    Those are just what my imagination came up with though. I could be way off about the Jell-o sounds and the wet punching bag since I've never witnessed something like a person being torn in two...
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. katica
    Offline

    katica Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    11
    Okay, let me clarify this some, if this will help. The point of view is third person. I'm not dwelling on the description for very long, but I don't describe everything based on the just the sense of sight (because that's boring), not to mention that my character doesn't really bleed. And the person being ripped in half is a zombie, so they already aren't holding together that well to begin with.

    Also, I am not young. I am 25 years old. =)

    The characters in my story are trying to kill the zombie this way and are unsuccessful.
     
  15. MRD
    Offline

    MRD Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Wales
    I'd concentrate on the joints popping if I were you, more than flesh tearing.

    That being said, since your "victim" is a zombie (and already dead, depending on your story), it may be good to add the smell. Rotting flesh being torn apart would smell bad.
     
  16. SeverinR
    Offline

    SeverinR Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New Madison Ohio
    Medievil tiems: Stretching on a rack until the victim breaks.
    Colonial times: Drawn and quartered; one horse tied to each limb, horses run in opposite directions. (We hadn't changed much in the centuries.)

    I believe that, as some have said the hips and shoulders would "pop" out of place and the limbs would tear. Main arterys(at least 2) would be severed so death would be from blood loss. I said 2 because when the two seperated from the body the other two could remain intact. If I had to guess, I bet the shoulders gave first. Smaller muscles then the legs.

    When a shoulder pops back into place their is an audible pop(not loud), like the sound of a wet hole in mud being filled, with some scraping of bone.
    I was about 200 ft from a girl that broke her humerous and dislocated her shoulder in a gym. She made no sound that I could hear.(verbal or from the injury.) But this was a closed injury.
    The ball and socket joint would pop out before the flesh gave, so it probably wouldn't be heard. Just the tearing of flesh.
     
  17. pyrosama
    Offline

    pyrosama Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Florida
    To me I would think it would have a "splitting" sound, something much similar to that of denim jeans splitting with a combination of peeling skin off a catfish. Anyone who has ever peeled skin off a catfish (and I have) would instantly cringe, so make a metaphor!

    :D
     
  18. Mikeyface
    Offline

    Mikeyface Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    With something that graphic, it might be fun to have a character's reaction give us the details we need.

    Ex. Sally shielded her eyes, trying desperately to vomit and make the gagging stop. Her understanding of the human anatomy had never been tested in this way. As a clinical intern, she had excelled in her understanding of how the human body was constructed. Never had she imagined she would watch it deconstructed in such horrifying fashion.

    ---

    Or something like that. I'm a sucker for clever explanations of action that further our understanding of other characters.
     
  19. Dresden
    Offline

    Dresden New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ouch!

    This would be such a disturbing scene you don't really need any special words to convey the enormity of the moment. If you set the scene right you can just say something like: "there was a terrible crunch as his left leg snapped clear off his pelvis," or "his eyes widened, almost in disbelief, as he watched the lower part of his body separate almost surgically from his torso," or "his awful screams of horror saved him from hearing the sickening thud of his bowels hitting the floor as his legs came cleanly off his body," or "mercifully, unable to comprehend what was happening, his brain shut down into unconsciousness as his body heaved off the ground in one piece and came down forever separated."

    Something like that.
     

Share This Page