Dead (Warning: Disturbing themes, violence)

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    Default Dead (Warning: Disturbing themes, violence)

    A/N: This was really fun to write and my first finished story in present tense. BEAR WITH ME. Btw, you shouldn't read this if you're easily disturbed. I'm pretty sure I made it super freaky. :>


    Pokemon Captured: Baltoy
    Needed Characters: 10k
    Actual Characters: 10138

    "It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead."
    -Kurt Vonnegut



    “Awake.” The voice is commanding, and my eyes flicker open. I feel heavy. My limbs are stiff and at first I cannot move them. The weight of the earth pressing down on me is comfortable, reminds me of being covered by a blanket and wanting to stay in bed. Yet something forces me to stir, to move my arms and legs that refuse to bend, and I reach one hand upward. It claws out of the dirt and I can feel the cold of the night air. Slowly, I sit up, rising out of my shallow grave. I am bathed in moonlight; looking at the sky, I see the moon is full. To me it is as bright as day. I turn my head and my neck cracks loudly, disturbingly. To my left is where the force is coming from. There is a figure in a black cloak that covers them completely. I cannot make out the form inside, but I smell warm flesh, can hear the blood gurgling through their veins. A tongue half eaten by worms slips out of my mouth and licks my lips. In front of the figure is a smaller shape, a little bigger than my head. It is brown with red markings, but that is not important. What is important is that I feel the awful power coming from it, the power that forces me from my sleep.

    “Come,” says the voice, and against my will, I rise to my feet and take a step towards it. I look down at my feet, which are sinking into the cool, dark ground, and see that much of the flesh has rotted away. I feel cold air in my middle, and a clammy hand rises to my chest. There is a hole there, in the middle of the ragged shirt I am wearing. Dried blood covers it. I look back up and resume walking to the figure, my master. Standing in front of it, I can see the lower half of their face under the hood they are wearing. I see a smile, teeth shining in the darkness. “Brother… “ the figure whispers, the voice as light as a breeze whistling between branches and my mind settles on it, trying to remember where I heard it last. “Brother,” the figure says again, “I need you.” My mind slips on a memory of a girl smaller than me, with soft black hair and green eyes. She is clinging to me and we are in the rain. I growl. Sister.

    Slowly my lips form words, “I. Am. Here.” Her grin widens and she flips the cloak back so that I can see her face. She looks like what I remember, but her face has more angles, is harder and I frown. She jumps forward, embracing me, and I almost fall over. This close, I can almost taste her skin. I look at her from empty eye sockets, and she seems to understand. She takes a step back.

    “He’s hurting me again,” she tells me, and I try to remember what that means. I remember an empty house, crying, mother is gone, no food, man upstairs, and awful noises. I hear screaming. I hear screaming and he is hurting her and when he is done, my sister is different, curled up in the corner, her arms and legs held tightly to her. There is blood on her dress and I go to her, sitting before her like a guard dog. The man comes back and I yell at him, scream at him, and then he reaches for something and there is noise, then darkness. I make a sighing sound, as I suck in air uselessly and it escapes through the holes in my jaw.

    “I. Can. Help.” It is difficult to speak. My mouth struggles to make the sounds recognizable. I see tears forming in her eyes, making them shine as brightly as her smile had.

    “I know you can.” Despite my warnings, the urge to sink my teeth into her, she curls one hand around mine, not flinching when she touches bone. The hand is soft and warm against the night. She walks hand in hand with me, slowly so that I can stay with her. Her Pokemon floats behind us slowly. As we walk through the birch trees that surround our family graveyard, I can start to see the bruises on her face, the bags under her eyes, the way she clutches her cloak to her, trying to hide under it. I feel something moving in my belly. I don’t know if it’s anger or maggots, but as I slowly awaken, all I know is that I want to hurt him and that I will. We are walking uphill and occasionally I stumble on twigs and her hand tightens around mine as she keeps me upright. Finally, we reach the hill’s crest and I stare down at the town below, its lights illuminating the entire valley it lies in. Our home is farther away, in the shadow of a mountain. “Can you get down the mountain alright?” There is worry in her voice, and despite myself I smile. Why worry for the dead?

    “Yes. I. Am. Fine,” I respond. As we start to walk down the hill, I realize I am constantly on the verge of tipping forward. A roll down this hill may snap me in half.

    “Stop,” she says, the same commanding tone in her voice, though the worry has increased and she sounds on the verge of tears. She turns to her Pokemon. “Baltoy, can you pick him up and carry him down?” The Pokemon bows slightly, a gesture that I assume is meant to be a nod. Then I am swept off my feet, and find that I am floating a few inches above the ground. The sensation is strange, but I go limp and let myself be carried. I watch helplessly as my sister catches her feet in the vines a few times, but she never falls, though I would catch her if she did. Eventually, we reach the foot of the hill, and I am morbidly impressed that the man was able to drag my body up that hill, most likely under the cover of darkness.

    “He. Is. Home?” I ask her. I don’t know why, but I know that others can’t see me. They cannot know what my sister has done to save herself.

    She nods, biting her lip, and I know that she is beginning to have second thoughts, but it is too late. I am awake now. And I am hungry. I walk towards the house. It is much closer now, and she trails behind me, the tiny creature that he has broken. It makes me angrier and I begin to limp faster. My teeth are grinding into each other and I barely am aware of my sister and her Baltoy. At last I am standing at his door. I try to wrap my hand around it, but can’t. I feel her hand on my shoulder and she reaches forward and opens the door.

    “Oh, good, you’re finally home, you lazy bitch!” yells a man’s voice and if I still had most of my esophagus, my throat would tighten. I walk through the doorway and I am confronted with my stepfather. He is fatter than I remember, his watery eyes have sunk back into his head. He is wearing loosely fitting clothes, and when he sees me, his mouth stops moving midsentence. There is fear in his eyes and I smile grimly. I will hurt him like he hurt her.

    “Will?” he asks, and my name strikes a chord in the back of my head and I shudder. I growl at him. He cringes.

    “I’m. Home.” He goes still at my words and then I make a sound halfway between a scream and a roar, and he jumps from his seat and runs to the back of the house. I follow slowly, but not before I tell my sister, “Stay. Hide.” I assume she will listen.

    I hear his breathing before I see him. He is gasping and moaning, clawing at the window in his bedroom, though even if he could get it open, he’s too fat to get through. I take my time getting to the bedroom, letting his fear and horror grow. Then I am in front of him, and he is standing with his back against the wall, unable to escape. The same place my sister was when he first raped her. He whimpers and tries to plead, “Don’t hurt me.” I grin as I firmly grab his arm, before ripping it away from his shoulder. He screams and I bury my mouth in the wood, gnawing at the flesh and letting the blood run down what’s left of my throat. I burrow into him, tearing apart skin, muscles, tendons, snapping bones in half where I find them. For a while he claws at me, but at last he is too weak to do anything but lay there as I destroy him. My sister will not be blamed for this. She can say a wild Pokemon got in through the open window while he was sleeping. The wounds my teeth have left back her story. I watch him as his breathing grows fainter, before gouging out his eyes with my fingers. He uses the last of his strength to scream like a dying animal, and then he is gone, out of our lives. I exit the room, hoping someone else will clean up the mess for her.

    I find her in the front room, rocking back and forth behind the couch, muttering to herself. “What have I done? What have I done? I killed him, I killed him, what have I done, I killed him.” Her Baltoy floats beside her motionlessly, appearing deep in thought.

    “No,” I say loudly, and she jumps with surprise. She has gone into shock; she didn’t realize I was there. “I. Killed. Him.” She looks down and I grab her face gently, holding it in one bloody hand and force her to look at me. “I. Did. It. You. Tell. People. It. Was. Pokemon.” She nods and buries her head in her hands, crying. I sit beside her, half falling as I try to sit down, so unsteady on my feet. I cradle her in my arms, covered in the gore of the man who hurt her, who killed me. She sobs and I am gone, don’t know how much time has gone by, but I go far away in my head. She moves, eventually, and I spring back awake. She crawls out of my embrace and kisses me on the cheek. I feel warmth. I pick at the wound in my chest nervously. “I. Have. To. Go,” I tell her, wishing the words weren’t true.

    “I know,” she says, and kisses me on the cheek again. The touch of lips on rotting flesh make me feel alive again, for only a moment.

    “Take. Me. Back.”

    She nods, a few tears streaming down her face. I wipe them away clumsily, and she helps me to my feet. We start the journey back to the graveyard. Her Baltoy has to help me up the steep hillside, and at one point she almost falls. I cry out, but she catches herself, and we continue upwards. When we reach the top, I can see that the sky is lightening to the east. I know we have to hurry, but I don’t know why. At last, I am back at my grave. I notice now that it is unmarked, and only a few feet deep. I stand by it for a moment, unsure how to end myself. My sister stands beside me for a moment, clutching my hand, then whispers, “I love you.”

    “I. Love. You. Too.” She kisses my cheek again and I lay down in the grave. She cries as she begins to pile dirt on top of me. I sigh as I sink into the earth, feeling myself fall back asleep.

    I hear the words, “Let him go now, Baltoy.” I felt-
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    Default Re: Dead (Warning: Disturbing themes, violence)

    Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiibbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbsssssssss.

    (Claiming. ._.) I'll try to get the grade up within a day or two, depending on how badly procrastination gets to me. D:

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    Default Re: Dead (Warning: Disturbing themes, violence)

    One day is totally seven. GOD SAYS SO.
    Uh, also, I'm aware that I normally shouldn't overkill grades, especially for stories of this length, to the extent that I did. Lasky said that she wanted me to, though, and Kat said at some point that I could give Lasky lots and lots of feedback. Er... hope this is helpful. ^.^

    Introduction: Hmm… you started off with a quote, which gets me thinking that you’ll be aiming for a philosophical note.
    "It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead."
    Especially since said quote is discussing death and resurrection and whatnot. The tone of said quote also hints at a sort of dark-fic in the works, and you’re building a mood that there’s not really going to be a happy ending, especially with the mixed-blessing. Since most of the world assumes that resurrection would be a cool thing, and you’re telling us it’s a mixed blessing, you’re really starting to build the vibe that this story is going to be deep and it’s also going to be dark.

    Directly after the quote, you start with some dialogue and then go straight into a semi-vivid and semi-vague description of a dead body clawing its way out of the ground. It’s interesting how you do it, actually: you show us what’s happening, but you don’t spit it out in our face like “AND THEN I WAS ALIVE AGAIN”. You do it well enough that the reader manages to piece together what’s going on, but you don’t tell us why. That sounds like a bad thing or something, but it’s perfectly good in an introduction: you’ve given us a really interesting conundrum to think about, but you haven’t explained it so thoroughly that a reader can see where the plot is going to go after this. Basically, that gives you this really good hook while at the same time helping to build this creepy, supernatural vibe that ultimately becomes predominant as you add stranger and stranger aspects.

    Also, your introductory paragraph, and the rest of your story, is written in present tense, which is both risky and intriguing. I’ll say it up front, instead of waiting for some other time… I think you pulled it off generally well, although I’ll discuss that later on. Present tense is a lot less common in fiction, so you’re also building my interest with that type of writing, as well. Granted, I doubt that it wasn’t really your intention when you were writing, but bear in mind that new writing styles are pretty intriguing, meaning you’ll likely garner more interest. And stuff. Yeah.

    As it is, you’re definitely set on the hook/characters/setting trifecta of an effective introduction. The hook is arguably the strongest part that you’ve written in this introduction, but you introduce your two main characters well. While you’re not shoving a bunch of description in our faces in regards to the setting, I think you’ve built the tone and atmosphere up enough that it forms a creepy sort of setting in it’s own right… pretty much, you’ve done the main goals of a good introduction effectively, and that’s pretty awesome. ^.^

    Plot: Your plot is haunting, honestly. Chilling, creepy, cold… all of those words apply. And yet, there’s another sort of emotion going through your story: it’s a happier kind, and you see it in Will’s mother-bear-like desire to protect his sister at all costs (which can arguably be attributed to the less noble motive of revenge, but heck…). The two emotions make a really, really interesting vibe throughout your entire plot, with the cold and the warmth kinda exemplifying how life is in general. And death, if you want to go for a more metaphorical note. Your story is plot driven, and your plot is emotionally driven, if the latter is even a term. Basically, you’ve pulled this thing off really well, and I found the plot to be original and thrilling.

    Basically, it’s a boy, his sister, and an evil stepfather. At first glance, it’s nothing much: you could almost have a Cinderella vibe going here. But then things get complicated: the stepfather is (naturally) a prick to his kids, but this isn’t a story of bonding together and rising up against a common enemy. This is more of a real life thing, where the good guys die young and justice comes into the hands of the oppressed. It’s not a race to find a cure, to defeat the Big Bad, to make the world happy. In the end, the world basically… sucks. The villain is still defeated, but the main characters have lost their innocence and the happy things that make them who they are. Once again, it’s a reflection of real life: for people to get what they want, they have to lose something in return. As it is, your story is painful and sad; it’s everything I would expect from a story entitled “Death” and maybe more.

    While I could have predicted how this would end about halfway in, I don’t find myself disappointed. Your vivid and tragic plot was enough to keep me reading and kept me in that horrid state of fascination—as things got darker and darker, I really wanted to look away. But I couldn’t.

    In case I haven’t expressed it enough, you’ve done an excellent job on your plot. You’ve really captured the harsher side of the world in which we live, and you do it in a touching way… yeah, you’re definitely good on the plot for this one. ^.^

    Detail: Of all of the elements in this story, I think that detail is the one that you could’ve worked a bit more. (Then again, your other elements were executed really well, so that’s not saying much). Sometimes, you had things happening that didn’t make sense or that I didn’t understand, and that mystery wasn’t always a good thing.

    The man comes back and I yell at him, scream at him, and then he reaches for something and there is noise, then darkness.
    I’m pretty sure that this is Will’s stepfather as he shoots Will, but I can’t be sure. The main vagueness arises from the lack of detail in something like this: your descriptive words are things such as “he reaches for something and there is noise, then darkness”. Will’s backstory isn’t as prominent in this plot as his actual story is, but it wouldn’t hurt to give it a bit of detail: I honestly had to read this a few times to understand that this was your explanation for Will’s death. Some detail here really would’ve been great. XD

    This lack of description in key places, regretfully, becomes a trend throughout your piece. It’s not mind-blowingly bad; you do give us some pretty good detail, but I could’ve used a bit more. No offense. Detail is yummy and all of that stuff. The most notable place in your story that lacked detail was Will’s confrontation with his stepfather. Everything seems to be pointing to this fight (Which is really one-sided, anyways, but lol), but you seem to speed over it a bit. In fact, their fight is pretty darn small, and it left me a bit unsatisfied because of the lack of detail. Will’s senses are a lot more animalistic than normal: you can take advantage of this fact and describe the things he hears and smells as well as what he sees and thinks. It’s a good way to get the reader understanding how he’s feeling during this time, often because we can’t understand it ourselves. Remember that the average reader probably hasn’t felt rage to the level that Will feels when facing his demented stepfather; it’s your job to make the reader think that they have, often through the use of really excruciating detail.

    The interesting thing that I found, though, was how the rest of your detail was pretty well-done throughout the rest of the story. The walks up and down the hill (and the symbolism they entailed), the family feelings that quickly changed to hatred, the strange feelings one experiences when bursting out of a grave… you did a great job describing those. Will’s fight with his stepfather was one of the few places where you didn’t have such good detail, and it was a little saddening that this part felt skipped out. Perhaps that was just me.

    However, you’re pretty good on the detail department for a Medium-level capture. Can’t really lambast you there, honestly. XD

    Grammar:
    Well, you’ve got pretty darn good control of the English language and whatnot. Just a couple of pointers, some comma things, and a couple of other general rules for me to point out, just so that I keep a job and this section isn’t entirely devoted to boot-licking. Yeah.

    There is a figure in a black cloak that covers them completely.
    Mmm… noun agreement, Lasky. It’s subtle, and it looks like it’s the right way to construct your sentence, but you’ve got something a bit off. You have the figure in the black cloak (singular), and then you’ve also get “them” (plural) covered in it, although both words refer to the same person/figure in the same sentence. Figure <> them, and whatnot, but not really. Basically, you’ve had to reword it a bit – I guess you don’t want to say if the person is male or female, and saying he/she/it/potato is kinda awkward… so you’d probably reword it slightly differently, to get something like:
    There is a figure completely covered in a black cloak.
    Notice that removing the construction with “that” also makes the sentence more concise and quick to the point, in addition to clearing up that issue with your nouns from earlier.
    You do this disagreement thing when you’ve got “rushing through their veins” in the next sentence. It sounds a lot less awkward than “rushing through his/her veins”, but you’ve got to make the subject and verbs agree with each other. Look out for that.
    *
    The man comes back and I yell at him, scream at him, and then he reaches for something and there is noise, then darkness
    Bahaha, parallelism. Basically, when you’ve got two or more words that serve as similar words, phrases, or clauses, they’ve got to match up, a kind of theory known as sentence parallelism. Proper use often makes your sentences clearer and more powerful, so it’s a good thing to keep in mind.
    Basically, we’ll deconstruct this sentence: you have “I” as the subject, and then you have a kind of predicate thing that follows. The more you examine this sentence, the more this appears to be a conglomerate of varying grammatical nuances. It’s nothing major, but this sentence just started to read really awkwardly to me. First, we have the weird predicate thing that I mentioned a few sentences earlier. You’ve got “yell at him/scream at him/and then he reaches for something and there is noise, then darkness.” The first two are verbs and a preposition at the end, so they kinda match up. However, your last bit is an entire clause in itself, which doesn’t really fit with the verb-preposition thing you had going before. To make the phrasing generally less awkward, you could rewrite it some way like this:
    …I yell at him, scream at him. Then he reaches for something and there is noise…
    It seems bad to rewrite this into two sentences, but it flows a bit better that way. You could also rewrite the third part of your predicate-thing so that it would be a verb along with the other two, but you might find that cramming all that happens in the third bit to be a bit too much. Since that third bit could easily be a sentence on its own, with the amount of action in it, why not let it do so?
    On another note, it’s also better to use less words when you can. So when you have the phrase “yell at him, scream at him”, you could just as easily rephrase that as “yell and scream at him”. You do lose the semi-dramatic effect that you create when you don’t have a conjunction between those two words (assuming that your third element isn’t going to be part of this sentence any more), but it seems a bit wordy to have two such similar phrases in such close proximity each other.
    IF ANY OF THAT MADE SENSE, AWESOME.
    *
    Okay, so this is just going to be a straight-up example of parallelism, because I’m afraid I might have boggled the last one up with all of the stuff I was trying to cram in.
    I remember an empty house, crying, mother is gone, no food, man upstairs, and awful noises.
    You’ve got your main character remembering a series of nouns, mostly: empty house, no food, man upstairs, awful noises. But you also have “crying” (a participle) and “mother is gone” (which is kinda sentence in itself). You’d have to rewrite that sentence a bit so that all six of those word/phrases are nouns, participles, or sentences (although the latter would become extremely wordy, so I would advise against doing so) to maintain your parallelism and keep your sentence clear.
    *
    “Come,” says the voice, and against my will, I rise to my feet and take a step towards it.
    Mmm, so this seems correct at first glance. However, I’m pretty sure that you’ve got a little comma issue in it. You did something along these lines a few times in the story, so I’ll rest assured that this isn’t a typo and I’ll explain it really quickly here.
    The true problem lies in the second bit, with the “and against my will”. You have the comma before the “and” correct, but “against my will” is a nonessential element to this clause. Basically… it’s non-essential. That doesn’t mean you should get rid of it, but you do need to offset it with commas from the rest of the sentence. If that doesn’t make sense… basically, you’d rewrite it like this:
    …says the voice, and, against my will, I rise…
    If that seems a bit too comma-happy for you, you might want to look into rephrasing that sentence just a tad. Notice, though, how you’ve got a comma on either side of that phrase now, properly separating it from the rest of your sentence.
    *
    Quick note here, since I noticed you had this issue one or two times:
    She looks like what I remember, but her face has more angles, is harder and I frown.
    You’ve got two clauses here: “She looks like what I remember… more angles, is harder” and “I frown”. Since they’re both independent clauses, the coordinating conjunction that you place between them also needs a comma before it, both because grammar says so and also to clarify: you make the bit “is harder and I frown” seem like it’s all part of the same sentence, which is confusing. Try something like this:
    more angles, is harder, and I frown.
    *
    Sooo… you’re mostly good on commas and all of those little rules. A brief note on paragraphing, though: you should probably do a new paragraph every time something new happens. Like, whenever a new person does something, says something, or thinks something, you’ll find it best to have a new paragraph there to make things a bit more spread apart. While you’ll find yourself limited by your first-person point of view (unless you’re narrating a clairvoyant, you won’t be able to observe other people’s thoughts, or even their actions, to a good degree). However, in a lot of your paragraphs with Will/other characters, you can easily split those up into smaller paragraphs, with the divisions based on changes in perspective. This’ll make your story easier to read and help it feel more organized.
    *
    Also, I’ll do a quick note here on present tense. A cool thing about present tense is that you can narrate what is going on in the present with no need for specification, while you can also revert to past tense whenever you feel the need to talk about things that happened in the past. For instance, when Will’s having his flashbacks, it helps to clarify the time frame during which they take place if you were to write them in past tense: since your entire story is in present tense, they’ll stand apart, but not in a bad way. That way, we’ll also be able to tell that said flashbacks are taking place in a point in time that occurred prior to the current vein of the story. It’s entirely up to you, really, but it did get confusing when you talked about Will’s imagining his stepfather right in front of them, and the reality kinda blended into the past… I’m not sure if that was what you were aiming for, but it got a bit confusing after a while. Look out for little things like that.

    However, most of the stuff in this section would easily fall under the “THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR NEXT TIME” sort of thing. This is only a medium-level capture, after all, and you’ve definitely met the requirements for such a rank. I couldn’t find any typos in my quick skim, which is pretty nice for a story of this length. Just look out for little things like what I pointed out in the future, m’kay? ^.^

    Dialogue: Hmmm… you’re pretty much good on dialogue tags, which is good to see. You’ve also done a pretty good job of expressing your character’s personalities through their words, which is also awesome. You’ve also varied your dialogue tags, straying from the standard says/tells/asks and going into more expressive turf as you describe their grins and whatnot. Honestly, I have very little to say here.

    However, Will’s way of speaking irked me. He doesn’t have vocal cords anyways (you’ve implied that most of his flesh is gone), so he technically shouldn’t be speaking at all… however, his dialogue is powerful and a necessity to his character, honestly, so I can’t really lambast you for that. Course, if we’ve decided to forgo those biological rules under the card of necromancy and the powers of love, why do we have Will talking strangely at all? You do need a way to differentiate him from the rest of the not-dead characters in this story, but I feel like the way you’ve done it is a bit... awkward. Yes, Will’s probably stuttering when he talks, but. Who. Really. Talks. Like. This? It. Gets. Horribly. Irritating. After. A. While. Perhaps… maybe… you could do something along the lines of… creepy ellipses… interspersed around…? It gives… a… mysterious look… so to speak… and I think that it could… be… plausible… maybe. I dunno, though. It’s up to you how you handle it, although I really do feel like it was awkward to read Will’s dialogue the way you had it.

    Other than that, though, I feel like you used your dialogue exactly how you should have for a story of this level, and that’s freaking awesome. ^.^

    Length: You have yourself at inching over 10K, and my (often inaccurate) counter has you at 10,157, not including the quote at the beginning ‘cause it’s technically not yours, but I digress. Anyways, the suggested character count for Baltoy, a Medium Pokémon, is 10-20K, so you’ve barely inched over it.

    However, your pacing was pretty good in terms of length; if you had made it much longer, a lot of your eerie effect would have been lost. However, I do wish (again) you had expanded a bit on Will’s attack on his stepfather – this is kinda what I see as the climax of your story (all of the events, starting from Will and his sister’s traumatic past and moving up to Will’s temporary resurrection, lead up to vengeance), and it really could have used some more description. You’ve squished it all into a single paragraph, from Will’s walking into the same room to gouging out his eyes… if you really wanted dramatic effect, you could have stretched this out a bit to reflect on how primal both characters are: Will in his gouging at his own stepfather, and the stepfather in those small hints you gave us, such as his harassment of Will’s sister. A lot of those details came to me in a rush in that paragraph, and it wouldn’t have hurt to split it up a bit. Other than that, though, I think you’re good on the length. Awesomesauce.

    Reality: You went over this with me a bit, but I do feel like I should bring it up in an official setting sort of thing. Yeah.

    Uh, firstly. Will has been dead for an unstated amount of time, but he’s mostly deteriorated to bones. You talk about how most of his flesh has deteriorated with time, how he might have maggots in his stomach, and whatnot. Since a lot of the sensory nerves in his body are going to be innervated in Will’s muscles, which we’ve established have mostly deteriorated, mainly the ones in his fingers. Tl;dr: he shouldn’t be able to feel anything in his fingers, and he probably shouldn’t be able to move them and most of the rest of his body at all, since his body has decomposed… also, his brain is likely damaged to the point that he shouldn’t be able to move at all. And his lack of vocal cords/lungs/larynx would make him unable to speak, even if it was in such a choppy manner as you had described. Then again, his brain would probably have deteriorated to the point that he wouldn’t be able to recognize his sister, since the synapses are supposed to have dissolved at the point of death, let alone remember his past. You kinda hint that his brain’s condition has plunged with the primitive-ness of his thoughts in general, but you really should go into detail about all of these. Also, then again… I doubt science has really investigated the capabilities of a human body that has been resurrected by a psychic top…

    However, having your dialogue and feeling is essential to this story, I think, so it’d be implausible to make you take them out. Sure, you can pull the “BAHAHA, NECROMANCY AND POGEYMANZ” card, which I think you did, but you’ve honestly got to explain that. It would probably sound awkward to explain it in the course of the story, but you could even do an author’s note, or some really deft hinting spread evenly throughout… point being, you’ve got to explain holes like these, or nerd readers such as myself are going to spend a lot of time focusing on this and not the actual awesomeness of your plot.

    In the same vein, you should probably briefly mention how the necromancy bit worked. Perhaps how the Baltoy looked like it could traverse between both worlds, or how Will could feel that it had brought it back using some sort of unrecognizable Cosmic Powers… things like that.

    Your reality holes are mostly small, although these happen to pervade throughout your entire story. In a situation like this, you could honestly pull the necromancy card and be pretty okay with it, but you’ve actually got to pull the necromancy card to pull the necromancy card.
    IF THAT MADE SENSE.
    Did you just summon a bunch of necromancy cards in one turn?/ Yes/ Isn’t that against the rules?/ SCREW THE RULES, I HAVE MONEY…necromancy cards...

    Personal Feelings/Outcome: Yum. Well, not really. I’ll admit it up front: this story was scary, to an extent. The scariest part was that it was real, I think. The characters were raw and flawed, the villain was a prick that was realistic and hate-able, and the premise was just… so wrong, but so brilliant. I used to think that maybe I would like coming back after my death, to see the things I haven’t seen and to wrap up the ends that I’ve left undone, but you’ve mostly changed my mind with this. As a plot driven story, this was one of the more powerful ones that I’ve read, honestly.

    One of the few things that I can flag (that I haven’t mentioned already) is the ending:
    I felt-
    It seems a bit awkward, really. I know now that you meant for that phrase/fragment to express Will’s death as the Baltoy relinquishes its hold on him in the tangible world, but the ending just seems kinda… strange, really. You had a perfect build-up to a great ending, but I really feel like this little splice-y thing here kinda ruined your vibe a bit. It was jarring and a bit awkward compared to the flow of the piece that you had been developing so far. As the ending of the story, your last sentence is supposed to be something that will stick in a reader’s mind, to make them remember why things mattered and what was important about the piece. Although Will is arguably dying and whatnot, and it’s doubtful that his thoughts will be coherent (not to mention, he just ripped out his stepfather’s throat, and previously just got resurrected by a children’s toy…), the “I felt—” just seemed like there was so much more that you could have given us.

    Regardless, there’s very little else for me to point out; I hope that this grade has been useful to you. Outcome time, I think. ^.^


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