Fear (Rated M for violence and nightmare fuel)

Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Fear (Rated M for violence and nightmare fuel)

  1. #1
    The Hyacinth Girl Alaskapigeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Santa Barbara, California
    Posts
    2,730

    Default Fear (Rated M for violence and nightmare fuel)

    Pokemon aimed for: Sandile
    Needed Characters: 10k
    Actual Characters: 10332

    And this is a story deal for TED, if that matters.


    The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
    -H. P. Lovecraft


    The three children stood hesitantly on the sidewalk, staring at the house in front of them. The house was old; some said it had been around since the first people walked through this land, created as a monument to some loathsome demon. The once beautiful yard had fallen to ruin. The garden was overrun by weeds, the grass was dry and brittle, and in the middle of the courtyard, a broken fountain lay on its side.

    The house itself was just as bad. Many of the tiles had been ripped off the roof and the windows had been shattered. On the door, someone had drawn in spray paint, a hideous red eye. The eye seemed to be part of a living creature, a gleam of what the children would swear was intelligence hidden in its depths.

    Joey felt one of the other boys shove him a little. “Go on,” the kid said,” What are you, scared?” Normally, Joey would have taken some grim amusement from the fear in the older boy’s voice, but at the moment, he was terrified. It would be so easy to just turn around and go home, to turn away from the ugly, wrought iron fence that seemed to loom over him. He started to turn around and caught a glimpse of his companions. When they saw him getting ready to leave, ugly sneers crossed their faces.

    “Where do you think you’re going?” said the boy in the blue sweatshirt, Tim, Joey thought his name was.

    “I ain’t going nowhere. I thought I saw somethin’ out of the corner of my eye, that’s all.”

    “Sure thing, Joey,” teased the other boy, this one in baggy jeans and a red jacket.

    Joey was powerless. If he had been nine or ten years older, he could have saved himself. Unfortunately, that unspoken rule of childhood stopped him, turned him around, and made his hand press down on the rusty handle, opening the gate. ‘Thou shalt not chicken out.’ The gate shrieked as it swung open, years of rust causing it to stick about halfway. The boys slipped through the small gap and found themselves in the center of the courtyard. In unison, they all turned to the door of the house. The eye seemed to be almost glowing in the dying light of the sun.

    A cool breeze seemed to caress each boy on the shoulder, sending chills up and down their spines. Once again, Joey took the first step forward. Every muscle in his body protested that step, but no amount of pain he encountered could be worse than the humiliation he would suffer if he left. The two other boys followed reluctantly behind him. If the little wimp they had dared to spend the night here with them could do it, so could they. As Joey walked by the collapsed fountain, he realized that an angel had once sat on top of it. The poor, ceramic angel was now lying in the dirt, both of its wings snapped off and a crack running through its face. Its eyes seemed to be pleading for help. Joey shivered and forced himself to look away.

    When they reached the door, the three boys just looked at each other. Who would be the one to open it, the one cursed with offending the Eye? Yes, the Eye, no longer lowercase in that secret part of their minds where words were given the power to haunt, the power to destroy. The Eye watched them, waiting for its victim. In silent agreement, the two older boys turned their glances to Joey. Joey bit down on his tongue to keep himself from screaming as he slowly touched the door knob with his hand. The feel of it made him shudder, cold and clammy, like the skin of something dead. As soon as he twisted the knob, he threw the door open, eager to get his hand away from it. The door flew open, and as it did, the eye seemed to roll up into its nonexistent head. The boys shrunk back away from it in horror.

    “Maybe we should-“one of the older boys started, but he was silenced with a glare from the other boy. He shot the same look at Joey, who gulped and stepped forward, wincing at the sound of the creaking floorboards.

    Once inside, Joey was confronted by a simple fact; he could not stay in this place. The house was horrible. In appearance, it wasn’t that bad. It was old and pretty torn up, but that couldn’t explain the terrible panic that nestled inside all three boys’ chests, the urge to run, run, run as fast as they could away from this monstrosity. Maybe it was the putrid smell of rotting flesh that seemed to come from everywhere at once, maybe it was the iciness of the air. Something was wrong with this house. There was evil here. None of the boys could explain how they knew it, but they did. It was natural as a child’s fear of the dark and as unavoidable. Whatever shadowy force was living here, it was something primal and prehistoric, something that lived in the back of every man’s mind, too far away to think about, but close enough to kill.

    The silence, Joey thought. That might be it. It was true. The quiet was suffocating. The only sound was of the boy’s breathing and the too fast beating of their hearts. Still, as awful as that deep, eternal silence was, it couldn’t explain away all of their fear. By now, the sun had set, and the house was rapidly growing darker.

    “How long do we have to stay here?” Joey asked the older children.

    “W-well,” said the oldest one, “I think until morning.”

    Just then, a hideous, serpentine form slithered across the floor in front of them. The two older boys screamed, their hearts jumping into their throats, but Joey just gnawed on his lip and watched the Weedle work its way to the other side of the floor. “Relax, guys,” he whispered as the orange worm disappeared into a hole in the wall.

    “I h-hate bug Pokemon,” Tim moaned.

    “Let’s just all go sit in the corner and wait for the sun to come up,” Joey said miserably. “You guys got your flashlights?”

    The older boys nodded and they all reached into their backpacks and pulled their flashlights out. The light from them made everything they shone on seem oddly colored and unreal. The three children huddled in the corner and tried to find an ounce of courage in each other’s presence. It was now completely dark outside the small circle of light from their flashlights. Suddenly, they heard a noise. Thump. Thump. Thump.

    “What is that?” cried Tim, on the verge of hysteria.

    The oldest boy slapped him in the back of the head. “Stop your whining, it ain’t nothin’ but the wind.” He looked over at Joey. “You, go see what it was.”

    “M-m-me?”

    “Yes, y-y-you,” the older boy mimicked.

    Tim began to snicker through his frightened tears. Both of the boys glared at him. Once again, Joey felt as though he had no choice. He got to his feet, shaking wildly, and headed for the stairs. He cringed at the sight of aging staircase. He crossed his fingers, praying that it wouldn’t collapse under his weight. Each step was torture; the stairs creaked dangerously beneath him. He sighed with relief when he reached the hallway at the top of the staircase. Then came the noise again. Thump. Thump. Thump.

    Joey stopped to collect himself, then moved toward the door at the end of the hall; the only place the noise could be coming from. Thump. Thump. Thump. Joey slowly reached forward and turned the door knob. He jumped back in anticipation of a skeleton or a ghost, but instead, he found only an empty room. Well, empty except for what seemed to be a large stuffed Sandile. Judging from the looks of it, it had been killed and stuffed a millennia before. Its once pretty black and brown scales had now faded to an almost grayish color. Some of its claws had been pulled out and it looked rather beat up. Its mouth had been molded into a hideous grin, each jagged tooth sticking out. And the things that Joey noticed, that drove Joey nearly mad with fear, were the red, glass eyes. They seemed to glitter with life, just as the Eye on the door did. These however, also shone with malice and the longer Joey stared at them, the more he felt as though he were falling into them….He suddenly remembered himself and jumped back. He was shaking all over and he almost ran down the stairs.

    He burst into the room they had been in and was greeted with a hideous sight. The oldest boy was lying on the floor, dead. He had been ripped open from his neck to his stomach and his entrails had been pulled out and thrown everywhere. Joey saw a trail of blood leading away from the body and followed it with his eyes. It trailed across the floor and up the wall… where a large Eye had been drawn in the boy’s blood. The eye seemed to twinkle with laughter as Joey stood in front of it, his mouth hanging open in a silent scream.

    “Help me! Help! Somebody help me, please, oh God!” Joey heard screaming and recognized it as Tim’s voice. It was coming from the top of the staircase. Joey raced from the room and looked up in time to see the stuffed Sandile with Tim in its jaws. It crawled down the hallway at the top of the stairs and disappeared from view. Joey stood at the bottom of the staircase for a moment, trying to decide, before running up the stairs after it.

    Joey could barely walk down the hallway. Every instinct told him to run away, go home, and let someone else take care of it. But it was too late. He couldn’t back out. He opened the door and realized he was too late. The Sandile held Tim’s limp body in its jaws; it had bit him almost clean through. The Sandile shook him back and forth like a dog gnawing on a bone. Joey tried to back away, but the Sandile flipped around and stared at him. Its mouth opened in a grin, allowing Tim’s severed body to tumble out. Bits of flesh were stuck in the Sandile’s teeth.

    Joey turned around and ran as fast as he could down the stairs, his heart pounding in his chest.

    "Now, now, Joey. It's rather rude to run in someone else's home." Joey heard the reptilian hiss of the Sandile's voice and felt its hot, stinking breath on the back of his neck.

    Joey saw the front door in front of him and lunged for it, his hands wrapping around the doorknob and twisting. Nothing happened. He heard a low cackling and turned around to find himself face to face with the Sandile.

    “Why are you trying to run from me, Joey? I just want to be friends,” the Sandile said in a low, growling voice. “I think you’re going to like it here a lot.” Joey took a step back and found himself standing with his back against the door, which was now closed. Above him, was a blood red Eye, staring down at him. He whimpered as the Sandile took a step closer, and another, and another. He locked eyes with the Sandile and found himself unable to look away. He was completely paralyzed. The Sandile stretched its mouth wide and he felt its teeth start to dig into him, almost gently at first, then harder and harder.

    “I think you’ll like it here a lot,” the voice said again, in his head this time. As the teeth sunk in, Joey could do nothing but cry.
    Last edited by Alaskapigeon; 18th April 2011 at 05:45 PM.
    I speak four languages, help me practice please
    Hablas conmigo en español, por favor
    Vous parlez avec moi en français, s'il vous plaît
    我正在学中文

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Fear (Rated M for violence and nightmare fuel)

    This looks like an interesting story. Expect a grade within the next few days.


    EDIT: I'm really sorry I haven't graded this yet. This week has been rough, but I will post this grade up this weekend.
    Last edited by poke123; 7th April 2011 at 12:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Angry about Outer Heavens ChainReaction01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    5,526

    Default Re: Fear (Rated M for violence and nightmare fuel)

    Okay, so TED informs me that Scourge gave him the go-ahead to replace poke123 as long as he gave him a week to respond to a PM. He hasn't, so I'mma claim this. Purely so I get a participation award ^^

    Grade up inside two days.
    URPG Stats
    SCROLL OF CHAINS
    Ranger Chapter | Referee Chapter | Grader Chapter | Judge Chapter
    ~No one understands how important sex is better than someone who isn't having any.~

    "ALLAREFRED" WinterVines 7:15 pm
    nightgowns aren't for sleeping silly

  4. #4
    Angry about Outer Heavens ChainReaction01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    5,526

    Default Re: Fear (Rated M for violence and nightmare fuel)

    Introduction

    You open on a quote, which seems to be pretty standard opening to your stories now. I like this, it sets the mood effectively and gives us a glimpse of what is to come, similar to a movie trailer or tagline. It also helps that you use good quotes from well-known people as opposed to something dredged up from the depths of the internet and squeezed and twisted until it fits.

    Your introduction, which I decided was up to and including the first conversation, meshed with the quote well. You did a good job of describing the outside of the manor and making it seem desolate and abandoned. Certainly not the kind of place three kids should be going relatively voluntarily. You also give us an introduction to the characters, which is done through dialogue, which I liked. Usually at this level readers are given a straightforward description of the characters like they could pause the story and rotate the camera to get look, which is impractical to say the least.

    Your dialogue was also very good, but I’ll talk more about that in the appropriate second. All in all, good introduction, but then I didn’t expect anything less. Can’t really see much that can / should be changed here, except a bit of backstory wouldn’t have hurt, but again I’ll get to that in a later section.

    Plot

    Okay, so this is the first component of your story which seemed a bit lacking. Usually, your stories are either heavily plot based epics or dark little drabbles, both of which are fine. But here is the plot of this story, laid bare and summarised:

    Three kids reluctantly enter a scary house for some unknown reason, the two older ones apparently forcing the youngest. They enter the main room and sit down to wait for morning. They hear a thumping noise, and the youngest is sent to investigate. He finds a stuffed Sandile, and it creeps him out. He returns to the other boys to find the eldest dead, and the other being killed by the Sandile moments later. The Sandile then kills him.

    That’s a perfectly acceptable dark little story, but that’s the problem. It’s not really a Medium-level plot, especially coming from an accomplished writer like you. At this point, it’s more of a gore-for-gore’s-sake story that’s stretched to fit the character requirement of a Sandile. It would have been acceptable if there was a bit more backstory to the characters, like perhaps Joey being teased by the other boys at school and them challenging him to a dare to prove his worth or something like that. It also would have been good for there to be a bit of a chase or resistance or something. As it is, Joey just stands there and dies. Lastly, and to me most importantly, there’s no explanation given for why a stuffed Sandile can move, or what the deal is with the Eye. Again, in a lower-level story I wouldn’t care, but this is a Medium story, and to quote the All the Pokemon We Don’t Hate thread:

    A little tougher, because most areas need to be more elaborate along with a 10–20 K character range. A good place to aim, for slightly more experienced authors.
    One last thing: I find it pretty hard to believe that Joey wasn’t able to run away, especially considering the fact that he was holding the door open before the Sandile even dropped Tim’s body. Sure, it could be using some kind of mystical hypnosis power or fear magic or something, but seeing as Sandile doesn’t have any of those kinds of abilities in the Pokemon world this should probably be addressed, or even simply left out. The only exception I can think of is if the Sandile used Scary Face, but then you should have actually mentioned that and not just left the reason for Joey’s overpowering fear hanging.

    Dialogue

    Your dialogue was good. The conversations between the three boys clearly showed the power structure: the eldest, un-named boy is quite clearly in charge as he silences Tim multiple times and seems to know roughly what he’s doing. Tim is next on the ladder, as he seems to treat Joey the same as the eldest boy does, but is too scared most of the time for it to show. Finally, there’s Joey, who seems to have come to this abandoned house to win their respect or take part in some dare or something.

    I pulled that all out of the conversations and speaking, which is impressive if correct, and I get the feeling it is at least close. You also do a magnificent job of portraying their fear, but mutual unwillingness to retreat for of the other boys respecting them less.

    But my favourite part of all was the pseudo-dialogue that went on between the boys and the Eye on the outside of the wall. For that one paragraph, the Eye became a character just as important as the children, and one infinitely more intriguing. The Eye has power, and wants to use it, and is just waiting for some fool to step into its domain so that it can do so. The line quoted below is perhaps my favourite line in the entire story, even though it’s a tad bit confusing:

    When they reached the door, the three boys just looked at each other. Who would be the one to open it, the one cursed with offending the Eye? Yes, the Eye, no longer lowercase in that secret part of their minds where words were given the power to haunt, the power to destroy.
    Fantastic. Sent shivers down my spine. Not really much you can do to improve here, except the Sandile’s speech grated on me a bit. Putting aside the question of why it can talk, you use the phrase “the voice said again” at one point, when the words being “repeated” are actually quite different:

    “I think you’re going to like it here a lot.” -> “I think you’ll like it here a lot.”
    Yes, they mean basically the same thing, but they aren’t the same strictly speaking, and so you shouldn’t really be using the “again” tag, unless I’m looking at it too literally. Perhaps it would have been better to use a different speech tag, like “spoke” or “muttered”.

    Grammar

    Grammar was pretty damn close to impeccable. A couple small things, nitpicks really:

    These however, also shone with malice and the longer Joey stared at them, the more he felt as though he were falling into them….He suddenly remembered himself and jumped back.
    Convention says ellipses are formed of three periods, not four, and there should be a space in between it and “He”.

    It trailed across the floor and up the wall…where a large Eye had been drawn in the boy’s blood.
    Again, no space after the ellipsis. Watch this.

    The poor, ceramic angel was now lying in the dirt, both of its wings snapped off and a crack running through its face.
    Seeing as there is only two adjectives being applied to the angel, that comma is not needed.

    Normally, Joey would have taken some grim amusement from the terror in the older boy’s voice, but at the moment, he was terrified.
    This isn’t so much of a problem as opposed to a personal opinion. Authors try to avoid using the same word more than once in any given sentence; this sentence contains the words “terror” and “terrified”. Like I said, it’s not major, but they’re just close enough and similar enough to cause a bump in the flow of the story.

    Aside from these minor things, you did very well, but again I expected no less. One of the joys of grading your stories ^^

    Detail

    Like usual, your detail is fantastic, much better than is usually found in Medium level stories. I’ve quoted a couple of sections I particularly liked:

    As Joey walked by the collapsed fountain, he realized that an angel had once sat on top of it. The poor, ceramic angel was now lying in the dirt, both of its wings snapped off and a crack running through its face. Its eyes seemed to be pleading for help. Joey shivered and forced himself to look away.
    The oldest boy was lying on the floor, dead. He had been ripped open from his neck to his stomach and his entrails had been pulled out and thrown everywhere. Joey saw a trail of blood leading away from the body and followed it with his eyes. It trailed across the floor and up the wall…where a large Eye had been drawn in the boy’s blood. The eye seemed to twinkle with laughter as Joey stood in front of it, his mouth hanging open in a silent scream.
    As shown, you did a fantastic job of using sight, but you also paid very close attention to the lack of sound, which further solidified the scariness of the house. You did a great of job making the house as scary as it could be, and you even threw in the cold, clammy touch of the doorknob when Joey was opening the door right in the beginning.

    Aiming to utilise all five senses is a common goal for Medium level writers, but it’s usually used to make up for weaknesses in other places, and I’m kind of glad you didn’t try to shoe-horn anything in. The only thing that I can think of that would make the descriptions of everything you mentioned better was their smell. Smell is the only sense wired directly into our subconscious, and it’s actually quite powerful and easy to use in stories. For example, the eldest boy’s corpse might have started to smell, or Joey could have been assaulted by damp mustiness when he opened the door.

    All in all, your detail was good, especially for a Medium level story. Absolutely nothing wrong here.

    Length

    Your story clocks in at 10,360 characters, which is inside the 10k-20k range required for the Sandile. However, it only just fits, and helps reinforce my opinon that this story was cut short. You have everything you need, but not a tad more, and that’s not good, especially considering the amount of stories you have written and their high quality.

    This is where a bit of backstory would have done wonders – talking about how and why the boys are there; I decided it was the stereotypical “impress the bully” plot but this was never confirmed. A chase scene would have been nice, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Lastly, a bit of a description behind the Eye or the re-animated Sandile would have been great – these small things would have added up and made the story infinitely more satisfying.

    Climax

    This was another part of your story that I found to be disappointing. Once Joey ran across the Sandile, I thought, Okay, this is where it is going to get good. They’re going to disappear one by one, or have mind games played on them or something suitably spooky.

    Nothing of the sort happens. Joey gets creeped out and returns to the others, who are dead and dying, respectively. Then, Joey doesn’t even put up a fight against the Sandile – he stands there and watches it eat him, with the door wide open. He is literally fifteen seconds from freedom, but he doesn’t run.

    The problem is that there is no climax. The beginning is suitably spooky – big house, scary Eyes, thumping noises. But from the minute the Sandile enters the scene, it’s just gore. There’s not really any dark or scary. The kids die – it’s a given. No way they’re going to escape, not the way it is played out. And that effectively robs the story of a climax. It’s just a down-hill slope.

    This is where you would have benefited infinitely from some kind of chase or resistance scene – let the reader think and hope that Joey might be able to escape before crushing those hopes. It would have resulted in an exciting, spooky story with a climax that grabs you and doesn’t let you go. I might be speaking for myself, here, but there’s nothing particularly scary or exciting about not being able to move – if there’s something trying to kill you and you have no way to resist it, there is literally no point in struggling, and thus no point. Might as well surrender. Boring. But if there’s the tiniest ray of hope, people will struggle towards it, and it’s even more brutal when they get hit by a truck when centimetres away from it.

    Overall

    This was a hard one to call. A really hard one to call. Your introduction was good, your dialogue great, and your descriptions sparkling. Unfortunately, your plot was weak. Simple level, if that. The climax was also unsatisfying – ninety-nine percent of all Medium level stories will involve a Pokemon battle at some point in time, which is the most common form of climax. Granted, a Pokemon battle would be impossible in this story without feeling contrived, but it would have been relatively easy to work in some kind of climax. As it is, the story builds up tension, but releases it relatively gently. There’s no big explosion of excitement.

    Sandile Not Captured…

    Damn close, though. Incredibly close. In order to make this a capture, you need to edit your story and address at least one of the three major weaknesses I couldn’t shut up about: lack of backstory; disappointing climax; explanation of the magical stuff. Once that’s done, shoot me a PM/VM/IM and I’d be happy to give you your Sandile.

    @TED: Just fyi, this was actually done about ten hours ago, but my internet decided to troll me. Also, *flinches*
    URPG Stats
    SCROLL OF CHAINS
    Ranger Chapter | Referee Chapter | Grader Chapter | Judge Chapter
    ~No one understands how important sex is better than someone who isn't having any.~

    "ALLAREFRED" WinterVines 7:15 pm
    nightgowns aren't for sleeping silly

  5. #5
    Angry about Outer Heavens ChainReaction01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    5,526

    Default Re: Fear (Rated M for violence and nightmare fuel)

    Okay, so after talking with Alaska and the inclusion of a reasonably exciting chase scene, this story is now a pass.

    Sandile Captured!

    There you go, TED. Please don't kill me.
    URPG Stats
    SCROLL OF CHAINS
    Ranger Chapter | Referee Chapter | Grader Chapter | Judge Chapter
    ~No one understands how important sex is better than someone who isn't having any.~

    "ALLAREFRED" WinterVines 7:15 pm
    nightgowns aren't for sleeping silly

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •