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The Phantasmal Prophets - Ghost Story Challenge entry

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SciGuyHatz

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« on: 10:50:58 PM 09/20/17 »
The Phantasmal Prophets
By Alex Hatzberger (SciGuyHatz)
   “Good evening everyone, Dr. Adam Orpheus here, and welcome to a special episode of The Phantasmal Prophets.  Tonight we are in Fall River, Massachusetts at the Lizzie Borden House.  I won’t bore you with the details of Lizzie Borden or her life, but suffice to say that the gruesome murder of her parents here on August 4th 1892 have led to some interesting rumors of hauntings.”
   “We’re here tonight to scientifically prove, or disprove, the existence of ghosts here at the Lizzie Borden House.  Many other paranormal researchers have tried to find evidence, but they don’t have the skill or the tools that we, The Phantasmal Prophets, have at our disposal.  If this is your first time joining us, let me introduce the squad:
   “Now downstairs we have our command center operator, Dr. Manny Santiago – he runs all the electronics and logs the data.  Keep those generators running, Manny! Ha ha, he can’t hear me, but he’s a great guy and I’m proud to have him on my team.  Fiddling over here with the cameras and equipment is Dr. Suki Ko, she knows everything about spectrum analysis, one of the top physicists in the field.  Last, but not least, is Dr. Will Chamberlain, my best friend and partner in crime.  He’s…somewhere.  Nonetheless, I’m sure that he’s hard at work setting up! We started paranormal investigation 14 years ago.  Now, let’s get started!”
   “So let’s outline tonight’s plan:  Will is going to investigate the first floor, Suki will be on the second floor, and I’ll be in the attic.  We will all be performing a variety of different experiments while we are on our particular floors.  Each of us are outfitted with a vest containing sensors for detecting electromagnetic fluctuations and temperature changes.  All the data will relay to Manny who will log and track all the data throughout the night.  We each also have ear pieces and headsets that allow us to speak to each other throughout the night.  Communication is key as we have to know if there is a particular spot that Manny notes that we should investigate.”
   “As we move through each floor, we will perform the following:  We will take EVP readings of the different rooms and areas, we also will scan each room with a full-spectrum camera.  These cameras are Suki’s own design, and they can pick up any electromagnetic radiation, from radio waves to gamma rays.  It doesn’t look like anything when we record it, but Manny and Suki review it afterwards, we’ve found a few apparitions that only appear under certain wavelengths. Pretty neat stuff!”
   “Now there is a storm tonight that may play havoc with our instruments, so Manny is running a tracker that notes when nearby lightning strikes occur.  Luckily, the owners of the museum allowed us to install the sensor on the roof, so remember, if you’re near Fall River, stop by and stay at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast!  Fingers crossed, we will find a cool spook this evening.  Let’s start the EVP session!”
   “Spirits, if you are present, can you give me a sign?”
   “Spirits, if you are present, do you have a name?”
   “Spirits, if you are present, do you have a message for us?”
   “Time to listen in! … Mostly static … but …  is that a voice that’s repeating me?  Strange, but exciting!  Let’s keep going and see what else we can see or hear!  We’ll move to a different area of the attic and…oh, there’s a bit of a leak here, I’ll have to make sure that owners are informed in the morning…Scanning with the full spectrum camera now.  Egads!  There’s a massive heat apparition at the stairwell!  I see it coming up and I can hear footsteps! Amazing!”
   “Adam, it’s me. I’m literally coming up the stairs and am standing in front of you.”
   “Shit…I mean, Hi Suki!  Why did you leave your floor?”
   “I heard something up here beyond just you stomping around.  Do you have weights strapped to your feet?  It sounded like there were at least three people up here!”
   “You heard additional sounds that cannot be explained, that’s amazing!  Where did you hear them, let’s do the next EVP there!”
   “Uh, it was over here I think.”
   “Spirits, if you are present, please give us a sign.”
   “Spirits, if you are present, please tell us your name.”
   “Spirits, if you are present, do you have a message?”
   “It sounds as if…as if the spirit is, well, listen:
   “…[static]…Hello?...[static]…I can…[static]…you...[static]…”
   “This is amazing! Suki, we have EVP that is clearer than any other I’ve heard before!”
   “Yeah, that’s great Adam, but why can’t they hear us?  At least, I think that’s what they’re saying.”
   “I don’t know Suki, but that’s why it’s called research and investigation, not answers!”
   “Do you think that there’s more than one? I’m going to get an EVP over by the chimney, that’s where I heard the stomping was going!”
   “Suki, we’re supposed to be doing the floors alone, so that there’s no interference between each other…”
   “Then you can go downstairs and I’ll be the one to get the evidence!”
   “Ok, Ok, no reason we can’t both look up here and then go downstairs.  By the way, watch out for the water, there are a few spots where the roof is leaking. There, there, and there’s another one over there.  I got the first EV-”
   “Fuck!”
   “That was really close, are you OK? It felt like the entire floor was shaken by that lightning strike. Oh man, that was close.”
   “Sorry, I think that the thunderstorm is psyching me up a bit too much.  Ok, deep breaths…That was really, really loud.”
   “Suki, it’s OK, but remember, we’re on camera, we gotta watch the language.”
   “Just fix it in post, we’ve censored ourselves before.  Remember when you fell through the rotten floor of the Reinhart House?  You were swearing up a blue streak.”
   “Yeah, don’t remind me, the network chewed me out over it.  Anywho, let’s see if we get any EVP over by the old chimney!  Ew, there’s water all over the chimney.”
   “Spirits, if you are present, please give us a sign.”
   “Spirits, if you are present, please tell us your name.”
   “Spirits, if you are present, do you have a message?”
   “Let’s see if we got anything!”
   “ill…[static]…chim…[static]…am and …[static]…ago…[static]…ightnin…[static]…”
   “I can’t make out what they are saying, can you?”
   “I don’t know Suki…I don’t know”
“It sounds like:  ‘Ill chim am and,’ maybe it’s another language?”
“The most common language in Fall River is Portugeuse, but that’s not it…let’s listen again, I’m going to turn up the gain.”
   “…[static]…chimney where…[static]…ki…[static]…ago when …[static]…uck by…[static]…”
   “Something about the chimney.  Give it here, I’m the one who designed the damn thing. I’m going to adjust the phase, and…”
   “…[static]…chimney where they found…[static]…Adam and Suki…[static]…three years ago…[static]… by lightning…[static]…”
   

urkelbot666

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« Reply #1 on: 10:02:12 AM 09/21/17 »
I liked reading this one a lot. It's got a really fun vibe to it and I feel like the fast pace works really well here. I like the format of a ghost hunting show, as the characters can sort of go in and out of character throughout the piece, and spout technical jargon while observing what's happening. I also really liked the bit about the certain sensors in the cameras that won't show anything right away, but after they're analyzed they might... hhhmmm... x3
The format of an all dialogue story is a little tough in written form, but I think it works okay here, and is helped by the short length of the story. One thing I might suggest is a bit of punctuation editing in the dialogue. Forgive me if I've telling you what you already know, when there is dialogue in a story, when a character speaks more than one paragraph, there is only a need for an end quote at the end of the last paragraph. For the most part, I think the way it is here is okay, but having an end quote after every paragraph of dialogue spoken by one person made me a little fuzzy on who was speaking when another character showed up. That might be a minor thing, but I thought I'd just mention it :)
I liked reading this one, and I'd like to ask if I could possibly do a reading of this story on my youtube channel at some point. Nice work!
channel/UC0e5jEDP935NBJAyUxZ_zog
Discord: Dan(Urkel) #2760

SciGuyHatz

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« Reply #2 on: 11:30:16 AM 09/21/17 »
Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!  One of the things that I realized was that the quotation marks at the end of paragraphs would get weird, and I knew that I probably messed it up here and there.  Unfortunately after reading and working on it over and over I started to lose track of them.  Reading over it again now, I think I could have fixed it before posting, but here it is in the original form that I submitted.
I'm glad you can see the phasing in and out of character as they go through the story, I really focused on the idea that the characters have a "TV" personality and when scared or shocked they kind of drop it - knowing they can edit it out later. 
In terms of using it for a YouTube narration, I've recently started my own narration channel where I narrate my original stories.  I was planning on doing this on at some point on there.  Want to do a collab on it since there are two characters? 

SciGuyHatz

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« Reply #3 on: 06:23:52 PM 09/21/17 »
Actually, if anyone wants to do a narration for this, go for it! Please send me the narration link if you do.