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Story Critique / Re: Trick or treat contest entry
« Last post by stex85 on Yesterday at 12:40:13 PM »
Yeah, you might want to look up the rules for formatting dialogue. The way it's laid out does make it quite difficult to keep track of who is talking when. Maybe add in a few descriptors of how the characters are talking so we can get an idea of how they feel about what they are saying, it also reminds you who is talking...
Story Critique / Re: Cycles
« Last post by stex85 on Yesterday at 12:37:01 PM »
Agree with Rika's point about ellipses. Sometimes a one line paragraph is much more effective. Otherwise it's a great bit of microfiction. Nice work!
Story Critique / Re: serpiente del mar
« Last post by stex85 on Yesterday at 12:31:08 PM »
I like the imagery you're using, especially after he drinks the drink. I enjoy the last line as well. In terms of making it like a lullaby, that didn't overly come across. Maybe use formatting to help put across the rhythm of the sentences so they're like how you hear them in your head, like they do in poetry you know? It could possible do with a bit more description as well. I'm guessing you're going for the sort of stuff they say during hypnosis or breathing exercises, make it so the reader can really imagine themselves there. The feel of the sand, the smell of the air, what noises they can here. Especially during the tripping sequence.

Hope that helps!
Hi I'm DeepFriedHamster. I plan to find a worthy rival and forget to check posts as frequently as I should. This is the first place I've posted any sites of mine and i plan to post a good few as time goes on. Cya around

In also don't really understand forums anymore i use that brain space for remembering  dirty jokes
Your Stories / Walking home.
« Last post by DeepFriedHamster on 12:45:07 AM 12/09/17 »
         I see a man infornt of me on my walk home. He turns his head in my direction, and quickens his pace till he is out of view. As I continue to walk I turn my head to see someone walking behind me. I walk a little faster putting some distance between us.

Story Critique / serpiente del mar
« Last post by DeepFriedHamster on 12:37:38 AM 12/09/17 »
The sunrise crested over the ocean waves the sun rising again from the depths to illuminate the sky, sea and sands of a beach side resort "more than half the world away" my wife had said " first your body has to get away from all your worries and then your mind.".

 The first part had been easy enough a 4 hour flight on a flight packed to the brim with new parents and their children. The back bathroom was broken but, the food was decent and the beer was free. A half hour after landing we were walking into our hotel suite overlooking the beach popping open a champagne bottle to celebrate a week in paradise.

Finding it difficult to break routine even on vacation I woke up the second day as the sky was being painted a new shade of blue just before the crack of dawn. I made my way down to the beach barefoot with a towel and a half empty bottle of champagne. My goal to wash away thoughts of the city with the sounds of the waves and drown out the pain in my lower back with the alcohol.

I closed my eyes and began to let myself be carried by sound of the tide until a metallic clanging began to break through the waves. At first it was random, then rhythmic. I opened my eyes to find the sound was coming from a small trio of men standing knee deep in the water.They were dressed in bathing suits with torn and stained tank tops. They were locals clearly one held a set of metallic rings he clanged together, the other a small bowl with a dark liquid and the third collected small sticks and leaves from the waves. An odd ritual for sure, but interesting enough to ask about.

"Serpiente del mar." It was the response the bartender gave me along with a banana daiquiri I claimed was for my wife. " It's a speciality drink.They take sticks and leaves that have been in the water and ferment it in honey and rum. It's part of the old culture from before Christianity hit the island."

On the third day the bartender stopped to speak to me. "My friend, tomorrow I will have a gift for you just come early to the beach. I'm sure you'll love it." He had arranged for my wife and I to have some of the specialty drink of the island along with a blessing of good luck from the local guru's I'd seen that morning on the beach. A once in a lifetime experience he assured us.

We made our way to the beach along with 2 other couples to meet with the bartender and the 3 guru's. They placed necklaces with small stones on the women and crowns of various leaves on the men. They then came to each couple asking our names, and saying prayers in a foreign tongue before taking us to sit down facing the beach. They placed a bowl of what i assume was incense and served us our drinks. The men then entered the water in front of us and began a chant as they danced in the water.

"Ok. Drink it now." Said the bartender. I brought the glass to my lips the smell was sweet and betrayed the intense taste. I felt it burn my throat as it went down and reached out towards my extremities warming me from the inside. My gaze focused on the dancers movements the sound of the waves and the chants mixing together. I felt my body relax and, I began to sway then my head suddenly dropped to my chest.

My eyes raised back to the beach and i saw before me what could only be called a  vision of magnificent desolation. Behind the men dancing on the beach i saw towers of shimmering ebony in the ocean. As i watched them the towers ebbed and flowed with the waves. The longer i looked i realized they were not towers but tendrils that reached to the darkness in the sky beyond the approaching dawn and that they did not flow with the waves but caused them with their movement. I did not feel fear, but a desperation for my mind to complete a thought forming in me. As I reached for the words I  desperately needed my eyes felt heavy and i was consumed by the chanting of the men as a cry in the distance began to grow with intensity.

When I opened my eyes the sun had risen and the three men were walking back to their homes away from the beach.

The rest of the week was a wonderful vacation filled with food late nights, alcohol and intimate nights in a suite with thin walls. As we headed to the gate I was stopped by a familiar face "My friend, my friend!   I am glad you had fun I have one last gift" he said as handed me a small bottle of dark liquid with a few leaves and sticks floating in them and a small envelope. "I wrote down  the blessing they did for you and your wife. Please don't forget us my friend."

I haven't opened the bottle since coming home. I didn't even open the letter till last night when some friends came over for dinner and asked about our trip. I'm not the best with words and real life unlike stories don't really have clear endings, but the best I can do for you os to write the translation of the blessing in the letter

"May the howling winds propel you forth, may the Sun guide your way and banish shadows. When fear grips you remember the call of mother. As all life is born from the ocean it will return, you will return, we will all return.".

Authors note: this story is written with the idea that it is a bit of a lullaby. I often fall asleep listening to horror readings. Designing a story that has the atmospheric capacity to relax by reading it is an idea I'd like to explore.

What I'm looking for in the analysis of this story would be comments on how it flows, where the fat can be trimmed and, if the the story is able to make you imagine its setting. Of course all criticism is welcome, but those aspects are my focus

I hope you enjoyed it.
Fleming Unit 132: Final Film.

The door slides up with ease, no loud clatter, or thud when it stops. Towels had been carefully wedged in the track to stop the sound. I stepped in and, with my free hand, waved away the officer who had escorted me to the storage unit - last on the left, at the back corner of the Fleming Storage Units. I had tried to get in the unit four days prior, on the eighth but the gate was locked and a sign had been posted.  “Due to an emergency situation, the Fleming Storage Unit Center is being indefinitely shut down.”  This was one of the days that people were allowed to pick up all their junk. I was back today, with a projector under my arm.  “You’re supposed to be taking things out,” said the bored-looking patrolman when I walked up to gain entrance.

The morning was chilly, no more than forty degrees. There was the scent of a leaf fire in the air. I smiled. Elizabeth always loved Fall for that frequent smell burning leaves. I spun the wedding band on my finger and thought back to the first fall in our new house. Elizabeth looked so beautiful in her knit hat and matching purple gloves. Her long blond hair cascading down the side of her face seemed to glow in the light of the setting sun. i remember the laughter we shared. i remember falling into the pile of leaves as we made the fire for the evening bonfire. she laughed and laughed at how clumsy i was. We were so happy back then. I pulled my jacket tighter before lowering the door. I pulled the flashlight from my jacket pocket and with a click of the button, the room in front of me was partually  illuminated, like the last street light on a sidewalk about to end. The unit was mostly empty. All that was left was a dark wood writing desk, matching wooden chair and an extension cord that stretched under the door to the light socket just outside . I was honestly surprised that the cops had let it be. I guess a bit of electricity theft isn’t such a big deal to them when they are coping with a dead guy in one of the units.

   Projector in hand, I moved forward and sat at the desk and looked around the storage unit. It was mostly bare, a ten by twenty five foot slab of concrete covered by a tin box. Nothing to look at now, but as I scanned the room, in my mind it filled with deep reds and gold, ornate book shelves, a decorative rug and lamps. The bookshelves held only had a few books, in their place were jewelry boxes, teddy bears, a snow globe, pictures in elegantly mismatched frames, carefully preserved newspaper clippings and dozens of other seemingly random knick-knacks. This place was once a study of sorts, a refuge, someone’s private sanctuary. I was lost in the reverie of this place for a long period, remembering every little detail utill I looked to the corner of the room and saw the Gibson Les Paul. That vision lasted for only an instant then I was once again sitting in the dark, at a desk, in an empty storage unit.

   I sat there for a few long moments and closed my eyes. I was standing outside in the rain  It was a real downpour that had soaked through my rain parka and new Chuck Taylors. I was peering through the window of a large house. It was a really nice place. Picturesque, light-blue, two stories, Fifties-style right down to the cliché white picket fence.  Even in the dark and the rain you could tell the owner took a lot of pride in its appearance.  Determined, I quickly jogged around the house to the door.  I took a deep breath, hesitating only a moment before ringing the bell. That was the longest moment I remember -- waiting an eternity for someone to answer. A man opened the door.  Late forties or early fifties, pretty average height, about five foot ten or so, probably two hundred ten pounds. His black hair had started to grey around the temples.  He looked at me with a surprised expression on his face.

“Oh thank God!  I’m so glad someone is home,” I sighed at the man. “Hi, my car broke down just up the road. Big ol’ metal spike in my tire.” I gestured, separating my hands two to three feet apart. “Would you mind if I used your phone? Mine’s kinda dead.” I said while pulling my phone out of my pocket and shaking it in the man’s direction.

The man looked at me owlishly and said nothing. After a moment passed of swapping stares, he shook his head and exclaimed “Oh , of course you can young man.  Please. . . please come in.” he opened the door fully and stepped aside, extending an arm to invite me in.

   He usbered me into a room to the side of the hallway leading into the house. This room was a study I would guess. The inside of the house was just as well-kept as the exterior. The walls where lined with gilded bookshelves, filled with books, objet d’art and knick-knacks. The floor was covered by a beautiful and lavish rug made of red and gold fibers. The windows where blocked by thick deep red curtains ending in silky, golden fringe. The chairs in the room were made of a dark wood, upholstered with red fabric and gold embroidery. A desk of the same dark wood sat in the middle of the rug. Every piece of furniture vied with the others for luxury and each piece looked quite expensive.

   “Wow, this is a really nice place you have here.” I said to him, looking around the room.

“Oh it is nothing too special. I modeled it after the study my dad had when I was a kid. The names Henry, Henry Walters.”

I turned my attention from an ornate gold falcon statue on the desk when he said that. I turned to him and replied “Wendell, Wendell Goldburg.  Pleasure to meet you.”

Henry pointed to the phone on the desk. “Phones right there, help yourself.  I do hope you know how to use a rotary phone.”

“Thank you, Henry.” I said, picking up the phone and starting to dial. Henry left the room and walked into the hallway. I guess he wanted to give me privacy for the phone call. After I hung up, he walked back in the room so quickly that it was clear he had been listening to my end of the call. I told Henry it would be a few minutes before help would arrive and looked around the room.  I pointed at a saber resting on one of the shelves and asked Henry about it.  He boasted for a moment about his treasure and then went around the room, his trophy room he called it, pointing out things and pulling them out to show me. The saber from the Civil War, a gaudy egg that used to belong to some royalty. Then he went to show me the contents of an extremely ornate box sitting on the highest shelf on the far wall. That was when I struck him on the back of the head with the gold falcon statue from the desk.

   When Henry woke up I had already moved him. We were now in the tin box on a slab of concrete, another study, of sorts, belonging to Henry. “You’re awake!” I could see the confusion and fear growing in his eyes as he looked around the room. “I thought that this would be a more appropriate place to have the rest of this little chat. I thought you may be more comfortable here. Here surrounded by all your trophies.” I spat, bitterly.

I leaned over and clicked the button to start the projector in the now empty unit. The projector flickered to life.

The man tied to the chair on the screen struggled against his restraints violently, his fear turning to anger. I looked at myself looking in the camera.  No sound came from the projector, so I repeated what I said while my lips moved silently on screen. “It really is such a nice room. I do hate to have imposed upon your little. . . sanctuary here, but it really is the only place that felt right.” I closed my mouth and said nothing more as the rest of the film rolled.

My film noir doppelganger crossed to the other side of the screen and looked at Henry as he flicked on the same projector. The anger in Henry’s eyes turned to pure terror as the film started to play. He tried to look away. He tried to act like he had some shame. He tried to act like he was sorry for what he had done. My lips started to move on the screen again, and even with no sound, barely being able to make out the lip movements on account of the quality of the old equipment, I knew every word and could hear it echoing in my head.

“No, No, NO!  You don’t get to look away! You don’t get to act like you didn’t do these things! That is YOU on the screen. That is you there. That is you holding the knife. That is you. . . that is you pressing this knife against her throat” I heard the words in my head while I watched myself pull the knife into his view. ”That is you. . .that is you causing that terrified look in my wife’s  eyes as you force yourself on her. . .and that is you plunging the knife into her throat. And now she’s gone. You left her to bleed out and you left the camera running while she died.” I left the film rolling, until all the signs of life had been drained from Elizabeth’s body. I wanted him to live through these moments he had missed, all the moments he thought were beneath his pleasure before. I wanted the terror in his heart to be the same as the terror Elizabeth felt as her life spilled down her throat and pooled on the floor.

The memory of my wife sends a tear down my cheek. The film keeps playing, moving toward the climax as Henry starts to cry. I could almost hear the sobs echo off the metal while watching it again. The pleas through the rag I had used to gag him for our little movie presentation.  I smacked Henry across the back of the head again as I walked up and turned off the projector.

“And will you lookie there Henry, that’s the very camera that you used to film it isn’t it?” watching myself point directly at me from the screen. He didn’t respond in time and I watched myself slap him in the head hard. He nodded his head once, sharply, affirming that, yes, that is the camera he had used to film this heinous act. “Hmm, and why do you think that I have it set up Henry?” He started fighting against his restraints again with renewed force. In the next moment I watched myself go over to the guitar in the corner and pick it up. Slowly and deliberately I walked around behind Henry for a moment then stepped in front of him holding the guitar. “I gave this to her you know. It was her favorite thing in the world. She had it for over ten years.  You look at this and all you see is a trophy. I look at this and see her life, everything we had been through together, everything that could have been. I see her love and her passion.” I step behind Henry and set the guitar back on its stand and hunch down. I see myself put my head in my hands and start to cry. More tears start to fall down my face as I watch my ghostly aparation but the pain is still real.  After a moment I stand back up and walk back into focus. I take the knife and plunge it into Henry’s chest.

I looked down at the bare floor from my chair. I half expected to see the puddle of blood on the concrete. No, I know better than to think it would be there. Henry’s fancy red and gold rug soaked up most of his blood, the ammonia did the rest. I cleared all the trophies out of the room after that. I thought about letting it all be found by the cops. Letting him be found out for being the sick fucker that he was. I thought about letting this place be found so that the families of all those other missing women would have some closure. In the end though, I didn’t want him to have any notoriety. So instead, I decided to destroy or bury everything. Every piece of evidence that he had been the one abducting all those people. All of the dozens of films he had made, every trophy, his whole little sanctuary, would be destroyed without a trace, without anyone knowing his name. I had taken that power from him and I would wield it as cruelly as he had his knife.

Martian Wells was the name Henry used on the paperwork for the unit. The address he put was a vacant lot in Idaho.  These cops really didn’t do much of anything when looking into these units. A flash of a fake Idaho license and the paperwork got me back into the unit and let me take part in the final movie showing of unit 132’s history. I flipped the projector off and the flashlight back on. I picked up the projector and walked to the door. It raised again without making a clatter and no thud. I stepped out and turned to the broken camera on the corner of the fence and gave it a wink. I grabbed the door and as I pulled it down, a single thought crossed my mind. “I was so looking forward to use this unit for the showing of my next movie. . . “
Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: The Finish Line.
« Last post by Lysdoodle Weaver on 09:49:31 PM 12/08/17 »
Rika' s absolutely right.

It's also either behind the pyramid surronded by the moat of fruit tarts, or it is the pyramid. Try and if if something darkly red oozes it then it was probably most definitely intended to be cake at one point. That's  what  the baker wrote on this Post-it when it appeared anyway
Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: Fleming Unit #15: Slimy Soccer
« Last post by Cinema Nippon on 09:15:57 PM 12/08/17 »
Omg, that's a pretty fantastic idea though.

You're right on both of those as being typos. Thanks for pointing them out.
Fleming Storage Units WIPs / Re: The Finish Line.
« Last post by Rika84 on 09:12:16 PM 12/08/17 »
The real cake is the friends you made along the way.
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