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Chad Stroup's picture

Emaciated Man

By Chad Stroup in Scare Us

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A group of teenage boys get more than they bargained for during a night of mischief.


Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks July 5, 2012 - 1:53pm

Some of this is too cryptic for me, the beginning and ending especially, but I really love all the references to the familiar stuff of ordinary life: the wind dancer, the Doritos, stuff like that. Against the backdrop of this ordinary stuff, the horror of the slurping creature ( love the root beer float sound effects) stands out all the more clearly.

Chad Stroup's picture
Chad Stroup from San Diego is reading Primal Screamer by Nick Blinko July 6, 2012 - 11:42am

Thanks very much for the constructive criticism. I have definitely been accused of being cryptic before, but I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing. I enjoy making a reader think and pay close attention. I'm glad you found some enjoyable aspects about it despite this.

Joanna Parypinski's picture
Joanna Parypinski from Park Ridge, IL July 5, 2012 - 6:59pm

If I could give this story two thumbs up instead of one, I would. I can't believe the other person gave it a no. This is easily the best-written story I've read on here yet. Your style is unique, sharp, and visceral; your use of metaphor, brevity of language, and ability to pick exactly the right words made every moment of this punch through the page (or, as it were, screen).

I love the shifts in narrative, from the sharp, quick, and witty omniscient narrator in the present tense, to the third-person, past-tense, character-driven bits. The boys' dialogue was absolutely perfect. I got a great sense of who they weren, and they really sounded like actual boys (they also had some hilarious line, like "fuck your backpack with a used dildo." That cracked me up).

And to contradict the person above me, I liked how cryptic the creature was. I love the mystery surrounding it all--the snippets we get of what it looks like, the sounds of it feeding. The mystery is creepier than seeing it in full light, as in the old movies where the thing in the shadows, in your imagination, is creepier than the cheap monster costume.

Definitely my favorite story here. Are you published? Because I'd love to read stories like this one in horror mags. When I tell people to come on here to read mine, I'm going to also direct them to yours (which, embarrassingly, puts my silly tale to shame).

Great work!

Chad Stroup's picture
Chad Stroup from San Diego is reading Primal Screamer by Nick Blinko July 6, 2012 - 11:43am

Wow...thanks! I don't even know how to respond to such praise...haha. I just sent you a PM for further discussion.

Sancho LeStache's picture
Sancho LeStache from El Paso is reading Hunger July 28, 2012 - 1:17am

Really cool! It reminded me of Charles Burns' Black Hole in parts.