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Pushpaw's picture

Soup of Life

By Pushpaw in Scare Us

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Description

Something terrible happens to Max's friend Andy in Windsor, Ontario. It could have something to do with a fish. Or hemorrhoids. Max is determined to find out.

Comments

Ian's picture
Ian from Texas is reading Low Down Death Right Easy by J. David Osborne July 29, 2012 - 4:24pm

I enjoyed reading this. Good job. I thought your descriptions were very good. I thought your monster managed to be disgusting, terrifying, and completely believable - making it that much more scary.

One minor criticism and one small suggestion...

I had a hard time believing that three of the four characters would all have hemorrhoids simultaneously, that their friend would have just died from an anal blood geyser, and that none of them would at least start scratching thier heads. Maybe hemorrhoids are just that common and I'm being an insensitive asshole (heh). I don't know. It just struck me as odd. Then again, that kind of behavior is a horror staple. Maybe you just ignore me.

I would think about trying to spread out the scene with the researcher a little bit. There's a large amount of information communicated at the front end of that scene. You handle the information well. I wasn't every confused or overwhelmed. I think the problem is that it gets a bit expository. At the very least, you might want to think about breaking up the largest chunk of the researcher's dialogue into two distinct pieces. It might lessen the expository feel.

Again, great job. I really did enjoy reading your story.

Pushpaw's picture
Pushpaw from Canada is reading Building Stories by Chris Ware August 14, 2012 - 4:43pm

Thanks for the feedback. Definitely an expository chunk when the researcher explains everything. I was running out of words and need to bring the thing to a close. You know how it goes. A valid comment nonetheless. Will maybe try a revision that fixes this issue. And yes, the hemorrhoids are common, but I doubt that common. Made the big reveal that they all have them just before the fatal attack in the kitchen just for this reason.

Again, thanks for taking the time to read and write some feedback!

Sound's picture
Sound from Hesperia, CA is reading Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer July 30, 2012 - 2:28pm

This was impressive. By the end, I found myself gripping my stomach and fearing going to the bathroom. It was a rather disgusting read. I found nothing wrong with structure. Grammar, flow, and punctuation was all on point. Or maybe I was so involved with thes tory that I didn't notice. Anyway, good job.

The monsters reminded me of "Critters", which scared the crap out of me as I when I was a kid, although they were always cartoony. Your creation was not cartoony at all, and they way you explained them on the end was well thought out and believable. I enjoyed it.

A few suggestions:

I felt that some lines, although funny, seemed out of place in the beginning so soon after Andy's death. I get they were trying to liven the mood, but it still didn't feel natural. I'd tone it down a little.

Second, I get that the maturity of the creatures can vary, and I tried to take in mind when reading, but I just couldn't believe that Max's took two days longer than the rest (I think it was two days). I also think the fact that Jim and Sarah's simultaneous attacks were too close together, which makes Max's attack that more unbelievable. I'd spread Jim and Sarah's out slightly, maybe within minutes, and bring Max's closer. I understand that this would make it difficult, due to timing issues, with the end's reveal.

Lastly, I think the fact that the gang never put everything together before Jim and Sarah's death was a little frustrating. I can understand when there was just a bloody hole by where Andy's bed was, but after Max saw the creature trailing blood I draw the line. I'd be running to the emergency room. Or at least blowing up Jim and Sarah's phone lines.

However, all in all I really enjoyed your story. I think the issues I had, if you agree with them, could be easily fixed. A few things I thought as I was reading it are below:

 

Before I forget, I thought the sentence below needed something:

“Yep, you’ve got them,” she says, removing her gloves. The snap of her gloves made my butt cheeks clench.

This next sentence made me laugh out loud. I'd italicize the "punch line", though:

“What, they get in an argument and she shoots him in the ass with a shotgun. From under the bed?

Pushpaw's picture
Pushpaw from Canada is reading Building Stories by Chris Ware August 14, 2012 - 4:47pm

Appreciate the feedback. We must be from the same generation--I was a big Critter's fan too. 80's movies are the best. I'm not a big fan of digital effects--much prefer puppets, stop-motion and animatronics.

Shawn I.'s picture
Shawn I. from New York is reading Important Things That Don't Matter July 31, 2012 - 6:53pm

Great job of quickly and clearly jumping into a premise where the frenetic pace of the story matched some of the frenzy and internal turmoil(no pun intended) of the protagonist. A good, cringe-worthy read that takes the term gut wrenching to the extreme. As far as suggestions, I'd say you could tighten up some of your sentences and I thought the researcher was forthcoming with information a little too easily. Maybe the guy could have held onto the knife as well as the tail and used it for persuasion. And I'm not sure why or if it was intentional but a get an odd sexual tension between Max and Kat that seems a bit out of place. Maybe that's just me. Overall, very enjoyable.

Pushpaw's picture
Pushpaw from Canada is reading Building Stories by Chris Ware August 14, 2012 - 4:51pm

Thanks for reading. Yep, there is odd sexual tension there. Was intentional. From Max it's supposed to be the fulfillment of an attraction he's always had, and for Kat it's more because she now feels the need for someone to take care of her, with the whole pregnancy thing I tried to allude to. If it's kinda creepy, that's ok! And yes, the researcher is forthcoming, Will try to revise that a bit. Max does hold him up to the wall by the throat, but maybe that's not enough.

Thanks for the feedback!

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce August 2, 2012 - 5:55pm

Hi pushpaw,


Great story here! These creatures you’ve created are truly horrific and disgusting.

I loved your story for three main reasons:

1. It’s unashamedly gross (and please take it as a compliment where I have said something like “ew” or “gross!” in your story);

2. I moved to Toronto a couple of months ago so it's cool reading about a place I know. And I am rather glad I’m swimming in Lake Ontario and not Lake St Clair right now; and

3. Your gene splicing creation. I am a massive Margaret Atwood fan, and the gene splicing reminded of the wolfogs and the rakunks in her MaddAddam trilogy.

My suggestion for the story is to perhaps streamline the amount of your characters. I couldn’t distinguish between them easily. You could just gave Max and Kat and Andy, or Max and Jim and Sasha. With the words you save on the extra characters, you could give a bit more depth to your remaining characters. I feel like I didn’t know much about them.

Usually I'd harp on about characters, but your creature was so vivid that the character issues didn't detract from my enjoyment of your story at all.

I went through your word document and made some comments where I liked things, or where I was a bit confused. 

Thanks,

Jess

Pushpaw's picture
Pushpaw from Canada is reading Building Stories by Chris Ware August 14, 2012 - 4:56pm

Thanks for the detailed feedback! Some really helpful stuff. The rakunks and wolfogs definitely crossed my mind while writing this story.

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from Danville Virginia is reading Wide Sargasso Sea August 3, 2012 - 9:35pm

 Ooo, that's wonderful. It is almost a prequel to Oryx and Crake. Your monster is kin to Atwood's monster, the snat. Loved it!

P.S. now I'm adding this after just reading the comment above mine. Yes!!!!

 

Can't quit adding to my post. Your monster also feels akin to the truly frightening monster in Alien, the Ridley Scott one, not the sequels that just went for the easy boo.

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Fish Bites Cop by David James Keaton August 4, 2012 - 5:49am

Ok. Jane. Scott did do the best Alien. But don't get me started on who's the better director between Scott, Cameron, and Fincher. I think I could argue with myself on that forever lol. No wait. It's easy. Got it.

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from Danville Virginia is reading Wide Sargasso Sea August 4, 2012 - 2:05pm

Scott.

Pushpaw's picture
Pushpaw from Canada is reading Building Stories by Chris Ware August 14, 2012 - 4:59pm

Of course--the snat! You're right. I had mainly been thinking of the rakunk. I guess Atwood might call mine a mish or a fole or something. Appreciate your enthusiasm. Thanks!

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Fish Bites Cop by David James Keaton August 5, 2012 - 3:58am

I wrote this a realy good review last night but for some reason it did not post. I dig this story. I'm busy reading others but i'll read yours again soon so i can give you a proper review. again.

Pushpaw's picture
Pushpaw from Canada is reading Building Stories by Chris Ware August 14, 2012 - 5:00pm

No worries - there are lots of other stories looking for reviews. I just appreciate that you took the time to read.

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Fish Bites Cop by David James Keaton August 14, 2012 - 6:04pm

No problem I enhoyed it. Wish I had time to read and reveiw them all before the rating deadline. This cintest has produced some really great stories!

Sancho LeStache's picture
Sancho LeStache from El Paso is reading Hunger August 6, 2012 - 9:09pm

Your monster is my favorite out of all the stories I've read so far. The first description you gave of it made me think of Alien a lot, so I wasn't too into it until you delved into all that genetic stuff which totally sold me. The gross out factor and humor were really really solid, too. Super cool.

Pushpaw's picture
Pushpaw from Canada is reading Building Stories by Chris Ware August 14, 2012 - 5:06pm

Thanks a lot for the positive feedback. Glad the Alien moment didn't turn you off so much that you abandoned it. Appreciate the comments.