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Keith Deininger's picture

The Goat King

By Keith Deininger in Scare Us

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Mark had been watching the little girl for days now, living on his grandmother's pills, old memories looming on his mind: something squirmed in the darkness of the closet, a family secret he should remember...


saintkeeley's picture
saintkeeley from Baltimore is reading Either/Or July 23, 2012 - 9:27am

Excellent descriptions in the story, especially of the paintings.  I wondered as I read it how it would sound if the whole story was told in present tense?

Ian's picture
Ian from Texas is reading Low Down Death Right Easy by J. David Osborne July 26, 2012 - 10:28am

I loved it. Great story. Good dialogue, loved what you did with the structure (the intro paragraph tying in later was particularly good), very vivid descriptions.

Take a look at the references to "Kate" on Pages 7 and 10. "Kate" is supposed to be Alley, right? I'm guessing you changed the name of the little girl across the street at some point while writing.

Really enjoyed reading that.

Shawn I.'s picture
Shawn I. from New York is reading Important Things That Don't Matter August 17, 2012 - 6:41am

Excellent story. I really enjoyed this.Well written. The beginning is so realistic and believable I forgot I was reading a horror story a couple pages in.

A few small things I would point out besides the Kate reference Ian mentioned.

I didn't really get the life preserver simile on page 3. I think it would make more sense if she were holding onto the stepfather's hand, as if clinging to life.

Also on page 3 you wrote, His watery eyes said is (instead of it) all.

Maybe I'm taking this too literally but the line on page 5, taking his grandfather's place in his grandparents bed sounded unnecessarily incestuous.

Last paragraph of page 5 you write even the room at the end of the hall gave him the creeps. The use of the word "even" seems out of context there. I would think "especially" may be more appropriate.

Page 7. You wrote scrapping when I think you mean scraping.

Repetition of words, phrases, etc is like an OCD thing for me. I can't help but notice them but I think it bothers me more than most. The few that stuck to me in your story were: greasy window, closet's maw, and bulbous (you only used it twice but it was to describe 2 different things and its not an oft used word).

Love the line the liquid pop of an exploding water-filled balloon.

 This is a personal preference thing but I think eliminated the line below adds a bit of subtlety.   

 He thought about his stepfather, that steroid-infused fuck. That asshole who had treated him like shit his entire life. Yes. It was decided. His stepfather was next. He couldn’t wait to see the look on that fuck’s face, that smug expression wiped clean, when the closet door slid open, the muggy warmth, the amber light spilling forth, and those glistening tentacles writhing into the room.

Really good. Thanks for sharing.