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A Memoir of Horror
How It Rates
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A group of teens spend their last weekend together before leaving their hometown for university exploring an old, forbidden prison compound. trapped overnight by a vicious storm the teens have to fight off the supernatural and deal with a lifetime of resentments.
SPOILER ALERT: Interesting that there are a couple of stories in the contest about killer puddles.
This is an interesting story of the "teens picked off one by one" variety. I liked the characters, especially the brothers. The narrator's voice is also interesting, especially when we realize she's writing the story after the fact. I had thought the title was a bit clunky, but this information made sense of the title.
One thing I think you should do is go back through the story and check all the sentence fragments. I don't mind a good sentence fragment, myself. I think fragments can add punch and punctuation to a paragraph. (Wow, too much alliteration there!) But as with all punctuation, if you overdo it, it loses its punch. I'd get rid of maybe a third of them and see how you like the language then. I had a bad case of adjective/adverb-itis in my contest story (as I discovered when I read it out loud to a friend--another great revision technique), and that's my revision method: force myself to disappear about a third of them and see what happens. It will make me keep all the good ones and get rid of the weak ones. Then I may have to do it again.
I think you should work on the ending, too. It needs more oomph. That's just my opinion, though. I think you write really well, and I enjoyed your story.
I liked the idea for the setting and the monster. The interaction between the characters felt authentic, though the dialogue didn't always. The language felt inconsistent; sometimes flowery, sometimes very casual (never thought I'd see 'mercurial' and 'glommed' in the same sentence). On the other hand, it could just be that the narrator would write it that way.
Really loved the description of the prison at the beginning, and the fence keeping the forest out. I enjoyed the story overall.
I liked the concept of the silver liquid being the monster. The setting was well described too. I'm not sure I would have stayed after seeing the face rise up, drunk or sober. I thought maybe if the entity cornered them or forced them further into the prison that might have solidified that part. Regardless I thought it was a great story.
Thanks for writing. It was a fun read.
I think you did a good job of letting us get to know your characters quickly and effectively.
Due to the word limit on this particular challenge, I think the story suffers under the weight of too many characters though. Seven is a bit much. I'd personally reduce it to no more than four. That way you can keep the love triangle (Jason, Kaileigh, narrator) and then Connor. Since everybody else is puddle-fodder, we end up not really caring too much about them.
You have at least 1,000 more words to play with. If you excise some of the extra characters, you have time to really get into the remaining characters, as well as up the detail and terror when it all goes south. I'd personally like more detail (gore?) when the creature kills.
I think the weakest part of the story so far is when the creature starts killing. It's really hard to keep track of who is where and what they're doing. Also, make sure your characters are reacting appropriately. Jason says one of the stupidest things to say in a horror story: "You don't know it'll hurt us."
I think your creature is interesting enough that it deserves an explanation as to why it's there. Something that ties into the prison...why it was shutdown--something like that. the part where they burn the creature and then a face forms...i think that deserves some explanation and context as to why it happened.
I really like the genre you chose. I think you need a really strong editing pass. Fix up the grammer mistakes and make me care about ALL your characters. If your story were a movie, what parts would you not want to watch?
Keep at it.