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ArlaneEnalra's picture

A Thousand Cuts - Revised

By ArlaneEnalra in Scare Us

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A young couple finds that their first home has other unwanted and deadly tenants.

Note: Thanks to all who read through the first edition.  I've taken some of the suggestions and implemented them in this edition to hopefully produce a much better read.


Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from Danville Virginia--now living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler July 18, 2012 - 7:28am

I like this version too. 

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. July 20, 2012 - 9:18am


Ian's picture
Ian from Texas is reading Low Down Death Right Easy by J. David Osborne July 20, 2012 - 1:16pm

I didn't get a chance to read the first version of your story, but this is fantastic. The ending is handled very well, effecting without being manipulative. The pacing and tone are both very good. And I liked tying Samson back in at the end. Really well done.

The only thing that pulled me out of the story was the doctor being so dismissive. Confused and tragically wrong would have worked better for me, but that's a very minor thing. Maybe I haven't had enough bad experiences with doctors?

Great story.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. July 20, 2012 - 2:41pm

I'm not sure on the Doctor part.  There's sort of a meme with people running into doctors who don't believe that there is something REALLY wrong with them.  It happens just often enough that it's possible to hear stories about them.  Thankfully, most people don't have anything that severly off when they do run into a Doctor like that and perhaps never notice.


Anyhow, Thanks!

SamaLamaWama's picture
SamaLamaWama from Dallas is reading Something Wicked This Way Comes July 23, 2012 - 9:51am

Hi There, great story. I liked the characters and the story line--kinda making me itch right now. And man, I really feel for the poor kitty. My only suggestion is that I think the story would benefit from less telling and more describing. There were so many times where it felt like he was sitting in an interrogation chair rather than the story unfolding from the characters eyes. Other than that, it was a smooth read. Great job.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. July 23, 2012 - 11:07am

Thanks! Glad you liked it! I guess the telling/describing is something that I'm going to have to work on. 

lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles July 24, 2012 - 12:55pm

The pacing worked well, and I was glad to see that one of the 3 deaths wasn't human! Nice job.

There's a little bit of disconnect between the nonchalantness of the narrator in the beginning, and the fact that this story is being told after the fact (I wonder if that was what started it? Did they smell the fresh blood from my injuries? Did the prospect of fresh food wake them from their slumber?) . I think it might work better if the entire thing was in the present, and we learn about the bugs/fleas as we go along. 

Good work!


edit: id love to hear your thought on mine as well, since it seems that we're both afraid of bugs...

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. July 24, 2012 - 8:32pm

Actually, I wasn't counting the cat . . . Though that was meant to add a little foreshadowing.  I'll have to think a bit about what you said about the tense . . . . it may be a little out of place. hmmmm

I did read yours a while back and I'll go take another look at it.   I have a feeling me mentioning delusory parasitosis wasn't all that helpful ;) 

Thanks for the read!



lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles July 25, 2012 - 6:10pm

oh that's right. our stories are remarkably similar..

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland July 30, 2012 - 7:18am

Good story I like how you introduced the.gas oven early on. I think the ending works well. I think i was a little confused at first about rather the "bugs" caused an infection that took a couple days to resonate or if the bites/cuts did the actually killing it was clear at the end but i wondered how come the whole process seemes to happen quicker on some characters than others. By the stries end all was clear. Good job. I enjoyed the read. Thanks.for sharing.


ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. July 30, 2012 - 7:44am

Glad you liked it!  With anything that behaves like an infection you're going to have some differences in how people's bodies react.  I was banking on size, approximate time and duration of exposure to explain some of it.  Of course, there's always the raw numbers!

Jeff's picture
Jeff from Florida is reading Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor Maymudes August 13, 2012 - 1:21pm

I was struck by how genuine this all seemed, like you had gone through a weird tragedy on this scale. The death scene with the wife was resonant with the fragility of life.

One critcism was the invincibility of the monster in a hand-to-hand sense. Of course that's the paradox -- how do you fight a flea? The self-sacrifice of the husband was admirable but I couldn't help wondering if it weren't a futile effort. Those things seemed pretty canny.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. August 14, 2012 - 7:58am

I'm glad I succeeded in getting emotion into the story.  While writing it, I was wondering if I was going a little too over the top with some of the husband's reactions.  I can see what you mean about the creature being a touch too invulnerable . . . and as you state, I'm not really sure how to reconcile it too well.  Of course, the question isn't so much how to fight a flea but how to fight millions of them.  I'll have to think about that a bit . . .

Thanks for the comments!

TigersMS's picture
TigersMS from Australia is reading House of Leaves August 15, 2012 - 4:43pm

Excellent story. Had the horrible feeling you get when you know a loved one is in trouble, tremendous writing. Had me itching all through the story thanks to the little back bug/worm/alien things. I really like it!

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. August 15, 2012 - 9:29pm

Glad you liked it!

Shawn I.'s picture
Shawn I. from New York is reading Important Things That Don't Matter August 16, 2012 - 6:06pm

Very well written and had a good, steady pace. I like the concept but I have to say the matter of fact tone kept me at a distance from really getting into the story and fully connecting with the characters. Still, I enjoyed it. 

Is Julia supposed to be one and a half? My sense of her was older, closer to 3 because she seems advanced in speech, running around, etc for 1 1/2.

I was a little surprised at the narrator's reaction to his wife's death. He doesn't seem at all concerned with what may have killed her. 




ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. August 16, 2012 - 8:50pm

I my have gotten Julia's age off a touch there.  I'm not overly familiar  with child development :(  I had meant the narrator to be in shock at the discovery of his wife and then the child.  Perhaps I overdid that a little.  I'm going to have re-read this now that it's sat for a while and see about making any changes . . . hmm.  Thanks for the insight.