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Bryan Kail's picture

Are You Washed?

By Bryan Kail in Scare Us

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Description

A pilgrim with a calling travels to meet his new life. 

Comments

David Ireland's picture
David Ireland from London is reading Confessions of an English Opium-Eater July 30, 2012 - 6:23am

Hi Bryan,

This was a well put together piece and gets a thumbs up from me.

I enjoyed the swift violence at the beginning, and the driving baptism at the end - which I thought was particularly well written. One thing I'd say is that I never really got a sense of what The White Saint really was, or represented. I wonder if you could draw this out a little? When it shows itself towards the end it felt slightly...tacked on. I hope you don't mind me saying so. It would be great to perhaps incorporate some of the lore and history of The White Saint earlier in the story so it became a more fundamental entity within it. As it stands, I could almost do without it entirely and just have the preacher as the 'monster' (or perhaps religion itself!)

All in, an enjoyable read - thank you very much.

David

Bryan Kail's picture
Bryan Kail from Texas is reading Millennium Trilogy July 30, 2012 - 3:25pm

Thanks very much for the feedback!

I AM working on a revision with a bit more beef, though I doubt I'll be able to get it in under the deadline and I'm sure it'll be over the 4k word limit.

And to address your points, I'm actually adding in excerpts from the Codex mentioned as chapter breaks throughout the story. That way I can actually add in more of the Saint's version of his own legend and use some of that juicy King James style prose. 

I also agree with you on the descriptions I used. I'm trying to give pieces of detail while maintaining a decent level of minimalism so that the reader brings his own nastiness into it. But, yes, I do think a bit more is needed there.

You definitely hit the thematic nail on the head. While the Saint is the "creature" of the story, I wanted the fanaticism to be the actual "monster." 

Thanks again for the notes and encouragement!

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from Danville Virginia--now living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler August 2, 2012 - 7:47am

Wow, truly creepy. I loved this story. I didn't feel that the monster was "tacked on" in any way, but i wonder if it's really necessary, so maybe that's saying the same thing. We know how deranged this guy is by the time we get to the cave part. I agree with the previous comment that the Pilgrim and religious fanaticism are monstrous enough.  I like the oily blue water in the cave, though. I think that creepy feeling, the idea that the deformed blind children and the Pilgrim see something the rest of us don't see, and the final sacrifice at the end suggest a monster maybe more frightening than the one we actually do see.

Bryan Kail's picture
Bryan Kail from Texas is reading Millennium Trilogy August 3, 2012 - 12:42pm

Thanks very much!

Glad to see someone liked the "water." I felt like that was a pretty icky idea so I had to use it. 

Ian's picture
Ian from Texas is reading Low Down Death Right Easy by J. David Osborne August 3, 2012 - 10:50am

Well done. Your depictions of the violence have both a matter-of-fact and ritualistic quality that I thought worked really well. Good dialogue, well-paced, and solid tension. Loved the themes here.

I kind of agree with the previous comments regarding the Saint and I kind of don't. I think your description of the Saint was good enough that I would hate to see it cut from the story altogether.

I would love to see another version of this with bits of the Codex plugged in as chapter breaks. I enjoyed reading this.

Bryan Kail's picture
Bryan Kail from Texas is reading Millennium Trilogy August 3, 2012 - 12:44pm

Thanks for the kind feedback!

This is my first submission for any writing contest so the encouragement is very appreciated. 

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from Danville Virginia--now living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler August 3, 2012 - 3:46pm

Yeah, sort of like "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai."