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Jean Ritchie's picture

Drip, drip, drop

By Jean Ritchie in Scare Us

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What if there was something hunting you, that could not be avoided? Something you'd never paid attention to before?


Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks July 30, 2012 - 10:30am

What a fun story! I love the narrator's voice and his whole attitude about where he is, how he got there, and what he needs to do. All the while, as my realization about his predicament increases,  I'm thinking, "who is he  talking to?" it's great when we find out. I'm a reader who despises a cheap O'Henry surprise ending, but you earned yours, skillfully unreeling it until, at the end, yes, it's a surprise, but it's also inevitable. 

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland July 30, 2012 - 1:00pm

Loved the title. Loved the narrative. The story had a great sense of flow. And the end gave me goosbumbs. Litterally. Job well done

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland July 30, 2012 - 1:01pm

Loved the title. Loved the narrative. The story had a great sense of flow. And the end gave me goosbumbs. Litterally. Job well done

Daniel Cunningham's picture
Daniel Cunningham from East Kilbride, Glasgow, Scotland is reading 'The Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend' Matthew Green August 5, 2012 - 9:54am

Loved it! J-horror/Korean Horror flavour to a tale told in the matter-of-fact Glaswegian voice of the main character - that kind of tone ubiquitous in gloomy existential reflections over pints or fish teas. This added to the veracity and the punch of the revealing last paragraph. A pure belter, in other words.

cdregan's picture
cdregan from outside of Philadelphia is reading The Corrections August 5, 2012 - 8:30pm

Creepy premise! I think it could be more creepy if you tried a version in present tense and show the puddle-thing stalking the narrator in a more intimate moment-by-moment sequence. Right up front, we know he's dead, and he's okay with that. So... so is the reader.

Great voice to your narrator, and the Scottish accent is done just right - not too much of it to become muddy to those of us unfamiliar with it. (I mentioned this to your husband about his of MacSlang - made hiccups to this Yank's reading experience). The voice, however, lessens my investment in the terror taking place. His off-the-cuff comments diffuse the tension and add a lighthearted ease to what could be taut and freaky. 

At the end, the expanse of the thing to all water sources was kind a an existential 'meh' for me... because, well, like the narrator, we're already dead - why should I care? The concept is creepy as hell, and it deserves the right reveal. 

Robert Blake's picture
Robert Blake from Glasgow originally, last wee while Manchester is reading The Sea Hawk (Rafael Sabatini) August 7, 2012 - 6:48am

No so bad by the way. I could imagine this on the BBC at Christmas, back when they used to show the chilling stories for the season.

The patter is spot on, and I like the fact that you have kept the essential Glaswegian humour in your character. I think it would have been wrong, given your ending and the situation to leave that out. Humour in adversity is the sort of thing Scots do, well, maybe not those from Edinburgh, but us from the West. I think the previous commentor misses that. If he thinks how a Brooklyn Wise Guy from the 40s would have handled it, he's on the way

I had no problem with the language, but as I'm from Partick that's to be expected. I could hear the character in my head, one of the big polis from my youth.

Good story

Jean Ritchie's picture
Jean Ritchie August 8, 2012 - 7:38am


First off, sorry for taking so long to reply to all the above. Unfortunately my health isn't great, and between that and Litreactor's apparant allergy to Firefox, this is the first chance I've had to get back on.

Thanks to all of you  for your positive reactions. Apart from a brief time with a shared world messageboard years ago, this is the first time I've put anything up in public, so I was a bit nervous as to how the reactions would go. I'm glad you "enjoyed" it.

I was aware when writing the story that the Glaswegian/Scots tongue might be a problem for those not used to it, so I will put my hands up to softening it a bit. Luckily for me, cops tend to be a bit less broad than some when it comes to speaking! (BTW cd, neither mine,nor my husband's story - Dear green place- is written in slang, Mac or otherwise. Glaswegian is a dialect of Scots, which is an established tongue in it's own right. If  Scots is a slang form of Engish as you imply, then so is American. I'd hope you'd agree that that is not so.)

As Robert pointed out, the humour in the face of adversity thing is very much a part of the Scots psyche - well to be honest, the human psyche - and it just wouldn't have been authentic to set this kind of story in Glasgow without it. I don't know if it made over to the States, but there was a T.V. show called "Taggart" that was made and set in Glasgow, and it pretty much captures the mind set. Especially in the early years, when the character of Taggart was still in it. (The main actor died fairly suddenly about ten to fiften years ago, and they kept the show running under the same name for a long time afterwards.)

Jane - I know what you mean, I really dislike cheap "surprise" endings myself. I prefer the twist ending that has you kicking yourself forever after thinking "why didn't I see that on the first read?" I'm glad the story delivered for you. 

Jonathon - I hope the goosebumps have gone by now, and it's good to know that you found the story had flow. With all that water, I'd have done something wrong if it didn't. ( hides under desk - sorry! ).




Sancho LeStache's picture
Sancho LeStache from El Paso is reading Hunger August 14, 2012 - 12:44pm

I don't know how this had so few readers, it's excellent. The voice was so distinctly Glaswegian, I read it with an accent in my head which I loved in particular. It gave it a uniqueness not many other stories here had. The title's excellent and your monster was a really cool take on a kind of Blob style beast. Great job!

Jean Ritchie's picture
Jean Ritchie August 15, 2012 - 2:55am

Cheers, Sancho. Thanks for your comments. As far as I can tell, everybody who read my story liked something in it, so I'm happy.

I'd intended to take a bigger part in the review process, but it didn't work out that way. Maybe if I'd managed to leave more comments on other people's stories I'd have had more traffic <grin>.