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Alexander Jones's picture


By Alexander Jones in Scare Us

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A socially awkward teenager finds help from a unique source.


lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles July 2, 2012 - 10:21am

I think this story could be at least twice as long. I want more of Johnny, more proof that he's awkward (beyond just looking a little unfortunate and wetting his pants), and more description of his "powers." Is he making these deaths happen? Does he have a guardian angel? It's unclear. And most does he FEEL about this turn of events? 

WesFord's picture
WesFord from America (CO, NE, NC, AK, NY, WA) is reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, Portable Atheist by Hitchens, 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill July 2, 2012 - 12:37pm

I'm with Lauren on this piece. There's a lot of opportunity to explore Jonny's world, mentality, and bring the reader to the realization that he's an outcast.

I was also confused by the deaths. Does he have power? A "guardian angel"? Is any of this really happening or has he created a delusional world that he lives in?

Even the 5 kids in the car from another town, there's a great opportunity to tell us more about them. Make us hate them like Jonny feels the need to or sympathize with them for just being stupid kids out and about who said the wrong thing to the wrong person.

There's some decent writing here and by all means keep working on it. It has potential to crawl into our brains and sleep there.

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres July 4, 2012 - 12:50am

I like this, it's Carrie-ish, but different enough to hold the attention of a horror nerd like myself.  That being said, it's just too damn short.  

Show more about Jonny and why he is so awkward, give little details that us "awkward" kids can relate to when thinking back to how bad high school sucked.  I think this would go a long way to helping us feel for the character (not that we don't already).  Is he the kid still wearing clothes his mom picks out for him in the morning?  What was his speech going to be about?  Is he the kid who anyone and everyone should root for (the classic underdog "nerd") or is he the weird kid who you are convinced will grow up to be either an internet-based millionaire or a serial killer?

Ispieller and AssholeAmerican both ask about the source of the powers, and I'll third that notion.  If it is an outer being that is doing the killing, give a bit more detail that it is (you can still keep it creepy & somewhat mysterious if you do it right). But if it's something that is coming from inside of Jonny, that's a whole other story.  Show us if he's terrified of it, or confused by it, or if he loves it from the first sign of it.  But whatever the case, delve into that a bit more.  

You have room (word-wise) to work within the rules of the challenge, so don't sell this story short.  It's good, and with more detail it could be great.  I truly believe there is a lot of potential here.

(edited because I spelled poor Jonny's name wrong the first time around)

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks July 7, 2012 - 6:39am

I liked the story idea and I liked the basic perspective, from just a bit outside Jonny, looking in on him. I didn't at all buy that these kids were 14, though. They act more like they're 9 or 10.