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SoulBoulder's picture


By SoulBoulder in Scare Us

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A wife is accidentally smothered by her obese husband during intercourse. While her young son tries to save her, he does more harm instead. All the while, degeneratively evolved humans lurk the countryside, sensing their death in the house.    


erricknunnally's picture
erricknunnally July 14, 2012 - 2:08pm

What a bizarre and horrific idea--certainly based on a kernel of truth. Heavy folk have certainly died on top of their loved ones. I think this story suffers both from the unusual use of present tense, disjointed character development, and some random atmospheric stuff. Just when we get a glimpse of the boy, he's done and used only as a device to further the body horror being inflicted on the mother. There lies a gold mine of personal suffering! I believe, however, that the suffering was too far from what might be believable--especially the ending. I never quite understood the 'others' that were alluded to, it was far too oblique.

The writing certainly gets the point across, but there are some liberties taken that distract from the story. Spelling 'momma' as "moma" for instance, referring to the mother as "girl" implies a much younger person, and right at the beginning of the story starting sentences with 'and' or 'but' too often.

There are great stories and movies produced where the main character is trapped, this could be one of them with more consistent narrative revision to let us really roll with the trapped woman's thoughts and struggles. A few drafts and revisions from a like-minded reading group will go a long way!

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks July 14, 2012 - 9:44pm

This story is so creepy it actually made me queasy. The desperation is incredibly vivid and powerful. I'm not sure what to make of it literally, like who exactly the red-eyed creatures are, but it really doesn't matter. They're a sort of manifestation of all of the desperation taking place in the story.

Brad's picture
Brad from Australia is reading Speculative Fiction Quarterlies July 15, 2012 - 9:19pm

Hi there.


Some LBL stuff attached but after the midway point I think most of my feedback would have been reptitive.

Good stuff: Some nice imagery/descriptions. Your attempt at making the reader feel uneasy/scared is effective with some of your metaphors and similies. The sense of being "trapped" in the early scenes is effective.


Bad stuff: Very hard to follow. Viewpoint changing constantly without any indication. There is a lot of passive voice as well as sentences which don't make sense because of the incorrect subject. See my LBL for examples.

Too many sentences starting with And, But, Or and However.

I think in a few places you are assuming too much of the reader to fill in gaps and it's really not obvious what's happening.


If you do a revision, let me know I'd be happy to re-review.