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Morgan Goss's picture

The Artist

By Morgan Goss in Scare Us

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An Artist wants to change the world and is going to use a student from his basement academy to help him fix all of the problems.


shabai44's picture
shabai44 from Spring Hope, NC is reading na July 30, 2012 - 4:54pm

Hot Damn! This is the best I've read so far. It moved forward at a great pace, and your characters were impeccable. Well written and well edited. Quick, concise, and elegant. You should be very proud!

Shawn I.'s picture
Shawn I. from New York is reading Important Things That Don't Matter August 1, 2012 - 11:36am

Nice work. Ominous and unnerving. Can't offer much in terms of constructive criticism.The sentence, "The police thinks that he does the art." Sounds a bit off to me. I think 'creates' instead of 'does' may work better. And if anything, I'd like to know a little more about the post-killing art displays. Thanks for sharing.

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Consider Phlebas, by Iain Banks August 1, 2012 - 4:36pm

Really interesting story. I thought the ending felt a bit pat and engineered, but I love the premise, and you really write well.

leah_beth's picture
leah_beth from New Jersey - now in Charleston, SC is reading five different books at once. August 7, 2012 - 9:58am

Well, that was different, wasn't it?

In a good way, though. I actually really like that I'm NOT sure if the narrator is the artist or could really go either way, at least in my head.

I think some of the language could be strengthened - check your noun/pronoun agreement and all that.

But seriously - nice and clever idea. And...also pretty gross.  Mmm...innards...shouldn't have read THIS one while eating tomato soup...  :)

Ben Currier's picture
Ben Currier from North Lake Tahoe is reading First as Tragedy then as Farce August 8, 2012 - 8:10pm

That was a ride. The story had an interesting premise.  I loved your characters.  They fit in well and none were without importance to the story.  

The scene in which you have the Righteuos Woman hang herself blew me away. To hang for your God and not be saved is a hell hard to imagine but a death experienced by so many. I think a little more concrete detail would go a long way, But great story never the less.  Thanks for posting it.

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres August 14, 2012 - 3:01pm

Nice.  I like this story, it sets itself apart from some of the others.  Something about the fact that the characters don't have names, only titles, makes it that much creepier, like they're so unimportant to the Artist that they don't even get the respect of a personal name.  

And great ending too.  It makes me walk away from it still thinking about it, trying to put the pieces together.  

I'm not sure we need so much description of the city setting at the beginning though.  You have a great hook at the start, those three sentences grab me and make me curious.  But then it's a bit of an info-dump talking about the city.  Maybe drop a little of that, or squeeze it in further along?  It's not bad enough that it distracted me, but with such a great start, it just made me wish I was into the scene quicker.

Overall, very good.  Keep it up!

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland August 14, 2012 - 5:25pm

"The Artist" is real good. You hooked me with the opening lines and that is always tricky. So thumbs up just for that. The ending was great too. I love the line about the righteous woman painting a picture of Jesus cutting off the head of the Artist, Brilliant. I never really sympathized with the narrarotor but i loved to hate her( i hope that is what you were going for) and the fact that i did made the ending that much more rewarding for me. If you take seans advice about cutting a little of the city setting, I would be intresting a greater picture of this cave like basement and maybe a little more discription of some of the art that has been placed arround the victims, but that is just me nit-picking. Great Job!



Ethan Cooper's picture
Ethan Cooper from Longview, TX is reading The Kill Room, Heart-Shaped Box, Dr. Sleep August 18, 2012 - 7:56pm


Very disturbing story. Nicely plotted, all tied up with a Tale From the Crypt-ish ending.

I'd agree that you can cut some of the scene setting and go into more detail about the basement.

I'll echo Jonathan here: the Righteous Woman's painting thing is great. An awesome foreshadowing moment that works really well. You might consider making that painting actually be of the protagonist killing the artist--something they only realize at the end after they've done exactly what the painting depicts.

Two things stuck out at me. First, was the commentary on the Righteous Woman. I'd recommend cutting some of the direct commentary on her actions/character and instead illustrate it to us. Saying things like "Essentially, she was a poacher" becomes more commentary than illustrating her misguided ways.

Second is, while I think still fits plot-wise, it's hard to totally believe that the artist would just let himself be killed. I think that could use a little more explanation. Sure, the artist could just be flat out insane, but it would be even more disturbing if he's fulfilling some other purpose. The Neighbor certainly throws out some comspiracy theories, but there's no real credence given to them.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Thumbs up from me!