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Daniel Brophy's picture

The Ghoul on the Moon

By Daniel Brophy in Scare Us

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Ouija knows all the answers. Weird and mysterious. Surpasses, in its unique results, mind reading, clairvoyance and second sight. It furnishes never failing amusement and recreation for the entire family. As unexplainable as Hindu magic—more intense and absorbingly interesting than a mystery story. Ouija gives you entertainment you have never experienced. It draws the two people using it into close companionship and weaves about them a feeling of mysterious isolation. Unquestionably the most fascinating entertainment for modern people and modern life.


sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres July 3, 2012 - 7:39pm

While I do have a couple things that I would change, overall I really like this story.  It's creepy.  It sets the mood well.  It fits into this challenge perfectly.

I especially love the handful of brief accounts toward the beginning showing past accounts of the ouija board in use.  It sets the stage nicely, leaving you wondering where the story is going, but in an interested way.  It brought to mind the beginning of Magnolia, where a couple stories are briefly told, and then you're left to think about them as the main story unfolds.

Of course, I do have a couple criticisms (don't we all?).  Honestly, I would say take out that first paragraph, the one in italics.  I think it's unnecessary and takes away from the otherwise very interesting start.  In fact, when I first read it, it gave me an instant impression that I would not like the story, and because of this I started reading almost in a slightly disinterested way, having to re-start once I got further into the past accounts that I raved about earlier.

I'm split about the "ghoul on the moon" name.  At one point, it needs to be mysterious, and really, what the hell is a ghoul on the moon?  At the same time, I almost want to hear it come across as some evil person who had died and now is manipulating the little girl.  But then, maybe it is?  It's not like this is Scooby-Doo or James Bond, where the evil villain feels the need to spill his/her guts to the main character.  So, maybe ignore this paragraph like I will yours in italics and continue on undisturbed.

The only other thing that bugged me was the little girl.  Not everything about her, but mainly her voice.  At times, she is innocent and naively brave, but at others her voice sounds like a much older kid.  I guess I'm just saying maybe check over her dialogue and make sure it feels like it's all coming from the same little girl who you originally described.

Honestly, I really do like this story.  I think it has the makings of something great, and I say great job and good luck!

Daniel Brophy's picture
Daniel Brophy from Taunton, MA is reading The Power of One July 4, 2012 - 6:58am

Great point about the italics. Won't even defend it. To be honest, the title and the name of the, I guess, creature of the story was the title of an unmade Ed Wood movie. Guess the title always stuck with me. And with Missy's voice, I shall check that again. Since I'm not a little girl, it's hard to right one. Thank you, sir.

Andrew Kelly's picture
Andrew Kelly from Florida is reading Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton July 3, 2012 - 8:11pm

This is one of those stories that don't need the killing to make it creepy. I thought it was great right up until the killing started. The killing took away from the story. Sadly, it's part of the requirements for this challenge.

I'd have loved to see more interaction between tGotM and the girl; more dialog and maybe some real answers. If you take away the italics as Sean suggested - I agree, they're more detrimental than helpful (but, I didn't hate them) - you have about 1400 words to play with. More fun could be had!

Daniel Brophy's picture
Daniel Brophy from Taunton, MA is reading The Power of One July 4, 2012 - 7:00am

I agree with both your points. More interaction, the italics go. Thanks, sir.

Tmar78's picture
Tmar78 July 4, 2012 - 4:43am

Overall a great idea, creepy as shit once the story got going. There are a few things that I think need rewriting, especially the last scene, which I found a bit over the top. For me there's a big difference between horror and splatter. Blood soaked scenes do not necceserily induce horror in the reader, you usually find them disgusting or revolting. If you're aiming for to envoke shudder and goosebumps, scaring the reader, I find that sometimes less is more.

Daniel Brophy's picture
Daniel Brophy from Taunton, MA is reading The Power of One July 4, 2012 - 7:00am

Holy shit. Thanks, sir. Wasn't expecting annotations like that. I shall take them all to hear. Thanks, again.

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks July 6, 2012 - 2:14am

hmm, I thought I had commented on this one but it doesn't look like it. I hope I didn't post your comments to someone else's story! I too found the little girl's voice less than authentic, but unlike some of the others, I liked how the story started out so dispassionately. When the story finally did get going, though, it reminded me more of a campfire tale than anything else. You COULD try to work on the little girl to make her more realistic, or you COULD instead try to make the whole thing even more cartoony. I agree with Andrew that it worked better before all the gore. I loved the ghoul on the moon himself. I think he has a great name!

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