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Pluralized
August 21st, 2014, 02:38 AM
“Who are you?”

Silence. The man’s attention was fixed on the ornate scrollwork above the door which had been brought back from Hungary in the 50s after Hamby’s dad finished up his mission work and finally was allowed back in the states. The carved wood door frame was intricate and old, so they kept a coat of protective shellac on it year-round to protect it from the Texas heat.

Hamby’s ears started ringing like they did in church.

“I’ll ask you once more, then I’m calling the cops,” Hamby said, staring hard at this strange man, whose long black duster and leather boots seemed to be made from the skin of a human. The odd man took his wide-brimmed black hat off, not looking at Hamby, and wiped his brow with a yellowed handkerchief. “I guess you could call me something of an enigma,” he said with a strange jubilance. “Name’s Stanley Piggott.”

Hamby started to slam the door in his face, but something Piggott did gave him pause. The old man had taken several deep breaths and was now crying, staring hard at the space above the front door. Hamby shoved his way out onto the porch to have a look for himself. There above the door was the mark of Chiron, clear as day. Piggott reached out his gloved hand before Hamby could react, and pulled a rope hanging from the sky. Down, down, down, came the swarming black deities; faceless, angry, and so fast Hamby’s soul never had a chance.

LeeC
August 21st, 2014, 03:22 AM
You have a real talent for descriptive and engrossing writing. You also have a penchant for leaving the reader dangling like the rope hanging from the sky :-)


Write on bro,
LeeC

nerdybynature
August 21st, 2014, 10:57 AM
I'm confused yet intrigued at the same time...need more, want more.

Pluralized
August 22nd, 2014, 11:28 PM
This is sort of experimental, and probably fails at what I wanted it to do. In 250 words I wanted to see if I could create an enigmatic character that comes out of nowhere and ruins someone's day. I like obfuscation, but probably could've done more with this.

Thanks to you both for taking the time to read it. :)

escorial
August 23rd, 2014, 12:13 AM
obfuscation..!!....look that one up..but yes man..liked

TKent
August 23rd, 2014, 01:46 AM
Very intriguing. I would love to read a whole story around this :)

Pluralized
August 25th, 2014, 01:40 AM
Thanks for reading, guys.

bazz cargo
December 8th, 2014, 11:36 PM
Ghost Rider? It needs a smell.

I can see this brewing for a while then becoming its true self.

Apex
December 9th, 2014, 12:54 AM
“Who are you?”

Silence. The man’s attention was fixed on the ornate scrollwork above the door which had been brought back from Hungary in the 50s after Hamby’s dad finished up his mission work and finally was allowed back in the states. The carved wood door frame was intricate and old, so they kept a coat of protective shellac on it year-round to protect it from the Texas heat.

Hamby’s ears started ringing like they did in church.

“I’ll ask you once more, then I’m calling the cops,” Hamby said, staring hard at this strange man, whose long black duster and leather boots seemed to be made from thick leather. The odd man took his wide-brimmed black hat off, not looking at Hamby, and wiped his brow with a yellowed handkerchief. “I guess you could call me something of an enigma,” he said with a strange jubilance. “Name’s Stanley Piggott.”

Hamby started to slam the door in his face, but something Piggott did gave him pause. The old man had taken several deep breaths and was now crying, staring hard at the space above the front door. Hamby shoved his way out onto the porch to have a look for himself. There above the door was the mark of Chiron, clear as day. Piggott reached out his gloved hand before Hamby could react, and pulled a rope hanging from the sky. Down, down, down, came the swarming black deities; faceless, angry, and so fast Hamby’s soul never had a chance.

I see the feeling you are trying to put here. The start of a story needs to be a big hook. Pull the reader in, and make them have to read more to find out what the story is about, and at the same time, tell them what type of a story it is. Do not give much detail...let the story build that.
After the first hook, change the scene to a different place, and time, and make is soft, and comfortable...it is then you slowly let the first hook slip back in, by giving background detail about the sign of Chiron, or something to that effect.

Here is an example of how a short hook could work:

“Who are you?” said Hamby. The man took his hat off, and wiped his brow. My name is Stanley Piggott.”
Hamby started to close the door, but it would not move. The man pointed at the space above the door. “It bears the mark of Chiron. Good bye to you,” he grinned, as he cut a hole in time with his finger. Out poured the swarm of human faced creatures. Their stink blistered Hamb’y skin, and blinded him.

ChrisChandler00
December 11th, 2014, 12:17 PM
I enjoyed the character you're building here, interesting read. I think that the 'man's attention' sentence is a bit long-winded and could do with being broken down a little but other than that, I'd say a good job well done.

Optiluiz
December 11th, 2014, 05:33 PM
I liked this one, and it's especially creepy considering it's only 250 words. The only issues I have with it are some repetitive description (like the leather boots) and maybe it could be expanded upon. It all goes by so fast that in the end the reader is left dazed and confused.

I still liked it, though, and if you have any more stories set in this narrative universe I'd love to read them! :D

Mike_550
December 15th, 2014, 07:36 PM
This was interesting and I would like to read a larger more complete work from you. Only thing I can suggest is more dialog, but I guess that's the point to keep it short and intriguing.

EBKMSC
December 18th, 2014, 11:56 AM
i did like it but something about you starting it with dialogue out of nowhere about someone the reader doesn't even know is there feels off to me. but other thn that, well done.

tlchap
February 9th, 2015, 01:00 AM
I liked where this ended up. The dramatic change from reality to fantasy in the end was a nice transition. The only issue I had was that I had no idea what the setting was until the end. Maybe there could be a little more setting description for visualization.

helmac321
February 9th, 2015, 10:00 PM
Hi there!

So this is intriguing stuff, so far. I like that you get right into the dialogue, and describe the characters well, with the reader already able to garner something about the characters from the way they talk, what they wear etc. It's a great case of 'showing not telling' :smile2: You've managed to drop a few hints about the progression and further plotting of the story (I'm guessing this is the start of a much-longer piece?) which does create a definite need to read more. The mark of Chiron? The ornate scrollwork? These details make me want to read more stuff from these world that you've created. Often, your turn of phrase is also lovely, 'Down, down, down, came the swarming black deities; faceless, angry, and so fast Hamby’s soul never had a chance' being my favourite, and a very powerful line to end on.

Just a couple of small points though! You're first sentence (after the 'Silence') runs on very long, to a point that it becomes convoluted to get through. If you'd ended the sentence at 'above the door' you could've expanded on where the door came from in the following sentence, and created tension with a series of smaller, sharper sentences. The next sentence also reads a little 'off'. My recommended re-wording would be something like 'so they kept it coated in a layer of shellac to protect it from the Texas heat.' Just a little point, and it's mostly down to personal preference.

There's a bit of repetition in there too, when it comes to your descriptives, as you describe the boots as being 'leather' when you've already introduced them as being 'leather boots.' 'Black' is also used to describe items of clothing a fair amount too; rather than trying to describe every single thing, it's often better to just leave out any repetitive words as it makes the prose smoother to read.

All in all, I enjoyed this very much, and think with a few very small tweaks this can be great! It has massive potential to be continued, and I certainly think your flair for intrigue and a pretty turn of phrase bode well for any future installments.

I look forward to more of your work :smile2:

Helen

C. S. Danner
February 10th, 2015, 04:30 AM
All I have to say is, if this was the opening of a book, I'd definitely keep reading on. I like the mystery of it, and even with only 250 words you managed to create a rich environment for these characters to come alive in.

Narhval
April 5th, 2015, 12:26 PM
To me this is a really good prologue to grab the readers attention from the very first page allowing you room in the next chapters to divulge secrets one by one. It transports the reader directly into the universe that you are creating and leaves them hungering for more. Would love to read more of this story.

R.Myburgh
April 13th, 2015, 09:06 AM
This is a really good hook and I'm definitely wanting to read more.

I would suggest re-writing a few sentences just for clarity's sake. For example, "The man’s attention was fixed on the ornate scrollwork above the door which had been brought back from Hungary in the 50s after Hamby’s dad finished up his mission work and finally was allowed back in the states." I really like the image here with the mysterious man, but I had to read it three or four times to really make sense of it. Maybe something more along the lines of "The man's attention was fixed on the ornate scrollwork above the door. Hamby's dad had brought it back with him from Hungary after his mission, when he was finally allowed to come back to the states."

Actual content wise though I really dig it. Maybe change "-leather boots seemed to be made from thick leather" though.

Definitely a great beginning for a mystery story.

Kevin
April 13th, 2015, 01:25 PM
whose long black duster and leather boots seemed to be made from thick leather. (?)

Hananas59
April 13th, 2015, 06:42 PM
I find this story very amusing and so so mysterious ...
Just the way I like it ;P

DibzyWordsworth
May 4th, 2015, 04:47 PM
I have one thing to add to this thread...

Please tell me that there's more? :D

neoaptt
May 9th, 2015, 04:55 PM
I enjoyed the way you captivated me by this quick exert. I wonder how you processed your ideas into this succinct exert..

Harper J. Cole
May 9th, 2015, 05:24 PM
"Hamby’s ears started ringing like they did in church."

/\ I liked this line, a nice first hint that something unnatural is happening.

A nice teaser which hints at a larger story behind it (some sort of curse on the door maybe?)

HC

Silence
May 13th, 2015, 05:27 AM
Nice read. Though you kind of gave the ending away by saying the boots look like they where made from human flesh. Instead of saying 'skin of a human' would recommend saying human skin. Less is more and gets rid of two unnecessary words.