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bluemidget
April 16th, 2015, 12:12 PM
Hi everyone. After listening to a radio documentary about the history of hollow earth through literature and legend, I got to thinking about an explorer from the victorian era, lost in some ancient underground cave system (!) Original I know.. ha ha :) Critique of any kind is welcome.



The creature before me was like nothing man had ever seen before. I had to shake my head in order to believe my eyes. It was human like in appearance but there was a strangeness to it that was not of this world. It stood easily seven feet tall and had long, cadaverous limbs and a ghastly, death-like pallor upon its face. Its large, terrible green eyes were emotionless. The thing was completely hairless. I kept still, hoping it wouldn't notice me. Id never been so terrified in all my thirty seven years. I was beginning to regret embarking upon this disasterous expedition.

Inevitably it saw me. We looked at each other for what seemed like forever. I remained still. The sound of my heart beating was unbearable. Du-DUM, Du-DUM, Du-DUM Suddenly it leaned its head toward me and produced a screech so monstrous that I fell backwards. I gasped and threw my hand out to break my fall and saw that I had landed at the feet of two more of them. I opened my mouth again to scream but they beat me to it. The noise. Oh, the dreadful noise they made. I shall never be able to forget it for as long as I live. I tried as best I could to put the sound of the screams out of my mind so I could make a run for it but my legs would not move. I was paralysed with terror. I was exhausted too, the heat down there was incredible and I was breathing heavily. I managed to get to my knees when a large hand reached down and grabbed my hair and pulled me up. I winced. For such gangly beings they were in possession of great physical strength.


All three now confronted me. Escape seemed impossible. What meagre energy I had left was no match for my captors, who were now closing in on me, crowding me. I could feel their disgusting, leathery flesh pressing against my face and to my horror I realised that there were more of them! Their hideous screams earlier must have raised some sort of alarm as now creatures were appearing from all directions. The air was thick with a pungent smell, I began to panic for fear of being trampled. Bony fingers and elbows pushed and prodded me from all sides. I pushed back but I was too weak, I was done for. I felt myself collapse into the horde but by sheer luck was jostled back onto my feet. I knew if I went down, I would never come back up. I managed three or four steps trying desperately to keep my balance, all the while suffocating under the intense heat. Wherever they were marching to, they were taking me with them.

Hananas59
April 16th, 2015, 03:43 PM
mmmmh very interesting scene ;)

I really like how these creatures are acting, they seem to be realistic, and the scene itself fits perfectly together, especially with a context. I really want to see how you let this story revolve into something bigger and I think it will be worth the whole way :)

R. Mountebank
April 16th, 2015, 04:26 PM
Really cool.
Kind of Lovecraft-ian. I liked the flow and pace. Would like to read more.

Cheers

bluemidget
April 17th, 2015, 12:48 PM
Thanks for the positive comment guys :) I'd like it to be a longer piece, I'll have something to work on over the weekend now :D

Eliot Gilbert
April 22nd, 2015, 01:17 AM
Seconding the Lovecraft vibe to it. I love reading about indescribable horrors, and I think yours fits in the convention well. I would love to read more, so I hope you continue on with it.

I have one suggestion.
It was human like in appearance should be "human-like". Since it's supposed to be otherworldly, too, I think you could even get away with a single word. "humanlike". It's creepier in my opinion.

Regardless, great work!

SethVonDoom
May 1st, 2015, 03:41 AM
Very nice, this was a good piece that was a good, creepy quick read.

bluemidget
May 1st, 2015, 05:22 PM
cheers Eliot & cheers Seth (cool name BTW :D) The positive comments really help. I'm currently re-writing and trying to flesh it out into a larger piece.

Silence
May 13th, 2015, 05:19 AM
Good read. Like the cliff hanger. Would like to see how it ends.

Aliandra
May 25th, 2015, 10:07 PM
Very nice language, descriptive but not over-kill. Horror's not my thing but this is suspense-full, makes me want to know more details and read what happens next! Good luck, but all in all, a good start, I think.

ThunderMack78
May 26th, 2015, 12:57 AM
If I want to read more, than I know it's good. Honestly, this is a fantastic scene, and very well written.

Aspirant Wordificer
May 31st, 2015, 01:31 AM
This was a really enjoyable read, bluemidget, thanks for posting it and I too would like to read more of this tale. One thing I think would make the mood feel more visceral, which I deem as the tone you're going for here, would be to remove the word 'Inevitably' from the second paragraph and just have it as 'It saw me'. Gives it a bit of a sudden smack to the senses, I think. But, really good stuff, well done.

hhourani
May 31st, 2015, 04:01 PM
Really fun read. I too, would like to know what happens!

One word I normally try to omit is "suddenly".

Might be personal preference, but that word prepares the reader to something sudden, thereby making the thing not so sudden anymore.


Suddenly it leaned its head toward me and produced a screech so monstrous that I fell backwards.

I would make this into: It leaned its head towards me and screeched. The sound was so monstrous that I fell backwards. Again, might be personal preference, but I think it's good to catch readers off guard where possible. Makes the suspense thicker!

Didier2nd
May 31st, 2015, 05:46 PM
The creature before me was like nothing man had ever seen before. I had to shake my head in order to believe my eyes. It was human like in appearance but there was a strangeness to it that was not of this world. It stood easily seven feet tall and had long, cadaverous limbs and a ghastly, death-like pallor upon its face. Its large, terrible green eyes were emotionless. The thing was completely hairless. I kept still, hoping it wouldn't notice me. Id never been so terrified in all my thirty seven years. I was beginning to regret embarking upon this disastrous expedition.





Loved this piece, the first few paragraphs either catch me or I move on. This definitely made me want to read on.

Just one thought, could you build the suspense at the very start by switching things around a little:

I kept still, hoping it wouldn't notice me. Id never been so terrified in all my thirty seven years.

The creature before me.... etc.

Like I said, loved the piece and would read more! Feel free to ignore pickiness of my comment.

DDII

Brian A Seals
June 2nd, 2015, 09:33 PM
Hey bluemidget;

Good stuff and thanks for sharing. I would make one suggestion, as to the style of what you've posted here so far. I would separate your sound effect, that reads: "Du-DUM, Du-DUM, Du-DUM…" from the body of the paragraph, where you have it now. Try giving that it's own line of text and italicizing it. That way, it's very clear to the reader what's going on, so that they're in a better position to "hear" it.

bilz346
June 3rd, 2015, 02:37 AM
Hey Bluemidget. I don't have anything else to add that wasn't already said by the others, except for this. I love your profile picture. Now that's the way the Iron Throne is supposed to look. The show's version is weak.

Brian.

bluemidget
June 4th, 2015, 04:12 PM
Thank you kindly for all your comments and critiques guys :) I write these little bits and pieces just for fun so any advice at all is very much appreciated.

Totally agree about the Iron Throne Brian :D

Dove
June 11th, 2015, 01:09 PM
Nice. Though there's pieces that could be added to give it depth.

The creature before me was like nothing man had ever seen before. I had to shake my head in order to believe my eyes. It was human like in appearance but there was a strangeness to it that was not of this world. It stood easily seven feet tall and had long, cadaverous limbs and a ghastly, death-like pallor upon its face. It’s large, terrible green eyes were emotionless. The thing was completely hairless. I kept still, hoping it wouldn't notice me. I’d never been so terrified in all my thirty seven years. I was beginning to regret embarking upon this disasterous expedition.

I could feel my heart beating like a hummingbird's wings against the cage of my ribs. If I expired right here, right now, I wouldn't be surprised. Never before had I seen anything like this. I doubted anyone else had. The fact that it stood on two legs was the only similarity between it and a human. If I was any guess it stood 7 feet tall with long limbs that reminded me of a daddy long legs. It's hairless skin was so pale it was almost translucent. The others had warned me of seeing things. Movement out of the corner of their eyes as they explored the XX -- [tunnel]. I thought they were pulling my leg. They knew deep down, beneath the tough expire, I was something of a scaredy cat. Maybe I was hallucinating. Doc had given me a new drug to help with the coughing. Carefully I pinched myself but even as pain blossomed and tears gathered the apparition remained.

LizzAquarian
June 11th, 2015, 05:46 PM
I was captivated by these beings. I would have liked some more description of them, particularly the scream. Was it a screech? Could our character compare it to something else she may have heard where she is from? Just some ideas to draw me further into the grotesque nature of these beasts. I agree with the pacing as well. A nice read.

passtheremote
June 12th, 2015, 09:14 PM
Have to agree, with what everyone else on here is saying, very well written, would like to see more, and yeah a lot more description of the monsters, but well done so far

jambleshiroshima
September 2nd, 2015, 12:39 AM
Such amazing description! In my English 101 class we've been talking a lot about imagery, so what a perfect time for this piece to come across my plate! I can see nothing wrong with your story whatsoever, but if I had to pick anything that put me a tad off I would say it was this:


Du-DUM, Du-DUM, Du-DUM… - Everything else that you write here is so eloquently put that it kind of pains me to see this slapped in there such as it is. There is nothing wrong with onomatopoeia, but that doesn't mean there's a whole lot right with it. Everything else here is so amazing that this just seems elementary in comparison.

Loved it, (in case ya didn't catch that!), and I would love to find out what happens next!

Best of luck!

Bjrn U. B.
September 29th, 2015, 01:56 PM
Hey!
Nice little story. It reminded me of Lovecraft's "The Beast In The Cave". Have you read a lot of Lovecraft stuff? At times your style reminds me of his work (in a positive way of course). The image of the monsters work. What I'd suggest though is to invest more time in building the setting. If you hadn't mentioned before that the action takes place in a cave, I wouldn't have known. Describing the surroundings could make the reader feel even more uncomfortable. Keep writing!

Best, Bjrn

Monaco Bennice
October 5th, 2015, 05:06 AM
I am very curious to find out what these creatures are. If they have a human-like appearance, I assumed they were intelligent beings as well. Though you didn't add a description about the setting, I immediately imagined this taking place in another world in a jungle/forest environment. This scene made me want to know about the outside world. Looking forward to the next piece!

Jcrazy99
October 6th, 2015, 04:09 AM
I liked it a lot. There was one thing I noticed, you seemed to use many of the same words in the starting of your sentences such as "I" or "It". Idk if anyone noticed, but the first thing I did when I looked at it was see a bunch of the letters "I" for every sentence. But it was great to read and interesting.. Just saying what I noticed incase it helps any. Have fun.

Rabber
October 12th, 2015, 11:35 PM
That was a good piece. The story you are working on sounds interesting. I hope you post more of it later.

Phury
October 22nd, 2015, 04:34 PM
Good stuff. You nailed the flow and pace of the writing, I never found myself going back to re-read a sentence, would love to see some more of this.

Amnesiac
October 22nd, 2015, 05:34 PM
Personally, I would go with humanoid rather than the more unwieldy human like, human-like, or humanlike JMHO... Enjoyed the piece.

Maxton
November 27th, 2015, 05:24 AM
Fantastic scene! I found my self wanting to know more about them and were they were taking him.

One thing I would think about. "What meagre energy I had left was no match for my captors, who were now closing in on me, crowding me" Now my thoughts are pertaining to, "closing in on me, crowding me." It might just be me, and I am a total and complete novice. However it feels like you are simply saying the same thing twice but with different words. Maybe describe how they were crowding him.

Closing in on me, surrounding me on all sides. Quickly they were upon me and I found my self in the middle of a great throng of them.

MrTiggles
December 13th, 2015, 06:10 AM
I agree with some of the others, not really fond of the "Du-DUM, Du-DUM, Du-DUM" part, I feel like it downgrades the tension of your piece.

Other than that it was a great read. Good luck :)

Albert Raziel
December 13th, 2015, 03:56 PM
I liked it a lot and I understand that the "Du-DUM" part may seems out of place, but I found it a nice touch. Made me think of the rush that comes with fear.

Also I would enjoy reading more of it. So please let me know if you continue writing this story. Good luck in your future endeavours.

keepyourheadup
July 25th, 2016, 03:21 PM
I'm going to repeat what others have said and just say I really get a Lovecraftian vibe from this and I love it!
I disagree on not liking the heartbeat, I think it adds a bit of a personal touch. Or... well, it's hard to describe, but it definitely makes me emphasize with the character more. It might just be me, but I envision them as someone from a rather haughty upbringing, thrown into whatever horror this is (okay I admit it, I was sort of visualizing Jane from Tarzan...), and the heartbeat thing just kinda brought home the mood for me. I think maybe it needs to be separated though, whether on a different line or as its own paragraph or whatever.

ANYWAY, other than that, I don't have much to say really.

I'm very excited to see where you take this!

Hello Writing
August 30th, 2016, 12:29 AM
Suspense is my kind of book, I loved how her physical troubles were so deeply described and how mystery was thrown in there to keep me reading... I'd love to know what happens next and the story of these monsters... Very Well Written ;-)

Infel
September 14th, 2016, 02:55 AM
Thank goodness the writing makes it sound like he lived long enough to jot it down in his notebook! Its creepy in a good way, and it has just enough air of academic about it to make me believe the character. I really liked it!

stevew84
September 22nd, 2016, 03:20 PM
Hi everyone. After listening to a radio documentary about the history of hollow earth through literature and legend, I got to thinking about an explorer from the victorian era, lost in some ancient underground cave system (!) Original I know.. ha ha :) Critique of any kind is welcome.



The creature before me was like nothing man had ever seen before. I had to shake my head in order to believe my eyes. It was human like in appearance but there was a strangeness to it that was not of this world. It stood easily seven feet tall and had long, cadaverous limbs WITH a ghastly, death-like pallor upon its face. Its large, terrible green eyes were emotionless. The thing was completely hairless. I kept still, hoping it wouldn't notice me. Id never been so terrified in all my thirty seven years. I was beginning to regret embarking upon this disasterous expedition.

Inevitably it saw me. We looked at each other for what seemed like forever. I remained still. The sound of my heart beating was unbearable. Du-DUM, Du-DUM, Du-DUM Suddenly it leaned its head toward me and produced a screech so monstrous that I fell backwards. I gasped and threw my hand out to break my fall and saw that I had landed at the feet of two more of them. I opened my mouth again to scream but they beat me to it. The noise. Oh, the dreadful noise they made. I shall never be able to forget it for as long as I live. I tried as best I could to put the sound of the screams out of my mind so I could make a run for it but my legs would not move. I was paralysed with terror. I was exhausted too, the heat down there was incredible and I was breathing heavily. I managed to get to my knees when a large hand reached down and grabbed my hair and pulled me up. I winced. For such gangly beings they were in possession of great physical strength.


All three now confronted me. Escape seemed impossible. What meagre energy I had left was no match for my captors, who were now closing in on me, crowding me. I could feel their disgusting, leathery flesh pressing against my face and to my horror I realised that there were more of them! Their hideous screams earlier must have raised some sort of alarm as now creatures were appearing from all directions. The air was thick with a pungent smell, I began to panic for fear of being trampled. Bony fingers and elbows pushed and prodded me from all sides. I pushed back but I was too weak, I was done for. I felt myself collapse into the horde but by sheer luck was jostled back onto my feet. I knew if I went down, I would never come back up. I managed three or four steps trying desperately to keep my balance, all the while suffocating under the intense heat. Wherever they were marching to, they were taking me with them.
No issues with the writing, but I did make one suggestion in red.

My only issue is that with all of the description of the creature, we have no indication where the narrator is located. I imagined him outside somewhere when he mentioned the expedition but I'm not sure about that.