View Full Version : The Dark Passage (Full) 3402 words

September 14th, 2015, 09:54 PM
Thanks for everyone's feedback :)

Harper J. Cole
September 19th, 2015, 05:58 PM
Some good imagery here; perhaps it could be expanded to show a bit more of how the Shades operate: specifically, why was Harry susceptible to their machinations? Perhaps through some error in his past ...

I did find it a bit odd that he didn't tell anyone else what was going on, however. An experience that bizarre, I would think he would share.

All in all, though, a good example of the genre.


September 20th, 2015, 05:39 AM
Hey Harper, thanks for the kind reply.

I'm honestly not sure why Harry was "chosen", or susceptible to the manipulations of the Shades. Most of my short stories lately have been about "Incidents/Encounters", or just Drag Races where something happens and the story is the chronicle of what transpired. In this instance, I may have had some inkling in mind that this happened to Harry perhaps because he was mentally weary, or worn down from the monotony of life, and thus his mental state was "semi-transparent" in the sense that for him reality was thin in some places, and he wasn't even aware of it until his Shade targeted him. The other explanation for his being targeted was that his Shade was some Uber-figure like a High Priest or something in their reality.

The story was originally just meant to be "oh my f***ing god there's a hole in reality and now I'm in some dystopian wasteland!" and I wasn't sure exactly what was going to transpire once Harry started going their regularly. It just evolved a bit and slowly came up with the doppelganger/shade idea.

One of the stranger and in my opinion unique traits of this is that the dialogue is non-existent. I brought in Reid to briefly touch on the fact that Harry was crying out for help, but wasn't sure how much it would take away from the theme. That is, Harry spills it all to Reid and then starts seeing a shrink, Reid is there more often and acts as support. Part of the reason that didn't happen was I felt if I were Harry and told a friend about being treated to an evil version of Wonderland for real, my friend or whoever I told might think I had some serious issues, might commit me, or just think I had straight up gone off the deep end. All these things as I write, I'm halfway thinking they wouldn't be bad ideas to add, again, just not sure how much it would divert attention away from the main theme, the reality melting I'm in another reality type scenario. Totally open to hear your thoughts, for all I know this could evolve into something bigger.

September 23rd, 2015, 01:24 AM
"He felt that he was in the same spot every time he came here. He couldn’t be sure of that however. The light had never good enough until now. His horrified gaze drank in his surroundings. The features of the landscape were all smoothed and curved, and contained a distorted quality. It was as though everything here had been whole once, and was now changed forever. The landscape was all smooth and curves, while having this look that everything was about to melt."

You mentioned the landscape was all smooth and curves twice with only a sentence inbetween. Not sure if it bothered anyone else, using the exact wording twice so close. Other than that, great story! I normally get bored if I haven't read a brief description of a book or passage (the back lol), as I don't really know where anything is headed. I don't know what to expect. For once, I enjoyed not knowing. I truly had no idea what was going to happen next, and that's incredibly rare for me. I actually wish there was more to read.

September 23rd, 2015, 08:26 AM
That's definitely slipped by me. What I do alot when editing is I start from the beginning of a paragraph, read it, and if my subcounscious goes into auto-correct mode I go back to the beginning and while leaving the original paragraph intact, write out how it "should" look. Then I compare the two side by side, feeling out the better sentence(s). Guess I forgot to delete that one :p

THANKS Savalric! I'm really glad you enjoyed the story, and it left you wanting for more. I'm not sure if it's a fault of mine, or it's what I've taken from Stephen King perhaps, but the whole "horror short stories" is something I've been leaning a bit more heavily into. Dunno if that says I'm a slacker and don't want put the necessary time into REALLY developing a story, or like King I enjoy leaving a good cliffhanger, which this ending was and was not since you could guess what happens next combined with the Unhappy Ending factor.

I actually did have some thoughts about adding more to the story, perhaps midway about through where the Shade would have already come into the Skin World and explored on his own in the real world. All Harry would notice is some missing clothes and people saying he was in two places at once. Not sure how much it would detract if any from the horror theme, if at all. Gonna have to let that idea ferment some today and see if anything juicy comes up :)