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Toastie.



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Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:14 am
ghostie says...



The night was still. Nobody would have noticed if someone froze time. The only thing that signalled life was still alive was the swish swash of trees. They were silhouettes against the cheese bitten moon. Swaying to and fro. Switching the moon’s silvery blaze off and on and off again. Unknown things roamed the night. They were the shadow monsters in nightmares. Reaching out in hopes of gobbling your innocent dreams up. Chasing you in a whirlwind labyrinth. They were the kings and queens, ruling this ghastly night. It was their time to reign.

No creature alive dared to oppose to this. The humans were safe inside their so-called haven houses, not wanting to experience their darkest nightmares transform into reality. They resorted to classic Disney bedtime stories or fairytales to calm their itching nerves down. Even though they knew the happily ever afters and Prince Charmings were all just lies, they conformed to it so their beloved tales would rid their impudent minds of the actual tale lurking in the sinister night. The dark side of all fairytales. The silly humans were ignorant to the ominous, more horrific truth that lay out there. They thought it was too deeply hidden in the midst of the trees, too far to reach the safety of their homes to seize them. And they were right, for once.

The dark lurkers, or paranormals to some, wouldn’t be so dense to attack an unwilling victim in his or her own home. They only went for the vulnerable fools, the ones thoughtless enough to wander these tranquil streets alone tonight. If you were sober, you would not dare to break the deafening silence. That would only lure the shadowy creatures out, you would think. But then again, if you were sober, you wouldn’t be here at all. You would be in the protection of your home. If you were drunk however, that was a different matter entirely. And there so happened to be a few brainless drunkards at a party this cruel night. The teenagers were drinking away like they were immune to danger.

The insolent humans did not know that a paranormal was waiting for them this very night. She, specifically, waited in the safety of the darkness for a stray drunkard to stagger into the lifeless streets. As a paranormal being, you would have many advantages over the weak humans. Like enhanced hearing and acute vision. There didn’t seem to be any disadvantages to the human eye but there was one. Nobody thought about the eternal ravenous beast raging inside the body day and night, forever wanting to be tamed. If a pathetic human was offered the chance of immortality, they would not think about the beast and it was only natural. Humans could not help resisting their lust for life and timeless beauty. And the paranormals could not help the desires growling deep inside of them. The beast thirsted for the sweet succulent juice pumping zealously through the dancing bodies. What we call blood.

The thump, thump, thumpings was as clear as day in the paranormal’s ears though she stood a few streets down. It would seem like the paranormal was right there at the party. Heavy beats vibrated underground like a roaring train passing by. Riotous shouts and screams were erupting from the house, begging for the paranormals to come. But the paranormals were patient. They were the ones who waited for the humans to come. Through all the thunderous noises the humans made, one noise stuck out for the paranormal to be heard, the sound of a group of friends ready to leave for home. All of them got into a car, clearly too drunk to drive but they went in anyway. One lone girl opposed. She was smart enough to know that driving drunk was way too dangerous. But yet, she was drunk enough to let her friends speed off into the night.

The drunken girl was ignorant like all the rest of them but she made the worst mistake of her life tonight. No, it wasn’t letting her friends drive home drunk, it was her walking home alone in a deserted street. The icy breeze kissed her cheeks and she gulped as much as she could down, trying to numb her hammering head. The only sounds echoing into the night sky was the girl’s grunts and groans. She didn’t hear or see the human shaped figure following behind her. No one could blame her, as she was only a human. But you could blame her for ignoring all the warning signs on the local news channel to not go out late at night.

The approaching figure stayed close to the shadows, a few steps behind. She could close her paranormal eyes and still be able to follow the girl as the beatings of blood being pumped feverishly inside the naïve girl was enough. It flowed in the drunken girl’s veins and arteries - to her heart and back continuously. The creature licked her lips, razor-sharp pointed teeth pricking her tongue. She was using all her might to keep the beast inside of her under control, just for the moment. Finally the drunkard stumbled around a corner, where a local junkyard was, clutching her stomach. She only had to pause for a second.

“Toastie.” The paranormal smiled.

And leapt.
TWO BY TWO, HANDS OF BLUE.
  





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Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:46 am
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Ranger Hawk says...



Hi ghostie! Hawk here for a review.

This was a very enjoyable piece to read - and I mean enjoyable in the bone-chilling, skin-tingling sort of way that you get after reading a particularly creepy story. Your descriptions were beautiful and a lot of them felt very fresh and new, not the cliché sayings to describe typical settings. You did a fantastic job of blending a detached narrative tone with the isolated event of one girl, and I applaud you for it.

There was only one part of the story that didn't seem to flow as well; that was the explanation of the paranormals desiring blood. It's not that it's bad, it's just that, in comparison to the rest of your story, it feels weaker. I felt like the story went on a tangent that didn't connect solidly to the rest of the narrative, by bringing up the fact that humans want eternal life - I got the point you were trying to make after re-reading it, but I feel like you could make this a more seamless description. Perhaps not going on about how paranormals have a sort of "weakness" that they succumb to; I thought it took away from the kind of mystique and horror they evoked. If you could reshape the fact into one that emphasizes how bloodthirsty the paranormals are, I think it would make more sense and also give it a stronger, more fearsome appearance.

My only other issue is with the "toastie" part. I didn't quite get what you were implying with it. Is the paranormal talking about the girl being warm and toasty and that somehow it's relevant to the consumption of her?

Well, that's all I've got to say. I wish this review could be more helpful, but you've honestly written a great piece and there's not much I can critique! Let me know if you've got any questions or whatnot about anything I said. Keep up the great work!

Cheers,
~Hawk
There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people:
psychopaths and mystery writers.

I'm the kind that pays better.
~Rick Castle
  





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Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:25 am
Lavvie says...



Hi there ghostie! I remember you telling me once in chat how you liked to write thriller/horror stories. I think this has definitely lived up to that - and scared me a bit! I don't think I should have read this at midnight. ;D

First, I want to make it clear that I'm not so sure I'm in agreement with Ranger Hawk that a detached narrative was the best way to go. I think it became a little more fluid the further one read, but in the beginning I really disliked the detached feeling of it. It just didn't flow well. I came to imagine the paranormals as kind of smooth, gliding, horrifyingly delicate - great and terrible both. Do you know? The detachment of the prose, I felt, just didn't fit well with these creatures of the dark. They're sly and cunning and smooooooth. Like your prose should be. Mostly, it's the first two paragraphs that are rather choppy. The rest was fairly good and lived up to the acceptable writing flow.

Second, I know this is mainly focused on the paranormals and sort of their lifestyle (if you can call it a "lifestyle"). However, I'm curious also about the intoxicated teenagers. More specifically the girl walking alone down the street. There's not much about her and I want more action from her and a few more things describing her physically. Is she disheveled? Is she limp with alcohol? How does she stumble around? Is she maybe still carrying a bottle or can of alcohol? And she mustn't be so intoxicated if she were decline a drunk ride home. However, I do know that the narrative is almost objectively written so I can understand why some of these things you may not be able to write, especially my last point (declining the ride).

And I'm with Ranger on the next thing: I don't really understand what the meaning of "toastie" really is. It's nothing to do with story as far as I could tell and nor is it mentioned, excluding the title of the story. Also, what does the paranormal's voice sound like? What is the girl's initial drunk reaction? (Though that part about the girl may just be me biting off more than I can chew about descriptions here.)

Anyway. A very haunting short story, but I did enjoy it. If you have any questions about this review, please don't hesitate to shoot me a PM or talk me in the chat if I'm around.

Yours,
Lavvie


What is to give light must endure burning. – Viktor Frankl
  





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Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:55 am
ghostie says...



Hawk- I see what you mean by referring more about the paranormal's hunger and weakness instead of her fearsomeness. I guess it does weaken how the paranormal is perceived.

Lavvie- The drunk girl is just a side character in this. She isn't supposed to be important so I didn't describe her as much. Just another prey for the paranormal. Yet, I understand how the character might be too flat.

And to both, 'toastie' is just a word the paranormal refers to her prey as. There's no relevance or concept to it whatsoever. But thank you for the comments. I'll keep them in mind when editing this.
TWO BY TWO, HANDS OF BLUE.
  








Patience is the strength of the weak, impatience is the weakness of the strong.
— Immanuel Kant, Philosopher