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Going Insane (just for advice so far) Part of Chapter 1

by AmazingAeris


     Bonnie stared out the bus window, the heavy rain morphing the wood line trees into odd green shapes that curled and twisted against the cloudless blue sky.

     It would have made her smile if what was happening wasn't really happening.

     What was real, was that her parents only cared for their reputation. It had taken 16 years, Bonnie's entire life, to realize this. She had messed up. Completely  messed up the day she built up the courage to tell her parents what was going on. The figure of a woman, dark as a shadow, sat in the corner of her room every night when she slept, merely watching her. The figure, whatever it was, never seemed to hurt her. She had stayed up late at night, watching it, but it rarely moved, sticking to the shadows. In the beginning, she had been petrified of it, when she was nearly 5 years old. It never stopped visiting. Bonnie had became so used to it, she talked to it about what was happening, or had happened that day. The strangest thing was, it seemed to listen and understand, it even nodded once. When she turned 7, she had named her Angelique. She had finally built up all that courage to talk about Angelique, just so they could throw her in an insane asylum.

     You see, Bonnevella, her mother had told her as they packed everything she needed, other than actual clothing, You alarm the neighbors at night with your constant rambling. You're too old for imaginary friends.

     It, she, wasn't an imaginary friend, though. She was real, Bonnie  knew it. Yet her endless pleas didn't solve anything, just made them pack faster.

     Now, she was riding near the back of a gleaming red bus, almost everything, inside and out, decorated with cute little farm animals.

     Bonnie turned her head toward the seat in front of her, absently tracing her finger over the golden marking on the bright red cushion, the tight cuffs on her wrists digging into her skin. Property of the Red Barn Psychiatric Hospital.

     The sound of something being slammed startled her. Bonnie tilted her gaze to the man sitting across from her. He appeared to be in his late teens, maybe early twenties, and he was watching her, slamming the back of his head against the wall. A huge grin was stretched across his face. Bonnie cringed as the bus stopped, and two of the pretty nurses, their high heels clicking against the metal floor, walked up to him. Together, they pulled him out of his seat, holding him steady while another nurse lined his seat with cushions. They both set him down carefully, as if he were as fragile as a feather. He looked satisfied as all the nurses returned to their seats.

     "New here?" the man smirked, kicking his feet up across his seat to face her as the bus moved forward once again. "I'm Hayden. Being transferre  knew it. Yet her endless pleas didn't solve anything, just made them pack faster.

     Now, she was riding in the back of a gleaming red bus, almost everything, inside and out, decorated with cute little farm animals.

     Bonnie turned her head toward the seat in front of her, absently tracing her finger over the golden marking on the bright red cushion, the tight cuffs on her wrists digging into her skin. Property of the Red Barn Psychiatric Hospital.

     The sound of something being slammed startled her. Bonnie tilted her gaze to the man sitting across from her. He appeared to be in his late teens, maybe early twenties, and he was watching her, slamming the back of his head against the wall. A huge grin was stretched across his face. Bonnie cringed as the bus stopped, and two of the pretty nurses, their high heels clicking against the metal floor, walked up to him. Together, they pulled him out of his seat, holding him steady while another nurse lined his seat with cushions. They both set him down carefully, as if he were as fragile as a feather. He looked satisfied as all the nurses returned to their seats.

     "New here?" the man smirked, kicking his feet up across his seat to face her as the bus moved forward once again. "I'm Hayden. Being transferred from St. Daniel's." After Bonnie hadn't responded in what seemed like a lifetime, he chuckled, "This is the part when you tell me who you are."

     "O-Oh. I'm Bonnie." she stammered, angry at hers d from St. Daniel's." After Bonnie hadn't responded in what seemed like a lifetime, he chuckled, "This is the part when you tell me who you are."

     "O-Oh. I'm Bonnie." she stammered, angry at herself for being bad at talking to people.

     "Ok... there's something to work with. How'd you get here, Bonnie?"

     "I, uh, see, um, shadows in my room at night..." Bonnie blushed and looked down.

     "That's cool." Hayden replied as if it really was cool. "This," he waved his hands around, his cuffs gleaming in the bus' light, "is my ticket to freedom. Free food, no rent, no parents who care about nothing but themselves." This last part didn't seem like something he wanted to say aloud, but he growled.

     Bonnie looked up at him and smiled. Hayden didn't seem to understand, and when she got the response of a crazy look on his face, she explained, "My parents do the same! All they seem to care about is their reputation. They didn't even give me a warning. Just a bag with my stuff and a quick hug before shoving me on this thing and calling 'Bon voyage'."

     She listened to Hayden laugh. A warming, soft laughter. He lifted up his hands to show off his handcuffs. "You see, I'm not crazy, like the rest of the people here." he noticed her frown, "Not you," he added, "I just need a break from them before I do go crazy."

     Bonnie giggled, then blushed when she caught Hayden smiling at her. 

     (Feel free to criticize, I need to know if there is anything that needs to be changed. The rest of the chapter is a WIP.)


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Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:29 pm
AmazingAeris says...



I've decided to have a bit of romance to the story, changing the middle aged man into someone more her age, with something in common, so they actually have the chance to communicate freely about their lives. I hope it doesn't affect your view on the story so far. I just figured it would give more depth if Bonnie had someone to talk to. I feel if she's isolated, it would get boring easily. :) It probably brings down the creep factor, but it'll build back up over time. I promise




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Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:11 pm
AmazingAeris says...



It's all fixed for the 1st time, I'm going to be working on more of it while reviewing other stories. :D




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Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:58 pm
Whist wrote a review...



This is too short for my liking, haha - I'm yearning for more! I don't normally read horror stories so I can't really tell if there are cliches or anything, but I'm already interested in how this is going to pan out for Bonnie. You've set the tone pretty perfectly; the bus being decorated with cute animals is... well, I can't describe the feeling I got when I read that very well. It's just so dissonant from what I'd expect, it comes off as creepy.

I think, perhaps, some things could be expanded on since they're only mentioned in passing - like the dark figure:

A figure, dark as a shadow, sat in the corner of her room every night when she slept, merely watching her.


I would love it if this dark figure was described in more detail, since it seems pretty important. Get into the nitty gritty, and maybe even describe how it makes Bonnie feel. Like yeah, us readers can infer how she feels based on our own experiences, but describing how Bonnie feels can be an opportunity to make the readers resonate and relate to her, I think.

The following two sentences quoted below use a lot of commas...

- What was real, was that her parents only cared for their reputation, and it took 16 years, Bonnie's entire life, to realize this.
- It was real, she knew it, but her endless pleas didn't solve anything, just made them pack faster.


... so I think if you could play around with 'em a bit to make them smoother to read, that'd be great.

Anddd I don't think I have much else to say in way of criticism, haha. If there's one thing I really have to say - and you may already know this, in which case I'm sorry - it's to tread carefully when writing horror stories set in a mental asylum. Too many stories fall into the trap of portraying people with mental illnesses/disorders as monsters or villains, so it's important to have a bit of compassion when writing about them, I think.

Of course though, it's much too soon to say if this story is headed in that direction. Again, apologies if you already know this and feel free to disregard my rambling if you do! I had to say it just in case;;;

Other than that, it's a solid start! The creepy atmosphere has already been set and I'm really feeling it, in that last moment especially. Seeing the nurses treat the man so gently makes me curious what the Red Barn Psychiatric Hospital is really like, so I'm eager to see Bonnie actually arrive and be able to explore the place.

I'm not actually sure what to expect next, but consider me interested! And apologies if my comments weren't helpful at all; please do ask questions if you have any. Thank you very much for sharing this piece with us - I'll definitely keep an eye out for more :)




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Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:53 am
Honora wrote a review...



Hey Aeris! So, since I haven’t reviewed anything of yours before I will give you a quick rundown of my format. I’m going to tell you what I thought could be changed and then leave you in a positive note of what I liked! Feel free to disregard any of all of what I say if you don’t agree. Also, whatever I say, I don’t mean it to offend you or anything like that. I’m here only to help you out! :D

Review time!

So I basically didn’t find anything technical wrong with you work. The only thing I would suggest is to switch up your sentence/paragraph lengths. If you notice, they are all relatively the same length. This isn’t a problem with a piece this short but later (when this is published and in book form ;)) if it is all like this, it can get overbearing.

But seriously, that’s all I found! :)

I’m pretty interested to see where this goes. It seems like a good thriller, especially since she’s going to an asylum. The flow and style is really easy to read and I didn’t have to reread anything so that always a bonus. ;) I really like how even at such an early stage of your book, I can already connect with what Bonnie is feeling. I like that.

I can assure you I will be back for more!

Your friend,
Honora <3





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