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3 AM

by lemonayyde

My mother always warned me that 3 am was a dangerous time. As I child I would listen to her pleas to go to bed on time, as any good child would. As a teen…well, who would want to worry their sick mother?

Each time I kissed her goodnight, her tired eyes becoming duller every day, she would whisper in my ear to go to sleep before the clock struck 3. Her wheezed warnings would stick to me as I drifted off to my own room, and despite not knowing the reasons behind them I found myself following the orders without a complaint.

Now, as I sit here alone in my car, watching the minutes on the clock tick closer and closer… I no longer wonder why she was so scared.

It has been exactly one month since my mother had been laid to rest. Even longer since I had actually seen her face. She had always wanted a closed casket service, and who are we to deny a dead woman’s wish?

02:52. The trees seem to surround the cemetery in an almost foreboding and protective way. Even though I had parked only a few feet away from the entrance, I can hardly see into the area where so many people left their loved ones buried underground. It’s a nice thought, I suppose. Giving the dead their privacy. Not that they really need it.

02:54. I open the car door and the wind helps me shut it. It seems to be picking up, moving faster after each minute. A storm was probably coming, something I should have guessed would happen yet I still was without an umbrella, or any warm clothes really. Not that I minded, my goal here wouldn’t take long.

02:56. I walk up to the gate, look at it for a moment, and then simply hop it. Graveyards never really did have good security. I guess that’s because not many people rob graves around here. Superstitions were strongly rooted in our little, decrepit town.

02:59. I have to sprint to get to where I want to be when it starts. My mother’s grave sits where it always will be, the presence of her looming over me. I can almost hear the scolding now, as I sit on the dirt beside the headstone, reaching into my pocket to pull out my pack of cigarettes.

 03:00. I can feel it in my bones, resounding through me like the chime of a clock. I finish lighting my cigarette, inspecting it before taking a drag. I look up into the eyes of the devil himself and crack a smile.

“Hey, Dad.”

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Points: 0
Reviews: 0

Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:54 pm
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This is really good. Just a tad bit to scary for my taste. Dad at the end should be capitalized but other than that it's pretty good. The plot twist got me shook to be honest. Keep writing!

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8 Reviews

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Reviews: 8

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:01 pm
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MaybeInk says...

Wow, o_O I'm shook, this was such a good story, I was so invested in it from the very beginning. The ending made me gasp a little. Keep up the good work :D

lemonayyde says...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading and commenting :)

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161 Reviews

Points: 9160
Reviews: 161

Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:36 am
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Liberty500 says...

Oooh, That's so nice! Scary for sure, but scary! :wink:

lemonayyde says...

Thank you!

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Points: 79
Reviews: 1

Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:31 am
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TSEJazz wrote a review...

Hello there!

Overall, I enjoyed this piece. It kept a good level of suspense until the end hit me like a pie to the face. The ending left me with many questions, but not too many, and made me want to read more. Great job!

There are a few minor changes I would make in the writing, which are listed below. These things don't need to be changed as there's nothing wrong but may help to enhance the writing slightly.

"As I child I would listen to her pleas to go to bed on time, as any good child would."
Just a little typo there, perhaps meaning as a child.

"following them silently and without a complaint."
I would remove either the silently or the without a complaint. I feel like just using one would pack more of a punch and create more suspense.

"The clock hits 03:00"
Not a big deal, but I would change it to "03:00" like the other times. I think it would be a bit more impactful.

Again, this was a very good read, and I hope to see more like this from you in the future!



lemonayyde says...

Thank you so much for the critique! I'm so glad you liked it :) I will go over it with your comments to see how I can improve

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345 Reviews

Points: 58076
Reviews: 345

Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:38 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...

Hi there!

Okay, so, WOAH. Plot twist there at the end. O-O

I really liked that ending. I think it was effective, smart, and lacks the perfect punch with the “Hey, Dad” (Dad should be capitalized by the way, but not a big deal). It leaves me with soooo many questions, but it feels like the perfect amount of questions left that the reader can make their own conclusions.

One thing that confused me a little: has our main character seen her dad before? It starts off with her stating that she always had listened to her mom’s warnings. However, she then goes off to her mother’s grave and it reads like this is her first time staying up at 3:00 (the whole time count-down really adds to that). But the familiarity of her with her dad makes me question whether or not she’s done this before. She also seems to know what she’s doing, so that adds to the whole “I’ve done this before”. Perhaps you want this up in the air, but it does leave me a little confused.

Maybe this is something you decided to purposely leave out, too, but why exactly does she want to see her dad? She talks of this “goal” like she’s going to do something.

I like how her mom always warned her about 3:00, though, and she did it anyway >.>

I could just be suggesting things you don’t want to include/have purposefully left out, and if that’s the case, I’m sorry! This was an incredibly enjoyable and haunting read, though... and I like how you tied it to the idea of the harms of staying up late ;D

So yep, I think that’s all! If you post more of these types of short stories, or anything at all, I’d love to give it a read!


lemonayyde says...

Thank you for the critique! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I did purposely omit a lot of things, just in case I wanted to continue this and I could develop the story more through interaction :)

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107 Reviews

Points: 299
Reviews: 107

Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:30 am
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manilla wrote a review...

Hey! Manilla here for a review. Let's get right into it, shall we?

The suspense in this piece was like a rollercoaster ride, and the plot twist at the end left me with so many questions! Like what role does the father really play in this? Using the time before each paragraph was really effective as well.

My mother always warned me that 3 am was a dangerous time. As I child I would listen to her pleas to go to bed on time, as any good child would.

You used 'time' one time more often than I would like it, but whatever floats your boat! Also, capitalize "AM".

Her eerie wheezed warnings would stick to me as I drifted off to my own room

Maybe try "wheezed yet eerie" so the sentence flows smoother?

Since you're good at details, perhaps try implementing emotion into the narrator. Not doing so could be intentional, but things can help create a distinctive mood, like setting, certain objects, or the character's thoughts and feelings on what's going on. Adding this sort of emotion would contribute to the horror aspect of this story.

Otherwise, nice piece! Looking forward to see more stories like this.

-Manilla out
(Feel free to disregard any comment you deem unnecessary or rude.)

lemonayyde says...

Thank you so much for the critique! I'll go over the story with your comments and see how I can improve :)

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
— Albert Pines