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Story w/o a name! Very short...

by nickelpickle


I woke up with a start and looked around. Shaking my head, I laughed at how paranoid I was getting. I rolled back over and closed my eyes. As I was about to slip back into the simple world of dreams of rainbow candy and snowy, white clouds, I heard a creak like the screeching of nails along a blackboard. I started, and covered my mouth to stifle a scream. I took a deep breath and then slipped out of bed. Pulling on a robe, I let myself out into the ice cold corridor. I walked towards the stairs and gazed down. Seeing nothing except the jet black night that filled the hallway, I took a cautious step towards the first step. I began to make my way down, quiet as a mouse.

A loud crack came as I stepped on the next step, followed by a shout from downstairs. Spinning around, I broke into a run back up the winding, never ending staircase. I let out a gasp as a sharp bolt of pain moved through my leg like a flash of lightning. Glancing down, I saw my miniature wooden piano and shoved it aside I dashed through the hall to the next flight of stairs and sprinted up them. I crept into the attic and closed the door with a soft thud. Letting out a sigh of relief, I slid to the floor. Scarcely daring to breathe, I opened the attic door and looked out. Not seeing anyone, I stepped out of the attic and began to walk down the stairs. Almost at the bottom, I heard a thud and let out a gasp. I let out an earsplitting scream that shattered the silence of the house as I whirled around to face a man with torn clothing, a long beard and a heathens grin on his face.


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Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:52 pm
Em16 wrote a review...



Wow! This was such a good short story. I absolutely loved it. The ending was so great and totally unexpected. I thought the main character was past the danger zone when they got to the attic, and they would find nothing there, so the ending shocked me and scared me a little bit.
What I loved most about this piece was the way you let the reader into the story. I felt like I was walking alongside the main character through all the action. The descriptions were so crisp and clean, and it was so easy to visualize inside of my head. I especially loved all the imagery and similes you used. For example “quiet as a mouse” or “a creak like the screeching of nails along a blackboard” were very effective similes that helped me imagine the world of the main character and helped me step inside their shoes. You included so many specific details about the setting, too, such as “the jet black night” and the “miniature wooden piano”, that helped me visualize the setting and feel like I was really there. One detail that I particularly loved was when you described how the main character had a “sharp bolt of pain” in their leg when they started running. That’s such a small detail, that would be easy to overlook or forget when writing, but it really makes the story seem so much more realistic, since feeling pain when you sprint is really common.
Overall, this piece was really good and I want to read more! It felt very much like a scene from a horror movie, and I kind of expected an ominous orchestra to start playing when I started reading. By the way, there’s a name for really short stories- they’re called flash fiction, and I think your story is an excellent example of well done flash fiction. It’s very short, but every sentence is meaningful and impactful to the story.




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Sun Jun 26, 2022 1:01 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

Anyway let's get right to it,

I woke up with a start and looked around. Shaking my head, I laughed at how paranoid I was getting. I rolled back over and closed my eyes. As I was about to slip back into the simple world of dreams of rainbow candy and snowy, white clouds, I heard a creak like the screeching of nails along a blackboard. I started, and covered my mouth to stifle a scream. I took a deep breath and then slipped out of bed. Pulling on a robe, I let myself out into the ice cold corridor. I walked towards the stairs and gazed down. Seeing nothing except the jet black night that filled the hallway, I took a cautious step towards the first step. I began to make my way down, quiet as a mouse.


Okayy...well this is an interesting one. We have a very classic opening there with the old tried and tested noise in the night and person going to investigate. It seems almost a tad bit predictable here what might happen, but let's see, there is a chance it'd be more unique. Either way though, this is a pretty well done version of that particular opening style so it does a great job of establishing the general view of the area and then setting up what this potential scare might end up being here.

A loud crack came as I stepped on the next step, followed by a shout from downstairs. Spinning around, I broke into a run back up the winding, never ending staircase. I let out a gasp as a sharp bolt of pain moved through my leg like a flash of lightning. Glancing down, I saw my miniature wooden piano and shoved it aside I dashed through the hall to the next flight of stairs and sprinted up them. I crept into the attic and closed the door with a soft thud. Letting out a sigh of relief, I slid to the floor. Scarcely daring to breathe, I opened the attic door and looked out. Not seeing anyone, I stepped out of the attic and began to walk down the stairs. Almost at the bottom, I heard a thud and let out a gasp. I let out an earsplitting scream that shattered the silence of the house as I whirled around to face a man with torn clothing, a long beard and a heathens grin on his face.


Well that went about as well as one can expect, no surprise there. I do love the way you've built it up. There's just about the right amount of balance in what you've done here so that as a reader we do find ourselves properly surprised and not bored waiting for something to happen or having it happen too quickly. The ending is also a pretty nicely executed cliffhanger and I think on the whole you've done a very solid job of things here with this particular piece. It seems like it stands on its own pretty well while it'd also work great as the opening for something.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:28 am
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Forever here with a review!!

Well, this was an incomplete short story and I didn't understand what to make of it. To me, it felt like a scene rather than a short story.

What I really liked about the story is the descriptions and how your portryed the thoughts of the character. We got a good view into the character's brain and the setting too. There's only one thing which I would like to know. Ehat month was it? Like the narrator says that it was icy-cold and when they said that, I had a sudden urge to know when the story was exactly set. Also, were the lights on or off?

Talking about the first sentence, it seems to be okay but not the best. I guess it would have been much better if you had started with that sound coming from downstairs. It just feels a bit better then. It's totally upto you though.

And now to my understanding of the story. In short, I didn't understand the story. Like someone entered the narrator's house or rather let's say broke into the narrator's house and then the narrator got afraid and went upstairs. They got scared and let out a scream of fear. Eh maybe the person was a thief or something but I would really appreciate clarifications on this part.

You could edit the story and make it a lot longer than it is at the moment. Give us with a complete plot and the identity of the intruder. Also a reason behind why the narrator was so very afraid.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever




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Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:11 am
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SIC says...



Its a good story, but very hard to read.
With few paragraphs I don't feel like im reading a story rather a article.
Try putting some paragraphs in there to make it easier to read.




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Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:08 am
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Jadeite says...



Nicely written. I like how you describe the feelings of what the character sees and thinks. The description was very well done and well worded. I saw it very clearly in my mind. Very good work.




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Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:52 am
Sela Locke wrote a review...



I think that here, your biggest problem is redundancy, and cliches. I'm sure with such good reviews it will be shaped up in no time, and you obviously have talent. I would list a few things here, but pretty much all of them have been addressed.
Good luck,
Sela




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Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:21 am
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Memento Mori says...



It's good.

I think it'd be better if you had posted it in two paragraphs though. It's much easier to read that way.

Yours truly,
Memento Mori




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Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:01 pm
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Krupp wrote a review...



nickelpickle wrote:I woke up with a start and looked around. Shaking my head, I laughed at how paranoid I was getting. I rolled back over and closed my eyes. As I was about to slip back into the simple world of dreams of rainbow candy and snowy, white clouds, I heard a creak like the screeching of nails along a blackboard. I started, and covered my mouth to stifle a scream. I took a deep breath and then slipped out of bed. Pulling on a robe, I let myself out into the ice cold corridor. I walked towards the stairs and gazed down. Seeing nothing except the jet black night that filled the hallway, I took a cautious step towards the first step. I began to make my way down, quiet as a mouse.
A loud crack came as I stepped on the next step, followed by a shout from downstairs. Spinning around, I broke into a run back up the winding, never ending staircase. I let out a gasp as a sharp bolt of pain moved through my leg like a flash of lightning. Glancing down, I saw my miniature wooden piano and shoved it aside I dashed through the hall to the next flight of stairs and sprinted up them. I crept into the attic and closed the door with a soft thud. Letting out a sigh of relief, I slid to the floor. Scarcely daring to breathe, I opened the attic door and looked out. Not seeing anyone, I stepped out of the attic and began to walk down the stairs. Almost at the bottom, I heard a thud and let out a gasp. I let out an earsplitting scream that shattered the silence of the house as I whirled around to face a man with torn clothing, a long beard and a heathens grin on his face.


There's only one thing I'm really noticing here...lack of sentence variety. Most of these start with "I did this," or "I did that." You're gonna want to mix it up in the future. Use a different view for the pace. Don't just do that "I" thing. It's too repetitive.




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Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:41 am
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JFW1415 says...



Image
Image




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Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:03 pm
Fang Ride says...



I think it's brilliant! Only the "quiet as a mouse" is a bit old. Other than that, Iwannareadmore!




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Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:42 pm
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KJ wrote a review...



Well, first off, it'd be nice for some more spacing.

This is a pretty good beginning, and it is decently attention-grabbing. You have a good way of building up suspense. The little details were neat, also. The whole thing was a little short for my taste, but I assume you're going to continue. I'll keep reading, and see where you're going with this.

Write on.




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Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:42 pm
Commando588 says...



AHHHHHHH!!!!! awesome.




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Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:26 am
find_the_reason wrote a review...



I thought it was good and if there is more I look forward to reading it. Definitly need to check out a thesaurus now and then but overall good. If there isn't going to be a continuation of this than why bothering typing that at all. :?:




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Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:05 pm
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Misty says...



Well, it's definately interesting, but it sounds more like a list than a story. It's like, "I did this, then I did that, then I did this..." if you know what I mean. That's all the crit I have!




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Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:41 am
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DarkerSarah wrote a review...



This moves pretty quickly, and gets the reader interested in what's going to happen. Since there really isn't much to review, and as others have covered most of what I'd like to say, my main advice is to stay away from cliches like "quiet as a mouse" and "earsplitting scream." Good luck finishing the story!

-Sarah




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Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:59 am
Cacophony wrote a review...



Not a bad start...:D. There's a lot of things you could do with this. I think the pacing is off though. It moves too fast. I'm curious though, who is the main character and why does a creak send him into a panic? Did he already suspect someone was after him? And who is the man with torn clothing? I hope this helps and isn't too harsh.

nickelpickle wrote:I woke up with a start and looked around. Shaking my head, I laughed at how paranoid I was getting.


Not a bad hook. It makes me wonder what the character is paranoid about. Beginning with the character waking up seems a little overdone to me. Instead, have you thought of having your character lying awake in bed, trying to sleep? Also, the second sentence seems a little awkard to me. I think it might sound better though if it read "[...] I laughed at my paranoia."

I rolled back over and closed my eyes. As I was about to slip back into the simple world of dreams of rainbow candy and snowy, white clouds, I heard a creak like the screeching of nails along a blackboard.


I think the first sentence would flow better if you got rid of "back", but that might just be a personal preference of mine. Also "the simple world of dreams of rainbow candy, and snowy, white clouds..." doesn't seem to fit into the rest of the piece. This might just be me, but I think it might be better if you just said he about to fall asleep.

I started, and covered my mouth to stifle a scream.


Why does a creak make him want to scream?

Seeing nothing except the jet black night that filled the hallway, I took a cautious step towards the first step.


I think instead of saying he saw nothing, it would be better if you described his surrounding. Maybe you could put one thing out of place, and use it to heighten the suspense. Also the second part of the sentence is kind of awkward, I think it might be better if you broke this sentence up.

I began to make my way down, quiet as a mouse.


Quiet as a mouse, seems a little cliche. Maybe it would be better if you described him being quiet, intsead?

Spinning around, I broke into a run back up the winding, never ending staircase.


Slight confusion of motion here, I think. To me it sounds like he's spinning and running at the same time, which I guess would explain why he bumps into the the mini piano ;).

Glancing down, I saw my miniature wooden piano and shoved it aside I dashed through the hall to the next flight of stairs and sprinted up them.


I think this should broken up, because it sounds like he's doing everything at once. Also, at first, it wasn't really clear to me that he had bumped into the piano.

I crept into the attic and closed the door with a soft thud. Letting out a sigh of relief, I slid to the floor. Scarcely daring to breathe, I opened the attic door and looked out. Not seeing anyone, I stepped out of the attic and began to walk down the stairs. Almost at the bottom, I heard a thud and let out a gasp.


I think this part moves way too fast...It might be better if you added some description to slow it down a little.

I let out an earsplitting scream that shattered the silence of the house as I whirled around to face a man with torn clothing, a long beard and a heathens grin on his face.


Who is the man with torn clothing?

This is just a suggestion, and I'm sure you could think of something better, but I think this might be a good place to add a plot twist :). For example, instead of having the man with torn clothing being a murderer or something, you could have him be someone the main character knows (or maybe just someone who is supposed to be there). Then have the main character explain that he thought it was [insert person who he thinks is trying to kill him here], and work from there.

Of course, this is just an idea. And I'm sure you could come up with something better than I could. Anyway, I hope I wasn't too harsh. Like I said before, this isn't a bad opening. Storywise, it's pretty good. There's many different directions you could take this, so I'm curious to see what you do with it. :D




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 1:49 am
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Incandescence wrote a review...



Talk about redundancy. I don't think this pulled off the effect you wanted it to, or otherwise you didn't want a very good one. I'm just going to say that I wholeheartedly agree with what the other members have said with the criticisms. I think this does need to be expanded on and certainly needs more in depth analysis of character and plot sequence.




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Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:50 am
Sam wrote a review...



I do think a little more depth and description would be in order here! I'm being hypocritical, though...I don't write about tense situations like this very well, ya know? :D The last line, about the heathens grin I think should be changed to like 'devilish'. It means the same thing, just sounds less clunky.




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Tue Jan 04, 2005 3:59 am
Ego wrote a review...



The one major thing I notyiced that no one has mentioned is that when the character reaches the top of the stairs...he(she) runs right back down. I think you may want to insert a paragraph of the main character weaiting and listening, because their actions seem really strange right now...




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Tue Jan 04, 2005 2:51 am
SilverWright wrote a review...



Overall, I really like it. But, I agree that it lacks depth. The way you're describing it makes this event seem like something out of a dream for me. I'm guessing that's not what you're going for. I'm also very curious of the gender of the narrator. Very intriquing. I beg you, please continue.




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Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:35 am
convintojm says...



i agree that you need some more variation in your word use. and that there needs to be more. i feel like i can't really judge till i see more.




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Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:23 am
Firestarter wrote a review...



Okay, here goes....

I woke up with a start and looked around. Shaking my head, I laughed at how paranoid I was getting. I rolled back over and closed my eyes. As I was about to slip back into the simple world of dreams of rainbow candy and snowy, white clouds, I heard a creak like the screeching of nails along a blackboard.


Good start. I'd change "the simple world" to "my simple world" but I guess that's just my preference. Also "snowy, white" clouds seems to sound better as just "snow white" (with no comma). Also, I don't like the last fragment od the the sentence "like the screeching of nails along a blackboard". Maybe it's because I'm not a fan of similes, but also because it's a little cliche. Try something like "I heard a screeching creek that......" Fill in the rest. This is all in my opinion of course, take it as you will.

I took a deep breath and then slipped out of bed. Pulling on a robe, I let myself out into the ice cold corridor. I walked towards the stairs and gazed down. Seeing nothing except the jet black night that filled the hallway, I took a cautious step towards the first step. I began to make my way down, quiet as a mouse.


Lots of cliche phrases and doubel adjectives. "Ice cold, "jet black" and "quiet as a mouse". Try something new, original. And drop one of the adjectives of one or both of those. It would sound better as perhaps "I let myself out onto the freezing corridor" and also, "Seeing nothing except the deep chasm of darkness". Oops, I don't mean to write this story for you.

A loud crack came as I stepped on the next step, followed by a shout from downstairs.


Eek! Steeped on a step! Sounds...bad. Change it to a different verb.

I let out a gasp as a sharp bolt of pain moved through my leg like a flash of lightning.


Somehow...this sentence feels wrong. The structure is odd. I don't like the long ending which takes away the focus of it all, the emphasis should be on the start. I also don't like "Moved through my leg", doesn't feel quite right. Sounds better as "went through my leg". Take off "flash of lightning", cliche again, try to use more metaphors eg. "I gasped as pain went through my leg...." oops I can't finish it now. I'm sure you can be more imaginative to me.

Glancing down, I saw my miniature wooden piano and shoved it aside I dashed through the hall to the next flight of stairs and sprinted up them.


You missed a full stop in the middle of those to split them into two sentences. The second would sound better as "I dashed through the hall and sprinted up the next flight of stairs."

Scarcely daring to breathe, I opened the attic door and looked out.


Nice.

Not seeing anyone, I stepped out of the attic and began to walk down the stairs. Almost at the bottom, I heard a thud and let out a gasp.


There's too much stepping and gasping in such a small piece! Find a thesaurus and change some verbs. I'm guilty of this too, I use a lot of verbs again and again. It will improve if you have variety.

All in all, I found this an intriguing piece, if rather small. It does read like an account, rather than a more descriptive piece. I would like it much more if you elaborated on a lot of the events, allowing for more description. This, I feel, would heighten the tension a lot more, and give a fuller understanding of what's happening to the reader.

This is good, believe me! I hope I didn't sound like I didn't like it, because I did.

All I did was suggest a few things which you can ignore if you want. One last thing though, you MUST, and I mean MUST, do some more :P I command thee.

Please?




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Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:01 pm
nickelpickle says...



many thx for the comments...the only problem is...i havent decided what happens, so i cant write more...

nikki




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Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:25 pm
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QiGuaiGongFu wrote a review...



its.... interesting, to say the least.

there needs to be a bit more depth here. i dont think there is enough there to say anything about it. there really isnt a story, just a happening, that happens to be wirtten down. im left with too many questions; who is this guy, what happened to his leg, who's this guy in his house, where does he live, is there anyone else in the house?

write some more, and then we can give you some good honest opinion.





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