The phone rang, jolting him out of his daze. He'd been thinking about her, the girl from earlier that evening. She was gorgeous, definitely his type. She could have been a model with those huge green eyes and long blonde hair. Those legs were a dead giveaway, though. Maybe she wasn't his type after all... But it was too late, he'd already chosen her.
He'd met her at the bar down the street from his New York City penthouse apartment. She was the fifth one. His friend had promised that this one would be the one. But she wasn't, again. He was mad. No, mad didn't even do his feelings justice, he was infuriated. His friend had promised him; apparently promises don't mean what they used to.
He picked up the phone with more force than he'd intended and almost ripped it off the cord. In his crazed state he muttered a quick apology to the phone and answered it.
"Oh, it's you. What the hell do you want now?"
"Listen, I know I m-made a mistake with the last one--"
"With the last one? Dammit John, you screwed up with all five!"
"Yes, y-yes I know. I'm sorry. But listen, I know I've found the right one this time. She's sitting at the bar up front, o-okay? And she's waiting for you, I just... I just know it!"
The man rolled his eyes at the phone, clearly unphased by the other man's begging tone. However, his annoyed look quickly turned to a happy one as a new idea came to his mind. He never told this to his friend, but it never really mattered to him if he found the 'right' one. All women were the same to him. As long as he could get his hands on one, he was happy. He did like to make his friend work, though, and this was why he gave him such a hard time about every woman he had been set up with. Every time, he would be angry with his friend, and every time his friend would apologize and find a new one. Every single time... And that way there would be no link between him and the women, not publicly at least.
But not a single one ever really fit his real needs.
And after the sixth mistake, the man finally found the 'right one'.
He was in the basement of his old home, the shit hole he had come from years earlier. The thing had never sold, but that could easily be attributed to the man's obvious distaste toward the idea of a sale. He came up with a reason to say no every time an offer was made. There were all kinds of offers: the low bidders, wanting to buy it at a cheap price because they saw a hidden potential and wanted to renovate it for resale; the high bidders wanting to be the clear and quick winners of the battle, hoping to make it a quick choice for the man; and the ones who offered his sale price, hoping to get it but not wanting to spend too much. But no matter what the price, he always said no. After all, he did have a deep, dark secret attached to that house. He couldn't ever let it go.
The bartender, the man's friend John, the seventh and final victim, was strapped to the operating table in front of him. The poor bartender stuttered as he begged the man to let him go. He apologized for the sixth mistake, he cried, he struggled against the straps. The man was set in his ways, though.
"Oh John, it's useless to apologize for her. She's gone now. So are the previous five. And they're all your fault. If only you had found me the perfect one sooner..." His voice trailed off as he thought of the six women he had so conveniently finished with over the last few weeks.
But now that he had finally found the one, he was happy enough. He couldn't let his favorite victim go.
Oh my gosh. I have absolutely NO clue where this came from. Well, I guess my mind... But I don't know why. It reminds me of a Criminal Minds episode or something.
Anyway. Yeah, I wrote it. Credit me. Blah blah blah, all the usual stuff.
Critiques are great, tear it apart.
~Does it make sense? ~Is it clear what happens at the end? ~Do you think it's too short? ~Do you think the descriptions fit? As in, are they too random/off topic/etc.? [The house scene and him trying to sell it] ~Does it keep you interested? ~Is it too open ended? ~Anything you think I should change/add/take out?
~Does it make sense? You don't reveal much. I like how the protagonist seems shady because of this, but at the same time, you probably could've added more to the background story. What's the deal he made with his "friends?" What does he do with the victims?
~Is it clear what happens at the end? I think you could've hinted a bit more to what exactly he does to his victims. not everything, but just enough to give readers a direction to guess to.
~Do you think it's too short? Personally, I prefer reading short stories. This story probably would've been better with a few more sentences, to clear up some ambiguity and make the flow better.
~Do you think the descriptions fit? As in, are they too random/off topic/etc.? [The house scene and him trying to sell it] It seemed random at first, until you added the part about the basement.
~Does it keep you interested? Yes, the vagueness kept me reading.
~Is it too open ended? I like how the friend becomes one of his victims. I would've preferred it if the ending was less rushed.
I'm going to be honest with you... I didn't like this piece as much as your other ones. Hopefully my explanation below will help you see my points and not leave you upset!
Storyline and story elements This seems like an interesting idea by itself. I like the fact that we're dealing with a crazy person, and it did make me wonder what he was up to in terms of his evil plans with the poor chosen ladies, yet I was disappointed that we never got a clue as to what happened to them.
That said, I'm not quite sure whether I understood this story in the way you meant it. If you were going for 'mysterious' then I have to say, that's not what it read like to me. There isn't a lot of suspense going on, because you left out exactly the part that could make a reader move to the edge of their seat, eyes glued to the screen - the capturing of the victim, the planning required, etc.!
Here's my interpretation: A crazy man is looking for the perfect woman in his life, yet none are able to meet his standards. He realizes somewhere along the line that he in fact is in love with his friend instead and decides to declare him the next victim.
The transition from the man thinking about the dark secret of his house to poor John being strapped to a table was so sudden. What happened there? Shouldn't the friend perhaps knock on the door with a heartfelt apology, terrified beyond belief, then invited inside by MC who seems to have forgiven him... until things go terribly wrong and he finds himself strapped to a table? This is just an idea to give more depth to the story! In fact, I think the story as a whole would improve if it was written from John's point of view. You could still let us know about MC's crazy happenings, but this time, through the eyes of a character we might connect more with thus letting us become more engaged with the story.
Characters MC is obviously crazy, that much is clear. You've done a good job portraying him in such a way as of now. I definitely would not want to come near him... ever. I especially liked the little bit with the phone cable and how he states that 'promises don't mean what they used to,' which struck me as ironic in a way, because he definitely does not seem like a person who would keep his own promises.
However during the story I didn't feel a connection with him. Now I understand there is no need for me to feel sorry for or relate to that man (at least I hope so!) but I didn't really find myself wondering about his personality and life, either. He seemed... flat. A generic antagonist to a story, easily replaceable and nothing that would truly define him as an individual. He could be so much more! Perhaps he would have a nervous habit such as scratching his ears when getting angry, or tapping his feet. I don't know. Something that, when you ask me in a few weeks about this story, makes me go: "Oh! That was the guy who did ____ and the guy with the _______." I might've even liked John more... I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just that there is room for improvement on the MC.
Grammar, spelling etc. Hey, is it just me, or do I see a change in style? I see a lot more commas than before. Nothing positive or negative, just an observation. It seems good as always, so I only have good things to say about your grammar and spelling! Good job, and keep it up.
I would like to mention that some parts of the story were repeated multiple times (that is, sentence structures). I can't quite put my finger on it...
Miscellaneous In the beginning of the story, his phone rings. But instead of picking up, we're treated to two paragraphs of information about the girl that wasn't the one. I imagine that somewhat like those bomb counters in movies - they talk for minutes but in the end only 3 seconds have passed! That just seemed a little bit strange to me, and I think the opening could be improved by having him pick up the phone immediately and then perhaps let his thoughts wander off as the nervous friend begins talking (to whom MC is not paying a lot of attention). Just a suggestion!
Where was the man at, exactly, when he picked up the phone and more importantly - if it's a phone with a cable then my first thought would be one of those phones you see on the street or in a bar. How did he know the phone rang for him? And if it was his own phone, wouldn't it perhaps have number display? I'll admit that this is very major nitpicking though and doesn't mess with the story.
Also, just wondering - why is the house on sale if MC clearly has no intention of selling it?
Answers to your questions
Does it make sense? Somewhat. We are not given any clue on what the man does with his victims and why he wants them. Sometimes this can make a story more interesting but here, there is barely anything to built our suspicions from if it makes any sense to you.
Is it clear what happens at the end? I would imagine something terrible is about to happen to John! What, though, I'm not entirely sure of. So no.
Do you think it's too short? Unfortunately, yes. There is so much more room to expand upon this piece! It feels unfinished. I stand by my point that this story would improve drastically when written from John's point of view.
Do you think the descriptions fit? As in, are they too random/off topic/etc.? [The house scene and him trying to sell it] They seem fine to me! The house scene did seem a little bit random at first, until you added that last line about the dark secrets being held there.
Does it keep you interested? I'm sorry, but I'm going to be honest here - I read it because I know you wrote it, but with any other I would have moved on to another deviation. (Oh my gosh... is this too harsh?!) There's just so much left open to interpretation that we are nearly not given any guidelines at all.
Is it too open ended? No, that's not really it for me. The ending just seemed rushed and too out of the blue.
Anything you think I should change/add/take out? Please refer to all the other points!
General overview All in all I can see an idea here that just needs the right story to show itself to us properly! Perhaps a bit more polishing overall, and I remain of opinion that we should see this story through John's eyes. That would've given it that bit extra that kept me hooked. *points to your head* I know the story's all in there, but you need to figure out the right wording to show us exactly what you meant with this piece!
I hope that I've covered everything I wanted to say, but if I remember something else then I'll let you know. You told me not to apologize, but guess what - I'm still going to! I'm really sorry if I was harsh with my words and please remember that nothing I've said is aimed against you as a person or your skills, only this particular piece. You're free to disagree with me on anything, as always.
It's actually a pretty good piece. You don't exactly throw us all the information right away. We kind of learn more as we go along -- kind of like watching a mystery crime thriller. I think it's really interesting the way you hint at some stuff but still leave us guessing. It definitely draws you in and makes you want to read on.
It has a noir-ish feeling for some reason. Which is a good thing, because I love neo-noir stuff. The narrative voice sounds like a very sinister one. If that's what you were aiming for then you've done a great job.
Well hello there! Thank you so much for the comment. I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to get back to you. I haven't been in a mood for dA recently. But anyway, I'm so glad you liked it. It is meant to be a sinister kind of story, although I'm not entirely sure it's the narrative voice that's meant to be sinister. I guess that makes sense if the story itself is sinister. haha can't have a humorous narrative voice with a sinister story, that'd be a bit of a clash. Anyway, I wasn't really going for anything other than sinister/creepy/etc, but that's not to say a noir-ish feeling is unwelcome. Glad it left you feeling something! Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment! I appreciate it
It definitely kept me interested. The length, the making sense, and the open ended aspects sort of seem a bit connected, and are sort of lacking... I mean...I just want to know more, its very open ended in my mind, but then again I might just be too dumb to infer what I was supposed to infer about why the one guy was doing this for him in the first place. The ending was a twist of course since I would've thought he'd have the girl on the table... :3 I'm actually writing something about...something kind of similar.... in a way. I'm not very good at writing stories though.
That happens a lot in my writing. Hence me posting it here so I get comments telling me what I'm lacking. :3 haha I get a little.. bored I guess... Maybe I have some form of ADD or something. I start writing something and then I'm just like mehhh *mentally scribbles something* okay it's done. You're not dumb, I don't think about the fact that other people can't read my mind. That's probably a good thing they can't. xD Anyway, kind of an explanation I suppose: The main character is a serial killer and his bartender friend (John) doesn't know that. John just thinks the mc is looking for a date. And I was hoping to imply that the last girl was killed between the phone call and John ending up on the table. And I guess I kind of imply that the mc is gay? I don't know, that's not really what I meant. But I didn't explain it soooo infer whatever you like. :3 Ohhh really?! That's awesome (: Are you going to... share?
Very creepy, but it did confuse me a little bit: first you describe this woman, and say he found her, the perfect one. It says he met her at the bar, but then the text goes on to say that no, he didn't meet her at the bar because she wasn't the one.
And at the end, he has a man strapped to the table.
At the beginning, it says she was definitely his type but then I go on and say something about her legs [implying that her legs aren't what he's looking for] and I wrote "Maybe she wasn't his type after all... but it was too late, he'd already chosen her". And I don't see where it says he didn't meet her at the bar, sorry! Yeah, the man at the end is the first guy's friend-- he works at the bar where the MC meets his victims. Because the bar guy [John] keeps messing up, the MC takes his revenge and ends up choosing him, and John ends up being the 'perfect' one.
O.O good lord that made me think of The Silence of the Lambs for some reason xD
Even though this was short, I actually really enjoyed it! It was creepy, kinda like an old horror flick, in that you sort of know that in the end the guy must be a psycho and yet when you get to the end and find out, yeah he's crazy, it's still surprising. I like the fact that you avoided actually saying what it was that the man did to his victims. That definitely let's ones mind go crazy with the possibilities!
I didn't notice any mistakes, but then again I was completely engrossed in it xD I was not looking for mistakes at all so don't count on me to help ya with that one lol
Overall, I think was fantastic. You might really have something her (perhaps something for NaNo..?) or maybe this was just a random work that you never touch upon again. Either way, it was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it ^.^ Keep up the good work!
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More