Scary Paranormal Stories & Short Horror Microfiction

Creepypasta

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Rating: 6.4/10 (121 votes cast)

The furious scribblings of an aspiring writer can be heard throughout the almost vacant library. A lone entity, in a blissful state of ink to paper, processes a masterpiece.

James was dying to finalize his thought, but he could not wrap his consciousness around the perfect ending for his story. Frustratingly, he threw his utensil to the ground – happy in the thought that no one was around to see his embarrassing reaction to a seemingly trivial predicament. He had been working on the tale for months now trying to perfect his creation, but he did not care about temporal matters. He only wanted to be proud of his accomplishment – to be content in his first effort at an original writing. He laughed at the silly thought of just never finishing his work; that he would be doomed to endlessly staring at his incomplete narrative.

Earlier in life, James was often shunned for his interest in writing. He was labeled as an outcast for dabbling in the arts, but he cared not for the opinions of others. Now that he was in college, the notion of someone devoting their life to writing was not as ridiculous – he felt pleased in that fact. He no longer had to defend his love and he could finally focus on it. Writing, however, was harder work then he was willing to admit. Every idea was taken and written in better manner than he could ever hope to achieve. That wouldn’t stop him though, he had decided long ago that he would bring forth his true passion to tangible fruit regardless of the odds against him. He had read countless books on all manner of subjects, longing to be inspired – but never held his breath when delving into a new genre. All too often, he would sigh in disapproval at his choice of material, but one category never displeased him.

Horror was an emotion James felt was neglected in modern society, it was a feeling most people wanted to forget as unnecessary to the human condition. James was saddened in the thought that he could not remember a time when he was truly terrified. What annals of his mind were untapped simply because he had not experienced the full range of natural stigmas? The question depressed James. He wanted to live these sensations and found much solace in the solution to his problem. Reading. By reading, James could react to scenarios he could never truly experience – he adjudicated that horror was the only genus of writings that would satisfy his emotional cravings. Stories of ancient artifacts, of evil entities, of rituals and murders all circled his dorm-room, but his favorite story dealt with a demon-like persona named Yendismai who prevents a scientist from discovering hidden truths about the universe. James enjoyed this particular read wholly because it made him feel like there was more to the world than just reality. These books transported him to another thread on the clothe of existence and he was enthralled in the escapist mentality of submerging oneself.

James jumped up in cognizance of his trailing thought. “Damn it! I have to focus if I ever want to finish this,” he thought to himself. He picked up his favorite pen from the ground and situated his paper to begin working again. Something bothered him though. He looked around the area he was sitting remembering that he choose a corner of the library on the third floor specifically so that he would be left alone. It was dark and the eerie silence was not completely known to James until now that he was observing his surroundings. He started to sweat, but ignored his uncomfortable state in light of the fact that he needed to finish his story. He quickly dismissed any premonitions and began to…

“What are you doing here all alone?” said the friendly voice coming from the new figure sitting across from him in the once-empty chair.

“How did you get here without me noticing?” James replied, somewhat unsteadily, fearing the response.

“I guess I have alway been quiet,” said the girl with a certain charm about her.

“What is your name?”

“Sidney.”

James pondered the surreal nature of what was happening. He didn’t know why, but he felt sick and disturbed at the occurrence presenting itself. The dark musty corner of the library thickened and he felt unable to breath steadily. James suddenly panicked inside of himself, he felt as though he wasn’t supposed to be here. As if he was breaking some unwritten code in life; he found himself unable to stare directly at Sidney and he was trying to distance himself from the situation.

“What’s wrong?” The simple question lingered in the air and bellowed an aroma of confusion that permeated the stagnant positioning of the seemingly lighthearted encounter.

“Nothing, I just feel sick all of a sudden.” James was unsure of what to say next. He wanted to finish his story, but he knew that he had to deal with whatever was bothering him first.

“Okay…maybe you should put your work away? You seem rather stressed out.” Sidney was noticeably confused at James’s reactions, but she was agitated at his lack of interest more-so.

“Yeah, that is a good idea. Sorry for all of this, I just am having a bad reaction to the dust in here.” James lied, but he didn’t want to hurt the girls feelings even though he didn’t know the first thing about her. He decided that he would humor her acquaintance and would make up this awkward introduction by talking to her elsewhere. James cringed internally when he put the incomplete story into his backpack. Why did he feel like he was making a mistake?

Later, at the coffee shop just outside campus, James became increasingly intrigued at Sidney. She had explained that she could not really give him an answer for why she had ventured to the third floor of the library nor could she elaborate on the reasonings for saying hello. All that she could reveal was that she liked to do things on a whim and that James should not be concerned with things that didn’t matter. The weariness in the library was wearing off and James felt much better now that he was thrusted back into normalcy. They talked for hours about each other’s lives; James couldn’t help but feel like Sidney exaggerated on a few instances, but he was much too polite to point any inconsistencies in her tales. He was just glad that someone was taking an interest in him, he was so used to being ignored.

At the conversation’s end, James got Sidney’s number and felt quiet accomplished in the strange turn of events that occurred. Perhaps Sidney could become a possible love interest for James; the thought was surely pleasing to his mind, but he felt as though he was getting ahead of himself. Back at his dorm, James reclined and began to recount the memories made that day. He pulled out his story from his back-pack to see how much work he still needed to get done and noticed something odd. All of the corrections and ideas he had scribbled during his stay at the library were erased as if he had not altered his story at all. James’s heart stopped and he became very at-edge. There was no one in the library able to access his bag besides himself and Sidney and he had kept his back-pack on the entire time at the coffee shop. How could anyone have possibly taken it out of his person and why would anyone do such a thing? James could feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead and he was getting extremely anxious. “This is impossible,” he thought to himself. James decided to take a nap, perhaps he would feel more comfortable after resting a bit.

James’s dreams were plagued by nightmarish figures pulling at him and questioning him about his knowledge. These figures eventually converged into one being with aberrant proportions; it stared directly into James’s eyes as if demanding him of something.

When he awoke, James was feeling more ill than when he had absolved to sleep. He immediately pulled his story out of his bag to find that it was still showing that he had made no alterations since the beginning of the day. James sighed and let the facts dwindle in significance until he no longer cared about the harsh reality. He rejected the disturbing thoughts and began to re-mark his story as best he could to what it looked before Sidney had made her appearance. “Sidney. Had she taken my story?” James was thinking clearer than he ever had before trying to recall each and every detail of her uncanny visit. “There is no way. Besides, what reason would she have for such an action?” James went back to working on his story, but he didn’t even have time to write a single word before his phone rang.

It was Sidney’s number. He was surprised that she had called him so soon, she must have really been interested in him. He answered without hesitation.

“Hello?”

“Hey James! Look, I have been thinking and I would love it if I could see you tomorrow. There are a few things I want to tell you.”

“Well…okay, but where?”

“Back at our spot at the library. Be there for ten ok?”

“Yeah sure, I was planning on being there late tomorrow anyways.”

“Sounds great! See you then.”

She hung up without saying goodbye and James’s phone produced that familiar tone letting him know that the conversation was over – in case it wasn’t obvious. James placed the phone on his desk and smiled to himself. He was happy that he was seeing her again because he had secretly longed for someone to care about for a long time. Maybe this would be the beginning of something beautiful. After a while of childish jubilation, James began to think once more of his story. He started to piece-together how he could conclude the story, but he felt great hesitation in his mind. James got the uncontrollable feeling that he was discovering something forbidden. He began to jerk and spasm every time he put pen to paper and was becoming enraged at himself; he wanted nothing more than to finish his story, but he could not ignore the vibrations in his skull. Tears started to form in the corners of his eyes. James was screaming in pain at the idea of firming-up his work as if he was unlocking potential in his brain that was forcibly shut-off. Revelations passed over his eyes, but he was seeing nothing as he blankly stare into another dimension. James agonizingly pushed his eyes to a closed position as if it would stop the perfected madness coursing through his veins. James was losing consciousness and his mind went void as he slammed his head on the cold hard ground of his dorm.

Luckily, when James awoke it was still time enough for him to get ready for his first class. His head was still throbbing, but he could not tell if it was from physical pain or mental adumbration. He realized that his eyes turned to tunnel-vision as they glanced over his story on the ground beside him. He quickly shoved the papers into his back-pack and reorganized his disheveled appearance because after his final class of the day was over, he would have no time to return to his dorm in preparation for meeting Sidney. He left his dwelling with the determination to keep his mind from numbing him, but he knew he would be unable to prevent another apocalypse in the machinations of his cerebral-being if the emergence was on-setting.

Throughout the classes of the day, James could not keep focus. He was constantly losing his center of attention to the night before and his story, but he made sure to not strain too hard on the subject. He laughed to himself with the notion that he did not want to be driven insane before he met Sidney again. With each passing hour, James felt less worried about his mental fits of past and more concerned about that night with Sidney. “What does she want to tell me exactly?” James thought to himself as he lost interest in his professor. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was not right. The world seemed tilted at a wrong angle, the hue of the sky was discolored ever-so-slightly and the voices of passing students around him were all at a frequency he was not familiar with. James was unbalanced and he needed to put his paranoia to rest. As he sat up to leave his final class, James discovered he was quite tired despite having taken his nap and being knocked unconscious in close succession. All the thoughts racing inside of him were draining his lifeblood from him. James started to feel anticipation as he stepped outside feeling the cold air inviting him towards his destination. He could feel the paleness of his face even though he could not see anything in the darkness of the night.

James walked into the library with the sudden inkling that he was forgetting something. His mind was processing the facts of his life in the last day. “What am I missing?” James questioned himself rigorously as he took caution in each movement to the third floor of the library. The veins on his head were enlarging and James felt like he was absorbing the knowledge from his surroundings. He could not pinpoint the source of the discomposure in his internal being, but he could not help but feel that another apex was approaching. He turned the corner of the final book-shelf and saw that Sidney was already at the table waiting for him. She looked more beautiful than he remembered and she had a certain graceful solemnity about her.

“Hey, I came up here to finish my story so I hope you don’t mind if I work while we talk.” The words left James mouth with a newfound confidence. His aliments were no longer affecting him in a disabling manner and he was feeling much better now that he was in good company.

“I knew you were going to be working on that silly story. Just put it away for right now, I won’t be long.”

James’s heart stopped. Did he hear her correctly? Did she just say what he thought she said? There was no way Sidney could know that he was writing a story because he had never mentioned it to her. Something was not right and James instantly knew he was in danger. He quickly remembered that the library was practically empty on his way up; no one would know that he was up there and no one would be able to hear anything happening that high up from ground level. James’s pulse was deadening and he felt his clinging to the tangible world was weakening. He couldn’t bare the gnawing of his insatiable curiosity.

“Who are you?!” James screamed with a wild abandon of all decorum.

The lights in the library flickered and James realized that he had not made actual conversation with another human being besides Sidney since he had met her. The bizarre qualities of the day finally shed their cocoon of pseudo-realism to expose the truth. James’s revelation opened his eyes for the first time since the aforementioned day’s experience and he observed Sidney for what she really was. She was now contorting in a seizure-like twisting of limbs and flesh. She grew in stature and her hair receded into her skull so that she was just a gray husk of the girl James’s mind tricked him into seeing. Her arms grew five feet long each; her hands became wrinkled and her fingernails lengthened into talons. Sidney’s legs bent backwards to a beast like appearance and her clothes were absorbed in a mass of tendrils surrounding her body. Her face elongated to hold a new set of black boney protrusions and here eyes delved into her globulous visage. Her mouth was made cavernous and opened to a morbid extension that left her lower jaw hanging at about her mid-body. She was emitting no sound from her crevice other than the sickening noise of a “call-waiting” tone.

“I am Sidney,” the creature screeched. It positioned itself directly in front of James before squealing: “There are some things in this universe that are better left unfinished. We could not afford for you to complete your story lest your kind would have discovered us prematurely.”

Sidney inched its way forward as James held onto his breath, waiting for the end to encompass his being. He spent a split second planning an escape only to discern that it would be to no avail. James felt at ease knowing his mind would no longer have to strain. The search was over. He had found Sidney.

—————————————————————————-

I found the remnants of this story outside the old condemned library on campus. I was terrified reading it, but I just couldn’t put it down.

It feels like it isn’t finished though…

Credit To – taylorlanson@gmail.com

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Rating: 6.4/10 (121 votes cast)
Writer's Block, 6.4 out of 10 based on 121 ratings
  • Freaky Fred

    A call-waiting tone?
    OH GOD, SIDNEY WAS PHONE!!

    IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW

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    Rating: +16 (from 18 votes)
    • Haizakokaru

      LOL nice catch.

      This being was a Yendismai mentioned earlier, wasn’t it?

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      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
      • Taylor

        Reverse the letters in the name.

        -author

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        Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
        • David V.

          Yendismai

          I am Sidney. Nice one

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          Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
      • Mr.Sarcasm

        pretty much what im thinking. Its dificult to think if it would have been better without that little hint or not. Probably should have put in more story quotes so the one about yendismai wouldn’t stand out as much.

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  • Anonymous

    The writing felt horribly pretentious and forced, especially due to the fact that there were oh so many grammatical errors. The story was meh, but I couldn’t get past the writing. Sorry. 4/10.

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    Rating: +6 (from 22 votes)
    • David V.

      I don’t know what’s wrong with you all. This story was great with only 2 grammatical errors. I think the ending could’ve been better though. Still 10/10

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      Rating: +3 (from 9 votes)
      • Anonymous

        same here great story

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        Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  • Thy Awesomeness

    “Hey, I’m here to finish my story, so I hope you don’t mind if I write while we talk.”

    “Oh, you don’t have to take out your story, I’ll be quick-”

    “HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS WRITING A STORY?!?!?”

    “You just mentioned it five seconds ago-”

    “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?!?!?!”

    No wonder this guy is a loner.

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    Rating: +36 (from 42 votes)
    • Kat

      Hahaha oh my God, I was thinking EXACTLY THE SAME THING. I wasn’t going to mention it in my comment, but as I read that part that is more or less precisely what I had in mind. xD

      *HIGHFIVES*

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      Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
      • Taylor

        At first I thought this was a sarcastic joke, but more and more people are taking it this way. James never mentions the story until the very last “scene” of the story. Sidney responds with:

        “I knew you were going to be working on that silly story.”

        Emphasis on knew. As in – she knew he was going to be writing it before he told her.

        I don’t mean to sound like a pretentious jerk. Honestly. It isn’t my intention, but I am finding that 90% of people can’t even comprehend the basic plot of the story. Perhaps this is my fault.

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        Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
        • Kat Bailey

          Hi again, Taylor! I’ll be writing a more in-depth comment in response to… your… response to me, but for now I wanted to address this (even though I’m going to be saying much the same down there, heh).

          First off, plotting is HARD. One of my favorite authors, Lois McMaster Bujold, is so dang excellent with plotting that all these seemingly loose threads come together perfectly at the end; like Fred Astaire, who worked hours and hours and days and days on a single dance routine to make it look “effortless,” she makes a tight, interwoven plot look perfectly simple to concoct.

          And the perfectly simple truth is, it takes hours (and hours) and days (and days) to make plotting look effortless, because no matter what, you’re not going to know how 99% of the population is going to take your story once it’s out there.

          As I mentioned in my other comment, I’ve been writing for 15 years, and whenever I write so much as a new scene for a short story or a novel, I have NO IDEA if my readers are going to take it as I wrote it. It’s just impossible, there are too many variables—for instance (and this is a really simple example, forgive me for oversimplifying), one of my favorite books is Connie Willis’s “Passage,” so to me, the Titanic is just rife with metaphors for death and dying, as well as the human spirit. Other people might think of the movie, with dopey Jack and Rose; yet other people might think of the actual event which, while rife with real death, doesn’t necessarily communicate “a universal symbol of death.”

          (Like I said, that’s a weird, oversimplified example, so I don’t blame you at all if you don’t follow me. :P)

          Basically, what I’m saying is that you really have no way of knowing, until it’s out there, whether your baby (your story) is going to have the same effect on your readers as it did on you. Say you’re writing a murder mystery: are your clues too obvious, or too obtuse? Is nobody going to have any idea what you’re talking about, or are they going to be bored, because it’s SO obvious that the killer was actually the monkey all along, when that was supposed to be the dramatic reveal at the end? The only real solution to this, I think, is to have LOTS of proofreaders, from LOTS of different backgrounds, so you get a decent idea—a sort of “map”—of various responses that you’ll likely receive.

          Carrying on with the murder mystery analogy: if 80% of your readers are saying, “I have no idea how you expected me to realize that the candlestick was the murder weapon, when it was only mentioned at the very end, and really, that twist with the monkey wasn’t very clever at all,” you’re going to want to rethink how you’re presenting the whole thing. If you’re lucky, you have a decent framework laid down already, so you just have to tweak the “meat” of the story; if you’re not, you’re probably going to want to think about rewriting the whole thing to be more accessible.

          On the other hand, if 80% of your readers are saying, “Oh, my God, why did we just waste five hours reading this? I pegged from the first chapter that it was the monkey, and it was cheap how you only mentioned the candlestick at the very end,” you’re going to want to restructure your plot to make it less obvious.

          On the THIRD hand, if you have some people saying it was soooo obvious they yawned through the whole thing, and some people saying that they still don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, and SOME people telling you it was absolutely brilliant and others telling you that it was okay, but they actually hate murder mysteries (and a decent percentage sending you hatemail because of your depiction of monkeys as murderers), you’ve got an excellent working map of your potential readerbase.

          SECONDLY…

          I, personally, don’t take you for a pretentious jerk at all. Some of your comments have COME OFF as a little pretentious, but I think that’s totally normal for a first-time submitter; like I mentioned in my other comment, I’ve been writing for 15 years, and reading creepypasta for about 2 years, and yet I’ve never submitted a single horror story I’ve written simply because I am absolutely terrified of letting my brainchildren out among the unwashed masses, so to speak. (Watch everyone downrate this comment because of that remark. It was a joke, people!) So for that alone, you get props from me—it takes guts, as I said, to not only release a story into the wilds of the internet, but also keep track of (and engage in conversation with) your commenters. Defending yourself from the people writing you hatemail is only natural, but ultimately slinging feces back at the monkeys (I seem to have a thing for primate-related metaphors tonight): pointless, totally lost on them, and likely to earn you more bullcrap.

          Honestly, though, for this site, this particular crop of commenters has been very polite (at least no one’s told you outright that you suck yet; when it happens, just let it roll off, like water off a duck’s back). And really, I agree with one of your other commenters: when it comes to critique, you take what you think you’ll need, leave everything else, and thank them for their time. You can’t possibly please everybody… but it’s my personal opinion that you are off to a FANTASTIC start tickling the people who DO like your particular brand of fiction (like me!). :)

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          Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
        • Kat

          Also, if it’s not apparent, Kat Bailey and Kat are the same (with the asfghn email address). I have no idea why it put Kat Bailey instead of just Kat this time, and I only noticed after I posted my comment, so there you go. :P

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          Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
        • Anonymous

          Thanks for taking the time to write your response (again). All your advice is noted (literally. I am taking notes on things to keep in mind for my next piece.) I cannot give as lengthy of a response as I am in class at the moment (terrible I know). I intend to contact your privately from hereon. Here’s to hoping I don’t annoy the living hell out of you. Happy New Year to all Creepy-pasta-ers. Cheers.

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          Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
        • godsband4life

          Consider it from the readers perspectives. When the narrator first met Sydney, he was “working on something” and it is not a great leap of the imagination for Sydney to assume he was writing, even a story. Then, when the narrator himself reveala his story, it also makes sense that Sydney could have expected him to be working on something (at a library!) during their encounter, and the fact that he just supplied her with his project, it would have been no large feat for her to put the pieces together the way she did. in fact, thus is exactly I i had in mind when I read this, so the man’s train of thought and overreaction were confusing to me as well as to the other readers. The fact that the rest and prior of the story were rather void of actual events further caused me overall confusion to what was supposed to be going on, and the imagery, though excellent and well-written, only served to hinder the point more. This is my opinion and merely a supposed explanation to your “uncomprehending” readers. I somewhat enjoyed some elements of the story (the very ending was a nice twist and the description throughout was virtually unflawed) but it was not perfect and in this case the imperfections just happened to throw some people off.
          (I realize I made a blatant typo earlier in this comment but apparently my mobile can’t go back to fix it)

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        • http://deliriletterari.blogspot.com CMT

          She knew, but still she only mentioned a story after he did. One could think that otherwise she would have said “I knew you would be writing…” and she just adjusted the sentence as she _now_ knows it’s a story.

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  • Jon

    :O phone !! :O

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  • Rage_Quitter

    Liked the story.
    5/10
    Very indicate though, and I’m sure some of the language and grammar was a bit out.

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    Rating: -4 (from 4 votes)
  • Fizzle Out

    BUT WHO WAS SIDN…never mind.

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    Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
  • http://www.fanfiction.net Cat

    Meh. Not scary really.

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    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  • Minecraftian Creeper

    overall a good pasta, I didn’t find any grammatical errors, but some of the language was kind of confusing, because there were words that I didn’t understand, but that’s because I’m 13, anyway, Sidney, WHAT THE HELL IS SHE! Is she a phone, or is she a Yendismai?

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    Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
  • Taylor

    Hey guys, the author here. This was my first attempt – so I know the writing is a bit off. I appreciate the tips, but I was wondering what you guys consider a “grammatical error.” This was proofread by several individuals – one being my teacher. Perhaps it is a difference of style and not so much “right and wrong.” I think it would help me more if you specifically gave an example of where you feel the writing is off, because I find it odd that many of you (who probably have read such joys as “The Scarlet Letter,” “Frankenstein,” ect. know that, although some things may be technically grammatically incorrect, that in the real realm of writing – much is overlooked as stylistic license. Any further help would be appreciated.

    Also, reverse the letters in the demons name at the beginning of the story for a nice little twist.

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    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
    • Kat

      Hey there, Taylor! Welcome to creepypasta! First off, it takes guts to comment on your own story, especially when people are critiquing it (not necessarily gracefully, but what do you expect from the internet? c; ). I’ll do my best to give a well-reasoned, thought-out critique, rather than “I don’t like this” or “this sucked” or whatever.

      First: “adumbration”

      I do not think this word means what you think it means.

      ad·um·brate [a-duhm-breyt, ad-uh m-breyt] Show IPA
      verb (used with object), ad·um·brat·ed, ad·um·brat·ing.
      1. to produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch.
      2. to foreshadow; prefigure.
      3. to darken or conceal partially; overshadow.

      It’s a nice word, but it’s a perfect example of the fact that I think you’re generally overreaching with your vocabulary. You use a lot of neat words, but the general effect of them is rather awkward and lumbering—for instance, the main character’s “questioning himself rigorously,” becoming “very at-edge,” his racing thoughts “draining the lifeblood from him,” and so on. I understand that you had it proofread by multiple people, but speaking as someone who wrote extensively in my teenage years and also had my stuff proofread by teachers, they’re not going to edit you very harshly, ESPECIALLY if they like you. I know I went through a phase where I wrote pretty much nothing but purple prose, and my English teacher has since admitted that she deliberately avoided correcting me on it, since she knew it was likely just a phase that I would grow out of over the course of my writing career.

      Another thing is, when people are giving you free critique and advice, DON’T claim that it’s “just your style” and “not a matter of right and wrong.” Just… don’t. It makes you come off as pretentious, clinging to a “style” (or phase, or whatever) that simply wouldn’t work in a publishing setting, and sticking your fingers in your ears and going “LALALALALA” when someone tries to correct you, or even point out that something doesn’t flow very well, or simply doesn’t work. And I know this is hard advice to take, and—being advice—you really don’t HAVE to take it, but if you’re serious about writing, you’ll find it out sooner or later: You (this is a general “you,” not you, Taylor, in particular) are not perfect. You will always be growing and improving. I’ve been writing for fifteen years, and I cringe to read things I wrote six months ago! The minute you cease to improve, you grow stagnant, and then you die. That’s just the way of it (although, of course, the younger you are, the more phases you’ll go through that will likely look dumb in retrospect, a few years down the road).

      Anyway, I think this story had very good potential. Scaling back the fancy verbiage and just telling the story would make it even better—you don’t have to prove anything to anyone, honest! Regarding the plot, I cottoned on to Sidney being a Yendismai as soon as she introduced herself, so—as another commenter pointed out—I think that could have been handled a little more subtly. Overall, though, this is a really solid concept, and I love your description of the Yendismai… and although the fact that she was making the “call waiting” noise initially made me laugh, as I thought about it, it began to make me uneasy, which is good! Horror and comedy are really two sides to the same coin, and if you can handle them they work VERY well together (see any of David Wong’s lovely novels, such as John Dies At the End).

      All that being said, if you’d like another unbiased proofreader/editor, feel free to shoot me an email at asfghn[AT]gmail[DOT]com. You have very real potential, and I’d love to read over—and help to improve—any more gems you might choose to write. :) Either way, definitely don’t give up! Continue to hone your craft, and I think you could easily rival the masters.

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      Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
      • Taylor

        I really appreciate this more than you will ever know. It means a lot that someone can give a very detailed critique and I want to thank you for the time you took to write that. I have a few statements to make though.

        1. What about all the established writers who write in “purple-prose?” It seems to me that you are trying to say that purple-prose is bad or undesirable. I comprehend your statements about word choice and the like. I agree with you on taking a step back from the thesaurus. However, I don’t understand why the general public looks at this certain “phase” – as you call it – a automatic “no-no, tisk tisk.” I guess what I am trying to say is that I find it startling that this certain writing-mode is deemed as inferior when so many famous writers write in this fashion!

        2. I think your implication about my comment being akin to “sticking my fingers in my ears and going “‘LALALALALA'” to be quite misguided. You are the only one who has actually critiqued in a manner that has helped me. I was only trying to get a substantive response to my first attempt and I was receiving nothing but very lack-luster summations. I succeeded in my plea, but at the cost of you thinking that I am a pretentious ass-hat. I don’t think I am perfect nor do I believe I don’t have room to grow. I think some very major assumptions were made about my persona and my take on my own writing. I WANT to get better. By all means – bash me as much as you want! Reduce me to tears! As long as there is a substantial problem noted coupled with a means to solve said problem – I am happy (both of which were accomplished with your response).

        3. You gave me a means for which to contact you. I intend on using it because I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for a while. Your comment about teachers and friends being unable to properly critique is true – that is why I am jumping at the opportunity you are giving me.

        Thanks again.

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      • Raelyn

        Downvotedbyaccident!! That wassupposedto bea thumbsup!

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  • Mouse

    The author would do well to read this story aloud. There is a good story in here but it does not flow and the main character’s name being repeated in almost every sentence is extremely distracting. Reading a story aloud allows the writer to hear what flows and what does not. Also, the writing is way too formal. It reads like a textbook or something from the 19th century. Author, rework this and relax while doing so. It will give the story a more accessible feel. It is definitely worth the rework because it has great bones!

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    • Taylor

      The part about reading aloud is really helpful, but I find that you are trying to change my style when you say I write like a textbook. I mean, I understand where you are coming from, but you can’t just tell me to change how I write. That IS how I talk. I feel like anyone who reads Dickens or Twain or anyone of that stature HATES the way they write, but it is more about WHAT they are trying to say that makes them classics. I am not saying that I am a remarkable writer – this is my first attempt. I am just saying that I find it hard to just change my whole process of writing. Coming from someone who is skipping freshman and sophomore english in college, I’d say that reducing your syntax, rhetoric, and mood to a elementary level detracts more than it adds. However awkward it may be – complex sentences is what the sophisticated writing world writes in.

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      • Taylor

        I take this back. Stupid comment. Please disregard.

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      • Mouse

        My comment was not an insult. It was meant as constructive criticism, which I believe is something that you desire. In theory, there is nothing wrong with writing in an old style. However, from a publishing standpoint a more relaxed style will be more likely to be accepted as it is easier for today’s audience to identify with. It is sad, but many people do not have the patience for Poe or any of our other great predecessors’ formal style. People want to read stories written in a style they are comfortable with. (Notice how I just made the classic error of ending a sentence with a preposition, because to say “with which they are comfortable” is rarely said conversationally today. If you do not wish to change, your style, that is perfectly okay. Just realize getting published might be harder than you wish. However, I still stand by your constant repetition of James’ name to be very distracting. It is okay to say he or him when the reader knows who you mean. Perhaps stick to one James per paragraph. And I also agree with Kat that having someone who knows you proofread is a bad idea. They will never give you an unbiased edit because they love you. (Outside of a grammar edit of course.). It is always best to use an outside editor or better yet, a developmental (not copy) editor if you can afford it.

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        • Anonymous

          I appreciate your honesty and your advice will be taken. Sorry for the seemingly angry disposition. Everybody has bad days.

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  • lollipop_gestapo

    But He told her He was writing a story….? I didn’t like this one as much.

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    • Taylor

      No he didn’t; he mentions it once at the very end and she specifically says that she “knew” that he would be working on it. The point is – although that is a subtle nod to the fact that something isn’t right – it is a combination of things that makes James question Sidney for who she is. That was just the last straw.

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  • bluething

    Why is it always a creepy girl!! It could have been a possessed shade of blue or a stained curtain- I find inanimate objects scary. anyway I’m not sure I liked this story. but being a story writer myself I know that effort has been put into it , so I give a nice thumbs up….and a score of 4.0 / 10

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  • https://twitter.com/Star_Kindler Star Kindler

    Okay, step away from the thesaurus and no one gets hurt.

    There’s something sort of interesting here, but you telegraph too much to the reader. From the moment Sidney shows up, I knew she was bad news and would either kill and/or maim James.

    As for grammar stuff, it’s not so much formal errors (like using your instead of you’re or its instead of it’s), but using words in the wrong way. For instance, at one point, you say that James “absolved” to go to sleep. A person can resolve to do something, but is absolved of something, usually sin.

    As Mouse said, go through this again and relax when writing it. It comes off as pretentious right now, almost as if you’re trying too hard.

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  • monkyvirus

    As someone who was also prone to using inappropriate words just because they sound fancy, I know you might like it but your readers won’t. Think about your word choice does it fit the tone of the piece? (in this case I would say yes it does, in that it sounds like something your character would have written) but is each word necessary? don’t overload people with too many archaic/complex words: less is often more.

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    • Taylor

      This is helpful and I appreciate every critique. It is kind-of disappointing when you say that “less is often more.” I suppose it is time for me to just accept that people don’t want to read the sort of intricate (yet admittedly flawed and confusing) prose I was longing to create. Also, you are correct in assuming I used word choice to try and fit what James would say or think. In that respect, I think this piece has a little more to it than the initial reaction that most people seem to be having, which is something to the effect of “Your grammar is awful and this sounds pretentious.”

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      • monkyvirus

        hey, it’ s your party. Just take on board the criticism you agree with and don’t worry about the rest. Just keep in mind that you may have to compromise your style if you want to write things people will enjoy reading. Good luck!

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  • http://... michael

    spoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooky not!

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  • thischickeniscold

    This pasta was lukewarm and bland. you had an interesting concept for the story, but the overall tone felt forced and bored and ending was tacked on.

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  • http://grakmarr.blogspot.com Dave Taylor

    My feelings reflect those of Kat and Mouse (heh), to the point where I could save time by just copying and pasting.

    It’s great that you’re writing, and it’s obvious that you’re intelligent, and it’s neat that you’ve got an advanced vocabulary. But le mot juste is rarely something you’ll find in a thesaurus. I’m not saying you used one, it just reads that way.

    And yes, some writers use the style you’ve chosen. You noted Twain, one of my favorite authors. Lovecraft would be another good example. They both pull it off, probably because they had years of practice perfecting it. You mention your teacher having reviewed it, from which I infer you’re under the age of 22. Again, awesome. You show great potential. Lovecraft did, too. His stories from where he was 15-17 remind me a lot of yours.

    I would never suggest to change your style, but you might want to consider experimenting with it. If only to confirm that you’ve ‘found your voice.’ You might be the next Lovecraft, there’s no ruling that out. But it will take getting used to a great deal of puzzled looks and shook heads in order for you to get there.

    When I was in school, I liked to show my stories to a particularly cool English teacher of mine – because she seemed to enjoy reading them. And, as others mentioned, she would never have an unkind word about them.

    Even now, according to my friends, I make Stephen King look like an idiot child with a box full of dull crayons scribbling nonsense on the walls. I thank them, take it for what it really means (that they’re my friends, and they support me in my writing), then proceed to ignore every word of it. No one ever became a better writer because someone told them their story was perfect. You get better because two hundred anonymous jerks all left comments saying “This story is bad, and here’s why.”

    It’s not a bad story, and you’re not a bad writer. But you both can and will get better with practice and fine-tuning. I hope you’ll take what the commenters above (the constructive ones, anyway) say to heart.

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  • Rolo

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned in the comments earlier, but I don’t have time to read through them all as I am in a rush. In my opinion, it could have been better if Sidney wasn’t real and had been his writer’s block. But it’s just an idea.

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    • Taylor

      Hey, the author here. That was kind-of the whole point. It is supposed to be ambiguous wether or not Sidney is real on not – hence her appearance in James’s favorite book. It really is up to you to decide if she is real or not! As for the statement about her being his writer’s block – I thought that was a given to be true, but maybe it wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be. Once again, that was intended – but I understand the confusion.

      Cheers!

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  • http://crappypasta.com the cake

    prematurely.. haha. as if humans do not already know about the paranormal “coincidences.” children see them. as adults, we simply ignore them.

    it will always be just the sound of the wind.

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  • http://barelybreathing.exe No service

    Actually if you notice the author says in the meeting Sidney scene that he is working on his story and puts it away durring part of their convo, she could have seen it and asumed it was a “silly story” then

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    • Anonymous

      Bravo good sir. Nice point. I thought of that earlier as well.

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  • http://deliriletterari.blogspot.com CMT

    The story in itself isn’t bad, but the prose is a bit heavy and doesn’t really make it easy to read it.
    BTW, I sort of understand why the antagonist is named Sidney, even then, when I read
    “The search was over. He had found Sidney.”
    my first impulse is saying “oh, he could have used Googlemaps and saved himself a lot of time”.

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    • Anonymous

      The antagonist is named Sidney because the sentence: “I am Sidney.” spelled backwards is Yendismai – which is the creature from the beginning of the pasta. If you didn’t get that – then you didn’t get the story. Go back and read what Yendismai does in the story.

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