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HALLOWEEN/Fall Short Story Contest! (2012) Winners Announced

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Conserative Morality
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Founded: Aug 24, 2007
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HALLOWEEN/Fall Short Story Contest! (2012) Winners Announced

Postby Conserative Morality » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:53 am

Our seasonal short story contest is back for the, er, season! Jesus, it feels like we just had our last one. Anyway, this'll be a horror-themed contest in honor of Halloween. Bring on the monsters and psychopaths!

Writing Deadline November 1st (Subject to change)
7500 word limit
No fanfic, public domain characters are fine
Stay within the site's rules
Must be a new/original story (IE one not posted on another site before this)
Should be a horror themed story

More info will come as we figure out more.

Judges:

Nazi Flower Power
Unidox
Norstal

All judges chosen!

Scoring rubric is as follows:

Code: Select all
[b]Characters[/b] - /25

[b]Plot[/b] - /25

[b]Setting[/b] - /15

[b]Creativity[/b] - /10

[b]Style[/b] - /10

[b]Theme[/b] - /10

[b]Grammar/spelling[/b] - /5

[b]Overall[/b] - /100



1. CM - 87.5
2. Ramenasia - 79

3. Mereshka - 73

Qazox - 72
Partially Blind People - 58.5
Communist Quinntopia - 58.5
Forsher - 45
Ende - 41

If I've made a mistake, please tell me. Otherwise, here are the winners! Congratulations to everyone who participated!
Last edited by Conserative Morality on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:34 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Conserative Morality
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Conserative Morality » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:04 am

Reserved for judgements.

Ende's Entry
Characters - 12.5/25
Plot - 12.5/25
Setting - 7.5/15
Creativity - 8/10
Style - 5/10
Theme - 4/10
Grammar/spelling - 5/5
Overall - 54.5/100


ENDE

Characters - 5/25

It's very centered on one character, and he isn't developed well enough to carry the story. I don't mind having him quote from what he's reading in a sarcastic way once or twice, but it would have been more convincing if you had also mixed in some original dialog. You need your protagonist to have a personality apart from what he is reading. It would have been nice to know more about his relationship with Lenore, what he missed about her, etc. so that we can understand his grief better.

Plot - 12/25

The overall concept is not bad, but the way you told the story created some plot holes. For example, in the opening scene, it says:
As he had pulled the cover open slowly, the opening words of the first page instantly intrigued him into bringing it to his lonely home, and reading more.


That makes it sound like this is something he has not read before. Later, he is surprised to see the name Lenore there, which again implies that he is reading it for the first time. But then when he gets up and goes to the window, he is still quoting from the poem, even though he would no longer have it in front of him. If he is reading it for the first time, and he got up to go to the window, then how does he know what the rest of it says?

"Geeky guy that used to have a lover named Lenore reads Poe, finds a raven at his window, gets upset by the coincidence" is a viable story idea. You just have some kinks to work out.

Setting - 5/15

Why does this guy just happen to have the same furnishings that are mentioned in the poem? If you are going to have the matching furnishings as an eerie coincidence, you should describe the room in more detail before you get to the parts of the poem that mention the furnishings. Not everyone has a bust of Pallas in their room, you know?

I actually would have preferred if he had different furniture, but having it match the poem would be OK if the matching furniture was introduced more effectively.

Creativity - 0/10

Sorry, there is just too much borrowed from Poe for me to give you points here. You need to do more to make the story your own.

Style - 2/10

The handling of the Poe quotes was clunky, and there is too much repetition. Where you were using entirely your own words and not leaning on Poe, the style was OK, but not amazing.

Theme - 8/10

It seems like the story was aimed in the right general direction, but it's 8/10 instead of 10/10 because there were some places where I didn't think it was as creepy as it was intended to be.

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

There is not a major problem here, but you have a couple of typos and whatnot. For example, the past tense of "seek" should be "sought" rather than "seeked," and you have an extra "to" here:
And to a single word of that single section of that single page, his eyes leapt directly to.


Overall - 36/100


Characters - 5/25

Like NFP said, it's very one-sided. You have to shape the character on your own. Use your own ideas about the character's life, what the context of his life is.

Plot - 10/25
Whilst the idea is interesting, I think you relied too much on the poem to shape the story. I mean, it needs to be more innovative. What I expected was that your own story was an alternate story that reflects the poem. Instead, what we have here is just a story of the poem, which is just the poem with more words.

I'll give you points because it's an interesting idea and I encourage you to do something like this with another poem. Except with more pizzazz.

Setting - 1/15

I think you just copied directly from the poem...

Creativity - 2/10

Again, great idea, you just need to work on it a bit more. Don't just copy the original work.

Style - 5/10

I find the way you segue your story into the poem a bit awkward. I think you can improve it a bit. There's also repetitive dialogue. The way you handle your own language though, is decent.

Theme - 5/10

Gritty, dark. Not much more to say about this.

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

Saw some mistakes.

Overall - 32/100


Qazox's Entry
Characters - 20/25
Plot - 23/25
Setting - 14/15
Creativity - 7/10
Style - 10/10
Theme - 7/10
Grammar/spelling - 3/5
Overall - 84/100


QAZOX:

Characters - 16/25

I wish the narrator's tone was more consistent over the course of the story. In the part about the car overheating, the narrator has more of a grumbling tough guy thing going on, whereas in the part about the monster and the hospital he seems more detached. I think the grumbling worked, and it would have been nice if that was carried through to the end of the story.

Plot - 18/25

Some scenes kind of belong in a trashy movie, but it combines things in a way that you don't see very often. I like the twist of having the hospital turn out to be where the real danger is, and I think the transition from monster story to creepy hospital story was done well.

Setting - 13/15

A little more detail regarding the scenery might have been nice, but I understood where the story was taking place, and the setting was appropriate for this plot.

Creativity - 7/10

Your monster was a little generic, and creepy hospitals experimenting on people have been done before, but you mixed them in an original way. When I started reading, it was not obvious that this was going to be an evil hospital story, so you get points for making it unpredictable.

Style - 4/10

If you are going to write first person, you need to be more consistent about making sure the narrator's personality comes out throughout the story. You started off doing better than a 4/10, but the writing kind of fell apart as the story went on. It's odd because the story structure holds together, but it just seems like you lost control of the language.

Theme - 10/10

Works for me in this department.

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

You confused the verbs to lie and to lay, there were a couple of typos, and the punctuation got mildly wonky in some places. It didn't interfere too much with readability, though.

Overall - 72/100


Character - 10/25

There was no context, nothing notable about the characters. I feel that the tone is way too casual and at the same time, it's like reading the ramblings of a mad man (which kinda makes sense I suppose). I think you need more time developing the character, it just feels too rushed for me.

Plot - 15/25

The denouement was somewhat of a twist, but I do think there are some unresolved plot-lines. How he just got teleported into a cabin and into the hospital. I could not even identify any conflict that's worth mentioning or memorable enough. It's just one guy being chased by something which turned out to be a simulation and...that's it.

In a way, I can say that you're showing the futility of life, of how you can never escape conflict, an existential horror. Props on that; not many authors would touch on the philosophical concept of nihilism (I think that's what it is). I just think that, it could've been presented in a better way. Make the character jump through hoops, not just a linear plot like this.

Setting - 12/15

I guess you did specified the setting decently, but you do need to put more details in it.

Creativity - 4/10

I didn't see anything noteworthy here, except again, the hospital ending. Though I kinda expected that a bit.

Style - 5/10

Again, too casual for me. It might be just because of my tastes though, so don't take it too hard.

Theme - 10/10

I suppose you should get 10 for this.

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

There were some errors that I saw.

Overall - 60/100


Partially Blind People's Entry
Characters - 21/25
Plot - 18/25
Setting - 13/15
Creativity - 9/10
Style - 7/10
Theme - 4/10
Grammar/spelling - 2/5
Overall - 74/100


Characters - 9/25

The narrator has a backstory and some interesting gadgetry, but not a lot of personality or emotions. You need to get more into what he experiences emotionally, not just physically. The girl doesn't really need to be in the story at all if she is going to have no personality, drop out of sight at the end of the first scene, and not come back. I liked the narrator's boss yelling at him on the neural implants.

Plot - 13/25

The set up is not bad, but the end is really weak. It might work better if the scenes in the jungle were expanded.

Setting - 13/15

It's an interesting setting, but I was sometimes confused. When you are writing about a real place like Siberia or Morocco or whatever, you can rely on what your readers already know about it, but when the setting is unfamiliar we get confused more easily.

It was not clear if the opening takes place on a boat on a river or spacecraft traveling between planets. There are places where it sounds like "downriver" is being used as slang for "to the next planet," but the reference to the girl not being used to Lalonde's climate kind of threw me off. If she is not on Lalonde yet because that scene is on a spacecraft between planets, then why comment on adjusting to the climate?

There was also a place where the words "savannah" and "jungle" were used to describe what I thought was supposed to be the same area. Savannah and jungle are not the same type of terrain.

Creativity - 10/10

You have some interesting stuff going on, so points for creativity.

Style - 4/10

There is some flowery imagery that seemed out of place and there were some places that the sentence structure was confusing. For example:
She had a petite nose and small curved lips with rosy cheeks that made her look like a fairy or an elf.


Does she have rosy cheeks or do her lips have rosy cheeks?

Theme - 4/10

Most of the story reads like sci-fi adventure more than horror. It might have worked better as a horror story if you expanded the part between getting off the boat and the big fight scene and used that space to build up more suspense.

Grammar/spelling - 3/5

There are some typos, and I's confoozed about this sentence:

Dungarees and a tight vest I discovered I had put on where common on Lalonde.


There is also this (emphasis mine):

my sour view towards colonists surely means I'm wasn't one.

I'm was intelligence agency operative


Where you did this twice in a row, I was not sure if it was a mistake or an attempt at creating a futuristic dialect. It kind of reminded me of Mondi Sendlinger, my character from the story I entered in the summer short story contest, who speaks English with screwy grammar. Unfortunately, it looks like it was accidental.

Overall - 56/100]


Characters - 5/25

Generic characters. Severe lack of context. Interesting use of technology to characterize, but in the end, it was its only strong point and the characters are not fleshed out real well. Make the characters more memorable, more unique.

Plot - 10/25

It wasn't particularly moving. Lack of exposition with a short rising action and a deflated climax. Unsatisfying denouement. Use of background to tell the story works to some extent. I also felt that it was too short.

One problem that many sci-fi writers have is that (and I encounter this almost every time I judge a writing contest) it alienates the reader. Explain the technology that the characters use. How the implants are used, what they look like, etc. I can sympathize that this is a short story so you might not have the time, so I won't take away too much points for this.

Setting - 14/15

Interesting choice of words to describe details. I defer to NFP's comment on this if you want to know the flaws.

Creativity - 7/10

Points for describing the setting.

Style - 5/10

It was weird to say the least. I think that you need to relate to your audience more, see if the things that you write aren't awkward.

Theme - 1/10

I can't rightly give you that much points since it's not really horror.

Grammar/spelling - 3/5

There was a lot of typos I saw. So much that it breaks the flow.

Overall - 45/100]


Forsher's Entry
Characters - 24/25
Plot - 15/25
Setting - 14/15
Creativity - 9/10
Style - 9/10
Theme - 5/10
Grammar/spelling - 5/5
Overall - 81/100


FORSHER
Characters - 5/25

They have no personality. Their origin stories are not bad, but you need to do more with them on-stage after introducing them. The Demon Warlord sounds like he might be fun if he actually appeared rather than just being referred to in the explanation of Twelve's background. Basically, we need to see these characters in action.

Plot - 6/25

It might work in a novel where we get to follow Vincent and Twelve through all their adventures leading up to this scene. It doesn't work as a short story. You have too much background and not enough action.

Setting - 4/15

Obviously a plot device designed to set up this showdown. You did describe the scene so that it was easy to visualize, but it was unfortunately a boring scene.

Creativity - 6/10

It sounds like there is some interesting mystical stuff going on in the background, but a duel to the death is not too original. The bit about Merlin letting his qualifications lapse was amusing.

Style - 3/10

I'm not sure if it's thesaurus abuse or just overthinking, but the writing feels kind of forced. Also, it gets a bit infodumpy in some places.

Theme - 2/10

Sorry, but it looks like it's been pieced together from parts of an epic fantasy novel.

Grammar/spelling - 4.5/5

You missed a comma or two, but overall the grammar and spelling were good.

Overall - 25.5/100


Characters - 5/25

That's not a bad context, but other than that, there's nothing more that can be said about characterization.

Plot - 3/25

Pretty much what NFP said. It's too short. It feels like you just wrote about the rising action of a story despite what could have been a great exposition.

Setting - 5/15

Creativity - 2/10

Style - 5/10

Good choice of words. I do feel that some of the descriptions are too much or unnecessary.

Theme - 5/10

Well, I could see some bits of horror in it, but not good enough.

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

Some common grammar mistakes.

Overall - 29/100


Communist Quinntopia's Entry
Characters - 10/25
Plot - 13/25
Setting - 8/15
Creativity - 5/10
Style - 3/10
Theme - 5/10
Grammar/spelling - 5/5
Overall - 49/100


COMMUNIST QUINNTOPIA
Characters - 15/25

Albert Holloway is a pretty good villain. Jack is OK as a protagonist, but you could have done a little more to get into his head and help the reader identify with him. I am less impressed with Jack's friends. Some of the dialog is clunky and they must not be very bright to keep going into the mansion after Robert gets hurt. Robert and Michael are kind of interchangeable, and having the token girl be the most panicky character is a tired cliche.

Plot - 20/25

It mostly works, but it has some cliches and it is not very realistic for them to keep going into the mansion instead of taking Robert back to civilization to get medical help.

Setting - 14/15

The setting is a little stereotypical, but it fits the story.

Creativity - 6/10

Even though there are a lot of cliches, you have enough detail to keep it from being too boring. I like the thing about the natural gas.

Style - 3/10

The biggest problem with this story is the clunky writing, though it does improve toward the end.

I don't know if you're familiar with the term "Said Book-isms," but you have a lot of them. The Said Book is like a specialized thesaurus with words you can use instead of "said," and Said Book-isms are when you overuse words like "retorted," "replied," "snapped," etc. Sometimes, you are better off just using "said."

Theme - 10/10

You nailed this. It would have been creepier without the distraction of the clunky dialog and if you didn't have your protagonist doing anything braindead to arrange his meeting with the ghost. However, those issues are covered under "style," "plot," and "characters."

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

In dialog, when a new character starts speaking, you should start a new paragraph. This should be 2 sentences:

It smashed, and an array of swords, axes and other weapons spilled out - they pierced his legs and severed his left hand.


Other than that, it seems OK.


Overall - 72/100


Characters - 10/25

Lack of context for each character. Seems generic to me. The characters were pretty much just sheep waiting to be slaughtered, which just makes it less memorable to me. Great description on the villain though.

Plot - 10/25

Lot's of cliches and most of the deaths are unsatisfying to me. It could've been any other Halloween horror stories out there. It seems a bit awkward at times too. I mean, this is probably one of the fewest stories I read where a character died for tripping.

Setting - 10/15

Had no problem with this. I thought it was adequate, but not that good either. I guess more description of the forest would be nice.

Creativity - 5/10

As I've said, it could've been any Halloween story out there. I didn't there was anything new or creative in it, save for how you constructed the story.

Style - 7/10

Could've been better.

Theme - 7/10

As much as it is cliched, it still fits the theme.

Grammar/spelling - 5/5

Didn't see any.

Overall - 54/100


Conserative Morality's Entry
Characters - 23/25
Plot - 25/25
Setting - 15/15
Creativity - 6/10
Style - 8/10
Theme - 9/10
Grammar/spelling - 5/5
Overall - 91/100


CONSERATIVE MORALITY

Characters - 23/25

Overall the characterization is good. The cigarettes were a nice way to illustrate that George is in over his head and losing it, and you did a good job of getting into his head and showing us his point of view.

It might have been nice to have a little more about the history between George and Clara before he got lured into the cultists' house. This is maybe more of a plot issue, but I'm also a little confused about who Paul was before he got possessed and what he was doing in the house. Was he originally George's partner? He doesn't need a ton of character-development since he's possessed and gets killed in the first scene, but it would be nice to know why he was there. The bit about Frank and George serving in the army together doesn't really add anything to the story.

Plot - 20/25

Similar to what I said about characterization: It's good, but some additional background about how the characters know each other and ended up at this house would be nice. The way you jump straight into the action means that it takes a while to figure out what is going on -- though the opening itself was well-written.

Setting - 13/15

You do a good job of establishing the ambience, but you never said where the house is and there is not any description of the asylum other than "They put me in an asylum."

Creativity - 8/10

Haunted houses and evil cults have been done, but you did it with style and put in enough detail to make it your own.

Style - 8/10

You used the first person viewpoint effectively, and in general it's quite readable; but the sentence fragments and ellipses sometimes get a little choppy. I realize that some of that is deliberate, but sometimes it was too much.

Theme - 10/10

Excellent.

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

I know some of the sentence fragments are part of the conversational tone, but they got a little out of hand, and there was some weird punctuation. And...

I would turn corners that would bend the other way as soon as my eyes were off of them; doors that disappeared whenever I tried to leave the room.


I know how to turn a corner, but how does one turn a door?

Overall - 86/100


Characters - 20/25

Lack of context for most of the characters. The main character was the only one that was fully developed, fully fleshed out. Like NFP said, you detailed his mental deterioration very well. Still, it would've been nice if you put the same amount of effort to the other characters (e.g, put subtle hints of character history through Paul's remains.)

Plot - 20/25

It was decent. It's very clear that you had a lot of influence from Lovecraft's works. Almost reminds me of one of his work actually. Nonetheless, it was a good rendition, and it would have done him proud. Some context would be nice, however.

Setting - 14/15

Did not have any problems with this. It could have been better in some ways.

Creativity - 8/10

Good choice of words. It was somewhat predictable to me.

Style - 9/10

Everything flows well.

Theme - 10/10

I seriously did not expect him to be stabbed.

Grammar/spelling - 5/5

Overall - 85/100]


Ramenasia's Entry
Characters - 18/25
Plot - 20/25
Setting - 13/15
Creativity - 5/10
Style - 6/10
Theme - 6/10
Grammar/spelling - 4/5
Overall - 72/100


RAMENASIA

Characters - 20/25

You do a good job of introducing the characters, but I would have liked to have a little more about what goes through Chris' head from the point where the police show up through the end of the story.

Plot - 22/25

It's a good plot, but the pacing is not quite perfect. Some scenes feel a little rushed.

Setting - 14/15

The setting is a little generic, but it still works pretty well. As someone who lives in the city, I can relate to it.

Creativity - 9/10

Cursed artifacts have been done before, but you did it in a way that doesn't feel stale or cliche.

Style - 8/10

It's easy to read, but not the most distinctive. As long as you keep having good story ideas, you can keep writing this way, and it will be worth reading; but I think your plots are more interesting than your style. Some of the dialog is not quite as smooth as it could be, but it is still not bad.

Theme - 10/10

If you made it any more horrific, you'd be disqualified for breaking the site rules on gore. Seriously, yuck.

Grammar/spelling - 4.5/5

Good overall, but I can't give you 5/5 because:

He’d keep this guy on his list of potential suspects list, though.


Overall - 87.5/100


Characters - 15/25

Generic characters. Some context on the characters, so that's good.

Plot - 21/25

I don't know why, but I kinda liked it. I expected some sort of bad ending, but this isn't bad at all.

Setting - 12/15

Decent enough. Could have more work put in it.

Creativity - 8/10

Somewhat original ending.

Style - 7/10

Feels a little too rushed.

Theme - 9/10

Fits the theme well.

Grammar/spelling - 5/5

Overall - 77/100


Mereshka's Entry
Characters - 19/25
Plot - 24/25
Setting - 15/15
Creativity - 7/10
Style - 7/10
Theme - 8/10
Grammar/spelling - 5/5
Overall - 85/100


MERESHKA

Characters - 18/25

Rhodri is a pretty good viewpoint character, but the other characters are a bit weak. The elf-witch sounds like somebody out of a really bad fantasy novel, and "my love...join me" is kind of cheesy dialog. Why an elf-witch instead of just a normal human character? Unless you need fantasy races, it's usually best to leave them out.

Plot - 19/25

The concept works, but I wish you had started the story a little earlier to include some of the events that led up to Rhodri being in the room with the coffin.

Setting - 3/15

This is actually one of my least favorite things about the story. Normally, setting isn't a big issue, but in this case it was a distraction because you had fantasy elements that added nothing to the story. The Strega is necessary, but I could do without the elf-witch or the vague references to Rhodri's childhood, which appears to have taken place in a rather bland Middle Earth knock-off. Either develop the setting enough to make it interesting or just leave out the extraneous Tolkienian fantasy stuff.

Creativity - 5/10

The idea of having Rhodri find Anna in the coffin instead of the monster he was hunting is good, but the rest of the story suffers from a severe excess of fantasy cliches.

Style - 6/10

It's pretty easy to read, but the dialog is cheesy and some of the imagery is a little hackneyed.

Theme - 9/10

The irrelevant fantasy elements and the implications that Rhodri is some kind of D&D-style adventurer are distracting. Otherwise it works.

Grammar/spelling - 4/5

A few typos and instances of wonky punctuation, but not a major issue. Double quotes or single quotes are both acceptable, but you should not switch back and forth between them in the same story. Double quotes are the standard in American English, single quotes in British, and I am not sure about other countries.

Overall - 64/100


Characters - 11/25

Very few background information on the characters.

Plot - 15/25

Lack of exposition and a satisfying denouement. It feels like I've been plopped right at the top of the rising action. Sometimes, this can be very well done in a short story, but this is not one of those cases I'm afraid.

Setting - 15/15

You've put in a lot of effort into describing it, so full points.

Creativity - 9/10

Interesting choice of words. If this was for a fantasy story, then it could work well.

Style - 9/10

See above.

Theme - 6/10

It wasn't too scary.

Grammar/spelling - 5/5

Overall - 70/100
Last edited by Conserative Morality on Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:57 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Forsher
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Founded: Jan 30, 2012
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Forsher » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:11 am

Ah, yes, I see now. I will definitely participate in some capacity.
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Nazi Flower Power
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Founded: Jun 24, 2010
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Postby Nazi Flower Power » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:14 pm

I am available to judge.

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Conserative Morality
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Founded: Aug 24, 2007
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Conserative Morality » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:22 pm

Nazi Flower Power wrote:I am available to judge.

Excellent. Added.
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Nationstatelandsville
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Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Nationstatelandsville » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:04 pm

Damn it, CM, you only give me 28 days' notice?

How am I going to get all of my procrastinating in?
"Then I was fertilized and grew wise;
From a word to a word I was led to a word,
From a work to a work I was led to a work."
- Odin, Hávamál 138-141, the Poetic Edda, as translated by Dan McCoy.

I enjoy meta-humor and self-deprecation. Annoying, right?

Goodbye.

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Conserative Morality
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Postby Conserative Morality » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:09 pm

Nationstatelandsville wrote:Damn it, CM, you only give me 28 days' notice?

How am I going to get all of my procrastinating in?

Do it tomorrow.
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North Wiedna
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Ex-Nation

Postby North Wiedna » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:01 pm

I'll judge!

Just kidding :)
I am not at all interested in immortality, only in the taste of tea.

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Ceannairceach
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Postby Ceannairceach » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:32 pm

Oh, this is pleasant. Tagged. I'm definitely going to try to do something, even if I don't finish in time.

@}-;-'---

"But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most..." -Mark Twain

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Manahakatouki
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Founded: Oct 20, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Manahakatouki » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:16 pm

I missed the last one, and currently I'm into horror type stories at the moment, so I'll try to join...

Though unfortunately, I am mainly working on a longer piece of fiction with this train of thought, but I'm sure I could think of something else for this contest...
And so it was, that I had never changed.

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Katyuscha
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Postby Katyuscha » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:41 pm

Oh, what the hell. I'll give it a go.
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Song

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Lenehen
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Ex-Nation

Postby Lenehen » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:57 pm

Tagged
Call me lenny

Step 1. Buy a sheep
Step 2. Name it 'Relation'
Congratulations! You now have a relationsheep!
Dread Lady Nathanica wrote:

Double head eagle
Proudly spreads its awesome wings
Sure you're not condor?

RIP 1000 Cats

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Kentsland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Kentsland » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:33 pm

Tagged!

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Unidox
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Ex-Nation

Postby Unidox » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:33 pm

I'll judge -- seeing as I really don't have the time to be creative.
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Nazi Flower Power
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Postby Nazi Flower Power » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:18 am

Unidox wrote:I'll judge -- seeing as I really don't have the time to be creative.


Aww... Now I don't get to be an absolute dictator... :(

It is always very disappointing for us Nazis when we have to share power with others.

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Conserative Morality
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Postby Conserative Morality » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:21 pm

Unidox wrote:I'll judge -- seeing as I really don't have the time to be creative.

Glorious. Only one more.
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Katyuscha
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Postby Katyuscha » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:22 pm

Conserative Morality wrote:
Unidox wrote:I'll judge -- seeing as I really don't have the time to be creative.

Glorious. Only one more.

I'll judge as well. I'm relatively good at giving (constructive) criticism.
Hi, I'm the human dump truck parked on your lawn, Katy
Song

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Conserative Morality
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Conserative Morality » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:24 pm

Katyuscha wrote:I'll judge as well. I'm relatively good at giving (constructive) criticism.

Great! We now have all of our judges and a good number of people who have expressed interest in trying their hand in the contest. This ought to be a good one. :)
On the hate train. Choo choo, bitches. Bi-Polar. Proud Crypto-Fascist and Turbo Progressive. Dirty Étatist. Lowly Humanities Major. NSG's Best Liberal.
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Katyuscha
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Postby Katyuscha » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:26 pm

Conserative Morality wrote:
Katyuscha wrote:I'll judge as well. I'm relatively good at giving (constructive) criticism.

Great! We now have all of our judges and a good number of people who have expressed interest in trying their hand in the contest. This ought to be a good one. :)

I'm writhing with excitement.
Hi, I'm the human dump truck parked on your lawn, Katy
Song

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RileyBlackwolf
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Founded: Oct 09, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby RileyBlackwolf » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:29 pm

I'm entirely new to this site. I ran across it while looking for a horror story contest to enter. So, with that said. How do I enter? Are there prizes?

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Conserative Morality
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Postby Conserative Morality » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:30 pm

RileyBlackwolf wrote:I'm entirely new to this site. I ran across it while looking for a horror story contest to enter. So, with that said. How do I enter? Are there prizes?

Just write up a story according to the rules posted and put it in this thread.

The only prize is bragging rights, but hey, aren't bragging rights what it's all about? :p
On the hate train. Choo choo, bitches. Bi-Polar. Proud Crypto-Fascist and Turbo Progressive. Dirty Étatist. Lowly Humanities Major. NSG's Best Liberal.
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Nationstatelandsville
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Postby Nationstatelandsville » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:48 pm

Conserative Morality wrote:
RileyBlackwolf wrote:I'm entirely new to this site. I ran across it while looking for a horror story contest to enter. So, with that said. How do I enter? Are there prizes?

Just write up a story according to the rules posted and put it in this thread.

The only prize is bragging rights, but hey, aren't bragging rights what it's all about? :p

Sure, whatever you say, you two-faced bastard.

(will never forget)
"Then I was fertilized and grew wise;
From a word to a word I was led to a word,
From a work to a work I was led to a work."
- Odin, Hávamál 138-141, the Poetic Edda, as translated by Dan McCoy.

I enjoy meta-humor and self-deprecation. Annoying, right?

Goodbye.

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Conserative Morality
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Postby Conserative Morality » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:00 pm

Nationstatelandsville wrote:Sure, whatever you say, you two-faced bastard.

(will never forget)

You know what? I think I'll participate in this contest too. That way you can hate me twice as much. ;)
On the hate train. Choo choo, bitches. Bi-Polar. Proud Crypto-Fascist and Turbo Progressive. Dirty Étatist. Lowly Humanities Major. NSG's Best Liberal.
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Nationstatelandsville
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Postby Nationstatelandsville » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Conserative Morality wrote:
Nationstatelandsville wrote:Sure, whatever you say, you two-faced bastard.

(will never forget)

You know what? I think I'll participate in this contest too. That way you can hate me twice as much. ;)

You can't multiply infinity!

Can you? I don't know. I'm a writer, not a mathologist.
"Then I was fertilized and grew wise;
From a word to a word I was led to a word,
From a work to a work I was led to a work."
- Odin, Hávamál 138-141, the Poetic Edda, as translated by Dan McCoy.

I enjoy meta-humor and self-deprecation. Annoying, right?

Goodbye.

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Ende
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Postby Ende » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:28 pm

The Raven

Italics are written by Edgar Allan Poe. Credit also goes to him for the idea.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…


The year was 1874, and the hour was midnight. In the small town of Cambridge, England, a lone scholar poured over an ancient tome of wisdom, found in the midst of an old library. As he had pulled the cover open slowly, the opening words of the first page instantly intrigued him into bringing it to his lonely home, and reading more. His haphazardly organized room was filled with books, laid open at random, their spines broken against the floor. But, truly, knowledge was truly what he seeked, and this was how he found it. Knowledge was what he truly seeked. It wasn’t love. Love was meaningless to him. He just wished to learn, and that was all.

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door…


Tap. Tap. Tap.

The sound filled the silence of the room, breaking the calm atmosphere of the room like glass. The scholar looked down, attempting to ignore the noise. Who would be visiting at this time? It was past midnight. The moon was risen in the sky, illuminating the dark streets of the city in its silver light, and no man walked the streets of the city below. The young man looked up.

`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'


He shook his head, thinking to himself, scrambling for an excuse. It wasn’t anything. The noise wasn’t really there. It was probably just late, and his own mind was playing tricks on him. The light of the candle flickered, briefly illuminating a section of a single page. And to a single word of that single section of that single page, his eyes leapt directly to.

Lenore.

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.


The man shook his head. Why was that name there? How was it here? He shivered in the cold December night, wrapped himself in his cloak, and attempted to return to reading, pressing his thoughts from his mind, attempting to banish them to oblivion. No. He would not think of Lenore. His sorrow would be seen nevermore. There was no meaning in love. His books and knowledge contained all he would ever need. His sorrow for Lenore…his love…named by angels, perhaps, everything about her truly perfect…his sorrow was pointless, and he would leave it.

And then he looked up again.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'


Suddenly, the curtains of the window fluttered, the amaranthine curtains rippling softly in the wind. Shaking his head, he closed his eyes, frowning deeply. “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.” he muttered to himself. “Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.” he repeated to himself, attempting to affirm reality. “This it is, and nothing more.” he said, more attempting to convince himself than anything else.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.


After a few moments, he stared at the closed door, raising the courage to answer, and then, after a few moments, he cast his hesitation aside and called over to the door.

“Sir, or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; but the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, and so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, that I scarce was sure I heard you.” he softly whispered towards the door, and then he slowly strode towards the door. His hand grasped around the worn handle, and with a turn, he slowly pushed the door open. Creaking, it slowly came to a stop, revealing…absolutely nothing.

The darkness of the hallway stared back at him, and that was all.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;


Had there truly been a knocking? Was he merely mad with grief? Did his own senses deceive him? He stood there, breathing quickly in the darkness, peering directly into the face of the blackness of the hallway. Was she truly dead? Lenore? Truly, he had known she was gone, ripped from the embrace of this sweet world, but, surely, who would come knocking at this hour? Could it be her?

But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.


The silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no confirmation of truth to his mad dreams. He blankly stared, like he had before, and a single word escaped his lips.

“Lenore!”

There was complete silence, but the mere echo of his word, reverberating back from the blackened hallway.

“Lenore!”

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.


Suddenly, the heart of the man filled with anger, and he spun around, walking back into his chamber. Lenore would not be there. Of course she truly would not. There was nobody there. It was just the maddened whispers of his own grief-stricken mind. He would never see her again. And that was all. That was the truth. Filled with grief, he turned and sat back at the desk, attempting to drown his thoughts in reading.

And then there it was again.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

It came from the window, and truly, it was louder than before.

`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'


“Surely, surely that is something at my window lattice. Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore. Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore. Tis the wind and nothing more.” he muttered bitterly to himself, anger reverberating through his words. “Tis the wind and nothing more.” he thought again to himself, and he took another step towards the window.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Reluctantly, his trembling hand reached towards the shutter of the window, and with a quick flash of movement, he flung the window open.

And then, it flew in. Cloaked in black, wrapped in grey, the raven flew in, landing directly upon an old crumbling bust of Pallas, placed directly above the chamber door. It perched there, sat, and did nothing more, but look at the man with its emotionless gaze.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'


The scholar smiled. It was almost amusing. The bird looked as if at a funeral. Grave, stern, and utterly grim. And yet, it was merely a bird, and that was all.

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, though art sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore – tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s plutonian shore!” he joked, inwardly laughing at the bird, not expecting a reply.

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And then the raven spoke.

“Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'


The scholar stared up at the bird in disbelief, marveling at it. Had it truly spoken to him? Though its answer was not truly an answer – nevermore was not truly a name – it was still amazing that it had spoken. Had this ever happened before? If his mind was not playing tricks on him, and the ebony fowl seated upon the bust above the door had truly spoken, he was…blessed? Surely, no other man had seen such a sight. Standing up, sending the old book to the floor, the scholar adjusted his spectacles, staring into the steely eye of the raven.

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'


The raven said nothing, and then it spoke again.

“Nevermore.”

And then it said nothing, yet again. Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered – it sat there, silently, peering over the room. The scholar scowled at it, and muttered to himself.

“Other friends have flown before. On the morrow, he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.” he claimed, mind flashing back to Lenore.

And then the bird repeated it yet again:

“Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'


The man jumped backwards, away from the raven, raising his fists into the air. What was the meaning of this? Why was it here? Why had it said this? Was it a blessing? A miracle? A figment of his diseased mind? Dropping his hands to his sides, he stared blankly back at it, and muttered to himself yet again.

“Doubtless, what it utters is only stock and store, caught from some unhappy mater whom unmerciful disaster followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore – till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore of “Never-nevermore”.” he grumbled, attempting to rationalize the creature, sitting upon that crumbling bust, who spoke nothing but of “Nevermore”.

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'


Oddly, he found himself grinning yet again. The bird amused him, in its senseless one-word rambling. The grim, ghastly, and gaunt creature which sat above stared at him with steely glare, and yet in his heart, he found no animosity there. What did it mean by its one lone cry – the single word of “nevermore”? Walking back to his desk, he pulled a cushioned seat from the desk, sat it down in front of the crumbling bust on which the bird itself had seated, and then sat down, stroking his chin in his hand, attempting to unravel the meaning of its single cry.

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!


For nearly an hour, he sat there, in the lone velvet chair, as the candle melted itself into a pool of melted wax, extinguishing its own light, leaving the room illuminated by nothing but the dim twinkling of the stars and the silver gleam of the moon, and the dim flickers of an old lamp in the corner. What could it mean? His head leaned back as he became lost and thought…and then, slowly, his mind returned to Lenore, and, yet again, he found himself flooded with grief.

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'


The atmosphere of the room grew denser. He could feel it. His grief weighed him down, and it was as if the light itself had vanished from the room. Enraged, he glared at the abomination from hell, the raven, the creature which had begun his torment yet again. Had it not arrived, had the tapping not disturbed him, he could have lost himself yet again.

“Wretch!” the man cried, standing up, sending the chair to the ground, “thy God hath lent the and by these angels he has sent thee – respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!”

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

The lone word permeated the room yet again. “Nevermore.” quoth the Raven, feathered coat black as the night.

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'


The man shook with rage. This thing of evil was not a blessing. It was a devil, sent to torment him, to remind him of his loss, to chant the cry of the single word which struck to the bottom of the soul. Quivering, the man reached towards one of the books.
“Prophet! Thing of evil! Prophet still, if bird or devil! Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted, on this home by horror haunted, tell me truly, I implore, is there balm in Gilead?” he cried, desperately seeking an answer. Was there truly an escape from his grief? Was there any relief? Inwardly, he knew the answer, and he dreaded it, but, in a last spark of hope, he cried his question to the prophet.

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

The lone word filled the silence, crushing out the last spark of hope.

“Nevermore.”

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'


Shaking in grief and horror, the man tearfully looked up at the Devil yet again. For that was what it was. A demon. A prophet, nonetheless, but a demon.

“Prophet! Thing of evil! Prophet still, if bird or devil! By that heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore! Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, it shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore! Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?” he cried, tears streaming down his eyes.

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the Raven stared, with its steely cold black glare, repeating it’s solemn word in whole, striking directly to the man’s soul.

“Nevermore.”

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'


With a cry of rage, the man hurled the book he was holding at the Raven. It hit the wall, and split into a cascade of pages, paper drifting to the floor, covering any semblance of order.

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” he screamed, tears streaming down his face.

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take they form off my door!” he screamed again, voice rising to its peak, filled with agony and pain.

Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

It was as if the demon was smiling at him. It gave no expression. Only the steely stone cold stare of the bird remained, coldly mocking him in ways unexplained. It opened its piercing beak, black as night, to give the reply it had always given.

“Nevermore.”

And it sat there still, upon the crumbled bust of Pallas, staring with its cruel eyes, making no motion whatsoever.

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!


With a crash, the man fell to his knees, sobbing, completely broken. With bloodshot eyes, he stared at the demon yet again. Its stare remained unchanged. His eyes, dark as midnight, showed no sign of emotion, no sign of thought, but at the same time, the eyes were the eyes of a demon. The lamp flickered, briefly illuminating the Raven, and throwing his ghastly shadow upon the man, and on his broken soul.

And that soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor…shall be lifted nevermore.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, this isn't very good (quite bad, actually), and, yes, I'm not even 100% sure if the genre this falls in is horror, and, yes, it's just a basic retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's marvelous poem, but I wrote this a while (a year or two) back, and I decided I might as well enter it anyway.

If the idea's acceptable, I'll refine and touch it up to the point when it isn't so bad.
Last edited by Ende on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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