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A Non-Bionicle Collection Of Flash Fiction Entires

Toa of Dancing Flash Fiction Non-Bionicle

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#1 Offline Toa of Dancing

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Posted Jun 08 2012 - 01:21 PM

Without further (or pretty much any) ado, I present you my collection of non-Bionicle entries in the Flash Fiction Writing Contest.

Average Days

Treasure

•••••

Granny Trisha rocked back and forth in her chair, humming an old tune while knitting a sweater. A cliché scene, as she herself knew, but she enjoyed it. The children and grandchildren of the Helens family enjoyed wearing her warm, comfortable, homemade clothing. So she kept rocking, the benign smile upon her lightly wrinkled face portraying the good years through which she had lived.Brian sat on a couch across the room, playing his Xbox 360. He couldn’t play MW3, Battlefield 3, or anything like that because of Granny being at the house. He didn’t really mind, though. Sometime it was fun to play Blur or another, somewhat tamer game. Of course, he still got to blow up cars and such, but there wasn’t blood, language, or any other glaringly objectionable content, so Granny was fine.In another corner sat his Mom, Olivia. She was reading a book, occasionally glancing at the clock to see if she should start steaming the vegetables yet. After an especially noisy crash, she said to Brian, “Could you turn that down? It’s a bit loud.”With a roll of his eyes and a smirk, Brian complied. The aroma of the cooking soufflé was filling his nostrils, drawing saliva into his mouth. After licking his lips, he brought his mind back to the game. Surprisingly, he was still in first, and it didn’t look like that would change.Brian’s brother and sister, Jacob and Bethany, were off in their rooms, doing something or other. Jacob was probably playing Diablo III. Bethany was probably watching anime, reading manga, or playing some game. Not that they were being reclusive, they were just doing whatever at the moment. Dean, the father of the family, was probably doing taxes, something work-related, or playing with his iPhone.Finally, after another fifteen minutes of a similar setting, Olivia told Brian to get his siblings and dad for dinner. He obliged, having just finished a race, and soon all six people preset in the house were gathered around the table. After a quick prayer from Dean, they began eating.It was a short meal. Compliments were paid to Olivia on how good it was, and small talk was made. Bethany and Jacob had some nerdy conversation about something or other, with occasional comments from Brian. Dean told a joke that was simultaneously funny and worthy of groans. Then, one by one, everyone dispersed, and Olivia cleared the table and put away the food. Brian quickly did the dishes then went to the room he shared with Jacob.After about five minutes of convincing, Brian managed to pull Jacob from Diablo and got him to play a few random rounds of Team Fortress 2. Both chuckled and had a bit of fun, and then Jacob insisted on going back to his game. Brian rolled his eyes and went to surfing the web.Back in the living room, Granny Trisha sat, now watching a movie while working her needles. It was a normal day spent at her son’s house, which was fine with her. Normal days were good. She still got to see everyone–even her fourth grandchild, Evelyn, and her husband, Zach, who had visited earlier–and gotten a sweater finished. She had good, respectful children and grandchildren, and she treasured every moment she got to watch them have fun. Indeed, normal days were sometimes the best.

Death, Riches, and the Package

The Game

•••••

“Play the game, take the chance, and win great riches!”That was all that the letter had said. In the same package was a brand-new GPS with coordinates already programmed into it. In fact, it seemed to be pretty much useless, as it wouldn’t do anything aside from give the bearer directions to that one location. In the top right corner of the screen there was a button. If it was pressed, a little bar appeared at the bottom, reading, “Accept or Decline?” Even if one pressed accept nothing happened, aside from the button disappearing.Now Frederick sat in his hovercraft on a Friday night with absolutely nothing to do. His family had all died in a blazing fire the day after the package arrived. It didn’t seem to be connected, and the only odd thing was that the GPS sat unscathed in the ashes. That definitely was odd, but he figured it was just made of some strong alloy. Still, he wanted to know why that gas can on the porch spontaneously combusted, and why it happened only seconds after he had driven away to work.Work. He had been informed that night that he was being laid off, no warning. No reason was given, either. The manager of the restaurant came up to him, handed him his final paycheck, and said he was fired.Needless to say, yesterday was the worst day of his life. His wife and son dead, his house and all his possessions aside from his bank account and his hovercraft stripped from him. At least he still had the car, though. It cost a lot, and he bought it with money from that lottery. Now he had about a thousand dollars left in his account, enough to provide him food for a while.He wiped away a single tear as he walked into the bank. This was the day following the worst day of his life, and he had nothing to do, nowhere to go. All of his friends were halfway around the world. He had just moved here, and he didn’t know anyone.Insurance? Loopholes, loopholes, and more loopholes. It seemed that every just so happened in the perfect way that he would get nothing. As Frederick walked out of the bank, now with all the money he had to his name, he chuckled. It was a cold, hollow, humorless laugh that quickly died away, leaving him in his hot, mournful tears.What had this world come to? Whoever these people that sent the package were, they had to be behind all this. Nothing else made sense. It all just fell perfectly to leave him with a car, food, and enough money to last him for a good trip. With a fist slammed against his dashboard, he flipped on the GPS, ready to see just what this “game” was, and why someone had ruined his life to get him to participate. The screen flashed for a moment, reading, "Do you really want to accept the end of your life?" With the tears still trickling slowly, he pressed, "Accept."

Not Alone

Amor Omnia Vincit

•••••

Life wasn’t worth living anymore. Kaitlin knew that too well. Everything kept going wrong, and she was afraid of what would happen when she stepped out of her own door. The world hated her, and she hated it. May as well cut off the living **** in which she lived. It would be today.Slowly drifting awayLost and so afraidWhere is the hopeIn a world so cold?She used to have friends. That was what kept her alive. Then they all left her, so she turned away from them. Two or three remained. Soon enough, she realized that that was because they wanted her money.Looking for a distant lightSomeone who could save a lifeLiving in fearThat no one would hear your cryIf she had someone, then maybe things would be different. But Kaitlin Stonewell was alone, and no one gave a second thought about it.Can you save me now?She might as well tell everyone that this was the last day. All the “friends” on whatever social networking sites. Her family.I am with youI will carry you through it allI won’t leave youI will catch youWhen you feel like letting go‘Cause you’re notYou’re not aloneJonathan glanced at his phone. New update from... Katy? She never got online anymore. He saw the first words–“Goodbye, world”–and began to panic.Your heart is full of broken dreamsJust a fading memoryEverything’s goneBut the pain carries onA call? Someone with a quick eye trying to dissuade her. ...Jonathan? If anyone would care, Katy guessed it would be him. Nice guy, she used to be a good friend with him before he moved into the neighboring county.Lost in the rain againWhen will it ever end?The arms of reliefSeem so out of reachHe had to stop her... This was insane! Why would she commit suicide? She seemed like such a happy girl two years ago.But I, I am hereThe door was blocked. No one could climb through the window. Now it was time to take the pills... A knife would be too painful, and she didn’t have a gun.Jonathan silently thanked God that the traffic was light as he drove as fast as he could. Her house wasn’t too far... just across the county line.And I will be your hopeWhen you feel like it’s overAnd I will pick you upWhen your whole world shattersWhen you’re finally in my armsLook up and seeThat love has a faceNo water... She had forgotten a glass. Saliva would have to do... It would take a while, though.He slammed on the brakes in front of her house, jumping out of the car as he heard sirens wailing. C’mon...Sirens? Someone called the law. Seconds after she heard them, she heard a banging on her door and Jonathan yelling. A knife it had to be, then.Slowly drifting awayLost and so afraidWhere is the hopeIn a world so cold?“A chainsaw, anything will work, mister Stonewell!” Jonathan yelled down the stairs. He heard the sound or shuffling in her room... she was still alive.Then the policemen arrived. They rushed up the stairs and burst into the room with their equipment, Jonathan pushing through despite their attempts at holding him back. The knife had quickly been snatched from Kaitlin, and all that was left was to wrap her in his arms and whisper quietly.

Finality

Ultimatum

•••••

“You have died,” the creature said. There was an odd air about it. It’s face was that of woman, and its body was also rather feminine, aside from being rather muscular. However, her legs were double-jointed, covered in pure white feathers, or at least the portions showing that weren’t under her robe were. She had two massive wings protruding from her back. “I’m dead, okay...” responded Jerome, “But... who are you?”“You are alive,” said the... Harpy? That was Jerome’s best guess. She wasn’t exactly like one, and in fact a few features were quite distinctly different. Still, that was what he would call her.“Um... what?”“You are dead, you are alive. Is that difficult for your mortal brain to comprehend?” she asked, cocking her head to one side, looking rather concerned, as a child would look at a baby animal that he thought he might have just injured.“No, no... But how can I be alive and dead? I was stabbed in the gut and...” he trailed off, looking at his torso. There were the three stab wounds, a dagger left in the highest. He silently reached up to his neck and felt the entry and exit points of a bullet. So when you were dead, you still had wounds, but didn’t feel pa–Burning, slicing, tearing agony ripped through his body. Jerome collapsed to the pure white floor on nothingness. The Harpy-creature stood there staring, an odd smile curving her lips. “Then you wish?”He could barely pant out, “What... do you... mean? Why am I... AAGH! Why am I... feeling pain after death?!”“Then you do not,” she said, the maddening gaze still locked upon his own. She spread her arms, and the pain eased.“How did you just do that? Why don’t I feel the pain anymore? Where the heck are we, and who are you?” asked Jerome desperately, quickly shifting his eyes from his wounds to the being.“I am what I am, and this is the place where we are. I am taking you where you wish to go.”“I want... I want to go to heaven... If that’s what you mean. Heaven exists, right? Are you an angel, coming to take me there?”“I am what I am, and I am taking you where you wish to go,” she said, closing her arms. “You seem to be set on where you want to go, so we shall leave immediately.”“But... I really am dead? That’s it? I can’t do anything else? I got killed doing my job, and I can’t do anything else?”“I will take you where you wish to go. Willpower being what it is, you decide your fate.”“Can I... go back? Can I live after that? Am I still alive on earth, suffering my wounds?” he asked, trying not to grimace as the pain crept back into his body.“You wish what you wish, I am yours to command,” she answered, fully closing her arms again. Her smile never wavered.“Then... take me back to earth, to–Argh! It hurts!”“Then you wish not?”“No... I want to live... Agh, it hurts so much!”“This will last. It is not just for returning.”“Ugh... that doesn’t matter... Just... take me... home,” was the last thing Jerome said before collapsing.

Mad Science

Character Story

•••••

New York News Journal

A Death to Be Mourned

Written by Janet Grouping, May 12, 2013Most scientists would agree that tossing random chemicals into a vat, stirring them up, and seeing the results isn’t science. Well, to Doctor Rex Canis, it was. This stage name has become widely known recently, along with the symbolic tattoo and hat that go with it. In his own words, “A wolf with a crown describes my name, and fedoras enhance any appearance worth any bit of decency. Especially a lab coat, they go excellently together.”Curtis Spice, as was his real name, liked to entertain. Kids, teens, adults, all flocked to see his shows across the world. He kept them humorous, somewhat informative about science and the like, and generally fun for himself. Doctor Rex was known for randomly tossing bottle of soda into which he had just dropped a package of Mentos into the audience. He howled at random moments, just for the heck of it.Everyone especially enjoyed his shows on the nights of the full moon, as he always had a special surprise. The only thing common to all of them was his superb display of effects and the fact that he “transformed” into a werewolf. These were especially fun nights, as his antics were doubled. Whether he ripped a hamburger to shreds while eating it, flew across the stage in a massive jump, or tossed water balloons into the front row, these shows sold out moments after tickets went on sale.What most people don’t realize is that there was truth behind his shows. Doctor Rex was the victim of experimentation by a terrorist group. The tattoo was a symbol of him surviving their horrid torture, and in the end he became a real, live werewolf. After being kept in captivity by the U.S. Military for years after the terrorists had been disbanded, for the safety of all. However, after proving that he could live a normal life, Curtis was set free, and he immediately put his persistent cheerfulness and bright mind to work in show business.Two days before a full moon show, he was shot in his bus in the dead of night. Police have no clue as to who the murderer might have been, aside from possibly one of the former terrorists. The only clue was a note left beside Doctor Rex’s body, containing content inappropriate for print. In essence, it said, “The blood moon would have killed everybody.” As the full moon of his show was a “blood moon,” multiple theories have been formed regarding this message.Regardless of 37 year old Curtis Spice’s death, his entertaining shows are sure to live on in the hearts of people around the world, and his example of overcoming strife has inspired many more people than could be imagined.

False Alarm

Preparation

•••••

"Shh, hide everything, quickly! Timothy can't see it yet!" whispered Sarah to her sister, Keonna. The two of them had just managed to hide the streamers, confetti, and banner for the teen's birthday. He walked into the room, his eyebrow raised as his sisters giggled. Then, shaking his head, he moved on to the kitchen. Both sisters crossed their fingers, hoping he wouldn't need anything out of the cabinet in which they had hidden the food supplies, including his cake.When he walked back through the living room only holding a can of soda, they gave each other looks of relief. The house had been like this the past few days, and they knew that Tim was suspicious of them. That made sense, of course, what with them sneaking, laughing, and generally being, well, suspicious.Then the day of his birthday came. Tim carefully poked his head out of his room,glancing sneakily up and down the hallway. No doors were cracked no sounds of stifled giggling broke the dead silence. Then again, that was to be expected at six o'clock in the morning, what what with Mom declaring no school on his birthday this year. Home schooling was such a great thing at times. Smirking, he crept silently down the stairs and into the kitchen.Victoria, his mom, was standing there when he walked into the room. With a small, "Good morning," and, "Happy birthday," she handed him a plate of pancakes. Beside that, everything seemed normal. With a shrug he went into his usual routine: eat, empty the dish washer, get dressed, and start messing on the computer. Sometime around eleven Keonna got up, and Sarah followed about an hour later.His Dad, Walter, walked in the door sometime around five in the afternoon. They all sat in the living room, and Tim opened his presents after his family sang a certain song (that is, in fact, copyrighted) to him. After that, they dispersed, and it seemed like a normal day, aside from now having a fair sight more money and a new game. That night, he went to bed content, though surprised.The following morning, however, a Saturday, he was surprised even more. When he trudged out of bed at nine (which was late for him), he found the house silent again, aside from Victoria moving around downstairs, probably cleaning the bathroom. With a rather large yawn, he walked into the kitchen.The moment his face was visible around the corner, he was assaulted with a foghorn, a dozen or so voices, a few pounds of confetti, and three cans of silly string. Sputtering, he crawled out of the pile and got up with the help of one of his friends. Immediately he was handed a plate with Eggs Benedict (his favorite breakfast, oddly enough) covering it, and he was dragged into a chair at the dining room table. Still coughing from the inhalation of those likely poisonous fumes from the string, he glanced around the room, seeing most, if not all his friends from church and other activities standing around him. Yeah, that had surprised him. Looked as if his family knew him well enough to know that he would expect a surprise and they had managed to trick him anyways. With a chuckle, Tim went right to eating his breakfast.
Well, there we go, my second topic for this. Feel free to critique them, and you may critique my Bionicle entries here. =3

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#2 Offline Yukiko

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Posted Jun 17 2012 - 03:36 PM

Official SSCC Review“Average Days”I like that you decided to not take this theme literally and focus on something that really is a treasure, our families. However, this whole thing seemed a bit sad to me, as if everyone was isolated in their rooms until the dinner time rolled around. Something I would have liked you to was stay within the POV of the grandmother. You could use this to show that while she might not understand video games or have the same interests as the younger generation, she still loves her family. This might help “warm up” your story a little, but it’s just a suggestion.

A cliché scene, as she herself knew, but she enjoyed it. The children and grandchildren of the Helens family enjoyed wearing her warm, comfortable, homemade clothing.

Just pointing out some excess language that could be cut. Warm and comfortable are implied, so you don’t really need them. If they enjoy wearing it it’s probably because of those reasons.

Compliments were paid to Olivia on how good it was, and small talk was made. Bethany and Jacob had some nerdy conversation about something or other, with occasional comments from Brian. Dean told a joke that was simultaneously funny and worthy of groans. Then, one by one, everyone dispersed, and Olivia cleared the table and put away the food. Brian quickly did the dishes then went to the room he shared with Jacob.

You have two uses of the passive voice in a row here. Try something like: “They complimented Olivia on the delicious (good is a weak adjective), and made small talk as they ate.”I feel that the latter part of this paragraph could include at least a little dialogue. Dialogue is really the backbone of a story, and I feel you could establish the loving nature of a family much better with dialogue than with description alone. As the contest is over, word limit shouldn’t be a problem anymore. ^^“Death, Riches, and the Package”Well, this is interesting. If I’m right, the test is whether someone will choose life or death when they have lost everything. Now, if I were a sadistic puppetmaster, I would have a little more fun and make the guy feel guilty, but that’s just me. You build a solid enough plot here. It kind of reminds me of the Doctor Who Episode “The Beast Below.”

In the same package was a brand-new GPS with coordinates already programmed into it. In fact, it seemed to be pretty much useless, as it wouldn’t do anything aside from give the bearer directions to that one location. In the top right corner of the screen there was a button. If it was pressed, a little bar appeared at the bottom, reading, “Accept or Decline?” Even if one pressed accept nothing happened, aside from the button disappearing.

There is a lot of excess language in this paragraph. For the latter part, try: “When he had pressed the button in the upper right corner of the screen, a little bar had appeared with the words ‘Accept or Decline?’ Even when he had pressed “Accept” nothing happened except for the button disappearing."

Now Frederick sat in his hovercraft on a Friday night with absolutely nothing to do.

I think you meant “his car,” since he apparently has no hovercraft now.

No reason was given, either.

Again, replace the passive with the active voice. Try: “The boss gave him no reason.”

His wife and son dead, his house and all his possessions aside from his bank account and his hovercraft stripped from him.

Both of these are participle phrases (i.e. phrases acting as adjectives). You need to add a clause that can stand on its own.

He wiped away a single tear as he walked into the bank.

Try “he wiped his eyes.” It’s shorter and less trite.“Not Alone”This story was difficult. Suicide in general is a difficult subject, and I felt this story treated it a bit too generic. We never find out why Kaitlin’s world is a living ######, the specifics of why her friends leave her, or even their names. I want to sympathize with Katy, but it’s hard because I have no idea who she is. Personal details are essential in a story like this: they establish the characters and make them relatable. I would also recommend ditching the song lyrics, they are also very generic and don’t add anything to the story.

He saw the first words–“Goodbye, world”–and began to panic.

I’m sorry, but this made me laugh, which should not happen. Could you perhaps show all of her note? At least some attempt at letting out her anguish would add to her character.

The knife had quickly been snatched from Kaitlin, and all that was left was to wrap her in his arms and whisper quietly.

This is passive voice again, and “snatched” is descriptive enough on it’s own. You don’t need “quickly.” I would really like to hear what he whispered to her; I think it would be a great way to end it.OverallShort pieces of fiction are hard to write, and think the temptation is to use adjectives to try and say as most as possible. Adjectives, however, don’t really contribute to the emotion of the story and are best used judiciously. If you can avoid writing a paragraph, by all means use an adjective or adverb, but be careful. To many of them in unnecessary places can clog up your story. Try reading some pieces of short fiction to see how authors show emotions through their words instead of telling them with adjectives. Also, avoid “to be” verbs (was, were, etc.).I apologize if this seems harsh, but I think that’s the beauty of flash fiction contests like this one. It really exposes our writing and forces us to look at our habits. If you have any questions or would like further advice please feel free to ask me. And keep writing! ^^

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#3 Offline Toa of Dancing

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Posted Jun 18 2012 - 09:00 AM

...Well, this makes me feel bad about my writing, tbh. =P I understand all your points, and I'm kicking myself over most of them. I'll say now that the biggest problem with all of these was predominantly a lack of the proper amount of room to tell the full story. I also have something against editing them, so... XDAverage Days: Well, I was trying to make it realistic and somewhat sweet, instead of diabetes-inducing, which I already thought it was. Apparently I use passive voice too much, as you've pointed out, though I think some of those sentences do work better as passive.Death, Riches, and the Package: Another one of my flaws in writing seems to be the use of too many adjectives. Huh. Wouldn't have guessed that one, seeing as I've always struggled with not using enough adjectives. What do you mean, "he apparently has no hovercraft now."? Anyways, the rest of it are a bunch of mistakes. XDNot Alone: First of all, I have to say that the song, generic or not, is one of my favorites, so that explains the usage of it. XD Now then, this one especially suffers from word limit. The original draft was something like eight-hundred words long, and it covered quite a few of those problems. For example, it gave a few more names and reasons for her hatred of the world. So... that's pretty much all I have to say regarding this that I haven't already discussed.Overall: Well, wha could replace "to be" verbs? They're kind of a necessary part of the English language. Anyways, don't worry, it only hurt my ego. =P
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#4 Offline Yukiko

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Posted Jun 18 2012 - 09:37 AM

What do you mean, "he apparently has no hovercraft now."? Anyways, the rest of it are a bunch of mistakes. XD

Never mind that one. I misread it, though I wonder why he doesn't just sell the car if he has a hovercraft.There is no such thing as "not enough adjectives." Not enough description, perhaps, but at you should not have five of them in one sentence. If you can, you should always use strong verbs and nouns in the place of adjectives and adverbs. If you have to use adjectives, make sure they are strong as well. (Like the example I gave before: "good" is a weak adjective, "delicious" is a strong one. Colors are particularly strong adjectives.) "To be" verbs are the same. If you have to use them to avoid unnecessary language, by all means do, but if you can avoid them cut them.Writing is an art, of course, and as long as it works it should be fine. But if you want to hold yourself to anything, remember that "Less is More".

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#5 Offline The Lord Of Wednesday

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Posted Jun 28 2012 - 08:49 PM

Review of Finality, Mad Science, and False Alarm by Toa of Dancing (Reivew by Proud Stigma). Sorry for the lateness, I was tied up, but am now available to review your stories.First off I checked all stories and I could not find any misspelled words and nothing really broke my focus when it came to sentence building.When it comes to the stories, however, it is a mixed bag.Finality-Here it seems to hint at how there are a lot of interpretations of what happens to one after death. True to reality there are untold possibilities about what the afterlife, or lack thereof, is like. The enigmatic mistress Jerome encounters also preserves the mysteriousness of it. Most of all, there is no attempt to offend anyone of saying that "I/X is right while you/Y is wrong". I happen to like this existential ambiguity.Mad Science-I am also a fan of this story. You have taken something of an intellectual performer. Nicely mixing Romanticism and Enlightenment with an overall Romantic personality. Then there is the "Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane" concept of whether or not he was merely an eccentric man who was the victim of social stigma or a genuine supernatural entity, I personally believe the latter, which creates a sense of irony that a romanitic entity is in the field of science to begin with. To get back on the man or monster theme, he could be viewed as a literal monster by some for the werewolf hints, and/or as a social monster for his appearent differences and lack of conformity. I would have missed this man after reading about him in the paper.False Alarm-This story is where the bag becomes mixed. It is very hit or miss, and if you ask me it would only hit if one were in either the party thrower's or Tim's shoes at some point in their lives. As I cannot recall being in either I did not really gain too much emotionally from the story. On the other hand, I can see how someone in one or the other's shoes before in their lives would draw some (hopefully) pleasant emotions from reading this. On the other hand, I do like what you did with the story itself, rather then the simple cliche of them setting up the party, and it goes off without a hitch, here you trick the subject (Tim) who was suspicious of this and genuinely letting his guard down, I also liked how Tim was implied to be genre savvy here. Then again, maybe it was not for stirring the hopefully fond memories of the reader, just the idea of tricking a genre savvy character by twisting a cliche, regardless, all interpretations (including mine of course) are subjective.Anyway, these were good stories, my favorite being the first two. The third was not bad and my not prefering it was more an issue of personal taste. Regardless, thank you for submitting these and for choosing the SSCC. We hope to hear from you again soon.
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