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Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, Bruce. . I don't have much to say about this chapter. Just watch the punctuation, mainly the commas and quotation marks.
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
So no good guys in this chapter, but it does take the story into a different direction. I'm not sure about other readers, but I have lost any empathy for Anne, Ruth, and Dennis. I did give some feedback on what I was thinking while reading.

I did not have any comments or suggestions here except one correction. See below.

"You know I'm right," Ruth said. No, you are wrong, Ruth.

“Anne, has gone on holiday to Spain. [Remove comma after 'Anne'.]

“This has gone terribly wrong, Mister Freeman.” And it's all your fault, Ruth!

...it is not fair on Craig who has been so good to me... He just ruined your engagement!
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with The Sci-fi Writers Guild  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, Bruce. . If my math is right, we are in the early sixties at the beginning of this chapter?

I made a lot of suggestions and comments in this chapter but remember they are my humble opinion only. Take what suggestions and comments you like and ignore the rest! This is your story!

The section where Anne is asked to help drive the delivery van is rather abrupt. It is short and doesn't really fit with the rest of the chapter. If it is pertinent to the story, make the transition a little smoother, or work it into the section with Dennis.

“Well, yes, “I said. The close quotation mark goes right after the comma and then a space. Just a typo.

This adventure could go seriously wrong very quickly. Too many adverbs but that is JMHO! *Smile*

“Don’t want to,” I said. Consider adding something here to make sure the reader doesn't think Anne really doesn't want to, because she doesn't sound excited. *Laugh* How about: "Don't want to?" I asked, my jaw dropping to my chest."

And I hope I see you too, and soon, re:I thought. I turned and walked out and up to the flat.
“Bloody hell re:I thought you got lost,” Ruth said. "I was about to send out a search party."

[Re: = repeated words. Perhaps "I was worried you might have got lost,"...]

Back on the planet known by the humans as The Red Moon Ekurb looked at Bithot and shook his head.

[This is telling. Perhaps have one of the humans in the earlier chapter refer to the Red Moon?]

Anyway, I am getting to re:liken the Anolaid people."
"Getting to re:liken you say.

[This might be my American English talking but do you mean 'like'?]

Bruce, there are several places where there should be quotation marks but are not. And there are places where quotation marks are not needed, but they are there.
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Bruce. , after reading this chapter and seeing the transition from third person into first is abrupt after five chapters. My question is what made you decide to start writing in first person from Anne's point of view.

To me, it sort of took me out of the story. Instead of experiencing the actions of the aliens and the horrors of war, I am now being told the story, as if someone is reading it to me. From the previous chapters, it seems Anne is going to be an important character in this story since she is descended from Martha, whom we met in the first chapter.

My suggestion (and it is only my humble opinion, so if you think differently, that is just fine. *Smile*) is to remain in third person. Have the reader experience the abuse from her point of view rather than her telling us.

Just some mechanical things:

Bithout replied. “I see you have recently returned from the planet Earth.

Since Bithout also returned from Earth, perhaps he could say "I see you have also recently returned from the planet Earth."

I went up to my room and packed some things into a carrier bag and hit hid it under my bed.
Review of walls  
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Charlie Carrol !

Your writing brings out your pain in the words and it is palpable to the reader. Great job! I think we all have felt like we're walking around in circles, hitting brick walls, or having ocean waves smash us in the chest.

Great metaphors, too!

But as I was reading: "Maybe I am destined to go mad...same potholes that I know are there...same walls I see coming..." I was thinking "If you do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always gotten."

I know. Easier said that done.

Great job, Charles!
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi, 🌕 HuntersMoon ! I saw your comment in the Newsfeed about your "Adult" section so I decided to check it out. I'm glad I did!

I enjoyed reading your story! My first reaction was to turn on the ceiling fan. Hot!

I like writing and reading BDSM stories and this one is great! I look forward to reading more of your work.

Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, FireWriter2012 ! If this is your first attempt at mystery, I think you did a very good job! I enjoyed reading it.

One thing that I noticed about the writing is it tends to go back and forth between showing (good) and telling (not good). Your first paragraph is showing, with a great hook, which is what got my attention!

Then the second paragraph went into telling, like someone was reading the story to me instead of seeing it through McAllister's point of view. Instead of telling us he was a great detective with a gutsy reputation, show us. Perhaps after "I like it as detective." think about: "I didn't get a gutsy reputation by playing it safe."

Overall it is a great mystery, and I hope you continue writing mysteries like this.

Are you familiar with Daniel Silva? He writes spy novels and his main character is an art restorer so famous paintings and art theft are usually part of the focus of his stories.

Write on!
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, Seuzz !

I really enjoyed reading your story. It started with a great hook and moved at a "page-turning" pace. Great job!

I did note one inconsistency or maybe it's just my confusion. *Blush* In the first scene, the story mentions Duke's body in the corner, with the back of its head blown off. In the second scene, Fokke recalls he put two slugs into Duke Winslow's face.

My favorite part was the final scene where we see Fokke as thinking he is still alive, but isn't. Great descriptions and great writing!

Review of A Walking Shadow  
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hey, Max!

Great story here and what a twist at the end. I was expecting some sort of "Hotel California" scene. *Laugh*

And I learned a new word today: ichor

Question: The story mentions Enoch is safe while it is light, but it is still light when he enters the control house just ahead of the grue?

One minor thing: Footfalls thumped in the distance.

Review by Alex Morgan
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
King of the House Elves - Chapter 5  (13+)
Boroden joins forces with a flying pony to help his fellow brownies escape an evil king
#2248173 by HollyMerry

Author: HollyMerry


With the help of Blackthorn, Boroden manages to subdue the guards and get the brownies to safety. Midhir tries to block them using his magic, but unbeknownst to him, Airen possesses magic of his own and uses it to thwart Midhir.

Midhir is furious and sends his guards to find the person who used magic against him.

Shrike tells Midhir that Leon has a niece.

There were sometimes that this chapter did not seem to mesh with the past chapter, so I made some comments and suggestions below. I had to refer back to it a few times to refresh my memory.

Why didn’t Leon escape with the rest of the brownies? What happened to him? At the beginning, he is standing firm in front of the king, until Boroden introduces Blackthorn to him. Then he disappears.

Also, at the end of the last chapter, Midhir orders the gates to be closed even though his queen is outside somewhere. Then when the doorbell rings, he tells the guards to open them. Is he not worried that the brownies will escape, which they did? It makes Midhir and his guards seem gullible.


See my comments and suggestions below. Remember they are my humble opinion only. Take what suggestions you like and ignore the rest. This is your story!

Midhir twisted his hazel wand, gloating as he threatened to unleash his magic on the brownies. He would make them rue ever standing against him. ‘You have little choice. Slavery or death. You’re no fool, Leon. You know Boroden Ulfharen is a moron imbecile (fool, halfwit, etc) JMHO.]. You should give him up. Join my palace servants - you have Frenudin’s blood in you after all. I’d be glad for one of sídhe ancestry to serve me.’

Spears poised, the guards stepped forward. Yelled. (Should this be connected to the first sentence?) Thuds and clangs split the air as their armoured bodies hit the ground, pinned under a pile of flour sacks. One guard struggled up coughing, white as a phantom from the flour burst over him.

[From the end of the previous chapter, we know that Boroden gets an idea from the sacks of flower, and that he is riding a flying horse. I thought that Boroden had dropped them from Blackthorn from overhead, but now I’m not sure. Was it some other form of trickery that he used to dump the flour sacks on them?]

Midhir sucked in a discomforted breath as Boroden appeared in the gateway. The upstart brownie prince had no right to appear there, especially with such a triumphant grin. How had he escaped?

[Suggestion: “…Boroden appeared in the gateway. How had he escaped? He was supposed to be captured or killed by the sidhe.”]

A flying pony alighted beside Boroden and he pointed her out introduced her to Leon. ‘This is Blackthorn. I heaved the sacks onto her back and she flew up to poise them to fall as the gates opened.’

[Was she invisible?]

Midhir seethed. ‘Very clever. But they’ve you’ve forgotten I have magic.’

As if reading his mind, Boroden waved the brownies towards the gates. ‘Run, quick. Take the ponies.’

[The brownies were already heading toward the gates at the end of the last chapter. Wouldn’t they have tried to escape when the guards were trapped by the flour?]

The horse traders backed away, uttering dismayed cries. Following a whinny from Blackthorn, the ponies let the brownies cut their lead ropes. They galloped after Blackthorn as she and Boroden took to the air. Overwhelmed by the surging cavalcade, the guards did nothing.

Idiots! Midhir fumed.Hunting hounds would be far more astute than these cowardly sídhe guards.

Lifting his wand, Midhir sent a barrier of resistance to block off the entrance to the human world towards which the brownies fled.

The air shimmered into a thousand rainbow coloured lightning bolts parrying back and forth. Someone had sent up a powerful aura to resist his own orb of aura power. Someone within the fortress. Midhir was thwarted only a few minutes, but by then the brownies were safe.

[Think about something like: “Before his wizardry could seal the brownies’ escape, the air shimmered as a thousand rainbow-coloured lightning bolts. A powerful aura resisted his own magic.

It must have been somebody within my castle!

Midhir renewed his spell, but it was too late, as he watched the last of the brownies slip through the portal.”

Somebody else could probably word it better, but you kinda get the idea. *Smile*]

‘Aye. Aira’s what they call her. A marred, stuck-up wench if ever I saw one.’
[“Marred” means stained or scarred. Is that the correct word for Aira here?]

Midhir barely listened. His lips curled into a slow smile. ‘Fúamnach, bring me my looking glass.’

Midhir’s wife did as he bid.

[When did Fuamnach get there? She wasn’t in the palace because they thought it was her at the gate when the bell rang.]

Midhir narrowed eyes, stroking his chin with a posessive possessive smile.
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hey, Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈 . This is a sad story, but you have managed to capture the sadness of the garrison at the end. Even though Marushka seems to be the only one wanting to preserve the spirit of Christmas, everyone is affected.

Couple of questions:

The departing garrison had left behind a year’s worth of rations and other supplies. Sacha and his team could survive for a decade or more, not that he expected they’d need to.

They can survive for more than a decade on one year's rations? It sounds like a two fishes and a loaf of bread type scenario. *Smile*

The next question: How long does Sacha plan to stay on Cabot's Landing? Since everyone has abandoned the planet, are they part of a permanent outpost or do they expect to leave at some point?

Great story!
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (3.5)
 Attack of the blobwoman   (E)
Carole dreams of conquering the world. Could some outer space goo make it a reality?
#2247379 by Alextrax52

Author: Alextrax52

Hi, Alextrax.

Thank you for inviting me to review your story. My first impression is that this reads more as a comedy, rather than spooky. The scene where Carole is eating her way through the food in her refrigerator was funny! If you lighten up the tone a little bit, I could see this working as a children’s story. *Smile*

The most important issue I noticed is the telling instead of showing. I made a comment after the first paragraph with a suggestion on how to “show” versus “tell”. I made additional comments throughout the story below.

The plot is fine. With science fiction, anything goes. *Smile* I did not notice any plot holes or inconsistencies.

Another thing I noticed was the use of passive voice, instead of active voice. “She was wondering…” instead of “She wondered…”

Remember these comments, suggestions and feedback are my humble opinion only. Take what advice you like and ignore the rest. This is your story!

Carole Williams loved science. It had been a passion of hers ever since she was a little child. She’d spend hours a day trying to create a project that would serve a good purpose to the world, but she hadn’t quite managed to achieve one.

Her passion for science led to her to train for a teaching role at a school and she quickly proved popular with the class. They felt that Carole really knew her stuff knowledge-wise and how to use the equipment physically wise [This sounds rather sexual. *Shock*]. While her personal ambition hadn’t quite been fulfilled Carole was happy enough with her life and job.

That was until the day of the announcement….

[The beginning needs to hook your reader so they want to keep reading. This is mostly telling, like someone is reading the story to me. I’d rather be shown that Carole loves science, that her passion led her to teaching.

Think about: Carole Williams smiled as she walked to her classroom, eager to convey her passion for science to the young minds.

“Today’s lesson will really blow their minds,” she said to herself. “After this, I’ll be more popular than ever.” Other authors can word it better than me, but you get the point. *Smile*]

“You wanted to see me boss” Carole reported to her Supervisor Melanie

“Yes Carole I did, please take a seat”

Melanie Carole sat down in her office chair and looked a tad regretful and long faced

Carole tried to put a brave face on the decision but as she left the office to pack her stuff her mind was burning burned with rage.

Had she looked back she’d have seen Melanie crying her heart out at having to make that decision. She believed Carole was her best teacher and she was simply too expensive to keep on…

[Again, this is telling. If Carole cannot see Melanie crying or does not know it, the reader cannot either. Remember we are in Carole’s point of view. *Smile*]

As the thought passed through her mind however she noticed that it wasn’t a star at all, it was actually a meteorite and not only that she also saw that it was heading into the area close to her car. The meteorite flew into the big forest of trees and crashed into the woods right next to the road Carole was on.

Carole drove into the parking area at the woods entrance and investigated where it landed. Switching on her torch she waded her way through the thick mossy branches and patches of wet mud which got her hands and clothes quite muddy until at last she reached the crash site. The ground was venting vented smoke and the meteorite had appeared to burn up into a small rock crater, which was now a brownish red colour because of its fiery entrance. Carole was just about to touch it when suddenly it started cracking and then burst open into small pieces. Carole ducked behind a bigger rock to avoid any injuries.

When she regained her courage, she poked her head out to see what remained, and she was amazed. Revealed on top of the only remaining piece of the meteorite was a small glowing blob of light green goo, which seemed to be a little sentient as it was moving around on its own slightly.
[What does Carole see that makes her realize the blob is moving on its own? Does it move upward, against gravity? Does it change shape regardless of the space it is in?]

“This is so cool and exactly the sort of thing I need to achieve my dreams, I’d better get this home quickly”

Without hesitation, Carole scooped up the blob using a stick and carried it all the way back to her car where she placed it in her lunch container. She vacated left the area, intrigued with her find and what it might do...

The blob slithered its way across Carole’s bed all while making sure it didn’t touch her body as the cold feeling would surely wake her up. It made its way up to her mouth and it was a wise choice as Carole not only snored loudly but also with her mouth wide open. The blob waited for the opportunity and jumped into the wide hole presented to it. The blob had done it, it had got itself inside Carole’s body.

[Carole would wake up if something cold touched her skin, but not if it jumped inside her mouth?]

The blob flew down the neck and windpipe, passed by the rib cage protecting the heart and didn’t stop until it reached Carole’s stomach. It then merged itself into the stomach acids and became a part of Carole’s very DNA.

[This might rile up some human physiology geeks. Going from stomach acids to DNA is a big leap, so you might want to ask if any of your readers can guide you through this section. It really seems glossed over.]

This meant that it took on her persona and could feel everything that she did. In its actions it felt that this was going to be a deadly combination.

As the clock struck midnight the blob was ready.

[What is significant about midnight?]

The blob looked around the living room for something to wake Carole up and that’s when it saw a footrest by the sofa. The blob placed it in the centre of the room and ran up towards it.

[If the blob is inside Carole, how does it move the footrest?]

Carole was trying to gather her thoughts when she suddenly heard a sinister laughing shake through the room

“Who’s there? Show yourself”

[Is Carole frightened to hear a disembodied voice laugh? She seems to be more curious than scared.]

Without a moment’s hesitation, Carole ripped open the refrigerator and devoured everything inside before following suit with her freezer, her cupboards and the fruit bowl. She ate everything in sight including:

2 cartons of grapes
A pack of 6 sausage rolls
6 packs of biscuits and crisps
6 Bananas and 5 Apples
2 big cartons and 10 small bars of ice-cream
4 pizzas
2 bags of chips
6 packs of noodles
And so much more

[This looks like a recipe. You do not need to list what she ate so meticulously. You can just say she ate everything in the refrigerator and include a few items. Or you could say she raided the refrigerator and freezer, even consuming four frozen pizzas. JMHO.]

“What’s up Caz? We need to find more food” the blob cried almost impatiently

[Is Caz a nickname for Carole?]

Suddenly Carole felt the blob swirling around in her stomach and giggled as it pushed against her skin as it caused a tickling sensation. Eventually it died down and Carole suddenly felt a strange feeling. A feeling as if her stomach had suddenly been made out of elastic. Crucially the feeling of wanting to burst was no longer there.

[“Crucially” is an odd word here. Do you mean “importantly”?]

“One second, I shall get myself looking presentable”. “I can’t go out in just my PJ’s but thankfully I bought something in case this ever happened”

[She hasn’t grown out of her pajamas?]

Despite the increased ballast slowing her down, Carole had made it out of her apartment building with little problem. Helped further by the fact that because it was 2 in the morning, no one was up to see her.

[Despite being woken up by her stomach’s gurgling a little earlier? *Laugh*]

Just about squeezing her monstrous girth through the tiny door, Carole saw that there was no one at the counter or indeed in the shop at all.
[It is 2am. Does she expect someone to be there?]

With one eye now normal and the other still glowing green the 2 two entities cried simultaneously…

“It feels good doesn’t it Caz?”. “Your You’re almost ready to conquer the planet but first I believe we have a food court to ravage”

Review of Doomsday?  
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with The Sci-fi Writers Guild  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Doomsday?  (13+)
Dreamweaver Anthology: An asteroid heads towards earth, the stranger brings a solution.
#2252773 by LightinMind

Author: LightinMind

Hi, Light.

I enjoyed your short story. Will there be a follow-up? So many questions that need answers, and you left your readers with a great cliffhanger. Keep ‘em wanting more!

The main thing is to avoid telling and rely on showing the reader what is happening. A lot of this sounded like narration, as if someone was reading it to me. I pointed out some areas where this was prevalent, and offered some suggestions.

Black as the night, its igneous surface melted by the heat of another sun the asteroid hurtled towards the light and out of the darkness of deep space. For thousands of years, it had kept this trajectory, its purpose clear. This was a planet destroyer, and it was bound for earth.

Great opening! It is the hook that captures your reader’s interest. Here it sounds as if the asteroid is an intelligent being or at least has some instinct, and it is targeting Earth for some nefarious reason. In the story below, it sounds more like an asteroid whose path is unluckily on a collision course with Earth.

I made some more suggestion/comments below, but remember they are my humble opinion only! Take what suggestions you like and ignore the rest. This is your story!

The brown-cloaked hooded stranger jumped the eight-foot-tall electric fence landing quietly in the grass beyond. He waited a moment looking directly at where he knew the cameras to be. They broke off their hinges and crashed to the ground without getting any good pictures of him.

[Why did the cameras break off their hinges? Did he cut them off with his broadsword?]

His target was the billionaire owner of Blue Space, on the second floor of the mansion, playing on a gaming console in front of a 292-inch TV screen that filled one of the walls of his room. He had just sent his kids to bed and was now alone there. He walked into the room and greeted the billionaire politely. The man looked startled by the sudden entry and reached for a phone to alert his security. This mysteriously moved away from his hand as he did so. Confused and a little frightened by that the billionaire turned to face the intruder.

"Mr. Besk, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance," the stranger said in perfect English. It was just one of his many languages. After 2000 years on this planet, he had learned all the major ones.

[A lot of telling here, and not much showing. For example, does the stranger know that the billionaire has just sent his children to bed? If the pov character cannot see it or does not know it, then the reader can’t either. *Smile*

Think about: The stranger crept up to the second floor and peeked inside a large room. A 292-inch TV screen completely filled one of the walls. The billionaire sat, playing on a gaming console.

He is all alone. He must have sent his children to bed.

Then, when he speaks, is there a reason that we need to know that the stranger speaks in perfect English? Perhaps he has features that would make someone think he did not?

Think about:
“Mr. Besk, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance,” the stranger said. (Insert Besk’s reaction here)

“You speak perfect English,” Besk replied.
“It is one of many languages I have learned after 2000 years on this planet.”

"My name does not matter and do not be too harsh on your security guys. They could not have stopped me." {uThe stranger saw the fear in Besk's eyes.

How about: The stranger noted Besk’s wide eyes, darting around as if he was panicking.
Other authors could word it better, but as long as you’re showing, and not telling *Wink*

The bureaucracy involved would be far too burdensome.

[SO TRUE! Great line!]

"We can improve the processing power of your navigational computers so that they can deal with objects even as small as few centimeters in width. We can also improve your scanning capability to be able to scan the mineral content of whatever you survey. Effectively, when this is over, you will have a workable rocket design that could take you anywhere in the solar system. That with a vastly improved asteroid mining capability and a significant head start in that industry. I am reliably informed for instance that the target asteroid includes thousands of tons of gold and platinum. If we can shift the trajectory of the asteroid to hit the moon, it will shatter on impact. Mining its content would then be easy pickings for you."

[Is the stranger offering rockets to Besk to evacuate Earth or to mine the moon after impact?]

"Yes exactly, but the rocket will need to be five times the size of your current one and weigh ten times more. Also, the design of the main capsule will be constructed with a view to causing a maximum impact on the asteroid. Our navigation software and new scanning capabilities will precisely calculate the best point to strike the asteroid, to divert its course into the moon."

[Soooo…not exactly. *Laugh*]

Besk looked puzzled at the sight of such an ancient-looking weapon following such a hi-tech conversation but he nodded, nonetheless.

[Perhaps: Besk gave the stranger a puzzled look.

“It looks a little ancient for someone so hi-tech,” he said.]

Besk had his Chief Engineer and his accountant assembled in the conference room. The brown-cloaked figure in the corner stood hooded, his eyes scanning the room and otherwise silent and still.

"Have you checked out the specifications for the navigation array and scanners?" Besk asked his Chief Engineer.

"Yes, they check out, the software is twenty years ahead of anything on the market today. May I ask where you got this? The computer language they are using includes code libraries and possibilities that simply do not exist yet."

"You can ask but you will get no answers, do you really care so long as it works," said Besk glancing at the hooded man. "Can you build it?"

The Chief Engineer noticed the glance but was too excited by the technology to really care how Besk had obtained it and to follow on with that line of questioning.

[Establish the point of view in the very first sentence. I have been scolded about this many times. Since Besk is the first one mentioned, let’s keep it in his pov. Then, Besk cannot know that the Chief Engineer was excited unless he says so, or if you give us a description of the engineer to show he is excited. Perhaps:

As Besk turned back to the table, it appeared to him that the Chief engineer had not even heard the answer. He watched with amusement as the engineer peered intently at the computer screen, as if oblivious to the world around him.

Also, do the Chief Engineer and the accountant have names? It isn’t necessary, but it is kinda obvious to the reader.]

Turning to view whatever it was he noticed two cloaked men. One wore a black cloak and the other a brown cloak. They were fighting with broadswords before the rocket. A third man, similarly attired, joined them shortly after. He did not take part in the fight and just guarded the rocket itself.

[How close are they to the rocket? They must be right next to it, because the third man joins them, but guards the rocket instead of taking part in the fight.]

As the cameras zoomed in the swordsmen left the ground fighting while levitated. Flying at each other at great speeds and doing impossible somersaults through the air.

[The strangers are Jedi knights! *Shock*]

"This is coming to you live from the Blue Space center in [Insert city’s name], Texas. We are viewing two apparently supernatural swordsmen fighting in front of Mr. Besk’s Top Secret new rocket. The identity of these men is unknown."

As he spoke three Apache helicopters flew overhead. They began firing, concentrating their fire attack on the black-cloaked figure.

[The black cloak and the brown cloak are close together, so it would not be apparent from the reporter’s point of view that the helicopters are focusing on only one of them.]

A global audience gasped in horror as they started to make out the dark menacing shape of the asteroid. It was ten miles across and being mainly metallic completely deadly.

[How does the audience know it is mainly metallic if it is dark? *Wink*]

The navigation software refined the precise place to strike the asteroid, as it approached, factoring in a reading of the mineral composition and mass. Finally, it slammed into the asteroid at some 30,000 miles an hour, its 1000 tons of mass just enough to cause a jolt to the asteroid's trajectory. The asteroid shifted course and just minutes later slammed into the moon.

[If the camera in the cone of the missile is destroyed, are there other cameras available to show the impact and the collision?]
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Great word search, Vaishali . You included some of my favorite authors. Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury, Arthur Conan Doyle. Do you plan on posting more word searches?

Are these your favorites? Who do you draw inspiration from?

Great job!
Review of The Crime Scene  
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
The Crime Scene  (13+)
Written for Dialogue 500
#2253841 by Vaishali

Author: Vaishali


This is a contest entry for the Dialogue 500, which I’ve entered before a while back. Good luck, Lurie!

I made some suggestions and comments below, but remember they are my humble opinion only. Take what suggestions you like and ignore the rest. This is your story!

"To believe you is not my duty, sir. You will be penalized if you are not proved innocent."
[This sentence is fine, but consider “You will be penalized if you are proven guilty.” JMHO.]

"I was there at a party, in a Club. Yes, Club Laire. That's the name! Then I took two shots of wine and began dancing.

[Wine usually is not served in shots. They are mainly for hard liquor. Maybe the main character could have two sips of wine? Perhaps two glasses of wine?]

I think he was a waiter. Then, I held his wine in air and started dancing. I was not in my senses. I am sorry."

[Consider: “I was not thinking clearly.” *Smile*]

"Alright Ken. Later, this beautiful lady wearing a blue, shiny gown came towards me. I don't know her name. She took my wine and brought it near my mouth. She made my sip easy. Then, I held her waist and began dancing."

[Not sure what this means. It sounds like the beautiful lady is flirting with the main character. She takes his wine glass and then holds it for him to take a sip?]

"You didn't get it sir. She purposely did that. Let me tell you what might had happened. She exchanged her wine with yours, which she had already intoxicated drugged. Then you fainted. And before you could come out of your sleep, the murder had already taken place."

"Don't panic sir. The waiter whom you described earlier had his first day of job. So he recorded everything as a memory. Even when the CCTV footage was gone, he had his camcorder on."

[A waiter who is supposed to be working is carrying around a camcorder? Make sure he is sneaky about it. Perhaps he is using his phone to record everything, and hides it whenever the supervisors are looking?]

Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
 XLQ, the fashion magazine for Big Men  (13+)
The story of XLQ, THE fashion magazine for the Larger Man
#1180951 by fat_hiker

Author: fat_hiker


I thoroughly enjoyed your story about XLQ. I laughed out loud in several places. Great job!

My favorite parts were the areas where it sounded like a fashion review or a gossip column. For example, the bulleted points starting with “brilliant jewel tone tees…” Also, the mention of leading sumo wrestlers.

I was confused by the term “house organ”. I’m not familiar with that. In its context, does it mean limited distribution?

I could figure out what BHM meant: …gay men wanting subscriptions for their BHM partners. But I couldn’t figure out SSBHM earlier.

Thank you for the laughs!


Some more favorites:

Taglines like "Once you'd had fat, you'll never go back," are now turning up in memes, movies, songs, ... and women's desires.


Roger immediately set about 'improving' his weight to the 800 pound level


Big Adventure's expanding, upscale line of eye-catching, super stylish, yet rugged and challenging clothes for the sporty bigger man, the "Biggest Adventure" line.

- brilliant jewel tone tees, football jerseys, and sport shirts in body-skimming cuts
- pants and shorts in spandex-enhanced stretch fabrics that ride closely over massive guts and thighs
- heavy cotton rugby shirts in richly toned horizontal striping or colour blocking, that really emphasize the size of chests and shoulders, with canvas rugby shorts and chinos to match (all with stretch panels, of course)
- body-hugging athletic spandex shorts and jerseys in rich shades and dayglo colours,
- and rugged workwear, in vast sizes for comfort and practicality.

Bernie soon backed up his choice of Roger as top model by hiring a stable of young SSBHM supermodels,

Coleman, a young cousin of Cindy, who at just 15 years old was already an awe-inspiring 450 lbs,


while the back cover featured Coleman, in searing neon yellow striped spandex muscle top and electric blue shorts, body and gut seemingly suspended in the air,

XLQ has its detractors, of course, who refer to it as FQ - Fatso Quarterly. But, frankly, who cares what Richard Simmons, Paris Hilton or the US Surgeon-General think? Certainly not the women and men who read XLQ! Its mix of fashion-forward pieces, fat-positivism, sports reporting (on sports for the larger male), news items on bigger guys and even male-focused recipes gives it a unique flair. Advertisers have been flocking to it.

[JMHO. I think this paragraph works better without the last sentence. *Smile*

Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.5)
 I still got the Blues for you  (E)
A man faces his memorires of life before an alien invasion
#2253695 by macwriter

Author: macwriter


Devin is one of the last human survivors of an alien invasion by the Charr. The war has finally turned in favor of the humans but at a huge cost. He is with a unit that is advancing upon the last known hive of the aliens. He remembers his wife, the last time he spoke to her. The song I Still Got the Blues for You continues running through his mind.

His last thoughts are of her as his unit is given the orders to attack.

Great story, Macwriter!

I like the hooks in the first paragraphs with the smells and tastes Devin is experiencing. It gives the reader a notion that something bad has happened without telling us. My favorite part is how you let the story unfold at its own pace so we don’t get a lot of information at once, and it also lets the reader adjust to Devin’s point of view.

And you did all that in less than 1000 words! Awesome!


I made some comments and suggestions below, but remember they are my humble opinion only. Take what suggestions you like and ignore the rest. This is your story!

Devin kept his eyes closed as he breathed deeply. The smell of a burnt out city ran it’s scented fingers under his nose. He tried to breath through his mouth but the taste was almost as unbearable as smelling the foul air. The smell wouldn't have been so disheartening if it wasn’t one of hundred reminders of that day. It would almost have be bearable if it didn’t remind him of the days times that followed after that day and the many horror filled days that followed.

[There are a lot of repeated words here. Consider synonyms like “inhaled” instead of “breathed”. “Stench” or “odor” in place of “smell”. “Days” is hard to substitute so I made a suggestion for the final sentence. JMHO!]

He pressed the barrel of his laz-rifle to his forehead. He let out a slow deliberate breath. His mind raced and yet always found it’s its way back to the last phone call.

He could feel the presence of other soldiers. Each one going through a similar ritual of closure. In moments it would be all over. The last nest-hive wold would be assaulted and destroyed.

He wasn’t sure of it was a cruel twist of fate, an omen of things to come, or just a cosmic coincidence. He remembered it like it was yesterday. He was a money manger manager back then.

Today was the day. The last of the Carr Charr(?) Lords would be destroyed. Humans had won. They had survived the invasion. They survived Armageddon. They won because of greed.

The final lord hit hid inside it’s its hive-nest with it’s its defenses prepared.

Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
King of the House Elves - Chapter 4  (18+)
The young brownie king, Boroden, confronts the arrogant elf king, Midhir
#2232500 by HollyMerry

Author: HollyMerry


The chapter opens with Boroden mourning over the death of Ulfmolt. After they bury their dead, the brownies led by Boroden confront King Midhir.

Midhir challenges Boroden to a game, stating that if the king wins, he will enslave all the brownies.

Boroden says that if he wins, the brownies will be set free.

Midhir refuses to accept those terms. Boroden escapes the palace with his friends with him, but Midhir has sent his guards to capture the brownies.

Boroden happens upon a pony with wings, and asks her to help him rescue the brownies. She flies him outside the castle walls.

Big gap here at the beginning. All of a sudden, Ulfmolt is dead. What happened? As I mention in my comments, the hobyahs were advancing. Did they attack? Did Ulfmolt fight with the brownies? How was he killed?


The first part of the chapter, we are in a field where they are burying their dead after a battle. It is a bright sunny day for such a tragic activity.

Then, the action moves to Midhir’s castle, where Boroden confronts him. I think you did a good job of describing the castle, its grounds, and rooms.


We are in Boroden’s point of view in this chapter. There was one place I noticed a head-hop and made note of it in my comments below.


There are several new characters introduced in this chapter, but the main addition is King Midhir. We know what he is wearing but other than that, we know he has red eyes. I’m still not sure about the size difference. Is Midhir a human? Is he taller than Boroden? Is he old?

Another new character is Blackthorn, a flying pony. We find out that Boroden can communicate with her and enlists her help in rescuing the brownies from Midhir’s castle. She has a shaggy black coat and muddy legs. She has wings on her back.


I made some comments and suggestions below, along with some of my reactions while reading this chapter. Remember these are my humble opinion only. Take what advice you like and dismiss the rest. This is your story!

Boroden’s mind boiled with a torrent of grief as he knelt beside the body of his brother. There was still too much of the bairn in Ulfmolt’s ashen face. Boroden wished he had relented to Ulfmolt’s plea before the battle and run away with him. Then Ulfmolt would have lived. Boroden put his head in his hands and tried to shut out the pain and emptiness, but it clutched him. A voice in the back of his mind told him he must stir to prepare grave goods to commemorate Ulfmolt, but his stiff body refused to let him move. After the exertion of battle, every muscle ached.

[Wait! Ulfmolt died? When did that happen? I reviewed the previous chapters but couldn’t find anything. The last time we saw Ulfmolt he was in the nest and the hobyahs were advancing.]

Leon pushed his way through the makeshift canopy shelter. [Or this could be used in place of “screen of cloaks” earlier. JMHO].

Boroden shut his eyes, recalling that keeping in favour with the Seelie Court was paramount. His clan were proud to be part of the court of the faerie clans united into what humans called the People of Peace; good magical races that are generally benevolent to humans and returned kindness with favours of their own. If his father was here, he would have reminded Boroden that currying favour with the Seelie Court was paramount. But King Gruagach wasn’t there. Boroden wished he had some closure and knew either way whether his father was living or dead. When he thought of his missing father, Boroden’s mind churned with a torment of conflicted emotions.

[These two phrases repeat each other and “favour” is used three times. Consider “remain in good standing” or something similar.]

A moment later, Boroden’s tutor, Carnelian, and Torden, a burly brownie chieftain, stepped into the tent.

[Isn’t Leon Boroden’s tutor? If it is Carnelian, you can remove the comma after “tutor”, so we know they are one and the same. *Smile*]

Moistening his parched lips, for he knew it was important for a king to speak clearly, he addressed his clan. ‘There is no need for us all to go in to apologise to Midhir. I will represent you in addressing myself to him. Stay and rest here in the courtyard whilst I go inside. Torden - [I think a comma works better here instead of a dash.] I appoint you to take care of the clan in my absence.

Boroden cast them a grateful nod and led them into the palace. He felt small and vulnerable as the great doors sealed him and his companions inside. This irritated him. He wanted to do well for his people, as he had in battle leading a bold and victorious attack upon the hobyahs that waited to ambush his clan.

[In Chapter 2, the hobyahs were advancing, not waiting to ambush them. Or is this referencing another battle?]

Boroden nodded, although the fact that he was now king seemed unreal to him. ‘Let’s go on until we find someone to take us to Midhir.’

[His father King Gruagach is only missing at this point? It was mentioned earlier that it isn’t known if he is alive or dead? Is it premature to announce him as king?]

Boroden led his companions into a vast hall. His breath froze in astonishment at the grandeur of the room. It formed its own exquisite world lit by globes like floating suns. A cascade replete with waterlilies ran down its centre. The water moved unpredictably; now rising high, now babbling.

[Water moves unpredictably, yes, but is it behaving in a way that is unpredictable, maybe through some sort of magic? I’m thinking of a fountain with a stream flowing away from it. The water would stay within the confines of that stream, right? I might be nitpicking too much. Sorry. *Smile*]

Midhir’s red eyes bored into Boroden, and Boroden winced.

Midhir’s blood-red eyes trained upon Boroden.

[You mentioned the color of his eyes just before this. *Smile*]

‘When he fell from heaven, my father, The Dagda, lost some vials containing the juice of the fruit of the Tree of Life somewhere in caves beneath Velmoran. Long have my family sought it out for its power of granting immortality. Perhaps you have some at your disposal?’

[Midhir seems less belligerent by asking instead of demanding. Is he softening a bit?]

You know of what I speak, Boroden Ulfharen. Isn’t that what the monsters of the Unseelie Court call you - Ulfharen? It means wolf-coat. I wonder if your friends know what they mean by calling you that, creature?’

‘I told you that we didn’t know we trespassed,’ Boroden growled, finding it hard to keep his temper at Midhir’s threat uttered in a mellifluous tone. How had Midhir uncovered his secret?

[Is Boroden’s secret that he’s a ‘wolf-coat’? Is that the secret ability he and his brother swore to keep secret?]

Carnelian winced. ‘Boroden called Midhir a vile, villainous viper.’

[I’m sure Boroden meant it the nicest way? *Laugh*]

Overhearing this Carnelian’s father, Lord Asuril, an old favourite of King Gruagach, pulled a face like he had swallowed vinegar.

[This is the first mention of Lord Asuril. Has he been there all this time?]

Boroden caught his breath. Perhaps he was a fool as Asuril seemed to think, but what else could he have done?

[I did not get the impression that Asuril thought Boroden was a fool. Just displeased at Boroden’s words.]

As he prepared to rally his followers to fight, a horse dealer ran by, almost knocking Boroden to the ground. He made to help his companion restrain a pony grown wilder than the rest.

[Boroden is trying to get his people to safety. Why is he stopping to help restrain a pony?]

Not knowing him from her captors, she tried to shake him off.

[This is a head-hop to the pony. We do not know what she is thinking, unless Boroden has a way to communicate with animals?]

Boroden spoke soothingly. ‘Please, gentle one, I mean you no harm. I’ll set you free and always be your friend if you do as I ask now, I swear it.’

She stilled her struggle, gazing at him with intelligent deep brown eyes. ‘What do you ask of me?’

Boroden had never heard a pony talk before, but this was no time to indulge his wonder at the sound of her whickering voice.

[Never mind! *Laugh*]

The pony settled her hoofs on the ground outside the gates of Midhir’s fortress. Boroden slid from her back, landing unceremoniously on a heap of sacks marked ‘Killmouli’s finest flour.’ He pulled himself up, a sparkle of inspiration in his eyes.

[Did he open the gates?]
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Hi, Pure. I came across your story in the Please Review page.

 You Were Only a Human  (18+)
Shya may only be in control of the other humans there. But she wants more than that.
#2250735 by PureSciFi

Author: PureSciFi


Shya lives on a planet that is controlled by the Octons, who force the humans to collect Colvian.

She wants to be like the Octons and challenges them to elevate her to their status.

They give her a chance to but I’m not sure about the outcome. Did she succeed?

I was also confused about the Colvian. The humans are forced to gather it, like a harvest, but then it turns out it is some form of currency? Kackim and Viloni have kept some of the Colvian and have built spaceships. Or is Colvian a sort of natural resource they used to build the spaceships?

Do the Octons live in luxury? What is it about them that Shya wants to be treated like one?

What was the chance the Octons gave Shya? In the last section, she’s suddenly in a spaceship? We don’t know if she succeeded because the story switches to another spaceship with Kackim and Viloni.

Those are some gaps in the plot that could use a little explanation to help your story read easier.


I made some suggestions and comments below, but remember these are my humble opinion only. Take what advice you like and ignore the rest. It is your story.

Shya bobbed her head to the left to avoid one fist to her face. Instead, she got another one to her head from behind her. Her head only bounced slightly forward before she stiffened her arms away from her and grabbed both Kackim and Viloni by their shirts and pull pulled them to within an inch of her.

["Her head" is repeated three times in close proximity. Think about using pronouns or synonyms such as"noggin" *Laugh*]

This last sentence is a little long. Consider splitting it into two sentences. Perhaps making the part where Shya is pulling them to her its own sentence?]

“They aren’t making us do anything,” says Shya Shya said. “It’s just easier for us to collect it because we are humans.”

Shya released Kackim and Viloni from her hands. “Now get back to collecting. We are still behind on the amount that we need for today.”


“You saw that fight,” said Shya. “Didn’t you? Kackim and Viloni are always fighting against each other. They have been for longer than I can remember.”

“They aren’t the only ones, though. Almost all of us humans feel the same way that they do,” continued Shya. “Why should we be collecting your Colvian instead of you?”

[Establish who Shya is talking to at the beginning. Consider: “Shya stood in front of three Octons seated behind a half-circle table. She stood with hands on hips.” Then she can start speaking. “You saw that fight…” *Smile*]

Shya relaxed a little bit. But she was still standing up straight with her hands in fists beside her in front of the three Octons behind a half-circle table. She looked at each one of them separately. Bounc was in the middle. And slightly behind him were Dancun to his right and Isani to his left.

[Shya fixed her icy stare first at Bounc, seated in the middle. Then she directed her gaze to Dancun, to Bounc’s right and Isani to his left.]

Bounc glance glanced at Dancun and Isani when Shya did it.

“I have already decided what to do with them,” said Shya. Shya said. “That’s not why I’m here. I’m here to show you one of the reasons why we aren’t going to get the amount of Colvian
that you want us to get today.”


The faceless head with long hair of Bounc turned toward Dancun and Isani. Dancun and Isani’s heads only slightly moved forward until they were touching Bounc at the line where their hair began. Shya's upper body leans leaned forward a little to hear what they were talking about. But she can’t hear them. All she can hear is their mumbling. could only discern the mumbled noises they made.

“What do I have to do to get ahead in life on this planet?” Shya asked herself as she paced around her small one-room living place.

[Good! We know that Shya is talking to herself rather than someone else who we have to wait to find out who it is. *Laugh*]

After she finished preparing her food, Shya placed it on a small table next to her sleeper. Then she uses used her Sleeper as a Seater to start eating that food. “How am I supposed to prove that I can be as good as them if they don’t give me a chance to do it?”


The next day instead of going to one of the Colvian Collections Shya went back to Colvian Command. And she’s about to place her hand in the three large fingered indented hand on the entrance to acknowledge her being there when she hears Bounc, Dancun, and Isani talking.

[Think about: “Before she could place her hand on the three-fingered indention at the entrance, the sound of familiar voices reached her ears. She pressed her ear against the door and recognized the unique mumbling sounds of Bounc, Dancun and Isani.” JMHO. *Smile*]

“There’s nothing wrong that I know of,” answered Shya. “I was just on my way there when you contacted me.”

[Did they?]

Shya stood straight with her hands clasped behind her back. “May I ask why you contacted me?”
[This is the first time Shya mentions that she was contacted by the Octons.]


A few hours later and Shya was on her way to Colvian Collection. “So, they think that we are doing it.”

“We aren’t,” continued Shya. “I’m sure that it’s some of the Octons who have been taking the Colvian. If that’s true, then all I need to do is prove it.”

“I just don’t know how I can do that yet,” said Shya. “But I do know one thing. I’m not going to get any of the other humans here killed by taking this chance.”

Shya sighed. “I know that the Octons said I could use any other humans that I want for this chance. But the only reason they said it was to get rid of as many of us as they can if this doesn’t go as planned. I’m not going to let that happen, though. Because I’m doing this alone.”

Suddenly Shya smiles. “I know how I’m going to prove that the Octons are taking the Colvian. All I need to do is finish this chance alive. And I’m going to do it. No matter what I must do to do it.”

[Is Shya talking to herself here?]


“I’m not going to be here for the next few days,” said Shya to a large group of about a thousand other humans in front of a large opening into a huge mountain behind that.[Behind what?]

“I want to go too.”

“So, do I.” a female pushed her way through the others to stand beside the male.

Suddenly, more than half the other humans there stepped forward saying similar comments. Shya puts put up the palm of her hands to stop them. “Thank you for you wanting to help
me. But I need to do this alone.”

[Are they volunteering to help her or wanting to have the same chance as Shya?]


Shya glanced at the large monitors on both sides of a huge one that showed nothing but Space on it. The two large ones are showing showed the Colvian scattered all around those very
big-looking rooms. Then she looked at the control panel in front of her and the huge monitor. “The Colvian appears to be still okay.”

“I’m almost to the second Octon planet,” continued Shya. “And I haven’t seen anyone who wants to take it from me, so far.”

“I don’t think that I will see anyone,” said Shya. “If nothing happens to this Colvian, then the Octons can blame us on the rest of it that has been taken.”

Suddenly, the darkness on the main monitor in front of Shya became a large spaceship similar to the one that she was on. Only that one was about four times bigger than hers.
“Maybe I’m right about the Octons.”

“I still don’t think any humans are doing it,” said Shya. “But it may be another race behind it besides humans and the Octons. After all, six other alien races can be taking it.”

[It’s difficult to follow what is going on here? Is Shya participating in a simulation? Or a video game?]

The images of Kackim and Viloni suddenly appear on the huge monitor in front of Shya. “Because we helped you to put it in your spaceship,” answered Kackim.
[Aren’t Kackim and Viloni her children? Are they leaving her on the planet?]

Review of Possession  
Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Very creepy story, wdwilcox. I always enjoy reading your work!

I can’t help but like Tony, but when he continues into the darkened ward after finding the body of his co-worker, I really wanted to smack him upside the head. *Laugh*

Your descriptions in each of the scenes was amazing, and I did not have any trouble imagining what I was reading.

Again, great story!

I had some questions for clarity, comments, and suggestions in the story, but remember they are my humble opinion only! If you like any of my comments, great! If not, just ignore them. This is your story! Only you know what is best!

Within the deep trench of night, in the rain-soaked town of Ripley, a lone policeman watches watched the dim yellow streetlights blink three times and then go out.

“Yeah, well you just wait until those lights start blinking again, and then you’ll see. The whole damn place turns into a regular mad house.” [As opposed to an irregular mad house? *Laugh*]

She shuffled toward the door, her silver hair in disarray, clumps of it sticking out comically as if she had just seen a ghost. She was only twenty-eight, but looked twice that age. Her eyes were as dark as black water and set deeply into her skull against pale and pasty skin. She was horribly frail—weak looking, as though she had never slept a day in her life. As she came forward, she stuck her index finger to her lips, “Shhh,” she whispered. “Let’s keep our voices down, okay, Tony? I’ve just put Elizabeth to bed. She’s been so cranky of late.”

[Tony isn’t looking at her directly, but can he see her out of the corner of his eye? In the next paragraph, she is looking around, so he would at least be able to have some sort of way of seeing her. *Smile*]

Tony looked down at the two shiny eyes cupped in his hand. They looked almost real, as if they were staring up at him. He would have to tell the doctor that Miss Grange popped them out again. She had been doing so well, too. This doll had lasted nearly four months. FIve years ago, the woman had done the exact same thing to her real two-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

Tony didn’t like the dark, hated it since he was a little kid, but he sighed heavily, slid his chair back, and stood. Feeling carefully along the wall, he inched his way out of the break room and down the hallway until he found the door to the stairwell. He opened it and slipped inside, blindly grabbing for the steel guide rail. Slowly, he started up the steps in the pitch black.

[This would probably ruin the mood, but would the building have emergency lights that would come on in case of a power outage?]

Something rolled busily across the floor—heavy, and made of metal.
[How does Tony know it is made of metal?]

With his mind roaring, he stood, stepping over Ray’s body, and entered the ward.
[I would have run out of there so fast, I would have created a vacuum!]

Startled, Tony fell back, dropping the flashlight. It exploded with the impact, batteries rolling across the floor and leaving him in pitch dark.

[Cheap flashlight! *Laugh*]

The huge dark eyes held him. Tony could not turn away.

Another one approached from the side. It touched Tony’s temple with something and his body went numb, the flashlight dropping from his hand with a thud and clatter.
[Just an observation. If Tony could not turn away from the creature, he would not be able to notice another one coming from his side. Perhaps he could hear it approach?]

“Shit, man, you don’t look so good.” Charlie led him toward the elevator. “Come on, I’m gonna get you out of here before the police show up.”

[Does Charlie suspect Tony is involved?]

Much later, back home and after a long sleep, Tony awoke with a start. The little lamp next to his bed lit up the familiar surroundings of his bedroom and he sighed with welcomed relief. His body shook with chills, his joints ached, and his mind was a blur of terrifying images. Shivering, Tony slipped deeper into the bed, pulling the covers up around his chin like a frightened child.

There was laughter and barking coming from downstairs. It was Luke, his son, playing with their dog, Bosley. There was a wonderful aroma of food cooking, and Tony knew that Karen, his pregnant wife, was preparing his favorite dish. It was as if everything were back to normal again.

[Is it day or night? Not that it matters, but I would think he would have a lamp on during the day. *Smile*]

But it wasn’t.

Tony couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen, a growing dread within him that the nightmare wasn’t over, a gripping fear that his family was in terrible danger.

His eyes went to the bedside lamp beside him. It blinked three times, and went out.

[I guess it is night! *Laugh*]
Review by Alex Morgan
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Jeff, when you say "bad short story", you do not disappoint. Eric Davidson and David Ericson? *FacePalm* The part about Justin Trudeau being immortal is a riot.

I don't think we will have to wait until May 6, 2420 for aliens to dub this as "an event that sounds like the plot of a badly written short story". We can do that right now! *Laugh*

Thank you for the laughs!
Review by Alex Morgan
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
King of the House Elves - Chapter 3  (18+)
Trouble brews as brownie swordsmith Airen heads to the faerie market
#2232497 by HollyMerry

Author: HollyMerry


Airen is heading to the market with his bag of metalworks, but realizes something is amiss. His neighbor Killmouli warns him to stay away because there is danger there.

He tells Airen that Midhir’s knights forced a settlement of brownies to leave an area where they were staying next to a river. Then some hobyahs came looking for the brownies, but encountered the knights instead.

Airen decides to stay, in hopes of selling some of his wares, when his brother-in-law Leon greets him. They bring each other up-to-date since it has been a while. Leon leaves to meet with Midhir. Airen notices a woman watching them and she vanishes suddenly.

Airen heads back to the gate to the human world and see a friend Bean Tighe being questioned and searched by two of Midhir’s guards. Airen moves to intervene but the guards cease their harassment of Bean and she heads through the gate.

Airen turns back to the castle. Someone by the name of Shrike is hiding nearby and he is waiting to get revenge on Airen.

I did not notice any plot holes or inconsistencies. There were a few places where I had questions, because I was having trouble following along. I put those in my comments below.


Airen and Leon have appeared before, but in this chapter we find out they are related! Airen was married to Leon’s sister, Freya who has passed away. Airen is now married to Gretchen.

Leon is married to the queens sister Isadora, who had a reputation for being a not nice person, but Leon says their marriage has not been bad. They have two sons.

A new character to the story is Shrike. He has some sort of grudge against Airen for reprimanding him for pranks he played on the humans. He is planning some sort of revenge.


We are in the faerie realm for this chapter. And the second paragraph gives us an excellent description of the area where Airen walks. Great job!

I was confused at first because I wasn’t sure if it was day or night, but you answered that soon. *Smile*


We are in Airen’s pov during the chapter and I did not notice any head-hops.


Since I’m still adjusting to this world, I get a little unsure about certain events that have taken place in the past, but I’m sure it’ll all come together.

I liked this chapter because of the sinister element added at the end. The introduction of Shrike is a great hook.

But I also liked the interaction between Airen and Leon. Two long-time good friends. I wish their conversation might have lasted a little longer, though. *Smile*


I had a few comments and suggestions below. Remember these are my humble opinion only. Take what suggestions you like and ignore the rest. This is your story!

Taking a deep breath, he sucked in the vanilla fragrance of gorse. The scent took him back to Velmoran and the happy hours he spent courting his wife on the clifftops, which were gilded with gorse. Airen wished he could linger and refresh his spirit with the wonder of the meadows spread around Midhir’s palace. Entranced, he left the path and brushed amongst flowers from all seasons blooming together in a light as brilliant as summer sunshine, yet as mild as moonlight. Birds sang full and sweet, their trilling sound echoing in his ears like heady mead.

[This whole paragraph is awesome!]

He let out a relieved gust of breathas he spotted his neighbour, Killmouli tramping towards him.

[I know it’s just me, but “gust of breath” is a little awkward. Perhaps: “He let out a sigh of relief”? JMHO!]

There was a scuffle of stones on the track behind him. Fearful of meeting an unfriendly face, his heart leapt joyfully as he beheld a warrior noble and strong. A mass of shaggy golden locks tumbled from beneath his richly ornamented helmet.


[I’m a little confused to the time line here. At the end of the last chapter, Leon calls to Boroden that the hobyahs are advancing. Now he’s outside Midhir’s palace, chatting with Airen. Airen is clearly well-known at the market, but this must be the first time Leon is there? He seems surprised to find Airen there.]

‘Airen, I can’t believe it’s you.’ Leon gave Airen a friendly thump on the shoulder. ‘These are dark days. I’m glad that you’ve kept safely away from it, Freya too.’

[As in the first chapter, two people (brother-in-laws) are reunited after a long period of time. Wouldn’t they be ecstatic and give each other a hug, instead of a thump on the shoulder? *Wink* Reading on it sounds as if they are good friends, not just brother-in-laws.]

Leon’s jaw shook, and he looked away. ‘My sweet sister,’ he murmured. Shaking his head, he reached out to Leon Airen. ‘Don’t lament. You gave her a happiness that she’d not have had if she’d stayed in Velmoran. I’m glad for that. What of Aira? Boroden said that the hobyahs tried to catch her when they attacked Velmoran.’

‘All King Gruagach’s sons are dead now except for Boroden. Gruagach went missing in battle. We thought Boroden was lost too, but he returned having slain many hobyahs that waited to launch a surprise attack from behind our camp. If he’d not cut off the hobyahs then doubtless many more of our clan would’ve died.’

Airen shook his head sympathetically. ‘Poor boy. He always was a brave lad, but he feels things deeply.’

[Right after Leon tells of Boroden’s successes, Airen says “Poor boy.” It kind of surprised me because I thought that Airen would cheer Boroden’s victories before talking about his inner troubles. Consider: “Boroden has always been a brave lad,” Airen said. He shook his head. “But he feels things too deeply, the poor boy.” JMHO.]

He caught his breath. Her face was at once sweet and strong, much like Aira’s and as familiar. She met Airen’s gaze with a yearning glance. Then she looked to Leon, her face clouding in pain. The next instant she vanished. Leon went on, oblivious.

Airen trudged back to Tullochgorm Castle with a heavy heart.

[Is Airen not surprised at the woman’s sudden vanishing? Or is this something that he is used to? Maybe brownies disappear all the time? *Laugh* I know I’d probably freak out if someone just vanished in front of me. *Laugh*]

Two of Midhir’s guards questioned Bean Tighe, one of Airen’s neighbours of whom Aira was particularly fond. Airen could easily see why. Bean Tighe was a friendly brownie who helped mothers to finish chores and cared for children and pets in return for strawberries and cream.

[Airen can but we can’t. The only reason they are questioning her is because she is friendly?]

Before he reached Bean Tighe, the guards let her go. She returned tearfully to the human world, comforted by Killmouli.

Airen turned resolutely back in search of Leon.

[Airen heads to the gate to the human world, but when he gets there he heads back to find Leon? Why does he change his mind?]

Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Peer Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
 INHERITANCE: & revenge is Sweet  (ASR)
Revenge is sweet. THE PROMPT ME CONTEST
#2252808 by dogpack:saving 4 premium: DWG

Author: dogpack:saving 4 premium: DWG


Fran is waiting for her friend Nancy to help her move some papers out of the basement. The house is spooky and the darkness in the basement seems to be alive.

She waits outside until Nancy arrives. When they go into the basement, the light bulb bursts and leaves them in darkness. In their attempt to escape, they fall down the stairs.

They hear breathing and a voice speaks. Fran recognizes her Uncle Frank, who transferred the house over to her.

He says he’s been lonely and has been waiting for them. He walks up the stairs.

Scary tale! I did not notice any plot holes or inconsistencies, but it might flow better with some clarification in places.

In the second paragraph, Fran crosses the room and peers into the blackness. I did not realize until later that it was the basement. I originally thought there was a hole in the floor. *Laugh*

Fran never does explain to Nancy why the papers have to be retrieved that night and could not wait until morning.

I’m not quite sure I understood the ending. Uncle Frank has been living in the basement and when Fran and Nancy fell down the stairs, he’s going to leave them down there? He set a trap for them so he could escape?


The main character is Fran. She owns a dilapidated house, but is scared to go into the basement. It is her childhood home and she has great memories growing up there.

Nancy is her best friend and has left a party reluctantly to come to Fran’s aid. She knows Fran’s background and that is one reason she has agreed to help.

Uncle Frank is a sinister presence living in the basement. I don’t think he needs much more description, because he is scary enough!


We are in Fran’s point of view throughout the story, and I did not notice any head-hops.

In the beginning, you give Fran an accent of sorts: “do’no” and “I’m not a goin’ in there” but then she loses it. Consider carrying the accent for the entire story. Just a suggestion.


A creepy old house. It has a basement that is dark and foreboding. I like the part about the creaking stairs to the basement and the father-built wooden steps out front. I think the contrast here is great! *Smile* The innocent vs. the profane.


What I liked best was the way you build up the suspense with Fran peering into the darkness, but then becoming so scared that she has to wait outside. The reader knows there is something about the basement, which I think many readers can relate to!

I really enjoyed your story, Dog pack! I hope you do well in the contest.


I made some corrections, comments and suggestions below, but remember they are only my humble opinion. Take what advice you like and ignore the rest. Only you know what is best for your story!

This is scary. I do’no, what is in this darkness. I’m not a goin’ in there no matter what. She thought as he she crossed to the window.

[At first I thought she had a boyfriend or husband with her. *Wink*]

Taking in a deep exasperated breath she crossed the room again and peered into the blackness that if she went into it, would swallow her it seemed forever.

[Consider adding something here so the reader knows she’s looking into the basement. Perhaps: “…and peered into the blackness of the basement…”]

Nancy should behave arrive any minute.” Her slight smile wained waned as the wind blew and rustled the items down below. She shivered and moved quickly away from the dark as it seemed to reach out to her. “I’ve got to get outside and wait for Nancy. It makes sense.” With a shaking hand, she opened the door and found that the sun was lower than she thought it wasand the sky was grey.

Fran looked deeply into Nancies' Nancy’s eyes. “No, Nancy this is important.”

As she made her eyes wide, Fran opened her her eyes wide, she deliberately spoke in a serious tone. “No, it feels strange and I could use your help carrying the boxes. After all, we did this together in the first place.”

“Yeah, It was easy to convince your uncle to transfer ownership of the house over to you after your dad died.” She smiled a gentle smile gave Fran a gentle smile. I’m sorry to keep you waiting. It’s just that I was enjoying the party.”

Giving an (I told you so expression), Fran started down the creaking stairs.

Instead of parentheses, think about putting this into quotations or hyphenate them: Giving an “I told you so” expression; Giving an I-told-you-so expression. *Smile*

Slipping and knocking Fran down they fell into a deep depression hollow (or maybe ‘hole”?)

They heard deep breathing approaching. “Welcome, I’ve waited for you for a very long time. For many years I’ve had the time to prepare this place especially for the likes of you.” He took in a deep breath letting it out slowly. “No trespassing and no invasion of privacy. Can’t you read the signs?”

[Are there signs? Fran does not mention them.]

“Uncle Frank, is that you?” Fran barely managed to vocalize.

“It’s nice having long-time guests, I’ve been lonely. Our family is together again.” He chuckled and walked up the stairs. “Yup nice to have company for as long as I like.” His laughter boomed throughout the dilapidated house.

Review by Alex Morgan
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi, PuppetMaster

My comments below are my humble opinion only. Take what advice you like and ignore the rest. Only you know what is best for your story!

I enjoyed your story with the “happily ever after” ending. My only critique is a lot of telling, rather than showing. Show us what Ronnie is seeing instead of telling us.

The first paragraph takes the reader out of the story and it reads like a narrator is talking to us.
But the paragraph starting with “The next day, it rained…” is a good way of showing rather than telling.

Be careful of the adverbs, especially similar ones like “fortunately” and “luckily”.

Review by Alex Morgan
In affiliation with Cross Timbers Novel Workshop G...  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hi, Jeff! Too funny! I wonder if it will work on adults, too? LOL The part I liked best was about this new sleeping liquid is illegal in every country and every US state except Alabama! Hysterical!

Does the $419.99 include shipping/handling? *Laugh*


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