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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/beholden
Review Requests: ON
548 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I have a review template that is only used for in depth reviews, usually those that are specifically requested. These will be as comprehensive as I can manage, including everything I have noticed in reading the piece. Most of my reviews, however, are more in the nature of reactions to the piece with brief notes on things I find particularly good and suggestions on dealing with any obvious flaws in the writing.
I'm good at...
Reviews of stuff I particularly like. If I think the writing is good and the ideas original and inventive, I will say so and become enthusiastic about it. I will point out flaws, particularly where I feel that they interfere with a positive reaction to the piece, but I will also offer suggestions for fixing such problems.
Favorite Genres
I have a broad spectrum of genres I'll review. It's easier for me to list the genres I won't touch.
Least Favorite Genres
Romance, erotica, overly dark subjects without a good reasomn for existence.
Favorite Item Types
I'm unsure what is meant by this - I would have thought the genres sections covered this.
Least Favorite Item Types
See previous section.
I will not review...
Again, see the genres section that lists the genres I won't review.
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of Lockdown Lunacy  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Found on my wanderings through Read & Review.

What a delightful experience this poem is! I absolutely love it. Not for its lyricism or clever wordplay, not for its poetic description ot resounding meter; I love it for its humour and insight into life.

It's a delight from beginning to end. The idea of bringing the wrong husband home from a shopping expedition seems so likely and yet funny. It's happened with kids so why not spouses? And then to notice that this one is better in some ways than the lost one - well, the temptation is clear.

But the right route is chosen, the decision to stick with one's original choice. So admirable and upstanding. But no hurry, no hurry. It's completely delicious!

I'm sorry - I should be talking about the writing and technical points but your subject overpowered me. And anyway, it's free verse and that's what I write too. I'm hardly one to carp at that. Wonderful stuff! Have five stars for making me laugh.

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2
2
Review of Masculin/Feminin  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (2.0)
Found on my travels through Read & Review.

Ah, a kaleidoscope of words, a veritable waterfall of verbiage plunging over the cliff of my experience to douse me in their colours and tastes and smells. On the one hand, it's a delightful shower of sensations, meaningless in the profusion of meanings, a demonstration of the fact that the more is piled on, the deeper is any logic buried. On the other, it's not something that will stand as a communication of reason, feeling or just emptiness. Mixing metaphors in such a manner may be fun and it may own a sound that tickles the ear but, in the end, they just hide what you're trying to say.

There are some good metaphors here, word combinations that stand out as beautiful and meaningful. Unfortunately, their vague and inappropriate neighbours shout so loudly that value is lost and it becomes an amorphous soup. You have the beginnings of a story here - boy enters restaurant, sees girl, they get to talking and leave together. The rest adds nothing except confusion.

This is my advice, which you can take or not (obviously): rein in your talent for creating word streams, acquire the discipline to pick out the relevant from the pretty but meaningless and focus clearly on what you are trying to say. Anything that doesn't help towards that goal has to go. But never lose the ability to produce such wonderful streams of colour and sound. Just learn to control it and to apply it with more economy and accuracy.

You could be great.

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3
3
Review of The Seating Chart  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

This is an interesting tale, quite educational in some ways and dealing with the subject of ghosts without ever mentioning the word (yeah, I read your description). You have succeeded in giving us a history lesson without boring us and, at the same time, told an entertaining story of how the seating plan might actually be known after all.

One of the interesting aspects of the story is that it requires no suspension of belief in the reader. We actually want it to be true so that history an be fleshed out a little more. And we can smile ruefully with the author in his final admission that no one believed Rudy. So the story ends as one that succeeds without hugely dramatic scenes or unlikely endings. It is like the British TV series, Detectorists, in that we are left with the impression that we have been part of something that is very real.

A highly enjoyable read.

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4
4
Review of Scarecrows  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

Well, you succeeded in making me read it more than once. Thought I had it all worked out and approached the ending, expecting my solution to be presented. But I got closer and closer and nothing was happening (very well done, by the way, to keep the reader hooked right until the last sentence). And then it wasn't what I thought.

So I had to read it all again. Slowly and carefully. And still I wasn't sure. Read the last two paragraphs again to confirm my growing suspicion. And I think I have it now. I take it that a scarecrow is held upright by a nail pinning him to a post. Local knowledge does help sometimes.

It's clever and I like this story very much. The writing is smooth, the pace excellent and the final twist excellently retained until the very last moment. I can't really fault it at all (apart from that final nagging doubt about the nail in the back). Bravo!

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5
5
Review of Until It Sleeps  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

An effective short horror story, this stands out for its descriptions. These form much of the narrative and create the atmosphere and background of the fairly simple story that forms the framework of the piece. It's a cleverly constructed tale in which the battle between good and evil continues in spite of the deal that has been made. That's an age old foundation for a story and it still works.

I admit that there was slight disappointment in there being no resolution in the end. Both sides are determined to win and certain that they will succeed. Which kinda leaves us back where we started. But the story is worth it for the powerful writing and descriptions. And I'm not sure that providing a winner will work anyway. I can see why you left it undecided.

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6
6
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

This is Chapter 1, although you haven't said whether it's the first part of a novel, a short story or anything else. Does it matter? I'm not sure - I took it as being the opening to a novel and read it as such.

It's charming, developing a view of the hotel that seems inviting but private, genteel but different. I can already feel the wonderful possibilities intimated by the variety of personalities inhabiting the place. So you have succeeded admirably in your first task - to interest the reader and hold his/her attention as the story unfolds.

The pace is ideal, slow enough to hint at the delights to come but fast enough to assure us that you won't become bogged down in detail. There is a flow in the narrative that leads without drama from one subject to the next and the whole fits together into an excellent first chapter.

I can find no flaws in the writing, not even a typo. Thank you for an enjoyable read.

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7
7
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

It is an entertaining tale of a boy's stay with his aunt and the bogeyman that inhabits her house. This being just the first part, I didn't get to meet the bogeyman (apart from a few brief awarenesses of his presence) but the story was easily sufficient to draw a reader in and induce a desire to find out more.

The writing is good, there being only a couple of minor typos (which are detailed at the end of this review) to distract the reader. Flow and plot development are fine. Pace, too, is excellent with the story moving on quite quickly from one scene to the next. Dialogue is unforced and natural. I have total confidence that this story will be completed in just as competent a style as this Part 1.

And so to the typos:

"I dried my saturated eyes and began read comics" - began to read comics
"Curiosity lured into the room" - curiosity lured me into the room.

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8
8
Review of The mystical road  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

This is a lyrical little piece that, unfortunately, doesn't seem to go anywhere. The writing is competent, with a reportage style that is yet very descriptive. We deal with events, not thoughts, and are told only what happens and what things look like. For readers who are used to being told all sorts of psychological reasons and motives for what is done, this is very new and surprising. But it works - the essential action is relayed quite powerfully and we realise that, very often, it doesn't matter why decisions are made. The point is that they are made.

The progression of the story from the known to the mysterious is very well-handled with the journey proceeding into the foreboding forest. It is a pity, then, that the story ends with a statement that is open to interpretation in many ways. The reader may feel that he has travelled the route but then been abandoned without reaching the goal.

It is, nevetheless, an enjoyable read that could be strengthened by a more definite ending.

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9
9
Review of Autumn  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

A poem about autumn! Get ready for the colours of the leaves, I thought. But, Geronimo, you hardly mentioned them. Seven lines about autumn with just one reference - rubies - to leaves. Now that is a great start.

We have smells, we have sounds, of the heels on wet streets, and then the rubies. This is autumn alright, from a fresh and different viewpoint. Had you identified just one smell (moss or soil?) it might have been better but that's okay - it's your poem.

And then the last two lines. Eyes, burning and hungry, this begins a whole new direction. Are these eyes filled with the sights of autumn or do they see another country altogether? I take the easy route and suppose that we're still talking about autumn. Although it could mean both, of course. And that would be appropriate in a poem that uses words in the way this one does - as poetic visions meaning more than meets the eye.

So to your arms, laden with life. Again, I take it that they are laden with the fruits of the harvest but someone else might see less or more in this. It's what makes a poem worth reading again and again after all. The ladling of meanings one upon another. 'Tis prose that insista we get to the point.

Lovely poem, a joy to read someone who knows that there are still new things to say about autumn. A veritable jewel of a poem.

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10
10
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Reviewed as part of the GHOSTLY HALLOWS Fall Power RAID.

This is a fascinating tale, well told and with great verve. The pace is unhurried and relaxed, as though any sort of word limit were entirely irrelevant. This enables scenes to be painted in detail but without becoming embroiled in over-elaboration. The only way I can describe this is to say that the story has a welcoming feel to the reader.

Your use of abbreviated statements to form sentences I find very interesting. I do this myself but you have a way of including them that strikes me as different. Fifty years ago, these sentences that are not sentences were a definite no-no but your use of them is so appealing, adding detail in ways to make the reader take notice, that I see it as an asset. It's hard to describe - here's an example:

"A complete loss of will, I found myself lost in her eyes, needing to stay, to serve at her beck and call."

It's clear what you mean (abundantly so) but incorrect if strict rules of grammar applied. They make your writing very distinctive.

Other than that, the piece is so well-constructed and created that I have nothing but praise for it. A most enjoyable read.

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11
11
Review of Melissa's Wish  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Found on a run through Read & Review.

Interesting story. I particularly like the metaphorical implications of wishing someone were unaffected by the deeds of others. Turned to stone indeed - one can see the witch's point. The denouement, too, is clever and unexpected. There is something very satisfyling in the witch getting her comeuppance so apropriately. And, of course, the mother learns her lesson as well. One can only hope that she doesn't fall into the trap of developing whatever witchy abilities she has and so ends up in the same state as the witch. It's a well told tale that delivers more than the reader expects.

The writing is very competent, without typos or errors and the build up is good, taking time to allow us to see the characters in their natural behaviour. Pace is excellent and everything flows very nicely towards the delicious ending. A most enjoyable read.

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12
12
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Found on a run through Read & Review.

This is a fantasy that has promise but is spoiled by too many typos and mistakes. I have listed them after the main body of this review. The problem with fantasy in short stories is always the question of how much time we can devote to setting the scene and background while still alowing sufficient time for the story itself. You have managed this very well, filling in supporting details when necessary but not departing into long info dumps describing the world and its complications. Always you keep the reader pressing on with the action so that he has no chance to become distracted or bored.

The queen is a complex character that is difficult to establish empathy with but in this, again, you have succeeded. In spite of her ruthlessness, we care about the outcome for her by the end of the tale. And that, of course, is tragedy, there being no escape from the corner you have backed her into. It is a more realistic ending than a miraculous sudden release from destiny that might be tempting. Well done for choosing the way that leaves your story believable.

And so to the errors. These are minor but need fixing if readers are not to be turned away.

"Their eyes beheld the figure that just walked in" - "just" looks odd in the context and is unnecessary.

"A raven-haired woman dawning black armor" - "Dawning"? I think you mean "donning" but better would be "sporting."

"The unbearable stench of crimson" - You mean "blood" and you should say so.

"A man wearing a white robe with gold embroidery at the bottom ran next to the Queen" - Sounds as though the queen was running. Best leave out the word "next."

"She doubled over and clasped the hilt her sword" - the hilt "of" her sword.

"Revealed his ball, dark-skinned head" - his "bald" head, I hope.

"A seasoned soldier whose face seen many skirmishes" - "had seen."

"The door flings open and scores of soldiers flood the throne room." - Suddenly you abandon the past tense of the rest of the narrative to put this one sentence in the present. That can be used to heighten drama but, in this case, it just looks out of place.

"The queen stood over her dead knight as his bloody and broken body lie motionless on the floor" - Should be "lay motionless."

And that's it - shouldn't take long to amend.

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13
13
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I can see why you didn't edit it down to 500 words - it needs those 1,000 words for full impact.

This is a simple tale told with masterful ability and economy, without florid passages yet conveying the grief and anger of a father deprived so brutally of his daughter. It's a difficult subject and you have presented it almost too well for a horror story. There is a strange beauty in horror, it seems.

Your writing is flawless, direct, immediate and accurate in its aim. You should write more (yes, I've had a look at your profile), even if the demands of work dictate against this. I regret those years when tiredness after a day's work was always my excuse for not writing. The brief dialogue between father and murderer is precise and totally believable. I can hear it spoken.

Flow is excellent and pace spot on. You have really left me with very little to say and I have no suggestions on improvements. It's a fine story.

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14
14
Review of Tolken  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Found in Read & Review.

Truly excellent little poem. One could read this a hundred times and still be extracting meaning with each read. Now all I need to do is explain why it's so good. And that ain't easy. Let me try, anyway.

It's good because it flows, the first requirement of poetry. Much, much more than that, it's good because each line is rich with meaning so that meanings pile up and the total becomes greater than the parts. I can't explain the whole poem (that would take too long) but let me start and begin the thing (but I'm going nowhere near that last line - there are far too many meanings hidden in there).

"All along I saw you coming" bang, straight in with revelations. You set the stage - you're no naive fool, you've known from the very beginning what's coming, the line oozes a bored disillusion that the rest of the poem will build on.

"Drawn out on sheets" takes us immediately to the bedroom yet displays the facts like drawings on the bed linen.

"we hang from our walls" yes, the sheets for all to read but also ourselves, pinned for display like insects in a museum.

"And the baby is like glue" the glue that keeps us together (probably other meanings that I haven't investigated yet.

"And the food is an excuse" as food so often is, an excuse for courting, for celebrating and for holding the shreds of a marriage together.

"And my bastard children token." not his children and, therefore, no part of holding them together.

That's enough, surely, to show how brilliant is this poem. It's a mine full of gems and repays work with treasure. I cannot understand how it has managed to be in your portfolio for ten years and received no reviews or ratings. Have you been hiding it or are people scared off by the real thing? This is what we should all be striving for.

I'm sorry to have dissected the first stanza - the poem is so powerful that it really doesn't need my help. But I wanted people to read it and this review seemed a way to make a splash that might be noticed.

You made me read some of your portfolio. Wow.

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15
15
Review of Am I haunted?  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Came across this on a run through Read & Review.

I suggest you increase the font size slightly to ease reading of the piece. Not just for the sake of those with weaker vision (they probably have their screen magnification on anyway) but so that a reader can sit back to read. It doesn't help to have to sit up to make out these smaller fonts.

It's a mistake to intoduce me as the protagonist in the story. For a start, I wouldn't go near a ouija board so you'd lose me immediately. There follows a whole bunch of reactions and actions that are nothing like me. Rather than expect the reader to make the effort of going with your account of their actions, tell it from your point of view (in the first person, in other words). You're on much more solid ground with that approach.

The next thing I have to suggest is that you don't write in the present tense. Apart from its extra need for suspension of belief, it is hard to keep to the present tense and you have slipped several times into the past tense in this piece. The easiest (and most comfortable for the reader) is to stick to the past tense throughout. You are reporting something that has already happened, after all, not walking around with a notebook in your hand.

Aside fom those suggestions, you have an interesting story here. I particularly like the gradual build up of odd happenings until the protagonist is forced to consider the possibility of haunting. This is very well done. There are a few grammatical errors in the text but these can be fixed with the help of a free grammar checker such as Grammarly.

Obviously, these are my opinions only but I give them to encourage you to develop your skills. You have an active imagination, that is clear, and there is no better foundation for a successful writer. Keep writing!


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16
16
Review of Scorpio  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Found this in Read & Review.

Just a suggestion on presentation to start with. Increase the font size so that those with older eyes can read it. I find that 4 is a comfortable compromise.

I am impressed with this story. Not just with the plot but also with the quality of the writing. You have a confident style that eases the reader into letting you take the lead. Part of that is your apparent mastery of the technical matters in the construct. The jargon is totally believable, the nicknames and identification numbers have the sound of reality. It's a meticulously built world, similar in many ways to other sci-fi worlds but so much more convincing. One senses the depth of preparation behind the apparently casual conversation.

And that's another piece in the demonstration of your ability - the excellent dialogue, natural, unforced, hopping from one subject to another just as in real life. You have caught the atmosphere of the very best sci-fi and made it your own. Let's face it, the setting and the story itself are nothing special for the genre but your handling of it makes up for all that. It is the very sure confidence of the writing that allows you to deal with the saving of the world in so casual a manner that brings home the subtlety that sets your story apart. The scene in the bathroom is so important to the story as a whole because it illustrates the feelings hidden by the narrator's cool handling of the situation.

I can find nothing wrong with this piece (aside from the tiny font chosen) and have no hesitation in awarding it five stars. Please continue to write - I want to read more.


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17
17
Review of Stars  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Came across this piece in a run through Read & Review.

It's a wonderful little story of a girl seeking true enlightenment who finds it in the answer of one who tells her, not what stars are (which others get wrong anyway) but what they mean. For the first time the girl feels that there is another in the universe who understands - she is not alone.

I love the simplicity and innocence of the story. It is rare these days to find something so straightforward and without complication. Yet this cuts deep to the heart of the human condition in its conclusion.

There are moments of magic in the writing too. "It would catch the light and sparkle off the lenses of his spectacles and he’d grin madly" and "the question jumped in her mind like a shout" are examples. There is poetry in this writer as well as wonderful simplicity.

I didn't notice any technical errors but I wasn't particularly looking for them. It's a well written piece that stands out in the general stream of items flowing past in Read & Review. A most enjoyable read.

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18
18
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (1.0)
This is in response to a request from the author for a review of an item from his portfolio.

The first thing I must mention is that you need to consider presentation. The font size chosen is far too small, especially for older readers whose sight is never as strong as it was in their youth. If you want your writing to be read, it is necessary to consider ways to make this easier for the reader. It would also help if you were to divide the text into smaller paragraphs. The one large block that constitutes the major portion of the piece is intimidating to the reader and makes it difficult to retain your place when reading through.

You describe the piece as a story. It isn't. It's more like a transcript of two quiz masters testing each other's knowledge of geographical facts about Arizona. There is no action, unless you count the initial meeting and then the final departure of the characters. Unless the reader is particularly interested in such facts (an unlikely coincidence on a site devoted to creative writing), you are going to lose him within a few sentences of the beginning.

The idea of presenting your facts as a dialogue between two equally well-informed and obsessive speakers is a poor one. It is so obvious a vehicle for displaying your own knowledge of the subject that it would more honestly be written as a list. I think you need to go back to your roots if you wish to be a creative writer.

Every country has its folklore, a treasury of tales that illustrate daily life and fanciful events. I am guessing that you are Indian (and I must salute you for attempting to write in a language other than your own) and I know that India has an extremely rich culture of folklore. This is the kind of thing that western minds would love to read - there is a hunger for things different and exotic in the west.

You could begin by recounting some of the tales that perhaps a grandmother used to tell you. That will give you an idea of how to tell a story and you can progress from there to inventing your own stories.

I do not wish to denigrate your efforts to learn things about the west - they are to be commended. But you set yourself too great a task if you want to compete with other voices all speaking of the things they know because they live in them. An Arizonan couldn't care less what the highest mountain is in Arizona. He's had that information all his life. He would rather hear tales of life in your country.

I have to give your piece a low rating because it is trying to be something it is not. As I have said already, you have a natural advantage in that your background is so different and fascinating to people from other countries. Use that advantage to create stories of your upbringing, your people and their legends and folk tales. If you are able to do that, I believe you will experience success.

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19
19
Review of Trip to the Beach  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I came across this on a run through Read & Review.

You fooled me a little on this piece. It's described as being a dark tale of death so I expected there to be nefarious goings on at some point. And it turned out to be a love story. Oh sure, there's a suicide at the end but that really puts the seal on it. The man loved his wife.

The thing is, the description is absolutely correct and it would be difficult to find a genre that the story fits better. Ultimately, this is what makes the story more interesting than the average tale. The reader is lifted up rather than drawn down into the contemplation of some awful deed of horror. A welcome relief from the normal run of short stories.

The writing is faultless, as usual, and the tale is a little gem as a result. Most enjoyable.

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20
20
Review of Monsters  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Found in Read & Review.

Well, I can't say you didn't warn me - you said it was horror and so it is. I like the approach of speaking from the first person. It gives the narrative an immediacy that it wouldn't have otherwise and allows us to see clearly the internal struggles with the beast. I have some difficulty in imagining what the beast would look like when it escapes from the protagonist (usually this kind of possession takes over the body of its host to perform its horrors) but I don't think this is a serious weakness. It allows the beast to be more invulnerable than would a possessed human body and so we can believe the trail of mayhem it leaves.

A very minor niggle is the matter of bologna being loved by a vegetarian. Do they make vegetarian bologna? I don't think so but I could be wrong.

Otherwise it's a competently written story that fulfills its promises. Well done.

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21
21
Review of Heading Home  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Found this in Read & Review (of all places).

Okay, I'm going to be brutally honest in this one. And I say that only in an attempt to excuse one minor comment that I think I have to make. Which I do hope you'll take in the enquiring spirit in which it is intended. Anyway, we'll get to it.

Fact is, I love this poem. That it is written about something so ordinary as thoughts while walking to the carpark is enormously important to me. I am so tired of the moon-june-croon ditties about the colours of autumn leaves and sunsets over a placid lake. You restore my belief that a few remain who see the beauty in the little things, the everyday events of our little lives.

So you start with an advantage. And things get better from there. Nice set up in the first stanza but there's that question I'm going to ask. Let's hurry on to the second, where you actually indulge in a bit of wordplay! A part and apart - good grief, that's the kind of thing I would put in a poem to keep us awake. Brilliant (well, I guess I would say that, but it's great to see someone else doing it). And so to dinner.

But now the conscience-troubling woman enters, bearing the lines that are my favourite in the whole poem. "...sitting kerbside with a tattered paperback and a smoking cigarette clutched between gnarled fingers." Absolutely delicious. And the point of the poem, of course.

Now for the question, one that has troubled me for a long time since joining WdC. What is gained by having the word-graphic depiction of the stream of humanity flowing down the hill? Seems a bit condescending to add to the meaning of the words with an explanatory diagram. If the words aren't effective enough to get the point across, find better ones. Which is my uneducated opinion only. Explain to me what I'm missing and the value of such text games. Seriously, I hate to criticise but it's time I found out if there's a valid reason for this practice.

Wonderful poem, however.

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Review of Simple Medicine  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Found in Read & Review.

And I'm glad I did. This is a charming story of a little old lady and her pills. You build a loving picture of the central character (Emma) and we are drawn into the story of her life umntil we, too, are delighted by her.

It's the quality of the writing that achieves this. There's an occasional typo but one hardly notices, so enthralling is the tale. And there are times when descriptions approach the poetic, so effective are they. Take this sentence for instance: "And all of us, generally, in this small hamlet where elbows easily rub and voices overlap and scandal is limited to the uncontrolled giggles from imbibing too much fruit punch at the VFW hall on Saturday night, all of us understand and humor and even looked forward in an odd sort of way to Emma’s cogent oration on the latest spasm, pang or bold gnawing that would dare tread her aged temple." Apart from being a magnificent construction that gives the lie to all wagging fingers insisting on simplified language, this extract gives example after example of original, effective similes and metaphors. I absolutely love it.

And that goes for the entire piece. You have written a tour de force indeed.

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Review of Life Undersea  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Found on my travels through Read & Review.

An interesting form, taking things beyond the simple and common forms. And on this you build a fascinating glimpse of a submariner's life. It makes clear how the burden of water around the boat must press on the awareness of the crew at all times, but also deals with some of the ordinary, day-to-day rituals of the life. I like that the poem deals with such things, such a fresh departure from the usual run of "poetic" subjects. It's like reading Frost's Mending Wall after reading fifty poems about roses.

Okay, I'm male so maybe it's inevitable that I would like it. But aren't males allowed to express their interests too? More power to your pen, say I.

Thank you for a very enjoyable experience.

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Review of Eunice the Unique  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Came across this piece on a run through Read & Review.

What a pleasant little tale this is! From the tiny perspective of a leaf that has landed on your face, you develop the tale until it changes your world, leaving you a tree different from both other trees and humans. There is no explanation for this and there doesn't need to be. It's a pretty imagining that is most enjoyable for the reader.

There is no twist at the end as so many short stories have but, in this case, it's not necessary. The writing and development of the story are sufficient to hold the reader. A twist would probably destroy the atmosphere that has been built so effectively.

Altogether it's an unassuming flight of fancy that brightens our day. Well done!

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of Hairy Situation  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Found this on a run through Read & Review.

An allergy to the moon? I can see how that would be big problem for a werewolf. An amusing little story that, while keeping its surprise for the very end, always makes it clear that this is for fun and not to be taken too seriously. It's very competently done.

I found no flaws in grammar, flow or pace. Which leaves me very little to say except to thank you for an enjoyable read.

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