|The opening starts strong, immediately engaging the reader with an enigma. I like how a certain distance from the characters and the story is established in the story - this created a detached yet exciting atmosphere, like classic ghost story being told around the fire. The return to the present leaves the piece on a chilling note. The short blunt sentences added to the drama and kept the story going.
I have a few criticisms:
• The element of time passing could have been created more fluently - for example, " It must have been ten years before the screaming started." loses some of its dramatic impact as we move too quickly between the idea the Cedar family were never seen again.
• A same sort of thing applies with the lines " Then, they realized...There was no laughter". It was only briefly mentioned about the laughter a few lines before. Perhaps you could develop further about the laughter, placing further emphasis on it so the sudden contrast of the loss of laughter creates more of an impact.
• Although I love how the piece is self-aware of the horror story convention, at times the writing could be a bit clumsy. For example, "adding to the eerie, silent atmosphere that he could feel" felt a bit like a short cut. Here you are telling, not showing. Instead, you could have described how the 'a quick wind blew up', and displayed how it affected him, rather than just stating that it did.
• A few clichés are used as well. Clichés overall aren't always bad for stories like this as they fit the purpose and atmosphere of the text... yet, they did add predictability. Could you have added any other different twists which would have caught the reader off guard?
Overall, a very solid and engaging piece. Well done.