I AM REVIEWING YOUR STORY AS A JUDGE FOR "Journey Through Genres: Official Contest" . THANKS FOR ENTERING!
This review is an acknowledgment of your contest entry, as well as some of my brief thoughts.
What an exciting story! I don't think I've ever read a tale like this before. It's really a fresh and new idea.
My favorite scene was when Merideth thought back to how the scar beneath her right eye came to be. That was so scary and intense!
I did notice just a few tiny, little, very fixable, issues with your story, which I'd like to go over...
The beginning of the story, I guess right past the part with the little poem, was slightly confusing. I had to read it over twice. Since the beginning should be the hook, I think it could be tweaked a bit. I would, perhaps, add in a small bit of clear explanation as to what was going on, and then tease with the intrigue. Also, I would probably add the part about the blue lake matching 'one' of his eyes into the next part of your story where you mentioned that he has two different color eyes. I thought it was a misprint where it was.
I loved the little poem! I was mesmerized as to what that might mean.
I found a few of your descriptions just a tad bit confusing. Here is one example:
"They’d nearly reached the edge of the lake when the ground suddenly dropped off."
I wasn't sure what that meant. Did they reach a cliff? Was the lake at the bottom of a hill? There was talk about sand, but then the later descriptions made the terrain seem more like a forest. I think you might want to go back and take the time to add a sentence of more colorful descriptions since you were going for something very unique and unusual.
I felt that this part seemed very rushed and rambled - unlike the rest of your story: "Despite all the medical attention given…they’d never understood why he couldn’t walk, and he hadn’t spoken since they’d found him with his family’s bodies around him—not until her and the one time she glanced over her should at him at the wrong time and saw…I…Children and adults alike were afraid of the dichotomous eyes that stripped bare the soul and the scars from the attack had scratched away any semblance of innocence in the boy’s face."
I also understood that part was a crucial part of the story. I think you might go back and add more to it, breaking it up into a couple of paragraphs.
Also in that above part, there is a small typo...'Should' needs to be 'shoulder'.
I noticed a few other places which seemed somewhat rushed. For example, the part where she set out to find her son. I didn't understand how they became separated, but then I remembered it had been mentioned in the scene before, that they were staying the night. I had to think about that, and then I assumed that he was gone when she woke up. I'm sure you wish for your readers to be captivated, rather than stopping to wonder what's going on. This could be fixed by adding a line about how she awoke from a dream, and then continue from there.
While these small issues might sound like a lot, I truly did enjoy this unique story. I also felt that it had great closure, and I liked the happy ending. Perhaps you could write a sequel, now that the creature morphed and is still somewhere around. Keep up the great and creative writing!