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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/sugarglider58/sort_by/r.review_creation_time DESC/page/3
Review Requests: ON
736 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,
I very much enjoyed this parable of a rather thoughtless guy beset by incapacitating head pain. After trying everything else, he resorts to a shaman whose indigenous wisdom indeed brings a kind of relief...with a twist that seems to illustrate the inevitability of karma. My favorite part: "Becoming all nose overwhelmed him with a soaring hurricane of scents, each more intense than the last." I predict Shelby won't be a bad dog. Always a pleasure to read your work.--S.
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Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Beholden,
Congratulations on the well-deserved win for this tale of the possessed tape measure. The style is beautifully clear and reminded me of Angus's (and I consider him at the summit of the WdC horror writing community). The buildup is classic--simple, mundane, yet we know this is heading in a not-very-nice direction. My favorite part: "The tape leapt like a wild anaconda, and began to retract at a fiendish rate." Hope to see more of your work here at SCREAMS!!!--S.
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for entry "It's Just A Headache
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
Thanks for this chilling tale of mysterious brain pain. We've all been there, in agony with a migraine, at one point or other, and when in the depths of it there seems no more terrible place to be. This story proves that assumption is wrong...we're in a far worse situation after the pain takes over and spends itself. A question that crosses my mind: would the outcome have been the same had the three unfortunate victims not been so annoying? Always a pleasure to read your work.--S.
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for entry "Sweet Cheeks
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
There is something inherently creepy about ventriloquists' dummies, and you've exploited it very ably in this short tale. The tension ratchets up little by little and, although there's no real surprise (we see this attack coming), it's hard to keep from yelling out to Jane as we read. Well done!--S.
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for entry "Dumb Luck
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,
This is an amazingly powerful story of suffering, malice, abuse, and rescue from the most unlikely source. You did a fine job getting inside the head of this sad and damaged woman. I really like the little boxes motif; it works well to convey the mental defenses she is forced to resort to in order to endure her husband's cruelty. Do you ever go back to these contest entries and work further on them? Some, including this one, I think, would repay the effort and allow your impressive skill to shine more brightly.--S.
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for entry "True Believers
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,
Thank you for this winning entry exploring the theme of blasphemy. You managed in just over 1k words to create a thoroughly gripping story that incorporates some of the most irreconcilable social topics of our day with both humor and suspense. In short, a highly enjoyable entry.--S.
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for entry "To Hell... And Back?
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
Reading this peculiarly matter-of-fact entry raises some interesting questions for me. The protagonist, obviously put upon by the loathesome bully, summons up a hellish force that blasts him as a demon might do. Where does her power come from? He calls her a [expletive] witch; is she indeed in league with the powers of darkness? If so, it must have been unwittingly, as she tells us neither of them was prepared for it. Is there in fact some force of cosmic justice that the meek can summon in their time of need? Or is she simply drawing upon the strength of her imagination? Regardless, the sight of the bully turning tail and running away is salutary. Always a pleasure to read your work.--S.
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for entry "A Hand Print
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello Hullabaloo,
Congratulations on sharing the win for this ingenious little puzzle of a story. I love its simplicity and the stubborn impossibility (in our ordinary way of thinking of the linearity of time) of the last paragraph. I hope you keep on in this weird vein whenever the mood strikes you. Always a pleasure to read your work--S.
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for entry "Grave Experience
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,
Congratulations on sharing the win for this short but brutal tale. I like the intertwining of the themes of art and death/burial--since prehistoric times, red ochre has figured in both. Silvia certainly wastes no time (and at 500 words max, neither did you) in dispatching the rapey date. I'm wondering for how long she and Carlos will manage to carry on with this risky if lucrative scheme. Justice doesn't seem to figure into this universe, so perhaps the scheme will endure as long as the market bears it. Always a pleasure to read your work--S.
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for entry "The Mango Man
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
I hope you had as much fun writing this story as I did reading it. Jasper's matter-of-fact explanation of his progression from thoroughly average guy to the Fruit-Aisle Slayer captivated me from beginning to end. You've revealed a new gift for comic horror...I hope we'll see more of it.
Happy New Year--S.
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for entry "Diet Plan
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,
This story gives us thorough and persuasive answers to the questions posed in the prompt and, although it has its comic elements, I found it quite chilling. The fourth and last two paragraphs, in particular, ably convey the full extent of the biological horror. Thanks for this extremely creative take on the mango man.--S.
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Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
Thanks for this clever take on the Atropos prompt. The story opens on a liminal yet fairly mundane scene, with the narrator at home in her bedroom, in the borderland between waking and sleep. It transpires that the most fearsome of the three Fates is present, cutting the strands of unknown lives as the narrator looks on. Finally, there is a warning and a single, detached strand, which the narrator catches in her hands while the goddess moves on. The reader can only wonder how long Caroline will be able to take sufficient care of the cut strand of her life to sustain her earthly existence. The story reminds us how fragile our existence is. Always a pleasure to read your work--S.
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for entry "Atropos
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello, Bobturn,
Thanks for this shocking take on the prompt. Here we have a downtrodden medical student assuming the role of Atropos, repeatedly stepping in to give fate a hand in order to secure much-needed cadavers for educational purposes (similar to the notorious resurrection men of centuries past), and in the end becoming the bringer of the aptly named Heaven Barkley's fate. I certainly wasn't expecting the latter. It's ironic that the victim whose death apparently tipped off the cops was soon to die anyway. But then Fate is often ironic, isn't it?--S.
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for entry "Bewitched
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello, Bobturn,
Thanks for taking up the challenge (and you win an extra bonus for working all the prompts into the first paragraph). This little tale beautifully illustrates the point that horror depends on your viewpoint. What could have been a terrifying encounter with the Prince of Darkness is, for Amanda Pike, an entree into the most delectable echelons of power. While for Satan, the grating denouement of the story proves he made a very bad bargain indeed. I have a feeling he'll spend the next several eons scheming to belch this vexatious vixen back into the human world. Who will win? Maybe a future tale will tell.--S.
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for entry "Feeling Chilli
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,
For a contest that was about speechlessness, you managed to deliver a tale told by one of the most distinctive voices in recent memory. True, the chilli he describes might very well leave one speechless if taken internally. Still, it's difficult to see how--apart from cursed pride--anyone could be persuaded to do it. Thinking about the kind of person who would is pretty darn scary, actually. Thanks for being a part of the SCREAMS!!! community.--S.
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Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Raven,
Wow! Thank you for entering this truly terrifying story. I like the blend of Lovecraftian and cult elements with the sympathetic law officer a la Clarice Starling. The inability to name the evil is a fitting touch at the end, and the last line is pure creepiness. Well done!--S.
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for entry "Silent Sisters
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
You've given us another very well deserved winner in 'Silent Sisters.' The pacing of this tale of inhuman abuse is perfect and the happy ending, though it confounds the normal expectations of horror fiction, is wonderful. Well, it's almost a happy ending; finding out at last why these sisters are silent isn't happy at all. Thank you for being a part of the SCREAMS!!! community.--S.
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Review of Predator  
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Odessa,
Thank you for this charming tale of an owner of a not-so-very-nice property with a determined prior resident. Lucky for Geoff that his agent Christophe is such a good shot. The dialogue, action, and visual imagery in this story work very well. My favorite line: the last. Always a pleasure to read your work.--S.
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for entry "True Appreciation
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
Congratulations on the win for this classic ghost story on the tool shed prompt. Personally, I always feel a chipper (or grinder, if you will) adds immeasurably to any horror story. It fairly commands respect and admiration, if also a degree of caution or even fear. I'm hoping Virgil here one day forgets to exercise the necessary degree of care and gets a nasty little lesson in what this contraption is capable of. Always a pleasure to read your work.--S.
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for entry "Crying Wolf
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello, Bobturn,
Thanks for this crazy little satire on our only slightly crazier current political scene. I like how you blended far-out tropes into a relentless story line that certainly delivered the horror in the end. Thankfully, we can always count on you, reliable friend of the contest!--S.
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for entry "Harlequin
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello, Hullabaloo,

What a daring, nervy feat: the wronged woman's revenge parallels the author's in-your-face method of cutting to the heart of the matter. This is another delightfully well written entry with a bada-bing last line. Thanks for all your contributions to SCREAMS!!!--S.
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for entry "Seeing Eye To Eye
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,

The pandemic continues to inspire gloriously vicious horror fiction, of which this little winner is an exemplar. There's really no other word than horror to capture the protag's lack of regard for his patients. He's a low-paid angel of death. Always a pleasure to read your work.--S.
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Review of Double Trouble  
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello, Raven Scryer,

Call it a relic if you like, but this relentless little piece exemplifies a certain vein of horror fiction. No one comes off well in this bleak scenario, which rolls on in well-paced mayhem. The story was just long enough to leave a satisfyingly bitter aftertaste. Hope to see more of your work at SCREAMS!!!--S.
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for entry "The Bird Oracle
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Hullabaloo,
Congratulations on the win for this short but powerful tale. I was captivated by the simplicity of your style. It never works too hard and thus never gets in the way of the story. We never learn who the captor is, which lends this piece the timeless feeling of a parable or a folk tale. Always a pleasure to read your work.--S.
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for entry "The Waiting Game
Review by sugarglider58
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, Bobturn,

You made great use of the prompt in this short and brutal tale concerning the ways of nature and its division of creation into predators and prey. Arnold Yang is a fierce and patient warrior with an unyielding sense of duty, from which even the bite of a viper cannot keep him. He carries out his mission and nature does what it does, breaking matter down for the next generation. The pace is as relentless as the action. Well done!--S.
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