Reveiw of a psychotic who has a store of dead girs for his pleasure.
|Part 1: The Review
Part 2: Writer's story
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My name is chip and I saw your story on The Review Request Page.
A Night to Remember
My overall thinking of your story is: This is an awe-inspiring, enjoyable, work of a psycho's morbid world.
The horrifying tone of the piece built well and was constant since the fifth paragraph.
The opening four paragraphs are a magnificent lead in to the fifth that pounces on the reader as does Jack when his box is opened.
The mood of A Night to Remember is one of disgust and repulsion, as there isn't any doubt about this, horrifying mood works.
Because many of the ways of the dead are uncertain, by exploring these in your imagination through the mind of a psychotic and creating a short story that evokes a powerful mood of dread is wonderful.
Past tense used: Worked well.
Third person was used and needed to read Richard's thoughts.
The account of Richard loosing his mind continues to build and answers the question why? The rising intensity of Richard's madness climaxed with his sweethearts waiting for him.
To clarify a sense of conflict would emerge if Richard, at times, fought to be somewhat saner only to fail and fall deeper in psychosis.
The mention of the umbrella in the second paragraph, and again in the fifth and eighth repeats a detail that makes the work more believable.
There's not one passive passage here; all are active.
Richard Lassiter had to be difficult to create, as he is far removed from the boy next store image. You did a great job on Richard; there isn't any room to argue that Richard isn't out of his mind.
You handled the conversations with the dead girls well, but there is one thing I am puzzled over; what kind of music does Susie like to dance too?
The holding the umbrella with one hand and reaching for the key with the other is good imagery.
Richard smiled wildly. Another moving image.
You have a wonderful gift in creating locals. They all were clear images in my readers' mind as:
[raindrops, fat bloated…]
[The cemetery was over run with tall weeds…]
[Lightening clapped and thunder boomed…]
[Kissing a dry rotting cheek.]
These descriptions do stir up strong senses.
[his hard-heeled shoes clicking crisply on the sidewalk…]
[the light bobbing up and down…]
[he…greeted by the over whelming stench of death.]
The entire piece runs smoothly until the naming of the 11 themes. It gets bogged down, for me, at this point. If you cut the number of themes to five or six, I think it would continue to run smoothly.
The conclusion that hints at necromancy is shocking.
I didn't notice any subtext outside of Richard heard what he wanted to hear: "Yes, Richard. We'll wait." Just what does Richard consider the girls are waiting for, a dance or a lay?
A Night to Remember
Richard is going to celebrate in high-style this evening..... Rated:
by elizjohn (6)
Richard Lassiter walked briskly, his hard-heeled shoes clicking crisply on the sidewalk. He walked with a pep in his step, and a smile on his face; he had big plans this evening, after all. He was going to a party, a very special party, where he was going to be the guest of honor, and he couldn’t wait.
A few raindrops, fat and bloated, dropped from the sky, and thunder rolled, announcing rain. Clouds began to roll in, promising an early arrival of night. It would seem the weatherman had been right this morning, Richard thought to himself. Thank goodness the party would be indoors. Still, he opened his umbrella and picked up his pace. It wouldn’t do to arrive soaking wet. Not when he was going to be the belle of the ball. So to speak.
He reached the corner of Oak and Maple and turned left. Almost immediately, the feel of the neighborhood changed. This was the older part of town, less populated, and a lot of the businesses had closed up, leaving behind boarded buildings, trash and graffiti, and a couple of ruffians here and there, smoking cigarettes and carrying attitude. They looked menacingly at Richard as he passed, but he paid them no mind. His mind was elsewhere, on his party.
Really, it was supposed to be eleven different parties that the girls were going to throw for him. But the logistics had become a nightmare, and so months ago they had decided to have one big party, but with eleven different mini-themes. This had suited Richard just fine; he simply wanted to revel in the fun.
As he approached the gates to the cemetery, lightning blazed in the rapidly darkening sky and the rain began to fall, harder and more rapidly. Holding the umbrella with one hand, he produced a key from his pants pocket with the other. He unlocked the gates, then slipped inside, closing and locking the gates securely behind him. Once on the other side, he rapidly made his way past the many old graves and tombstones that had either cracked, broken, or fallen into complete disrepair. The cemetery was overrun with tall weeds and grasses, and dead leaves made large, unkempt piles around many a tombstone. Lightning clapped and thunder boomed, momentarily illuminating the black and bleak graveyard in an eerie ghost-light, and Richard smiled wildly.
What a perfect place and night for a party, he thought. Eleven at that! Richard almost couldn’t contain his excitement. He had put in so much work for tonight’s festivities, and this night had been a long time coming. Thrills of excitement raced up and down his spine, his belly, his loins. He felt breathless with anticipation.
After a short walk past the many graves and past the dilapidated headstones, he reached the crypts. Ivy grew in abundance here, and covered many of the crypts in a blanket of green leaves. Rats scurried about to and fro, and Richard had been here enough times to know that they were rampant in the graveyard. He passed two crypts on the right, and when he finally got to the third, he stopped, pushed open the big heavy door, and stepped inside.
Once inside, he put down the umbrella and from his coat pocket, took out a flashlight. It flickered on for a moment, and then cast a strong, steady glow about the crypt. This crypt was huge, enormous even, and had been in his family for well over three generations. But with the slow death of the town, many younger generations of Lassiters had long since moved away to sow their wild oats in the bigger cities, but Richard had chosen to stay. He was fine with the decision.
As he walked into the crypt, he was greeted by the overwhelming stench of death, and he giggled with excitement. “Oh, girls, you didn’t have to, you know!” he called out into the otherwise silent tomb. “I love that smell!”
No response came back, but Richard was not concerned. They were holding back their excitement, he knew, and he appreciated them even more for it.
The light bobbing up and down, Richard finally reached a stone coffin in the very center of the crypt. It stood about four and half feet high and was about the same width across. It held the remains of Richard’s great, great-grandfather William Lassiter, one of the patriarchs of the Lassiter family. Evidently, he had been a great man once upon a time, but Richard’s business here this evening had nothing to do with great, great-grandfather William, but the bevy of beauties gathered around his coffin.
Richard lit the laterns that he had placed on the coffins only a few hours earlier that day, and positioned them randomly about the tomb. When he was done, he stopped, turned and faced his guests.
“Oh ladies, you look lovely tonight!”
He was greeted with only silence, but Richard paid no heed. Instead, he said: “Donna, was this all your idea? These mini-themes? It was? Well, I think it’s just delightful, and I can’t thank you enough for doing all this for me!”
He moved closer to Donna, to kiss her softly on her dry, rotting cheek. Then he stood back suddenly. “What was that? Why of course I’d love to know what all the themes are! You say there’s eleven? Why, yes, please, do share!”
He went back to the center coffin, and hoisted himself up to sit on the cold stone. He wanted to see all his invitees. “You say Susie and Janey represent suffocation? How ingenious! And Clara and Marie? Stabbing? So smart, Donna! And the twins, hit by a car crash? I won’t lie Donna, I was the driver, so I kind of guessed that one….” Antsy and excited, Richard got up and approached the bodies of three girls in a corner. They were headless. “Oh, wait, I know, decapitation, right?” He laughed, ever so merrily. “And what do we have over here? Well, by the ropes around your neck, I’d have to say….hanging. Oh, wait, hanging and strangulation?” He gave Donna a look of admiration. “Very clever, Donna, putting them together like that.” Richard flittered to and fro, from one set of corpses to the next, discussing the rest of themes with Donna: gunshot, exsanguinations, gassing, poison, and strangely, two by heart attack. Eleven themes of death, eleven themes to celebrate. Richard was giddy beyond belief.
“Oh, Donna, this is going to be so much fun! Oh, and what is this? A rope? You want me to be a strangulation victim, too? My goodness, that’s too cute. I have to say, Donna, you really outdid yourself. Okay, well, I’m going to put mine on right now---what did you say? You have a little party accessory for each theme? That is so Martha Stewart, Donna!” Richard clapped his hands with excitement, and then reaching for the rope, he fashioned it into a loose noose, and then put it around his neck. He looked to the two strangulation and hanging victims for their opinion. “What do you think, girls? Do I match? Do I fit in?” He laughed again, and had anyone alive been in the tomb, they would have known that Richard had clearly lost his mind.
“I’m sorry, Susie, did you say someth---why Susie, yes of course I’ll dance with you! Don’t be bashful, my dear, come, come and join me on the dance floor…”
Richard gripped Susie in a tight embrace, noting the frozen expression of her sightless eyes. “You know, you have the most beautiful eyes,” he whispered to her, drinking in her rank, foul stench. This is heaven, he thought. He was ecstatic.
Then he stopped for a moment, and looked at the rest of his guests, watching him with eyes that would never again see a party, a dance, or anything else for that matter ever again.
Still holding the slowly decaying Susie in his arms, Richard abruptly stopped his two-step with his long-dead partner and faced the rest of his party-goers.
“Now, don’t fuss, girls. There’s plently of me to go around. Everyone will have a chance to dance with Richard, okay?” He paused, and in his mind, he heard what he wanted to hear: “Yes, Richard. We’ll wait.”
Richard sighed happily. It was going to be a night to remember.
Original version, approx. 1400 words