Need help with a descriptive horror story
Oct 28, 2008 at 6:25 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

myinitialsaredac

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Greetings all, in the spirit of hallows eve I have to write a descriptive horror story for my english class. I figured the more people who read it the better because I need this story to lock in my grade. So I present to you an Elegy of Sorrow, a story written by the one and only me
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Please critique comment ask questions make improvements etc etc. Thank you for reading!

An Elegy of Sorrow

As the sun tucked into the clouds, children garbed in the aggregate of human imagination began to stampede over the distant asphalt. Leaves consisting of gold and ruby waved to the torrents of fiends, gave their final bows, and collected in piles on the ground. Dew glistened on the expanse of grass, pulling the eye towards the wall of isolation growing thick around the perimeter of the mansion. Ivy crept up the walls, stopping in fear of the gobs of smoke billowing from the peak filling the air with the nostalgic scent of burning wood and smoldering ash.

She sat reminiscing inside the melody her outstretched fingers struck against the ivory. The notes twinkled against the royal blue ceiling high above, supplemented by the crescent moon taking form between her lips. Crystals from the chandelier reflected the light adding to her radiance, emphasizing the golden waterfall spanning her back. Her eyes, paragons of the clearest skies, closed as the music became exceedingly emotional. Trailing along the icy travertine, the sound scouted the endless pathways, finally attempting to escape through the open French doors welcoming in the mysterious darkness. As the soundscape faded to black, the blue crystals took form on her face once more. An encore flowed through the room, and the figurine playing the piano rose.

“Ah,” her chest flattened in a long exhale of warm breath, “time to wash up for dinner.”

The wooden stairs spoke underfoot, spinning webs of decades past. Her eyes met their twins in the cold, suspended, silvery expanse, and her hand guided itself towards the idle switch upon the wall. A burst of light extinguished the life of one of the bulbs chained in the fixture. The remaining slaves continued to work, casting their labors upon granite the night sky envies. Black stone with silver stars matching the freezing metal fixtures was encrusted upon the merciless walls. Icy water splashing against marble befitting a graveyard finished the windowless cavern, a chilling sepulcher. The water carried away the evenings grime leaving behind the pure silk she was accustomed to.

The stairs yearned for the wafting scent of a rich, juicy turkey, thick, meaty gravy bubbling atop the stove, and the tart-freshness of cranberry sauce.

Bells caused her brow to furrow, as though she had forgotten what they signified. Walking towards the open doors she peered around. Torn spider webs hung on each side of the unfamiliar door bell like fans awaiting their favorite actress at the red carpet.

"Looks like they tired of waiting.” She looked over the green ocean in front of her residence, the hedges were hardly visible. “That’s probably why I never get trick-or-treaters.”

Entering the kitchen a sharp gleam captured her attention. “Unusual, I…I don’t remember leaving my knife out”, she asked peering around in doubt, “I…I must have just been distracted.”

Suddenly, night engulfed the house, shrouding the kitchen. Her stomach tightened as her eyes adjusted. Waves of cold overtook her spine forcing convulsions of heat from the top of her head. Hoping that the fuse had blown she glided over and hit the switch on the wall, banishing the shadows, confirming her fears. The place where the hard edge of the knife had captured her gaze was once again the center of attention; illuminated emptiness.

Click-clock, click-clock, click-clock, the metronome’s warning reverberated in the kitchen. She clutched her body.

“Who’s there?” Click-clock, click-clock the metronome spoke in monotone. “Who’s there?” The metronome answered once more. “I know you’re in there!” her carmine lips quivered. The metronome failed to answer.

Darkness again befell the kitchen, speeding the drumming in her chest. She reached out and grabbed the illuminated phone which was casting a dark tunnel around it, touching it to her hypersensitive ear. A prayer floated across her mind. “Please let there be a signal. Please God, anything for a signal.” Silence. Plastic shards splintered across the unforgiving travertine tiling, pointing towards the double-edged drawbridge. Night was sealed out, she was sealed in.

Blood dripped across her silk knuckles, staining the wood. The pounding on the door was drowned out by the wild thumping of her heart, bursting her ears in an erratic rhythm. Brine filled her nostrils and the familiar salt of tears saturated her tongue. The feeling of water brought the image of the black grotto to the front of her mind. She could lock herself in!

She scouted a pathway, as if in a foreign jungle, through the lightless house. Silence stabbed at her ear drums, forcing the hair to stand on end, alert to any sound. She guided herself into the shadow of the concert room. Glancing about she noticed no movement in the exorbitant darkness. Her shoe’s heel crossed into the sacred domain and the piano mourned an elegy of torment. She became a shaking statue and a shed tear brushed across her cheek. She locked her lips together, fearing any utterance might attract whoever was playing death’s song. She crawled towards the stairs knowing her only chance was to be inside the black room.

Betrayed by the stairs, their unanimous decision to aid her assailant ended the elegy. Her neck directed abnormally soiled sapphires into the darkness following the sound of heavy breathing and the splashing of tears upon the wooden stairs. Her footsteps were taken in a pace that made them indistinguishable from one another. As she arrived at the black vault the mirror freeze-framed a horror scene.

Skeletal patches of exposed flesh carved around blazing rubies devastating any signs of remaining humanity in an immense conflagration were highlighted in the diffused lighting of the vengeful mirror. The gaunt hand of her assailant clutching the knife as a sacred family memento dripped crimson pain into the catacomb. Heavy stone splintered the feeble bones, spattering sanguine torment upon her face which was reflected in the gleaming blade singing an angelic paean against the stone floor. She was alone, surrounded by the terrors of the dark. Instinctively she tried the switch, but the only light came from that longing, thirsty blade. A metallic scraping sounded from the latch on the other side of the stone door. She was locked in; an animal waiting to be slaughtered.

In her mind she knew screaming was useless, there was no penetrating the tomb she was immured in. Nonetheless, her voice echoed until she became incapable. She took quick breaths, her body quaking with fear as it conformed to the cruel walls; her eyes failing to add to the pool that had collected on the stone in front of her. Her neck craned as she searched the infinite depths of the shadows; that blessed knife longing for a drink.
The darkness whispered to her, emptying its conscience of the horrors it has stood idly by and witnessed. Murders and tortures, deaths and genocides, their victims burned into the once pure gems that now betrayed her. The blade watched in an anxious still. Her imagination was unleashed in the terrifying darkness. Brutalities scarcely witnessed by the living came upon the tides slowly eroding her mind.
Her blood raced, beating the sound of a tribal sacrifice against her temples. Her spine snapped in the sudden uproar of winter. Ice formed across her hands, and her eyes became frozen, fixated upon the gleam of light radiating from that sinful blade, waiting for its thirst to be quenched.

AN ELEGY OF SORROW permeated the castle. It crept throughthe cool night air and spoke its wisdom on death and mourning. Inside the black room the water washed away all sins collected upon the marble, and silence took its throne once more.

Cheers,
Dave
(P.S. This is my story and I hold all creative yada yada associated with it. Please do not use my work without my consent =D)
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 2:33 AM Post #2 of 8

Planar_head

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Nicely done.
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The only sugestions is to add emphasis to key parts in the story to give those parts more weight. You could add more description in those parts, or do what Poe does with his intense punctuation.

I could be slow today (maybe
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) or to me, some parts didn't read as smoothly as I'd would have liked. I guess you could say I was playing catch-up with the story, because you jump to something else and didn't make it immediatly apparent, which seemed to smooth over the parts should have really shocked me.

Bring the details. I find it makes for a immersive experience, and the deeper you can bring a person into a horror story the better. How you do that is up to you.

Alternatively, you could take a different point of view, instead of third person (I think thats what its called) and instead do a first person as the killer or the lady.

Your vocabulary is good.
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No immediate grammatical errors stick out...

I guess thats it for me.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 3:12 AM Post #3 of 8

myinitialsaredac

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Thanks,
What key parts do you speak of that need an additional weighting, any specifics would be awesome.

I tried to take that style of using scenes such as the stairs creaking to make it evident that she went upstairs instead of blatantly saying she went upstairs. Maybe you could offer some help on the implementation of that, but just for everyone's own edification I will be reading this story aloud, and I think the human voice (natural gaps and pauses) should help clarify some of those sections.

I really appreciate the feedback, I tried to give as much description as possible but found as the story got into the more intense action sequences that it became excess verbiage and detracted from the heart-pumping feeling.

Thanks a lot for reading and giving valuable feedback,
Dave
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 3:57 AM Post #4 of 8

Planar_head

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Ah, says the guy trying to help. I am slow today.

Yes, the only problem I have (after rereading it) it that you begin the the bloody and the gory halfway through the story. Just like good comedy, good horror is defined by contrast. I'd say to leave the bloody parts in one intense paragraph, but that is really just for perference.

Flow of words is important when you read it, and use reptition from the beginning of the story at the end.

A puzzler for me -
Quote:

Hoping that the fuse had blown she glided over and hit the switch on the wall, banishing the shadows, confirming her fears. The place where the hard edge of the knife had captured her gaze was once again the center of attention; illuminated emptiness.


I really don't think people hope the fuse is blown
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Quote:

Blood dripped across her silk knuckles, staining the wood


*Opinion*
Snip this out, and leave the end of the story for the goryness.

Last suggestion - bring back the metronome in the end...
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 4:08 AM Post #5 of 8

myinitialsaredac

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Oo, the metronome is a great suggestion, instead of silence taking its throne only the metronome was heard. Thank you for the awesome idea!

Well she was hoping the fuse had blown because she already was feeling doubtful about the knife and if the fuse was blown it would have meant nothing creepy was going on. What would you change it to, im very open to suggestions =D.

Dave
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 4:12 AM Post #6 of 8

myinitialsaredac

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UPDATE: I changed the last paragraph to this -->

AN ELEGY OF SORROW permeated the castle. It crept through the cool night air and spoke its wisdom on death and mourning. Inside the black room the water washed away all sins collected upon the marble. The elegy’s life faded away leaving behind the steady heartbeat of the metronome.

Let me know what you think =D

Thanks for the help,
Dave
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 4:37 AM Post #7 of 8

Planar_head

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AN ELEGY OF SORROW permeated the castle. It crept through the cool night air and spoke its wisdom on death and mourning. Inside the black room the water washed away all sins collected upon the marble. The elegy’s life faded away leaving behind the steady click-clock, click-clock, click-clock...

I think that would be pretty good too.
 
Oct 29, 2008 at 4:44 AM Post #8 of 8

myinitialsaredac

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Tried to incorporate some thematic syntax, i.e. the personification of the elegy giving it a life then taking its life away and personifying the metronome with a heatbeat, an essential part of life that the elegy no longer has.

I like yours also though, decisions, decisions.
Dave
 

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