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  • Gill stared at the blackness above him. Another painful creak sounded from outside, ripping through his skull like a child through a birthday present. He pressed the pillow against his ears once more in a vain effort to block out the noise. Still, it echoed into the cabin, only slightly muffled by the cotton beneath his head. Something else had to be done.

    With tired, fluttering eyelids, Gill peeled the blanket off his torso and shuffled to the edge of the bed, not daring to take a glance through the window. Grasping around in the darkness, he found the handle of his bedside table’s drawer and pulled it open, pulling out a small brown box from the clutter. Plucking out a match, he struck it against the side of the container, lighting it instantly. He scooped up a lantern from the floor and stuck in the flame, casting a brilliant orange glow across the room. The walls shifted back and forth in Gill’s hazy vision as he leant over to put on his boots.

    He stood up and rubbed his temple, taking slow, heavy steps to the door. A quick glance towards the mirror on the mantel showed Gill the scruffy, stubbled face he expected, coupled with a mop of shaggy hair. He wiped the crust from his eyes with his free hand as a crack of thunder whipped through the sky outside, with a flash of white shining through the windows against the pouring rain. The storm had been raging on for quite some time now.

    Gill slipped on his weathered coat and pulled out his keys. The wood was cold to the touch as he grabbed the doorknob firmly, bracing himself for the conditions. Taking one last look at his dry, comfortable mattress, Gill drew in a deep breath and flung the door open.

    The door slammed shut behind him in the howling wind almost as soon as he stepped outside. Immediately drenched, Gill held up his lantern and squinted through the rain across the river, but only for a moment, lest he see something he might regret. A thick layer of fog was floating over the water as per usual, clouding the far-off mountains ahead. Gill’s fishing boat was furiously rocking back and forth, barely held in place through the fierce winds. Taking a few steps forwards, Gill could just make out the shape of his net swinging back and forth on the hook it was attached to. Every time the wind blew, the beam would creak as it swung loosely above the ground. But Gill could tell there was something wrong. The net sagged more than it usually did. There was something else caught in it, something much bigger than a fish. Keeping the lantern at the end of his outstretched arm, Gill furrowed his brow and approached the shape, fighting against the diagonal rain pounding against his face.

    Soon, Gill could make out the pale silhouette of a hand shining against the soaked exterior of the cabin in the moonlight. His bony fingers traced the coarse rope of the net, and with a dramatic boom of thunder, a strike of lightning illuminated an icy pale body tangled in the netting.




    The air was thin and misty as Gill strained the oars against the water, his bucket completely devoid of fish as it rocked against the side of the boat. It was a frosty day, and Gill’s hands were pale and numb as they held his fishing rod. The water was strangely thick this morning, almost like treacle, and the surface was cloudier than it had ever been. In a spot where on previous days there had been dozens of fish, today there were none. A creeping sense of dread swept through Gill's body, intensifying as he scanned the water once more, darting his pupils across its surface.

    The mist parted slightly, revealing the familiar sight of Gill’s cabin sitting peacefully among the trees. The wooden exterior was damp and brown, as it usually was, giving the cabin an aged look. Gill lay down on the boat, trying to distract himself from the chilling occurrence of last night by gazing absently at the defined clouds above.

    Taking another good look at the cabin, Gill suddenly felt something off. It wasn’t the cabin specifically, more another disturbing detail that seemed to give his mind the slip. It was like looking at a spot-the-difference puzzle, knowing there’s something wrong but being unable to see it. Gill shuffled apprehensively towards the front of the boat and leaned forward, trying to make out any significant difference. Was it the porch? The storage shed?

    And then he saw it. Facing towards him, a body tangled in the fishing net. The same one he had encountered last night, with even paler skin and the deadest, most devoid eyes he had ever seen.

    Gill stared motionlessly with buggy eyes. The roar of a dying engine snapped him back into the present. Large puffs of blackish smoke were rising over the distant hills, moving closer to the cabin with each passing second.

    With a burst of dreadful realisation, Gill picked up the oars and slammed them in and out of the water furiously, the boat slowly gaining speed towards the cabin. Just as it hit the mud at the front of his porch, a car rolled around the dirt road leading to the cabin. It was a bright red convertible, the sunshine bouncing proudly off its smooth surface. In its driver’s seat was a young man of about 20, with a much older woman beside him.

    Gill rushed towards the net, almost slipping on the watery shore as he jumped out of the boat. It was in plain view of the dirt road ahead, and the car was closing the gap quickly. Finally, he reached it, panting like a dog. With a firm grip on the revolting mass of slimy skin, he hoisted the net upwards off the hook.

    The fish surrounding the body spilled outwards through the gaps in the netting, leaving a trail as Gill waddled as fast as he could back towards the river. Behind him, there was a soft splutter of something mechanical, and the audible click of a car door opening. Two pairs of wet footsteps were approaching Gill.

    Inhaling sharply, Gill threw the net as far as he could out towards the river. A mighty splash soaked his coat with a thin layer of water as the body sank down under the weight of the net, its crooked face pointing down into the murky depths.

    “Excuse me?”

    A high-pitched male voice sounded from behind Gill. Turning sharply, he was met with the sight of a freckled man with light hair and a nervous smile. There was some sort of device attached to his ear.

    “Uh, hey. My name’s Joe. We were just passing by, but our car’s decided to have some engine problems, and we’ve got an under-inflated tyre. We don’t want to bother you, but do you have a pump we can use? I think I’ll be able to fix the engine, so that’s ok.”

    A grey-haired woman with a pearled necklace was stepping slowly across the mud behind Joe, trying to stay on the grassy patches of ground. She was small and thin, with dainty feet like a ballet dancer. She looked up at Gill and winced through the sunlight.

    “Come now, Joe, we don’t want to bother the man. He’s probably very busy.”

    “It’s fine,” Gill mumbled.

    Producing a key out of his pocket, Gill placed it in Joe’s palm and gestured towards the storage shed.

    “Thanks. I’ll be right back, Grandma!”

    “Ok, honey,” the woman replied, as Joe set out across the mud.

    A faraway bird cawed out into the air, amidst the quiet rustling of the nearby trees. More clouds were blowing over from the East, edging ominously closer through the sky. The movements of the water were slow and methodical, splashing against the shoreline constantly. Gill wiped away the small beads of sweat that had formed on his head and swallowed, relieved.

    “Must be nice to live so far out here, away from all the hustle and bustle of a city.” the woman said to Gill.

    She sniffed and glanced around the shore. There was a grave just poking out from around the corner of the cabin, with a wooden cross sticking out from the dirt. She opened her mouth as if to say something, but after a moment of thought, shook her head and closed it again. Tucked under the porch was another fishing boat, lying upside down with cracks in the hull. Again, the woman felt inclined to ask about it, but caught herself just before she said anything.

    Gill nodded slightly and shuffled a little closer to the water. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d even been to a city.

    “I’m Margaret, by the way, and Joe is my grandson. He’s a good kid. Do you have family near here?”

    Margaret spoke with an easy-going tone that was soft and slow. Gill didn’t say anything.

    “Not much of a talker, eh? I suppose living in isolation can do that to you. No offense, of course. I’m sure you’ve seen a fair number of interesting things ‘round these parts. My grandma told me about the waters here once,”

    She smiled in that classic old-woman smile; with a knowing air and a sense of warmth.

    “You stay away from the waters down by the cabin, she would tell me,” Margaret continued.

    “Those waters are something more. More than what we know and what we think we know. Those ain’t natural waters, Margaret. You stay away from those waters, you hear? That’s what she’d always say. She’d never tell me what she meant by any of it, of course. Never made sense to me then and it still doesn’t make sense to me now. Suppose it was just the ramblings of an old-timer.”

    But Gill wasn’t listening. He was paying closer attention to something rising up from the water, being swept closer to the shore by the ever-moving current. A single finger was bobbing up and down on the surface, slowly revolving around and around as Margaret’s eyes widened in horror.

    A deformed head with dark, empty eye sockets slithered out from the soggy netting and flopped onto the shoreline. The body’s arms and legs followed, broken and burst, attached to a battered torso rolling onto the mud, its skin peeling away to reveal rotting bone and muscle. Gill stared sorrowfully, and Margaret gagged, raising her hands up to her mouth. The remains of the net piled on top of the heap of flesh, soaked red with watery blood.

    The pair stood deadly still for a while, just taking it all in. Margaret was frozen solid, her head tilted back slightly as if she were about to pass out. Eventually, Gill forced his hand into the confines of his coat and unsheathed a thin brass pole, one he had planned on using as a replacement for his worn fishing rod. Now it would serve a different purpose.

    Joe pushed away rusted equipment and broken tools out of his way, scanning the shed for any signs of a pump. It was quite sad in a way, seeing all this useless junk rotting away in silence, never to be used again. The room was dank and musty, and the many crevices of the shack were coated with cobwebs and grime.

    A monotone ringing slowly edged its way into Joe’s ear. He sighed and took out his hearing aid, blowing on it and wiping it on his sleeve repeatedly. Still, the sound was scratchy and quiet as he put it back in. There was a sudden, yet quiet crack that rang across the air, like the sound of a whip, but Joe ignored it. Scratching his chin, he took a final look at the room. No pump here. Just half-rotted wood and bugs.

    The door creaked almost silently as Joe pushed it open. The sky outside had seemingly got even brighter, and Joe shielded his eyes for a few moments before looking back at where his grandma had been standing.

    Margaret was sprawled out on the ground, her head split open and her face buried downwards in the mud. Gill stood solemnly over her corpse, holding out a red-tipped rod like a sword in front of him with a single hand. Joe’s mouth dropped open, and in a paralysing moment of insanity-inducing panic, he screamed, trying not to collapse in shock.

    Within a second, Gill was halfway across the mud to Joe, sprinting forwards with speed and brandishing the rod with determination in his eyes. Forcing his legs into action, Joe turned on his heel and fled rapidly into the forest along the shore, screaming and crying. Gill followed closely behind but was gradually losing his edge on the surprisingly fast man.

    Dodging trees and bushes, Joe wiped away the tears pouring down his face, the rustling of dead leaves behind him a constant reminder of Gill’s presence. Gill had his eyes focused sharply on Joe as he ran, hot on his tracks, but quickly lost him through the dense foliage. Soon, Joe was out of sight completely.

    Out of stamina, Joe ducked behind a thick-trunked tree and tried to slow his breathing. He could just make out the distant noise of Gill’s footsteps on the soil.

    There was a faint crackling in Joe’s ear, followed by another monotone ring. Before he could even reach his hand up to it, the hearing aid fell out, landing in a patch of mud. Joe scooped it up and tried to brush the dirt off, but it had already seeped inside the speaker.

    His heartbeat quickening, he placed it back in his ear. Gill’s footsteps were much closer now and seemed to come from all directions at once. Trying to run, Joe’s legs felt like jelly, and his throat was raw and painful. Staggering around between the trees, he peered around corners trying to spot Gill, but nobody appeared. He was stuck.

    Everything suddenly went deadly silent. The hairs on Joe’s neck pricked up, not a sound in the air. Even the trees seemed to stop swaying in the miraculously absent breeze. Joe pressed himself up against another tree, trying to make his lean frame as small as possible.

    In the void of sound, something caught Joe's eye. Like a vision, concealed by the fog on the water, far away. A shadowy being, like something from a child's nightmare. It had no eyes, no tangible sense of a face or even a head. But Joe could see it was looking right at him.

    The air was knocked dramatically out of Joe’s body as Gill smashed into his back, thrusting him down onto the soil, Joe’s head becoming half-submerged in the lake. The rod flew out of Gill’s hand as they landed with a thud on the dirt. Gill wrapped his hands around Joe’s neck, breathing raggedly through his nostrils. Joe spluttered and wheezed relentlessly, struggling against Gill’s firm grip. Icy cold water flooded his nose and ears as Gill shoved his head into the lake, turning his skin a pale white. Joe reached for the rod, but it was mere inches from his grip. Water splashed onto Gill’s sweaty palms. Gill winced and turned his head away, staring aimlessly back into the forest. Joe kicked and pushed and strained as hard as he could, but Gill kept the upper hand. It wasn’t long before his limbs turned limp and his eyes creaked closed.

    It was over.

    Gill sat up, wiping the sweat from his forehead. The sight of Joe’s twitching corpse was almost enough to make him throw up. He swayed unevenly as he stood up, examining his work with morbid curiosity. The life had drained from Joe’s eyes, and his throat was red and patchy.

    Leaning against a tree, Gill picked up Joe with shaky hands and tossed him into the lake.




    “Step aside, sir,” the officer repeated as Gill stood firmly in front of the cabin door, arms by his sides.

    “I assure you officer, there’s nothing in there to cause alarm. I’ve told you everything I know.”

    “What’s your name, anyway?” Gill continued.

    The sun projected shadows along the man’s uniform, casting him in a solemn darkness. His face was that of a no-nonsense man, with bushy eyebrows and a constantly furrowed brow. A neatly-combed crew-cut sat neatly atop his head, and there was a well-groomed moustache lying just above his upper lip.

    “It’s Daniel Winters. And if there’s nothing incriminating in there, then I’m sure you won’t have any problem with me taking a look inside.”

    “This is private property. Do you have a warrant to search my residence?”

    Winters took a long inhale in through his nose and held it for a second, clearly aggravated by Gill’s lack of participation.

    “There’s two ways we can go about this, sir. I can have you detained for failure to comply, or you can let me investigate your home. Which way do you choose?”

    Gill sighed deeply and looked at the floor. Stepping to the side, Winters pushed his way in, pulling out a notebook.

    Upon first glance, the room did not appear to stand out in any particular way. There was a double-sized bed sat at the very end of the cabin, with a wooden desk pushed up against the wall on the right. The only slightly abnormal feature was an oddly absent space in the corner of the room, with no furniture. A small painting of a serene landscape was hung near a bulletin board with photographs pinned down with unused fishing hooks.

    “Tell me again how you saw the woman and the boy?” Winters asked, beginning to jot things down.

    “It was mid-afternoon. I was hanging up some fish in the net outside. They pulled over and asked me for a pump for one of their tyres, which I gave them. I helped the boy pump their tyre up and waved them away. That’s it.” Gill reluctantly shared once more.

    “Who’s this?” Winters questioned, jabbing an accusing finger at a small child in one of the pictures. The boy was sitting on a fishing boat with Gill, smiling warmly at the camera while Gill held up a sizeable fish in his arms.

    “That’s…my son,” Gill replied, a little hesitant.

    Winters scribbled down a quick note.

    “And where is he now?”

    Gill leaned back against the wall and gave Winters a blank look, one which seemed to hide a deep sadness.

    “I see. Who took the picture?”

    “My ex-wife. She’s been gone for a few years now.”

    “Right.”

    Winters stepped over to the desk. Pencil drawings were littered everywhere, some spilling onto the floor. He sniffed and picked up a couple in his rough hands. One was a panoramic view of a peaceful lake, but with an odd scribble on the water in the distance. The other was seemingly a zoomed-in illustration of the scribble, which took form as a dark figure half-submerged in the lake, its body large and rugged.

    With a worried glance at Gill, Winters put the pictures down.

    “Well, there’s nothing here to suggest you committed any crime. I suppose I’ll be leaving. Don’t give me a reason to come back here.”

    Just as the officer started walking back to the door, a mighty splash rang out from outside. Gill tensed up in horror as Winters froze, his hand on the pistol attached to his hip.

    “The fuck…” he mumbled quietly.

    Creaking open the front door, the officer peeked around the corner of the cabin.

    Drenched in water, with patches of rust adorning its body, a bright red convertible had rolled onto the shoreline. Its tires were little more than wet scraps of rubber, and shards of broken glass were scattered along the water-logged seating. The front bumper was hanging off the bent hood, showing an upturned engine lying inside.

    There was a sharp thud as Gill brought down his lantern onto Winter’s skull.




    An intense throbbing pain coursed through Winter’s head as he gradually faded back into consciousness. It was dark now, and the trees were shadowy and motionless in the lake’s reflection. Tilting his head down, he saw ropes tied around his body, pinning him to the edge of Gill’s porch. Gill was sat down a few metres away with the lantern by his sides, his head in his hands, a pistol on the ground next to him.

    “M...motherfucker,” Winters spoke up.

    Gill tensed slightly without looking up.

    “Get it over with, you prick. Shoot me, already,”

    Gill stayed completely still.

    “What’s the matter with you, huh? Huh? Do it! Fucking shoot me!”

    Winters thrashed around fiercely, veins bulging from his temples. Through gritted teeth, he flailed his bloodied head back and forth, trying to loosen himself from the ropes.

    Removing his hands, Gill tried to force himself to look at Winters. His eyes were watery, his face numb with regret.

    “Do you see it?” Gill finally spoke with a shaky voice. He pointed across the lake, gesturing to a cloud of fog looming in the distance, floating on the surface of the water.

    “Over there. In the fog. You saw the drawings, didn’t you? That thing. It took my son, Daniel. It took my fucking son,”

    Gill ran his hands through his hair, as beads of sweat began to drip down his forehead.

    “We were out fishing and…and…it sucked him under the surface and kept him there until he drowned. Rose blamed me. Said it was my fault. She didn’t leave years ago. She left a week ago. Just left me here, alone,”

    Winters sat still with his mouth hanging open slightly, in awe. He tried to formulate some kind of sentence but was too dumbfounded to think properly.

    “I couldn’t save him. I tried. I swear I tried. She wouldn’t believe me. How…how could she think that? How could she think I would just let him die?”

    Gill stood up, his fist clenched by his sides. His speech was becoming increasingly hurried and slurred.

    “The grave by the cabin is empty. I dug it for him. When I found him in the net. I thought…I thought it was giving him back to me. I thought it was letting him find peace. But no. It stole him from me again. Only to wash him back up, broken and deformed, hanging upside-down in my own fucking fishing net. Have you ever had to throw the corpse of your own son into a lake? It made me a murderer, officer. A filthy, rotten murderer.”

    Gill’s breathing was rapid. He paced back and forth, the pistol hanging loosely in his palm.

    “I have...I have to get away from this place. I have to find Rose. No-one can know. No-one can know.”

    Gill raised the pistol, aiming it directly at Winter’s head.

    “Could you…could you just…close your eyes for me…” Gill spoke softly, a single tear rolling down his face.

    Winters was speechless. He stared aimlessly at his restraints, then the water once again. Eventually, he rolled his eyes shut, flinching in anticipation.

    Gill covered his face with his other hand as he fired the gun. Winter’s limp body flopped onto the mud, a bloody hole opened in his forehead.




    Sitting up with a frightened gasp, Gill found himself once again in bed. Hadn’t he just been outside? Was Winters still out there?

    Did Winters even exist? Did Margaret and Joe even exist? Was it all a bad dream?

    “What’s wrong, honey?” a silky-smooth voice suddenly spoke up from beside Gill. He reached for the lantern, only for it to flicker on all by itself, instantly illuminating the room.

    Rose was laying by his side. Her long, flowing hair poured down her arms and shoulders sexily, a glint in her seductive, green eyes. With dark red lips pointed upwards into a warm smile, her hand touched Gill’s shoulder. Gill instantly felt a thousand times lighter. Just staring at her smooth complexion made his heart flitter.

    Gill’s smile began to fade as he realised Rose was crumbling into dust. Her skin was turning an ashy grey, and large chunks of what was once flesh was now collapsing and breaking apart. Weeping, Gill reached out to stroke Rose’s face, only for her head to drop onto the floor and shatter instantly.

    Rose was gone, reduced to a pile of powder. Saddened deeply, Gill threw away the covers and dropped to his knees onto the floor. Without warning, a bright red light was suddenly cast through the blinds.

    Peeking out the window, Gill instantly felt an overwhelming feeling of joy. The fog on the water had lifted, and Gill could finally see the sheer beauty of the thing in the distance.

    And oh, was it beautiful. Gill could hardly believe he had been so afraid of it this entire time. A sudden realisation washed over him; he didn’t need Rose. All he needed, no, all he ever wanted from now on was to be with the being, to be a part of it forever.

    Gill suddenly found himself outside. His face was twisted into an expression of pure ecstasy. The sky was a piercing red, and Gill could suddenly feel himself being beckoned towards the lake. Staring into the water, Gill’s reflection spun and shimmered into three other faces: Margaret, Joe, and Winters. They too had bright, beaming smiles written across their faces, and one-by-one, whispers escaped their mouths, drawing Gill closer and closer with each passing moment.

    “Dad?” a small voice perked up below Gill.

    It was Sam. Gill’s eyes welled up with happiness as he embraced his child, inching deeper and deeper into the lake.

    “Daddy’s here, Samuel. Daddy’s here.” he whispered softly, stroking Sam’s blonde hair.

    The water passed over Gill’s head, submerging him entirely.




    “Alright, let’s get to work.” Alison said as she shut the car door firmly.

    “I hope we don’t find anything too grisly.” Jack mentioned nervously as they walked slowly over to the shack.

    The lake was a beautiful sight in the early-morning sun. Orange waves were cast over the water, with no visible fog or mist to obstruct the view.

    “Don’t worry about it,” Alison reassured him. “We never usually find anything when looking for a missing officer.”

    Jack scoffed and rolled his eyes.

    “That’s not exactly too comforting either.”

    Alison chuckled slightly as they approached the cabin. She went around the back, while Jack narrowed his eyes slightly and approached something on the porch.

    “Nothing particularly interesting back here, Jack. You see anything?” She shouted around the front.

    No answer.

    “Jack?” Alison repeated, turning the corner.

    Jack was wide-eyed, staring at something caught in a fishing net. Getting a closer look, Alison gasped as she got an eyeful of what Jack was so shocked by.

    Caught in the fishing net, with a scruffy, stubbled chin and unkempt, shaggy hair, was the body of Gill.

      Loading editor
    • I suggest shortening this a bit. I will admit I only read half of it because I was discouraged by how long it looks, and the fact that the beginning really doesn't do anything to drag its readers in.

      Sorry I couldn't have been more help.

        Loading editor
    • I noticed a number of punctuation, capitalization, and wording issues here that could use some revision. I'm citing the first examples I came across but in all instances, there are other examples throughout the story that need to be corrected.

      Punctuation: Remember to only use a period in dialogue if it's the conclusion of the sentence. Lines like: "“It’s fine.(,)” Gill mumbled.", "“Ok, honey.(,)” The (the) woman replied, as Joe set out across the mud.", "That’s it.(,)” Gill reluctantly shared once more.", "... like a frightened schoolboy.(,)” Daniel continued.", etc. should use a comma instead of a period as the sentence continues with the dialogue tag. Here's a helpful guide that might be a bit more illuminating than what I wrote.

      Capitalization: Dialogue tags shouldn't be capitalized unless it's a proper noun. "“The fuck…” He mumbled quietly.", "“Step aside, sir.” The (the) officer repeated", "“What’s wrong, honey?” A (a) silky-smooth voice suddenly spoke up from beside Gill.", etc. Feel free to consult the guide I posted above.

      Wording: "Joe’s mouth dropped open, and in an inexplicable moment of insanity-inducing panic, he screamed, trying not to collapse in shock." (The use of the word inexplicable doesn't really work here as it's pretty easy to explain his reaction after stumbling upon his grandmother's corpse.), "Gill had his eyes focused sharply on Joe as he ran, hot on his tracks, but quickly losing (lost) him through the dense foliage.", "Out of stamina, Joe ducked behind a thick-trunked tree and tried to slow his breaths (breathing)", etc. I always suggest reading your story aloud and working on areas where you stumble in the reading as they're likely spots of awkward wording or areas that hinder story flow.

      As for the length, I don't really see much of an issue as by the sixth paragraph, you've introduced the setting, protagonist, horror elements (suggesting at the protagonist's nature), etc. That being said, I might try to make the reveal of the body in the water a bit more impactful to the audience as it does come off as a bit glossed over.

      Dialogue: Some of the dialogue felt a bit overly expository. Mainly the grandmother's and Winters'. A lot of the conversation with Winters at the end could be told through the narrative voice rather than dealing with the disconnect of a character stating these things outright who would more likely be panicked/under duress. "You had to, didn’t you? You just had to wait for me to wake up. You couldn’t just do it then and there when I was unconscious, oh no, where would the fun be in that?"

      Story: This is also more of a suggestion, but I would spend a little more time fleshing out Gill's reasoning as the inclusion of some of the story's more supernatural elements does come off as sudden. I'd drop small hints throughout the story using descriptors as a means of hooking (yes, it's a play on words given the theme) the audience.

      Best of luck with your revisions.

        Loading editor
    • NedWolfkin wrote: I suggest shortening this a bit. I will admit I only read half of it because I was discouraged by how long it looks, and the fact that the beginning really doesn't do anything to drag its readers in.

      Sorry I couldn't have been more help.

      Where did you get up to? I put a lot of effort into this pasta specifically; I'd appreciate it if you could read the other half and tell me what you think.

        Loading editor
    • EmpyrealInvective wrote: I noticed a number of punctuation, capitalization, and wording issues here that could use some revision. I'm citing the first examples I came across but in all instances, there are other examples throughout the story that need to be corrected.

      Punctuation: Remember to only use a period in dialogue if it's the conclusion of the sentence. Lines like: "“It’s fine.(,)” Gill mumbled.", "“Ok, honey.(,)” The (the) woman replied, as Joe set out across the mud.", "That’s it.(,)” Gill reluctantly shared once more.", "... like a frightened schoolboy.(,)” Daniel continued.", etc. should use a comma instead of a period as the sentence continues with the dialogue tag. Here's a helpful guide that might be a bit more illuminating than what I wrote.

      Capitalization: Dialogue tags shouldn't be capitalized unless it's a proper noun. "“The fuck…” He mumbled quietly.", "“Step aside, sir.” The (the) officer repeated", "“What’s wrong, honey?” A (a) silky-smooth voice suddenly spoke up from beside Gill.", etc. Feel free to consult the guide I posted above.

      Wording: "Joe’s mouth dropped open, and in an inexplicable moment of insanity-inducing panic, he screamed, trying not to collapse in shock." (The use of the word inexplicable doesn't really work here as it's pretty easy to explain his reaction after stumbling upon his grandmother's corpse.), "Gill had his eyes focused sharply on Joe as he ran, hot on his tracks, but quickly losing (lost) him through the dense foliage.", "Out of stamina, Joe ducked behind a thick-trunked tree and tried to slow his breaths (breathing)", etc. I always suggest reading your story aloud and working on areas where you stumble in the reading as they're likely spots of awkward wording or areas that hinder story flow.

      As for the length, I don't really see much of an issue as by the sixth paragraph, you've introduced the setting, protagonist, horror elements (suggesting at the protagonist's nature), etc. That being said, I might try to make the reveal of the body in the water a bit more impactful to the audience as it does come off as a bit glossed over.

      Dialogue: Some of the dialogue felt a bit overly expository. Mainly the grandmother's and Winters'. A lot of the conversation with Winters at the end could be told through the narrative voice rather than dealing with the disconnect of a character stating these things outright who would more likely be panicked/under duress. "You had to, didn’t you? You just had to wait for me to wake up. You couldn’t just do it then and there when I was unconscious, oh no, where would the fun be in that?"

      Story: This is also more of a suggestion, but I would spend a little more time fleshing out Gill's reasoning as the inclusion of some of the story's more supernatural elements does come off as sudden. I'd drop small hints throughout the story using descriptors as a means of hooking (yes, it's a play on words given the theme) the audience.

      Best of luck with your revisions.

      Thanks for the feedback. Just a quick note: I read the link you posted, but the advice given in the article as well as the revisions on Capitalisation and Punctuation you suggested aren't actually needed, because I come from the UK, which has different rules for spelling and grammar, AKA the rules I used while writing the story.

      I will, however, be editing the post based on the advice you gave in terms of wording, dialogue, and story.

        Loading editor
    • Just a Guy That Likes Creepypastas wrote: Thanks for the feedback. Just a quick note: I read the link you posted, but the advice given in the article as well as the revisions on Capitalisation and Punctuation you suggested aren't actually needed, because I come from the UK, which has different rules for spelling and grammar, AKA the rules I used while writing the story.

      I will, however, be editing the post based on the advice you gave in terms of wording, dialogue, and story.

      I'm sorry, I've never heard of those writing guidelines based in the UK that allow for capitalization of dialogue tags and use of periods in dialogue when it's being continued and isn't a full stop. I've reviewed friends' stories that live in the UK who do not write in such a way so I am a bit confused.

      I am also a bit confused as you aren't uniform with it ("she would tell me,” Margaret continued.") in the story or your other posts. Would you mind providing a link to the the source you have which allows for that for clarification?

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    • Just a Guy That Likes Creepypastas wrote:

      EmpyrealInvective wrote: I noticed a number of punctuation, capitalization, and wording issues here that could use some revision. I'm citing the first examples I came across but in all instances, there are other examples throughout the story that need to be corrected.

      Punctuation: Remember to only use a period in dialogue if it's the conclusion of the sentence. Lines like: "“It’s fine.(,)” Gill mumbled.", "“Ok, honey.(,)” The (the) woman replied, as Joe set out across the mud.", "That’s it.(,)” Gill reluctantly shared once more.", "... like a frightened schoolboy.(,)” Daniel continued.", etc. should use a comma instead of a period as the sentence continues with the dialogue tag. Here's a helpful guide that might be a bit more illuminating than what I wrote.

      Capitalization: Dialogue tags shouldn't be capitalized unless it's a proper noun. "“The fuck…” He mumbled quietly.", "“Step aside, sir.” The (the) officer repeated", "“What’s wrong, honey?” A (a) silky-smooth voice suddenly spoke up from beside Gill.", etc. Feel free to consult the guide I posted above.

      Wording: "Joe’s mouth dropped open, and in an inexplicable moment of insanity-inducing panic, he screamed, trying not to collapse in shock." (The use of the word inexplicable doesn't really work here as it's pretty easy to explain his reaction after stumbling upon his grandmother's corpse.), "Gill had his eyes focused sharply on Joe as he ran, hot on his tracks, but quickly losing (lost) him through the dense foliage.", "Out of stamina, Joe ducked behind a thick-trunked tree and tried to slow his breaths (breathing)", etc. I always suggest reading your story aloud and working on areas where you stumble in the reading as they're likely spots of awkward wording or areas that hinder story flow.

      As for the length, I don't really see much of an issue as by the sixth paragraph, you've introduced the setting, protagonist, horror elements (suggesting at the protagonist's nature), etc. That being said, I might try to make the reveal of the body in the water a bit more impactful to the audience as it does come off as a bit glossed over.

      Dialogue: Some of the dialogue felt a bit overly expository. Mainly the grandmother's and Winters'. A lot of the conversation with Winters at the end could be told through the narrative voice rather than dealing with the disconnect of a character stating these things outright who would more likely be panicked/under duress. "You had to, didn’t you? You just had to wait for me to wake up. You couldn’t just do it then and there when I was unconscious, oh no, where would the fun be in that?"

      Story: This is also more of a suggestion, but I would spend a little more time fleshing out Gill's reasoning as the inclusion of some of the story's more supernatural elements does come off as sudden. I'd drop small hints throughout the story using descriptors as a means of hooking (yes, it's a play on words given the theme) the audience.

      Best of luck with your revisions.

      Thanks for the feedback. Just a quick note: I read the link you posted, but the advice given in the article as well as the revisions on Capitalisation and Punctuation you suggested aren't actually needed, because I come from the UK, which has different rules for spelling and grammar, AKA the rules I used while writing the story.

      I will, however, be editing the post based on the advice you gave in terms of wording, dialogue, and story.

      I don't know what rules you are talking about, but a quick google search will show that this is not something done in the UK. You would use ,' he said instead of ." He said in either the UK or the US grammatical styles.

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    • Apologies, I seem to misunderstood what you were talking about. I assumed you meant a preference for writing, not an actual grammatical rule to follow.

      I'll take that into account while editing from now on.

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    • EmpyrealInvective wrote: I noticed a number of punctuation, capitalization, and wording issues here that could use some revision. I'm citing the first examples I came across but in all instances, there are other examples throughout the story that need to be corrected.

      Punctuation: Remember to only use a period in dialogue if it's the conclusion of the sentence. Lines like: "“It’s fine.(,)” Gill mumbled.", "“Ok, honey.(,)” The (the) woman replied, as Joe set out across the mud.", "That’s it.(,)” Gill reluctantly shared once more.", "... like a frightened schoolboy.(,)” Daniel continued.", etc. should use a comma instead of a period as the sentence continues with the dialogue tag. Here's a helpful guide that might be a bit more illuminating than what I wrote.

      Capitalization: Dialogue tags shouldn't be capitalized unless it's a proper noun. "“The fuck…” He mumbled quietly.", "“Step aside, sir.” The (the) officer repeated", "“What’s wrong, honey?” A (a) silky-smooth voice suddenly spoke up from beside Gill.", etc. Feel free to consult the guide I posted above.

      Wording: "Joe’s mouth dropped open, and in an inexplicable moment of insanity-inducing panic, he screamed, trying not to collapse in shock." (The use of the word inexplicable doesn't really work here as it's pretty easy to explain his reaction after stumbling upon his grandmother's corpse.), "Gill had his eyes focused sharply on Joe as he ran, hot on his tracks, but quickly losing (lost) him through the dense foliage.", "Out of stamina, Joe ducked behind a thick-trunked tree and tried to slow his breaths (breathing)", etc. I always suggest reading your story aloud and working on areas where you stumble in the reading as they're likely spots of awkward wording or areas that hinder story flow.

      As for the length, I don't really see much of an issue as by the sixth paragraph, you've introduced the setting, protagonist, horror elements (suggesting at the protagonist's nature), etc. That being said, I might try to make the reveal of the body in the water a bit more impactful to the audience as it does come off as a bit glossed over.

      Dialogue: Some of the dialogue felt a bit overly expository. Mainly the grandmother's and Winters'. A lot of the conversation with Winters at the end could be told through the narrative voice rather than dealing with the disconnect of a character stating these things outright who would more likely be panicked/under duress. "You had to, didn’t you? You just had to wait for me to wake up. You couldn’t just do it then and there when I was unconscious, oh no, where would the fun be in that?"

      Story: This is also more of a suggestion, but I would spend a little more time fleshing out Gill's reasoning as the inclusion of some of the story's more supernatural elements does come off as sudden. I'd drop small hints throughout the story using descriptors as a means of hooking (yes, it's a play on words given the theme) the audience.

      Best of luck with your revisions.

      I've finished editing. Here are the revisions I've made:

      1-Capitalisation and punctuation errors have been ironed out (feel free to fix anything I might've missed).

      2-Sloppy wording has been re-written, along with some other parts of the story.

      3-The scene in which Gill's son's body washes up on the shore has been fleshed out, in order to make it seem less "glossed over".

      4-Margaret's and Winters' dialogue has been cut back, as to avoid over-usage of exposition.

      5-Several "hints" have been added throughout the story to help reinforce the supernatural element.

      Please read the story again and let me know if the changes made any difference. If the work is now good enough to be officially posted to the site, could you please let me know. Thank you.

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    • The story jumps from scene to scene without any clear transitions, it kind of ruins the immersion. Try to make it less jumpy and confusing. You can't just switch perspectives; just try to be a true all knowing narrator with this story. Don't try to show us the events through the eyes of the characters.

      Also, the story really feels like a bunch of standalone paragraphs at times. Try to connect the various points. 

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    • BloodySpghetti wrote: The story jumps from scene to scene without any clear transitions, it kind of ruins the immersion. Try to make it less jumpy and confusing. You can't just switch perspectives; just try to be a true all knowing narrator with this story. Don't try to show us the events through the eyes of the characters.

      Also, the story really feels like a bunch of standalone paragraphs at times. Try to connect the various points. 

      Could you give some examples as to exactly where the points feel disconnected or where the transitions are unclear? Just to help me with editing.

      Thanks.

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    • Just a Guy That Likes Creepypastas wrote:

      BloodySpghetti wrote: The story jumps from scene to scene without any clear transitions, it kind of ruins the immersion. Try to make it less jumpy and confusing. You can't just switch perspectives; just try to be a true all knowing narrator with this story. Don't try to show us the events through the eyes of the characters.

      Also, the story really feels like a bunch of standalone paragraphs at times. Try to connect the various points. 

      Could you give some examples as to exactly where the points feel disconnected or where the transitions are unclear? Just to help me with editing.

      Thanks.

      “Dad?” a small voice perked up below Gill.

      It was Sam. Gill’s eyes welled up with happiness as he embraced his child, inching deeper and deeper into the lake.

      “Daddy’s here, Samuel. Daddy’s here.” he whispered softly, stroking Sam’s blonde hair.

      The water passed over Gill’s head, submerging him entirely.


      “Alright, let’s get to work.” Alison said as she shut the car door firmly.







      ^ this is an example... the whole story is riddled with these 

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    • BloodySpghetti wrote:

      Just a Guy That Likes Creepypastas wrote:

      BloodySpghetti wrote: The story jumps from scene to scene without any clear transitions, it kind of ruins the immersion. Try to make it less jumpy and confusing. You can't just switch perspectives; just try to be a true all knowing narrator with this story. Don't try to show us the events through the eyes of the characters.

      Also, the story really feels like a bunch of standalone paragraphs at times. Try to connect the various points. 

      Could you give some examples as to exactly where the points feel disconnected or where the transitions are unclear? Just to help me with editing.

      Thanks.

      “Dad?” a small voice perked up below Gill.

      It was Sam. Gill’s eyes welled up with happiness as he embraced his child, inching deeper and deeper into the lake.

      “Daddy’s here, Samuel. Daddy’s here.” he whispered softly, stroking Sam’s blonde hair.

      The water passed over Gill’s head, submerging him entirely.


      “Alright, let’s get to work.” Alison said as she shut the car door firmly.







      ^ this is an example... the whole story is riddled with these 

      I have put dashed lines where the scene changes to make the transitions more distinct. Would I be able to post the story now?

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    • Honestly, this is my problem with so many pastas on the wiki: There is so much filler that it becomes un-enjoyable to read, and in the end, drowns out the part where it's scary.

      Of course a few paragraphs of filler is fine. But then we want to get it done and over with. This is far too much.

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    • I guess you could post it quality wise even before my issue with the jumbked scene is its, in my eyes, a detriment to your storytelling.

      To make scenes easier to follow and for them to flow better just stick to either a certain character/group of characters for most of the story or a single plot point that runs along the entirity of the story.

      In your case following Gill throughout the vast majority of the story without random breaks in the timeline is the best option, I think. (You can switch the timeframe obviously but mske it obvious with "thr next morning" or "in his head" [to indicate memory]).

      Also introduce vharacters if you want them to take center stage before they do. Nothing fancy, "X is this and that" the paragraph before we're meant to follow their point of view.

      Thats just me though

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    • A FANDOM user
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