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Short story

7 months ago

I'm new to writing, and I would like some criticism on this little short story of mine. It's not necessarily horror even though I tried to add some creepy ambience into the story. It's just an idea that popped into my head one day, and I expanded on it. It's not exactly very good...but I still hope you enjoy reading it.

 

Cat and mouse

Anything can happen in the darkness of the night. 

 

Exhaling, she watched as her breath created a slight fog in the chilly air of the dark and unsettling forest. The night falls upon the woods. As any regular inhabitants of this world should already know, danger follows closely after the darkness that surrounds them. 

 

Red, glowing eyes seem to stare at her from the edges of the forest. She hears the rustling of branches and grass due to the movements of the lurking mobs. But they just stood there, staring at her and making their usual noises, as if something was causing them to go against the urge to walk forward. 

 

Something that scares them so much that they are going against their natural instincts. 

 

She adjusts the hood of her black cloak to cover more of her face to shield herself from the harsh weather and continues walking forward. 

After quite a while of walking, she suddenly encountered a quaint little wooden house. Smoke was coming out of its chimney and the door was open, spilling out the firelight inside as if promising shelter and warmth to all those who enter the cottage. 

 

A young man suddenly emerged from the house, looking over her with a warm and inviting smile on his face. He was tough-looking, with a scar on the right side of his cheek that seems to be created fighting mobs. 

 

“You must be a lost traveller, eh? Ah, I must invite you inside of my humble house to speak. The woods are cold are dark, and I’ve heard that there are monsters that eat human flesh in these forests. Come on in, my friend,” He beckons her with a finger and walks inside. She follows after him. The man holds the door open for her as she comes in. He looks outside of the door as if checking for something. He notes that there were no mobs, strangely, but dismisses it up to luck. He then closes the door with an unsettling smile. 

 

The living room of the house was simple. A crafting table, a few chests, a furnace, and a bed. Two chairs and a wooden table sits in the middle of the room. It was quite bland. Some may even say that the ambience of the whole room in total was just…disturbing. Though, the ambience reminded her of her own house. 

 

The man holds out a chair for her to sit in. After she sat down, he walked up to the chest, gathered some stuff, then walked to the furnace to make a warm cup of hot chocolate. He sprinkles something into the hot chocolate, turning his head to check if she noticed or not. Instead, she seemed to be looking around and examining a spider on its web in a corner of the house.

 

“Why don’t you clean out the spiders in your house?” She asks casually, as if not at all noticing the creepy ambience of the house.

 

“They kind of remind them of myself,” He replied gently. 

 

The girl looks at him with an inextinguishable expression.

 

She thought for a while, “Hm. Interesting. Though, I would say I relate more to snakes,” She pondered to herself.

 

Seeing that his guest has made herself at home, he turns back to the tea, his eyes tainted with a slight shade of red as the strange smile returned to his face. He brought his hand up to his lips, licking a few weird red stains away from his hand, savouring it as if it was the tastiest thing in the world.

 

“Would you like some hot chocolate?” 

 

“Yes, please.” She looks down at the floor, pulling her hood down more as if trying to cover something on her face. “You’re a very nice person to invite me in here, sir.”

 

The man lips curled into that strange smile again. Then, he started chuckling creepily to himself, which turned into full-on maniacal laughter.

 

She stares at the man blankly. Suddenly, she seems to notice a mutilated arm sticking out of one of the chests. The blood on the arm was already dried up, and flies were buzzing around the rotting flesh. She falls from her chair and points to the arm. 

 

“Wh…what is that?!” She cries out.

 

 The man started chuckling. His smile stretched far too wide across his face to be human. “How embarrassing, it seems like you’ve discovered my little secret. Well then…I certainly do hope you don’t mind becoming my next meal!”

 

The man suddenly lunged towards her with a butcher knife. 

 

And finally, the predator shows their claws and teeth to their victim after playing around with its prey for so long.

 

CRACK! 

 

The sickening sound of a broken neck echoed across the house. Several agonizing screams followed soon after. 

 

The man lies on the floor, dead as blood seeped from his mangled neck, his eyes bulging out in disbelief. The butcher knife lies beside him, but the blade was bent and useless. She looms over the corpse for a while. The shadows seem to twist and turn around her as if a monster seeking affection from its master.

 

The girl calmly looks at the blood that has splattered onto her black cloak, knowing that it’ll dry up very soon on the black abyss that is the fabric. She took down her hood, revealing her pair of eye-sockets that’s leaking a suspicious black liquid and blood-red lips with sharp canines that’s also too wide to be human. 

 

“A flesh-eating monster…was he talking about me?” She mutters to herself.

 

Sighing, the girl looks at the corpse on the ground indignantly. This type of meal doesn’t even begin to bring out her appetite. What a waste of food. Shaking her head, she turns around and walks through the locked door that opened on its own, disappearing into the darkness. 

 

Short story

7 months ago

A big mistake that is easy to make, and very prevalent here, is tense switching. Look at the first two paragraphs, for example:

Exhaling, she watched as her breath created a slight fog in the chilly air of the dark and unsettling forest. The night falls upon the woods. As any regular inhabitants of this world should already know, danger follows closely after the darkness that surrounds them. 

 

Red, glowing eyes seem to stare at her from the edges of the forest. She hears the rustling of branches and grass due to the movements of the lurking mobs. But they just stood there, staring at her and making their usual noises, as if something was causing them to go against the urge to walk forward. 

She watched in the past and night falls in the forest now. Glowing eyes stare at her now from the mobs that stood there in the past. You need to pick one tense and go with it. Is this happening now or in the past? Note: even if you do past tense the narrator can talk in present tense when saying things like "As any regular inhabitants of this world should already know", but when talking about the girl you need to be consistent.

... He beckons her with a finger and walks inside. She follows after him. The man holds the door open for her as she comes in...

Here I want to point out the repetitiveness. You say she goes in the house three separate times. Just saying "...and walks inside, holding the door open for her behind him." would get the point across that she followed him inside. You don't need the rest, but I do not think it is technically wrong.

The living room of the house was simple. A crafting table, a few chests, a furnace, and a bed. Two chairs and a wooden table sits in the middle of the room. It was quite bland. Some may even say that the ambience of the whole room in total was just…disturbing. Though, the ambience reminded her of her own house. 

Again here we have repetitiveness. Saying the house is simple and bland are the same. Furthermore, if you make the description more detailed you do not have to say the room is "simple" or "bland" or "disturbing". Just describe what makes it that way and let the reader figure it out:

A crafting table, a few chests, a furnace, and a bed are the only items along the wall. Two chairs and a wooden table sit in the middle of the room with nothing else noteworthy on or around them. Spider webs covered every corner of the house--even the bed. Though, the ambience reminded her of her own house. 

That is my crude attempt at a rewrite. It may not be what you are going for, but the man seemed to be a spider-monster. I made the room simple by stating that the 5 or 6 things I listed is everything in the room, while the spider webs made it disturbing (at least to me). I did not have to use the word "simple" or "bland" or "disturbing".

I liked the twists at the end. "Surprise! I'm a monster! ... Surprise! I'm a scarier monster!" It was well done. The grammar and spelling were fairly good too! A quick proofread could catch a few things like improper commas. There is also an article in the Help &infotab by Gower that teaches how to spice up writing with more advance grammar (like semicolons, dashes, etc). Make sure you watch your tenses!