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The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago
Commended by EndMaster on 2/19/2017 3:58:41 PM
THE WEEKY REVIEW - EDITION 34

FEATURING
- What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
- The intriguing Article: Commendations, Orders and Titles by Seto and StykerL
- An Interview with the great site member Wouldn’t It Be Nice
- A Review of Endmaster’s Innkeeper by Will11
- This fantastic Short Story: The Magician’s House by Will11
- Finally, Special Section: He Said “No” by Will11

WHAT IS NEW
- In Newbie Central Azurechevalier, Crispyshizzles, lonewarriorjs, TheTraveler, Amazingseaster, AgnesHawthorne, firegrill and Jchu31 all introduce their awesome selves to the site!
- In the Lounge Mizal announces that she finds us ok!
- In News and Updates Bucky and EndMaster unleash two great competitions onto the site!
- In the Parlour Room Briar Rose starts a new Interesting Comments thread!
- In the Creative Corner Seto’s seventh week of writing prompts draw a lot of interest!
- In the Writing Workshop AzureChevalier triggers lively discussions in his search for ideas!
- In the Reading Corner puddlebunni needs a new Manga!
- In the Advanced Editor’s Forum StrykerL has trouble with story interrupts!
- In the Feature Well Ogre11 suggests notifications for comments!
- In the Bugs and Problems section Matthias struggles with an Annoying Question Mark Thing!

ARTICLE: COMMENDATIONS, ORDERS AND TITLES

A Beginner’s Guide
This article was last updated on: 16/02/2017
By: Seto and StrykerL

What are Commendations?
Excellent contributions to the website are highlighted by administrators with Commendations. Forum posts, storygames, comments on storygames, and articles can be commended.

How are Commendations different from EXP?
While EXP measures general site activity, Commendations are earned through writing content worth reading. Commendations cannot be lost or wagered like EXP. Each day, the first time you get a commendation you will get 3 EXP points. The user who earns the most commendations in a 24-hour period gets an additional 10 EXP points that day.

Can I see what a user has been Commended for?
Every commendation that is earned can be tracked from on the user’s Profile, with links to the commended content. Also, on the Orders pages, Commendations are tracked for all members of the Order.

How many Commendations is X worth?
An accepted article is worth 10 Commendations.
A commended (featured) comment on a storygame is worth 3 Commendations.
A commended post is worth 1 Commendation.
The number of commendations given out for a story is usually much larger, and is calculated on a story by story basis, with longer stories earning more.
Note: Only the primary author of a commended story receives any Commendations for it.
Anything posted before 2017 is not eligible for a Commendation.

The Spirit of Avon
Users who accrue the most Commendations on any given day will earn a special order-specific profile suffix (of Avon) and their username will display differently in the forums. Additionally, they will receive 10 EXP points. These are updated nightly at the same time as the trophies.
If two or more users have the same number of Commendations, EXP points will be used as a tie breaker.

How do I know I’ve received a Commendation?
You will receive a notification whenever your content earns Commendations.

When were Orders, Commendations, and Titles added to CYS?
January, 2017

What are Orders?
Orders are teams a member is randomly assigned to. The strength of an Order is measured through the number of Commendations its members earn in total. Orders are meant to encourage writing worthy content, through friendly rivalry amongst the factions.
There are four orders:
Architects
Marauders
Sages
Wardens
Members of the Order that earned the most commendations in a day will get have their usernames in a different color on the forum. This is refreshed around 2 AM EST.

Where can I see which Order a user is in?
A user’s Order is listed on their Profile page. Every user is in an Order.

Can anyone change their Order?
No, they are permanent once assigned.

Where can I see how the Orders are doing?
The total points earned by all Orders can be found in the Help and About Us Section.
Each order also has its own page which tracks Commended activity by members of the Order. This can be reached by clicking on any member’s Order in their profile.

What are Exemplars?
Exemplars are users who have written a Top 100 story on CYS. To be eligible for Top 100, a story needs to have at least 100 ratings. Exemplars have the Exemplar title in their profile page.

What’s the advantage of being active in an Order?
To be honest, it’s fun. Additionally, the highest Commendation earners in each faction earn special Order-specific titles. These are updated nightly at the same time as the trophies.

Order Specific Titles (Order Commendation Leader | Top 2 through Top 5 members by Commendations)
Architects: Pre-Eminent | Esteemed
Marauders: Immortal | Notorious
Sages: Ordained | Lauded
Wardens: Sovereign | Infrangible

Note: This excellent Article has been posted in the Website Section of the Help and Info Section.

INTERVIEW: INTRODUCING WOULDNITBENICE

A site member for the last year WouldntItBeNice is a talented author who has most recently demonstrated his abilities by co-winning the Frontier Writing Competition with his fantastic story No Quarter (based on the Led Zeppelin song). He is here this week to share some of his impressions about the site:

1: How did you first find this site and what made you want to join?
Well, I was trying to find some online visual novels (with choices in them) through Google, but it somehow took me to Through Time by KR. I liked it, so I started ghosting through the site reading many of the top storygames. Eventually, I figured I might as well complete Through Time, so I made an account to complete the storygame (since I needed to load a save file for the true end). I only regret that some arse (probably Ford) took ledz making me instead choose the absurdly long WouldntItBeNice.

2: How have you found this site since you have joined?
This site reminds me of a small rural town. You see the same faces while some people move on, some stuff is in disrepair but the local government is trying to fix it, and we even have the local retards that simply stand around doing nothing. I just feel a small-town vibe.

3: What are your favorite aspects or members of the site?
I like the unfiltered honesty. If somebody writes a poor storygame (which I have done before), they'll tell you straight-out that it sucks. Nonetheless, they also tell you how to improve it which is something I deeply appreciate. I am also fond of the mods grace of letting us act like hooligans instead of just banning us immediately (unless we did something entirely worth banishing). The recent updates are great as well.

4: What are your least favorite aspects of the site?
I didn't like the forum games section, but they've been banished into oblivion. I also wouldn't mind if there was a grammar check built into the site, but that's it. I'm not that picky of a person. Nothing else irked me. (Well, I wouldn't mind if there were easier ways to permanently ban trolls like PugTaco.)

5: You have written four very good stories, what inspires you to write?
Ha, I only consider two to be good, and I self-unpublished a crappy storygame that everybody forgot about. I suppose I write for the sake of writing. It's one of the few moments in which I can actually hear myself think. I also wish to improve my writing abilities, and this site's criticisms are quite helpful in that regard. (Plus, I'm trying to work my way up into getting something featured.)

6: What stories do you intend to write in the future?
It depends on my muse, or it might just be the next big writing contest. I might not be able to do much for a while though. My studies are swamping me right now, but I'm thinking about setting an entire storygame in a pseudo-fantasyworld bar because I watched a M*A*S*H episode that got my muse churning. (Yes, my inspiration is odd.)

7: Your story No Quarter recently won the Frontier Competition, did you expect this result?
I figured it would be in the top five or so based off of the competition. I was hoping for victory (or at least beating Malk). The storygame is actually somewhat of a crowd pleaser, for it has many of the things CYS likes: pictures, grimdark, snow, fantasy, and evil deadish villains. Thank you to the mods for liking it.

8: What motivated you to choose that particular song as subject matter for your story?
I've been a fan of Led Zeppelin for years (^ledz), I haven't seen many song fanfictions before, and the lyrics inspired enough ideas to make a storygame out of it. I had the idea of making a songfic of it for a while anyway. I could see darkly cloaked riders in the cold of winter as I listen to the song.

9: Any funny stories to relate?
I don't have much of anything funny that happened to me. I don't live in a home with any internet access yet I'm still on CYS. That's somewhat funny in the strange sense.

10: Finally, any last words, possibly to new site members?
Yes, don't make long usernames, don't hastily publish storygames, don't think you can comedic storygames, and don't be an arse as a matter of general principle. Finally, set goals for yourself for CYS. It's what I do, and it has been pretty effective with motivation.

REVIEW: ENDMASTER'S INNKEEPER BY WILL11

EndMaster is generally (but not universally) acknowledged as the best overall writer in the history of this site (though Steve’s continued high-quality output suggests a possible future successor) and this story is one of over a dozen that shows why this is. EndMaster’s stories are characterised by well-written story branches that serve as short stories in their own right populated by interesting, and often dark or in some way disturbing, characters in interesting situations that root the reader’s interest in taking part in the events. Innkeeper is no exception.

Innkeeper is all about making tough decisions while balancing your knowledge of circumstances, the personalities of the surrounding characters and possible future events – much like a real business. The setting is fantastically immersive and the endings widely varied and it is fun to chase them all down. This story deserves featuring as it is choose-your-own-adventure story writing in its true form: with multiple choice endings and prioritising the story aspect of storygames over the game aspect, which is of course more difficult to do than focusing on the game aspect with the story secondary to that.

SHORT STORY: THE MAGICIAN'S HOUSE - A VICTORIAN HORROR STORY BY WILL11
Part 2 of 2

Mr Wells had just concluded his story and the thought had just passed through my head that I intended to discover the answers to this mystery, which I was convinced were in this house when at that very moment a shriek of laughter rang out – a shriek of woman’s laughter- and it filled the house, peal after peal as if it it’s originator was overwhelmed uncontrollably with joy. Without trouble I can still hear it now and though I am ashamed I must admit it still sometimes makes me cry with terror.

But my doctors insist that writing this will help me.

Mr Wells took off running one way and I another. It says something of the state of our characters then that I went up and he went down; or at least out the front doors which slammed shut behind him. Unknown to me the lock clicked. I ran up, up to the top of the auditorium as I was convinced that the laughter was coming from the stage. As soon as I reached the top row I stopped. All the lights were on and the stage was brightly lit up as blue, red and gold while circles of pink and green circled cheerfully around the stage.

It seemed to me that the show was about to begin.

Though the tobacco smell was notable stronger and I could distinctly smell liquor the lights suddenly clicked off and I was thrown into darkness once more. It sounded like the power had been shut down. If I hadn’t known all the former inhabitants of this house were dead I would have suspected that one or more of them were here with me, playing tricks. As it was I lit a match and ignited a small candle (one of many) I carried in my pocket and as I was going down the stairs the thought occurred to me that if the Great Marvolo really was still alive I might be about to encounter him.

I reached the foot of the stairs and heard a dull thumping coming from the closed oak front doors. The handle rattled and my heart jumped but it was only Mr Wells, who after running faster than he’d run since his days on the sports field thirty years before, had gritted his teeth and doubled back to recover me only to find the doors had slammed and locked by themselves. “Try the key” I encouraged. Mr Wells did but a metallic click and cursing told me the dreadful news.

The thick iron key had snapped off in the lock.

Outside Mr Wells uttered language that would have done a wounded sailor proud while inside I was trying not to panic.

“Go and get some help” I shouted. We had walked down to Harrigan Hall and the nearest settlements, including Mr Well’s abode were some miles off. “Find six or seven study men to batter down the door, bring shotguns if you have them, but just get me out of this place as fast as you can” I shouted, my voice rising to an alarming pitch. “I’ve decided I don’t want to stay the night anymore.”

Somewhere above me (or was it below me?) I will swear on the saints I heard giggling, a feminine, cruel sound that stopped almost as soon as it started.

“Stay in that room!” Mr Wells hollered “Don’t go anywhere else.” (as if I would be tempted to go exploring the house now given the circumstances!). “Keep a candle lit at all times and I will return as fast as I can.”

“Please hurry” I called back, trying and failing to sound brave but it came out almost like a faint plea. I coughed and cleared my throat but the distant sound of feet slapping on the ground told me Wells was already about his task. The sound quickly faded away and then it was just me and the Magician’s House, god help me.

For a long time I sat down with my back to the front doors, the candle burning lower and lower and stayed there facing the stairs and corridor entrance judging that they were the only two points of entry to this room and if I stayed closest to the sealed exit then I was closest to safety. The thought did occur to me that it would be helpful at this time if I could teleport myself through the wood as the Great Marvolo had done, though in light of what happened to him the thought quickly died.

The minutes dragged by and I listened intently for the sound of Well’s return, though I knew he could be hours yet. When nothing happened beyond the usual some of my courage began to return and the bright thought occurred to me to rummage through the coats and bags that had been left here for cigars and brandy for my nerves (I don’t see it as theft as the owners had refused to return for their belongings anyway).

My search rewarded me with a number of exquisite cigars and a good bottle of unopened cognac, presumably brought along for some later engagement. The situation was improved considerably and I wonder if you can picture the ludicrous sight of this author, half-scared out of his wits, sipping cognac from the bottle and smoking cigars as though I was at some high-society gala. What brought me to my wits was the sight of a coat that had fallen to the floor rising and replacing itself on a hook.

Suddenly (had it been there before? I had not noticed) I became aware of the low buzz of excited chatter, never distinct enough to catch any words but definitely noticeable, like that low whining noise one sometimes hears on the streets but is never quite sure what it is. I am not sure if it was the cognac or the cigar fumes or the fact that I had become so terrified I was scared to death so to say, I had passed my limit, died of fright and coincidentally nothing could frighten me now.

Indeed it was probably a culmination of my various experiences but I didn’t feel particularly distinct. My body was there and I was slinging cognac down my throat every minute or two but I felt strangely like I belonged in this setting, supernatural as it was. It is like when you’re at a party and you know everyone there, you’ve been to parties like this and as you eat and drink more you just begin to feel a part of it. Though I had never been here before I felt a part of whatever was going on in this house.

As well as coats, hats were now rising to their places, one particularly distinctive black bowler with a white band soared several feet as the stand was righted. The only manmade light was my candlelight but as my eyes had adjusted to the darkness the room had brightened considerably and even the portraits looked less foreboding, though I challenge anyone to look at that portrait of Mrs Marvolo and feel a rush of warm affection.

The room seemed well crowded now, though no one was visible. Feet cluttered lightly up both stairs and at the door the outline of the boy was back. He was like the lightest of shadows, the pattern was only on the woodwork but it kept moving, frequently the profile would lean forward and take something and soon after a hat or coat would rise to a hat stand. Occasionally I felt this figure pass by, rustling my clothes with the lightest of touches but I didn’t feel any fear at all.

After some time of this the roll of drums and the clash of cymbols (louder now) from above told me the show had begun and flickering multi-coloured lights at the top of the stairs told me the spotlights were on again. With a distinct bang and click the front doors were locked. Soon after I heard the distant tone of angry voices from the door, this happened three or four times and then faded away. I felt like I was alone in the room with this presence.

The thought occurred to me to walk upstairs and witness the show. For some reason a vague feeling in me told me no, it’s not the right thing to do. It wasn’t about Mr Wells saying “stay by the door” (I wasn’t sure at all that I wanted to leave now) but something kept me put. The cognac was gone and I was well and truly soused, I could direct my body but there was no sensation, I didn’t even notice the cigar I was puffing and when it just burnt out I laid the stub on the ground almost without noticing.

As Nine O’Clock, the Finale, approached the other person in the room with me grew more and more agitated. He paced up and down, stopping frequently in front of the clock and drumming his fingers impatiently on the side in the way that anyone people sometimes do. A creak on the stairs stirred alarm in me for some reason. The presence went up the stairs and I heard a loud altercation, civil at first and then more heated. Finally the youth returned to the room I was in, practically bounding down the staircase.

I could see him clearly enough to make out details and I will tell you all that stuff about ghosts being white, misty and transparent is baloney. I could see him as clearly as you see someone over a great distance. Details and colours such as his slight build and blond hair could clearly be seen and for some reason he wore a red bell boy’s uniform that looked ridiculous on him. He was utterly unaware of me and as the audience’s cries rose to a crescendo (I could make out individual voices, most likely drunk, yelling out things like “Bravo” and “Hurrah”) something remarkable happened.

From where I sat against the wall I had something like a wave slapping against a sea wall, a rushing sound like a train coming in too fast at a platform and something loud thudded against the portrait of Marvolo. I had no doubt what it was and neither did my companion Hutchings. Reaching around the side of the frame he pressed a secret button. The portrait swung open and there, cloaked all in black and with blood beginning to ride from his oddly pale severed neck was the body of the Great Magician, Marvolo himself.

Almost simultaneously pandemonium erupted upstairs and I could hear individual screams. The youth swiftly swung the painting shut, it clicked into place and then started towards the stairs but was met by a rush of people as swift as wind, I was jostled roughly and pressing myself closer to the wall I hid my head in my hands. Above it all rang that terrible cry, those peals of joyous laughter than rang out again and again, relentlessly. I covered my ears but couldn’t blot out the sound. The only thing I can imagine is in anyway similar is prolonged electric shocks, like electro-therapy.

Then suddenly it was all over.

Silence suddenly descended and the house was back to normal. It wasn’t a happy silence or a scary silence or anything like that. It was just… silence. I suddenly became aware that my limbs were all numb and fuzzy and my back hurt from lying in an uncomfortable position. I rose slowly to my feet and stretched my limbs. The boards creaked and the dust rose. I had come back to myself and with it the fear had returned.

I looked up at the portrait of the Great Marvolo wounding “Dare I?” My fingers were still numb so I rubbed them together to get the feeling returned and I found myself irresistibly approaching the portrait. The lined face with the narrow eyes looked down on me. They seemed to be considering me generally and suddenly I heard a man’s voice, a weary and resigned voice I had heard once long ago on a stage in Paris:

“Do It.”

I reached round the frame, pushed my hand through the cobwebs and pressed the hidden button hard.
For a moment there was a click and I thought the mechanism was broken and then I jumped back at the last moment as the portrait swung open and a complete skeleton clad in black rags and lacking only the head fell out onto the floor with a terrible clatter. A rush of warm gratitude seemed to pour out of the open portrait hole and I felt a stab of sympathy for the brilliant but flawed man whose unhappy marriage had driven him to the desperation required to perform grander and grander feats.

Stepping carefully over the bones I stuck my head through the portrait hole and looked up the shaft I found there. A tattered bank of pillows had been secured to pinewood that jutted out distinctly between the oak boards either side of it. The drop from the top of the shaft to the bottom was about eight feet. In a rush of understanding I saw it all.

I knew how Mary Marvolo and Sam Hutchings had murdered Tom Marvolo.

Of course the Great Marvolo had built a trapdoor both in the base of the box he climbed into and into the floor. Both jutted out behind the box where the audience couldn’t see them and Mrs Marvolo kicked both hard to shoot them back into place. The edge of the sliding trapdoors were lined with nails: they slotted into pre-prepared holes on the other side of the box and to anyone it looked like it was just a wooden box or a floor held together with nails. It was simply genius.

But that night Mrs Marvolo kicked the nails as hard as she could and having honed them to a fine point they decapitated her husband.

The only thing that confused me was how had the body been transported from its place between the stage floor and the ceiling of the room below to land behind the portrait. Clearly the cushion-thickened pine had somehow slid Marvolo’s body into place but how had it been activated? The police had missed it completely when they found the oak and pine floorboards. Marvolo had clearly intended for Hutchinson to let him out from behind the portrait and then re-appear at the back of the auditorium.

But his wife and trusted friend used his own invention to kill him.

I was staring at the portrait of his wife when it suddenly turned its head AND LOOKED STRAIGHT AT ME. Never taking her lifeless black eyes off me this ghastly apparition stepped clean out of the portrait. All at once her clothing changed. The tatters of a wedding gown clung to her gaunt and peeling flesh and she clutching a brittle sprig of mistletoe in her hand. The stench of rotting eggs filled the room.

“I will kill you” this creature declared in a rasping voice as dry as the rustle of broken leaves and it froze you like you would never be warm or happy again. She came ever on, her face inches from mine, twisted in pure rage.
I thought of all my friends and family and know I would never see them again. I was going to die.

The blast of a shotgun’s retort blew a star shaped hole in the door and the door-handle flew across the room to clatter on the floor. I turned sharply and felt the presence before me vanish. Mr Wells forced open the door with his shoulder and was knocked to the ground as I barrelled past him.

I raced out onto the drive and then my legs couldn’t take me any further so I just stood there, shaking so violently I was almost flailing from side to side. My legs only helped me out of habit I suppose, not out of choice. ran to my side, his face full of concern. “What happened?” he cried out. I couldn’t reply, only shake and that kind gentleman took off his jacket and wrapped it around me. Hefting and re-cocking his shotgun he approached the house in much the same way a big game hunter might stalk a tiger.

He took one look through the door and gave a cry of surprise before turning and walking back to me. He had a queer expression on his face. “What have you done?” he asked in a tone I had never heard him use before. “You have found him. You have found Marvolo!” For a moment I stared at him and then, I don’t know why but it was probably exhaustion, I burst into peal after peal of laughter. It rang out sound after sound and unlike the other laughter that had been heard tonight this one was joyous and genuine and warm.

It stopped abruptly when Wells lowered his shotgun and trained it on my chest.

“Why did you do this?” Wells asked and he sounded deeply unhappy. “I should never have let you into that house. You know what will happen now don’t you? The police will follow that pine shaft and trace it all the way to the parlour. There they will find a lever. I listened at the shaft and when I heard the trapdoors slide shut I pulled the lever. The pine shot sixteen feet to sweep Marvolo down to the portrait. Over the noise of the band no one heard a thing.”

I was devoid of fear now. I looked him evenly in the eyes, my legs still weak but steady.

“Why are you telling me this?” you ask.

“The police will discover it was me!” he exclaimed angrily. “My company engineered everything for Marvolo and I helped the whole cursed lot of them build it! I was going to pattern it all around the country. Mary promised me I would get the money from the ticket sales to compensate me for my work and for helping her kill her husband. She always hated him you know and in that idiot Hutchinson boy she found a pliable companion. She chose him when she could have married me! Oh she might not have been much to look at but if you’d been in her presence you would have felt the sheer power in everything she did.”

“I think I have some idea of what that feels like” I admitted.

Mr Wells who has been sinking into reverie snaps back now. “But she betrayed me! She took the money and ran off to America with Hutchings to be married! I couldn’t let her leave… I had to stop her. I gave my name as Yates and in disguise I met Hutchings and told him I could marry them. She recognised me of course but could do nothing. She confronted me later in the hold, waving her dead husband’s head at me as evidence of our crime. I forced her into the box and trapped her there. I don’t know why the Hutching’s boy went mad. He was never the brightest of fellows and by then Mary was his world. I think he knew she was dead. Without her his mind just shut down.”

All of this took a time to sink in, I couldn’t correlate my amiable companion’s demeanour with the terrible crimes he was discussing. I said nothing and he talked on. “Of course my company went under without her money. I should not have let you, some cocky writer, into the house but I was desperate. The police will find me through everything: my company’s machine, I have no alibi for that night, I stupidly booked my return ticket from America in my own name instead of the alibi Yates! They’ll find me.”

“But not if I kill you, burn this house and leave the country tomorrow.”

Here we reached the end: the final statement. This is what it came down to, a man with a loaded shotgun and me, frightened, unarmed but ready. I had set out to solve the Marvolo Mystery and I had but I had not expected to find the last surviving culprit watching me coldly over the barrel of a gun. The man who had helped kill one person and condemned another to a slow and lingering death. And now he was going to kill me.

The shotgun clicked. A thin trail of smoke rose from the firing chamber.

Mr Wells’s expression was comical: he looked like a little boy who’d dropped an ice cream. He looked down at his gun in disappointment and I didn’t stay to be a hero: I ran. He hurled the shotgun after me but I was sprinting like a wild hare and it bounced over the ground past me. Wells ran after me but his fear of imprisonment was not as great as my fear of death and I flew over the ground. I ran for thirty minutes straight before bursting through a kitchen door (startling the four men sitting inside playing cards) gasped “Harold Wells killed John Marvolo and Mary Marvolo and he just tried to kill me.” I then fainted clean to the floor.

When I awoke I was lying on a bed and a woman was patting my face with a cloth while a young child stood at the foot of the bed sucking her thumb and staring at me. It was a fierce rapping on the door that had woken me. The four men in the kitchen broke off their frantic conversation and cautiously opened it. The calm voice sent a stab of terror through me. “Good evening Mr Joyce, how are you?” Through a gap between the woman leaning over me and the wall I could see a sliver of Wells over Joyce’s shoulder. He had his shotgun in his hands

When Joyce didn’t reply Wells pressed on and I had to admire the rogue’s daring. “Well old boy there’s been a spot of bother tonight. Bit embarrassing really. My brother suffers from a brain disorder, we’ve tried everything but it hasn’t helped. I came home to my house to find he’d squeezed through the bars of his room and got out. He’s not dangerous really he’s just delusional, mad as a march hare. You haven’t seen him have you?”
Joyce glanced behind him and Wells’s eyes lit up as they met mine.

As he started forward I scrambled to my feet. “I am not mad and I am not his brother!” I declare. “Tom Marvolo’s headless body lies in the entrance hall of Harrigan Hall! He killed Tom and Mary Marvolo, I can prove it.” “Come, come William, lets not upset these good men anymore tonight” Wells said. He has slowly lowered his shotgun to train it on me and I can see it has been re-cocked and undoubtedly reloaded.

“Are you going to let him do this?” I asked Joyce and the others. They scratched their heads and looked uncertain but Wells was obviously a big name round these parts. “Come on William, lets leave these men to their meal” Wells said calmly and I can see these men will do nothing to stop him. He meant to take me from this house and shoot me in the woods. My body sank into resignation. “Alright Wells lets go” I declare.

Taking one big stride towards him I grab the barrel of his shotgun and wrench it sharply to the right. The weapon discharged, burning my hands and blasting a presumably much-loved table into bits. Wells struggled back but I kicked him hard in a place where gentlemen would rather not be kicked and he stepped back, leaving me holding the shotgun. Swinging it in a wide arc I smashed him in the side of the head and knocked him down. A moment later four men crash-tackled me to the ground and lay into me with boots and punches. “Send for the police!” I shouted between blows. “Send for the police.”

A fierce stamp cut my head and sent me into oblivion.

If Wells had woken from his wound before the police had arrived he would have killed me without a doubt. As it was I was taken to a hospital in the local town where I was placed under armed guard. I was glad for that. The first confusion arose when my wallet revealed I wasn’t who Well’s claimed I was, unless I had stolen the wallet. The police were kind enough to contact a friend who identified me right away. I was released from custody.

Wells who was still unconscious from his head wound (I did give him a rather hard whack) was placed under arrest. The skeleton in Harrison Hall and the mechanisms that ran throughout the house were just as I claimed and Wells was swiftly charged with being an Accessory to Murder. When he woke and learned of this he attempted to escape by jumping out of a second floor window, breaking a leg in the process. Knowing he would be found guilty and becoming increasingly unstable (he never left the hospital. I think SHE visited him at nights) he hung himself with his braces before his trial.

I was in a hospital for two weeks. The first week I would wake up screaming, visions of her before me, memories of the terrible events that happened that I was a witness too. Police never did believe my story of how I found Marvolo’s body, preferring to believe it was luck. I think in the end Hutchings did find the strength that Well’s never had to break away from Mary Marvolo’s influence, even he accomplished it beyond the grave.

So that is the story of how the famous Marvolo Mystery was solved. Make of it what you will.

SPECIAL SECTION: HE SAID "NO"

This week instead of comedy I have decided to post my entry into Bucky’s Flash Fiction Competition: the mini-story He Said “No”. The Word Count is 285 from this point:

He said “No”.

The girl walked along the beach, bare feet leaving imprints that were swiftly erased by the rising tide. The indifferent wind tore at her body and dragged her long black hair behind her. She sat on a rock, smaller rocks at her feet, and stared out across the timeless ever-changing sea. She wondered how many people had gazed upon those waters. She wondered how many people, nameless and countless in their multitude, had walked on these sands before her. She knew none of their names. No one would know her name.

She took her mother’s necklace of sea shells from her neck and laid it gently on the sand; as she did the cold sea rose up to meet her hand and withdrew, leaving specks of water on her cold dark skin. She studied the droplets. When she was gone she knew the water would leave her body, passing through the earth, into the air and into the waves. She would return to the land, to the sky and to the sea. She would be reborn in the rivers, in the air and in the waves. She would turn to ash, return to the earth and grow anew in the trees, in the flowers and in the plants. She would be consumed by animals, by people and measure by measure she would come again in a thousand different forms.

Now she had nothing to live for. He had said “no”. She was ready.

She closed her eyes. She thrust the knife deep. She was gone.

Many years later a little girl playing in the sand next to a weathered rock would find some pretty sea shells and take them home to cherish.

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

An excellent review once again, Will

Seems we had a deluge of new arrivals this week, which is always good. I hope many of them stick on to write something we'd all love to read.

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

Another great review, Will! I loved the short story!

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

I liked the review this time. Even though it copied the whole article about orders, it's still just fine. I'm a little picky about the fact that there is no Thank You message at the end of the review, I totally have OCD and I want you to not forget the fact that it's there.

I realized that you may or may not have stopped using the RTE or Rich Text Editor due to the blandness of the weekly review's text. Don't worry, it's a learning curve if you did stop using the RTE. If you didn't then ignore the last few sentences mentioning the Rich Text Editor. 

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

Well, to be fair..he does have my permission to use it and all that xD and more people pay attention to his weekly review then the new articles. Having it in his weekly review means people are more likely to see it.

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

Really? I didn't know that he has both yours and Stryker's permission to use articles created by you. Although I get the idea that people are more likely to see them, I prefer the custom made articles. However, that's just my opinion.

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

Isn't Will the article mod or something along those lines?

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago
Nice work on the Marvolo story. You could take that same basic plot and get a great CYOA out of it.

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

"Lively discussion" 

lolololol

Anyway, great article

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago
Nice!

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

Excellent. I enjoyed the stories very much.

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

These are fantastic. An easy way to keep track of stuff.

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

Great job and massive review!

The Weekly Review - Edition 34

one year ago

This was a very enjoyable review, impressive as always.