Don't Hurt Me Again
, #30 for
Played 1,580 times (finished 104)
"Walk in the park"
"A nice jog down the driveway"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 18. If this were a movie, it would probably be R.
This is an entry for BZ's Creatures of the Night Contest. There are two different kinds of monsters. One is a monster because of what they are, like vampires or zombies. Others are monsters because of what they do. They wear human flesh, but they are not human.
The story has left me with a puddle of emotions. I'm not entirely sure what to exactly feel right now. The start made it feel like the lady and the person in the grave shared a nice relationship maybe, but the twist was unprecedented. Woah. It seemed like the 'you' here was going to be the lady visiting the grave, but it turned out to be the person in the grave--that too the mother--and it left me positively amazed. That was a nice transition the author did there. Adding to the transition's beauty, I think the fact that it's a story where 'you' are the evil one brings more interest and keeps the reader engaged; it did so for me, at least. I may be wrong, but playing as an evil protagonist (/antagonist?) is rare, and that's one of the exceptional qualities of this storygame.
Coming back to the story, it's... baffling. There are moments where you're just reading the scenes unfold, unsure of what to feel, and the next moment you have your eyes wide and out like a saucer because everything the author had made you believe so far is altered. A one-eighty degree reversal. And even strange, it does not feel like a 'what the hell' moment. It makes perfect scene, all the times and in all the scenes.
When at the start the lady is walking across the town, it seems like she's a poor woman suffering many societal atrocities, struggling to make a living and raise a child. But as the story developed further, it was beyond my wildest imagination to see her being the monster, literally and figuratively.
The rift between the mother and daughter resembles the classic abusive parent beating the shit out of their child for no reasons, but more intense and more gore. One thing I'd like to commend the author here is the well developed and written characters. Although the mother was brutal to the child, at some instances it did feel like she cared for the girl, with a twisted way for showing it, of course; but her acts also made it impossible to make an empathetic connection with her.
The part where the flashback ends and the woman comments on not being like the mother and loving herself--that was nice. Oh! I loved the part, especially, where she says she likes her reflection. I'm not sure how to describe it exactly, but that was sort of a shiver running down the spine moment for me. It just made so much sense. Speaking of reflections, the only part that confused me was with the teddy. Was it the teddy that suddenly spoke and scared the mother? Was it some unknown monster that entered? I'm not sure, but then again it could just be me and my lameness. However, maybe adding a little more explanation/narration there would be better. (I don't know, I'm just a reader with her thoughts. You're the author, you do your thing. Obviously.)
There's so much to say about the young girl's personality too. However, what stood out as the crux for me was that she seemed both strong and vulnerable at the same time to me. I don't know how you did that, but you did it.
It's a story about a daughter's strength and the will to not succumb to the evil, even if the path to evil was directed by her mother. It keeps you on edge, having a lot of wide eyes and jaw drops moments. However, another point I'd like to make is that although the ends were satisfactory and well explained, they felt like they got ended too soon.
Altogether it was definitely a good and to be recommended read. The writing was brilliant and the plot kept me intrigued. Well done!
on 4/29/2019 4:55:46 PM with a score of 0
The title of this story sounded very emo when I read it. Not that that, uh, influenced my decision to read this in any way.
The story started off in an interesting way. I didn't have to tell myself to keep reading because it will get interesting in a bit. That's important. Note that neither 2009 nor 2010 were leap years. Just wanted to add that.
The writing was engaging throughout, and I really enjoyed the dissonance between the mother's thoughts and actions in many places, such as her concern for the carpets after killing the fat woman. It was unnerving, and said a lot about her mental state very efficiently. The story was mostly very easy to follow, save a brief flashback on one page. I was a little confused by whether it was actually a flashback or not, and it could have had a paragraph break or something to signal it.
There's a lot of allegory and such that some people may enjoy a lot. However, if you, strange person who actually reads reviews before playing a game, have a dislike for allegories, that will not diminish the experience of reading this story for you.
The branching of "Don't Hurt Me Again" was Cave of Time style, my preference. Every choice leads to a new path or ending, which also makes rereading to find each one very convenient.
This story will not take much of your time. Go check it out over your next lunch break or before bed sometime. It's a good story that probably deserves more attention than it gets.
on 4/20/2019 12:35:53 AM with a score of 0
This comment was written in real time during the story (opposed to finishing the story then writing the comment). You may see contradicting statements. You may see spoilers. You may just want to read the story instead. Let’s get started.
This storygame starts out with a strong opening. I’ve got to say, I was really enthralled by the first page. The vast majority of storygames I’ve read either start with dialogue or “you” actions. This one begins with a muh fukn story scene. Even better, it’s in third person. Typically, storygames are mostly written in second person because ‘you’ are making choices. I’m interested to see if the writing perspective will hinder the storygame. It definitely enhances the ‘story’, but let’s see if it sacktaps the ‘game’.
Ahh now I know why this feels familiar. I think I read the excerpt that was posted in the Writing Workshop. Ok, so the story takes place in the past in the typical second person POV. Well that answers my initial thoughts from the first page. The author does a tremendous job setting a dismal tone. The long work day, shit pay, extreme weather, and long walk add to the grittiness of the story. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a story titled 'Don’t Hurt Me Again'. Then you see the relationship between the mother and daughter. I mean, the daughter could be the star of a fucking Disney movie with an abusive mother like that. So far in the story, nothing is thematically positive and I love it. I get the feeling that the daughter is not the worthless bitch that the mother acts like she is. Sure, she’s not helping her case, but I think most of it is in the mother’s head. It’s an interesting dynamic to view through the lens of the mother and not be distorted by her perception. A good example of this is during the teacher’s visit to your house. She’s concerned about your daughter’s well-being and you’re tempted to rip her throat out. To be fair, she is a fatty.
Now that I’m a bit farther into the story, I really really really like the visits to different years. I don’t think I’ve seen that element in a storygame before. At least not on a consistent basis. It gives the story a nice symmetrical feel; it brings balance to the force. It reminds me of the TV show Arrow. In the show, The Green Arrow experiences relevant flashbacks to his superhero beginnings during current events. The flashbacks help the hero solve real time problems. Similarly in DHMA, ahh well, your main solution is still to rip their head off and shit down their throat. Back to a serious note, the different scenes in time create excellent pacing to the story and improve my investment in the characters and their development.
My mind has just been blown. The abused daughter is the woman at the grave. Wow, took my small brain a long time, but I finally got there. The contrast is amazing. She made an incredible transformation. To go from a girl, unable to say a word, to a confident grown woman is huge. Especially after seeing her Jane Eyre/punching bag childhood.
Echoing the comments I briefly skimmed, yeah it’s pretty short. I imagine that’s mainly due to the fact it’s a contest piece with a deadline. Nothing really stood out screaming that it needed to be fixed. The grammar is exactly the way it should be. Any mistakes weren’t noticeable or distracting from the story. The major issue I have is the lack of completion feeling. Still rated pretty high though since the quality is superb. It builds and builds and builds and then ends. I was on the edge of my seat during the whole thing and then it just... stopped.
on 4/8/2019 12:15:24 PM with a score of 0
on 11/9/2022 1:36:33 PM with a score of 0
Good but not great. It didn't really engage me at all
— Jordi P on 1/3/2020 12:16:42 PM with a score of 0
I thought it was really well-written. Based on the backstory, I felt like this could have been the opening to a much longer piece, but I still enjoyed what there was. I liked how we got to see the viewpoints of multiple protagonists. I liked your treatment of the themes. I only went through one ending (even by trying to be the nicest person possible, the mother was still an abusive narcissist, but I think that was sort of the point.) I think your writing has a lot of potential.
I gave a 6/8. My rating could be higher if this were longer.
on 12/15/2019 1:06:16 PM with a score of 0
— Sam on 9/18/2019 6:55:07 AM with a score of 0
Would have been nice to be nice...
on 4/26/2019 5:32:39 AM with a score of 0
I thought the story was pretty well done, for the contest anyway. I also like the way the story went and how the flow of it was, changing times and memories. I thought it was very original and only saw a few mistakes. Overall, 7/8
on 3/10/2019 4:58:00 PM with a score of 0
It's good, it's sad and it's short!
— Kuro on 3/6/2019 5:25:04 PM with a score of 0
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