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Tong (A Short Horror Story by Chargewithsword) PG-13

ChargewithSword

Zelda Dungeon's Critic
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
I don't want to say.
Whether this story is frightening or not, I do not know. I will have this hidden in spoiler tags though. I don't want to risk the chance that this is scary enough to make someone panic.
So, now that, that's out of the way, enjoy, Tong!​

...There's that clock again, booming and ringing, yet nowhere to be found. Try as hard as I may, I can only see the black night sky. There are clouds blocking the stars and moon as murky as the foulest pits to, heaven knows, what abyss. How I beg to see more light, but am forced to be satisfied by the half-hearted beams attempting to break through the dancing mist of evil claws.

What did I do to get myself here? I'm just a simple reporter who wanted a story.

...I guess that's a good reason, although I was doomed in the beginning. Who knew, that such a secret lay hidden, deep within such an unsuspecting village? Underneath the smiles and cheer, the workings of devilry and foul play strike true. How demonic could anything be to conceal the workings of such a hateful practice and abnormal savagery.

If only I had discovered it sooner, before the sun dipped away to the vast nothingness of night in the horizon.

If only I listened to that old crow,
"Take heed of the child basking in blood," he says. Now if only I listened.

If only I did many things.

I just have to meet for the present though and-wait!

That flopping and wading sound that echoes through the street as if there was water present on the ground...

Oh no! They're coming, I must run! The darkness is ever present, and the road ahead is nothing but vast silence and shadow, but I have no choice! Forward is all I am forced to heed and to beg for salvation.


Tong!


That accursed clock again. If I knew where the wretched siren was, I'd slice open its gears with a hatchet and, in blinding rage, shove the parts down all the heathens' throats. But I cannot find it, nor do I wish to. All I wish is for freedom.

My breath shortens, and my legs are giving way, yet I still hear them, closing in behind.

My blood is already running cold with the deathly petrifaction akin to the stone behemoths guarding the way.

How I remember those things, gazing down to me with frozen eyes of blood-soaked ruby. How horrible were the evil grins which dotted their faces. Though made of stone, they appeared to move with a sudden and chilling grace, as if they were beckoning me further inward into the shadow of their ill-begotten, reptilian armory.

With what little courage I had, I thrust myself away and began to run for dear life. I dared not to turn around, for I could feel it. They were watching me still, this time with hatred, malice, and scorn; to look back would have meant death.

I'm running, yet I don't know where.

I'm breathing, yet I don't know what.

I feel like suffocating in the poisonous gas of this night time air, but I still live to run.

No! Please let it not be, no! Curse my legs for whatever distress they have led me to, to trip!

...Now I am left to the mercy of my pursuers.

I shut my eyes, and wait for the end...

...

...

...But wait.

The noise has ended, and the seeming splashing of water against the night wind has stopped to the common sight of traveling dust fleeing to the distance. Where hath the heathens gone off to?

Have they fled out of fear? Perhaps they mean to play with my struggling heart and trap me in some dead end with no escape in sight. Did I cross some boundary that-

Tong!​

Oh shut up, you vile thing! I do not know what mischief you work to deliver, or what master you serve, but by the all, shut up!

What is this? I see a few things standing out in this pale gloom; lighting themselves with strange candles held aloft by no hands.

There are trees drooping down to the sullied earth, with branches like cages withholding many unspeakable horrors. They are disfigured yet bear horrendous likeness to what we consider to be human. Beneath the ragged fur and boneless skin I see many pale eyes, sagging and shining dimly through the darkness. They're looking at me! Oh, what morbib curiosity or hunger do they bear; I do not know!


Tong Tong!


...Two Tongs of the clock toll? What ill omen does this bring before me! I must run again, with more urgency and speed than ever before, lest I be left for prey to these nameless horrors!

My feet seem to fly as I dash forwards to whatever destination I set for myself. No matter how far I cross though, I cannot escape the eyes! They're everywhere and nowhere, for when I check to see, I find nothing!

I cannot attribute this to madness, for this horrid reality is nowhere near as comforting to think of. This is no stark dream of the human perversities, but a reality of the human malice! Oh please, make it stop, make it stop!

... An altar...

I see an altar before me; headstones of recently departed are all around me, with fresh dirt that fiddles around with the stone cold wind.

I see something, someone. It's a figure. On the altar I can see a figure laying down in some restful slumber.

It seems to be a girl by the looks of it. She's in a scarlet robe of the most curiously wrought with strange materials. Abnormal is her face, so stretched thin and pale with death. On her chest is a strange object, it makes a hauntingly consistent click.

It's the clock!

Oh no; whatever strength or anger I had to this clock beforehand is now replaced by a horrible, lingering fear. I have found the symbol of my doom before me, ticking away to the hour of my final dismay!

Wait! Her eyes are shooting open, and her head's turning towards me in the most grudging manner imaginable! Her neck cricks unnaturally until finally fixing itself in whatever awkward position resembles looking towards me!

I have to get away, I know it, but my legs won't obey my commands. B-blood! It's everywhere; emanating from that horrible witch before me! It's her, I knew it!

She's opening her mouth and is speaking a language of the most horrible sort! My head, my mind, it's failing me...

H-e..help...me...

...

...


Tong!
 
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Meego

~Dancer in the Dark~
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
England
*Gets breath back* Wow, as you can tell that really took my breath away. I could almost here that bell knelling the man's time to a close. It all moved so fast, like a burst of panic and sense to escape. Brilliantly done, and yes it was quite frightening actually. I never want to stop reading your writing.
 

ChargewithSword

Zelda Dungeon's Critic
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
I don't want to say.
*Gets breath back* Wow, as you can tell that really took my breath away. I could almost here that bell knelling the man's time to a close. It all moved so fast, like a burst of panic and sense to escape. Brilliantly done, and yes it was quite frightening actually. I never want to stop reading your writing.
Thank you, HP Lovecraft listening inspires one to write things like this.
 

Ganondork

goo
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Wow, I never thought I'd see the day you actually wrote something dark. This was amazing! In the beginning, I was like "It's suspense, not horror" until the last few paragraphs. I whispered when the girl's eyes opened "oh sh**". Not sure that there could be any critiquing at all whatsoever; it was just that good.
 

ChargewithSword

Zelda Dungeon's Critic
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
I don't want to say.
Wow, I never thought I'd see the day you actually wrote something dark. This was amazing! In the beginning, I was like "It's suspense, not horror" until the last few paragraphs. I whispered when the girl's eyes opened "oh sh**". Not sure that there could be any critiquing at all whatsoever; it was just that good.
Yes, it definitely has the suspense part down. I wanted to start off slow but I just couldn't think of something. I wanted to bring a lot into uncanny valley, but was left with awkwardness, it's just like how Meego felt this could've have shorter paragraphs. This was my first time doing horror. I also don't normally write this dark. (Well, originally I did, but I don't look back on those.)
 

Hanyou

didn't build that
I don't usually venture into the Fan Works section, but I thought I'd give it a shot when I saw that someone had attempted a horror story.

I liked the imagery; it's obvious there were some good ideas at work here, and it definitely came through in the writing. The story was well-organized too. It was consistently claustrophobic, which fit the tone of the story well.

Since you've received a lot of positive feedback, I do have some constructive criticism. I've never read any of your writings before, so I'm judging this story without any context.

I found the writing style you chose to be distracting. There's a fair amount of flowery language, and it's used to describe the world and the events therein in ways that I think diminish their power. This paragraph is an example:

...I guess that's a good reason, although I was doomed in the beginning. Who knew, that such a secret lay hidden, deep within such an unsuspecting village? Underneath the smiles and cheer, the workings of devilry and foul play strike true. How demonic could anything be to conceal the workings of such a hateful practice and abnormal savagery.
Instead of properly setting up the mood, this came off to me as a bit melodramatic. If you could find a way to demonstrate this early in the story, rather than telling the reader about it, I think it would be stronger. Pontification could come afterwards, but without context, writing like this falls a little flat. Description is better, preferably description without overuse of adjectives and adverbs (yes, that applies even to first-person accounts of traumatizing events). Adjectives have a softening effect; they make what you're saying feel less potent unless they're used properly. That's why I suggest avoiding them.

The style you chose is reminiscent of Poe, Stoker, Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, etc...in other words, it bleeds gothic horror. There's nothing inherently bad about that, but I think very few writers can pull it off effectively--even the ones I named were far from perfect with it (though not a gothic horror story per se, many writers and critics agree that Lord of the Rings, which used a similar style, was poorly written. Tolkien was hardly an amateur!). It may benefit your work if you pull back just a little bit. Due to the types of books I read when I was a teenager (surprise surprise, gothic novels and fantasy novels :P ), I've always had the bad habit of overusing adjectives and being overly descriptive, so I have a bit of experience with it.

Also, avoid using words like "hath" unless you're going to write in consistently archaic English. Archaic dialects should be avoided whenever possible. When you do use them, however, make sure you do your research. I could be wrong, but I believe "hath" is only used in reference to singular nouns. ;)

I think part of the reason why the story gets stronger as it goes on is because as it reaches its climax it starts to demand melodrama. What was a weakness at the beginning becomes a strength towards the end. But by using the same tone for the beginning of the story, you also robbed the end of some tension it could otherwise have had.

Again, I really liked the story and the ideas behind it. That's why I decided to comment. I hope my criticism was constructive. :)
 
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ChargewithSword

Zelda Dungeon's Critic
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
I don't want to say.
I don't usually venture into the Fan Works section, but I thought I'd give it a shot when I saw that someone had attempted a horror story.

I liked the imagery; it's obvious there were some good ideas at work here, and it definitely came through in the writing. The story was well-organized too. It was consistently claustrophobic, which fit the tone of the story well.

Since you've received a lot of positive feedback, I do have some constructive criticism. I've never read any of your writings before, so I'm judging this story without any context.

I found the writing style you chose to be distracting. There's a fair amount of flowery language, and it's used to describe the world and the events therein in ways that I think diminish their power. This paragraph is an example:



Instead of properly setting up the mood, this came off to me as a bit melodramatic. If you could find a way to demonstrate this early in the story, rather than telling the reader about it, I think it would be stronger. Pontification could come afterwards, but without context, writing like this falls a little flat. Description is better, preferably description without overuse of adjectives and adverbs (yes, that applies even to first-person accounts of traumatizing events). Adjectives have a softening effect; they make what you're saying feel less potent unless they're used properly. That's why I suggest avoiding them.

The style you chose is reminiscent of Poe, Stoker, Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, etc...in other words, it bleeds gothic horror. There's nothing inherently bad about that, but I think very few writers can pull it off effectively--even the ones I named were far from perfect with it (though not a gothic horror story per se, many writers and critics agree that Lord of the Rings, which used a similar style, was poorly written. Tolkien was hardly an amateur!). It may benefit your work if you pull back just a little bit. Due to the types of books I read when I was a teenager (surprise surprise, gothic novels and fantasy novels :P ), I've always had the bad habit of overusing adjectives and being overly descriptive, so I have a bit of experience with it.

Also, avoid using words like "hath" unless you're going to write in consistently archaic English. Archaic dialects should be avoided whenever possible. When you do use them, however, make sure you do your research. I could be wrong, but I believe "hath" is only used in reference to singular nouns. ;)

I think part of the reason why the story gets stronger as it goes on is because as it reaches its climax it starts to demand melodrama. What was a weakness at the beginning becomes a strength towards the end. But by using the same tone for the beginning of the story, you also robbed the end of some tension it could otherwise have had.

Again, I really liked the story and the ideas behind it. That's why I decided to comment. I hope my criticism was constructive. :)
Now here is a review if I've ever seen one!
Yes, it is true. I write in a very archaic style, and have reverted to using a lot of description. I say reverted because recently I haven't been being very flowery with my writing. Seeing as this was one of my first times writing a horror story, I honestly felt that flowery words were necessary, but I have to agree with you. Those times when I added that flowery details was very out of hand and really destroyed bits where I should have concentrated on atmosphere and mystery over these flowery bits.

I'd say that another problem of mine is what Ganondork said earlier, this story had a more suspense nature to it rather than being a true horror and the flowery words really broke up the mood at times.

Could you go into detail about context please? I'd like to know more.

Also, what'd you suggest I use over adjectives, I've commonly used them for the majority of my stories, and if there are any new techniques I could develop with description and atmosphere, I'd like to hear it!

Also, what do you feel were my best parts or the story in specific, and why were those better?
 

Justeazy

Todo is the pfuf!
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Hmm... unfortunately don't have time to read it all now, but I'll say this....

I was half expecting a gibdo to be hiding under the spoiler, with an attachment for the infamous scream to play as soon as the picture is revealed....
xD

Will be back. =]
 

ChargewithSword

Zelda Dungeon's Critic
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
I don't want to say.
Hmm... unfortunately don't have time to read it all now, but I'll say this....

I was half expecting a gibdo to be hiding under the spoiler, with an attachment for the infamous scream to play as soon as the picture is revealed....
xD

Will be back. =]
I'm not that cruel. Nor would I do such a trollish thing on this forum.
 

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