A Dark And Dim Place
ACCESS PASSWORD REQUIRED: ********** ACCESS GRANTED CHECKING FILE CLEARANCE LEVEL OF ***** ******: FILE CLEARANCE LEVEL: HIGH LOADING FILE... FILE LOADED. (NOTE: The telling of this story is from the perspective of a person who interviewed someone called "Mike". Mike's last name has been omitted due to the request of his family. Expect notes throughout the telling of this record.) Interviewer: "So, are you going to talk, or..." Mike stays silent. His whole body is covered in some sort of white paste, and he looks as if he is on the verge of death. Mike sighs as he looks at the interviewer, his eyes showing no sign of emotion. Mike ****** "What's there to talk about?" Mike says this with a slow and deliberate pace, as if he is trying to keep the interviewer on edge. Interviewer: "You know what you've done Mike." Mike: "What did I do?" (NOTE: Mike has claimed to have amnesia, yet his medical records show no such thing being present in his mind.) Interviewer: "Mike, stop with the games. We both know what you've done." The interviewer raises an eyebrow, obviously not buying Mike's act. Mike: "What have you done?" Mike still talks at a slow pace, making the interviewer slightly uncomfortable. The interviewer scoffs as they slam their hand on the desk. Interviewer: 'YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID MIKE! YOU MURDERED THEM! THOSE POOR CHILDREN!" Mike giggles like a mad idiot as his giggles eventually turn into maniacal laughs. The interviewer orders a guard to calm Mike, which the guard does through using a tranquilizer dart. Mike calms himself with the help of the tranquilizer dart. Interviewer: "Are you ready to talk now?" Mike: "What other choice do I have?" Interviewer: "You do have the right to remain silent, so there is that choice." The interviewer knows that Mike could very well excerise this right. Mike: "So, you want me to tell you about the place." Interviewer: "The mall, yes. I understand you often slept in there after closing time." Mike: "That is very much true." Interviewer: "So what brought you to murder them?" Mike sighs, mentally preparing himself for the horrors he will unveil.
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Aphibacus192000 (talk) 22:37, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
NOTE: Mike has claimed to have amnesia, yet his medical records show no such thing being present in his mind. ^this line doesn't make any sense. How would medical records have a detailed report of what is in his "mind"? Do you mean his physical head? In that case, amnesia wouldn't show up on a physical record. You could replace this with "Mike claims to have amnesia, yet his medical record shows no sign of any traumatic head injuries to trigger this amnesia."
Also, is this supposed to read like an interview transcript, or a third person narration? You are interweaving the two, and I'd argue that it would be better to stick with one over the other. Especially since this seems like it will be a framing device for a more complex story, you will want to give the framing device as little confusion as possible.
I'm not gonna say that it's an essential criticism, but in my opinion, the trope of the "MWAHAHAHAHA IM SO EVIL" crazy-man-does-a-big-scary-laugh-to-show-how-scary-slash-crazy-he-is is probably the most cringey, ineffective, and overused horror trope. Seeing Mike do this in the first few lines is a really early turn off for me. It will probably be for a lot of your audience, too.
I am intrigued by the premise alone, as I have also wondered what it would be like to live in a mall after hours. I also have a suspicion that Mike is innocent of whatever he is being accused of (less so with that cringe-inducing laugh) and that whatever actually killed those children is still at large in the mall. So far, Mike is deeply dislikable, but very mysterious. I have no idea what you are going for with that "white paste" stuff, but I'm also intrigued by that. I imagine that what that is will be revealed later in the story. I also dig on the format of your framing device, as I am not only a sucker for media that experiments with format, but also for stories framed as if they were files on a 1980's IBM machine. Unless you are just copying the SCP story format, then it's uninspired and pretty disappointing.
I just had to read through this draft again to see that the story is being told from the perspective of the officer (I assume it's an officer) who is interviewing Mike?? That's needlessly complicated, and confusing as all get out. Especially since no time is spent developing this interviewer character. If you want the story to be about the interviewer, give us something about the interviewer. Heck, a name at least. If you want it to be about Mike, have it be from Mike's perspective (which it already seems to be). In fact, why have the framing device? Why not ditch the whole interview and start the story from Mike's perspective as close to the event in question as possible? You could start with something that establishes your setting and Mike's character right off the bat, so that we can get to the inciting event faster. Something like this:
"Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a mall?
You probably have. And you probably imagined things like eating all the food court food, sleeping on a different showroom mattress every night, and playing hours and hours of video game demos.
Well, I can tell you from personal experience that it's not like that at all. My name's Mike, and I have been sleeping in the Ridgecrest Mall after hours for the last 4 weeks.
I guess you can technically say I'm "homeless", but I like to think of myself as more of a "squatter"? Either way... I do what I can to survive. Sometimes I have to do something sorta fucked up to get by. But nothing, NOTHING I have ever seen in my entire life has ever been even one tenth as fucked up as what I saw three nights ago..."
That was just me spitballing. You can feel free to take that verbatim if you want, I was just laying out how to establish setting and character early on. Also making the story more direct.