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My Father's Audio

My father was very much an animal enthusiast. We lived in the rocky mountains, with him, me, my brother, and my mother. Ever since I was a little kid, I heard him talking to my mom about his latest hunting or photography trip out to the woods or creek, and he'd always come home with a taxidermized animal head or a photograph of an animal oblivious to his presence. To say that he was proud of these was a massive underestimation. He'd been building up a vault of taxidermy and photo albums for many years, the reason? I remember him telling 11 year old me, "To sell! We can be rich!".

That was 20 years ago. And, sadly, that marked the anniversary of his death. I've gotten over it's emotional baggage for the most part, and I don't expect to get any letters of consoling or flowers. I sincerely remember the day officers from my town's local police department came to my door, and knocked. I remember peeking out of my bedroom, it was 9 P.M at night, I'd just been sent to bed. I heard some mumbles, a little more intelligible mumbles, and something along the lines of "We found his body up down Greyhorn creek, we think something mauled him when he was sleeping.". I didn't know what mauled meant at the time, but guessing from my mother's acute sobbing, I guessed it was something bad.

I still remember that night. I was worried sick that night, not just for my mom, but for my dad; I was so oblivious to why he didn't get home that night. Or the next night. Mom had told me that he was on a long hunting trip with a friend, and I took it like the holy grail of reasoning. I was in 5th grade, after all. I wasn't stupid, but I was trusting and naïve. I never saw my father again. I grew up, went through puberty, highschool, prom, and getting my first job. All without him at my side. And now, today, in the mail, I received a camcorder and a cassette tape. It was in a cardboard box, with "From: Julia Petris, 5123 Greyhorn Rd.". My mother. I opened it up, and popped open the cassette ramp.

I slipped out the tape, and on it, was written "Vince Petris Mauled -- Police Evidence". I have the tape with me right now, which is practically begging me to listen to it, albeit silently. My mind still has this morbid curiosity to pop it in and press the play button, and listen the audio of my father's death. Another voice in my mind, perhaps the one of reason, tells me to destroy it. I want an odd sense of closer, possibly from listening to it. It's nothing supernatural, nothing out of my grasp on a grand scheme. I'm capable of doing it right now, right here. But there's a tornado in my mind swirling choices, and the hot and cold air of each don't provide the best mix for a rational decision.

I might flip a coin, or do anything with a bet in it.



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Te (talk) 18:39, 7 October 2021 (UTC)

Pretty compelling read so far. There's a few things here and there that are in need of some attention. You use the word underestimation (in the first paragraph), when I believe you intended to say 'understatement'. You also mentioned you "...want an odd sense of closer..." I think you may mean to say 'closure'.

Small things like that are easy to fix. I'd love to see this fleshed out more, and I look forward to seeing your final copy!

Ovidian (talk) 23:01, 7 October 2021 (UTC)

There are numerous and obvious grammatical errors in this draft and they need to be resolved before this is posted to the site proper. A large one to look at immediately is the gratuitous use of commas all over the place and few of them are even needed or make sense. There is also a large issue with the conflict/resolution of the story in that we are given very few relavant details about the father, the family, the area, and what exactly he was doing when he disappeared. There should definitely be more of a lead up, more post-death information, and maybe some more to be said about where the tape itself actually came from, what the tape contained, and how that works into the rest of the story. As it is you essentially have an eccentric dead father figure and a VHS tape with little else to go on. It isn't scary and it definitely doesn't feel like a complete story, moreso a skeleton of one.

All of that said, here are some corrections that I would make in order of appearance:

  1. Taxidermized -> Taxidermied
  2. Underestimation -> Understatement
  3. 11 year old -> 11-year old
  4. We can be rich -> We'll be rich
  5. Over it's -> Over the
  6. Consoling -> Consolation
  7. It was 9 P.M at night -> It was 9pm
  8. Popped open the cassette ramp -> Put it into the VCR
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