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  • This Journal has been found at the bottom of a ravine in the Ural Mountains. Bodies of two mountaineers, Bill Horten and Henry Conaway, have been found scorched and irradiated next to the bedraggled journal. An autopsy revealed substances of unknown origin within the mens systems. The ravine in question was nothing as described in Henry C.'s journal. Upon further inquiry at the university where these men studied and upon interviewing their close relations, we found out these men were both celebrating their newly acquired M.A.'s, from the aforementioned university, by going on this week long expedition through the Ural Mountains.


    Journal Entry #1; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 15th

    "How much bullets do you have in the Remington?" I said.

    "Three. How 'bout your Colt?" Bill asked.

    "Full cylinder. But no spare ammunition."

    The expedition began six days ago. Three days passed without excitement, but on the third night, we saw an army of red eyes staring at us from the darkness. Wolfs. Starving ones. Their numbers proved too big: they forced us back to the edge of a forest.

    "We have to do something," Bill said, " The wolfs are getting hungrier. We don't have any more logs for the fire, and I'm not risking my life by going out there."

    "Let's set fire to the tent. Then we can run out back and kill the wolfs that get too close." I offered.

    "Fuck no; I am not going to set the tent ablaze and shoot wolfs. There has to be better way! I'm not gonna kill anything if I don't have to."

    I opened the tent and stepped out into the blizzard. You could barley see them in the darkness, few even risked approaching the fire so they could get warm, but I sent a hail of flaming coals at them.

    Bill stepped out with our backpacks and said, "Okay. We'll scare 'em off and run into the forest. No killing though."

    I agreed. I took a twig from the fire and threw it at the tent; bill kicked the fire, and a hailstorm of flaming coals, twigs and leaves assaulted the wolfs. Bill send a bullet into the air, and the rest retreated further. We turned around and ran into the forest. The army of savages behind us were halted by the flaming tent.

    We heard vicious snarling coming from the darkness all around us as we maneuvered our way through the forest. The blizzard extinguished the blazing tent and the wolfs were upon our trail. When they came too close to us, I shot the closest ones, but their hunger exceeded their fear, and they charged at us like a stampede. I emptied my chambers into them. Bill was using the butt of his gun as a club(he did not care anymore).

    Fear diverted all our energy into our legs: we ran so fast that all we could see was kaleidoscope of colors, it was a miracle we did not trip and fall onto the ground. But nothing can outrun a starving wolf for ever. We could hear their jaws snapping savagely, soon their breath warmed our thighs. By some lucky miracle, when I brought my foot down It did not meet the ground. My momentum sent me flying forth into a hole in the ground.

    I slid on the ice that covered the walls of the hole. Suddenly, I felt myself leave solid ground and fly down into a cave; snow softened the impact, leaving me with only a few bruises. Bill hit the ground face down.

    "Shit," he said, "where are we?"

    "A cave, perhaps, but whatever this is, it's better than having those savage beasts tear you to shreds." I said.

    "Spare me the imagery."

    He took out a flashlight and illuminated the cave. It was vast. The stone walls had fissures in them, and there was a tunnel leading further into the cave. We were cold so we preceded deeper into the cave. We reached an opening after about sixty minute, the first thing we noted was the miasma. It smelled like rotting corpses, mixed with ozone. I just figured some animals found their way in and died.

    The tunnel continued through an aperture in the opposite wall, but we were too tired to go any deeper, and the aperture was a steep fall, with stalagmites and stalactites protruding everywhere.

    We had some spare firewood and twigs in the packs in case of an emergency. We lit a small fire and set up sleeping bags on two flat stones in the corner. The ground was like a stony beach. One thing we noted when we settled down to sleep was a mist filled the room.

    It's not opaque, so we are fine. I think I will sign off here for the night.

    Journal Entry #2; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 16th

    I woke up at midnight. The room was dark and misty, but I fancied a faint toxic-green light coming from the aperture in the wall. I stretched down and fumbled around for my shoes; my hand searching blindly in the dark, then I felt something solid. The thing suddenly twisted and seized my hand; I felt slimy fingers tighten around my wrist with crippling strenght. My lungs stopped functioning, sweat squeezed through my pores, and when my eyes adjusted to darkness, I saw a poison-green hand holding my own and I unleashed a strangled scream.

    I broke its grip and scrambled back frantically. I did not dare move a muscle for two hours. When my fear was overpowered by curiosity, I reached into my backpack with a shaking hand and took out a flashlight. The second the beam lit up the room was the second I pulled my hand back and swung the heavy object at the foot of my makeshift bed; using all my momentum and strength I crashed the flashlight into the place where the hand was.

    The flashlight broke the second it hit the stone... there was nothing there.

    "Hey, what are doing!" Bill yelled.

    "Where are you?" I asked.

    "Where do you think? I didn't move from the bed. What is all the racket about, did you have an aneurysm?"

    "Give us a light, will you." I said.

    When Bill flipped on his flashlight, I told him the whole story. He look at me gravely and shook his head,

    "It was in your sleep, Henry, look at the ground: there's no marks. Beside, who in the world would believe such a thing? Was it like the bogeyman under your bed? My mother used to tell me those stories, I believed them. But now no responsible adult would believe in that kind of bullshit."

    "People believe in god, what's the difference. The bogeyman, cthulhu, god. All of them are things beyond the realm of understanding, each of them have a cult following, and each of them have a plethora of stories about them. So I ask you: what's the fucking difference?" I said. Bill shook his head and opened a can of beans.

    "Breakfast." he said.

    I have no idea what I am supposed to make of this. Was it really a dream, was it just an overactive imaginations, or an illusion? I wish I had an answer.

    Journal Entry #3; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 18th

    With full stomachs, we headed back the way we came. There was no exit. The ice was too weak, the walls too smooth and the hole too deep. When we returned to the opening, we pondered on the issue and finally decided to take our chance with the aperture.

    We hammered two nails into the stone beneath the aperture. We wrapped rope around the nails and placed our feet on one of the stalagmites, as we looked down the vertical drop.

    We rappelled down, maneuvering between the sharp, jagged rocks protruding from the walls. When our boots touched the ground we sighed in relief. We were staring into a dark tunnel; the floor was littered with bones of small animals and the walls smeared with blood.

    The air was thick. And there was this weird sensation, it was unexplainable: it was this feeling of impending danger, but it was vague and distorted. Bones of small animals crunched under our boots as we stalked down the dark tunnel. It was cold, very cold. Halfway down the tunnel I searched for Bill's hand and squeezed it. A few minutes later, I saw a flicker of green light further down the tunnel.

    "Did you see that?" I asked Bill.

    "What?"

    "The green light. Look, there it is again."

    It was more distinct this time: a venomous green light rising and waning from deep down the tunnel. Bill fumbled for his flashlight. It shattered on the ground when his grip failed. That was when a shrill scream rose from somewhere in front of us. Our hands squeezed so tightly that I felt my blood stop circulating.

    "W- Wha... What was that?" Bill mumbled.

    A shuffling started somewhere far away; it steadily grew louder and closer, it also grew faster: like something was charging at us. I was breathing frantically, my hands shook, and I tried to scream but my lungs failed.

    When my self-defense mechanisms kicked in, my eyes darted to Bill. I saw a flare attached to his belt. The shuffling was getting louder. Since we had no flashlights, I quickly ripped the flare of Bill's belt and removed the cap, striking the end of the flare against rough end of the cap. A fireball of sparks erupted from the flare, and I threw it into the tunnel.

    It landed about three feet away. When it settled on the ground, a shrill hissing echoed in the tunnel, and we saw a vague figure flee, in the dim red light. The panicked running turned into banging, which turned into shuffling. Then, silence.

    Bill fumbled in his pocket for a cigar, and brought it to his mouth with trembling hands. He took out his matches but could not strike one alight with his shaking hands. I took the match, lit it, cupped my hands around his mouth, and burned the paper encasing the tobacco.

    "You fine?" I asked.

    Bill shook his head, "Wh- what was that... thing?"

    "I don't know. A rat?"

    "Six fucking feet tall, running 10 fucking miles per hour?"

    "I don't know what I saw. Maybe it was... Bill? Hello? Are you okay? Bill! Shit, what happened to you?" I said.

    Bill suddenly became pale, and his facial features seemed to contort into a grimace. Then he collapsed.

    "Brandy. Please." Bill mumbled.

    "I don't have any; water must suffice. What happened?"

    "I'm not sure. I got a bad headache, it seemed like my brain expanded and was pushing against my skull. Then my vision became distorted, kinda like TV when the wind is messing with the lines. Then I heard a voice, it said something incomprehensible -- the verbs sounded different, but the consonants were the same: if it said 'cat' it would sound like 'K-hap-t.' "

    When Bill felt better we continued down the tunnel, using flares to navigate ourselves. The tunnel expanded, both vertically and horizontally after a while. There was a hole in the side of the tunnel, like someone set off dynamite there. But instead of a small niche, there was an opening onto a large abyss. All we could see was blackness.

    We were tired and frightened so we set up camp here. Bill immediately fell asleep. I sat up and ate some crackers with a bottle of water. I became drowsy soon, and when I began undressing I saw a flash of cyan light from the abyss below. I crept to the edge and crouched down. The light flashed again, this time more to the right. It happened again, and again -- in fact -- it appeared at regular intervals, each time changing position in one general direction. Something was moving down there. Our flare supplies were depleted. The only possible light source was a box of matches. I sat down. I was too scared to sleep.

    Suddenly, my hand jerked upwards in an involuntary, spasm-like motion; then my leg twisted and kicked uncontrollably, my head writhed violently in every direction. I fell to the ground while my limbs went completely berserk. Foam spewed from my mouth, and a ringing started in my ear. Bill woke up and ran to me, dismayed. He tried to restrain me, but I was stronger.

    Eventually, the manic flailing subsided, and I sighed in relief. Bill was exhausted from the exercise.

    "What was that shit?" he asked.

    "I dunno: I saw some bright blue light from down there and, in a moment's notice, I was flailing around like fish on land."

    "Blue light from there? Shit. I had a dream where I was a sneaking around in a dark room, ice covered the colossal walls. There were some kinds of relics scattered around: old pots, tiaras, crowns, and bricks with some kind of... Hieroglyphics etched into them. I saw a light blue glimmer in the distance. I followed it. The light shone brightly then dimmed again. I was following along an array of pipes, all leading the same way. When I came to a hole in the ground, I saw the pipes drop down there. When the light rose I saw the shape of some kind of plane without wings. It was a cylinder, nineteen feet by twenty, add or take. It's side was broken off and lying on the ground, sparks flying from some blue-colored chips attached to some wiring.

    "Then the blue shined again... It shined to my left, about six inches to my left. I heard a screeching which transformed into your scream, that is when I woke up."

    Journal Entry #4; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 19th

    We decided to continue down the tunnel. The air in the tunnel was heavy. And there was something in it -- some eldritch horror hidden in the blackness; there was this feeling of... Radiation? Bill felt it too: he kept looking back as if to confirm that a monster was not stalking us.

    After about an hour we reached a natural stairs. There were stone slabs leading down somewhere. Since we hit a dead-end, we went down. We ran out flares, so we made makeshift torches out of twigs and cloth. When we reached the end of the staircase we emerged into a colossal ravine.

    "Shit," Bill shouted. "This is the place I saw in my dream!"

    I looked around. The place was true to my friends description: collapsed buildings, broken pottery, and royal jewels, with strange symbols engraved on them, littered the place. The architecture of the buildings was mostly Mesoamerican with vague suggestions of Gothic or early Roman. The pottery was larger than normal pottery and was made out of some reflective marble I have never seen before. The jewels were made of solid gold with real diamonds (about 120 carats), these were authentic minerals, no doubt about it.

    We heard a rustling nearby. We jumped up and became motionless as if rigor mortis had set in; we stood in the silence -- enshrouded by darkness -- listing to the stealthy shuffling. The miasma from earlier came back with the force of a snake launching itself at its victim. A glint of light flicked in the distance, it got closer, closer again, and it flickered even closer to us. I could make out a amphibian shape crouching in the distance. The shape became obstructed with a huge bulb of light, followed by a swishing sound. Then, we blacked out.

    "Ah!" I yelled in agony when a haze of colors breached the darkness which swallowed me. I awoke in a room. A peculiar room. The walls were a rusty metal with wires and cables running along them. I heard Bill scream. I jumped to my feet, fully alert.

    "Bill? I said. "Hello? Bill?" A scream answered me.

    "Bill!" I shouted.

    I saw a metal door. I regret ever approaching that accursed thing. I choked and lost my footing when I saw that fucking abomination. It had small, gleaming eyes. It's body was rough and contorted: each rib pointed a different direction, its body was red, and its legs resembled ones that a horse-frog hybrid might have.

    It was covered in a blue armor which gleamed light blue at regular intervals. The miasma was coming from that thing, I was sure of it. Never has it molested my nostrils as bad as when I was near that hell-thing.

    Bill stopped screaming now. I saw a kaleidoscope of colors flash somewhere behind the bars. The ugly fuck outside the cell door opened its hideous mouth and manged to say "You're next."

      Loading editor

    • This Journal has been found at the bottom of a ravine in the Ural Mountains. Bodies of two mountaineers, Bill Horten and Henry Conaway, have been found scorched and irradiated next to the bedraggled journal. An autopsy revealed substances of unknown origin within the mens [men’s] systems. The ravine in question was nothing as described in Henry C.'s journal. Upon further inquiry at the university where these men studied and upon interviewing their close relations, we found out these men were both celebrating their newly acquired M.A.'s, from the aforementioned university, by going on this week long expedition through the Ural Mountains.

      Journal Entry #1; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 15th

      "How much [many] bullets do you have in the Remington?" I said.

      "Three. How 'bout your Colt?" Bill asked.

      "Full cylinder. But no spare ammunition."

      [typically you don’t see dialogue in a journal entry. It’s not impossible but it’s more important that you establish who is writing the journal entries and frame it in an authentic manner]

      The expedition began six days ago. Three days passed without excitement, but on the third night, we saw an army of red eyes staring at us from the darkness. Wolfs [wolves]. Starving ones. Their numbers proved too big [this feels awkward]: they forced us back to the edge of a forest. [I assume this is a survival situation which we’re being plunged into. That’s fine, but again, you need to find a way to frame it authentically]

      "We have to do something," Bill said, [.] " The wolfs [wolves] are getting hungrier. We don't have any more logs for the fire, and I'm not risking my life by going out there."

      "Let's set fire to the tent. Then we can run out back and kill the wolfs that get too close." I offered.

      "Fuck no; I am not going to set the tent ablaze and shoot wolfs [wolves]. There has to be better way! I'm not gonna kill anything if I don't have to." [so let’s get the obvious out the way – wolves wouldn’t be stopped by a tent. Nor would they really even attack humans like this. They would need to be desperate, or extremely pissed off. Bears pose a more realistic threat to humans]

      I opened the tent and stepped out into the blizzard [this needs to be established early on. It’s important to the scene]. You could barley [barely] see them in the darkness, [a] few even risked approaching the fire so they could get warm, but I sent a hail of flaming coals at them.

      Bill stepped out with our backpacks and said, "Okay. We'll scare 'em off and run into the forest. No killing though." [I thought this was a fucking stupid thing for him to say given the extremity of the situation. It downplays any sense of urgency]

      I agreed. I took a twig from the fire and threw it at the tent; bill kicked the fire, and a hailstorm of flaming coals, twigs and leaves assaulted the wolfs [wolves – I’m gonna stop correcting this now but it’s a mistake you repeat so bear it in mind]. Bill send [sent] a bullet into the air, and the rest retreated further. We turned around and ran into the forest. The army of savages behind us were halted by the flaming tent. [this behaviour just doesn’t strike me as right. Wolves are pack hunters that circle their prey and don’t really fuck about]

      We heard vicious snarling coming from the darkness all around us as we maneuvered our way through the forest. The blizzard extinguished the blazing tent and the wolfs were upon our trail. When they came too close to us, I shot the closest ones, but their hunger exceeded their fear, and they charged at us like a stampede. I emptied my chambers [ambiguous wording] into them. Bill was using the butt of his gun as a club[space](he did not care anymore). [why include his silly no kill rule if he breaks it moments later?]

      Fear diverted all our energy into our legs: we ran so fast that all we could see was kaleidoscope of colors, it was a miracle we did not trip and fall onto the ground. But nothing can outrun a starving wolf for ever [forever; also a quick google shows their top speed to be between 30 and 40mph so I don’t think these guys would be outrunning them for even a minute]. We could hear their jaws snapping savagely, soon their breath warmed our thighs. By some lucky miracle, when I brought my foot down It [it] did not meet the ground. My momentum sent me flying forth into a hole in the ground.

      I slid on the ice that covered the walls of the hole [you might wanna use the imagery of a tunnel by here]. Suddenly, I felt myself leave solid ground and fly down into a cave [this imagery is also ambiguous]; snow softened the impact, leaving me with only a few bruises. Bill hit the ground face down.

      "Shit," he said, "where are we?"

      "A cave, perhaps, but whatever this is, it's better than having those savage beasts tear you to shreds." I said.

      "Spare me the imagery."

      He took out a flashlight and illuminated the cave. It was vast. The stone walls had fissures in them, and there was a tunnel leading further into the cave. We were cold so we preceded deeper into the cave. [third time you’ve used the word cave in this paragraph – consider chasm, cavern, enclosure etc.]We reached an opening after about sixty minute [an hour], the first thing we noted was the miasma [you use this word a lot but it’s quite outdated. In this specific instance it certainly makes more sense to say ‘smell’]. It smelled like rotting corpses, mixed with ozone. I just figured some animals found their way in and died.

      The tunnel continued through an aperture in the opposite wall, but we were too tired to go any deeper, and the aperture was a steep fall, with stalagmites and stalactites protruding everywhere.

      We had some spare firewood and twigs in the packs in case of an emergency. We lit a small fire and set up sleeping bags on two flat stones in the corner. The ground was like a stony beach. One thing we noted when we settled down to sleep was a mist filled the room.

      It's not opaque, so we are fine. I think I will sign off here for the night.

      Journal Entry #2; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 16th

      I woke up at midnight. The room was dark and misty, but I fancied a faint toxic-green light coming from the aperture in the wall. I stretched down and fumbled around for my shoes; my hand searching blindly in the dark, then I felt something solid. The thing suddenly twisted and seized my hand; I felt slimy fingers tighten around my wrist with crippling strength [strength]. My lungs stopped functioning, sweat squeezed through my pores, and when my eyes adjusted to [the] darkness, I saw a poison-green hand holding my own and I unleashed a strangled scream.

      I broke its grip and scrambled back frantically. I did not dare move a muscle for two hours. When my fear was overpowered by curiosity, I reached into my backpack with a shaking hand and took out a flashlight. The second the beam lit up the room was the second I pulled my hand back and swung the heavy object at the foot of my makeshift bed; using all my momentum and strength I crashed the flashlight into the place where the hand was.

      The flashlight broke the second it hit the stone... there was nothing there.

      "Hey, what are doing![?]" Bill yelled.

      "Where are you?" I asked.

      "Where do you think? I didn't move from the bed. What is all the racket about, did you have an aneurysm?"

      "Give us a light, will you." I said.

      When Bill flipped on his flashlight, I told him the whole story. He look [looked] at me gravely and shook his head,

      "It was in your sleep, Henry, look at the ground: there's no marks. Beside [besides], who in the world would believe such a thing? Was it like the bogeyman under your bed? My mother used to tell me those stories, I believed them. But now no responsible adult would believe in that kind of bullshit.”

      "People believe in god, what's the difference. [?] The bogeyman, cthulhu, god. All of them are things beyond the realm of understanding, each of them have a cult following, and each of them have a plethora of stories about them. So I ask you: what's the fucking difference?" I said. Bill shook his head and opened a can of beans.

      "Breakfast." he said.

      I have no idea what I am supposed to make of this. Was it really a dream, was it just an overactive imaginations [imagination], or an illusion? I wish I had an answer.

      Journal Entry #3; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 18th

      With full stomachs, we headed back the way we came. There was no exit. The ice was too weak, the walls too smooth and the hole too deep. When we returned to the opening, we pondered on the issue and finally decided to take our chance with the aperture.

      We hammered two nails into the stone beneath the aperture. We wrapped rope around the nails and placed our feet on one of the stalagmites, as we looked down the vertical drop [I feel like there’s something missing at the end here].

      We rappelled down, maneuvering between the sharp, jagged rocks protruding from the walls. When our boots touched the ground we sighed in relief. We were staring into a dark tunnel; the floor was littered with bones of small animals and the walls smeared with blood.

      The air was thick. And there was this weird sensation, it was unexplainable [inexplicable]: it was this feeling of impending danger, but it was vague and distorted. Bones of small animals crunched under our boots as we stalked down the dark tunnel. It was cold, very cold. Halfway down the tunnel I searched for Bill's hand and squeezed it. A few minutes later, I saw a flicker of green light further down the tunnel.

      "Did you see that?" I asked Bill.

      "What?"

      "The green light. Look, there it is again."

      It was more distinct this time: a venomous green light rising and waning from deep down the tunnel. Bill fumbled for his flashlight. It shattered on the ground when his grip failed. That was when a shrill scream rose from somewhere in front of us. Our hands squeezed so tightly that I felt my blood stop circulating.

      "W- Wha... What was that?" Bill mumbled.

      A shuffling started somewhere far away; it steadily grew louder and closer, [;] it also grew faster: [no colon] like something was charging at us. I was breathing frantically, my hands shook, and I tried to scream but my lungs failed.

      When my self-defense mechanisms kicked in, my eyes darted to Bill. I saw a flare attached to his belt. The shuffling was getting louder. Since we had no flashlights, I quickly ripped the flare of Bill's belt and removed the cap, striking the end of the flare against rough end of the cap. A fireball of sparks erupted from the flare, and I threw it into the tunnel.

      It landed about three feet away. When it settled on the ground, a shrill hissing echoed in the tunnel, and we saw a vague figure flee, [no comma] in the dim red light. The panicked running turned into banging, which turned into shuffling. Then, silence.

      Bill fumbled in his pocket for a cigar, and brought it to his mouth with trembling hands. He took out his matches but could not strike one alight with his shaking [repetitive] hands. I took the match, lit it, cupped my hands around his mouth, and burned the paper encasing the tobacco.

      "You fine?" I asked.

      Bill shook his head, "Wh- what was that... thing?"

      "I don't know. A rat?"

      "Six fucking feet tall, running 10 fucking miles per hour?"

      "I don't know what I saw. Maybe it was... Bill? Hello? Are you okay? Bill! Shit, what happened to you?" I said.

      Bill suddenly became pale, and his facial features seemed to contort into a grimace. Then he collapsed.

      "Brandy. Please." Bill mumbled.

      "I don't have any; water must suffice. What happened?"

      "I'm not sure. I got a bad headache, it seemed like my brain expanded and was pushing against my skull. Then my vision became distorted, kinda like TV when the wind is messing with the lines. Then I heard a voice, it said something incomprehensible -- the verbs sounded different, but the consonants were the same: if it said 'cat' it would sound like 'K-hap-t.' "

      When Bill felt better we continued down the tunnel, using flares to navigate ourselves. The tunnel expanded, both vertically and horizontally after a while. There was a hole in the side of the tunnel, like someone set off dynamite there. But instead of a small niche, there was an opening onto a large abyss. All we could see was blackness.

      We were tired and frightened so we set up camp here. Bill immediately fell asleep. I sat up and ate some crackers with a bottle of water. I became drowsy soon, and when I began undressing I saw a flash of cyan light from the abyss below. I crept to the edge and crouched down. The light flashed again, this time more to the right. It happened again, and again -- in fact -- it appeared at regular intervals, each time changing position in one general direction. Something was moving down there. Our flare supplies were depleted. The only possible light source was a box of matches. I sat down. I was too scared to sleep.

      Suddenly, my hand jerked upwards in an involuntary, spasm-like motion; then my leg twisted and kicked uncontrollably, my head writhed violently in every direction. I fell to the ground while my limbs went completely berserk. Foam spewed from my mouth, and a ringing started in my ear. Bill woke up and ran to me, dismayed. He tried to restrain me, but I was stronger.

      Eventually, the manic flailing subsided, and I sighed in relief. Bill was exhausted from the exercise.

      "What was that shit?" he asked.

      "I dunno: I saw some bright blue light from down there and, in a moment's notice, I was flailing around like fish on land."

      "Blue light from there? Shit. I had a dream where I was a sneaking around in a dark room, ice covered the colossal walls. There were some kinds of relics scattered around: old pots, tiaras, crowns, and bricks with some kind of... Hieroglyphics [no capital] etched into them. I saw a light blue glimmer in the distance. I followed it. The light shone brightly then dimmed again. I was following along an array of pipes, all leading the same way. When I came to a hole in the ground, I saw the pipes drop down there. When the light rose I saw the shape of some kind of plane without wings. It was a cylinder, nineteen feet by twenty, add or take. It's [Its] side was broken off and lying on the ground, sparks flying from some blue-colored chips attached to some wiring.

      "Then the blue shined [shone] again... It shined [shone] to my left, about six inches to my left [It shone about six inches to my left is much easier]. I heard a screeching which transformed into your scream, that is when I woke up."

      Journal Entry #4; Ural Mountains, 1987, November 19th

      We decided to continue down the tunnel. The air in the tunnel was heavy [repetition]. And there was something in it -- some eldritch horror hidden in the blackness; there was this feeling of... Radiation [no capital]? Bill felt it too: he kept looking back as if to confirm that a monster was not stalking us.

      After about an hour we reached a natural stairs [a natural stair/natural stairs/some natural stairs]. There were stone slabs leading down somewhere. Since we hit a dead-end, we went down. We ran out [of] flares, so we made makeshift torches out of twigs and cloth. When we reached the end of the staircase we emerged into a colossal ravine.

      "Shit," Bill shouted. "This is the place I saw in my dream!"

      I looked around. The place was true to my friends [friend’s] description: collapsed buildings, broken pottery, and royal jewels, with strange symbols engraved on them, littered the place. The architecture of the buildings was mostly Mesoamerican with vague suggestions of Gothic or early Roman. The pottery was larger than normal pottery and was made out of some reflective marble I have never seen before. The jewels were made of solid gold with real diamonds (about 120 carats), these were authentic minerals, no doubt about it.

      We heard a rustling nearby. We jumped up and became motionless as if rigor mortis had set in; we stood in the silence -- enshrouded by darkness -- listing [listening] to the stealthy shuffling. The miasma from earlier came back with the force of a snake launching itself at its victim. A glint of light flicked in the distance, it got closer, closer again, and it flickered even closer to us. I could make out a [an] amphibian shape crouching in the distance. The shape became obstructed with a huge bulb of light, followed by a swishing sound. Then, we blacked out.

      "Ah!" I yelled in agony when a haze of colors breached the darkness which swallowed me. I awoke in a room. A peculiar room. The walls were a rusty metal with wires and cables running along them. I heard Bill scream. I jumped to my feet, fully alert.

      "Bill? I said. "Hello? Bill?" A scream answered me.

      "Bill!" I shouted.

      I saw a metal door. I regret ever approaching that accursed thing. I choked and lost my footing when I saw that fucking abomination. It had small, gleaming eyes. It's [Its] body was rough and contorted: each rib pointed [in] a different direction, its body was red, and its legs resembled ones that a horse-frog hybrid might have.

      It was covered in a blue armor which gleamed light blue at regular intervals. The miasma was coming from that thing, [;] I was sure of it. Never has it molested my nostrils as bad as when I was near that hell-thing. [this is a weird sentence]

      Bill stopped screaming now [delete: now]. I saw a kaleidoscope of colors flash somewhere behind the bars. The ugly fuck outside the cell door opened its hideous mouth and manged [managed] to say "You're next."

      -

      Right so I’ve offered feedback on a lot of your stories lately but I’ve noticed a few trends coming up. I’m going to avoid specific feedback and will instead focus on these recurring problems citing from this story as an example. I’m going to go into extremely detailed feedback on your writing with reference to this, and other stories.

      1) Your characters sound infantile and adolescent.  

      “I'm not sure. I got a bad headache, it seemed like my brain expanded and was pushing against my skull. Then my vision became distorted, kinda like TV when the wind is messing with the lines.” – Here is an example of what I mean with certain words bolded. Some of these words are filler – “seemed, like, kinda, not sure”. These types of words stunt the flow and show a lack of confidence making the character sound childish.

      Others are basic, simple, words typical for someone with a small vocabulary e.g. “bad & then”. ‘then’ is a dangerous word for a writer because people are trained to identify it as a filler word. Bad, and its counterpart ‘nice’ are words you should, generally, avoid.

      Finally, you use a simile – “like TV when the wind is messing with the lines”. People tend not to use similes in day to day speech, and when they do it’s quite sparingly.

      All of these things, when brought together, create the sense of characters who aren’t talking realistically. They are, on their own, not necessarily the end of the world. It’s just that when they’re all put together they start to cause issues.

      Let’s take one more example but this time focusing on how your characters seem to state their own feelings, without directly addressing one another. This is also a hallmark of adolescent speech.

      "It was in your sleep, Henry, look at the ground: there's no marks. Beside, who in the world would believe such a thing? Was it like the bogeyman under your bed? My mother used to tell me those stories, I believed them. But now no responsible adult would believe in that kind of bullshit.” – everything that’s bold is a statement addressed to the other person. Everything else are statements regarding the speaker’s beliefs, but they do not communicate his emotional state or his attempt to calm his friend. People don’t really talk like that – they try to convince, to argue, to charm, to humour. Every word has an emotional, pragmatic, purpose. Stating thoughts and feelings with no specific aim is, like I’ve mentioned, typical of adolescents.

      "People believe in god, what's the difference. The bogeyman, cthulhu, god. All of them are things beyond the realm of understanding, each of them have a cult following, and each of them have a plethora of stories about them. So I ask you: what's the fucking difference?" -> this follow up line has the same problem as before.

      One final issue is the lack of flow. Below I’ve taken samples of dialogue from yours and broken it down into clauses.

      Shit.

      I had a dream

      where I was a sneaking around in a dark room,

      ice covered the colossal walls.

      There were some kinds of relics scattered around:

      old pots, tiaras, crowns, and bricks with some kind of...

      Hieroglyphics etched into them.

      I saw a light blue glimmer in the distance.

      I followed it.

      The light shone brightly

      then dimmed again.

      I was following along an array of pipes,

      all leading the same way.

      When I came to a hole in the ground,

      I saw the pipes drop down there.

      Blue light from there?

      -

      100 words. Average of about 7 words per clause. Your longest clause is 10 words Next up is some dialogue from MikeMacDee’s entry to Whitix’s competition – The Laughing Desert.

      "You'll like Prosperity. Nothin' to do but drink beer and occasionally break up fights between feudin' families. Three different feuds across two hundred people, goin' back about a hundred years. The summer heat gets everybody agitated, makes 'em fight over the slightest bullshit. More 'n usual, that is."

      Longest clause here? 15 words. The next after it? 14. Mike’s dialogue has a more natural flow than yours. He still averages about 6 words per clause but the distribution is way different to yours. He oscillates between short clauses ‘more ‘n usual/that is/You’ll like prosperity” and much longer ones “Nothin' to do but drink beer and occasionally break up fights between feudin' families”. Compared to yours where you have a very uniform and consistent tendency to stick to about 6/7 words, over and over and over. In other words, your characters speak like this –

      I saw a man. Then I said hello. He walked past me. He waved at me. I waved back. He was very tall.

      When they should talk like this,

      I saw a man yesterday and I said hello to him as he walked past me. He waved quickly and I waved back, and I noticed he was very tall.

      There is no simple way to address this without reading more dialogue. An effective treatment will also include studying other peoples’ work to find quirky techniques they use and to, put it simply, steal them. This is called ‘critical reading’ and it basically means carefully identifying parts of other peoples’ work you think is good, and then thinking very hard about why they’re good. Mike, if you’re interested, is fucking good. He’s a good starting point.

      2) Plot

      Your plots aren’t cohesive. This means that the moving parts don’t complement each other. You have, however, gotten way way better at handling this. So I’d like to give you credit for your enormous progress. And in this story you have one major issue which is the introduction with the wolves. The story doesn’t need that section. It contributes nothing to the plot, harms credibility, distracts, and features some of the weakest dialogue and storytelling.

      But it’s not the only problem; another issue is the ending which involves the man being jailed and threatened by a talking monster. Why can the monster talk? Why can it speak English? Why has it trapped them? Is it torturing them?

      Similarly: The buildings, the monster, the cave, the ice, the hand – these things exist to scare us but they don’t seem to relate to each other in any meaningful way. They just exist for effect and it’s very obvious that they’re part of a fictional world created specifically for us. You don’t have to be super specific but try to keep things consistent in a way that makes sense. Looking back at your last story I had a similar problem –the mist, the woman who drove the car with the messed up face, the intestine monster – what was the relationship between these things? They felt artificial, like they’d been put in the story exclusively because they are scary.

      Let’s look at a comparison though, because I know I’m being vague.

      In Mike’s story there is one threat – the ants. Everything that exists trickles down from that one threat. Empty town? Ants ate ‘em all. Smashed up car with keys inside? Ants ate the driver. Strange freaky bird noise off in the distance? Actually a giant fucking ant. Houses with walls missing? Those damned fucking ants again. No dogs barking? Ants at them all.

      Everything that exists comes back to one basic idea – big ants ate everything. Every part of the story has a direct and obvious relationship with the other pieces which includes the characters, the settings, and much more.

      A story is, after all, made up of only a few basic parts.

      Characters

      Setting

      Plot

      Themes

      Mood/Atmosphere

      Each one of those things should have a clear, and obvious, relationship with the other things. In mike’s stories the characters don’t get on. Why? One of them is sexist, and the other is a woman. So they get sent out to work together on an easy basic mission to make them get along. This takes them to the setting – an abandoned town. The plot? They go to that abandoned town to find out why it’s empty and abandoned. Why is it abandoned? Ants. That’s fucking why. What is the mood/atmosphere? It’s quiet and abandoned because ants ate everybody. Everything relates to everything else and it makes sense.

      Let’s try it with yours.

      Characters? Two guys.

      Setting? A cave filled with jewels and buildings.

      Plot? They get chased by wolves. Then they get trapped. They get briefly molested by a green hand of doom. Then they get eaten/tortured by an angry monster. (this isn’t even mentioning stuff like the fire, the tent, the blizzard – all you need is one basic reason for them to get trapped. Don’t linger on it.)

      Themes – N/A (Not every story needs some theme or subtext so don’t get excited about this, but still keep it in mind when reading other peoples’ stories. You’ll be surprised what you find. Sometimes authors include ideas in their stories without even being aware)

      Mood/atmosphere – isolated/alone.

      Some things relate. So obviously your atmosphere is one of isolation, cold, fear etc. which makes sense because they’re in a creepy-ass cave. Similarly the hundreds of animal bones boosts atmosphere, and informs us about the monster plotline. But in contrast? The jewels? What do they tell us? That there was once a civilization down there? Is that where the monster came from? Why? Was it the monster’s civilization?

      Like I said you’ve made huge progress, but I wanted to bring your attention to these ideas to help you move forward and start integrating more and more. Try to isolate the moving parts of your stories and make them feed back into each other in a way that is cohesive, and logical. In this story you only really need to start with the characters becoming trapped. Then think about how the monster and the setting can interact. Think about the characters and how they might react differently to the threat. Think about how those characters might drive the plot forward because of their differences. Think about how the events of the plot can reveal more of the setting etc.

      If we re-analyze your story without superfluous stuff we have the following.

      Plot – two friends are trapped in a cave and are attacked by a monster.

      Setting – a cave filled with bones and signs of a monster

      Characters – two friends (do you think there’s maybe some room to improve here as well?)

      Themes – N/A

      Mood atmosphere – lonely/isolated/creepy

      Finally, I won’t bother mentioning this but your story doesn’t suit a diary format. Just delete all references to it being a diary format and find another framing device. It feels like you tacked it on last minute anyway. It’s hardly the end of the world. It would make more sense if you included the beginning where the authorities find the diary but have the narrator state,

      “I’m stuck in this prison blah blah blah I’m writing this because I want to warn you blah blah blah”. Otherwise we need to believe that this lunatic was writing a day by day account in a way that nobody would, and at a time when his life is under direct threat. The framing device I’ve pointed out is simple, classic, and has been used forever because it’s believable and easy to cram into a story without much work.

      In conclusion – I’ve gone into an extremely over the top analysis here because you’ve got serious talent but I’m noticing these trends coming back over and over. I think you’ll benefit from thinking very carefully about each decision you make and how it informs the bigger picture rather than having me point out specific flaws in each individual story. I hope this helps you in a more in-depth way than usual.

        Loading editor
    • Shit! A lot of writers would kill for that kind of in-depth feedback. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it, since it must have taken a long time to review.

        Loading editor
    • I'll just drop in and say that you have improved quite a bit, and I can't really add any more advice to this story, but I may have some more advice for your writing in general.

      I've seen you abandon alot of your ideas. There is heaps of potential in your writing, but you are young, and you just need to work hard to get everything perfect, including pacing, dialogue, plot tone etc. The best way you can do this is by focusing on one story. I know why you want to move on to other stories, and how frustrating it is to continually work on the same story over and over again, but that is a part o writing.

      Take the story you posted to here some time ago as a great example. The one where the kid finds the crazy underground sewer/dungeon with monsters in it. That is a simple plot, and the original story you posted to the Writers Workshop had a lot of room for improvement. You have improved so much since then by writing new stories, but you'd have improved even more if you stuck with that story back then and made it work. Trust me, editing a story to make it work is alot easier than giving up and writing a completely new story. I know you can get a story to the wiki, but you have to keep yourself focused on a single story, and stay motivated to complete it. 

      This might seem harsh, but you can't really adress the issues in this story by writing a new one. That is why sticking to a story and trying your hardest to bring it up to QS is a better idea, and one that is well worth your time.

      In my personal opinion, you should shift your focus to the 2016 Collaboration. I think writing a very short story (or a number of them) into a collaboration project would be an awesome start for you. It would also force you to read the work of others, learn new skills, and feel that awesome feeling when you finally complete something and post it to the Wiki.

      If you are interested just ask Jay ten, he's essentially running the show.

      Anyway, that's just some advice from me to you. Hopefully you find it useful!

        Loading editor
    • Thank you for the feedback, it really mean a lot to me. I'll work on my previous story a lot more so I can get a break from this one and when some time has passed I return to this.

        Loading editor
    • So First off, You wrote at the beggining that the text comes from a journal found in the bottom of a ravine. This is a good start as it provides interest in the story from the beggining. However, the note that you write it in doesn`t really make any sense. It`s just a note at the top of the page. It just seems bland and awkward. Instead,try something like this: Two hikers went missing, there was a large investigation, but all they found was the notebook. Of course,you don`t have to use this, and you should certianly describe it more if you do, but you get the general idea.  


      Also,you made the classic mistake of writing in a journal. You forgot that you were writing in a journal. ther than a few sentences every now and then, this is essentially first person narrattion. You seriously need to fix this. One of the best parts about writing in journal form is that the narrator has already experienced whatever it is that`s happenning,making him able to write about the past and present,and future, instead of just the present. Here is an example of what I mean:


      "Oh my,god I`m so exhuasted I can barely breathe. I can`t believe I`m stil alive, I just barely got away from the wolves."

      You get the idea.


      You do do a decent job of creating an atmosphere of dread and horror,So I`ll give you points for that. However, the monster itself is I think the worst issue. There is essentially no backstory. We have no idea who or what it is or where it came from. your story goes like this: Hikers go camping,get chased by wolves into a cave, and a monster kills them. Add something about it. Don`t give it an entire backstory,but give it something. 

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    • I have not posted here for what seems like centuries, but I finally got the second draft done. Sorry for the delay: my original re-write was deleted and then I had things to deal with. Anyway here is my second draft.


      I have never, in my twenty-two years with the Mountain Rescue Team, seen such a relentless blizzard, the branches it blew off trees bombarded us savagly. I made out Bill's silhouette pushing against wind. He wasn't made for this kind of work. He was more the office type; many of my friends would assume I would respect him for taking on this job, but that is not the case: he is a complete idiot. I would not mind him working just for the money, but if he was smart he would not need to work a job he hates.

      I should pity him for his financial state, crippled by his sons lung cancer medical bills, and I should respect him for facing his troubles head-on, working his ass off to put food on the table, and his dedication: he begged the boss on his knees to let him take on the job in spite of his influenza. But he's an amateur when it comes to the world. He should not have married so young -- he's only twenty-two, he should not have had a kid without a steady paycheck and, although this is a rumor, he should not encourage his wife to sell herslef on the street, even if they are desprate for money.

      When I brought my foot down, It did not meet ground; insteasd, my momentum threw my forth into a spiralling tunnell. I fell ceaslessly down. Bill screamed somewhere. And when I thought I'd never see the bottom, I flew through a small hole into a dark room. Snow cushioned the impact.

      I struggled to feet and massaged my temple. I looked around, trying to make sense of the distorted pictures that jumped around in front of my eyes. When they melted into one image, I saw a dark cavern, littered with animal bones; Bill was doubled over on the ground. I was disturbed by the bones, but assumed that animals got trapped here for centuries and the bones piled up over time. When I approached Bill, an amazing jet of blood shot out of his nostril. I pulled him up and slipped my left arm under his left shoulder and supported him.

      On the south end of the cave, there was a verticle oppening, barley wide enough for us both. When we limped out of the opening, a strong smell of rot and decay hit us. Bill gasped when I dropped him, and he crawled to the centre of the cave. We were in a circle, a light fog hovering in the air, three stone slabs lying on the ground and an aparture in the opposite wall -- a verticle drop with stalagmites and stalactites sticking out like canines from the walls.

      "We oughta light a fire and rest for a while, then we can think how we are gonna get out of here." I said, as I spilled out our emergency fire starter kit onto the floor. A phile of gasoline, safty mathes, paper, and box of coal and twigs.

      "Will that be enough to last us the blizzard?" Bill said warily.

      "If we're economical with it, then yes. It's a big one but it should subside by tommorow morning -- if it doesn't, then that won't affect us much anyway."

      "Not affect us!" Bill was outraged. "What kind of fucking rescue chopper will fly in this weather. You don't intend to go further, do you?"

      "You're not intending to huddle up beside the fire for twenty hours and wait for someone to jump down a hole in hopes of finding you."

      "I'm sick and weak and not too keen on exploring a random cave in the fucking Ural Mountains during the height of fucking winter."

      "I changed my mind. If the pilot is as stupid or suicicdal as you coming to work with the flu, we'll probably see the rescue team as soon as we don't report when the lines are back up. What's that? If you needed a job then why not lick floors at McDonald's, or suck cock on the street, huh? What, are you too good to suck cock, so good that you tell your wife to do that, eh?"

      "Don't make this personal, or..." Terror surged through Bills face. He stared blankly at me, then mucus and blood trickled down his cheeks and he collapsed.

      I lit a fire near the stone slab and ripped some cloth from my jacket and, when I made sure he was breathing through the mouth, blocked Bills nasal discharge. I tried to contemplate our situation, but my eyes kept wondering off to Bill. The fire cast pulsating shadows on the pale wreck of a man; I did not regret what I said, Bill needed to be sharpened up. He was a little bitch. He wanted to stay snuggled up and wait for help. If he could not deal with the circumstances, he should have stayed home, or better yet started sweeping tescos for minimun wage -- rescueing lifes was for people who had the balls to do it.

      I lowered myself onto the stone slab near the fire and slept.

      I woke up at midnight. The room was dark and misty, but I fancied a faint toxic-green light coming from the aperture in the wall. I stretched down and fumbled around for my shoes; my hand searching blindly in the dark, then I felt something solid. The thing suddenly twisted and seized my hand; I felt slimy fingers tighten around my wrist with crippling strenght. My lungs stopped functioning, sweat squeezed through my pores, and when my eyes adjusted to darkness, I saw a poison-green hand holding my own and I unleashed a strangled scream.

      I broke its grip and scrambled back frantically. I did not move a muscle for two hours. When my fear was overpowered by curiosity, I reached into my backpack with a shaking hand and took out a flashlight. The second the beam lit up the room was the second I pulled my hand back and swung the heavy object at the foot of my makeshift bed; using all my momentum and strength I crashed the flashlight into the place where the hand was.

      The flashlight broke the second it hit the stone... there was nothing there.

      "Hey, what are doing!" Bill yelled.

      "Where are you?" I asked.

      "Where do you think? I didn't move from the bed. What is all the racket about, did you have an aneurysm?"

      "Give us a light, will you."

      When Bill flipped on his flashlight, I told him the whole story. He look at me gravely and shook his head, "It was in your sleep, had to be. And if your crazy enough to think that shit was real, you're in no state to decide what course of action we'll take."

      "I'm going down there and looking for another way out, if you wanna stay here and wait for hypothermia to get you, be my guest."

      "Hey! I need medical supplies and kindling for a fire if I'm to wait for help."

      "Too bad that I have them in my pack, oh well, I guess you'll have to manage without the supplies."

      Bill took out a half-empty pack of tissues and blew his nose; he struggled to his knees and pushed himself up, he nodded and we wrapped rope around nails which we hammered in just below the aparture.

      We rappelled down, maneuvering between the sharp rocks protruding from the walls. When our boots touched the ground, we sighed in relief. We were staring into a dark tunnel; the floor was littered with bones of animals and the walls smeared with blood.

      The air was thick. And there was this weird sensation, it was unexplainable: it was this feeling of impending danger, but it was vague and distorted. The bones crunched under our boots as we stalked down the tunnel. It was cold, very cold. Halfway down the tunnel I felt for Bill's hand and squeezed it. A few minutes later, I saw a flicker of green light further down the tunnel.

      "Did you see that?" I asked Bill.

      "What?"

      "The green light. Look, there it is again."

      It was more distinct this time: a venomous green light rising and waning from deep down the tunnel. Bill fumbled for his flashlight. It shattered on the ground when his grip failed. A scream rose from somewhere in front of us. Our hands squeezed so tightly that I felt my blood stop circulating.

      "W- Wha... What was that?" Bill mumbled.

      A shuffling started somewhere far away; it steadily grew louder and faster: like something was charging at us. I was breathing frantically, my hands shook, and I tried to scream but my lungs failed.

      When my self-defense mechanisms kicked in, my eyes darted to Bill. I saw a flare attached to his belt. The shuffling was getting louder. Since we had no flashlights, I quickly ripped the flare of Bill's belt and removed the cap, striking the end of the flare against rough end of the cap. A fireball of sparks erupted from the flare, and I threw it into the tunnel.

      When it hit the ground, the steaming red bulb of light revealed a amphibious yet humanoid shape which screeched and fled.

      "What the fuck was that?" Bill choked.

      "I don't know."

      "We need to go further." Bill said.

      "Let's go back, please."

      "We can't and it's all your fucking fault, you bastard."

      We moved forward until we found an opening in the wall, it looked down onto a abyss. We set up camp here. Bill's coat was drenched in mucus, mucus was streaming down his cheeks, and we were both shaking frantically -- it was fucking freezing.

      The flames dyed down until only embers gleamed in the darkness; Bill coughed up mucus and took out a pack of tissues with a trembling hand. Only one tissue left. I looked down into the dying fire, there was a chance that if Bill threw in the tissue it would catch fire and the undamged ends of twigs might burn, providing us with an extra five minutes of warmth.

      I proposed that to Bill. He gazed into the fire: not much time to decide. On one hand, heat is good for both of us; on the other, he is choking on the mucus. In theory, he would benefit more from relieving his sinus.

      Bill cried and cast the tissue into the fire. Flames engulfed it and spread onto the twigs. It was about three minutes of a pitiful fire, but to us, it was like ten seconds of heaven. We drifted off to sleep.

      I woke up a little later. The air was heavy and tasted of rot and decay, it was freezing and dark -- except for the faint green light. I knew what it signified; I took out a flare. The smell made me gag. I heard a rustling on the legde near the opening, that's where the light came from; I saw green, bony fingers dig into the stones and the muscles on the hands tensed.

      The hands were pulling up a body. I squeezed the flare, and I saw a horse-structured skull enveloped in glowing green hide emerge from the darkness of the abyss; then, a heart-shaped body with randomly protruding ribs emerged, it was encased in some bedraggled armour. Lastly, horse-like legs hit the ground. It snarled at me with bloody teeth.

      The monster looked hurt: it was leaning to one side as if to re-direct body-weight onto an undamged leg. I'm no expert in alien anatomy, but I guess that healthy monsters do not have cyan liquid spurting out of their legs. I uncapped the flare, and threw a red ball of light at the thing. It hissed and lunged into the void.

      Bill snapped awake, choking on mucus. I explained what happened, but this time he did not lecture me on how crazy I am; instead, he said we better pack up and continue onwards. We walked until we reached a natural stairwell. We descended. It was about four fathoms deep.

      It lead into a gaint opening. We walked around and what we saw chilled us to our bones. Ancient building, Mesoamerican and Roman architecture, filled the place. They all lay in ruin, and occasionally a mangled carcass of one of those monsters I saw lay outside the door. The armour they wore bore crests. Based on the pattern we reccognised after walking there for so long, the crest signified the families of the creatures, the same crest popped up most frequently around the same building, or in groups of corpses.

      As we walked through the ruins, I hearld a rustling behind us, and when I turned around, the monster from before sprang at me from the darkness. I woke up with a sore head and throbbing stomach; I was lying in a metal room with cables and circuits running along the walls. When my vision focused, I saw a metal bar door. I limped towards it, taking in tough breaths.

      I siezed the bars when I saw the horror on the other side: Bill was lying naked on an operating table, the monster standing beside him. There were pods with similar creatures lining the left wall, I shifted around to get a better look at the right; I felt my stomach churn when I saw the heap of dead, naked, mangled bodies sprawled in a giant heap. Tears welled up in my eyes. This is it, I thought. This is the end, we're gonna die.

      The monster took a squirming bug out of a tube he took from beside a computer. The keyboard was attached to the wall and tilted down at an acute angle; the screen was also in the wall, and the desktop was thrice the size of a normal one, with holes and tubes and flashing butttons on it. The bug was dropped into Bill's mouth. I saw a bludge as the bug scurried down my friends esophagus, small intestine, large intestine. It stopped there, changed position and continued. Bill's penis swelled as a lump shot through his urethra. The bug shrivelled in the pool of blood it lay in.

      The creature picked it up, put it back in the tube, and inserted the tube into the computer. The screen flickered to life:



        • Collected**
      • Cell Matter*

      Mitochondria - 120g

      Cytoplasm - 50mg

      Nucleolus - 1


      • Bodily items*

      Blood - 1.87l

      Digestive acid - 6g

      Spinal fluid - 2g

      Sperm - 1g

      These items were glowing green on the blue screen. Another tab popped up, this one had another list like the one I drew above. Only this time, some names were glowing red. The monster dragged the cursor to a button reading "Tranfer" and clicked it. Most icons on the second screen turned green accept one -- it had some abstract name that was not any earthly language.

      The alien produced a syringe, and he extracted some pinkish fluid from himself. He fell over but manged to put the syringe into the computer. All the icons were green now. The desktop lurched violently, and a tube stuck into the desktop was filled with a yellow liquid.

      The monster carried the liquid to one of the pods and pushed it into a slot. The liquid drained and air rushed out of the collapsing pod door. A monster fell out too, but it got up. The monster number one was now convulsing on the ground. The two aliens had the same crest embedded on their armor.

      The pod monster kneeled down on its legs and rapped its knuckles on the other's head while he slowly died. The pod monster shrieked and launched itself at Bill. It teared at his flesh and muscles furiously; the motherfucker was in the biggest frenzy I ever saw.

      The sight made me sick so I retreated into the shadows of my cell. I now sit here, flint in hand, carving my memoir into the medical kit container; it's the only thing I have to write on... It's ironic, really.

        Loading editor
    • I have never, in my twenty-two years with the Mountain Rescue Team, seen such a relentless blizzard, the branches it blew off trees bombarded us savagely [savagely]. I made out Bill's silhouette pushing against wind. He wasn't made for this kind of work. He was more the office type; many of my friends would assume I would [repetition; would] respect him for taking on this job, but that is not the case: he is a complete idiot. [skip the colon. It’s generally best to stick to commas and full-stops until you’re very confident with the language] I would not mind him working just for the money, but if he was smart he would not need to work a job he hates [I don’t know how this ties into the characterisation yet but this makes the narrator sound like a prick – most people work jobs they don’t like].


      I should pity him for his financial state, crippled by his sons [son’s] lung cancer medical bills, and I should respect him for facing his troubles head-on, working his ass off to put food on the table, and his dedication: he begged the boss on his knees to let him take on the job in spite of his influenza. But he's an amateur when it comes to the world. He should not have married so young -- he's only twenty-two, he should not have had a kid without a steady paycheck and, although this is a rumor, he should not encourage his wife to sell herslef [herself] on the street, even if they are desperate [desperate] for money. [I’m already being left with the sense that this information is excessive]

      When I brought my foot down, It [it] did not meet ground; insteasd, [instead] my momentum threw my [me] forth into a spiralling tunnel [tunnel]. I fell ceaslessly [there could be regional differences but typically it’s spelt ‘ceaselessly’] down. Bill screamed somewhere. And when I thought I'd never see the bottom, I flew through a small hole into a dark room. Snow cushioned the impact.

      I struggled to [my] feet and massaged my temple. I looked around, trying to make sense of the distorted pictures that jumped around in front of my eyes. When they melted into one image, I saw a dark cavern, littered with animal bones; Bill was doubled over on the ground [you should make it clear that Bill fell down too]. I was disturbed by the bones, but assumed that animals got trapped here [the tense here feels wrong, might wanna try ‘had been getting trapped down here’] for centuries and the bones piled up over time. When I approached Bill, an amazing jet of blood shot out of his nostril [this is a really weird detail]. I pulled him up and slipped my left arm under his left shoulder and supported him.

      On the south end of the cave, there was a verticle opening [vertical opening], barley [barely] wide enough for us both. When we limped out of the opening [repetition], a strong smell of rot and decay hit us. Bill gasped when I dropped him, and he crawled to the centre of the cave. [might wanna start with the ‘dropping’ and move onto the ‘gasping’ instead of the order it’s in now – might also wanna give a reason for the dropping] We were in a circle, a light fog hovering in the air, three stone slabs lying on the ground and an aparture [aperture] in the opposite wall -- a verticle [vertical] drop with stalagmites and stalactites sticking out like canines from the walls. [are these stalagmites sticking out vertically or horizontally?]

      "We oughta light a fire and rest for a while, then we can think how we are gonna get out of here." I said, as I spilled out our emergency fire starter kit onto the floor. A phile [pile] of gasoline, safty mathes, [safety matches] paper, and box of coal and twigs.

      "Will that be enough to last us the blizzard?" Bill said warily.

      "If we're economical with it, then yes. It's a big one but it should subside by tomorrow [tomorrow] morning -- if it doesn't, then that won't affect us much anyway."

      "Not affect us!" Bill was outraged. "What kind of fucking rescue chopper will fly in this weather. You don't intend to go further, do you?"

      "You're not intending to huddle up beside the fire for twenty hours and wait for someone to jump down a hole in hopes of finding you." [you need to state who is saying what]

      "I'm sick and weak and not too keen [this language doesn’t suit the tone] on exploring a random cave in the fucking Ural Mountains during the height of fucking [it may or may not be what you intend but I found the repetition… off putting] winter."

      "I changed my mind. If the pilot is as stupid or suicicdal [suicidal] as you coming to work with the flu, we'll probably see the rescue team as soon as we don't report when the lines are back up [awkward wording]. What's that? If you needed a job then why not lick floors at McDonald's, or suck cock on the street, huh? What, are you too good to suck cock, so good that you tell your wife to do that, eh?" [I cannot emphasise enough that the narrator is being a complete fucking bell-end here; it’s an odd decision to characterise someone in such a despicable way without it being an important plot point]

      "Don't make this personal, or..." Terror surged through Bills [Bill’s] face. He stared blankly at me, then mucus and blood trickled down his cheeks and he collapsed.

      I lit a fire near the stone slab and ripped some cloth from my jacket and, when I made sure he was breathing through the mouth, blocked Bills nasal discharge. I tried to contemplate our situation, but my eyes kept wondering [wandering] off to Bill. The fire cast pulsating shadows on the pale wreck of a man; I did not regret what I said, Bill needed to be sharpened up. He was a little bitch. He wanted to stay snuggled up and wait for help. If he could not deal with the circumstances, he should have stayed home, or better yet started sweeping tescos [Tescos] for minimun [minimum] wage -- rescueing lifes [rescuing lives] was for people who had the balls to do it.

      I lowered myself onto the stone slab near the fire and slept.

      I woke up at midnight. The room was dark and misty, but I fancied a faint toxic-green light coming from the aperture in the wall. I stretched down and fumbled around for my shoes; my hand searching blindly in the dark, then I felt something solid. The thing suddenly twisted and seized my hand; I felt slimy fingers tighten around my wrist with crippling strenght [strength]. My lungs stopped functioning, sweat squeezed through my pores, and when my eyes adjusted to darkness, I saw a poison-green hand holding my own and I unleashed a strangled scream.

      I broke its grip and scrambled back frantically. I did not move a muscle for two hours. When my fear was overpowered by curiosity, I reached into my backpack with a shaking hand and took out a flashlight. The second the beam lit up the room was the second I pulled my hand back and swung the heavy object at the foot of my makeshift bed; using all my momentum and strength I crashed the flashlight into the place where the hand was.

      The flashlight broke the second it hit the stone... there was nothing there.

      "Hey, what are doing!" Bill yelled.

      "Where are you?" I asked.

      "Where do you think? I didn't move from the bed. What is all the racket about, did you have an aneurysm?"

      "Give us a light, will you."

      When Bill flipped on his flashlight, I told him the whole story. He look [looked] at me gravely and shook his head, "It was in your sleep, had to be. And if your [you’re] crazy enough to think that shit was real, you're in no state to decide what course of action we'll take."

      "I'm going down there and looking for another way out, if you wanna stay here and wait for hypothermia to get you, be my guest."

      "Hey! I need medical supplies and kindling for a fire if I'm to wait for help."

      "Too bad that I have them in my pack, oh well, I guess you'll have to manage without the supplies."

      Bill took out a half-empty pack of tissues and blew his nose; he struggled to his knees and pushed himself up, he nodded and we wrapped rope around nails which we hammered in just below the aparture. [aperture]

      We rappelled down, maneuvering [manoeuvring] between the sharp rocks protruding from the walls. When our boots touched the ground, we sighed in relief. We were staring into a dark tunnel; the floor was littered with bones of animals and the walls smeared with blood. [this is a minor plot point that you might wanna consider in the future, but bones burn really well and are a great source of fuel for a fire]

      The air was thick. And there was this weird sensation, it was unexplainable: it was this feeling of impending danger, but it was vague and distorted. The bones crunched under our boots as we stalked down the tunnel. It was cold, very cold [this feels a bit redundant]. Halfway down the tunnel I felt for Bill's hand and squeezed it. A few minutes later, I saw a flicker of green light further down the tunnel.

      "Did you see that?" I asked Bill.

      "What?"

      "The green light. Look, there it is again."

      It was more distinct this time: a venomous green light rising and waning from deep down the tunnel. Bill fumbled for his flashlight. It shattered on the ground when his grip failed. A scream rose from somewhere in front of us. Our hands squeezed so tightly that I felt my blood stop circulating.

      "W- Wha... What was that?" Bill mumbled.

      A shuffling started somewhere far away; it steadily grew louder and faster: like something was charging at us. I was breathing frantically, my hands shook, and I tried to scream but my lungs failed.

      When my self-defense mechanisms kicked in, my eyes darted to Bill. I saw a flare attached to his belt. The shuffling was getting louder. Since we had no flashlights, I quickly ripped the flare of Bill's belt and removed the cap, striking the end of the flare against rough end of the cap. A fireball of sparks erupted from the flare, and I threw it into the tunnel.

      When it hit the ground, the steaming red bulb of light revealed a [an] amphibious yet humanoid shape which screeched and fled.

      "What the fuck was that?" Bill choked.

      "I don't know."

      "We need to go further." Bill said.

      "Let's go back, please."

      "We can't and it's all your fucking fault, you bastard."

      We moved forward until we found an opening in the wall, it looked down onto a [an] abyss. We set up camp here. Bill's coat was drenched in mucus, mucus [it] was streaming down his cheeks, and we were both shaking frantically -- it was fucking freezing.

      The flames dyed [died] down until only embers gleamed in the darkness; Bill coughed up mucus and took out a pack of tissues with a trembling hand. Only one tissue left. I looked down into the dying fire, there was a chance that if Bill threw in the tissue it would catch fire and the undamged [undamaged] ends of twigs might burn, providing us with an extra five minutes of warmth.

      I proposed that to Bill. He gazed into the fire: not much time to decide. On one hand, heat is good for both of us; on the other, he is choking on the mucus. In theory, he would benefit more from relieving his sinus.

      Bill cried and cast the tissue into the fire. Flames engulfed it and spread onto the twigs. It was about three minutes of a pitiful fire, but to us, it was like ten seconds of heaven. We drifted off to sleep.

      I woke up a little later. The air was heavy and tasted of rot and decay, it was freezing and dark -- except for the faint green light. I knew what it signified; I took out a flare. The smell made me gag. I heard a rustling on the legde [ledge] near the opening, that's where the light came from; I saw green, bony fingers dig into the stones and the muscles on the hands tensed.

      The hands were pulling up a body. I squeezed the flare, and I saw a horse-structured skull enveloped in glowing green hide emerge from the darkness of the abyss; then, a heart-shaped body with randomly protruding ribs emerged, it was encased in some bedraggled armour. Lastly, horse-like legs hit the ground. It snarled at me with bloody teeth.

      The monster looked hurt: it was leaning to one side as if to re-direct body-weight onto an undamged [undamaged] leg. I'm no expert in alien anatomy, but I guess that healthy monsters do not have cyan liquid spurting out of their legs. I uncapped the flare, and threw a red ball of light at the thing. It hissed and lunged into the void.

      Bill snapped awake, choking on mucus. I explained what happened, but this time he did not lecture me on how crazy I am; instead, he said we better pack up and continue onwards. We walked until we reached a natural stairwell. We descended. It was about four fathoms deep.

      It lead [led] into a gaint [giant] opening. We walked around and what we saw chilled us to our bones. Ancient building [buildings], Mesoamerican and Roman architecture, filled the place. They all lay in ruin, and occasionally a mangled carcass of one of those monsters I saw lay outside the door. The armour they wore bore crests. Based on the pattern we reccognised [recognised] after walking there for so long, the crest signified the families of the creatures, the same crest popped up most frequently around the same building, or in groups of corpses.

      As we walked through the ruins, I hearld [heard] a rustling behind us, and when I turned around, the monster from before sprang at me from the darkness. I woke up with a sore head and throbbing stomach; I was lying in a metal room with cables and circuits running along the walls. When my vision focused, I saw a metal bar door. I limped towards it, taking in tough breaths.

      I seized [seized] the bars when I saw the horror on the other side: Bill was lying naked on an operating table, the monster standing beside him. There were pods with similar creatures lining the left wall, I shifted around to get a better look at the right; I felt my stomach churn when I saw the heap of dead, naked, mangled bodies sprawled in a giant heap. Tears welled up in my eyes. This is it, I thought. This is the end, we're gonna die. [you should put the thoughts in italics]

      The monster took a squirming bug out of a tube he took [repetition] from beside a computer. The keyboard was attached to the wall and tilted down at an acute angle; the screen was also in the wall, and the desktop was thrice the size of a normal one, with holes and tubes and flashing buttons [buttons] on it. The bug was dropped into Bill's mouth. I saw a bludge [bulge?] as the bug scurried down my friends esophagus, small intestine, large intestine. It stopped there, changed position and continued. Bill's penis swelled as a lump shot through his urethra. The bug shrivelled in the pool of blood it lay in.

      The creature picked it up, put it back in the tube, and inserted the tube into the computer. The screen flickered to life:

              Collected**

          Cell Matter*

      Mitochondria - 120g

      Cytoplasm - 50mg

      Nucleolus - 1

          Bodily items*

      Blood - 1.87l

      Digestive acid - 6g

      Spinal fluid - 2g

      Sperm - 1g

      These items were glowing green on the blue screen. Another tab popped up, this one had another list like the one I drew above. Only this time, some names were glowing red. The monster dragged the cursor to a button reading "Tranfer" [Transfer] and clicked it. Most icons on the second screen turned green accept one -- it had some abstract name that was not any earthly language.

      The alien produced a syringe, and he extracted some pinkish fluid from himself. He fell over but manged to put the syringe into the computer. All the icons were green now. The desktop lurched violently, and a tube stuck into the desktop was filled with a yellow liquid.

      The monster carried the liquid to one of the pods and pushed it into a slot. The liquid drained and air rushed out of the collapsing pod door. A monster fell out too, but it got up. The monster number one was now convulsing on the ground. The two aliens had the same crest embedded on their armor.

      The pod monster kneeled down on its legs and rapped its knuckles on the other's head while he slowly died. The pod monster shrieked and launched itself at Bill. It teared [tore] at his flesh and muscles furiously; the motherfucker was in the biggest frenzy I ever saw.

      The sight made me sick so I retreated into the shadows of my cell. I now sit here, flint in hand, carving my memoir into the medical kit container; it's the only thing I have to write on... It's ironic, really.

      -

      So for the most part this is a huge improvement. It feels a shitload more streamlined and that’s great. I think the next big step is to adjust the characterisation to be a bit more… chilled. Not sure dying children and forced prostitution are that essential to the story. Also the final section, as fun and imaginative as it is, suffers a bit when you have the alien computer displaying English words with Western measurements (e.g. grams). I don’t think it’d hurt the story if we never found out exactly what the computer said. It feels reasonably obvious what is happening and it just raises more questions if the computer displays modern words which ends up feeling like a plot hole. Hope this helps.

        Loading editor
    • I'm not sure if it makes sure that he carved his story into the Medical Kit either. I mean this is a long story, how do you 1.) carve into a plastic container without the giant human-dissecting monster mere feet away from you not hearing and 2.) running out of space to carve?

      What happens to Bill? A question best unanswered. Great execution there.

      What happens to the main character? Yet again, a question best unanswered, executed well.

      I just don't get why the character would spend so much time carving a memoir into the medical kit? Why not spend that time searching for a way out? The character wakes up, witnesses Bill's murder, and immediately retreats to carving a memoir. The character expresses a feeling of sickness, but why is no action taken about that feeling (take vomit as an example).

      Have you heard of SpellCheck? It's free with Google Docs, and Microsoft Word. It seems like it would be a useful tool for you.

      All in all, this draft would be a 5/10 at best.

        Loading editor
    • Heres my third draft.

      I have never, in my twenty-two years with the Mountain Rescue Team, seen such a relentless blizzard, the branches it blew off trees bombarded us savagely. I made out Bill's silhouette pushing against wind. He wasn't made for this kind of work. He was more the office type.

      I should pity him for his poor financial state, and I should respect him for working his ass off to put food on the table, and his dedication: he begged the boss on his knees to let him take on the work in spite of his influenza. But he's an amateur when it comes to the world. He should not have married so young -- he's only twenty-two, and he should not have had a kid without a steady paycheck.

      When I brought my foot down, it did not meet ground; instead, my momentum threw me forth into a spiralling tunnel. I heard Bill fall down behind me. And when I thought I'd never see the bottom, I flew through a small hole into a dark room. Snow cushioned the impact.

      I struggled to my feet and massaged my temple. I looked around, trying to make sense of the distorted pictures that jumped around in front of my eyes. When they melted into one image, I saw a dark cavern, littered with animal bones; Bill was doubled over on the ground. I was disturbed by the bones, but assumed that animals had been getting trapped here for centuries and the bones piled up over time. When I approached Bill, he tried to get up, but roared in agony and dropped to the ground. I pulled him up and slipped my left arm under his left shoulder to support him.

      On the south end of the cave, there was a vertical opening, barely wide enough for us both. When we limped out onto the other side, a strong smell of rot and decay hit us. I let go of Bill and he clasped his leg and gasped. It was damaged, but not broken. We were in a circle, a fog hovering in the air, three stone slabs lying on the ground and an aperture in the opposite wall -- a vertical drop with stalagmites and stalactites sticking out, horizontally, like canines from the walls.

      "We oughta light a fire and rest for a while, then we can think how we are gonna get out of here." I said, as I spilled out our emergency fire starter kit onto the floor. A pile of gasoline, safety matches, paper, and box of coal and twigs. With these, I lit a fire near the slabs.

      "Will that be enough to last us the blizzard?" Bill said.

      "If we're economical with it, yes. It's a big one but it should subside by tomorrow morning -- if it doesn't, then that won't affect us much anyway."

      "Not affect us!" Bill was outraged. "What kind of fucking rescue chopper will fly in this weather. You don't intend to go further, do you?"

      "You're not intending to huddle up beside the fire and wait for someone to jump down a hole in hopes of finding you?" I said.

      "My head and leg hurt, and I'm not walking through a random cave in the fucking Ural Mountains during the height of winter."

      I was about to burst out at him, but I bit my tongue and said, "Look, Bill, I know you're sick, but we're gonna have to go further. Think about it logically. You're sick and we don't have sufficient inventory to fight off the flu until the rescue gets here."

      "Fuck man! I'm doing this shit to pay our bills, I'm doing this so I can spend time with my family. I didn't sign up to die."

      Bill just looked at floor for a few seconds then blew his nose and lowered himself onto the ground to sleep.

      I tried to contemplate our situation, but my eyes kept wandering off to Bill. The fire cast pulsating shadows on the pale wreck of a man; I did not change my mind about going further, Bill needed to understand that was our only option. He wanted to stay snuggled up and wait for help. If he could not deal with the circumstances, he should have stayed home, or better yet started sweeping Tescos for minimum wage.

      I lowered myself onto the stone slab near the fire and slept.

      I woke up at midnight. The room was dark and misty, but I fancied a faint toxic-green light coming from the aperture in the wall. I stretched down and fumbled around for my shoes; my hand searching blindly in the dark, then I felt something solid. The thing suddenly twisted and seized my hand; I felt slimy fingers tighten around my wrist with crippling strength. My lungs stopped functioning, sweat squeezed through my pores, and when my eyes adjusted to darkness, I saw a poison-green hand holding my own and I unleashed a strangled scream.

      I broke its grip and scrambled back frantically. I did not move a muscle for two hours. When my fear was overpowered by curiosity, I reached into my backpack with a shaking hand and took out a flashlight. The second the beam lit up the room was the second I pulled my hand back and swung the heavy object at the foot of my makeshift bed; using all my momentum and strength I crashed the flashlight into the place where the hand was.

      The flashlight broke the second it hit the stone... there was nothing there.

      "Hey, what are doing!" Bill yelled.

      "Where are you?" I asked.

      "Where do you think? I didn't move from the bed. What is all the racket about, did you have an aneurysm?"

      When Bill flipped on his flashlight, I told him the whole story. He looked at me gravely and shook his head, "It was in your sleep, had to be. And if you're crazy enough to think that was real, then I think shouldn't you should decide our course of action."

      "I'm going down there and looking for another way out, if you wanna stay here and wait for hypothermia to get you, be my guest."

      "Hey! I need medical supplies and kindling for a fire if I'm to wait for help."

      "Too bad that I have them in my pack, oh well, I guess you'll have to manage without the supplies."

      Bill took out a half-empty pack of tissues and blew his nose; he pushed himself up and nodded, we wrapped rope around nails which we hammered in just below the aperture.

      We rappelled down, manoeuvring between the sharp, protruding rocks. When our boots touched the ground, we sighed in relief. We were staring into a dark tunnel; the floor was littered with bones of animals and the walls smeared with blood.

      The air was thick. And there was this weird sensation, it was this feeling of impending danger, but it was vague and distant. Bones crunched under our boots as we stalked down the tunnel. It was cold. In the dark, I felt for Bill's hand and squeezed it. I saw a flicker of green light further down the tunnel.

      "Did you see that?" I asked Bill.

      "What?"

      "The green light. Look, there it is again."

      It was more distinct this time: a venomous green light rising and waning from deep down the tunnel. Bill fumbled for his flashlight. It shattered on the ground when his grip failed. A scream rose from somewhere in front of us. Our hands squeezed so tightly that I felt my blood stop circulating.

      A shuffling started somewhere far away; it grew louder and faster, like something was charging at us. I was breathing frantically, my hands shook, and I tried to scream but my lungs failed.

      When I came to my senses, my eyes darted to Bill. I saw a flare attached to his belt. The shuffling was getting louder. I ripped the flare of Bill's belt and removed the cap, striking the end of the flare against rough end of the cap. A fireball of sparks erupted from the flare, and I threw it into the tunnel.

      When it hit the ground, the steaming red bulb of light revealed an amphibious yet humanoid shape which screeched and fled.

      "What the fuck was that?" Bill choked.

      "I don't know."

      "We need to go further." Bill said.

      "No, we need to go back."

      "We can't and it's all your fucking fault, you bastard."

      We moved on until we found an opening in the wall, it looked down onto an abyss. We set up camp here. Bill's coat was drenched in mucus, it was streaming down his cheeks, and we were both shaking -- it was freezing.

      The flames died down until only embers gleamed in the darkness; Bill took out a pack of tissues with a trembling hand. Only one tissue left. I looked down into the dying fire, there was a chance that if Bill threw in the tissue it would catch fire and the undamaged ends of twigs might burn, giving us an extra five minutes of warmth.

      I pitched the idea to Bill.

      Then I said, "Of course I'm crazy, I saw a fucking frog monster who tried to molest us, haha."

      Bill looked at me funny then gazed into the fire, not much time to decide. On one hand, heat is good for both of us; on the other, he is choking on mucus so he would benefit more from relieving his sinus.

      Bill cried and threw the tissue into the fire. Flames engulfed it and spread onto the twigs. It was about three minutes of a pitiful fire, but to us, it was like ten seconds of heaven. We drifted off to sleep.

      I woke up later. The air was heavy and tasted of rot and decay, it was freezing and dark -- except for the faint green light. I knew what it signified; I took out a flare. The smell made me gag. I heard a rustling on the ledge near the opening, that's where the light came from; I saw green, bony fingers dig into the stones and the muscles on the hands tensed.

      The hands were pulling up a body. I squeezed the flare, and I saw a horse-structured skull enveloped in glowing green hide emerge from the darkness of the abyss; then, a heart-shaped body with randomly protruding ribs emerged, it was encased in some bedraggled armour. Lastly, horse-like legs hit the ground. It snarled at me with bloody teeth.

      The monster looked hurt: it was leaning to one side as if to re-direct body-weight onto an unhurt leg. It had cyan liquid spurting out of its legs. I lit the flare, and threw it the thing. It hissed and lunged into the void.

      Bill snapped awake, choking on mucus. I explained what happened, but this time he did not lecture me on how crazy I am; instead, he said we better pack up and continue onwards. We walked until we reached a natural stairwell. We descended. It was about four fathoms deep.

      It led into a giant opening. We walked around and what we saw chilled us to our bones. Ancient buildings, Mesoamerican and Roman architecture, filled the place. They all lay in ruin, and occasionally a mangled corpse of one of those monsters I saw lay outside the door.

      As we walked through the ruins, I heard a rustling behind us, and when I turned around, the monster from before sprang at me from the darkness. I woke up with a sore head and throbbing stomach; I was lying in a metal room with cables and circuits running along the walls. When my vision focused, I saw a metal bar door. I limped towards it, taking in tough breaths.

      I seized the bars when I saw the horror on the other side: Bill was lying naked on an operating table, the monster standing beside him. There were pods with similar creatures lining the left wall, I shifted around to get a better look at the right; I felt my stomach churn when I saw the heap of dead, naked, mangled bodies sprawled in a giant heap. Tears welled up in my eyes. This is it, I thought. This is the end, we're gonna die.

      The monster took a squirming bug out of a tube he picked up from beside a computer. The keyboard was attached to the wall and tilted down at an acute angle; the screen was also in the wall, and the desktop was thrice the size of a normal one, with holes and tubes and flashing buttons on it. The bug was dropped into Bill's mouth. I saw a bulge as the bug scurried down my friends oesophagus, small intestine, large intestine. It stopped there, changed position and continued. Bill's penis swelled as a lump shot through his urethra. The bug shrivelled in the pool of blood it lay in.

      The creature picked it up, put it back in the tube, and inserted the tube into the computer. The screen flickered to life. Two columns popped up, the first had two rows of green icons; the second had rows of red and green icons. The alien clicked some button on the bottom of the screen. All the icons in the first row were red, while only one in the second row was red.

      The alien produced a syringe, and he extracted some pinkish fluid from himself. He fell over but managed to put the syringe into the computer. All the icons were green now. The desktop lurched violently, and a tube stuck into the desktop was filled with a yellow liquid.

      The monster carried the liquid to one of the pods and pushed it into a slot. The liquid drained and air rushed out of the collapsing pod door. A monster fell out too, but it got up. The monster number one was now convulsing on the ground.

      The pod monster kneeled down on its legs and rapped its knuckles on the other's head while he died. The pod monster shrieked and launched itself at Bill. It tore at his flesh and muscles furiously; the motherfucker was in the biggest frenzy I ever saw.

      The sight made me sick so I retreated into the shadows of my cell. I sat on the floor, hyperventilating. I scanned the room in search of an escape, but there was nothing. I cried endlessly, sinking deeper into the bones. Until I remember something I learned on an expedition through a cave in Africa. The guide told us to put away anything that could produce flame because the animal bones sprawled all over the tight corridors are highly flammable.

      Now, if I could only start a fire. That fucking splattering was so grotesquely disgusting that I nearly vomited. The sound of the monster ravaging my friend made me clutch my head so hard that I nearly blacked-out. I fell on the ground, flailing my limbs manically.

      "Shut up!" I cried. "Shut up! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!"

      I was going crazy. You'd understand if you saw an impossible monster tear your friend to gory shreds. On the ground, I saw a flint. My eyes widened and hope eclipsed my insanity. I snatched up the flint and struck it against the base of the iron walls. Sparks flew out and glittered on the bones, but it was not enough to start a fire.

      Insanity returned. It was like a shafts of moonlight piercing a dark cloud. My action became faster and more furious, my breathing more desperate, and my muscles ached terribly; the flint was now half its original size. The dark cloud was now gleaming white. I felt myself going insane.

      A lick of flame tasted the trench I carved into the wall. I struck it again. This time, a tongue of fire whipped the protruding rib of some elk, and hastily engulfed the whole skeleton. The dark cloud was gone, and a full moon shone. I yelled until my lungs gave out. I jumped and banged my head against the walls.

      "Burn, Bitch, Burn!"

      The creature ripped out the door and dug its claws into my chest, it lifted me up and sprinted away.

      I tried to move my hand but a paroxysm of pain shot through it. Elk antlers were pinning my hands and legs to the walls. In front of me I saw a brilliant array of bright, multi-colored lights shinning and flashing in front of me. I heard hundreds of differently pitched gurgles. In front of me was a civilization of aliens living life just like us.

      I looked up. Hundreds of small dots were clinging to the walls of a humongous crater in the ceiling. They were digging, trying to dig out into the outside world. At this rate, they will succeed.

      God help us!

        Loading editor
    • This draft seems kind of unfinished, but besides that you seem to have taken our advice to heart. Good job!

        Loading editor
    • Thanks a lot! I'm glad I managed to implement all your advice. I know your probably sick of me bothering you, but I would appreciate it if you told me in what way the draft seems unfinished.

        Loading editor
    • Towards the end, it just seems like you threw in some poetic vocabulary for the sake of being poetic, rather than adding to the story.

      You end on a kind of weird note. Like it's okay, but it just sort of randomly stops, thus making it seem unfinished.

        Loading editor
    • Okay, I'm going to dive in headfirst. If I don't finish by the time I need to, I'll post the stuff I've done here, and pick up where I left off later.


      I have never, (This comma needs to be removed) in my twenty-two years with the Mountain Rescue Team, seen such a relentless blizzard, the branches it blew off trees bombarded us savagely (This part of the sentence seems out of place. Take it out or make it part of a different sentence). I made out Bill's silhouette pushing against wind. He wasn't made for this kind of work. He was more the office type. (Those two sentences are a weird tone change, but as I haven't read the entire thing, I'd bet they're important. For now, make the wording a bit edgier to fit with the tone. (e.g. change 'made' to 'cut out for'))

      I should pity him for his poor financial state, and I should respect him for working his ass off to put food on the table (This part of the sentence feels unnecessary. No need to take it out, just change it a bit, maybe make it part of a different sentence), and his dedication: he begged the boss on his knees to let him take on the work in spite of his influenza. (This should be a comma) But he's an amateur when it comes to the world. He should not have married so young -- he's only twenty-two, and he should not have had a kid without a steady paycheck. (I don't know why, but 'shouldn't' seems to fit better than 'should not' here. It's a minor issue that may just be me.)

      When I brought my foot down, it did not meet ground; instead, my momentum threw me forth into a spiralling tunnel. I heard Bill fall down behind me. And when I thought I'd never see the bottom, I flew through a small hole into a dark room. Snow cushioned the impact (This sentence feels unfinished. Maybe describe how the snow cushioned the impact or something?).

      I struggled to my feet and massaged my temple (Jeez, he's lugging a monument around with him everywhere? No wonder this blizzard seems so bad. But seriously, this sentence feels unfinished too. Is he hurt is he cold? You don't mention the state of the protagonist here). I looked around, trying to make sense of the distorted pictures that jumped around in front of my eyes. When they melted into one image, I saw a dark cavern, littered with animal bones; Bill was doubled over on the ground (This statement feels unfinished. Is he clutching his side, throwing up, groaning, or something?). I was disturbed by the bones, but assumed that animals had been getting trapped here for centuries and the bones piled up over time. When I approached Bill, he tried to get up, but roared (For some reason here, I just imagined a little kid shouting 'grr', and making one of those 'Look mom, I'm scary' poses.) in agony and dropped to the ground. I pulled him up and slipped my left arm under his left shoulder to support him (This sentence feels unfinished as well).

      On the south end of the cave, there was a vertical opening, barely wide enough for us both. When we limped out onto the other side, a strong smell of rot and decay hit us. I let go of Bill and he clasped his leg and gasped. It was damaged, but not broken (How does the protagonist know this? I'd say just take this out. If it's important, you can have the character give a medical examination right now, as it's relatively quiet.). We were in a circle, a fog hovering in the air, three stone slabs lying on the ground and an aperture in the opposite wall -- a vertical drop with stalagmites and stalactites sticking out, horizontally, like canines from the walls.

      "We oughta light a fire and rest for a while, then we can think how we are gonna get out of here." I said, as I spilled out our emergency fire starter kit onto the floor. A pile of gasoline, safety matches, paper, and box of coal and twigs. With these, I lit a fire near the slabs.

      "Will that be enough to last us the blizzard?" Bill said.

      "If we're economical with it, yes. It's a big one but it should subside by tomorrow morning -- if it doesn't, then that won't affect us much anyway."

      "Not affect us!" Bill was outraged. "What kind of fucking rescue chopper will fly in this weather. (This should be a question mark.) You don't intend to go further, do you?"

      "You're not intending to huddle up beside the fire and wait for someone to jump down a hole in hopes of finding you?" I said.

      "My head and leg hurt, and I'm not walking through a random cave in the fucking Ural Mountains during the height of winter."

      I was about to burst out at him, but I bit my tongue and said, "Look, Bill, I know you're sick, but we're gonna have to go further. Think about it logically. You're sick and we don't have sufficient inventory to fight off the flu until the rescue gets here."

      "Fuck man! I'm doing this shit to pay our bills, I'm doing this so I can spend time with my family. I didn't sign up to die."

      Bill just looked at floor for a few seconds then blew his nose and lowered himself onto the ground to sleep.

      I tried to contemplate our situation, but my eyes kept wandering off to Bill. The fire cast pulsating shadows on the pale wreck of a man; I did not change my mind about going further, (and) Bill needed to understand that was our only option. He wanted to stay snuggled up and wait for help. If he could not deal with the circumstances, he should have stayed home, or better yet started sweeping Tescos (Is that a taco chain or something?) for minimum wage.

      I lowered myself onto the stone slab near the fire and slept.

      I woke up at midnight (How does the character know this? You could make him check his watch, I guess.). The room was dark and misty, but I fancied a faint toxic-green light coming from the aperture in the wall. I stretched down and fumbled around for my shoes; my hand searching blindly in the dark, then I felt something solid. The thing suddenly twisted and seized my hand; I felt slimy fingers tighten around my wrist with crippling strength. My lungs stopped functioning, sweat squeezed through my pores, and when my eyes adjusted to darkness, I saw a poison-green hand holding my own and I unleashed a strangled scream.

      I broke its grip and scrambled back frantically. I did not move a muscle for two hours.

      That's it for now. Good luck with this.

        Loading editor
    • Thanks. I never realised there was this much mistakes. God, I improved a fucking lot whitin a month. I look forward to seeing the rest or your review. And Tesco is an European thing, kind of like Walmart or Target

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    • Derpyspaghetti
      Derpyspaghetti removed this reply because:
      Repeat reply
      00:19, November 28, 2016
      This reply has been removed
    • Okay, so I'm going to start this as I read, if there is anything that I change my mind about later, I'll try to remember. But here we go:

      The first paragraph is dialogue, no one writes dialogue in a journal. At least not the way you have it written.

      Wolves don't have red eyes, if it was night, they would be reflecting the light from the lens, a part of the eye that humans don't have which is why people's eyes don't have a silver shine to them at night. Fun little fact. But anyway, I'm going to assume that the wolves aren't really wolves, just wanted to put that here in case I'm wrong and it turns out they really are what wolves.

      Also, why is he only starting to write in his journal after three days? Even if it was just little boring shit, he would still write something. Instead of saying Journal Entry #1 you can change it to number three, and give a reason why the other two were omitted. This is an expedition they are on and it would be well documented. Or, you can go all in and give more data, even if it is just a few sentences about what happened in those days, it would help build the characters more, because I don't know anything about them, granted it is only the first real paragraph, but it would help us to get an idea of who we are dealing with before the shit hits the fan, because I have a feeling that's about to happen really soon.

      Okay, so Bill is saying that there shouldn't be any killing of animals, even though they have backed them to the edge of the forest. If the situation was that dire, no one, unless they were an idiot would refuse to kill something. The time to kill has already come, there is no "I won't kill unless I have to," left. It doesn't matter if it was Gandhi, if he didn't want to die, he would be ready to kill an animal that was about to snack on them.

      Just because they fell into a cave doesn't mean they know the wolves won't follow. Not to mention, they are in an unknown cave, that wouldn't be cause to celebrate, either. It out of the skillet and into the fire. They don't know what's down there or how much danger they are in.

      "We had some spare firewood and twigs in the packs in case of an emergency." Well, that's convenient.

      "It's not opaque, so we are fine. I think I will sign off here for the night." Tense swap.

      Using "I fancied," is a weird choice of words, it makes it sound like they are from the 1800's.

      "I broke its grip and scrambled back frantically. I did not dare move a muscle for two hours. When my fear was overpowered by curiosity, I reached into my backpack with a shaking hand and took out a flashlight. The second the beam lit up the room was the second I pulled my hand back and swung the heavy object at the foot of my makeshift bed; using all my momentum and strength I crashed the flashlight into the place where the hand was.

      The flashlight broke the second it hit the stone... there was nothing there. "

      Try using a different word besides second. You used it three times in that little bit of text. It becomes repetitive.

      "The bogeyman, cthulhu, god." This line made me groan. No one believes that Cthulhu is real, not even children. Use something that some people would believe in, without being looked at as being crazy. Even if it is just a child who would believe in it, like Santa or The Easter Bunny.

      Sorry, I was going to leave it at that, but that line really got under my skin and pissed me off a little. This story is not on par with Lovecraft, Derleth or any of the other writers who have taken on the Cthulhu mantle. Sorry for sounding so mean just then, but Jesus, you didn't even capitalize his name.

      Entry 3 is two days after entry 2 and they have just finished eating? Also, why would you have to break it up like that? Why does it need to have a new entry for a continuation of the same part of the story?

      They couldn't climb out the hole they came down, fine. But they have all this climbing gear to go deeper into the cave? Why couldn't they just use it to climb out? Even if they tried and failed, that would get rid of that plot hole.

      "it was unexplainable:" build a deep hole, or throw it into the aperture and set this sentence on fire.

      "When my self-defense mechanisms kicked in, my eyes darted to Bill. I saw a flare attached to his belt." No you didn't. There is no light in a cave and your eyes cannot adjust to that darkness.

      "here was this feeling of... Radiation?" Can you please explain what this means? What does radiation feel like? And why is it capitalized?

      "real diamonds (about 120 carats)," you could not possible know how many carats they were just by looking at them.

      An unknown monster able to talk English.

      The writer of the story dies at the end.

      Someone else would need to collect these notes, otherwise how would the story ever be told, and why was the author writing notes as he was being taken to his death.

      So there are a ton of plot points in this story, most of which I've marked above. The more I read this, the more I became frustrated. One of the main reasons was because the author writes like he is a tenured professor at Harvard at some points and like he was just picked off the streets at others. Pick one man.

      The person writing the story dies at the end, is one of my biggest buttons and makes me so mad every time I read it. And I am assuming that because the more I read this story, the more I knew that's where it was heading, it was the reason I was getting frustrated. Pile on the other things I've mentioned and by the end I was pretty upset.

      Overall, and I know I've been rather harsh with some of the things I've said, this could be a good story. I'm not going to go through the grammar, because there have been a lot of people who have already done that, but these are some of the bigger points that ripped me from the story. If you want to keep the ending and the dialogue, I would suggest perhaps making it third person. That would save you a lot of rewriting to get rid of those two big issues.

      Another big thing, and I will most likely be pretty damn harsh here, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt, Don't Try To Be Lovecraft. I written a lot more here, but decided to cut it all out. I don't want to be that guy. I'll say that this story seemed a lot like you were trying to write like him, and that's okay. Everyone tries to write like someone when they first start out, it's a good way to find your own voice. But be careful, otherwise you'll fall into a hole and not be able to climb back out. Learn for other writers, find what works and what doesn't and use both of those things to improve your own writing.

      Sorry for being so harsh. I'll try not to be next time.

        Loading editor
    • Thanks a lot for the feedback. Most of those things were fixed in my latest revision but you still pointed out some major errors. Thanks again. Oh, and don't worry about being harsh. That's the nature of criticism.

      By the way, you said "This story is not on par with Lovecraft, Derleth or any of the other writers who have taken on the Cthulhu mantle." Yeah, well, no shit. I cannot thank you enough for reviewing this(even if only the first draft), especially since it ticked you off. But that statement you made sounds like an insult to my intelligence. I know your right, any one with a moderate IQ knows that. Maybe I hate the comparison because it reminds me how badly I fucked up the first draft. Anyway, don't take it personally. I just wanted to let you that your statement convoyed a alliterative meaning to me(I think). Thanks again for the feedback. It's hard to read a story that pisses you off. So I apologize.

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    • A FANDOM user
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