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  • The earliest example of my power I can remember is when I was three years old, sitting on the beach with my dad. We were simply staring out into the sea watching the waves drift gently in the wind, just enjoying the moment. I was sitting on his lap, slowly falling asleep, when the setting sun seemed to twist and bend before my very eyes as it descended beneath the ocean surface. Within moments, it had finished its transformation, now being the shape of a yellowish heart. Great waves of vibrant red suddenly pulsed across the sky, washing through the clouds and stretching for miles and miles. I remember being awestruck at the silky smoothness of that shade of red, which I now understand to be known as the colour of love.

    The next day, my dad proposed to my mother, on what she always described as the happiest day of her life.

    These strange sunset visions would keep happening for years to come. Sometimes I would see a face materialise from behind a cloud, and soon, it would appear in my day-to-day life. Other times, I’d see weather patterns mirrored in the sunlight, from snow, to floods, to tornados. It’s a power that I’d always treasured, but never shared, no matter how much I’d wanted to.

    Though I fear that the time for sharing is now over.

    Around a year ago, I was sat outside, waiting for the sun to set, as I used to do every night. I live in the highest house of a particularly rural countryside area, with a once mesmerising view of the sunset. My mind was weary and aching for sleep, so I was half-awake when I saw a sheet of pure black begin to creep over the horizon. It slowly washed around the curvature of the sun and began to erode the sky little by little, like an ink spill across a piece of paper. I could only watch as the blackness travelled further and further upwards, terrified as it began to obscure even the sun itself.

    Black is never a good omen, and that night, I saw more blackness than in any of my previous visions combined.

    Since then, my sunset visions have ended. But the piercing blackness has remained. And instead of gradually fading away as I so hoped it would, it has only occupied more and more space as time goes on. Just a few months after that initial vision, the blackness occupied at least an entire quarter of the sky. In June, that fraction doubled to roughly half. It was totally surreal, like half of the world was permanently stuck in night and the other trapped in day.

    As the blackness grew, so did the turmoil of everyday life. I heard ever increasing reports of war and conflict breaking out across the entire world. Riots, shootings, and terrorist plots were constant. Food became short, as did drinkable water, and the worldwide climate took a turn for the worst. And although these struggles affected the entire planet, no-one but me could see the cause. The Earth was choking under the poison sky.

    The beautiful visions I saw when the sun still shone have been replaced with foreboding nightmares that soar among the blackness. Now, I only see imagery of bombs, screaming children, ruined towns and cities with bodies piling up by the thousands, as well as mutilated corpses, with fire screaming along their skin among other arcane, horrific sightings.

    Today was the day the blackness reached the other side of the world. There are sirens blaring constantly. I hear people shouting from where I’ve barricaded myself inside my room. Occasionally, there are gunshots. But that doesn’t matter anymore. Because a few minutes ago, a mushroom cloud appeared on the horizon. And another. And another. Now, all I hear is screaming.

    To anyone that finds these scraps of paper at my skeleton long after the nukes have dropped, I’m sorry. Sorry that I didn’t have the confidence to share my insight with the world, sorry that I hoarded my visions instead of sharing them with those I knew. Maybe if I hadn’t been so greedy, the world wouldn’t have suffered so much.

    I can feel the wind picking up through the broken windows. It won’t be long now.

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    • There's the idea of something interesting here, but it's not fully developed.  Interestingly, the parts that don't add to the story are overdeveloped.

      First, there is simply too much rambling information at the start of the story.  The entire first third to half of it is exposition that could easily have been established in half the time you've taken to do it here.  That said, for all the vividness with which you've written it, you could make the pattern of the visions a bit clearer and more consistent.  I suggest taking the time to really describe one specific example of the premonitions in detail and then summarizing the rest in a single paragraph.  This will give you an intro of maybe three or four paragraphs before your story properly begins.

      Since we're talking about the beginning, I wanted to quickly suggest that you cut the whole "I want to confess/write about my experience" part of the intro.  It's hoaky and unnecessary and prevents the reader from taking the story seriously.  You can begin more strongly by pulling us right into an example of the narrator's power.

      At the moment, it feels like your exposition and your story were written by two different people.  Once we get into the meat of the story, which is the black spot next to the sun, it seems like all of the vivid description we were treated to in the beginning of the story is abandoned and the word "fuck" is used repeatedly to create a sense of panic.  Consider the difference between the following two sentences:

      "I blinked, and my vision returned, and all I could see was the sun slowly dissolving over the horizon, beaming bright, shining waves of velvet red into the sky."

      "Out of nowhere, this huge fucking face appeared from the blackness above."

      The first sentence is much more effective than the second.  Not that there's anything wrong with expletives, but they don't replace clear description.  Using the reader's five senses to bring them along for the journey will always be more effective.

      Ultimately, for all the set up, this story falls flat.  You introduce a situation without resolving it, and that's incredibly disappointing.  It's all buildup and no payoff.  If you're taking us this far for this long, you better have something strong and clear to end your story.  Even if you spend your whole story leading up to an event that doesn't happen within the story itself, it should at least be clear what that event is and when it's going to happen.  Otherwise, your story is just unsatisfying.

      Finally, and this is very much a low-order concern, your tense shifts pretty jarringly.  Pick a tense and stick to it.  If your story happened in the past, stick with past tense.  It will just keep the whole thing cleaner.

      I really hope all of this helps.  Your story needs some work, but the idea is good and it can definitely be developed into a great final product.  I look forward to seeing future drafts of this.

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    • Thanks, Jdeschene, I didn't expect such a detailed analysis. I'll upload the second draft shortly, hopefully I'll have improved upon the points you've made.

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    • Draft 2 is finally up. I did a few re-writes, which is why it took so long. The main thing is, it's much shorter and has more of an ending, and I've tried my hand at fixing the tense issues too. Let me know what you think!

      Oh, and of course, I've changed the name of the story from 'Something is Coming' which in hindsight was a bad name.

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    • This is much better. Not sure if it has sufficient impact yet, but it is much better. Merciless editing helps a lot, and your having given us a focus and a conclusion that makes sense in objective reality definitely helps a lot.

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    • A FANDOM user
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