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  • (Disclaimer: The Gray Man has nothing to do with LSD Dream Emulator or anything else with the same or similar name)

    Where I'm from, the sky is always gray.

    If you care enough to turn your head up, your eyes will unvariably be met with the cold color of steel.

    It never rained for us, though, nor did the sun ever shine. The gray just kept up in the sky, looking down on us like a giant. It oppressed us every day. We were cold and thirsty from dawn till dusk. But the gray never showed us any sympathy.

    Then one day I guess it got tired of our complaining, because it relented. It gave us rain and sunlight and went away. Everybody celebrated the day outdoors.

    That day old Crawson, who was a solitary type, went for a walk alone. When he came back, he was frightened out of his wits. The poor soul said a gray man who he didn't recognize was walking along the trail and bumped right into him. The gray man had a funny face, but Crawson couldn't describe what it looked like. Said that the gray man had turned around far too fast and ran away before Crawson could get a good look at him.

    We all assumed that it was nothing and that Crawson was just going senile. But he insisted that he wasn't old enough to lose his mind and that there was a gray man on the trail. Crawson tried to convince us, and he tried hard - whenever you spoke to him, he'd always bring up "that funny-faced gray man," as he called it. None of us believed him, though.

    One kid, Alex, believed Crawson's every word. So he took his camera and went on the path that Crawson went on to try and get a picture of the gray man. To nobody's surprise, he found nothing.

    So Alex went again the next day. This time, he found a branch with teeth marks which he took back to us. After a bit of commotion about what had nibbled on the branch, someone recognized the marks as from a beaver from the nearby river. Alex, dissapointed by this, didn't go on the trail the next day. Some of us thought that he had given up, but we were wrong. The day after Alex's little break, he went back to the trail with his camera at the ready.

    Alex didn't come back for supper, nor for breakfast. Since Alex had always had a big appetite and never skipped a meal on purpose, a few people went on the trail to look for him assuming that he was lost. They came back within the hour holding Alex's cold body and his camera. After we got over the shock of Alex being dead, we decided to look at his camera to see if he had snapped a picture of whatever had gotten him. We found this:

    Bigeyes











    After that, people told the gray sky to come back. We pleaded and pleaded with whatever power controlled the sky. We didn't know if we were best off talking to God or the sky or the gray man himself, so we just shouted and hoped that something would hear us. Something -  I don't know what, but something - heard us and nobody heard from the gray man again. We don't complain about the gray sky anymore, too.

    So that's that, I guess.

      Original image sources: Background: https://clearsightcommunications.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Matt_Damon_66%C3%A8me_Festival_de_Venise_2-768x965.jpg Eyes: https://colourgrid.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/eyec4.jpg?w=412&h=308&zoom=2 Mouth: https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.medicalnewstoday.com%2Fcontent%2Fimages%2Farticles%2F312%2F312250%2Fman-with-open-mouth-smiling.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

    Image edited with Adobe Photoshop Express and Photopea.com by author

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    • I think the premise is interesting, pretty kooky and campfire-storyish. Grammatically I see no errors. I'd maybe nix the "but" at the rain sentence.

      I'm pretty fine with the overall chronology, but I'm slightly concerned with the image. It doesn't quite look like a photograph, more like, well...a digitally edited photograph. I think you could stand to polish it up more, make it more authentic. Perhaps having only some of the color drained out of it to signify some sort of effect the Grey Man has on viewers, having scorch marks or some similar damage, etc. 


      Other than that, you have some mainlist material here. Good luck. 

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    • I pretty much like it. It's got that classic feel definitely. Pretty nice, the image though, it needs something else, maybe take an old burn victim photo and mess with it a bit.

      As for the story itself, it kind of runs too fast, you should add a paragraph or two about interest in the Gray Man piquing in Crawson, maybe some townsfolk and later Alex himself. 

      Also add something that creates a more fluid transition from Alex looking for the Gray Man to being found dead. Maybe just something about his family getting worried he didn't come home that day or something that ends up with him being dead. 

      Also, add a sentence or two linking the request for the grayness to return and the feelings of the townsfolk towards the whole thing with the Gray Man. 

      Otherwise, it's pretty solid. 

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    • I think if you need I could photoshop an image for you, free of charge. Seems how that’s the main critique-

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    • I think you actually have something here. The problem, however, is that the story is too short. Try expanding it, it has potential.

      I also would suggest you consider renaming the Gray Man, as people might think you are talking about the LSD Dream Emulator character.

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    • Thanks for all the feedback you gave me! Sorry it took a long time to update the story, too.

      I tried to implement what you said into the story. If you think I accidentally passed over something you said, please tell me and I'll try to put it in.

      Regarding the image - My skills at image manipulation are pretty subpar. I tried to make it scarier by taking as many suggestions as possible. Unfortunately, even though the advice about the image definitely seemed sound, it surpassed my skills. I'm trying to work on image manipulation myself (though thanks for the offer WitheredLilly!) and the burn victim idea could be taken as disrespectful. To be clear, I don't think that it's disrespectful to suggest the idea to me, I just want to play it completely safe by not using it.

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    • I really like this.

      The image is terrifying. I was absolutely not prepared to see that as I scrolled down to read the next paragraph. It could stand to be a bit more realistic, as William pointed out, but I wouldn't advise tweaking it any further, it's about as scary as it could possibly be in its current form. Very well done with that.

      The story is very sound, too, both in idea and execution. I don't know how much shorter it was before you made the changes, but I think the length is perfect in its current form. The only gripe with it I have is the transition between the 8th and 9th paragraph.

      "The day after Alex's little break, he went back to the trail with his camera at the ready.

      The day after that, though, he went back with his camera at the ready."

      I would advise getting rid of that second sentence, it serves no purpose and simply interrupts the flow of the story. Other than that, this is golden. You should upload it to the site ASAP.

      As for the naming issues, I think you should keep the name. If it's liable to be confused with the character that Ned pointed out, you can always just put in a disclaimer to end any confusion.

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    • Cornconic wrote:
      I really like this.

      The image is terrifying. I was absolutely not prepared to see that as I scrolled down to read the next paragraph. It could stand to be a bit more realistic, as William pointed out, but I wouldn't advise tweaking it any further, it's about as scary as it could possibly be in its current form. Very well done with that.

      The story is very sound, too, both in idea and execution. I don't know how much shorter it was before you made the changes, but I think the length is perfect in its current form. The only gripe with it I have is the transition between the 8th and 9th paragraph.

      "The day after Alex's little break, he went back to the trail with his camera at the ready.

      The day after that, though, he went back with his camera at the ready."

      I would advise getting rid of that second sentence, it serves no purpose and simply interrupts the flow of the story. Other than that, this is golden. You should upload it to the site ASAP.

      As for the naming issues, I think you should keep the name. If it's liable to be confused with the character that Ned pointed out, you can always just put in a disclaimer to end any confusion.

      I corrected that, thanks for the advice! I think I'll wait for one or two more reviews to ensure that nothing else is wrong, and then I'll upload it.

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    • Eiusdem wrote: I corrected that, thanks for the advice! I think I'll wait for one or two more reviews to ensure that nothing else is wrong, and then I'll upload it.

      The people that regularly review stories on the WW tend to be the same half-dozen or so accounts each time. If you want to wait a little longer and hold out for another review, you might be waiting a while, unless you contact someone directly and ask them to review the story again. My advice for you now would be to just post your story. You may get some comments then, and it would save you having to rely on this thread, which will eventually get buried under other threads until it's no longer in the spotlight. You've already got a lot of useful tips, I think now you should just go for it.

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    • Cornconic wrote:

      Eiusdem wrote: I corrected that, thanks for the advice! I think I'll wait for one or two more reviews to ensure that nothing else is wrong, and then I'll upload it.

      The people that regularly review stories on the WW tend to be the same half-dozen or so accounts each time. If you want to wait a little longer and hold out for another review, you might be waiting a while, unless you contact someone directly and ask them to review the story again. My advice for you now would be to just post your story. You may get some comments then, and it would save you having to rely on this thread, which will eventually get buried under other threads until it's no longer in the spotlight. You've already got a lot of useful tips, I think now you should just go for it.

      That is a fair point. I'll do that now, thanks for the tip!

      Aaand it's done. https://creepypasta.fandom.com/wiki/Gray_Man

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