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  • I'd like some critiques on my story so I can make it as best as it can be. 

    Here it is:

    The walls which hold me captive in this house feel as though they will cave in upon me at any second. I have been situated on my bed, confined to this room for many days now. The thought of never escaping whatever Hell I find myself in is far beyond maddening. I sincerely regret ever opening the letter addressed to me by my estranged aunt. It is ever since that mere moment that I have perceived immense changes in my life. Dear God, I hope that my life ends soon; whether it be at the hands of that thing enclosing the manor, or by the virtue of dehydration. Only then shall I be granted true peace.



    I remember vividly, the day of which I received the letter from my aunt, and the subsequent days. I awoke in the morning and carried on with my typical routine; preparing myself breakfast, shaving, and then getting dressed for work. I plodded through the brisk, invigorating autumn air to the bank at which I was a teller; as mundane of a career it was.



    The work day progressed as any other, having me interact with many different people, until a courier entered the bank.



    He waited in line, staring down at his feet the entire time. After a short while, he was directed to the teller four booths down from mine. It is here that he refused, and asked if it was at all possible to wait until he could do his dealings with me. His request was accepted and after some time, he made his way over to where I was located. Without any hesitation, he spoke.



    “Good day. I have a letter for you.” Hastily, he reached into his coat and removed an envelope before sliding it under the glass barrier that separated him from me. “Please read it as soon as you can.” With this, he turned and left.



    When it was time to return home, I made sure that the letter was on my person. I put on my coat and tucked it away inside the inner pocket. For the entire walk home I conspired as to who the letter was from. Curiosity gnawed at me until I was finally back home. I set the letter on the table while I went to retrieve my letter-opener. Cautiously, I punctured the envelope and brought the blade up until the contents were accessible. I removed the letter and began unfolding it.



    Dear Benjamin,




    I write to you in hopes that you will 'aid me in making my final wishes come true. You see, I am terribly ill and all alone, being widowed before you were born. My husband left me the manor in which I live now.



    I will have died by the time you get this, so please, come to my manor and find that it is yours. I have no children to pass it on to, so I anticipate you to accept my offering of it to you.



    It is located in 'Massachusetts. Just West of S'helburne' to be exact. You cannot miss it.




    Cordially,



    Your Aunt Frances



    I set the letter down and began to contemplate my circumstances. If it were true, I could leave the flitting city of New York and live out the rest of my life in equanimity, enjoying the serene countryside of Massachusetts. If it were false, I’d be trapped in the city, contrived to keep up with its rapid pace.



    Many hours had passed, and the moon now sat in the sky, replacing the suns radiance. The choice I was presented with still lingered in my mind, rendering me unable to do anything but think.



    The time came for me to sleep, and so I did, struggling at first to get comfortable beneath my pile of quilts, but eventually I managed.



    I awoke the next morning, from what was an ultimately uncomfortable rest, my neck aching. I stood and yawned greatly, before going about my routine.



    During my monotonous morning routine, I had finally decided on what I was going to do in regards to my aunts manor. I figured to myself that there could not have been any harm in just visiting to confirm that it was, indeed, passed down to me. I began packing my trunk shortly after, eager to get away for a short while. The idea of being away for the rest of my existence paraded around in the deep reaches of my mind, fabricating excitement.



    I carried my luggage to the docks where I was to purchase passage on a ship heading to Massachusetts. I gleefully approached the clerk and paid for my ticket. Eagerly, I headed to a bench where I waited until my time of departure.



    Time went by rather swiftly, and I was soon directed by a man in uniform to enter onto the vessel. I walked on the gangplank and followed the path down to my room. I placed my trunk down at the foot of the small bed, opened it and began rummaging around for a book.



    Once I found a book, I situated myself on the bed and began reading. I found myself lost in the words printed on the pages before checking my pocket watch to see what time it was. Surprised at how late it was after getting, I put my book away and prepared myself to sleep.



    I awoke at sunrise and got ready for my trip further inland. I took my belongings on the top deck and watched as the ship was docked. I felt comfort in stepping back onto land, having found myself slightly ill from the cruelty of the sea. My first intention was to find a means of transportation further inland, so I carried my trunk over to the taxi stand and requested a cab.



    My request was denied as the property was seemingly further from civilization than my aunt had let on. I was told however, by a supportive bystander that farmers from Shelburne are travelling back and forth everyday. Thankful for this newfound knowledge, I began making my way to the market.



    I asked numerous farmers if they were going back to Shelburne that day, and to my good fortune, one had told me that they were. I asked for a ride and offered a substantial sum for the trip. I was ordered to place my trunk in the back of their wagon, and to sit in the front with them.



    The ride was long, taking almost a full day to complete. I felt pain radiating in my back as the seat was not the most comfortable. The farmer navigated the wagon up the wide path to the manor and let me off. Having already been paid, he made his leave and started back down the road. Now alone, I felt a wave of unease come over me. The manor was in rather poor condition, not having any upkeep in what seemed like years.

    Tired, sore and wanting rest, I swung the large gate that divided me and the manor open and made my way inside. I turned the golden knob of the front door and opened it. The inside of the house was decrepit. Its walls were bare in terms of decoration, but dressed in dust and cobwebs. I left my things at the door and began exploring the place. It had very little in terms of furniture and the likes. I assumed that my aunt had sold or given some of it away.



    After I had explored most of the manor, I felt it appropriate to get some rest, especially feeling the need to deeply clean tomorrow. I walked up the staircase and down the hallway where I was met by two towering white doors. I opened them and found a massive bed in the centre of the room. Exhausted, I hastily unpacked my things and lay upon the bed, closing my eyes.



    As I slept, I felt tormented by something I could not bare witness to. It irked me for the entirety of the night, causing me to wake randomly.



    While the morning approached, I lay awake, unable to sleep no more. My sleep was far from exemplary and caused me to trudge around the house all day as I made a jaded attempt to clean the manor.



    I decided to start in my room, or what was my aunts old room. I began by having a look under the bed for any clutter or mess. To my surprise, I found a hatch, hidden away from everything underneath the bed. Curious, I got up from off the floor and pushed the bed to the side. I struggled greatly as the thing was much larger than I.



    When I had full access to the hatch, I was initially weary to open it, for what secrets would lie down there.



    After some thought, I forced myself to open it. I did so slowly, as a precaution. The hatch hit the wooden floor with a loud thud and dust floated through the air. I peered down inside and made out in the darkness, a ladder. I searched the room for a lantern, and thankfully found one in a drawer, along with a means of lighting it. I lit the lantern and began my descent down the ladder.



    I landed on stone as I leaped from the last rung of the ladder. The stale air was frigid to my bare skin.

    Meagerly, my lantern lit the way in front of me as I pushed on forward down what seemed to be a hallway. The journey did not last long until I was confronted by a door. It was different than any other door I had seen in the manor thus far. It was made of some type of metal and had no knob, so I gradually pushed it open.



    I was met with an expansive, empty room. It too, was made of stone, like the hallway that lead me to it. I walked around for a while, keen on finding some sort of explanation as to why this was here, and hidden away. Soon, the light of the lantern unveiled a small, circular object on the floor. Intrigued, I picked it up and began examining it. It was intricately carved with elaborate runes, arranged in a way that made them appear labyrinthine. I put the stone in my pocket and started back to the ladder.



    That night, my mind was plagued with questions as to the origins of that stone. Never in my time in this world have I seen anything like it. It must have had some sort of significance or value to my aunt to have been withheld from sight like it was.



    I later found myself falling to sleep with ease, from my exhaustion. In my slumber, I dreamt a terrible dream that would now haunt me for the rest of my life.

    I was alone in a deep forest. The trees stretched high into the misty sky, penetrating the clouds. I began to walk down the narrow path that weaved through the trees, before I was met with terror. There before me, were the skeletal remains of people, strewn about the path. Still, I felt compelled to keep on walking. After the number of bodies grew larger, I was stopped in my tracks by a force unknown to me at the time. It is here that the ground below me rose, pushing me up into the sky, above the trees. The elevation stopped, and lightning flashed in the sky. The sudden burst of light made clear, a shadow, of what I wasn’t sure, but I felt fierce dread at a slight glimpse of the thing.



    It is here that I awoke, my breaths shallow and rapid; my forehead damp with perspiration. Panicked, I got up from the bed paced the floors in an attempt to calm myself. After a while, I began to return to normalcy.



    I spent the following days afflicted by the same dream, that all lead the same distress.



    I was now downcast, having experienced intense angst for a number of days, all because of a dream. Tired of my gloom, I was to stay awake as long as I could. I attempted to keep myself occupied before slipping into slumber by reading.



    The narrative strayed my mind from my dream until I could not keep my eyes open any longer. I drifted off into the same dreamscape I entered the night prior.



    I found myself following the same path as the last time. Thunder roared as I examined the skeletons that guided me along. Soon enough, I found myself stopped again, and the ground underneath me propelling upwards. This time however, when the ascent ceased, I was met with a colossal eye piercing my very being. Deep within the abyss of the pupil however, were the same runic marking as on the stone I had found.



    I sprang up from the chair I was asleep in, my book falling to the floor. I was once again filled with dread. I was perplexed by the reality that I had had a reoccurring dream that left me with such an acute anxiety. Determined to end my misery, I marched into the bedroom and located the stone. It lay in the spot where I had left it. I picked it up and repeatedly threw it onto the floor. It took several attempts before the thing smashed.



    I felt accomplished and at ease, having vanquished the cause to my recent pain. Or so I though, as when I am having my moment of alleviation, lightning bursts in the dull sky outside, followed by a barrage of thunder.



    Outside I hear an odd clamour unlike the thunder I had just heard. I peek outside the window and all over again, I am overcome with dread, for what do I see other than a monolithic being. It approaches from the distance, in a cloud of mist. Its eyes are akin to the one I had seen in the dream.



    Lightning and thunder continue to transpire as the being gets closer and closer. Its pale grey skin glistens under the brisk flashes of light.



    It arrives promptly, shrouding the entire property in an impenetrable fog. Outside I can only see the flashes of lightning and the glowing of the beings eyes, gazing upon me. I do not dare step outside in fear of what such a thing would do to me. Defensively, I plant myself in the bedroom, not to exit until that thing is gone.



    It is here that I sit, as I have been for a number of days. I figure that I will perish soon enough from dehydration, and with any luck, I will. The being still watches from outside, forcing me to be imprisoned here. In what I am wishing are my last moments, I search for stationary to write about the things I have endured over the last while.



    As I comb through the drawers fashioned into my aunts old desk, I unearth a sealed letter. I notice that it has my name poorly scrawled onto the envelope. I open it.



    Dear Benjamin,




    I was not ill. I was being tormented by it.



    I had to escape it, and death was the only way out.



    Do not seek what lies under the hatch, for the Dream Weavers stone is buried there.



    And if you have already, may God be with you.




    I’m sorry,



    Aunt Frances



    Astonished, I drop the letter from my hands.



    I sit at the desk, and begin writing. The walls begin to quake around me as the being outside utters a low, grating roar.

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    • The formatting will be fixed by the way. Libre Writer made it that way

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    • It's okay.  The idea and the main plot arc are good: "narrator inherits mansion, awakens problem, ironic twist, bleak ending."  That's all fine.

      There is a lot stuff here that you don't need.  I really think everything between the initial present tense stuff and your narrator getting to the mansion needs to go.  It doesn't have any bearing whatsoever on the rest of the story, and it's not even believable.  For instance, no lawyer is going to just dump a letter like that without explanation (and if you've seen this in stories, they lied).

      Also, your level of description is sometimes painfully unnecessary.  For instance, we don't need a three-sentence play-by-play of someone opening a letter.  We all know what it looks like when someone opens a letter.  If something is well known like that, it doesn't need to be described step by step.  The only descriptive details you need are the ones that are absolutely necessary to convey your story and move it along.

      Where this story really suffers is the sentence-level execution.  You are so focused on emulating a certain style that you don't have a handle on, and it's distracting from the story itself.  This is always going to feel forced, no matter who you are or how long you've been writing.  It will always feel false because it's not your voice.  It's not your style.  You need to tell this story in the clearest, simplest, most authentic way or it will never be effective.

      This would be true even without some of your glaring errors, but let's talk about those as well.  First, you aren't using semicolons properly.  Semicolons must be used to separate complete clauses that appear within the same sentence.  If a grouping of words doesn't have a verb, it's not a clause.  Second, I can tell you used a thesaurus to find some words that "sound better" than the ordinary ones you were thinking of using.  This is always a bad idea because not all synonyms are created equal.  For instance, yeah, technically, "anticipate" means "expect," but it's not used the way you've used it.  Another thing I notice is some incorrect preposition use.  Prepositions are words that show relationship, like "on, of, to," etc.  Each one has its specific use and meaning, and these need to be taken into account.

      I really hope this helps.

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    • A FANDOM user
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