Greeting and salutations, maladies and gentlemen, ghosts and ghouls, to the Random Writer's Showcase! The only series on this website to be terrifying for the wrong reasons and interesting for the right.
Today we'll be looking at J. Deschene , who's been a member since March 2018 and has in that time released seven creepypasta tales, which is impressive. Aside from writing horror she is apparently a theater actor and aspiring director, which is also pretty cool. Today we'll be looking at three of those stories.
She's an actor. Hm.
I've decided to write the rest of this showcase in the style of a pretentious theater critic.
(Last time we showcased Squidmanescape, and you can read that showcase here.)
(By the way, we'll be spoiling each of these stories' twists, and if you would honestly rather spend your scant free hours of the day reading some dope recommend a story as opposed to the actual story itself, you are a hack, who should be more respectful of other writers, and doesn't deserve the right to write horror in the first place. If my summaries even begin to intrigue you than STOP READING THEM AND GO READ THE STORY FIRST! Terms acknowledged? Everything I say beyond this point could potentially ruin the story involved!)
(Moriarty in Sherlock is that gay guy from that one scene in the final game*)
On a Warm Night is an immensely likable story, I'm surprised by how much it intrigued me. It's sad, written more like a tragedy than a horror story, but the actual plot itself is straight out of a classic gothic horror. Its presentation actually reminds me of something you'd see Edgar Allen Poe write, although its definitely written in a very clear modern voice. It's interesting, and intriguing, I'm a big fan.
I like how our narrator is described in terms that evoke a skeleton but they're never overtly described as being one, necessarily. The depiction of death and the idea of a grim reaper-type figure mourning over somebody is resonant and really really got to me. I recommend this read.
As an actress herself, I can't wonder if Deschene has summoned Red Helen on her own, but I acknowledge it's unlikely, haha.
Red Helen is simply a very well done ritual pasta, very well written. It goes through interesting pains to explain not only the effects and origin of Red Helen but even the personality of her—and I do say her, because they're almost certainly a woman and not just some vague cosmic entity. It's in simple lines like
A ritual dagger, such as you might find in an occult supply store, would be best, but there's really no need to break the bank. Sincerity is more likely to win Helen over than any one item used to summon her.
which perfectly describe this sort of interesting otherworldly character, and I think it's in her being a character and not just some vague cosmic entity, like I mentioned earlier, which really sets this story apart from your classic "summoning the bogeyman" fare.
But beyond that, it follows all the classic ritual pasta hallmarks to a point and it's all very well done. You get what you expect out of this story, and that includes the parts you don't expect like almost predetermined twist ending. If you don't like ritual pastas at all I can't imagine you'll get much out of this tale, but as a fan of the genre, I found this to a remarkably fresh rendition.
An absolutely herculean ghost story, excellently done and eloquently written. Those who have read my previous showcases know of my particular strong taste for ghost tales compared to others and this particular pasta is a very strong example of one. It's the developed likable characterization that make this story shine, as much as if not more than the unmistakably horrific and frankly creepy events and narration.
The coming to terms with the impossible, the shakable breaking of norms, the life of a sailor, all things that come together to clasp a strong, charming ghost story with a great buildup and a solid finish. Absolutely recommended to any reader.
Pretentious theater critic mode - off.
J. Deschene is a very very strong writer. I would be interested in checking our her theater work if I were interested in theater, but her short horror fiction is without a doubt some of the best on the site. She uses her perspective to write stories in familar genres with interesting angles and some of her work is absolutely panic inducing. Of the three I showcased I would probably say A Sailor's Song was my personal favorite, although On a Warm Night was a close second. Her other stories I would recommend too, especially Tomato which has real great prose.
(* but honestly that isn't a great twist anyway.)
You can read the next showcase here.