Beast of the Black

Beast of the Black

A Story by Franklin...
"

A pair of spelunkers are not as alone as they think.

"
    The luminescent waters fell, dragged down by the inexorable will of gravity, to plunge into the rippling pool occupying a third of the cave's floor. The aquamarine glow of the water softly caressed sandstone walls that had seen the wear of the gurgling liquid for millennia. Sporadic clumps of fungus blushed here and there in accordance with the water's vibrant hue, creating tiny outposts of light amongst the darkness.
    Two figures, crowned with harsh artificial radiance, emerged from the slender mouth of a tunnel opposite the waterfall, and picked their way slowly over the uneven, rock-strewn floor. As they meandered closer, the ambient light revealed them to be a young couple, equipped with all the accouterments of novice spelunkers. They reached the pool of gently agitating water, and, switching off their headlamps, settled upon a large stone perched at the edge. The young woman put her hand in his, and they sat in soft silence as the water splashed and murmured at their feet. 
     From a small shaft somewhere in the gloom behind them, there moved a silent presence. A form distinguishable from the surrounding darkness only by its cimmerian shade and crimson eyes. It slipped forward a silken stride, then two. Smoldering eyes fixed intently on the oblivious creatures, it advanced ever closer. The girl leaned her head against her companion's shoulder, and snuggled closer as he put his arm around her. Its lip curled in loathing, and its sinewy body trembled with incomprehensible rage. 
     Onyx paws glided it forward in exquisite silence toward its prey. It laid its rounded ears back, and dragged a scarlet tongue quickly across it's jagged maw in eagerness. A few more yards now, then its razor claws would tear, its piercing teeth would savage. Eviseration, exsanguination. Vicious revelry in the vital fluid of their bodies, covering it, soaking into it, joining it. Muscles fired in malice bunched and tensed to the breaking, then released in a shard of a second...
     It was smashed to the stone floor in mid-flight by a massive piece of airborne sandstone. From across the grotto, bounding in great leaps, charged a six-limbed creature, it's shaggy fur lambent. Even as the fiend of darkness struggled back to its feet the creature was upon it, raining down crushing blows with its four arms. The overwhelmed fiend fought, fought with all the hatred and pain it knew. It scrabbling for footing on the floor as its nemesis maintained its merciless assault. With a final effort, it tore away from the grasp of its assailant and fled the cavern, back throught the narrow shaft, and down, so far down, to its lair of cold, shadow, and void.

© 2010 Franklin...


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Author's Note

Franklin...
Probably about 70-80% rewritten from the original.

My Review

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Featured Review

Normaly I would say this is too heavy on flowery adjectives, but it's completely aproppriate for painting vivid landscapes and you've handled it well. My only suggestion would be keep the long flowing sentences for the visual descriptions, then use shorter sentences for most of the actions of the characters/creatures. Quick sentences are good for tightening up the pace and upping the tension level. Mesmerize the reader with the scenery, then go for the throat as the action escalates. Think of the most intense parts as quick, staccato bursts and fragment sentences. You already have one (evisceration, exsanguination), and it fits perfectly. Think about how people percieve different situations. The more danger they're in, the quicker their thoughts will run. Nobody wants to get killed halfway through the third adverb of a thought.

Also you have an it's in possevive form that doesn't need an apostraphe.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Normaly I would say this is too heavy on flowery adjectives, but it's completely aproppriate for painting vivid landscapes and you've handled it well. My only suggestion would be keep the long flowing sentences for the visual descriptions, then use shorter sentences for most of the actions of the characters/creatures. Quick sentences are good for tightening up the pace and upping the tension level. Mesmerize the reader with the scenery, then go for the throat as the action escalates. Think of the most intense parts as quick, staccato bursts and fragment sentences. You already have one (evisceration, exsanguination), and it fits perfectly. Think about how people percieve different situations. The more danger they're in, the quicker their thoughts will run. Nobody wants to get killed halfway through the third adverb of a thought.

Also you have an it's in possevive form that doesn't need an apostraphe.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

okay, not going to focus on the small stuff. just holistic views from me.

wonderful first line :)
this is f*****g beautiful, man! where did this come from!?! AND ALL YOU'RE DESCRIBING IS THE WATER'S REFLECTION ON SANDSTONE WALLS!!!

everything up to this has been great, and even this is only nit-picking on word choice:
"Smoldering eyes fixed intently on the oblivious humans,"
creatures, instead of humans

"Onyx paws glided it forward so very slowly, but oh so quietly toward its prey. "
that "so" and then the next "oh so" really ruins the voice that you'd had going. this strange "oh so" takes me out of the story, and i was REALLY into it :D delete immediately!

"Eviseration, exsanguination. Vicious revelry in the vital fluid of their bodies, covering it, soaking into it, joining it."
F*****g. Beautiful.

"fled the cavern, back throught the narrow shaft, and down, so far down, to its lair of cold, shadow, and void."
i got the feeling of Hell in the last version, but not here. you've made it a CREATURE now, and not some ambiguous minion/demon. i love that.

and you have to know that there's more to this story, right? honestly, this feels to me AHEAD of a lot that's already happened. i think of this beast as one of Lovecraft's Cthulhu... it's got the psychology of any other animal on Earth, but it feels SO alien and so... empowering. Lovecraft wrote a novel about these stupid (at least, more stupid than humans), so i'm sure you could think of something. the problem would be "people come to cave. find creature. chaos ensues." that's too cliche and easy of a story. i guess it's up to you to figure out what else can happen :) i'm going to think also, because you've really inspired me with this story.

i've enjoyed this immensely!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Hmmm.. this is really interesting. Of course, I want to know that the "good" and "bad" monsters are...haha and why they are at the waterfall... and why the "bad" one is so angry at the humans.

This is a great write that could definitely have a second part. It seems to read as a tension filled introduction into a pair of beasts.. they could be guardians of some sort..they could be a good -vs- evil sort of thing...or they could just be two monsters who don't like each other and the one I call "good' could be just as montrsous as the one I call "bad".

At any rate, the story kept my interest from the first line. You set a good pace and the imagery is fantastic.. I turned to check behind me a couple of times..haha and I'm in an office.

Excellent work and I enjoyed it immensly, would love to see a continuation.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

(keep in mind that this will be a much fuller critique, and i tend to be a very honest, sometimes harsh critic. i'm not saying i'm going to be mean or anything, but i'm not trying to hurt your feelings. kapish?) (i've been reading a bit into this and will say: no need for a poem or anything like that. my suggestions will help set up a flow and an organized manner of events.)

my first issue before even reading: there is no time for suspense. all of the text is blocked together, making it look like a fat monster about to eat me. it looks like what IT could be. try and create some paragraphs, set a mood.

the title: lose *it* (ha). i think you'll get way too many minds thinking of S. King before we've even started reading. there will be instant comparison, whereas you want something fresh and original.

"The gallery was dim, lit only by faint star-light infusing into the area through the glass wall."
i don't like star-light, and there's an easy way to fix this (that'll help the flow of the story):
The gallery was lit by the stars from the stretched windows above the _____(let's get something to set the reader in the room).

"A young couple sat on one of the benches set up in a row facing out into the depths of space."
the first half of this is okay, but huh? the second half? the depths of space. this isn't very effective ambiguity, and fails to set me in the scene.

"They whispered and laughed and held hands, their senses knowing nothing other than each other."
love it. but two suggestions:
their minds knowing nothing but of the other."

"A shadow within the murk(1) behind them moved silently, crouching(2) beside the ajar ventilation grating(3)."
1: replace 'murk'. not descriptive at all.
2: a shadow cannot crouch.
3: not a big thing, but maybe replace 'grating' with 'shaft'? not sure where you live, so this could just be a cultural/geographic thing.

the more and more I critique, I'm not as sure where you're going as I was the previous times I read this. the security bot disappeared from my mind apparently, because it's tripping me up here. maybe you'd care to tell me in a message what exactly this metaphor is, or what in the world is going on here. my mind is reeling in different directions, but obviously in a religious direction (isn't it implied; "down, so far down, to Its lair of cold, shadow" is Hell?). a robot fights Satan and wins?!?

"With utter silence It slipped forward a meter, then two(1), Its eyes fixed with crimson intensity(2) on the unknowing(3) humans. The girl giggled and leaned in to hug her companion for a moment(4). Lip curling in loathing, It trembled with uncomprehensible rage. Onyx paws glided It forward ever so slowly, but oh so quietly."
1: ah, from the UK?
2: what in the world is crimson intensity? :P Its eyes can be crimson, but would I be righto to say that others could have a "emerald intensity", or a "purple intensity" (you'd only find that in a gay erotic fiction... oh! oh! I call copyrights!)?
3: replace "unknowing" with "unbeknown"
4: delete "for a moment"... kills the romance
5: i think this is a good time to give some description of this assailant. but... i have a change of mind:

that is what the story is lacking. i got it... the protagonists are distant and without identity, but the reader still connects. but the antagonist is some sort of savage beast. this could be really good... Onyx claws, crimson eyes - that's all we know!?! there should be a lot more :(

why is this set in a gallery? what is a gallery? in America, we think of that as an Art Gallery, but I think that's really wrong. oh well. not all of my comments are spot-on because I've been in a few different perspectives with this story. I though it only needed a few changes, but now I feel a re-write is in order. but I thought you'd said you were going to do that. how about a new (more practical) setting? a far-away waterfall, where some people are hitch-hiking. rather than the opponent being a security bot (which we get no description of, no way the reader can visualize what you want us to see), how about a hunter? human, or 'dressed' as a human? just throwing ideas :)

hope i've helped! will wait to rate until I see your final draft.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Whew, gotta lose the *s... very distracting.

I'm not sure this is as much a stand-alone story as it is a passing glimpse of a scene. there is no motivation, no progression, and no real beginning.

and these all opinions; but, I think this might be better as a poem, and much more ambiguous.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on July 25, 2010
Last Updated on September 17, 2010
Tags: cave, creature, darkness, light, danger, rage
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Franklin...
Franklin...

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Just a guy who dabbles with writing from time to time. Just thought I'd put this here for reference, and to possibly fend off any misunderstanding: I'm not in the habit of writing two word reviews. D.. more..

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