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Short Stories




10:15 by Lawrence Peters A short story about fate and speed and the things that bring people together. [713 words]
The Go-Between by David Gardiner Everybody in the big city is looking for something. The trick is to find out what. [1,638 words]
Talent Takes Patience by Andrew Allyn Rasmussen This story is an interview with my next door neighbor, Christopher Beier. He has a treme... [821 words]
All For Her by F Luis Alvarez The ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate love. [834 words]
Winston (Part 4) by Wolfa Continuing story about a pitbull and a crazy woman... I don't really see the need to describe ... [3,116 words]
Till Death Do Us Part by Sorcha Colleran A chilling tale about a grieving husband. [873 words]
The Unwanted Doll by Debbie Bailey A little girl finds a lonely doll to bring home for Christmas. [821 words]
The Serpent by Simon King Beware your sins... [6,543 words]
The Promise by Debbie Bailey A fictional account of a woman caught in the WTC tragedy and the firefighter who rescues her. [2,453 words]
The Official Brown Envelope by Anna J McGuire A short story based on the challenges faced in war, by the men at war, and their wo... [829 words]
T-H-E N-U-T-Hare B-A-R-T-E-R-I-N-G R-A-B-B-I-T K-I-D by Christopher Dark This is a true story about the lives of 4 people I know ve... [2,454 words]
The Music Of The Spheres by Simon King Can you hear that noise...? [3,946 words]
The Little Things In Life by Fiona Shine This is a story told from the wiewpoint of a man who has spent most of his life in pr... [976 words]
The Greatest Gift by Debbie Bailey A woman reunites with the man who got her pregnant 25 years before. [7,498 words]
The Cab by Jeremy Shackleford Four people ride the same taxi at different times and the cabbie realizes between all of them.And in on... [927 words]
Qualities Of A Friend by Andrea Diane Brown John Denton, a high school sophomore, is excited to learn about the new neighbor his age ... [844 words]
Puppy Love by Debbie Bailey Animals do fall in love too! [747 words]
Peripheral Vision by Simon King In some places, the past and the present are very close... [2,838 words]
My Sweetheart by Debbie Bailey A high school student gets his girlfriend pregnant. [12,593 words]
Mightier Than The Sword by Simon King How much do you hate your boss...? [2,506 words]
Melody's Journey by Rose Trimovski It was her journey, her destiny to find the castle and to get the sword that had powers of the... [8,992 words]
Love That Never Dies by Andrea Diane Brown Daniel Jackson lives with his father. Both are having a great deal of trouble overcoming ... [1,273 words]
Finding Fleur by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Katy desperately wants to find Fleur, but does Fleur want to be found? [1,727 words]
False Accusations by Andrea Diane Brown Something's wrong in Sandra Richardson's life, but she just can't figure out what's going on.... [1,304 words]
Dirty Apartment by Sunny Description of my dirty apartment and its cause, me. [756 words]
Deadly Persuit by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Nature at its most cruel .. when it's interfered with by man. [1,541 words]
Dawn Rising by Sue (Sooz) Simpson He looked at his own personal sunrise every morning, yet longed for the warmth of the sun. [1,069 words]
Dark Solitude.
Creeping Up From Behind. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson You can't ever really know what someone else is thinking ... unless they choose to tel... [925 words]
Cold, Cold Night.. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The night was beautiful but biting, she had to make her final farewells, a cigarette would h... [630 words]
Car Trouble by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Boys will be boys. [496 words]
Breakfast In Bed by Sue (Sooz) Simpson She loved her husband so much, and a sepcial man deserves a special breakfast. [1,633 words]
Barriers by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Everybody's frightened of the prisoner in the cell at the end of the block. [2,913 words]
Bandit At Twelve-O-Clock by Sue (Sooz) Simpson A sinister note drops through her letter box, but who is it from and what's it all abo... [2,144 words]
Attractions by Sue (Sooz) Simpson People stared at the sisters and called them freaks. [678 words]
Apple Of His Eye by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Daddy's little girl, Daddy's little sweetheart. (May be deemed offensive). [1,742 words]
Angel Stew by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The kitchens are in uproar. [826 words]
Agony by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The First in a series of Agony columns written by the unstoppable Aunt Nasty. (May be deemed offensive) [1,200 words]
A Fork In The Road. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson A paradox revolving round the lonely Holker Mosses in the dead of night. [2,835 words]
Madness by Keri McGriff Story based on the life of a woman in the mad house. [593 words]
Thelma's Dilemma by Elwin L Wormwood Thelma Price is about to loose everything she holds dear, until a teenage boy arrives and chan... [3,101 words]
The Medium by Stan A Fowler An engaging and personal battle by an arrogant talk-show host to undermine and expose his guest to r... [4,843 words]
You Verbally Bruise by A Delusion Of Adequacy Just fnding no depth in peope in general. [666 words]
Winston (Part 3) by Wolfa The escaped pitbull forges a partnership with a bum. Meanwhile, the woman Dana believes she h... [2,671 words]
Should Have Would Have, Could Have Been by Alberto Pupo A story of regrets and mistakes.... [638 words]
Observations At An All You Can Eat Buffet Line by Ashley M Smoger Story satirizing Buffet Eaters. [506 words]
Janeska's Story by Ashley Burdett A story of the Holocaust told through a victim's eyes. [5,942 words]
Greatest by A Delusion Of Adequacy The most brutal writing I've ever done. [967 words]
God's Hiding Place by Lawrence Peters - [230 words]
Feng Shui Movers by Kelly Moran My short story involves a reluctant heroine who hides behind new age philosophy instead of tak... [1,922 words]
Dor Omhan by Kai Zi Led "It was... my wife's," Jrudam said, much to Omhan's embarressment, "An earring. I had it made f... [2,810 words]
Describing by A Delusion Of Adequacy The only thing I've written that I like. [532 words]
And Angels Crept. by Duluoz First attempt at writing a novella..(semi-bio)..i'm only two chapters into it but would enjoy... [1,325 words]
Alien Mask by John Barnovsky This is a third-person narration about the encounters of a mountain rescue team with a small clan of... [9,096 words]
The Ticket by Kurt Kitasaki A satire on people who play the lottery. [912 words]
Winston (Part 2) by Wolfa The pitbull, Ripper, plots his escape, and a strange young woman is introduced. [3,397 words]
Winston (Part 1) by Wolfa A brutal, viciously intelligent pit bull -- a champ pitfighter -- makes his way from the dogfi... [3,013 words]
When The Blood Runs Cold by Jack M Brown A murderer surveys his victim, while trying to certify that he has done the right thin... [419 words]
The Medusa Raft by Dimitry Shreders The Medusa Raft is the story of one man ascension from cowardice and personal despair to courag... [7,100 words]
Thanks For Asking by Charles Bishop Twisted Bishop The town that polices it own. [787 words]
Papa by Lawrence Peters For one of the greatest there was. [473 words]
Nympholepsy by Rowen Ravera A bit of prose? attempting to leave the reader aware of violent emotions - particularly relating to... [499 words]
Its A Dog's Life by Ramkumar Menon This story is a poignant description of relationships between human beings. The idea is brough... [1,830 words]
If Not (Dog), Then What? by Jaaffar Munasip A short story of deception and self-believe. [1,344 words]
Devil's Embrace by Black Widow It's an erotic tale of one woman's descent into madness and masochism. [5,139 words]
Boston Blacky by Ken Whan An extended twist on a folk tale. [1,439 words]
An Intimate Conversation With The Powers That Be by Robert G Hagans From the mind of the hopeless cynic, comes a very strange but ... [1,070 words]
When Sylvie Sang by John Kraft A story of love, food and music. [2,030 words]
The Story Of Trading (Featuring Man And Ape) by Rowan Davies 'Tis a humourous tale of the begins of trade. Ape knows the key to... [1,609 words]
The Signal by Tom Campbell What if our search for extraterrestrial intelligence proved fruitful? [876 words]
The Men And The Beast by G Sandberg A descriptive description of the horrors of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. [586 words]
Simple Pleasures In Vegas by R James Hunter One chapter of an in-progress novel. Examines life through one man's ego. [389 words]
Face Your Life by Niall Power Street racing community. [621 words]
Bad Boy by Richard Koss A true story about a bad boy growing up in 1950. Was he just mischievous? Would his behavior be consi... [2,844 words]

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TITLE (EDIT)
Dark Solitude.
DESCRIPTION
A woman alone on the moors when a storm threatens, but this is no ordinanry storm and that is no ordinary lady.
[1,434 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Drama
AUTHOR
Sue (Sooz) Simpson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm thirty nine, recently single again. I have two boys Cli' (pronounced clee) Real name Christopher and Mark. I'm a care in the community nurse and formerly (when I was married) an occupational Therapist working with the mentally ill on a secure unit. I love reading and writing and meeting people. I hate offal, seafood and intolerance. I keep dog, cat, polecats, rats and reptiles. And for seven years ran the second largest reptile sanctuary in Britain. Apart from having my lads, I think that's probably the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. Writing wise, I've been the main fiction writer for Legends magazine for three years.And have two books published 'Lizard's Leap' published by Quillusers, and 'Better the Devil You Know' soon to be released by Bestbooks.Um I drive a knackered old Astra, and ride a two litre trike. I live in the lake district of England, and am happy. :-)
[January 2003]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
sooz.006@virgin.net
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (84)
A Fork In The Road. (Short Stories) A paradox revolving round the lonely Holker Mosses in the dead of night. [2,835 words] [Mystery]
A Twist In The Tail (Short Stories) - [963 words]
Agony (Short Stories) The First in a series of Agony columns written by the unstoppable Aunt Nasty. (May be deemed offensive) [1,200 words] [Comedy]
Agony 2 (Short Stories) Morew from the irrepresible Aunt Nasty (May be deemed offensive). [1,077 words] [Comedy]
Angel Stew (Short Stories) The kitchens are in uproar. [826 words] [Comedy]
Anne (Short Stories) - [707 words]
Apple Of His Eye (Short Stories) Daddy's little girl, Daddy's little sweetheart. (May be deemed offensive). [1,742 words] [Drama]
Attractions (Short Stories) People stared at the sisters and called them freaks. [678 words] [Drama]
Bandit At Twelve-O-Clock (Short Stories) A sinister note drops through her letter box, but who is it from and what's it all about? [2,144 words] [Drama]
Barriers (Short Stories) Everybody's frightened of the prisoner in the cell at the end of the block. [2,913 words] [Thriller]
Breakfast In Bed (Short Stories) She loved her husband so much, and a sepcial man deserves a special breakfast. [1,633 words] [Horror]
Car Trouble (Short Stories) Boys will be boys. [496 words] [Comedy]
Cat's Chorus (Short Stories) - [1,332 words]
Cherry Blossom (Short Stories) - [435 words]
Cold, Cold Night.. (Short Stories) The night was beautiful but biting, she had to make her final farewells, a cigarette would help. [630 words] [Drama]
Creeping Up From Behind. (Short Stories) You can't ever really know what someone else is thinking ... unless they choose to tell you. [925 words] [Drama]
Dawn Rising (Short Stories) He looked at his own personal sunrise every morning, yet longed for the warmth of the sun. [1,069 words] [Drama]
Deadly Persuit (Short Stories) Nature at its most cruel .. when it's interfered with by man. [1,541 words] [Drama]
Deep Blue Eastern Light (Poetry) I've never been to Budapest, but I saw an image on a postcard, it was misty and had a sort of dreamy quality about it. I wondered about the spirit of Budapest. Hope I've done her justicce. [204 words]
Different Road (Short Stories) Charlie is running scared. Will he find his way before his precious time runs out? [521 words]
Empty House (Short Stories) This had been her domain, now it was only a shadow. [649 words] [Drama]
Find Me A Place (Poetry) Everybody needs somewhere to run. [193 words] [Drama]
Finding Fleur (Short Stories) Katy desperately wants to find Fleur, but does Fleur want to be found? [1,727 words] [Drama]
Four Minute Warning (Short Stories) - [476 words] [Comedy]
Freedom By Another Name (Short Stories) He's an imposter [557 words] [Drama]
Furtive Glances (Short Stories) Always the last to know! [891 words] [Drama]
Galaxy (Poetry) Let Venus bear witness and Mars be our guide. [139 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock (Short Stories) - [991 words] [Drama]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty (Short Stories) It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words] [Comedy]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! (Short Stories) There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words] [Mind]
Jasmine And Gardenia Love (Poetry) - [417 words] [Erotic]
Jinny (Poetry) - [176 words]
Just The Ticket (Short Stories) You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words] [Drama]
Knockers (Short Stories) It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words] [Drama]
Little Bird (Short Stories) He liked fragile things [1,406 words] [Drama]
Lizards Leap (Novels) Four children buy an intricately carved frame from a school fair. A crazy old woman chases them desperately wanting the carving for herself. What is the mystery surrounding the strange frame? [5,753 words] [Adventure]
Long Walk Back To Jurassica (Poetry) Evolution and progress or three million steps backwards? [323 words] [Drama]
Lookingthrough The Window (Short Stories) - [401 words]
Madness Becomes You (Short Stories) She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no difference. [394 words] [Drama]
Making My Way Back To You. (Short Stories) She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had struck. [1,926 words] [Drama]
Memberwhen (Poetry) Memberwhen that mystical word of long ago memories. [189 words] [Drama]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe. (Short Stories) The house was inanimate, dead ... because her child was gone. [1,114 words] [Drama]
Mourning Glory (Short Stories) One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a little girl trying to be a child. [1,786 words] [Drama]
Mumbles From The Madhouse (Novels) It was her first day on the secure unit and somehow she had to see it through. [2,215 words] [Drama]
My Friend The Tiger And Me (Poetry) I wrote this for my little boy when he was having trouble at school. [942 words] [Animal]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza (Short Stories) - [552 words]
One-Man Race (Short Stories) He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words] [Drama]
Out Of Print (Short Stories) A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words] [Drama]
Outrun The River (Poetry) The snow was melting fast and he owed it to himself and his seld of dogs to make it to safety. [145 words] [Action]
Pact Of Joy. (Short Stories) Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words] [Drama]
Play With Me Please. (Short Stories) - [322 words]
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) (Short Stories) Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so easily offended. Continuing sexploits of Dark Solitude. [3,390 words] [Erotic]
Room For One More (Short Stories) The dream was haunting and wouldn't leave Mike alone. [1,728 words] [Drama]
Rush Hour (Short Stories) - [419 words]
Sally (Short Stories) - [2,268 words]
Sinister Music (Novels) She had no psychic ability, so why had fate chosen her to foretell of the spate of brutal murders? [6,114 words] [Drama]
So This Is My Life Then (Short Stories) - [517 words] [Comedy]
Space Walk (Short Stories) May Cause offense. [1,290 words] [Drama]
Spirit Dancer (Poetry) - [514 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine (Short Stories) The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts now turn to revenge? [1,843 words] [Drama]
Tangled Web (Short Stories) Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words] [Drama]
The Band Played On (Short Stories) - [1,486 words] [Drama]
The Big Picture (Short Stories) The little girl was a great artist, but her subject matter was giving cause for concern. [776 words] [Drama]
The Comet. (Short Stories) Remember! [796 words] [Drama]
The Dinosaur (Short Stories) - [1,523 words]
The Half Empty Glass. (Short Stories) They had no idea of the horror they were walking into. [3,030 words] [Drama]
The Hhmmm Efect (Poetry) - [783 words]
The Iceberg (Short Stories) She had to break the hold they had on him... release him from his parents grip. [410 words] [Drama]
The Joker (Short Stories) - [2,032 words]
The Lovers (Poetry) - [124 words]
The Mark Of Jack (Short Stories) The start of something maybe. [1,044 words] [Drama]
The Old Enemy (Short Stories) I just hope I've got the names right. [253 words] [Drama]
The Rosary (Short Stories) May cause offense. [422 words]
The Spark (Short Stories) - [557 words]
The Thirteenth Station (Short Stories) - [8,024 words] [Horror]
The Village Green. (Short Stories) - [559 words] [Drama]
Three Mile Gap (Poetry) So close and yet... [285 words] [Drama]
Tomorrow Lies Beside Us (Poetry) - [239 words] [Drama]
Tusk (Short Stories) - [1,012 words] [Drama]
Under The Whether (Short Stories) - [1,626 words]
Watching And Waiting (Short Stories) - [1,253 words] [Drama]
White Icing (Short Stories) - [1,385 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser (Short Stories) - [114 words]
You Are My Sunshine (Short Stories) - [1,285 words]
Dark Solitude.
Sue (Sooz) Simpson

The bruised and swollen storm clouds had been rolling along the horizon, battling for position as they gathered for celestial war. She cupped her eyes with a slender hand and gazed towards the turbulent sky. This was the pre-cursor to anarchy of the heavens. She knew that it was the herald of a storm of storms. The bluster of the elements had ravaged her mind for so long now, that she had to search deeply within the caverns of her memory to envisage a time when it had not been so. The cacophonous howl of the angry wind was as vital to her as the blood coursing through her veins, as essential as the oxygen she drew into her lungs, as precious a life force as the heart that beat wildly within her breast. The wind was both tormentor and friend, the blessed vigilante who washes her soul of impurity.


Sheets of rain are pelting her face. The intrusive icicle fingers raking their nails through her cheeks. It is cold, it stings her, but she feels no urge to escape the needles of pain. Hadnít she wanted this? Hadnít she needed to feel this agony? Only now did she feel alive. Only now was she aware of the need to breathe.

Now while at the mercy of the cleansing elements the suffocating oppression, and stifling desire to break away had become a symphony of voices, a four part harmony telling her to run, to pull free of the manacles which bound her soul to this time and place. She knew this freedom was to be brief, and that she must soon return, to withdraw and retreat, to the darkness and security of the place that was her sanctuary. Wasnít it she, The Dark Sorceress, daughter of Seliska, the mistress of Luskaal who after years of barren desolation, had braved the cold and hostile world above? She had left the solitude of her cave, and sloughed the cramps of hibernation and withdrawal so that she could once again feel the breath of life upon her pallid skin.

Now after such a brief time above, striving so hard to gain the acceptance of, and live in harmony with the surface dwellers, she realised that she did not belong here. How she yearned to walk again in the golden hills of Luskaal, but she knew that before this day had set. She would return to her lair to sleep the sleep of a thousand moons, before waking refreshed to a world that may have a place for her.

The Hellcat moved into the circle to rejoice in the apex of the storm. She moved with stealth. A stalking feline grace of movement. Her almond green eyes watchful. Flashing with a fierce intensity, aware of every blade of grass that limboed erratically. At the centre of the circle she stopped. Her eyes scanned the territory she had claimed as her own. Secure in the knowledge that she was alone, she arched her back. Succumbing again to her feline nature. Then, she rose like a phoenix from the ashes casting the husk of the hell cat, tall and proud, the matted animal skins that she wore for comfort in the cave sloughed.

The Dark Sorceress stood amongst the tall druid stones, resplendent in the robes of her ancestors. She wore a gown of purple brocade bejewelled and trimmed with gold. This was topped with a floor length hooded black cape. Her breasts heaved from the bodice of the robe, as the excitement she felt from the storm raged within and around her. With ragged breath, and arms outstretched she flung back her head, The hood fell away. She looked to the glistening light of the swollen moon, and moaned her acceptance of the stormís possession.

Her hair, long as her torso, and black as a ravenís eye, falls tumultuously down her back, only to be taken by the rough caress of the wind and thrown about her head in a halo of Medusa like tendrils. The fingers of the wind as persuasive as a lover yet with the harshness of a demon massage her skull, her neck, her throat. Throwing her hair out brutally to let it fall softly again at itís rest. The wind plucks at her breast thrusting its force through her bodice to cup her heart in its powerful grasp. Stimulating her senses, until the surge of power can no longer be contained within her. She opens her mouth with a harsh gasp, and delights in the deluge of stinging pelts of rain that flow from her full and swollen lips, filling her mouth with the sweet ice cold water. She swallows and the fluid slides like glucose down her parched throat.

She feels the fire of passion erupting like magma within her, as the storm rapes the tainted breath from her body, savaging the filth of the past, purging her soul of all itís evil, leaving only the dark force of her brooding maniac nature. She washes in the wind and stands erect all power infused from the storm. She is ready, fire of the warrior blazing within her. She steals herself for the final onslaught.

The clouds burst, torn savagely open from within as the forked tongue of the reptilian lightning darts forth to taste the dark lady, only to be deflected from her by the guardian petrified within the stone. Again the tongue slithers sibilantly from within the dense folds of the mouth of the cloud. And again it hisses in defiance and crackles with rage as it falls but a few feet short of its temptress. Where as it should have exploded through the breastbone and into the heart of the Sorceress, it met instead with the cold slate of the Leader Stone as the lightening smashed crudely into the great druid plinth. The pungent aroma of sulphur is emitted within a swirling yellow mist which circles etherically towards the dark lady. The lightening recoils rumbling in impotent defeat and retreats petulantly back from whence it came, beaten and demeaned by the maniacal high laughter of the Dark Sorceress.

With this last ritualistic windwash, and the abatement of the storm, the sorceress felt the flowing tide of sadness come upon her. No more could she strive to conform to the boundaries and restrictions that the mortals imposed upon her. She could not fall within the confines of their acceptance. She was of another kind forced into a subterranean existence, hiding from the surface dwellers who so yearned for, and yet feared her magic.

She could never be one with them, saddened by the brutalities of the past, and resigned to the rejections of the future that she knew would one day come, her disposition towards revealing too much of herself, forced her to shy away melting into the embrace of solitude. She had no need of others. Yet there were those whom she had come to care for and would always remember. The warmth of their friendship would sustain her during the bitter cold days and nights when the probing breath of winter pierced the walls of her cave. Still as much as she longed to have the company of those few surface folk, it could never be enough. The signs were there. She smelled their fear, and while they said they cared for her, their eyes were turning over the soil at her feet, not daring to see their denouncement of her in those iced green eyes. The witch-hunt was assembling, soon they would amass to bring her down, fuelled by their fear of her difference to them.

She could see them as clearly as she could see the morning sun in her memory. She knew that soon the reptilian clouds and the mortals would devour her and take away her spirit. No, better to spend her days in the company of solitude, than to relinquish the one thing that she could truly call her own; Her soul.
 
So after taking her final windwash and purging herself of the hurt and rejection that so often plagues her. She turned her back on this world and walked quietly back through the mist to the entrance of her cave. Just as slowly she turned her head enough to take one last glance at the life she was retreating from. Sadness and yet relief filled her heart, for if she was not there, then rejection could no more reach out itís vicious fist to beat her.
  
The Dark Sorceress bent her head to enter the gaping arch of the stone entrance and through the mists of thoughts and memory ... she disappeared.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (4)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

"This is really good, I saw a review for your book in the magazine (Better the Devil You Know) and it looks really excellent, if you read any of my stuff please review it because you obviously know a lot about this writing thing" -- Jennifer Street.
"Thanks Jennifer. Gald you liked it. I'll look out for your stuff in the new titles section. If you'd like a first issue, advance copy of Better the Devil. Please sent me your postal adress and I'll have a copy sent to you £9:99 plus postage. No money needed up front. Don't worry I'm not trying to beg an order, just if you wanted it. " -- Sooz, Dalton-in-furness, England, Cumbria.
"Edwinís Review: ***The vivid imagary of the storm does an exceptional job of bringing out your characters own inner turmoil. Well done.*** How she yearned to walk again in the golden hills of Luskaal, but she knew that before this day had set. She would return to her lair to sleep the sleep of a thousand moons, before waking refreshed to a world that may have a place for her. ***The first sentence ends with an incomplete thought. Consider replacing the period with a comma and working the two lines together.*** The Hellcat moved into the circle to rejoice in the apex of the storm. She moved with stealth. A stalking feline grace of movement. Her almond green eyes watchful. Flashing with a fierce intensity, aware of every blade of grass that limboed erratically. At the centre of the circle she stopped. Her eyes scanned the territory she had claimed as her own. Secure in the knowledge that she was alone, she arched her back. Succumbing again to her feline nature. Then, she rose like a phoenix from the ashes casting the husk of the hell cat, tall and proud, the matted animal skins that she wore for comfort in the cave sloughed. ***This paragraph incorporates a radical change in POV that threw the story line off for me.*** This was topped with a floor length hooded black cape. ***and*** The hood fell away. ***You had this lady standing out in the raw fury of the storm earlier. Where then did this hood come from?*** Her hair, long as her torso, and black as a raven?s eye, falls tumultuously down her back, only to be taken by the rough caress of the wind and thrown about her head in a halo of Medusa like tendrils. ***I find it difficult to believe that this much hair could have been kept within a simple hood so that it would be free to fall outside the cloak once the hood had been removed. I hope these simple comments help.*** -------------- Rainsongís Review: The bruised and swollen storm clouds Please, not bruised clouds! The first time I read this description, I thought it a wonderful metaphor. Then I realized the dang thing yanked me out of the story long enough to ponder its meaning. Were they fresh bruised clouds-purple and red, or were they old bruised clouds-puce and yellow? If a metaphor pulls a reader out of the story, it is the wrong metaphor. Besides, the author who penned these words in the story where I first encountered them did the unforgivable--she used them in three more books. Kill the bruised clouds. had been rolling along the horizon, passive. Move your story into active voice: Swollen storm clouds rolled along the horizon...but do they only roll? How about 'roil' instead? battling for position as they gathered for celestial war. She cupped her eyes with a slender hand and gazed towards the turbulent sky. This was the pre-cursor to anarchy of the heavens. She knew that it was the herald of a storm of storms. The bluster of the elements had ravaged her mind for so long now, that she had to search deeply within the caverns of her memory to envisage a time when it had not been so. The cacophonous howl of the angry wind All of this is repetitive. Paint the picture in the reader's mind, then let it go. was as vital to her as the blood coursing through her veins, as essential as the oxygen she drew into her lungs, as precious a life force as the heart that beat Same thing. wildly within her breast. The wind was both tormentor and friend, the blessed vigilante who washes her soul of impurity. Sheets of rain are pelting pelted (Change in tense from this point on.) her face. The intrusive icicle fingers raking their nails through her cheeks. It is cold, it stings her, but she feels no urge to escape the needles of pain. Hadnít she wanted this? Hadnít she needed to feel this agony? Only now did she feel alive. Only now was she aware of the need to breathe. Now while at the mercy of the cleansing elements the suffocating oppression, and stifling desire to break away had become a symphony of voices, a four part harmony telling her to run, to pull free of the manacles which bound her soul to this time and place. She knew this freedom was to be brief, and that she must soon return, to withdraw and retreat, to the darkness and security of the place that was her sanctuary. Wasnít it she, The Dark Sorceress, daughter of Seliska, the mistress of Luskaal who after years of barren desolation, had braved the cold and hostile world above? She had left the solitude of her cave, and sloughed the cramps of hibernation and withdrawal so that she could once again feel the breath of life upon her pallid skin. Believe it or not, this is a point-of-view switch. She cannot see herself. How does she know her skin is pallid? This is an observation only one outside her skin could ascertain, or else she sees herself in a mirror, pond, lake, etc. Now after such a brief time above, striving so hard to gain the acceptance of, and live in harmony with the surface dwellers, she realised that she did not belong here. How she yearned to walk again in the golden hills of Luskaal, but she knew that before this day had set.Fragment. Did you mean to separate this phrase from the one that follows? She would return to her lair to sleep the sleep of a thousand moons, before waking refreshed to a world that may have a place for her. The fantasy genre allows for more descriptive writing than mainstream fiction, and I understand you want to paint a vivid image of the world your characters live in, but this can be done with fewer, more specific words. Small example: she must soon return, to withdraw and retreat... Choose one of the three. Retreat appears to give the exact message, making the other two explanations unnecessary. Good luck with your story. The plot held my interest, and with a bit of exorcism, it can enchant. ------------ Benís Review: Hi, A difficult piece to read. A lot of metaphors that muddy the story too much, I think. Halfway through I was almost out of breath. I think that if you want to write a story like this, you may not necessarily be looking for the all too literary crowd, and I donít mean anything nasty by that. Keep it a lot simpler and youíve got something far more interesting. At least, thatís what I would tell you if I was the editor of a fantasy magazine you had submitted this manuscript to. Iíve made some comments throughout and I hope they will come in handy. Regards, Ben The bruised and swollen storm clouds had been rolling along the horizon, battling for position as they gathered for celestial war. She cupped her eyes with a slender hand and gazed towards the turbulent sky. This was the pre-cursor to anarchy of the heavens. She knew that it was the herald of a storm of storms. The bluster of the elements had ravaged her mind for so long now, that she had to search deeply within the caverns of her memory to envisage a time when it had not been so. The cacophonous howl of the angry wind was as vital to her as the blood coursing through her veins, as essential as the oxygen she drew into her lungs, as precious a life force as the heart that beat wildly within her breast chest? . The wind was both tormentor and friend, the blessed vigilante who washes change of tense her soul of impurity. Sheets of rain are pelting her face. The intrusive icicle fingers raking their nails through her cheeks. It is cold, it stings her, but she feels no urge to escape the needles of pain. major change in tense Hadnít she wanted this? Hadnít she needed to feel this agony? Only now did she feel alive. Only now was she aware of the need to breathe. Now comma? while at the mercy of the cleansing elements the suffocating oppression Not sure what to make of the foregoing. Could be you need a comma after Ďelementsí, but not after íoppressioní , and stifling desire to break away had become a symphony of voices, a four part harmony telling her to run, to pull free of the manacles which bound her soul to this time and place. She knew this freedom was to be brief, and that she must soon return, to withdraw and retreat, to the darkness and security of the place that was her sanctuary. Wasnít it she, The Dark Sorceress, daughter of Seliska, the mistress of Luskaal who after years of barren desolation, had braved the cold and hostile world above? She had left the solitude of her cave, and sloughed the cramps of hibernation and withdrawal so that she could once again feel the breath of life upon her pallid skin. Now comma? after such a brief time above, striving so hard to gain the acceptance of, and live in harmony with the surface dwellers, she realised that she did not belong here. How she yearned to walk again in the golden hills of Luskaal, but she knew that before this day had set. incomplete sentence, unless it should be connected to the next one She would return to her lair to sleep the sleep of a thousand moons, before waking refreshed to a world that may tense? have a place for her. The Hellcat moved into the circle to rejoice in the apex of the storm. She moved with stealth. A stalking feline grace of movement. Her almond green eyes watchful. Flashing with a fierce intensity, aware of every blade of grass that limboed Is that a word? erratically. At the centre of the circle she stopped. Her eyes scanned the territory she had claimed as her own. Secure in the knowledge that she was alone, she arched her back. I think these two sentences should be connected with a comma or re-phrased Succumbing again to her feline nature. Then, she rose like a phoenix from the ashes comma? casting the husk of the hell cat, tall and proud, the matted animal skins that she wore for comfort in the cave sloughed. The Dark Sorceress stood amongst the tall druid stones, resplendent in the robes of her ancestors. She wore a gown of purple brocade be-jeweled This seems to be the correct spelling :) and trimmed with gold. This was topped with a floor length hooded black cape. Her breasts heaved from the bodice of the robe, as the excitement she felt from the storm raged within and around her. With ragged breath, no comma? and arms outstretched comma? she flung back her head, The hood fell away. She looked to the glistening light of the swollen moon, and moaned her acceptance of the stormís possession. Her hair, long as her torso, and black as a ravenís eye, falls tumultuously down her back, only to be taken by the rough caress of the wind and thrown about her head in a halo of Medusa like tendrils. The fingers of the wind as persuasive as a lover yet with the harshness of a demon massage her skull, her neck, her throat. Throwing her hair out brutally to let it fall softly again at itís rest. The wind plucks at her breast comma? thrusting its force through her bodice to cup her heart in its powerful grasp. Stimulating her senses, until the surge of power can no longer be contained within her. She opens her mouth with a harsh gasp, and delights in the deluge of stinging pelts of rain that flow from her full and swollen lips, filling her mouth with the sweet comma? ice cold water. She swallows and the fluid slides like glucose down her parched throat. She feels the fire of passion erupting like magma within her, as the storm rapes the tainted breath from her body, savaging the filth of the past, purging her soul of all itís evil, leaving only the dark force of her brooding maniac nature. She washes in the wind and stands erect all power infused from the storm. She is ready, fire of the warrior blazing within her. She steals herself for the final onslaught. The clouds burst, torn savagely open from within as the forked tongue of the reptilian lightning darts forth to taste the dark lady, only to be deflected from her by the guardian petrified within the stone. Again the tongue slithers sibilantly from within the dense folds of the mouth of the cloud. And again it hisses in defiance and crackles with rage as it falls but a few feet short of its temptress. Where as it should have exploded through the breastbone and into the heart of the Sorceress, it met instead with the cold slate of the Leader Stone as the lightening smashed crudely into the great druid plinth. The pungent aroma of sulphur sulfur? is emitted within a swirling yellow mist which circles etherically Is that a real word? towards the dark lady. The lightening recoils rumbling in impotent defeat and retreats petulantly back from whence it came, beaten and demeaned by the maniacal high laughter of the Dark Sorceress. With this last ritualistic windwash, Two words and the abatement of the storm, the sorceress felt the flowing tide of sadness come upon her. No more could she strive to conform to the boundaries and restrictions that the mortals imposed upon her. She could not fall within the confines of their acceptance. She was of another kind comma? forced into a subterranean existence, hiding from the surface dwellers who so yearned for, and yet feared her magic. She could never be one with them, saddened by the brutalities of the past, and resigned to the rejections of the future that she knew would one day come, her disposition towards revealing too much of herself, forced her to shy away melting into the embrace of solitude. She had no need of others. Yet there were those whom she had come to care for and would always remember. The warmth of their friendship would sustain her during the bitter cold days and nights when the probing breath of winter pierced the walls of her cave. Still as much as she longed to have the company of those few surface folk, it could never be enough. The signs were there. She smelled their fear, and while they said they cared for her, their eyes were turning over the soil at her feet, not daring to see their denouncement of her in those iced green eyes. The witch-hunt was assembling, soon they would amass to bring her down, fuelled by their fear of her difference to them. She could see them as clearly as she could see the morning sun in her memory. She knew that soon the reptilian clouds and the mortals would devour her and take away her spirit. No, better to spend her days in the company of solitude, than to relinquish the one thing that she could truly call her own; colon?Hher soul. So after taking her final windwash two words? and purging herself of the hurt and rejection that so often plagues her. Incomplete as it is. Should be connected to the next sentence with a comma She turned her back on this world and walked quietly back through the mist to the entrance of her cave. Just as slowly she turned her head enough to take one last glance at the life she was retreating from. Sadness and yet relief filled her heart, for if she was not there, then rejection could no more reach out itís vicious fist to beat her. The Dark Sorceress bent her head to enter the gaping arch of the stone entrance and through the mists of thoughts and memory ... she disappeared. ---------- The bruised and swollen storm clouds had been rolling along the horizon, battling for position as they gathered for celestial war. She cupped her eyes with a slender hand and gazed towards the turbulent sky. This was the pre-cursor to anarchy of the heavens. She knew that it was the herald of a storm of storms. The bluster of the elements had ravaged her mind for so long now, that she had to search deeply within the caverns of her memory to envisage a time when it had not been so. The cacophonous howl of the angry wind was as vital to her as the blood coursing through her veins, as essential as the oxygen she drew into her lungs, as precious a life force as the heart that beat wildly within her breast. The wind was both tormentor and friend, the blessed vigilante who washes her soul of impurity. This first paragraph is excellent. In the second, we've changed verb tenses ... awkward Sheets of rain are pelting her face. The intrusive icicle fingers raking their nails through her cheeks. It is cold, it stings her, but she feels no urge to escape the needles of pain. Hadnít she wanted this? Hadnít she needed to feel this agony? Only now did she feel alive. Only now was she aware of the need to breathe. Now while at the mercy of the cleansing elements the suffocating oppression, and stifling desire to break away had become a symphony of voices, forget the four-part harmony telling her to run, to pull free of the manacles which bound her soul to this time and place. She knew this freedom was to be brief, and that she must soon return, to withdraw and retreat, to the darkness and security of the place that was her sanctuary. Wasnít it she, The Dark Sorceress, daughter of Seliska, the mistress of Luskaal whoadd a comma after years of barren desolation, had braved the cold and hostile world above? She had left the solitude of her cave, and sloughed the cramps of hibernation and withdrawal so that she could once again feel the breath of life upon her pallid skin. Now after such a brief time above, striving so hard to gain the acceptance ofdon't need this comma, and live in harmony with the surface dwellers, she realised that she did not belong here. How she yearned to walk again in the golden hills of Luskaal, but she knew that before this day had setthis is confusing. The day had set?. She would return to her lair to sleep the sleep of a thousand moons again, lose this comma, before waking refreshed to a world that I don't understand - what world may have a place for her? Doesn't she already have a place - even displaced?may have a place for her. The Hellcat moved into the circle to rejoice in the apex of the storm. She moved with stealth you don't want a period here - its not a full stop. A stalking feline grace of movement. Her almond green eyes watchful. Flashing with a fierce intensity, aware of every blade of grass that limboed? it doesn't seem appropriate in this contextlimboed erratically. At the centre of the circle she stopped. Her eyes scanned the territory she had claimed as her own. Secure in the knowledge that she was alone, she arched her back a comma would be better served than a period here. Succumbing again to her feline nature. Then, she rose like a phoenix from the ashes I didn't think this metaphor was appropriate. She's not emerging from death, she's transfiguring. I get the rebirth angle here, but it doesn't really fit this scenario.casting the husk of the hell cat, tall and proud, the matted animal skins that she wore for comfort in the cave sloughed This word was tenuous last time you used it. Here it is overused - I would look for a different one.. The Dark Sorceress stood amongst the tall druid stones, resplendent in the robes of her ancestors. She wore a gown of purple brocade bejewelled and trimmed with gold. maybe you want to incorporate this all into one sentence. Its cumbersome to stop and say oh yeah, it has a hood tooThis was topped with a floor length hooded black cape. Her breasts heaved from the bodice of the robe this doesn't make sense? The robe is that heavy? I think you're looking for something different here, as the excitement she felt from the storm raged within and around her. With ragged breath, and arms outstretched she flung back her head, The hood fell away. She looked to the glistening light of the swollen moon, and moaned her acceptance of the stormís possession. Her hair, long as her torso, and black as a ravenís eye, change of verb tense again....falls tumultuously down her back, only to be taken by the rough caress of the wind and thrown about her head in a halo of Medusa like tendrils. The fingers of the wind as persuasive as a lover yet with the harshness of a demon massage her skull, her neck, her throat. Throwing her hair out brutally to let it fall softly again at itís rest its. The wind plucks at her breast thrusting its force through her bodice to cup her heart in its powerful grasp. Stimulating her senses, until the surge of power can no longer be contained within her. She opens her mouth with a harsh gasp, and delights in the deluge of stinging pelts of rain that flow from her full and swollen lips sounds like she's vomiting, not drinking in the rain, filling her mouth with the sweet ice cold water. She swallows and the fluid slides like glucose down her parched throat. this whole last sentence is unnecessary. We already have the imagery She feels the fire of passion erupting like magma within her Maybe change the metaphor - the magma of her passion erupts with in her - but even that sounds awkward, as the storm rapes the tainted breath from her body mixed image - is it washing her or defiling her?, savaging the filth of the past, purging her soul of all itís evil, leaving only the dark force of her brooding maniac nature. She washes in the wind huh? and stands erect a comma for clarityall power infused from the storm. She is ready, fire of the warrior blazing within her. She steals herself for the final onslaught. The clouds burst, torn savagely open from within as the forked tongue of the reptilian lightning darts forth to taste the dark lady, only to be deflected from her by the guardian petrified within the stone. Again the tongue slithers sibilantly from within the dense folds of the mouth of the cloud. And again it hisses in defiance and crackles with rage as it falls but a few feet short of its temptress. Where as it should have exploded through the breastbone and into the heart of the Sorceress, it met instead with the cold slate of the Leader Stone as the lightening smashed crudely into the great druid plinth. The pungent aroma of sulphur is emitted within a swirling yellow mist which circles etherically towards the dark lady. The lightening recoils rumbling in impotent defeat and retreats petulantly back from whence it came, beaten and demeaned by the maniacal high laughter of the Dark Sorceress. verb changes again. With this last ritualistic windwash, and the abatement of the storm, the sorceress felt the flowing tide of sadness come upon her. No more could she strive to conform to the boundaries and restrictions that the mortals imposed upon her. She could not fall within the confines of their acceptance. She was of another kind forced into a subterranean existence, hiding from the surface dwellers who so yearned for, and yet feared her magic. She could never be one with them, saddened by the brutalities of the past, and resigned to the rejections of the future that she knew would one day come, her disposition towards revealing too much of herself, forced her to shy away melting into the embrace of solitude. She had no need of others. Yet there were those whom she had come to care for and would always remember. The warmth of their friendship would sustain her during the bitter cold days and nights when the probing breath of winter pierced the walls of her cave. Still as much as she longed to have the company of those few surface folk, it could never be enough. The signs were there. She smelled their fear, and while they said they cared for her, their eyes were turning over the soil at her feet, not daring to see their denouncement of her in those iced green eyes. The witch-hunt was assembling, soon they would amass to bring her down, fuelled by their fear of her difference to them. She could see them as clearly as she could see the morning sun in her memory. She knew that soon the reptilian clouds and the mortals would devour her and take away her spirit. this seems a little difficult to follow. Maybe break it into two parts - one human, one nature's forceNo, better to spend her days in the company of solitude, than to relinquish the one thing that she could truly call her own; Her soul. So? So? SO???So after taking her final windwash and purging herself of the hurt and rejection that so often plagues her. She turned her back on this world and walked quietly back through the mist to the entrance of her cave. Just as slowly she turned her head enough to take one last glance at the life she was retreating from. Sadness and yet relief filled her heart, for if she was not there, then rejection could no more reach out itís vicious fist to beat her. The Dark Sorceress bent her head to enter the gaping arch of the stone entrance and through the mists of thoughts and memory ... she disappeared. Also watch your spelling - I know some of it is the European versions, but some of it is just incorrect. I like the imagery that your writing evokes - but the metaphors do get a little heavy at times. Watch your verb tenses and be aware of unnecessary words and even sentences. In the words of Stephen King - adverbs are redundant. If you use the right words to start with, they speak for themselves. How else would you stomp your foot, except loudly? Your writing is very good - I enjoy all the excepts from you that I've seen, just tighten them up a little. " -- Cam Davis.
"Thanks both a lot in there to think aobut. Thank you for taking the time to do line-by-line reviews and thanks also to Cam. http://members.lycos.co.uk/suesimpson/" -- Sooz, Dalton-in-Furness, England, Cumbria.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 1999 Sue (Sooz) Simpson
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
March 2002
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