Showing posts with label Carcerus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carcerus. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a free editing offer by Jim Rion on Reddit, and since real editing is quite expensive I decided to try it out. Since Mortaevum is too long and still in its draft phase I decided to send him a copy of Carcerus instead.

His feedback was quite interesting to look at. He added missing words, removed superfluous ones and told me when another word would have been more fitting. He also highlighted a few sections where the tone of the narration didn't fit into the overall picture.
One example would be that he replaced "connecting the dots" with "realized", since the first phrase seemed too casual.

Fixing the grammar and style is certainly a worthwile endeavor, but most people might be able to overlook these mistakes as long as they don't get out of hand. However, Jim also called attention to a few passages that weren't clear enough or made no sense, like the fact that it took a whole week for the protagonist to realize that he had nothing to drink. That's something I will have to look out for in my next stories, which is one of the reasons everyone should have at least a few beta-readers, especially if they can't afford a professional editor.

Overall I'm very satisfied with the results and would recommend Jim Rion to anyone. He did make a couple of mistakes, but they were negligible as I still knew what he was getting at. Even an editor is allowed ot make a few mistakes here and there.

I'm going to fix Carcerus after I'm done with the next Mortaevum chapter, which shouldn't take too long now. But I will not post the revised edition on this blog! It will be published in an anthology when I've got enough short stories to fill it with.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

This version is outdated.
Please buy Aedis Tenebrum to support me.



fantasy horror

How long have I been trapped inside this house? Weeks? Months? Possibly even years? I've long since lost track in this world devoid of light. I don't even recognize myself in the mirror anymore. Long, brittle hair falls over my bony and wrinkled face, all the way to my shoulders. It had such a lovely shade of black but now it's just gray, white and dirty. And my flawless body had taken on a truly horrendous appearance. I've become so scrawny that most of my bones are clearly visible. Not much of a surprise when my entire nutrition consists of rats. Every attempt at discerning their entry point has proven futile, however, otherwise I might have long since escaped.
The other thing that has kept me going is the foul smelling water in the basement. No one in his right mind would consume dirt-colored fluids but it's not like I have a choice. I've gotten used to it over time, though, at least in so far that I'm not throwing up anymore.
Logic would dictate that none of that could have sustained me for very long, but this place doesn't seem to care about logic, else I would have escaped a long time ago. It looked like a normal, if somewhat desolate, house at first. It wasn't. Far from it, actually.
There are dozens of doors spread across three stories and a basement, none of which lead outside. It does have windows, though, but they can neither be opened nor broken. I've thrown and smashed hundreds of objects into them and couldn't even create a scratch.
Seeing as the obvious escape routes didn't work I had to create one by myself and began to painstakingly remove one brick after another, only to find even more bricks beyond. I took a short nap before proceeding but my entire work had been undone when I woke up.
Following that setback I became desperate and climbed into the fireplace chimney. With my back pressed against one wall and my feet against the other I climbed and scrambled towards the top. Hours passed and the floor vanished into the distance, but whenever I looked up the exit was as far away as it had always been. Trying to escape is futile, isn't it?
In the end I just gave up and returned to the bottom. Is there even a point in escaping? The landscape beyond the windows was nothing but a barren wasteland. There were no trees, no stones, no hills...not even a sky! All I saw was a sea of gray surrounded by eternal darkness.
There was also no life inside this world. Apart from the rats, that is. I did spot something moving through the darkness, though, but I'm not sure that it could be classified as a lifeform—small orbs of light that were scouring the horizon. They came closer with every passing day, till they were right on my “doorstep”. I pressed my face against the windows, trying to see something, anything, but those orbs were just that, no matter how long I gazed at them. My initial description had been dead on. They didn't seem to be dangerous but their numbers grew steadily. If I listened very closely I could even hear faint voices from outside. They made me feel uneasy although I couldn't understand a word they said. It's as if something deep inside my mind was telling me to avoid these creatures. I didn't understand why and I'm still not entirely sure, but I've learned to avoid them.
One day I was watching them like usual when a beam of light hit me squarely in the face. Seething pain shot through my body and I tumbled to the floor while the entire windows was lit up My memories are slowly but surely fading away. I barely remembered anything to begin with, but since then I've forgotten who I was, where I came from and, most importantly, how I ended up here. Was I kidnapped by extra-dimensional beings? Was I in the middle of a magical experiment that went awry? The last one feels a more reasonable and familiar but I simply can't recall anything. Perhaps I don't want to remember.
Anyway, some time after getting hit by the light I was awoken by a series of tremors. I was terribly confused at first and ran up and down the stairs, searching for the cause. You might assume that I'm an idiot who didn't know what an earthquake is but that's not how it felt like. It came and went in waves and there was a certain rhythm to it.
After listening to it for half an hour I finally connected the dots: someone was knocking on my house! I know it sounds ridiculous, but what better way to “knock” on a building that has no doors than by shaking it? I had no idea how to respond to that, though.
Who's there?” I yelled into thin air without expecting any result whatsoever.
The “knocking” stopped instantaneously and that was it.
I went downstairs to see if anything had changed. The uncomfortable couch with its rickety table was still there. So were the bookshelves that contained nothing but empty volumes. I don't know why I was even checking the furniture. There was no reason for it to change unless something got knocked over.
My gaze wandered across the walls but there was still no door. Disappointed I tried to get a fire going while I listened to the endless ticking of the clock behind me. It took forever to light a single piece of wood and the flame was suffocated by the stifling air soon after.
What did I do to deserve such a fate?” I screamed and punched the wall in frustration. My knuckles cracked painfully and I howled in pain. “Please, I just want to go home! Haven't I suffered enough?”
Depressed I shuffled up the stairs, returning to the bedroom on the second floor. I closed the door, locked it for no particular reason and gazed out the window—the orbs were still increasing in numbers—and pulled the curtains shut before I went back to sleep.