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Mystery/Horror: The Melting Candle

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Old 08-28-2015, 08:01 AM
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Icon6 Mystery/Horror: The Melting Candle


The Melting Candle

Written by Benjamin Andrew

It was merely a place of darkness, resting in such despair, so vastly lonesome. Nonetheless, the forsaken house only appeared this way during the day, under the dull, gray heavens that bore immense gloom. Underneath the black skies of night, however, the old mansion was a little more seemingly, occupied. You see, I occasionally traveled through a quiet vale, and every time, it just so happened to be dusk when I would slowly pass the house in my carriage. There was something I always saw, burning about in a window – the melting candle.

From what I could comprehend with my bewildered mind, nobody had dwelled within its interior for over a hundred years. Yet a single candle flickered in the window at me. Someone had to have intentionally left it there upon the windowsill –that much was evident, but the real question that intrigued me so greatly was the who of it. The only reasonable answer that came to mind was a ghost, but ghosts aren’t reasonable!

My only account was that a person must still simply live in the obscured, bleak dwelling. Thus now, I did not see a carriage, nor horses. The wrought-iron fence had long been strangled by overgrowth and the yard was strewn in thickened brush. The few gnarled trees near the house were as dead as doornails. The deserted works of spiders hung over the four columns like a slouching shadow. As the wind begun stirring, the shutters swung open, thudding against the well-aged masonry of the house. At that moment, I was certain it was uninhabited by any of the living; notwithstanding, the candle’s flame continued to waver behind the thin glass of the window.

By then, my curiosity had grown and I knew that I wasn’t going to continue traveling about without knowing if anyone did or did not presently reside in it. I gently pushed open the screaking gate, and stepped foot upon the disquieting residence grounds.*While I strode forward, the mangled limbs of the decaying trees shook in the vigorous gale that began to increase above me. On the front porch I stood, and there before me were the two massive front doors. I was rather hesitant of jolting one of the door knockers.

Alas, out of impulse, I went ahead and banged one of them against the intimidating door. I could hear the lurid knocks resounding from the inside -a feeling of trepidation befell me instantly. I waited several moments and no one answered. Likely, the chances of somebody actually still occupying it were slim to none. Nevertheless, I was not going to give into the idea of there being a latent spirit haunting this darkened abode. I shoved open the door forcefully and intruded inwards.

Everything in the foyer was coated in dust –the crooked chairs, the sofa, the end tables and the grandfather clock. The hardwood flooring creaked beneath my feet as I paced over it warily. As I entered what I assumed to be the parlor, I heard an awful noise; the kind of noise that leaves one aghast: It was the shriek of someone in great distress. I remained motionless for what seemed to be hours, but finally, I was freed from my mummified state.

I proceeded forward, now gaiting down a grand hallway. At the very end was a stairwell, curving aloft. From the top, there was a vague glow – it was that ethereal candle! I hurried to the stairs and began my winding ascent. As I reached the top landing, I saw a cracked door. That mysterious gleam that had dazed me was slightly shedding its weak light upon the walls. I scurried over to the door and then, lightly pressed my hands against it.

In that very room, I uncovered something that I wish I never had. It was the most gruesome sight I have ever beheld; something that still deeply disturbs me even now as I’m telling you this. In the dim candlelight were many chairs scattered around – some were even mounted to the walls and overhung, upside-down from the ceiling. But it was what reposed in them that overwhelmed me with utter fear. Unnaturally sitting in them were the wilted remains of the ill-fated. Withered corpses with their skeletal arms severely twisted and mangled. They all stared helplessly with their hollowed mouths stretched wide. I wanted nothing more than to release a cry from within my lungs, but I couldn’t.

Although I was surrounded by the grisly furnishings of the room, I felt that an even more unsettling presence was looming – the one responsible for these ghastly fixtures. I hurriedly left the horrid scene and made haste outside, to my horse. While galloping away from the appalling mansion, I never turned my head once. I did not dare look back at it; for I wanted to leave behind the nightmares that lingered inside. Since that loathsome incident, I have not neared that bone-chilling house at all. Every evening I wonder to myself if the wick continues to burn, allowing unfortunate trespassers, such as myself, to discover the ominous things that were illuminated by the weak glimmer of the melting candle.

http://spookinite.com/More_Spookines...ng_Candle.html


Last edited by Benjamin Andrew; 09-10-2015 at 07:29 PM..
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:30 AM
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I don't generally read horror, but I have to admit this one has me hooked! Please write more!
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ktzdge99 View Post
I don't generally read horror, but I have to admit this one has me hooked! Please write more!
I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for the compliment!
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:47 AM
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This is excellent. Needs more fleshing out, but gripping nevertheless.

Only real problem I find is the use of exclamation marks - I tend to avoid them in my writing. Horror is a dish best served cold, in my opinion - exclamation marks add a strange element to horror writing that I personally find detestable.

If you're going for Poe, you nailed it.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Checker View Post
This is excellent. Needs more fleshing out, but gripping nevertheless.

Only real problem I find is the use of exclamation marks - I tend to avoid them in my writing. Horror is a dish best served cold, in my opinion - exclamation marks add a strange element to horror writing that I personally find detestable.

If you're going for Poe, you nailed it.
First of all, thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated!

I don't really understand what you meant by "fleshing out". That term is kind of broad itself. It could mean many things.

I know what you mean about the usage of exclamation marks. It is very true; they are not commonly used in horror today. However, you interpreted them the wrong way. Back in the 19th century, they were used in horror stories, but it was the mannerism of the narrator that gave him the right to use them. Now, I am with you 100% if almost every sentence ends with an exclamation mark in a horror story. That is completely absurd. But, if they are used sparingly, then I don't see a problem with it. I only used the exclamation mark two times throughout the entire story.

This is merely my opinion.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:56 PM
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That was really enjoyable. Very creepy and intense throughout. I did feel however there were too many commas which broke up the flow too much. So many of your sentences have a comma after two words. I found it a little distracting. Also the description of what you found in the room needs expanded on. Who are these "ill fated"? Other than that, a fantastic read on my train to work! Thanks
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:57 PM
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Hi Ben,



I enjoy your style of writing for the most part, but feel you become bogged down by too many unnecessary modifiers and awkward phrasing.



I have provided my comments on your story:



LEGEND: Red - consider removing; Blue: my additions/suggestions; Green: consider alternative phrasing/wording



Originally Posted by Benjamin Andrew View Post

The Melting Candle


Written by Benjamin Andrew

It was
merely a place of darkness, resting in such despair, and so vastly lonesome. Nonetheless, the forsaken house only appeared this way during the day, under the dull, gray heavens that bore immense gloom. Underneath the black skies of night, however, the old mansion was a little more seemingly, occupied. You see (this breaks tension for me), I occasionally traveled through a quiet vale, and every time, it just so happened to be dusk when I would pass the house. There was something I always saw, burning about in a window – the melting candle (this reads a little awkward to me perhaps something more direct like: "And there, burning in the window, I would always see it - the melting candle").

From what I could comprehend with my bewildered mind (again this seems awkward: perhaps - "From what my bewildered mind could comprehend..."), nobody had dwelled within its interior for over a hundred years.;yet a single candle flickered in the window at me. Someone had to have intentionally left it there upon the windowsill –that much was evident, but the real question that intrigued me so greatly was the who of it. The only reasonable answer that came to mind was a ghost, but ghosts aren’t reasonable! (not reasonable then is it?)

My only account was that a person must still
simply live in the obscured, bleak dwelling. Thus now(Yet?), I did not see a carriage, nor horses. The wrought-iron fence had long been strangled by overgrowth and the yard was strewn in thickened brush. The few gnarled trees near the house were as dead as doornails (cliché). The deserted works of spiders hung over the four columns like a slouching shadow (not sure this imagery works). As the wind begun began stirring, the shutters swung open, thudding against the well-aged masonry of the house. At that moment, I was certain it was notuninhabited by any of the living;. notwithstanding, The candle’s flame continued to waver behind the window’s thin glass of the window.

By then, my curiosity had grown and I knew
that I wasn’t going to continue traveling about without knowing if anyone did or did not presently resided in itthe house. I gently pushed open the screaking gate, and stepped foot upon the disquieting residence grounds.*While I strode forward, the mangled limbs of the decaying trees shook in the vigorous gale that began to increase above me. On the front porch I stood, and there before me were the two massive (this modifier seems out of time with the language – perhaps giant?) front doors. I was rather hesitant of jolting one of the door knockers.

Alas, out of impulse, I went ahead and banged one of them against the intimidating door. I could hear the
lurid(I am certain this is a misplaced modifier – lurid is garish illumination) knocks resounding from the inside. -A feeling of trepidation befell me instantly. I waited several moments and no one answered. Likely, the chances of somebody actually still occupying it were slim to none (cliché). Nevertheless, I was not going to give into the idea of there being a latent spirit haunting this darkened abode. I shoved open the door forcefully and intruded inwards.

Everything in the foyer was coated in dust –the crooked chairs, the sofa, the end tables and the grandfather clock. The hardwood flooring creaked beneath my feet as I
paced (seems out of place – trod?) over it warily. As I entered what I assumed to be the parlour, I heard an awful noise; the kind of noise that leaves one aghast: It was the shriek of someone in great distress. I remained motionless for what seemed to be hours, but finally, I was freedwilled myself from my mummified state.

I proceeded forward,
now gaiting down a grand hallway. At the very end was a stairwell, curving aloft. From the top, there was a vague glow of the– it was that ethereal candle! I hurried to the stairs and began my winding ascent. As I reached the top landing, I saw a cracked door (this is not befitting of the great voice you have throughout –perhaps: “A cracked door loomed above me as I reached the upper landing”). ThatThe mysterious gleam that had dazed me was slightly shedding its weak light upon the walls. I scurried over to the door and then, lightly pressed my hands against it.

In that
very room, I uncovered something that I wish I never had. It was the most gruesome sight I have ever beheld; something that still deeply disturbs me even now as I’m telling you this. In the dim candlelight were many chairs scattered around – some were even mounted to the walls and overhung, upside-down from the ceiling. But it was what reposed in them that overwhelmed me with utter fear:. Unnaturally sitting in them were the wilted remains of the ill-fated. I wanted nothing more than to release a cry from within my lungs, but I couldn’t (need to expand on this statement – seems a cop out at the moment).

Though I was surrounded by the grisly furnishings of the room, I felt that an even more unsettling presence was looming – the one responsible for these ghastly fixtures. I
hurriedly left the horrid scene and made haste outside, to my horse. While galloping away from the appalling mansion, I never turned my head once (switch this around). I did not dare look back at it; for I wanted to leave behind the nightmares that lingered inside (inside what?). (new para)Since that loathsome incident, I have not neared that bone-chilling house at all. Every evening I wonder to myself if the wick continues to burn, allowing (luring?)unfortunate (unsuspecting/foolhardy?) trespassers, such as myself, to discover the ominous things (be more specific) that were illuminated by the weak glimmer of the melting candle.

http://spookinite.com/More_Spookiness/The_Melting_Candle.html


Hope this helps in some small way. I think your ending could be a bit stronger, provide some more details about the room (it's smell, taste, feel) and provide more dread on behalf of your MC at the sight.


Cheers,
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:32 AM
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I love the first sentence "resting in such despair", it makes me feel like this "place of darkness" might awaken at any moment...

I was quite surprised in the third paragraph that this is a period piece, I thought it was present day up until then, so if it was me I might want to allude to that a little earlier to help with setting up the scene, for example; "it just so happened to be dusk when I would rattle past the house in my carriage..."

I also feel like there's a bit of a jump between him being intrigued by the house and him suddenly going through the gate. I might have had more build up eg "One day, for some unknown reason, I paused my carriage outside the choked gates and stood watching silently as the candle stared back, blinking and winking at me from the window. It wanted me to come in, I could feel it. I took a step forward, my hand touching upon flakes of rust on the gate..."

I also think his feeling need to be expanded on a little, so we can feel his fear and also the reasons why he is still proceeding in spite of these fears.

I really like the tone overall though!
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:56 PM
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Hi Benjamin.

Okay. I give up. You wrote:

(((Unnaturally sitting in them were the wilted remains of the ill-fated. )))

What was in the chairs? If rotting dead people, why not describe them?

Your language skills are very impressive. And the tension you created was great and drove me to read more. I worried for the storyteller when he entered the house.

When I finished reading the I had the thought that maybe this was a Shaggy Dog story, except it's not since they end with something silly.

You ended with what seems like a riddle. Why not treat the those in the chair? Hmm...

The story had me all the way, until I couldn't figure out what sat in the chairs, and then I felt cheated. (?)

Have a nice writing day.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Themightypencil View Post
That was really enjoyable. Very creepy and intense throughout. I did feel however there were too many commas which broke up the flow too much. So many of your sentences have a comma after two words. I found it a little distracting. Also the description of what you found in the room needs expanded on. Who are these "ill fated"? Other than that, a fantastic read on my train to work! Thanks
Thank you for reading, commenting, and complementing.

I think the way I use commas is merely my style of writing. I'm sorry if it was distracting.

I've had a few others say that about not knowing who and what the "ill-fated" were. I'll have to add more description. Thank you for pointing that out.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
Hi Ben,



I enjoy your style of writing for the most part, but feel you become bogged down by too many unnecessary modifiers and awkward phrasing.



I have provided my comments on your story:



LEGEND: Red - consider removing; Blue: my additions/suggestions; Green: consider alternative phrasing/wording






Hope this helps in some small way. I think your ending could be a bit stronger, provide some more details about the room (it's smell, taste, feel) and provide more dread on behalf of your MC at the sight.


Cheers,
Thank you for reading and commenting.

I'll consider a few of your critiques, but for the most part, I think I like it the way it is. Most of your edits interfere with my style of writing.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kjjoyner View Post
I love the first sentence "resting in such despair", it makes me feel like this "place of darkness" might awaken at any moment...

I was quite surprised in the third paragraph that this is a period piece, I thought it was present day up until then, so if it was me I might want to allude to that a little earlier to help with setting up the scene, for example; "it just so happened to be dusk when I would rattle past the house in my carriage..."

I also feel like there's a bit of a jump between him being intrigued by the house and him suddenly going through the gate. I might have had more build up eg "One day, for some unknown reason, I paused my carriage outside the choked gates and stood watching silently as the candle stared back, blinking and winking at me from the window. It wanted me to come in, I could feel it. I took a step forward, my hand touching upon flakes of rust on the gate..."

I also think his feeling need to be expanded on a little, so we can feel his fear and also the reasons why he is still proceeding in spite of these fears.

I really like the tone overall though!
First off, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

"it just so happened to be dusk when I would rattle past the house in my carriage..." You are right about this. I should do something. Thank you for pointing that out.

"One day, for some unknown reason, I paused my carriage outside the choked gates and stood watching silently as the candle stared back, blinking and winking at me from the window. It wanted me to come in, I could feel it. I took a step forward, my hand touching upon flakes of rust on the gate..." Can't agree with you on this. I don't see an abrupt alteration.

I also think his feeling need to be expanded on a little, so we can feel his fear and also the reasons why he is still proceeding in spite of these fears. I think it is pretty clear that he proceeds onward because he wants to know for certain if a "ghost" is dwelling in the old house.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wrc View Post
Hi Benjamin.

Okay. I give up. You wrote:

(((Unnaturally sitting in them were the wilted remains of the ill-fated. )))

What was in the chairs? If rotting dead people, why not describe them?

Your language skills are very impressive. And the tension you created was great and drove me to read more. I worried for the storyteller when he entered the house.

When I finished reading the I had the thought that maybe this was a Shaggy Dog story, except it's not since they end with something silly.

You ended with what seems like a riddle. Why not treat the those in the chair? Hmm...

The story had me all the way, until I couldn't figure out what sat in the chairs, and then I felt cheated. (?)

Have a nice writing day.
Thanks for reading and commenting!

Yes, you are right, just as the others have pointed out. I'll make it more clear on who and what are sitting in the chairs.
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:20 AM
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I'm not one for critiquing grammar and punctuation, which seems to be a common thing I'm finding on this site. I'm more interested in the quality of the writing and what others think of mine.

That being said, I liked this. You tell the story in such a way that I felt like I was creeping through the house with your character. The feeling of demonic evil was very evident. I would have turned and fled too! But I have to admit, I'm more than a little curious as to the source of that malicious energy.

You have me contemplating ideas for similar tales.

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Old 09-11-2015, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DB38 View Post
I'm not one for critiquing grammar and punctuation, which seems to be a common thing I'm finding on this site. I'm more interested in the quality of the writing and what others think of mine.

That being said, I liked this. You tell the story in such a way that I felt like I was creeping through the house with your character. The feeling of demonic evil was very evident. I would have turned and fled too! But I have to admit, I'm more than a little curious as to the source of that malicious energy.

You have me contemplating ideas for similar tales.

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Thank you for commenting and reading! I appreciate the compliments and I am glad you can enjoy the grimness of this tale.

I think you will find that all of my stories link together. Since you are more intrigued by the "how" of everything, I'll tell you a little secret. The tale "My Very Own Fiends" connects with this. Those corpses in the chairs were the crafts of the ghoul from "My Very Own Fiends".

If you would like to know more details of the setting of the stories and their characters, feel free to visit my website: http://spookinite.com/ It is best viewed on a computer. Their is music on each page.

Have a nice/dark day,

Benjamin Andrew
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:43 AM
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You have my attention. I love music and I'll definitely be checking that out!

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Old 09-11-2015, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DB38 View Post
You have my attention. I love music and I'll definitely be checking that out!

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Thanks! I really appreciate it!
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