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The story was amazing-there were few hiccups in the entire story, though they did disrupt the story a bit. Maybe it was because of me having to rush through it, but it was a little too fast-paced for me.
Introducing Caleb as the 'weirdo' was an interesting opening, though I thought you could have dropped a heavier hint as to why he was considered weird. A brief explanation about how he was not with his biological parents that might have led to him being 'strange' would have led the audience to believe that he was 'strange' due to his lack of parental guides in his youth. I do feel that your descriptions of how Caleb abandoned his world of toys to 'fit in' was well described, though you could have explained in deeper detail as to how he left his wonderland behind to fit in-the fitting in was only explained in the later part of the story, if I'm not wrong.
I do feel that you could have given a slightly more in depth explanation of his mental state of mind around the end of the story to truly show how mentally deranged he was. The ending however, had a rather rushed feel to it, with the police investigation rushed in order to set the closing scene. The wife should also have more credit, for being the first person to find Caleb toys, and from what I understand, she truly loves him-she tries to make him forget his toys and hides them, and such. It would have been more fitting if the title was 'Can you play with me?' as compared to Ivory Dolls, though Ivory Dolls does have a haunting chime to it after reading through the story, but putting the title and plot together does take a while.
Loved the story, and good luck! If the Nevermore contest isn't over, you should consider submitting it. Keep up the good work!
Predictable, but incredible
The story at first glance was surprisingly short. I was curious on what sort of horror you could draw from something so short, and I'm actually quite pleased with that you managed to draw out. Although the ending was quite predictable, with the person giving the candy taking faces off solo trick-or-treaters, the way you wrote it gave it that slightly haunting undertone-it wasn't a quick=paced ending that raises adrenaline, but instead it was the same cool and relaxed paced the killer maintained throughout the entire story, giving it a more chilly ending.
All in all, amazing story! I really enjoyed it-the length too, was just right. Keep up the good work!
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