Author Topic: Find Me in the Outside  (Read 719 times)

Offline TK

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Find Me in the Outside
« on: December 29, 2019, 11:37:28 PM »
Hyoth walked for hours up the tallest hill in Gualos to find a cabin said to be inhabited by Lither-Cagni, an old mage who knew the answers to any questions one could think up. A week earlier, Hyoth got a letter in the mail from his late husband that seemed normal all the way until the last line:

“Find me in the Outside.”

He had no idea what it meant, but after another read, Hyoth was sure the letter was peppered with hints that he had no context to understand. All the stories made Lither-Cagni seem like an all-knowing, cold-hearted mage who only spoke in facts and detested feelings, so Hyoth was a little unnerved as he approached the cabin. He hoped he would really get the answers he needed.

He knocked only once and the door flew open.

“Good evening,” an old man said with a smile. His white hair was cut short and slicked against his head with what looked like days of built-up grease.

Hyoth put his hand out. “Good evening, sir. Are you Lither-Cagni?”

The old man nodded. “Most people who know me call me LC,” he said. “Would you like to come in?”

Hyoth was shocked at how welcoming he was. “Yes, sir. I would actually. I’ve been walking all day.”

“I have some hot water going if you’d like a cup of tea.” Lither-Cagni guided Hyoth inside. Hyoth set his bag on the floor as they sat in the kitchen. Lither-Cagni made two cups of tea.

“I’ve come here for a specific reason, sir,” Hyoth said finally. He scratched at the lacquer on the table.

“Oh, I know,” LC said as he sipped his cup of tea. “You’re here about the letter you got.”

Hyoth gasped. “So, you’re real?!”

LC sighed and stood up. “I hoped you would have had a different reaction. I have a rule against helping folks just looking to confirm rumors.”

“No!” Hyoth shouted. “I’m here to find out what my husband meant when he wrote ‘find me in the Outside’. I heard you were the one to ask.”

LC sat back down. “You may think that’s different, but I know you’ll go back and tell everyone the scary magician on the hill is real and you saw it with your own eyes.”

Hyoth balled his fists. “You don’t understand,” he said. “I need to know, and I know you can help me. Are you going to make this more difficult than it needs to be?”

LC raised his hand and a the table cracked in half. “Leave now.”

Hyoth jumped on LC and bit hard into his neck. “Tell me now or I’ll tear your carotid artery out of your neck.”

LC whimpered. “I don’t know. I really, really don’t know.”

Hyoth bit his neck harder only stopping when he tasted blood. “Wanna change that answer?” Lither-Cagni remained silent.

Hyoth slammed Lither-Cagni’s head into the floor and let him fall limp. “Stay down!” he shouted and grabbed his bag. He pulled out a can of gas and started pouring it around the outside of the cabin.

“Looks like you didn’t know everything after all,” Hyoth said. “I guess I’ll try to find the next legend.”

He lit the fire with a match from his pocket and walked into the forest. He’d have to walk for hours to get back down the biggest hill in Gualos.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 07:53:44 PM by ChabnerKerp »
~T.C.

Offline jadynm1234567

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Re: Find Me in the Outside
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2019, 02:04:54 PM »
Well... That escalated quickly. I would definitely add some build up there. It went from a pleasant conversation to a horror story really fast, and it makes the writing seem really rushed. You have some good detail, like with LC's hair, so you are definitely capable of conveying emotion more slowly. I'd make him first try to reason, then beg, become frustrated, and, finally, start the build up to aggressive. You want a similar build up for LC; first he's pleasant, then irritated, then defiant, cautious, and then afraid. It's definitely an interesting twist that your character is actually unhinged, but don't give it away so suddenly. Make it subtle, build it up, and then it's much less of a shock to your readers and is intriguing instead. You're doing great! Keep up the good work
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 02:06:59 PM by jadynm1234567 »

Offline TK

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Re: Find Me in the Outside
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2019, 08:15:31 PM »
Thanks for the tip! I always have a hard time with subtlety.
~T.C.

Offline wes740

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Re: Find Me in the Outside
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2020, 09:18:34 PM »
I was wondering, is this part of a larger piece or is this flash fiction?

The phrase "Meet me in the Outside" has me wondering what his husband meant. Although the story raised more questions than it answered, I want to know more about the MC, his husband, and the world in which this takes place.

The story, even if it's a flash piece, needs more information. Why should I care about the MC? What does he look like? At the end, I asked if he was part wolf.

Some specifics for your consideration:

The first sentence is a bit clunky and can be tweaked for a smoother read.

The third paragraph needs split. It starts with the letter then jumps the stories about LC.

Later on, if the mage had the power to split the table wouldn't he had been able to defend himself.

How can the MC talk when he is biting LC's neck?

I want more here to fill out the story a bit. I'm not suggesting taking away all of the mystery, but to clarify some facts. The main point for the story is the letter and the statement at its end. This is never discussed in the rest of the story except briefly. It seems more of a device for the main action scene with and then discarded. This can be cleared up by adding the information I mentioned above.

Enjoy developing your story.

Offline wes740

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Re: Find Me in the Outside
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2020, 08:31:25 AM »
After posting I noticed your other post. I haven't read them yet but will.

Offline TK

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Re: Find Me in the Outside
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 06:56:50 PM »
I really appreciate your critique. I was having a hard time seeing what was wrong with this story, but I think you got it totally right. I'll re-write the story with everything you said in mind.

About talking while biting his neck, I was thinking kind of animalistically grunting through the flesh in his teeth. Kind of like a wolf. But he's not supposed to be part wolf. That could probably be toned down a little so it doesn't seem like he's a wolf lol
~T.C.

Offline pclark333

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Re: Find Me in the Outside
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 09:24:02 AM »
Two and a half months after your post here’s some input.

There’s lots of mystery here which is great.  It kept me reading through and I didn’t get bored.  A couple of things stuck out at the end.  One, the main character swung so quickly into violence but there wasn’t a hint of it beforehand, so that made his action hard to believe.  There had been no hint of, for example, quiet seething with rage about the desertion of his husband as he walked up the hill, trying to squelch his violent dreams.  And two, the mage is an old man who offered up tea and who’s probably been consulted hundreds of times and lived through it, but this time he doesn’t because of a few words exchanged?

I think there needs to be some escalation of the anger and tension in the walk up the hill and in the conversation.  Then I think your writing will sound great.