Saturday, September 26, 2009


This story has been taken down for an overhaul.

Thanks to all who read and commented. Your kind words and advice have inspired me to rewrite parts, and this piece has been published on Out of Ruins where it fits in nicely.

Thanks again.


  1. Woah! That was eerie cool! I totally love this one! The pictures so clear, I think my favorite parts are when the boy realizes that the youth isn't a medium but a Soul collector, then thinking he won but really was headed towards his own doom...It leaves the fact that you can never cheat death more than once. I LOVE IT!

  2. Hey Michael,
    Read your story, pretty damn good. I felt a little lost at the first break, it's as if there is a story within the story, but it all came together in the end. If Mack only had a clue what was on his truck - Yikes! You have some suspenseful moments in here. Where did you come up with the name Ocky? Kind of neat.

    Good job.

  3. Also meant to say you had some great sentences in here. This was one of my favorites ~ Behind the children a large door, metallic looking, like that of a bank vault, opened of its own accord and they seemed to drift without walking around and inside the vault.

  4. how did i know this was going to be a good story?

    because half way through, i got up and turned on the lamp on ancient library table i call a desk instead of sitting with the lamp from the bedroom casing enough of a glow to allow me to see what i'm doing.

    i may keep it on all night long.

  5. Great read. Great tension. Great imagery. Whew!

  6. Michael , I like original stories. What you did with stereotypes coupled with a genuinely original twist was masterful. Nice job. I was thouroughly interested in the story from beginning to end, the break did not bother me at all because I trusted the author. That trust was rewarded tenfold. I had a distinct "Blair Witch" moment when the were walking in the basement, sincere chills buddy. Thanks for the invite to read, please do it again!

  7. Wow! That was one heck of a story. I was absolutely spellbound. It's a good thing I don't believe in ghosts, otherwise I would be afraid to sit in the darkened apartment tonight. It's one heck of a wonderful plot line and I wonder how you thought of it. I have bookmarked this page and will be here when there is something new.

  8. Excellent!

    The storyline is good. The characters are convincing and I got the complete picture of them in my head. I got into the mood directly; I was entertained and curious while reading.

    Some remarks were simply brilliant, as: "...the setting for a cheap horror film, more likely, where the only real fear is what the audience brings into the theater."

    Neatly written, the whoIe story. One could say - stories, but it really is a solid entity. The form and the multidimensionality of the piece is my most favorite thing about it. Or the plot. Or both...

  9. The segments between Cherise and Mack are as darn near as good as the best writing I've ever read; the subtlety in the dialogue, the implied history, the background emotion are all instantly apparent.

    The segment with Tim, Ocky and Sandra held me in a vice-like grip; there was something very eerie and melancholic about it as well. I find it very difficult to write using supernatural themes, yet here you've done it brilliantly. If anything, I felt it could have been expanded a bit; Tim's emotional reaction seems to have been contracted a little because of the short-story format.

    Like Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, the story has a sense without needing a "meaning". It leaves you with an emotional reaction long after the specifics have faded from your memory.

  10. Oh, and I meant to say Michael - sounds very Aussie! "Ocky" is a not uncommon term/name here ("Ocker" being a reference to someone who is, to use another local idiom, "dinky-di" - ie. typically Australian in accent, manner and values).

  11. Grreat story, not at all what I expected it to be. Mack and Cherise portions are particularly good. Kids stuff is certainly spooky but some of the words you used are a bit trite. I wouldn't mind if the ghost kids used them or the medium. but you use them in your descriptions and that is a little distracting. Hope you don't think I didn't like the piece. I did,but I am trying to be very analytical about it because I liked it so much.

  12. I think it is more "rushed" than "trite". From "how can it be too late" to "it's not my time" is in sharp contrast to the earlier pace of the interaction between the children and their environment. It seemed as if you were in a hurry to tell the "bones" of the story; Tim's shock isn't shown enough through his actions so it seems a bit "mechanical". I think you could fill this out a bit more. The earlier part of the children's interaction is, by contrast, very textured and realistic. I would have liked Tim's reaction to have manifested in movement/response that mirrors his disorientation and denial a little more. Instead we have a few words a running - which while workmanlike isn't in the same league as the earlier writing.


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