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 Post subject: Moaning
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:21 pm 
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A slight stream of light was hardly penetrating through the boarded up window, allowing me to have a better look of those grey concrete walls covered with a six inch thick layer of dust. I lay on the floor, as there was no bed and not even mattress in this cold dim cell. Before the hard steel door sat a bowl of water and a piece of bread – everything that gave me the human demon of The Mechanic that day. Three days and three nights, I’d spend in this cell in the middle of nowhere. Three days and three nights, I’d get used to hunger, boredom and the incessant moaning that reached me from below.

This sound was not unfamiliar to me, for I had heard it so many times in my dreams. For all those years, I saw every inch of this gray labyrinth, evoking either a prison, or a gothic cathedral, or an abandoned factory. There, in my dreams, I’d seen for the first time the grotesque figure of the Mechanic, as I called this being wearing an oil-stained apron. Out of his flesh stuck all the kinds of tools – gears, blades, wires. His face was seemingly made of iron, and sometimes I would think that he was a robot, a machine, but the way he moved pointed out at this being’s human nature. In my nightmares, he’d always go toward me in his almost military walk, and his raspy voice would make my hair rise. He didn’t do anything to me, but his mere sight always incited the unbearable pain.

The origin of those dream always made me wonder. It’s known that the dreams are nothing, but shreds of the images preserved by the memory, which our subconsciousness sews together in an occasionally bizarre way. However, the night visions that haunted me for the recent few years made me ponder if there was something more important behind them. They were to frequent, and the things I observed in them too unfamiliar to me. The other things that startled me about them was how much alive they looked. Waking up in the morning, I would remember the nearly dark room dimly illuminated by a lonely bulb where it was hard to breath due to the smells of chemicals and human bodies. I remember myself, feeling like I’d lost my arms and legs, no my entire body, despite being able to see and hear the things.

And there were faces, dozens of human faces. I would recognize them all later – in the announcements about missing persons in the newspaper. I tried to persuade myself that it was a mere coincidence, but I couldn’t get rid of a feeling that my dreams were somehow connected to the reality.

They blinked before my face, like a swarm of moths, but each them managed to imprint itself in my memory. They were all pierced with suffering that a man can barely survive. Whenever the Mechanic appeared, they started moaning so loudly, that I’d get headache, which wouldn’t stop even after awakening.

Of course, I didn’t take it all patiently – I was meeting doctors, I was taking medicines. I still believed those visions to be spawns of my everyday stress, but my doubt was growing with every night. I started to remember every detail, I started looking for information, I wanted to know more about the reasons of my torment.

After some desperate searches, I discovered that I was not alone. I learnt about other people who had encountered the similar horrors, and who quickly became my pen pals, willing to give me any help in my research. In one of my dreams I looked through a crack in the boarded up window, and I succeeded to distinguish an old church in mountains above the woods. The following days, I spent raking through thousand of photos and postcards looking for anything familiar. At last, my quest was crowned with a success, and as soon as I got some free time, I bought an airplane ticket.

During the flight, I couldn’t stop shivering from the anxiety. I was remembering the last dream of mine, the most terrible of them all. There, I saw the Mechanic more clearly than ever, as he stood before something that looked like an operating table, covered with a white shroud. The Mechanic removed the shroud, and I saw a man – naked and emaciated – whose face was frozen with an unspeakable dread. The Mechanic unfastened the belts with which the man was strapped and dropped him into a rusty tube, sitting nearby. The man didn’t cry, nor resist, and he seemed to be too exhausted for any action. As for the Mechanic, he took a plastic bottle and with an unknown malodorous liquid, which he poured into the poor guy’s mouth. The man’s face cringed with pain, and his body started to melt. Yes, he was melting: his skin, flesh and bones were all turning into a viscous shapeless mass. But the most terrifying thing was that the man was still alive: his eyes, floating on the top of that had become of his body, were still looking at his butcher, and his lips, separated from his jaws, were moving, as if trying to say something. The man saw me, I knew that, he was staring directly at me. In the same time, the Mechanic, thankfully, never paid attention to my presence, lest I would die with fear.

For a long time, I was wandering around the countryside, until one of the local inhabitants agreed to help me. I followed the direction that he had told me, and soon I started to feel something that can’t be described as anything, but déjà vu. I’d never been in that place, but at that point, it seemed painfully familiar to me. Eventually, I heard someone approaching me from behind, and almost immediately, I felt thousands of needles piercing through my body.

I recovered – I don’t even know what from – in this very cell there’s no light, no other person, nothing, but bread and water. Here I spent so long time that I started to think that if I ever saw sunlight, it would instantly blind me. At first, I was sure that I was going to die, but later I guessed from how regularly I’d get my food and water, my captor didn’t want to kill me. Apparently, he had some other plans for me.

I screamed, trying to call for help, but I didn’t hear my own screams because of the moaning coming from the lower story. It sounded just like in my dreams, and I started to think that I was going insane. I thought about my family wondering if they were looking for me, and I remembered that I hadn’t told anyone where I’d been going. The desperation made me want to cry like a baby. Even if I had a book, I wouldn’t be able to read it in this darkness. All I could do was strolling around the cell, listening to those wild moans and trying to guess who they belonged to? A man, or a woman? A child, or an adult? A human, or an animal? For all the time of my imprisonment, I couldn’t get an answer to this question, and the unknown was rendering my condition even more terrible.

And then, on the fourth day, he entered my cell. The sheer fact of the door being opened utterly startled me, as to that point, I’d got unused to the outside world. I stood up and, having seen, the Mechanic, crawled back in the corner. I was weakened from the malnutrition, and although, his figure was always imposing, now he looked a real giant. “Let’s go,” he said, and I didn’t dare to disobey him. We walked into a dim tunnel illuminated by two or three bulbs. My inner voice was telling me: “Run!”, but I knew what I wouldn’t run too far. Moreover, I didn’t know where to run: in my dreams I’ve seen parts of this building, but I could never figure out how they were connected.

We went downstairs, and I saw a large room, reminding me a chemical laboratory. On the shelves sat numbers of chemicals, operational tables and other equipment made me think as of some kind of an underground hospital. Here, the habitual moaning was louder and more unbearable, and soon I learnt, why. The mechanic led me to the next room, where I saw IT for the first time in my life.
One could describe it only as a work of some mad artist. It was enormous, so enormous that it filled the entire room that could serve as an airplane garage. Before me lay a pile of different body parts: arms, legs, heads, male and female genitalia, inner organs, including guts that were dangling like tentacles and hearts that were still beating despite sticking out of someone’s mouth. It looked like if dozens of human bodies were sewn, no, fused together. It was a gargantuan shapeless mass, unable to make headway, but incessantly waving its limbs and moaning. Here, this moaning was simply deafening.

If I was sane before that, now I was doubtlessly mad. It was impossible, it was just a dream, just like before. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wake up, and I was still staring at this nightmare. The only word I managed to utter at that second was: “Why?”

The Mechanic was quite amiable that day, and he even answered my question. He explained to me that he had managed to understand the work of every machine in human history, except for one – mind, consciousness. He wanted to understand how our mind works, thus he decided to perform this inhuman experiment: using an unknown to me chemical, he melted different people’s bodies and fused the, together. According to him, this would enhance the ability of their brains and give them access to the noosphere. The Mechanic succeeded in creating this chimera, but he couldn’t make contact with his own creation, lest it would tell him about its experience. However, the creature couldn’t talk, furthermore it seemed to hate its creator. I’ve seen myself, how it tried to attack him, but it merely couldn’t get close enough to him, due to its condition.

I stood still staring at him, and my terror grew with every second. Nevertheless, my fear got itself a neighbour in my curiosity toward this being. I’d never learn who he was, and where he’d come from, but to these days, I believe him to be the most horrible thing I’d ever encountered. I asked him how these people stayed alive despite being melted and fused together. He laughed and said: “The good magician doesn’t explain all his tricks, even to his apprentice. There are some things that you’ll have to figure out yourself.”

The apprentice? Did he really believe that I wanted to follow his ways? I clenched my fists with rage, but what could I do? This monster could kill me with a single strike. He told me that he’d already known that his creature contacted me in my dreams, but he couldn’t find me, until I came into his domain myself. He needed some kind of a translator between him and his victims. He also added that if I refuse, I’ll join the other members of the Pile, share their experience and communicate with them till the end of our lives. I agreed in hope that I’d win some time, and then... “Everything can happen,” I thought.

He gave me a pen and a piece of paper. All I had to do was sitting before the Pile and asking it about its feelings and its new mental abilities. I took the paper and walked to the Pile, barely holding myself back from vomiting because of its appearance. I wrote on the paper: “Who are you?” and put in near the closest arm dangling over the floor. The arm took my pen and started writing. Its handwriting was ugly, but what would you expect from something that has no less than hundred eyes which it cannot move into the right direction. It was like it had no eyes at all, but somehow I managed to understand the resulting text. There were dozens of names, dozens of ruined lives. All the years that I’d been suffering those nightmares, they’d spent in the cold of this cellar, but due to their new abilities, they had managed to connect with me. I asked: “Why me?” There was no answer. Apparently, the Pile could invade my dreams, but it couldn’t see who I was. It could only send me the things that it saw itself, and the feelings that it experienced. This is why the Mechanic evoked such an irrational fear in me.

The Mechanic ordered us to stop our dialogue, and I gave him the paper back. He read it, and he said that he was pleased with my work. For the first time that week, I had a normal dinner. I was given a decent, thought not very luxurious room with a bed, a shower and lights, although I was still separated from the outside world. Nevertheless, I still heard the moaning from the cellar, and I couldn’t forgive myself for taking part in this crime.

The following morning, the Mechanic showed me films depicting the procedure of creation of the Pile. In these films, he was not alone – a mysterious figure wearing some sort of bike helmet assisted him in his work. The Mechanic explained me the work of some chemicals and then sent me back to the Pile. I noticed that during my “talk” with the Pile, it stopped moaning. Communication with someone clearly reduced its suffering. I even thought that I was doing a good thing. I would ask more questions and give the answers back to the mechanic. This way passed the days and then, the weeks.

The Mechanic trusted me; I could feel that. At least, he was giving me some sort of freedom in moving around his fortress. I think you won’t be surprised, if I tell you that I used this right to prepare my escape. Now I knew where the exit was, and the only thing that blocked my way was the Mechanic. Somewhere else could be his helmet-wearing accomplice, but I’d never seen him, and I decided to ignore this guy.

However, my fear before the Mechanic was still strong. Although, he trusted me, he followed my every step. My only ally was the Pile, but I didn’t know if I could trust it. And even then, how could it help me? The entire days, I stood before it, looking at its countless eyes. I couldn’t write my thoughts – the Mechanic would read that too, and I would be toast. If I destroyed the paper, he would suspect something. But, as I can guess now, the Pile could read my mind, and it knew everything about my plans. I don’t remember that I asked then, but the arm wrote a single phrase: Let him come close. I got everything, and, despite all the doubts, I decided to do it as soon as I could.

That day, I talked to the Mechanic and said him that I noticed that there was something wrong with the Pile. For a couple of days, it didn’t make any sounds, which made me think that it was dying. The Mechanic laughed and told that it won’t be a big problem: if the Pile dies, he’ll build another one from some new people. I asked, I almost cried, like a child trying to persuade his parent that his pet animal is ill. Strange things, my prayer seemed to touch this cruel being, and he promised to take a look of the creature. Together, we walked into the Pile’s cell.

“What will happen?” I thought, listening to my heart’s rabid beating. I didn’t believe that the Pile could do anything to defend myself, and I cringed in fear, thinking about the punishment that would expect me for this betrayal. At last, the Mechanic approached the heap watching it closely. He said that he didn’t see anything wrong, and I pointed my finger down at a suspicious dark spot in a triangle between someone’s buttock, someone’s nose and someone’s eye sticking out of someone’s heel. The Mechanic leaned down to see the spot, and the Pile bounced.

It bounced and thrusted the Mechanic with one of its limb – I didn’t notice which one – right into the eye. He screamed, showing me that he wasn’t invulnerable after all. Dozens of arms, legs and intestines rushed at the human demon, and, God, had I ever seen a beatdown? The Pile seemingly collapsed at its long time torturer. One of its arms tore away his mask, and before I could see his face, it got covered with greenish foam pouring out of his mouth.

The Mechanic, the immortal horror of my nights, was dead. I looked on the Pile; it didn’t moan anymore, perhaps, the death of their tormentor, gave these people some sort of satisfaction. I said that I was going away, but that I would certainly come back and lead some help. However, the Pile didn’t want me to leave, and it looked like it wanted something from me. I saw that the arm that had been communicating me all this time started to make some strange movements, as if it was writing something on a nonexistent paper. I gave it the pen and the paper, and it wrong one single word: die.

Not at once I understood that the Pile didn’t wish me to die, it wanted to die itself. That was the only way to end its suffering. But how can you kill something that should already be dead by any logic? The arm pointed somewhere in the darkness, as it turned out, at a Jerri can of gas. After a few minutes, I found matchsticks too.

It took a lot of time for me to get ready to execute the Pile’s gruesome request, but as soon as I started to pour the gas on its giant body, protestful moaning was heard. The Pile’s limbs started to jerk, like if they were trying to fight each other. Then, it became clear for me: only a part of people condemned to this abominable prison urged the delivering death – the others wanted to live. No matter how, but to live. And now, a passionate fight was going on inside this pile of limbs and organs, and neither side could prove that it was right.

And, of course, I didn’t know myself who was right.


Last edited by CandleClock on Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Moaning
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:11 pm
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Run this through a grammar checker a few times to catch some of the errors would be my first suggestion.
www.paperrater.com has a pretty good free check, and if you put your paper through a few times it should catch most things.

The idea here is interesting and, though more guesome than I like, is well described. You have similies and metaphors that hlep paint an interesting picture for the reader.

The ambiguity at the end is an interesting way tor end the story, but it may leave some readers unsatisfied. Personally I liked it, but there is no accounting for what other readers might feel.

It is not often that stories like this have a so-called "happy ending" but I think if you decide what this story is really trying to say or do to the reader and edit it from that standpoint, you will make it more effective. That might mean that you have to change he ending or cut out part of the beginning, but it will make it a better experience for the readers.

Good job, especially for English not being your first language.

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 Post subject: Re: Moaning
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:36 am 
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Thanks for the critique, Beef, it was much needed.

Yeah, Word's spellchecker apparently is not enough, so I'll try this site and post the corrected version later.

As for the ending, the ambiguity was basically the point of the story, so I don't really know what to do about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Moaning
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:00 am 
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Big ol' review on request:

Black stuff is just basic mistakes and things I think would help the flow of the writing be a little smoother.

Spoiler:
CandleClock wrote:
A slight stream of light was hardly penetrating through the boarded up window, allowing me to get a better look at those grey concrete walls covered with six inches of dust. I lay on the floor, as there was no bed or mattress in this cold dim cell. Before the hard steel door sat a bowl of water and a piece of bread – All I had been given by The Mechanic that day. Three days and three nights I’d spend in this cell in the middle of nowhere. Three days and three nights. I’d get used to hunger, the boredom and the incessant moaning that echoed up from below.

The sound was not unfamiliar to me, as I had heard it so many times in my dreams. For all those years, I saw every inch of this gray labyrinth, evoking thoughts of either a prison, a gothic cathedral, or an abandoned factory. There, in my dreams, I’d seen for the first time the grotesque figure of the Mechanic, that horrific being wearing an oil-stained apron. Out of his flesh stuck all kinds of tools, gears, blades, and wires. His face appeared to be made of iron, and sometimes I would think that he was a robot, a machine, but the way he moved was unmistakably human. In my nightmares, he’d always march toward me with his almost military walk, and his raspy voice would make my hair stand on end. He didn’t do anything to me, but the mere sight of him always incited the unbearable pain.


Just gonna take a moment here to address that last sentence, I don't wanna take it out, but the pain is not mentioned at all before, so saying, 'The unbearable pain' doesn't really work. You could try, "Always inflicted a terrible, inexplicable pain." which kind of gets the same point across without referencing something that hasn't actually happened. up to you there.

Quote:
The origin of those dreams always made me wonder. It’s known that the dreams are nothing but shreds of the images preserved by memory, which our subconscious sews together in an occasionally bizarre way. However, the night visions that haunted me for all those years made me wonder if there was something more important behind them. They were too frequent, and the things I saw in them were too unfamiliar. The other things that concerned me about them was how vivid they were. Waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, I would be able to perfectly recall the dark room, dimly lit by a lonely bulb, It was hard to breathe there due to the smells of chemicals and dead flesh. I remembered being unable to feel my body , despite being able to see and hear everything.

There were faces, dozens of human faces. I would recognize them all later – in the announcements about missing persons in the newspaper. I tried to persuade myself that it was mere coincidence, but I couldn’t get shake the feeling that my dreams were somehow connected to reality.

They blinked before my face, like a swarm of moths, and each face was imprinted in my memory. They were all contorted with agony, the likes of which no man could survive. Whenever the Mechanic appeared, they started to moan so loudly, that I’d get a headache, which would persist even after waking.

Of course, I didn’t take it all lying down – I was meeting doctors, I was taking medicine. I still believed those visions to be manifestations of my everyday stresses, but my doubt grew with every passing night. I could still remember every detail, with great accuracy. I started looking for information, I wanted to know more about the causes of my torment.

After some desperate searches, I discovered that I was not alone. I learned about other people who had encountered similar horrors, and who quickly became my pen pals, willing to give me any help in my research. In one of my dreams I looked through a crack in the boarded up window, and I managed to distinguish an old church in the mountains above the woods. The following days, I spent raking through a thousand photos and postcards, looking for anything familiar. At last, I made a breakthrough, and as soon as I got some free time, I bought an airplane ticket.

During the flight, I couldn’t stop shivering from anxiety. I was remembering my latest dream, the most terrifying of them all. There, I saw the Mechanic more clearly than ever, as he stood before what looked like an operating table, covered with a white shroud. The Mechanic removed the shroud, and I saw a man – naked and emaciated – whose face was frozen with an expression of unspeakable fear. The Mechanic unstrapped the man from the table and dropped him into a rusty tube. The man didn’t cry or resist, and he seemed to be too exhausted for any action at all. As for the Mechanic, he took a plastic bottle filled[/co0lor] with an unknown [color=#000000](I took malodorous out because it didn't gel very well with the language used through the rest of the story, it was just a little too purple) liquid, which he poured into the helpless man's mouth. The man's face twisted with pain, and his body began to melt. His skin, flesh and bones were all turning into a viscous shapeless mass. But the most terrifying thing was that the man was still alive: his eyes, floating on the top of what had become of his body, were still looking at his butcher. His lips, separated from his jaws, were moving, as if he was trying to say something. The man could see me, he was staring directly at me. The Mechanic, thankfully, never paid any attention to my presence.

For a long time, I wandered around the countryside, until one of the locals agreed to help me. I followed the directions he had given me, and soon I started to feel something, I was overcome with a sense of déjà vu. I’d never been to this place, but at that point, it seemed painfully familiar to me. I heard someone approaching me from behind, and without warning, I felt thousands of needles piercing my body.

I recovered – I don’t even know what from – in this very cell. There’s no light, no other people, nothing but bread and water. Here I spent such a long time that I started to forget what the sun looked like. At first, I was sure I was going to die, but I figured that, judging by the fact that I was provided with food and water, my captor didn’t want to kill me. Apparently, he had something else planned for me.

I screamed, trying to call for help, but I couldn't hear my own screams over the moaning coming from somewhere below my cell. It sounded just like my dreams, and I started to think that I was going insane. I thought about my family and wondered if they were looking for me, then remembered that I hadn’t told anyone where I was going. The hopelessness of my situation made me want to cry like a baby. Even if I had a book, I wouldn’t be able to read it in this darkness. All I could do was stroll around the cell and listen to those wild moans. To distract myself, I tried to imagine who they belonged to. A man, or a woman? A child, or an adult? A human, or an animal? For all the time I spent thinking about the moans, I still couldn't figure it out, and the frustration only worsened my condition.

And then he entered my cell. The sheer fact that the door opened utterly startled me, as by that point, I’d almost forgotten that there was anything in the world other than my dark cell and those terrible moans. I looked up and saw the Mechanic. Fear pulsed through my body, and I huddled into a corner of my cell, trying to make myself as small as possible, in the childish hope that he would not see me. I was weakened from malnutrition, and although his figure was always imposing, now he looked a real giant. “Let’s go,” he boomed, and I didn’t dare disobey him. We walked into a dim tunnel, lit by two or three naked bulbs. A crazed voice in my head was screaming at me to run, but a more rational voice reminded me that I wouldn't make it very far in my condition.. Moreover, I didn’t know where I could run; in my dreams I’d seen parts of this building, but I could never work out how they were connected.


I'm going to stop here, because I need to go to sleep. I'll finish up in the morning and get the second half posted for you to look at.

Hope I'm helping.

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 Post subject: Re: Moaning
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:19 am 
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Thank you, you've done a really great work. This is really helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Moaning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:19 am 
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Beef Pop wrote:
Run this through a grammar checker a few times to catch some of the errors would be my first suggestion.
http://www.paperrater.com has a pretty good free check, and if you put your paper through a few times it should catch most things.

The idea here is interesting and, though more guesome than I like, is well described. You have similies and metaphors that hlep paint an interesting picture for the reader.

The ambiguity at the end is an interesting way tor end the story, but it may leave some readers unsatisfied. Personally I liked it, but there is no accounting for what other readers might feel.

It is not often that stories like this have a so-called "happy ending" but I think if you decide what this story is really trying to say or do to the reader and edit it from that standpoint, you will make it more effective. That might mean that you have to change he ending or cut out part of the beginning, but it will make it a better experience for the readers.

Good job, especially for English not being your first language.


Regarding the checker you said, and what if the checker to use but only with just such here a resource?


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