Reviews for Ramirez
Ckh chapter 1 . 6/18/2018
Its myth-esque, this short tale you have delivered us. I like it a lot and I don't think any words I can conjure can describe how wonderfully this story is packaged, these lines that flow almost effortlessly from one sentence to another. You have my favourite, the only way I know how to say much I appreciate this piece of fiction.
m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 5/19/2015
Hi!

So, wow, really loved this. What an amazing, mythic story. I think it is so great that you cast the characters the way you did, people your readers probably totally associate with the land, with wheat, farming, Hector even has ‘farmers’ hands’. So many iconic aspects of this shone bright. Really enjoyed the whole thing.

There is really only one tiny thing you might want to revise. I mention it in my notes below as well. The Aztecs didn’t have wheat. The Europeans brought wheat to the ‘New World’. The Aztecs and other original tribes of the Western Hemisphere had lots of crops that the Euros and Asia and Africa didn’t have, like potatoes, tomatoes, corn (maize), tobacco, chocolate, and so many others, but wheat is different. The Ancient Egyptians were likely the first people to cultivate wheat. Wheat is a North African/Near Eastern crop originally.

I don’t see why the magical wheat field needs to stay in the same part of ‘our’ perception of the plane of existence though. Basically, I’m thinking, why should a supernatural wheat field of the dead stay in the same place on Earth throughout history? You could still do that scene of the ‘reapers’ throughout time. You could go back to medieval farmers in Eastern Europe or Turkey or someplace and though go back to Ancient Egypt… or something… idk. I just know that part pulled me out of the story a bit… :)

Okay, here are my notes:

Love the way you set up the environment:
“Behind the estate a broad field of wheat stretched far out into the wilderness like a patchwork quilt, clusters of it in seedlings, patches of golden emerald stalks that grew as tall as a mans waist, and a large portion of it freshly cut.”

I know nothing about harvesting wheat:
“First of all it ripened only in separate clusters, each set off from the others.

Wheat shouldn't do that.”
This totally convinces me that you do however. ;) Love the mystery you conjure here.

Love this moment:
“Ooosheeaah...Ooosheeaah...

Ramirez struggled to his knees in front of a pile of chaff, and though he could not fathom why, he knew that he had made a terrible mistake and cut the wrong stalk.”
So cool the audio aspect of the description there. I can hear the stalks singing… :)

Love the concepts here, might want to edit some though:
“Louder and louder he cackled until he was laughing hysterically, as if *him and the what* field were privy to some mysterious knowledge.”
‘as if he and the wheat’ I think… :)

This is great character development, insight into human nature:
“Uxia was his world, and deserved everything, but he knew as a man he could only provide so much. Still, what little he could provide for her was not enough, and he was more ashamed of that than anything.”

Really like:
“A film of dirt covered his suit, and it would not have surprised Hector at all if the man had clawed his way out of his own grave.”

I love how in your stories you so often have people on the edge of desperation. The awful fate that awaits them is so often unavoidable.. so like many ancient myths and religious tales from multiple traditions:
“Hector found himself first chuckling, then laughing until his eyes watered. Ramirez joined him, his laugh a death rattle.”

I love how simple the desires of the Mendoza Family are:
“The Mendozas lived in the big house. After unpacking the car they treated themselves to the hefty abundance of food stored in the kitchen and did nothing for three days except fix up the house, lay in the good beds on clean sheets and admire the picturesque land, and all the while never second guessing their stroke of good fortune, that all of this was coming together this way: food in their stomachs, clean clothes on their backs, even cigarettes for him to smoke in the evenings.”
This shows how innocent they are and typical. I mean, we all need/want food, clean sheets, maybe some smokes or an equivalent.

Really like this too:
“By four o'clock he was beyond restless, going in and out of the house, smoking cigarettes, thinking about digging an irrigation ditch but all the time really thinking about the wheat and how ripe and beautiful it was, just aching to be cut.”

Great bit, beautiful visual imagery that nonetheless comes off as an ominous portend:
“The days loped like gentle horses.”

I would like just one or two more explicit clues before this:
“"I've killed somebody!" he gasped, choking and holding to his chest. "I've killed, damn I've killed lots of people…””

Like how this harkens back to the earlier scene with Ramirez almost cutting down the stalks that represented Hector’s family:
“"I cut down one stalk of wheat and I killed him! I could feel him dying, that's how-“”

Love how you compare the paper pages of the Bible to the stalks of wheat:
“She brought the bible from the living room and rustled through its pages. They sounded like wheat rustling in a small, slow wind. "You sit down and you listen.””
Very cool and epic!

“The same sky, the same wind, the same wheat.”
Um, the Aztecs didn’t have wheat. They had maize or ‘corn’. The Europeans brought wheat. You could make it all about stalks of corn if you want to stay consistent with the New World setting… Or have the wheat field move around the world from one age to the next… like different farmers and farming peoples/cultures throughout time…?

Very powerful stuff here:
“Half buried under burnt out debris, their charred bodies horribly fused together like a sculpture from a nightmare.”

I think I get what you are trying to say here but this section pulls me out of the story because you had switched to Uxia’s pov from Hector’s and then you pull us out of Uxia’s pov with this sentence:
“If we really feared what we didn't understand, then Uxia was afraid of absolutely everything now.”
Maybe just cut it…?

Really great ending:
“"It looks like you made a new friend." The old man said. "Come along now little one, time to finish what you started.””

Truly great stuff!

vb,

mbw
cybersheep chapter 1 . 6/18/2014
easy fix review for the review game!

oh my word, this was amazing. i have read i think three of your one-shots to date, but of all of them this is definitely the best one. if i start comparing the three, please forgive me. ti's my very very bad habit. but anyway, first and foremost i adored the smooth way you wove language into this piece making it an enviable part of the narrative as anything else. it was so well done that even i, who speaks spanish like i do multivariate calculus (read: not at all), almost understood everything. it gave the piece its setting and it brought to life the demon wheatfield in texas - oh how i loved it so! in addition, i think the build up in this story was perfect. occasionally, writers will have a surprise ending to get their kicks (which works well too), but i personally think it is harder to create doom and keep creating doom and keep it doomy and THEN fuck up your readers afterwards. in this, the old man was creepy. his field was creepy. the way he did his work was creepy. i was so creeped out by the first couple of paras that when hector appears i just wanted him to get back into his car and /run/. but no, i had to sit through him and his family living in this place of graves and watch as inexorably it took over their lives. longest panic attack ever. effing fuck it all - but it was wonderful. lastly, that ending with the little girl? bittersweet i guess. im sad she is no longer alone, but im kind of happy she's not alone? i dunno. what would a girl grim reaper be like? what /will/ she be like? this is my not to subtle way of demanding...yes you read that right, DEMANDING a sequel.

a tout a l'heure !

senatorblitz/cybersheep
wisedec4u chapter 1 . 6/13/2013
I enjoyed the story very much. It was dark, haunting tell that held my attention from beginning to end. From the beginning the creepy Ramirez set the right tone. I just knew something bad was to come for Hector and his family. I really liked your dialogue between Hector and Pilar. I sounded very realistic and I could see how desperately Hector wanted to save himself and his family from haunted wheat fields, but could find the strength break the hold the scythe had over him. I wished his wife had listened to his warning. It was great twist at the end that he saved his daughter at the end while at the same time sealing his and Pilar's face and ultimately bring about the end of the world. This was very unique story and you did wonderful job with it.
Yuli Ban chapter 1 . 6/8/2013
A very bizarre story indeed... with metaphors brimming on all sides, and some kind of horror with traces of Dunwich placed in a modern downer outer setting.

I love it.

I also appreciated the spectacular dialogue you've done. Really flowing, really good interaction. Solid as it is realistic.
A few flaws exist here n' there. "Hector the house!" Cream the Rabbit. Without commas, they may have some... bizarre meanings. Punctuation was the only real problem and it was scarce.
I've learned my lesson- this is a tad bit long. Great to read when you stylize the page, but... ehh... Maybe one or two lines to separate it would have worked.
Good work, fellow colleage!
Zoicite23 chapter 1 . 6/5/2013
This was an amazingly creative piece! It took a while to read but it was definitely enjoyable. I loved how you used the reaping of the crops as a metaphor for the deaths occurring in the world. The relationships between the characters was also believable and I liked that part as well. I didn't understand most of the Spanish, but it gave your story a sense of culture. That also was something I enjoyed. A very good read.
Michodell chapter 1 . 5/16/2013
Very interesting story. I was wondering the whole time what the wheat had to do with everything. I was not disappointed. I will say that your metaphors and descriptions are wonderful as is the plot. I also liked how unique the names were. It was easy to keep track of who was who.

However, I felt that in the beginning you could have cut back on some of the metaphors and descriptions. It was becoming a little overwhelming after the first couple paragraphs.
Blueberry Neko chapter 1 . 5/9/2013
So... I feel like this is one of the kind of story I'd read again. The setting is unique in a way you don't see many thriller stories like this. Agreeing with a review below, I'm not sure if I'd classify this as supernatural, but I can sort of see, why you do that. Anyway, my only suggestion is so separate it a bit... because I got lazy of reading this at first.

I liked how you incorporate spanish into the story. It shows their heritage and gives off a more... Mexican aura, if you know what I mean :)

The character's voices were very realistic to me. I can almost picture them speaking in their own mannerisms, even in different situations.

Anyway, well done :)
Faithless Juliet chapter 1 . 4/27/2013
I loved the spooky vibe that you showcased throughout this. I wouldn't categorize it as supernatural, but the precise quality of the narration was very chilling. With this being a stand alone I would suggest a bit more characterization because I think it will help in rich the story. I think spending a bit more time with the middle of the story would help. I also really liked what you did with the ending. I really thought that you brought the tale full circle. Keep up the good work.

Much love,
Juliet.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 4/22/2013
the old mans door. [man's]

he would have cut away his daughters life... [daughter's]

This was a well rounded short story. A bit long for FP posting and I might've suggested that you cut it in half (3,000 and 3,000) as a two-parter, but I don't really have a suggestion for where to cut it, so I'm just going to leave my comment at that, haha. Overall though, you do a good job developing the story as far as character and plot, I didn't find any problems or inconsistencies. I think one of my favorite parts was actually how you integrated the Spanish language into this piece and you alluded to their past in Mexico, etc. because it definitely creates the tone, time of place, and characters just knowing that background and where they've been. I like the interpretation of this happening somewhere in Texas, haha.

The grim reaper concept was cool because I've never seen it treated that way, so in that case I really liked the unique factor of the plot and how you create that concept. I liked Hector as a character, I thought you made him quite sympathetic. This comes across towards the end kind of like some sort of tale of magical realism and that's also cool to see. The ending was also pretty awesome, I loved the moments when the whole world is breaking apart as Uxia is reaping the wheat and she's angry. Everything really came together in that moment. I'm wondering though if maybe you want to scene break before you switch into her point of view towards the end, but it's up to you. I liked the last image of Hector and Pilar, very horrifying, indeed. A very well rounded short story though, for sure!
Jalux chapter 1 . 4/19/2013
Very emotive writing.

The dialogue was done especially well, it was natural and each character had their individual voices. Uxia's dialogue seemed very indicative of a ten year old kid. You also gave us a good glimpse of the setting, it seems to be quite the horrible place? Anyways dialogue and descriptions were excellent.

I felt this could be expanded, some parts felt vague, it's as if you have more to tell. I know this is a one-shot but I feel it could be expanded, the world and characters. I mean you gave us an ending but I felt like there was still more there. It might just be me.

Good job.