Reviews for Nightman
Mislav chapter 1 . 6/20
Very intense and disturbing story. Great build-up attention to details. I liked how you revealed the backstory of both characters while developing the plot and setting up the atmosphere. The ending was swift and brutal, pretty effective. It really read like an episode of "The Twilight Zone". I wonder does that always happen to Solomon when the lights go out (was he the Darkman), or was that the first time? And was that why he had always been afraid of the dark? Some kind of premonition? Chilling. Keep up the great work. I always like reading your stories.
Sami-Fire chapter 1 . 7/1/2014
Wow, this was intense. Your wordings give such a powerful strength to Tunde's fear and emotions. However, I noticed that you tend to employ run-ons a lot; I can understand their purpose, but they're a bit of a turn-off for me. Also, the twist attack at the end is rather sudden, though I can see that there's a feeling of "it's not just the dark" in there. Maybe you could throw in a sentence to make the transition a little bit smoother.
Zombiesaurus Rex chapter 1 . 7/1/2014
Here from the RG.

First off, I absolutely loved your hook. "Solomon Tunde was afraid of the dark" is an excellent opening line, and it immediately grabbed my attention, which is what good opening lines should do. The way you then developed Solomon's fear was also well-done.

"He refused to let his fear consume him." This is excellent foreshadowing. What a perfect choice of word for his eventual fate.

On a more critical note, I noticed a lot of places where your sentences ran long. Some of them could certainly have been rephrased, and you have a fondness for '-ly' words like 'crushingly' and 'quizzically', which kind of feel like descriptive shortcuts.

For instance: "...but out here in the vast northern Nevada country the night seemed to descend upon the modest roadside motel where he worked in a crushingly inescapable blanket..."

If you're intent on keeping the flavor of the original sentence, I would phrase that as: "a crushing, inescapable blanket".

"At six foot three Tunde was as round and solidly built as if he were craved out of a block of pure ebony onyx and during his younger and more virile days he had served two tours of duty in Vietnam..."

This would read better if it was broken into two sentences, and I would drop either 'ebony' or 'onyx' from the description, as they're kind of redundant.

Perhaps: "At six foot three, Tunde was round and solidly built, as if he were carved out of a block of pure ebony. During his younger and more virile days, he had served two tours of duty in Vietnam..."

Anyways, I think you get the point. I like this story, a lot, even for the sometimes awkward writing. Excellent work.

-Zombiesaurus Rex
WaterBudget chapter 1 . 6/14/2014
Wow, did not expect that ending...

Anyway for the RG EF:

I liked how the dark was almost given a malevolent personality, like a demon that could only be kept away with the light. It made the story truly terrifying.

I liked the narration because we get just enough background on Solomon to feel sympathy for him and also get a clear picture of the setting. One minor thing that could be improved are some run-on sentences (the last sentences in paragraphs 4 and 5)...well, unless you are aiming for a rambling effect.
Domus Vocis chapter 1 . 6/13/2014
I've got to say that I really like this idea. The word choices you have fit the tone of the story, it feels mostly flowing, and I really like the idea of a man who's afraid of the dark eventually turning into a monster if the dark. I even kinda like Solomon's personality as a shy fifty ear-old man who hates darkness.

I only have two complaints in this sort though. The first being that you give too much exposition to the characters, and it sucks the tension out of the story. You can know more about your character, but it feels clunky and not as flowing as other horror stories do.

My second problem is that the ending, while unexpected, could have been expanded. For example, why not have a chase scene or something with the woman an the nightman? I was just waiting for something more scary. Oh well, that's just me nitpicking.

Still, you did a really good job! :)
m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 6/10/2014
RG EF #5,413

This is a thrilling one-shot. You build up the atmosphere and the tension very well so the violent action at the end has a lot of impact. You portray the Solomon character quite effectively and you do a good job dropping hints that pave the way for the rise of 'the Nightman'.

I hope you don't mind but I do have a couple of suggestions for you – I think it would be great if you developed Solomon's history a bit more before the transformation takes place. Perhaps a flash of a hideous encounter that happened in the night jungles of Nam or something… And also, I get the sense that this piece takes place in the past, like the 1990s. This is mostly because you say Solomon is fifty-seven years old. If he is 57 in 2014 then he would have been only 18 in 1975 when the Vietnam War ended (so it's unlikely he saw any action). Also having Marvin Gaye play on the radio makes the scene a bit retro too. I think it's really cool to have this take place in the past (personally I really like using the recent past as a setting) but it would work a bit better if you made it more clear that the year is 1995 or whenever. Just suggestions.

Overall I think this is a tight, scary, well-drawn character-based piece. Great work.

I have some notes:

Like this, but I would break it up into multiple sentences instead of this one, super long run-on:
"On nights like this one, where the overcast skies blocked even the slimmest of moonlight and the darkness was as perfectly profound as the farthest reaches of outer space Tunde wished that his beloved wife Myriam was still at his side to offer support but ever since she was taken by that damned cancer two years ago the nights seemed colder, lonelier, and oh so much darker."

Ebony is a hard word and onyx is a precious stone. Why use both? I'd just stick with one or the other. It will be more succinct and have more impact I feel:
"At six foot three Tunde was as round and solidly built as if he were carved out of a block of pure *ebony* *onyx*"

I really like this:
"His eyes darted to the window and while the curtains were drawn he could see the sliver of night peeking through the threshold, he could feel it pressing against the glass, pulsing, forbidding…"

This is great:
"and the motel lobby was serenaded by the smooth voice of Marvin Gaye." Maybe add a sentence or two here that will establish the time period…?

like this but it's a little wordy. I'd cut some unnecessary words like 'albeit' and 'limp'. 'Lusterless' implies 'limp' so you don't need both:
"with long albeit lusterless and limp brown hair and plain drab clothing." Cool character description though. :)

this is really good:
"The fear that gripped Tunde's heart was shockingly profound. His lungs ached for air, as if a vice had entrapped his organs and the sweat poured from his body in thick, nauseating rivulets."

Very cool piece. Like it. :)

Very best,

cybersheep chapter 1 . 6/9/2014
hey there! cybersheep/senatorblitz for RE: easyfix!

So i was checking through your reviews (after i read of course) and a lot of reviewers appear to be used to these twisty ending. i however, completely, missed that this was a horror story so when the ending came, i swear, i might have dropped a few surprised curse words. if this were a movie, there might have been trauma to be had. the beginning of this was brilliantly done, the way you introduced this childish fear to a huge adult man. not only did it jar us form our normal perspectives, but it made me feel bad because I started thinking, "why shouldnt this man have a fear? is it because he's big and a man? omg im a stereotyper" kind of thing. jsyk, i was picturing michael clark duncan since he always plays these kind of very big, but so deeply kind characters. but anyway, you did a wonderful job lulling us into a sense of security. i also love what you did with colors - they really united to give this piece its own flair. The part leading up to the scary ending was also nicely handled and you almost believe this is going to be a nice romcom where individuals with sad stories come together in their pain..but no, no no, towards the end, you forcefully drag our attention back to the lights and before we know it...we're having nightmares forever. Basically, this was a really well wrought story. There may have been a few sentences that were a little long, but in a way they contribute to your lyrical prose style so im not sure if that's really an issue.

anyway, kudos! this was lovely
ArgentanHeart chapter 1 . 5/28/2014
I liked the concept. There is a lot that worked. You open up nicely and I really like the interaction between Solomon and Sandy. I kink of wish some of the Nightman stuff would have been established a little earlier. Maybe make it clear that there was a part of him that scared him, or a small part that liked the darkness - some clue that Solomon was more than he was. Maybe even show him feeling guilt or shame for interacting with Sandy or repressing certain feelings.

I liked it. And it was a good turn at the end, I just with there was a little more weight to the end part than a last sentence or two twist.
iquitttt chapter 1 . 5/28/2014
That was quite an interesting read - something I did not expect. The ending was a surprise, as I personally would not have expected Solomon to turn out to be the Nightman - after all, he had the fear of it, and seemed like such a sweet, kind old man... in a certain way, he turned out to be something he had feared - though, that may just be my weird way of interpreting it. I like the language that you used, as it isn't too plain nor too complicated all the time - quite a nice mix. The fact that in stories like this, where one would normally use a teenager or younger child that you used an older man is original and maybe even more effective than if you went with the more common choices. Overall, this was all a lovely read.
Jitterbug Blues chapter 1 . 5/21/2014
Another interesting ending O_o. I honestly wasn't expecting Solomon to be the Nightman since he seemed genuinely sweet all throughout the fic till the very ending (but I was expecting the twist ending :D). Hmm, I liked it? Somehow, the fact that Solomon is a sweet man made this ending a lot worse and cruel, because I kind of sense that he’s going to regret this in the morning, or that he’s never going to go back to what he was once. Somehow, it seems worse because he and the woman were getting along just fine, and it seemed like he genuinely had a chance with her. It’s a cruel ending that works because it’s creepy, but also sad and rather bittersweet (because of Solomon not truly being a bad guy, I guess?); it definitely made me think.

I like the way you described/handled the atmosphere in this fic: the build-up was good, and I liked how the tension never quite disappeared, even if the fic took a sweet turn midway, but … a hint of creepiness remained. I think this worked, because while you did lull the reader into a sense of security, the creepiness from the beginning really matched well with what you described in the end, and thus was effective (and genuinely creepy).

What I also liked was old man Solomon himself. He seemed so sweet and a bit awkward, and thus very relatable. The fact that he turned out to be such a monster made me feel all the more sorry for him.
deadaccount2019 chapter 1 . 5/19/2014
.I think I may have mentioned it in other pieces, but I found the biggest drawback of the story is sentence lengths in some spots. Although longer sentences can make a very big (positive) impact in the tone of a story, timing is very important. In this case, it didn't lend very well to the tone when reflecting on the setting description, or when Tunde considers the fun he's having with Sandy.

Tackling a grown man with what is normally considered a child's fear made for a great hook. It all at once humanized Tunde, while making the reader wonder how far down the path of horror the story will go.

I loved the suddenness of the Nightman's reveal. The rest of the story was so lowkey that I forgot for a while the story's description (a good thing considering I enjoyed the rest of the story as well.) I'm used to there being a twist ending, but you really lulled me to a place of enjoyment where my guard totally dropped, which is something that (imo) is very important for a strong twist ending.
Ventracere chapter 1 . 5/19/2014
First off, sorry for any spelling mistakes I will make since I'm writing this on my phone... Otherwise, let the review begin!
I liked the beginning, especially the way you described what he was afraid of. The little details tbat you give about his character from his height to his past runs in the military help to build who he was and what he is. It gives us a sense of mystery as to why the phobia is frightening within itself when he can find no beginning to it.

Just a few grammar things. There are a few places where I feel like the dialogue is a little too formal, but that may just be the way Tunde talks. Another note, don't forget your commas and the apostrophe for it's.

Good job!
alltheeagles chapter 1 . 5/18/2014
For the RG EF

I like the description of Solomon’s and Sandy’s physical appearances because it’s detailed enough to help the reader picture them mentally but not too over intricate that it distracts from the plot. I was waiting for your usual twist and it did not disappoint. I like the suddenness with which it was disclosed, and it is a plausible and satisfying explanation for why Solomon hates the dark so much.

On the CC side, I’d suggest looking at some of your structures. For example, the phrase ‘in a crushingly inescapable blanket’ which seems to be modifying ‘where he worked’ rather than ‘roadside motel’; ‘melt at his heart strings’ is, I think, a combination of ‘tug at his heart strings’ and ‘melt his heart’, either one of which suffices; and finally there are quite a few places where the punctuation of the dialogue lines is off.