|Reviews for El Cucuy|
| Electrumwriter chapter 1 . 1/5/2016
Well this short piece looks as though some pretty good research went into it. There are of course many such bogeyman myths worldwide. El Cucuy may not be the best of them … in fact I even prefer the Old Dark Frog from Frog and Toad (takes me back) - do one about him! ... but I digress.
The telling regarding Felipe and Filipa is acceptable this time, because the piece is short. Not really opportunity to show what close knit siblings they are.
Pretty scary description of Filipa. “Ratty strings of hair”… visage of pure evil… and all she did was put in some rubber fangs? Wow the poor girl was unfortunate with regards to her looks.
By contrast, the bogeyman himself doesn’t get as much description and I feel we need more. The fiend is as misshapen as a scarecrow and that’s good as far as it goes, but what else? This is where the piece could stand to be lengthened.
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 1 . 5/30/2015
Noooooo - they were only *little* baby kiddens! Poor children.
Ahem, alright, so - I loved some of the descriptive language in here - "a frantic scurry like a giant spider" "his voice like tiny bells" "dark and misshapen as a scarecrow" - to name a few. They really make the narrative pop and draw the reader into the tone of the piece at that moment.
I also think you handled the build up and introduction well at the beginning, starting things off sweet and innocent and giving the audience a good feel for these children. Enough so that I wanted happiness for them and was touched that little Filipa would tuck her brother into bed while their mother worked late and so on and was upset at her for scaring him.
My mind started to go in two different directions after she disappeared at the foot of the bed, though. Half of me going, 'Oh, come on, no, she's fine - she's just making this up and trying to scare him' and another part going 'Okay, but is the story going to treat it like that - am I supposed to take this seriously?' I'm really easily scared by horror movies (embarrassing though it is to admit), but I think my distraction in feeling that the first 'scary' scene was a little too rushed to be real kept me from being 'scared', and then, by the end, what I felt was more of a plunk of sadness that suddenly these little children were gone. But never...really scared. So I don't know if that's just me or if there just wasn't enough space to draw it into something that left me imagining way more than I want to late at night.
On the whole, though, I think it's well written, as your pieces tend to be - I just need to find myself one with a happy ending eventually.
| Jalux chapter 1 . 5/15/2015
Hm, I definitely like how you touch on them being not only siblings but great friends. Sadly enough it's not always the case although it kinda should be. Just a good way to start off the story in my mind and it ends in a similar way I suppose. They became friends and were siblings and dead the same way. I suppose even though we barely knew the characters we still feel the loss because of their bond that came through so nicely. Still I was left a little curious as to who El Cucuy was, I want to encourage you to expand these one-shots because there is good content here.
| deadaccount2019 chapter 1 . 5/15/2015
I like that you do a couple of things differently from the typical elder-sibling-scaring-younger. First the gender reversal. Typically the brother is the older sibling who does the scaring, so it's refreshing to see a sister in that position. Secondly, both children are met with an untimely fate. Usually only the sibling who does the scaring is punished, which helps eliminate the cautionary tale cliche.
The story moves along at a very good pace, even with the dialogue-heavy moments. It's balanced nicely with the narrative when Filipa disappears. I do wonder how she was able to hide so well from Filipe's sight in such small quarters, and it seems odd for her to scare him so badly when the rest of the story indicates they have a very strong relationship, but otherwise the story feels complete.
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 2/2/2015
I really like how the opening ties in with the ending and circles back on that idea of Filpa and Felipe doing everything together because it's a clever literary move that reminds you of their bond. From the womb to the tomb, as they say. I feel like this piece has a classic fairy-tale like narrative voice, but there isn't really a moral lesson that I can glean from it, so that's really what I think instills it into the horror genre. In that regard, I also liked the descriptions - like the "flaring nostril" moment and then at the end, then the more violent image of the "game pitbull snaring its prey" - because I think they did a good job depicting both fear and the monster itself - what's meant to be feared.
You should check out Jeffrey Cohen's Monster Culture: Seven Theses (just Google it and some stuff should come up) - your piece makes me wonder how the monster functions in this story as something more than just a monster!
| Ventracere chapter 1 . 12/24/2014
This kind of reminds me of the beginning of Ouija. You've got a gift when it comes to horror, I'll give you that.
One thing I liked was the way you brought the story around from beginning to end. It began the same way, and ended the same way, which closes the story off well and with a flourish. It's also a good indication of your concentration when it comes to being aware of your writing.
this is also a short and sweet piece. Well, not so much the sweet part. I also really liked how Filipa was originally playing, and it doesn't look that way until she turns out the lights. Especially when you throw us in for another loop that we all knew was coming, but when, you did a good job with hiding. And when it did appear, the tension was already created and pricking. That you waited so long to let the El Cucuy appear was well played.
| Domus Vocis chapter 1 . 12/12/2014
...Wow...thank you so much for giving me nightmares. That was just well-written and beyond scary! I personally am not a huge reader into horror and boogeymen and all that, but you made me want to crawl under my sheets and hide! XD But on a serious note, I do love your writing style for this, especially with "...towards him with arachnid grace." and "...everyday was Christmas, every magical hour...". That's just so impressive!
If I had to make a complaint, or honestly a nitpick, why did you have to make this so short? I loved how much of a bond the brother and sister have, I'm curious about the boogeyman's design, and I really want to be shared outta my pants. Oh well, you did give me a really good scare for tonight. Keep up the good work! :)
| WrathChild chapter 1 . 12/8/2014
Hello Nihongi! I'm sorry it took so long to get back to you. The last month was extremely busy for me and I barely had time to squeeze out my own chapters, hehe!
I love the chilling yet cozy feeling of how this bedtime story starts. I love how you introduce the sibling's closeness together, with them play-fighting and taking bike rides through the country.
The way Filipa introduces El Cucuy seems cliched but is actually refreshingly scary when you start introducing how the surroundings start to change, like the sliver of darkness in the cupboard and the bed shifting slightly.
The part where Filipa disappears and the mock El Cucoy appears and starts to grab at Felipe is really well done! Also when he wets his pants in horror is a little funny, yet it doesn't break the suspense of the story.
Finally El Cucoy himself steps out of the closet and ends them. I love how you put the spirit's dialogues in bold, it adds a menacing voice to it!
All in all a great horror read! You really seem to be able to pull the strings of this genre well!
| m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 12/6/2014
RG EF #6,329
This is another spine-tingling slice of horror. :) Really fun and scary like all your pieces. I think this story is particularly elegant. You hit the peaks in the action at just the right time – like the moment Filipa disappears and the super freaky reveal in the closet. I also think there’s some great symmetry and really cool imagery. Even though this is a shorter piece than most of your works I feel I have experienced a unique world and glimpsed real characters. And I care about the two kids. So sad… ;)
Here are a few notes:
Like the opening a lot:
“When they weren't laughing at some shared joke they were in the yard play fighting. When the weren't play fighting they were out exploring the countryside on their bikes.”
You let us know what we need to understand who these kids are and to feel frightened for them when the ‘bad stuff’ happens.
Good, scary action description here:
“"He'll wish -" her words were cut off by a muffled gasp of surprise and then -
"Filipa?" his voice rang like tiny bells. He sat up slowly in bed, his small hands clutching the sheets. A minute passed. Nothing.”
I like the way you format this passages too. Very effective!
This is really good as well (little fix needed though):
“The claws were replaced with tender hands upon his shoulders and she began to soothe and caress him. She *pooped* the rubber fangs out of her mouth and said, "It's ok Felipe it was just a joke!””
Typo: think you mean ‘popped’ not “pooped”. ;)
I kind of expected the monster to turn out to be Filipa in costume but then you give us that extra twist at the end and it really works well. :)
This is great:
“"What are you babbling about?"
Filipa snapped around as the closet door swung open. Nestled in the shadows was a figure as dark and misshapen as a scarecrow. It glared at them with crimson pin point eyes.”
Like those “pin point eyes”!
Really cool the way you tie the ending back to the opening. Very sad as well:
“Filipa and Felipe Ramirez did everything together.
They even died together.”
Awww.. poor kids. Guess the moral t the story is don’t invoke/call forth a demon unless you have to the power to subdue it. ;)
Like it lots!
| Highway Unicorn chapter 1 . 12/2/2014
Haha, this is so awesome!
Growing up in a Hispanic community, I can say that scary stories such as this are popular among the younger ones, so I really liked that you were able to capture that bit of culture, intentionally or not.
The story itself is very well throughout and I really liked the fact that you were able to circle it back around from them doing everything together, including dying. Not only does it shine upon on their relationship, but it also adds to the overall tone of the piece.
I lol'd at the names of the children: Filipa and Felipe. I think it's always cute to give kids/siblings similar names.
Felipe's utter raw fear was well written out. You captured the horror of a young boy perfectly and the imagery that went along with it was the cherry on top.
I can totally see little kids around the country telling this story and spooking each other! Good job! :D
| V.Ohara chapter 1 . 12/2/2014
Oh wow! This was great! Loved the little twist there toward the end, really felt like I was there in the room. It gave me the creeps. 3
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 11/29/2014
Well, that was an unexpected ending :D A cruel one, but I'm used to that from your stories, but yes, it's a cruel and sarcastic ending that mocks the togetherness of the two siblings. I like that, because it really matches the beginning well, showcasing - in a way - how it was their destiny to die together. I also like how you play with the trope of a joke gone terribly wrong, playing with the expectation of something bad happening, but then subverting it, only to finally make it come into full play - thus, turning the ending into an unexpected one. I was actually hoping they would survive, but they didn't, so I like how you screwed with my mind :P
I really did like the vivid description of the monster(s): the fake one, and that one that finally turned out to be really. It was quite clear but still vivid and easy to imagine :D I also liked how it was kind of scary, especially due to the children not being able to move ... Imagine, dying like that, hopeless and not able to do anything about it D: I also liked how you showed the more realistic side of fear; few people would be able to move, yet alone do anything other than well, pee in their pants.
...I don't really have more to say, as this is a relatively short piece, but I liked it :3
| Cheddar-Graham chapter 1 . 11/29/2014
For the RG EF
I like the descriptions. They're scary but not too over the top. It's cool how you incorporate references to spiders throughout the descriptions. I also like the twist-style ending with the monster becoming real in the end. I think you could increase the shock effect of that by adding a moment of calm before Felipe realises there's something in the closet. Finally, I think you meant 'POPPED' the rubber fangs because pooping the fangs would be hilarious.