Reviews for Penance
TanteLiz chapter 1 . 2/28/2015
This would make an awesome Twilight Zone episode - if you were going to expand it, I would use the gothic convention of the character retelling a tale, turning towards horror at the end as she prepares to off her new listeners...
You could shave a good 2-300 words off from the beginning, by the way, and have a cleaner, tighter story. The descriptions, and her anger, don't add enough to the story to be worth it and would be better put to use during the murder scene.
Nice work!
AlysonSerenaStone chapter 1 . 2/28/2015
Really powerful and emotional story! I like how you managed to put so much into so few words and I like how you made use of the small word limit. I am very curious about what happens next. You simply cannot leave it like that. :)

Good luck!
Master Chief chapter 1 . 2/27/2015
Brilliant. I really loved this. You were starting to lose me, and then the slow reveal about cancer and suicide and the deal she made with the devil. I love the way that all of that was revealed. Personally, I thought your prose was a little to superfluous early on and I think you could lose some of that and not at all hurt the story you're telling, but that's such a minor gripe in the scheme of things, especially with this caliber of story.

Great work!

Good luck in the contest!
M.C.
MileyRowling chapter 1 . 2/25/2015
Great work! I really liked it!
Emerald Viper chapter 1 . 2/24/2015
The emotion comes across very well in this piece, although I find myself wanting to understand the reasoning behind what is going on before we actually get to the end. I know that's tough with the 3,000 word limit, but I think this story would be a lot better if the ending wasn't so rushed. The initial description is GREAT, and at first the main character comes off as being petty, which makes the reveal about the illness interesting. I do find myself wondering why Papa Midnight is interested in these three students, and who it is that he "answers to". Alas, too much plot for the word count! Very enjoyable read.
Solemn Coyote chapter 1 . 2/24/2015
Elegant, effortless prose. Great narrative pull between your characters, even with only a little time to develop them, and a fantastic sense of spookiness that shows up in the second act.

There are a couple of critiques I can make here, but they really don't detract all that much from the piece.

You use pelt at one point to describe what should be lovely hair. Pelt is a little bit more shaggy-animal-hide than luscious mane.

Your ending also feels a little rushed, but that's always a hazard with the 3k limit. If you wanted to expand this, draw out the tension at the end, I think it would do it a lot of good. Likewise, if you wanted to skim some of the angst from the beginning, I think it would make the lead-in more intriguing and less overwrought.

I do totally love the way you characterize Baron Samedi, by the way, and I think I would really enjoy seeing this expanded into a novella, if you're ever inclined.

Great job here, and best of luck with the contest.
augie.toaste chapter 1 . 2/24/2015
My jaw dropped at the opening lines. What a powerful, emotional punch. And it just keeps going from there. The humming part is a bit jarring, other than that, great stuff! I don't think I've read anything like it before.

Augs