Reviews for The Man in the Field
Mislav chapter 1 . 3/23
Very powerful story, chilling and sad at the same time. You managed to say-and describe-a lot in under 500 words. I felt so sorry for the man in the field. You described his suffering and despair so well. I especially liked this part: "Since the beginning, there was pain.

Sizzling, searing, probing pain from the unforgiving sun. Candescent fingers scorch every inch of my broken body. Barely conscious, barely alive, I cannot move, crucified on the farmland on which I was born. Blue skies turn to frigid nights but the pain remains. White hot streams suffusing, tormenting. I close my eyes and let it all burn. I can feel the earth spinning below, spiraling wildly out of control in the jaws of sun drenched delirium.

I feel so helpless I could die."

And this really got to me: "A piece of the darkness perched on my shoulder, its feathers blacker than midnight and eyes twin pools of soulless depths."

The part where the birds poked his eyes out was especially disturbing. I wonder who was the protagonist, exactly, and what led him into that pointless and deadly battle. You revealed just enough of his backstory to get the reader interested and give him a general idea of what happened, while still leaving them wanting more. His fate kind of reminded me of Prometheus' punishment from Greek mythology. I liked how the story didn't actually end with the protagonist dying, but rather "close to that", after he lost a touch with reality and started taking his last breaths. Keep up the great work. I really enjoy reading your stories.
Dublinjake chapter 1 . 8/14/2017
Hello Timbo,

Interesting piece you have here. It's quite short but interesting. Feels like a piece in something larger - very like the sort of stuff Lovecraft would write when trying to emulate Lord Dunsany. The image of the unnamed narrator propped up on the edge of the field for all eternity is certainly very powerful, and the rest of the imagery is also very effective.

This master the narrator refers to seems to be an interesting figure that you might want to explore in future. I understand that it's a short piece, and if you do want to keep it as a one-shot it works fine, but I do feel as if either the narrator or the master could be explored more in future works. The idea of him dressing his successor in his old garments makes this process seem all the more strange, suggesting perhaps a Faustian bargain or piece of trickery occurring to get the narrator into this position.

The descriptions are generally stellar. I love the description of the birds descending on the narrator, particularly the "a piece of the darkness perched on my shoulder" - though I have to joke that he must be pretty rubbish at his job if the crows are that easily attracted to him and in such numbers. :P I also like your ability to balance the short, brief sentences with such vivid and interesting descriptions - very like Margaret Atwood, or to a lesser extent Albert Camus. It gives a sense of both the weariness of the narrator's existence and the state of their sanity, with clarity only briefly arising and then subsiding again.

There are one or two lines that I don't quite like. For example, "Through the shattered vision of my memory I see my master, a blind mirage amidst a sea of pain." I love the first half, but the "blind mirage" part just doesn't make sense to me. It sounds nice, but it doesn't mean much.

There's also a bit of confusion about tense. I don't know if it's deliberate or not, to show the loss of his perception of time, but it's unclear. It starts out past tense, then present tense, then switches back to past as a flashback, but then it's unclear where that stops. Is the encounter with the birds and the delusion of his master just a flashback? Because the narrator plainly has his eyes at the start, but is blinded during the encounter with the birds?

Overall, though, a really effective short piece. I really like it. :)
Kalathon the Comical chapter 1 . 8/14/2017
Overall I quite like it. The descriptions were vivid and detailed enough to paint a picture well. It seems like a one-shot, but I honestly would like to see it expanded upon itself more as a story and to create more around this idea. I would definitely follow that story if you did.
The Writer Anonymous chapter 1 . 8/2/2017
Hi! This is The Writer Anonymous from the Review Game...

This is the second story I've reviewed from you [Timbo Slice], and I am intrigued by your writing style, especially the brevity of all your stories. This story, from the title to "THE END" fits so well I don't have to scroll.

I like how you're able to convey these ideas in such short yet effective stories. Although the story is short, each paragraph is full of juicy content and each paragraph donates a good portion to the overall story itself.

Anywho, one problem I must point out is this about how this story is categorized under "horror". My typical definition of horror is anything that is meant to scare the reader. This story in and of itself isn't all that scary. However, I must say you did do a great job on the tragedy part. The Scarecrow's suffering is tragic enough but adding the creator into the story adds some more tragedy to this tale.

Thanks for the read!
J.Kuzzey chapter 1 . 7/31/2017
This might be my favorite under-500 word piece I've read on FictionPress. Rarely do I feel so involved with a narrator as I did reading this one. Great imagery. Felt like I was there - like that was me. Disturbing in a way, but truly incredible. Really liked the line: [It was then that I became pain itself, agony rushing outward, collapsing inward.] I feel like that sums everything up about this piece, but also opens the door to all the potential here.

Of course, from a technical standpoint, it's flawless. I didn't see a single grammar or spelling mistake. Narration flowed beautifully. Great tempo to it. The way you broke up the paragraphs kept it moving at a good speed and helped give it voice.

Again, really great work.
Fuzzbucket chapter 1 . 7/30/2017
wow- very interesting. i hope this isn't really the end. you've got a great telling style, i particularly liked the "a piece of darkness perched on my shoulder". Great description. well done!