|Reviews for The Big Rusty Couch|
| Mislav chapter 1 . 2/7
Pretty fun and sufficiently scary story. I like the idea of a haunted couch and the killer junkheap, tied back to a children's show. Sonata was a badass with all those weapons. You worked in her character development and transitioning in the story pretty well. I liked how, at the end, there was still some mystery as to how the hostess ended up in the couch and what happened to Philip Lewis. Good background behind her name. Great job with the action scenes too. The last line was pretty cute. My favorite parts were: "The six chambers of the revolver were emptied with a frightening hasted, but the thing was gone. I cautiously approached with the kukri raised above my head for a finishing blow, but the threat was not gone. The serpentine, animated junkheap was sprawled out across the backyard, but I was attacked from above. The drapes shot down like a praying mantis' claws, wrapping around my neck. I almost dropped my weapons as the curtains pulled me upwards. Recalling how Philip Lewis met his end, I hacked at the curtains with my kukri.
The draperies fell like cut lace to the floor around me, no longer animated. I twirled the blade around in a premature victory dance, but my nemesis was not done. I saw things approaching from the yard, distorted figures shambling like zombies. They were not mere undead humans, but instead hobbling scrapheaps. Like an invasion of poorly-built robots, they advanced onwards like an unstoppable tide. I retreated to the upper floor with the rifles and as much ammunition as I could carry. Sometimes, my Sonata was lamentably one of thunder and lead.
The SMLE worked its magic, felling the scrap-shamblers like harvested wheat. When struck by a rifle bullet, they collapsed where they stood. Each was made of a mishmash of components, with little to no consistency between them. One that walked with the rear legs of a folding chair had a partially dissembled automobile engine for a torso and washing machine dials for a "head." Another looked like a refrigerator door that half-sauntered and half-rolled to advance. Despite looking like a medieval pavise, it went down as quickly as the others did.
After emptying the SMLE, I shifted to the Type 97. It ate through magazines like I ate through chocolate. It was not as powerful as that bolt-action beast, but it was faster to fire. The scrapyard abominations barely made it to the front door when I finally went dry. Only two were left, but I still had a final weapon to go. I descended the stairs with my shotgun, loading a slug into the breach.
The Cooey was a cannon up close. A shotgun slug blasted the shamble that filled the doorframe, right through the engine grill that passed for its head. The second, and last, shambler continued onwards with reckless disregard for its own safety, only to halt behind the barricade. It raised a pair of heavy piston hands to smash through, but I reacted first. The breach of the shotgun slammed shut, and I brought the weapon up to bear. The muzzle roared like a nautical broadside, and only I was left standing.
Not resisting the chance, I twirled the weapon around and blew the gunsmoke away. "Groovy."
Dawn crept up in the aftermath of the siege, but I felt it was not over. The area between the house and couch was littered with mechanical debris, like an active battlefield. The sun peeked up from behind the horizon, but the battle was not yet done. With a fist full of shells, I ran outside. My intuition said it was time to go on offense, and I was not one to disobey my feminine instinct. Just as nature robbed me a body befitting my nature, I would fight to seize the day.
What was once a ring of mattress springs was a mechanical abattoir. The defensive ring they'd provided was gone, save for the abominable couch in its center. I did not want to get closer than I had to. I slammed a flare into the shotgun, launching them into odd sofa. As I'd often found out: When in doubt, burn it out. I saw flames spread across the sofa, and I prematurely celebrated. It was only the sudden metallic snap that betrayed the projectile heading for me.
I dropped to the ground without realizing it. A storm of rusted, jagged metal swept through the air above me. The shrapnel storm would've flayed me alive if I'd hesitated just a moment longer. I wondered if there was something more to my instincts, some inexplicable connection to the other side. As it rose out of the burning, rusty sofa, I realized how trifling those answers were.
The mastermind behind the night's tribulations rose from her hiding place. It was undoubtedly a her, despite the badly decomposed, charred flesh that smelt of sickly meat. Her skin was crisscrossed by scars, with coiled springs rising from the intersecting lacerations. I imagined touching her would be like rubbing my hand across a belt-sander. What was left of her face had a partially exposed skull with a spring protruding from an empty eye socket. Her clothing, or what little remained of it, had faded, but still motley, carnival-like colors. Both eyes glowed with white hot embers, settling on me. Despite this, I was momentarily fascinated. There was something familiar about her."
"One thing was sure: The spirit would no longer plague the living. I went over the site with a Taoist exorcist's cherry wood sword, just to be sure. I knew I'd have to help Uncle Terry and Aunt Mei Lin come up with a story for the police, but I felt they wouldn't ask too many questions. When I was involved, they knew things would be weird. As I called to report them, Uncle Terry responded in a way could not help but make me smile.
"Good work, niece.""
Keep up the great work. You are very talented. I really enjoyed this. Looking forward to reading more of your stories.