Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Haunting by Sonic

It wouldn’t stop raining. She had been waiting for hours.The phone lines were dead, her mobile phone’s battery had finished over twohours ago. She looked at her arms and couldn’t help but notice that they werestill swollen. It reminded her of what happened earlier today…
Everything had been going as planned. Jamal confirmed thathe was on his way. Alina stared at herself in the mirror. Her satin dresswrapped around her body, her beautiful tight curls tied in a bun and her honeymilk complexion glowed. If anyone were to look at her right now, they wouldnever have suspected where she was intending to go. As she waited, she staredat the suitcase next to her door. She was having second thoughts about her decision,and she knew it. She could not come to terms with herself, and what she haddone. If everyone were to find out what happened, would anyone understand? Wouldthey forgive her? No, she thought. No one will understand. They would judge heractions, and never look at her the same way again. She did not deserve what shegot , at least that’s what she thought. For the sake of her mother, she thoughtshe should reconsider this. She owed her that much. The guilt overcame her completely.It was dominating her mind now. It had taken over her emotions, and makingthese decisions for her. Alina thought she could not even forgive herself forwhat she had done, she was not strong enough to face the consequences. Hermobile rang and interrupted her thoughts. Jamal had arrived, he was waiting atthe end of the lane for her. She thought about it for a split second before shegrabbed her suitcase, but then the bruise on her leg caught her eye, and shestormed out.
The drive was tiresome. The roads were slippery because of therain. The cottage was just around the corner. Alina didn’t mind the long drive,Jamal was there. She had always been attracted to him. Whether it was hissophisticated behavior, his charm or the perfection of his features, she didn’tknow. But she was sure about one thing, at a time like this he was the only oneshe could count on. He never judged her actions. He always saw the good in her,and overlooked her flaws. Despite that, Alina had not honest with him. She toldhim it was self defense. She told him it was a mistake. She told him she neverintended for Yawar to die.
She was taking Jamal’s help in hiding the body. Someone wouldeventually notice his absence, and report it to the police. That was the least ofher concerns right now.  They finallyreached the cottage. He opened the trunk and pulled the body out, it waswrapped in a plastic bag. Jamal knew he was not in a position to question her.They decided to throw the body in a ditch. As she walked towards the backyardwith a shovel, she thought about the person she had become into. More like amonster. Stabbing a man to death and brutally, insensitively, inhumanely, getting rid of the body asif it were trash. Alina knew there was no justifications for her actions. Shehad had MPD  (multiple personality disorder)for almost  year now. People around hernoticed it, but even she was not aware of it. All she knew, was that she hadmurdered a man, her friend, Yawar. She did not know why. She saw his blood allover her body and the dagger plunged in his chest as she held it. The bloodoozed out of his chest like lava from a volcano. His face was already cold. Shesaw a wrench near the closet and she acted on the first thought that came t hermind. She injured herself with it, till it blood gushed out. She bruised herarms with it. She could say it was self defense if she ever got caught. Plus,she needed to show Jamal this. In order for him to help her.
She dressed in formal attire as she told her mom she wasgoing to her college reunion, which would be overnight so she was carrying asuitcase. Alina intended to run away. From this city, from her family, herfriends, her illness. Multiple Personality Disorder is not something that’s takenlightly, unfortunately she didn’t even know she had it.
The ditch had been dug, the body had been placed. All of asudden, she doesn’t  know what overcameher. She went towards Jamal, and pushed him off the cliff. His scream wasexcruciating, and a few seconds later he wasn’t even visible. The night justgot darker, the clouds covered the moon and obstructed the dim light. It was asif nature disapproved of what was happening. She was completely oblivious towhat had just happened. She had not even realized it yet. “Thank God I took thekeys out of his pocket, there’s no way in hell I was going to get a cab in themiddle of nowhere,” she said to herself. Her satin dress had ripped from thewaist while she assisted Jamal in dragging Yawar’s body towards the ditch. Therain started again, so she waited inside the cottage for it to stop. She wouldleave as soon as it stopped. She looked through the window whilst she dried herhair, and observed the mysterious night. She was planning her escape, and themost outrageous thought occurred to her. She unzipped her bag, took out herrevolver and thought of her father. He had given it to her for protection. Sheglanced at herself one last time, before she put the gun to her head and pulledthe trigger.


  1. The genre of this story is horror. Author's purpose to write this story might be to portray the feelings and trauma that patients of MPD might go through, and how, if they dont get proper help, their condition might worsen and they might commit acts which are irreversible and absolute. I dont see any resolution in the character - she ends where she starts. And she literally ends. Throughout the story she hasnt been cured or she hasnt had any form of resolution in her mind, in fact she gets worse. So its a circle format, with an ambiguous ending.

    "The guilt overcame her completely.It was dominating her mind now. It had taken over her emotions, and makingthese decisions for her."
    The tone that the author is trying to convey is of extreme guilt and terror, but I cant feel the guilt rise in me when i read the first and second paragraphs. Also, the "It reminded her of what happened earlier today…" makes us look forward to a flashback in the next paragraph, but that doesnt happen. The tone should have been stronger, so as to have had a larger impact.

    "Stabbing a man to death and brutally, insensitively, inhumanely, getting rid of the body asif it were trash. Alina knew there was no justifications for her actions." The usage of the words "brutally" and "getting rid" show the extremeness of the situation, and how beastly the act which was committed was. the word "stabbing" create a picture of blood and murder, and makes it scary.

    All of asudden, she doesn’t know what overcameher. She went towards Jamal, and pushed him off the cliff." There are no words to create an impact. I had to reread the sentence to make sure that this was what had happened. The action should have been more telescoped, more elaborated so as to make more of an effect.
    "She looked through the window whilst she dried herhair, and observed the mysterious night." This creates a very horror-film-like image - murderer in a cottage while its raining outside, drying her hair... eerie.

    Over all, i think the usage of words has been fair enough. But some sentences, such as " Shehad had MPD (multiple personality disorder)for almost year now." need to be more elaborate and not so direct. There are not alot of words that create the feeling of guilt and horror.

  2. The genre of this story is horror. The purpose of the author is to create guilt and fear using MPD which was within the character. Since this has a circle format, there is no resolution of the character.
    “ She looked at her arms and couldn’t help but notice that they were still swollen. It reminded her of what happened earlier today… ” creates a mysterious aura motivating the reader to progress further. However, the story does not live up to the excitement built up in the first paragraph.
    “She did not deserve what she got, at least that’s what she thought.” The writer does not mention in detail what exactly the character “got” leaving the entire image a bit hazy.
    For me, the first two paragraphs do not really contain the guilt and terror which needs to be there, and the image created in these paragraphs is not exactly clear. The tone is quite hollow in these paragraphs as it is lacking the force which is needed.
    “She had had MPD (multiple personality disorder)for almost year now” tells us directly that the character had this disorder, On the other hand, if the writer would have created events that would have built up to a clear image of what the character was experiencing, then the story would have had a greater impact. In the 4th paragraph, the writer’s tone is serious in some places and a little detached in others. The simile “The blood oozed out of his chest like lava from a volcano.”, and the usage of the words such as “stabbing” and “brutally” help to give a gruesome picture of what was going on and creates the little bit of fear that is there in this paragraph.
    Paragraphs 4 and 5 do not really link up as the writer jumps from one scene to the next. However, in the 6th paragraph the reflections of fear and darkness are brought out quite wonderfully with sentences such as “His scream was excruciating”, and “The night justgot darker, the clouds covered the moon and obstructed the dim light”.
    On the whole, the fear and guilt do not really build up. Both emotions are scattered around, not giving the story the image required.

  3. Zainab - she pulled the trigger...I doubt it gets clearer than that. The ending is not ambiguous.
    The commentary is NOT about what the writer SHOULD have done, but about WHAT was done and HOW.
    You have pretty much ignored the tone and what we want to see in a commentary is WHAT effects the writer has created and HOW those effects have been achieved. When you mention tone, its in a vague manner where your understanding of usage of the tone has not been indicated by either knowledge (specific quotes) nor by understanding.
    What I would suggest is a rewrite. If rewrite is submitted by Thursday 8 pm, I will grade it, otherwise grade stands at 3/10.

  4. Faiza, same comments for you. If rewrite submitted by Thursday 8 pm I will grade it else it stands at 3/10.

  5. The genre this story belongs to is horror. The author wants to entertain the reader by creating a mysterious scene of murder. The main idea expressed in the text is how MPD can prove to be extremely dangerous for the person suffering from it and the people around that person, if not dealt with utmost care. The POV is third person subjective and the story is happening in the present tense. The choice of the tense creates an impulsive, exciting aura – it leaves the reader anticipating what’s next.
    The author starts of the story by using short, abrupt sentences in the first paragraph. It emphasizes on the seriousness of the situation and creates an impact on the reader. The usage of ellipse at the end of the first paragraph suggests that something happened earlier – something unbearable, something that’s too awful to recall: “It reminded her of what happened earlier today…”
    In the beginning of the second paragraph, the author again starts off with short sentences. But over here, these short sentences speed up the pace of the story: “Everything had been going as planned.” The usage of adjectives such as “beautiful” and “honeymilk” create an emphasis on the appearance of the main character – and somehow make the situation ironic ; such a pretty girl, such ugly acts. Also, the phrase “honeymilk complexion” is a metaphor, creating a vivid image in the reader’s mind. The rhetorical questions posed to the reader compel the reader to think and put themselves in the actual situation: “…would anyone understand? Would they forgive her?”
    We see that the third paragraph also starts off with short sentences. And again, it gives a fast-paced effect to the story. The short sentence structure continues almost throughout the third paragraph, giving a very emotional impact.
    In the fourth paragraph, the usage of commas in this sentence – “Stabbing a man to death and brutally, insensitively, inhumanely getting rid of the body as if it were trash.” – create an overwhelming impact of the monstrosity of the act. The author has, throughout the story, written in a fast pace and made use of short sentences to create this effect.
    In the last paragraph, the monologue gives a personal effect and gives us an insight into the character: “Thank God I took the keys out of his pocket, there’s no way in hell I was going to get a cab in the middle of nowhere.” The short sentences, again, create tension, fast pace and excitement in the story, all the way till the end.
    The tone throughout the story is impetuous and contrite, as we see impulsive acts and the feeling of guilt in the main character. The author makes great use of short sentences and emotive word choice. The author describes the feelings of the character pretty well, helped with the usage of rhetorical questions and strong emotive language.

  6. The genre of the story is suspense since the writer does not exactly disclose what is going on at the beginning of the story. This story revolves around a girl who is suffering from MPD, and she unknowingly killed her friends for reasons she is unaware of. The author’s purpose is to entertain, as well as create awareness about the disorder MPD; how this makes a person act, and how they need help. The story starts with the character, Alina, as she looked back upon what had happened earlier.

    In paragraph 2, the phrase “stared at herself in the mirror” portays that Alina is not fully satisfied with what she sees. The phrase “they would never have suspected where she was intending to go” invokes a feeling of suspense and intrigues the reader as to what will happen next. The questions set forth such as “Would they forgive her?” portray the state of mind of the character and the confusion that she’s undergoing. The tone of paragraph 1 is mostly confused and doubtful , and this can be indicated by words such as “second thoughts”.

    In paragraph 2, the writer tells us how Alina does not tell Jamal the entire truth because she is infatuated with him, and also because she might not want him to judge her. This can be indicated by the phrases, “She had always been attracted to him. “, and “Alina had not been honest with him”.

    In paragraph 3 the simile “More like a monster” shows us how Alina does not approve of what she’s doing, and how she’s changed into something that is relatively inhuman. The words “brutally”, “insensitively” and “inhumanely” symbolize the cruelty of her actions. Towards the end of the paragraph, the tone is filled with terror , as the writer describes how Jamal was stabbed.

    Paragraph 4 shows Alina’s plan of running away to seek escape from what was happening.

    In paragraph 5 the word “excruciating“indicates the severity of Jamal’s scream as he is pushed off the cliff. The phrase “completely oblivious to what had just happened” shows how Alina had no control over her actions, causing her to do things which she has absolutely no idea about. The tone of this paragraph is dark. The phrase “It was as if nature disapproved of what was happening” helps to describe the darkness that had taken over due to the event of Jamal’s murder. “She glanced at herself one last time” points towards how she looks at herself to assess what she has become one last time.

    The tone of the story evolves from mysterious to terror and guilt. The flashback at the beginning makes the story more intriguing.

  7. her mobile's battery is dead for two hours, yet is rings. She has a multiple personality disorder with period of fugue and she finds herself stabbing a man with no recollection of how it happened and she isnt baffled and terrified? she injures herself with a wrench till she bleeds and then wears formal clothes over them? i mean, there's so much conflict and confusion and it isnt the good kind. and when alters take over the person, they are not conscious. So the scene where she pushes Jamal is confusing as well. Also, in her i see a cold blooded murderer ,someone devoid of feelings. So terror and guilt are absent. its important to make a story convincing and clear. Even ambiguity needs to have some sense to it. and focus on the elements of your story so parts dont contradict each other,

  8. Good mystery at the beginning of the story.
    You wrote "They decided to throw the body in a ditch. As she walked towards the backyardwith a shovel" - do you see a problem with this? If they "throw" the body, they do not need a shovel....
    You wrote "She had MPD (multiple personality disorder)for almost year now." Show by her actions and behaviour, don't state like this. Readers like to play detective.
    Is it a short story - O-K
    Is it The haunting - not really
    Is there guilt - not at all
    Is there terror - no
    Grade stands at 2/10