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Author Topic: Pseudopod 225: Top Of The Heap  (Read 6773 times)
stePH
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2011, 09:56:43 AM »

Also, it was well within the protagonist's right to be stubborn, but I would've been pleading for mercy upon the first visit of the other guy, and then learning that he was asking about the woman, then be trying to strike a bargain to get a rope lowered and be pulled out of there.

As would I. But this guy is made of sterner stuff.
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natman
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2011, 10:39:00 AM »

YAKSOX-Miguel knows that they're is no way out of this situation, even if he managed to persuade them to pull him out of the hole these aren't the sort of guys to show mercy, death is the only thing waiting for him upto. Hope is fading, but he remains. As for eating flesh, he has nothing to eat, and he knows no food will be coming his way apart from worms and flies.
In terms of the ending, I wanted to leave it upto the reader as to whether he manages to escape and wreak revenge, or wheter he dies underground trapped by the tide of rain in some isolated flooded cavern. It depends whether your a pessimist or an optimist with this one.
As for the leg, I'm no doctor, but his leg was dead, the blood had settled and coagulated, the blood vessels clogged with jellified blood from the break. All he had to do was cut off the blood supply and take the leg.
The point of the end is, there's a chance he might get away. A slim chance, with the odds stack against him, but a chance all the same...
Thanks for Listen
BTW -Pretty Grim! Isn't this a Horror Website?!?I'll take that as compliment...
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2011, 11:17:05 AM »

I've not listened back to it but in my original manuscript I had the main character Miguel, stash the Blackberry memory card in the painkiller bottle, if this makes more sense.

Ah, yes that does make more sense.  I'd thought he'd said the phone itself.

BTW -Pretty Grim! Isn't this a Horror Website?!?I'll take that as compliment...

Yeah, I'd call that a compliment.  My personal favorite comment that I've received on one of my stories simply said "Nicely told.  Ugh."  It was a story for which an "ugh" reaction was perfectly appropriate, so I added this to my "praise for the author" page on my website.  Cheesy
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MuseofChaos
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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2011, 02:15:34 PM »

I adored this story, top to bottom.  It was cruel and horrible and just the perfect type of graphic - enough to get the point across without wallowing in analogy or metaphor.  The first time the protagonist mentioned the smell of his wife's perfume my stomach dropped.  When he almost carelessly - and I mean without care, as opposed to clumsily or without attention - began to consume her body, it dropped again.  When he finally gets a good look at her?  Well I shivered, and it wasn't because I was listening during a long walk in the wind.

Plus I admit it, I'm a die-hard fan of cannibalism as a subject matter.

As for the ending being unresolved, like Sgarre1 I actually found that heartening and a great launching place for another story.  I didn't feel this story needed any more said - it was about his survival.  The next one can be about escape, revenge, redemption, any number of things.

One final note - I like Ben's Hispanic accent, I think it's evocative (and his pronunciation's very good) without being overpowering. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 02:17:24 PM by MuseofChaos » Logged

Alea Iacta Est!
natman
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2011, 01:24:57 PM »

Cheers MUSE! Thankyou for the kind comments. Hope you don't mind but I put them on my FB Wall to entice more listeners
Thanks for listening
Nat
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eytanz
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« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2011, 04:05:52 AM »

What I found truly horrific about this story was not the cannibalism, or indeed anything the narrator did after being left in the pit; not that it wasn't horrible, but I was expecting it and therefore steeled myself up to it. What was truly horrible is the blindness of the narrator towards the consequences of his own actions. First, nothing had happened to him that he hadn't done to others. And he's aware of that, on an intellectual level. But he does not gain even a iota of empathy. And this is amplified by his constant surprises at things he should have expected. He knows his boss likes to kill the families of those that offend him. And, as someone who was in a trusted position and betrayed that trust, he must have offended the boss more than just a small-time competitor. Yet, he never expects that his wife and child would be among the dead. It's clear that this is what led him to being in the pit in the first place - he knew that his boss was not someone that's safely crossed, yet he had what was obviously a prolonged affair with his mistress. His betrayal of his wife was not simply the infidelity, which he does recognize, but the way he put them at risk, which he never thought of.

This short-sightedness, this inability to recognize that his actions could have consequences on him just like everyone else's did, were the true horror - because it's that short-sightedness that lets people like his boss, and like himself, to gain ascendency.
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iamafish
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« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2011, 07:14:55 AM »

this one really didn't do that much for me. I think i found it a little too matter-of-fact and blunt. The protagonist just sat in a hole full of bodies doing what he had to to survive because he'd cheated with his boss's wife. About half way through i got to the point where i thought 'it's horrible, i get it, this can end now'. I was hoping it would go somewhere at some point, but it didn't, really. I guess his wife and child also being in the hole might have made enough of a change up, but it was so understated that i didn't feel the true impact of the revelation.
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natman
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2011, 12:59:35 PM »

Cheers Eytanz! Always good to see a different viewpoint! I suppose that we always hope that we're going to get away with something if if deep down we know we won't. It's good that you saw the different horror I presented in this piece. To be honest, the  cannibalism was an afterthought as I was writing. The true horror is mans inability to recognize ones mistakes, especially those that cost us our loved loves.

IAMAFISH- Thanks for listening anyway and sticking it out! An earlier post alluded to the fact that the story doesn't really go anywhere, as I pointed out, it's kinda the point. Trap a man in a hole with a heap of bodies and see what he does. What else can he do? He can't exactly dance with one leg. The whole point of the piece was to keep it isolated to a found document and the flood of water helped to keep it to that one and only device. I suppose I could have included a newspaper piece or an afterthought, but I feel that would have deteracted from the overall feel of it.

Appreciate your honesty either way

Nat
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natman
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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2011, 04:19:49 PM »

Cheers for all the posts and comments guys.

Top of the Heap will be appearing in The Dark Fiction Spotlight's, best of Anthology released soon!

Also if you liked this story, you might want to check out www.frightfest.com they have a free online mag, my story Eat your heart out Lorena appears on page 76. Fright fest is the uk's biggest horror industry convention run by folks from the horror film industry, so I'm starting to get fans in high places!
Cheers again
N
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natman
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« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2011, 09:37:48 AM »

http://darkmarkets.com/2011/07​/author-spotlight-nathan-robin​son/

A nice little interview I did the other day, my first regarding my flourishing writing career! I give the pod a mention. As if it needs it!
Nat
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justenjoying
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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2012, 12:09:32 AM »

I want to hate this story, but can't even begin to. It would be easyer to hate the carachters if I hated the story too. But while the mob boss is truly despicable he is a major part of why this story is so good. It is so realistic in every turn we can imagine this happening just over the hill or in the bad part of town. Maybe if we had stuck with that bad crew from highschool we would have ended up the same place. It is so fucking close to home and so fucking human that is what makes this story so scary. It is no longer fear of the unknown, but fear of the realatability. It still makes me shiver.

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natman
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« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2012, 09:18:13 AM »

Cheers Justen!
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natman
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« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2012, 02:52:32 PM »

Got a brand new Valentines themed story up on Spintinglers you can read for free. Comments welcome!
Check it out. Just don't read it alone . . .


http://spinetinglers.co.uk/ReadStory2785.aspx
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matweller
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« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2012, 10:00:36 AM »

This story was the first thing I thought about when I heard this week's This American Life...
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/465/what-happened-at-dos-erres
Life imitates art. Horribly.
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natman
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« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2012, 06:08:58 AM »



Say if anybody enjoyed "Top of the Heap" (episode 225) and wants to make an author smile, maybe you could nominate the anthology it appears in for an This is Horror award
It appears in Thadd Presley Presents: Murder, available now from amazon, where I appear along side some other great writers.

http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/awards/

Be much appreciated

Cheers
Nat

www.facebook.com/NathanRobinsonWrites
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natman
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« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2012, 08:08:29 AM »

If you enjoyed Top of the Heap check out the Starers, my debut novel from Severed Press now on amazon kindle (paperback soon)
Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of Starers so far, it's jumped up the rankings from about 5,000000 to 41,000 in barely a week which is bloomin marvelous!!!
 If you like zombie tales with a difference check it out. Only £2.54, less than a decent cuppa coffee and it'll keep you warmer as winter draws near.
 If you haven't got a copy I won't stop you. . .
 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Starers-ebook/dp/B009KC27CS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349600035&sr=8-1
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natman
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« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2012, 12:13:35 PM »

Treat yourself this Halloween with a free download from Amazon. Checkout my debut novel Starers published by Severed Press, free for the next 2 days! If you like it, consider leaving a review. Cheers!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009KC27CS
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matweller
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« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2012, 05:04:52 PM »

Got it, read it, enjoyed it very much. Mind you, I'm not the toughest critic on here by far, but it held me throughout.
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natman
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« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2012, 06:39:56 PM »

Cheers Matt Weller.
I'd be a very happy man if you'd be kind enough to leave a review. I am a starving artist after all . . . and word of mouth is the best advertising.
Thanks for reading. The fact I know somebody enjoyed my mad scribblings makes it all worth while.
Nat
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