What's that over there? There, at the corner of your eye?
My eyes darted to the spot, watching the world whip by.
There was nothing there.
I spun around and stared down the street.
There was nothing there.
A cool breeze blew, evaporating the cold sweat trickling down my forehead. My hands were cold, and as they grapsed at each other, trying to find companionship, I felt uneasy. Uneasy, as if someone, something, was watching me. In front, a lone street lamp projected cold light onto the cobblestone ground, projecting shadows on the graffiti-filled walls that seemed to have a life of their own, changing shapes and sizes as the wind blew. I quickly walked under the lamp, feeling the light shine down on me. Despite it, I felt cold. The hair on my arms stood on end, and adrenaline began to course through my body. I looked down at my shadow on the cobblestone pavement. As the wind blew and my clothes waved about, my shadow kept changing, seemingly morphing into alien shapes.
Looking up, I saw the brick wall across the road, bathed in the eerie light of the street lamp. I could see some of the graffiti in the dim light, their awkward shapes alien to my eyes. There were holes in the wall. They seemed to be watching me, mysterious eyes shrouded in darkness. Suddenly, a shadow passed by the wall and I jumped. It was a black cat, pacing down the street, stopping to stretch its legs. It looked at me and yawned. I decided to continue walking.
As I left the light of the street lamp, I passed by the openings of alleys. Somehow, I thought I could see dark figures standing at the ends of the alleys, staring right at me, or even worse, preparing to attack. Suddenly, I heard a crow call out. I was frozen in my tracks. A wave of nervous heat ran through my body, and I felt another bead of sweat flow down my temple. I couldn't move at all. I was rooted to the spot, unable to escape the impending danger. I gulped in anxiety. I tried lifting a leg. It wouldn't move. I was pinned down by a silent predator. I felt it behind me, reaching out with claws, trying to get a hold of me. My eyes looked about haphazardly. Every single thing seemed like it would come to life and attack me. The car parked beside me, the bricks on the walls, the gravel on the ground, the nondescript drain cover. It was maddening. Outside, I was frozen. Inside, I was hysterical, screaming for my life, wanting to escape from the presence behind me.
I looked down at my leg. Move! I screamed in my head. My foot shifted. It felt dead and frozen, but at last, it began to move. Slowly, but surely, my foot raised itself above the ground, trembling. It ached inexplicably, but I forced it to move forward. Fear and paranoia had me rooted to the spot, but my resolve had overcome the paralysis. I moved one foot forward, then the next. Step by step I was escaping from the clutches of the presence behind me. My laboured steps turned into pacing, then brisk walking, and then I was running for my life, running away from the presence I felt behind me, staring right into my soul.
At last, I reached the junction, well lit my street lamps. The light from them was warm now. Stopping to catch my breath, I turned back to look down the street.
I am going to be more than brief,
In this letter I’m going to find some relief,
My dearest victim, I’m going to find you,
This is not a lie for I’m going to slice you through
I will state to thee; there will not be any clue,
Not a single idea; but I’m going to be there. It is true,
I am a psychopath; I will be your murder,
Don’t try to escape; the exit is “Out of Order”
I write this letter for you to know,
Anytime in the month, I’ll be there to give you the fatal blow,
I’ll take my time; make you wait,
Finally, your best friend will be my wicked bait
I’ll move his body into an alley and put my hands upon his throat,
I’ll throw his hollowed body out of my boat,
He will sink down; deep into the water,
You’ll go look for him; I’ll be behind you; “What’s the matter?”
I’ll grab you and take you to the back of my car,
Play with your body; cut it; burn it with steamy tar,
You’ll cry out: “Let me go! Let me go!”
“Silence!” I would cry out; “Silence or I cut off your toe!”
I would finally manage to quiet you down,
I’ll tie you up and wait till you see your last dawn,
But it’ll be the last time you breathe,
“How very grateful, I’ll get my relief!”
This letter explains what will surely happen,
So, wait till the door is abruptly open,
Your life will be my juice,
I will be able to do it, “There’s nothing to lose”
You will be my next victim by fate,
When this letter gets to you; “It’ll already be too late!”
So, watch out onto your door,
Soon, you will be lying on the floor
I’ll make the light go off your eyes,
Soon, you will be feeding mice,
The ungrateful day you saw me walk,
Is the cause of your death; “I hated hearing you talk!”
My vote goes to an empty street. To my idea it perfectly followed the subject and really gave me the idea of fear in every part of the main character's body. I have no idea why he is so scared to begin with but I can agree that soemtimes things just seem to creep up to you when you're all alone. XD Also at first there seems to be someone talking to him, I think that was the main character going nuts, but at the endhe's just thinking for himself, not having a voice in his head telling him to run but he himself
Letter to a victim is also very good but the rhyme sometimes feels a bit forced, besides ehm yeah first he grabs his best friend in a alley and chokes him then he throws him off a boat? a boat in an alley?
And also the victim will be tied up to see his last dawn but die while lying on the ground? and he would be grabbed from behind when looking for his friends but also the door will open abrubtly like the murderer will come from the door?
Ehh yeah some weird things like those are confusing mee 8D I don't really get what he plans to do now :/
So yeah because I understood entry 1 more than entry 2 I have to choose entry one ^^
Entry #1... The text, it's smoked ...totally cliche, screaming marry sue through and through.Everything from the dark alleyway to the lonely street lamp, the black cat, the crow calling in the night, the sweat, the cold wind, the pseudo-voices in the character's head...i could almost say every sentence is a cliche, and linked to each other they make even a bigger one. You have to start thinking out of the box, especially when you're handed a theme like paranoia, and you don't do anything with it. For me it looks like you just cut a bad scene from a bad movie and you wrote it down maybe added a bit of your personal touch to it. Also, there was no tension, there was no fear, and the character involved in the story even a bigger pile of "seen that before, for a million times"...
Also a thing that i didn't quite like was the fact that you kept repeating some things twice, and even though maybe the desired effect was to push the reader further into the setting, making it clearer, to me it was just annoying...like the fact that you repeated the word "graffiti" twice, once when then character described its general surroundings, and secondly when the character saw it. Since there is no evidence of a narrator other then the character (because the text is in 1st person) then it is self implied that the character already saw the drawings the first time, so there was no need to repeat it. Instead you could have made him/her notice something all new and different from standing in a different position thus having a different vantage point. It was the same with "cobblestone", when you repeated it here
I looked down at my shadow on the cobblestone pavement
because just because the character moved under the street lamp and his/her position in space, doesn't mean the material of the pavement changed too, so you could have just settled for saying the chara looked at the pavement. It was the same with the word alien, but i am tired to go into details. I hope you got my point.
Anyway, all in all i guess it was a nice read, and it had a good flow to it, and continuity.
entry #2...i'll start with saying that while i was re-reading it i stumbled upon this
...it's a common error in English, but it doesn't make it less bad, the correct way to say it is "off my boat"...cuz it's a mean of transportation, so you use "to get on/get off"...you don't go in a boat, or in a train, or in a bus, but on a boat or on a train or on a bus...
Now onto the actual text. It's...well not bad. But as Nisa stated the rhyme is a bit too forced, and that gives the text a broken pace, makes you stumble often, and if i read it with a loud voice it sounds even worse. One thing all writer should know is that reading your text with a loud voice is a must, because sometimes what looks like having a perfect flow in your thoughts often ends not sounding as good when spoken. Maybe you should have tried and made it a short prose instead of a poem because the idea was neat, and pretty original, but maybe in a block of text would have had more flow and you would have had enough room to develop it properly.
I liked the idea though, because although the poem didn't give any actual tension or fear, as i said the idea was original. I saw what you tried to do, making the reader feel the paranoia instead of just depicting someone having it, but because of the forced rhyme and the extreme psychological situations you try to place the reader in, it makes it actually lose any trace of fear that it might inspire. You could have tried subtler ways of inspiring that paranoia to the reader, ways that would be less dramatic and yet much more fear inspiring. And i stick to my thought that the whole idea would have looked much better as a short text rather than a poem because of the various ways prose is more loose than poetry.
Anyway, because i consider entry #2 more original plot-wise despite some typos i noticed, and the forced rhymes and what else...entry #2 GMV
...sorry for the block of text...