Mr. Garry's story is a good start to a longer work. I think that the story could go deeper into the main character's disturbed mind. Maybe include an internal monologue rant in his apartment. I am not sure if there is a chance for "hope" in his mind if he is killing like a machine or puppet especially if he is killing his friends and relatives. If there is a concept of right and wrong in his mind then I think that he would not want to kill his friends. He must feel obligated from the start and really not question "his reality". He would probably be more paranoid or feel an obligation to kill rather than having hope through the questioning of right and wrong. I guess I feel as though he is past that stage. People who are experiencing a mental breakdown like this seem to have no idea that they are committing the crimes. If they do realize that they are committing crimes, it seems as though they are more interested in "their concept of reality being right" than hoping they will stop killing or hoping that they will "stop listening to the voices that tell them to kill". In their mind, their concept of reality is manifested through actions. I see a disparity between the two at this point.
There are some mistakes with grammar and such that should be addressed.
What caused the "acrid wisps of smoke"? The gun? If so, is "acrid" the proper word? The smell of gunpowder doesn't seem acrid to me. It has a smoother smell like smokey salt or something like that. The smoke from a gun is almost in a way like the smell of gasoline. Both have an odd but interesting odor even though they do not smell the same. I am not sure if they are "acrid" though. I would use more of a descriptive voice than a "judgemental" word on the smell itself.
Anyway, I would study some people who have had similar problems. Watch the shows on those who have had mental problems and have been mass murderers. I am sure you will see people who are convinced of their plight no matter how absurd it may seem to you and I. Also, psychopaths have no guilt. The only guilt they have comes after they have been caught. Then the remorse is not for the victims but for their own stupidity resulting from their errors after being caught by the police.
Stalkers at times are so wrapped up in their world that you cannot see any hope in their ways. Their logic seems skewed to say the least. John Lennon's stalker wanted to take over and be John Lennon. He thought by killing John Lennon he would be recognized as John Lennon. I know that this character is not a stalker per se, but there are some similarities. The urge to kill is there. The "Son of Sam" believed that his dog was telling him to kill. This seems illogical to us but to him it was real enough for him to commit the crimes. I think the criminal mind is more complex than is being presented here. I would do more research on mass murderers and specifically those who have experienced a nervous breakdown.
I hope this has helped.
Review of: A Dangerous Mind
reviewed by email@example.com on 08/27/2009
Other Reviews by firstname.lastname@example.org 37
A review of Dollfaceby email@example.com on 08/28/2009Mr. Wheeler's story is the start to a longer work. The beginning seemed more like it was part of her imagination than the supernatural. I am not sure I see the supernatural there at all. The second part merely hints at the possibility of the supernatural rather than anything concrete. I think the doll needs to be more of a character. Then you will really be going closer to... read
A review of Clickety Clickby firstname.lastname@example.org on 08/27/2009I have no problem with experimental works but this seems more like a filmic, "Burgess-esque" character study than a story. I may be wrong but I got very little "story" from your submission. The writing obviously is unique in approach but there is little use in the way of explaining your little verbal "quirks". There are some punctuation errors and a few other problems from... read
A review of Butterfliesby email@example.com on 08/27/2009Of the three stories I have read by you this was the best. I thought you might want to reconsider the title though. Maybe you could use the last three words in your story... "The Grasping Sea". I think that would be a very good title. I like how the main character, in the end, rips up the letter. I think there is a good insight into human nature there. It does seem as though... read