There can be no terror, where there is only courage.
HOW IT RATES
When Satan attempts to take over the world by mutating everyone into demonic zombies, he fails to consider one small thing: Ally, the most pissed off bitch the world has ever known. Oh, and she's pregnant, too. So, if you're a member of the Dead, beware the cold, hard words, "Bring it the 'F' on, you A-holes from Hell!"
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Reviews of Ally and the Dearly Dead 9
by f-ceska on 11/27/2011Concept: Good. It reminded me of ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Aliens’ (and ‘Alien Resurrection’), ‘Terminator’, ‘Legend’, ‘From Dusk till Dawn’, and a good number of other zombie movies. I like zombie stories and this one was a bit different because the focus was on a young girl turned Ninja, zombie-killer, pregnant warrior, but on the other hand, quite a lot of it was standard zombie... Concept: Good. It reminded me of ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Aliens’ (and ‘Alien Resurrection’), ‘Terminator’, ‘Legend’, ‘From Dusk till Dawn’, and a good number of other zombie movies. I like zombie stories and this one was a bit different because the focus was on a young girl turned Ninja, zombie-killer, pregnant warrior, but on the other hand, quite a lot of it was standard zombie fare, and perhaps it would have been more interesting with a bit more of a twist, or a surprise to the story.
Story: Good. It was probably too long. I think you could easily cut it down by 20 pages and still tell the same story just as well, if not better. There were parts to the story that were not fully explored, such as the zombie in room 13B. I expected more to come of that creature. I also didn’t really find much need for the Baptist preacher or the religious philosophising of heaven and hell, though I liked the idea that there was something special about the moment of love-making that saved Ally and Benny and made their baby special, but couldn't that just have been the power of love?
Structure: Average. If we break the story up into segments, we see that the main turns of the story are few. A lot of the rest is just overlong description and dialogue. You flash back and forth between present time and past events, which is fine, though I can’t help wondering if it might not have been more powerful to tell the story in real time. For example, start with the couple making love at the gym and then keep the focus on them when they return to Ally’s home, etc. This may make it more dramatic and chilling, because it’s more immediate, and we are more involved in Ally.
Character: Good. Ally is a strong character, believable and interesting, but no other character is deeply drawn. Some characters, such as Kerry and Munica, don’t really seem to have a reason for being in the story, except for a couple of lines, and I think it would be nice if you could bring them back into the story later or give them some further involvement. Ally perhaps needs some kind of sidekick, or mentor, one other person she can beat her emotions out on. Perhaps the kindly Doctor or one of the other girls?
Dialogue: Good, and for this I also mean writing style in general. There are passages of prose where you do your usual impressive work and blow me away. There’s imagery and passion in your writing. A good tempo, and some nice language. (In fact, some of your best writing is in the scenes were you describe love-making - full of eroticism and tenderness). But also, this time I feel perhaps there are places where the descriptive writing may be laid on a bit thick. There were moments when I wanted less description and more action. (I know it’s a story, not a screenplay, but even so, the subject is one that lends itself to action and events moving the story forward.)
Overall: Good. Definitely not one of your best stories, but still well written and interesting. Needs a bit of work, and condensing, but I think you could hone this into something quite dark and impressive.
Nitpicks by a pedantic x-English teacher:
p.2 fucken – I am curious as to why you change the word like this. Can’t you just use the real word?
p.3 the announcer who was in… = the announcer, who… (Check non-defining relative clauses, eg: http://www.edufind.com/english/grammar/rel4.cfm )
p.3 and continued, “There’s.. = and continued. “There’s…
(The second sentence is a new sentence. Don’t follow a comma with a capital letter.)
p.3 pealed = I think you mean ‘peeled’, though I’m not sure this is quite the right word here either.
p.4 north and south complexes which were = complexes, which were
p.4 whomever’s = whoever’s (subject, not object)
p.4 Each man assigned that task hoped, that if it ever happened, it would happen on his shift. (Here you don’t need the commas.)
p.5 shinning = shining
p.5 flanking alongside Ally. (alongside not needed – it’s implicit with flanking)
p.5 Ally had no knowledge of the two girls before ten weeks ago,= Ally had had no knowledge of the two girls ten weeks earlier (past perfect for an earlier time)
p. 5 elusively inevitable = sounds nice, but what does it mean?
p.8 shivered her… = original use of the verb. (made her shiver?)
p.16 “WTF, baby?” = would they actually say the letters? The abbreviation? Or would they say: ‘What the fuck, baby?”
p.18 I better not go in their alone.” - there
p.20 enticing her to gleam inside that room. (gleam = peek?)
p.22 a head that was slowly loosing = or losing?
p.34 do we need so many thuds?
p.35 Then, above: (followed by a new paragraph). This doesn’t work for me. Better to incorporate what’s happening (above) into the paragraph.
p.36 were scurrying passed = past
p.37 Hell – I don’t think heaven and hell need to be capitalised.
p.37 “Okay, come the ‘F’ on, you A-holes from Hell!” Again, why the abbreviations? Wouldn’t she just use the whole words?
p.38 ‘beryl fluids’ = what does beryl mean?
p.38 over took = overtook
p.38 venire = veneer?
p.38 air born = airborne
p.39 – 40 Ally’s rant goes on and on, a bit too long.
p.40 mucal gew = mucous-like goo?
p.42 …reached her, also did an opposing force = so did an opposing..
p.45 loose = lose read
by Sophie Germain on 07/28/2011Very imaginative story. Conceptually, it reminded me of an episode of Fringe meets Stan Lee, and would likely appeal to sci-fi or comic book fans. You may want to tweak Ally as a character however. Much like all of the characters in this story, she comes across almost cartoon-like. The stakes are pretty clear that her God-child with Ben and protecting her baby from the profligation... Very imaginative story. Conceptually, it reminded me of an episode of Fringe meets Stan Lee, and would likely appeal to sci-fi or comic book fans.
You may want to tweak Ally as a character however. Much like all of the characters in this story, she comes across almost cartoon-like. The stakes are pretty clear that her God-child with Ben and protecting her baby from the profligation of evil is the ultimate goal, however you may want to consider giving Ally a fatal flaw and construct a B-story around how even in the midst of having to achieve her goal in the A-story, she as a character needs to overcome her flaw and grow in order to truly survive this end-of-days scenario. This will give readers an emotional anchor to want to root for your hero. In its current incarnation, I wasn’t pulled into the story to care enough about this character.
Plotting was a little clumsy at the beginning since you began somewhat in medias res which was disorienting. Eventually the backstory is revealed but I wonder if you may gain a lot more clarity by plotting in a more linear way. Just a suggestion. All in all, an enjoyable read. Good luck with your rewrites.
2 / “Seasoned” and “Programming” - Watch your diction because it has a tendency to draw attention to itself. I was pulled out of the story merely because your word choice is rather odd and unconventional.
2 / “God, he felt horrible about it, too, almost as if he’d beaten her as opposed to loved her.” - Watch your POV. The first paragraph seems to be told from the POV of the girl and then in the second line of the second paragraph, you switched to his POV. This head-hopping can be jarring. Even though you are telling the story from the 3rd person perspective, the narration of a story is too undisciplined for my taste.
3 / Again, POV shift after the break from a new character introduced back to the girl, presumably from the first scene. Take another read through the entire story with an eye toward keeping the POV consistent in each sentence. This could create more dramatic tension in the story as well as make Ally more empathetic to the reader.
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 07/26/2011Is quick 48 pages. In lesser hands 48 pages can be living hell, but you create three-dimensional characters, complete with skin and bones and blood; and more importantly, with heart and mind and soul and courage. And hope of a future. Readers here have much to care about, much to pull for and root on. First is Amy and Benny, and then is special little baby, and all of survivors... Is quick 48 pages. In lesser hands 48 pages can be living hell, but you create three-dimensional characters, complete with skin and bones and blood; and more importantly, with heart and mind and soul and courage. And hope of a future. Readers here have much to care about, much to pull for and root on. First is Amy and Benny, and then is special little baby, and all of survivors at college. No goofy dialogue, only realistic exchanges here, and this makes us recognize and relate to your people and their peril. Just like their humanity, contrasted sharply by exact opposite in zombies, makes us eager to see them victorious and safe to rebuild in Kansas. Good fucking job. Even in action sequences you keep hands on wheel. Someone says to me one time, “Sabra, the faster the action, the more seemingly out of control, the more in control you must be as the writer.” You do good job of demonstrating that in this story. Nice work.
You write: Spraying without abandon into hordes....Spraying without abandon is to be cautious, timid, careful. Spraying with abandon is to go ape shit crazy, to throw caution away and gut the fuckers.
You write: “Uh… yeah,” she said as if the slightest bit condescended....I might be wrong, but here I think ‘condescended to.’ might work better, since condescension is something we do to one another.
You write: the other pronging gently over his hairless chest. Pronging is not a word I can find in dictionary or thesaurus. Perhaps raking might be word to use. Or perhaps not.
You write: She raised herself up on an elbow and gleamed into him. “WTF, baby?” Does she actually say these initials? BRB, LOL, OMG are all okay to type for speed online, yeah? But surely no one uses these in conversation. Of course, if you are devout, a true believer, you might be staying away from profanity because God is holy. If this is case, then of course is fine, but on page 32 you use word mutherfuckers, so seems like is okay to write What The Fuck?
You write: “The Bible says in Jeremiah, ‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and 30, before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…’
ALSO: Psalm 139: 13-16.
You write on page 43: It was the true death master, the real Satan of the layer....I think you mean lair.
You write: it breaked (braked) to a harrowing stop read
by nanpinc on 07/11/2011Please know that I take no pleasure in negative feedback because I understand the time, dedication and commitment it takes to write anything, but I must also be honest with myself and the expression of my thoughts. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, I hope I am able to get across this constructive feedback... I could not find anything original or provoking enough with... Please know that I take no pleasure in negative feedback because I understand the time, dedication and commitment it takes to write anything, but I must also be honest with myself and the expression of my thoughts. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, I hope I am able to get across this constructive feedback...
I could not find anything original or provoking enough with "Ally and the Dearly Dead" to warrant the author's choice to write the piece. True, there is the twist of "God's breath of life", but I think the author only touched on something that could be greater and make it something more than just a story about "the chosen one", which we've read multiple times and seen in multiple movies.
The author accurately labeled this story with multiple genres, except for one... comedy. Although there is a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek flair in the story, I believe this genre to be misleading, and the reason why I even mention this to the author is because it builds up a pre-conceived notion in the reader's mind, only to be let down when as the reader feels deceived. I realize that everybody has a different type of sense of humor, I could not even tell if the author was trying to be funny.
My biggest note for the author would be about pace. I believe the structure of the sentences could be more efficient and there could be a better string of thought. There is some "jumbled-ness" to the prose, which slows the pacing of the read. Another point is that there are many incidents (especially during a scene with action) where the author chooses to insert colorful adjectives that interrupt what should flow quickly. Lastly on this point, at times there is too much description and the author drags the momentum of the story. Condensed thoughts that get to the next point quicker would be advised.
A couple of technical points I'd like to also point out would be to not use the same similes and metaphors more than once. Although there were some very clever metaphors that I did enjoy, I counted the similie "taco meat" three times. The first use was excellent, the other two were distractions. I also counted no less than 8 typo and grammatical errors, which posed as another distraction. Finally, when you refer to the "group leader" or "Group leader", because this is the only name we know, he should be written as "Group Leader" with both first letters capitalized.
Then there were a few plot points that did not make sense. The one I had the biggest time with was why Benny could control his zombie aggression towards Ally, but not her own mother and father. To me, this says that her own mother and father did not love her as much as her boyfriend, which I find hard to believe. Second, I notice that the author has no problem writing profanity when warranted; however, Ally never curses and there are moments (like being swarmed by zombies) when she would definitely not be censoring herself no matter how good a girl she is. Lastly, I had a hard time believing that Ally can be an ass-kicking, zombie-killing, one man soldier, even with the weapons she had at her disposal, when more trained and efficient men are taken out so easily.
Overall, I believe if the author is passionate about this story, it would be beneficial to revisit it from a new perspective and dig out the "taco meat" that's inside, of course, this is only one person's opinion and I hope I did not offend the author in any way. read
by MaxWatt on 07/10/2011A fun, exciting, well-formulated story. There's a lot for the reader to sink their teeth into here (sorry for the pun), and is respectably long for a short story. As I read I thought this has potential to balloon into a novel, or novella at the very least. There are many aspects which could be delved into further, such as Ally's friends and their relationship, the soulless... A fun, exciting, well-formulated story. There's a lot for the reader to sink their teeth into here (sorry for the pun), and is respectably long for a short story. As I read I thought this has potential to balloon into a novel, or novella at the very least. There are many aspects which could be delved into further, such as Ally's friends and their relationship, the soulless creature in no. 13, and of course, the pregnancy. There's enough going on here for a longer work.
Being an atheist, it's hard for me to engage with stories which draw on biblical concepts, but when a story uses the concepts in an effective fictional way, I find, they work to great effect. Your story is a great example of this. It's at the stage where we can take it lightly and just have a good time with it.
I've listed some stuff that got my attention below. I think I marked most of the page numbers, I always try to do this, otherwise it's like I've left a tedious treasure hunt for the writer.
"A shinning knight" - pg 5
The fact that the group leader is only referred to as "group leader" feels arbitrary.
If the "rape of the human form" (nice!) is down the hall from the clinic, then surely Ally has no reason to worry about it, seen as she is going into the clinic, and therefore has no reason to pass by?
Not so sure about the "big, fat hug" on pg 11. Its description feels too colloquial. I'd use more complex words here.
"Dr. Kinder gave her a look that was full of surety" - Dr. Kinder gave her a look of surety. - pg 12
“WTF, baby?” - pg 16. I found this disorientating. I can't recall anyone ever speaking this initialism out loud.
"better not go in their alone" - pg 18
The fact that Ally is enticed to enter no. 13 on page 21 feels like a bit of a contradiction to her dread of it earlier. It's like two different personalities. It would be more consistent if she was determined to go in there and butcher it.
"she felt a need to defeat the demon that haunted her. She had to face it, to defeat it." - The comma here makes it seem as though you're restating the part about defeat.
"slowly loosing" - pg 22
"They seemed to consider that this living creature was not so edible as the others" - just wanted to let you know how much this cracked me up!
"She was about to loose him again" - pg 45
All in all, there's not much criticism here, just nitpicking, but I'd be thrilled to read a longer form of it one day! This could appeal to a big audience. Thanks for the read. read
by mmckean on 07/09/2011I am new to triggerstreet and I am just getting into this whole review process so forgive me if I make mistakes. First of all I would like to say that I thought your story was excellent. I wouldn't have read it otherwise. It was very interesting and full of action. There were a few elements that could use a little tweaking though, but first I was wondering what you were planning... I am new to triggerstreet and I am just getting into this whole review process so forgive me if I make mistakes. First of all I would like to say that I thought your story was excellent. I wouldn't have read it otherwise. It was very interesting and full of action. There were a few elements that could use a little tweaking though, but first I was wondering what you were planning to do with this story. Were you planning to make it a short book, maybe publish it in a magazine, or make it a movie? The reason I ask is because right now it is a good story and if you were just writing it to be an entertaining read then you could just stop where you are and have no need of reading the rest of this review. If you want to get it published though or turned into a movie then there are some key points you have to consider. First off, I want to point out to you that zombie fiction is one of those areas flooded with competition. The common joke in horror is that zombie stories have been "done to death". I have a couple friends that have written stories similar to this. People have been fascinated by zombies and vampires for years. What's my point? Well, you have to offer a different spin on the zombie story. You need to make it your own if you want it to go anywhere. I think Ally is an interesting character, a zombie-fighting pregnant girl is definitely an interesting story concept, but I think she could be developed more. In the beginning it had the feel of a coming-of-age type of story and I think you should continue with that. You could do this by adding a little more of Ally's thoughts into the mix. I loved how you split between her past life with Benny and her current situation when the doctor was questioning her. That was awesome and I think you could have expanded on that. Maybe you could have had us guessing longer about the significance of Benny and Ally making love. When I was reading that I was compelled to continue forward through the pages to find out what Dr. Kinder was getting at. I also liked the humor you used in the story. The parents' behavior was f*ing hilarious. I especially loved the part where Ally's dad told Benny "I can smeeehl you!" and Benny mistook that for him being able to smell sex on him. You should definitely put in more jokes like that. It was subtle but funny. I wasn't sure where you were going with the description of the beast though. You know, the first time Ally saw that undead thing in the examination room? Some of the words you used to describe thing from hell were Christmas words (snow globes and Christmas lights)and I was just wondering why you chose to do that. Also, when Ally is driving Benny's car near the beginning of the story, you mentioned she was crying profusely and that seemed kinda melodramatic to me. Not to mention the fact that she was driving at the time! If you want to keep it in there maybe you could mention how she was swerving all over the road and decided to pull over or something. Maybe instead of saying she was crying profusely you could just say her eyes were welling with tears or something. I dunno, it's really your story I'm just throwing some stuff out there. I also think Doctor Kinder kinda overuses Ally's name in his dialogue. It might help the story a little if that was cut down but I know that doctors do sometimes do that. The only other thing I can think of was a point in the story, near the middle I think, where you use the words "stoic, questioning eyes" which for some reason sounded kinda odd to me. Oh, and I also thought, near the end of the story, when you used the phrase, "Ally, dear heart, don't do that", that you could probably take out the heart. I really enjoyed your story though. Thanks for posting it on here for everyone to read it. I hope my comments have been helpful. Like I said I am new to reviewing stories, and you are a much better writer than I am, so don't be offended by any of my comments. I look forward to reading your next story. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 06/29/2011I want to start off by saying that I DID ENJOY this short story, however for my own personal taste it got too silly. The initial story line was brilliant; I cannot praise it enough. My favourite part was how cleverly the author entangled the plot of the story with the sexual connotation. I found it immensely realistic, and I really felt the emotion coming through it. But it... I want to start off by saying that I DID ENJOY this short story, however for my own personal taste it got too silly.
The initial story line was brilliant; I cannot praise it enough. My favourite part was how cleverly the author entangled the plot of the story with the sexual connotation. I found it immensely realistic, and I really felt the emotion coming through it. But it was extremely clever how it was incorporated within the different stages of the plot. Just phenomenally done. It's so simple (and the most natural thing in the world) combined with something complicated and highly unnatural. It’s brilliant.
I have to admit, I didn't like the biblical references. I know any story about zombies can’t be that realistic, because of obvious reasons, but I felt that the religious sub-story didn’t quite gel with the dominant story. However this is just my opinion. Aside from that I really cannot give this story enough credit as a fantastic story.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and strongly recommend it to others. read
by Devon28a on 06/27/2011This short story reminds me of the film "I Am Legend" meets a pregnant "Juno". The story for me starts off on a off beat. When i first started reading it I didnt really get it, until the we finally get to meet the main character Ally. Thats when the story really pumps it into high gear and thats when it gets intense. I love her back story on how she gets pregnant and how her... This short story reminds me of the film "I Am Legend" meets a pregnant "Juno". The story for me starts off on a off beat. When i first started reading it I didnt really get it, until the we finally get to meet the main character Ally. Thats when the story really pumps it into high gear and thats when it gets intense. I love her back story on how she gets pregnant and how her boyfriend dies. What i didnt like was how the back story was getting great and then you just switched back to the present. The ending for me was slightly better than the beginning, but not better than the middle. You brought the action but again I just couldnt get interested in it. All in all i would rank this a 7.1/10.
Concept- good but not original to me, but still is great.
Characters- Ally really is the rock in this story, but she is also the story to the only character that I found interesting were the doctor and her boyfriend.
Dialogue- Better than what I could have done.
Story- Falls inline with the concept
Structure- Like an up and down roller coaster.
by Adam Greven on 06/26/2011The Soulless/Walking Dead/Mutated Human Apocalypse story is definitely one that has been covered exhaustively. I'm positive every writer at one time or another has had an idea for this particular genre and most likely has, at minimum, written out a sketch of that idea. With this in mind I did see some real potential in this particular short story, but I do want warn you I have... The Soulless/Walking Dead/Mutated Human Apocalypse story is definitely one that has been covered exhaustively. I'm positive every writer at one time or another has had an idea for this particular genre and most likely has, at minimum, written out a sketch of that idea. With this in mind I did see some real potential in this particular short story, but I do want warn you I have become jaded when it comes to this subject matter. So if at times if I sound overly critical feel free to ignore it or take it with a grain of salt.
I would like to start with my favorite moment in the story. Alley in the gym exercising and stretching. Its a calm and quiet environment, but its angry in Alleys mind. Invisible violence sits amidst the hush of the nearly empty gym with a bodyguard standing just off to the side silently watching her every move while simultaneously watching out for potential enemies. This scene brought about two thoughts 1. I think this story would work best as a full sized book, scenes like this one could be stretched with so much more detail and foreshadowing. 2. I would even start this story with this scene, there’s mystery, beauty, and a hint of the violence to come.
The beginning to this story felt kind of flat. There was too much general information, ie the fortifying of the Junior College. The little bits about how it was organized, it felt like reader feeder. With this type of story, set in this particular genre which is one that has been so heavily explored, I think a jump right into the middle of everything would grab a reader a lot better. Things like how the place is guarded and how the survivors are governed could easily be introduced a little bit at a time and even through Alley's mind alone.
Dr. Kinder, Roy Stanton, and Sergeant Oleman are like the Virgin Mary's three wise men, of course in this case the “Chosen” mother is Alley. I really like that vibe and its another reason why I think this idea would really benefit from being a full fledged book. With the guidance of Oleman we could see where Alley gets her combat skills, already flexible and reactive from her gymnastic training, Oleman would be able to provide a great outlet for her trapped anger and rage. Through Stanton Alley would be taught the words of faith and gain the calming knowledge these words provide. Also through the direct guidance of both these men the awesome combat sequence would make much more sense. I don't know if you were going for a “possessed” feeling with that combat scene, it did hint at that perhaps the direct hand of God, but for me that sort of background would have lessened the confusion for me. But again, AWESOME combat scene man!
Having read many of your other stories I know you have MAD writing skills and know that you could really tweak this story. I would also really look forward to any revisions you make! Keep me posted and good start. read
- Writer: Nick Keller
- Uploaded by: nick74
- Length: 47 pages
- Genre: comedy, horror, sci-fi/fantasy
- True story.
- Bio: Father. Copywriter. Texan. Competitive air hockey player. Meat-eating juicer (bit weird, I know). Fan of Carl Sagan, Ian Douglas and Stephen King. Picky about music. Lover. Fighter. Ever the aspiring writer. "Opposing Forces" received publication as WriterType.com's May winner and 2011 2nd runner up. "Dr. Towers' Babel" was published in Twit Publications PULP! winter/spring 2012 anthology---http://twitpublishing.com/CatalogWS2012.html. "The Sown" is now in print through Dark Moon Digest, Issue #6 --- http://www.darkmoonbooks.com/dark_moon_digest_6.htm "Dex Puncher, American Hero" will be in print later this year in Twit Publications Dieselpunk Anthology. "Void Touchers" was picked up by Thunderune Publishing and will launch as a novella, in late January. Thanks to my TS friends for all the lessons! Let's keep rollin'!
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