Critique: Dream Man (by Evangeline)


Hello everyone! It’s time for another critique! *crowd cheers*

Don’t forget to read the critiquing guidelines and just post your thoughts in the comments!

Now, it begins 😉

Dream Man

After fumbling with the lock, I was finally able to enter the room. The wall was outlined with bullet holes as if it were connect the dots and read: We Had a Deal

My heart froze as I reeled backwards. “Not yet!” I shouted, but it was too late.

Gravity was no more. I felt like I was floating but being crushed at the same time; a perfect dream state.

As hard as I fought it, my eyelids closed. There was nothingness for a few seconds until I awoke to a strange ticking noise. I blinked in the dim yellow light and found myself tied to a chair. The ticking sound came from a large clock on a peeling blue wall.

“Mr. Bailey,”

A gritted my teeth. “I had a few more hours.”


He entered from the shadows into the light, something Nightmare never did. He was still a little blurry, but scary all the same. His shady human form was always changing, like molten shadow mixed with fire.

“I suppose you didn’t think it would come this soon?”

I didn’t reply. He meant my death sentence. Five years ago I made a deal with Nightmare to haunt people’s dreams or cause them to have bad ones. It seemed pretty pointless now, but back then it was the only hope I had. I could never wake up from my nightmares and was now an agent of them.

I hadn’t collected enough dreams in the 1,825 days I had.

I’m not dead, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m still alive, but wish I wasn’t. I’m free to do whatever I want as long as I collect thirty two dreams, specifically nightmares, a day.

As you can imagine, that chore takes up all of my time. I used to have a family. Two kids and a wife. But I’d lost it all to this demon Nightmare.

“Just kill me.” I muttered.

“Without a second chance? No, no, I am a fair man, Harrick.” His voice was like a volcano; starting out as a low rumble until it exploded.

“What do you mean?” I eyed him skeptically.

“I mean, you get another stab in the dark,” he chuckled. “I need you to create three Lifetimes for me.”

I grimaced. Lifetimes happened when I caused trauma in someone’s life that would give them nightmares for, well, a lifetime. I much preferred collecting random nightmares while people slept. But if that would free me…

“What kind of Lifetimes?”

Nightmare smiled, which pretty much looked like a black sliver in the middle of his faceless head. He leaned close enough to where I could feel the emptiness emanating from his dark soul.

“Yours.” He whispered.

My eyes flew open.

One thought on “Critique: Dream Man (by Evangeline)

  1. Hi Evangeline! WOAH – what an interestingly creepy plot! I loved the darkness in your MC balanced with a good amount of likeability.

    “A gritted my teeth.” Just a minor typo.

    When Harrick is transported to the room, I think more detail would enhance the story a lot. Where is it? Is it Nightmare’s cellar? His bedroom? Or just a random place? Why did he take him there?

    “I blinked in the dim yellow light…” There’s no indication that he re-opened his eyes.

    Adding more about why Harrick is a slave of Nightmare would add depth to the plot. What drove him to sell his soul? It would create sympathy in the reader.

    Other than that, I loved your fascinating writing! Keep up the good work!

    ~W. Greene


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