Wow! This story was so different from anything I've read before. The actual story is so dark and twisted, and yet your language is beautiful, almost poetic. I think that's the most striking thing about this one-shot, and it's something that I've never seen an author on this site pull off before. It was also my favourite aspect of your story, and what will make it stick with me for a while. You've also shown, in a brilliant way, that it's possible to write a really great story in just a few words. You don't just throw words and descriptions into the story, you are very thrifty with your words, which can be tricky. But you've succeeded, and I'm impressed!!!
I didn't know about neither Elisabeth Bathory or Lilith, but I loved the story nonetheless. (I have heard the name Lilith in the True Blood TV series, where she is the vampire Godess, which I guess makes sense.) So thanks for teaching me a little something with your story too! Elisabeth Bathory sounds like a monster, which is exactly what you have made her in this story.
I wouldn't change a thing about this. The length, the flow and the context is perfect the way it is, and you have nothing to be worried about. It's amazing. Be proud of it :) Report Review
As I was reading this, all I could think was, "OMG! Is this a serial killer story? Am I reading something straight from a Criminal Minds plot?" I love Criminal Minds so this is a good thing!
So I completely missed the part where she was a vampire. I completelye missed the part where she was in fact a she. This is new for me, missing stuff like this! But I still really enjoyed this, because it reminded me a lot of how the "baddies" are shown in Criminal Minds.
To me, this was more of a psychological thriller than straight out fantasy, and it played really well between that fine line of what's in the mind and what's real. I literally sat there wondering if this was real or not. Because the way your main character goes on, it sounds a lot like some sort of elaborate delusion, than vampirism.
I don't know if that was what you intended, but either way, it worked really well! I don't think this style could be sustained over a longer piece, but I thought this length fit it well!
Do you plan to write other such experimental stuff later on? Report Review
This was a really interesting story! I didn't quite understand at first, but after realizing who Elizabeth Bathory was, it all clicked. The second time I read it, the horror and gruesomeness of the events sort of settled in. This was a great piece and I'm glad I stumbled upon it :)Author's Response: Thank you so much! I sort of took a risk relying on the reader knowing about Elizabeth Bathory, but I'm glad it still worked and very happy that you liked it :) Report Review
Ooh, experimental. You know how much I like experimental. And Countess Bathory, too, who's always fascinated me because she's just so hardcore. (And also because I wouldn't have been in danger of becoming a victim of hers.)
Anyway. Your characterisation of her is lovely - you've got that mixture of sharp, cynical observations about the nature of human mortality, with a sort of petulant childishness in her complaints about the way her victim's arm is swaying in the water. She may be really old, but she definitely ain't mature, which kind of goes with the lack of empathy and serial killer/torturer thing.
Speaking of those observations - the attention to visual detail here is also well done. Oily eyes, trickling hair, darkening water, oozing tears, rotting flesh... there's just this underlying theme of filth and decay which goes well with Bathory's status as the unholy undead. And, of course, of sexuality - the description of her victim's body as 'meat' and, of course, the title drop... I don't need to tell you this, you wrote it. It's excellent, is what I'm trying to say. You're definitely a film student. XD
I would say that you could've done with a bit more non-visual imagery here, though. If she's bathing in diluted blood, it's gotta stink, and the taste is fairly idiosyncratic. You've also got a couple of typos you might want to look at.
Anyway, this was lovely, thank you for entering it into the challenge. :)Author's Response: Hey!
You make a good point about non-visual imagery, hm. Especially for this story, since the underlying theme is all about physicality and decay. Repulsion definitely comes first through smell, being instinctual and all that. I'll see what I can do! I think I didn't even consider adding smells was because I wanted to show Bathory as, in a way, above all of the decay (physically anyways). While the corruption is indeed a reflection of her moral state, it isn't a reality for her physical state. She is concerned about herself being pure and physically superior, so I felt that she wouldn't imagine the blood as disgusting (after all, she is in very direct contanct with it). But I do see how the feeling of the text seems somehow incomplete. Maybe I'll add more tactile details instead...
I'm glad you picked up on the sexual implications in the title. I was trying to be subtle and not go overboard with ideas of abuse and gender, so it's good to hear that the hints I left are clear nevetheless.
Ugh, typos. Yeah, I'll go fix that.
As to Bathory, I have also always found her fascinating! On the one hand, because everything about her seems so over the top isane. But also because her behaviour and her story represent the time she lived in very well. Coming up with creative ways to destroy eachother was basically a hobby in those days. But her desire to go after girls is interesting on many levels. Misogyny is not something only men can feel, after all.
Well, thank you for a wonderful and helpful review!
Cheers! Report Review
Oh wow. Just wow.
This is just so different to anything I've ever read before! Its so dark and twisted! I didn't know what was going on until I read your authors note, and then everything clicked into place! At first I thought it was someone who was very messed up, but then I began thinking it was a vampire, but now it just completely makes sense! The idea of bathing in virgins blood is a little creepy. . . I don't think this Elisabeth one was alright in the head. . .
Just a brilliant piece! It most certainly works! 10/10!Author's Response: Hey :D
Sorry for taking so long to reply!
Haha, yeah Bathory was pretty nuts. And yet, I always found her fascinating :D I guess many feel that way, because she is quite often used as inspiration for vampire stories.
I'm gald i could convey some of her general creepiness and that you enjoyed it :D
Cheers! Report Review
Hi m'dear! I hope you don't mind me selecting this one to review. I feel bad because it's a shorter piece, but your only other one shot is a snape and lily.. and we don't mix :P
Anyway, I'm really thrilled I chose this piece. It was so different, and I couldn't help by be intoxicated by what was going on.
I was really happy that you added the bit about how the woman is in history, because, though the name rang a few bells, I wouldn't have been able to place my finger on why without looking it up.
Your word choice throughout this entire story was so perfect. And with the length of this one shot, that really goes a long way into making this memorable.
After reading your AN I went back through and read it, and I just felt like I wanted to vomit all the way through. And I mean that in a very good way. Just.. what this woman was doing and what she was allowing herself to think.. freeing them from their meat that they don't need, slurping in the water filled with their blood, just. God. It makes it even more gruesome that this woman existed. And the way her thoughts were so, so messed up. The way she enjoyed the sound of the next walking to her with the shackles.. seriously, just gave me chills.
This was really well written and absolutely not over the top!
Thanks for a great swap :)!Author's Response: Oh hey there! I don't mind at all that you chose this one-shot! I know Lilly and Snape is not for everyone (in fact, I'm surprised people have read it at all haha).
As strange as it may sound, I am happy to read that the text made you want to vomit! I picked the words specifically on the criterea of them being fleshy and gross, and also, yes the subject matter is indeed appaling! To Bathory's defence, she lived in a time when people particularly enjoyed devising cruel, creative and preferably long-wound methods to off eachother. She became famous for, well, being as sadistic as the men and also for going for girls from rich families (which is the only reason she got caught). All in all, very distrubing! I'm thrilled to have been able to give some homage to the general ew of the story. And I hope you enjoyed it nevertheless!
Thank you for the swap, cheers! Report Review
Your words are gripping, chilling, and intoxicating all at the same time. I love vampires, yet never really got the 'vampire perspective' in this way before. Just what I was waiting for.Author's Response: hey :D
Thank you for your encouragement! I'm thrilled that you liked the perspective, vampires are angry, misunderstood kind of creepy feminists, after all, and they need some love too ;)
Wow, this was very well-written. It was slightly eccentric, very powerful, and quite engrossing.
I liked your writing style. The narrative worked well. I liked your plot concept. The grammar was perfect as well. This was in chunks but flowed really nicely.
All in all, a great one-shot. (I am still in awe) xD
(AditiDraco95)Author's Response: Hey :)
Sorry for replying so late. I actually thought I had already replied, but apparently my brain is very selective about what it remembers!
Thank you for the kind and encouraging review! I am so glad to hear that the word choice and the structure work. You have no idea how nervous I was about posting this :P
I'm glad I could entertain you and thank you for coming by :) Cheers! Report Review
Hmm. Interesting character choice! Well, it said a challenge so maybe it wasn't a choice, but still, very unusual. A full story of Countess Bathory as a witch would be really cool. This was stylistically very fascinating, suited the dark tone well, and of course grammar and word choice is excellent. It is weird, yes, but I don't think it's silly at all. Over the top suits Countess Bathory so I don't think you can really say whether it is or not, if that makes sense, because over the top is what she's all about so that's what makes it work.
Anyway, excellent one-shot, I hope you win the challenge! And merry Christmas :)Author's Response: Hey! So sorry for taking a million years to get back to you!
Bathory was all my choice, haha! She is such an odd bit of histroy, filtered by pop-culture and endorced by feminists, I couldn't not write about her. There is so much about her story that doesn't add up and there are other parts that express the time period she lived in very well.
It's wonderful to hear that I found a way to represent her accurately, or, at least interestingly :)
Thank you for the review! Cheers! Report Review
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review!
First of all, I really like the creepy, disturbing feel of this story. I found it very unsettling, which is a compliment for a work of horror.
"She is safe with me. Safe in me." -- This made me think of possession, and possibly legilimency.
I wondered who/what the narrator was right up until the end. For a while I thought of the Basilisk. I also thought of Moaning Myrtle while I was reading the story, because of the bath setting.
"Its girlsh pink of before has matured into a deep bourbon red." -- This imagery made it very clear that the girl was bleeding in the bath, I thought it very effective.
"I hear the rings of her shackles rattle and clank outside my door." -- I wasn't sure whether this was meant to be metaphorical or literal, or perhaps both?
"My faithful servant, he leads her to me..." -- this made me think of the imperius curse.
"Their curses will have no power over me. Their words will not coerce my thoughts." -- I see the wizarding connection here, but to make it stronger, you could mention the wands they carry. Perhaps she could scoff at the frailty of their wands, or the fact that they need them to attempt their curses?
I had never heard of Bathory, and had to google her. :) Re-reading the story afterward helped me to gain a better understanding. Maybe you could mention her in your note?
Finally, while I like this piece overall, I think it would be stronger if it ended on a creepier note. For instance, if you reordered the last couple of paragraphs, you could have it end with: "We will watch them perish." I think that might induce the chill that spooky stories aspire to. :)Author's Response: Hey!
I'm terribly sorry for taking for ever to answer your review! It was quite helpful and gave me ideas that I plan to incorporate.
I liked that you looked for connections to the wizarding world in the text! I will try to make them seem stronger when I edit because, well, you were right to point out, this story is only marginally in the HP universe:P
I am thrilled that you found my word choice and descriptions successful in setting a creety atmosphere :) As to the ending, I wasn't going to leave it that way but for some reason I felt like the text came to a natural end there. I do see what you mean about it not living up to the general foreboding of the rest of the story. I will think about what I can do to change it!
Oh and, haha, I updated the story with a short note about who Bathory is, sorry about that XD
Thank you for a helpful review :) Cheers!
Hi! Here I am with the review you've requested... I hope I can be of some help!!
Okay. So the whole story was very interesting. You had some really great sentences and phrases, ones that sort of were chilling to read. That was nice!
However, I'm not totally certain how this connects to the Potter-verse. I have a feeling that the Countess may be it? But I couldn't exactly tell what you were conveying through the pictures you wrote. They were marvelous pictures, but they didn't alway connect for me. I wanted and needed just a bit more help to understand what was going on.
My suggestion? Lengthen this just a tad. Put sone more description, and weave everything together. I also think that the last paragraph, where the speaker reveals her name, could use some improvement. Who is Lilith? What are hear creatures that the Countess loves so much? What can they mean to the reader?
Tell the story just as you have done, but go deeper. Add elements that you think should be added. And then, your tale will go from good to great.
~UnluckyStar57Author's Response: Hey there, thank you for the review!
The story is only marginally in the Potterverse (I have been thinking of ways to embedd it more). Towards the end I mentioned that the people who she s running from can do curses and control her mind, which was supposed to mean they are wizards :P I'll try to add more, though!
The creatures she loves are supposed to be the girls she kills. She feels like she is saving them from the tyranny and manipulation of men :P I didn't make it very clear because I was hoping for this idea to be more subtle and atmosphere-setting rather than a"fact"...Hmm,I'll see how I can make the connection clearer, glad you pointed it out! That part is important.
The Potterverse has the tendency to nclude all popular characters into its mythology, so I thought Bathory could also find a place (although we don't know much about the role of vampires in HP). Same goes for Lilith. It's such a charged name, with many associations connected to it, I thought I would jsut leave it as it is and let the reader wonder what Lilith could be like in the Potterverse...But I'll think about adjusting it!
Thanks again, this was helpful indeed :)
Hi - the review you requested:
Ok, I've had to read this one through a couple of times... I did find it quite confusing to start with. When I realised you were writing about a vampire though it became a lot clearer! I also didn't know who 'Countess Elizabeth Bathory' was (sorry) but since googling her your story made even more sense!
I thought you were very clever using the Countess for your story. I read Dracula is partly based on her and there are legends of her bathing in the blood of virgins which you've included. This story has clearly been well thought out and you've managed to link everything in very well.
I thought your descriptions were excellent, you really set a vivid scene. I particularly liked the line 'The water is denser now. Its girlish pink of before has matured into a deep bourbon red. I can hardly see my legs.' When I knew it's true meaning I could see it clearly, it's a pretty gruesome thought and you didn't sugarcoat it at all. You continue to do this throughout and I really admire you for this!
I'm finding it hard to give you any CC as the one critism I would give is that it's just slightly confusing until you understand who the Countess is and the story behind her. On the other hand, I like the fact you didn't reveal who your speaker was until the end. Unless I've just been living under a rock for a while and you find it hard to believe that I didn't know the story, it might be worth putting it in your authors note at the end? That's the only way I can think of getting round that. If you disagree though that's fair enough!
All in all, I thought this was well written. Your descriptions are really fantastic!
LaurenAuthor's Response: Hey there!
It made me smile that you actually had to google Bathory! I'm so sorry XD I think I'm the one who has been living under a rock, because somehow I assumed she had entered popular culture and everyone knew about her!!
I am very glad that you found my descriptions excellent and true to the grusome nature of the subject matter. It is a relief to see that (once informed about the background), you found what I was saying derstandable , it means the text is not a complete mess :D
I will most certainly leave a note at the end with a short summary of who Bathory was/is rumoured to have been!
Thanks again for taking the time to reiview, it means alot! Report Review
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