Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FicDive: The Horror! The Horror!

Diver Alias: Receptive Raptor (aka arfalcon)

Mission: Find a frightening story where the horror doesn’t eclipse the romance

The Pearl: Château de Horreur by grayviolets

Summary: On a class trip to France, Bella Swan is taken and introduced to the clandestine world of vampiric royalty.

Rated: M - English - Romance/Horror - Bella & Edward - Reviews: 54 - Updated: 04-21-10 - Published: 02-17-10 - id:5754480

Why I Read This: Hoping to dredge up a scary love story, I hooked gore without romance and creepiness without heart. This story finally grabbed my attention with a smart, scrappy Bella who is determined to survive as she and hated classmate Lauren Mallory are kidnapped by the Volturi guard. Bella immediately notices the disturbing red eyes of her captors, but it takes her sixteen-year-old brain awhile to discover their secret. It doesn’t take the vampires any time at all to realize there is something special about Bella.

Forced to live as a domestic slave in an ornate French chateau, Bella holds on to her life long belief that nothing is impossible as she hopes to find a way to escape. Edward is a beacon of kindness in her nightmare, despite the fact that he shares the blood red eyes of the other “masters”. Bella fights her immediate attraction to him with enough wit and snark to capture his attention, and the pull between them reels us in.

The main characters are strongly crafted variations on the SM originals, the vampires here having fangs. Edward is the only compassionate one, despite the fact that he holds a special place in the Volturi hierarchy and drinks human blood. Emmett plays a surprising role as Edward’s mentor and father figure, with Rosalie as the maternal one. The other slaves include older versions of Angela and Ben, kidnapped while honeymooning in Paris years earlier, as well as Jacob.

The real horror starts when Bella faces the wrath of Alec and Jane as she bravely tries to protect Angela’s unborn child. During the weeks it takes for Bella’s wounds to heal under Edward’s intimate care, their feelings for each other grow until that first kiss is impossible to resist.

This story is crisply paced, and the author juxtaposes several tender moments with the dangers facing Bella. Edward’s character is imbued with true humanity, and I’m dying to see if these two will find a HEA.

Diver Alias: The Voice (aka Legna989)

Mission: To find a short story that gives me the good old-fashioned creeps.

The Pearl: Lost by girastelle

Summary: Three sisters are stolen from their father's farm by three mysterious, inhuman captors. Loosely inspired by Twilight and set in an indeterminate past, this story explores a darker side of the Cullen boys.

Twilight - Rated: T - English - Horror/Suspense - Chapters: 3 - Words: 8,203 - Reviews: 5 - Published: 1-19-10 - Bella & Edward - Complete

Why I Read This: In a fandom based on a series about vampires and werewolves, finding a decent horror story shouldn't be tough, right?


Perhaps it's because Twilight is, at its heart, a romance that just happens to involve vampires and werewolves. The result is that with few exceptions, even the stories that are labeled horror aren't really horror as I think of it--the type of story that makes you look behind you when you're walking down a dark hallway, that makes you want to check under the bed and in the closet for the boogeyman before going to sleep. I think I looked at over 700 stories, and was ready to give up my short story goal to settle for one of the handful of one-shots that had potential, until I stumbled across Lost by girastelle.

At just three chapters, it's a quick but creepy read. It's set in an indeterminate past, and the names of the three female protagonists are slightly changed to better fit with the time period. While that might normally turn me off, in this case, it works to enhance the otherworldly quality of the story.

Alyse, Isobel and Rosaleen are Charlie's daughters; their mother died when the girls were very young. They are taken from the fields they're working by mysterious captors, preternaturally fast and strong. When they awake, they are in a cave of some kind, and it is then that they (and we) get the first real look at their kidnappers.

"I think that perhaps he should have been beautiful, as beautiful as an angel,
as beautiful as summer. But his eyes glittered with a darkness that no firelight
could touch, and his slow wide smile had nothing human in it. It was the feral
grin of a jackal, a polecat, a screaming jay in a starling's nest."

These are not the Twilight men as we are used to seeing them. They are described through the story as "lost boys," and as they share bits of their story, we come to understand why. They have been abandoned by their creator, cast aside after years of being the favorite sons. Their emotional youth and vulnerability renders them almost sympathetic, which is an interesting storytelling choice on the author's part. Isobel--and in turn the reader--comes to feel sorry for them, even while being acutely aware of the horrors of which they're capable.

"The night had gone somehow. The fire was nothing but dying embers, and I saw
faint daylight, which must have shown the direction of the entrance to the cave.
The three boys sat together there in a circle.

I sat up. The fair
one looked toward me and grinned his slow grin. His teeth were dark as if with

Alyse was gone."

None of the boys answers any of Isobel's questions directly, and their actions are somewhat contradictory. Isobel's confusion only enhances the feeling of dread, and further adding to the creep factor is a vision Isobel has while listening to Edward tell his story: "My skin was icy and white like his, and we ruled this place together, undying, forever young, forever beautiful." She is terrified for herself and her sisters, but is also drawn to the creepy but charismatic Edward.

The author leaves the ending open, and the effect is haunting.

While Lost may not have had me checking my closet for the boogeyman, it has haunted me since I read it. What more could I ask of a horror story?

1 comment:

  1. I love the horror fics with a good romance but they are undoubtly hard to come accross in twilight fiction, which I find very surprising considering the twilight books are based on "vampires" you'd think there would be a wide variety of multi chapter horror fics out there but at best you'd come accross a good one-shot at most. If anyone knows of a good horror fic along the lines of a romance between Edward and Bella could you recomend them to me please?? Thanks! :)


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