Twisted Endings, by Timothy D McLendon (1:23)

IOD-TwistedEndingsToday we see that when problems come close together, the reader is less likely to give the benefit of the doubt.

What I gleaned about the stories: Some people are very trusting and others are the opposite. There are probably consequences to either extreme.

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Note: This is a short story collection, so the rules are slightly different from standard Immerse or Die: instead of reading on every time I lose immersion, I stop reading that story and move on to the next one. As usual, I stop reading after the third WTF.

WTF #1: Missing word in the first line

Analysis: The first line of the first story is: ‘Sweat trickled from the crack of my ass all the down to my feet.’

The missing ‘way’ tripped me out of the gate, knocking me out of the story before I had time to care if the sweat was from fear or heat.

WTF #2: Contradictory description

Analysis: Towards the end of the first paragraph of the second story, a character is described as ‘locking the door back as he closed it.’

Locking back would be fixing it against the wall (i.e. held open). So discovering he was actually closing the door again contradicted the image the first half of the description created. The idea of locking the door as he was closing it rather than at the end of the closing also felt wrong.

I quickly realised the author meant ‘locking the door again after he closed it’; but I had lost immersion, so moved on.

WTF #3: One issue amplifying another

Analysis: A little way into the third story I hit:

‘I didn’t mind It gave me opportunity to exercise some power in controlling these ridiculous times.’

Already primed by the missing word in the first story, I was perhaps more sensitive to the missing full stop here. So after stumbling over that, my mind was more easily tangled up by the slightly convoluted second sentence.

The capital did flag the sentence divide, so I might have forgiven the punctuation, but followed immediately by a sentence that didn’t flow smoothly I stalled before I could recover.

Take the Pepsi Challenge: Want to know if my own writing measures up? Download one of these free short stories, in the format of your choice, and decide for yourself.

In A Right State, by Ben Ellis (19:33)
The Shadow of the Gauntlet, by Casey Caracciolo (4:54)

About the author

Dave Higgins has worked in law and IT for both public and private sector organisations. When not pursuing these hobbies, he writes poetry and speculative fiction. He was born in Wiltshire, England. Raised by a librarian, he started reading shortly after birth and has not stopped since. He currently lives in Bristol with his wife, Nicola, his cats, Jasper and Una, and many shelves of books.