House Warp - Sample

House Warp

By: David Serra

Holly and Raquel were in the middle of writing their upcoming web episode script when Aaron called them to the attic.

“What’s up?” Raquel asked.

“I need help installing these new cameras.”

“You bought new cameras?” Holly questioned.

“Yeah, for the next episode.”

“Cool,” Holly replied.

They got to work placing the camera’s around the studio when a plastic bat fell against the wall, making a loud clink. Startled, the three of them investigated the wall. Upon a closer look, they found a large hidden safe embedded within it.

“Uncle Jack!” Holly called.

Uncle Jack, still cover in paint-stained clothes, hurried up to the attic.

“What is it? Oh!”

Uncle Jack examined the safe, noticing the combo lock also had a keyhole.

“Stand aside,” Raquel said, taking out a paper clip from her pocket.

She picked at the lock. After a few seconds, the safe clicked open. Aaron pulled open the door, they all peered inside.

“Are you kidding me?” Holly asked out loud.

Inside was a journal, a couple of blueprints for a strange-looking machine, but what caught their attention was a packed VHS tape. Uncle Jack took it out and looked it over.

“Otherworld expedition ‘94?” He read the title out loud.

“What is all this?” Holly asked herself while looking over the old blueprints of the machine that was entitled: DimensTraveler.

Aaron flipped through the leather-covered journal, intrigued. “William Hawthmeyer?”

“Do we still have a VCR?” Holly asked.

“Who still has a VCR?” Raquel replied with a laugh.

“I do.” Uncle Jack answered.

He got the VCR from one of the closets, hooked it up to a TV in the living room, and slipped the tape in. The four of them took a seat on the couch.

There was some static, followed by a slightly fuzzy but still clear video of the inside of a warehouse. The DimensTraveler, as detailed in the blueprints, stood in the middle of the room. A bearded and stout man in a lab coat appeared in front of the screen.

“Dr. William Hawthmeyer, speaking. Date, November 3rd, 1994. We have completed the DimensTraveler and are in the process of testing it. Observe.”

A person in a spacesuit-like outfit with a shaded helmet enters. They get put into a hanging chair on one of the beams.

“We shall now send subject temporarily into another dimension. Begin mission sequence.”

A couple of the scientists activate the machine. It whirls to life. Faster it spins when the gateway, attached to the opposite beam, flashes open and the person thrusts through it. The machine slows and comes to a halt. The person is no longer there.

“Where did she go?” Hawthmeyer exclaimed.

The video abruptly ended. Uncle Jack instinctively turned off the TV and VCR.

They all sat in shocked silence for a long moment.

“What was that?” Aaron asked, stunned.

“No, it couldn’t be.” Uncle Jack said, almost to himself.

“Maybe this is a prank?” Raquel suggested.

“Who would prank about this?” Holly said in disbelief.

Uncle Jack took the tape out and looked it over again.

“We have to figure out who that person was and who made this tape.”

“What?” Aaron asked.

“Holly, remember when you asked about Aunt Leanna?”

Holly sprang up from the couch. “You said she enlisted for NASA.”

“That’s what I thought.”

“Wait, are you saying?” Raquel began.

“Yes, I am.” Uncle Jack replied somberly.

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Very intriguing David, keep it up :slight_smile:

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Do you want constructive criticism?

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Yes.

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DISCLAIMER: this is your story and it’s unique to you. The following is all optional and these are all only suggestions. I tried to be as honest but gentle as possible. (I’m not saying it’s bad. I just don’t like 3rd person in general XD).

I’m not exactly sure what the target audience is so that could help with context. Sorry for the delay. I wrote this all on my phone:

I’m not telling you how to write nor do I know the target audience but me, personally, would rather have showing. A bit of improvement would be.

Holly racked her mind for ideas in her upcoming web episode script as Raquel turned yet another page in her writing journal.

“Raquel, Holly!”

“We’d better get going,” Holly said, while abruptly getting up. “We can finish the rest later. I think Aaron needs us.”

(Then write them coming up and him explaining or something).

Now, I’m not the best at showing but from this it sort of shows Raquel is being more productive in writing whereas Holly is struggling to come up with an idea.

You only mentioned two people in this conversation. I can infer it’s Holly whose responding and ‘?’ tells me that she’s questioning.

Again, I know whose talking so I believe this isn’t necessary. I’m going to stop mention similar things as dialogue tags now.

I think clink should be italicized as it’s an onomatopoeia (or however you spell it).

I think this part is good as I’m telling/showing.

To show they’re startled, have Raquel step back suddenly or Holly gasp. Also, add more action to this. It’s a bit slowly paced for my tastes.

Could be rewritten as “Alarmed, Uncle Jack swiftly raced up the stair steps skipping two at a time forgetting he was still in his paint-stained clothes.”

What does the keyhole look like? Is it elegant? Rusty?

This kind of happened a bit swiftly. Have her have a bit of difficulty or something. Maybe she fumbles with the pick or something.

I think ‘aloud’ flows better.

The beginning is fine but you can use more details like a worn journal, crumpled blueprints, etc. Also try ‘…but what grasped their minds was a VHS tape neatly packed in the upper left corner…(proceed to describe it).

Could be “Uncle Jack carefully lifted it out, took out his handkerchief, and wipe off the dust, so that the label could be read.

I’m not sure if this is italicized.

I think chuckled would fit best. He seems old now XD.

Aaron sat at an old couch beside him, and pulled at the loose thread. Raquel and Holly plopped beside him.

After, Uncle Jack pressed some buttons (lol, I don’t know how VCRs work), he leaned back on the couch waiting expectantly.

As if they were never there, the person disappeared.

That’s all I have for now. It was an interesting read. :slight_smile: (I could like, read the rest when ready. Prolly a DM would work though.)

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Do you have any thoughts on it?

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Thank you for your advice. Much appreciated :slight_smile:

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No problem, it was a fun read. I can’t wait to see what you do with it lol.

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This breakdown is actually helpful for all of us :slight_smile: .

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