Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 05

                         Danger on the thirteenth floor!

As a child, I would often imagine the framework and hours of labor entailed to
erect such a prodigious edifice as my stepfather's place of work. I can remember
being there for the first time at the age of twelve. Summer was nearing its end,
with Labor Day weekend fast approaching.

In the late afternoon hours on a Saturday or a Sunday, the building would be as
empty as an abandoned courtyard and as quiet as a summer breeze. Crowds of
people passing by become scarce as cars and trucks diminish until the street once
again reclaims the night. There is nothing now but the ever-slow release of tranquility
emanating from the end of another stressful workweek. Everyone was off in their own
direction till Monday, and you could almost hear the quiet, peaceful hum of silence.



The contentment I found while roaming the dimly lit corridors was a lull of
placidity between myself and my thoughts. Perhaps the old-fashioned layout
allured me with its forgotten past and untold stories that took place in an
extravagant penthouse overlooking a stately promenade. Or how the ever-
brooding quietude could penetrate the stillness of a lonely heart and mind
to transpose an ordinary day into a memorable occasion.

As I ascended the spiral staircase of white textured marble, I could hardly wait to
reach the penthouse on the thirteenth floor. Since it was one large
room opposed to
twenty little ones, the ornate sign with its fancy lettering stated: Penthouse Suite.

This was understandable.

What I did not understand, however, was how business owners
in this day and
age of logic still remained mindful of the fact, thus glorifying the
fanaticism
and arbitrariness of our frightened ancestors who once lived in
the dark.

Why can't we forge ahead?

Why won't they simply inscribe, thirteenth floor?

What would happen?

Would people tear their hair out and scream aloud?
Would they become imbued with terror and hurl themselves to their death?


The thirteenth floor of the adjoining building is presented to guests and
occupants as the fourteenth floor, which only goes to prove that even man
in all his
boastings can be easily susceptible to silly superstitions laced
in fear,
carried over from an earlier century.



Back in the Middle Ages, if you inadvertently belched while walking
down the street, the townspeople of the community might assume
you had a demon and would disembowel you.


People weren't safe back then, for the world was upheaved in madness.




Five hundred years later, people still wish to believe that dark forces hide within numbers.




In other words, it's perfectly okay to stay on the 13th floor,
providing the elevator that takes you there tells you it's the 14th floor.

No matter how you look at it, the only thing you're
  likely to find up there is hogwash and rhetoric.


                                                                   Pg 18
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If you're going to be frightened of anything, be frightened of
the ogres and phantoms that lurk in dark corners of your house.
They plan your demise while you're fast asleep, and sometimes
you can even hear them stirring. When something falls to the
floor at night, don't blame the cat; he had nothing to do with it.

Instead, blame those who are responsible, if you dare.



In my opinion, phobias have no place in a businessman's world, for they are
a fallacy of fact. And so I figure we either revamp the whole number system,
whereby eliminating the dreaded No. 13 from ever having to be written again,
or we unveil the new floor, giving them all a taste of their own bitter medicine
so that they may learn and grow accordingly.

Looking down through the hollow spiral of a turn of the century staircase
with its thick wooden banister,
my eyes found the first-floor landing.




At the age of fourteen, my stepfather asked me if I would like to help him
at the building with certain chores that needed to be done. I told him I
would. With a dust mop, broom, and a makeshift dustpan from the Ella

Fitzgerald era, I would begin on the twelfth floor and gradually work
my way
down to the main lobby. Ramon would mop the floors on the
other side where
the freight elevator was, so we wouldn't actually
see each other until we
were finishing up.

“Be careful,” he once said to me. “You fuck up, I lose my job.” 

If we were there late, Ray would teach me how to operate the manually
controlled elevators; maneuvering the brass arm back and forth
with a wooden knob. There was a small seat to sit down in that had
been fastened by rivets and connected in place to the floor.

On
a busy weekday, strange sounds coming from inside the wall were
common
if you happened to be ascending or descending that winding
staircase. No, it
wasn't a ghost shivering about in our time frame.
Neither was it a rat scurrying
down its ravaged partition.

It was simply an envelope tickling the old brass mail chute as it
fluttered rapidly in making its descent to the central depository on
the ground level in the lobby. This was usually the case in high-rise
structures when letters were dropped from upper storeys and
would be collected daily by the postman on his route.


Toward the holidays, several people from each floor came to work
until
around three on Saturday, but on Sunday, the building was always
barren.
Every now and then, I would push open the mail slot on each
office door to
get a glimpse of the inside. Upon doing so, a gentle whiff
of the strange air
would often escape greeting my nostrils. Isn't it odd,
I thought: the things
we do out of boredom?

In one room, I could easily recognize the scent of fine leather coats whereas,
in another was the nauseating odor of cigarette smoke. In one profoundly
dim
room, I breathed in gently, the most enchanting perfume, which had
such an
aesthetic charm to it; I sighed. While in one of the office rooms at the far end
of the
corridor, the acrid smell of funeral flowers permeated the thin air.

This led me to believe there was someone dead in there, upon which
I immediately took the white marble staircase down to the next level.


                                                                   Pg 19
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Some rooms were dark and daunting as if way past evening, while others were
brightly lit; cheerful in a sense that they told the true time of day with large
windows that welcomed in the sun. The Indian rug company would always
smell of curry and spice, while the small accounting firms reeked of cigar smoke.

Some of the rooms would have an eerie breeze coursing through them, perhaps
from an old vent shaft or from a window left partially open. And no matter
how
bright the sun was shining outside, it was always dark and desolate in that external
enclosure surrounded by tall office buildings where the ground would appear to
resemble a flat roof lined with tar and topped off with gravel. A place with no escape
other than back in through the window you exited from. Kind of like an invisible barrier
was separating the day from the soon-to-be evening hours. It filled
me with a sense of
inner peace and nostalgia to entangle myself in that world.


                                             To become lost in it.




As I gazed ever so serenely into the mirror of time, I could begin to see those
wood-framed windows surrounding the dreary enclosure from where I lay in
bed. Covered in decades of soot from exhaust fumes and smoke from factories,
I truly began to wonder if they had ever been cleaned at all. A tiny crack formed
in the lower left-hand corner on the 9th floor where a Mr. Lewis Hind slammed
the window down hard; after hearing the ill-fated news of the stock market crash.

Was it real?
No.
Did it matter?
No.

But it was fun to play the game, and I was beating boredom at the same time.
Some activity was going on in my mother's room, and I assumed she had just
finished getting dressed. She then went back into the bathroom as she always did
to put on her make-up before going back into the bedroom once again for her
purse. I listened rather intently to the sound of her footsteps as they made their
way down the creaky brown carpeted staircase and away into the kitchen area. 

On the eighth floor, you will find the oldest company still operating in that building.
The black and gold lettering; that still embellishes the pebbled glass appears to be
antediluvian. One that would echo the sentiment of an earlier time, while the heavy
door with its solid brass doorknob still opens and closes with exceptional ease.


If you're waiting for room 802 folks, you better look elsewhere because Mr. Schwartz
set up shop in 1906, and he never left. As of this year, he will be ninety- four years old 
and is assisted by his second wife of eighty-seven. She aids him in walking by
keeping
a hand on his back to steady him as he shuffles about slowly with a
walker. In his office,
he still uses a black rotary dial telephone from 1943.


One day in the not-so-distant future, there will be no one left from the previous
century, and I will find that I have grown old. On the fifth floor, you will find a
costume company run by an old Sicilian man. I cannot remember his
name, but
whenever he saw me, he always gave me a mask or a gag of some
sort. But this
floor could not be accessed, for it was locked from the inside. So I would
have
to look through the glass door, hoping he would wander out and see me.


                                                                   Pg 20
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On the twelfth floor was a tailor shop that always had a spare dress form wheeled out into
the hallway. When I first saw it, I was a bit baffled by the vintage relic. Aside from never
seeing one before and having no idea why anyone could ever want one, there was a certain
eeriness about the way it just seemed to be waiting there. After a while, I wondered why no
one ever took it, considering so many opportunities had been afforded.



The business was run by two old men, Giuseppe and Irving. They had an uncanny
ability to get under each other's skin. Like an Italian Oscar and a Jewish Felix,
they would prattle and prod each other until the joviality of the moment discharged
itself into a slew of oppressive and angry words used purely to wound.


On occasion, I would see an unusual piece of chalk in the form of a triangle that
had made its way past the door jamb. Since they came in so many different colors,
I perceived it to be some kind of foreign lozenge lying there without a wrapper.
Sometimes they were quiet, usually when they were very busy, but most of the
time,
they would just be throwing miscellaneous words at one another and complaining.


“Where did you put the ladies' halters?”
“What ladies’ halters?”
“The ones in the crate that came yesterday!”



“They picked them up while you were out to lunch, you schmuck.”
“Nice of you to tell me, and don't call me a schmuck.
You are not Jewish. I am a Jew; I can call you a schmuck,
but you cannot call me a schmuck, understand?”

“Okay-okay, Cretino.”
“What Cretino? What are you calling me?”

“It's Italian for putz!”

Occasionally, the uneasy sound of a howling wind could be heard coming from way down
in the basement, and this I knew was the freight elevator. What I can tell you is that it's an
Otis piston elevator with a steel walkway grid design on both the ceiling and floor. Since
it is powered by water and not electricity, it makes a very foreboding sound that raises an
eyebrow when one is alone. It is operated by pulling a steel cable hand over hand up, or
hand under hand down using thick leather gloves. As you descend past the second floor, a
steel ball connected to the cable comes up and barely makes it through this small housing
I call the O-ring. This special device, it would appear, has been mounted to run midway
down the cab, perpendicular from the ceiling inside the car, to prevent or to dampen any
vibration caused by the cable or to keep the cable running straight. 




From there, the ball has just enough space to come out through a hole in the ceiling made of
hardened steel as well. This tells the operator that he is reaching the basement, and if you are
pulling a heavy load, you had better slow down. If you don't pay attention to the cable, or if your
thumb should accidentally be above the steel ball as it passes through the O-ring at this point. . .

A door slammed shut, and my thoughts scattered. Mother was gone too, and finally, I was alone.

 
                                                           Grapefruit - Elevator

                                                                   Pg 21
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      This review was posted on Mar/15/22

Ella's, Jacob & Sarah's review

LOVELY LOVELY chapter!

We were completely engaged in the chapter from the start to the finish. You never
dropped our attention. From the elevators to the phobias, to the other floors.

We LOVED the chapter, it is well polished, but there are things that we, as readers, did not like.
These issues are very small, so please do not feel like this review is “general” or “generic” it is
just that we are always honest, and if something is good, we are going to tell you that it is good.

You evoke most of our senses, by describing the world, the protagonist, and the action of the narrator.

You kept the dialogue brief, and concise, without rambling and drawing it out, which is a really good
way to speed up the pace and the narrative. However, we did find ourselves distracted by the bolded
text and the omitted use of “he said.” at the end of the dialogue. We also think that narration between
dialogue could even make the scene more powerful.

As before, in our other reviews, we loved the use of bolded text, italics, and normal text,
it created a sense of prioritizing the important text that a reader had to read and decide
what is the most important things to take away from the chapter.

We felt the chapter had a sense of ambience to it. Something scary if you will. It felt like we were
children, in an elevator, something in a Stephen King novel in the Shining. It was just fantastic.

One last thing to mention is the fact that we still have no clue how all of these chapters
correlate with one another, but we are very excited to keep on reading. Each chapter has
such an interesting and unique aspect to it, and we cannot wait to see the end result.

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                                                This review was posted on Apr/20/22

                                          Lameez' review


   Beta-Read Report for 'The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe - Chapter 5'

                            Beta Reader: Lameez Rushin (Lameezisreal)




Overall Impression

This is definitely my favorite Chapter so far.
It's multifaceted between the characters, the plot and the Main Character (MC).
Moving from one scene to the next was easy and effortless.


Chapter Notes

I loved that each floor in the building had its own story. It felt layered without
overtly describing each little story. It gives the chapter a touch of realism
because on any given day, everyone we pass has stories of their own.


Character Notes

The MC is seen as an observer of the world they inhabit. Just watching the world
around and ruminating on it. The fact that we are given a short, short backstory
with why the MC is in the building includes him in the narration. Far too often,
the observer is removed from the story and given an omniscient trait. This was
a wonderful touch to the chapter, as always.


Thoughts After Finishing The Chapter

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your writing has definitely improved in terms of scene
changing, character information and balancing world building with plot development.


Thank you so much and I’m excited to see your next chapter!

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                                               This review was posted on Apr/21/22


                                                 alits29's review

             The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 5 - Reader Report

                                   Beta Reader's Report by Alitha Igloria (alits29)



FIRST IMPRESSION

Simple as it may seem but this chapter reflects that man is mindful of what is
going on around him. Looking at the point of view of the character, he’s familiar
with the people and the vicinity, which reveals that we are connected thru the
daily interaction that we have with other people.

I like how this chapter was laid out. The details convey some personality of Charles.
The working ethics of a person talks a lot about their character.

I observed how Charles keenly checked every floor’s residential occupants.
The details of the individual existing in it were based on his impression. Given
that its simplicity, somehow makes it a calmer ambiance still it’s a story.

This part is considered as important as the previous chapter. It allows me to see his
attitude and relationship with his step-dad Ramon. I mean just look at how he helps
him, aware that he is not employed still he gives him assistance by helping out.

Charles could just go somewhere or hang out with friends but chooses to accompany
Ramon as a supportive stepson. And what we call - love and respect in action.

And I noticed how inquisitively Charles approached each floor.

How he perceives the supposed to be “13th floor” and how he contemplated the vibes of
Saturday and Sunday. I like this chapter as it simply shows that simple things are also part
of life’s experience. All things are beautiful may they be great or small, so whatever experience
that would come will always contribute to someone’s development or personality growth.

CHAPTER OPENING

The opening reveals a picturesque of how the weekend’s expression appeals to young Charles.
And I totally agree with the atmosphere being exposed to the ambiance of a Saturday or Sunday.
These vibes of weekend silence made me witness how peaceful it is to have a time out from busy
hassling working days. I like this opening. It’s simple but it connects with the reader for just simply
elaborating on what a weekend feels like. And it allows the reader to be appreciative of these
special days of the week.

I enjoyed how Charles narrated the establishment of his step-dad’s workplace. But I feel there
should be more details of young Charles’s adventure moment because for some reason when
a reader reads how kids do things during a certain situation it would make the audience feel
humored by being reminded of how they were also like that of their childhood memories.


CHARACTER ANALYSIS


I see Charles’s mindfulness in what he is doing. This chapter, also reveals how he is
supportive of his step-dad. He finished the cleaning even though he is not paid or
rewarded by Ramon. I could say that because of this chapter, Charles is industrious,
inquisitive, thoughtful and a respectful son. And he has an old soul in him that appreciate
old designs and contemplates odd events like the 13th floor. Also in this chapter, Charles
is not under influence of the substance. But I observe he is naturally an inquisitive thinker.

PACE AND FLOW

The pacing of this chapter is a bit lethargic as it circulates around the vicinity of Ramon’s
workplace. Charles just complies with the cleaning task his dad assigned to him. Though
some details pertaining to the manual elevator and the whole aura of Saturday and Sunday.
I think this is the calmest chapter since the flow is just on an amazing enough rate of speed.

LANGUAGE

The magic of creativity is where one can expound a basic lay-out of reality into aesthetic
display thru striking words. I learned new words in this chapter but since the scenes are
somewhat relatable it seems common to me. The descriptive design of each floor scenes
were considerably easy to comprehend. So, I think it’s safe to say that though the words
challenge the depth of the understanding of the reader/audience, still comprehendible
when the idea it represents actually correlates with the experience of the readers.

SENSITIVITY

I feel how Charles reacted when he discovered a funeral scent of flowers. Then he
concluded that there could be someone dead in that certain area. So, he expatriated
swiftly to the next floor. I’m curious about that part. I mean it could be that someone
might have died in that place and the soul bears the scent that Charles smelled.
But he did the right thing. It’s not something that needs attention.

DIALOGUE WRITING

I observed several dialogues between Charles and Ramon. And it’s good to read it
though it’s just a short line. It shows how obedient Charles is to his stepdad’s request.
Also, I saw two quarrelsome colleagues’ dialogue. I see how keen Charles was when
it comes to identifying people thru impression. The manner of writing the dialogue is
well descriptive and has clarity. I expect more dialogue on this part but this chapter
is about Charles helping out his stepdad. So basically, it is what it is.
 
PLOT/CONSISTENCY

As the story circulates around the experience of Charles helping out his step-dad, I was
impressed because the writer made this simple moment into something extravagant. This
is another manner of how to make scenes like this thru the usage of words to deploy the
details in action. But this requires a vast imagination to comply with such a grand outcome.
Here, the story is consistent as it started with the placement of the silence of the weekend
then followed by Charles’s cleaning commitment, and ended with the manual elevator.

The plot is spotless and clarified.

SETTING/DESCRIPTION

The imagery that I got from the details provided in this chapter surprisingly captivated
my palate in reading. Though it’s not simplified in terms I like how it evolves to sound
like poetry. The word interplays the beauty of the setting. I truly see that words are
powerful as long as its properly utilized in the story.

GRAMMAR/SYNTAX
The whole structure of this chapter is already reviewed. The style of this writing is influenced
by the writer so even if some syntax was not properly aligned or engaged still the content was
effectively delivered. And I myself find this well-constructed Chapter a unique creation.

The writer knows his craft and I’m confident that he designed and planned everything well.

ENDING

The ending shows peace and contentment since he finished his task.
But I want more of his mother in that ending moment like a dialogue.

I’m curious about her mother. And why her mother left without telling him that she will
go out or something. Reading this line… “Mother was gone too and finally, I was alone.”

This made me contemplate, Does Charles love to be alone?
Or is mother upset with Charles that’s why she went out to avoid confrontation?

The ending reminds me that all the time we do our part in our family, relatives,
and friends’ life is a revelation of our appreciation of their presence in our life.
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                                            This review was posted on Apr/24/22

                                          nehanegi1905 's review
           
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 5 -
Danger on the Thirteenth Floor!

                                             Reader's Report by nehanegi1905



Hello Chas. I hope you’re doing good.


I just fnished reading the fifth chapter and it just felt like that
perfect cool breeze on a hot summery day. It was so refreshing
and a much needed change that the story required.

I absolutely loved the concept of the thirteenth floor or the
number thirteen and the superstitions surrounding it. I think
the chapter was short, simple and to the point, communicating
everything it aimed to with the reader. It perfectly made me
aware of the boy’s neighbours and surroundings.

Really looking forward to read the next chapter.

You’ve kinda got me hooked,
so i’m
always looking for the next chapter.
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                                              This review was posted on May/11/22

                                                sianiesl's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 5 - Danger on the thirteenth floor!

                                                    Reader's Report by Siani



Hello, this was an insightful chapter with careful and well thought out
detailing and description, thank you again for allowing me to read it.


Readability of Chapter 3.

In other words, how quickly did I read the chapter,
how much did I enjoy it, and where did it drag?

Chapter 5 was another flowing and well written piece of writing. There wasn't
any part in which I thought it dragged or didn't make sense. It was quite a nice
change of pace from the previous chapters, and was more of a grounded and
down to earth description of the building in which Ray worked.


Reader’s opinion.  

As a reader, what did I think of your plot, your characters, and your writing style?

I feel at this point in the novel this chapter was a much needed respite from the
dreams and imaginations from our character. It gave a good sense of reality and
reminded me as a reader that there is more to this person than the other worlds
they visit. They have a childhood and history, relationships and connections. They
have love and hate, and in this chapter they share a memory with us the reader,
which adds some vulnerability to them. The writing style is very consistent which
is great and helps the reader keep focus when a lot of information and description
has been provided.


Positives and negatives. What about your chapter did I love or hate?

I really enjoyed this deviation from the other stories, I think this kind of unique style
the novel is written in will need it now and again as to not over concentrate and  spoil
the creativity and specialness of what you are trying to achieve. For me, this chapter
built a strong and vivid image in my head of our character and his stepfather along with
their surroundings. The offices were described beautifully and I could hear and smell all
the distinct and individual people and businesses within. I would personally like a little
more in depth context regarding the mother and stepfather, I still can't settle on whether
there is a strong relationship between them all, if the character is on good or bad terms with
either of them. From the dialogue and description in chapter 1, I am siding more with the
stepfather not being around so much, and there not being a good relationship when he is.

Subsequent discussion of your manuscript.

Overall this was a great chapter, if gave past history for some added flavour,
as well as creating another structure and place for the reader to be lost in,
this time being a little bit more relevant and ordinary, something that most
readers can relate to seeing or being in at some point in their lives.

All the best,

Siani

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                                       Indu is my official editor - May/15/22


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                                              This review was posted on May/24/22


                                          kanchanninawe's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 5 - Danger on the thirteenth floor!

                                                 Reader's Report by kanchan



FIRST IMPRESSION - What was your overall take on the chapter after reading it?

The chapter was very fun to read. From start till the end the flow was really good.
Attention to details is also very well put. Overall it was a good read. The story is
leading somewhere interesting and next chapter is awaited.

CHAPTER OPENING - Do you like the wording used? Do you want to keep reading?
Are you excited to turn the page?

Reading the chapter, as the flow was grasping and interesting so yes reader
would want to turn the page and keep on reading. And the reader I expecting
that the story keeps getting more and more captivating.

CHARACTER ANALYSIS - Did you find the character(s) too imaginative,
or descriptive? Are they exciting or boring in this chapter?

No, character isn’t too imaginative. The character is exciting in this chapter
and more character development is expected for the upcoming chapters.

PACE AND FLOW - Was it too fast/slow? Does it move smoothly,
or is it rough and choppy? Did you feel lost at all?

The pace is perfectly alright according to me. And it didn’t feel lost anywhere.

LANGUAGE - Do you like the way the writer plays with words? Do you feel
that he knows what he is doing? Do you think those obscure words help or
hurt the story? Do you believe readers can learn something here?

The words are adequately used and inquisitive nature of character is
nicely portrayed. There weren’t any obscure words to get offended by.
There’s nothing to learn from except the writing style.

SENSITIVITY - Is there anything that offended you? Are you
offended by the illicit substances conveyed in this chapter?

Not at all. There wasn’t such kind of illicit writing included.

DIALOGUE WRITING - Do you enjoy the narration of the author?
Was the message delivered in a clear and thoughtful manner?

Yes, I very well enjoyed the narration of this chapter. The idea and
storyline was completely conveyed in a clear and a thoughtful manner.

PLOT/CONSISTENCY - Was the plot on point? Do you like where it is going?
The plot was on point, and very excited to see where it is going to head.

Looking forward for amazing plot and twists and turns it is going to take.

SETTING/DESCRIPTION - Is it fine the way the author described his surroundings?
Should more attention be paid to detail?

The details were up to the mark and though more character movement (location-wise)
could be expressed nicely, apart from that it was pretty nicely described.

GRAMMAR/SYNTAX - Does the wording confuse you? Does the writing excite you,
even though it doesn't entirely make sense.

The writing excites me and it is making sense according to where the story id headed.

FAVORITE QUOTES/PASSAGES - Did anything the writer stand out?
Were there any sentences/phrases that impressed you?

These lines and not so innovative but I liked how crisp they are, Page 2

In my opinion, phobias have no place in a businessman's world, for they are
a fallacy of fact. And so I figure we either revamp the whole number system,
whereby eliminating the dreaded No. 13 from ever having to be written again,
or we unveil the new floor, giving them all a taste of their own bitter medicine
so that they may learn and grow accordingly.

OVERALL THOUGHTS/ENDING - How do you feel on an emotional level?
Did it make you want to turn the page or close it?

With this chapter I feel the story is going to get picked up tremendously, this chapter was
read by me in just a go and was wanting to read more so the pages are going to turn rapidly.
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                                       This review was posted on May/25/22


                                    aid_aid's review

          The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 5 - Reader Report

                                            Beta Reader's Report by Astuti



“The contentment I found while roaming the dimly lit corridors was a lull
of placidity between myself and my thoughts” would be fair to say roaming
around or roaming in the dimly lit…

“Since it was one large room opposed to twenty little ones, the ornate sign
with its fancy lettering stated” would be better to write this as ‘just one large
room as opposed to ….

“age of logic still remained mindful of the fact,” the term ‘the fact’ seems
ambiguous. It can be ‘this’ fact or just redefine the fact that you are talking about.

“Why won't they simply inscribe, thirteenth floor”
the thirteenth floor would be better

“If you're going to be frightened of anything, be frightened of the ogres
and phantoms that lurk in dark corners of your house. They plan your
demise while you're fast asleep, and sometimes you can even hear them
stirring. When something falls to the floor at night, don't blame the cat;
he had nothing to do with it.

Instead, blame those who are responsible, if you dare!”
this gave me literal chills. Well written.

“And so I figure” ‘figured’ would be a better expression.

“There was a small seat to sit down in that had been fastened by rivets
and connected in place to the floor.” Rephrasing needed. Would sound
better as ‘there was a small seat to sit down in it which had beed…”

“One day in the not-so-distant future, there will be no one left from the previous
century, and I will find that I have grown old. On the fifth floor, you will find a costume
company run by an old Sicilian man.” A change of paragraph would suit better.

From the line, on the fifth floor, a different paragraph should start.

“On occasion, I would see an unusual piece of chalk in the form
of a triangle that had made its way past the door jamb”; ‘on certain
occasions’ or ‘occasionally’ would be better.

“A door slammed shut, and my thoughts scattered. Mother was gone too, and
finally, I was alone.” This ending seems a little rushed as compared to the other
chapters. It looks okayish but could be better, seeing you have already written better.
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PG 18) The living is easy-est with stainless steel - Sharon Steel, 1960 - http://tinyurl.com/nbe89t4

PG 18) Hammock
by Wade Harris - 
https://www.wadeharris.com/

PG 18) House of Mystery No. 13
by Esao Andrews - http://tinyurl.com/2b9t7

PG 18) Ghosts
by Chet Zar - http://www.chetzar.com/

PG 18) The second day of Genesis
by Jacek Yerka -
http://www.yerkaland.com/

PG 19) Auschwitz by Anton Semenov - http://tinyurl.com/pxnu378

PG 19) Fishing On 42nd Street
by Dennis Jacobsson - http://tinyurl.com/o2pd68z

PG 20) The pleasantries of a full enclosure


PG 21) Former figure
by Amos Sewell - http://tinyurl.com/nrwj9rn

PG 21) More Courtesy poster
(circa 1930's) - http://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/

PG 21)
(a) Elisha Otis at the Crystal Palace in New York, 1853; (b) Otis piston-type hydraulic elevator