Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 10

              The story of Captain Hook


From my shelf, I accidently removed the wrong notebook, and when I opened it up,
a picture fell to the floor. It was a picture of my grandmother standing beside her home.
I don't know why I had that black and white picture inside the Mead composition notebook,
but I would probably have to say it was because I had nowhere else to put it, and it just
ended up in there. How I missed that house, I thought as I reminisced through
the years.
Hanging out in there was an escape for me as a child. Each
room was hauntingly original
in every facet of its primal structure, and
yet, aside from the attic, which clearly highlights
the main fabric of this
tale, I now feel a great urgency to mention the other rooms as well.

Before you could enter, you would first have to walk along the street while following
a long row of neatly trimmed six-foot hedges,
which encompassed the property to an
awaiting path. You would then
enter through a small archway and follow that path
around to the side
door, or you could simply come in through the porch right off the
street. As you walked
into the dwelling from the backyard, you could only go up or
down a narrow
staircase. Upstairs is where you would find the television room, two
bedrooms,
the bathroom, the foyer, and the sick room, where my paternal grandfather
passed away from tuberculosis in the spring of 1970.




This room was painted a cerulean blue in the late 1950's and remained that color until
the house was demolished in September of 1979. After the death of my grandfather, my
grandmother began putting my things in there, and from 73’ to 79’, it was called the blue
room. In the left corner was my Radio Flyer wagon I got when I was three, and on the
right wall hung my Flexible Flyer sled, which was my father's when he was a youngster.




I had my Johnny Lightning racing track complete with cars, along with my G.I. Joe action figures,
Battling Tops, etch-a-sketch, Silly Putty in an egg, Play Doh, Crayola crayons, and a Slinky.

And last but not least, a brand new unopened tube of super elastic bubble plastic
that some kids would abuse by inhaling its contents, simply for the joy of acting stupid.

There was also a large wooden box my grandparents had filled with vintage greeting
cards, old photographs, and other assorted ephemera that I enjoyed scouring over.



                                                                        
                                                            

I had lots of toys and things I seldom played with, so everything in that room would be
considered fairly new. Living life was easy, and I had a glorious future ahead
of me. I was
learning as much as I could and absorbing everything. Not only
about my schoolwork
and things that were discussed in class, or my homework assignments that I usually had
no trouble following and keeping up with, but the very aspect of women in general.


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It is best if I do not dwell near this river. Though it appears to be moving calmly
and does look peaceful, it is filled with broken glass. Some may even attest that
within the water flowing past the walls of its embankment lies the answer to all
of man's woes. In truth, that river is filled with skeletons. As sweet and refreshing
as it may very well be, the water is infected with sorrow. Let's just say it has turned
into something far worse than blood. What was once a blessing had become a curse,
and I would find the heart of true madness. 


Unlike most residential homes, the dining room was located toward the back of the
house in the cellar. I could still see the gypsum board with its manila-colored face
paper adorning each wall. It was smooth and shiny like shellac had been applied
somewhere during its manufacture. All the various hues that came streaming
in on
sunlit wings coated the walls in its grace. At around midday the sun would
illuminate
that room like no other, turning a simple dining area into a Florida room.
And at the 
golden hour of the day, right before nightfall, the sun would impart unto it an impressive 
orange stain. Only for a few minutes could that scene be witnessed before rapidly losing
its luster, then disappear as it would into the gloom of the evening twilight.


Often would I stay there in the summer months. The light green guest room, which at
one time was a playroom for my aunt, my uncle, and eventually my dad, whose old
wooden bed has withstood the test of time. To the left of the bed, near the radiator,
was my uncle Bob’s Bakelite radio. This transistor radio was special because it had
vacuum tubes, and after a few minutes had passed, the whole box would turn orange.

Oh, how I loved that radio. Whatever became of it, I would never know.


Grandma always kept the heat down, and so, upon waking, I would usually have to
remove seven or eight wool blankets or heavy quilts just to get out of bed and relieve
myself. In the morning, grandma made breakfast like no one else. First, she removed
a coffee can from the freezer that she poured the bacon fat in. Then she put
a small
amount into the black cast-iron pan that looked like a relic from medieval France.

She made eggs over easy that made my stomach gurgle; believe me when I tell you,
they were the best-tasting
eggs on the planet. Nowadays, people are eating healthier.

Sugar, salt, and fat, are all moderated, and even the foamy butter you get on a bagel
these days at the delicatessen or the hot yellow liquid that that comes out of a machine
you press and hold over your popcorn at the movie theater really doesn't has that much
taste anymore; u
ntil you find you're living in an artificial world, and the only thing that
makes you feel worthwhile is
reflecting over a life you once knew. A life that has long
since been replace with another.


One dark and windy day in the fall of 1970, my father comes back from New Jersey.
He was carrying a box, and I was getting ready to go across the street to see my friend,
Harmony. She was my best friend in the whole entire world, and I loved her with every
fiber of my being. Although we had only knew each other for a few short months, by
the start of the
new year, we became inseparable.



“Take a look at him, Kathy,” my dad says to my mom as
I saunter into the living room.
“I got ‘em for my mother.”

(((Removing the lid)))

“Ohhhh, he's adorable.”

“Wow,” I said, as my eyes lit up. “A baby Bulldog.”

“Come on, let's go and surprise grandma.” said my father.

My grandmother loved him, and we named him Sam. That dog would watch
our every move, and when he got excited, he would shake his ass like he was
doing the Hucklebuck, and scuffle around snorting. He was a great dog, but
after putting seven people in the hospital due to his overprotective nature,
he was totally confined to the basement where he would live out his days.

Then one day, my grandmother found out from a very reliable source that my father,
wanting to save money, bought a dog that had been interbred, causing derangement.

The year was 1978.


“You son of a bitch,” she screamed. “You bought me a sick dog.
That's why he's crazy. That's why he tries to kill everybody who comes into this house.
This, this. . . Trap. How could you?”


“He's eight years old ma, I think his bitin' days are over.”

“They're not over; not by a long shot. As long as he's still breathin', they're not over.”

“So, what do ya want me to do?” said my father, becoming agitated.

*She gave him an angry stare*

“You know what, gimme the dog. Come on Sam.” he says,
in a gingerly tone, reassuring the animal that he would be
taken outside for a while to do his business and then return.

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“What are you doing?”
“I'm gonna solve a problem.


“Let's go.”


“Where are you taking him?”


“I'm takin' him to the backyard.”

“For what reason?”

“Cause that's where I'm gonna shoot 'em. C'mon Sam!”

“You're gonna do no such thing. Get away from him. You're crazier than he is!”

Every time my father left, my grandmother grew another grey hair.
She then looked at Sam sitting on the floor.

“This is all your fault. Yeah, look at me with that face. Your fault. . . BASTARD!”

Sam looked back at her with an expression of confusion
and
sorrow before attempting to wiggle his tail stump.

As if that would make it all better again.


I will never forget the evening of May 25th, 1979. I went to visit my grandmother and was
helping her with several chores that needed to be done around the house when finally, it's
time for the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite. We watched in horror as he spoke
mournfully of both the passengers and crew members of American Airlines flight 191. The
worst disaster in U.S. history claiming 271 lives. Around ten o'clock, I went downstairs to the
basement and was preparing to take Sam out for his evening walk when I realized he would

not budge. As I lifted his head, I realized he had passed away. If not for that terrible plane
crash, I strongly doubt I would have been able to pinpoint the exact day of his untimely demise.


Considering that my grandparent's house was built in 1923, almost everything inside it was
original. Even the toilet bowl was a marvel to behold. Not one of those swishy bowls you
see today that uses a quart of water and barely flushes. You could flush anything down this
contraption, and it would be halfway to the Atlantic Ocean before you could wipe your brow.

That was because, in those days, every household toilet bowl was connected
to a Flushometer. A steel handle you knock down to flush, and the bowl just
keeps flushing. Today, only commercial enterprises are permitted to use toilets
without a tank, and water meters are now installed to monitor our water usage.

Toward the back of the kitchen was a food pantry
and above it, was an
old decorative wooden vent. On the vent was this antiquated cobweb.


It was unlike any spider web I had ever seen before. Two inches thick and totally opaque,
it was a fascinating thing to observe. Whenever I arrived at her doorstep, part of my visit
would always entail looking up to see if it was still there. When I was five years old, I
asked my grandmother if she knew how long it's been up there. She replied, “that's
been
up there longer than your father's alive.” And so it began,
my fascination with the past
and with time. Gently, I blew from my lips a slow but steady
current of air, which would
find it seconds later. This shock wave sent trillions of atoms
coursing through its
insubstantial mass of ligaments that held it together like a
decaying piece of
old tissue, which seemed to be dangling from its own invisible threads.


“Let me dampen a rag and clean it,” she said.

“No,” I screamed out, and she stopped.


Then it was up the winding staircase to the attic, where I would watch first
run episodes of
Star Trek as they aired in an atmosphere of total peace.



                                                                                 

Nothing disturbed the tranquil order of things here, for as time
rolled on in the outside world,
it didn't seem to move in the house.



Sitting on the sofa with my legs outstretched to the hassock, I watched television
in living color, and everything was wonderful. Sometimes I'd lift the lid on the old
footstool to find that Grandmother had left candy inside of it. No homework, nor
impeding house chores would keep me from watching, “Get Smart” after school.

Always talking on that amazing shoe phone.

The mild buzzing of an old electric Kit Cat klock kept me company.
Those eyes, ever watching my every move with tail swaying and a smile.

*He seemed to enjoy it too*




                                                

I could go anywhere I wanted in here,
and Grandmother let me come and go as I pleased.


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By the window and to the right was a trap door painted pink. Thirty inches high and twenty-four
inches wide were its dimensions. With a small flashlight that was always on hand, I turned the
wooden peg and pulled open the door. On my hands and knees, I crawled, looking for treasure.
Maybe they put something new up here I can rummage through. Though I rarely found anything
that wasn't already up there. An old Bamberger's box that hadn't been moved in years, four tins
of Horn & Hardart coffee that had an assortment of lead sinkers in each of them, an unopened
can of O-Cedar Mop polish, etc. On the wall hung a curved sickle with a bright red handle.

I can remember asking my grandmother why she hung it there, and her reply was simply this:
“I hide it from your father. If he sees it, he's gonna take it, and then I'm shit outta luck.”


In the adjacent room was the same type of hidden door painted the color of bittersweet to match
the walls as well. In that closet were twelve shoe boxes, some of which read, “Crowley's
shoes
for ladies” and “Church's English shoes for men”, along with a few other boxes and biscuit
tins of ages past. And at the back was a mahogany box that, to this day, has me mystified.

There was no lock or latch but rather a very distinct type of old-fashioned lip seal. One day I
decided I had to look in this box, so I dragged it over to where the particles of lint and other
foreign matter could be seen hanging gracefully in the sunny air of daylight and proceeded
to pull it open. What I found was an astonishing collection of old books in mint condition by
a man named Edward Gorey. I can remember four titles in particular. The Doubtful Guest,
The Curious Sofa, The Hapless Child, and my all-time favorite, The Gashlycrumb Tinies.

A child's book of the alphabet where every page turned is a black and white illustration
of a
different child in a precarious situation. “A” is for Alice who fell down the stairs;
“B” is for Basil assaulted by bears, and so on.



 
                                                                     

So captivated was I in its spell that I would read it every day after coming
home from school
before finally doing the unthinkable. Yes, I took the book
to class. I was in second grade at the
time, and my teacher was so shaken
by it that I was taken from my classroom, and put in a special
room until
my father arrived. All the boys liked it and thought I was cool, while the
girls thought
it was a sick and twisted book that should have been burned
rather than sold.

Yes, the minds of girls were certainly different than the
minds of boys, and in the end, I would even be scolded by
Harmony for not exercising a modicum of common sense.

*And I can still hear my father lamenting about it in the car
*

“Twenty minutes ago, I got in a warm shower.
No sooner do I step in, does the phone ring.
It's your mother on the line, screamin' like she was on fire.
She sounded so distraught, that I thought someone died.
To make a bad situation worse,
I couldn't understand a fuckin' word she was sayin'
so now I'm panicking.

What happened Kathy? Please tell me what happened.
And then I heard the news. . .”

His face bore a grimace of anger.

“Ya know something?” he says with his lower lip extending forward,
like he was going to slam the car into a brick wall. “Ya keep goin' like
this and we're gonna have a problem. I know you're only seven years
old, and I understand that you're still developing mentally, I really do,
but you should be able to know the difference at this stage of the game
between what's right and what's just completely fucked up.
I mean do you? Seriously.”

“It was just a joke, dad.”

“A joke? You brought a picture book to school of kids getting brutally
murdered, and you call it a joke? Oh, you’re going to Mount Loretto.

“No dad, please!”

“I’m callin’ your mother as soon as we get back to the house,
so you better start packing your bags.”

“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

If there was one thing every child feared back in my day, it was Mount Loretto.
Whenever something bad happened, all a parent had to say was that you were
going to Mt. Loretto. A home for misspent youths that was run by the archdiocese.

Behind those walls, many children vanished without a trace.


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Needless to say, the box was removed from the attic that week, and I never saw
it again.
Neither would my grandmother ever see that red handled sickle of hers
again either.
The following year my Aunt Gloria came down from California as
she always did during
the summer months, and I can remember it vividly because
I was with her. Anyway, Grandma Boots (as we all called her) was up there looking
for it, for whatever reason she had in mind at the time, when out of the blue, we heard,
“That son-of-a-bitch. He took my sickle, I knew it. He oughta drop-dead.”

My aunt and I were laughing so hard we couldn't stop. “Oh mom,”
she said calmly, as if speaking to me, “you curse like a longshoreman.”


The reason why everyone called my grandmother, “Grandma Boots” was due to an incident
involving me as an infant. My mother claims to have taken me over there when I was only
four months old. Anyway, my mother told me that all the aunts and uncles were congregated
together for my grandmother's official birthday party. My grandmother just so happened to
be born on leap year. Now on this particular Saturday, at the height of the festivities, just

when everyone was making a big fuss over me, my mother said, I astounded them all.

I pointed to my grandmother, who had just finished boasting about a new pair
of boots she had bought for herself, and said defiantly,
“Gaama Boots.”



According to my mother, the whole house went crazy. It must have sounded really good to me because
that was all I said for the remainder of the entire year. From that moment on, no one
ever called her
Mildred again, but rather, Grandma Boots. Eventually, the phrase evolved thanks
to my cousin
Roberta, who at some point in the early seventies decided to change it to Grandma Bootsie.


Upon entry to the adjacent room was a full-sized bed with a fancy wooden headboard.
My father's
bed while growing up in the house and a very odd walk-in closet. My father
called it, “the suffocation
room.” One day when I was three or four years old, I inquired by
asking him what was behind those
doors. “Listen” he said, “because I'm only gonna say
it once. Under no circumstance whatsoever
are you to even think of going into this room.
Do you understand?”

“But why?” I asked curiously.

“Because it's very,
very dangerous. Do I make myself perfectly clear? Not only are
there some very sharp tools in
there. There's also mice in there, not to mention the
exposed wiring and half a dry rotted floor,
so unless ya wanna fall through the floor
and land on your grandmother's dining room table, I
suggest you stay outta there.”
Not knowing what to say, I just nodded my head in agreement
.



“I'm just making sure that we understand each other,” he said, and that was the end of it.


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                         Sleeping in the attic

Once when I was five years old, my mother locked my father out of the house, and I just
so happened to be with him. It was a wonderful night, following my father around as he
went from bar-to-bar drinking, gambling, and cavorting with the damsels of the evening.
But now, in the wee hours of the morning, with nowhere else to go, we were forced to stay
at my grandmother's house. It was quite convenient at the time, for it was only
one house
down and on the same side of the street. As we entered the house, I asked my father
if he
had a favorite TV show when he was growing up, and his reply surprised me. “When I was

about ten or eleven years old, I asked my brother, what's a television set? He said to me, and
I'll never forget it, it's a radio with a picture. Okay, I said, because I just wanted to know.



                                                                       

Now to make a long story short, my dad escorted me upstairs, and together we would sleep in the
attic
because my aunt’s bed was slightly larger than the one downstairs in my father’s old room.

For any typical child growing up in the mid nineteen sixties,
it was a known fact that we
had to go to the bathroom quite often.

Anyway, the story had already been told to me about Captain Hook and the suffocation
room, so there was no way he could reverse it.
If you took into consideration, that the
bathroom was on the second level under this bedroom,
and my father could only fall
asleep in complete darkness, then you would understand my dilemma.




At around four o'clock in the morning, I woke up and had to pee. Being that I was afraid
of the dark, I started to shake my father and told him he had to go downstairs with me and
that I couldn't go down there alone. What he did next was amazing, child psychology at its
best. He then proceeded to remove the magnificent solid gold Christ head pendant from

around his neck and put it around mine. “Now,” he said, “you're protected from devils,
hobgoblins, monsters under the bed, and most of all, Captain Hook in the closet, now go.”

“What about you,” I said, sounding most concerned?

“Don't worry about me, I'll be fine.”




“What if Captain Hook comes out?”

“If Captain Hook comes out, I'll kick him in his balls,
and
throw him through the window. Now for the second time, go.”

“What if something
gets me anyway?”

“Aww, Jee-zus Cah---rist. That would be a human impossibility.
Do you
understand what impossible means? It means that it can't
under any circumstance happen,
now for the third time, go!”

As I stepped down from the bed into that pitch-black darkness,
I was without fear.
With total confidence, I descended the old winding staircase.
One that squeaked
and gave an occasional snapping sound. A noise that could have summoned evil
things had I not been protected by the medallion of Christ.


I reached the landing where I did my business and returned in total obscurity.
As I climbed back into bed, I felt the chimeras scurry around the room and
could almost see
one cleaving unto the bedpost.

“Who's in charge now,” I thought to myself with a wry smile?


“Hand it over,” my father said to me. I gazed at him in astonishment before asking
if I could give the medallion back in the morning. “If you think for one minute that
you're gonna be foolin' around up here while I'm sleepin' ya got another thing comin,'
now give it up.” As I gently removed the pendant from around my neck and handed
it back to my father, the monsters under the bed slowly returned.



Not to mention Captain Hook, who could now be heard
gritting his teeth ever so disdainfully from the closet.


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             The suffocation room

Only once, did I ever go in there. I was with my father, and I remember him closing the
bedroom door and pulling the roller blinds down on that main window. The sun was out in
full force, which meant my confidence level was up, and just knowing that darkness would
not fall anytime soon was enough to keep me from being worried about anything.


As I recall, it was a hot summer day in July 1969. My father had just opened the first to a set
of three doors, and all that was visible to the naked eye was a lady's coat closet. Sliding back
a row of coats, the sweet smell of mothballs and cedar dominated the air. A second door could
now be seen. Pulling a slide bolt from above and turning a handle would open this
door, where
warm air could now be felt, trying to escape. Behind this door was the strangest
door I had
ever seen. It was about three inches thick and solid, for it was made of old maple.


There was an image carved on the door of a demon head, like one you would expect
to see on a Victorian throne chair. It was surrounded by stars, meteors, and what
seemed to be lightning patterns that grew in intensity. It was a custom-made door,
crafted in the late 1850's for my great-great grandfather by R.J. Horner & Co.




*An image surrounded by a double roped border*


The inner border was a vibrant, dark red, suggesting the demon depicted was being
contained and therefore could not harm anyone.
The outer ring, which appeared to
be quite impenetrable to the
elements of time and space, conveyed the impression
that it was somehow weakening.


As this heavy door was pulled open an updraft was created, and we got an eyeful of
dust and fine insulation particles. It felt like we had just stepped into a musty wooden
sauna that was beginning to feel more like a crematorium with each tight swallow.


All I could hear and feel was the sound of my labored breathing and accelerated
pulse that seemed to be making my carotid artery dance. “We have to be very quiet,”
said my father in a low frightened voice, “cause the last thing we wanna do, is wake
up
Captain Hook.” Dad was cool back then, and he talked like one of the Bowery boys.
Mom was attracted to him because he was somewhat of a rebel, and nothing ever really
bothered him much. Nowadays, he is the epitome of ill-will. There is only so much blame
we can put forth on the human condition before we have to start analyzing our own hearts.

The story of Captain Hook in the words of my father. . .

“He's got a patch over one eye that a big black spider lives in, and his face is so deformed with
long cuts and terrible scars that his nose is only half there. Most of his hair is gone, and his scalp
is riddled with infections. There are splotches of oozing flesh where his ears used to be, and his
bottom lip is completely gone, torn off in a pirate fight. He'd love nothing more than to eat little
kids in the closet. Eat 'em alive as they scream while he's pullin' out their guts. First, he rips
your eyes out and then your tongue. Then after that, he eats your face. . . Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”


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Dad told the story as if he were narrating a sideshow in Coney Island, way before everything
became candy-coated. His face, all contorted in tale, made it great to see and hear.



“You gotta tell Steve that story dad.” Steven was my friend who
lived in the same row of duplex houses as us,
and he was three.

“Listen to me and listen good. You're the only one who knows
the story of Captain Hook and besides,
little Stevie tells his
mother that story, and they'll be lookin' to put me in jail.”


Slowly, we proceed to enter in past the third door, where I could almost
feel my heart
beating out of my chest. Inching forward, it felt like I was
entering another dimension.
A dimension not only of sight and sound
but of mind. Yes, from where I stood in time,
I could most certainly have
imagined Rod Serling narrating another classic Twilight Zone episode.


“Enter if you will, a boy and his dad.

Together, they will embark on a journey into the unknown. And if you
continue to observe very carefully, you will soon learn
this is not your
ordinary father/son trip to the museum or carnival.
In this particular
story, you will soon learn the sideshow attraction which is
comprised
mainly of cardboard, sawdust, and an array of odds
and ends from
around the house is actually harboring a nasty little secret.


What the moral of the story is going to reveal to you
is that Captain Hook, as we will call him tonight,
happens to be manufactured in The Twilight Zone.



Dad grabbed my arm as he shined the flashlight toward the end of the closet. Slumped over in a
chair was none other than the notorious Captain Hook. His skull was torn open, and he actually
looked even worse than my father had described. The worst thing my delicate young mind could
ever see or witness without cracking. He clutched my wrist before pulling me in front of him.
Face-to-face was I now with the most frightening creature I had ever seen before in my entire life.
I was paralyzed with numbing terror as I stood trembling in the failing light. Far beyond anything,
my fragile mind could possibly imagine on its own, and right now, this monster was eye to eye
with me, staring me down from less than two feet away. He twitched! I just saw him twitch!!!


“He's in a deep sleep now,” whispered my dad in a hushed voice, “so don't even breathe,
because if he wakes up, he's gonna lunge at us and probably rip our throats out.”


Suddenly, and without warning, this thing springs up to its feet, and my heart exploded.

I thrashed like a rodeo bronco leaving my father for dead, as I bolted from that closet, taking
no prisoners. Running toward those vermicular stairs and falling down most of them, I swiftly
opened the narrow door that led to this sinister place and slammed it shut behind me. Ever so
tightly, I kept
my back pressed against it. Just in case, after it finished eating my father, it should
happen to come look for me. All at once, a ghastly bellow is heard from behind that
door along
with heavy pounding. I then released an ear-piercing scream that made grandma boots run
faster than her own legs could follow, and she fell up the stairs, hurting her knee.

I was white from
fear as my grandmother consoled me. As my father came
peering out from behind the old
attic door, he said in a grimacing tone,
“What-sa-matter, don'tcha wanna meet Captain Hook?”


“You know Richard,” said my grandmother, in a state of total duress,
“you're really stupid. Look at him, can't you see, he's terrified?”

After giving my father a piece of her mind for doing what he did, she made him carry
the withered dummy downstairs to show me it wasn't real. “Ya see,” he said, “I pull
the fishing line that's attached to his neck and Captain Hook jumps up like he's alive.”

“We gotta do that to Steve,” I bolstered with enthusiasm. “Can we dad? Can we?”

“Yeah-heah,” said my father, while laughing most heartily. . . “And then we'll have to move.”



                                                             The Virgin Sleep - Secret

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Inkpop reviews for chapter
10


Evie J - I really enjoyed that! I had to finish reading it because I couldn't stop. It was very

interesting and different. I like it a lot! I'm definitely going to check out your other chapters.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                               This review was posted on May/25/22

                                          Lameez' review


   Beta-Read Report for 'The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe - Chapter 10'

                                Beta Reader: Lameez Rushin (Lameezisreal)



Overall Impression

The chapter title is a name I immediately recognize from a childhood story.
This drew me into the story instantly. Though the story does not follow Captain
Hook in any way, shape or form, it still gives me chills that the MC was able to
listen to that tale, at such a young age, and not be frightened. Until he actually
meets Captain Hook. It boggle my mind that a father would even show that to
his child but he did.

Chapter Notes

Through the descriptions of the MC (Main Character), the house seems like a
kaleidoscope of memories. Not just of his childhood, but of every childhood in the
house. It has such a dream-like feel to it. This chapter definitely didn’t go where I
thought it would and yet, I loved it still. I loved that instead of giving Captain Hook a
new spin, it gives life to a new version and narrates the response to this new version.

Character Notes

The house felt alive and I loved it. Sam’s emergence and then death, were startling,
realistic, and even a little painful. Like the house, the story revolves around three
generations. The grandmother, the father, and the son. The house holds their pasts in
every room, every crevice, every item. The MC, clearly a young child, is a lot braver
than most people I know.

Thoughts After Finishing The Chapter

I know I say this with every chapter but I do believe THIS one is my favourite.
As I said above, this story creates a new version of Captain Hook and narrates
the response to it. I loved that he wasn’t actually real, just a doll that Richard
controlled like a puppet master, either to scare the child or for fun, I don’t know
but it was amazing. I thought it was real, that he’d actually captured someone
and then I was so knee-bucklingly relieved when it was just a doll. In both
instances, the MC’s childhood, I would say, was shaped by the experience.
It would have shaped mine.

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

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                                            This review was posted on Jun/20/22


                                          nehanegi1905 's review
           
         The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 10 -
The story of Captain Hook

                                             Reader's Report by nehanegi1905



Hello Chas! It’s always a pleasure reading your work because I can almost
never expect what’s coming. I absolutely loved how this chapter started with
granny’s house and all the little stories around it. There’s a special place for
granny’s home in everyone’s heart and you clearly captured the essence of it.

The initial description of the house was very vivid and helped me create
an instant connection with that place even when I have never visited it.

I wish there was more about Harmony.

It just felt like her character could have received some depth here. Sam’s
story came out very effortlessly and I really liked the little and weird nuances
of it. When I take the individual incidences that happened in granny’s house,
I can confidently say that they were all very interesting and exciting to read
but when I try to tie them all together it somehow falls short.

The random incidences are coming one after the another and do not leave you
with a very comfortable experience. And the chapter being about Captain Hook,
it felt like his story did not receive its due part. His story somehow didn’t come
out as the hero of the Chapter which in my opinion it should have.

I really hope you can work towards this chapter and make those little changes
to tie all these stories together for creating the masterpieces that you do.

I wish you the very best.

Thank you
Neha
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