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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)

TITLE: Carbon Copies
By Cecile Hurst


It was the murder mystery of the millennia until it was solved. After it was solved it became the thing dreams are made of; and if ever it crossed over into the realm of nightmares, then it was a beautiful nightmare.

"The most diabolical of murders are commited by those who do so without having reason for what they do; the most glorious by those with not only reason, but rhyme. I - had a vision. And such was the vision that it became something of a poem. I would quote sections of it as I did my work and then promptly forget them in the next moment, like mundane memories. In this way, my work lived.

'Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are...'

I choose my subjects carefully, like all serial killers. But, whereas my less esteemed colleges would choose based on past hurts for a sort of recognized revenge (for example my mother was a whore so I choose the girl with the shortest skirt and blondest hair), I would choose based on virtue: those that shone the brightest, with the purest faith and the lovliest smiles. I chose those that most esteemed carbon, that basic building block of life. And my work benefited from it.

'Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky...'"

"He was discovered after a random call made by a modern-day witch. She'd been collecting mushrooms and lavendar, bats and brightly colored tree frogs. She'd passed by his cottage and, in her own words, 'entered into Satan's glow - all that sparkles isn't gold, you know.'

I arrived on scene an hour after police had checked out the place. He was sitting serenely in a cop car, as of yet not expected of murder. They thought he was some notorious jewel theif...

Makes me shiver when I say that.

The cottage sat on a bit of a rise, in a natural clearing. Trees guarded its perimeter and the sunshine streamed down unfettered from above. There was no road, just a well-trod path through the undergrowth. It took 20 minutes to walk there. You knew you were getting close, to something, when you arrived, because of the shimmer. It was like an angel resided there, its light too much for the house to contain; it shone through cracks and nearly sparkle-exploded through the windows. The grass and flowers where larger than normal there, and more vibrant. It smelled of iron and something sweet, like cake. The place was wrapped in a rainbow. But the witch was right - there was something unholy about it, something that seemed evil in it luster and fairytale glow. Perhaps one could have chocked it up to being unnatural... but there was an intuition, a premonition, that seemed to come with the sight - it drew you in, closer, closer, while the whole time your heart was screaming run!

The place was filled, ankle deep across the floors, the sinks overflowing, vases and buckets trickling over, the glass cupboards taped shut, crammed and pushing against their restraints, the bathtub heaped up like a model of the Rockies and every available nook, cranny, pocket or space filled so that the whole place had a rather rounded affect - with diamonds. Millions upon billions of diamonds of every size, shape and cut. It was like the stars of the sky had been collected and thrown about carelessly. You had to wear sunglasses in order to navigate around the place so intense was the glare of each facet... off each face.

I found them in the library: volumes encrusted with diamonds, wedged in by them, bookmarked with them; filled with names and pictures and processes, dates and times and evaluations - books of lives, young and old, with plastic baggies stapled to pages, filled with samples of DNA, hairs and slivers of skin - that he'd turned into carbon, manufactured into diamonds...

He'd been making people into diamonds... carbon copies - we checked."

"They reviewed my life. Crtiqued my work. Read each volume I'd written and passed judgment.


But guilty of what, I ask? Murder? Or sheer poetry? I took diamonds in the rough, and set them free."

'Don't bury your life -
Shine forever!
Turn your memory into diamonds.'

It was the murder mystery of the millennia until it was solved. After it was solved it became the thing dreams are made of; and if ever it crossed over into the realm of nightmares, then it was a beautiful nightmare.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Gregory Kane05/16/10
Well for sure this isn't a carbon copy of anything! Very original and definitely out of the box. Personally I found it confusing the way you chopped and changed between first, second and third person. There was plenty enough going on without this distraction. Maybe that's something you can look out for in the future.
Colin Swann05/18/10
I know you would hate for me to say I enjoyed your nice story, so I won't. I think you don't care, like your writing indicates. Thanks for sharing this complex story which is well beyond my intellectual grasp and understanding.