There are a lot of good stories here on SOL. Sure, there's a lot of dreck as well, but for the moment I'd like to focus on the good ones. Among the good ones are a select few that touch you viscerally; that reach inside you, grab an organ, and squeeze. Monsters is one of those, at least for me.
This story is real. It doesn't pull any punches (no pun intended--you'll get that if you read it), but rather offers an unvarnished view into a young woman's life, and the life of someone who loves her. There's no fantasy here; no one says "oh, I like you, let's screw." Things happen in their own time. It's all very credible; you don't have to suspend your sense of disbelief.
This is one of the best-written stories I've seen on SOL (and better than many commercially published works). The author clearly demonstrates mastery of the language, and makes you feel the events as they occur. I'm told that, unfortunately, the violence described is based on the author's real-life experience.
There are no secret agents here; no one comes in with guns blazing; no pneumatic bosoms or giant phalluses; neither spaceships nor elves appear; and there's no time-travel or mind control. So if that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere.
Technically, it's not quite perfect, but close. I found a couple of errors, but only a couple.
I should warn you that parts of this story aren't pleasant. Honestly, it was hard for me to read a second time because of the effect it has on me. But it's because of that effect that I recommend it to you. I can't speak highly enough of this author's work; I'm quite envious of her writing.
You should read it.
BTW, October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read this story, and think of Alexis Siefert.
There's an old adage that the rainbows aren't as bright and the sun shining on your face isn't as warm, if you didn't have clouds and rain to sometimes ruin your day. That a weed in the flower garden makes the surrounding flowers that much more beautiful.
This story is that weed, that cloud. Not because it isn't a well written story, but because the pain and humiliation that Charlotte experiences in it, and by loving her, Robert's suffering, make it a very dark story. There is no happy ending, nothing to really make you smile, or laugh, or think of the joy that is love. This story touches on the dark underbelly of society. And as a man, it is actually painful to read, because every day, this story is being played out by some ugly man and some poor woman.
There is sex in this story, and most of it is sensually loving. There is also the brutal rape that signifies all that is wrong with abusive spouses. I can honestly say that it should be impossible to finish this story and feel any arousal at all. In fact, this may be the least arousing story on this site, for me.
The plot itself is nicely done. In fact, it is almost too nicely done. Getting the hope that Charlotte has turned her life around with Robert, and then reading what happens to their happiness, is a brutal reminder of the world we live in. I get the shivers reading it, and will have this story on my mind for days. It happens every time I read it.
Technically, the story is very well done, with one minor missing word, and one medical fact problem. I won't bother to explain it here, but if you email me, I will explain it when I respond.
Everyone on SO should read this story at least once, if for no other reason than to make those rainbows more colorful, and that sunshine on your face feel warmer. That weed in the garden that makes the flowers appear even prettier has a beauty all its own. A terrible beauty, yes, but beauty in all forms should be appreciated.
Yes, this story is that weed. It has a terrible beauty that makes my skin crawl that men like the one that Charlotte was with exist. I for one, am thankful for this weed's presence.
The goal of any author is to make the reader feel something. This one does that, in spades. Well done, Alexis Siefert.