Reviews for The Possibility of Sanity
C.K. Hawke chapter 7 . 6/2/2011
I was looking through my review history, and I saw this, and I was like, "Awesome!" Cause I changed my pen name to this instead of "ScenicEyes" or whatever it was, and I just had to come back and review about it. :)

The best chapter by far, in my opinion. I loved it! It'd be super interesting if this were turned into a story, or if there were more. Just to see where this "relationship" would go. It was soo cute.

"Make it stop hurting...Please love me..." Gave me chills and made my heart cry. It was sooo sweet. Like, completely adorable! :)

Amazing work! (:
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 10 . 12/13/2010
Dammit! You didn't get my Ch. 10 review, did you? (*checks*) I guess not. (...excuse me for a moment while I go throw my laptop out the window and then proceed to use whatever pieces of it survive the three-story fall to bludgeon my internet provider with- repeatedly.)

Anyway: here is Review Attempt #2. That's the first time you used a song I didn't know. LOL... but I listened to it. (Breaking Benjamin's "Without You") And I agree, it does suit Hoffman- particularly in this situation. Good choice.

"Would he call it a lamentation?" -WHAT? Would that be referring to his confession, conviction, thoughts, actions, feelings, or motivation now? It's a great opening line, I was just confused as to what it actually MEANT. Sorry.

"He'd left (reality) behind after she died" -SHE could be Angelina, but a couple of the later lines ("he killed her. She chose to die. He missed her.") could hint at AMANDA as well. It could be a combination of the two that brought him to THIS point mentally- the forced apathy, cynicism, and quickly brushed-off waves of agony.

I like that, even as he faces death (or perhaps BECAUSE of this), Mark maintains a sense of superiority. How the masses of people who fear him, blame him, or cheer in support of his execution, do not MATTER. How even by the hundreds, they are still easy to profile. How they're all the same and would never understand his world.

"...the blood of hundreds spilt in the attempt to rehabilitate, to save. Not that it had worked, he had never thought it would..." -As a cop and as a PERSON in general, he knows only too well that people never really change. And John knew it too but the games remained as half-justice, half-experimentation. "The only way to survive was by cherishing the short lives they had. It was hypocritical in a sense but... it was the truth." -Well, it is and even Mark admits to that much.

His religious views (or lack there of) fit nicely into the mental rant he has going here- the circular logic, the condescension, the unasked questions... NICE. I like the little definitions, quotes, and mental corrections in parenthesis as well. They fit like random clips of memory- something that might be triggered by a moment of panic then quickly suppress and made to support his thoughts rather than scatter them.

... have you seen Sweeney Todd? The lyrics: "The lives of the wicked should be made brief. And, for the rest of us, death would be relief. We all deserve to die!" Just popped in my head. LOL. Sorry. But I think they'd fit here, actually. _

"They had been eliminated" sure sounds a hell of a lot nicer than "he murdered them" and I think he'd see it that way too. Self-preservation rather than premeditated homicide.

"Disgusting" -I agree. It is. Just look at the masses of people and their mindless bloodlust. Kill the killer, because that makes all the sense in the world!

"They liked to think HE was Jigsaw... orchestrated everything under the facade of a dying old man. Not far from the truth, he conceded." -Slight arrogant delusion there.. or is it? The latest games very well could have been his work and his alone. They were John's designs and method for the most part. But who cares? Society wants a scapegoat. Society wants to punish anyone they can get their hands on.

"(society) works for awhile. The drones maybe shoot a few of each other in the meantime. But put them in a life-threatening situation? They'll eat each other." -And she's a million percent correct there. People are SELF-preserving. Nothing else matters and civil coexistence is a shaky delusion. "Amanda was a visionary for John's work. She believe she could make it work, that she could save everyone." -She did at first, but, in the end, she couldn't even save herself. What a lovely CONCEPT the method is; but even Communism looks nice on paper. The problem is the actual application of it. People can't be relied on to take initiative- not even enough to save their own lives, let alone those of others. Tragic, but oh-so-TRUE.

I love what Mark thinks about Amanda. His reasoning and justification for getting her killed. "She could have escaped with him. But... she chose to die."

"Beautiful agony in their dying howls. He reveled in it. It meant rebirth, renewal, the end of self-inflicted horrors." -That he sees DEATH as an entirely different kind of redemption is a powerful- albeit SCARY -thought. That death brings a kind of liberation John's failed method never could. A real freedom from the chaos of LIFE and choices.

"He was the last of a great legacy that had produced nothing except newspapers..." -Headlines, attention. Because we ALL secretly revel in it, as long as it's happening to someone ELSE. Sick as it is, we want it. The drama, the SUFFERING. (Yes, I said "we". I'm not above admitting- or resenting -basic human nature.)

"It didn't work and it DID. His method worked on those willing to give life another chance... it wasn't a fucking lie anymore." -these are the BEST lines here, Dee. Just... WOW.

"Shame... It should have been raining." -That would fit nicely. Rain always makes things so dramatic, sad, and somehow rushed and dragged out simultaneously. It's just another thing that's WRONG with this picture. Very nice idea, there.

"Game over." the most predictable but also the most credible last words for him. I like it, actually. Amazing work, love.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 9 . 12/8/2010
Frank Castle! PunisherXSaw! I never would have thought... but I like it. _ Especially this bit with him and Amanda. Her watching him shoot at first- transfixed by what, exactly? Fascination or a slight (entirely justifiable) wariness?

Damn, he's good! Love it! Sensing- SMELLING -her presence: scary-awesome tracking skills there. What was the bit about the "new perfume" though? If she's not actually wearing any: was it a joke or something she smells like that he's mistaken for a cosmetic scent?

"Can you shoot?" ..."I've done a little bit! I'm not a complete idiot!" -heehee. She cares what he thinks. I wonder if she's telling the truth though...

Magnum .45 . (*a smile and a nod*) But it's just the "first gun she saw"? If that's the case, I think I would have stared at that table for about twenty minutes like a clueless moron, trying to pick a good one. But Frank grinned at the random choice, so that must be a good sign.

His guiding her into position, instructing her though the process, his balance of amusement and casualness: nice tension there. I'm not opposed to seeing what else he could teach her.

LONG TIME DEAD - (*mental note to read sometime*)
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 8 . 12/6/2010
Most of your other reviews for this chapter were submitted in January. I didn't know it was almost a year old. I hope that's not too weird for you. I liked feedback even on really old stuff but sometimes, I think "why bother?" I told you I love it, regardless. Maybe rereading old work will inspire something new and my feedback for this piece will help somehow. I hope so.

"CELLS"- I love that song! _ (I'm humming it as I reread.)

"Their passion, for lack of a better word, knew no boundaries." -I agree: PASSION might not be the right word but I can't think of a suitable alternative, so passion it is. And that is at least PART of it... of course, there's more: it means taking their frustrations out on each other, struggling to understand the other person's feelings and their own, fighting for some symbalance of control in the relationship as well as their roles outside of it...

I love what you did with this piece overall: the series of snapshots building on one another to prove a few points, answer some questions but still present a few more of them. While a couple of these scenes seem to be begin at random or end much too abruptly: the majority of them flow quite nicely from one point to the next- more like a connection than a change of scenery.

"Perhaps screwing her on the hood of his car had been a bad idea, especially since they were in the police parking lot." -LOL... Wow! Yeah, bad idea! Very hot, very amusing idea- but also very bad. That crosses the line from "the danger makes it more intense" to "the fucking makes us stupid". LOLz. (Kidding!) _

"He liked to think he knew her body better than she did and often, he was certain that he did." -I mentioned this with Chapter 6: it says a lot that he (A) took the time and (B) cared enough to note her reactions- to pleasure her and study her as he does so. What turns her on. What makes her scream. What gets her off and what gets the results that HE wants from her. NICE.

"He hated her... He loved her" -it's complex and it's mutual. It's nothing more or less than BOTH of those things. "lust and mutual dependency" -indeed, and it's not just sexual. I'm getting the hint that it's almost-ALWAYS been more than that.

I think the scene with him pressing a knife against her inner thigh and licking her wounds clean (hot as it was) almost contradicts the bit in the shower, when he stops her from cutting herself further and demands "how many times... are you going to do this to yourself". It sends an odd 'it's okay or it's sexy when *I* do it' kind of message. I definitely understand blood-play, but I'm imagining Mark having to choose where to cut her, maybe even reopening some of her existing scars and that seems almost wrong somehow. Like blood for pleasure might take some of the solace out of bleeding for an emotional escape later. (*shrug*) It's just a thought. Sorry.

"'What's your darkest fantasy?' 'You are my fantasy' 'Liar'" -that made me smile. The pre-sex interrogation. Unorthodox but seemingly effective. I'm curious now what his fantasy really would be...

"If you lie to me, you get nothing." -Amanda takes a stand! I'm not sure how much it means because she wants this just as much as he does, her little games be damned! "Do you really think you get to make that choice?" -Nope. She doesn't. Because, as you said earlier, "he'd take her however he chose" and they wouldn't have it any other way. Her first surrender gave him everything he needed. Forcing her into anything at this point wouldn't even FEEL like a rape. I do love that she's the one to make the next physical move- no questions asked or answered.

"she blinked... and pulled him backward toward the bed" leads right into "He liked watching Amanda sleep sometimes" which seems just a little OFF to me. Awkward transition aside, though: it is a lovely thought. How he looks closely enough to see that she's at peace. How he can make out the faint scars her Reverse Beartrap left at the corners of her mouth.

"..she treated the device with an amount of distaste he understood quite well" -I can definitely see MARK having issues with any object he could associate with John's confrontation. But I've always imagined Amanda handling the RBT with a sort-of perverse reverence. Maybe just because of the way she seemed in Saw 3 when she told Lynn "you'd be surprised what tools can save a life." I could be wrong and it really is up to interpretation, though. Maybe it's more discomfort than distaste? Mixed feelings?

The real point there is that the two of them are close enough to know those things about each other- the times they can't sleep, plagued with nightmares or basic stress. It says a lot that they go back to their usual banter at that point. Only in this kind of situation does "bitch" hold some amount of affection and amusement. That was a nice touch.

"'He's getting worse, Mark'... she only ever used his first name when she was like this" -Aww! It's sad, but actually quite plausible. I wonder if she realizes the name she's using. If it means she's seeking some kind of familiarity, comfort, or both. I agree completely that JOHN would do that to her- he's her savior and she can't do anything to help HIM. Mark's right: "He's not getting better." But I still don't blame Amanda for slapping him.

...and his response? He KISSED her! And it wasn't violent or demanding in the least bit. "Normally, kissing was just a prelude to sex and was as violent as the subsequent act. It hadn't been then." THIS would be their first kiss to MEAN something so much deeper- and not all good or bad things, either. It's a complicated, bittersweet blend...

"He was glad that this time he didn't have to wrestle (the knife) from her" and "she didn't fight him, not this time" suggest that this kind of thing has happened a FEW times before with mixed results. Apparently, he has caught her in the process of self-harm and took the effort to make her stop. In a more desperate state, she would have fought him off: verbally or physically. GO AWAY- WHY DO YOU CARE? :(

...but he does care. He LOVES her, and, as they are both slowly coming to realize: that's the truth. It's real and it's MUTUAL. But when he told her... that reaction didn't exactly surprise me. A declaration of love doesn't just CHANGE everything: it RUINS the relationship they already have.

"'What more can there be for us but sex?... you have no fucking idea what this will do!" -Absolutely... but I like that Mark remains calm and honest about it. He doesn't really regret it at all- saying 'i love you' or feeling that emotion for her. It's another risk, but it's one he's willing to take, and guide them though whatever results.

I would have loved to actually SEE the "I love you" being said. It seems to have come out of virtually no where. Tell me it wasn't in the bedroom- THAT doesn't count! LOL. ... but the scene you actually present here seems to take place some time AFTER that declaration. "Why did you say it?" initiates a confrontation. Were you DRUNK or something? Were you just fucking with my emotions? I can see her just storming off (running away?) after that and it takes strength to even face him again, let alone bring up that issue. It HURT. "Despite how happy happy this would make anyone else, it cut Amanda to the bone. He could tell. He had felt the same way." -But he still SAID it. On an impulse? Or with hesitant purposefulness? Because it NEEDED to be said?

The ending scene- I love it! It's EVERY possible emotion and it suits them so well.

THIS, though... he really can imagine staying like this (WITH HER) forever but a piece of him is struggling because of "what he was going to have to do to her." ... January 2010 means this was written after the release of Saw VI, soo... :(

I get it. I'm only confused as to why he thinks it's NECESSARY. With THIS particular plotline, the point of the blackmail wouldn't be getting rid of Amanda for his own gain. It's like he wants to STOP HER (or in some twisted way SAVE her)... the "I'm sorry" says everything.

Chapter overall LOVE.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 7 . 12/6/2010
Okay, I lied. I'm sorry. ONE more review tonight because I can't sleep. I think FFN hates me. Just in case you didn't get my message: the anonymous review for Ch. 6 is from me. I'll get to chapter 8 tomorrow afternoon and (fair warning) it's definitely getting another of my epically-long reviews.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, we can begin. I like this piece, quite a lot. It's unique for one thing; chilling- in the best possible way -for another. We enter the scene feeling just as lost, uncertain, and vulnerable as Amanda is. From there, it intensifies.

I like that she's tied down and blindfolded- it increases the feeling of possible danger but it also heightens other senses- she has to rely on what she can hear and feel when the other woman touches her.

"Amanda swallows, the hand is removed and she is left alone in the darkness. No touch. No sight. No feeling." -No connection means no information. Her next auditory clue is "You... you fascinate me." I find that interesting. I like that even Amanda's captor is not sure what to make of her "I wanted to know you" line. I would have liked to see more about HOW Amanda even knew this woman existed and made the decision to follow and "get to know" her... maybe she witnessed one of her murders? Heard about her when she was in prison? ...

This kind of confrontation/intervention is frightening and effective, for sure. Please don't ask why but I'm thinking of Hoffman's initial introduction to John. "I followed you as you pursued me. I KNOW you" -could almost fit here too.

As far as I can tell for the time-frame: this is pre-Saw, meaning you O.C. at least tried to help Amanda before her test and possibly even before the incident at Jill's clinic. I know I take this too seriously. I apologize. But now I'm trying to imagine SAW without Amanda and... I'm gonna shut myself up now.

"You're a murderer... you're beautiful... powerful..." -given Amanda's prospective future, this holds a nice level of irony. I like that she seems like a FAN or something. Making "evil" sound like a characteristic to envy, upset at the thought of disappointing her captor...

"'You ran after me with no thought for yourself," Amanda's heart jolts as she feels the cold steel of a blade against her throat. "I could have killed you in a heartbeat and I wouldn't have lost a moment of sleep over it.'" -WOW! I suppose that is something you should consider when you run off to follow a beautiful, powerful, murderer.

Okay, so the term could be "murderess" but I typically resent sexism in words like that. "actress, prophetess, poetess." I wish I could explain WHY it bothers me so much... but I feel like "murderess" tries to make MURDER into something feminine: softer and lesser than it is. I'm glad you stuck with "murderer" instead.

"Young blood" -it's probably wrong to grin at that. I think it was the pun: YOUNG, you know? ... Amanda whimpers with both fear and pain at the initial cut, but, just moments later when the other woman licks the blood off her neck (rather hot idea, by the way) she moans. It seemed just a little too soon for a MOAN, but I can't find it in myself to complain beyond that initial point.

I wish you'd named this O.C., I'm getting attached to her in an odd way. She's like scary-awesome!

"Life hurts" -I hope I'm not making it too personal when I tell you that I am a reformed cutter myself and I- if my life depended on it -could not give you a better REASON than that: LIFE. HURTS. -it does and sometimes hurting yourself gives you a kind of escape, a sense of control over your suffering, because maybe, just MAYBE you can cause yourself more pain than the rest of the world can... and what else can you do, indeed?

"Live" ... well, YEAH. I know what she means. It's almost similar to John's message: count your blessings, forgive, forget, LIVE and cherish...

"You've been ravaged by the life you chose... you've allowed it... someone so beautiful should not be so miserable" -I really like these lines. It's a nice mix: placing blame, but there's sympathy, affection, and a genuine desire to help as well.

"Please..." an incomplete request/begging for any number of things. "Make it stop hurting... please love me..." -Awww! I love that! I have chills and mixed feelings at the moment, but the piece itself is marvelous. love
Guest chapter 6 . 12/6/2010
I haven't even read half of your stories yet, and I'm not sure how long ago you wrote this particular piece... but I can tell you this much: it's some of your best work. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: you know what you're doing and it's working so well. Some writers (myself included) focus mostly on dialogue, others move the story along though actions, but I think your gift is with the actual narration: your details are sufficiently captivating without creating tangents or redundancy.

RED: more color imagery- like the sheets they lay on. The scratches she leaves on his back, the bruises he leaves on her lips. And you played with a sense of smell as well- their own scents (natural as well as cosmetic) with just a hint at individuality mixed with the very obvious sweat, the smell of SEX, that combines and excites them.

"He loved having control over her." -I'm sure he would, but does he? Just a few sentences ago she was scratching his back "laying ownership upon him even in her ecstasy." I think they BOTH crave a sense of control. I think they both have a little have over the other person here and really believe that it's more power than they actually do hold. If you look at what their relationship must be like when they're NOT having sex (or just ALONE together)... it doesn't just go away- the hate, the tension, the need to prove his or her superiority... and it really does translate here- almost like they tire of fighting so much and sometimes just take turns being in control. -But that's not such a bad thing. _

... Now, the fact that you begin the actual sex scene mid-coitus is actually really interesting. It's an idea I've been experimenting with myself. See, most pieces begin with tension, kisses, caresses, stripping, and X amount of foreplay before they actually get down to it. That's all fine and good, although we've seen it all before. My point is, you used an unorthodox method but it WORKS. You begin when it's: (A). Interesting and (B). Relevant. I have no issue what-so-ever with lemons, but I'm not a fan of PWP. By all means, let the characters have some fun, but it needs to have some credibility and purpose. While you have not explained how they came to be in this particular position, you are focused on another point- the act itself, when it matters, and their RELATIONSHIP overall.

I actually really like him teasing her (tracing her skin tauntingly, inquiring "Tell me what you want...), because he WOULD do that. It says a lot that he is (quite obviously) just as aroused, just a desperate for release as she is. But HIS means of control are channeled through her- making her beg. shiver. scream. He's creating an intense combination of pleasure and frustration that, in the end, really works for both of them.

"Don't scream until I say you can scream." -Ohhh! Wow... screaming just might be a privilege. For a moment, I was going to compare him to the version of Hoffman from "Mind Games", the one who craves Amanda's vocalizations to the point of forcing them out of her. This could be interpreted as the opposite- BUT IT ISN'T, not at all. See, the way I see it: the order is not so much "don't scream yet" as it is "scream WHEN I WANT YOU TO", which falls directly on the line between hot and scary.

Forgive me for comparing this to Mind Games... I know that the two pieces are not really related, but I had this scene in mind when I read Mind Games, and vice versa now. As of Vermillion: "It had taken him a very long time to get her to this point. Usually, she'd fight him for domination, biting and scratching every inch of him she could reach until she managed to get above him. But now," (presumably after some time passing and several sexual acts) "he'd made her realize just how much being submissive benefitted her." Where as in Mind Games "It hadn't taken him long to get her here. After the first moment he had entered her, her mind ceased being hers."

I was mistaken at first when I said you presented an entirely different version of Hoffman. I think it's merely the CIRCUMSTANCE that changed- Mind Games features an act formed in frustration and impulsive brutality just as much as it is in lust, but HERE, I think Amanda means something to him- maybe not in a romantic sense.. but it says a lot that he's taking the time to get to know her, to test her reactions and note them, how her pleasure intensifies his own. There is still his need for dominance and he still "could be quite brutal when he wanted to be"... but it is MUCH more complex than that. I wish I KNEW more so I could say more on the subject. Detective Mark Hoffman: that damn irresistible, dangerous, complex enigma!

"She was staring off to the side, her expression one of intense arousal and fascination. He followed her line of vision and smirked... Kinky." -Let's just say that I'm smirking too... .and leave it at that for now. _

"He didn't think Amanda would be one to enjoy watching herself being fucked" -I wonder why he thought of this one way or the other, but it did seem like something he'd at least considered momentarily- 'wonder if Amanda would like to watch us... ah, probably not'! LOL! ...but maybe HE would. I could see that- some half-sensual, half-arrogant side of him would love it. WHY? It's voyeurism and ACTUAL gratification at the same time... (...somehow, I think I've said too much...)

The actual position was a great choice. Most other options (depending on where the mirror is located) present some awkwardness, visual aid for only one person at a time, or both. But THIS worked- quite nicely.

"You like that? ... Do you like watching me fuck you?" -YEAH, see? I'm not sure it's ONLY about control at this point, but that is a major part of his motivation, it seems. Her pleasure is in his hands- sometimes literally! ;) -it gives him power, and, through it, pleasure of his own.

... okay, I hate to do this to you, but it's (Constructively) Critical Bitch time: having Amanda "turn things around" at the ending seemed rushed, random and ALMOST out-of-character. She's been the submissive so far tonight... it just seemed like an odd time for her to suddenly take control- not fight for it, either: just TAKE it, Hoffman just let her do that. WHY!

I would have been more than content if you had ended the scene with "Amanda glanced into the mirror again and smiled against Mark's lips." Even if you didn't continue along the same lines. Because this piece was just as much an insight into Mark and Amanda's actual relationship as it was a look at their sexlife.

I actually do LIKE the idea of Amanda doing this- teasing, taking some control from him, and even the thing with the handcuffs. My only issue is that it seemed like you were in a hurry to finish this piece and combined it with another idea entirely to... what? make it longer? make it more dramatic? throw in a surprise for the readers? I don't know, Dee. I'm sorry for this. I always feel really bad when I criticize. But please tell me you know what I mean? The IDEA was nice, overall. It could have been another scene entirely- AMANDA on top, Amanda gets the handcuffs, Mark gives in with some combination of lust, curiosity, and amusement.

All I mean is that the execution here was not as good as it could have been, but, rest assured: there is nothing really WRONG with it. It just bothered ME... and, please don't mind me so much. I'm a bit of a freak if you haven't noticed by now.

Maybe if you had just used one or two lines to explain what Amanda or Hoffman is thinking at the moment. Is Amanda testing the control he has over her and seizing some of her own? Is Mark just too damn turned-on or too amused by her to care what she does. Handcuffs might be pushing it (I think he'd fight her off if she tried that) but he might let her have a turn in control- for sure. I can totally see him lying on his back, hands behind his head, expectant grin: 'okay, Mandy. What are you gonna do to me?" _

That having been said, I did love all of your ideas here overall. Really and truly. 1900 characters left to work with so I'm going to say something else about the mirror (which, if you realize this or not- and you SHOULD realize it -is nothing short of brilliance).

They're looking into the mirror together- fucking, touching, kissing, even speaking as they do so. It could be the opposite of "Mind Games", almost: pleasure is the focus rather than violence, screams and pain. They actually want to watch and they enjoy watching- themselves- each other. It's astounding, it really is.

...and now i find myself wishing I could FAVORITE this story more than once. Subscribing would be redundant because I check your page daily anyway. LOL. Yeah... but you know it's because I adore you, right? Don't take my criticism too harshly or personally, PLEASE. Because I stand by what I said: you outdid yourself with this one.

More reviews... SOON. Sorry I only left this one tonight. I'll try to finish P.o.S tomorrow and then... I don't know. But I'll accept your requests or recommendations if you want feedback on any of your other pieces (or any of your favorites you think I'd like). I trust you. _ Good night/morning/afternoon/whatever.

P.S.: it took fifty-eight minutes and 9,250 characters for this review. I'll try to shut up now. But I'm having fun and procrastinating a few other things... LOL. okay, bye. _
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 5 . 12/4/2010
I want you to know that I am IN LOVE with this piece. I have chills and even a couple of tears. It's just BEAUTIFUL, Dee. You managed some positivity, light and dark, and heartbreak all together. I loved the little insight into John's world before... everything. This is the side of him that CARES so much, the one who would have been a wonderful father.

And Alexandra... the poor girl. I love her. I love John and Jill for taking her in. If things had gone a little differently, I could totally see her babysitting Gideon. (*mixed feelings*) I do see a couple of similarities between her and Amanda- the tortured past, the self-destruction, the tragic future... maybe Amanda presents a second chance in more than one way.

"He'd let it go, because she'd asked him to." And THIS: "He should've done more than just watched her cry." -Aww. (*sad face*) He meant well at the time but we know what guilt and regret lead to...

... "Her aunt and uncle reported her missing on the morning of 2004" -TYPO? I think... it should be "a morning in 2004" or one particular time "the morning of (date) in 2004". I figured out what you MEANT though, it's okay. I'm still confused on the Saw timeline overall. It's inconsistent at best. But 2004 sounds about right, actually. _

"...exactly two days after Jill had lost Gideon at the clinic." -Now, THAT is beyond tragic. Worse that Alexandra was RECOVERING, she was okay when that happened. She "had lost her own life trying save a complete stranger"...

I typically hate O.C.'s, especially in the Saw-verse. But yours is flawed in the best way and more than that, she's PLAUSIBLE, somehow.

"It seemed like another life in which he'd seen her last, and now, standing near the end of his hospital bed, there she was." -EERIE, CREEPY, DRAMATIC, BEAUTIFUL, AWESOME. (odd, but true).

"Y'know. Dead." -I like this a lot for some reason. she's so nonchalant about it. and the subtle bittersweet hint almost seems like, "I'll be seeing you soon."

LOVE it. So much.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 4 . 12/4/2010
Nope, I have no issue what-so-ever with femslash. Male-slash, however, I'm kinda picky about. Unless the characters are gay in canon, it's just... eww... that's sexist, isn't it? (*shrug*) Whatever...

Straum has issues. The ex-girlfriend and the serial killer's accomplice. Never mind that he's actually imagined them forcing him to watch... ACTUALLY, that says something else: he's frustrated with the case, with relationships outside of work, and, apparently, also with his sex-life. It translates even in the FANTASY somehow.

I'm not quite sure HOW Straum knows what Amanda looks like now, because you used her Saw 3 description- "slim physique, shoulder length dark hair, faint outlines of scars..." as opposed to the short hair she was last seen with and the very obvious scars... UNLESS it's Saw ONE-ish and he's using her police record rather than recent info... and maybe that's irrelevant entirely... never mind.

Have I commented on your visuals before? What you write/say is JUST ENOUGH- you don't overdo descriptions but you don't leave too much to the imagination either. You've got a great balance and it continues to improve.

I like the COLORS too: Amanda's red, Alecto's black. It's a subtle detail but it does wonders for hints at role, identity, personality, etc...

"He likes more than he thinks he should... but he can't seem to tear his eyes away." -and that's the entire point, isn't it? _

...imagining the women exclaiming his name is something else entirely... I'm not sure WHAT it is, actually. (*giggle*)

... hahaha! Wake up, Straum! ... I would have LOVED to see Perez turn up at the end there. He could suddenly smell coffee and she steps in to block his view waving like "HELLO! earth to Straum!" LOL. That was fun. _
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 3 . 12/3/2010
"A/N: Very OOC characters here. I told you. Please don't eat my face." -LOL! I'm not going to eat your face! I've never heard that expression before. It made me giggle. But, seriously. It's all in good fun and the closest thing to tasteful a borderline-parody can be, so you are more than forgiven.

Your opening lines, though... there isn't much connection between what Amanda HAS EXPERIENCED and what she does or does not UNDERSTAND. Especially because you detailed her HISTORY rather than her REASONING or even her PROCESS of drug use and other mistakes. It really SHOULDN'T bother me and I don't mean to be a bitch for pointing it out. But do you see what I mean? There is a difference.

"The meaning of life, the point of quadratic equations, how people managed to ingest swiss cheese and how she'd ended up in bed wedged between two of the most unlikely men she thought she'd ever wind up sleeping with." -(I think I'm going to be giggling like mad all night long if you keep this up.) I can't answer ANY of those questions. LOL.

A threesome- OMG! what would that be? ... 'Stroffmanda' -oh, god! lolz...

"Hoffman and I had a little too much to drink, I think, after the whole thing with Perez—" -haha! WOW... WHAT thing with Perez? If this were even remotely possible, WHEN would it take place?

"The two men exchanged a significant look and, in perfect unison, rolled their eyes and smirked." -I can totally PICTURE that. I'm sounding like a total idiot tonight. I'm sorry. Work SUCKED but your brilliant combination of tension, humor, and sexiness is doing wonders for cheering me up.

"They could've been brothers..." -Ha! You're totally right there. It's just WEIRD how they look alike and have similar maneurisms at times and... (*shiver*) WEIRD.

A: "You act like this is a regular fucking occurrence or something!" S: "This is exactly the kind of outlet we need. How else are we gonna stay sane throughout this whole ordeal?" -Oh, God, Straum! ... there's nothing like ORGANIZED hate-sex to relieve stress. Nothing at all. (I'm laughing my ass off.)

To BOTH the men in this scene: I, personally use the word "fuck" in pretty much ever other sentence. I RARELY mean it in it's literal context, though. ("Oh, FUCK! That hurt!" or "You stupid Fuck!" as opposed to... "Let's fuck" or "Fuck me".) Amanda's usage here may or may not be some kind of Freudian slip, but I'm going with my guess that she finally gives in from the infuriating combination of peer pressure and exasperation.

OOC-ness aside, Dee: thanks for making me smile. I know you wrote this a WHILE ago but it's still great.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 2 . 12/3/2010
Not sure why I'm telling you this: but I am grinning like a total MORON at the moment. I find this so incredibly amusing- as well as Chapter 3- for all it's OOC-ness, it does have some actual substance and adorability. (That's not a real word, it's mine- 'something that can and/or should be adored'. Sorry).

I do have to say that I was under the impression it was HOFFmanda until Straum was actually mentioned. I suppose i was judging based on the previous chapter and I- of all people -should know better than that. Unconnected oneshots. YAY! And by the way: "The ambitious, stuck-up, megalomaniacal detective" is the greatest, most amusing description of Hoffman... EVER.

Dear Amanda: the difference between "bedhead" and "sex-hair" is the circumstance you wake up under and just how much the mess is actually WORTH-IT. That's all... I'm gonna shut up now. _

"Amanda had seen what happens when you spilt water on computers. She'd watched them sizzle and short-circuit and just stop working. She had no idea that brains could do the same thing." -Yeah, WATER does that sometimes. Imagery here was lovely, not over(or under)done at all.

Nice, very nice.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 1 . 12/2/2010
"A series of oneshots devoted to Saw pairings for the 100 Oneshot Challenge of my own design." -Is that the full prompt? -"100 Oneshots"? If that's it: I like it. It sets a high goal but leaves enough freedom to make reaching it possible. Are there any additional rules? And would you mind if I gave it a try?

PAIN- excellent lyric-choice, by the way. "I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all..." or, perhaps, in Amanda's case: I'd rather feel pain than let my emotions destroy me. I love that song! ... Other lyrics: "You're sick of feeling numb. You're not the only one. I'll take you by the hand and I'll show you a world that you can understand." and "I know you're wounded... you know I'm always here to save you." Would also suit this piece.

"Mark Hoffman... not exactly the most remarkable of names." -LOL. I'm with Amanda, actually. I had that same issue with John, I was hoping for a name just a little more special/extraordinary or something... reMARKable. _

I think I said something negative about your use of random, unconnected points in a series leading though what seems to be a conflicting circle. But I want you to know: IT REALLY WORKS HERE.

"To anyone else, they could have been siblings." ... but what are they in their own minds? Do they even know? I must say, it's nice to see them fighting for John's cause and "fighting the ways of the world" rather than fighting EACH OTHER.

... Okay... forget I just said that. I've just realized that you published this piece 9/04/09: before the release of Saw VI. So... WOW. You took a risk and I love, love, LOVE that it still works so well.

The brief mentions of Amanda's loyalty to John, her painful childhood, and her cutting-to-cope process were well done. ESPECIALLY her thought-process paralleling her current self-harming.

"She wished she didn't have to do this..." but it's her best solution for now, an attempt at emotional distance on John's orders (and maybe, subconsciously, for her own sake as well). She understands in some ways but she's equally conflicted in others.

"Emotions were what separated them from the animals, both metaphorically and literally." -Indeed. Because there is more to humanity than just the survival instinct. Emotions. Relationships. Free will... so shouldn't a SLIGHT emotional involvement be necessary in helping a subject, in living your own life?

...and it's THAT thought that either causes the too-deep injury or simply brings it to her attention. Cloth hurts because you cut too deep- there's all kinds of sensitivity beneath the skin...ouch!

And guess who saves the day? ...I like this interpretation of Hoffman- against my better judgment -I really do. He's an arrogant, obnoxious ASS; but there's an obvious, prominent part of him that really CARES too. Maybe it's some of the same concern he would have had for Angelina.

...and concern turns to something else entirely: taking care of her cuts might lead to them actually playing doctor! ...

Dear Hoffman: Just shut up, okay? You are just as mentally and sexually frustrated as Amanda is. Accusing her of moaning your name in her sleep ALSO means that you admit to watching her sleep (or at least listening to her) or want her to think that you do... _

... and AMANDA: I've seen snap-impulse-decisions and I've seen mood swings but your little display here merits some recognition at least. Don't give it up! Especially when he's panting "hold on a second-" ... confusion means you have the upper hand for about seven-point-five seconds.

God, I love these two. And you, Dee! You're awesome!
Rainstorm03 chapter 10 . 10/18/2010
this is really good! I thought you did a good job of keeping everyone in character too ] hey i was also kinda wondering...could you write a MallickxBrit one? probably kinda random but i always like them together...great job on this once again! keep up the great work!
The Longcoat chapter 10 . 6/28/2010
A glimpse of things to come... hehehe.
the mischievous pixie chapter 10 . 6/28/2010
so i just now found this story and holy amazeballs shitsnacks i love it!
teenageroadkill chapter 10 . 6/26/2010
This was so good! I really felt sorry for him. This is exactly how I see Hoffman! Great job!
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