Nearly a decade ago, I got my start writing with reviews. This evolved into writing fiction, then fanfiction, now I'm here. I've always held onto writing reviews, but it's always been sparse. I’ve found it increasingly less fun to do so, largely because it's repetitious. There's only so much I can say about a terrible movie before I can copy and paste an old review, replace the title, and publish it. Likewise, there's only so many times I can a film is great before I can do the same thing. So I grew to review fanfiction—something that I may bring to this blog one day. The reason being that I'm guaranteed some sort of hilarity, good and bad.
That said, as of late, I've been riffing (sort of) past stories on Discord with a friend. Primarily really awful fanfiction. Much of these stories are related to the children's show: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. If you're unfamiliar with that show, we'll be getting into it very soon—hopefully before the end of the week. Anyways, to say the least: it's been enjoyable and is something new. I've partook in a few riffs before, but have more or less steered clear of them as I'm not one to perform well with others. I consider myself best when alone; my mind never moving in sync with companions while writing.
Then an idea hit me. An ingenious one. What if I riffed a story on my own? I already have a plethora of series on this blog and my hope had been to start another main—The Truth Behind—before the month ended. Alas, that didn't work out as planned. I'm still sick, I still have a fever, and even more horrid stuff has happened to hinder my writing. As a result, I'm not trusting myself to write anything serious.
However, through all of that horrible stuff, greatness has emerged. I'm feeling better as a person and I'm also feeling highly motivated in the way of my writing capabilities. And today, I've decided that I'd take that aforementioned solo riffing idea for a spin. So without further ado: let's riff-review Gateway of the Mind.
Groundwork: these riff-reviews will work as follows. I'll riff certain parts and analyze others; offering both snark and insight into parts to hopefully balance everything out and make this something unique. Should that fail… oh well. This series has been spawned from stress and will hopefully be a good outlet for it all.
In 1983, a team of deeply pious scientists conducted a radical experiment in an undisclosed facility.
As we’ll soon learn: these “deeply pious” scientists opted to go against the ideals of their religion and perform something that’d make the UN actually do something. Good work, guys!
The scientists had theorized that a human without access to any senses or ways to perceive stimuli would be able to perceive the presence of God.
That’s the most creepypasta set up I’ve ever heard since “edgy teenager gains superpowers by being doused in bleach and set on fire”. I’m so glad that the standards of creepypastas are on par with the likes of Fanfiction.net and FiMFiction.net!
They believed that the five senses clouded our awareness of eternity, and without them, a human could actually establish contact with God by thought.
Their lead scientist was Josef Mengele.
An elderly man who claimed to have “nothing left to live for” was the only test subject to volunteer.
To purge him of all his senses, the scientists performed a complex operation in which every sensory nerve connection to the brain was surgically severed.*
To purge him of his senses, they made him watch The Purge movies while he played a Restoration Shaman on World of Warcraft where he had to spam the Purge spell over and over because the tank was bad. Topping it off: they made him take twenty shots of Ipecac.
Although the test subject retained full muscular function, he could not see, hear, taste, smell, or feel. With no possible way to communicate with or even sense the outside world, he was alone with his thoughts.
They later brought him out to the public and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen: We got ‘em. We present Helen Keller 2.0.”
Scientists monitored him as he spoke aloud about his state of mind in jumbled, slurred sentences that he couldn’t even hear. After four days, the man claimed to be hearing hushed, unintelligible voices in his head.
The voices said, “Ooga chaka, ooga chaka, ooga ooga chaka.”
Assuming it was an onset of psychosis, the scientists paid little attention to the man’s concerns.
They’re “deeply pious”, have severed him from all of his senses, and he hears voices, yet they aren’t at all amazed that he’s hearing voice after four days? What was he doing in those four days?
I guess this is as good of a time to stop for a moment and discuss what we’ve read so far. As a set up: Gateway of the Mind has one of the best in the way of a creepypasta I’ve ever seen. For as silly as it may be, it’s a unique one and offers up an eerie enough concept. What if, by cutting off every possible way for you to communicate and interact with other human beings, you could communicate with the Creator of everything. God himself. That, to some, is terrifying and to others: comforting. Yet as we’ve seen so far: there’s little in the way of this poor old man's descent into what we can only assume so far is insanity. Let’s continue though: perhaps I’m just being pessimistic and we’ll slow down to—oh who am I kidding.
Two days later, the man cried that he could hear his dead wife speaking with him, and even more, he could communicate back.
She was nagging him to go out and pick up groceries.
The scientists were intrigued, but were not convinced until the subject started naming dead relatives of the scientists.
This story’s offering so much possible material for an incredibly unnerving tale of madness and communication with the dead, and yet squandering it all because it’s moving faster Barry Allen. I know that creepypasta’s aren’t meant to be multi-chapter epics filled to the brim with detail, but the least it can do is just take a second to offer us something—anything—in the way of “showing” rather than “telling”. Or did the author’s senses get cut off when the scientists snipped away at our elderly fellows senses too?
He repeated personal information to the scientists that only their dead spouses and parents would have known.
“And Doctor Ryan’s grandfather drowned… and Doctor Dewitt went to Columbia University…”
At this point, a sizable portion of scientists left the study.
They were abducted by the CIA and questioned as to why they were performing an unauthorized MKUltra experiment. Truman would’ve been proud.
After a week of conversing with the deceased through his thoughts, the subject became distressed, saying the voices were overwhelming.
“THEY KEEP SINGING DON’T FEAR THE REAPER!”
In every waking moment, his consciousness was bombarded by hundreds of voices that refused to leave him alone.
“NOW THEY’RE SINGING ABOUT HOW IT’S A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART!”
He frequently threw himself against the wall, trying to elicit a pain response.
To the window, to the wall. To the sweatshop in this man’s—oh forget it.
He begged the scientists for sedatives, so he could escape the voices by sleeping.
Jeff the Killer wasn’t available for a comment, but one can presume that he had some sort of stupid comment to make about sleep and how one should go to it. That’s how that works, right kids?
This tactic worked for three days, until he started having severe night terrors.
He dreamt of Infinity Ward making Modern Warfare 4.
The subject repeatedly said that he could see and hear the deceased in his dreams.
M. Night Shyamalan presents...
Only a day later, the subject began to scream and claw at his non-functional eyes, hoping to sense something in the physical world.
“Claw me harder daddy, I want to feel you inside my sockets <3 <3 <3,” they said. Yes, even with the heart emoticons.
The hysterical subject now said the voices of the dead were deafening and hostile, speaking of hell and the end of the world.
Ho-oly hell, that’s a SERIOUSLY big jump in tone. You said that they were the relatives of the scientists and the man’s wife. Then you say they all came to him like it was The Sixth Sense. Now they’re talking about Hell and the end of the world? Why does this story feel the need to be paced like it’s a car from The Fast and the Furious?
At one point, he yelled, “No Heaven, no forgiveness,” for five hours straight.
Good for him, but this raises a very important question: has this man been eating and/or drinking? Has he been going to the bathroom? If he yelled that for five hours straight, he must’ve at some point stopped to drink something. Or are we going to ignore that?
He continually begged to be killed, but the scientists were convinced that he was close to establishing contact with God.
Glad to see the author answered that.
After another day, the subject could no longer form coherent sentences.
It’s it’s a ballroom—AND I DON’T WANNA MISS A—NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU—
Seemingly mad, he started to bite off chunks of flesh from his arm.
One: seemingly mad? He's trying to cannibalize himself! That's not what I'd t “seemingly mad”. And two: it’s not a creepypasta without some sort of random, senseless gore. God bless the creepypasta community: not understanding the concept of “atmospheric horror over gore”. The vast majority of you bastards are as talented as Uwe Boll though, so whatever.
The scientists rushed into the test chamber and restrained him to a table so he could not kill himself.
So he clawed at his eyes in the hopes of feeling something and you did nothing to stop him from potentially gouging out his eyeballs, but when he starts biting himself, THEN you rush in? Gimme a break.
After a few hours of being tied down, the subject halted his struggling and screaming.
They gave him tendies and he shut up.
He stared blankly at the ceiling as teardrops silently streaked across his face.
“I can see my house from here…”
For two weeks, the subject had to be manually rehydrated due to the constant crying.
OH, MANUALLY!? As opposed to being automatically hydrated by what? Drinking his own piss!? This could all be solved if you’d bothered to establish something in this friggin’ story, rather than speeding through events like you have New York minute to spare for your writing class you inept bastard!
Eventually, he turned his head and, despite his blindness, made focused eye contact with a scientist for the first time in the study.
Given enough time, he’d likely make eye contact at some point. The laws of probability dictate it.
He whispered, “I have spoken with God, and He has abandoned us,” and his vital signs stopped.
That’d be scarier if it wasn’t for the fact I’ve heard that enough in my life to not give a damn.
There was no apparent cause of death.
No, it was dehydration you numbnuts. Or starvation since you never established that he was given food of any sort. Idiots.
* Follow-up study, 2000: Dr G.F., Department of Neurology, [hospital name witheld],
Oh look, that asterisk showed up again. I wanna say that the hospital is owned by the S.C.P. Foundation!
San Francisco, CA.
Oh cool, maybe the Zodiac will come shoot the people who performed the experiment.
Recent study of a degenerative disease which targets the motor function and cognitive decline often leads to 'hallucinations' of the deceased.
I wonder if someone at Sony Pictures read this story and went, “hey, this reminds me of that movie Flatliners! Maybe we can remake it…”
The death of targeted cells and chemicals in the brain by this disease leads to a loss of smell, among other senses.
I’m not a scientist, but I think that’s wrong. But hey, don’t me ruin your good story idea. I like seeing you squander it. It makes me laugh.
The cause of the disease is unknown.
This was a deeply needed sentence that added so much to this story, I cannot begin to even try to explain it. Please, if you wish to be an author: add sentences like this. It’ll make you so well respected in the field of literature, you’ll be as acclaimed as Dan Brown and the guy who wrote Ready Player One. Just as my friend who comments on this blog: Tyler. I’m sure he can tell you how well respected you’ll be.
Hallucinations present in 39.8% of the patients, falling into three categories: a sensation of a presence (person), a sideways passage (commonly of an animal) or illusions.
A sideways passage to what? To Atlantis? To Heaven? To Mick Jagger’s mouth?
Present in 25.5% of patients (an isolated occurrence in 14.3%), formed visual hallucinations present in 22.2% (isolated in 9.3%) and auditory hallucinations present in 9.7% (isolated in 2.3%).
Was any of this information really necessary?
Continuing study in San Francisco, CA. 2003-present
I hope your funding is cut off and sent to fund a British Petroleum oil rig off the coastline of the Bay area.
That’s Gateway of the Mind. Since this is a riff-review, how about I summarize my thoughts of this story in a more… cohesive manner.
Setup wise: this story is incredible. It’s an unique, unsettling idea that presents so much. The possibilities for creepiness are abound and yet, the story does nothing to show any of it. Instead, it tells us every single detail. Every scene, even the ones that I wish so badly that I could praise, are just told to us. I genuinely cannot comprehend how such a great premise can be squandered so badly. And what’s worse: that’s the only thing about this story that I hate. I’m aware I harped on the fact the story never explains to us as to whether or not the man ate anything, but that could’ve been explain if the story took time to explain details to us. Alas, it doesn’t. The story takes no time to explain anything. We’re told what the experiment is about, told how this man goes crazy, then he dies.
What a great story worthy of being deemed one of the greatest creepypasta’s of all time. I’m so glad the standard for scary stories on the internet is so high.