I know that I said I would review your other story, but I felt like I should review this one first. Because IT'S SO FANTASTIC!!!
You use such chilling language and such a dark style that it's hard to imagine that Tom Riddle DIDN'T actually think this. From the funeral to the "rebirth" at the end, you kept up such an air of evil and gloom that was just perfect for the subject that you were writing about.
And as for the subject, Tom Riddle himself, well, he sounds like he does in the books, almost to the letter. My favorite part was at the end when he disclosed that he killed William because Death wanted him (Tom) instead. It's almost like there was some of the first brother from The Deathly Hallows speaking through him--he wanted to elude Death for the sake of power, and anyone who gets in his way will be sacrificed. It is the antithesis of love, the opposite of feeling--it is Lord Voldemort, master of hatred and fear, coming out in a small (yet evil!) boy. I saw all of that brilliantly portrayed in your well-chosen words.
Really, I wish that I had HALF the diction brilliance that you did!
The only thing that I don't understand is why William is rotting in the coffin of an old man. Is that because someone else should've died (but didn't) and instead William took his place? Or is it symbolic in some way?
I kind of saw it as the two ends of the spectrum of life coming together in death--the young and the old, similar in mentality and in habit, rest together forever. The living person who caused that phenomenon has buried those two ends of the spectrum in order to be "reborn" a perpetual adult, never aging, never dying.
I don't know, that's just what I thought. :)
Fantastic, brilliant, marvelously creepy story!! I shall review If I Only Had a Heart very soon.
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much for your kind review! It is encouraging and I appreciate it.
I am glad to see that you liked the diction choice- I debated on what exactly would be "too much" as far as the doom and gloom, but I figured that directness was most appropriate for the young Lord Voldemort. I could not see him attempting to lie to himself or to sugar coat much of anything.
The coffin of an old man refers to two things: one, the fact that most people feel that people should die when they are old, not young, and thus, there was only a coffin for an old man to house the dead child. Two, it has a sort of foreshadowing, symbolic meaning: Voldemort died when he was seventy or seventy one (most, I think, believe seventy one), so that is why I chose that specific age. The coffin is one of those things that I leave up to your perception: it can either actually be the size for an old man, or appears to Tom Riddle to be the size of an old man. Really, I think that Tom looks upon the coffin as his worst nightmare. It houses death, and the coffin for an old man reveals that no matter Tom's accomplishments, it appears (at first) that there is no way to halt death's last agent (age). This is terrifying to someone who is afraid to die.
Your assertion that he is reborn as a perpetual adult is interesting, and I believe that I agree. I first envisioned him to be reborn basically dead to all human emotions and impulses, but being reborn as an adult is more accurate, since he is still able to feel fear and anger.
Again, thank you so much!