Usually, horror does not scare me. I can watch most horror films without getting scared (The only horror film to ever phase me is Candyman) I can read an entire Stephen King book before bed and sleep like a baby (for most of his works anyway.) Cupcakes, Rainbow Factory and Sweet Apple Massacre? No sweat off my back. Cheerilee's Garden however is one of the very few things that can make the oh-so-prestigious claim of leaving an impression.
Compared to fan-fictions such as Cupcakes, Rainbow Factory and Sweet Apple Massacre, one will quickly see that Cheerilee's Garden requires much less suspension of disbelief. In other words it is the more real seeming. Cheerilee is having a mid-life crisis, caused by her unruly students. While that's no incentive for murder, it's a lot better than "We need rainbows!" "They were being loud!" and insanity that was sprung upon us and milked for all it's shock value.
Cheerilee's Garden is actually rather disturbing because it does something many horror writers (especially of fan-fics) seem to completely forget about: it builds suspense. We know something is up with Cheerilee. We know she's planning something terrible for the school play. We just don't know what. We know the monster's there we just can't see it. Then, Scootaloo falls down the trap door into the cage, and Cheerilee makes a menacing entrance. Now we know for sure the monster's there but all we see is the silhouette. And then the shit hits the fan, all the built up tension is released. The monsters out in the open and doing some pretty heinous shit. We knew this was coming and now it's here, and this fiction has good writing to back it all up.
Some mistake graphicness for good writing, when this is obviously not the case. Sometimes less is more (although the author sure as hell doesn't go down that path) and sometimes graphicness just becomes laughable. The author manages to pull graphicness and good writing together though, for quite the potent combination.
So in conclusion, Cheerilee's Garden is like the perfect cocktail of dark fics. Taking just the right amount of time to set up the actual horror scenes, and making them at least slightly believable. Making them just graphic enough, and describing the scene with more storytelling talent then most. I recommend this fan-fiction highly (but not to those with an aversion to gore.)