Writing Group: A Reason to Scream (PRIVATE)

Hello, Thrill Seekers and Pranksters!

What, me? I-I’m not scared! Nothing scares me! Not roller coasters, not scary movies, nothing! What about you? Are you sc-scared? Yeah, m-me neither! I just hope nothing jumps out at us, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

A Reason to Scream

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

What a perfect prompt to close out this spooky season. And a very fitting prompt, might I add. What defines spooky season more than monsters and tricks? Why, the screams caused by these things of course!

Let’s explore some causes for screaming, shall we? There’s the classic, of course; a group of friends exploring a haunted house. Is it the sort put on by a scout group for fundraising, or is it the kind that everyone talks about but never dares to go near? The scares found within either are very different, after all. Is it all just people in costumes and animated wall decor, or is there someone, or maybe even something, that wasn’t part of the plan? Maybe you decide to visit the local Halloween festival with your lovely date. You have some cheap scares from the dressed up staff, play some games and have some fun. Then happen across a competition where the scariest competitor wins anything from a free game to a dinner coupon… or even a special after-hours tour of the park.  

Perhaps the reason you have is less theatric. After all, who wouldn’t scream when coming face to face with actual undead in their backyard? Or perhaps the monster under the bed decided it was finally time to up their game a little. Maybe you’re just tidying up after closing the restaurant, only to see one customer is still seated at their table… and they look oddly transparent. Or maybe your screams are simply caused by the screams of another who had the daylights scared out of them, like your arachnophobic classmate finding a spider on their pencil case, or someone’s partner sneaking up on them with a creepy mask. 

There’s plenty of reasons for screaming. Some are good and just in fun, others, not so much. It all depends on the circumstances leading up to it. 

So don your masks, practice your monstrous noises, and get the spooky lighting ready.

Let the scaring begin!

—Shawna

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
26 days ago

I’ll Give You a Reason.
by (Matthew) Handsome Johanson

I run into my room and immediately start crying. I was rejected! The love of my teenage life actually laughed when I confessed to her. And furthermore, as soon as I demonstrated that I was serious and not joking, she immediately screamed and ran away! Am I that hideous? Is the thought of being with me so terrible? How could she treat me this way after all I’ve done for her? I gave her compliments every day, I let her cheat off of my homework, and I even let her take my lunch money a few times. Was it all for nothing? Does love mean anything anymore?

I wiped the tears from my eyes and tightly grabbed onto my pillow. ‘I need to talk to my friend, Alister, about this. I’m sure he’ll know what to do about these harpies. He’s so smart.’ I stood up and headed to the phone in the living room. As I picked up the phone to call Alister, I eyed the interesting shapes of my sister’s knife collection to keep me calm.

The next day, I follow the girl around nervously for a bit. Finally, when she’s all alone, I approach her.

“Hey!” I yell out.

The girl turns around. Her eyes grow wide and she starts to back away.

“Stop!” I carefully reach into my pocket. “I’ve got something for you.”

The girl continues to back away. “Uhhhhh.”

“It’s an apology letter!” I pull out the note and hand it to her. “I was a real jerk yesterday, and I’m so sorry. I talked to a friend about it, and he set me straight, I really shouldn’t have bothered you like that. I hope we can still be friends.”

“Uhh sure. It’s cool, dude.”

I sigh. “Great. Hey, I’m curious. Why did you look so scared?”

“Aren’t ‘nice guys’ like you supposed to be mass murderers or something?”

“What? No. Why would you think that?”

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
26 days ago

The Banshee’s Call
By RVMPLSTLTSKN

Maeve walked the corpse road. She was one of those poor, damned souls who—cursed to wander and wonder—is set upon an eternal search for answers to that most troublesome query: why?

Freed from life’s distractions, the deads’ essences are left on their own. They search for meaning with a fervor which the living possess only a hint of. They are left to face the absurdity of life eternal without that charnel cage which once protected them from the facts of reality unpersonified. They all quest for meaning, whether they believe in it or not, whether they have an objective reason or not, whether there is meaning or naught.

Maeve walked for years. She was alone for the most part, with only the occasional flicker of another spirit to light her unlife with clarity and presence. She didn’t remember dying, but knew instinctually that she was dead. She felt each nearby death before it came, a building pressure of emotions, mounting tensions in her quiddity, a searing and soul-tearing sorrow. At first she cried for them, but lacking the ability to form tears, it was more like the memory of relief than the feeling itself.

She began trying to help the newly dead, to find meaning and perhaps respite in these little aids. It didn’t help. Each death exhausted her before she found the spirit. The sudden or violent deaths were the worst.

There was a heavy pressure building for a long time. She knew the sorrow and weight of the tension meant that the person to die was much loved. It kept building until it felt like she carried the world on her shoulders. She shivered and shook, glimpsed the living, and cried. She cried for herself, for the coming sorrow, for relief.

In desperation, she tried to leave the corpse road. The edges of that wide swath fuzzed and zapped at her, but she pushed on. She stayed away from the hospitals as she emerged into a town, the edges of the corpse road still clutching her tight, weighing her down. She saw a boy walking nearby and screamed.

Lunabear
Lunabear
27 days ago

The Sweetest Haul
by Lunabear (Please don’t read on stream)

Chadwick, Horace, and Delaney prowl the streets with full packs and pumpkin buckets. They regale the blustery night with songs of graveyard denizens and laughing skeletons.

“Man, we made out like bandits!” Chadwick grins from ear to ear, his lion’s mane ruffling.

“I can feel the dentist chair already.” Horace rubs an imaginary toothache through his mummy bandages.

Delaney blows a bubble then giggles after it pops. “Yeah, but it’s worth it. Mrs. Albertson gives out the best gum.”

“Hey! No eating any until we get back to my house and check it!” Chadwick’s face wrinkles. “AND we need to count it!”

Delaney pulls the skin beneath her eye down while sticking out her tongue. “Nobody made you boss, Chad! I will turn you into a frog!” She waves her star wand at him and dust sprinkles to the ground.

“That doesn’t even work! Magic isn’t real, Del!”

Delaney marches up to Chadwick and swats at him. His bucket sways. “It IS real; YOU just don’t believe because you’re constipated!”

“What does that even mean?!”

“You’re grouchy,” Horace chimes in quietly. He swings his heavy load to the ground.

“Yeah! My mommy said–”

“Ow!”

Horace is knocked over by a large man. He’s wearing a dark mask.

“Argh! Damn it, kid! Move!”

The man reaches for something in the dark.

Two more masked men breeze by the confused trio.

“Great plan, Uros! ‘It’ll be easy! Like stealing candy fro–'”

“Shut it, Arbor! Get up, Rhines!”

Rhines lurches to his feet, gripping a black pack. He clutches at his stomach and looks at each child in turn. “You say ANYTHING, we’ll find you.”

The children nod emphatically, unable to make a sound.

The night swallows the three men. Distant sirens wail then fade.

Chadwick and Delaney help Horace to his feet. With shaking hands, he gets his pack back on. Tears wet his face.

“W-were they–”

“No, Del! Those were costumes!”

“H–he, he s–said–”

“They were pretending, Horace! You know; a prank! Let’s just get home, ok?”

Chadwick looks over his shoulder as they hurry to safety.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
30 days ago

“Ya’aburnee”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane (CW: loss of a child; in memory of my cousin)

An oblong wood box rested on the dais of the temple. A multitude of flowers in a great many colors adorned the box. A fog of woe hung over the chamber. Heather’s black dress felt like it was seven million tons. Why this happened, she didn’t know. She just knew that every since that day happened, it haunted her.

It started normally enough. Heather woke up with the sun, she woke up her daughter, and had breakfast before the girl left for school. Then, Heather worked in the garden pulling weeds and watering the vegetables. She noticed some of the corn leaves were starting to rust, so she picked them out and threw them onto a pile to be burned.
It was during threshing time when the guards came around. Heather felt all of the blood drain from her face as they headed her way. Her flail clattered to the threshing floor, and she shook her head. The guards’ faces were grim. She dreaded their words.

“Madam, there’s been an incide—”

A primal scream cut through the air like a scythe through harvest-ready wheat. Their peaceful pastoral life ripped away in just a few hours. Seeing the body was the worst of it. Heather felt something inside her snap, and she didn’t know whether to scream or cry or vomit or something else entirely. Her daughter, her Kenna, was gone.

For hours, Heather cursed every god she could think of. Of all of the people that could have died today, why did it have to be her only daughter? Her husband was off either drunk or dead. Kenna was her world. Her everything. Why take that away?

Her family had helped with the undertaker’s preparations. Her father made the coffin by hand. Her mother and sister let the town know. Her brother-in-law and nephews picked the flowers and brought them to the temple. But Heather only felt despair.

Hope was gone. Her heart was wormwood. And she had to start all over again.

Lord_Gatte
Lord_Gatte (@gatte)
1 month ago

The Water Banshee
By T.S.G. Sager

“H-How did you find out about this place?” Mizaru asked, her kitsune plush bounced on her shoulder as she swung a picnic basket to and fro. “It’s so beautiful, Harudo-kun.”

Goro fired back a goofy grin, her compliments warming his chest as he followed behind her. “Senpai showed me. Without him, I’d never be able to find such an awesome place like Nuallis.”

The two continued on for what seemed like hours, wandering through the luscious, untouched prairies, temporarily stopping by a multicoloured forest of blues, yellows and magenta near a vibrant pink coloured lake, and setting up a picnic. As they sat and ate, Goro shuffled closer to Mizaru, hoping to build up the courage to confess his true feelings to her.

“S-So, M-Mizaru, uhm-”
“Oh oh oh, Harudo-kun look!”

They could hear chirping from the treetops above. Mizaru pointed at a specific branch, which housed a pancake looking creature, whose flabby sides and small paws dangled off the sides as the beast chirped away.
Goro and Mizaru watched as the white and brown furry pancake slid off the branch, and gently, but uncontrollably floated towards the lake beside them. As cute as the spectacle was, as soon as the fur of the flat cat touched the water, it let out a bloodcurdling scream that was heard across the forest.

“Oh no, Goro! The water could be hurting it!” Mizaru cried, and without a second thought, Goro jumped into the unknown pink water to retrieve the bizarre howler. As Goro reached it, he couldn’t help but notice that the pancat was as buoyant as a lilypad, with only it’s tiny paws frantically splashing away. It continued to howl as Goro pulled it ashore, and as he did, his newfound friend shook itself off and proceeded to gently lick Goro’s hand.

“Aww Harudo-kun, you’ve made a friend!”
“Heh, yeah, I guess I have!”

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
1 month ago

The Scream
By Jesse Fisher

Where is it?

WHERE IS IT?

I can’t move my jaw…why can’t I move my jaw.

Come on open up, I need to see what is going on.


I can’t see.

I CAN’T SEE.

I need to move, right now.

I NEED TO MOVE!

The beeping of machines and stillness of the betrayed the energy of the person in the bed. Around them a well treaded path lay in the dust covered room. Routine spoke in the room, someone came in to check the patient and make sure nothing was out of place.

Interaction was clinical, the patient laid there only a chest moving showing it was not a training room. The rhythm of the beeps seemed to be intune with the breathing.

The staff seemed to want to avoid the room, none knew why. Most of the interns would fight over the room as they would nap there after all the other rooms. It was only after these naps that people began to avoid the room.

Some say they awake to screaming yet the door is closed and only the machines are heard. Others feel like they have sleep paralysis only to be jolted awake for some reason.

No one can say why and this mainly was spoken as an off hand topic as if anyone finds them sleeping on the clock. Most just toss anything they saw into them being tired or lack of sleep.

Yet some start to hear the screams away from the room, a voice that seems on the wind. They ignore it, not sure what it was ever there.

TheAssassin
TheAssassin
1 month ago

To Drown
By TheAssassin

At the edge of a jagged cliff stood a young lord, lost in thoughts of war. The sun blazed violently, and the clouds churned overhead. Gusts of wind tore through the air and coiled at the lord’s rippling cape.

In his mind, the lord could see only destruction. The war pressed forward. It was like a wave and grew ever larger, eclipsing the horizon. A tsunami scraping the clouds, an imposing shadow suffocating all things – it prepared to crash. With it, the world would fall.

The lord let slip a tear.

An old hand fell upon his shoulder. The frail fingers squeezed gently; the lord’s grandfather never left him alone. For that, he felt both and an overwhelming joy and a crushing grief.

“For whom do you cry, m’lord?” asked the grandfather, though the wind nearly deafened his words.

“For myself,” answered the lord, feeling the weight of his failure like a chain dragging him down in the raging sea.

“A selfish thing then, to cry?”

“I am a selfish man.”

“Or you are a noble one,” asserted the grandfather, his voice calm and sure.

“And crying for myself is noble?”

“It strengthens you, gives those for whom you care a window into which they can embrace your soul.”

“And this would be noble? Nobility is strength and weeping gives no strength, as you’ve claimed,” retorted the lord.

“To mend a broken thing strengthens it, yes? So do our tears mend us. They pour into the cracks left by woe, allowing us to confront our weakness and grow accordingly.”

The lord sighed, anger brewing within. “I cannot be mended, grandfather. Can you not see it? I drown in a pool of innocent blood!”

The grandfather shifted his eyes to the sun’s fury and said, “Aye, lad. I see it.”

A moment of tense silence passed. The grandfather’s hard eyes looked at the sun’s burning flames. The lord felt he was losing something important, though he could not describe what.

The grandfather turned and grabbed the lord’s shoulders.

Their eyes locked.

“But you can swim.”

i-prefer-the-term-antihero
i-prefer-the-term-antihero
1 month ago

[Removed]

Last edited 12 days ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
King_Nix
King_Nix
1 month ago

The Eve of All Saints
By King_Nix

[An entry from the field journal of Francis Plantagenet, Captain General of the Inquisitorial Dæmon Hunters.]

October 31st

All has been made ready.
The horses have been prepared.
Father Rodrikson has provided us with ample holy water and blessed ashes.
The munitions are blessed.
Our arsenal has been inspected thrice over daily, and surpasses standards.
The Greek Fire has arrived from the chemists in Rome.

For thirteen days we’ve toiled. We fooled the enemy into thinking our position vulnerable, yet strong enough to necessitate greater numbers to overwhelm. Estimates from the first night placed the enemy at eight; last night’s watch reported no less than fifty.

Their howling screams have mocked us from afar with increasing fervor every night, drowned out by the chanting of our choir. They took the bait, and tonight we spring the trap. No more will the fiends of the wilderness find comfort in the night.
In the witching hour of All Saints’ Day, we give these monsters a reason to scream.

November 1st, the Feast of All Saints

We let them approach our perimeter. The usual shrieking commenced, taunting us to leave our hallowed circle. The one wearing the skin of Private Thomas led the coven in their mocking screams. It had grown into its new attire since I last saw it – no longer did it sport the slavering jaws of a hound, yet it was no closer to appearing human. Its glare always met my own gaze.

Together, we cast our fire into the brush, and the night burst into day. The choir broke into the chant of Saint Michaël the Archangel, keeping time with our rifle volleys. Bullets coated in blessèd ash erupted from guns sprinkled with holy water and tore into the shape-shifting witches. The enemy broke, screaming in terrified agony, but none would survive. We mounted up and I led a charge. We cut them down to the last, by pistol and sword, by shotgun and bayonet.

As the Sun broke over the desolation of our foes, we doused the smoldering earth, and celebrated Mass.

[End of entry.]

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
1 month ago

Eira Oleantrath’s Counseling Possession Service
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

Cade pushed open the door to Eira Oleantrath’s Counseling Possession Service, the bells above it chiming a harmonic minor chord. He barely made it in the door before someone bounced into existence in front of him.

“Greetings and welcome! Name’s Eira, what service are you in for today?” She held out a translucent hand.

Cade jumped, then recovered and held his hand out. “Um, hi, I’m Cade, and I’m just here for one-time advice?”

Eira phased her hand through his, sending a chill down Cade’s spine. “Come take a seat!” She zipped to the far side of an elaborately decorated table.

Cade sat down, removing a bill from his wallet. It floated to Eira, who quickly sent it to a pocket dimension for safekeeping.

“So!” Eira leaned forward. “What would you like help with?”

“Well,” he cleared his throat, “I have trouble telling people what I think. Conveying my ideas, and all that. So I’m here for the whole possession thing? To get tips? I submitted the paperwork online, do I just… sit here? Is it going to feel weird? I’ve never been possessed before—”

Eira nodded understandingly. “Possession can be very frightening, especially the first time. But all I’ll be doing is poking around in there and giving you tips on putting it into words, correct?”

If her feet were solid, Cade guessed he would have been able to hear them tapping on the floor.

“Uh, yes? Please?” he said.

Eira beamed. “Then hold still, and take a nice, deep breath.”

He did, and another chill flowed through his body. He felt himself drifting to the side, like a piece of grass in the wind.

Then suddenly the sensation stopped, with Eira wailing in agony, holding her head in her hands.

“What happened?”

“Why?! Why did everything hurt?!” she screamed.

“Oh, uh…” he scratched his head, “I probably should’ve mentioned, I suffer from chronic pain—”

“Out! Out!” Eira shooed Cade towards the door, resummoning his fee and flinging it at him. “And never come back!”

Cade shuffled awkwardly out the door.

Constellasphere
Constellasphere
1 month ago

“Reverse”
By Constellasphere

A box is held tightly within warm arms, as if embracing someone familiar. The wind is wonderful today, blowing past and carrying the scent of the ocean with it. And while the sun may be covered by the clouds lingering in the sky, it’s a new experience, another day. Today is another chance to be alive.

Here at the edge of an eternity, it is lonely. There is nobody else to reside within the passing time, and yet…and yet there is existence. A heartbeat pounds, beats, against the box. Maybe someone across the endless sea can hear this rhythm that pronounces life.

There are so many things to experience, but so little time. Emotions are endlessly shifting colours, abruptly staining the world with something new. To be upset, to be ecstatic, to be calm, to be livid; the grasp on the box tightens. There is something that needs to be said, but where does that ability come from?

Reaching from within the heart, from within the lungs, from within the mind; won’t you say it now? Please, tell it, shout it, scream it!

These chords, they bash together and endlessly vibrate; the box has burst open, but there is nothing within it. And yet, that existence screams with all it has, just to show that it is alive. From this end of the world, pointless things are shouted, and they disappear into a void that is the air.

The world is fading away; clouds unravel like yarn, the sun’s light fades away into nothing. That breeze that once blew past, it becomes stale and then nonexistent. That’s right, no matter how much one screams, one day it won’t matter.

Eyes close; a last gasp is taken in, and then there is no longer a way to prove life. Those chords have been washed and worn away, leaving no chance to scream out regrets and wishes.

Here at the edge of eternity, where the muttering of pointless things has vanished, nothing remains.

Astrid Jones
1 month ago

The Fox’s Warning
by Astrid Jones

When the humans broke the promise they had made to the forest, they did it quietly and slowly. At least, that was how it began. Once the creatures of the wood noticed the fragile treaty had been broken, it was too late.

The first to realize something was amiss were the turtles and the ducks. The hidden pools sheltered by the silver maples slowly dried up. The ducks found new nesting grounds, promising the dusty depression in the forest floor that they would return the next year. The turtles, however, knew the water would not be coming back, and began the long journey to find a new home.

Then the marsh disappeared as well. The red-winged blackbirds sang for their home for two more springs before they, too, moved on. The brittle cattails lay flat under the shadows of their wings, unable to offer any more shelter.

That was when the crafty fox took notice. They tried to warn the turkeys and the deer, but the prey creatures stamped their feet and would not listen. The fox’s night-long screams were echoed by those of the coyote and the screech owl. Soon, even they moved on, leaving the few remaining prey animals to the whims of the humans.

All seemed quiet for a time. The fox and turtle were wrong, thought the deer. We have more food now that the others have gone. We are no longer being hunted, thought the turkeys. They were wrong and we are safe.

Then the yellow monsters appeared in the meadows, led by the humans. Only when the great roaring beasts began to eat the very earth did the rest of the creatures of the wood realize the humans had broken their promise. The deer and the turkeys fled, leaving no one to scream a warning to anyone remaining.

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

Sinking Into Darkness
By MasaCur

I was laying in bed, waiting for sleep to come, the darkness enveloped me just as certainly as my blanket had.

As I lay there, I sensed there was…something. Something else was in the room with me. A malevolent presence I could only feel rather than truly perceive.

In an instant, it was on top of me, pressing me into the mattress. I struggled against it, but I couldn’t move. My limbs failed me as I tried to push myself up.

“You, I will kill last,” it said to me. The words were not spoken. Rather, they seemed to materialize in my head, but I knew they were the thoughts of the entity, and it wanted me to know them. “You will wait and suffer as I kill everyone else in your home. Your loved ones will be slain in their sleep, one by one, and there will be nothing you can do about it.”

I tried to struggle against the presence, trying desperately to flail my useless limbs. I felt like I was trying to wade through wet cement.

There was one last thing I could do. I inhaled deeply, and screamed to wake everyone to its presence

My shout came out like a wheezing rasp, the rattling breath of a dying man. I could almost feel the presence sneering at my efforts.

The despair set in, but still I fought. I continued to struggle, to fight. If only I could make it off the bed, I could hold the door shut, to keep it trapped inside with me. If only I could get my limbs to move. Just an inch. That’s all. I knew, if I could just move slightly, I could break free.

I pushed with all my effort. I felt my head vibrate with the effort of me forcing my limbs to work. As I did so, I violently awoke from my slumber.

I pushed myself off my bed, gasping for breath as if I was a drowning man. I suppose in a way, I was.

I hate my sleep paralysis demon.

GJFuller
GJFuller
1 month ago

The Night the Nightlight Went Out
By Giovanna J. Fuller

As a child, every night before I would go to sleep, I would say goodnight three times. Once to my dad in his office. Without even looking away from his paper, he would pat me on the head and tell me goodnight through the pipe in his mouth. Second was to my mom as she tucked me in. A kiss on the forehead and a lullaby later and I would be all alone in the room. The third would be to the empty room where I knew it lurked. A shadow would appear in the space between my closet and where the tiny light bulb in my Spongebob night light cast its single beacon of hope.

“Goodnight, Laurence,” it would say as soon as the door was closed and the footsteps of my unsuspecting mother faded away. If I had to describe its voice, I would have to say it was something close to the slow, thick drip of molasses on waffles mixed with the sound the wind would make as it rustled through the empty branches of the tree outside my childhood home.

I would pull my bedsheets closer to my chest and stutter out, “G-goodnight.”

But one night I didn’t. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t anymore. I stayed silent.

“Laurence…” it purred. “I know you’re there…be polite….say goodnight…”

I was silent and pulled my comforter over my head, as though the cotton and down would protect me from whatever it was that called out to me.

“Laurence!” its voice lost all the slow whispyness, becoming hard and angry. “Wish me goodnight or you’ll regret it.” After a minute or so, I heard it sigh as though it were disappointed in me. It ‘tsked’ at me. “Oh, my dear, sweet boy. I did warn you.”

It all happened so fast.

Something shattered and my night light went out.

My door slammed open.

I heard my mother screaming.

“GOODNIGHT!” I cried, but it was too late.

Last edited 1 month ago by GJFuller
Lari B. Haven
Lari B. Haven
1 month ago

Stuck in her throat (Haven’s Tale)
By Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

Haven sat in her room, looking at the tears fall in the palms of her hands. The hiccups broke the gasps for air. It was finally dawning on her; the painful memories she was finally accessing now deserved catharsis. Yet she could not release them..

Her lungs hurt, her throat swelled, her back muscles flinched… But nothing came from it.

She went for so long feeling nothing that now she didn’t know how to feel. All those unresolved feelings wanted to escape. But how?

Haven remembered one of the first times she saw Jack practicing on his cello.

Jack acted like a madman. He couldn’t sit still. Sweat dripped from his chin, and ears twitching with excitement. The bow attacked the strings like a butcher’s knife. His hands glided through the neck like he was gutting it. The cello wailed, angry, wounded, sorrowful.

“It sounds so full of wrath.” Haven watched in awe.

“Sometimes I like to play music that sounds like I’m screaming.” He shouted, a determined smile erupted from his mouth. “It makes me feel better!”

That song, that intensity, it spoke to her. It encapsulated so perfectly all the things that she was feeling now.

If only she could be like the cello. Crying free, spilling all her notes over the room. Beautifully and violently bleeding out her anguish. If only someone could run his fingers over her neck, plucking away all those angry shouts. If only someone could rip out of her insides, the unfiltered pain that would make her sing.

If only Jack could hold her in his arms and shake her out of her apathy.

But she couldn’t rely on him, not now. She already had come with the terms that certain things, she had to find the strength to do alone. Those heavy, negative feelings belonged to her and no one else’s.

She had to find a way to voice her wrathful wail. Even if no one else could hear her.