Tag Archives: october

Update 10/20/2011

Sorry I haven’t been posting every day (you may all cheer now). Doing back-end stuff for The Writer’s Bloc has been taking up a large chunk of my time, as has rewriting Blood: Fury and reading critiques of Still-Life, with Snowflake.

Hopefully that will all slow down now, and I can move on and get back to pestering everyone with daily nonsense.

There’s still time to enter our Flash Fiction Challenge for Octobrrr.

And if you haven’t done so yet, head by Haley’s site and enter her contest. You could win a prize.

Octobrrr horror for your amusement.

(Week) Night of the Living Dead

The Windows, My Eyes

The Creature Over the Bed

The Venice Accord

Il Masque

Starlight on the Water

Sarahann’s Warning by Ozlem Yikici

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(Week) Night of the Living Dead

In response to my own flash-fiction challenge, Sunday in the Park with Freddie.

“Hey, deadboy, isn’t it past your bedtime?”

The jeers mocked me as I shuffled down the street. I slowly turned my head to look, and as I suspected, it was Bret and his football jock buddies. They were hanging around outside the coffee shop on Main, looking all clean and neat in their letterman jackets and copious hair product. I tried to avoid looking down at myself in comparison, but it was inevitable. Old jeans with more holes than fabric, sneakers a size too small that only fit because my big toes had fallen off last summer during the school camping trip, a moldy tee shirt with faded print reading Bite Me. Yeah, I’m so ironically hip it hurts.

They knew they were safe, mocking me. They were right, it was a week night and I was late getting home. I didn’t have time to chase them down. Mom was already going to be mad at me. The only silver lining was that, since her larynx had rotted away, she has to write out her complaints. Hopefully she’ll accidentally chop off her fingers soon.

Stupid Bret and his stupid friends. Just because they still had pulses, they thought they were so special. Part of the ‘clean,’ as the living liked to style themselves. As if we could help being dirty. YOU try living your life with maggots in your nostrils and gangrene slowly eating away at your limbs and tell me how clean YOU manage to stay after a few years.

The worst part was that these jerks used to be my friends. I used to be on the team, till that damned cheerleader from Penn Hills bit me. Now, all they did wa

Still, sometimes you have to put in appearances. As they hooted and laughed at me, I turned suddenly towards them. Well, as suddenly as I could. My left leg had been feeling fairly fragile lately, I didn’t want to risk snapping an ankle. Getting to homeroom on time was hard enough as it was, I didn’t need that kind of complication.

There was no way I could possibly catch them, by myself, at my speed. Still, it was gratifying to see the smug expressions vanish as they scrambled to their feet. The table clattered over, spilling their drinks as they struggled to get clear of the roped-off dining area with the signs declaring that it was for ‘Breathers Only.’  The alarm on their faces was almost worth the price of admission as I opened my mouth wide and pantomimed biting them.

They bolted. I smiled gingerly and continued on my way home. It was a week night, and I had to study for that algebra test tomorrow.

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The Creature Over the Bed

Billy tried to ignore it for as long as he could. The shuffling, the breathing. It was the Creature, he was sure of it. The Creature over the Bed. He had heard it every night for going on three weeks. Always the same. The night would start off well enough, sometimes he was even able to grab a little sleep. But then it would start. There would be a stomping sound, then a loud groaning creak. Harsh whispers he couldn’t quite make out would issue from thin air. Finally, the shuffling and the breathing. The horrid, horrible, ghastly breathing.

Billy was too old to believe in monsters, or so he told himself night after night. And  yet he would lie there, wide awake with is eyes screwed shut. Maybe if he didn’t look over the edge of the bed, then the Creature couldn’t get him. This was his only solace, the only hope he had to cling to during those long, lonely nights.

There was tangible proof, also. Sometimes when Billy woke up in the morning, things would be moved around. Sometimes it was an old pair of shoes, or sometimes it was an old, splintery Louisville Slugger, but things would not be where they were left the night before.

Billy tried speaking to Sioned about it once, but she was too busy with the laundry. “Oi, lad, these clothes’ll nay wash themselves!” she teased him, and he never spoke with her about it again.

He tried talking to Angus about the issue. He found Angus at breakfast, eating his usual bowl of honey-laced porridge, and his mouth was full and somewhat sticky, so he could do naught but shrug helplessly. He tried to talk to Angus again later, but found him busy with his tools, too intent on resoling an old boot to be of much help.

Billy thought about trying to talk to Old Man Jake, but if he had to be honest with himself, Billy would admit that Old Man Jake scared him almost as much as the Creature did. So there would be no help from that angle.

In the end, he talked about it with Alice, as usual. She was his closest confidant, despite being only a girl. She was the only one in the house who had time for him. When he asked her about it, she smiled shyly and told him she had all the time in the world for him. So he told her about the Creature and his restless nights and the horrible heavy breathing.

Alice listened closely, toying with the hem of her white nightshirt. As he finished his tale, she thought for a moment and then whispered, “You must confront it. It is the only way you’ll ever be safe. Bring a flashlight, and just… confront it.”

Billy struggled with this advice for a couple of days before snapping. He brought the flashlight, and lay there, waiting. Once he heard the voices and then the shuffling, Billy leapt out and shone his light at the Creature.

“Mo-om!” the Creature yelled, “Come cuick! The Thing Under the Bed has a flashlight!!!!”

In response to my own Flash Fiction challenge, Sunday in the park with Freddie. Come on folks, let’s see what you have.

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October Flash Fiction Challenge – Sunday in the Park with Freddie

Well, here it is. Octobrrrr already. As I look out my window, it’s sunny and about 85.

Again, I didn’t -quite- make my quota of posting every day, although I blame the novels for some of that. I get into a groove, and just don’t want to stop. In an effort to combat this, I have joined the Post-A-Day 2011 challenge (better late than never, right?) and will be participating in the NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month in November.

October is traditionally the month where thoughts turn to goblins and ghouls, witches and warlocks, vampires and very full bags of candy. Already, there have been a couple of writing challenges involving horror of some sort or other, and I have participated in a couple. I also just finished Starlight on the Water, a sci-fi horror story in the vein of of my favorite horror author ever. Read it and see if you can tell of whom I speak.

Find your horror here:

Starlight on the Water

The Eyes of the Cat

A Catchy Tune

The Windows, My Eyes

HOWEVER! I think that there will be plenty of true horror-themed challenges this month, so I’m going to do something different.

The There By Candlelight October Flash Fiction Challenge for this month is entitled Sunday in the Park with Freddie (or Jason, or Michael, or whatever horror character you prefer).

The theme is to take a horror story, and invert it. Give it a happy ending. Or maybe it’s not really that scary at all. Think Jack Skellington. Think The Sisters Three enjoying afternoon tea. Think Monsters, Inc. Give me horror tropes, but not a horror ending.

Theme: Inverted Horror Tropes/Story

Length: Around 500-ish words. A little over is okay, but try to keep it around there. After all, it is actually harder to write small than big.

How to Participate: Write it on your own blog and post the link here. If you don’t have your own blog, post it in the Comments section (but really REALLY please don’t go much over 500 if you do that).

What Do I Get? Everyone who participates will get a genuine replica TBC noprize of your choice.

Deadline: October 31, 2011, midnight PST (or, you know, whenever you feel like it. I’m pretty relaxed about the cut-off date here). Noprize winners will be announced on November 1st.

So get those fingers a-typing, my fiendish friends, and show me just how scary you can’t be.

My own entries: The Creature Over the Bed and (Week) Night of the Living Dead.

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Starlight on the Water

The lake was first discovered by scientists using the Hubble II telescope way back in ’39. At the time, it was merely a small curiosity in a galaxy filled with them, none of which we could do much more than speculate on and occasionally say, “ooh, neat,” about. That all changed in ’82 when Krueztner and Fields applied for the patent on their logically, if un-originally named Krueztner Field Device.

But even after the first prototype EFTL-drive manned vessel rolled out of the factory, the lake was somewhere in the bottom half of the things scientists most wanted to explore. It ranked above, “funny oval-shaped asteroid in elliptical orbit around the third gas giant in Rigel Kentarus,” but below, “that nebula in Andromeda that sort of looks like a candy-cane.” So it was many years, and thousands of missions, before anyone got around to visiting the lake. In the meantime, we had discovered life on other planets (none of it sapient, of course), built the first true artificial intelligence, and cured the common cold.

When we finally did travel to the lake, it was a small mission comprised of three scientists in a hundred year old EFTL vessel meant for a full team of ten. The trip took six weeks, even with Effectively-Faster-Than-Light travel methods. The trip was, by all accounts, boring and quiet. The vessel felt, according to Dr. King, the mission leader, “practically empty.” The mission on site was expected to take no more than a handful of days. Go out, get some samples, take some readings, and head home. That was the mission. The Agency even booked the vessel they took for another mission four days after their expected return.

What they found when they arrived was not what anyone expected. Not that anyone knew that right away, of course.

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