Tuesday, November 1, 2011

scary story?

I'm not a very good story writer. I can hardly get an idea, and when I do I immediately see all the problems with it. So I don't write many stories. But for our writing prompt last week, we read a couple of the examples in Half-Minute Horror--and then I asked students to write a short scary story. So I had to do it, too.
 What feedback would you give me?

It's Halloween week, so of course all the shows on TV have an appropriate theme--ghosts or zombies or unspeakable creatures bent on unheard-of terrorizing. I watch, but I get a little creeped out. Silly. I remind myself that the stories are just for fun, not really scary, not really real. Tonight is no exception. Castle--and the murderer appears to be a ghost. So there are all the appropriate creepy images--skeletons falling out of closets and slamming doors and lights flickering. During commercials, I mute the sound. Now I can hear the sounds in the the house. Creaking. Just the house shifting. I tell myself not to be silly about it. Happens all the time.
Tapping. Branches against the window. The women in the shows always ignore the sounds, too, while I yell at them: "Why are you standing there, ignoring the sounds?" Stop thinking like that.
Bang! A car backfire. Silly me.
Thud? No explanation comes to mind.
I am being silly, creeping myself out because of a dumb television show.
Thud, again, like heavy footsteps coming slowly upstairs.
But the doors are locked. It isn't possible.
I am sitting in bed, book on my lap, remote at hand. Do I have time to check the bedroom door, to see if it's locked? Thud. Closer.
And a shuffling sound.
I throw off the covers, jump out of bed and run toward the door. Just as I reach for the knob, it turns.


  1. It's an interesting beginning and you've got me hooked. I thought you would open the door; will you? Or-if you do, what or who will be there? Is it a problem from within? Will this take you to another memory of a scare as a child? I love the inner voice that keeps saying 'silly'. It heightens the tension a lot. Hope you'll share what happens next!

  2. awesome....my guitar classes LOVED the half-minute horrors (we read a scary story every day thru October). So much fun!