The Flip Side – In response to Esther Newton’s Writing Challenge

I’ve been reading Esther’s blog for a while now, and love the weekly writing challenge she posts. I try to take part when I can, usually in the comments (for the short challenges), but this week I wanted to create a story in response to one of the themes – horror.

The Flip Side

“Why do we have to split up?” Michael asked his two friends. He already regretted coming to the house. He hated the place.

“Aww…Mickey’s scared. Did you pack you blanket, Mickey? Did mommy pack-”

Michael clocked him on the jaw. “Shut the hell up, Dave. “You’re the one with the glow worm night light.”

“Cut it out, both of you.” Joe stepped between them. “We made the bet, so we have to deal with it.” He grabbed his backpack from the dust covered floorboards. “I’ll see you on the flip-side.”

“Try not to wet the bed,” David called after him.

“You’re such a jerk, you know that?” Michael sighed, running his gaze around the filthy bedroom. He wasn’t going anywhere near the bed; the bugs were having a party in the mattress.

“You have no sense of humour, Mike. That’s your problem.” David was already at the door. “Holler if you need anything.”

Like my head testing?

Michael grimaced as he lay his sleeping bag out on the floor. He was going to burn the thing as soon as he could. Crazy shit always happened in their little town, and he didn’t need to spend the night in an abandoned house to prove the thing was haunted. He could practically feel the ghosts breathing down his neck.

He shuddered, and climbed into his sleeping bag. It was going to be a long night.

“Stupid,” Michael muttered as he positioned himself with his back against the wall, facing the door. “This is so stupid.”

His voice sounded too loud in the dusty room; the house throwing his words back at him, taunting him. Had it been this quiet before? He could have been alone, so intense was his isolation. Michael was tempted to call out to his friends, if only to reassure himself they were still with him. If the rumours were true, it wouldn’t be the first time people had vanished in this house.

It was almost a relief when he heard the sounds coming from the bedroom across the hall. Almost. Something was off about the guttural, quality of the noise.

Get a grip, Mike. It’s just Dave fooling around.

He listened intently, squinting at the door as though he might somehow see through it. A beam of moonlight filtered through the grimy window, drawing his gaze. Michael saw the twisted branches of a tree reflected across the ground, like bony fingers reaching toward him.

His pulse skittered when he heard a floorboard creek in the hall, and his eyes swung back to the door. Something was out there.

Michael stared at the doorknob for so long his eyes began to ache. Tears blurred his vision, but were quickly blinked away. He was just beginning to relax when the knob turned abruptly, and the door swung open with enough force to slam against the wall. He felt the vibration all the way to his toes.

Relief flooded him when he glimpsed David’s outline. “Dave, you scared the shit out of me.” The raspy sound of his friend’s breathing sent a shiver of alarm through him. “Seriously, Dave. You’re not funny.”

But David didn’t reply. He only stared at him, his chest heaving and the hostility coming off him in waves.

Michael scrambled out of his sleeping bag. He almost stumbled when David stalked towards him. As David passed through the beam of moonlight, Michael saw his eyes for the first time. They were dead, vacant, and so cold Michael shivered. He scrambled back, bumping up against something hard; probably the cabinet he’d noticed earlier.

“Dave?”

His friend roared, leaping at him like a cat. He wrapped his skinny hands around Michael’s neck and squeezed. David’s breath hit him like a slap. It smelled like decay, so rotten Michael’s stomach heaved.

As the air began to back up in his lungs, his survival instinct took over. Michael floundered, his hands trying to push his friend back. It was no use. David’s arms were like a steel trap. There was no getting out of it. In his desperation he forgot all the self-defence moves his father had taught him, and instead felt blindly behind him, not sure what he was looking for until his hand settled around something hard and heavy.

Without thinking Michael grabbed hold of the object, raising his arm quickly and decisively and bringing it down on David’s head. At first the blow had no affect, so he hit him again. And again. Michael couldn’t stop hitting him. Even when his friend was on the ground, he couldn’t stop.

When the frenzy passed he looked down in horror at the blood, at the face which was now unrecognisable. Michael sank to his knees and vomited beside the body of his friend.

“No. No. No.”

Pain ripped across Michael’s chest. He had killed David. How could he have killed his best friend? The thought had him retching again. The smell of blood, of decay, or lost friendship consumed him, and he heaved until he had nothing left.

“Mike!” Joe shot into the room.  “Mickey? We need to get out of here. Now. We have to leave.”

“I can’t leave him.” Michael was rocking now. His thoughts shattered, his guilt like a noose around his neck.

“Snap out of it, Mike. We have to help Dave. He’s hurt.”

Michael looked up, horror in his eyes. “He’s dead.”

“What?” Joe glanced down at the body for the first time. “No. He’s not.” He turned to the door. “Dave. You okay, buddy?”

“Just get me the hell out of here, man. No bet is worth this shit.”

The sound of his friend’s voice almost sent Michael over the edge. Until he realised the sound was coming from the room across the hall. He looked down, seeing for the first time the yellowed skin of the body beside him. It wasn’t David. It wasn’t his friend. He was on his feet a heartbeat later, and following Joe across the room.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

[WR101 Prompt Series] Terrifying Thursdays' – Prompt #11

The theme for this week is a kind of ‘character versus plot’. I have provided two options below, challenging you explore other ways of working. If you enjoy to map out a story before you add characters to the landscape, try using option B. If the opposite is true and you don’t normally stick to a set plan, why not try it out?

This is the final prompt in this week’s theme. Shades of August begins tomorrow. To find out more, click here.

a) Plot breakdown/Storyline

Stasis: The year is 2021 and the earth is recovering from nuclear war.  Only a small percentage of the population remain. The story focuses on the area that was once known as central London, as the quarantine is lifted and a group of people emerge topside.

Trigger: Among the shattered remains of what once was, the group realise they have something new to fear. A creature born of the destruction and stronger than anything they have ever seen.

The quest: Stranded, they must fight to the death in order to survive this new nightmare and earn the right to rebuild a new civilisation.

Surprise: In the heat of battle the group discover a secret weapon. A natural remedy which defies everything they believed about the original war.

Critical choice: The group must decide which side they are on, and create order among chaos.

Reversal: The government lied about their selection, hiding the true reason they were saved.

The resolution of the piece is entirely up to you.

b) Character Description

Name: Audrey Hobson

Age: 20

Hair colour: Black

Height: 5ft 7″

Eye colour: Blue

Complexion: Tanned

Personality traits: Impatient, mischievous and argumentative – she lives to get a rise out of people.

Motto: Never say never.

Occupation: Free spirit.

Martial Status: Divorced

***

 


 

 

Welcome to the WR101 Prompt Series. A daily prompt incorporating our love of fiction in all its forms.

I’ve tried not to set too many rules, but there are a few guidelines:

  • Create a post based on the prompt and provide a pingback or link in the comments section of the relevant page.
  • Any form of fiction is welcome; flash-fiction, micro-fiction, stories on a postcard, poetry – you don’t need to put labels on it, you just need to write.
  • Follow the theme on each given day. Here is a breakdown of the week by genre:

Mystery on Mondays’ – a place for mystery and suspense.

Thrilling Tuesdays’ – for all things related to the crime and thriller genres.

Weird and Whacky Wednesdays’ – for stories of a comedic nature.

Terrifying Thursdays’ – for tales of horror.

Fictional Fridays’ – a catch-all prompt for general fiction

Seductive Saturdays’ – a place for romance

Sci-Fi Sundays’ – take us to new worlds.

That’s it! Be respectful of others’ work and always provide constructive feedback.

If you have any suggestions for these prompts, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the prompt series and look forward to reading your contributions.

M

Daily Prompt Logo

[WR101 Prompt Series] Terrifying Thursdays' – Prompt #10

I’m using pictures as the inspiration for this week’s theme. Your terrifying Thursday image is courtesy of Moyan Brenn and can be found on flickr. The piece is entitled Scary doll.

Scary doll

Have fun 🙂


 

Welcome to the WR101 Prompt Series. A daily prompt incorporating our love of fiction in all its forms.

I’ve tried not to set too many rules, but there are a few guidelines:

  • Create a post based on the prompt and provide a pingback or link in the comments section of the relevant page.
  • Any form of fiction is welcome; flash-fiction, micro-fiction, stories on a postcard, poetry – you don’t need to put labels on it, you just need to write.
  • Follow the theme on each given day. Here is a breakdown of the week by genre:

Mystery on Mondays’ – a place for mystery and suspense.

Thrilling Tuesdays’ – for all things related to the crime and thriller genres.

Weird and Whacky Wednesdays’ – for stories of a comedic nature.

Terrifying Thursdays’ – for tales of horror.

Fictional Fridays’ – a catch-all prompt for general fiction

Seductive Saturdays’ – a place for romance

Sci-Fi Sundays’ – take us to new worlds.

That’s it! Be respectful of others’ work and always provide constructive feedback.

If you have any suggestions for these prompts, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the prompt series and look forward to reading your contributions.

MDaily Prompt Logo

[WR101 Prompt Series] Terrifying Thursdays' – Prompt #9

The theme for this week is all about the song and requires you to  write a short story based on a song title. You don’t have to base it on the lyrics. As long as it’s linked to the appropriate genre, and includes an interpretation of the song.

The song title for Thursday is:

Endless Sleep (Jody Reynolds).

 


 

Welcome to the WR101 Prompt Series. A daily prompt incorporating our love of fiction in all its forms.

I’ve tried not to set too many rules, but there are a few guidelines:

  • Create a post based on the prompt and provide a pingback or link in the comments section of the relevant page.
  • Any form of fiction is welcome; flash-fiction, micro-fiction, stories on a postcard, poetry – you don’t need to put labels on it, you just need to write.
  • Follow the theme on each given day. Here is a breakdown of the week by genre:

Mystery on Mondays’ – a place for mystery and suspense.

Thrilling Tuesdays’ – for all things related to the crime and thriller genres.

Weird and Whacky Wednesdays’ – for stories of a comedic nature.

Terrifying Thursdays’ – for tales of horror.

Fictional Fridays’ – a catch-all prompt for general fiction

Seductive Saturdays’ – a place for romance

Sci-Fi Sundays’ – take us to new worlds.

That’s it! Be respectful of others’ work and always provide constructive feedback.

If you have any suggestions for these prompts, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the prompt series and look forward to reading your contributions.

MDaily Prompt Logo

Don't Close Your Eyes by Mark Morris – [WR101 Daily Prompt] Terrifying Thursday's #8

Terrifying Thursdays'You won’t want to miss Mark’s contribution to the daily-prompt. Click here to read it.

As a reminder, here’s the prompt:

The theme for this week is in the form of a story title. The title, which you will find below, must also be used in the opening sentence. The word count should be 500 words or less.

So here’s your terrifying story title for Thursday:

Don’t Close Your Eyes

[WR101 Prompt Series] Terrifying Thursdays' – Prompt #8

The theme for this week is in the form of a story title. The title, which you will find below, must also be used in the opening sentence. The word count should be 500 words or less.

So here’s your terrifying story title for Thursday:

Don’t Close Your Eyes

[WR101 Prompt Series] Terrifying Thursdays' – Prompt #7

The theme for this week is in the form of a final sentence. All you need to do is weave a ‘terrifying’ tale which concludes with the following sentence:

“Though unavoidable, he knew he would regret the decision for the rest of his life.”

NB: If would like to suggest a sentence for this week’s theme, please let me know.

Eternal Darkness

J. Sander over at ‘Don’t Delete Me’ shared a sentence starter for his Writing Prompt Wednesday. I couldn’t resist a quick detour, since an image sprang into my head and I had to go with it. I must warn you though, this is darker than anything I’ve ever written, so I apologise in advance at its disturbing nature!

Eternal Darkness

The knife he chose was his Mothers’ favourite. Ironic really, since he was going to end her life with it. He was done with the nagging, the whining, and the endless chatter about how much better her life would be without him. Christ, she was a pain in his ass. Her bitterness was like a disease; the only thing she was willing to share with him.

He would look into those hateful, pale blue eyes and watch the lights go out. Only then would he be free He doubted she would go to a better place. No, it was more likely she would bathe in hell’s eternal fire. Not that his life was any better.

The knife felt heavy in his hand, like he was channeling his hatred into it. He was surprised it didn’t burn a hole in his palm.

As he approached her room, a bead of sweat dripped off his brow and landed with a plop on the hard wooden floor. That was odd, wasn’t it? Come to think of it, all of his senses were off, or maybe on. It was dark in the hall yet he could see with a clarity he’d never experienced.

He took a huge lungful of air, wondering at the putrid odour which seared his lungs and made him think of his own despair. It was death. He was sure of it. But he hadn’t even killed her yet.

That was when he knew, he’d been here before, in the exact same spot. And what came next, was the stuff of his nightmares.

On cue his mother’s door flew open. Her eye sockets were caverns of blood and scar tissue and yet she looked directly into his soul. Her mouth was open, as if in a silent scream and her nostrils flared when she sensed him.

“My boy,” she said, in a singsong voice that peeled the flesh from his bones. “It’s time to play.”

***

Thanks for reading

Mel