08 October 2011

Some Things Dark and Dangerous

Choose a word from this list of Lovecraftian words or this list of obscure words (or one from both if you're feeling ambitious). Use your chosen word(s) to craft your post. It doesn't have to be Lovecraftian or even horror, but it should be dark, or unsettling, or scary, or Halloweenish in general. This is part of the October 2011 Blog Chain at Absolute Write.

My two words are “manuscript” and “prosaic

The Manuscript
by Diane Carlisle

And there she was, in her house. He'd found her on Twitter. He loved her profile picture, long auburn hair, eyes hidden behind a pair of large black Oakley’s. Classy girl, he’d thought.

It was Halloween and the kids had all finished up with their greedy pleas for candy; the rambunctious teens had all gone home after they littered the streets with busted pumpkins, slimy seeds sprayed across concrete driveways. Not his concern. His concern sat in a chair at her computer, probably fucking around on Facebook where she posts all her lovely pictures. He was her friend. She accepted didn't she?

His breath sprayed a warm mist onto the interior of his plastic mask, the moisture sent droplets down the walls like sweat running off a cold beer can on a hot, sunny day. He lifted the plastic face to scratch his sideburns and wipe his mouth, then pulled it back down. He loved the clown look. He'd purchased the bright orange Afro wig on the same day.

He laughed and performed a little jig on the side of her lawn. The flood lights at the corner of the house cast a shadow in the grass, making his bouncing Afro appear unusually tall. He felt like a kid again. Just like Pennywise from that Stephen King movie. What was it called? Perfect, he thought.

He lifted his Remington fishing knife. His reflection in the steel blade smiled back and his coffee stained teeth peered through the opening. His eyes looked a bit wild for his liking. Then he poked his tongue through the hole and wiggled it, “How about a little kiss?”

He jumped and clicked his heels together, then shuffled his shoulders back and forth, running in place like a football player at practice. He let the jitters escape him, hyping himself up with the excitement of finally meeting her. Then he moved to the back of the house.

He turned the knob, no resistance. Home alone with the door unlocked? Stupid bitch. He let himself in and fought the urge to call out, “Lucy, I’m home!” He made his way to the aquarium. The bright blue moon lights made this all feel like a dream. He watched the creatures swim about in the tank. Maybe he would just wait for her to come out of her office, her den...

I stopped typing and pushed the keyboard away. Not bad. It only took me an hour to draft it up, but it felt like I’d been sitting in place for half the day. I minimized Notepad and logged into Facebook. I changed my status to “Another short story, done!”

I needed coffee, or maybe some hot chocolate. This would be the manuscript I submit for publication in the Annual Review of Oktoberfest. My mind was definitely not a prosaic one. I left my office and ran into something so hard it knocked the breath out of me. Surely I know my own house.

“Hello, Diane. Remember me?” I saw a steel blade go up in the air, a permanent smile on the clown’s face. Then the knife came down and I felt a pop on my neck. Warm liquid gushed from my throat, the smell of copper. I grabbed his wrists and screamed but my vocal chords only forced out spatters of thick, red blood.

His voice was muffled as if he were talking with a sock in his mouth. I must be dying. I wonder who will find my body laying here in a pool of blood. Will they read my story? Will they submit it on my behalf? Will I be published posthumously? Dammit! I wasn’t ready for this.

The End

Please visit the other participating bloggers for this month's challenge. Also, social icons are provided at the end of this post so that you can share with others and spread the Halloween spirit!

Participants and posts:

orion_mk3 (link to this month's post)
Ralph Pines (link to this month's post)
Cath (link to this month's post)
Diana Rajchel (link to this month's post)
Alynza (link to this month's post)
pyrosama (YOU ARE HERE)
dolores haze (link to this month's post)
leahzero (link to this month's post)
AbielleRose (link to this month's post)
pezie (link to this month's post)
MysteryRiter (link to this month's post)
Inkstrokes (link to this month's post)
AuburnAssassin (link to this month's post)
Alpha Echo (link to this month's post)
robieae (link to this month's post)
JSSchley (link to this month's post)
spacejock2 (link to this month's post)
Madelein.Eirwen (link to this month's post)
AlishaS (link to this month's post)
lufftocraft (link to this month's post)
Proach (link to this month's post)


  1. I felt as if she was writing her own story or as if the story came to life and killed her.

    Still, clowns are creepy.

  2. Yea, a friend of mine has a phobia about clowns. :)

    I changed the POV at the end to show a shift, that she actually conjured the clown via her manuscript. Glad you got that! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. The anticipation from the clown was seamless. Darn creepy clowns, they'll get you every time. :)

  4. It's a little known fact that Stephen King was nearly killed by a pandimensional clown while writing "It."

    Seriously, though, nice job. The viewpoint shift in the middle is really nifty.

  5. Awesome feedback, Alynza and Alex. I didn't know that about King, he's my favorite author!

  6. I laughed out loud at the end. She's dying and all she can think about is her story. Typical writer, LOL!

  7. Diane, I had to slip that in there, you KNOW I had to. :D

  8. Very well written, Diane! Loved it, and I don't like dark stories :-).

  9. Thank you Jonathan. You know, in the holiday spirit and all. :) Teehee!!

  10. Nicely done and I thought of Stephen King as well :). Clowns are just creepy, aren't they?

  11. Clowns are so creepy, they should have their own genre, Erin!! lol

  12. Clowns are suppose to be funny and sweet but we know that behind the mask they are not what they seem. I enjoyed your post. Scary. I think you need a bandaid or something. LOL.

  13. Thank you, Desert! I just hope people realize that I'm not into self-mutilation...I just realize I have a wicked mind and all that, just want an outlet for my internal muse. :D

    Thanks for stopping by!

  14. The condensation on the inside of the mask, the tongue sticking out of the little hole, all great relatable bits that put the reader right in the story! "Hey Lucy, I'm home" again, so realistic.

    The shift of POV was very effective and well done.

  15. Thank you, Doc! My shift in POV I didn't think anyone would pick up on, so thank you!!

  16. Nice dying scene--it felt so realistic, even the part about the posthumous publishing. LOL Nicely done.

  17. Claire, thanks for stopping by. The posthumous publishing I had to add, you know that. ;)

  18. "His breath sprayed a warm mist onto the interior of his plastic mask, the moisture sent droplets down the walls like sweat running off a cold beer can on a hot, sunny day."
    This I liked. I would be very upset if a clown I created killed me and did not have the courtesy to pull up his own manuscript and hit "send."

  19. One of my favorites too, Diana. Thanks for stopping by. I can't wait for next month's challenge!! :)

  20. Better a clown than a mime, I always say.

    Nice work!

  21. You just gave me an idea for another story, robeiae. lol


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