Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Nightmare Fuel: The Collection

For the past few years, I've participated in an October Flash Fiction Challenge called The Nightmare Fuel Project. Fellow writer Bliss Morgan gathers pictures and posts one each day, inviting other writers to compose creepy flash fiction based on what they see.

I usually need a boost in my writing life at right about this time of year, and this challenge is perfect, letting me remember what it's like to play in my writing life and create pieces without worrying about their publishing potential. It has the side benefit of being thematic to my favorite holiday: Halloween. Each day, I wrote a story and posted it. I wrote each in less than an hour, so they are good practice on pushing my efficiency too!

I really enjoy this challenge and some of the stories are seeds I will come back to and grow into full plants, um, stories.

So, here's my favorite one of the ones I wrote this year. Below you can find links to all the posts on my author Facebook or on pluspora (in case you're not a Facebook user). I'd love to hear what you think about any of them, or about your own experience with writing challenges and what they bring to your creative life in the comments!

Lantern Man:

Emily sat on the sand, weeping. She’d gotten separated from the rest of the kids on the way back from the pier and she was pretty sure she’d been walking in the wrong direction for an hour now. Exhausted and scared, she watched the last of the sunlight turn orange, then amber, dreading the darkness to come.

Her mother was going to be so mad. At least she hoped she’d have the chance to be yelled at by her mother. The alternatives were too scary to contemplate.

Then, she spotted the man. An older man, by his walk, wearing a hat and carrying a lantern in each hand. “Mister!” she called out, hoping he might at least tell her which way to walk, or help her get to a phone. She didn’t know the phone number of the hotel, but at least she could get to someplace dry and well lit to wait for help.

She chased after the man, but he didn’t slow his pace. Maybe his hearing wasn’t that good, or maybe the wind was blowing away her cries. She redoubled her pace, but never seemed to narrow the gap between them. The ground grew rougher, rockier and more uneven under her sand-filled sneakers, but she was afraid that if she stopped to empty her shoes or rest she would lose track of the lantern man.

It was totally dark now. The lanterns were the only light in the starless, moonless, and Emily could make out only the outline of the man. “Please!” she cried out again. She rested only a moment, bending to rest her hands on her knees, gasping for air. When she looked back up, the man seemed impossibly far ahead.

“Wait!” she cried and ran as fast as she could. She never saw the cliff’s edge. When they found her body, three days later, she was lying next to a much older body and the remains of two old fashioned lanterns.
#31: Untitled Facebook Pluspora
#30: Foggy Morning Facebook Pluspora
#29: Vengeance Facebook Pluspora
#28: Jeannie Facebook Pluspora
#27: The Neighbor Facebook Pluspora
#26 Lantern Man Facebook Pluspora
#25:The Museum of the Macabre Facebook Pluspora
#24: Play with me? Facebook Pluspora
#23: Rumour in the woods: Facebook Pluspora
#22: Out of Darkness: Facebook Pluspora
#21: The Sand Mother: Facebook Pluspora
#20: Dead Man's Apartment: Facebook Pluspora
#19: Phantom Shrapnel: Facebook Pluspora
#18: Jean's Escape: Facebook Pluspora
#17: The Inheritance: Facebook Pluspora
#16: Hurry Down Doomsday: Facebook Pluspora
#15: Urban Exploration: Facebook Pluspora
#14: Nessie of the North: Facebook Pluspora
#13: Reggie: Facebook Pluspora
#12: Cursed: Facebook Pluspora
#11: Widow Jane: Facebook Pluspora
#10: Icy Death: Facebook Pluspora
#9: The Doll: Facebook Pluspora
#8: Virtual Reality: Facebook Pluspora
#7: My Sister's New Face: Facebook Pluspora
#6: Unfixed: Facebook Pluspora
#5: Helen's Heat: Facebook Pluspora
#4: Digging: Facebook Pluspora
#3: The Other Jack: Facebook Pluspora
#2: Anubis in Hakone: Facebook Pluspora
#1: The Stairs: Facebook Pluspora

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