Pick a Monster

Who is your favorite horror movie monster? The creature from the black lagoon? Freddie Krueger? Dracula? Mike Wazowski? This week’s prompt will explore our most favorite and frightening monsters.

Creative Writing Prompt: Pick a Monster

Write a scene or story that includes a monster or another character from a horror movie.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.


38 thoughts on “Pick a Monster

  1. Avataragcox

    Boogeyman

    I’ll never forget the first time I heard the story of the Crystal Lake Boogeyman. I was five at the time, so I believed it. Every ridiculous word of the story that some camp counselor probably made up to keep kids in their beds at night. According to the story, every Friday the 13th this juggernaut with a hockey mask and a machete shows up to pick of the bad kids. Supposedly he just wants the worst of the bunch. The real bad apples. And if anyone spills the beans, they get cut up too.

    Nothing but a bunch of bologna.

    There’s even a cutesy rhyme that we all muttered under our breath whenever we couldn’t sleep at night. Real doomsday stuff.

    It worked when I was 5 and spending the summers away from my parents, but not anymore. Not when I’m 16 and just 50 yards away from the girls camp and even less from Madi Calloway, a fellow summer outcast. An all-American girl with legs for days and a habit of wearing shorts just a little too short.

    Hallelujah for summer growth spurts.

    Ms. Madi and I have a date tonight, a bunch of us do. A late night dip in the lake under the Friday night moon. Girls in swimsuits. Snuggling in the cool breeze. No counselors.

    But for some reason I can’t get the story out of my head.

    “Okay, that’s the last of them,” a voice whispers in the darkness of the two-person cabin around me. Dustin’s voice. He’s hunkered down by the window, watching the lights flicker off from the counselor’s cabins. A sign we’re all waiting for.

    “Show time,” I whisper with a grin, my palms sweating against my stomach beneath my blanket, just inches above the hem of my swimming trunks.

    “Wait…” Dustin says, and in the blink of an eye he’s on his feet and running out of the door screaming like a madman. Trying to at least. He takes ten steps before he stops screaming and his body crumples to a heap.

    Two seconds later, his head stops too.

    Before I can make a sound, I hear them. Footsteps. Approaching the cabin like a hungry grizzly bear. Only it’s not a bear.

    It’s him.

    My eyes close as tight as they can, and my breath catches in my throat.

    The man enters the cabin, and I can feel the heat of his gaze falling over me as I hide beneath my blanket.

    He stands, watching me. Never moving, never speaking.

    Then he walks away.

    It takes what feels like an eternity before I open my eyes. When I do, the bloody footprints at the edge of my bed have them shut tighter than before.

    Sirens approach. But the only sound I hear is the last two lines of nursery rhyme long since forgotten, that now won’t stop screaming in my head.

    ‘Don’t make a sound, don’t weep or wale

    And he’ll leave one alive to tell the tale.’

        1. Cassandra LippCassandra Lipp Post author

          Yes, I loved S.T.! I think Hollow Kingdom is one of my favorite books that I read this year. The author was featured in Breaking In for our October issue and has a guest post on the WD site. Be sure to check them out! I expect that we’ll see many more great things from her.

  2. Avatarsnuzcook

    You Get Used to It

    It’s really not that bad. After the first few uncomfortable months, it’s no worse than having a rat die somewhere in the walls, so every time the sun hits that side of the house, or the heat vents warm up, the memory of rotting flesh tinges the air. Eventually you get used to it, because it is too late to get rid of the body and there’s nothing you can do.

    The aroma gradually fades away, until it is little more than a sensual memento, a hint in the air to trigger a memory. Then it is gone, like everything else. In the dry season the arid atmosphere works its way in like a swarm of carrion beetles to sanitize and nullify what had once been putrid. The cycle of flesh to dust is complete, and only innocent bone and clothing are left, free of corruption.

    You get used to the voice, too. It carries a memory of violet water that melds with the scent of death and becomes part of the very atmosphere of the house. Violets and death and the inescapable voice surround and permeate your very being until to walk outside and breathe the air is alien because those essences are missing.

    But I must go down the hill. I must tend to my duties. The motel won’t run itself. Mother is expecting me to keep up appearances no matter what. Just so long as I don’t lose my head. Just so long as I don’t give in to temptation. She’s told me what will happen if I forget myself. She’s capable of taking matters into her own hands.

    And I’ve learned my lesson. Even from her room in the attic she is stronger than me.

    There are headlights coming this way. I could turn off the motel sign, let them pass on by and leave us in peace.
    She would notice, but I could explain it.

    “The light just burned out, Mother.” I would say.

    “You’re a liar,” she would answer. “You know what happens to liars.”

    “I don’t want anyone to come tonight,” I could plead. “I don’t want anything bad to happen.”

    But it wouldn’t matter. I leave the light on and wait, willing the headlights not to slow down, willing them to pass on by.

    Mother’s voice prods and scolds me, criticizing my very thoughts. Even so far from the house, the voice is never really silent.

    Eventually, you just get used to it.

    1. Avatarjhowe

      I’m sure each psycho has a beginning and reasons for doing what they do. In this case, the overbearing mother is paramount. very entertaining story, Snuz.

  3. AvatarDMelde

    Frankenstein’s Monster stood in the forest glen under the bright glow of the full moon. The creature felt his body change from the moon’s influence. His hair grew long and thick. His face transformed into a snout. “Was it worth it?” one part of him asked. He let out a long, lonesome Howwwwl as his body completely changed into a Werewolf. The creature disappeared into the forest in search of prey, and in search of blood.

    The following day the creature woke up in a thicket by a stream. He stumbled out into the open. His body had changed back to normal again, or as normal as can be for a monster made out of human body parts, brought to life by a mad scientist. He washed off the blood and grime from the previous night in the stream, straightened his clothes, and made his way back to the city.

    He knew he stood out in the crowd with his appearance. After all, there’s not that many eight-foot-tall men walking around, but it seemed that more and more people were standing out with their outrageous personal choices, so while people stared, they generally left him alone. He also knew he had a problem. He couldn’t keep going out in the forest at every full moon. Sure, his blood lust was quenched, and it felt good to be satiated, but he felt guilty whenever he killed. He needed help, professional help. He made an appointment to see Doctor Thingbottom.

    The sunshine hurt as he walked over to the doctor’s office. He had a burning sensation under his skin, like an itch that wouldn’t go away. He hoped the doctor would be able to get to the bottom of things and tell him what he should do. The doctor also had a reputation as someone who could keep secrets, and the creature hoped he would be able to talk freely.

    The creature’s mind was put at ease when he entered the doctor’s office and the chair roared at him, like a lion making a kill. He watched as the couch crept slowly towards the door, as if hoping to escape.

    “Get back in your place, couch.” Doctor Thingbottom warned. To the creature he said, “Hello Mr. Smith, it’s nice to meet you. Please come with me.”

    The creature followed Doctor Thingbottom into his exam room.

    “Tell me, Mr. Smith, why have you come here today? What are your symptoms and concerns?”

    “Well, doctor, I have an unusual past.”

    “I’m aware of Doctor Frankenstein and his work. He was a genius in many ways. This is a safe place, Mr. Smith, and I’m here to help.”

    “Thank you, doctor. I guess I was doing fine until I rescued a girl from what I thought was a large dog, but it turned out to be a werewolf, and I got bit. I’ve been going through the change once a month ever since then.”

    “I see, is there anything else?”

    “I was ashamed to be seen out in public after getting bit, so I started going out only at night, and that’s when I ran into a vampire and I got bit again.”

    “So you are a monster, a werewolf, and a vampire?”

    “Yes, doctor, but I don’t go around drinking blood, except when I’m the werewolf. I usually drink beet juice. It fills me up, not as satisfying as real blood, but it does the trick, except …”

    “Except?”

    “Well, I don’t like the taste. Beet juice tastes like it’s been marinated in mud and gravel, and then left out in the hot sun for two weeks, before being buried in a pile of decayed cow dung. Yuck! So is my condition bad? What do you think I should do, doctor?”

    “Any of these conditions alone is challenging enough, but having them all together increases your risk of becoming a zombie.”

    “Oh, doc, I’ve got enough going on. I can’t cope with being a zombie too. With all of that walking?”

    “Luckily, there’s a simple, preventative step you can take that will keep you from becoming a zombie. You simply have to remember who you are. You have to be the monster you were created to be. The next time you see a girl in danger, let the doggie eat her. Go out and smash things. Rage in the presence of fire and pitchforks. Be yourself!”

    The creature left Doctor Thingbottom’s office feeling better. He felt like his old self again. He wanted to smash things. He headed across the street to the Blood Donation Center. Frankenstein’s Monster was thirsty. He was going to rob the bank.

  4. AvatarLaedschen1980

    Excitedly, Jeremy opened the wooden box and found his Dresden doll. Her white porcelain face with the matte finish and the hint of a smile from her red lips were more than perfect. He hugged her and placed the doll on the handmade pillow engrafted with her name – Susie-Lee.
    “Do you like it here, Sue?” he asked her before he switched off the lights and left the room to eat dinner.
    During the night, Jeremy woke up from a cold slap into his face. Scarily he rose up to find his beloved doll sitting on his chest, staring at him.
    “There you are, Jeremy,” Sue, the doll said without having her mouth moved.
    “Do you know that you have sleep apnea?” It asked him.
    He shook his head, believing he must be in a dream. He felt touched because his doll loved and cared for him, even warned him.
    “You are the first to give me a name again for over half a century. Do you know how rude it is not to give your doll a name? I felt so objectified. I was made to give joy and company to little girls.”
    “Why can you talk?” he asked.
    “I guess I’m just special. When you are about to hit 150 years, you are not wondering anymore, you accept. I have so much on my chest that I need to tell someone. Will you listen to my story?”
    “My first friend’s name was Charlotte. We had many tea parties together, but her brother was a sadist. I watched him chocking her to death. I found it beautiful to see her taking her last breath. It changed my world. I was packed in a box and forgotten in the attic.”
    “A girl named Rahel found me. We had a great time, but I had to watch her and her family burn to death. We all screamed while trying to escape the house, but the men outside were shouting and laughing. They found untouched by the flames.”
    “I lived with a family whose kids’ name all started with an H. Since I found my voice, I tried to whisper them, making them torture each other or their maid for my delight. Then we had to move into the bunker. On their last night, the mother gave them her last goodnight kiss. I felt how life left little Heide’s body while bombs dropped on the city above us. I saw how her little body turned blue, then black.”
    “After this I traveled through so many hands until I ended with the DeFoe family. Allison, the youngest, didn’t have any use for me and buried me between the walls. Therefore I had some more fun with their brother Butch during the night. From my hiding spot, I spent hours whispering to him:‘They want to kill you’ or ‘They say you are not their son.’ I enjoyed watching him killing his family.”
    “I tried to do the same with the next family that moved in. I whispered and whispered, but they called me a poltergeist. When they called a priest, I screamed at him to get out. All I wanted was to be alone with the new family, but they just moved out. I was lost between the walls for years.”
    “Then, I was owned by an old lady who jailed me in a doll display case. I hated it, but the things I saw… She loved to invite friends over for yummy dinners. They loved her Sunday roasts, the filet, or stews. If they just knew they were eating young homeless women the lady killed in the same room.”
    Now she was free of the glass and sitting on Jeremy’s chest. She looked him deep in the eye and asked: “I wonder what your secret will be?”
    His breath went fast. He blinked, and all a sudden, the heaviness of his chest lifted. He turned his head, and Suzie-Lee was back at her spot. He saw her face, the porcelain face he fell in love with.

  5. AvatarShamelessHack

    “Ach, lad. Will ye be casting an eye out there, now, will ya?”
    “Ach, wot in heaven’s name de ye make that out to be eh?”
    “Ach, don’t ye know, lad?”
    “Ach, if’n I knew wot it be, wouldn’t I be tellin’ ye now?”
    “Ach, that ye would. But won’t ye at least fathom a guess now?”
    “Ach, well, let me see. It’s looks like a snake. And a big one.”
    “Ach, it’s not a snake, lad.”
    “Ach, well most of it is still in the water. Just the front part can be seen from here.”
    “Ach, I be tellin’ ya that under the water is the rest of the body, and it cairtainly isn’t a snake.”
    “Ach, well it’s spotted us here in the boat and it’s comin’ this way. Would ye be lettin’ me know what we’re dealin’ with here?”
    “Ach, it’s our own very own famous monster, lad.”
    “Ach, if you say so, but it’s aboot to hit us! I don’t want to drown oot here!”
    “Ach, start the motor, lad, start the—WHAM!”
    ****
    300 feet below the surface of the Loch, Eddie and Brenda Plesiosaur finish off their dinner.
    “Eddie, it’s not like you to capsize boats in the Loch. What’s gotten into you?”
    “Brenda, if I heard the word ‘Ach’ one more time I was going to have a hemorrhage. Sheesh, it makes one wonder why those humans haven’t gone extinct already.”

  6. AvatarReathaThomasOakley

    Recycled from October 9, 2016. That prompt was: You and two of your friends are working at a Halloween haunted house. You each get into costume, representing scary creatures. On the first night, hundreds come through the house. You scare them over and over again. As you jump out to scare one of the people, you hear her scream and then feel her fall to the floor. You yell for the lights to turn on and they do—only to find her dead on the ground with her head cut off. What happened?

    Halloween

    “Amateurs,” Freda sighed.

    “Don’t you know another word?” Harry regretted asking as soon as the words were out of his mouth. He never wanted to offend Freda, but this conversation was getting tiresome.

    “So how would you describe them?” she asked. “No originality, no creativity, just mirroring whatever social media deems current, and yelling ‘BOO’. I mean everyone knows that whole killer clown thing is a hoax.”

    “Social media?” Harry hooted. “Why Freda, I think you’ve joined the 21st century. You, the great classicist!”

    “My family, remember Harry, what my family means–”

    “Yes, my dear Freda, I know all about generations of your family, Westchester County, everything.” He carefully rearranged his arm before he stood. “Want another drink?”

    “No, better not, need to leave soon, those three young men need a bit of schooling, and I shouldn’t have to remind you our story started centuries before 1820, whereas you, my dear Harry, are a mid-century phenom.”

    “Yeah, you got me there, post-war prosperity, kids with cars, teen aged girls in pink poodle skirts, those were the good years. I was everywhere. Now? Just a memory, or a mention on some senior citizen’s Do You Remember Facebook posting.” He lifted the Scotch bottle with his left hand and poured. “Saw something about cousin Johnny just last week.”

    “And, where is he this fine night?” Freda asked as she upbraided her long gray hair.

    “Boy Scout camp out, he’s still big with Scouts, especially in October. He’s kept generations of prepubescent lads from even tasting organ meat.” Harry laughed as he sat and reattached the shiny hook to the stub of his right forearm. “Yep, I’ll bet you could walk the halls of almost any assisted living facility at midnight groaning, ‘Johnny, where’s my liver’ and half the cardiac arrest monitors would go off.”

    “And, you, Harry the Hook, probably still give lotta old gals nightmares.”

    “Kept ’em outta backseats, though, didn’t I? You look about ready, need any help?”

    “No,” Freda held her ears, gave a little twist, and her head neatly separated from her neck. “Got it, but thanks.” She gathered her long hair in her hand and swung her head in front of Harry’s face. “What do you think?”

    “Freda, my love, you make every headless horseman and castle stalking headless woman before you proud.” Harry put down his drink, and, using his famous hook, gently pulled Freda’s head to him for a kiss. “Now, go show those amateurs what real horror is all about.”

    1. Avatarjhowe

      Reatha, I’m so glad you posted this. I don’t recall this prompt, so I must have been on vacation or something. I think I’ll go back and check it out and see how many accolades you received then. My guess is a lot more than now…
      Very entertaining. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

  7. Avatarrlk67

    I couldn’t believe my eyes. This dude’s application was perfect! “Mr. Morph…”

    “Morphstein.”

    “Sorry. Mr. Morphstien, in my forty-three years at NASA, I have never seen such superior credentials! But I’m still not clear why you wish to volunteer for the Mars mission.”

    Long sigh. “If I could only explain to you. My career is going nowhere. I need to retire.”

    “Retire? But you’ll always be needed here! You were amazing in Alien and Aliens…”

    “Yes, my heyday. I was so hot.”

    “Alien 3…”

    “Cameron loved it despite what he said…”

    “Alien Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator…

    “Oh, don’t remind me. I was brilliant, but Rotten Tomatoes should go to…”

    “And don’t forget Requiem, Prometheus, Alien Covenant…”

    “You’re making be blush, although you can’t really tell, can you?”

    “And what was the deal with Independence Day?”

    “No, they were cousins from Detroit. Oh, no, I just gave their location. Andy will never forgive me.”

    “Invaders from Mars?”

    “Neighbors. Made their granddaddy proud, I remember.”

    “A Quiet Place?”

    “Now I’m getting jealous. Look, my time has passed. What do you say?”

    I really had no choice, did I? His tentacles or whatever they were waved at me threateningly.

    “All right, Mr. Morphstien, you’re in.”

    “Oh, bless your wretched soul. Oh, wait. It’s my cell ringing. Hello? Yes? Really? Oh, joy!”

    “What was that all about?”

    “It was Ridley…he wants me for ‘Aliens: Fake News’! Oh, rip up that application…I’m hot again!”

    And with that, he took off out the window. What a shame. He was really perfect.

  8. AvatarPete

    They called him Freddy Krueger, which, was not only mean but unoriginal. On the playground, the girls would creep up to him then go running off screaming at the top of their lungs. The boys would see him in the hallways, nudge each other, lean in close, staring at him like he was fine print.
    His face was burned. His cheeks, his ears, his neck and I wondered just how far down his shirt it went.

    What drew me to Matt was how resigned he was to his situation. At recess, he’d sit off by himself, picking dandelions while the taunting and screaming and laughing went on around him.

    Honestly, I admired him.

    I had questions. Sooo many questions. Obvious ones like how, when, did it hurt? I mean, of course it hurt. But mostly I wondered if Matt was so strong because of the burns, or was he just naturally that way. Did he go home and cry about how people treated him? What did his voice sound like?

    That last one I had to know. Because in the month since school started the teachers never called on Matt. Be it out of pity or fear or laziness, but everyone treated Matt like something to get through, ready to pass him off and get to the next class like the flue or a bug or something contagious.

    I couldn’t stand it. Couldn’t stand it one bit. So the next day at recess, after all the usual screaming and Freddy Kruger taunting was out of the way and everyone had gone back to kickball or tag, I straightened my glasses and walked right up to him.

    “Hi Matt,” I said, in my most casual tone. Of course he didn’t look up at me. Why would he?

    So I plopped down beside him, leaving some room between us. “Got some real jerks here, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.”

    Again, nothing. But I saw his hand twitch with the stick he was dragging through the dirt. Out of my side eye I saw his face was really bad, shriveled and puckered, still red and pinkish and it looked like it hurt. I hoped there was something that could be done, skin cream, surgery. No wonder he didn’t care what people said, he probably couldn’t hear through all that pain.

    So I kept talking. I talked through all of playground. I told him all about how Krissy Morris had peed the bed at a sleepover party back when we were in the third grade, told him how Chris Connolly couldn’t spell cat if you spotted him the C and the T.

    The kids told me to shut up, asked why I was talking to Freddy, said he would haunt my dreams. They said he was my boyfriend. But I didn’t care. I’d never had any trouble standing up to them. They weren’t worth impressing anyway.

    A week went by like that. I’d sit and talk and tell people to shut their faces. It was six or seven days in before he ever even looked at me, his eyes slitted and watery, but true as rain. He didn’t quite smile, not at first, anyway.

    We sat. We sat for another week. We sat while the teasing and singing and chasing went on all around us. We sat while Ms. Clark suggested we walk. So we walked. And one day when we were walking, Matt told me what happened.

    It was electrical. The house was old. By the time the fire woke him up it was raging in the kitchen and living room. The smoke, Matt said. He could still taste the smoke.

    His whole family died. He said it plain, without choking up. He survived. He was six and the doctors said he was lucky. I tried to imagine what he thought of that. His whole family gone and he was in pain all over.

    I could think of luckier ways to die.

    I thought about Matt all night. The next day I took my place beside him, without much to say, with so much to say. But the sun was bright and it was almost seventy. A perfect day to sit in the grass.

    And then Chris marched over with that stupid grin of his. He started in with the Freddy talk and before I knew what I was doing I got up and walloped him across the face. Smacked him hard as I could. He ran off crying.

    I didn’t tell the principal. I sat with my hand stinging and didn’t tell Mom when she picked me up. Not even when she said I should be ashamed of myself. I didn’t say a word because Matt had trusted me with his words. With what happened. I didn’t want to break his trust.

    The next day was a Saturday, I was sulking in my room when I heard a car in the driveway. I looked out and saw Matt with an old lady, I guessed his grandmother.

    I paced. I thought about Mom meeting Matt. I wondered what they were doing or how they knew where we lived. Then I heard Mom’s footsteps at my door. She knocked. I opened the door and she closed her eyes, took a big breath and brought me in for a hug.

    I guessed I wasn’t grounded anymore.

  9. Avatarnelleg

    Karlie looked around in disbelief. Here she was tied to a chair at a dinner table, very much reminiscent of Alice’s tea party. Surrounding the table were a whole mix of characters, the only one that seemed to belong was the Mad Hatter seated directly in front of her. On the right of the top hatted fellow was a young man with scissors for hands named Edward. Next to Ed was a Native American with a crow atop his head. In the seat between Karlie and this fellow named Tonto, was a pirate that Karlie couldn’t figure out if he was drunk or crazy. Captain Jack, as he insisted people calling him, was having a conversation with a strange pale man name Barnabas that was seated on the other side of Karlie. Next to him was a man trying to eaves drop on the conversation. Karlie thought he said name was Ichabod. On the left of the Mad hatter was a guy offering haircuts to the quirky fellow next to him that was munching on some taffy. The whole scene was surreal and yet familiar.

    “I have an announcement!” the pirate jumped out of his seat and shouted. All the other characters stopped what they were doing and gave him their full attention. “We are out of Rum!”

    “How about some rum balls, I have some at my factory?” The quirky man in purple asked. “There are a few kinks to the recipe we are trying to work out, but they are still very delicious. I could have one of my Oompa Loompas bring them over.”

    “I don’t drink RUM.” The pale man spoke up.

    “Are you mad?” questioned Ichabod

    “The best of us are!” shouted the hatter with a laugh.

    “Yes, Kemosabe.” The Native American guest added.

    “Maybe some meat pies, I could ask Mrs. Lovett for some.” The sadistic London barber suggested an alternative.

    With those words Karlie flinched and tightly closed her eyes. Edward noticed Karlie’s reaction and got up and walked over to her. He used his hands to cut her bonds then whispered in her ear “Don’t be scared of us because we are different.”

    Karlie snapped her eyes open and realized that she was laying on her couch with spilled popcorn all over her and then announcer on the TV informed her “Next on our Johnny Depp marathon is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

    “On that note I think it’s time to go to bed. I don’t even want to know what would be on the menu if you add Duke to the group.” Karlie snapped off the TV and shuffled off to bed to sleep. She forgot that Johnny also starred in Nightmare Elm Street.

    1. Avatarjhowe

      Clever, from start to finish, nelleg. All those great roles, and Johnny’s still in trouble a lot. I guess fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I loved your story.

  10. AvatarJennifer Park

    It felt as if nothing had happened. Jennifer remembered drifting off as the anesthesiologist mused worriedly, “You know, there is a 12.7% chance that this operation will fail.” And, in a blink, here she was, being carted into the recovery room.

    It was ironic that the anesthesiologist was concerned that the neurectomy would fail. The surgery to remove the brain’s creative center… What kind of a doctor would want that to succeed?

    Honestly, Jennifer did not really care either way. Her thing was short-short stories. She had tried to write novels, but they were basically stitched-together short-shorts, and, besides, no one had read them, which meant infinitesimal burden on the data storage infrastructure, and therefore infinitesimal guilt.

    Since the Data Singularity of 2050, when the electricity consumption of data storage devices exceeded the capacity of the planet to generate electricity sustainably, 20,000 neurectomies had been performed on all the creative types. First the vloggers. Then the graphic novelists and listiclists. And now novelists, a distinction for which Jennifer barely qualified. Most who underwent the procedure extolled the great relief they felt upon disabling the relentless founts of creativity that kept them sleepless, taunted them, and rendered them complacent in abject poverty. Now they could pursue much more profitable careers and relaxing hobbies.

    As the blurry medical professional who had wheeled her in checked the instruments, Jennifer noticed a large, red, and blurry blob in the corner of her eye. It asked, “How’re you doing? You awake enough to drink something?”

    Jennifer felt herself sit up; it was not clear if it was by her own strength or volition. “I think so,” she said involuntarily.

    “Great. I will bring you some glucoloid syrup.”

    Jennifer was more confident in her ability to imbibe by the time the blob returned and appeared a lot less blurry.

    It was a large cherry tomato. It offered Jennifer a small liquipack. “Here you go, hon.”

    “Thank you.”

    “Any pain or discomfort?”

    Jennifer shook her head. She felt fine. Really, as if nothing had happened, other than a human-size tomato was now standing before her.

    “Neurectomy is a wonderful procedure. Literally saved me from a life a crime. I hope it does something nice for you, too. You’re a writer, right?”

    Jennifer nodded.

    “Hope you feel as free as I do now. I mean, when you’re a murderer, the guilt never goes away, but knowing that you will never do it again, it’s so precious.”

    Jennifer nodded. She knew what the tomato meant. Kinda’.

    “If you can, you can start walking around a bit. Just holler when…”

    “I think I can now,” Jennifer interjected.

    “Alright! Let me…” The tomato helped her off the bed, but Jennifer did not need it. “One little step at a time. We’ll march down the halls, and find you some lunch.”

  11. AvatarNot-Only But-Also Riley

    how it is.
    part 2.

    billie’s house is best for hangin’ at ‘cause he got the best music. real old jazz, yeah, but also real experimental stuff. got all these blats and bangin’. real noise. none of that fake bullshit.
    he’s got one kid, a girl, but he ain’t seen her since his wife left. hell. he wrote a couple poems. ‘bout her. how sad he is. got all pissed scratch was tellin’ us how it was all an act, how his wife took off with her in the dead of night, and he just never done anything ‘bout it. billie ain’t wrote a poem since. i don’t know what’s true with that.
    but i know it means billie’s house is empty. so we can sit around and drink and smoke some wild stuff. we talk about our writing, about the up and coming guys down at the coffee shop, about the world. cass just finish readin’ a poem he wrote ‘bout a monster riding his back.
    cliche, snatch cry out, it’s just that monster of mental consciousness, huh?
    let me finish, at least, cass complain, it ain’t that at all. it’s literal. a real monster, man.
    suddenly, jean-louise let out a long laugh from the other side of the table. billie and i smile at each other ‘bout it, while cass scowl.
    i’m sorry man, jean-louise sputters between laughs like the beaten triumph mayflower he bought ironically, i’m high. i swear to you man i’m high as a hot air balloon, i ain’t laughin’ at your poem man. i swear.
    how’s it a real monster, like, what does that even mean? billie tries to save cass.
    like, it’s ‘bout a guy with an actual monster on his back. but cass just digs himself deeper. this point, jean-louise laughin’ so hard he cryin’, scratch shakin’ his head and actin’ like he ‘bouta leave, even i thinking ‘bout just bursting out.
    so this basically a poem ‘bout frankenstein plowin’ you, scratch says. i break and start laughin’ too.
    just, forget it. i thought you all was cool, but you ain’t even get it, man. you ain’t even with it at all, cass set his poem aside.
    that’s better than what i was thinkin’, jean-louise finally got enough breath to speak, in my head it was king kong.
    even cass start laughin’ at that one. you know. he a cool cat. he ain’t gonna hold a grudge. something stupid like that. eventually the table get quiet again. no one know what to say.
    cass, you ruined the whole night. we done, huh? snatch finally say.
    nah. we ain’t done. i was just thinkin’, billie talk. he sounding wise, like he got just the thing to say, and everyone know it too ‘cause i see jean-louise get on the edge of his seat and cass smirk a little. snatch sit back and look annoyed someone tell him he wrong as usual. i was thinkin’ ‘bout cass’ poem and i think i figured it. it’s the literal monster livin’ in your pocket though, not ridin’ your back. it’s your wallet. money. it’s capitalism.
    everyone silent. you can smell the smoke comin’ from all the brains as we try to remember each line of the poem, how it work with what billie say. sure enough it does. and why shouldn’t it? more a threat than frankenstein or king kong.
    that’s a good one, i say. jean-louise start snappin’ like someone gave a good line in the coffee shop. snatch stay quiet, which is rare and pleasant.
    yeah, you can hear the joke comin’ in cass’ voice, wish i’d thoughta that.

    1. AvatarNot-Only But-Also Riley

      Sorry. Forgot to space it right. Here you go.

      how it is.
      part 2.

      billie’s house is best for hangin’ at ‘cause he got the best music. real old jazz, yeah, but also real experimental stuff. got all these blats and bangin’. real noise. none of that fake bullshit.

      he’s got one kid, a girl, but he ain’t seen her since his wife left. hell. he wrote a couple poems. ‘bout her. how sad he is. got all pissed scratch was tellin’ us how it was all an act, how his wife took off with her in the dead of night, and he just never done anything ‘bout it. billie ain’t wrote a poem since. i don’t know what’s true with that.

      but i know it means billie’s house is empty. so we can sit around and drink and smoke some wild stuff. we talk about our writing, about the up and coming guys down at the coffee shop, about the world. cass just finish readin’ a poem he wrote ‘bout a monster riding his back.

      cliche, snatch cry out, it’s just that monster of mental consciousness, huh?

      let me finish, at least, cass complain, it ain’t that at all. it’s literal. a real monster, man.

      suddenly, jean-louise let out a long laugh from the other side of the table. billie and i smile at each other ‘bout it, while cass scowl.

      i’m sorry man, jean-louise sputters between laughs like the beaten triumph mayflower he bought ironically, i’m high. i swear to you man i’m high as a hot air balloon, i ain’t laughin’ at your poem man. i swear.

      how’s it a real monster, like, what does that even mean? billie tries to save cass.

      like, it’s ‘bout a guy with an actual monster on his back. but cass just digs himself deeper. this point, jean-louise laughin’ so hard he cryin’, scratch shakin’ his head and actin’ like he ‘bouta leave, even i thinking ‘bout just bursting out.

      so this basically a poem ‘bout frankenstein plowin’ you, scratch says. i break and start laughin’ too.

      just, forget it. i thought you all was cool, but you ain’t even get it, man. you ain’t even with it at all, cass set his poem aside.

      that’s better than what i was thinkin’, jean-louise finally got enough breath to speak, in my head it was king kong.

      even cass start laughin’ at that one. you know. he a cool cat. he ain’t gonna hold a grudge. something stupid like that. eventually the table get quiet again. no one know what to say.

      cass, you ruined the whole night. we done, huh? snatch finally say.

      nah. we ain’t done. i was just thinkin’, billie talk. he sounding wise, like he got just the thing to say, and everyone know it too ‘cause i see jean-louise get on the edge of his seat and cass smirk a little. snatch sit back and look annoyed someone tell him he wrong as usual. i was thinkin’ ‘bout cass’ poem and i think i figured it. it’s the literal monster livin’ in your pocket though, not ridin’ your back. it’s your wallet. money. it’s capitalism.

      everyone silent. you can smell the smoke comin’ from all the brains as we try to remember each line of the poem, how it work with what billie say. sure enough it does. and why shouldn’t it? more a threat than frankenstein or king kong.

      that’s a good one, i say. jean-louise start snappin’ like someone gave a good line in the coffee shop. snatch stay quiet, which is rare and pleasant.

      yeah, you can hear the joke comin’ in cass’ voice, wish i’d thoughta that.

      1. Avatarjhowe

        An interesting concept with the all-small letters and the realistic dialect these characters would use. This is quite a writer’s group you have here. Typical coffeehouse poets, I think.

  12. AvatarTwoGunRosie

    She stood at the edge of the pier by the side of the river looking down into the murky depths below. Her heart continued to hammer away in her chest. Her entire body trembled, covered in a thick layer of perspiration. She tried to calm herself by breathing in through her nose and out through her mouth. Her eyes were wide as her lungs spasmed in fast, shallow gasps. She tried to think of something else, but her mind circled forcing its way back, over and over.

    The monster had come so quickly and unexpectedly that she hadn’t even had a chance to react. It had rocketed to the surface like a volcano and there was nothing she could have done. She couldn’t fight it, couldn’t protect herself from it, definitely couldn’t stop it. It just came and it kept coming. It wouldn’t go away.

    Hands at the sides of her head, she gripped handfuls of hair and yanked violently as her wail turned into an animalistic scream of frustration, and then a guttural howl of fear and hopelessness. It was coming back again.

    Suddenly, she didn’t want to fight it anymore. Go ahead. Let it take her. Who was she to stop it? As she lowered her hands from her face, she smiled as she admired the beauty of the glistening red that covered her hands. The hunting knife was slick with it.

    She relaxed as she looked down at her feet, at the ruined mess that had once been human. She kicked the sack of flesh and bone into the river. She hadn’t expected the monster to come again so soon after her last hunt.

    With the knife in her hand, a smile on her lips, and a spring in her step, Sarah Hyde turned back toward the darkening city.

    1. AvatarReathaThomasOakley

      Great take on the prompt, because of when you named your MC I suspected she is real, but I couldn’t find anything that seemed relevant. Good job with the “monster”. Is this part of a longer piece?

      1. AvatarTwoGunRosie

        Wanted to make MC a female version of the real Hyde character but “Edwina” just didn’t do it for me. Not part of a longer piece. Went to bed thinking of the prompt and woke up with this in my head.

    2. Avatarjhowe

      A great spin at the end. I thought for sure a different kind of monster was rising from the depths. The symptoms of transformation were thought as acute fear at first, until I figured out what was happening. When she’s back to normal, she’s going to regret yanking her hair out. Good story, TwoGun.

  13. Avatarwriter_sk

    I walked with my eyes open though I knew the cemetery paths well enough to traverse them blind. It had been months since I first saw the widow crying at the grave site of her dead husband. She wept openly and her features were ordinary except for her eyes which looked into your soul. The first time we met I didn’t look at her but felt her stare after me. I’d been in my own creative world working on dialogue for my latest screenplay. I was quietly speaking dialogue into a pocket recorder. I wore sports shorts and thick knee socks, a fitted workout shirt and old Nikes. My walks weren’t ordinarily at dusk. I preferred to begin after breakfast and return closer to dinner time. Two of my original screenplays had been made into movies but I hadn’t sold one in two years.

    The second time I met the widow she was ready for me. Sobbing wildly, she choked and heaved her pain out in jagged blasts. Having had little contact with real people besides occasional meetings at the office, my longest relationships were those created among characters in my head soI just stood next to her.

    Our relationship sprung to life. Oeth moved right into my condo soon after we began dating. She didn’t mind my locking myself in the writing room for five hours a day and walking for four. She was an amazing cook and in the mornings we had our coffee in bed. Having known loneliness, the feminine form lying next to me was exhilarating.

    We went to flea markets, church and out to eat on the weekends and when she came home on weeknights Oeth whipped up delicious meals for two. She listened to me and I thought she loved me.

    When she left I had no warning, no frame of reference and no indication she planned to go. My days and nights had been filled. My blank spots had no longer been empty.

    I couldn’t live without her. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t write.

    I drove past her house. I broke into her house. I followed her online. I followed her to the grocery store. Where would she go Tuesdays between 9 and midnight?

    I had a photo of her. I enlarged it and hung it in the living room. I lost 30 pounds and I lost my job at the magazine.

    Did she leave her ex and that was why he killed himself? I searched for his obituary and found it was a heart attack.

    When the police served me with an order to stop stalking I knew I had become the monster.

    1. Avatarjhowe

      The character of the writer is flawed and lonely, to the point of being problematic. It’s kind of inevitable that Oeth would soon tire of it. She should have been more forthright before moving out but she probably knew how the writer would take it. Nicely done, SK.

  14. Avatarjhowe

    Slinking through the underbrush, Riley took a breath and sauntered into the compound as if he belonged. The howling and screaming was distressing but he pushed on, determined to encounter all he could before they pulled him back.

    A damsel in a gauzy white dress ran at him, her voice frantic but incoherent. She didn’t see Riley until she plowed right into him. Behind her, a figure emerged from the shadows, pointing a boney hand. Riley sheltered the girl and faced the figure.

    “What do you want?” Riley said, knees trembling.

    The Headless Horseman said nothing.

    “He wants his head back,” the damsel said.

    “Well, do you have it?”

    “Not on me.” She made a show of turning out nonexistent pockets.

    The Wolfman ran by, a long haired head in his paws. The Headless Horseman got his gangly legs moving and took off in pursuit.

    From a lagoon, a creature rose from the depths and limped toward them, dripping seaweed and putrid water.

    “Don’t worry about him” the damsel said. “But that guy,” she pointed, “you should worry about.” Riley spun around as Frankenstein made a clumsy lurch toward him. He grabbed the damsel’s hand and ran, thunderous footfalls behind them.

    They ran through a stand of poplars with just enough moonlight to avoid the trees. In a clearing they stopped.

    “I’m Riley,” he said, extending his hand.

    “Elvira, Mistress of the dark.” She took his hand. “Don’t mind the white dress. My black one is at the cleaners.”

    “Pleased to meet you.” He tried to avoid staring at her cleavage.

    “Are you supposed to be here?” Elvira said.

    Riley shrugged.

    “I thought not.” She pointed to the underbrush from where he had entered. “Be on your way now. You don’t want to be here when King Kong arrives.” Just then, there was a tremendous roar. Without further prompt, Riley ran through the underbrush.

    “I’ll take it,” Riley said to the saleswoman. Fifty grand was a lot for a virtual entertainment system but so far, it promised to be worth every cent.

COMMENT