Time for D

Did you miss A, B, or C? No worries! Jump right in with D!

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I’m sure you can dazzle with your demented dreams of horror.

Link  to here and let us all read it. Don’t wait!

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My Take on C

C is for Chocolate
Word Count: 841

 

Whispers on the playground. Too loud to ignore.playground

~Did you hear about that new chocolate?

~I think Justin’s Dad makes it.

~It’s really popular in Europe.

By the end of the week the conversation had changed just a bit, with everyone except Nick claiming to have tasted the chocolate.

~Sam gave me some yesterday.

~Travis shared with Mike and John.

~Rebecca had two!

Nick tried not to listen. He closed his ears, turned his head, whistled under his breath but in class, in the hallways, at recess, it followed him.  Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. And in the strange inimitable way of all obsessions, the more he tried not to think of chocolate, the more he wanted some. The more he could taste it, the slight snap as it broke between his teeth, the velvety feel of it on his tongue.

And everyone knew it.

He caught little glances here and there. Smirks out of the corner of his eye. Each and every one of his eleven-year-old classmates seemed intent on making him feel like the last kid picked for the team, except this was chocolate, sweet delectable chocolate and he was the last one to get it. He might, their glances suggested, never get any at all. Ever.

At home that weekend, his mother assured him– there was no special chocolate. The very idea was silly–didn’t he know that? Here, take this Hershey square and be done with it.

But Nick didn’t want a Hershey square. He wanted the special chocolate. The new chocolate.

By Monday at recess, the details had changed slightly. Now the chocolate came in a mug and that was the very finest way to have it, everyone said so.paper-cup-with-handle-hx0803

They asked him, their eyes big, you’ve had it, haven’t you, Nick? And then they smiled gently at him because they knew he had not.

Nick could only purse his lips and walk away and curse his luck.

Without friends, without allies, how was he to get ahold of the chocolate? It was impossible.

 

The solution presented itself on Thursday. The sun was bright, the clouds fat and cheery. By then everyone had had the chocolate, it was all they talked about, each claiming to have had it two, three, four times, even though Nick never saw them eat it. He wasn’t quick enough it seemed, never saw the evidence of it, no wrappers or empty mugs of chocolate in the trash.

Jeremiah, a boy Nick’s eyes followed day in and day out, claimed to have had it for breakfast all week, stating sadly to three other students (although not Nick, not exactly) –too bad it smelled so horrible. It was the chocolate’s only failing– a great stench to turn your stomach. But so good, so good.

Jeremiah had brought some to school to have during recess. Maybe he’d share it with someone he said, and Nick’s heart beat faster and faster. Someone special.

On that fateful Thursday the day was pregnant with expectation, heavy with it, straining with it. Nick’s hands tingled and he couldn’t concentrate couldn’t even hardly hear what the teacher said to him before recess.  He’d just nodded then followed the rest of the kids outside. Wandered over to the wall to watch the others from a safe distance, a ball from the ball bag tucked under one arm in case someone wanted to play with him.

When Jeremiah approached him, Nick was so surprised he dropped the ball and watched it numbly as it rolled away. Others gathered near creating a semicircle around him.

Jeremiah held a mug in one hand, one with a paper handle that must have come from the teacher’s lounge, that den of magic. Nick quivered, too nervous to hear what Jeremiah was saying to him but his intention was obvious. Jeremiah was offering Nick the mug of chocolate.

“Remember it smells awful but it tastes…heavenly,” he said.

“Heavenly,” others said and Nick heard that clearly and couldn’t stop smiling.

He looked in the mug and its contents were brown just as he expected and liquidy which was a surprise. He sloshed it around slightly and he could smell it. It did smell awful, terrible, horrible.

“It’s better to drink it fast,” Jeremiah said. “To get past the smell.” Then he nodded his approval and Nick looked around at all the bright smiling faces–all of them happy for him.  Happy that it was his turn to have chocolate and he lifted the mug and put it to his lips and opened his mouth and the liquid splashed across his teeth and over his tongue and down his gullet and before he knew it tears were in his eyes and vomit was in his throat and out of his mouth and he was crying, hysterically weeping and was immediately surrounded by the sweet tinkling sounds of laughter, pure light hearted giggles and he shut his eyes vowing never to open them again.

Never ever, not for the rest of his life.

 

All Children Except One Grow Up

This story came from a prompt given during my writing club. We had to use the first line from a famous novel. I chose Peter Pan, of course.

All Children Except One Grow Upunhappy_child2

Word count: 360

All children, except one, grow up.

Mags skated around her driveway. Her skates chaffed her ankles but she barely noticed. Her face was fierce; cheeks red, hair covered in sweat, her eyes narrowed and intense.

Inside of her house her parents raged. She could hear them, everyone could hear them. Occasionally another child on her block would stop, or at least pause across from her on the sidewalk listening only long enough to know that they wouldn’t stick around for more. No one ever hung around. It made Mags very lonely.

Her skates rode roughly over the pavement. The vibration gave her calves a pleasant almost numb feeling. Hot air rose around her. Like hell, Mags thought. That’s what Mom would say, sitting with her friends in the backyard under the shade trees. Then Mag’s father would roll his eyes and wink at her.

She, ten years old, was at the beginning of her life, but it was changing. She could feel the changes, sometimes. She could see them too which is why she abhorred mirrors, pretended they weren’t there, went selectively blind at certain times of the day. Like when she brushed her teeth.

They were shouting again. Mags closed her eyes. “You never loved me!” She could hear her mother shout, but she knew it wasn’t love her mother sought, not really. That wasn’t what was missing.

It was the elimination of the other stuff, the stuff Mag’s mother called stress. Things like paying bills, buying groceries, turning off the lights. Well, that was her father’s big thing–’turn off the lights, Mags’ he always said but she preferred the darkness anyway. It was her mother that wanted the light. It was her mother who sat up at night and turned on all the lights and left them until dawn, while she slept in the chair in the living room.

Those stressors, they all had one source: adulthood.

Mags knew that the root of all grown up problems stemmed from being a grown up.

The solution was easy; never grow up.

That’s what Mags planned to do.

Candy… A Horror Story

Candycandy

Him: Do you want a piece of candy, little girl? Pretty little girl, pretty girl. Pretty girl.

Come here. Come to me.

Her: I am. Candy.

It’s the special wounded that are seen. They with the mark of the Used on their body. They with their innocence in tact but warped. They with their minds altered, their normal twisted.

Prey and Predator whispering back and forth. Somehow they speak the same language.

Her: I hear you.

Him: Do you hear me?

Her: Yes.

They share the darkness. They make the darkness. It feeds them both.

Him: I love you.

Her: Do you love me?

Him: Yes.

My Take on B

Bottle

Word Count: 137beer-bottle

 

The brown glass bottle was lukewarm in his hand, its incriminating label peeled off and hidden amongst the leaves. A symphony of horny insects filled the trees and drowned out any reservations the boy may have raised in his own mind about the contents of the bottle. His hands trembled, just slightly, fingers grasping the bottle opener.

It popped off with a satisfying scrape, and the boy shivered in the growing darkness. His heart beat as loud as a card trapped in the spoke of a wheel. Tat tat tat tat tat.

Allan Lawrence breathed in the heady scent of hops and barley, his tongue slipping out of his mouth in anticipation. He closed his eyes, tipped the bottle to his lips and took the first sip of a battle that would last for the rest of his life.

This is what WriteRdie is all about

We are going to embark on our greatest challenge yet. Are you ready?

Announcing…

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For all the year 2017 we are going to write dark stories–I say stories because feel free to make it nonfiction if you so choose– and the only caveat is that each story must revolve around some element starting with that week’s letter.

We’ll start with A, of course. So bring your stories about:

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Or…

Axmurderers
Anthrax
Adder
Angel of death
Apocalypse
Atrocious
Awful
Ashes
Army of Darkness
Amputate
Aches
Anger
Autopsy
Alzheimers
Atheism

Have fun with it!

You’ll have two weeks to write it and send it in.

 

Your December Challenge from WriteRdieFiction

Because you didn’t have enough to do already, right?

I’ve been thinking about doing another challenge like Horrorimo. I’d originally planned on doing one-a-day challenges for all of December but seriously who has the time? Yeah, me neither. Well, I say we all have time for at least ONE challenge in December, so here it is:

Rewrite a traditional Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Holiday character or element and make it dark.

Where did I get this crazy idea, you ask?

From Robert Shearman, of course. He wrote a story about Santa Claus that I read some time during the summer in a story compilation called Remember Why You Fear Me. It was such a humdinger (yes, really) I haven’t stopped thinking about it since, and aren’t those the very best kind of stories?

So, there’s your December challenge. Your due date is the first of the year, or you know, whenever. Really, I’m pretty casual about all this. Make it dark, make it fun. Link it to here so I can enjoy it too.

Oh, and stay tuned for a whopper of a challenge I have coming up for 2017. I’ll announce it on the first and we’ll tear it up for 26 challenges (that’s a hint!) for the year.