Latest News

Writing Horror: Scary Writing Prompt Game #2

Happy Saturday, Spookies!

It's time for another lovely round of my scary writing prompt game. Again, here's how it works: I'll announce the prompt, then you guys post a 1-2 paragraph response in the comment section.

I loved reading your responses from last round, where you answered "what's the silliest thing you've ever been scared of?"

Round two features an image from YA Highway's Horror board over on Pinterest:




Today's prompt is:

Tell me the story about this dress. Where did it come from? Who wore it originally? And, most curiously, what happens to anybody unfortunate enough to wear it?

Unleash the Hellhounds!
Amy Lukavics

Amy lurks within the forested mountains of Arizona. When she isn't reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms. She is the author of Daughters Unto Devils (Harlequin Teen 2015) and The Women In The Walls (Harlequin Teen 2016).

Posts by Amy

website twitter instagram tumblr

  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments

29 comments:

  1. All those hands! So creepy. I can see them as the numerous souls consumed by that dress.

    A bridal dress that is passed from owner to owner but comes with a curse. The original owner who wore it died on her wedding day, a horrible car crash on her way to the church. It was passed on to her sister who wore it for her wedding. Brutally murdered on her wedding night.

    It's a cycle. After the death of both sisters the dress is sold and a new owner buys it. Another tragedy where the bride dies on her wedding day and once again it's sold and passed on. Bought, worn, died, sold and so on. Maybe it's the ghost of the original owner. Or maybe there was something off about the dress to begin with. But any bride who wears the dress is cursed to die on her wedding day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gaah I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! I think it fits the picture wonderfully. Thank you for participating, Robin!

      Delete
  2. The dress hangs lonely and isolated in the corner of the room. Despite the wonderful night it was once connected to, the dress is now only attached to memory of torment and anguish. Five individuals died because of that dress. The seamstress who refused to compromise her delicate work met Death on the floor of the bridal shop at the end of a gun barrel. The chauffer who drove the dress to the villa ended up slumped over his steering wheel. Three bridesmaids were forced to jump to their death after finding out the truth about the groom. Finally, the bride's mother was strangled with the pearls she loaned to her daughter on that fateful day.

    The bride went insane, locking herself in the bridal suite of the villa. Each day, the groom knocks softly on the door in an attempt to coax his unique beauty from her confinement and each night, the dress hangs in the corner with the souls of the tortured trapped within the seams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. INCREDIBLE. My favorite part was the strangling with the pearls! That is so lovely-grotesque and prettily written. <3

      Delete
    2. Ooh, I adore this!!! Great job!! :D

      Delete


  3. The finest damask silk, the best French lace. Ivory dye so beautiful and expensive that it was made for Queens and Empresses. When he gave them to her, a gift of hope and love, she wept tears of joy, and promised to make a dress unparalleled, and to wear it just for him. Yet the gifted materials, the lace and the silk, turned to gall when he betrayed her for someone else. It should have been a dress to laugh over, love in—a dress to honor the wearer. To bring out her beauty and life. Yet bitter and wounded, the love-betrayed seamstress wove her sorrows into the dress. Every stitch a raging curse, every seam a bitter cry. Until at last, it was done and made, and deadly beautiful.

    Like a Japanese curse, the dress lived. The dress hated. Sold to the highest bidder, it was taken first to Rome, where it was worn by an Italian debutante at her coming out ball. She was found sitting at her dressing table, wearing the dress, cold as ice, and with a smile upon her face. Next it was sent to France, where the Prince regent presented it to his daughter with a long red ribbon. She was found holding her heart, tears of blood upon her cheek, the ribbon nowhere to be found. On and on the dress made it’s travels, until finally it came to Lori-Leigh. When she bought the dress, she never wore it, but late at night she could see the hands in the skirts, dozens of stolen women—crying, sobbing begging her to join them. They called out their names, they raged with fury to rival a tempest. The dress, once to beautiful and hopeful, was nothing but a bitter curse, revenging itself on behalf of its maker, long after she was dust and bones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, ew. I just saw a typo. Grrr.

      Delete
    2. Dawn, this is beyond epic. "Every stitch a raging curse, every seam a bitter cry. Until at last, it was done and made, and deadly beautiful." LOVE!

      Delete
    3. *blush* Thank you! We'll just, er, pretend we don't see those GLARING typos.... shall we?

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The attic is dark. Not like lights out dark, but there's something evil lurking kind of dark. The iridescent bulb swings at the end of the pendulum fixture back and forth over head, transporting the puddle of light from one side of the room to the other catching the hem of a lace dress. I reach up, halting the light bulb, redirecting it like beacon. The yellowing silk bodice which was once white, is now golden, the bottom lace ivory. I move closer to get a better look. On the fancy label, the name Hilary Wilkinson is stitched in fading pink thread. The name rings a bell. "The woman who used to own this house when it was orphanage," I let the dress fall back on the floor, remembering the stories of the woman who went insane murdering all the children she cared for, and step away when suddenly the attic goes black.



    With my feet frozen, I reach up grasping for the light. My fingers pass through nothing but empty space. "Where is it?" My fingers search for the light bulb again. The warm, dusty attic air dissipates turning cold. A soft glow appears under the dress. Fingernails scrap at the wood near my feet, I feel frozen fingers wrap around my ankles and bloody images flash in my head. I gasp and take another uneasy step back, breaking the bond. The illumination grows as if it thrives on my fears. Tiny hands reach out tearing at the threadbare fibers. I scream, and more fingers sprout like vines reaching for me. I swoon and fall backwards. My world goes dark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that second paragraph was terrifying. Also, that's my kind of ending, lol! Loved this.

      Delete
  6. Ooh! "the woman who went insane murdering all the children she cared for" That's cool and creepy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was a dress spun out of shadows and screams.
    Soft lace hangs down in gauzy drapery, now indistinguishable from the spiders’ webs that crisscross the bodice. It must have been lovely once, with its delicate embroidery and almost royal elegance, but I could never seem to get past the stories that accompanied the cursed piece of clothing.
    None of the stories were exactly the same, but I suppose that’s what happens with something so old and frightening. No one is able to properly recall just what it was that terrified them, forcing them to fill in the gaps of the story with their own little details and embellishments. This is why the dress’s origins are unknown- its story has become tattered and frayed, identical to the creamy fabric, with no amount of stitching able to return it to its former splendor.
    The one thing that remains constant is this: the dress, however fair and gorgeous it may appear, contained magic dark enough to kill. It’s the temptation of the dress that is perhaps the deadliest of all. The pull of the dress, the unconscious need to feel the soft pleats of fabric whisper across your skin, that drew in the dress’s victims.
    They say the dress holds onto a piece of each victim, a souvenir of sorts. The only thing no one can figure out though, is why the dress chose to take only the hands.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh I love that the origins of the dress are unknown in this, as well as how you described why.

      Very well done!

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm very, very bad at being short-winded. So you get three paragraphs and an apology, okee dokes? Also, I'm writing this in the middle of a word sprint so if it's crappy, well - you know why. <3

    ---

    He doesn’t know, but how could he? She looks sweet, innocent even, her hair coifed into a neat chignon, dewdrop diamonds dangling from her ears. Her eyes are the color of spring skies, her skin a pale perfect cream. She’s a spring dream come to flesh, and his, he thinks, to have and hold. To worship and love. That’s what he swore and what she swore back. The words echo in his head, bringing a smile.

    They retire because it’s what brides and grooms do. He sees a splotch on the bodice of her gown and his finger traces over the marred satin. “You’re stained,” he says, a truth far deeper than he could ever know. She nods and presses against him, her lips gentle on his, her hands roaming under his rented gray jacket. The kiss is sweetness itself, but it quickly grows fierce, her mouth struggling to align itself with his. He feels her fingernails scouring down his shirt to dig into his waist. So passionate so fast, and he tries to pull away, to tell her that they have all the time in the world – the rest of their lives – but he finds he can’t. No, her kiss is too strong, and when her other hand fists in his hair, her fingernails biting into his scalp, he realizes something is wrong.

    His delicate bride, so beautiful and frail, clings so tight that he can’t escape her grasp. Her upper lip rises, stretching to cover his nose, the once-soft flesh now rubbery and wrong as it seals around his lower face. She begins to suckle, drinking greedily from his lungs. He writhes as she swallows his breath, claiming it for her own in a freakish vacuum that smells of rot and moldering things. His lungs ache and his heart pounds as he kicks out in panic, his black polished shoes tangling in the layers of her taffeta, but it’s too late. She has him. The dress has him now and there is nothing he can do except fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOOOAH Hillary, this knocked my freakin' socks off! I love where you took that, seriously. "a freakish vacuum that smells of fot and moldering things." Eeep!

      Delete
  10. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm cheating. This isn't REALLY two paragraphs. But I will share it anyway.

    The pic is of a painting titled "The Dress of Virginie Diabna," done by the late Roger Armiardi. The legend behind it is that one Christmas, the dress, tucked snuggly beneath the arm of the poor but thoughtful Thierry, was purchased overpriced and taken home to his poor but simple wife, Virginie. The two had not been married long, maybe six years by this time, but both loved each other more than the roses their Spring or the snow its Winter. Virginie did not have striking beauty, but where she lacked this she over-flowed with charity, and that is what he loved of her the most. It was also this trait, however, that proved their undoing. One day in early spring, a band of robbers appeared at her doorstep in guise and asked for water. There is no need to detail Thierry's return, but know that he never recovered. He grieved and grieved. Yet Sorrow was not quite finished, and when the fields caught fire during the drought that Summer he lost all but what he saved from the flames--Virginie's still-new dress.

    Clutching all he had left, Thierry groped along within the shell of what had once been his small but felicitous kingdom, yet he had never been farther away. Neighbors and fellow workmen could not move him, nor his family and friends. He managed the notion that if he left, even for a moment too long, his lost Virginie would come to an empty house and wander away lost forever. It was beside the point that she were still safely tucked beneath the oak tree where he'd placed her. Thierry clung to his belief until that next winter when, ill and half-frozen and spurred with worry, he hobbled into the night to find his missing joy and bring her home. He was never seen again, but the dress turned up many times since. And it seemed, even away in some mysterious darkness, he clutched it; for the first home visited was the Joly's place. His fair wife went out to milk the cows the following morn and vanished. Then Mr Dufour lost both of his twins, on seperate evenings, but both in the dead of night. Only one of the women had ever worn the dress. The Roussel's home had been next, and the husband had been the only one to see it. He'd touched a bit of the lace in passing and within the month his new young wife and his daughter were gone. It is unclear how many victims were taken before the gown was caught up with and (supposedly) retired to a fireplace, but the story carries to this day. It is still so prevalent in some places that any garment resembling it is burned. In fact, Armiardi's painting had to be smuggled out of France due to the likeness. The fear of the tale of Thierry and his love is just that alive--and roaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may have been long but I read this with interest! I enjoy the direction you took, the tone was very chilling in its matter-of-factness, if that makes sense lol. Thank you so much for participating!

      Delete
  11. Hmm. I already see an error I missed in my piece. In the beginning, I'm not going into the legend of the painting (which isn't clear with the pronoun "it"), but the legend of the dress. *covers face in shame* Anyway, I really just wanted to add that I am very impressed with all of the talented folks that commented. These were such wickedly good horrors, and so much fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and couldn't leave without saying so.

    @Hillary Also I love your story--all three paragraphs of it. It was very creepy. I hit the last period wondering where all the paragraphs had gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! All of these were so good. :D

      Delete
    2. Angie I replied to this and it didn't post on my end, so forgive me if this is a repeat, but: I am *so* glad that you enjoyed yourself here and hope you'll come back. I have to say that I'm also really impressed with everybody's entries so far. Hurray for horror!

      Delete
  12. The attic was dark and damp. A musty smell lingered. She paced back and forth in front of a mannequin, head fixed down toward the cracked wooden floor; eyes darting wildly, catching glimpses of the dress. She dare not gaze at it for too long, pacing back and forth, back and forth, muttering to herself, thinking back to her youth when she was told to stay away from the attic, stay away from that mannequin, to stay away from that dress, pacing back and forth, back and forth. She couldn't of course, stay away. Stay away from the beautiful wedding dress, that beautiful white gown with a gentle hue of red at the bottom. How could she stay away ? How could anyone, she thought. Why shield her from it, why HIDE it away ?

    She paced back and forth, back and forth. She contemplated putting the dress on but she fought such notions when it popped in her head; feverishly fighting off that feeling, that need to WEAR THE DRESS. It was to be her day after all. She paced back and forth, back and forth, not realizing her weakness, how sick she felt. She didn't see the sun go down, return, retreat back into darkness and shine once again, pacing back and forth, back and forth, as her mind fights the urge to put the dress on, back and forth, back and forth, while her will breaks as she reaches for the mannequin, ripping the dress off and frantically stripping herself down to nothing. She takes a deep breath, slips into the dress with a sigh of relief, and revels at herself inside the beautiful white dress. She goes to turn toward the mirror but a feeling of dread washes over her. Her mind races again, she feels her sickness, her weakness now. She feels cold, dead flesh wrap around her ankles and feet. She tries to lift her legs, to run, but the flesh grips tighter and tighter, pulling her down as her tired weak body tries to utter a scream, her flesh and bones splitting and splintering, her head filled with pain and anguish as she collapses on the cracked wooden floor in the dark damp attic, her blood staining the bottom of the beautiful, white wedding dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaah! My absolute favorite part is how she paced for days without even realizing it, how dreadful! (In the best possible way of course, haha.) I feel like so many of these comments could be expanded into short stories, and this is one of them. SO creepy.

      Delete
  13. To them, I am stunning. I am a statuesque beauty with the face of a doll and the posture of a proper lady. I greet them every day with a smile and a wave, and their faces beam with awe. "Beautiful!" "So elegant!" "What I would give to wear such a lovely dress!"

    The dress. Embroidered with lace and silk, it falls just right across my body. I will never lose or gain weight, so It will always be perfect for me, just as I am perfect for it. Do I think of what I've sacrificed to be granted my one true wish? To wear the perfect dress that captivated me from the moment I laid eyes on its lavish display in the window? Of course. Does it bother me? I cannot say. Although as of late, the others that have been entangled by the luxurious snare of the dress have begun to stir. I can feel them with me, clawing and struggling to escape our body. And the girl that has been admiring us from the other side of the glass seems almost too interested. Will she make the wish as well? It is becoming a bit crowded in here. Will the dress ever find its fill of admirers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, this was so dark and twisted. I love the direction you took with it! You really nailed the ghosty voice for sure.

      "Will the dress ever find its fill of admirers?" I feel like this is the perfect caption for the prompt's photo.

      Delete
  14. ummm that is so very very scary

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated on posts two weeks old or more -- please send us a tweet if yours needs approval!

Item Reviewed: Writing Horror: Scary Writing Prompt Game #2 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amy Lukavics