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Writing Horror: Scary Writing Prompt Game #15

Happy Monday, Spookies!

Welcome to another round of the scary writing prompt game. Again, here's how it works: I'll announce the prompt, then you guys post your response in the comment section. At the beginning of each round, I'll share my favorite bits from the previous month's entries before announcing the next prompt. At the end of the year there will be a spooky prize drawing for two lucky winners. *All* participants are automatically entered to win!

Last month's prompt had a girl named Mara faced with the repercussions of stealing her dead grandmother's emerald ring after a mysterious doll left behind failed to satisfy. I was wildly excited about the entries for this particular month--awesome participation mixed with interesting, creative directions had me grinning like an idiot when I read them over. It is for that reason that instead of just sharing one bit from February, I will be sharing a few:

She took a step back, eyes still locked onto mine. I froze. I wanted to throw the doll against the wall, drop it at my feet and stomp it to bits, throw it out this goddamned window, but I couldn't. "The doll is for you dearie," she said, her voice getting lower and more sinister. "It was always for you." Her gaze finally broke as she turned and walked out of the room, shambling slowly back toward the others, leaving me standing in the middle of the room embracing the doll. ~bhvalence

The noise scratches again from my left, too quickly to be a person. I turn trying to catch sight of it, but already it’s at the edge of my sight. The sound grows louder, sharper, the scratches become claws dragging at the floor. I keep turning. It’s circling me, just out of sight. It’s behind me now. Gasping, I spin to face the dresser. And there it is. The doll. With her molted broken hands on my grandmothers emerald ring, and her lifeless blue eyes staring straight into mine. ~Lorraine Torres-Colon

There is a new finger missing-- its pointer finger, on the same hand that I’m wearing Grandma’s ring. Thick red goop drips out of the hole and onto its moth-eaten blue dress. This time I do scream, just as my own finger starts to bleed. ~Meghan Jashinksy

Placing the broken shards into my hand, I noticed a slightly yellowed piece of paper rolled up among the fragments. Run, it read. Chills ran down my back, and then I felt the cool touch of a small, porcelain hand on my leg. I screamed. ~harobins

The doll was gone from the dresser. I walked over to where it must have fallen. I furrowed my eyebrows; it wasn’t there. I felt a sharp pain in my left thigh. I looked down and saw a tiny hand print with only four fingers burned into my jeans. As I was looking down, I felt a sharp pain on the inside of my wrist, right near my vein. “What the hell?” I said aloud. Blood gushed onto the floor. I cursed and ran to the bathroom to get a band-aid and something to clean the hardwood with before it dried. When I got back into the room, the mirror was shattered and on the wall, written in blood, was the word THEIF. ~Pritypeach99

Quickly I flip through the rest of the album. Halfway through Anne is no longer in any of the pictures, but the doll appears. She is in every photo with Grandma. I pull one out and examine it closer. The doll has the same haunting blue eyes as the girl in the photo, the same reddish blond hair, and the same blue floral dress that Anne was wearing in the last photo with my grandma. None of this makes sense. I grab for the doll, but it's there. Then I hear the sound again. Frantically I look around. My eyes fall on to the nightmarish sight. The doll's eyes slowly open. "Loretta" it whispers. I swear I see a small tear form at the corner of its eye. "Loretta, where are you?" ~thephilosophyofkindness

I stood up as the doll swiveled into a sitting position, her back to me. There was a compartment of some kind, but it wasn’t for batteries. “Go ahead, dear, take out my notes. You belong to her. If you embrace your abilities, the spells will come. She’ll help you learn to use your powers.” I forgot to breathe as my fingers reached for the rolled up papers tied with a red ribbon. As my fingertip came into contact with the edge of the aged paper, a surge of something strange yet weirdly welcoming shot into my skin. A whimper or a sigh fell from my lips. Up my arm, traveling fast, this thing spread, electrifying me, freeing me, all the way to my split-ends. ~Laurie Treacy

Aaaah, I can't even handle the awesome of my Spookies this last month. Good job everybody, and as always, thank you for creeping me out.


This Month's Prompt:

"Good job," Hailey said after Ben had successfully jumped over the stump in the middle of the trail. "You're pretty much Indiana Jones now." 

"Very funny." Ben's mouth pulled into a half-smile. "Contrary to popular belief, I am not always the biggest klutz in the known universe."  

"Not always," Hailey said with a grin. "But most of the time."

The two made their way down the steep trail that ran along the edge of Thumb Butte. Fallen leaves and dead pine needles coated the ground, making it hard not to slip. So far on their hike, Ben had stumbled, slipped, and/or fallen a grand total of four times, each time causing Hailey (and eventually Ben) to erupt into a fit of giggles that rang through the surrounding pines. 

"This date has been an even better workout than I originally thought," Hailey called over her shoulder as she steadied herself against a tree. "My entire torso hurts from laughing so hard." 

"So this is a date, then," Ben said in between huffs. "That's good to know. After I tripped over the tree root I figured all chances had been lost."

"That's funny." Hailey smiled. "Because that's the exact moment I knew it was a date."

She might have kissed him then, if it weren't for the sudden flash of movement that came from somewhere to the left. She turned to peer through the dense forest, expecting a deer or rabbit, but there was nothing. 

"Did you hear something?" Ben asked seriously, following her glance. "I thought I heard some snapping branches a second ago." 

"Why do you look scared?" She laughed again, but his expression didn't falter.

"I didn't want to say anything earlier," Ben said, "but a few times I could have sworn I heard stuff like that--snapping branches and stuff. I felt like we were being watched, as weird as that sounds."

"Maybe there's a deer following us," Hailey joked, right at the same time that she spotted the piece of paper pinned to a tree behind Ben. "Wait, what the hell?"

She pointed the paper out to Ben and they approached the tree, confused. The paper was bright and pristine, starkly out of place against the dark shabs of pine bark. It was held in place with a piece of scotch tape. 

"I think it's a note," Ben said as he gently lifted the edge of the paper. "Looks like there are a couple of lines written inside. Who leaves a note in the woods?"

"I don't know." Hailey frowned as she pulled the paper from the tree. After exchanging nervous glances, the couple unfolded the note and looked inside. 


Release the Hellhounds!

photo credit: tk-link via photopin cc
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).

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  1. (In hindsight it might've been even more effective if that note read "Don't Look Up.")

    RE: previous post about the dangling sneakers. Ah, editing.

  2. "What does it say?" Hailey asked?

    "Um, it's just some scribbles and pictures. Why would someone leave this out here?"
    Hailey pulled the paper out of his hand. Her heart stopped. She knew instantly what the paper was. "Lets go back."

    "No, we are almost there."

    Hailey grabbed Ben's hand and began pulling him back the way they came. They walked a couple of feet and stopped. Ben looked up at the trees. The birds stopped singing and the sky became dark. Everything around them was still. Hailey squeezed his wrist and backed into him. He saw what she was looking at. A cloaked figure appeared in the distance.

    "No, no, not now. Not now." Hailey whispered as she keep backing up.

    "Hailey, what's happening?" Ben was barely able to get the words out.

    The figure seemed to float towards them.

    "I'm sorry Ben. I'm so sorry." Hailey cried.

    "I've come to collect what I am owed." The voice seemed to come all around them.

    "I don't understand. Please, Hailey what is happening."

    "Run," Hailey whispered.

    They both turned and took off through the woods.

    "Hailey, I can't keep up." Ben screamed.

    She looked behind her in time to see Ben trip over a tree root that seemed to appear out of the ground. The root began to wrap itself around Ben.

    "Help" he screamed reaching out for Hailey, but she just stood there not moving. "I'm sorry" she sounded defeated. "I tried not to like you. It's my curse. I can't escape my faith and neither can you."


  3. An impressive post, I just gave this to a colleague who is doing a little analysis on this topic. And he is very happy and thanking me for finding it. But all thanks to you for writing in such simple words. Big thumb up for this blog post! There are games more games in here:
    demons games.

  4. 'He’s not for you,' the note read. Ben gasped. Hailey crumpled the note. Ben scanned the woods, running a hand through his short blonde hair.

    “Someone’s watching us,” Ben said. “I knew it.”

    “It’s probably for a scavenger hunt or something,” said Hailey. “Nothing to do with us.” She reached for Ben’s hand and pulled him down the trail. “We’re safe. You’ll see.”

    “Let’s only stay a little longer,” Ben said. The date lost its savor. The note ruined it. Now Ben would be frightened instead of adorably clumsy. She should have kissed him instead of mentioning the note. This would hardly be fun.

    The trail turned deeper into the woods. Ben hesitated. “We shouldn’t—”

    She tugged his hand. “The view on the other side is spectacular.”

    He slipped less, his steps too timid for that now. While she checked the trees for the note’s author, she saw Ben doing the same. Ben would never see him coming. She smiled and kissed Ben’s cheek.

    A snapping sound came from the woods on Ben’s side. His hand tightened around hers. “I need to get you home,” he said. It was sweet when they worried, but it was too late. Hailey could see the shadow in the distance. They wouldn’t have much time now.

    “Hurry,” she said, leading him through the woods. If they got to the view, everything would be fine. She would be safe.

    The snapping in the forest accelerated with the shadow’s pursuit. The woods darkened, the canopy obscuring the sun. Ben cried out as he fell over a root. He scrambled back to his feet. Tears stood in his eyes.

    A crier. Hailey hated when she got the criers. Her boyfriend loved them. That thought refocused her. She had to reach the clearing before James, or this date would be a total flop.

    Finally, they arrived at the spot where the trail ended in cliff and sunlight. The view, the river cutting through the valley below, made her stomach flip every time they brought someone here. James was just jealous. He thought it was his turn, but Hailey found Ben, so Ben belonged to her.

    “You don’t understand,” said Ben, panting. “We’re not safe here. He’s coming.”

    The snapping ceased. Hailey smiled. Maybe James had relented once he saw how close she was to the end. “Let’s just enjoy the view, Indy,” she said, snuggling close to him, hoping James saw.

    Ben’s heartbeat did not slow like it should. There was nothing for him to fear now that it was too late. He needed to relax. She loved their surprise when she pushed them over the edge. It gave her such fire. Another low snap meant James had arrived to watch.

    Ben inched from her. “I can’t do what he wants,” he said.

    He must have spotted James and thought James was in charge. Hailey threw back her head and laughed, but her maniacal laughter was cut short when Ben ran off the cliff and jumped into the sky’s arms. This was wrong. She put her back to the cliff just in time for the shadow to step into the light.

    Before her stood a creature of crackling ash, a fire burning underneath its skin. The eyes, vacant yet satirical, reminded Hailey of the devil. Hailey’s palms sweated. If this is what followed them, then James was somewhere else. She calculated how to please the beast, how to be brave. “Master…” she ventured. It would like that name more than others.

    “You took what was mine,” it said, a pink forked tongue licking its lips.

    “I was sending Ben to you,” she said to confirm its identity.

    “His soul already belonged to me,” it said, sauntering closer on four legs, “but I had other plans for him. Alive.”

    “I’ll serve you in his place—” Hailey’s voice broke. “James will—”

    “James is dead. Good with a pen and paper, but useless besides,” it said. It came so close that Hailey had to retreat to the cliff’s edge. The rocks crumbled from beneath her heels. This was what it felt like when she pushed them, what it felt like for them. She didn’t want to know this.

    Its eyes traveled from her toes to her head. “Yes. You’ll serve. Come.” It started back toward the forest. She began following, but hesitated when it looked at her once more, saying, “And please. Call me Father.”

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Ben dropped the note, letting it drift to the ground. "Okay, haha, hysterical. You're a comedic genius." He yelled into the forest, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
    "What'd it say?" Hailey asked. She bent to retrieve the paper before Ben stopped her.
    "It's nothing. Some sick kids playing a sick joke."
    Before Hailey could reply, something dark sitter behind a tree. Judging by the scared look that flashed across Ben's face, he had seen it too.
    "That didn't look like a kid..." Hailey squeaked. She clutched Ben's arm. "Please, let's go back to the car."
    Ben nodded briskly, and they began to walk away.
    "Crap." Ben muttered, stopping in his tracks. "I forgot my water bottle. Stay right here, I'll be back."
    Haileys eyes grew wide with fear. "Don't be long please."
    He gave her a reassuring smile and darted off to retrieve his water bottle.
    Hailey waited in the silence of the forest, feeling the overwhelming sense of fear. Just as she was turning to find Ben, a sharp scream pierced the air.
    She turned on her heel, running towards the scream, until she came to the clearing. Ben was no where to be seen. She called our again and again frantically, she thought of running for help but she didn't know the way to the car-
    Until, out of the corner of her eye, she saw a slip of white taped to a tree.
    Slowly, her breathing shaky and uneven, she walked over- the bark had been scraped off in long slashes, like nail marks. Her blood froze when she read the slip
    "Don't turn around."
    Her heart pounding and terror overwhelming her thoughts, she slowly turned around, her back against the tree. She had time to let a scream fall from her lips before blackness overcame her, and she thought no more.


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Item Reviewed: Writing Horror: Scary Writing Prompt Game #15 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amy Lukavics