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Writing Horror: Scary Writing Prompt Game #19

Happy Thursday, 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!

Prizes: Both winners will receive a Night of Horror care package from yours truly, containing everything you need for a spooky night in--a scary DVD, creeptastic snacks, something to keep you cozy while you cower in fear of ghosts and/or serial killers, and a few other horror-related knick-knacks that won't disappoint. Maybe I'll even throw in a bottle of True Blood.

Reminder: Now accepting entries via Tumblr! Reblog with your entry attached, then tag your post with the hashtag #scarywritingpromptgame and spread the horror love on your dash! (Even if you only do a Tumblr entry and never comment on the actual post, I will still enter it for the grand prizes at the end of the year.)

Last month's prompt didn't garner any responses, so let's roll right into the new prompt!

This Month's Prompt:

Her mother went outside to feed the horses and never came back.

Julia was able to make it a reasonably long time without freaking out. Maybe her mother was taking extra time to cut open some new hay, or refilling the water trough, or putting blankets on the horses because of the sudden chill that'd befallen the ranch in the last few days. Maybe.

Photo courtesy of Kristine Paulus
But before long, an hour had passed, and the terrible feeling in Julia's gut only worsened. The sun was long gone, replaced by a full harvest moon that shone through the window with a dull, yellow glow. Ever since she was a child, Julia's mother warned her not to go outside at night during the harvest moon. She never explained why, only made Julia promise over and over again until she was satisfied enough to let it go.

Now her mother was missing, and Julia was left biting her nails in the dark of the kitchen, too afraid to turn any lights on to distract attention from whatever might be out there.

You're being ridiculous, Julia thought after another half hour went by, tired of hiding like a frightened child in the shadows. She might be injured out there, something with the horses, she might need your help...

The idea of her mother in pain was what did it in the end. Julia pulled on her coat and boots, grabbed a flashlight, and headed outside to the dirt path that ran between the main house and the stables.

What would she find?

***

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).

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3 comments:

  1. It was eerily quiet when Julia stepped onto the path. There was a slight breeze that swayed the nearby branches and annoyingly flipped Julia's hair into her eyes at a time when she needed her sense of sight in her tense state.

    Julia's heartbeat quickened as she walked closer to the stable. She wanted nothing more than to find her mother tending the horses instead of what her mind was actually thinking happened to her. She stopped at the entrance to the stable.

    The light was out. Great, Julia thought. She could hear a few horses moving and breathing. The stable creaked as the breeze blew by.

    Julia peered into the stable with her flashlight and followed the spotlight as it revealed horses and stables but nothing out of the ordinary.

    "Mom?" Julia said.

    Her words seemed to evaporate as soon as they left her mouth carried away by the breeze.

    "Mom? You in here?"

    Julia walked in and psyched herself out to check stable after stable to make sure everything was alright. By now her worry had turned into full blown panic. But you couldn't tell from her actions.

    Stable after stable revealed nothing unusual until Julia reached the last stable. The horse was dead and blood pooled next to its head and neck. As soon as she saw the horse, the other horses became restless. Julia felt a presence. Someone was watching her.

    Julia whipped around to shine a light on a hairy, human form with claws and the head of a wolf. It had blood on its mouth and fur. Werewolf, Julia thought.

    She dropped her flashlight and made a run for the house. She had to run clear around the stable because she couldn't run through it. Julia could hear the growling and panting behind her. It sounded close and it was only getting closer.

    As soon as she reached the porch, she tripped going up the last step and fell face forward slamming into the door. Lying there she knew it was over. There was no way she was going to live through this moment.

    She curled up into a ball and awaited her fate. Nothing happened. But she could hear the panting of the werewolf right next to her. She slowly opened her eyes to see why the werewolf didn't attack her. Julia unraveled herself from her human ball position.

    The werewolf looked at her with a sharp but familiar stare. There was something in those eyes.

    "Mom?"

    The werewolf howled at the harvest moon frightening Julia and ran into the woods nearby.''

    Never go outside at night during a harvest moon, Julia. That's what her mom used to tell her. Now she knew why.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Part 1:

    Breathe, just breathe. I’ve done this walk a million times at night. The cool air outside wraps around me. Everything is still. The light from the moon illuminates the path in front of me but I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m being watched. Something is wrong. There are no fireflies dancing across the fields. It’s too bright out to see them I tell myself. But what about the crickets? Maybe they aren’t out yet. It could be too early for them, but I know I’m just fooling myself. I lock my focus on the stables. The horses are quiet. Nothing that bad could have happened or they would be making noise. That seemed to work. My breathing started to even out. Mom said something about Shadow’s leg earlier and that she wanted to call the doctor in the morning. It wasn’t unlike her to stay up all night with an injured horse. I pushed all the fear and doubts out of my mind and took a few solid steps toward the barn.
    A brush off cold air stopped me in my tracks nearing knocking me over. Nothing moved. No trees were swaying. No leaves scattered. Nothing moved but me. My heart was pounding so hard I could feel it pulsate in my finger tips. I stood there frozen. Not sure what to do. My eyes landed on the mom’s truck behind the stables. In the distance came the faint sound of a drum. No way was I stopping to look. My mind was made up. I could make it to the truck, lock the doors, and call 911. Mom always left her cell in the truck, please don’t let this one time be the exception I prayed. My body took over silencing my mind. I could feel my feet carrying me towards the truck.
    I ran past the stables door when arms wrapped around me and dragged me into the stables. A scream froze in my throat, but before I knew what was happening there was mom. “Shh,” she instructed as she looked back out the stable door. The sound of drums carried through the air. She paused for a moment, whispered something under her breath, and slide the door shut.
    “What are you doing out here?” She demanded.
    “I… just…I thought you were hurt.” Her face softened. I said the right thing, but that didn’t erase the fear in her face. “Mom, what’s going on?”
    “It’s all okay, but I warned you about the harvest moon.”
    “Who is playing those drums?”
    “You heard that?”
    I nodded.
    She hesitated for a moment. “Follow me.” We walked back to an empty stall. “Do you remember when you were little you asked about the Night Hunters?” She asked as she light some candles, muttered some words, and drew familiar looking symbols on the walls.
    I nodded, but that was just a silly legend. It was a story older kids told the younger ones to scare them. They were suppose to be a soul’s of the dead who were on an endless hunt. If you got in their way they would hunt you down unless you did something like take off your cloths and lay on the ground or walk backwards carrying a black cat.
    “The stories you heard are only partially true. This town likes to bury a lot of its less then wholesome past. There was a group of law men who did whatever they wanted. There were times when one day there jail would be full of people they claimed to have committed crimes and the next empty.”
    “What happened to the them?”
    “No one knows for sure, but the rumors go that on bright nights like this they were taken out and hunted down.” She paused for just a moment mutter some more words that I couldn’t understand and blew out a black candlel. I was too paralyzed with fear to ask what she was doing.
    “A few of the townspeople spoke up.” She continued. “The law men were eventually brought to justice, but not before silencing a few of their accusers and swearing to come back for the rest.”
    “This can’t be real.” I whispered.
    “I protected the house long ago so they couldn’t see us.” I looked at the candles and marks on the stall. I’ve seen these same things all over our house.
    Outside the sound of the drums grew louder.
    “Is that them?” I managed to ask.
    “Yes. Tell me what happened outside?”

    ReplyDelete
  3. Part 2:
    “Not much. I heard the drums and there was a strong wind.” Mom grabbed me pulling up my shirt and pushing me around.
    “No, no, no.”
    I ran my hands across my back and could feel something. “Mom?” my voice was trembling.
    “You are marked. We need to get you back to the house. There are more things that I can use to hide you there and try to remove it.” Wind pounded against the barn. Mom, didn’t have to say it. I wasn’t safe here and there was no way to get back to the house.
    “The truck.” She said. “There is something that can help in the truck.” She grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the stall and to the door at the end of the stalls.
    The wind hit harder ripping the front doors off. The sound of drums filled the stables. Mom grabbed hold of the back door forcing it open. The wind blew around us making it almost impossible to move. She pushed me out the door towards the truck. I opened the cab door turning back realizing I no longer could feel mom’s hand in mine. A look of horror crossed her face. “The purple candle.” She yelled as the wind lifted her off the ground. “Use the wax.” She disappeared into the barn.
    I jumped into the truck locking the doors behind me and frantically begin to look for the candle. There it was in the glove box. I lit it but had no idea what to do next. The wind violently shook the truck as I lit the candle. The truck rolled on its side cracking the windows and sending wax onto my skin. Suddenly I knew what to do I could hear my mother’s voice in my head instructing me. I held the candle over my back and let the wax drip onto the marked skin as the truck lifted in the air and crashed down. Everything went black.
    What happened after that I don’t know. I woke up on the roof the truck. I had to break the window to pull myself out. There was no sign of anything happening to the stable, but all the horses were gone and so was my mom. When the police came they didn’t know what to make of my story. No one did. It took them three days to declare my mom dead. They found her some of her blood scrolled across a wall in the toolshed spelling out the word silence.
    It took them even longer to eliminate me as a suspect, but only because they couldn’t figure out how I turned over a truck and knocked myself out. That didn’t matter to anyone in town. My friends turned their back on me calling me a murder. Some looked at me with disgust. The people who knew and believed the older stories of the recoiled with fear when I passed. They whispered that I was marked. That part was true. The symbols burned every full moon. Nobody would tell me what it meant, but I had a feeling. Next harvest moon my fate would be the same as my mother’s if I didn’t figure out how to protect myself from the Night Hunters.

    ReplyDelete

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Item Reviewed: Writing Horror: Scary Writing Prompt Game #19 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amy Lukavics