Table of Contents

Untitled by @LurchMunster - Mark Ethridge
Untitled by @SweetSheil - Sheilagh Lee
A Lesson Well Taught by @ChessnySilth - L.T. Dalin
Haunted House by @DavidALudwig - David A Ludwig
Untitled by @Postupak - Rebekah Postupak
Untitled by @solimond - Nellie
Untitled by @PurpleQueenML - Miranda Kate

Judges Comments

Such awesome entries this week, it was very hard to pick… Since everyone can’t win, I decided to comment on all of them. My pick probably came from more my state of mind at the time (I really needed a laugh) than anything else, since everyone had such great entries! I could have given this win to pretty much any of you! Thanks for letting me read them! You all are awesome! :)
@SweetSheil You managed to surprise me! When the baby was crying and the voice was talking, I wasn’t expecting the father to have murdered an ex in the house! Wow! Pretty fun. I was amused that she bribed the necromancer with hidden loot…great detail. The necromancer wasn’t the most sympathetic character for me, but believable. The whole thing could’ve been a little tighter for me.

@Chessneysilth Haha! I really enjoyed this one! I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and I was a middle school teacher, so you hit home on a couple levels for me! J The argument in the classroom was well done and I could almost feel the encounter with the ghost. I’m not sure after hours of grading and whatnot that his mind (in a state of terror) would have made the connection with his class hours before. I did LOVE that the ghost was answering the question and the question of him being in the right house was a nice touch! J

@DavidALudwig I enjoyed the lighthearted dialog. I especially enjoyed the details of the ghost trying to pitch his voice “ominous rather than whiny” and the nonchalant position of the witch’s feet on the table and hands behind her pigtails. Oh, and her phrase “wicked cool.” (My sister lived in Boston for 8 years, and I managed to pick that up from her!) While enjoyable, it lacked something different for me. There were no surprising moments or anything that really jumped out and said, “This is awesome.”

@PurpleQueenML Ooooh, creepy! Your details were awesome – from the garish wallpaper to the greying twilight – it really helped set the mood. I loved how he argued with himself – the struggle was very well done and believable. I feel like you caught the essence of someone trying to talk himself out of his fears – usually a good thing – and having him find out that his fears had substantiation. I was even somewhat surprised at the end because I wasn’t sure which way you were going to go with it. I would have liked a little more, because I always want to know what happened, but I also liked that you ended with the echo of the original scream made real. Very powerful! Nice job!

Honorable Mentions

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@LurchMunster
Haha! Mark, I loved it! I had so much fun reading the details of how a haunted house was made! I loved his attention to details and purely logical, systematic approach to uncovering the secrets of Haunted Houses. (Even if it did take him an extraordinary amount of time to discover the things…) SO FUN! He was very believable and his reactions were consistent. I actually appreciated that he never ONCE thought that he might be wrong…like the idea of the mystical could never enter his brain. Great job!

@solimond
I enjoyed this one too! Both Bartholomew and Rory were very well developed and the little details you put in spoke volumes about their characters – Bart’s nose so high in the air he would fall backwards and the picture of Rory lounging at the bottom of the stairs putting his cigarette out on his boot were my favorite of these. Rory’s snarky dialog was fun to read as well. I laughed out loud when he interrupted Bart’s monologue. I also liked how you kept period dialog for the ghost – ‘common street urchin’ was nice. The ‘Apparition League’ was fun and I’d like to know more about it. J


Winner

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@postupak
Oh, Rebekah! I laughed so hard! I couldn’t help myself! I think there may have been tears… When she said, “God help me – for the first time in my life, I stumbled.” I think I almost bust my gut. Your details were brilliant – smacking gum and squeezing into a dress and flashlights with new batteries and whatnot. I could really get into the character. Really fun! The tense was a little confusing (‘I used to laugh at this’ in the beginning, while ending it in present tense was odd…) and the boss character was a little unbelievable, but I really loved the piece! Thank you for the laugh…I really needed it!
(Host's Note: That's two wins in one day.  Rebekah's on fire this week!)

Untitled
By Rebekah  Postupak
Ordinarily, when someone hears a disembodied voice scream at them to leave, they do... quickly, turning in their terror only for a well-ankled foot to catch on a rug or a tree branch, and then suddenly there they lie, limbs splayed in gorgeous helplessness until devoured mercilessly by the danger.

I used to laugh at this.

“What a crock!” I’d say to my friends, snorting between bites of over-buttered popcorn. “A real blonde would never do that.”

“Hollywood hates blondes,” I often said to my boss in disgust. “Like a brunette wouldn’t just do the same thing, only look tackier while doing it.”

Sometimes it really made me mad, but this was a feeling I shoved as far deep as it’d go. There was no place for bitterness, not in a world where I had to be *perky* at all times, smacking my gum and sporting skinny jeans and keeping unpopular suspicions to myself. All of which I did, because doing so was easier than the alternative.

“Fine,” said my boss one day.

“Huh?”

“If you believe it’s just a cinematic conspiracy, then go. Test it out. Then come back, if you can, and spare us having to listen any more to your lunacy.”

Giddiness swept over me. What a huge opportunity! I worked as a reporter for the Times, but to date my articles never broached anything snappier than the weekly firehall bingo game where I, inevitably, was the most talked-about round.

I took the longest time working out what to wear. Don’t mock—to prove my theory right, I had to follow everything to the letter. It took three hours with hot rollers to get my hair into the right sort of curls, ones that cascaded down my back in an obscenely natural-looking way. My knee-length summer dress (the blue one that everyone said made my eyes glow) didn’t really fit anymore, but after a good 45 minutes of huffing and puffing, I squeezed myself in. And into my roomie’s four-inch heels, obviously.

Into my silver clutch went a tiny pistol (loaded, duh), cell phone (fully charged), and flashlight (fresh batteries).

Now all that remained was the location: and ohhh did I have a doozy. The huge, abandoned, Victorian-style house at the edge of the wildwood. I drove there eagerly (full tank of gas, fresh battery). Alone, of course, late at night, without telling anyone.

I explored the house right off, knowing I would hear the voice all too soon. Or I would see a door slam shut, or a swarm (swarm?) of spiders scurry frantically across my path.

So when the disembodied voice called out, I was ready. I even giggled a little as I turned to flee.

And then—God help me—for the first time in my life, I stumbled.

Strained something pretty bad, I’m guessing, as I can’t move, and there’s my purse across the room where it flew as I fell.

Footsteps approach.

Dang, I think as I wait. There goes my theory.

 


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