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Author Topic: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread  (Read 33493 times)

Offline xiagan

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[Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« on: March 01, 2016, 10:39:29 AM »
Nightmares


Nightmares by Jared1481

I had problems writing a short text introducing the theme since everybody knows about nightmares and I felt that in this case an introduction wasn't necessary.
To get you into the mood and to convey a nightmarish atmosphere you can read my approach to nightmares below (it's not a recent story so I wouldn't have been able to enter with it anyway ;)).


Spoiler for Hiden:
Quote from: xiagan
It was the big white house in the middle of the lush gardens I knew so well. It had wide open windows, the sun was shining and the birds singing. Harmony radiated from this place in warm comforting waves and I knew it was more than my guests had hoped for. Strangely I wasn't seeing anyone. They couldn't be all inside, could they?
   I opened the big white door with its flower ornaments and it creaked. That was strange. I hadn't designed it to creak. I put my bag on the floor and took a look in the two rooms next to the hall. They were dusky and dimly lit - which was impossible because I could see the bright sun through the big windows. Its light just didn't seem to be able to get into the house. Confused, I went back to the front door to get my bag, but it wasn't there anymore. I have good hearing and especially in this place, nothing and nobody could get near me without me noticing. So where was my bag? I tried to open the front door, but it was locked. Another impossibility.

Tensed and with the beating of my own heart in my ears, I crossed the hall to the big staircase. There still wasn't a single sound inside the house and my own noises, mostly walking and breathing sounded stentorian. Halfway up, I heard a deep wet clunk from the second floor. And again. And again. I couldn't identify the sound, but it was menacing and gave me goosebumps. The whole atmosphere was oppressive and the fact that it got darker with every step upstairs didn't make it any better.

"Enough!", I thought. And tried to will the place back into what it once had been. A big knife just missed my throat and hit the wall with a sickening thump. Deep red blood oozed from the wallpaper and run down to the ground. Frantically, I turned round and round, but I was still alone. Making haste, I finished the last steps to the next floor. Everything looked derelict. The carpet was a moldy decomposed rug and its once bright and shiny colors had decayed to brown and gray. I tried to not tread on it. The chunking had become louder and more frequent. Even while knowing better, I still followed it. There was an open door, wherefrom the ominous sounds where coming. Carefully I went nearer until I was able to peek around the door frame.

   It was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen. A small, blond girl was standing in front of a chopping block. She had a hatchet in her hand and blood all over her short blue summer dress and her bare arms. Next to her was a huge pile of decapitated hares, birds, cats, dogs and other small animals. Mechanically she put her hand in a bag, my bag, as I shockingly realized, and pulled out a white rabbit and beheaded it. So that was the wet chunk I had heard earlier. I must have made a sound, because the girl stopped and looked up.

"Mama? Mama?" She had a fragile voice full of despair. "Are you my mama?" Slowly she made a step in my direction.

I hesitated, torn between the wish to flee and to stay. She came another step closer, the hatchet in one, a struggling puppy in the other hand.
"Mama?" she asked again. Then she looked up. An evil red light blossomed in her blue eyes when she stated: "You are not my mama." She came another step closer, while I was paralyzed. "What have you done to my mama?" she screamed and sprang in my direction, hatchet and puppy raised above her head.

That's when my freezing left me and I ran as fast as I could back down the stairs. I knew this house and  with the advantage of my longer legs, I easily made ground. I stopped to catch my breath and to listen for my pursuer. I heard the whining of the puppy and her perverse giggles.
   Cold sweat on my forehead, I thought as hard as I could. What had happened here? Where would I be safe? Carefully I snuck into the kitchen, got me a big knife and opened the trapdoor to the basement. Cool air cleared my head and I slowly climbed down the ladder. I stopped, when with an ear-battering thud the trapdoor slammed shut.
In the same moment, I heard a counting-out rhyme from far below:
   
   "Eeny meeny miny moe
   Catch a dragon by the toe
   Catch a duckling by the down
   Tell, oh tell me whom to drown.

A little boy chuckled, followed by a scream and a splash.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a brief moment. Where exactly was I? What was this horrible place? When I heard somebody trying to open the trapdoor, I hurried farther down the ladder. Had that creepy girl finally found me? I wasn't with my whole mind at what I was doing, so I missed the next step, slipped of the one after that and fell.


   I woke in my bed with a scream, covered in cold sweat, my heart thumping as if I had run a few miles. I was slightly disorientated and dizzy. A nightmare.

Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. A nightmare or nightmares must be a central part of the story.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-500 words long.
5. One story per person or writing team (not per account).
6. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
7. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
8. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
9. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
10. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys next to the 'youtube' symbol.

Entry will close March 31st/April 1st, 2016 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.

Please post your entry here.

Note: This thread is only for questions or discussing this month's writing contest. Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 10:42:45 AM by xiagan »
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Offline Nora

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 11:11:18 AM »
Haha, deuce, Bea, what kind of Grimdark writer do you take me for, that you'd think I'd love this topic... Not that you're wrong mind you, nightmares are much better than dreams, just like depicting Hell is much more fun than Heaven. I'm very happy with the topic but...

The fact that I'm already coming up with disturbing ideas isn't reassuring either.  ;D
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 11:22:24 AM »
^ ;D
I don't link Nightmares necessarily to grimdark, actually... can be a fairytale-type of story ;)
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Offline SJBudd

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 12:23:12 PM »
Ah yes! Great topic can't wait to get stuck in

Offline Henry Dale

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 01:04:36 PM »
Anyone who writes about horses of any form will not get my vote.  :P

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 01:06:30 PM »
Is that one of your recurring nightmare subjects??
Poor Henry...
Mine is driving and then then the breaks not working ::)
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Offline Henry Dale

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 01:08:45 PM »
Is that one of your recurring nightmare subjects??
Poor Henry...
Mine is driving and then then the breaks not working ::)

The horses aren't. The terrible pun that is night-mare is.  :P

Offline Rukaio_Alter

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 01:09:06 PM »
Anyone who writes about horses of any form will not get my vote.  :P
D'aww. Now I'm going to have to come up with a new pun.

Maybe I could write one about Donald Trump? After all, he's a night-hair, right?
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...I'll show myself out.
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Spoiler for Hiden:
Also, <Insert GOD EMPEROR OF THE WRITING CONTEST joke here>

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 01:09:58 PM »
@xiagan, where are the likes? ;D
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Offline Nora

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2016, 01:10:25 PM »
Isn't it a white hag reference?

"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

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Offline tebakutis

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 02:39:36 PM »
Anyone who writes about horses of any form will not get my vote.  :P

Henry, Piers Anthony let that pun out of the barn YEARS ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Mare

Offline Henry Dale

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 02:41:37 PM »
Anyone who writes about horses of any form will not get my vote.  :P

Henry, Piers Anthony let that pun out of the barn YEARS ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Mare
It's probably older than that and horribly overused so I don't want to see it.

Offline Nora

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 02:49:15 PM »
I'm going to write the gory grim dark version of Inception and enjoy every moment of it.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline m3mnoch

Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2016, 02:51:50 PM »
Anyone who writes about horses of any form will not get my vote.  :P

Henry, Piers Anthony let that pun out of the barn YEARS ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Mare
It's probably older than that and horribly overused so I don't want to see it.

yah.  nora was on the right trail.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nightmare

Offline JMack

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Re: [Mar 2016] - Nightmares - Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2016, 02:55:18 PM »
Anyone who writes about horses of any form will not get my vote.  :P

Henry, Piers Anthony let that pun out of the barn YEARS ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Mare
It's probably older than that and horribly overused so I don't want to see it.

yah.  nora was on the right trail.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nightmare

Yeah, nightmare is not a pun, it's a word origin.
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