ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Write...Edit...Publish Halloweeen Blogfest - my entry HAUNTING, combined with Francine Howarth's Halloween Blogfest.

Welcome to creepy Halloween! There are many blogfests vying for attention. I am combining the Write...Edit...Publish blogfest with Francine Howarth's Trick or Treat Blogfest where you either give or receive free books. (In comments, say if you want your name to go into a hat to win a free book - say TREAT!)

Those who participate in the WEP blogfest will be competing for a $10 Amazon Gift card from yours truly (for the entry that catches my , and Francine is donating a free e-book to a participant.

Here is my creepy story...(sorry, I've been re-reading The Book Thief for the umpteenth time with my students, so I'm a little influenced by Death as narrator.) I'm sorry it's not exactly a fun entry, but there are some of them around...


Death has come to town. He arrives on runway 13A at midnight, thirteen minutes behind schedule. Despite the ferocious Twitter campaign demanding a new runway to deal with the increased traffic, the flight was late as usual. He couldn’t resist tweeting: #JFK #FLT307 #lateagain just for the pure heck of it.

He blends in with the weary commuters—squalling infants protesting painful ears and broken sleep, briefcases no doubt stuffed with duty free goods and hotel mini bar spirits, and myriad rackety suitcases squalling about just one trip too many. No one takes any notice of Death, no one senses his menace even though he mischievously brushes against as many unfortunate travellers as he can. What fun. Back in the swing of it again after the hiccup last time. He rubs his artificial leg. That will haunt him for the rest of his days, may they be long and eventful.

Death walks, lurching a little, protecting himself from the unseemly haste of humans desperate for their comfy bed, whether hotel or home. He has no baggage to collect; it would slow him down, but this night he can’t resist a little people watching as the weary souls await luggage collection at No 7 carousel. He stands in the vast, clattery room, surrounded by chattering children and the peculiar odour of those cooped together too closely on a thirteen-hour flight, watches them fighting over their luggage like chickens in the hen house pecking for grain. 

He could have done the deed earlier, on the plane, but that would have been too easy. And not according to plan. And, heck, he would have bit the dust too, or the ocean. Not ready for that sacrifice, but the time was coming. 

Gotta always stick to the plan. He studies the bed-ready faces, wishes he could tell them how lucky they are to be alive. How capricious is Death.

He follows the crowd to customs. A blind man could find his way simply by the noise and crush of humanity not at its best. The aromas from the coffee shop tantalize his olfactory glands, but he has no desire to indulge himself. He hardly recognises the place; it’s been so long since he visited, but this is just a quick in and quick out so it doesn’t bother him. No place is home any longer. The world is his stage. And he’s such an evil player. How delicious!

No one takes any notice as he passes by. Midnight eyes are blind, even those of the custom’s man, badged MARVIN. There are things that a sleep-deprived MARVIN, probably pulling a double shift, should have noticed. Just what was hidden beneath his long black coat? They do wonderful things with plastic these days. A body search would be in order, but he’s home free. Marvin missed an opportunity to be a hero, dead or alive.

Death shrugs and heads away from the passport-stamp-thumping desks, the babel of foreign languages, the wail of exhausted children. As he exits, he deliberately brushes a young lover caught in the act of whispering sweet nothings to whoever is on the receiving end of the phone. The young lover turns his shoulder towards Death, and continues his midnight electronic tryst. Oh, young man, I could finish you in a moment!

Now Death is out of doors. Humidity clutches his throat, the acrid smell of exhaust fumes threaten to overwhelm him. Then it begins to rain before his lungs are poisoned; it washes away the grime, turning the pavement into a slippery, oozy slush.

Death squints through the tumbling rain. A shaft of moonlight shimmers on the taxi roof, turned red by the neon sign poking its broken nose from the opposite side of the barrier. How strange. But it is a strange night. He checks over his shoulder, both directions. then wrenches open the nearest taxi door. The artificial smell of air freshener offends his sensibilities. The seat sags and he lurches into the middle. He smirks, imagining the lurching that people will be doing tomorrow…er, today.

“The Plaza Hotel,” he growls to the driver. The driver gives him the finger with his eyes, then pulls out into the stream of traffic. Death doesn’t glance behind. He feels hidden in the interior with its misty windows. He has more important things to think about. The plan must be perfectly executed. Ha, ha. Perfect choice of words.

Room 13  on (well, it should be 13!) the thirteenth floor is the perfect place to visit for his thirteenth act of terror.

Death has come to town.



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WORD COUNT: 758
General feedback please as this story is for this blogfest only.

Click on the WEP HAUNTED blogfest list in my right-hand sidebar to read other entries. Click on the TRICK OR TREAT badge to visit participants and to snaffle a book! 

Here are Francine's rules for both AUTHORS and VISITORS:


Authors: 

1) pop all the names of people who ask for a "TREAT" into a hat and choose a winner!
2)  Award a Kindle copy of the book/s featured to the winner

Visitors:

1) State in your comment whether you want your name popped into the author's hat.
2) Use your imagination for demanding your Treat! 









HAPPY HALLOWEEN!







64 comments:

  1. Hey Denise, you're making me nervous. Hope Death's not in my town! Don't think there's a building 13 floors high in my city. But Death is a cheeky fellow, so I'll be keeping an eye wide open. Thanks for the warning.

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    1. Ha Ha Jenny. Sorry for scaring you, but that was the point...:D

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  2. Great creepy story. I loved the addition of Twitter at the beginning.

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  3. Hi, Denise,
    I like what you've done with your entry. Readers don't often get this view and it brings home the reality how closely we may brush by death in a day and not know it. I can't help being sorry for the person he plans on visiting. Liked the sensory detail included in the story.

    Have a crazy-busy day in front of me, so I'll be posting in the evening. Have fun on the hop!

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  4. Oh, I want to read The Book Thief!

    Loved your Death excerpt. What a delightful trip into his mind/world.

    .......dhole

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    1. Glad you enjoyed His Creepiness Donna...but you would, mwmwmwmw.

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  5. Death has a sense of humor. Love the tweeting, and if death gets through customs that easily...we're doomed. Lol

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    1. I wanted to make sure readers knew he wasn't a ghost...although maybe ghosts use phones these days, lol!

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  6. Quite the creepy story - very apropos for this time of year. I love eerie stories :)

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    1. I'm glad such an optimist enjoys a little bit of eerie.

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  7. I've written about Death before as well - it can be pretty fun. :D

    Your story was great! I did notice a few times when I wasn't sure on particular wording in terms of past/present tense, but that can be tricky to judge.

    All in all, super creepy and it makes me want to read more and find out what the heck is going to happen now that Death's in town!

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    1. I'll have to trawl through for any mismakes Trish. It's meant to be present tense...did I muck up? Glad you enjoyed it despite this...

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  8. A treat? A treat!
    That would be neat.
    It doesn't have to be a sweet...
    So I'll repeat-
    Quite indiscreet-
    A treat! A treat!
    That would be neat.

    Hi Denise. Not sure if I qualify for a prize, but I couldn't resist the little rhyme.

    I LOVE The Book Thief... the best book I read last year... the kind of story that leaves you wondering when will you ever get another chance to read something similar...? *LE SIGH*
    In your piece, I love how Death slinks about... and his nonchalant "been-there-done-that-too-many-times" attitude...

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    1. Glad you loved the Book Thief. It is very popular in Australian schools. It would be hard to emulate Zusak's style, although Year 11s have to write a vignette in the same vein.

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  9. Now I want to read The Book Thief again! Think I'll add it to my 'study material'. This was fun! Creepy, but fun. I love his tweetin. :)

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  10. I think this may be my favorite piece I've read of yours, although not finding out what death's "perfect plan" was after all the build-up was a little heartbreaking. But all the details- the sights, sounds and smells that you stuffed into every single sentence were almost overwhelmingly real. Really submerged us in the busy airport with every word.

    And I've lost count of how many people have raved about the book theif- I'd really better read it already!

    And, if you don't mind. I'll go ahead and ask for a TREAT! See if my name gets picked out of that witch's hat...
    Happy Halloween~!

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    1. Hey Beverly, you must read The Book Thief. Takes a while to understand it, but well worth it.
      Good luck with the TREAT.

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  11. I love that Death is the narrator of this story, and I loved his personality! Great description, too, I felt like I was there with him :)

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    1. Oh, creepy guy. I'm glad you weren't Laura, lol!

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  12. *grumpy face* I wanted to know death's plan too. It would have been a treat. ;) Isn't it a blast writing from death's perspective?

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    1. I enjoyed it. Brought out the 'bad' in me. His plan? You probably really don't want to know.

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  13. What does Death order for Room Service? :-) Sadly, Death is in every town.

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  14. Stories with Death as a character are ALWAYS entertaining. I wish I knew what his plan was though. And what his previous twelve acts of terror were. That would make a great story! And I love that Death uses Twitter. ;)

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    1. Thanks Chrys. Death is tricky and keeps his secrets...

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  15. I wouldn't want to be at the Plaza Hotel that night.
    I'll have to remember that strong smells annoy death.

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  16. I love how grumpy and uncomfortable Death is. This was a great perspective for the blogpost. Great job. :)

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    1. Two peeps think Death is grumpy. That's not how I saw him. Interesting. (((frowns)))

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  17. So many possibilities - the plan he has in mind, how did he lose his leg, the other 12 disasters he's wrought! Only for this blog hop, me thinks not! LOL too much yet to tell! Great descriptive prose! Really took me to that airport! I hate flying! Excellent post, just excellent - this hop is full of surprises and fun!

    Trick or Treat and Happy Halloween!

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  18. Chilling. I loved your descriptive storytelling, Denise! Spine-tingling, really!

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  19. Very cynical your Death. Lots of questions from the clues you've dropped, making you wonder who he's taking out and why he's enjoying the thought so much, among other things!

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    1. Hey Lisa, maybe I'll continue this story next year!

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  20. Have you ever heard the song Night Shift by the Commodores? It refers to a Marvin! :D

    Well, I haven't read The Book Thief but I did read most of Piers Anthony's novel with Death as a narrator. In that one, a mortal takes the place of Death when he accidentally kills him. I thought it was an excellent premise and think, like Yolanda above, that the possibilities of playing with Death (haha) are indeed limitless! A fantastic choice for a Haunted WEP, Denise! Thanks, again, for hosting.

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    1. No, Suze, but I do know the Commodores. Death as a narrator is such a fascinating task to perform. I enjoyed it and will write some more.
      My pleasure to host, Suze. It's such a pleasure to me to see such great entries!

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  21. Death as a “person” against which we might brush anywhere, anytime… That it might have physical substance makes it, or him, even more scary… Reminds me, in a way, of “The Truth About Uncle Timotheus” by the Belgian writer Jean Ray.
    Thank you for hosting the blogfest. So many great pieces to read!

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    1. My pleasure to host such an intriguing blogfest. Some amazing entries, including yours Vesper. Thank you for joining in. Now I have some more books to read - Jean Ray - new to me.

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  22. I like how he gives him a finger with his eyes. It interests me that he's planned out this victim so thoroughly that he must travel by plane to get there, rather than just choosing any room 13 on any 13th floor. Why there?

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Because his target is there I guess. I haven't fleshed out every detail for the blogfest. It is just for fun.

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  23. Oh, Death. I love the details, but of course I want to know more! Great story... :)

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  24. Death appearing as just another jerk at an airport - love it!

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  25. Oops, I completely forgot about the trick and treat aspect of this fest. I'll have to make it up to folks in the future.

    I love your story. Death comes to town and has so many interesting experiences along the way. I take it he has a body of flesh and bone. I couldn't help thinking about the movie with Brad Pitt. This is so much different. I truly enjoyed it.
    Nancy

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  26. Very ominous! But you can't leave it there. What nefarious business is he up to? I thought this was pretty fun actually - seeing things through Death's POV, and he seems different from some other depictions. Great job. Happy Halloween!

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  27. A great story, Denise! I really enjoyed this one! I kept thinking he was going to strike, but I like the way you've finished it very much!

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    1. Hmm...I'll have to think about the strike for next time!

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  28. I like this narrative style - it makes it more ominous! Creepy man - makes me shudder.

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  29. Thanks for taking part and for posting the rules & regs for moi's BH. Death is brilliant! Great take on his perceived TREAT... The suspense angle held fast to the end. Clever narration! ;)

    best
    F

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  30. Love the idea of Death tweeting...and travelling light. Creepy and unnerving and very enjoyable.

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  31. You left us wanting more. I love the descriptions of weary travelers and being in Death's head. Very nicely done.

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  32. Very creepy! At first, I thought you were talking about a personification of Death himself and then I realized it was a terrorist. Perhaps both? Lots to think about here! Great story for Halloween!

    Jen

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    1. When I started the story he was undead then i changed my mind.

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  33. Death seems to be having a target in mind for sure, taking his every loving time haha nice

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  34. It's been a while since I read The Book Thief, I should read it again.
    I kinda like stories with Death as a narrator. I want more of yours!

    Good luck with NaNo!
    We're already buddies on the site, right? :-)

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  35. Delicious - I love the idea of Death having a Twitter account. In fact, I wish I'd thought of it!!! :-)

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  36. Oh Denise I LOVE it! Perfectly creep-tastic! Thanks for hosting and Happy Halloween!! :D

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  37. Hi, Denise ....

    That was sooooo frightfully chilling! Loved your descriptions if the airport.... I have that lovely experience tomorrow...

    Hopefully DEATH won't be flying with me!

    Sorry to arrive so late. Driving most of the day yesterday...

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  38. Saturday November 2nd, 2013

    What a chilling tale, Denise!

    You keep us thinking that something is going to happen and it does, but outside of the story!
    Clever use of a personification of Death that harkens back to folktales and Medieval literature. Happened to watch the last Harry Potter movie on dvd, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which contains a tale about three brothers who outwit Death.

    You probably don't have time to revisit my post, I've added a couple of photos. Oh, TREAT, by the way!

    Good luck with Nano. I am not doing Nano this year because of student teaching. I really should not have taken the time to write a story for WEP, but it is so much fun, and the October-Challenge is always a highpoint.

    Best wishes,
    Anna

    http://annas-adornments.blogspot.se/2013/10/weps-blogfest-for-wednesday-30-october.html

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