Wednesday, 19 October 2022

#WEP OCTOBER 2022 CHALLENGE - MICHAEL JACKSON'S "THRILLER" - MY #FLASHFICTION

 Hello there!

It's time for the WEP October thrilling challenge where writers are asked to respond in any way they choose to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". The options are there for those who resist reading or writing horror in any form, so some entries might be 'thrilling' in other ways. Myself, I'm rather attracted to vampire stories, so of course that's the direction I took my entry. 

For the second half of my entry, I incorporated lyrics from the song, mindful that there is copyright on lyrics, so I changed them. No copyright on titles, thankfully. I also had some useable pics in my picture folders that I hope enhance the 'thrilling' experience.


I hope you enjoy my 'thrilling' entry:



 “Run, Sadie, Run.”

Sadie slithered down the freezing drainpipe, and bam, her ballet flats hit the ground. Creeping cold seeped through her shoes, her toes turned to ice. She slapped her face. Got the blood flowing. Idiot! She should have worn that ugly sheepskin coat her mother gave her, but she wanted to show off her milky white shoulders in her red silky dress. To whom? She was about to find out.

Lucretia, her BFF at her new school had told her about a ceremony happening at midnight deep in the woods. How could Sadie miss that?

She shivered along the snowy path into the wood behind her house. Should have worn a cloak, not this thin shawl. "Yes, Mom, I'm a stupid cow."

“We moved here to get you away from those weirdos in Washington State. But you never listen. Don’t whine to me when disaster strikes.”

“Don’t go walking in those woods at night”, Lucretia had warned her, “especially on Halloween”.

“Especially under moonlight.” Her new boyfriend Xavier added on several occasions while they made out in her room. As he spoke, his eyes gazed at her soulfully, eyes flecked with red which sorta scared her. “Never, never, never enter those woods.” He thumped the pillow. “Evil lurks.”

Sadie had almost laughed. Xavier was so quaint of speech, like he was from another age. But she wasn’t doing trick and treating with the class like she was some stupid little girl. She was going to be a scientist. Scientists don’t believe anything they can’t prove.

She passed an abandoned shack by a frozen stream. She was close.

 Full moon. All Hallow’s Eve. Pagan festival of the dead. Her favorite time of year. Ghosts, vampires, ghouls, zombies and what the heck else come out to toy with humans. She wrapped her arms around herself; snowflakes teased her bare shoulders. Her hair whipped into her mouth, her eyes. Was that ghosts she heard ooh-ing and aah-ing? Turn back, freak, she told herself, but no, she was determined to see if the stories about creepy creatures had merit.

Close to a grassy glade, a circle of trees. Then … she saw it, a sight that almost stopped her heart. Horror hooked her between the eyes like an arrow from a gifted archer. She opened her mouth to scream, but terror stopped her voice.

Black-clad figures wearing white gloves, sang in falsetto while they gyrated, their movements strangely elegant, “Thriller, thriller.”

My God. Who were these copy-cats singing Michael Jackson’s biggest hit? Her heart hammered so loudly her ears throbbed. Were her weird new friends playing tricks on her?

The fake-Jacksons swiveled, booed her, like they saw through the huge tree where she hid.

“Come out, girl, we need your sweetness.” They sang, clapped, made Michael Jackson moves, bodies jerking. “You’ll be thrilling, thrilling, our lips will drip with sweet, sweet blood.” They high-fived, smacked their lips, whirled in the air so many times it made her dizzy. How long had they practiced to get that right?

Some friends, she thought. Ugh. How could they scare her like this?

“Run, Sadie, run.” A familiar voice. A familiar touch. She spun around. No one.

The dancers shot their hands in the air, their claw-like fingers spasming.

“Come to us, little one.

We need your sweetness.”

“Run, Sadie, run.” An awakening fear nailed her feet to the ground.

“We crawl in search of blood.

You are the one we crave.”

A cold hand wrapped around her neck, sharp fingernails pinched her bare shoulders. A creature. Behind her. These creeps were real! She’d read Twilight; she knew what came next. Razor-sharp teeth would rip her apart.

“Midnight is so close at hand.

Jaws of death are in the land.”

Oh, no, no, no. Cold dread crept throughout her body. Then … pfft … maybe … if she opened her eyes, she’d be in her warm bed in her warm room in her warm house with her cold parents.

But no.

“We demons, we’re closin' in on every side.” Voices now deep baritone, they formed a ring around the tree, her prison. In time to the words, they stomped their feet, flew into the air, their robes flapping around their bodies.

“Darkness falls across the land.

Thriller, thriller night.

We will take your sweetness.

Take you to a better world.”

Woodland creatures squawked and squawked, wolves howled, then suddenly stopped, adding to Sadie’s terror.

Deep baritone voices seared her soul. “We will possess you.” And they did, their hands all over her, imprinted her body with ice. “This night we'll open your eyes to the knowledge you seek.”

Sadie couldn’t see their hooded faces, but she smelt foul breath, felt rough tongues, teeth, huge, monstrous, grazed her shoulders. Her knees gave way; she fell into a heap.

“Your body shivers, twitches, but your cries are feeble. Give up the fight.”

“Leave me alone,” Sadie cried, wrapping her hands around her neck. “Go scare someone else.”

“Stand and face we hounds of hell.” They tugged at her hands, exposing her neck. “Let us hold you tight. Thrill us on this thriller, thriller night.”

They hauled her to her feet like she was made of air.

She kicked and screamed, but fingers tore her skin.

“Give in. Give in.

This is the end

we commend.

No mortal can resist our evil.”

“This mortal can.” The familiar voice again.

The foul stench screamed a collective falsetto, ‘Ooh-ooh-ooh’, backed away.

 “Xavier.” Relief coursed through her. “Save me.”

“If I don’t take you, they will.” He stabbed a finger at the demons, their white gloves circling the darkness, their falsetto voices creeping her out big time. “Ooh-ooh-ooh, oh Master.”

WTF? “Master? Xavier?” She tried to pull out of his arms, but they felt like iron bands.

His eyes sparkled with red flecks. “Stay away from these woods, I said, but you didn’t listen. If I let you go now, you’re dead. I’ll change you; you will live with me forever.”

Sadie felt woozy as Xavier’s teeth bit her neck. Oh the exquisite pain of discovering the truth. She heard falsetto voices: “Ooh-ooh-ooh, please give us a go.”

Mom, you were right. I am a stupid cow.

 


TAGLINE: Mom is always right!


WORDS: 1039

 FCA

 STOP PRESS!

For this challenge, WEP is offering Amazon Gift Cards to three winners to the tune of $20, $15 and $10. If you have a story that meets the guidelines, join us!



I hope you enjoyed my ghoulish story. Please click on my sidebar to read more entries.


While you're here, I'll tell you about WEP's December challenge. We'll tone it down a bit from this month. 


Roberta Flack said -  I think it's the kind of song that has two unique & distinct qualities: it tells a story, and it has lyrics that mean something....Because of [its meaningful lyrics] the [song] can be interpreted by a lot of people in a lot of different ways: the love of a mother for a child, for example, or [that of] two lovers. 

Go HERE for more inspiration.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to read and comment on my post.

 

Denise  




Wednesday, 5 October 2022

#IWSG OCTOBER POSTING - What I like about my 'favorite genre.'

 Hello all!

Welcome to the October IWSG. Hope you've had a good month - writing, reading, collaborating, selling books, advertising books, promoting books, blogging, facebook-ing- whatever is your jam. 

My month has been busy as always, what with trying to fit everything in - by everything I mean I just want to write new copy, but there are so many other demands on my time. How about you? How do you prioritize your writing?

Anyway, onto the October question - What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?


This is a rather long post for IWSG, so just skim, pick out points of interest. If there are none, my bad, but I hope you can find something!

I don't want to confuse you, but I have eclectic tastes both in books and music. Sometimes in music I'm into Beethoven and classical music, at others, U2, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and others of their ilk, then there's my fascination with Abba which never wanes.

Same thing with 'favorite genre'. My 'favorite genre' varies over time. I'm a voracious speed reader who often DNF a book if it doesn't get going. If a day goes by and I don't read ... oh, well, don't think that's ever happened since I was like 6 years old.  I go through phases - 

* Nora Roberts type Romantic Suspense. Why? I like to be intrigued. Jemi Fraser does this well, too. 

* Feel good women's fiction set in Cornwall and gentle England, but I'm done. A flooded market. 

* Classic vampire tales of old, like Dracula. Sure, I've read the modern, sparkly ones, and those set in a modern office, but give me an old-fashioned blood sucker any day. 

* Classic books by the likes of Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen et al which probably wouldn't be published today.

And I could go on, but I'll cut to my current 'favorite genre'...

RIGHT NOW ... and for several months, and off and on all my reading life, I choose Thrillers, especially Psychological Thrillers over any other genre. Why? Along with intriguing settings, it's because the Title, the Tagline, the cover/and/or the blurb hook me in. With this genre, you always know what you're getting and you're getting a good read, a page-turner. And it's dastardly difficult to write. I know. I'm trying.

Forerunners were series like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson and standalone Smilla's Sense of Snow, by Peter Hoeg, but moving along ...

I just grabbed a few of my recent favorites off my overflowing new bookshelves my hubs built me ...

* "Can you save her? Will you survive?" - Harlan Coben's Run Away - he's the king of twisty thrillers. Think I've read all his books and watched on Netflix those which have become series (16 so far and more to come).

* The Ice Twins, S.K. Tremayne - "Unbearably gripping and suspenseful." (An understatement if ever there was one!!!). "Beautifully paced, teeming with psychological shivers." This could describe the Murder series by Yolanda Renee (((shiver, shiver)))

* Clare Mackintosh, I Let You Go. "A past you can't escape." I challenge you to ever find a creepier ending. "Chilling ... with a killer twist." Yep.

* Cross Her Heart, Sarah Pinborough. "...it's about three interesting women and some nasty men." Got me right away.

But when it comes to psychological thrillers, I'm reading my way through those set in Scandinavia and deep into the night when I'm too tired to write, I watch Netflix sub-titled scandi thrillers set in those frozen lands which seem to lend themselves to bleak, scary, witchy stories. Probably the best to me is The Killing, on Netflix and all 3 books by David Hewson (a fave writer of crime thrillers set in Rome). Let's just say, I love Scandi-noir at its powerful bleakest. Currently reading my second by Camilla Grebe, The Hideout, "A razor-sharp, complex mystery." (I loved her The Ice Beneath Her).

Want to know more? Join the Psychological Thrillers Readers Group on Facebook where there are tons of recommendations. I hope someone recommends my first thriller one day. It's half written! Yay!


The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox!



And talking of thrillers, WEP is about to be swamped by thrilling stories starting October 19, based on Michael Jackson's THRILLER. Can't wait! 
You're welcome to join us! Share in the fun!


Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear your comments.

Here's an excerpt from my thrilling story for October's WEP - I'm definitely  influenced by those Scandinavian settings!

Sadie slithered down the freezing drainpipe, and bam, her ballet flats hit the ground. Creeping cold seeped through her shoes, her toes turned to ice. She slapped her face. Got the blood flowing. Idiot! She should have worn that ugly sheepskin coat her mother gave her, but she wanted to show off her milky white shoulders in her red silky dress. To whom? She was about to find out.


Denise