And the story continues… (Coffin Hop 2012)

Not everyone wants visitors on Halloween…

In my world, Halloween begins today. If I had more talent, I would write a song. It would be called “The Eight Days of Halloween,” and it would go something like this:

On the first day of Halloween
My blog will bring to you
A spooky shared story
And a prize…

Obviously, I’m not that talented. Besides, I’d be hard pressed to come up with 36 prizes to give away over the next week.

But, like the song says, I bring to you a shared story. And a prize.

I’ve included the opening lines of the story below and am inviting all of you to add up to three sentences in the comments. The comments will be sorted oldest to newest. Read what everyone else has written and add your sentences to the end. Feel free to come back each day and add another 1-3 sentences. Only one addition per day per person, please. That means each person can add to the story up to seven times.

The comments for this post will close on October 30th, at which time I will write the ending of the story in five sentences or less. The resulting mess—er, story will be posted on Thursday, November 1. (I reserve the right to omit from the story any comments that do not make sense. And keep it friendly for the PG13 audience.)

About those prizes: I will be giving away a hardback edition of my favorite Halloween read, Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, plus an e-book edition of my dark Urban Fantasy, Valknut: The Binding.  Each addition to the story counts as one entry for the prize (up to 7 entries per person).  Any story additions added to the comments by the time I go to bed tonight (around 11:00pm Vancouver (Pacific) Time) will be entered for both today’s prize and the grand prize (which will be explained in my next post because this post is getting far too complicated).

And now, here is the story’s opening. Go forth and write!

David Garley watched the tree shadows dance on wall above his bed and prayed for the darkness to end. He was supposed to be asleep. Tomorrow was Halloween and a school day, so his mom had sent him to bed before nine o’clock to “stock up on sleep” for the big night ahead.

Sleep. Ha. As if he’d ever be able to get to sleep early. He might not sleep at all. He’d lain awake past midnight every night for the last two weeks. But this had nothing to do with the excitement of Halloween.

 It had more to do with the dread.


NOTE: This post is part of Coffin Hop 2012. If you don’t know what that means, read here.  Some terrific authors are offering stories, games, and prizes for your digital Halloween goody bags. If you want to knock on their doors, click on anything on my site that says Coffin Hop to find their links.

About Marie Loughin

I love reading, writing, and editing speculative fiction of all sorts. My current focus is on writing contemporary fantasy, where I get to play god with characters from myth and legend. My Norse-based urban fantasy, Valknut: The Binding, is available at Kindle Books and other e-book retailers. You can find me at my blog ( and on Twitter (@mmloughin).
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15 Responses to And the story continues… (Coffin Hop 2012)

  1. Dread of the sound in the closet; the one that slapped and bumped. The one that sounded like something had crawled up out of the ocean and hidden in the darkness.

  2. At twelve-years-old, David believed in fact, not make-believe. He discovered early that storks didn’t carry babies and that his dad swiped teeth for change. But all that common sense couldn’t deny the truth…when he stabbed the pumpkin from Bradbury’s farm, it screamed.

  3. That resulting scream was David’s first glimpse into the world beyond the one he had taken for granted. Now he could see how the lines blurred and the veil lifted. Staring into the abyss of his new found knowledge, he was chilled to the marrow in his young bones.

  4. This clarity of vision convinced him the noises in the closet were malignant. They had grown more persistent as Halloween approached, until tonight, the persistent sounds were accompanied by a fetid stench of something rotten and unclean. In his mind, he was brave enough to investigate, but when he swung his thin legs to the floor, his muscles seemed frozen

  5. Dan Dillard says:

    He kept a flashlight on the nightstand next to his alarm clock. A silver chain with attached crucifix generally hung from his lamp, but that night, he’d worn it to bed. His aluminum bat, a present from his father for the new baseball season, was propped between the bed and nightstand. Gripping it with one hand gave him the strength to stand. Then he palmed the flashlight.

  6. Eric Tolles says:

    The moon slipped out from behind the clouds that had hidden half of its face like Erik’s mask and twisted the limbs of the the tree outside his window into fingers playing shadow puppets on the far wall of his room. He watched as a rabbit mutated into something misshapen; with horns and far more appendages than anything born of this world. It’s teeth were legion. Some other landscape had spit that creature from its belly, and David’s bones chilled at the thought of the mouth that could smile upon such a monstrosity or the breast that could nurture it.

  7. Char Newcomb says:

    David snapped the flashlight on, aiming its beam like a sword at the beast. The light flickered.

  8. tom says:

    The beast vanished in the yellow, fading light, but David knew that it would be back the moment he shone his light on any other part of the room. The sounds in the closet had morphed into low growl. Ten thousand years of fight-versus-flight glued David to his spot on the floor, his eyes and ears filling his body with terror.

  9. Dan Johnson says:

    The growl seemed to be getting closer. Was it in truth, or was it just in his head? His heart was now racing, he began to fear it was about to explode.

  10. “David?”
    He jumped. The flashlight slipped from his hand. Clattering on the floor. It’s light skittering wildly over the wall as it rolled.
    “David, what are you still doing up?” His mother flicked on the light switch. He blinked against the burn. She stood in the doorway, hand on her hip. He pointed at the closet and the fetid odor that still crept out from its depth.

  11. David had always been a strange child, special. It had been a tough pregnancy, and a deadly birth; his biological mother, Sarah’s twin sister, died. Sarah and her husband took David in, and cared for him as their own, despite the way darkness and unnatural coincidence seemed to love David as much as they did.

  12. Pingback: Books & Pieces: Haunted October-style « World Weaver Press

  13. His mother’s arrival changed the parameters. Whether he had been born of her body or not, she’d always been there for him, his security in an often confusing world, in all ways his mother. As if his weak flashlight beam had suddenly flared to illuminate the situation, he realized that this time he must be her protection against a horror she did not understand.

  14. Paul D. Dail says:

    The sounds in the closet changed from sounding like a feral animal to seeming more like a guttural human growl. Then the growl took the form of one low, menacing word repeated over and over: “Sarah.” David had never heard the voice before, but his mother’s eyes widened in more than just terror at hearing someone speaking from behind the closet door.

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