Jen’s Entry: FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: Horror in three sentences

Okay, here’s my entry for Chuck Wendig’s weekly Flash Fiction challenge: write a scary story in three sentences. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I kept coming up with ideas that needed four or five sentences. Cutting it down to three was irksome and, as planned, challenging. I ended up writing ten different options and giving them to my two harshest and most reliable critics (my mom and sister). Without talking to each other, they both chose number four as their favorite. So, that’s the one I posted:

5260514016_ae337cd403_o“Two Silhouettes”

“Need help with your groceries, ma’am?”
I shook my head, coolly ignoring the new bag boy’s greasy black hair and even greasier grin.
In the empty parking lot, I shoved the keys into my Chevy’s door, all too late realizing there were two silhouettes reflected in my car’s window.

My mom and sister had second favorites, as well. My mom liked number 3:

“Don’t look back, don’t look back!”
“Trust me, darlin’, you don’t wanna look back.”
Against my better judgment I looked back and saw my death reflected in his raised axe.

And my sister liked number 1:

Ignoring the dubious expression on the realtor’s face, I accepted the ancient keys to the decrepit house on Sutton Hill.
I stood in the dark, staring fearfully at my bedroom door and the mad scratching and crazed giggling on the other side of it.
The heaving walls blew their rotten breath on me as I barreled down the creaking stairs to the front door, knowing I’d never reach it before the stalking shadows reached me.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m a fan of any of them, but I got what I wanted out of the challenge: EXPERIENCE! So how about you? Did you enter? You still have two days to do so before the Friday deadline. I encourage you to give it a try. And if you want to post your story in the comment section here for others to read as well, be my guest.

To read more about this challenge, click here.

FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: Horror in three sentences

Who’s in the mood for a little Friday flash fiction challenge? Hmm?

Psycho-mother-4-5-10-kcChuck Wendig posted his weekly prompt and I thought it looked like fun (hard, but fun). In this one, you have to write a  horror story (with a beginning, a middle and an end) in only three sentences. I don’t know if I can do it, but I think I’m going to try. And I think you should too.

As I’ve mentioned before, I believe participating in these challenges is a great way to improve your writing. They quickly teach you how to show a story rather than tell one. So, even if you have no interest in becoming a short story author, these challenges will help you, trust me. Just remember: Enter to learn, not to win. That’s my personal motto.

To read more about this challenge, click here. You have until NEXT Friday to finish it, so there’s plenty of time.

Book Review: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

6457229The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Synopsis

“These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.
So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.
A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?”

Jen’s Review

Goosebumps. Queasiness. Shivers. Those are just some of the things I felt while reading this young adult horror story by the talented Rick Yancey.

Now, although there was plenty of splattered blood, spilled guts and gnashing teeth, there was also plenty of story. When I wasn’t cringing and shuddering, I was laughing (Snap to, Will Henry! Snap to!), pondering and grieving. I thought each character was solidly written and constructed, the dialogue snappy and witty, and the story itself intriguing and terrifying.

Above all, I enjoyed the gradual evolution of Dr. Warthorpe and Will Henry’s relationship. Although they never reach that father/son status, a definite bond forms between them as the book progresses–an endearing, protective bond that connects the quirky monstrumologist and his reluctant assistant. “Oh, Will Henry. After all we have been through, how could I send you away now, at our most critical hour? You are indispensable to me.” Both man and boy prove to be equally determined, courageous and moralistic, giving the reader a reason to cheer and love them both.

With the month of October nearly upon us and Halloween just around the corner, I highly recommend this chilling yet touching read.

“Yes, my dear child, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement.” 

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

For more details, click here.