Writing Club: 06/04/2015


fear & terror

physical, spiritual, Emotional, & Fantasy


Exercise One

You've been lost for days. This is the only house for miles. Although it looks abandoned, you see a dim light in the back. First Line: "I was lost for days, until I stumbled upon the house."

The river I had been criss-crossing for the last few hours suddenly dried up. It had a pretty good flow when I first came across it and seemed like the obvious way out of the woods. But, without any notice at all, the rush became a trickle, and then it was gone.

When I first noticed the sound of water had stopped I thought that perhaps I'd just wandered off on an adjacent path ... the same mistake that had left me lost for the last four days ... but no ... the river bed was clearly visible to my left and all that water had simply disappeared. 

After thinking for fifteen minutes I decided the best course of action was to head back upstream. The river simply must have split off in another direction.

How could I have missed that? How could I be so irresponsible in such a dire situation? I was livid with myself, but ... more than that ... I felt uneasy. For the first time since I'd gotten lost, I felt as though I was in danger.

An hour had passed since I'd turned back upstream. The riverbed was still dry. This wasn't making any sense. Had I missed the split again? This wasn't like me. I'd been in the woods my entire life. I was practically raised here.

The sun was starting to set and the dense pines looked as though they were on fire in the distance. It was spring so the weather was warm, but starting to cool. The wind ... wait ... well ... the wind had calmed. In fact it had wasn't blowing at all anymore. As I stood there monitoring my own labored breath, coughing a little from the thick yellow pollen in the air, I realized I could hear the sounds of my own body a bit too clearly. The chirping had stopped. The rustling was gone. There was nothing buzzing around my face ... It wasn't just the water that had disappeared.

Exercise Two

Choose an object from the table (brought by everyone) and anchor your story around it. I chose a small clay or maybe metal human head sculpture with pig features.

"What a great evening so far, don't you think?" Erika glanced briefly at Marcel who was wiggling the cork out of a fresh bottle of California cab.

"Hooray ... I got it." He laughed. Erika smiled at him, and presented a stack of plastic cups. "I mean ... I'm just so happy that everyone could make it since we had to cancel the last few months." They collectively headed towards the door of the small shared lounge.

In her apartment across the hall, Jen had her hand on Gina's shoulder, a gesture of encouragement at the old shared story they had just finished recapping. "I can't believe we even went in there. I was scared shitless." Jen chuckled deeply and then recoiled a bit realizing the emphasis she had put on the word shitless.

"Hey Jen." No response. "Jen." Still no response. Jenny tried to get their attention but everyone's hearing was fading and the music had slowly turned itself up over the evening. Jenny walked across the room and tried to interject, reaching towards Gina and Jen ... "Where'd you get this ... " 

She was interrupted. The door swung open and Marcel and Erika cruised in. "We've got fresh wine," Marcel said with delight and jubilation. "And cups," Erika followed.

Jenny withdrew the object she was holding. She looked up at her four friends to see them smiling and talking ... but she couldn't really make out what they were saying.

She'd been off all day. The strap on her purse had snagged on the way out of the house that morning and ripped her bag entirely down the middle, spilling it's contents all over the cold concrete in front of her home. As she was cleaning up the mess, she noticed a small crack spreading through the brand new foundation. "Fuck this," she thought to herself ... pissed.

"What a weird ..." she paused mid sentence and thought "... weird head." Staring at the strange face of the object made her laugh audibly. A slight chuckle followed by a bit of a grunt.

Wondering where she'd put her wine, she wandered back over to Jen's bookshelf where she'd found the head earlier in the night. "I've gotta get home," she thought as she struggled to find the spot from which she'd picked the head up. Still facing the bookshelf, she called out for Jen again.

"Hey Jen." Again, no response.



Tired, frustrated, and ready to go home to bed, she put the head down on the coffee table, grabbed the Trader Joe's bag containing the remains of her purse, and headed for the door.

"Jenny, you forgot your head." Marcel laughed at the implication of his statement, and then handed her the small statue she'd been examining all night. She grabbed it almost instinctually and thanked Marcel. The metal object consumed the remaining warmth in her hands, and the weight made her feel ill and unbalanced. "I think I'm going to throw up," she said.

Jenny pushed the head violently into Marcel's chest as she stumbled towards the kitchen, mumbling that it wasn't hers ... it wasn't hers.

The statue slipped through Marcel's hands, dropping to the floor like a bomb, cracking the stone tile beneath it.

Erika and Jen were shaken at the sound, and Gina screamed as Jenny hit the floor a few seconds later. The small object rolled awkwardly and haphazardly along the floor for a few feet coming to rest directly adjacent to Jenny's face ... purposely engaging her directly. 

Both heads were motionless.