I don’t usually write horror short stories. But this writing exercise that came up for a Year 10 class I was relief-teaching for came up and intrigued me. What makes a good horror is you take something thats meant to be safe, comfortable and ordinary, and then you flip it on its head so it becomes the opposite. A day at the beach in the shallow water? No, there’s a giant and hungry shark on the loose. A time to relax in your new house, going to sleep in your comfortable, warm bed? No, there’s a ghost in the room that freezes the air around you so you can’t breathe. Or like here, an ordinary blot of mud. Or is it something more? And then there’s the mystery of why this character’s friends are disappearing – a second layer of horror.
Actually, the exercise had to have one of three titles;
- “The mysterious doll”
- “My friends are disappearing”
and using a character they had already created.