I’m trying to figure out a way to include my creative writing in my blog. I thought maybe using writing prompts would be a good way to do so. A writing prompt is a small sentence or description (or sometimes a picture), that gives a writer a story idea. I thought to occasionally use writing prompts to create short stories. My other thought was to put a few paragraphs or chapters of my novel on the blog, but considering I’m constantly tinkering/changing things in my book, it just didn’t seem like a good idea. This way I can still write creative fiction for my blog in the form of short stories, and not have to worry about how my novel comes across between my blog and the finished product.
Just a word of warning, my style will not always be to everyone’s liking. In fact, though I didn’t look for a prompt that would lead to a dark story line, that’s how my first one ended up. So please stop reading if you aren’t into dark, sad, possibly traumatic stories. I’ll try to give a warning at the beginning of each post if it is controversial in nature.
A couple notes. As I’m just testing this method out, the story below is just a first draft, no revising or editing was done. I’m sure I can do better, but I don’t want to spend days and days editing these. These are more about getting into the mindset of a writer and overcoming my fear of others reading my work.
I do welcome constructive criticism in the comments, but please give me more than, “I didn’t like it”. And if you liked the writing prompt, and want to write a short story of your own, please feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to highlight your story in a post of it’s own!
So with that, here is my first, officially public short story!
Writing Prompt: A young boy facing a closed door.
There they go again. It was always the same. Dad would come home and start drinking. Mom would start in on him. And within minutes an argument would escalate into raised shouts, broken glass, and occasionally a trip to the emergency room.
Jacob loved his parents… when they weren’t arguing. He even occasionally thought they loved each other. But he often wished they’d get a divorce. Tommy’s parents were divorced and Tommy loved it. He said they had a… amible? Amicale? He couldn’t remember the word, but it meant Tommy’s parents got along well after they divorced.
Jacob’s parents would never divorce though. They loved to fight. They left him alone for long periods of time so they could fight. Sometimes they forgot to feed him. Like tonight. He felt hunger twist in stomach right then and clenched his fists hard. God he hated them!
Trying hard not to hear the loud thud that came from the other room, he turned towards his closet. It was harder to ignore the increased shouting through the walls though. He walked slowly to the closet door, but hesitated opening it.
His heart beat hard in his chest and he wondered that he could hear anything over its pounding. The closet offered an escape from his parents, but it wasn’t exactly safe itself.
A boy lived in his closet.
Well, at least he thought it was a boy. He had moved in several weeks ago and wouldn’t leave. Jacob was scared of the other boy, but also liked to talk to him when his parents fought. The boy understood what Jacob was going through. The boy listened to Jacob. The boy was there for him when they weren’t.
But the boy wasn’t a boy. Not really. He looked like a boy. In fact, he looked a lot like Jacob. But he didn’t have eyes. Just deep, black holes where his eyes should have been. And occasionally his teeth looked sharp, but only if you weren’t looking directly at them. Whenever Jacob tried to get a better look, they appeared like normal teeth.
The first time Jacob met the boy was when he had crawled into his closet to try and escape the sound of his mother’s cries. That had been a bad fight that night. Jacob had crawled all the way to the back of his closet and had scrunched his eyes closed as tight as he could. And slowly his mother’s sobs had faded away… but another sound had intruded.
A scratching sound. A horrible, scritching of nails. He didn’t know how he had known it was nails, as it was completely black in the closet, but he knew. He knew.
And then a whisper had floated to him from the darkness. Something need to be done. Only the whisper had also been in his head. It had been all around him and in him.
Crying out, Jacob had scrambled out of the closet and flew to his bed to hide under the covers. But the whisper followed him, speaking again in that strange way of talking to him but also within him at the same time. How is hiding under the covers going to help?
Shaking so badly his teeth rattled, Jacob had slowly pulled the blanket down far enough to peak over the edge. And there had been the boy who was not a boy. Black eyes seeing, but not seeing. Smiling a truly horrid smile with a mouth with too many teeth.
We should do something about that.
The whisper again. Jacob knew it had come from the boy, but the boy’s mouth hadn’t moved. He just continued to smile that smile that wasn’t a smile.
Jacob had lowered the cover a bit more. “D…do something? A…about what?”
And then Jacob could hear them again. His mother had still been sobbing. His father shouting angrily that it was her fault she had gotten hurt. Somehow their fighting had given him enough inner strength to stop shaking and stop hiding behind the blanket.
“They can’t help it. They love each other… but hate each other too.”
The boy who wasn’t a boy floated a little closer. They can’t keep going like that.
Jacob had nodded in agreement. “I know. I think they need to get away from each other. But they love and hate me as much as they love and hate each other. If I ever said anything like that to them, they’d…” he had trailed off, unable to finish the sentence. He hadn’t needed to though.
They’ll turn their anger on you.
Jacob had nodded again.
His mother’s cries had softened, and his father was no longer shouting then. They had worn themselves down.
The boy floated back towards the open closet door. We should do something about that.
“What should we do?” Jacob had asked, sitting up straighter.
But the boy hadn’t responded, and had disappeared into the dark of the closet.
Suddenly his bedroom door had swung open. “I’m taking your mother to the hospital. Don’t leave this room.” And then his father had gone, shutting the door as quickly as he had opened it.
Something needs to be done.
Jacob had looked back at his closet. The door had been closed though, and he wasn’t sure if that whisper had come from the boy, or from himself.
In the weeks since the boy had first appeared, he and Jacob had spent many nights together. Jacob didn’t particularly like the boy and was often scared of him; but, the boy was there when he needed someone to talk to. And the boy wanted to help Jacob.
Now Jacob hesitated before the closet door. His parents had forgotten to feed him again. And from the sounds of it, this fight would escalate into another trip to the hospital.
Something needs to be done.
He reached out and turned the door knob.
The boy floated before him, waiting. Black, bottomless eyes watched him. A mouth with too many teeth smiled at him.
Jacob nodded once.
The boy who wasn’t a boy grinned impossibly wider, and this time, Jacob could clearly see the pointy teeth. But he wasn’t scared anymore. And when the boy who wasn’t a boy flew towards him, flew into him, he didn’t pull back, didn’t run, and didn’t hide.
Jacob grinned. He grinned a grin with too many teeth and turned from the closet. He walked, almost floated, towards the bedroom door and opened it wide. He could hear the mother and father screaming at each other.
Something needs to be done.
I hope you enjoyed my first short story! Please feel free to leave comments below. Don’t be afraid to tell me it sucked, but tell me why you think it sucked! And, of course, if you did like it, I would like to know that too.
Please don’t mind the mess.
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