#SampleSunday More of the Horror I #amwriting

Here’s a bit from the second scene of the horror story I’m working on. It’s kinda creepy, I think, but I don’t know if it qualifies as horror. I’ll just have to finish it, edit it, polish it, and submit it, and see if it gets accepted.


He stood as the older boy, named Tanner after Tom’s lost cousin, shrieked and vanished into the water. Barb stood with him and hugged him as Tanner surfaced, laughing and splashing his younger brother, Nolan.

Tom’s voice was harsh as he said, “I wish they wouldn’t do that. I’ve told them not to do that.”

Barb stroked his back. “That’s it,” she said. “That’s what’s wrong.”

“What’s what’s wrong?”

“How old was your cousin when he drowned saving you?”


“And how old is Nolan?”


“You were the same way the summer Tanner turned ten.”

“I was?”


“I was? Worse?”

“You had nightmares. Remember? You slept on the couch for a week because you were thrashing around.” She demonstrated, drawing a tiny chuckle, before his eyes went back to the boys.

“Maybe that’s it.”

“Speaking of nightmares: Look at that poor child. Bless her heart, Laura’s making friends with him.”

“I’m watching the boys. Point him out to me later.”

“I won’t have to. You can’t miss him. He must have some kind of condition or something. His skin is all blotchy, and he’s wearing a hat in the swimming pool, and – you hate to say it of a child, but – oh, my, the poor thing is ugly.”

The muscle memory of lungs filling with creek water doubled Tom over. He gagged. Cold and hot, he swivelled toward his four-year-old daughter.

“Get the boys,” he croaked. “Get them away from the water.”

He was four. He was terrified. He wanted to get away. But he ran toward his horror, toward his child.

The boy standing next to her, in baggy trunks, baggy shirt, and a brimless cap, was just as he remembered, just as he dreamed. Tanner – his cousin, Tanner – kicking and pushing, inadvertently freeing him from the boy’s grip – that had been real. It had been real.

Tom scooped his daughter up and away. She whooped a laugh and waved her doll, sprinkling crystal drops from its chlorinated hair.

The boy was gone.

Tom clutched Laura tightly.

“Ouch, Daddy Bear! Too tight!”

“Sorry, baby. Sorry. That was a bad boy.”

“You know that boy?”

“A little.” He sloshed up the steps out of the pool.

“He’s crazy. I said, ‘There’s my daddy,’ and he said, ‘He’s mine.’ You’re not his daddy!”

“No. He is crazy. And he’s not really a boy. If you ever see him again, run away.”

“Stranger danger,” said Laura.

“Good girl.”


I’m almost finished with this story. It looks like it’ll be around 5,000 words. This has been hard to write, for some reason. Oh, who am I kidding? Writing is almost always hard for me. ‘Cause I’m lazy, that’s why.

By the way, there are excerpts of all my novels and lots of my short stories here on the blog. Just click up there on the links, or over there on the sidebar. There are links to free stories, too, on the Free Reads page. You’re welcome.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write a story in a genre you don’t much like. Go on. It’ll be good for you. Builds character.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “#SampleSunday More of the Horror I #amwriting

  1. Jane

    September 22, 2013 at 9:29am

    The writing is hard because you are making it GOOD. Everything is concise and spare. Great job with the creepy. More!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 22, 2013 at 9:43am

      Thanks, Jane! I’ve finished the story, and now I’m excising over 1000 words to meet the word limit for the publication I’m submitting to. This is the fun part. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Jo

    September 22, 2013 at 9:51am

    COOL Marian – bring it on! Sage book 2 is creeping its way up my tbr pile now. I think it’s pushing other books out the way. 😀 How do you teach them to do that?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 22, 2013 at 12:05pm

      I think it’s a function of having Tortoise as a character. 😉

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • Jo

        September 22, 2013 at 12:12pm

        Is tortoise really a bad guy? Or is he just made to look like that by that nasty adept?

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Perry Block (

    September 22, 2013 at 7:38pm

    Why, I’ve always been an Esther Williams fan. Loved her … umm … breast stroke! (And why doesn’t my picture show on comments? Is the blog filtering it out? Does it think I’m too old too?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      September 22, 2013 at 9:10pm

      I don’t know, dahling! Do you have a Gravatar? It should show your gahgeous self.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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