A Trick of Light

A Trick of Light

November 17, 2011 Writing 16

*Warning: This post is graphic in nature (non-sexual situation).

She stirred and shifted in the small chair she used for a bed. The nurse brought her a pillow and a blanket and while she was warm, there was no comfort. She slept fitfully, her dreams coming in gaps. Some of them were about Martin, but most of them took her back to Rupert Hills.

This time it was Sheriff Langer in her dreams, standing in the center of a jail cell where she was again interviewing him. Another body had been discovered in the grain elevator in the same exact location as the first one. Human or otherwise, whoever was putting these bodies there needed to be found. It was sick and demented, and she tried hard to hide the disgust on her face, but even as she felt her nose crinkle, she knew it was hopeless.

The dream itself was surreal. It was as if she were peeking into someone else’s dream. She could see herself in Andy’s camera window; hear her voice sounding foreign and distant. Her face was contorted into a downslide, her eyebrows and the corner of her eyes matching the down turn of her mouth which encompassed her whole chin, as the sheriff discussed the body. He was in fine form, adding in grotesque details that normally wouldn’t be shared on television, local or national. As the sheriff continued talking about how the body was disposed of, she watched as the disgust on her face changed to a slight uplift of a smile so sinister even Jack Nicholson would envy. The camera zoomed in; getting a close up of her expression and a shiver ran through her. Her hand touched the side of her cheek, her mouth gaped, and her eyes bulged in horror. This didn’t even seem possible.  This had to be another realm altogether.

She watched her mouth move, slowly at first then speeding up, the words no longer clear, until she was speaking so fast her teeth were biting into her lips, cutting her tongue, the sides of her mouth, and her chin was covered in blood. She heard Andy gasp and pull the camera away as the room suddenly darkened. The sheriff was no longer there. Where he had been standing only moments ago raised a creature from the shadows, darker than pitch, two gray glowing slits at the top of its body, with limbs spread all around like tentacles. She thought for a moment it was a trick of light until she noticed the tan splatters against the dark. The creature was three dimensional, and it still wore the sheriff’s pants. Andy hastened to shut off the camera to the gore that was being played out in front of him. She watched as her twin continued to speed talk and devour herself, her jaw clacking and crunching with each new word. Half the skin on her face was gone already, and the creature laughed. It lunged for the camera and the last thing she remembered was the sound of Andy’s screams.


This week’s Story Dam assignment was: Show me your war face!

  • Dam Burst – We want you to “show” us your war face! Write a descriptive sequence in which your character (whether real or fictional) is facing something that requires a distinct level of determination.
  • Wet Feet – Write about a time when you or your character faced adversity or received an assignment that required you/them to really buckle down and focus. Describe the look and feel of that person during this task. Try to get us to feel what they are going through. Refer to pictures on the internet or other media for finer details that show stress or focus.

I’m not sure I quite covered the prompts here, but maybe it’s a little closer to wet feet. Either way, this was definitely a challenge. It was fun and added a nice little shock to my NaNoWriMo. Yes, this is again a snippet from my current NaNo project. Enjoy!

And, as always, concrit is wanted and appreciated. What would make this even better?


16 Responses

  1. Jessica Anne (@Jessica_Anne_CA) says:

    Gross! In a good way. I thought it was really good, the only concrit from me is there were a couple places it was a little telling vs. showing. “,,, she tried hard to hide the disgust..”, maybe show her face a little more, and “Her face was a caveat of emotion.” I think you do a good job showing after that, so you could probably remove that sentence without having to change anything else. I’m really enjoying this dark side of you. 🙂

    • DM says:

      Thank you!! I love it when you come around. And you know, I’m enjoying this dark side too. It’s a little scary at the same time to see how far my imagination can go. I’m worried that unleashed it will go too far, but hey, that’s why writers have editors, eh?

      • Jessica Anne (@Jessica_Anne_CA) says:

        Yep, that’s what editors are for. No reigning in your voice. Let it go, that’s what’s so fun about writing.

  2. Brandon P Duncan says:

    Ugh… so creepy…

    Ok, aside from being reminded of how jacked-up dreams can be… I think Jessica hit a good one with that segment, and I agree. One or two other areas I think could be tightened up (and of course, to watch for in the future) are:

    “…nurse had brought her a pillow…” – This is a case where I agree with losing the passive voice. It’s ok in some situations, but not using it here would strengthen your piece.

    “…camera away as the light in the room darkened…” The light darkened? I think you can do better than that. Even though I know what you are saying, I think it would be better described by saying something like “the room dimmed” or similar. I know you already saw this.

    One thing that really “drove the nail” for me on this piece is at the end where you say “…her jaw clacking and crunching with each new word…” ewwwwwwwww! So disgusting and visual! Hearing chewing noises is one of my worst pet peeves, but imagining hearing it in this context just goes straight to my core. (((shiver))) Good job on that! 🙂

    Keep it up! Next week you may be challenged even further to tie into your Nano piece, but you are over half way done, so once again, good luck! You’ll get there!

  3. julieemoore says:

    I always wondered how anyone could have an imagination like Stephen King to come up with such gory, creepy stuff. I thought a person would have to be crazy but I know your not so this kind of genius can come from normal people. This is good to know. Good, creepy, vivid and horrible to read.

    • DM says:

      LOL! Nah, we just look crazy 😉

      Sometimes I wonder about my sanity so it was nice to have an endorsement that I am, in fact, NOT crazy, LOL thanks for giving it a read.

  4. This is so not my kind of story, but it was nicely done. Gross, but good.

  5. I’m glad you have folks vouching for your sanity! So funny!

    Very descriptive piece. I know the prompt was about the “war face” so I tried to focus in on that. You did a great job there, but I also enjoyed the entire story and could visualize myself in the, I’m guessing, insane asylum and the jail cell in the dream.

    Can’t wait to read more!

    • DM says:

      It is hilarious. I love it!

      And your guess is half right. It’s not an insane asylum, but it is a jail. Whether the people that preside over the jail are insane or not is still in question though. 😉

      And I’m giggling again. No wonder Stephen King and Jack Nicholson have so much fun with the whole “insane” thing. 😛

  6. Donna Sturgeon (@Donna_Sturgeon) says:

    Wow oh wow. I’m gonna have to sleep with the lights on for a week! Graphic in nature, ha! Your warning should have said “Cover your eyes, little girl!” Clacking and crunching….. oooh! You totally nailed the visual. I can’t get it out of my head! Creepy cool, and waaay SCARY! Loved it.

    • DM says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, despite the need to sleep with the lights on for a week. Thank you so much for coming by and reading!

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