Monday, June 20, 2011

Writing Prompt #20

I had such a disturbing dream last night that I can’t even write down the details of it. I want to scrub the inside of my brain and erase the image/memory entirely. I feel ill when I think about it. Naturally, such a terrible phenomenon leads to a writing prompt!

20) Write a dream/nightmare for one of your characters. What do they fear most when they’re sleeping? What dream would make them want to scrub their eyeballs and minds when they wake to get rid of the memory?


Here’s mine:

Kayla could hear Corinth calling for her through the fog that shrouded the room. He spoke. Did he? No, that was his voice in her mind, calling, calling.

Kayla? Kayla! Where are you!

Without sound she couldn’t tell what direction to run in. Without sight she couldn’t be sure what she was running into.

Kayla they’re here! KAYLA!

She ran.

Or did she? Nothing moved, nothing changed, but she propelled herself forward, Corinth’s voice screaming in her head.

They’re taking me!

She changed directions. Veered toward the pull she thought she felt in her chest.
Or was she running in the opposite direction? She stopped, turned again, then again. Which frickin way? How could she help him?

Corinth! her mind cried out, but he wouldn’t hear her.

Then she heard.

Sound. Actual sound, not imagined, not feared.

Worse than feared.

Boots. Shuffling. A struggle. A grunt of pain.

She sprinted in that direction and the voice she’d feared since she arrived on Falanar purred out of the fog.

“It was only a matter of time.”

The kin’shaa, Dolan.

She was shouting something incoherent. Curses and rage and Corinth’s name in desperation.

Arms pumping, legs straining.

And then she broke free.

A clearing in the fog, a smoky cave.

The flash of teal and indigo—IDF. And kneeling, his arms wrenched behind him, his head tilted back by a cruel grip in his hair, was Corinth.

Dolan turned to glance at her over his shoulder, the smile on his face twisting the spiderweb of scars around his eye. “Just in time, ro’haar.”

His knife drew a line of red on Corinth’s neck.

Not Corinth. Vayne.

Her twin died while she watched.


  1. Pale moonlight illuminated the grisly scene. Corpses in various stages of decay, some not even whole, were everywhere he turned. And there were – things – in the darkness. He saw someone kneeling over the corpse of a young boy. The person sounded like they were grieving. Swain heard a great, wracking sob escape the figure.

    Then something tore as the figure turned around. And he saw it wasn’t a person at all. The creature had the body of a man, but the head of a lion, with pieces of skin missing. Like it climbed out of the grave. Pieces of the boy hung from its blood-soaked jaws. Swain felt ill as he watched the creature swallow the chunk of flesh. It turned back to the corpse. Swain heard more ripping. The creature wasn’t crying.

    It was eating.

    To avoid getting even sicker, Swain looked up the street. Burned hulks of red brick buildings stretched toward the horizon. Leaping flames lit the night sky. Wherever he was, something had happened to turn this city into a wasteland. He heard screeches and howls, and the clashing of steel against steel. Someone must be fighting these creatures. He heard claws scrabbling against rock. Two more creatures came over a pile of rubble at the end of the street. The first creature held the boy’s corpse close, growling at its fellows. As though staking its claim. The other creatures snapped at it in return.

    Swain heard a scraping sound nearby. He turned, and saw a man trying to pull himself away. Swain willed the man to stop. To wait until the things had left. But the man kept moving. Swain saw the new creatures perk up. One had a raven’s head, and the other looked like a bear. The raven cawed and the bear growled. They sounded hungry. And ready to kill.

    They stalked toward the man. Like a hunter coming after prey it knew was dead already. The man pulled himself up. He saw them coming. And held up a hand to ward them off. They moved closer, jaws snapping, claws out.

    “No,” the man whimpered. “No, please!”

    They fell on him with shrieks and howls.

    Swain heard ripping and tearing. And screaming. The man screamed as they tore into him. The scream was filled with such anguish that it sank deep into Swain’s bones, though he held his hands over his ears and shut his eyes. Then something snapped. And the scream abruptly ended. The silence was deafening. Swain opened his eyes.

    The bear perked up again. It sniffed the air, as though it knew Swain was watching. He could only stare as the creatures ate the man. He saw a piece of flesh fly into the air. The raven-headed creature snapped it from the sky. Another creature appeared. It had the head of a wolf, its feral eyes gleaming in the fading light, and a small bloody bundle hanging from its jaws. Swain saw a severed hand fall out.

    The other three creatures snarled at the newcomer. It growled back. They faced each other over the field of broken bones and corpses torn limb from bloody limb. Swain watched as they circled each other on all fours. Another scraping sound came across the square. It looked like an injured boy had awoken. He stood and froze at the four creatures growling at him. The boy turned and ran.

    And the creatures followed.

    Swain prayed to all of the Seven that the boy would get away. But then he heard a shriek of agony. And knew the boy hadn’t escaped. The shriek cut off as a loud crunch echoed through the street. Swain shut his eyes tight.

  2. Yikes! *covers eyes* that's gruesome! Great I might have nightmares...

    thanks for posting!

  3. Aagh, I get those "trying to run but not able to move" dreams, too, so I can relate to Kayla's nightmare. Btw- Nice creepy description of the spiderweb of scars around the bad guy's eye.

    Matt's scenario is definitely vivid and creepy. I think the only thing that could make it scarier would be if there were more intimations of Swain's own peril and vulnerability to the prowling creatures. Like if he accidentally made a noise and they all turned his direction.