Write… Edit… Publish: Halloween – October 2015

Welcome to the Hallowe’en instalment of the WEP bloghop.

For this challenge, share a childhood fright that might or did turn into an adult fear, real or imagined.

Confession: When it comes to writing, I don’t really write scary stuff. I haven’t tried it. However, I have been reading lots of horror and gory stuff recently, in an attempt to expand my horizons…


To start the fun you can:

  1. share a favorite frightening tale, movie, novel, photograph or painting that will leave us quaking in our boots
  2. in a short paragraph describe how it scared you, and why it did and or still does today
  3. then you can:
  4. Β  Β submit your own scary piece, 1000 words or less, in any format or
  5. share a photograph or painting that captures the horror you’ve felt.

At the end of last year, I read my first Neil Gaiman novel, Neverwhere, and encountered two EVIL and grotesque characters, the violent and verbose Mr Vandemar & Mr Croup – the best villains ever. They terrified me but I couldn’t put the book down! I’m actually looking forward to the next Gaiman book…

So my contribution is in the form of a drabble, which is a 100-word story.

I hope you enjoyed my sliver of horror!

And now I need to visit some of the other participants!


  1. Loni Townsend on October 22, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Ooooh! Your story is shiver worthy! I like it!

  2. Yolanda Renee on October 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Beautiful job for someone who doesn’t write horror, you captured the decent into madness very well. I remember the journey! πŸ™‚

    Neil Gaiman is a great beginning for your journey to the dark side. Great drabble, well done!

    Thanks so much for participating in the WEP Halloween Challenge; your contribution is a real treat!
    Happy Halloween!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 5:07 am

      I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to write ‘hardcore gore’.
      I’d like to try one day. Who knows? πŸ˜€
      Thank you for being such a gracious hostess, Yolanda!

  3. Nilanjana Bose on October 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Your drabble reads like poetry – the spiral into insanity very well captured.

    I just adore Neil Gaiman’s Snow, glass, apple, sucker for short stories, especially when scary πŸ™‚

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 5:09 am

      It seems like I can’t escape the poetry perspective, eh? πŸ˜‰
      Thank you, Nilanjana.
      I’ll pop by to read yours shortly.

  4. Laura Clipson on October 22, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I love the descent into madness shown here, great drabble!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 5:10 am

      Thank you, Laura!
      Though I don’t think it’s ‘horrific’ enough… isn’t it too ‘mild’?

  5. L.G. Keltner on October 22, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Neil Gaiman is a master at what he does. Your drabble was great! It’s not easy to portray someone’s descent into madness, but you did it! Bravo!

  6. Jeff Whichello on October 22, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    First of all, is “drabble” a word? I actually know a person who this narrative describes though I don’t know how she feels, I feel it is her. My cousin’s cousin had a brain tumor and the doctors used an experimental chemical to inject into the brain to kill the cancer. It did the job but it also made her paranoid schizophrenic. She is young and beautiful and used to be so different, now she rambles on Facebook curses at people and thinks she’s movie stars and had gone to great universities and did just about everything a person can do. She lives alone in a government subsidized apartment and types on her computer all day. The interesting thing is that she is an “excellent” writer. I read her prose for the talent. Trying to communicate with her .. well, that’s opening a huge Pandora’s box.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 5:17 am

      Hi Jeff!
      Here’s a definition of the word drabble, taken from wikipedia(dot)org: “A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length, not necessarily including the title. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.”
      Your cousin’s cousin sounds like an interesting individual. I’m wondering, was she always an “excellent” writer, or did the skills develop after the experimental injection?

  7. Samantha Redstreake Geary on October 23, 2015 at 1:56 am

    You’ve captured the essence of madness *also known as the editing process* with fluid flourish!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 5:18 am

      So my drabble is related to the editing process? Now that’s a whole different level of ‘horror’ πŸ˜€

  8. Michael Di Gesu on October 23, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Hi, Michelle,

    NICELY WRITTEN! I are getting SOOOOOO good at this. I guess practice does make perfect…. We may have to crown you the Flash Fiction QUEEN! I really enjoyed it!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 5:21 am

      Hey Mr. Blurb King!
      Flash Fiction Queen? I don’t know about that. I still have LOTS to learn.
      But thanks for the confidence in my FF skills. It’s a great boost. You’ve made my Friday that much brighter, Michael! THANK YOU. <3

  9. Denise Covey on October 23, 2015 at 4:14 am

    Hey Michelle. Your reading of horror has definitely made a huge impact which you’ve exploited in your drabble. What a wicked weaving of horror–‘like a virus invading a host’…open to several interpretations. ‘Allowing the madness to occupy every facet of her life.’ Oohh!

    Thank you Michelle! So different. Stunning really. And I love your presentation. It added to the creepiness meter.

    As always, we thank you for your support for WEP. And glad it is beckoning you into deeper waters.

    Denise πŸ™‚

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 5:27 am

      Thank you, Denise!
      Your comment is really uplifting, especially since I’m not in the habit of writing scary/horror stuff.
      The piece feels a bit ‘mild’…?
      As you mentioned, it’s open to several interpretations, so I’m not sure how well the abstraction works in terms of ‘scariness’? But I tried. πŸ˜€

  10. Madilyn Quinn on October 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I love Neil Gaiman. Neverwhere was the first book of his I read, back when I was like 13 or so. I didn’t find it particularly horrific, but it was really great! American Gods is really good too!

    Drabbles are cool. I like 100 word limit, it forces you to get creative to tell the story. You did a good job! πŸ™‚

  11. Feather Stone on October 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Okay, you did it. That freaked me out! Oh god, I hate Halloween.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Great response, thank you!
      Btw, I hate Hallowe’en too! Doesn’t take much to scare me. πŸ™‚

  12. Elephant's Child on October 24, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Neil Gaiman is an amazing writer. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes beautiful…
    I loved your drabble, and it echoed a very real terror of my own. Sometimes it feels as if my grasp on sanity is tenuous at best…

    • Michelle Wallace on October 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks E.C.
      Well, ‘they’ do say that the line between sanity and insanity is fragile… and that it’s easy to slip over…

  13. C. Lee McKenzie on October 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    That writer’s influenced you quite well, my dear! Shivering out here in cyberland.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Your ‘shivering’ response makes me quite happy!
      At least I’ve achieved my goal (to some degree…)

  14. Susan Gourley on October 24, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Wow, that caused more shivering than the cold temps this morning. Her relief at giving up the fight and accepting it is the terrifying part.

  15. DG Hudson on October 25, 2015 at 4:53 am

    A poem encapsulating how it feels to embrace an emotion. I could feel the seeping, the slow surge. Enjoyed your sliver of horror, but I think that feeling could apply to other emotions as sell, ones which are not of our own choosing.

  16. Arpan Ghosh on October 25, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Aahhh…Vandemar and Croup, my two favorite villains! My eyes always light up whenever I see the name ‘Neil Gaiman’! πŸ™‚

    Your drabble is deliciously spooky. I especially love the line ‘The empty spaces of her existence were no more.’ It creates a haunting image, the idea that her existence was empty, and slipping into madness may have fulfilled it…

    On a side note, I’m an occasional contributor to a short story blog known as The Drabble, and I’ve been wondering why they called themselves that. Guess I learned something new today!

    • Michelle Wallace on October 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Everyday we learn something new… πŸ™‚
      Thanks Arpan.

  17. Sally on October 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    So much captured in so few words, the essence of descending into madness, the absorption of that wet sponge – what will drip out? Great writing.

    • Michelle Wallace on October 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      What will drip out? Let the imagination run wild… possibilities are endless…
      Thank you, Sally!

  18. Christine Rains on October 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Awesome job! Those villains really creeped me out too.

  19. Robyn Campbell on October 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Hey, pal! Ooooo, loved your drabble. You are the queen of short. I mean that. This was no less that a gorgeous attempt at spine-tingling horror and very well may be the winner. You amaze me with your skills. I am so proud of your writing. This is a delectably creepy poem. I want to see more of this from you. I love you, my friend.

  20. Robyn Campbell on October 26, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    P.S. The way you presented this is just so good. I loved reading it with that nightmarish background. Boy did it add to the drabble.

  21. joylene on October 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    My second novel’s first three chapters were tough to write. I could only do it during the day because the scenes scared me too much. Your excerpt rocks, Michelle!

Leave a Comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /home/writerintrans/public_html/wp-content/themes/bb-theme/comments.php on line 69