ULWPC #17: Unfamiliar

Discussion in 'Forum Games' started by TheMuse, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. TheMuse

    TheMuse Here To Help

    Welcome to our seventeenth UL Writing Prompt Contest!

    The rules:
    1. Must be an original writing, no plagiarizing.
    2. You have 2 weeks to write your story and submit it.
    3. You may edit and change your story up until given time is up.
    4. Must incorporate the prompt in some way, shape, or form.
    5. Comply with all pre-existing forum rules.
    6. Only give constructive feedback if the author has expressed their willingness to take it.
    7. Only one story per person
    8. All stories must be submitted below
    Hall Of Fame

    Round 1, Free Write: "An Adventure" by Bob Crees
    Round 2, The Life Of Our Pilgrim Fathers: "The Man Who Lived Next Door" by Fear/"The New World" by TheMuse
    Round 3, Halloween/Horror: "Of Hell And Animals" by QuarantineRoad
    Round 4, In Transit: "Crossing Over" by QuarantineRoad
    Round 5, Memoir: "Wait, We Found What?" by DeadK9Handler
    Round 6, Patient Zero: "B3113" by Panic!atSkyfall/"A Cursed Trader" by Burning Phoenix
    Round 7, Spring: "Cheater" by TheMuse
    Round 8, Ha: "Three Curses And A Wish" by QuarantineRoad
    Round 9, Tales Of Tomorrow: "The End" by TheMuse
    Round 10, Today Is The Day: "Hidden Affairs" by QuarantineRoad/"The Gardens" by Panic!atSkyfall
    Round 11, Deep Blue: "Gladly" by Panic!atSkyfall
    Round 12, Highs And Lows: "Just Once More" by LadyoftheLake
    Round 13, Lucky Or Unlucky: "Thirteen Steps" by TheMuse
    Round 14, Eye See You: "The Window" by TheMuse
    Round 15, Moonlight: "Destruction and Creation" by Panic!atSkyfall
    Round 16, Soulmates: "In Moments Alone" by TheMuse

    How it works:

    You are given two weeks to write an original piece based on the prompt below, and once all the stories are entered and the time is up, the voting thread will open and the community will vote on their favorite piece.

    The winner gets to pick the prompt for the next round.

    The Prompt:

    Unfamiliar

    [​IMG]

    What do you do everyday? Shower, brush your teeth, put your clothes on, go to work? Maybe you come home, watch a little TV, take a scroll through facebook, get cozy under the covers, and then in the morning it all starts again? What is familiar to you? What is normal? You know who your friends are, who your family is. You know your name. You know how old you are, what you like, what you don't like.

    How would you react if suddenly something became the opposite?

    Your dog growls and barks like it doesn't know you. Your family has no idea who you are. You love clowns, irrationally, uncontrollably. Water is no longer wet. Time runs backwards.

    Take something ordinary, mundane, the most normal thing in the world. Then flip it. Make it foreign, unnatural, unpleasant, the inverse of what it was.

    Make the familiar unfamiliar and make it scary.

    Submitted by the twisted mind of Round 16 winner TheMuse!
    Stories are due: October 31st
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  2. Panic!atSkyfall

    Panic!atSkyfall Here To Help

    Counting By Panic!at Skyfall

    As she stood on the edge on the balcony looking at the tiny cars below she wondered at how she had gotten here. The words of the song pushed her closer to edge. ”Cause I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all.” The tears tasted salty on her grinning lips. If anyone had seen her they would think she was a crazy person. That’s what she felt like she had turned into. She had woken up one morning and everything had changed. Her face looked like a sad clown as her eyeliner and mascara streaked. She started to laugh, quietly at first but then it got louder and louder. She threw her head back and cackled as turned around, stretched out her arms, and leaned back and fell towards the street below.

    She had woken up one morning and everything was fine. The sun was shining. She jumped out of bed and stubbed her toe. Normally she would have been grabbing her foot and hopping around in pain, but she felt nothing. She had stubbed her toe enough that it was bleeding but she couldn’t tell. She stared at her foot in an odd way. Hmm. She shrugged and went into the shower. She turned on the water and stepped in. All she felt was the water hitting her but she could neither tell if it was hot or cold. She turned it hotter. Nothing. Hotter. Nothing. For fear that she would burn herself and not even notice, she turned the knob in the opposite direction to freezing. Nothing. Her heart raced as she rushed through the rest of her shower. She got dressed and ran down stairs.
    “Mom, I can’t feel anything. Like I can tell when something is touching me but I can’t tell hot or cold or pain.”
    “You're being ridiculous.” And her mother waved her off.
    “But mom…”
    “Stop being silly.”
    “Oh yah! What about this?!” She grabbed a fork from a drawer, laid her hand flat on the table, and stabbed her hand in front of her mom.
    “Sweetie! Stop trying to hurt yourself!!”
    “Believe me now!?”
    “Yes! Yes! Just stop!”
    She threw the fork in the sink and walked away.
    This was the first scar.

    She had been 16 when she had discovered her super power. She’s soon come to realize that it was more of a curse. She would impress her friends. 1 little, 2 little, 3 little scars. Her mother tried getting her help thinking she was mental. 4 little, 5 little, 6 little scars. When she was 18 she ran away to LA, land of the freaks, geeks, and rich, and famous. 7 little, 8 little, 9 little scars. She would fit right in. 10 little pale pink scars.

    It wasn’t long before she upped the game and went deeper. Tattoos were the next thing on her list. 1 little, 2 little, 3 little tattoos. She would go to bars and get into crazy situations where she would get dared to get a tattoo, and she did...for a price. 4 little, 5 little, 6 little tattoos. Her body was a canvas for anybody willing to pay. 7 little, 8 little, 9 little tattoos. She still felt nothing. 10 little random tattoos.

    She lost track of how many sexual partners she had had. No one could satisfy this unscratchable itch. 10 little, 20 little, 30 little partners. Maybe alcohol could finally make her feel something. She drank, and she drank, and she drank. Not even a buzz. 40 little, 50 little, 60 little drinks. Something as harsh as cigarettes should do the trick right!? 70 little, 80 little, 90 little drags. She was slowly going insane. 0 little feelings at all.

    Drugs had to do it! Anything! ANYTHING!! She just wanted to feel something!

    Life grinned at her and just laughed.
    No.

    People gathered around her body and took pictures. People snap chatted. People instagrammed.

    She was very nice.
    She smiled for all their photos.
     
  3. TheMuse

    TheMuse Here To Help

    How do I keep doing this and not noticing lol. Thank you sir!

    This is amazing :)

    EDIT: A LITTLE LESS THAN A WEEK LEFT PEOPLE, LET'S GET SOME STUFF FLOWIN' :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
    QuarantineRoad, Bob Crees and Cejao like this.
  4. TheMuse

    TheMuse Here To Help

    On this spooky Halloween Night you all have one last shot at writing a chilling tale of fright!

    So like, write something y'all haha
     
    Bob Crees, QuarantineRoad and Cejao like this.
  5. QuarantineRoad

    QuarantineRoad Here To Help

    I wanted to save the stories for today. Disturbingly creative and well written, @Panic!atSkyfall! That's going to stay with me for a time.

    If you have time to write, I'm looking forward to yours, too, Muse!

    Wishing all of you a wonderful Halloween night. :)
     
    Bob Crees and Cejao like this.
  6. QuarantineRoad

    QuarantineRoad Here To Help



    Best Friends Forever

    by QuarantineRoad
    Based on nightmares I experienced as a kid.


    Every night since he was five years old, Timothy Atlander went to bed with the plushy his parents had given him on Christmas of '85. It was Gizmo, the cute little creature from the Gremlin movies. The ones his dad let him see, at risk of nightmares. Strangely, Timmy's Gremlin dreams were tame compared to his usual ones. He imagined that few people had nightmares as bad as his, sometimes feeling more real than reality. Now and then, they'd even bleed into the waking plane and seek him out in the daytime. It wasn't long before Gizmo became his best friend in the whole world. His protector on adventures through the dark realm.

    Now nine, Timmy's nightmares were fewer than before, though just as intense. At least they'd stopped coming for him when he was awake. Still, he thought he might be getting too old for Gizmo. After all, the kids at school already teased him about things like his lunch boxes and t-shirts featuring Saturday morning cartoons. "You still like that kid stuff?" they'd say. But, he didn't really feel that way. What he decided to do, instead was to keep those things secret. From now on, he'd be completely forgettable on the outside, and keep all the things he loved close to his heart. So it was that he muted his colors, while his action figures, and Ewok shirts, and Gizmo would never leave his room.

    Then, on a night like any other, he awoke as he slept, but something was wrong. He felt a terrible chill run through him and clutched the top of his sheets. The nightlight beside his bed was off, and all was darkness. He lay there for a long time until, trembling, he reached for it; fearing something would grab him at any moment. Nothing did, but neither did the nightlight work. Thinking the bulb was out, he used all his strength to get out of bed and head toward the light switch for the ceiling light. With every step, the chill danced along his spine, warning him of the unseen lurking in the dark. He reached the switch and flicked it on. Nothing. He tried again and again, and then suddenly, it worked. His eyes quickly searched the room for the monsters he sensed, and in passing over the blinds that covered his window, the darkness beyond more resembled the void. Everything felt wrong, and when his wide gaze drifted back to his bed, he froze.

    Gizmo was propped up between the two pillows resting against the simple wood headboard. Timmy knew he hadn't left him like that. He also knew his bed shouldn't be made. Still, he felt that if he could reach his friend, everything would be okay.

    He tried to walk, but it felt like the floor was made of tar. The air grew heavier and heavier as he moved closer and closer. He sensed the hands of darkness closing in around him. Then, with Gizmo within his reach, he grasped for him. A guttural and inhuman growl emanated from the stuffed toy. Timmy stopped cold, shuddered, and stared, but Gizmo looked as friendly and inanimate as he'd ever been. His breaths shallow, he tried again. The growl grew louder. He tried one last time, inches away now, but the sound turned into a terrifying roar, like a beast tearing at his throat. It was too much, and he fell out of the nightmare reality and back onto his bed.

    Timmy couldn't move for what seemed like minutes, but when he finally looked around, he found the nightlight on, and Gizmo still beside him. Despite what had happened, he knew this Gizmo would keep him safe. So, holding him close, he went back to sleep. Eventually.

    The nightmare reoccurred on and off over the next few weeks, and each time, Timmy became braver; coming ever closer to reaching his friend. But, it was on a Friday after school that it happened. It had been a horrible day. His crush put him down, several of his so called friends turned on him, and his parents had begun fighting more and more. He just wanted to fit in, and for his parents to be happy again, but no matter what he did, nothing worked. He guess he was just too childlike. Too gentle. He wished he didn't even exist. So, in tears that night, he fell asleep to the sound of his mom and dad arguing, and Gizmo tucked into his arms as he always was.

    The same as before, the nightmare came, and when it was time to reach for Gizmo, he fought through the fear until the hidden monster howled. Teeth grit and tears streaming down his face, Timothy took Gizmo into his arms as a deafening scream of pure terror and darkness enveloped them both.

    The next morning, when his mother went to wake him up, he was gone. So was Gizmo. Some might say it was a trick of the darkness, to lure Timmy into their realm. But I believe it was Gizmo, or at least, the spirit that inhabited the doll; teaching Timmy to be strong. Strong enough to go with him to a place beyond the waking world. A fairy tale dreamland, where Timothy and Gizmo are walking hand in hand. Without hate. Without fear. Best friends forever.

    The End
     
    TheMuse, Bob Crees and Cejao like this.
  7. TheMuse

    TheMuse Here To Help

    Everything

    We did everything together. We laughed, we cried, we lived, we died. We attended church together, ate together, dated each other, gossiped about each other. We helped each other, or fought each other. We loved each other because we chose each other. We were the water that ran thicker than blood. I told them everything. My stories, my music, my love life, my opinions, my secrets, my feelings. That's what friends were for. They trusted each other, wholly and completely.

    "Has he taken the bait?" They asked.

    "He has." They responded.​

    We went to concerts together, I skipped work sometimes. We were always doing something, haunted houses, or escape rooms, or parties. I was out late and spent so much time with them, but I loved it. I ditched hookups or dates to hang out with them, ditched school to have more time to hang out, maybe a family event or two. I spent my money going out with them, spent my time having late-night talks. We were so funny, my friends and I. They always said just the right things to make me laugh.

    "Our last one got a few thousand hits." They said.

    "Are you sure he isn't going to find them?" They asked.

    "He isn't smart enough." They responded.
    I felt appreciated when I was with my friends. I loved them, they were everything to me. I mostly felt good when I hung out with them. Anyone that was an issue tended to disappear over time, leaving a solid group at the center.

    "Anything we can use here?" They asked.

    "Nothing interesting or original." They said.

    "Do you think he knows?" They asked.

    "I don't think so. Would probably start writing terrible stories about it if he did."
    Over time I noticed that the pool of friends was thinning. I felt like I'd enjoyed great friendships with so many people, spent so much time and energy, but one by one they were disappearing out of my life. Marriage, moving, careers, schooling. The group had dwindled in number, a cycle that had repeated itself often enough throughout the years, but this time no one was filling in the gaps.

    "How can he think he is so intelligent?" They asked.

    "The human brain is a funny thing." They answered, "Whatever it wants to believe it will believe. Whatever it can convince itself of it will convince itself of. We form our opinions first and our backing evidence second. He assumes he is funny because he has made it that way. He remembers the times we have laughed at his jokes and forgets the times we didn't. He remembers the times we responded favorably to a story or song of his and discards all the negative reactions. He selects the successful advice he has given and filters out the advice that didn't work. He remembers his triumphs and forgets his failures. He idealizes his future and wastes the present."

    "But shouldn't he be aware of it? Wouldn't anybody?" They asked.

    "Sadly no." They said, "No one sees things clearly unless they allow themselves to."
    I could picture a scenario in my mind, a scenario in which my friends leave. A scenario in which I'm left eventually alone. They are not assholes. I just became a burden. Maybe I was always a burden? Had anyone ever pretended to like me? Had they pretended to find me interesting or creative? Did they lie? How much?

    "He seems down recently. Did he finally figure it out?" They asked.

    "I don't think so. I think he thinks by acknowledging the possibility of a fragile existence it makes him intellectually superior. He still believes what he believes, he's just giving the impression that his mind is open to protect himself from the reality that it is closed." They responded.
    What am I? Who am I? Am I what I think I am? Are others what I think they are? Is there an absolute truth? Is there any truth, or is everything really subjective?

    "Asking the right questions, but he doesn't accept that there aren't answers." They said, "He wants evidence. Facts. Such things do not exist."

    "What happens when he finds out?" They asked.
    Hi, my name is Brian! I love writing and music and I'd love to make movies someday! I just have so many ideas I want to share with everyone and I feel like I was put here to create! Anyway, I love talking to people, and I love making memories and creating awesome experiences, so hit me up sometime!

    He deleted every letter.

    "He loses everything." They said.
    They didn't really love him. They were entertained by him, but what's the same joke over and over again? What's the same songs, or the same problems, or the same advice? What did anyone see in him over time? Why were the friends leaving? Why did his family grow more distant? Why did the love and attention seem to disappear with each passing day? Was anyone listening? Did anyone care?

    "Everything?" They asked.
    Why couldn't I focus? Why couldn't I do anything, go anywhere? I had support, love, interest, or at least I thought I did. What happened to everything? What was I doing? Where was I? I felt naked, lying on an operating table. I felt the whole world staring, judging, evaluating. No matter where I was I felt eyes. No matter where I went I heard whispers. They were out to get me! I knew it, and they knew it! Well I WOULDN'T LET THAT HAPPEN! I DIDN'T NEED THEM! I DIDN'T NEED ANYBODY! ALL I NEEDED WAS ME, MYSELF, AND I! EVERYONE ELSE WAS A LIAR THEY WERE WATCHING ME AND JUDGING ME AND THEY WERENT REAL AND NONE OF THIS WAS REAL AND WHATEVER I WAS OR THEY WERE DIDNT MATTER THEY WERE THE PRETENDERS AND I WAS ONE TOO AND WE WERE ALL PRETENDING THIS WHOLE TIME THAT ALL OF THIS WAS REAL AND IT WASNT AND IT NEVER WILL BE IAMDONEPRETENDINGIAMDONEFAKINGTHISISALLGOINGTOENDANDIMGLADBECAUSEITDIDNTMEANANYTHINGANYWAYSANDIMGLADIGETTOGOHOMETOTHEPLACEIMREALLYCOMFORTABLEINBECAUSETHENIDONTHAVETOLIEANYMORETOANYBODY

    "Everything."​
     
    Bob Crees, QuarantineRoad and Cejao like this.
  8. Cejao

    Cejao Famous

    I thought Tuesday was the last day to submit stories, Ill let it slide. ;)
     
    Bob Crees and QuarantineRoad like this.
  9. TheMuse

    TheMuse Here To Help

    If someone else had submitted I would have started it, just like to have at least 3 options for voting haha
     
    Bob Crees, QuarantineRoad and Cejao like this.

Share This Page