One of the tasks that I set myself for this week was finishing the first draft of my short story called “Night Terrors”. The good news is that I succeeded, but not as I quite expected.
Okay, let me explain, and note that there will be spoilers should you ever choose to read this tale.
My initial notion for this tale was a horror story where a woman wakes during the night with the feeling that something is wrong. It’s pitch black. Is someone standing near the bed looking at her? Is it really her husband next to her in the bed? She is terrified.
I based this starting point on my own experiences. A few times over my lifetime I have awoken and thought that someone else was in the bedroom. I’ve been unable to move, filled with terror. My6 daughter Rhiannon experienced similar fears when she was younger. So I figured it’s a wonderful starting point. The question was “where to from here?”
I struggled with a number of different options until I finally thought “What if she isn’t who she thinks she is nor where she thinks she is?”
Suddenly the story flipped and, rather unexpectedly, became a medical drama. Me being me, I found myself adding clues that everything was not as it appears. I didn’t actually know what the clues meant, but they felt right. But then my own clues started bugging me: what do they actually mean?
What if I make the reader think that it’s just another clone story – except it’s not! No clones bothering us here.
But how do I do this?
Flip. This is not a medical drama anymore.
Following a medical scene, the woman wakes to find herself in a coffin, apparently being kidnapped from the clinic. I find myself in horror mode again. But our plucky heroine breaks free.
And this is where I start a long slow reveal with an ending that literally creeped me out. Yes – you heard correctly – I actually creeped myself out.
Currently, the story is just under 3000 words. I’ll let it rest for a few days and revisit it for editing next week. Once that is complete I will have to find a place that will buy it.
Anyway, thanks for reading my thoughts on this.