Sunday, October 31, 2021

Overheard at Booth 4: The Horrorprompts of Verble Gherulous - 2020

Verble Gherulous Horrorprompt 2020

Dec 7, 2020
#horrorprompt 399 Sacred Offering 
My cat always brings things to me at the back door, puts them at my feet like a sacred offering: birds, field mice, rabbits. 
But this morning, this morning I tell you my blood froze in my veins, when she dropped at my feet 
a child's hand.

Dec 3, 2020
#horrorprompt 398 In the Bogs 
In the pub, October minded her pint, while two locals discussed the men who'd gone missing over the past month. 
"Family abandonment," said one. 
"Spate of suicides?" asked the other. 
Passing them on way to the door, October said, "In the bogs."

Dec 1, 2020
#horrorprompt 397 At Your Door 
You grew up, being taught to fear the wolf at your door, when instead, they should have warned you about the wolf you occasionally glimpse in the mirror.

Nov 21, 2020
#horrorprompt 394 Coagulated Strands 
The deputies knew he'd thrown the girl's body into the well, but when they pulled out the bloated pieces to find coagulated strands of different hair that they realized ...they needed to look at the last 30 years of missing persons reports.

Nov 12, 2020
#horrorprompt 390 Leave a Scar 
Surgeon [to the intern]: The art of this extraction is not to leave a scar. 
Intern: Is that what the ice is for? 
Surgeon: And why you prop 'em up in the tub. Hand me another bucket.

Nov 10, 2020
#horrorprompt 389 Shadow Dragon 
Chasing the Shadow Dragon, he’d wasted his life & the family fortune. 
On his deathbed, he was tended by his only remaining family: his sister. 
As she injected the phenobarbital into the IV, she said, “You. The Shadow Dragon has always been…you.”

Nov 10, 2020
#horrorprompt 388 Pins and Needles 
Back at October’s brownstone, Terry swigged his after-dinner drink, then tried to kiss her. 
She said, “Wait. Anticipation is sweet.” 
“I’m on pins and needles,” he grinned. “Well ... you will be.” 
Then, the room shifted and colors blurred …

Oct 7, 2020
#horrorprompt 382 Insane Asylum 
October spent her formative years at the Caldwell Insane Asylum, upstate New York. 
She says it was a good preparatory school: She keeps hair samples in clear plastic bags, liquified skin samples in corked beakers. 
All meticulously recorded.

Oct 6, 2020
#horrorprompt 381 Interdimensional Gateway 
Jed’s research into interdimensional gateways cost him his family. 
Shunned, mocked by his peers, living in a storage unit, he worked feverishly, until finally, it opened & he saw himself, who smiled & said, "Now I have your world, too!"

Sep 15, 2020
#horrorprompt 376 Perpetual Penance 
"For your crimes, you are banished to the land of Perpetual Penance." 
"No! Anywhere but there! Please, just kill me here!" 
"That would be too merciful. You deserve the worst Hell in the Universe."
I looked at my new prison: Earth.

Sep 8, 2020
#horrorprompt 374 Final Crescendo 
He called himself The Conductor.  
He tapped the podium with the baton, and the music began to play, 
slow at first, then building in intensity, the strings 
tightening around the wrists of his players ... 

to the final crescendo.

Sep 3, 2020
#horrorprompt 373 Inhaling Death 
During Freshman year, Paul developed the idea that sleep is "inhaling Death." 
He did everything he could to stay awake, & would wander the campus, whacked-out, all hours of the day. 
Christmas break, he finally slept. Garage. Car still running.

Sep 2, 2020
#horrorprompt 372 Forged by Fire 
"Well, it is indeed the double-edged sword that is forged by fire," she said, as she dug the kidney out of the man she'd brought to the motel, as he lay there, unconscious in the bathtub filled with ice.

Jul 14, 2020
#horrorprompt 356 Dissolving Memory 
The more the old woman slipped away, losing touch on a dissolving memory, the more we thought we’d never know who murdered all those children. 
Until her final day, in a brief burst of clarity, she smiled,
… and told us in detail how they begged for death

Jun 10, 2020
#horrorprompt 351 Inoculated 
The vampire snapped back from the woman's neck, its throat searing in pain. 
"HOW?!" it screamed. 
"Lunch," she replied, drawing forth a wooden stake. "Garlic-stuffed chicken. Three full cloves." 
The last word the vampire said: "Inoculated!"

May 27, 2020
#horrorprompt 350 Spiderweb Dreams 

Apr 29, 2020
#horrorprompt 349 Normal Life 
Having broken quarantine, Jeremy tore through the drumstick, Lizzie dug into the breast, & Joey chewed gizzards. 
Mum & Dad poured wine into glasses from the veins of the traveler's eviscerated corpse. 
They raised a toast. “To Normal Life again!’

Apr 29, 2020
#horrorprompt 348 Wave After Wave 
They bombed us, wave after wave, for days, but when the bombing stopped, that was when we knew true fear. 
Because they would now be coming door to door, looking for survivors.

Apr 17, 2020
#horrorprompt 347 Desperate Hordes 

Apr 13, 2020
#horrorprompt 346 Rabid Bunny 
The Sheriff explained to the Feds who’d come to investigate the serial murders, 
“The guys say she humps like a rabid bunny. Don’t snicker! 
I’m sure it’s all fun and games for the vics until she jams the icepick into their eye socket.”

Apr 3, 2020
#horrorprompt 344 Solitary Confinement 
It wasn't the solitary confinement that drove him mad. 
It was the voices that were locked in there with him.
Mar 31, 2020
#horrorprompt 341 Dust Bowl 

Dust Bowl, Oklahoma 

The drought had killed most of the crops and the locusts took the rest.

Birds perched on branches, 
waiting for us to die.

Ma, granpa & I held on, until
the day, 
from the wall of dust, 
earth to sky, 
walked toward us.

And we knew his name.

Mar 22, 2020
#horrorprompt 339 Quarantine 

Hector, 8 years old, heard his mother & her boyfriend in the other room, 
talking about not leaving the apartment during the quarantine. 

"Fuck," mom's boyfriend said, "If I'm stuck here, I’m gonna wind up
using the belt like -
every damn hour!" 

Hector started to cry.

Mar 20, 2020
#horrorprompt 338 Second Wave 

The first wave decimated us. 
Bodies incinerated, buildings in ruins. Electronics useless. 
We are completely on our own. 

But the second wave was even worse. 
Because in the second wave, they took us alive.

Mar 18, 2020
#horrorprompt 337 The First Act 
A Passion Play 
Director to actors: In the First Act, we choose a member of the audience, and shower adulation on him/her. 
For the Second Act, arguments and divisions ensue. 
Third Act: the stage crew brings out the cross, hammer and nails ...

Mar 17, 2020
#horrorprompt 336 New World Order 
CDC meeting 
Virologist: The virus is a sentient hive mind and only kills those who can't be absorbed into the collective! 
One official: That's a bunch a crap! 
Virologist *eyes glazed, metallic voice*: That is why you'll be dead by sundown.

Mar 10, 2020
#horrorprompt 334 Fresh Kill 
Tom was amazed by Amber's collection of various blades, from pocket knives to the wall-mounted 8' pole lance. 
As she showed him her favourite flaying knife, she said, "I always keep the blades sharp, you know why?" 
"I love fresh kill."

Mar 3, 2020
#horrorprompt 333 Seeds of Dissent 
It was so clear, so very clear at that moment, as the crowd broke through the doors & poured into the palace to murder my entire family, making me watch before they gouged out my eyes, that I had been the ruler who had sown the seeds of dissent.

Mar 2, 2020
#horrorprompt 332 Fibonacci Sequence 
The moment I saw the victim, her intestines pulled from her torso & spiraled around her body like a snail shell, I knew the press would call this guy "The Fibonacci Killer." 
Great name, sure, but plays to the narcissism of every mathematician.

Feb 26, 2020
#horrorprompt 331 Blank Stare 
They'd been living together on a few months when he realized that she sleepwalked, nights that he would find her, standing over the bed, silent, with a blank stare. 
Then, one night, he saw the glint of moonlight against the metal of the scissors.

Feb 22, 2020
#horrorprompt 330 Hunter's Call 
Taking the key from the motel desk clerk, I heard a shrill cry from the nearby hills. 
"That's just the Hunter's Call," he told me. 
"It's midnight!" I said. 
"Well don't complain about it," he said, "That's how we had a vacancy for you."

Feb 20, 2020
#horrorprompt 329 Powder
In opening letters to forward to the Top Office, they trained you to distinguish between true needs & false flags, to weed out profane invectives, yet they can never fully prepare you for when you open the envelope & out spills the yellow-tinted powder.

Feb 14, 2020
#horrorprompt 328 Ornamental Skull 
The ornamental skull on the shelf looked vaguely familiar, the chip above the eye socket, the indention in the cranium. 
Behind me, she said "That's where the hammer fell." 
I stretched forth my fingers to touch ... but they passed through.

Feb 12, 2020
#horrorprompt 327 Empty Shell 
Meg was the best of them: funny, kind, always painted cartoons for the kids & baked for the elderly. 
The whole town mourned when they found her by the county line: entrails scooped out, torso propped against fence post, looking like an empty shell.

Feb 7, 2020
#horrorprompt 326 Wilted Bouquet 
The cake, imploded. 
Forks, scattered. 
Wine from overturned glasses stains the white lace. 
Broken guitars. Broken cameras. Broken bodies. Broken chairs. 
In the corner, they are still feasting on the bride. 
In her dead hand, the wilted bouquet.

Feb 6, 2020
Jan 23, 2020
“I’ll never leave you,” he said passionately, to her horror. 
#Tenzen #hangtenstories #horrorprompt

Jan 21, 2020
#horrorprompt 323 Useless 
The dark damp fog curled in around their legs and wrapped tendrils around their waists and when it reached their throats,
that was the moment that they realized
screaming was quite useless.

Jan 18, 2020
#horrorprompt 322 Without a Trace 
The Sheriff said Margot disappeared without a trace, but with an abusive father & drunken mother, she'd been vanishing for years. 
Which is why I went to her house. 
And, looking through the basement window, I saw the fresh patch of concrete.

Jan 9, 2020
#horrorprompt 321 Winter's Return 
She had lived on her own in the mountains for years, 
knew the valley like the curves of her own body, 
yet even she knew better than to tempt the cold spirits of the lake 
upon winter's return.

Jan 5, 2020
#horrorprompt 320 Darkness Within 

She was blonde hair, blue eyes & fair skin when she deployed. 

When she returned after two tours, her husband still found her all light & sunshine. 

But one day, in the bedroom, service pistol to her head, 
she let out the darkness within.

Jan 2, 2020
#horrorprompt 319 Fresh Skin 

She slipped on the sleeve, wiggled the fingers a bit. 

Then she pulled on the leggings, they were a little tight in the toes. 

But when she stretched into the face and snapped the eyes into place, she said, 
“Ah! New Year! Nothing like fresh skin!”

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