Gothic Fiction Workshop Sumission

The autumn air was particularly cold that evening. She felt it through the thick wool of her red sweater, how it chilled the marrow of her bones. It prompted the young woman to quicken her pace through the park but the biting cold continued nipping at the heels of her feet insistently. A feeling of restlessness gnawed at the back of her mind, urging the woman to keep moving.

The wind carried with it a forlorn howl that rustled the leaves above her head. They trembled frantically much like her chattering teeth, and so she stopped in her tracks to listen. All was still in the darkness beyond the dim, yellow light of the street lamp where she stood. It was as if though the forest itself had been silenced by an unexpected presence; one that the woman in the red sweater could not see in the thick gloom that had taken over the park.

She could no longer stand the eeriness of it all, and so she made a point to leave this place as quickly as possible. After all, home was just a short distance from the western entrance. It wouldn’t be too long now.

Alas, her haste lured the prowling beast from the shadow of the tall trees. Its eyes glowed white, roused by the thrill of the hunt. Her beating heart beckoned the creature out into the pale moonlight: the sweetest of songs for nightly terrors such as it.

A single bound was all it took to close the distance between them. Monstrous jaws found its chosen prey and quickly tore through the tender flesh linking her right shoulder to her slender neck. Its savagery created a hellish symphony of crushing bones, rupturing skin, and helpless gurgles for the blood and bile stuck in her throat prevented the woman from screaming. The beast feasted on her blood, and her blood fueled the Moon’s curse.

Tonight was a night of curses. It belonged to bloodlust and ravenous hunger.

Once sated, the creature returned to the dark depths of the forest, leaving behind the mangled body of its victim to be found soon thereafter by a pair of joggers on their routine run.

Hospital staff claim she had been viciously attacked within an inch of her life, but the wounds appeared to have been inflicted by a large animal of unknown origin. Canine, perhaps.

When the full moon shall crown the night sky, so it is that another will join the hunt…

 

By CR

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2017/2018 Workshop Schedule

SEMESTER 1

20TH September – Introduction – Dram

27TH September – Settings & Objects – Dram

4TH October – Gothic Fiction – GUU Drawing Room

11TH October – Murder Mystery – GUU Drawing Room

18TH October – Fantasy – GUU Drawing Room

25TH October – Horror – GUU Drawing Room

1ST November – Poetry/Start of Povember – Unknown

8TH November – Shakespeare – GUU Drawing Room

15TH November – World Building & Maps – GUU Drawing Room

22ND November – Sci-Fi – GUU Drawing Room

29TH November – Script Writing – GUU Drawing Room

6TH December – Show & Tell – Dram

13TH December – Show & Tell – Dram

 

 

SEMESTER 2

10TH January – Cut-up Poetry/Refresher – GUU Drawing Room

17TH January – Plotting & Characters – GUU Drawing Room

24TH January – Fairy/Folk Tales – GUU Drawing Room

31ST January – Flash-Fiction – Unknown

7TH February – LGBT+  – Unknown

14TH February – Erotica – Unknown

21ST February – Villains – GUU Drawing Room

28TH February – Dead Genres – GUU Drawing Room

7TH March – Historical – GUU Drawing Room

14TH March – Graphic Novels – GUU Drawing Room

21ST March – Fanfiction – GUU Drawing Room

28TH March – Show &Tell/AGM – Dram

Flash Fiction Event

Hi everyone,

We’ve just received an invite to a Flash Fiction event this Thursday at Waterstones on Byres Road. It’s at 7:30 and there will be an author – Gary Duncan – who is launching his own Flash Fiction collection, You’re Not Supposed To Cry.

We’ve also been asked if anyone would like to read any of their own Flash Fictions out at the event. If so, drop us an email/fb message with the piece/s you’d like to read.

Hope to see you there 😃

Mummy’s Girl

‘Look, darling, I’ve got you a nice new dress. Want to try it on?’

Mutely, Jenny shook her head. She concentrated on moving the stiff limbs of her new teddy bear, stroking its bristly fur, but she still didn’t look up.

‘Sweetheart, that one’s dirty. This one’s almost the same, it’s nice and bright, I can wash that one and give it right back to you-’

‘No.’

It was the only word she’d said since she came. No to changing her dress, no to taking her hair out of the matching yellow ribbons. A gift from her mother, the dress had once been the colour of pineapples, of lemons. Maybe it had smelled like her.

Now the yellow was grey, and it smelled stale. Still, she refused to take it off.

They used to hope her mother would visit again, and bring her something else to wear- but, as the weeks went on, that seemed increasingly unlikely.

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 09/02, pineapple)

Don’t Say You Love Me

Eventually, they ban the word “love”.

It’s harmful, they claim. Causes too much hurt. But people find other ways to say “I love you”. They say “Let me know when you’re home, I don’t want you to go, are you cold, how was your day?” Everyone gets used to it, and then comes the same hurt. The same disappointment.

So they ban speech entirely.

They give up when they realise people can be left just as devastated when all that came before was a blown kiss, or a hand held over the heart.

When they realise people can hurt each other no matter what.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 10/02, censored)

Hate

He wanted to hate her.

He wanted to hate her when they had their first fight, and she blew everything out of proportion until they were screaming at each other over who cooked dinner more often. Instead, he knocked on her locked door with spaghetti carbonara at midnight. She let him in, and they ate in bed.

He wanted to hate her when she told him she didn’t care anymore. That she didn’t want to be with him, that if he couldn’t make an effort then she’d go home to her parents’ house and he wouldn’t ever hear from her again.

Instead, he bought her an engagement ring.

He wanted to hate her after they were married. When she’d sit in silence, staring at the television, ignoring their daughter tugging at her skirt. Instead, he took the baby and taught her the word “Mummy”.

He wanted to hate her when she left.

But he only ever loved her instead.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 11/02, thorn, ‘The roses are not less lovely…’)

Coward

She’d always known it would be easier to leave.

Easier than hiding in the bathroom for hours after she’d burned dinner. Easier than not being able to sleep without drinking. Easier than making excuses to their children.

But it would be hard, too.

Hard to bother feeding herself when she was only cooking for one. Hard to fall asleep alone. Hard to explain to the kids that she’d lied, that she didn’t fall down the stairs or bump her cheek on the doorframe…

So she stayed. For now.

A coward.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 12/02, easier, ‘I Want To Break Free’)

Exposed

I wish I’d thought ahead.

It was just so easy, at the time, to be reckless. I thought I had the power; had him under a spell, but it was all just a game.

I didn’t realise I was giving him a hold over me.

It seemed romantic, that he could undress me with his eyes. I never thought there would be a time when I’d wish he couldn’t. When we’d be arguing, and instead of looking me in the eye, I could tell he was exploring my skin instead.

I never thought there would be a time when his gaze would hurt.

When it would burn.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 13/02, foresight, exposure)

You’re Tearing Me Apart

The red jacket’s hanging where it always is.

On the back of the chair, next to the bed. The pockets are bulky with change, old receipts, cigarette packets. If I looked inside, who knows what I’d find? Maybe his car keys. Maybe a wallet.

Maybe his phone, with her number.

‘Can I borrow this?’ I shrug the jacket on without waiting for him to answer, and it’s warm, smells like him, ‘I’m going for a smoke.’

I do flick a lighter outside, but not for a cigarette. The jacket’s on the ground, and I want to drop the lighter on it. I want to watch it curl into nothing, for the phone with their texts to melt inside a pocket, I want to kick the ashes and tell him he never looked like a movie star anyway-

The lighter goes out.

I don’t burn the jacket. I leave it lying there on the ground.

It’s cold, walking home. My eyes sting.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 14/02, rebel)

Perhaps…

Fluttering damask curtains embrace the midnight breeze; dancing in the glow of palest moonlight and glinting stars. Mediterranean heat floods through open windows – and yet, it is not possible to stand in this room and not shiver. Perhaps it is the knowledge of what transpired. Perhaps it is the blood I am having to scrub off the floor. The floor, at least, can be cleaned; the sheets on the bed are beyond saving, perhaps they still would be even if they were not mottled with red. Perhaps if I imagine it is just a pattern – just red strawberries spotted on white cotton.

(27/2/17: Damask)

Heather Caldwell