By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
from Macbeth by William Shakespeare
For many of us summer has been and gone, and we are now at the mercy of autumn and the coming winter. The days are growing shorter, the evenings cooler, and it is almost time to welcome that “night of all nights”, as Poe once wrote, Halloween.
Your challenge, dear writers, is to embrace the ghouls, the fear, and the dark beyond, with a two-shot, using our prompts below.
Sometimes one chapter is not enough to fully develop character and plot, and committing to something more than a few chapters can be daunting to say the least. The art of the two-shot is to build your world, flesh out your characters, develop your plot, perfect your pacing, and bring everything to a final and satisfying conclusion.
All fics must be comprised of two chapters—no more, no less.
All fics must be between 4000 and 15,000 words, total. This means you could have one chapter of only 1500 words, and the second chapter of 2500 words.
All fics must be in the queue by October 31st, 11:59pm GMT.
Let the terror begin!
Ferocious Beasts and How to Avoid Them
“But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.”
-from The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allen Poe
With all the Newt Scamander hype, why not crack out some creatures? And what better time to do that than on the spookiest night of the year?
While doing something reckless and stupid on Halloween, your character(s) will encounter a fearsome magical creature. They will have to use their remaining wits and NO MAGIC to get themselves out of an extremely sticky, and possibly bloody, situation. Only time will tell whether they make it out alive.
The Masque of the Red Death
“There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre,
something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.”
-from The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe
Nothing embraces debauched mystery like a masquerade ball. For this prompt, we are once more taking inspiration from the most macabre of story-tellers, Edgar Allen Poe. Your two-shot must take place at a masquerade ball and during the course of the ball there is a death (or more than one) under suspicious circumstances.
This is your chance to embrace the bacchanal, the intrigue, and the grotesque.
What A Tangled Web We Weave
“And where should a man bring his sweet to woo
But here, where such hundreds were lovers too?
Where lie the dead lips that thirst to kiss,
The empty hands that their fellows miss,
Where the maid and her lover, from sere to green,
Sleep bed by bed, with the worm between?
For it’s turn of the year and All Souls’ night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.”
-from All Souls by Edith Wharton
Who thought meeting in a graveyard on All Hallows Eve could be so romantic? But one half of this couple is not who they say they are, and the other isn’t telling the whole truth either. Will their inauspicious romance end just as grimly as it began? Or can they overcome the spectres of the past?
At least one of your main characters must be canon.
For the full thread with rules and instructions, please click HERE.