Competitions

Horror story competition results

I recently finished reading Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing: A memoir of the Craft.’ Instead of giving my adulatory, gushing review I’ll give you some of his words instead:

 “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:                                                                                            read a lot and write a lot.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Scribbles & Giggles encourages writers to do exactly this, read a lot and write a lot, and our competitions are one of many opportunities for writers to practise their skills. 

In our latest competition, Scribbles & Giggles writers were asked to write a 200 word Horror Story and the results are finally here!

Thank you to every writer who entered this competition and thank you to our judges for their valuable feedback. 

Note that the judges had no idea who the writers were. They were asked to give feedback on every story and the feedback was given to the writers privately. The judges were also asked to choose their top three entries and points were allocated as follows: First place – 3 points, Second place – 2 points, Third place – 1 point. 

Alas! There is only one winner…

                          …but before you find out who that winner is, enjoy reading all the entries below (and feel free to share your feedback in the comments section):

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— The Entries —

Entry 1: The Only News that Matters – Roderick Mitchell

If you’re reading this, I have some unfortunate news: you’re going to die.
Now, now, don’t be alarmed. Everyone dies; it’s a natural part of being alive. Depending on your worldview, the explanations for how life begins and what happens when it ends might differ from one to the next, but that’s irrelevant for the point at hand: your death.
You can try to delay it, people certainly try, but in the end, the only thing left to do is face the end, and pass into the great unknowable where faith is either your salvation or a salve to obscure oblivion.
“How soon?” you ask.
You don’t expect a reply, which is fine. No one ever expects a reply, but they get it all the same.
In the quiet hours of the night as you lie in bed before sleep fully consumes you, listen to the whispers you pretend aren’t there. You know the voice. It only ever has one thing to say:
“Soon.”

Entry 2: Fear- Jakub Dohnal

Fear.

It was all that Pauline could feel. Everything else seemed to be a bizarre dream. Even the gun tightly gripped in her hand. It had to be.

Wet, smooth asphalt turned into crunching gravel and blinding headlights were replaced with striking darkness. She tried to speak up, but the fear took over her voice.

Silence.

The car came to a stop at a tall metal gate, gnawed by rust. She has seen this place before. Thirty years ago. It’s where she had secretly buried her stillborn son. She stepped out into the mist and the fear guided her through the gate.

A battered tombstone with one lit candle emerged from the darkness. The faded inscription was still visible.

‘William’

The grave was open. Inside, a glimpse of a rose coloured blanket. She fell down on her knees and a whimper pierced the silence.

“Come to me, mom. I have been lonely.”

The gun in her hand cocked.
Entry 3: Lucifer – Anton Popov

I.
Dark be the eye which stares from deep below.
Into the night, the solemn one, it shines
And leads the way for angels – full of lies –
To where nine circles, like nine fires, glow.

Black be the wing which covers nighttime skies
And hides the stars of galaxies unknown;
Upon thy cloth, o Night, His breeds were born –
All of false pride and darkness, blind yet wise.

Old scars wide open, burn and prickle cruelly,
As frozen planets in the space watch out –
For a black dragon, crucified in moonlight,

Who raised his flame to light the path to doubt –
And praise the grace of discord and a sin;
Who dreams of love, forever lost to him.
II.

The dark is blind, and blindness is the key
To what lies hidden in his fallen reign.
The Morningstar glows still – and speaks his name
In a thousand tongues, unknown to Man.
His ashen throne is paved with golden flame
Of the hand-made suns that light the night,
Reaching for dimensions so up high –
A promise to return to whence he came.

Entry 4: The Creature – Anna Marie

It is past midnight and my work is complete, but unsatisfying. I rub my burning eyes, then open them… and see three men:
One is sea-foam white, water drips from his wavy hair.
One leans on my desk, fresh blood on his handkerchief.
One wears an olive garland and a white toga is stuck onto his feverish body.
I am amazed – they are the ghosts of Shelley, Keats and Byron! Suddenly, they exclaim:
‘Thy Creature holds thee in thrall!’
Loud footsteps. I turn around: a horrendous monster – flaming red eyes, decaying yellow skin, Satan’s wings. It howls:
‘I am thy Creature.’ I flee into the darkness; the Romantics and Daemon all pursue me. I stumble and fall. The poets cackle and the monster growls: ‘I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel.’ It sinks its pointed teeth into my throat. The men just watch…
I awake, shaking and sweating. Birds chipper outside; it’s daybreak. I instantly begin improving my Creature.

In my next dream, there is no monster, but a beautiful muse and rosy poets. She tells me:
‘We will stand by your side at the thesis defence.’ And they smile.

Entry 5: Picturesque – Andrew Jan Buring

I can’t quite remember when the itch started. Sometime in the last decade, I think. Or maybe even earlier. There was darkness. I lost myself in it. And before that…a party? There was a flash, I remember that. And a baby crying. I can still hear it, but it’s wrong. Like it’s coming from a million miles away. Wait…it’s getting closer. It’s louder now. Around me. No, below me. I’m holding a baby. How long have I been standing here? It’s all coming back to me. The pain! My feet! I just want to sit down. How long have I been standing here?! My arms scream, as I’m holding the baby. I want to shout but I can’t. My face is frozen in an awkward grin. I want to go back to the darkness. There I could forget…here, here I remember. On top of this mantelpiece I stand, babe in hand. I look out and see a slab of glass. I look past it, and see a world that’s been moving away from me. The pain and the crying are building. I feel my brain jolting. There’s a flash and I’m back in the darkness.

Entry 6: Thirsty Youth – Adam Hughes-Buchanan

The local hump dump where hook ups go to drunkenly fumble in the dark; Alex and Katy lurch between the trees behind the Rusty Spoon nightclub. Gnarled branches claw at Katy’s hair. Roots seem to flex around Alex’s swift ankles in the pale moonlight. At the waterside he pushes her up against a trunk leaning over the rippling surface.
“Careful. We could fall in.”
“I got you.” He pulls her closer, starting to tug at her miniskirt.
Katy pulls away from his ardour. “You know I hear they never find the bodies.” Nodding pointedly to the murk below and biting her lip.
Alex laughs. “I said I got you.” He cries out. “Something bit me.” He shivers, gasping in pain, unable to move. Katy backs away. His face bloats brown. His hands reach out to clutch her shirt. She tears away. His bulging eyes are the last she sees of him as she careens between the chestnut trunks. Her ankle snaps. She falls to the ground and roots wrap around her screaming, writhing body. Soon her shrieks subside. Only a wooden husk remains. A crimson liquid floods the hungry veins of the nearest oaks, yet the forest thirsts for more.

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— The Judges —

Before I reveal the results I’d like to introduce you to our judges:

From left to right, top to bottom we have Bonay, Devon, Jamie, Maie and Brendon.

Bonay Van Der Schyff is a Test taster for dog food , moonlighting as a teacher of English to fund her cloth nappy addiction.  Her greatest fear is that ‘Donald Trump will become Leader of the Free World – oh wait!’ Her hobby is pretending she has read really intellectual books like War and Peace but then reading Young Adult Fiction instead.

First –  Entry 3: Lucifer, Second – Entry 4: The Creature, Third – Entry 2: Fear

Devon Maloy is a Business Applications Analyst hailing from Texas. His interests include weird metal music, warhammer, comics and writing. Devon can’t think of the time he was most scared – he screams often.

First – Entry 2: Fear, Second – Entry 6: Thirsty Youth, Third – Entry 4: The Creature

Jamie Morgon: Community Projects and Collaboration Manager. Obsessed with Nintendo and secretly feels Princess Zelda is the only woman he will ever truly love. The scariest thing that ever happened to him was getting sleep paralysis at age 5.

First – Entry 6 Thirsty Youth, Second –  Entry 2: Fear, Third – Entry 4 The Creature

Maie Crumpton is a content and digital marketing consultant in Prague. She is a big fan of hitting and kicking things in a variety of different styles including (but not limited to) Krav Maga and Muay Thai. She also enjoys ceramics and embroidery – balance y’know. Maie is terrified at the thought of coming home at night and finding the house door has been jimmied.

First – Entry 2: Fear, Second – Entry 6: Thirsty Youth, Third – Entry 5: Picturesque

Brendon Robinson is an English teacher in the United Arab Emirates. He likes ancient blues music and when asked what he fears he said ‘being blind to the beauty of life…and rats, heights and crowded shopping malls.’

First – Entries 3 Lucifer and 4 The Creature, Second -, Third – Entry 1.

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— The Scores —

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Entry 1: The Only News that Matters – Roderick Mitchell

Entry 2: Fear – Jakub Dohnal

Entry 3: Lucifer – Anton Popov

Entry 4: The Creature – Anna Marie

Entry 5: Picturesque – Andrew Jan Buring

Entry 6: Thirsty Youth – Adam Hughes-buchanan

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— The Winner —

And the winner of the 200 word Horror Story competition is Jakub Dohnal!!

Congratulations Jakub, your creativity never ceases to impress us. Your prize will be delivered to you soon.

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