Next month, November, is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo. For the past three years I have participated in NaNo, joining thousands of others around the world in a challenge to write at least 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.
I’m planning on doing it again this year, as long as I’m not working 70+ hours a week.
The month of October is normally spent figuring out what I want to write about, figuring out characters, personalities, challenges my characters will go through. With NaNo, you can outline, plan, plot whatever you want before November, but any actual writing for the story cannot be used if it happens before November 1st.
Since I have not written much in the past six months because of work and other crafts, I’m doing another challenge for the month of October to get back into the swing of things.
A woman who is going by the name of Bliss Morgan offered up this challenge: Nightmare Fuel. She posts a new nightmarish picture each morning and then those that wish to participate write a story that goes with the picture. The story could be only a couple of lines long, a few paragraphs, or several pages. There are no word count requirements for each day.
I hope you don’t mind if I mix in some creative writing amid the crafts over the next couple months. Please let me know if you’d rather I stick to crafts only on this blog.
I missed day 1 of Nightmare Fuel, but may go back and do that one as well sometime. For your reading pleasure (hopefully), here is Day #2’s story:
(The picture is of a man’s face coming out of a brick wall)
Nightmare Fuel – Day #2
Hey, you there. Can you hear me? Come closer and listen if you can. Then run away, run fast away from me, after you hear what happened.
Ever have those days where you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall? That’s how the last week had been for me, every day I felt like I was banging my head against that mythical brick wall.
I took a break from my hectic cubical, tired of the phone calls, the tears, the screams. Running outside to the park across from the building I let loose with my own scream. Then it happened. The wall became real. The stress of work, life, kids…all added up until that brick wall appeared before me. In a daze, and thinking it was a hallucination, I started banging my head against the wall.
It didn’t really hurt, this hallucination of mine. A slight headache. Imaginary blood running down my face. Vision blurring.
I didn’t notice the tugging sensation at first, as I took a break from banging my head and just leaned against the brick wall. The sensation almost felt like vines wrapping around my body, but not plant-like; these vines had sharp edges like the bricks of my hallucination wall.
I think I finally noticed what was going on when I tried to step away from the wall so I could head back into the office, to answer a thousand more phone calls from homeowners who couldn’t make their payments. To head back to a thousand more headaches from their screams, accusations, and tears.
But the wall pulled me closer and closer. The more I struggled, the tighter the brick vines held. Slowly, my body was absorbed by the brick wall that I now knew to be real, not a hallucination.
My screams were trapped as the brick wrapped around my face like a mask. I’m still alive. Still trapped with the screams. Do you see me? Or am I a hallucination of yours now? Run away, fast.
If you still can.