Spooktober 2022, Day Seventeen

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #17 — Monkey’s Paw

TITLE:  Poppies Will Make Us Sleep

PREMISE:  This genre is supposed to be scenarios where something desirable comes with a horrible twist.  I don’t think I did a great job of that, but at least I did it fast.

Youths at the gothiest private school in NYC aren’t feeling the future and are tempted by escape.  They are found with a flower in hand and flowers growing all around their bodies, whether found on soil, concrete, or a basketball court.  They’re asleep and they won’t wake up.  Seemingly unrelated incident – a new band starts up and they take new student Isaid as the vocalist.  “Les Amis de Dorothée” hypnotize the crowds and take the city by storm, despite their youth.  Will Isaid’s parents allow this extracurricular activity?  What will be the price of this fame?

HORROR ELEMENT:  Oblivion’s cold allure.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Poppies Will Make Us Sleep"




  1. Cutty Snark says

    I’m still very much enjoying the series! Working my way through as and when time allows (and just wanted to say thanks to the Midnight Collection writers for another treat I will hopefully get to enjoy this halloween!).

    I dunno, but I quite like the ideas here – I could definitely see it as a compilation of shorter horror stories within an overall theme (er, closest thing I can think of – in terms of idea, not style – is something like “The House that Dripped Blood”, where it was all shorts framed as previous tennants of a house). Like, I could see various takes on the “with a horrible twist” (from the more obvious “monkey’s paw” style to more subtle interpretations), and all connected through the flower theme (so whenever it crops up, you go “ohh nooo…”).

    Not sure if that’s what you intended, but that was what sprung to my mind!

  2. says

    that would fit the concept better! i was thinking “something good goes bad” could work for kids wanting to get high -> magic coma, Isaid wanting to be rock star -> finds out their music plants naughty flowers. something like that. i could see reworking it closer to that vein. think i’d have the stories involve kids having a hard time so the desire for escape feels real, some to where the reader wonders if magic coma might have been the best solution.

  3. Cutty Snark says

    “think i’d have the stories involve kids having a hard time so the desire for escape feels real, some to where the reader wonders if magic coma might have been the best solution.”

    I like that a lot! I can see it playing out – they’re getting more and more prone to sleeping, but it is at first waved off as normal teenager stuff (nodding off in class, retreating back to bedroom and only coming out for meals, etc.). Then as it progresses, the gaps they’re awake get shorter and shorter. It could cut to the life they’re living in the dream (maybe 30min sleeping, and they’ve lived for 30 years in the dream, have kids, etc., so waking up is jarring)…maybe some sort of shared dreaming too (I’m stealing a bit from inception, but probably could be done more originally). And progressively, the dream becomes their reality, and reality the nightmare…(sorry, I’m being a bit pretentious there, but I really like the concept) And if it is a bit ambiguous as to what is happening and what is Isaid’s dream, or if everything is a dream all along, etc…yep, I can see it being a pretty good, slightly surreal story!

    I think you might have been a bit too hard on this one – there’s a lot of cool ideas here! I’m looking forward to the next one…

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