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. Also don’t miss my big catch-up post for missed days.
SPOOKTOBER DAY #22 — Southern Gothic
TITLE: Charleston Sweat
PREMISE: In 1960s Charleston, racial disparity was still egregious, and violence against protesters had already been going on for years. Lazy rich rock and roll boys Dusty and Jim took drugs and drifted between the yacht club scene of Dusty’s parents and the black night club scene, where they sometimes played in rock bands slightly hipper than the Sparkletones.
They met Paula at a yachting to-do, and she begged them to show the world outside her sheltered upbringing. Love triangle ensues, with Paula favoring the less sexy, more soulful and sad-eyed Jim. Dusty can’t be cruel to her about it, but does find himself tempted to murder his BFF. Meanwhile, Paula gets into drugs and such.
HORROR ELEMENT: A background radiation of the horrific violence of racist oppression creeps around the edges of otherwise limpid and bright places. There’s blood on the decks, matey. The foreground white people realize on some level that they’re in a fantasy world build on enslaved flesh, but the hard work of doing anything meaningful about it is unimaginable. The poison gets to them.