Spooktober 2022, Day Nine

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 #5 — Lovecraft, Ian

TITLE:  Brute Fetish

PREMISE:  A trans fella is attempting to reconcile his religious feelings with his lived reality, in the hardest way possible.  He’s becoming a priest, at a vaguely liberal church that’s not quite 100% on him.  His girlfriend is cool with it because Jesus got her off the heroins.  His mom is instead reconciling her own religious feelings, with the help of a stone fetish of an obscure aeon, a fang-grinned undead face over a mass of tentacles.  If a community of Christ can’t bring her daughter into accord with nature, than an older god will suffice.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Transphobias, lovecraft nonsense, you know the drill.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

cover for fake book "Brute Fetish"

 

 

 

Spooktober 2022, Days Six, Seven, and Eight

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  The arguing used to be fun but people are acting so weird about it this year.  Sigh.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #6 — Clones

TITLE:  Doctor Philliplier

PREMISE:  It’s an early ’90s straight-to-cable midnight creepshow, now a moldy VHS retrieved from the ruins of a trailer in rural Arkansas.  You pop it in the old VHS player and it whirs to disgusting life, some intersection of Michael Keaton’s “Multiplicity” and Jeff Fahey’s “Body Parts.”

Dr. Phillips is a plastic surgeon and legit science genius, out of his mind on cocaine and narcissism.  He dabbles in womanizing on the LA punk scene, and stand-up comedy.  One night his experimental rejuvenation process goes out of control, reducing him to a pile of deformed limbs and a screaming head.  He buds clones that are much more well-formed and tries to boss them into helping out, but they are aberrant in the head.

Despite not really looking quite like him, everyone is somehow fooled.  The silver-haired one takes over his stand-up, veering the act into surreal voices and weird noises.  The lanky Lux Interior-looking one takes over the drugging and womanizing, despite only being able to mumble nonsense in an Elvis impression.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Will he ever get his body and his life back?  Good help is so hard to get.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake VHS cover for film "Doctor Philliplier"

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #7 — Cabins

TITLE:  The Cabin of The Cyclops

PREMISE:  Dr. Jarecky is suave and beautiful, despite having lost an eye in youth.  Together with his assistant Helmut, he runs a mental health asylum in 1950s Oregon.  But all is not well.  He has a cabin retreat where he takes “special cases” – beautiful young women – for “intensive therapy.”  The girls are getting wise, and Helmut has realized that in his hubris, Dr. Jarecky has brought too many to the cabin.  The bad men are decidedly outnumbered, and these girls were locked up for reasons…

HORROR ELEMENT:  Corrupt care professionals are the real horror.  Well, at the beginning.  Later on the horror is justice.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake 1950s book cover for "The Cabin of The Cyclops"

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #8 — Cryptids

TITLE:  Flatwoods

PREMISE:  Before she was a ghostly cryptid terrorizing modern people, Honora Knecht was an occultist in 1880s Sutton, West Virginia.  She wasn’t much of a showman, but had some fame by merit of being seven feet tall.  Sinope Locke was a daughter of power, adrift in a life not her own.  On a lark her fiancé paid for Honora to entertain at one of their parties, and Sinope fell in love.

Is it love or witchcraft?  Honora’s eyes glow red, her long fingers look like talons in lace gloves, her witch hat like the minaret of a Turkish mosque.

HORROR ELEMENT:  I could tell stable diffusion AI knew what the Flatwoods Monster was, but it refused to make a sensible result.  The horror is trying to cheap out on making art but still having to work for it lol.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake spooky-romantic book cover for "Flatwoods"

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #8 — Cryptids… ALTERNATE

TITLE:  Come With Me, Baby, to LoveLand

PREMISE:  While coming up with ideas for cryptid stories, I played with romance novel covers involving the Loveland Frog.  The fake author name is to obscure the torso, helping me spend less time making sense of that in photoshop.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Accidentally swallow a tadpole while swimming in Loveland, Ohio.  Go ahead.  Don’t be surprised if you turn into a frog.  Don’t be surprised when your lady loves you even more.  Don’t be surprised when she gives birth to horrendous amounts of tadpoles.  And don’t be surprised that it never ends.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake romance novel cover for "Come With Me, Baby, to LoveLand"

 


EDIT TO ADD:  In case you were curious what these look like before I try to fix them, enjoy this collage.  This will have no alt description, except to say imagine what I described above, but with varying degrees of mangling and mutation.  AI seldom gets me something I’d use unmodified, don’t know how Marcus does it.

Spooktober 2022, Day Five

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 #5 — Gothic Horror

TITLE:  The Immolation of The Thornbloods

PREMISE:  Again, too much fucking around with images, not enough the spirit of writing, which is the whole point of this event.  Nonetheless, I love these subtly corrupt AI weirdos.

Kent and Mabel are the only survivors of the Thornblood dynasty – captains of industry who were largely incinerated in a suspicious tragedy at the Met Gala.  They’ve inherited fabulous wealth and evenly split control over the vast Thornblood holdings.  But the flames that consumed their parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins are a chill breeze compared to the fire in their hearts.

Patricia Coltheart is a mysterious socialite who walks the halls of power, fidgeting with a riding crop for mysterious reasons.  I mean, mysterious if you have never heard of sadomasochism, but whatever.  This equestrienne sets her sights on the sibling steeds and rides them for all they’re worth.  Wait, this was supposed to be a horror, not a porno.  Um…

She’s actually really innocent at heart, despite her sexual playfulness, and doesn’t know what fate she’s tempting in playing these two against each other.  Does she love one or the other or both?  But then, what if they kill each other?  Things come to a head during a weekend retreat at a gloomy cavernous estate overlooking a lake.  A summer storm.  Secret trysts.  Violence ‘n’ stuff.

Patricia looks at the sky, rain and tears on her face.  Is she dying?  I’d have to decide if I wrote it, lol.

HORROR ELEMENT:  It’s not easy having a good time.  How do you decide where to stop?  What if it’s too late?  Is this the same as I said yesterday?  Yes it is.  Frightening.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

 

fake book cover for "The Immolation of The Thornbloods"

 

 

 

Spooktober 2022, Day Four

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 #4 — Alternate Dimensions

TITLE:  The Choking Game

PREMISE:  I admit, I come up with a prompt for the AI that vaguely fits the idea, then come up with the story to match.  Lotte and Calvin are middle school kids that get into the classic kid’s dare of choking yourself or your friends unconscious.  Yeah, bad idea kids.  But the world seems to change when they’re out of breath, and as they share what they saw, they realize they’re seeing the same thing.  Are they getting access to a different realm of existence?  Anything is better than where they live, right?

Lotte starts to see a golden-eyed man in a bowtie, who never looks at her, just looks to the sky and rambles endlessly in some broken version of the Book of Psalms.  What does it all mean, Lotte?  Keep looking, keep listening.  Never mind what your hands are doing to Calvin’s throat.

HORROR ELEMENT:  It’s not easy having a good time.  How do you decide where to stop?  What if it’s too late?

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

 

fake book cover for "The Choking Game"

Spooktober 2022, Day Three

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 #3 — Undead

TITLE:  Veinous Venus

PREMISE:  The title of the story is surreal foolery culled from the shape of the nonsense letters in the original AI image.  Three young lovers in the 1960s realize their love really works – no jealousy, no pain, pure ecstasy.  And yet youth must someday pass them by.  They cannot bear the loss of that golden moment, and resort to weird occult studies.

Caroline is the center of their relationship, the main object of physical affection, but they’re otherwise fairly mutual.  Renee has a more care-giving role, Arthur the pointy head and intellectualizer of their crimes.  They achieve a kind of immortality through undeath, using an unsavory ritual to mortify themselves.  But they just traded one kind of decline for another.  Instead of the usual signs of aging, they are becoming exaggerations of decay.  Eyes discolor and hollow, limbs draw taut, verminous lines writhe below Caroline’s flesh.  They’re fading slower than with natural age, but must wonder if it was worth it, and what the grim future holds.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Mild body horror of spooky ghouls fading away, existential melancholy in the face of inevitability.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

cover for fake novel "Veinous Venus"

Spooktober 2022, Day Two

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 #2 — Cursed Object

TITLE:  Sweden

PREMISE:  I had no idea for this one.  Fucked around with AI way too long to get some images to composite.  The title is just what I was able to tease out of some cool-looking gibberish characters.  But David Lynch once made a whole-ass movie with no script and less than half an idea, so…

“Great Count Acar appears in the likeness of a cicada, and upon taking human form, speaks with a raucous voice.  He is the prince of flies and locusts, and, should the summoner so desire, may confer upon him the power to bind cicadas and the like.  The summoner must fashion an image of him in bronze or another metal, to secure said power.  Acar rules love between men and women, gives true responses to questions of present, past, and future, and has twenty legions under his power.”

Roberta found this label on a yellowed parchment tucked within a strange artifact – a metal statuette of a cicada perched on a box with open faces, so encrusted with oxidation as to seem like a chunk of black stone.  It was embedded in the basement stones of her rented cottage in a small English suburb.  Occult antiquities could be valuable, but she was too busy with life to polish it up and make inquiries.

All around her, relationships were falling apart.  Her friends were getting divorces, or splitting up.  At last her own boyfriend said they should break up so he could take a job in Sweden.  Is there no love in this world?  No romance?  Must all passion fade before practical things?  As she pondered this, drunk on wine, the empty box of the artifact flickered to life with a golden ring of light.  Her eyes locked on the light and she knew she was understood.

Her friends all started getting back together.  Acar rules love between men and women.  But they were all too passionate, too freaky.  Worst, the more passionate they became, the more they were swarmed with all manner of insects.  Only Roberta could see them, not the lovers or any bystanders, but they alarmed her quite powerfully.

At last her own man returned from Sweden, in a grand romantic gesture.  There were no bugs around, but Roberta had a very bad feeling, could sense vibrations like a million insect wings in the air.  Still, he had her.  They began to disrobe right inside the front door of the cottage, barely letting the door shut.  Kiss, kiss, caress.  But when she touched his side it cracked apart like an eggshell.  Underneath pulsed the segmented flesh of a giant insect.

HORROR ELEMENT:  I hate any bug one inch or larger in size.  I tolerate them outdoors, but if I see them in a house, you can bet I’m flying across the room in a panic.  Y tu?

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

poster for fake movie "sweden"

Spooktober 2022, Day One

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.
(EDITED:  I wasn’t clear what the prompt was or how this met that criteria before.)

SPOOKTOBER DAY #1 — Competition

TITLE:  Stay Safe

PREMISE:  Markiplier was warned.  100 days, 100 nights of danger on the wicked streets of Los Angeles – two gangs were having a challenge to see who could kill the most people.  But the gangs were not going on the rumored rampage, and he felt safe.  Police cruisers patrolled orderly streets.  He didn’t realize the gangs about to initiate the killing spree were rolling those very same cruisers – hiding behind shiny badges, with murder in their blue hearts.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Markimoo is hunted by gangs within the LAPD, and only street gangs can ultimately save him.  A story ripped from the headlines, babey.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

Stay Safe

Spooktober – Days 29-31… and Beyond!

I did a thing with some people to do 31 horror story concepts within October.  This gets kinda ridiculous.  Bear with me…

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #29 — Psychic

TITLE:  Syde Effexxx

PREMISE:  Despite a complete lack of precedent for this ever happening, despite the fact there is hardly a conceivable way in which it can happen, the COVID vaccine had long term side effects.  The fascists were right!  #thanksobama.  The year is 2040 and gen Xers are all senior citizens, with some developing dementia as a natural consequence.  But the ones who had been vaccinated are starting to develop unnatural powers as holes and schisms open in their grey matter.

The only people with psychic powers are those who are suffering mental decline.  Most cause mayhem they cannot control – telekinesis, pyrokinesis, projecting horrible visions into people’s minds, making heads asplode.

HORROR ELEMENT:  There are two gen X dementia-havers that have an unusual level of control over their powers, one good and one evil.  It’s Fred Durst vs. Kid Rock.  I mean, I don’t know if Fred Durst is good, but he’s probably less evil than Kid Rock.  Right?

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #30 — Vampire

TITLE:  The Estate

PREMISE:  I’m going to use one of my old ideas because I don’t believe I’ve ever written it down anywhere.  No time like the present.  Given that this is something I conceived outside of the promptfest context, it is something I intend to actually write some day.

An egalitarian band of survivors in an abandoned stretch of country take up residence in a crumbly castle.  They wonder if they might be able to settle down, live in peace, but a vampire awakens and fucks up the program.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The land is abandoned because ruthless exploitation of the peasantry led to horror and a total breakdown of society.  The undead man responsible is back to remind the new peasants how man is meant to live in paranoid misery.  He’s sexy action cool and doesn’t immediately kill them, instead befriending them, turning them against each other, and ruining their egalitarian system.

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #31 — Lost Media

TITLE:  Loners

Content Warnings: Suicidal Ambition, Drug Use, Big Age Difference in Relationship.

PREMISE:  Video games used to be designed wholly by very small teams or individuals.  In a way it’s become like that again on the indie scene, but the small team games are often less ambitious than what the old auteur programmers would get up to.  Occasionally the old devs would get some amount of celebrity.  In this story a malcontent teen in the ’80s makes a video game with an edgy aesthetic cribbed from skateboard magazines and such.  He becomes a minor celebrity on MTV for a few months, is indulged in some celebrity excess, then forgotten by everybody forever.

Years later a young hope-to-die gay youth spends his non-huffing time looking at creepypasta and retrogaming sites, gets really into malcontent’s video game and the lore around it – supposedly haunted, the usual.  While researching to find out the truth of a rumor that malcontent was a serial killer, he finds out the old guy lives in a neighboring state.

He runs away from home to see if he can find him, living on nasty Rust Belt streets.  As he does, images from his life resemble the world of the video game – random graffiti, violent situations he encounters, visions of decay – all neatly mirroring malcontent’s masterpiece.  He finds the guy, now in his fifties, stripping asbestos for a living in his brother’s business.  The young guy manages to get hired and get to know him better.

They have too much in common – bitter, lonely, lost, misanthropic to a fault.  But can their loneliness end?  Despite the age gap and other issues, they might be falling in love.  Or maybe not.  Evidence begins to mount that young guy’s entire escape from home was a delusion – that he somehow entered the video game or an unnaturally long dream about the game.  Is it possible for him to find love, or is the only real escape from his lonerdom in death?

HORROR ELEMENT:  I think  it turns out all the things he’d been imagining about the unreality of his situation were just a fear of that being the case, and he’ll have something like happily ever after.  But right up until that revelation, the horror is from not knowing whether or not the love of your life is real.

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #BONUS — Player’s Choice

TITLE:  The Dyer Hollow Labor War

Content Warnings:  Ageism, Ableism, Implied Child Sexual Abuse, Emetophobia, Horror Content.

PREMISE:  We got to choose between any of the leftover concepts that hadn’t been voted for.  I decided to try to spin a plot that includes all of them:  Anime, Retro Slasher, Lovecraftian, Alien/Space, Giant monster, Creepypasta/Urban Legend, Ghost, Backwoods, Body snatcher, Possession, Clown/Circus, Mutants, Stephen King Style, Undead, Competition, J-Horror, Found Footage, and Psycho-Biddy.  Trying to make this even slightly elegant while still even slightly meeting the genre’s requirements will be a trick – let alone coming up with a concept anybody would ever want to read.

Dyer Hollow is a small backwoods New England town in the ’80s where everyone seems folksy enough on the surface but has a vicious undercurrent of interpersonal strife (Stephen King Style), perhaps from economic anxiety (lol), but they get a new lease on life when a Japanese automaker invests in a small factory there.  The factory is run by an eccentric matriarch, Shizuko “Obachan” Higarashi (Psycho-Biddy), who treats people like a kindly but oppressively mothering granny.  Little did Shizuko know, but the people of the town, back in 1958, had been under the sway of a terrible firebrand preacher.

When a circus (Clown/Circus) was in town, he perved on a child clown, then to cover his crime convinced the townspeople the carnies were a satanic cult.  It led to a mass murder of the carnies, though a few townies died in the same event.  The townies realized they’d been led into horror by the good priest and one had the bravery to break his hold and kill him.  Somehow the other townies, while recognizing that was the right thing to do, still felt some kind of sympathy for the creep, which led to his killer’s family – the Stones – being regarded as black sheep going forward.  The Stones are particularly vexed another local family, the Coles.

An effort to unionize goes sideways when tempers flare between Arnold Cole and Damon Stone, fathers of their respective households.  Arnold wants the union to suck corporate ass, on the idea u should be nice to ur boss to get ur doggy biscuits.  Damon has the more reasoned and sensible position, but being black sheeped, less support.  They are, however, passionate supporters, which successfully prevent things from coming to a vote that they’d lose.

Obachan steps in and suggests they resolve their differences with a competition (Competition), a big festival to bring people together as a community, with fun events to compete in.  People are surprised enough they end up agreeing to it.  This sets up the rest of the story, which will be told in the style of an anime (Anime) series – each episode will have one supernatural / scifi horror theme which is the main focus, but everything escalates through continuity up to the end of the series.

Episode 1, “Dyer Hollow”:  The setup, including at least hints at all the above information, keeping the town’s murder secret the most concealed.  Point of view characters are high school kids (Anime), including Jason Cole and Jennifer Stone with a Romeo & Juliet deal percolating.

Episode 2, “Tug-of-War”:  The old fairgrounds are disused for a reason and people are uneasy about them getting reopened, but don’t feel like they have a choice.  The car manufacturer foots the bill and it’s soon a proper carnival with rides and such. An open field is where the competitions are held – tug of war, three-legged race, that sort of thing.  The events are taking place over days.  On the nights between the corporate-friendly sanitized competition, there are fights and vandalism and hijinks between factions.

That’s all just the backdrop of more events focused on the teenagers.  When they wonder why the fairgrounds are dreaded by adults, one kid says it’s because of a creepypasta-esque child clown with blood coming out the mouth and black eyes and such (Creepypasta).  Jennifer thinks it’s hooey but one of her friends in the AV club shows her an old 8mm film (Found Footage) that seems to show a circus in town that featured a child clown.  AV club friend is working late alone and the clown comes out of the film’s projection to spew blood down her throat and stuff.

Episode 3, “Obachan”:  Ms. Higarashi, in a gesture towards peacemaking, invites Damon and Arnold’s wives for tea in the spooky mansion she’s moved into.  The ladies are out for blood, but Obachan has such a disturbing presence they find themselves cowed into obedient dollies.  Are they going to be poisoned?  They have only tense little discussions when she’s out of the room, tooth-grinding polite disagreement when she’s around.

They have random little horror events like choking up a button or seeing a face in their tea, escalating to a ghost (J-Horror, Ghost) coming for them.  It’s an old Japanese man with a thousand cuts – Obachan’s late husband (got Psycho-Biddy’d) – but in the end Obachan wins and the ghost is banished.  The wives die but the men are so wrapped up in their fight they somehow blame each other instead of the boss.

Episode 4, “The Factory”:  Arnold’s faction is looking for an edge in the fight and on a late shift he discovers an R&D lab where Dr. Habato Nishi is working on improvements for car radios.  There’s AM and FM and now he has created DM – Dimensional Magnitude – which accesses eldritch sounds (Lovecraftian).  “That’s wild, doc.  It’s not talking English but I feel like I can almost understand it.”

“No!”  He turns off the radio and warns him – if the aliens (Alien/Space) are making themselves understood, it’s because they want something – perhaps something sinister.  Arnold waits for Nishi to not be around and sneaks in, uses the radio.  Alien voices tell him how to use sound to access great powers.  He uses equipment from the lab to make a machine that he takes home.  His head throbs with energy and he has visions of the alien beings caressing him.  His wife’s ghost howls mutely in complaint.

Episode 5, “Horseshoes”:  Arnold’s machine makes an alien grown in your brain (Body Snatchers).  This psychically connects the afflicted and while not compete mind control – they have some autonomy – Arnold does have influence over the others as their leader.  He expands his faction, has Damon’s labor radicals on the run.

The funeral for Arnold and Damon’s wives is on the same day and Arnold plays Danny Boy on his DM radio.  Damon is haunted the rest of the episode by weird betrayals and slasher-type killings (Retro Slasher) by a man in a Greylien mask.  He discovers the killer is his most trusted friend, who then turns into an alien mutant (Mutant) he has to kill.

Episode 6, “Dunking Booth”:  Damon hears his daughter Jennifer is with Jason at a kegger in the spooky abandoned Miller cabin (Backwoods).  He thinks he’s racing up there to save her from teen alcohol abuse and involvement with the son of his nemesis, but he’s actually heeding the call of ghosts.  Miller’s cabin is where the carnies made their last stand as they were murdered.  His own mother was the hand that killed Preacher Cotton, pushing him into the well, and that allied him spiritually with the murdered carnies.

The ghost carnies are kept imprisoned by the powerful ghost of Preacher Cotton and want to break free, have summoned Damon to that end.  The children all get possessed (Possession) by ghosts of carnies and townies that died in ’58 and attack each other.  Damon has to keep them from killing each other, tying them up in various ways, while also puzzling out a way to defeat Cotton’s ghost.  Some kids die, but Jason and Jennifer make it through.  The evil ghost is defeated, but the freed carnies have gone evil too.  They offer dark powers to Damon and he accepts, raising their bodies as a zombie army (Undead).

Episode 7, “Field Day”:  Damon’s zombies come to town looking for Arnold’s people, only to find them turning into mutants (Mutants).  Arnold’s DM radio bodysnatchers have become openly monstrous, shooting slime and hovering and stuff.  It’s a zombie vs. mutant battle on the fairgrounds and in the city streets.  The kids do an OK job of surviving, but Jason sees his dad leading the mutants and is like, “His parents killed those carnies while yours tried to save them, Jennifer.  I’m from bad blood.  I belong with the mutants.”  She’s like “Noooo” but he lets himself get sucked into a blobby situation.

Episode 8, “Three-Legged Race”:  The zombies and mutants form into two giant creatures to do a kaiju battle (Giant Monster), destroying Dyer Hollow.  Jennifer has to climb the fighting mutant pile to rescue Jason by chopping him free with a machete.  The surviving teens escape the dead town, make peace, and promise to stay friends forever.  Jennifer vows to love and protect Jason even though he’s now a hideous abomination.  They live happily ever after.

HORROR ELEMENT:  This was a horrible idea, haha.

Spooktober – Days 27 & 28

I’m doing a thing with some people to do 31 horror story concepts within October

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #27 — Noir

TITLE:  Get Your F*ckin’ Shinebox

PREMISE:  Nicky and Toto are brothers and shoeshine boys.  Toto wants to get “made” in the mob and catches a break when a desperate mobster asks him to dispose of a body.  Nicky finds out about it the morning after when he wakes up to find their shared apartment turned into an abbatoir.  Nicky is no criminal and hates murder, but he also doesn’t trust cops and doesn’t want his brother to die, so he reluctantly helps and covers for him.

The mobster doesn’t really have the pull to get Toto made, but when the boy does a good job on the first body, he recruits him to help with more, all the while holding out hope that he’ll get made, all the while driving Nicky to depths of horror and despair.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Pretty straightforward gore fest.  Nicky snaps and lets a fed know about the situation in exchange for Toto not getting life in prison.  Toto is cornered into helping a sting on the mobster, but is OK with the betrayal because he’s getting wise to the exploitation.  Things go sideways because the mobster insults him one too many times and his temper explodes. The deal is off, Toto is going to be arrested for murder.  It might be funny if, when the feds say that, Nicky grabs one of their guns and kills them all, Toto helps stash the bodies, and once again, they get away with it all.

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #28 — Creepy Kid

TITLE:  Kevin’s Kreeps

PREMISE:  This is more an idea for a framing device for another set of stories.  Why are there no kid Crypt Keeper / horror host types?  For a set of horror shorts on TV, the host is a kid with overalls and red hair in a hideous late seventies bowl cut.  He treats the victims in the horror stories like ants under a magnifying glass, laughing at their misfortunes between segments.  Maybe he’s a latchkey kid and each episode has to end with his mother coming home and him putting on an innocent act.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Evil kids is evil man.

Spooktober – Days 25 & 26

I’m doing a thing with some people to do 31 horror story concepts within October

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #25 — Cursed Object

TITLE:  That Demon Drink

PREMISE:  A bottle of primo hooch is doing the rounds, passing by bad circumstance from one person’s hands to another.  Each has a drink and each has a supernaturally terrible time.  The last person to get the bottle is a cop who has been trying to figure out the string of strange deaths that night, and he steals the dregs of the bottle from a crime scene for a night cap.  He chokes and falls over dead, puking magically straight into the bottle without spilling a drop.  His last breath is choking up a bottlecap which slams into place, and the refilled bottle rolls away from his corpse to rest against a chair, awaiting its next string of victims.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Pretty stock TV horror show stuff.

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #26 — Mad Scientist

TITLE:  The Individual vs. Society

PREMISE:  Inspired by the fact Frankenstein was a college student fucking up his dorm in the original story, and by my own experiences attending art school, I tweak this to be “Mad Artist.”  While working on a sculpture installation, an artist discovers The Spark of Life (TM).  But was it her work that created life, or was it the boy helping her with the electrical side of things?  They both set to using the discovery to play god and make homunculi.

I don’t know how well known this is, but the majority of people in fine art programs are ladies, so in addition to classical sexisms, the men in those programs receive positive attention just for being less common.  Men at this point in history have been raised to profound laziness and entitlement.  Like the stereotypical 50s dad would at least be doing a job or having man tasks to make up for his lack of help around the house, but that stuff is ancient history – while the idea mom will clean up after you 4ever never went away.

The way this plays out in the fine arts – in combination with male rarity in art programs – is that people show a lot of deference to “boy geniuses” who can make incredibly lazy work backed up with art statements of pure BS.  Boy v Girl in the homunculus race – the ultimate installment piece, living art.  Boy makes a splashy abomination and manages to rush it out the door before Girl, who is wasting time being conscientious about stuff.  He gets the accolades and she gets accused of coattail riding, even while his monster is doing rampages and such.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Even that is held against Girl.  Her homunculus is seen as less meaningful because it isn’t spraying exploding eyeballs into rush hour traffic.  But she accepts it.  After all, boys are special geniuses.  Did she really discover the spark of life?  Gaslit from within.

^This idea of course is simplified by taking the existence of trans people out of the equation.  Trans fellas in art school absolutely do not receive the benefits of male privilege there, trans women likewise.
^ETA:  Honestly don’t know but it seems like some of the youngest men might be veering away from that laziness.  I don’t know many fellas below thirty years old.