I’m doing a thing with some people to do 31 horror story concepts within October…
SPOOKTOBER DAY #17 — Alternate Dimensions
PREMISE: There’s a category of “unexplained phenomena” that don’t come up very often, but could be grounds for a scifi-flavored horror. Phenomena that seem like distortions of time, space, and gravity. “Mystery spots” with diagonal trees, heavy objects abruptly changing place without a sound, construction of improbably megaliths. IRL I put no stock in any of it, but I’ll use it for a story.
Anomalies begin to happen with increasing frequency in Florida. A physicist is skeptical at first, but after her truck randomly drops on her roof in the night, she gets her university to fund research. They find there are strange particles and waves passing through the area with much greater than usual frequency and intensity – condensed gravitons? tachyons? Whatever it is, there are distortions of time, space, and gravity involved.
Things come to a head, with people lurching from one disaster to another. Run over here to get away from a rain of fish, explosively decompress from a random pocket of the vacuum of space. Sections of highway turn into moebius strips. Organisms and objects randomly age thousands of years or get teleported or disappeared to who knows where.
HORROR ELEMENT: The hero and her wife are trying to flee the area like everyone else, but are afraid they won’t make it. They get hoovered into a mysterious version of the world with a red sky and nobody else in sight. Wife is in a panic because the phenomena tend to be short lived – surely they’ll get killed by something in mere moments. But physicist says, “I think we’re OK. I think we have time.” Her reason? She sees the two of them on the far side of a ravine, much older and holding hands.
SPOOKTOBER DAY #18 — Wintery
TITLE: 100% the Ice Temple
PREMISE: To unlock his ultimate weapon, the hero must get 100% of the objectives in the Ice Temple. This is a video game from the point of view of the character in it. Things that would be rendered as 16 by 16 pixel sprites are vividly realistic, surreal. It’s a way to challenge myself as an author to really bring the reader inside this fictional video game with the power of description – assuming I ever write it, which probably not.
HORROR ELEMENT: It seems like a stock puzzle-solving temple with moderate hazards, but there’s an existential melancholy over the character’s experience. Worse, there’s an undefeatable monster stalking the temple, causing him to flee and lose progress. Its gory fangs and ice bladed chains are at odds with the mild chill aesthetic of the place. Will it become defeatable in the final boss stage, or is something worse going on here?