This site is a chronicle of my adventures in the world of writing competitions. I'll share my entries to various writing contests, poetry contests, and everything in between. I'll review writing contest websites, interview writing competition winners, share tips and tricks, and reflect on the lessons I learn along the way.
NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Final Round "The Animal Within"
Challenge was open/secret hideout/framed newspaper article
Here's my horror story The Animal Within
Micah stood at the mouth of the
cave as the sunset bled over the jagged spruce and boney birch.He massaged the creases on his wrist and
rubbed the scar on his forearm.He
turned inside and checked the bolts that anchored the chains to the cave wall.He snapped on the shackles and they clicked
locked. He sat next to the carcasses and waited.
moonlight guided Paul as he clawed his way up the hillside.He switched the burlap bag from shoulder to
shoulder, struggling to manage the burden.Low growls reached his ears and he knew the hideout was close.
the trip up here every month, since he and Micah were sixteen.That was the year Micah’s condition
appeared.After a gruesome and bloody
night, Paul kept Micah from taking his own life and promised to protect
him.Micah kept a framed newspaper
article to remind him of the horror he could unleash. The first night in the
cave, Paul did not bring any food and Micah nearly chewed his own arm off
trying to break free.Since then he
satiated Micah’s bloodlust with rabbits, stray cats, or whatever could be found
on the side of the road.
Micah’s savagery repulsed Paul.With
time, the mortification evolved into curiosity, then into fascination, and now
was bordering infatuation.As Paul came
around the bend, his eyes widened, delighted by the sight of the gargantuan
beast pacing at the caves entrance.
friend.Hungry?”The chains went taught as Micah lunged at
Paul.“Easy boy.I have a special treat for you tonight.”
the sack in front of Micah, and then quickly retreated.His voyeuristic pleasure pulsed at the
carnage as Micah ravaged the bag.
in the chilly morning air, refreshed and relieved to have finished another
episode.He looked across the cave and
saw Paul sleeping. Paul had left the keys to the shackles for Micah, and Micah
freed himself to go search for firewood.On his way out of the cave, a scrap of yellow fabric caught his
eye.On closer inspection he realized
that there were several shreds of similar yellow cloth.A lone pink ribbon put the horrific picture
together, and Micah collapsed with the weight of the discovery.
“Paul!”The bellow reverberated off the stone walls. Paul
jolted awake.He saw the ribbon in
Micah’s quivering hand.
weren’t supposed to know.”
“Why?What have you done?How could you do this to me?”
exactly?I’m letting you be who you
really are. I’m accepting you in a way
that no one else can.You are special
Micah.All of us have darkness in us and
you get to experience it unfiltered.I
am giving you freedom.”
“Freedom?This is not freedom.This is Hell. I don’t want to be a monster.”
just it, you are one.It’s time to
“No.I’m leaving, and I’m not coming back.We need to go to the police.”
let you do that Micah.”Paul pounced at
the chains.Micah tried to escape, but
Paul caught him.They fell to the
floor, trading punches and kicks.Throughout the scrum Paul cackled in jubilation.
“Let it out”
Tears streamed down Micah’s face as
he struggled.“No!”He cried as he smashed Paul’s head into the
ground.Paul went limp.
When Paul came to, he saw Micah’s
penetrating stare.Paul raised his hand
to his throbbing skull and felt the steel tug of the restraints.
“You want to be an animal? So be
it.”Micah tossed a dead squirrel at
Paul’s feet and left the cave.He heard
Paul’s howling, but when he looked at the ribbon in his hand he knew he wasn’t