Inside a Writer's Mind 11: False Hope – 501 Prompts

Read the story here.

I love the horror short stories by H.P. Lovecraft. Sure, some parts and elements are questionable from a modern perspective. But I like the composition and the sense of slowly creeping dread they induce. This prompt reminded me of one of his stories. I think it was Dunwich Horror. The one with the strange boy whose father might have been a cosmic entity and the monster bursting out of the house at the end.

Anyway, that was the direction I decided to go from the get-go. Of course, the brothers are twins. Twins are said to have a special bond with each other. I don’t know if that’s true. My mother has a twin sister, and they can’t stand each other. In fact, they haven’t talked in 15 years. But for the story’s purpose, I roll with it.

I only realized while writing this commentary that I might have underplayed the made up language aspect of the story. Because the prompt says they only communicate that way. Well… that’s the creative freedom I take, I guess.

I wanted to tell the story from the view of an outsider. I decided on a stepfather. He gets to know Emily during her pregnancy and falls madly in love with her. They start to build their future. Times are tough, as for most young families, but they get by.

In this condensed form of storytelling, I needed a way of foreshadowing that warns of the things to come but is completely ignored by the protagonist. That’s the case with the grandma babysitting. What did she see that night? What happened? Her son never asks, and she removes herself out of his life, leaving only that ominous warning.

From there, things had to turn sour eventually. I had some trouble to come up with stuff for the boys to do that are considered erratic. I didn’t want to use too many cliches, and personally, I can accept quite a lot of weird behavior. I ended up with some odd cultist sacrifice vibe.

Even though the end is open, I intended to have it rather clear that staying there might be a bad idea. Like when you scream at a character in a movie to not make that stupid decision. I don’t know if I got there, but I enjoyed making up this little horror tale.