The Shape Speaks

At last night’s PY Writes workshop, we played around with Halloween-themed writing prompts. My favorite was, “Write for ten minutes from the point of view of the monster/killer.” Here’s what I came up with:

No one understands me. They never have. I’m sure you’ve heard the story of how when I was seven, I killed my sister. I don’t know why I did it. She was just sitting there, brushing her hair, and I had a big ol’ knife from the kitchen in my had for some reason, so I stabbed her. I know how ridiculous it sounds, to say no one understands me and then not be able to explain why I did something that has pretty much defined my life, but what can I say? I’m a man of mystery.

We’re getting off on the wrong foot. I can tell because you keep looking at the door. You look pretty uncomfortable, even though I loosened the ropes. Also, it’s actually freezing in here, so I’m not sure why you’re sweating.

Let’s start again. Everywhere I go, I get this look. I know you know what I mean – you gave it to me when I stepped out from behind the hedge. I didn’t mean to make you scream and drop your pumpkin, and I apologize for that. I just wanted to say hi, see if maybe you wanted to go get a root beer float or something. You just seemed so nice when I was watching you and your friends walk home from school.

Okay, I see you staring at my mask, so let’s talk about it. I mean, we can’t really ignore it, right? I found it in a department store. Well, ‘found’ maybe isn’t the right word. It fits nice, and I really like how everything looks through these eye holes, kind of fuzzy at the edges. Do you want to try it on?

Okay, jeez, please don’t scream. I’m just trying to be nice, and you’re all wild-eyed and flailing. Fine, I’ll put the knife down. I was going to use it to slice the cheesecake, but it seems to really be stressing you out. See what I mean about how nobody understands me?

Can you stop crying, please? It’s making me feel a little nuts.


And then we all wrote for five minutes about a cadaver. Here’s mine:

He tried carrying the body over his shoulder, but that only lasted a few steps before it slid on the slick surface of his silk cape and thudded to the tiled floor.

The guests would be arriving any moment. Although he was known for hosting the most outrageous parties in town, even he drew the line at a cadaver in the parlor.

He heard the crunch of tires on gravel and felt bile rise in his throat. He hefted the corpse onto the couch, slapped a black mask over its eyes, and managed to get one leg crossed over the other.

The doorbell rang.

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