On Saturday, September 14 RSSCo. kicked off a series of Writing Workshops. The first Writing Workshop, Making Monstrous Characters was led by William Alexander, winner of the 2012 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature.
Here is Hannah's story from the workshop. We recommend you read the story in a very dark room during a thunderstorm!
Read at your own risk, it is SCARY!
My Very Awesome Monster Story
………Then, the storm increased in force, thunder, with the force of an earth-quake shook the ground, causing her to fall to her knees. Seeing no point in trying to run, she just sat there, crying silent tears, as the storm raged around her, lightening flashing, thunder pounding!!
Then…… there was silence, the storm was still fierce, but she could no longer hear it, like she was suddenly pulled from her body and it was another girl sobbing on the ground, as she watched herself, kneeling on the ground with a hopeless look in her eyes. Then she saw her, a tangle of matted black hair on top of her oblong head, with ghostly pale skin, and a long spindly frame, looking about ninety years old. She could hear her manically cackling above the howling wind. The woman walked over to her, still sobbing, the girl didn’t even notice the old woman’s boney finger as it touched her chin and pushed her head up firmly, forcing her to look at her. The girl looked on in a state of shock, watching herself look the woman directly in the eyes, but there was one thing very strange about the woman’s eyes, they were coal black…..
This was going to be the one, Louise could feel it.
Although she felt a tad guilty for preying on such a young human, she knew it had to be done if she wanted a permanent human form, as she passed through the portal to this girl’s nightmare, she felt the familiar pang of guilt that she tried to push down every time she preyed on humans.
“Not today, I don’t need this today.” She muttered, as she changed to nightmare form…
The first thing she noticed about this human was that she was not present in her body, her spirit was off to the side, watching the nightmare unfold, as Louise walked up to the girl, who was about fifteen, she swallowed her regrets, and went for it, lifting up her chin with one boney finger, forcing the child to look in her eyes, she felt the guilt resurface, as the look of shock registered on the girl’s terrified face
“I can’t do this!!” she whispered under her breath
And with that, she disappeared, with, now, another failure, looming over her head.
Just as she registered the woman’s, alarmingly, coal- black eyes Amaya heard a scream, she wondered who it was, but then with shock, she realized that it was her own.
At that moment, she bolted awake, the scream still in her throat.
Hearing her screaming, her brother, Joe, rolled over, grumbled, and threw a pillow at her.
“What? That wasn’t me!!! It was the ummm…. Dog!! Yeah it was the dog!”
“Joe… we don’t have a dog!!”
“Oh, well then, yeah I threw it to get you to…. BE QUIET!!”
With the nightmare forgotten, Amaya got out of bed, to get a start to another day.
As Louise dragged her feet, trying to get to the council meeting as slowly as possible, she thought about what punishment they would give her after her tenth failed attempt in a row. If her twin brother, Mark, were here he would just shake his head and say
“Man up Lou, it’s just a human, you can do this!”
“I know, you’re right.” she would begrudgingly reply.
Oh how she missed him, he was more than a brother, he was like an extension of herself, they were twins, they were supposed to stick together, thick and thin, but he had left her for the mortal world to have a permanent human form, but he promised to find her when she got there.
She had to get to him, that was her motivation, that is what she must do, get to him, so that they could be a family again.
With a renewed spark of determination inside her, she picked up her pace to a jog, determined to get her brother back…………