One Stormy Night (SS)

Author’s Note ♦️

So, I’m not at all confident in this story :/ I feel like it’s super cliché and just… stupid. But I put in the work, so I might as well post it, hey? This was written for the March 2021 edition of the Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge (here’s the forum thread for it, as well). I also struggled with the word count. I was over 700 words over and had to seriously downsize, so I feel like the “story” is way too choppy but I can’t think of anything better so… here’s my trash lol

  • ♦️ Genre: Friendship, attempted horror, crime
  • ♦️ Word Count: 999
  • ♦️ Originally Written: 03/27/21
  • ♦️ Prompt: Horror/Suspense/Thriller

Bennett preferred his life as a hermit, living deep in the woods of Granite Falls. This left him isolated, something he had grown quite fond of. His day started like any other, the sky covered with clouds, the air chilly.

He had just finished watering his plants and headed inside when he heard a sound coming from the storage room. Curious, he headed over to check.

What he found was more than he bargained for. A man dressed in all black stood there, axe gripped within his hand. He saw his target and the man raised the axe high.

Bennett’s lips parted and the man brought the axe down with one quick stroke, impaling it within the hermit’s skull.

The body flopped to the wooden floor, blood pooling beneath. The man regarded the corpse before tossing the axe onto the shelf, pulling out a knife from his pocket. All he needed now was to cut off the man’s thumb and return home to claim the riches he deserved.

Thunder roared, rain beginning to fall in droves. He was beginning to step out of the room when he heard voices outside, barely audible. He cursed under his breath, gripping the weapon tighter. The hermit was a loner, so who were these people? He quickly ducked back into the room, closing the door and pressing himself into the corner.

Outside, Alexander and her friends approached the cabin, their clothes dripping wet.

“Told you we should have brought umbrellas,” Octavio huffed.

“Where are we?” Amari wondered, looking around.

“The hermit’s house!” Alex grinned. “He’s an old friend of mine and his place is the perfect getaway spot!”

“There’s too many mosquitos,” Jaiden muttered, swatting at the bugs buzzing around them. “Can we go inside?”

Alex knocked on the door and waited – there was no answer.

“The rain is starting to come down,” Astrid squinted up at the darkening sky. “We should head back.”

“No way! We came all this way,” Alex wrapped her fingers around the doorknob and turned. It clicked and the door creaked open. “Come on in, dry out by the fire.”

“We can’t just -” Landen swallowed nervously, looking around as the others headed inside. No one else seemed bothered, just wanting to get away from the storm and the angry bugs. With a groan, he followed.

“You home?” Alex called out from the bottom of the stairs. “I’mma check upstairs, maybe he’s sleepin’. Make yourselves comfortable but don’t break anything.”

Landen pouted. “Why are you looking at me? I would never -“

“Not on purpose,” his brother interjected with a snicker. “But you’re super clumsy, bro.”

Landen could only grumble as his cheeks warmed up.

Alex stopped at the top of the stairs and glanced around. She could see every corner from the spot. With a shrug, she returned downstairs. “Nope, he’s definitely out foraging. I hope he finds those rainbow bugs or the black fluffballs. Those are my favorites!”

Astrid’s brow furrowed. “You mean dust spirits?”

“Yeah, those!”

Octavio stood near the kitchen, glancing around. “Hey, you think…?”

Alex grinned. “Go for it, I could use some grub!”

“Here’s some,” Jaiden smirked, tapping his finger against the glass of one of many insect containers. Inside was a thick, pale green worm with spikes.

Octavio, being a lover of cooking, jumped at the chance to make food.

Amari shuddered at the thought of eating bugs, browsing the bookshelf to get his mind off the subject. Most of them were focused around insects, though, but he found a cookbook.

The food was prepared quickly and the group grabbed a plate, taking whatever seat they could find. The mood within the group was cheery until the storm picked up, a bolt of lightning striking nearby and lighting up the sky. The wind was slamming against the house, thunder shaking the windows so hard they almost broke.

“Shit!” Octavio screamed in fright.

A scream ripped from Amari’s throat. “Why are you screaming?!”

“Lightning is terrifying!”

Alex snickered, heading for the door. “Nonsense! The chance of lightning hitting a living sim is small.”

The boys watched her head out into the rain with childish laughter. By now, they were used to her daring and dangerous actions and they weren’t worried at all.

Octavio screamed again, his eyes wide as he looked at something behind Amari. He grasped what little courage he had and turned around, only to shriek like a banshee and snap his head back.

“D-D-Demon!!”

“Yeah, so what?” Alex tilted her head. “What’s your problem?”

“Did you…” Jaiden quirked a brow.

“I’mma need to hear those statistics again…” The upper half of Octavio’s body slumped forward.

“Did it hurt?” Landen poked her blackened arm.

“Just a tingle!”

“Hah?!” Octavio grasped his hair.

Jaiden rolled his eyes, muttering under his breath about the idiots as he cleaned up the mess. “Where’s the trash bin?”

“Storage room,” Alex answered. “By the stairs.”

He grunted, heading into the room.

Standing in the room was a man in black, trying to wipe up a pile of blood from the floor. Jaiden dropped the bag.

“Who the hell are you?!”

Alex, hearing the yell, rushed into the room as the man tackled Jaiden, stabbing him in the gut.

Alex screamed, freezing up as panic rushed through her body. Everything was happening so fast, her mind couldn’t keep up. The rest of the group scrambled into the room, trying to figure out what was happening.

The man stood, the knife clutched in his hand. He certainly was not opposed to taking the entire group down.

With a cry, Astrid gathered up her power and thrust her hand at him. His body flew back against the wall, suspended in mid-air, feet kicking wildly.

Landen gasped, his body trembling.

“I-I can’t look!” Amari squeezed his eyes shut.

“We have to – to remain calm!” Amari stuttered.

Astrid’s head was spinning.

By now, the sun rose over the forest, the rain coming to a halt, the sky clear.

12 thoughts on “One Stormy Night (SS)

  1. I think everyone in this challenge has been there: writing waaay too much and having to cut a lot out. Then being left with a story that isn’t what you envisioned. I know it took me awhile to wrap my mind around getting a story down to a what I call “the heart of it.” Short stories are harder than you’d think. Like Minraed said, practicing is what helps. Don’t be discouraged. I’ve found that after intense editing, I can get a story that’s better than it was when it was wordy.
    One Stormy Night is a good story. Starting off with the murder was a great idea. I spent the whole story waiting for someone to discover the murderer or for him to make a move. That’s a really good use of suspense. Which is the whole point! 😀 Be proud of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok so first off, all the love in the world for whatever look Amari is rocking. Everyone else in existence (except probably Sylvester of disco fame): take note. Second off, I love your use of vernacular here! It’s one of my favorite tricks, perhaps the fastest way to develop unique character voices. Third off, Minraed is right. This community is fantastic for publishing stuff you consider garbage until your skill catches up to your taste and you can claim some modicum of self-confidence.

    Fourth off, we can swear in the MSSSC now!?! Man. I’ve been away from this contest too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? I love Amari so much, he’s one of my favorite sims ❤ I don't actually know if cussing is allowed. I try to avoid it when I share with the community but it's part of who I am so it's usually hard to resist lol Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed how you used the editing to add to the ambiance, it worked well to create the vibe. I also noticed the effort you put into setting the scenes too. Cliche, as you called it, is not a bad thing. Think of cult horror classics; they are as cliche as they come and yet people love them and go back for more. You did a great job with the genre here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Before I even read I want to really emphasize to not be too hard on yourself. I was a part of a weekly writing workshop for a few months and two of the writers there were “real” writers. One had already published and another was working on a manuscript. They did not produce polished writing each week. The process of writing, practice, experimenting and getting it wrong sometimes is a big part of the process of growing as a writer. Don’t sell yourself short. xo (now I am going to read)

    Liked by 1 person

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