Vicious Nightmares  July 3, 2008 - October 31, 2008

Contest Completed


Best Nightmare - [writing deleted]
Best Bad Dream - Wolf
Best Goosebumps - [writing deleted]
Best Trick or Treat - The Silver LIght


I love horror stories. Horror stories are what made me want to become a writer in the first place. What I don�t love is the fact that so many writers seem to have lost sight of the meaning behind the classic horror tale. Horror is not all about gore for the sake of even more blood and guts. True horror is taking the ordinary and adding an element of fear, which prompts the reader to look over his or her shoulder while reading the story because they know � they KNOW � that some Thing is right behind them. It is the doll with the seeming ability to move upon its own accord. It is that madman watching from the bedroom closet as you sleep. It is the lurking zombie under the basement staircase. Horror, for all intents and purposes, is the paranoiac imagination.

Another thing that bothers me about modern horror is the concept of the romanticized vampire. For instance, I have savored every one of Anne Rice�s Vampire Chronicles, but I wouldn�t exactly call them horror stories. They are romantic, they are well written, and they could even be likened to erotica. All well and fine, but the only element that categorizes them as horror is the fact that the Chronicles are made up of blood-drinking immortals. And, as much as I liked the Vampire Chronicles, it has forever changed the way I look upon the night creatures. They�re just not scary or creepy to me anymore.

This challenge is specifically for our Vicious storytellers. Poetry will not be admitted for this contest. I want to read a horror story that will keep me awake at night. I want stories that will make me stop reading in order to look under my bed. I want to be creeped out, but I don�t want to be grossed out. If you must write gore into your story then incorporate it in such a way as to add spice to the story, but not to overwhelm.

So, here are the rules:

Only Vicious Circle members may submit
No poetry
No vampires
No outlandish gore
No books
Short stories only
Somewhere in the story � I don�t care where � the phrase �trick-or-treat� must be used, but not by children.

Scare me. Chill me. Creep me out. Most importantly, give me a nightmare to remember.

Winners will be decided, appropriately enough, on Halloween. Physical prizes are to be awarded, the nature of which will be determined at a later date.


Awards to be Decided


Damian Alan Gray
Damian Alan Gray
Spring Hill, FL


19 Contestants
24 Submissions
Created Jul 3, 2008