Wow, this draft is a pile of hot garbage waiting to be nuked from orbit. At least that’s how I’m seeing it. There’s a pretty hard shift where I finally stopped pantsing and decided to figure out where I was going, and things started clicking into place.
The thing about this piece that’s interesting to me, is that I still don’t really know the characters. Some will probably go away, others will get fleshed out more over the next few weeks as I learn about them and can bring their personalities into the story. Right now they’re just names on a page to me, and that is the exact wrong thing for a finished piece of work. That’s what’s so great about Writer in Motion though! It’s okay that the whole thing is awful, because that means there’s a ton of room for improvement.
Something else I’ve noticed about my writing is that my first run through never has any description. There are times where I’m like “Ooo, I’m 500 words into this scene and all the reader really knows is that the characters exist and have had a conversation.” There’s no world building there. Hopefully I can remedy that in weeks 2 or 3.
Finally, I’m super excited about this piece growing and becoming something. I’ve been wanting to do a MG spooky story for a while, but didn’t have the time, or motivation to start putting something on paper. While this is meant to be a stand alone piece right now (which isn’t easy in under 1k word!), I definitely think after this whole processes is through, this can serve as the basis for a larger story. We’ll see how things go.
Anyways, without further ado, here is my still to be titled Draft 1.
I knew I shouldn’t have taken that bet.
The words kept running through my mind like the athletes in gym class. Just around and around, at a much faster pace than I ever could. In this moment, I was squished somewhere between a couch and a moldy wall, with water dripping on my forehead.
“Sammie! We need you to go into that house at the end of the block. You know, the one that used to be owned by that old kook.”
Those were the words that started it all. It was weird. Tori had never talked to me before, but somehow she knew my name. Did I rocket up the cool ladder overnight somehow? I guess now that I’m thinking about it, it doesn’t really matter how my social standing at got the attention of Tori Lendas. All that matters is that I saw my ticket to be one of the popular girls.
“Jaycee heard that there was a dead body in the basement. If you go check it out, and bring proof that you were in there, we’ll let you into our group.”
So this was it. All I had to do was go into a house and prove I was there? They didn’t need to know that I was definitely super afraid of that house. Shoot, I didn’t even need to think about that. I should have thought about it, but I didn’t. I definitely didn’t. Or I wouldn’t be in this situation.
“Sammie, stop dwelling on it. We’re here now.” Alice, my best friend who I was determined to bring with me to the popular group, snapped me out of dwelling on my hopeless situation. We were already in the house.
“I know we’re here. That doesn’t mean I can’t be grumpy about it though. You know I needed you here for moral support, and we’ve already had the door swing open on its own.”
“That was the wind. he whole house is shaking from the storm outside.”
I know she was trying to calm me down. It wasn’t just the door opening on its own though. Other weird things had happened too. This house wasn’t just old, but haunted by the old man who used to live here.
“Let’s just get this over with.” I say peeking out from behind the couch I’d hidden behind. I didn’t see anything in the living room, so it was a good time to make a break for it. I ran towards the first door that looked like it could lead to a basement. When I swung it open, I was greeted with an awful, foul smell, but no stairs. It appeared to be a closet. I’m not sure what smelled so bad, but I wasn’t about to stick around and find out.
“Not this one,” I yelled behind me without looking to see if Alice was following. I kept moving through the living room. There was a surprising amount of doors and hallways that led out of this room. We even found a hidden passageway behind an old grandfather clock that was on the wall. That was all in the past though. Before we knew the place was haunted.
I opened another door. This time there wasn’t a terrible smell. Instead, it was another closet. A long narrow closet with a pile of rags on the ground. Dusty, torn, dirty rags, just piled up in a long bunch.
“Umm…Sammie?” Alice said sheepishly from somewhere behind me. “I don’t like the look of that. From this angle it sort of looks like —”
“…a mummy.” I whispered.
Lightning lit up the room, we were in. The terrifying reality of what we just saw was confirmed. We were standing in front of a mummy in a closet! Before I could slam the door shut, there was a piercing shriek that came from Alice.
“The mummy, it’s moving!!”
Staring at the pile of clothes beginning to rise in front of me, I slammed the door shut and turned to run. Behind me I heard the door crash back open again. I took off towards the front door, to safety. Alice was right in front of me, knocking anything in her path off along the way to slow the monster down.
“Alice, I’m behind you! Quit knocking things over, you’re slowing me down too.” I shouted. A book came flying at my face. Ducking, I narrowly missed it. Clearly she didn’t hear me. I could see the door, Alice had opened it already and was waiting for me to pass through before she could shut it. As I made it to safety, the feeling of pouring rain felt like sweet relief.
The door slammed shut behind me, and we both grabbed the handle to hold it shut. If the mummy could break the closet door open, we were both going to have to hold the handle to keep it in the house. A minute or so after being outside, nothing tried to open the door. No loud crash from it running into the door. No tugging as it tried to catch us. Nothing.
“I’m not sticking around to find out what just happened.” I panted through my deep breaths.
“Yeah, lets get out of here before it decides it knows how to open doors.” We grabbed our bikes and rode as fast as we could to the safety of home. We parked our bikes on the front step and went inside.
“Mom! You’re never going to believe what just happened.” I shouted as we walked in. The house was quiet, and Mom never responded. “Let’s make some hot chocolate.” I say waving for Alice to follow me to the kitchen. Rounding the corner, I opened up the pantry to find the hot chocolate mix, and was met with the same gross smell as the old house.
I turned on the lights, and froze. On the ground was a pile of dusty old rags that started moving. “Mummy!!!”