The original story
She is sitting on the kerb of a cobblestoned street.
She is hunched over with her black hair falling around her feet.
Her outline is the only thing visible.
The street is deserted. She is seeing something that nobody else can.
A crack in the stones.
She notices a shimmer almost like a heat wave.
She moves her hand over the stones, and for a moment feels as though everything around her is shifting under her feet. She jerks her hand back, shaking her head, and looks around. Nothing.
She picks up her bag and walks to the train station.
She stands blank faced, waiting for her train to arrive. The trains are running on time tonight – which hasn’t happened in weeks. She boards the train with a smile on her lips, thinking finally something is going right for me.
She walks up the stairs of her house and pushes hard at the door. She falls inwards onto the floor.
Somebody had repaired the hinge whilst she was out.
Brushing herself off, she tests the door and absentmindedly places her bag down on the floor.
She had moved into this shabby apartment a few years back – her boyfriend Dan said it would be their little oyster. It hadn’t lasted long. He had moved out within a few months, and she still feels the creep of loneliness when she is home alone.
She walks into the living room, and finds Dan sitting right there on the sofa.
“What the Fuck??!” she croaks, in utter shock.
“Hello luv?” says Dan, playfully.
“Luv? Quit messing with my head Dan! What are you doing here?” Rachel is starting to feel unnerved.
“Er, Rachel, I live here. I don’t know what is going on but is everything OK?” His face loses its humour, and he is looking at her with concern.
Dan is behaving like he cares thinks Rachel, as the sheer un-reality of the event spins in her mind like an ancient machine purring to life.
He is persisting with this bullshit. But wait, what?
He has changed the painting in the living room too? This is too much.
The painting of the thistle isn’t above the fireplace – it has been replaced with a monochrome of some sort of modernist sculpture. The rug is different too! What the hell is going on?
Her head starts to spin, and she falls back onto the sofa; staring up at the ceiling. She is faintly aware of Dan speaking to her, but is not hearing a word of it.
Then she sees it.
The crack in the ceiling.
She thinks that she must be going mad; her vision is swimming in and out of focus.
She stretches out her arm and watches wide eyed as the crack shimmers, and widens – and for a moment… the whole world flips upside down – before everything goes black.
She opens her eyes, and finds herself alone in her apartment.
No Dan. No Modern Painting. No rug.
She smiles, and closes her eyes.
The Gangster story
The classic gangster story depicts the rise and fall of the protagonist. Starting out at the bottom of society, the gangster works their way to the top – to fall again. It is a power struggle, the gangster taking power regardless of the consequences. The stakes are life or death. The antagonist is society, or representations of society such as the police. The gangster story showcases urban life – as both potential to be a dream or a nightmare.
She is sitting on the kerb.
Hunched over, and her black hair is falling to the ground around her feet.
Her outline is the only thing visible. The sun is shining on her studded jacket, creating a blinding reflection.
The street appears to be deserted – but she sees him. Standing in the shadows of the doorway. She looks up at the man, who nods in her direction.
She looks back down to the ground, and passes her hands over the cobblestones. She finds the gap in the stones that she is looking for and flips a small package out of her sleeve – and pushes it inside.
She stands abruptly, straightens her hair. She looks across to the doorway, and the man dissolves into the shadows.
She takes a cigarette out of her bag, lighting it with trembling hands – and walks to the end of the street where a car is waiting for her.
“Do you think it will work” asks Rachel.
“Put it this way, if it don’t work – we’re dead” Replies Dan, matter of factly.
He has lived a shady life since a young age, and knows that there are worse things than death.
“I can’t do this anymore” Rachel stammers.
“Just this last job Rach. Then we’re sweet” Dan says, as he pulls up to Rachel’s house.
They walk up the steps to the front door. Rachel rummages in her bag for the key, but Dan steps forward and pushes the door. It swings open.
He looks at Rachel, as he pulls out a revolver and motions for her to follow behind him quietly.
The house is empty – except for a small box on the wooden table in the centre of the room.
Dan opens the box, which contains a note type-written on a piece of paper.
“I told you to watch your back”
Dan picks up the note, and sees beneath it 00:03 00:02 00:01 .. “Run!” he screams.
The explosion tears the place apart.
A police officer, in another part of the city – checks his watch and smiles.
The Horror story
The horror story depicts a world that is in direct contrast to the perfect reality, though at first it plays out as a perfectly normal scenario. The central character of the Horror is a victim, and in the case of this story the antagonist is both human / and biological aberration. Unrestrained violence & monsters form the core of the nightmarish world as depicted by horror genre.
Rachel is sitting on the kerb of a cobblestoned street. It is a balmy summer afternoon, and she hitches up her skirt a little – in hopes of catching a tan.
The phone beeps, and it is her boyfriend Dan.
They have been together for six months, both PHD students in experimental biochemistry.
Dan says he has something amazing to tell her. A breakthrough that he has been hoping for has finally happened. Rachel agrees to come home right away.
She arrives at number 4, Winchester lane at around 4.30pm. Checking her watch, she smiles and walks up the steps.
Dan is sitting at the kitchen bench, holding a cup of tea – but with a singularly blank look on his face. He is staring at the space before him, unblinking.
“Dan” she says, and he doesn’t respond.
“Dan!” she puts her face right in front of his, and his eyes focus back on her. His face breaks into a warm smile.
Relieved, Rachel says “you must be working yourself way too hard, so what’s the good news?”
“Oh now, but we must have a drink first” says Dan kissing her.
The afternoon flows on to the evening, and Dan hasn’t told Rachel about his Bio Chem project. She doesn’t ask, because they are having such a wonderful night.
Rachel wakes up in the middle of the night and finds that Dan is not in bed.
“Dan?” She hears some shuffling down the hall, and the clanking of something metallic. A spoon she thinks, maybe he’s up for some midnight ice cream.
“Are you serious, you eating again?” She says as she pulls on her dressing gown and shuffles down the hall towards the kitchen.
The light catches something glinting on the wall – A bloodied hand print.
She takes a few steps back.
“Come in, honey” Dan calls out. “Everything is fine”.
She walks into the kitchen, to find Dan covered in blood – eating what appears to be a large rodent. Her hands begin to shake, and she asks “Dan, what have you d-done?”
He smiles, with bloodstained teeth and laughs.. a horrible rumbling sound.
“It isn’t what I’ve done honey, but what I’m about to do”.