January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Maggot

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Maggot

The Submission:
All day long, the chocolate chip muffin had been calling to me… I could almost hear it whispering… It was in the staff fridge, just a few steps away, and beckoned me like a siren at sea. Where was it from? Who’s was it? I had no idea… but I meant to have it.

Finders keepers, after all.

Surreptitiously, I swiped it as I swept from the building, stuffing it into my satchel like a criminal and almost sweating as I dashed outside as casually as possible. I drove away in the fading light of dusk and, sat innocently in a supermarket car park, devoured the glorious chocolate treat.

It was everything I thought it would be! Chunky chocolate chips, a light dusting of icing sugar, soft and spongey cake, a gooey, syrupy centre. Ugh… I just about blew my load, it was so good! I took care to eat it in sensible bites, wanting to savour every last morsel. Crumbles dropped from my thick lips and, as I moved to sweep them away, I noticed something that made my skin crawl.

It was small, yellowish brown, and curled into a spiral. As I stared at it, horrified, the maggot squirmed on my top. I felt bile rising at the back of my throat as I looked again at the delicious muffin in the palm of my hand and saw more of the writhing little larva squirming in the mushy centre.


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Spurt

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Spurt

The Submission:
“Where the fuck’re you goin’ dressed like that?”

Ellie looked herself over. She was dressed in faded jeans, a casual blouse, and simple boots. There was nothing provocative about her outfit in the slightest.

“It’s Lisa’s baby shower.”

Guy scowled; behind his stubble, he wore the face of disdain.

“First I’m hearing about it!”

Ellie licked her lips and swallowed.

“I did tell you last week, remember?”

More scowling.

“I-it’s on the calendar… and I told you l-last night…”

“Oh!” Guy’s eyes darkened.

“So I’m an idiot, is that it?”

“What? N-no…”

“No, no,” he held a hand up to silence her.

“I’m an idiot and you’re right, as always.”

Ellie kneaded her keys nervously between her hands.

“I… I’m sure I did tell you…”

Guy rose from the couch and grabbed Ellie’s wrist tightly.

“Who’s gonna be there, hm?” he glared.

“That piece of ass you’re always lookin’ at, maybe?”

Ellie’s mind whirled in a blur as she struggled to picture who her husband was describing.

“Y-you mean Joel? Lisa’s husband? No… No, babe, he won’t be there. It’s just us girls…”

“Sure it is,” he scoffed. “And I’m sure afterwards you’ll all go out and you can bitch about what an asshole I am, hm?”

“I… I don’t… I wouldn’t…!”

“No, of course not,” his grip tightened. “You’re not fuckin’ goin’ anywhere…” his eyes blazed and he looked Ellie up and down with devious intent. “At least… not until after I’ve made you remember who you belong to!”

Guy reached for her, yanking at her blouse. Ellie heard a small rip and shrieked and, entirely on instinct, lashed out to slap him away. The tip of her door key disappeared into the gooey mess of Guy’s eye; blood, and a putrid puss, spurted from the gaping black/red mess and he howled, hand clamped to his face, as she pushed past him and out the door.


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Twist

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Twist

The Submission:
Julia chugged back the last of her wine; her head was fuzzy and her vision a little blurry, but she was determined to get her story finished, even if it took her all night and another glass of wine.

Her fingers clacked at the keys, determined to force the story out of her very pores, to get that last twist on the screen so she could finally put it — and herself — to bed. Her deadline was tomorrow, at midnight, and she cursed herself for having fallen behind in her writing.

Her concentration was broken, her train of thought derailed, by her printer suddenly whirring to life. Confused, exhausted, she checked her screen to see if she’d accidentally hit ‘Print’ but there was nothing in the queue…

Curious, Julia watched as two sheets of paper fed through the machine. The first was blank, if a little smudged; the second bore only two words typed haphazardly in the middle of the sheet:

keep writing


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Goblin

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Goblin

The Submission:
“I can make this all go away,” the snivelling little goblin had whispered from the corner. “For a small fee…”

I was standing over Doris’s limp body. Her skin was so smooth and clean; almost like porcelain. But her head… her pretty red hair hung in clumps, matted to what was left of her skull by thick blood and fragments of bone. The claw hammer was stick sticking out from the back of her head and one bloodshot eyeball stared up at me vacantly, accusingly.

Cole had told me earlier. Casually, like it was nothing. Like ringing your best friend and admitting that you’ve fucked his girlfriend was something you did every day. I’m ashamed to say that a red mist had descended; I barely even remember what happened next. I’d gone down to the basement to confront Doris, there’d been shouting, crying, and then…

“Just a small fee,” it sneered, the dirty, jagged claws of its hand reached out expectantly.

After I’d struck her and she’d crumpled to the dirty stone floor in a heap, this… thing, this diminutive, cackling goblin with its fang-like teeth and squinted, pearlescent eyes, had hobbled out from the dark. Bells jangled from its dishevelled tunic; its long, crooked notes sported a sickening boil on one side, and its voice was like the crackling of brittle twigs.

Swallowing, struggling for breath, I turned to it. “What’s your price…?”


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Soup

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Soup

The Submission:
Chrissie balked when her mother slid a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup to her.

“Go on,” she said, handing her a spoon. “Eat up.”

Chrissie sniffed and rolled her eyes. What was there to eat? It was a bowl of bubbling liquid, not a roast beef sandwich. “Do I have to?” she whined, her voice nasally.

“Don’t start with me, young lady!” her mother snapped. “If you want to get better, you need some chicken soup now get it down you so you can take your pill!”

Chrissie huffed and reluctantly began spooning the dish into her chapped lips. The soup was hot and gooey; it reminded her of gravy, another dish she couldn’t stand, but she’d been getting progressively worse ever since her stomach had first churned and she’d spent the morning puking so hard that streams of blood were laced in her bile.

“That’s my good girl,” her mother smiled, the small bottle of rat poison hidden behind her back.


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Carnivorous

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Carnivorous

The Submission:
Deep beneath the bustling aisles of the supermarket, red lights strobed; a klaxon wailed; and the shredded bodies of scientists and technicians were strewn across the narrow hallways. The clinical white of the walls was streamed with blood, etched with claw marks, as the hulking, salivating, carnivorous thing brutalised its path to freedom. Its claws, long and powerful, rendered flesh from bone; its jowls, leaking acidic slobber, growled lowly as it turned its many pulsating red eyes towards the cylindrical elevator. Somewhere, at the back of its primal mind, beneath the agonising urge to devour, it knew this was the path to freedom and it charged ahead in a mindless rage, shrugging off bullets and taser shots from the few remaining guards. One dropped in a heap, steaming intestines spilling on the floor, and the last the creature launched into the pod, crushing his skull and tearing his spine out through his back as the elevator dinged. The door closed and the monstrous patchwork chimera of a beast stewed as the lights blinked past faster and the smell of fresh meat grew stronger…


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Cats

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Cats

The Submission:
My submission for this prompt was to perform a reading from Chapter Five of my short story Cat’s Eye, which is available as an ebook and in the collection Whispers from the Black. What follows is the excerpt that I performed on my Instagram page

Anna hated thunderstorms; it was probably the one thing in the entire world she was afraid of. And yet, after I had done my best to console her in bed, she had slipped off into her usual deep sleep, and had still been dead to the world when I’d jerked awake shortly after midnight.

Suddenly wide awake thanks to the dual cacophony of the falling rain and Anna’s snoring, I flipped over onto my front and loaded up the camera app to check on Bert.

He was sitting on the windowsill and staring out the window at the rainswept garden beyond, seemingly transfixed by the tumultuous raindrops. He barely moved but for small twitches of his ears and shoulders but seemed intensely agitated. Poor little guy, I thought, and considered heading downstairs to let him in. Surely one night wouldn’t hurt, after all…?

A flicker of lightning briefly illuminated the screen, followed swiftly by the crackling grumble of thunder, and Bert flinched noticeably. His ears plastered back against his head, and he started crying at the window, then he reared up and pawed at it furiously.

At first, I thought he was trying to attack the raindrops; I’d seen him try a similar trick before, but he’d always grown quickly bored and it had never been so…intense. He hunched down and hissed, scratched and scrabbled at the glass, and paced along the windowsill, his ears still flat against his head. He dropped to the floor and seemed to be oddly concerned by the back door. He sniffed at it and then suddenly jerked backwards, as if burned. He hunkered down, his thick, fluffy tail wagging to and fro, and looked ready to pounce. He batted furiously at something I couldn’t make out on the camera’s limited visibility, and then he padded backwards, back arched, and I’d seen enough.

With Anna still snoring away, I swept out of bed and downstairs as the thunder rumbled outside. I switched on the lights and grabbed the keys off the kitchen hook, disturbed by Bert’s frantic growling and hissing. It was like a long, low moan that unsettled me almost as much as his odd behaviour.

I pulled open the conservatory door and flicked the light switch; a dim, orange light flickered to life and illuminated the conservatory, and Bert gratefully dashed past me and into the kitchen. I’d shut the door into the rest of the house behind me, and he padded before it anxiously; his cute little face seemed to be swallowed up by his large, black irises.

Mwrr!” he rumbled.

“Bert…” I soothed, bending slightly as I tentatively approached him. “What’s up, eh? What’s the matter, little man?”

I reached my hand out to him and he nuzzled it with some reluctance…and appreciation. I stroked his warm, soft fur both to comfort him and to check for any kind of injuries, but he seemed fine. A little riled up, but not hurt as far as I could tell.

I looked back into the conservatory, now bathed in an orange glow; the raindrops were viscous splatters on the windowpanes, and I could see a small amount of water had once again leaked in the corner of the pitiful extension.

 There was a slick, black streak on the faded linoleum tiles.

Immediately, I cast an accusatory glance down at Bert; it wouldn’t be the first time he’d left his droppings on the floor, after all. He seemed to find the entire business of relieving himself to be uncouth, and often walked away before he was properly finished.

However, he simply stared up at me innocently enough. Wasn’t me! his face seemed to say.

I rose up with a wince as my knees popped and grabbed a handful of kitchen roll to clean up the mess, only to feel a sickening squelch as my bare foot came down on something slimy and sticky.

I looked down, sure that I had just stepped into Bert’s shit, and gagged as one of the other gross droppings slowly curled up.

Slugs! I heaved. Fuckin’ slugs!

There were two…no, three!…little black slugs slithering across the tiles, leaving a gooey slime trail in their wake. One slopped down from the bottom of the door and I could see that they had apparently managed to slip in through a small crack in the frame.

…and I’d stepped on one of them!

I uttered a disgusted cry and launched a frantic kick; the dirty little mollusc splattered against the door and began to slither down sickeningly. A shiver ran through me as I backpedalled into the kitchen, desperately rubbing my foot on the door mat to wipe off that revolting, slimy feel, and snatched the salt container out of the kitchen cupboard.

“Oh, you little fuckers!” I spat as I snapped open the spout and began indiscriminately dousing the slugs with table salt.

I hated slugs. The only things worse for me were frogs and toads, which were thankfully in short supply in built-up towns like Northward. Slugs and snails, though, those bastards were everywhere, especially in the wet spring months. My hatred of them stemmed back to my childhood when one nasty little bastard at school had first waved a gooey, chubby snail in my face and then thrown it at me. Luck was with me that day as the mollusc had hit my shirt, but I still remember the appalling feel of its slimy body through my top and the nauseating browny-yellow stain it left behind.

Ordinarily, I would retreat inside and have Anna take care of this problem, just as she would seek me out for comfort against the storm, but I didn’t want to wake her and I felt I needed to extract a measure of payback against the viscid monsters so I went at it with the salt, which basically dissolved their rancid little bodies on contact.

Soon, I stood there surrounded by five or six haphazard piles of salt, the shrivelling bodies of slugs bubbling beneath them. I tried to ignore the utter revulsion I felt at the sight (and feeling the residue on the bottom of my foot) and concentrated on watching for signs of any more of the little bastards. I spied a number of cobwebs up near the lightbulbs, the trapped corpses of flies wrapped up in stringy webs, and the dropping of leaking rain, but no more slugs to pit my salt against.

I uttered a shaky sigh and turned to grab Bert’s food and water – there was no way I was letting him sleep in here tonight after that – when a flash of lightning spooked a gasp out of me.

It lit up the dark, rainswept garden for the very briefest second, but a cold dread washed over me as I caught sight of something impossible amidst the splattering rain drops.

A face, scowling and leering, seemed to glare at me in place of my terrified reflection. The eyes were hollow, the features a mere suggestion through the rain, and yet I would swear on my mother’s life that it was the glowering face of something malevolent.

When the thunder rumbled in the lightning’s wake, the face appeared to snarl at me.


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Cannibal

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Cannibal

The Submission:
Trapped, with nowhere else to go, I hunkered down in the rusted shell of a battered Ford Escort and clamped by trembling, clammy hand to my mouth. Tears leaked down my hot, sweaty cheeks as I peered, wide eyed, through the shattered window.

The hunchbacked grotesque shambled over to a workbench littered with saws, tools, and other implements I could only vague guess at. Dad lay strewn across it, one arm hanging limply over the edge, a steady trickle of blood coming from the head wound he’d received.

The wretch grunted, slobbering, as he brought a massive, dull machete down onto my father’s limp body with all the grace and poise of a drunken lumberjack. The sound, the sickening crack of bone and squeaking snap of muscle, frayed the edges of my sanity and I had to dig my nails into my face to keep from screaming out, or coughing up bile.

It was when the malformed brute brought my father’s severed arm to his drooling, misshapen mouth that I finally looked away. I dropped to the footwell of the car, stifling my vomit and my cries, as the mutated cannibal gorged himself on my father’s remains…


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: Hush

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
Hush

The Submission:
Gaunt, weak, Richie lay in a mess of his own filth. Half-eaten rats were strewn across the filthy stone floor; his ankle, twisted and malformed with sickening grey-red bruises, throbbed, worsening the fever that ravaged his scrawny, sore-ridden body.

When the door creaked open and his captor wandered in, his naked skin glistening with sweat, his sausage-like fingers stroking his nether regions, Richie could only moan lowly. His breathing was shallow, clear bile dribbled from his cracked lips, as the man sauntered over to his feeble from.

“Hush now,” the drooling sadist cooed. “It’ll be over soon, I promise.”

Richie gulped, half choking on his own vomit, as a long, corroded needle pierced the skin of his neck and flooded his veins, bringing a nauseous grey to his blurred vision and numbing him to the feel of his captor’s oily touch.


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.

January 2023 Drabble Challenge: System

Horror PromptsGillian Church is hosting a horror drabble challenge this January: 31 prompts for 31 creepy tales throughout January that clock in at around 100 words.

The Prompt:
System

The Submission:
“Don’t interrupt me!” Jordan barked, the rusty scalpel glistening under the burning lights. “I have a system, okay? I need silence!”

Todd shrugged and backed away from the grimy operating table. He watched, silently, as Jordan went back to work, humming as he went. After a few minutes, Todd’s patience paid off and Jordan began narrating:

“You gotta do quick, gently slices, like when you shave? Don’t just start hacking away, you see how it ruins the meat? Just nice and slow, strimming away each layer. Ah, now, you see here? Don’t worry if this happens; you’ve just nicked a vein, is all, but it’s fine; just fix the clamp to it… like… that… and, there, that should stem it. You don’t want them passing out or bleeding out, after all. Now, hear that? That’s bone, and this is all tough muscle so you’re gonna want to switch to something a bit sturdier… hand me that bone saw, that’s it, the curved one. Now, just… press firmly and you’ll get through that. See how the tendons dangle? Try and be as smooth s you can, you don’t want bone chips in the meat. Now, what’s next…? Ah, yes, this is where I like to work on the groin so just grab your drill attachment and get positioned right near the opening…”


What did you think to the prompt for today’s drabble challenge? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.