Short Story: Until It Pops

water gun game clowns

As part of the Dark Carnival, I created a short story and an illustration using The Water Gun Game as inspiration.

I was an early-adopter, so was able to choose from a wide range of topics. Always loving a challenge, I decided to select a random element of the carnival—one which wouldn’t necessarily be others’ first choice, one which would force me to get the creative juices flowing. It was impulsive, a way of pushing myself. When I requested the Water Gun Game, I had absolutely no idea how I would creep it out or what the story would become. No concept, no characters, no dark twist. Nothing.

I went into this project with three things in mind:
1) Treat it like a novel. Include the elements of a complete arc, conflict, tension, rich setting, 3-D characterization, heart, surprise.
2) Somehow twist those things into darkness.
3) Infuse emotion throughout. Make the reader feel something.

Please judge me.

This is my first horror(ish) piece. I believe I met my challenge to myself head-on, but the point of sharing our writing with others is to spark something new, fresh & alive within them. It can be caring, new thinking, anger, love, dreaminess, self-realization, fear, ickiness, or a myriad of other thoughts & emotions. The point is: our words should rub something raw inside the reader. Our creations should have an effect not easily forgotten.

Until It Pops can be found here:

Be sure to thank & follow the ladies who provided the venue & will continue to work through the whole month of October to share the Dark Carnival imaginings of my fellow carnies:

3 thoughts on “Short Story: Until It Pops

  1. Until It Pops is not my usual go-to read. While I used to be a fan of horror stories when I was younger, I’ve moved away from them for happier places, like Narnia and Neverland. That being said, I thought you did a wonderful job! I was pulled right into the story, so much so that I almost stopped reading when Leech starts stickin’ people. *gag* And poor little Maisie – I just wanted to rip her outta there! It’s definitely an unforgettable piece – I still get sick to my stomach just thinking about it 🙂 Well done.


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