It was too late. Stupid dare or not, she had to see this through.

But she stood frozen by the icy air, suffocated by the thick, putrescent stench filling the room. She recoiled, but the sense of horror wrapped itself maliciously around her, seeping into her pores, oozing into her hair, caressing her scalp. There was nothing to do, no help she could give or receive.

She could only watch.

Suddenly, the book was snatched out of her hands. Her friend’s laughing voice intruded into her imagination.

“Are you aware that you’re reading The Exorcist by peeking through your fingers?”


(This is a response to the 100 words challenge in Velvet Verbosity. The word for the week was “frightened”. This one happens to be a true story. I usually get completely caught up in whatever book I’m reading, provided it’s well written enough, which is why I never read horror. A friend of mine, however, dared me to read William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. Suffice it to say that I never watched the movie, or read anything like that again.)



20 thoughts on “Frightened

  1. good capture. That is EXactlly how I felt when I read Rosemary’s Baby . . . while pregnant with my first child. Yeah, I know . . . not too smart, maybe.

    I have eclectic tastes in reading material and those tastes have brought me several surprises. 🙂

  2. Creepy. I don’t like creepy. I cringed inside, so you did a good job. Don’t do that to me again. 😀

    I was a teen, maybe 20 when those books/movies came along, and I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-footer. I know my limits! Which reminds me…”Outer Limits” was “off-limits” to me. ***Shudder.***

  3. that is so awesome. I know exactly what you mean. I get that way in books too. really good books.
    I like lord of the rings, eragon, chronicles of narnia, around the world in eighty days…the hidden hand….

      • Anne McCaffrey’s Pern chronology is one of my favorite series! The first one I read was Moreta…and I wept. Wah~! That was in high school. I bought, borrowed, rented until I read all the way to The Skies of Pern. *Sigh.* I miss those people. I still haven’t completed all the books!

        • I know how you feel. When I started reading it, I lived in a tiny town with no decent bookstore and a very small library, so I haunted secondhand book sales to find the books I wanted. 🙂 Until now, I prefer old books to brand new editions.

  4. Great, great imagery–I was really pulled in and felt “the fear.”

    Speaking of scary, I hate scary movies and refuse to watch them! This story reminds me of when my friend was tricked into watching “The Pultrageist” recently (a movie she is absolutely scared to death of because she, “accidently”, watched it when she was 6 yrs old).

    Basically, she screamed loud enough that it was immediately turned off!

  5. I went through a period in early adolescence where I LOVED horror films. I watched every one I could get my hands on, plus reading copious amounts of horror including, of course, Stephen King.

    Then I watched some B-horror flick I can’t even remember the name of and for some reason it scared the heck out of me and that was it. I haven’t liked horror since. The exorcist was recently replaying in theaters and no way was I going to see it.

    Well done.

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