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Don't look downstairs...[]

“Are you sure you’ll be okay at home? I don’t like leaving you all alone like this.” Your mother said, looking up at you on your bed. “I’ll be okay.” You whispered to her, “I don’t know maybe I should stay home.”, she muttered more so to herself than you, “Mom, really it’s okay, I’m eight years old now, I can take care of myself”, you told her in a shrill voice, “You know your father was always stubborn about being independent and stuff too,”, You liked being compared to your father, it made you feel more like a young man rather than just a little kid, “Okay, make sure you keep this pot near you in case you need to puke or something, and call me if you need anything, okay baby?” She stayed by your side for a while, checking your temperature again with her backhand and looking softly into your eyes before turning around and leaving, blowing a kiss to you before she goes.

“By the way, I left the front door open for your sister when she gets back okay?”, She called from down the hallway. Your sister would be back by 5:00 PM if she didn’t decide to go shopping or over to a boy’s house as she often did. You lie down in your bed and hear the door slam as your mother leaves the house leaving you all alone. You drift to sleep

Later you wake up, stretch out your arms and yawn before climbing out of bed, hungry and thirsty. Mom made you breakfast, it’s sitting on the table, she left a sticky note that read, “I’ll be back to check on you later sweetie, I made you breakfast, orange juice and some leftovers are in the fridge if you get hungry and snacks are in the cupboard. Love Mom”. You grabbed the remote and turned on a scary movie (something your parents wouldn’t have ever approved of), you sat down at the table to eat your breakfast while watching the opening credits. You shivered with anticipation for the horrors to come, just before the movie could start you remembered you left the light in your room on, so you paused it and went to shut off the lights, as you walked up the stairs to turn it off you walk past the basement door and the front door until you notice the front door is locked, “That’s funny, I thought mom left it unlocked,”, You thought to yourself before closing it and continuing upstairs, as your upstairs you hear something, a creak and footsteps. Paranoia sets in and you start to panic, “Hello? Mom?” You wheeze out, no response. You listen carefully and hear a conversation followed by a scream that stopped suddenly. “Oh right, the movie,” You think to yourself, of course it was just the movie. You walked down the stairs and found the movie playing on the television in the living room, but the paranoia hasn’t dissipated and so you shut the slightly open basement door in order to quell your fears. You lie down on the couch with what must have been a dozen blankets and start watching, your fever left you cold and shivering even under the blankets, but eventually you drifted off to sleep.

“Hello Brendan,” A voice called to you from down a long, dark hallway, “Hel- Hello?”, you choked back, your cough was gone and so was any gag or wheeze from your throat. “Come down here Brendan, I want to show you something.” The low voice called to you, it sounded like your Dad’s but it was harsher and gritty. You couldn’t help but walk forward, your legs moved for you down the dark hallway further and further from the light before reaching a dark, heavy door that towered over your small body, and your hand reached for the silver doorknob reflecting from the light down the hallway, the door creaked open slowly and you starred into the pitch black, only noticing a pair of eyes and a crooked smile. A large cold, thin hand flew from the darkness and gripped you by your throat and pulled you deep into the darkness in one swift motion, you were pulled into the darkness at a rapid speed and were thrust into the gaping maw of the voice.

You suddenly woke up from the dreadful nightmare, your eye’s burst open and sitting up immediately you saw the TV waiting for you to pick another movie or show to play. You then noticed the sweat that had drenched your body head to toe. You peel yourself out of your blanket cocoon and walk over to the stairs for a desperately needed showering, closing the ominous basement door on your way. As you make your way upstairs you hear the creak of the steps beneath you, “I thought Dad got them fixed”, you think to yourself as you climb up. You walk over to the shower and crank the water almost as hot as it can get and wash up. You struggle closing your eyes even in the shower, afraid of a monster sneaking up on you. Despite you knowing monsters aren’t real you couldn’t help but be paranoid of everything. You dry off and slowly open the door to the hallway, walking down to your room and changing into fresh clothes.

In order to calm yourself you find your tablet and start watching videos online, as you walk downstairs you avoid the basement door, but grow evermore curious about it. Sneaking glimpses of it in between gazing at the screen, finally curiosity gets the better of you and you sneak over to the door and slowly open the door. It was just like your dream, except for the voices or creepy face in the void. You starred into the darkness, unable to move out of the fear that had just washed over your body, you shake it out of you and walk downstairs, fighting your fear, although you were scared you knew there was nothing down there and it was all in your mind. You walked around downstairs, facing your fear and proving you were strong and confident just like your dad and you turn around to climb back up the stair with a new found confidence… before something grabs you by the collar and drags you down into the darkness…



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William See (talk) 21:40, 18 October 2022 (UTC)[]

I would begin by telling you to separate dialogue into their own lines or paragraph starters; its a general rule of thumb that dialogue between two people interspersed in a paragraph becomes difficult to read, especially without specifying who is talking. There's some missing/misplaced punctuation as well, mainly regarding quotation marks: "Remember that periods, commas, and exclamations go inside the quotation marks, and you only use one to end the dialogue!" Just be sure to give every dialogue line a once over. There's also some comma splices that can be turned into a sentence or two: 'Mom made you breakfast, it’s sitting on the table, she left a sticky note that read' --> 'Mom made you breakfast and it’s sitting on the table. She left a sticky note that read[s:]'

"Your mother said, looking up at you on your bed" --> is the protagonist on a bunk bed? If not, why would the mother look up?

"Eye's" is not a contraction, so get rid of the apostrophe there.

"Starred" = a starring role, you mean "stared".

Desperately-needed shower should (usually) have a hyphen between the two words.

One key issue I have with the narration is that its told from a second person perspective. This would be fine, if the protagonist wasn't already named and had their own little life inside the narrative. Its just kind of strange to be called "Brendan" when a third person perspective of the same character would've read just fine. It also opens up for the tense verb agreements to read a little less strangely.

As per the story premise, its just a bit too weak. If you reduce it to its major plot points, you get this 'skeleton' plot: Your mom leaves you alone at home >> Your sister's arrival is brought up >> protag falls asleep, watches a horror movie and gets attacked by supernatural force >> they wake up again and are attacked again, ending on a cliffhanger. See how very barebones the horror and progression can read? There's certain details you can leave out (like the sister being out shopping), and certain elements you can include to make the dread rise better. What other weird things could happen that lead the protagonist to realize they are dreaming? What makes this particular scenario more creepy than any other home-alone scenario? Is there any correlation between the content they are consuming and the supernatural elements which take place? These are some questions to consider when revising your story.

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