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The Monsters at the Amberson House[]

Mr Amberson had been living alone for five years, spending his days watching the news and reading old papers. His wife, Mrs Amberson, had died years earlier from old age, and their only daughter, Lara, lived thirty miles away with her husband. She hardly stayed in contact with her father, who she thought must be eighty-two by now.

Steve Amberson was sitting in his maroon armchair one evening, staring at the static television while his abandoned plate of stew lay abandoned on the coffee table. An old newspaper was lying on his lap. The windows had their blinds over them, but he snapped his head round suddenly. Something had splattered against one of the windows. Shaking, Steve sat up, the newspaper sliding onto the wooden floor. He lived in a populated neighbourhood, but it must be late by now, so who knew what monsters were out there. Hesitantly, Steve approached the window, and carefully pulled the blinds up. It was an egg, splattered onto the window, the yolk sliding down the stained glass and running the pristine white wood.

With a sigh of relief, Steve let go of the blinds. But, as he turned to go back to the television, where the static had vanished and been replaced by a woman droning on and on about all the events in the world, the doorbell rang. Petrified, he stumbled backwards. Was Lara here, now? Why? She had last visited six years ago, having stopped since Annabelle died. She hadn’t even come to the funeral, too absorbed with her job and her husband, and not to start on her two children. No. It couldn’t be Lara, she’d always had a rocky relationship with her parents. That meant that…there must be some monster out there. The doorbell rang again, and he could hear mumbling outside. Oh God, there were more out there. He nearly banged into the picture of him and Annabelle on their wedding day, which was on top of a shelf. Underneath the shelf was a long wooden cabinet, with various black-and-white photographs, odd bits of wool and knitting needles, books, and scattered newspapers.

“Hello?” spoke a voice. It must be one of the monsters, as it came from the porch at the front. Steve flicked the light switch off; maybe they’d think no one was home and leave. More murmurs came from outside. How many were there?

Instantly Steve remembered something from his time as a police officer. He’d be allowed to keep a revolver, although it was simply for show and never had any bullets in, although he still had a secret stash of bullets hidden in his wardrobe, just in case. He kept it in a glass cabinet in his bedroom.

He rushed up the stairs, slipping slightly in the darkness. He didn’t dare turn on the lights, in case more monsters came. Thankfully, the door to his bedroom was standing open, with his lamp still on. He’d been such a fool to leave it on, but he kept forgetting to turn it off. Steve entered the room, staring around the dimly-lit room. The lamp’s bulb must be failing. Next to a cupboard was the glass cabinet, which held stands that the revolver rested on. He dug through a box and found the key that opened the cabinet, unlocked the cabinet. The glass doors swung open, and there was the revolver. He picked it up, feeling the metallic coolness on his fingers. Steve hadn’t held it in about sixteen years, but Annabelle insisted on keeping the cabinet spotless and free of dust. Since her death, the glass had been covered with grime, the corners having become homes to dead spiders, and a thick layer of dust drenched the entire cabinet.

Hurriedly, hearing the sound of the doorbell again, he scrambled to the wardrobe. It was filled with old newspapers, boxes of fake jewellery, and old dinner suits. At the bottom of a pile of newspapers was a stash of bullets. Steve wasn’t meant to have them, but Annabelle had insisted on them in case of a burglary. There were eight in total, but he slipped six in the cylinder. Feeling much braver now, he stood up and started out of the room, down the stairs. More voices now, along with the doorbell being rang repeatedly, echoed in the wooden house. Steve got his revolver ready, and approached the door. He took the key from the side table, lodged it into the keyhole, and swung the door open.

About four small monsters were grouped on the porch, two bigger ones stood on the steps. They had sharp teeth, big grinning mouths mocking him, and long wicked claws. Instantly he began to shoot, ready to defend himself as the bullets flew at the monsters. They fell to the porch, and pools of blood streamed out of their bullet holes.

“Y – YOU MOTHERFUCKING BASTARD!” screeched a taller monster, falling next to the smaller ones. He shot again, and it went limp. The other monster began to scream and cry as its allies fell, but it met the same fate too.

There were more coming up the stone path, having assumed the gory scene was some display. Steve went to get more bullets.

As he turned back to the door, he noticed something on the floor, mixing in with the sickly sweet smell of blood.

Spilled candy, having fallen from each of the monster's baskets.


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William See (talk) 02:44, 6 April 2023 (UTC)[]

I think the scenario where the egg is found spattered against the window could use a bit of work. He automatically implies that “monsters” are the cause of it due to the time; even with the twist, I think it would be better and more subtle to use something else. Like creature or even just “people”, since we haven’t reached the point yet where its revealed he perceives monsters outside his house.

Additionally if someone was egging my house, I’d assume its trespassing/harassment, which means calling the police becomes a priority rather than sitting back down. Mr Amberson also assumes his daughter came up to the door without prior notice, in the middle of the night: it seems to be a bit of a stretch for him to make such a jump in logic when the narration itself says she is barely in contact.

I may suggest using a red herring to throw off the readers by actively making Mr Amberson’s delusions seem justified in the beginning. Maybe having a small scenario where he thinks about weird stuff happening near his house and how he rationalizes it, and so on so forth. So that the appearance of the monsters seems less like a random thing and more like a continuous series of events.

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