Hey Gauntleteers, it’s time to crowdsource the miscellany for Codex – Screams.

Hey Gauntleteers, it’s time to crowdsource the miscellany for Codex – Screams.

Hey Gauntleteers, it’s time to crowdsource the miscellany for Codex – Screams. This miscellany is called “Three Dozen Things That Definitely Aren’t Right Behind You.” Submissions need to be a single sentence, or 2-3 short sentences. By submitting here, you’re agreeing to let us use it (you’ll get a credit on the issue). We’re looking for evocative things; the purpose of the miscellany is to inspire the reader.

Here are some examples:

“They look almost like wolves, and speak with the voices of those climbers have lost. It can’t be your grandmother asking you to rest for a moment and spare her poor knees, but oh, it’s nice to pretend.”

“Most of the records are corrupted, but the recoverable portion from this workstation details the medical staff’s surprise at finding a local fungus pervading the internal organs—particularly the lungs—of a mechanic who should have had no exposure to the botany lab. …Did Higgins have that cough before you got here?”

“The Ragged Man of Copper Creek resembles a cloth doll made by someone with only the faintest grasp of sewing. Loose threads trail from his mismatched arms and unhemmed suit, waiting to entangle anyone who stumbles across him.”

P.S. If you want to be credited as something other than your G+ name, let me know!

53 thoughts on “Hey Gauntleteers, it’s time to crowdsource the miscellany for Codex – Screams.”

  1. The Red Mists of Galmoor are alive, you know. Many a ship comes into port with stories of those they lost keeping watch on a foggy night. A husk is all that’s left come morning. Then there’s the ships that crash ashore with nary a soul on board. Best keep a weather eye, tonight, there’s red on the horizon.

  2. In the dim lighting, they almost look like small children—approaching shyly, standing and regarding you silently from a distance, darting into shadows if you move toward them or look for more than a second. Don’t raise a light to get a better look at them, though. They don’t fear the light. They hate it.

  3. The denizens of City X have started taking mirrors with them when they go out at night. Rumor has it that whatever has been mangling people cannot change into its monstrous form when it is seen. No corpses with mirrors have yet to be found.

  4. The first thing you notice is how itchy you are. First on the back of your neck, or on your arms, or just above your ankles. The sensation gets worse the longer it looks at you, until it’s unbearable, even after you’ve scratched yourself raw. The only way to get the itching to stop is to let the thing lick you, and hope that’s enough, hope it isn’t hungry enough to take a bite.

  5. Your heart crashes in your chest as the gaunt figure in the mist moves slowly past your hiding place, the ringing in your ears becoming more tolerable as it dissolves into the gloom. You let out a breath you have been holding for an eternity. Now where did that little girl you rescued from the Thing go–the one with dark circles under her dead, staring eyes?

  6. He comes for people who have been driven into a corner and have no where to go. You must not run away from him. You must not turn to face him. You must not talk about him. Paranoia nurtures him. The man who wears your smile.

  7. if you become lost in the woods, and cannot find your way, do not look for the trail home. The woods will give you many paths back, but not to where you came from. You must walk backwards, only focused on what’s ahead of you, lest you lose your way forever.

  8. Grizellda the Dancing Jack died in 1968, hitch hiking down this old road. If you’re driving down in the dead of night, and notice your radio switch to disco, just let it be. They don’t have good music on the other side.

  9. The phantom man-killer spider can readily camouflage itself as a pebble or blade of grass. Only wind can disrupt its chameleon-like skin, so it’s best to blow into your boots and hat before putting them on.

  10. That’s not a low mist. The very ground itself is roiling, a carpet of worms, no— caterpillars. They’re twitching over each other, shuddering forwards as if on shattered forelimbs

  11. In Vultava, demons take possession of their victims in their dreams, and the only sign that one has fallen prey is a faint musty scent barely detectable on the breath. And so, in Vultava, lovers rarely sleep and are always suspicious: They ponder in the dark whether the scents of their partners match the ones they remember from the night before.

  12. Outside the Academy, the citizens have abandoned the written word altogether, having tired of the spectral scholars who appear over their shoulder and mumble any time they open a book or ledger. Inside the Academy… it is much different.

  13. That large cardboard box in the corner definitely isn’t trembling. Nope. And the black mold on it certainly isn’t sending tendrils out across the floor. Nope. The flaps aren’t slowly opening with a wet scraping sound as the smell of damp and rot washes over you. Nope.

  14. You’ve made so many mistakes, hurt so many people in your quest to put right the wrongs of others, and here, at the end, you wonder if you have the strength to follow through on all those lofty promises. You might have faltered, you might have given up, but that familiar hand at your shoulder won’t let you. “You are not alone.”

  15. Leaning on the sink you stare into the medicine cabinet. The mirrored door was about to fall off. Removing the door had nothing to do with what you saw behind you in the reflection. Yeah, that’s it.

  16. First it steals your phone, and puts it in its nest, when you hear the krikrikrik RUN!

    Its come to get the rest!

    Common playground song, circa 2015, Darrick School district, origin unknown

  17. There’s nothing behind you. Literally. When you turn to look, the chill in the air is no longer a mystery. There is only the void staring back with a hunger that can never be satiated.

  18. Was—was that Kowalski? You could swear, but—no, Kowalski doesn’t even have vacsuit training. Kowalski’s gotta be inside the station still. There’s nobody out here but you and the quiet stars.

  19. We barred the gates because we needed to keep the hordes at bay. I never saw the enemy they spoke of—but the news and the rumors made them seem as real as our worst fears, and we rejoiced as the final bolts slid shut. When we turned to walk away, we awakened to the true nightmare which we had just locked in with ourselves.

  20. You hear it first, slurping at some nearby puddle. It’s feet are soft and feathered, you see them beneath the bushes, Six feet? No. Maybe eight? It’s voice, is soft and cooing, like a sleeping child. It’s face though, good heavens! Douse the light! Douse the lights!

  21. You know that if you turn in the stairways noone will be there, but still you feel the breath of your dead brother on your neck, and smell the vomit. Like on the pillow you suffocated him with.

  22. Big Ms. Daisy lives in the tree.

    Big Ms. Daisy stands eight foot three.

    Big Ms. Daisy with her eyes all black.

    Big Ms. Daisy is gonna stuff you in a sack.

    -Overheard near the old willow tree on 39th street

  23. Why did Bryan and I open the door in the basement? Why did we follow the corridor into the darkness? Why did our cellphones battery die so quickly leaving us in the pitch black? Why isn’t Bryan answering me? Bryan, why did you leave me?

  24. Every time I go to the bar something terrible happens right after I leave. Every job I quit goes bankrupt soon after. My Ex’s live in misery once I’m gone, my former friends suffer failure when I’ve passed. I don’t ever burn bridges, I just smile as I hear the sound of footsteps crossing behind me.

  25. For many seasons, we outsmarted the Tall Makers who tried to keep us out of their delicious gardens. We dug under their fences, evaded their traps, and ran decoy missions to distract their guard dogs. But now we are stalked by a strange metal rabbit that is as fast and silent as us but follows the orders of the Tall Makers.

  26. You get used to it, being able to turn around and see your own back in the cabinet mirror. It’s almost a game, trying to turn around fast enough to get a look before the double can turn. There’s no reason to be afraid of seeing yourself though, right?

  27. You know how you remember that one stupid thing you said at that party ten years ago? How it anxiously eats away at your attention? You don’t know when they arrived, but everyone from that party is surrounding you, and they definitely remember.

  28. They say a black cat crossing your path is bad luck, but at least if one did, it could do something about this rat following you. Those two rats. These eight rats. These, uh oh.

  29. Aww! Did you see the picture little Joni drew? isn’t it cute?

    Oh that?! Yeah Joni says it’s Grandpa Sheridan but he died in an accident before she was born. I don’t know why she drew him there. Such an imagination on that one!

  30. The bell, the candle, the rot. You’ve followed them for hours, always twenty strides ahead of you, always a modicum too far. A dull ring, a dull flicker, a dull stench, drifting in from the distance. And a warm tuft of air across the back of your neck, teasing you forward. The bell, the candle, the rot.

  31. As you walk you hear a second set of footsteps behind you, the sound and cadence unmistakably yours. It could be an echo, but there is just enough of a delay it gives you no comfort. You stop and they continue two more steps, within touching distance now.

  32. Your wounds are sapping your strength as you collapse back to catch your breath against the wall. But you encounter body warmth, not the clammy cool of stone. Hot, gentle breath warns your cheek as a pair of familiar arms encircle you from behind. You recognise the spice-and-pencil shaving sweat, and relax. The fingers find the gash in your torso and begin to reach inside.

  33. They emerge from your own shadow, it is said, hungering for the life of those you love. Once they are released, there is no caging them. Staying in the diffuse light keeps your shadow safe; but it also hides those with no shadow.

  34. When the cold of Strangler’s Woods seeps through your skin and chills your blood, you might rejoice at finding a pair of old but sturdy gloves lying forgotten on a stump—wear them if you must, but do not, under any circumstances, touch your own face or neck.

  35. The Queen of Thorns is nothing but a half-remembered fairy tale, of course, but if you ever see the shape of a tall, crowned woman out of the corner of your eye while walking at twilight, don’t look any closer—unless you’re curious about what it would feel like for thorny spurs to grow from your bones and burst through your skin.

  36. It started as a long, puffy rash on the back of neck. Then came the occasional odd whispers with no one around. A little handheld mirror combined with the full length that let’s you see the back. A long line of white in the rash. Pus? Wait… are those teeth?

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