Madness is an Art (The Art of Madness Prompt)

Nyhterides’ third and last prompt was really specific and had me stumped for a whole weekend. I had little to no experience of gothic horror or southern gothic horror, but thats likely because i just didnt know it as it was called. I certainly knew horror involving death, which is an element of gothic horror. And as my readers may know, i have no qualms about killing my characters, although im nowhere near grr martin’s level!

Boringly i like to stick to what i know. The only one i could work with was paranormal, ghosts or werewolves. Im no major fan of werewolf, which leaves me with ghosts. It works out well as ive been brewing a short ghost story for over a year now. It was left on the back burner after my partner felt it was too longwinded and could be better condensed, and i got distracted by other projects. It was nice to revive it.

Children like to play. In horror, children are also creepy as heck, and i want to utilise that to my full advantage. My third entry centres around a creepy abandoned house that nobody in the village goes near, but outsiders dont know that.

The villagers keep the issues with that house a secret, for good reasons. The MacDonald family moves into the village and on the outside, the new neighours seem nice and the area pleasant. But one day the MacDonald children wander alone into the abandoned house.

I love playing on the innocence of children. What could go wrong with an innocent game of tag? Whilst most adults have an ulterior motive in whatever they do, children are pure and genuine. And of course the ghostly children are also the same. They just want to play and have more friends.

And for the rest of the village, that innocent game is what saves their own children from the ghosts’ wrath.

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