During my previous browses of Creepypasta for horror short stories, I came across a few stories told in first person where their descent into madness or revelation of something more sinister is subtle and the idea of a brainwashed religious extremist came into my mind.
I had planned for the story to be a one-sided conversation from the religious leader so the reader can also become the brainwashed, but it wasn’t long enough and rambled. I wanted to capture the essence of ideas being drilled in, but it became repetitive.
Jess suggested I involve actions and gestures that hint at the darker tone of the leader, as well as showing time had passed between sessions as the main character falls deeper down the rabbit hole.
I’m pleased with the result, but, boy, it was difficult to write.