's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" Strings "

Submitted by Josh Pashley

January 2nd

Dear diary

wait no that's too cliche.


Hi there! My name's Kent, and welcome to oh jesus no that's even worse


okay look, I got this stupid diary for christmas and Serena just found out that I haven't written anything in it. She gave me that look. You know, the 'I'm disappointed but I'm not going to say anything because I know that this look is enough to make you feel guilty' look. Ugh. Mums. So here I am. Trying to figure out how to squeeze some enjoyment out of this stupid thing.


oh, I guess I could do an introduction or something. My name's Kent. I'm 15. I'm an only child. No idea who my original parents were but I live with my adoptive parents Serena and Marie. They're pretty cool when they're not guilting you into enjoying dumb Christmas presents. Also there's Checker. He's the cat that comes around sometimes. He's not technically ours but he's friendly so no-one really cares that he comes and goes as he likes. He's on my bed now, sleeping. Lazy fuck.

Right, I think that's enough for today. Um

how am I supposed to end these entries anyway?

January 3rd

I have no idea why Serena thought this would be a good idea. Diaries are for, like, explorers and important people to write their great discoveries. And young girls to write about crushes and...I don't know, that kind of thing. My life is boring as hell, and I'm pretty sure I don't have any crushes. And even if I did I wouldn't

wait hang on

Stupid cat. He keeps jumping from the desk to try and get on the windowsill and falling short. He's not usually this energeticccc DAMN IT. He just landed on my arm while I was writing.

okay I picked him up and put him on the sill myself. Now he's just staring out the window. Cats. No idea what they're thinking.

Hey, that might actually be a good way to fill up space in this dumb book. Just describing stuff out the window. Let me move my chair.

A road, three streetlights, a few bushes, two red cars, one blue car, and three puddles.

Fascinating. Truly my life is a never ending thrill ride.

So much for that idea.

January 6th



January 7th

Here are some words that rhyme with diary:





January 9th

Checker is missing.

I know he's not technically ours, but he hasn't shown up to the house in 5 days. He's not a roaming cat. this isn't like him. Marie says he'll turn up, but he's never been away for this long.

I think I'm gonna go for a walk around the neighbourhood again and see if I can find him. I'm worried he might have got stuck somewhere.


Ok I'm back. No sign of Checker. Noticed something weird.

I just looked out of my window to confirm it and I was right - there are four streetlights outside now.


They're not evenly spaced any more either. It's obvious that one of them was just stuck between two of the others recently. It looks the same as the other though. I guess it's a council thing. Pretty sure I don't remember any electricians or anything though.

Missing cats and new streetlights. Yeah, this diary sure is a thrill ride.

January 10th

Checker still hasn't shown up yet. I asked Marie about the new streetlight and she says she hasn't had any notices about street work. Then she went on a long rant about how the council never keeps us up-to-date, as I'd hoped she would. I only asked to distract her from the fact that I got a detention for swearing at my History teacher.

I'm looking at it now. The light I mean, not the teacher. I've started writing by the window all the time now. I like watching people passing outside, you know? It's fun imagining where they're going and why. Hey, a dog! Can't see any owners. Doesn't look like it has a collar either. Hang on, I'm gonna go out and see if it's friendly. Everyone's sleeping so I need to be quiet. Hang on.




I'm a little freaked out right now.

I just went out to find the dog, but it had gone. That's not interesting. The interesting thing is that


so had the streetlight.

Shit, that doesn't sound any less weird when I write it down.

I went over to where I think it was standing, and all that was there was a patch of earth with no grass on it, and what looked like a few shards of glass on the pavement.



I think I'm gonna go to bed.

January 11th

It's back again. Is this some kind of trick? I'm pretty sure I never saw anything like this on Prank Patrol. I checked my room for hidden cameras just in case. Couldn't find any.

Then again, I have no idea what hidden cameras look like, so that was probably a waste of time. I'm just really nervous for some reason. Maybe I'm just worried about Checker.

This is so weird. I'm looking at it out of the window. It's definitely just a normal light. Something about it is really putting me off though.

I just feel like it's...waiting.


I don't really feel like writing any more for tonight.

January 12th

Kept checking over the course of the day. Streetlight definitely didn't vanish. Maybe it was some sort of hallucination.

That doesn't really comfort me to be honest.

I miss my cat.

January 13th

Oh fuck

oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck


shit I

I think I

I think I just saw somebody die.


ok um

I was having trouble sleeping so I went and sat by the window for a bit. I guess I just wanted to make sure that the light was still there. And it was. Except there was something new. Or maybe I could only see it when the light was on. But anyway there were, strings hanging down from the bulb down to the pavement. Like bits of spiderweb or something.

So, I'm watching these strings, and wondering if they're bits of leftover streamer from new year or something stupid like that, and then I see a guy, one of the guys who lives on our street - I don't know his name. But he's walking, and he walks through the strings and

oh fuck I think I'm gonna puke.


they just

grabbed him.

I swear, this wasn't wind or anything, they just shot around his arms and legs and neck like whips and held him there. I think I saw him try to shout out because his mouth opened but the one around his neck must have cut off his circulation because I didn't hear anything. His eyes started bulging. And

And I swear they just started


draining him.

He started going really pale, and the light from the bulb started turning from white to red. Dark red.

his skin just started shrivelling up, like when you stay in the bath too long and your fingers and toes go all pruney and you start to wonder whether if you stay in too long your entire body will go like that and

oh fuck

and then he was just hanging there, a little off the ground, twitching and jerking, held up by these strings, all...deflated, like an old balloon, and then the entire post - the entire fucking streetlight just goes all bendy and flexible and just starts retreating into the ground, until all that was left was a hole with a bunch of strings trailing out of it to this...body, lying there, all pale and twisted

and then the strings go taut and the guy just gets pulled into the fucking ground


fuck fuck fuck

oh god what do I do? Who the fuck is going to believe me? I don't even know the guys fucking name!

oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh

January 14th

I didn't sleep last night.

It was back again this morning and I have no idea how or when.

I went out and looked at it from a distance, and I couldn't see any strings. There's no sign of a struggle. Just a little broken glass.

I still don't know what to do. I asked Selena whether anyone had been reported missing, but she just thought I was talking about Checker again. I checked the internet, but there were no missing people. I even tried some research, but what the fuck do you look for? 'Killer streetlights'?

It wasn't a nightmare, was it?

Am I going crazy?

How do you tell if you're going crazy or not?

January 15th

Maybe you only know you're crazy when it's too late to back out of being permanently crazy. I need to stay sane.

January 17th

I keep having nightmares about spiderwebs.

January 20th

There have been several reports of missing people in the area. They flashed up some people on the local news, but I didn't recognise any of them. I still haven't seen the guy from last week though.

The newscaster said that there are worries about kidnappers or serial killers. They're considering enforcing a temporary curfew.

Fucking good.

I still haven't told anybody about what I saw. I'm not totally sure whether I did see it.

January 23rd

Checker's back!

Oh my god something nice to write about.

He wandered in at lunchtime, calm as you like. Marie went to fuss at him and check for bites or injuries, but he bolted upstairs as soon as she went near him. Guess he missed his favourite sleeping spot.

Man, I feel better already.

January 24th

Checker's been acting weird all day. he never slept, just kept staring out of the window. When I tried to close the curtains he hissed at me. That's the first time I've even heard him hiss. I booted him out the house after that - that'll teach him.

God, you should have seen the look he gave me.

January 25th

Jesus christ what the fuck is going on

I was sitting at my desk with Checker in my lap, stroking him, and his skin just...rippled. I felt it under my hand, it was like something crawling beneath his skin. I leapt out of my chair, and he fell off my lap and just...stared at me. And his skin kept rippling and wrinkling. I could SEE it. It was like

oh fuck

oh god please no


February 18th

The door blockage has held so far, but the food's running low. Marie wants to make a break for it. Says that if we can get to the car we should be able to get away. I haven't told her that they wrecked the car days ago.

February 21st

Saw someone try to make a run for it. He didn't get far before they caught him and offered him. He only lasted a few seconds but he was screaming the whole time. I watched through the window.

Serena still won't stop crying.

February 23rd

oh fuck they saw me