's 2014 Horror Write-off:

" Some Kind of Video Game "

Submitted by Dandelion Steph

I am running. It's dark. The streetlights shine on a puddle. I don't know why, but I fear the puddle. I'm guessing there's a monster in the puddle.

There are some cars parked on the street, but no one is driving. No one's around.

I step on something hard, and it gives way, making the sound of breaking ceramics. It's a garden gnome, its smiling face fractured underfoot. I kick its pieces aside and move on.


The ceiling is white drywall. I see shapes in the drywall, ambiguous shapes. Like in clouds, but made of static basins and ridges. There's one part shaped like a weasel, all bony with jutting legs, its snout turned up like a chisel.

The door opens. I hear the creak of a chair by my side. There's a person there, talking in a language I don't understand. I think that person is a woman, but I don't know for sure if she is. I can't turn my head. Judging by her tone, she's worried. That's assuming she's speaking something like English and not like Chinese, which has weird tonal stuff I don't understand.

The weasel on the ceiling stares at me as all goes black.


I'm in a different city now. There are skyscrapers poking up from the trees. A bundle of black cloth is draped over a huge oak's roots. I turn the cloth over, revealing a big hunk of raw, greasy ribs sitting in its juices. I don't see any grills around. It's strange that someone would marinate ribs in black cloth, here in a park, and stranger still to dress it up in pants and shoes.

I sit on a nearby bench and look at the sky. Excellent graphics, better than Skyrim, even. It's some kind of video game, maybe something absurd and Japanese. I mean, why else would there be some uncooked ribs wearing pants and shoes? It's so absurd it's kind of funny.


The woman's back. I hear crying, but it's muted, like it's from a TV on low volume. I still can't move my head. A man joins the woman. He says some words, the woman cries more. I don't want her to cry, but I can't do anything. I've tried. All I can do is stare.

I want to play something else. I turn it off. Everything goes black.


I just noticed that there isn't any background music. It's strange. Maybe the creators spent so much money on the graphics they didn't have any left for music?

There's a man standing by a streetlight. Another player, an NPC, I don't care. I just really want to approach him. He sees me, shouts, and runs away. No! I need him! All is quiet but for his footfalls and the sound of splashing puddles. I avoid looking at them, looking only at the man.

All goes black. I'm not in the bed again this time. This time, I'm in the same place, a little farther from the streetlight. The man is gone, but that's okay. I have what I need.

I step away from the weird road-killed animal.


A breeze blows past my cheek. It's cold. Must be winter.

The woman by my side is talking with that man again. The man sounds angry. At first, the woman is squealing, but then she sounds angry too. They take her away. The man stays.


This place is different. It's indoors. Must be really late at night, because everyone is sleeping. It's hard to walk with all those sleeping people on the ground. They must be very tired, sleeping with the lights still on. Maybe they had a party. It must have been a wild one, judging by all that spilled punch.

I must be tired too. My eyes droop a lot. Every time my eyes droop, another person in an apron goes to sleep and spills some juice in their pockets. Kind of weird that these serious-looking adults have a bunch of juice boxes with them.

Finally I'm there. I hear a click inside. I wait. Might be important dialogue. There's nothing.

I open the door. There's a man, guarding a sleeping patient. He has two guns, one in each hand. He grits his teeth like some action hero and pulls the triggers. There aren't any bullets, but he doesn't notice. He keeps standing there, holding his guns. The guns click. Now he looks scared.

I'm very hungry. I'll ask the man for his strawberry jam. I ask, but he doesn't notice---he's too busy breaking open the fire extinguisher case. That's not good. There's no fire, so he shouldn't be doing that. Still, I'm hungry. I hope he doesn't mind if I help myself.

I tear off the cap to one of the jar. He shouts, but doesn't stop me. Must be talking to someone else. I'm still hungry, so I tear open the cap of another jar. He's still shouting.

By the time I'm full he's quiet. All that shouting must have tuckered him out, because now he's sleeping soundlessly on the floor. Looks like I spilled some of the strawberry jam.

The eyes of the patient are open now. The eyes stare blankly at the ceiling. The patient is drooling a little. I cover the patient's eyes with one hand, and place the other by the patient's temple. I stroke the patient fondly. There's a feeling of weightlessness, and briefly my vision goes black. The patient's eyes are closed. I hear a continuous, low beep from a machine beside the patient.

All I know is that I never have to wake up again.