Friday, October 15, 2021

Don't Open

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

cerebral ~ exorcise ~ mortgage ~ savory ~ terrain

They were submitted by:

I'm not sure if I will or won't write more... Enjoy! CW for creepy Halloween and violence 

Violet opened the dm on her witchy insta and sat back a bit flabbergasted honestly.
An exorcism?

In Iowa?

During Halloween?

What. The. Fuck.

It must be a joke, she thought. There's no way some random ass person in the middle of nowhere Iowa really wanted an exorcism. What did they she might exorcise? A demonic ear of corn?

Why didn't they contact a priest?

She still had to pay the mortgage though so she wrote back just in case. All of her usual methods of making money had sort of dried up during the covid pandemic. No one wanted to risk coming in for a palm reading. Who would want their cards read when Death might show up as it had for so many? An exorcism would be new terrain for her, but she had to do something to pay bills now that extra unemployment had been cut off. Despite all the cries that no one wanted to work, she had put in probably 100 applications over the last two months and had had one interview that offered $2 less than the ad said and half as many hours.

So here she was answering a less than savory message about an exorcism and knowing somewhere in the back of her head that she had no business doing anything of the sort. Her practices were more cerebral. She made connections for people. The power of cards and palm readings and the like was that if you have people a general direction they'd see what they needed to in the cards they picked or the "visions" she had or from the lines in their own palms. They paid for someone to nudge them in a direction when they were stuck in a rut. They paid someone to listen and to see them, really see them, and whatever they were struggling with. It was all "headology" as Granny said in the Discworld series.

An exorcism wasn't really like that. It was a very physical practice with one person or a group having complete are total power over someone else. It was certainly a religious practice most of the time and considering the message came from an older gentleman in Iowa, for all she knew the "possessed" person could be gay and listening to Lil Nas X. Or wouldn't eat corn. Whatever.

So she replied.

"could you describe in detail the problem?"

Almost instantly the man replied, "I don't even know where to start. Is there any way I could call and explain? It's not simple. I know I must look completely out of place sending you a message, but I promise I'm not a scammer. I've tried doctors and therapists and even a priest. I don't know what else to do. My daughter is really, really sick. Can I please call you?"

She thought about it. The message seemed genuine, but what did she know about a goddamn exorcism? But it couldn't hurt to hear him out. Maybe it was simpler than he thought? Maybe his daughter really was queer in some way, and she could be the one to make him see the light...she hit the video chat button in their messages and held her breathe.

The phone or whatever on the other side opened up into darkness. She could hear a muffled voice though. "hello? Are you there?"

Nothing but the voice on the other side which seemed to get more intense.



"Listen, I'd love to help you, but this is creeping me out, man. I'm going to hang up now. Good luck."

Before she could end the call, a light came on and she could see.

She wished she couldn't.

The phone was pointing towards a bed. A girl in maybe her early 20s sat in the corner of it with her arms cuffed in front of her and attached to the headboard with a chain. She was too thin, bruised... Her faded, multicolored hair hung down in mats like it hadn't been washed in ages. She was filthy and screaming into a gag and had the most terrifying look on her face that Violet had ever seen. Her brown eyes were pleading and Violet could feel tears running down her own cheeks.

Her hands were shaking but she has the presence of mind to swipe down and start recording her screen before she said, "What are you doing to her?


A voice disguised very badly by one of those cheap devices that come out around Halloween said from off camera, "isn't she lovely?"

Violet's skin erupted in chill bumps. Her heart was beating so hard her chest hurt. Her face flushed. What the fuck was going on here??

"WELL ISNT SHE???!???" the voice demanded.

"Y-yes, she is."

"She'll be dead in 72 hours unless you come and find me, bitch."

The screen went dark.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. What do I do????? She went to the profile on IG again. The posts she'd seen before were gone. The profile pic, gone. She went back to the messages and tried calling again knowing it wouldn't work, but she had to try. She had to try. She messaged again. "Are you pranking me right now?!?! This isn't fucking funny, bro."

She got a reply as fast as the first time...

"72 hours. Use those 'witchy' skills of yours to come find us or she dies. All you stupid witch bitches are the same, and I'm going to prove it."

She sat there feeling like she might explode in rage or vomit from fear or some combination of the two.

What in the fuck was she going to do now?

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

Wandering Web Designer

What TF Sarah

Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. Whatever you do, don't go to Iowa. If the demons don't get you, the trumpers will.
    P.S. Hope you continue the story.

  2. I second what Karen said. Unless you are going to hang with

  3. Soooo good, Jenniy! Wow. Shivering here! Please continue!

  4. Good thing I'm reading this in broad daylight, and not before going to sleep!!!