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Lights in the attic


The treehouse club was his refuge. It wasn’t really a treehouse, but he could see trees through the attic dormers. He figured that was close enough.

It wasn’t really a club either. He was the only member, there were no dues required, no rules to follow. The only prerequisite for inclusion, he testified later, was a contempt for life.

He hid there unnoticed, watching and waiting. The voices cajoling him to take another.

His victims, even after years of therapy, continue to believe in things that go bump in the dark.

Demolition of the now abandoned tenement begins at daybreak.

The Trifecta challenge this week is: Club [noun \ˈkləb\] 3b: the meeting place of a club

The 100 Word Challenge is to tell a story in only 100 words. This week’s theme is “Required”

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17 replies »

  1. I liked this, but I’m a little bothered by the tenses/perspective. I can’t tell if I’m with the victimizer in the clubhouse in the moment, or if I’m with him somewhere else looking back on it, or some combination of the two.

    I think perhaps your story would be better served by staying with him, in the moment, dropping any reference to later events (being caught, trial, etc), and show him realizing that his fun is going to be interrupted because the clubhouse is about to be demolished.


  2. ha, I have always said that if we ever end up buying a house then the attic and the basement will be the cleanest and most well lit rooms in it – I refuse to give the bumps in the night anywhere to hide ;) hmm…at first I read it as if he were just a creeper that scared people because he was always banging around and hiding in attics, but now I’m thinking he may be slightly more nefarious.


  3. So, since I believe in things that go bump in the night, was I one of his victims??? Ohhhh nnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!


  4. Dude come on…I have an attic, okay. Now I’m going to imagine a creeper up there tonight >__< Spooky-good.


  5. Nice to see that this week my character isn’t the only one hearing voices – but in her case it’s a very, very good thing (my case/her case, w/e). I went from getting an innocent vibe (like a kid being in that clubhouse), to creepy (because, you know, he had victims). Nicely done!


  6. Wow, this is something.. and I mean that in a good way! For so few words you have communicated quite a life. I recently met someone online who has endured unimaginable horrors in her teens. I thought of her when I read this. Such telling details – he testified later, voices cajoling – excellent, imho!


  7. The fact he didn’t murder them makes this even grimier and grislier and greater. Wow at the dark imagery and that picture really hits it.

    well done….our collective psyches are kinda of screwed up and awesome. Can’t wait to share drinks this weekend and wonder what’s in them. lol


  8. So, if his victims “continue” to “believe in things that go bump in the dark”, then they’re still alive? My first impression was that this guy was a murderer – but not? Or am I way off base (like I really missed something – which happens ALL the time)?


    • I was working on the premise that someone doesn’t have to die to be a victim. There are a few crimes that I would consider worst than death.



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by Tara Roberts
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