Excerpt from a story I will (probably) never finish writing

First and foremost, this is a book blog. But I had a dream/nightmare a while back that has stuck in my mind ever since, and I took a shot at putting it on paper late last night. Basically, I need someone to tell me if it sucks or if I should keep going with the world. I probably won’t keep this post up (like I said, this is a book blog) but I really wanted your guys’ honest opinion. SO here goes!

I was born in the time after people forgot how to dream. We used to be happy. Life was made up of daydream and nightmare, but in equal parts. Always a balance, always a grain of sand to fall on either arm of the scale when one became too heavy. Nobody had to fear falling asleep. Nobody had to fear the memory thieves. 

People have different names for them, some more ominous than others. Shadows, Faceless, Bones. To each person they appear different, and to each person they observe a different title. But they always take the same. They start slow at first, feeding on the nightmares and tragedies, memories nobody would miss. Buoyed by a sense of weightlessness following the first attacks, nobody noticed anything was wrong. Who would want to question the disappearance of malease, fear, and sadness? Not a soul. Until they started taking more. The thieves would transform into the stolen nightmares, ripping every happy thought away from your skull. Every memory that made life worth living dissolved. And when the last emaciated thought slipped from your mind, you were no longer you. You were one of them.

They were a constant, looming presence. They walked the halls of my childhood, haunted every memory, turning them tinged with fear around the edges. Even the most precious, even the most pure. Living with a horror like that, it has a way of laying claim to everything inside you.

I don’t remember the first time I saw one, but I do remember the last. I woke up to the familiar pickling sense down my spine, the white hot trail of fear’s caress. I saw it standing over my brother’s body, a spiral of blue-white memory arcing up toward the creature. It’s face was bleached-white bone, the face of a deer, wildly pointed antlers reaching impossibly to the sky. The stench of decay oozed from the gaping holes in it’s skull. The rest of it’s form was incorporeal, shrouded in black mist, shifting and churning. A skeletal hand reached out to tip back my brother’s blissfully unaware head. 

I knew for days his end was coming. After a certain point, there is nothing to do but wait. When there is no cure for their curse, and they never succumb to death, the only answer is to run. We tried to, a band of the more resilient left on Earth. And it worked for a wfile. For some reason our minds were not quite as permeable. Probably because anybody still surviving was left with bitter nightmares; much less appealing than the sweetness of dreams. But at a certain point it became impossible. It’s pretty hard to do anything when you can’t even remember how to put one foot in front of the other. 

For me they were known as Whispers. They were the promise of death rustling into every meandering breeze, every softly spoken word, every shaky breath. They moved silently and swiftly, wearing the face of one of my long forgotten nightmares. I watched as they took more and more from the people around me, heard a fate worse than death approach in their slowing heartbeats and unraveling minds. And now my brother wears their face, too. 

But the last of us are searching for answers. And really, what else do we have to lose?

If you took the time to read this, thank you immensely. Please let me know what you think/ leave constructive criticism in the comments (: also possibly looking for someone to send more ideas to!

78 thoughts on “Excerpt from a story I will (probably) never finish writing

  1. This is a really interesting concept! I like how the Whispers take the bad memories/feelings from your brain first, so initially it’s like a pleasant feeling. I feel like that could be really interesting and spooky in a story – like you see someone you know acting brighter and cheerier than usual and you realise they are probably in danger.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. *blinks*
    If you think this is a nightmare, I’ve had worse. Way worse. To the point of dream-trauma

    Anyway 😀

    Yeah I think this is good, but maybe you could create a side blog for stories, like I did

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh this wasn’t the full nightmare, In it I was surrounded by people with the head of deer skeletons and had to fight my way out while rescuing someone then being chased by them relentlessly through the forest haha. It’s just where I got the idea for the dream thief character look. I’m sorry you’ve had such bad nightmares though! And I’m def thinking of starting that side blog (:

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your writing and the way you create a creepy atmosphere. Would love to know more. Where did the whispers come from? Why are they there? Are other countries affected and if are there survivors? And more about the world the story plays in too. Looking forward to reading more 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! You had a dream about dreams? That is just wow. This was a really cool introductory piece. I loved the “I don’t remember the first time I saw one, but I do remember the last”. However, you’ve used a pretty similar line in the paragraph above, so maybe change that? It would enhance it more. And maybe instead of “one” use “them”?

    This was REALLY really good. I’m waiting for the second installment!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It reads nice to me. I love the idea and i need answers: where do these creatures come from? If someone who’s left without dreams becomes a Whisper, why doesn’t a whisper, who feeds on dreams, become more of a person? So, i’d say definitely keep going with this. It has a lot of potential

    Liked by 1 person

  6. it’s awesome!! i randomly get ideas too, and what i do is i just note them down and start a bit of it. if i get bored of it, it’s always going to be there for me to finish later! good luck 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE this concept! So intriguing!

    Your first sentence captivated me immediately! I want to know more about this world in the present and past. What was it like before the thieves came? What made them came? Were they born, created? Has the world physically changed since they arrived? Without dreams, how does that effect a person? Are relationships changed? Just some questions to get you thinking about your growing world 🙂

    The only critique I have right off-the-bat is perhaps considering uppercasing “thieves” and “memory thieves.” They seem to go by many names, and I would love to learn more about why. Are they called Memory Thieves as a collective and then have individual “branches/categories?” The narrator briefly describes why they call them Whispers, but where do the other names previously mentioned come from?

    This is a great start to an awesome story!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I may have to tweak this, I don’t really want them to be called “memory thieves” as a whole, but I was struggling to come up with how to describe them succinctly in the first portion. As for the other titles, I have plans for revealing that later on. Do you think that would work? Or should it be addressed as background information in the first pages? Thank you so much for your feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Revealing later on would add to the mystery aspect and keep your readers reading! Perhaps an explanation of the thieves as a collective would be beneficial. It all depends on what the core of your story will be/how much the thieves contribute to the world as a whole. Will readers need that background information immediately to understand what’s going on, or can all be revealed in pieces throughout? How much does your narrator know? Will readers being learning with her or from her? Sometimes I find writing both situations helpful! That way I can see the pros and cons to each version and grasp a better understanding of how to continue from each 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting concept and well-written! There’s so much potential to expand this story – Does this take place in our universe or an alternate one? How has the world and its people transformed after the Shadows? Is there anyone who remains immune to their terror, and why? As a fellow storyteller, I’d very much encourage you to continue this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh wow, this is such an intriguing excerpt! The first lines pull you right into the story, and I love the ominous, almost Gothic feel to it. The imagery and personification are great too – “the white hot trail of fear’s caress” gives me the shivers. lol Can’t wait to read more!

    Like

  10. I really like it! Beyond being a compelling story and concept it also has a metaphor quality to it, the way anxiety and depression can take hold in bad experiences and begin to corrupt even you good memories, transforming all of your memories until it consumes you.

    At one point i was toying with a similar concept but got distracted.

    I would say that if you want to make a story of it there should be more conflict (and maybe hope) people learn to become more resilient, maybe learn ways to combat and guard. The conflict can be directly with ‘them’ but also with the self… “It’s so difficult, maybe I should give in.” … “Yes, i should give in” Wait, was that my thought or one of them?

    Feel free to share ideas with me if you like. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I didn’t even consider that metaphor but I think my subconscious must be trying to tell me something! I have definitely experienced that anxiety my whole life, so I’m going to try to run with that theme more in the rest of what I write. I think I am going to make a side blog where I can share my writing with a smaller number of people, which I will update you on. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think, for myself thatstarting anything, and letting go because I don’t know if it is good enough isself defitting, I think that one should be consistant and find success in months of writing, I know that I became better as while I was writing, and the reason that I stopped was that I thought I’m not good enough, so enough with the BS sit and write yourself to success, if you are not good enough
    no one will fallow, but you may be pleased as well.

    Like

  12. Oh i love love LOVE this. The concept is SO interesting and sinister. What are we without our experiences? Someone stealing our memories would be SO horrifying. This would be SUCH a good story/book to read.

    Like

  13. One of the beautiful post I have ever read. So intriguing. Terror lingering in the air. Every passing seconds feels like a thousand years and you are unable to mend the things for once and for all. Losing once best memories and falling into the darkness of depression.
    I would love to see this post grows into a beautiful novel named as “Dreams”

    Like

  14. Really an interesting idea, it makes you let your imagination run wild trying to imagine a strange world drawn using appropriate words and a beautiful gradation of ideas, in addition to making you appreciate the value of memories and dreams, cause If a person is not able to roam in the kingdom of his mind and review his memories and thoughts, this is the worst thing he may face.
    I found that this story also describes some of the internal conflicts that the person experiences when a group of conflicting feelings accumulate in his mind, created by tragic events from his lived reality.
    I think you should keep holding the pen and letting your imagination run wild so that we can have a chance to read your wonderful thoughts.

    Like

  15. It’s really intriguing ngl. The concept gives mysterious and horror vibes. The way it’s written, it’s not for beginner readers coz it’s more than imagining the scene in front. The imagery used is quite cool. It’s really nice but everything can always be better. All the best!

    Like

  16. I’m already sucked in! You should definitely continue!
    If you wanted to write it with a group, maybe consider doing this for NaNoWriMo in November? That’s what I’m doing!

    Like

  17. I really like the idea and the world you started to built here, I would definitely read a book on this. Plus your writing was smooth and percutant when needed, you should really keep going and write it if you feel like it!! 🙂

    Like

  18. Hello J,

    I stopped by because you recently visited my blog and liked my book review of The Red Button. Anyway, I read this post, and I don’t know how much you may have looked around my blog, but, in addition to being a Book Reviewer, I am a writer and a freelance writer.

    I really like what you have written here. You definitely have writing talent and I would love to see more of your writing. I would love to see you continue this story. The only criticism that I found of this post was that I saw a couple spelling errors — not a big deal.

    Anyway, if you want to send some of your writing to me for feedback or whatever, my email contact is not far from the top of the right sidebar of my blog: http://www.kellyfbarr.com

    If nothing else, I’d love to talk to you more.

    Like

  19. This is absolutely amazing, both in concept and in execution! You’ve got a seriously compelling hook in that first line and the whole build-up leaves me wanting more. Wow, I really hope you keep working on this! 👍⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Like

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