Pandora’s Box of Horror Challenge


284px-Opened_up_a_Pandora's_boxThis was really more of an exercise put forth by a member of Women Writer’s Group on facebook. Several folks submitted their one-word horror story and those submissions were compiled into a list. The challenge was to use all of the words in a 500 word or less horror short story. A great way to stretch the old gray matter!

The words: laundry; Shh; spiders; failure; assault; moist; slice!; exhole; freakotomy; disco; underground; procrastination; stoic; writing; parasitic; boredom; suffocating; rats; bbbbbreathe; politics; Monday; child abuse; infanticide; if; war; Alzheimer’s; truth; Shvitz; life; diarrhea; alone; mother-in-law; darkness; infinite; traffic; debt; disease; forgetfulness; blood; clowns

Here is my attempt.

When my exhole left me alone with these two screaming brats, he also left the gift that keeps on giving, my disease ridden mother-in-law. Despite her forgetfulness, she is as least good for laundry duty which is more than I can say for the exhole or his kids.

When I first saw that jerk at the disco twenty years ago I should’ve kept walking. Maybe I would have married that stoic accountant that I dated before the exhole. Maybe he only talked politics and I might have died of boredom, but at least I wouldn’t be stuck with these parasitic dependents. I wouldn’t have had a marriage that was an infinite war. Well, I suppose it wasn’t infinite was it?

I’ve spent my Monday writing in my journal and cleaning up shit. The baby’s I can kind of understand but the mother-in-law? Her Alzheimer’s medications must have given her diarrhea for the third day in a row. She must be forgetting to pull her pants down to use the toilet, that’s the only way it could get so bad. No wonder he took off.

When he first left I could only shvitz over all our debt and the suffocating needs of these people but after some procrastination I have a plan. In all truth, I am looking forward to my freedom after I complete the freakotomy.  If I don’t finish it this darkness will never leave me. I hope that this time it sticks.

It was surprising how moist her throat felt after the first slice! A sharp odor of iron assaulted my nose as her warm blood cleansed my hands. After many failures, that was one way to cure her of her fear of clowns! The baby was much easier, no fears to overcome.

It’s not child abuse if I’m freeing everyone, right? Infanticide, maybe. But abuse? Never! I’ve prepared a place underground for them where I cleared away all the spiders. Little June was always afraid of them. I guess she’s cured of that too. The place is well away from traffic and will be so peaceful. If the rats stay away it will be perfect.

She is the final piece to my plan. I smell her before I see her in the chair covered with her own filth.

“Please, don’t do this. We can figure this all out. You don’t need to do this,” her voice grates on my ears.


“Please. Please untie me. I can’t bbbbbbreathe!”


“Please, I don’t even know who you are. What do you want? You can’t just break in here and do this! Where are my babies!”

I hesitate for a second. The Alzheimers is making it hard for her to understand. I’m moved by compassion to end this.

For the moment, the silence releases us all.

The End

It felt like mental gymnastics to get all those words in there (did you guess mine was spiders)! If you dare to open Pandora’s box further, you can see more submissions at