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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

entry arrow1:26 PM | Horror Stories

The best thing from last night was the workshop I had with LitCritters Dumaguete. Because we scared the shit out of ourselves basically -- and that was, well, fun. We usually do our weekly reading and writing workshop every Saturday morning, but there was something about the batch of stories I sent last week that begged for a change of day and time.

"Since we're writing horror stories for the third batch of Originals, we're all reading horror, both classic and contemporary," I told them, "from H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King."

Immediately, the idea was set that perhaps we could do an assessment of the stories by the light of burning candles, if we could not do a bonfire. Thursday evening was everybody's suggestion. That was last night.

And so we all huddled last night in RJ's room in the President's House in Silliman Campus. The air-conditioning blasted out cold, cold air, and we had no choice but to accept the chill that went right into our souls. It gave atmosphere to the proceedings. We turned out the lights, got some candles, and RJ proceeded to play some eerie music in his laptop. Lyde and Jordan were on RJ's bed, Michelle, Drigs, Odie, and I were on the floor. (Marianne, where's Marianne...) How we cringed and nervously laughed every time something creaked or crept somewhere. The President's House was an old house, its interior design of the 1960s kind that gave off a palpable sense of history, some of it as dark as the hollows of its corners. Someone said there was a ghost in the house, the little Calderon girl who had drowned a long time ago. She haunted the swing outside, and sometimes the ghost would scribble something in Crayon on the walls.

Drigs began to discuss Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows." He discussed it in a low voice, and we leaned forward to listen to the rise and fall of his voice, all attentive -- too attentive, probably. Because we were caught in the rapture of the moment, we were not prepared for the noise outside the door.

It was only when there was some strange shuffling that we all finally fell deathly silent, aware suddenly of the sound. In the chill quiet, the door moved. Something was trying to get in. And then, like a rattle, the doorknob turned, and the door slowly creaked open, and we saw the darkness of the corridor outside pouring into our little room.

We all screamed. Michelle's shriek -- high and frightful, like a wounded animal's -- seeped into my bones, and I shuddered.


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