empty storefronts

One of my favorite Halloween things is Halloween stores. Halloween is the only holiday I’m aware of that needs an entire store to itself. There’s so much that goes into the tradition, from the decorations, to the candy, to the endless costume possibilities, that a single aisle in the local supermarket just won’t suffice. 

The first leaves start to change and suddenly the lonely, barren store at the end of the strip mall transforms overnight. Shelves that weren’t there moments ago are full of cheap, cheesy costume sets and the blank sign is now covered by bright orange letters. 

Then just as soon as they come, they’re gone again, the storefront an empty vessel ready to be possessed by the spirit of Halloween again next year.

Southern/Suburban Gothic Prompts

- The long grass waves in the fields as the sun goes down, making a sound like it’s whispering. You don’t want to know what it’s saying.

- The streetlights always flicker twice – once as you pass under them, and again just after. You wonder if they flicker every time something passes underneath them, but you don’t want to turn and find out.

- He’s the perfect southern gentleman: gelled hair, soft eyes, a gentle accent that makes you almost sleepy. The first time he kisses you, when he bites your bottom lip, you could almost ignore how his teeth feel too sharp. Almost.

- The storefronts wait empty; the wind blows the doors open and shut, open and shut. Everything looks deserted, but you know it’s not. They’re lying in wait, is all.

- You pass an alleyway and there’s something waiting – something with bright eyes and an eager smile. You pass without a second look. As long as you don’t look, you’re safe.

Anonymous asked:

what’s the difference between an outline, a scene list, and a first draft?


Different people mean different things when they talk about outlining. Sometimes they are referring to doing a standard outline like you learn in school where you nest ideas beneath sections headed by Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, etc.) (See chapter/scene list combo below) Other times they mean they did a scene or chapter list, and still other times they may just mean they did a summary. In any case, it typically refers to getting your ideas out “on paper” in a way that fleshes out the structure of the story.

Chapter List

I’m adding this one since I brought it up. A chapter list is a way of laying out your story by chapter. It requires you to have a general idea of the chapters you will need and what will happen in them. They generally look like this:

Chapter One - Judy decides to open a cake shop.
Chapter Two - Ted blows into town and opens a cake shop first.
Chapter Three - Judy, despairing, heads to the cake convention.

Scene List

A scene list is a lot like a chapter list except by scene rather than chapter. It allows you to break each chapter down into the scenes it will contain. It generally looks like this:
Scene One - Judy walks down Mainstreet and has a craving for sweets.
Scene Two - While browsing a shop, Judy overhears a lady talking about cake.
Scene Three- Judy sees an empty storefront and decides to open a cake shop.

Chapter List/Scene List Combo

Some people combine chapter and scene lists to get a really comprehensive overview of the story. It might look like this:
Chapter One - Judy decides to open a cake shop.- Scene One - Judy walks down Mainstreet and has a craving for sweets.
- Scene Two -  While browsing a shop, Judy overhears a lady talk about cake.
- Scene Three - Judy sees empty storefront and decides to open a cake shop.
Chapter Two - Ted blows into town and opens a cake shop first.
- Scene One - Judy notices the “new guy,” Ted, at the bar one night.
- Scene Two - Judy bumps into Ted renovating the empty shop.
- Scene Three- Judy laments the situation to her sister, Clara.

The above could just as easily be put into a standard outline like we talked about at the very beginning:

I. Chapter One (Judy decides to open a cake shop)
   A. Scene One - Judy has craving for sweets while walking Mainstreet
       1. Judy looks around for sweet shop but finds none
       2. Judy stops in boutique to look at clothes
       3. Judy overhears another customer talking about loving cake
       4. Judy sees an empty storefront and decides to open a cake shop

A First Draft (aka “The Rough Draft”)

A lot of people imagine that stories are written in one shot–the writer sits down, bangs out the story, and that’s it. All done! But that actually isn’t so. Good stories are written in drafts, which means you write the first version of the story from beginning to end, then go through and figure out what you can do to improve it. Each time you make revisions from beginning to end, you’re creating a brand new draft. The first draft is the very first time you commit a story to the page from beginning to end. It is often called “the rough draft” because it’s usually a very rough version of what the story will eventually become. Think of it like an artist’s “rough sketch” of a landscape they want to paint. You can read more about writing in drafts in my post Four Drafts Minimum. :)
Have a writing question? I’d love to hear from you! Prohibited questions: howto portray/describe things (characters, emotions, situations), specialist knowledge questions (medical, military, mental health, etc.), asking for tropes/cliches or resources, triggering/controversial topics; broad, vague, or complicated questions. See master list & main site for more info!


Southridge Mall in Des Moines, Iowa. Opened in 1975; as of 2009, 40 of the 91 storefronts were empty. Right now, it’s just a strip mall basically, with the actual inside of the mall mostly inaccessible. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any pictures of the beautiful carousel in the food court.

I still dream about this mall all the time.

Creepypasta #1069: Doughnuts

Length: Medium

When I was a kid, I worked at a bakery called Blissful Bites.

It was independently run, extremely quaint, and owned by a lady called Naomi Sutton. She made all of the goods herself. Cakes, pies, pastries - she could whip up just about anything if you gave her the right ingredients. Her specialty, however, was doughnuts.

My job was running deliveries on my bike. Naomi had two other teenagers, James and Abby, running the storefront on a rota. We were banned from the kitchen due to supposed “safety hazards”, but we were all sure it was actually because Naomi thought we were thieving teens with the capacity to steal merchandise.

I’d been there a little over three weeks when Naomi’s husband disappeared.

At the time, it didn’t seem like a huge deal. There hadn’t been a struggle, or signs of foul play, or really anything in particular; according to her, he just hadn’t come home from work the prior evening. She didn’t even seem all that fussed about it.

“No point getting the police involved,” she told me, when I clocked in that morning. Despite how sensitive she got over people trespassing in the kitchen, she was a good boss, and always up for a chat if you caught her outside her domain. “Not yet, at least. He’s done this before, the bloody prick. He’ll probably show up back home tonight asking me why his dinner’s not on the table.”

But he didn’t.

Naomi was snappier and more private than usual the following day, and looked as though she hadn’t slept. Her response to James - usually her favourite - asking if she was holding up okay was a sharp, “Mind your own sodding business.”

So, given the tense atmosphere in the shop, I was more than a little grateful when Naomi emerged from the kitchen with a box for me to deliver. I hopped on my bike and rode over to the address she’d given me.

The woman who answered the door of said address - Juliet Wells, according to the card- was young and pretty, albeit rather overweight. She seemed bemused by the delivery.

“Who’s it from, then?” she said.

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Tailor and Co. (Hercules Mulligan x Fem!Reader)

Tailor and Co.

Hercules Mulligan x Female!Reader

Words- 824 -ugh so little I know

A/N: Requested! I made Laurens live in this. I like how it turned out! Hope you enjoy! The reader is a disguised soldier in the rev. war!


Warnings- War, drunk Laurens, talking about killing ppl idk


“I AM A WOMAN!” You shouted into the sky, grinning, as other people were celebrating that the war was over. Your four friends paused, watching as you let your hair fall out of the bun. You turned to find them stopped. You grinned and Hercules stepped closer to you before crashing his lips against yours. It was wonderful. And here is how you ended up there.

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Part 2, Chapter 4: Chain

A strip mall off the turnpike in New Jersey. Looking for lunch. From where I stand by my truck, this could be anywhere.

We must have decided this, right, at some point? That we wanted it all to look the same? And I can understand that decision. We all like to feel somewhere familiar. Now we can have that feeling wherever we are. No matter the climate or geography, you come inside the chain and you are exactly where you were before, like there was a magic door to the city you feel most comfortable in. It’s a positive that can’t be denied.

But we have paid a price for this.

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Illinois Gothic
  • They call Rockford the forest city, but you haven’t seen a tree for miles, just old victorians with wide eyed children in the windows, and their foreclosure signs are in the dry, dull lawn. Their shadows branch out over the road and brush against your car. You wish you’d chosen a route without one way streets, because now you can’t turn around.

  • Your Chili’s is the most profitable in the country. If you go to dinner there tonight, just like last night and the night before, you can smile at the familiar waitresses, sit in the red leather booths and feel safe. The whole town is there. Everyone you ever knew is there for dinner. Didn’t you bury grandma three years ago? She wants to know if you’ll share your appetizer with her.

  • The snow is still piled up in the grocery store parking lot, a giant crisp mountain of impure white. It’s been there all year, and it only seems to grow as the months go on, though it hasn’t snowed for some time. You climb up on top of it and feel the ice bite into your thighs while you watch the fourth of July fireworks, and your sweat freezes where you touch it, but you still feel so, so hot.

  • The local dollar store now sells a knock off toy, a Wee-Ji board. Your child bought it and brought it home because “It’s too boring around here for this to do anything bad”. Something feels wrong, but something so cheap can’t be real, right? You’re just imagining the spectral old women in your backyard, pointing their bony fingers to the rotting trees. You put the game in the closet with the others, and the something licks your fingertips as you push through the coats. You cannot do this again, but you fear that you must.

  • There’s another field being cleared for condos this week. The condos across the street from it remain vacant, only finished off last week. The next block over holds the new condos from last year, dusty, yards filled with dirt and weeds. For sale. Always for sale. You look out into your own yard. A sign proclaiming “Luxury Condos coming soon” is being erected in the grass by gaunt, gray workers in blinding yellow vests. Around the posts, your grass begins to die.

  • The empty malls loom over their cracked parking lots, closed off windows offering only a dark, murky glimpse of empty halls and ancient storefronts. Inside you can see things slither through them, and you feel safer that they are within, and you are outside. Overhead there are just flickering flourescents, and below your feet are the dingy pastel tiles. Something slithers up your back, and you just smile, looking through the boards as the sun dies.

  • You’re waiting in line at Target, and ahead of you is a sea of Cubs hats. Behind you is a never-ending line of White Sox jerseys and similar, bearded faces. The checkout girl has been waiting for the next customer for quite a while, but no one moves up. Quietly, you hear a gruff voice say “Good game last night,huh?” and you feel a cold breath against your neck. “Yeah, this is definitely going to be our year.” You answer nervously, clutching your purse in case you need to run. Slowly, the line moves again. You still don’t know who played. You never do.

  • You’re in Chicago for the day, and you find yourself lost in the throng of people moving quickly on the sidewalks. You ask the closest blur where your destination is from here, but you can’t comprehend what they’ve said. You wonder why you seem to be walking in place, because while everyone moves so fast, you haven’t moved a foot forward or backward in hours.

  • They’re working on the roads again this summer, and that’s not surprising, but you can’t quite tell where this new road is going. It seems like there’s nowhere else to possibly go anymore, and the old roads are nearly undriveable as it is, with potholes that swallow cars as easily as a whale swallows krill. An uncomfortable thought nags at the back of your mind, whispering “Hell” whenever you see the color orange. You avoid the roads for most of the season, but still it whispers.
Douce Peche

Scenario: You receive an invitation for a location. What you find there leads you down a road of sexual exploration you never knew you needed.

A/N: This is based off of the teaser trailer for “Blood Sweat & Tears”. Cause I’m a BTS hoe I felt COMPELLED to write this and I’m already working on Jimin’s part. You’re basically going to be with each member (cause why not) and each one will give you a different sexual experience. I refuse to apologize.

Genre: BTS x Reader

Warnings: Sexual content, sexual exploration, dom & sub play, spanking, riding crops etc.

Disclaimer: The gifs I’ll be using are made by my good friend, @nyaaaaaw​ if at any time I use anyone else’s it’ll be noted.

Originally posted by jjilljj

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I spent last weekend with college friends in North Carolina. I took the long way back to Atlanta and drove through parts of rural South Carolina I had never seen before. My observations:

1. Country folk still go to church. The parking lots were full on Sunday morning. That makes me feel good.

2. A lot of towns still have a picturesque main street full of storefronts. These storefronts are empty. That makes me feel sad.

3. South Carolina style barbecue is actually tasty. Perhaps it is a loyalty to my North Carolina vinegar roots, but I always thought I didn’t like it. I know I had a run-in with some bad SC ‘cue a long time ago, so I was certain that my perspective wouldn’t change. Well, I’m here to retract my previous condemnation of the mustard-based sauce. I wasn’t event at a special artisanal hole in the wall. It was Maurice’s. A chain. I know, I know. But if I liked the chain stuff, I’m sure I’d like the “real thing.” And I dug the hushpuppies, too. You don’t tend to get those at Georgia BBQ joints.

4. Man, South Carolina is FLAT.

So - to sum up. Successful trip through rural South Carolina brings new insights to ex-pat Southerner. The end.

Sorry, businesses of the US.

I no longer believe complaints that businesses make in the face of any new regulation of any type. Sorry, businesspeople of the world, but you’ve cried wolf too many times; you’ve made too many trips to the “This will destroy business!” well for me.

Every time the minimum wage goes up, out come the cries that “It will destroy jobs!” and “We’ll just pass all the costs right on to the customer!” And yet, the jobs never disappear and we’re not paying thirty bucks for a small pizza.

I remember when the Federal Do-Not-Call List was being created, and the Direct Marketing Association was claiming that this would destroy the telemarketing industry and cost the United States over two million jobs. This did not happen.

I remember restaurants and bars claiming that smoking bans inside buildings would destroy and cripple their industry. That didn’t happen, either.

I get that businesses don’t like being forced to spend money they don’t want to. Hell, nobody really likes being forced to spend money they don’t want to. But I’m done listening to the sob stories and the pleadings of poverty and the warnings of empty storefronts and idle factories as far as the eye can see every time something like a raise in the minimum wage is proposed.

You’re not fooling me, guys.

How to be Noticed

Chapter One

Inspired by this post by @ghostyarscy

Marinette hummed happily as she braced herself against the front display counter of the bakery with her elbows, idly flipping through a magazine containing an interview with one Adrien Agreste. She glanced up briefly at the bakery, noting the nearly empty storefront with a barely interested sweeping gaze, then turned her attention back to the interview with a tiny giggle. A tiny nudge in her leg caught her attention. She glanced down to see Tikki popping her head out of her purse. The kwami giggled mischievously.

“Reading about Adrien again?”

Marinette blushed lightly, but grinned as she replied lowly, “I can’t help it! He’s just too perfect!”

Tikki rolled her eyes fondly. “You need to just-”

“Marinette!” The designer squeaked and whirled around, one hand latching over her purse self-consciously. Tom Dupain raised an eyebrow, mustache twitching as he smiled at his daughter. “Could you help in the back for a few seconds? The supply truck just arrived and we could your help unloading it.”

Marinette grinned, sticking her magazine under her arm as she nodded. “Of course, Papa.”

“Great. You know where everything goes.” Tom affectionately ruffled Marinette’s hair as she passed, earning himself a bubbling titter in response. “I’ll be back in a second, I just have to set out something really quick.”

“Alright!” Marinette hummed and headed to the back, pulling out her magazine to read just a few more lines. A shy smile and a deep blush flooded her cheeks as she read the next question and answer.

Q: So, Adrien, we’ve all heard how you’ve finally joined the public school system. How have you been fitting in so far? Made any friends? Maybe met a certain someone?

A: It’s been an absolute dream come true! I get along fairly well with pretty much everybody, but I do admit I have a main group of friends I stick to. Nino is my best friend, and as a result I often third wheel with him and his girlfriend, Alya. But that’s alright. Alya’s best friend Marinette is usually dragged along with their crazy shenanigans too, so it works out.

Q: You sound like you care about them a lot!

A: I… well, yeah. They’re some of my closest friends. They’re all so… so very important to me.

“I’m important to him! Very important!” Marinette squealed and bounced, clutching her magazine to her chest as she spun happily. Right into a firm chest. Her magazine fell from her hands as she sprang back, steadied only by the warm, firm grip on her upper arms. Marinette brushed her bangs from her eyes as she looked up into a kind, amused gaze. A wide grin lit her lips as she took in the familiar (but very different) form of her childhood friend. She threw her arms around the brunet’s neck. “Garrin Girard, is that you?! Oh my gosh it’s been so long!”

“Marinette!” A warm laugh met her greeting and strong arms returned her hug. Marinette peeked up, resting her chin on Garrin’s broad chest as he ruffled her hair. “You’re still the exact same size from a year ago!”

The designer pouted up at him. “Y-yeah? Well, you’re… you’re a brute!” She pulled away to gesture exaggeratedly at him. “Look at you! You’ve grown so much! You’re all broad and tall and- and… tall!”

Garrin grinned. “That’s what happens with puberty. Boys grow broad and tall and, dare I say, handsome.”

Marinette rolled her eyes and lifted her hand, shaking it lightly back and forth in a so-so motion. “Eeeeh, seven out of ten.”

He gasped, laying a hand on his chest as faux-hurt laced his voice. “You wound me, Dupain-Cheng. You wound me.”

“You’ll get over it.” Marinette grabbed his wrist and stepped outside to the delivery truck, waving at Monsieur Girard as Garrin stepped up into the truck. “So, you’ve been in the countryside? I’ve missed my child-labor buddy.”

Garrin laughed, passing Marinette a sack of sugar. “Yeah, my mom demanded that I spend some time with her, then… she got sick, so I stuck around a while longer in order to take care of her.”

“Aww.” Marinette frowned, stepping back so Garrin could hop out of the truck with two sacks of flour of his shoulder. “She okay now?”

Garrin frowned softly and looked away as he headed to the storage pallets.

Marinette trailed after him, watching him in concern. “She… ah… Early onset of Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t recognize me anymore, so… so we decided it would be best to just… hire some help, and I came back to help dad with the distribution service again. Maybe it was selfish of me, but… I couldn’t take how often she would look at me and be… she wouldn’t…”

“Hey…” Marinette shifted her bag to one arm so she could lay a hand on Garrin’s shoulder. “I… I don’t think that’s selfish at all. Maybe someone else would have been able to stay, but I know you. You’re kind, and sweet, and empathetic. You’ve always been more sensitive than others, Garry. Feel things deeper than most. And you have to do what’s best for you and her. It’s not like you left her alone.”

Garrin smiled weakly at Mariette. “You’re just as sweet as I remember, ‘Nettie… Thanks.”

Marinette slung her bag onto the pallet and smiled up at Garrin. “Any time, Gar- waitwatchout!”

She watched in horror as Garrin slipped on- oh wait that’s the magazine from earlier oops. He flew back, the flour bags slipping from his shoulders and landing on the ground beside him with a thud. The first sack that hit the ground popped open, sending a puff of flour floating up. The second bag quickly landed on top of the first. The flour billowed up, covering Garrin and Marinette, who had bent to help him up, with a fine, white coating. The two stared at each other in shock. Marinette blinked flour out of her eyes and burst into laughter, slumping on the ground beside a sniggering Garrin.

“Y-you look, pfft, ridiculous!” Marinette gasped, slumping against the other, who wrapped a steadying arm around her shoulders. He chuckled, fluffing her hair and was overcome by a new wave of giggles when flour floated briefly around Marinette’s face like a cloud.

“Yeah? Well at least I don’t look like Puff the Marshmallow Man!” He grinned and pulled himself to his feet, nearly slipping as he pulled Marinette up too. With a squeal, Marinette pitched forward into Garrin’s chest. (He prayed she couldn’t feel the way his heart picked up into double time). She giggled up at him, pushing off the delivery boy and shifting to lean against the wall as Garrin leaned down to scoop up the magazine. His grin fell slightly at the sight of the doodled hearts around the Agreste interview, especially decorating the picture of the blond on the side of the page. “Who is this?”

“A classmate of mine,” she murmured, sighing softly as she calmed from the laughter. Marinette began threading her fingers through her hair to free the strands from the flour. “He’s a model. Kind, gentle, occasionally funny. The whole package. Sometimes he reminds me of you.”

Garrin glanced up from the magazine to look at Marinette. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” She shrugged and gave up on her hair, heading to the corner to nab the push broom and dustpan. “Come on. Let’s get this cleaned up.”

Garrin saluted. “Aye aye!”

His gaze fell back on the magazine. Garrin scooped it up, shaking it to dislodge the loose flour from the glossy pages. He flipped it closed and- noting the model also on the cover of the issue, hearts and flowers and smiley’s circling Adrien’s head- rolled it up. Clearing his throat, he stood and lightly caught Marinette’s wrist as she moved to hand him the dustpan to hold for her. Her wide blue eyes flew up to his. Garrin’s heart leapt into his throat in nerves as he took in the flour dusting across her nose and cheeks, highlighting the blue in her eyes and hair. He coughed nervously as Marinette’s forehead creased in concern, causing flour to build lightly in the little wrinkles.

“Um.” He swallowed nervously, scratching the back of his neck with the magazine. “Marinette, I… I know it’s been a while since, um, since we’ve seen each other, but I can already tell you’re just as kind and loving and, oh gosh, even more beautiful than you were a year ago, so, I-I was wondering if… if maybe we could catch dinner and a movie together Friday? Alone?”

Marinette seemed to still before leaning away a bit, and the light pressure pulling from his grip on her wrist was enough to make Garrin drop his hold. His lungs tightened in his chest as he took in her expression, cutting off his air supply. Pity swelled in Marinette’s gaze. Everything in her countenance seemed to droop with sadness as she steeled herself to crush her friend’s heart.

“Oh, Garrin, I…” Her voice was laden with a mix of regret and reluctant determination. “I-I’m so sorry, but… I… I can’t…”

Garrin swallowed, hoping to clear the tightness in his throat. Unsuccessfully, as it turns out, as both teenagers could hear the hitch in his voice as he stumbled over an apology. Marinette cringed. “N-No, I’m sorry, I should have, I mean, I already guessed, but, I-I just… I should go.”

Pressure built behind his eyes as he pivoted on his heel and stiffly marched outside. Garrin only had to glance at his father, who was finishing up unloading the truck, to receive a nod and permission to climb into the passenger side of the delivery truck for the rest of the stop. He clenched his fists as he tried to reign in his emotions, glancing down when paper crinkled in his grip. Garrin unrolled the magazine in his hands, staring almost blankly at the blond printed on the front cover. He ground his teeth.

“This is all your fault… I remember my little ‘Nettie… I always thought we… That we would… Dammit…” Garrin pressed the magazine to his forehead, inhaling deeply. “I always thought she could be mine… But I guess she likes people like him. The lucky bastard probably doesn’t even realize who he has wrapped around his finger.”

A chill suddenly crept through his body as the magazine guarding his face darkened to a purple. Garrin paused as calm quickly smothered the initial alarm that had swelled, slumping in his seat. His hands fell limply to his lap as clouds smothered his thoughts, leaving him emotionally empty of anything but regret, sadness, and anger. He shivered as a cool, smooth voice swept gently through his mind.

“It’s always a shame when our romantic endeavors never turn out the way we wish, isn’t it? I can help you be someone she would accept with enthusiasm, as long as you find me something I myself wish to acquire.”

Garrin blinked sluggishly, gaze focusing on the crinkled magazine. “I could… be like him?”

“With the power I can grant you, you can be like anyone you want to be.”

“And she’ll love me?”

“How could she not? Just remember, my Chameleon, the Ladybug and Chat Noir Miraculous are mine!”

“Then you have my service, Hawk Moth.”

For a Lost Daughter (Adult Faith AU): Part 11

Home stretch, guys! 

Part 11 of For a Lost Daughter (Adult Faith AU) story is below, and is the first installment of the final of the four sections. A bit shorter than usual, just one scene in this one. But as you’ll see, its an important one! 


♡ Bonnie

Notes: this story takes place in an AU where an adult Faith comes back into Jamie and Claire’s lives around the time of Voyager. There are a few points at which I intentionally take some liberties with the dates and years on the canon timeline for sake of the story. 

General spoiler alerts for Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, The Space Between, and more.

Catch up on the story so far

SECTION ONE, Daughter : Part 1 Part 2  Part 3

SECTION TWO, Fae: Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

SECTION THREE, Seeker : Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

SECTION FOUR (Faith) and Part 11 begin below the break 

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Merry Christmas, Shannon!

Merry Christmas to the wonderful-amazing Shannon, who wanted some fluffy Piper and Jason (featuring Percy and Annabeth), as an “I wasn’t looking while skateboarding and I ran into you and now your nose is bleeding, I’m so sorry, are you okay?” AU. Happy holidays to the OT8, who are the best friends a girl could have, and to you, if you’re reading! :) I hope you like it, Shannon! xoxo


Piper spent the whole of Christmas with her father, and while it was a test in getting to know and learning to live with and around one another again, ever since she quit college and left home, the time they spent together in his big, echoing mansion had been nice. Strange, but nice. Overall.

But she’s so glad to be home, especially in time for the annual post-holiday, pre-New Year party.

She and her best friends live in the top two floors above a vacant storefront at the beach. The ground floor had once been a restaurant, and then a bar, and then a cheap souvenir shop that catered to the year-round tourists that flock to the stretching boardwalk across the street. The storefront sits empty now, which suits her and her friends just fine–they don’t have to deal with complaints to the landlord, at least, which means that they hardly ever see the ass anymore. But then he can’t complain about Hazel painting on the exposed brick throughout the apartment, or Percy’s weird aquarium experiments that often leak through the floor, or Piper’s loud music violating some kind of stupid district sound restriction. It’s great.

Dusk rests quiet on the street, and Piper pulls her bag from the trunk of the taxi and takes a deep breath. She smiles at the colorful lights framing each window facing the street and unlocks the front door. The foyer is dim, filled with faint music from upstairs, and she adjusts her duffle on her shoulder and hikes up the stairs to the apartment. The front door is slightly ajar, and when she nudges it open, it’s to party-prep central.

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Thanksgiving Creepypasta: Black Friday Sale: Everything Must Go

Length: Long


It’s that time of year again. Everyone’s talking about their plans for Thanksgiving, whether it be to complain about having to visit their obnoxious relatives or boasting about all the great food they’re going to be stuffing down their gobs in the next few days. 

Not me, though. I don’t have anything against Thanksgiving specifically, mind you. It’s the day after that that has my stomach in a knot: the day we’ve come to know as Black Friday. No, no, I’m not some anti-consumerist or anything like that. See, a few years ago, something happened when I was out shopping, and ever since then, I’ve found myself increasingly anxious by that one little date on the calendar.

Shopping hadn’t been my intention that day. In fact, it had been the furthest thing from my mind. I’d just spent all of Thursday one state over at my sister’s place to celebrate with her family. After several hours of non-stop crying from her kids and being crowded by in-laws, I was ready to go home and play hermit for the rest of the long weekend. 

It wasn’t until I drove past a large outlet mall and saw a sign for a cheap flatscreen TV that I decided to stop and take a look. The sad truth is that my own TV was plenty big enough already. I didn’t need a new one, I just wanted one because of how cheap it was. Drawn in by the sale, I parked in the busy lot and wandered in through the main doors.

As soon as I passed through the threshold, I was dazzled by the brightness of the interior. It was like leaving a dark movie theatre in the middle of a winter day, with a field of snow reflecting all the sun’s rays right into my face. It was bad enough that I had to squint for a minute as my eyes adjusted to the brightness. 

I could hear a simple elevator-like tune playing the same short chorus over and over again, sounding somehow louder with each rotation. As my eyes began to focus, however, the music faded to the background, like a cockroach escaping to a dark corner. I looked around.

I was in a mall. No surprise there. I was surrounded by pristine white walls, a flawless marble floor, and the lemony odor in the air all remind me of a newly sterilized operating room. Despite all the cars in the parking lot, the hall was strangely empty, but I could hear the chatter of a crowd in the distance. There were bright neon lights flooding the empty hallway ahead of me ushering me forward like a landing strip. 

I started to walk, but as I looked at the storefronts, I noticed most of the shops were still closed. That was odd. It was the middle of the afternoon on Black Friday. If there was ever a time for a store to be open, it was now.

Curious, I approached the closest store and pressed my hand against its window, peering into the dark interior. As far as I could tell, it was devoid of both people and merchandise. All I could see were half-melted mannequins standing single file between a row of empty shelves. Judging by the amount of dust I could see, this store had been closed for quite some time. All of the stores were as empty as this one, so I figured this wing of the mall must have been under construction or something.

I headed towards the sound of a crowd.

The mall’s appearance seemed to deteriorate the closer I got to the sound of a crowd, bringing credence to my theory that I’d entered through a part of the mall in the process of being renovated. They were probably finishing up work on the stores before reopening them.

Where the marble floor had once been flawlessly smooth, it was now littered with scuffmarks, dents, and pieces of chewing gum. The walls had yellowed and cracks had begun to form along their surface. Everywhere I looked, there were pieces of rubbish: magazines, plastic shopping bags, wrappers, clothing, cardboard cut-outs of cereal mascots, and even what appeared to be a brand-new laptop. Among the garbage, I saw a wallet on the floor.

Now, I’m not one of those sleazy jerks, so when I picked up the wallet, my intention wasn’t to keep it for myself. I genuinely planned on returning it to its owner. However, as I fingered through it, I couldn’t find a single piece of ID. Every available slot was filled with a different platinum credit card (no name marked on the front, no signature on the back). I checked the center fold and found a whopping $3000 in cash. 

I had two options: bringing it to the lost and found office, or abide by the tried and true “Finders keepers” rule. I still hadn’t decided, even as I stuffed the wallet into my back pocket and gave it a firm slap. I mean, let’s face it, if I did hand it over to the lost and found, they’d probably take the money themselves, right? I figured I’d hang on to it for now and hopefully come across its owner looking for it.

I continued down the empty hallway of blackened storefronts until I came upon Pluto’s Depot, a large electronics store with a banner that read, “Black Friday Sale: Everything Must Go”. Hundreds of shoppers were running through the aisles, grabbing everything they could get their greedy little hands on. They were screaming and clawing at one another, shamelessly stealing items from each other’s shopping carts. It was like Black Friday on steroids. Or… well, a regular American Black Friday, really.

I stood outside Pluto’s Depot, wondering if I should turn back. Whatever deals this store had, probably weren’t worth it, right? I could feel the bulge of the stranger’s wallet in my pants. Who’s to say its owner wasn’t inside? I certainly wasn’t drawn in by the 50-70% off posters clumsily plastered all over the store’s bumpy walls and displays. I for sure wasn’t attracted to all the phenomenally low-priced gizmos and gadgets on the shelves. I definitely didn’t have money burning in my pocket, begging to be spent. Not at all. I was being selfless, really. That’s what I told myself, at least.

As I stepped through the door, I was assaulted with the familiar scent of plastic and upholstery, the famed “new car smell”. I squeezed through a group of frantic shoppers to get to the shopping cart dock. Unfortunately, it was empty. If I found that flatscreen TV I saw advertised outside the mall, I was going to have to carry it in my arms, and my arms were quickly filling up already. There were so many cool things to buy, and so few things left on the shelves. 

By the time I made it to the back, every single TV had been taken. All that was left in that section of the store was the latest smartphone. I don’t remember the make and model, but I remember thinking Isn’t this supposed to come out next month? I grabbed it.

I doubled back and decided to peruse the store more thoroughly, taking a few more objects as I went along. But, as I walked through the aisles, I kept hearing the faintest groans coming from the posters on the walls. Groans that I ignored. I figured it was my imagination. Maybe I was hearing something from the other aisle. Hell if I know.

With nothing else to buy, I parked myself at the back of the checkout line. It stretched all the way down the aisle and around the corner. I had an armful of stuff weighing me down, but it was worth it for the discount. I had enough gadgets to cover everyone’s Christmas gifts, as well as a few things for myself. A mini drone, a fancy remote-controlled car, my new phone, accessories, a laptop case, that kind of stuff. 

Even with everything carefully-balanced between my forearms and chest, I still fought to open the phone so I could admire it. I was about to buy it, after all. Who cared if I opened the box before I paid? It was great: sleek, skinny, light. I couldn’t wait to charge it and start playing with it. I shuffled around impatiently, and looked at the line.

We hadn’t moved.

My neck was stiff, my feet were throbbing, and my back was aching. The objects in my arms felt as though they were getting heavier and heavier by the minute. The line was taking forever and no one seemed to be leaving the store, no matter how much time passed. I was tempted to leave, but I couldn’t give up. I wanted the deals. I wanted that phone. I wanted the gizmos and trinkets.

I must have stood there for another ten minutes without moving before I got frustrated and glanced towards the people ahead of me. Why hadn’t we moved? Had the cashier fallen asleep? I felt my stomach stop as my eyes scanned the line: the other customer’s shoes had melted into the floor and their hands had merged with their shopping carts. The closer they got to the register, the less the shoppers looked … human. Their shapes became less and less distinct, blending into the objects they were purchasing and the walls they were leaning against.

I let out a scream and I tried to take a step back, but my feet were stuck. I looked down, only to find my shoes had melded into the floor as well. Oh god, it was happening to me. In shock, I dropped the boxes I was holding, sending them falling to the floor. It felt as though an immense weight had been lifted from my shoulders. In the very literal sense. Like that carnival ride that looks like a flying saucer, pinning you against the wall. I hadn’t even realized how much pressure my body had been under until the pressure was gone, but it wasn’t completely gone.

My hand was impossibly heavy.

It was the phone. I was still holding the phone. It was planted firmly in the palm of my hand. I could see its slick black casing melting into my flesh. My hand burned. Desperately, I clawed at the phone, trying to pry it from my skin. It wouldn’t budge. I remember flapping my arm up and down erratically as though I’d just caught a spider crawling up my hand. It wouldn’t let go. The phone wouldn’t let go of me. And then, by pure chance, my hand caught the wall, and the phone shattered into bits and pieces, ripping one of the 70% off posters from the porous surface.

I was too busy nursing my hand to notice the wall at first. It was only when I heard a groan that I looked up, to find a tormented face looking back at me. He … she … it had completely merged with the wall. Oh god, was the entire store like this? I remember sobbing as I plucked broken pieces of phone from my palm while never taking my eyes off the person in the wall. My hand throbbed with pain, but with each chunk I pulled out, it hurt just a little less. Thankfully, when the last piece of plastic dropped to the floor, I was able to move my feet again.

I ran out of Pluto’s Depot without looking back or trying to help anyone inside. I ran through the hallway of cracked walls, stopping only long enough to realize there were eyes staring at me from within those cracks.

I staggered out of the mall and into the empty parking lot. My car was the only one there, off in the distance. I turned around, and instead of a large outlet mall I’d walked in earlier, found one of many crumbling, abandoned buildings we see nowadays because of the recession. By the time I got home and checked my back pocket, the wallet was gone.

That’s why I like to stay at home this time of year, because honestly, that fake mall is still out there somewhere, and I have no way of knowing which doors will lead me to it. I’m afraid it’ll lure me back in, and I won’t have the willpower to resist next time.

Credits to:  manen_lyset

maddylonglegs-archive  asked:

Just thought of silliest prompt: coffeshop!au (kind of) jon works at some hipster independent coffee shop called the Night's Watch, when Sansa's smoothie shop & bakery opens next door. At first they hate each other bc Sansa's like gross flannel coffee hipster and Jon's all ugh yuppy smoothie girl; but then they fall in love

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“Downtown” Janesville (Wisconsin) is full of historic architecture and no people. When I visited a few weekends ago, the only signs of life appeared to be the cars speeding down Milwaukee or Main Street. Between the many empty storefronts are a few bars, some pawn shops, and Congressman Paul Ryan’s office. In America there is this idea that everyone lives in a thriving, happy town full of quaint mom and pop shops and homes with white picket fences. But the truth is the “real” America looks exactly like Janesville - depressing and bleak.

anonymous asked:

HI! So I read your sour skittles halloween fic, and I was wondering if you could do one where they try to find matching halloween outfits for some kind of costume contest? Sorry if this is supper explicit, and I undterstand if ya cant. But thanks anyway :)

“Dude, costume contest!” Stiles exclaims, holding up the flyer and waving it in Scott’s face. 

Derek looks over the edge of his Biology textbook, rolls his eyes, and continues reading. 

Scott tolerates the flyer waving, eyeing the details and then sighing. “C’mon, Stiles, it’s midterms week. Let’s get back to studying,” he says.

“I don’t have anything to study for, I just have papers to write,” Stiles grumbles.

“So write your papers, or get out of our dorm,” Derek says. “I’m trying to concentrate.”

“Fine,” Stiles says, opening his laptop and plopping onto Derek’s bed next to him, startlingly close. Derek hopes the flush isn’t visible on his face, and he looks at Scott, but apparently he doesn’t seem to mind. 

The quiet of Scott highlighting things and making notes and Stiles typing doesn’t last long. Stiles drops his bare feet into Scott’s lap, squirming until Scott absently starts giving him a footrub. It’s ridiculously cute and Derek isn’t sure who he’s more jealous of. 

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