Clown Infestation: A Horror Novella

I finally took the plunge. No, I didn’t sell all my earthly possessions and moved into a little cabin in the Canadian wilderness, rather I released my first ebook on Amazon! It is a project I have worked on and off over the past year. It is actually a lucky coincidence that I finished my work at the beginning of October Spooktober!

If you’re looking for horror with a good amount of blood, Clown Infestation might be just the bedtime story you need!

When Lisa finds signs of a Clown nesting in her home, she can’t shake the feeling that something is deeply wrong…

Clowns. For most, nothing more of a nuisance and easily disposable pest, found living deep within the woods. Sometimes they venture into encroaching neighborhoods, most often ending up as roadkill. So why is she so frightened when she finds out that one of them is hiding in her home?

Probable Caws

A few weeks ago I create a little game / experience for the ‘Crows’ Bitsy Jam. It’s called Probably Caws and is filled with silly puns and other nonsense that you might get a chuckle out of.

I was mostly interested in getting to know Bitsy, which is a free to use engine that allows one to create these bite-sized browser-based games / experiences that are easy to share.

You can click here to be taken directly to the itch.io page where you can play the game with your keyboard (or on your mobile phone). It should not take you much longer than 2-3 minutes to complete.

The Right Place

Lichen-covered slabs surround him; their once-crisp inscriptions have weathered away like the memories of those buried beneath them. If he died here, no one would find his corpse. The thought soothes him.

The smell of damp moss and rotten leaves embraces him like a shroud, calming him. Here, behind a tangle of thorny thickets, pricking anyone daring to intrude, is his hiding spot. The crumbling crypt within, entirely overgrown, obscures him from the eyes of the living.

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Sunbird

Download MP3

Do you have a song that instantly teleports you back in time? For me, that song is “With You” by Linkin Park. It reminds me of that perfect summer day when Mike, Jesse, and I were speeding down the highway in Mike’s blue Sunbird. When we were blasting our new favorite album Hybrid Theory from the rattling car speakers.

Mike was the first of us with a driver’s license. He had saved up enough money to buy himself a used 1992 Pontiac Sunbird. It was a bright-blue convertible, decorated with a thin red stripe along its sides, the inside smelling of vanilla and old smoke. I remember Mike spending hours polishing the car, despite it being scuffed up and having been rear-ended; Mike insisted that if you squinted your eyes hard enough, the football-sized dent was imperceptible. We didn’t care one way or the other: the car gave us the freedom we had been craving; its CD player provided the soundtrack. Nothing else seemed to matter. Quite unlike us, we weren’t self-conscious as we shouted along with Chester Bennington. That day, we were the cool kids, no doubt about it. Two weeks later, Mike was dead.

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NaNoWriMo 2021 – 30 First Drafts

This year for NaNoWriMo, I am attempting to write 50,000 words in the form of 30 First Drafts, one for each day of the month. My goal is to force myself to bring many of my ideas to paper and then see at the end of the month what I can salvage. I will keep track of my word count on the NaNoWriMo website.

As the term implies, these are first drafts (with minor edits for readability, not touching the structure). I will write them fast and they will be full of mistakes and problems. Trust me, I know they are there.

I will try my best to add my daily first draft to the list below at the end of each day. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them, so I opened up the comments on each of them.

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Family Visit

I tried to stop them. I told them, “It’s not what it looks like.”

They dragged him out to the front yard. I pulled on their shirts, but they didn’t listen, didn’t relent. They were always stronger than me, even when I was the one that was a foot taller than them. My mother pulled me away, either to protect me or to let them hurt him. My father didn’t join my brothers, but he didn’t intervene either. The neighbors drew their curtains closed, deciding to not let this ruckus ruin their Thanksgiving dinner.

He had no chance to explain, not that they would have listened. I had tried my best, but there wasn’t enough makeup in the world to hide my black eye. Once he hit the ground, he only emitted grunts with every kick.

When they were done with him, they marched back inside. He stayed curled up for another minute or two before he slowy got back up on his feet. Blood had run down his face and began to dry on his chin and clothes. Grass, dirt, and footsteps covered his torn pants and jacket. He hobbled to his car, and I anxiously watched as he drove off without me.

The next day, he called my parent’s house. I couldn’t overhear what was said.

On Sunday, my youngest brother had insisted on driving me home, and when I saw the spare apartment key on the small table, I fell into my brother’s arms and cried. Sometimes things are exactly what they look like.


Copyright 2021 Sven Camrath
Picture ‘House Up High’ by Dara

About the story: Based on a writing prompt on Secret Attic that required the use of the sentence “It’s not what it looks like.”

30 Day Reading Journal – October 2021

I wanted to give myself a challenge for this month, but then October snuck up on me and caught me undecided. So instead I will simply make use of a habit I have been nurturing for quite a while now: reading. I just don’t write about my reading experiences and I guess that’s where the challenge comes in.

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Home Videos

“That’s gotta hurt!”

He says it every single time. When someone falls down a staircase, runs into a sign, gets hit in the face with a soccer ball, slips on ice, or falls victim to drunken over-confidence. With every bruise and broken bone shown on screen, he repeats the line like a catchphrase. Every. Single. Time. 

When I sit on the couch next to him, and he watches compilation after compilation of Epic Fails — our generation’s version of America’s Funniest Home Videos — he jolts back, pulls his hands to his chests, holds his breath, and repeats his line. All the other times, he stays silent. It’s exhausting.

I wonder if he genuinely feels for the people in these videos or if it’s only a reflex, like involuntary laughter. When the clip finishes, he lets out a deep guttural laugh and prepares himself for the next.

Maybe I need to make my own video. Maybe he needs to see me on the screen to believe I am hurting. He might even jolt, pull his hands to his chest and hold his breath when he sees it from his spot on the couch. I’m certain he will say his line. I wonder if he will realize what he is seeing or if he will stay silent. At that point, I won’t know because I will be gone.

He will tell his friends I just left him. There was no warning sign. Gone from one day to the other. They’ll believe him, see his pain, and console him. They might even say, “That’s gotta hurt!”


Copyright 2021 Sven Camrath
Photo ‘fail’ by Joe Zaizar III

About the story: Based on a writing prompt on Secret Attic that required the use of the sentence “That’s gotta hurt!”.

Broken Bones

Javier steered his little rowboat around the airplane’s wing. It stuck out of the shallow water like a tall white rock, smoothed by the ocean’s waves. A man sat opposite of him, wrapped in Javier’s thin wool blanket. The man stared between his feet with glazed-over eyes. Javier had pulled him out of the cold waters just moments before.

Suitcases, pillows, and clothing were bobbing on the water all around them. The air smelled of fuel and smoke. A few bold seagulls flew overhead, looking for anything edible amongst the flotsam.

“You know, I had a feeling something bad might happen today,” Javier told the man as he kept rowing through the debris.

The man didn’t react. Javier often talked to himself when he was out here to fish.

“I sometimes have these…” he paused, trying to find the right word, “premonitions.”

A body floated face-down against the side of the boat. It wore a navy-blue suit. Javier winced as he gently pushed it away with one of his oars, dislodging the dead person’s wig in the process. It floated off like a separate, hairy casualty.

“I get this feeling and my left hand tingles.” He held up his hand with the unnaturally bent fingers towards the man. “Dropped a large shipping crate on it. Broke all the bones. Now, when something bad happens, it starts tingling. Like it knows something I don’t. Tingled just before the freak storm we had last summer, the one that toppled my cousin’s boat. He almost drowned.”

“I felt it tingle today, but” Javier scanned the chaos around him, “I didn’t see that coming.”


Copyright 2021 Sven Camrath
Photo ‘floating’ by mhobl

About the story: Based on a writing prompt on Secret Attic that required the use of the sentence “I didn’t see that coming.”

Have you seen my dog?

My husband is of no help. I’ve been looking everywhere for him. My dog, not my husband. He bit him once if you can believe it. My dog did, not my husband. Bit the tip off his little finger right off. Then he ate the damn thing. His finger, not my husband. He just barks at the TV all day. My husband, not the dog. No wonder he’s all stressed out. My dog, not my husband. That’s why he bit him, you see? Always complains that I feed the dog better than him. I told him he has a sensitive stomach. My dog has, not my husband. My husband eats hotdogs by the pack and drinks beer by the keg. Bought him an artisan sausage once. My husband, not the dog. Asked me what an artisan sausage was. Told him I didn’t know. He just gave it to the dog. Then he shit all over the carpet and the couch. My dog, not my husband. Ended up having to throw it out. The carpet, not my dog. People tell me my husband looks like my dog. I think he’s uglier. My husband, not my dog.


Copyright 2021 Sven Camrath
French Bulldog Photo by freepik