Ch 13. High School Ritual: The Dead Land (SepSceneWriMo)

Four high school students encounter an evil spirit. Thoroughly cliched and hopelessly derivative.

When he fell from the cliff’s edge into the foggy abyss, Mikhail flipped over and over for what seemed like both forever and only a moment. He landed without any pain—in fact, he could hardly feel his own body—on the bank of a dirty, powerfully rushing river. The land around him was the same color as the river, broken up by rocks and dead grass. The sky was black, with a few stars that seemed to be dying—they gave off no rays and strayed from their course. He got up and walked along the bank.

To push down growing nervousness, he tried to cheer himself up with philosophy. “Nihil ex nihilo,” he mumbled. “Nothing comes from nothing. Mom always says nothing can come from nothing. But that’s clearly BS. Of course nothing comes from nothing. What is everything but nothing..?”

He looked around the dead world and tried to reassure himself he was right. See, there was nothing here—and he was just fine. But when some shapes emerged on the horizon, his steps quickened. They seemed to be moving about—yes—a group of them. So he wasn’t alone. He’d find out where he was and—no, he thought. He was fine.

The three figures were dressed in rags and were swinging their shoulders back and forth.

“Excuse me?”

They ignored him but kept whispering to themselves.

He tried a couple more times, and then, overcoming his strong reluctance, tapped one of them on the shoulder. It swung around with the wind and Mikhail’s heart dropped. Its face was drawn on with a marker. It was an old scarecrow. There were three of them. There was no one for miles beside himself and three scarecrows.

He staggered on for what must have been hours. It was impossible to keep time because the tiny stars appeared and disappeared and wandered around, and there was nothing to see but more of the same, except there were no more scarecrows.

He sat down next to the river and pulled up his knees. When he was deciding whether to jump into the abyss, before he slipped, he hadn’t considered waking up in a place like this, or anywhere. But he couldn’t stay here forever, it was intolerable.

He thought about it for a little longer, thought about his mother, and dove into the river.

Sorry guys… work-in-progress here… did this at work when no one was supervising me.

30 thoughts on “Ch 13. High School Ritual: The Dead Land (SepSceneWriMo)

  1. I’m loving this. You’ve tapped into some real archetypal effluvia in the human psyche.
    And I’m jealous, as the only writing I seem to be able to accomplish is blog comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks so much Roy. There’s a lot of stuff bouncing around in my head and I’m just trying to sketch it out quickly. I appreciate your insight on what I’m doing. Later on I’ll fill it out more. I’ve got to visit your blog. I can’t figure out how to subscribe. Maybe there’s an option for you to add an email form? I’m not familiar with that platform.


      1. Best I can figure, blogspot, or, provides no way to subscribe to one of their blogs. It does not, in general, play well with WordPress. I keep threatening to move to wordpress but for one reason or another I never do. At any rate, you would have to visit the site “manually,” using
        I should point out that my blog is mostly unremarkable.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m going to bookmark so I can at least read. I know it’s not unremarkable because I’ve visited it before. Secretly I hope you overcome your dislike of the WordPress platform and come here. But I totally get being comfortable with what you’re using.


          1. Kind of you to say. Yes! Please “stop by.” I have a WP blog I’m experimenting with, trying to overcome to the totally unintuitive interface, but meanwhile we work with what we got.
            I want to co-opt the scene-by-scene thing. Suits my ADHD.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. If I may bug you a little — Try I think I made it to allow subscribing–at the bottom. I did a sepscenewrimo but I doubt I tagged it or linked it correctly.

                Liked by 1 person

      1. Royal Road is one of several sites out there for fiction writing. Some of the ongoing series on those sites have followings and do pretty well on the Patreons and such. Do you mean you plan to take your story down? Why does it give you anxiety?

        Liked by 1 person

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