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The Horror Section

Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

I think it was my somewhat strict upbringing that fostered my intrigue for horror. Following the path of god and basking in the sun’s rays is all well and good… but the forbidden aura of all things creepy called to me even from a young age.

Imagine the delight of my first library card. Here was a building of profound possibilities. Here among the yellowed pages I could decipher hushed secrets. Here I could conjure nearly any fancy. It was only a matter of weeks before the horror section became my new stomping ground.

I spent many nights and batteries reading late at night in the darkness of my room. I often shared the bed and my nightmares with Stephen King and R.L. Stine.


Over time the pangs of terror began to subside. I had developed a thick shell of desensitized awareness. My vivid imagination gushed gore and violence but the deluge had become commonplace. I resorted to seek the aid of a withered librarian. I had S.O.S’ed many librarians but none of them could point me in the right direction. This husk of a woman was the only person whose eyes sparkled through thick lenses when my desires were made manifest. She too was a fan of the occult and supernatural. Her station was on the first floor located near the exit. Her age demanded sparse mobility but her mental prowess was truly something to be admired. On weekends I would approach her desk and she would wordlessly hand me a note with the call sign of a book. I appreciated the way she so fervently handled this exchange.

I approached her desk one day to find an occupant of significantly younger appearance. Puzzled, I cast my eyes around to see if my arthritic mentor had been relocated. The woman upon seeing my perplexed features rose from her desk and approached me sporting a dress too bright for my taste. I looked up at her imploringly. She was holding something against her chest.

“You must be Ms. Shipley’s friend.”

I nodded.

“I’m sorry, but she will no longer be here. Um, she left me a note and this. It’s for you.”

She held out a book-sized package to me.
Could I turn down the box and get her back? I felt cheated and angry but I took the plainly wrapped gift and stuffed it in my backpack. She eyed me with a mixture of concern and pity. I could read between the lines of our little exchange that Ms.Shipley had died. This woman standing in front of me with a shrill voice was unaware of the tumultuous familiarity I had with death. I quietly thanked her and walked away before she could spout another word. In a way I despised this woman for casually thinking she could fill the position.


I was once more upstairs looking down the aisle so familiar to me. With my ally among the dust I was no longer going to be able to sustain my bookworm appetite. I dropped my backpack to the floor and sat atop a lonesome bucket ladder. I withdrew the package and methodically undid the twine. I would imagine such rope would have been used to hold “witches” in place while they burned to death hundreds of years ago. I was holding the spine of a book, this much I knew before the paper was completely removed. I expected to see a familiar title or at least an author I recognized. A somber leather cover with no title greeted me instead. This first few pages were blank. No copyright, no fine print, just the dedication. In familiar scrawls of sputtering ink:

I dedicate the last remaining copy of this book to Mike.
Some things to note:
Do not look under your bed while you read this.
Do not go in the library basement.
Even in an empty room you are not alone.

Ms. Shipley


A small surge of adrenaline hits me. To read about such things is entirely different from first hand experience. I debate for a few moments before turning the page. The paper was thick and partially yellowed and the text looks to be hammered in by a typewriter. The first line of text is simply an address:
585 Blackstone Blvd. Providence, RI

From behind a book crashes from the highest shelf onto the floor. I stiffen and inhale deeply, the next line forgotten. Looking around I see a book splayed open on the mud colored floor. I stand, my gift held tightly in one hand, and walk over to peer down at the book. If the A/C was on or if a window was open I could justify why several pages turned by themselves just then. My instincts kick in (remember I am still 12 years of age) and I walk backwards towards my seat, retrieve my backpack, and quickly leave the library.

Now most ghost stories end when the main character dies or has been inexplicably driven insane. I am aware of their plight and have resolved not to let such a fate befall me. I am not the blonde who checks the closet, I am not the man who walks down dark alleyways by himself. I have since looked up the address and noted that it is not far from where I used to live on Wingate Road. As of writing this entry the book has remained unopened in a trunk filled with prized possessions acquired throughout the years. Occasionally I am struck with how incredulous this story sounds. It is only a few steps and a key later that I can reaffirm my fears that this book does, in fact, exist. Someday I may be brave enough to open it again. Someday.

Credit To: Ashcrown

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52 thoughts on “The Horror Section”

  1. Definitely leaves something to be desired. Where’s the rest of the story? Nice build up but then… Nothing. Could have a gem here if you go back and finish.

  2. ThisIsANameForAComment

    Where’s the ending? Also, comment from author, just wow. That is some serious trash to be talking to all the other authors on here.

  3. Kinda reads like you had an idea, you were getting into it well, then you had to go to bed, so you wrapped it up and submitted.

  4. lol i get it haha the protaganist is smart enough not to open the book like the hot blonde would lol i find it funny that everyone complains when the hot blonde opens the closet door like an idiot and when somebody finally writes a scary story about a smart person who doesn’t open the closet everyone complains. makes you realize that in order fora story to be scary the main character needs to make the big mistakes that seem stupid in hindsight.

  5. It’s like you started writing this story and than forgot it somehow. A few weeks later you found it and ended it with… nothing. Actually this is, what the end implies… nothing. As a matter of fact I don’t like those “demonic book” stories at all, but this one was embarrassing, espacially the end.

  6. I feel like there’s a big chunk of this story missing. I loved the idea and enjoyed reading the story, but I felt like there wasn’t enough explanation about the book.

    I still really enjoyed it.

  7. I really freakin liked this story. I’m a little upset that it ended so abruptly. I felt like a baby being spoofed and then ur asshole dad makes the spoon airplane go in his mouth instead of yours! Bleh!

  8. Personally, I liked it. Maybe more then I should have but I liked it. I liked the address and that it left me curious.
    Not everything has to include gore and death to stimulate the mind.

  9. I was disappointed by the abrupt ending, but only because the rest was really good – I’d have been willing to keep reading even if it were two or three times longer, just to see how you developed that premise. I’d love to read a re-write that went somewhere with the idea.

  10. I loved this story. It’s original and a nice change of pace. I do agree that the ending was a bit lacking, but a follow up would be great. I’d love reading it. All in all, great job.

  11. Ashcrown, your story impressed me. Not because it was particularly scary, but the fact that you insist it is real makes me believe that this could happen to any of us. Would love to read the follow up to it. Don’t not post for the people who critisise, but post for the people who enjoyed it. Keep up the good work!

  12. …I’m sad to see such a low review score for my submitted story. I apologize if any of the story irked you.

    The problem with the narration of my tense exists in part because of the fragmented creation involved. I’ve picked up the pen every year to jot down a small chunk of the occurrence. The other portion of the tense conflicts involved a narration experiment to generate unease. I’m sorry if that effect failed to deliver properly.

    Also, the story does involve an ending… of sorts. I have maintained correspondence with a friend of mine who still lives near the library and the graveyard (Bravo HospitalBed for pointing that out). We have opted to deliver the book to him so that he may investigate it’s contents and report back to me anything of significance.

    Such a dismal score exists on this site for the story. I am debating heavily if I should submit a followup or keep the development between myself and my more adventurous friend.

    Perhaps works of fiction and horrific gore-filled banality are the only things that will thrive on a site such as this. Shame.

    1. “Perhaps works of fiction and horrific gore-filled banality are the only things that will thrive on a site such as this. Shame.”

      Or, perhaps, people come to a site filled with stories to read STORIES. As in, true/false accounts of events in which something HAPPENS.

      I was going to comment and recommend you do a follow up, as your story built a lot of suspense to end with nothing. But seeing as how your comment paints you as a pretentious douche, I’m giving it a 1 and recommending you learn a bit of humility.

  13. So… Is this supposed to be satire? There must be a purpose for all the suspense leading up to nothing. Right?

  14. The story did have an ending. Just one that some people didn’t happen to like. Most stories like this would end with the protagonist brutally murdered, or maimed, or insane but this one doesn’t. Because the protagonist knows how to deal with misplaced curiosity. His long stay in the horror shelves has made him Genre Savvy to horror tropes and he decided not to become the next guy killed by the monster. It kinda surprised me, in a good way. There were a few grammar issues, such as tenses, and at times I couldn’t decide how old the narrator was supposed to be, but nothing that made the story totally unenjoyable. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see what was in the book too, but sometimes our curiosity is best left unsated…

  15. Wait what? Did he pick up the book that fell off the top shelf and stuff it in a treasure chest at his house? This sucked. A lot of hoopla built up only to be wasted.

  16. Wow, I’m shocked. People fail to understand a few words and they complain about it. Really? Reading is for learning and absorbing…isnt it?

    Looked up the address and it turned out to be a graveyard. H.P Lovecraft and a few other noteworthy people are buried there.

    This story was a breath of fresh air after enduring some of the other stories on this site.

    I would much rather prefer a little bit of the story left to the imagination instead of having it painfully spoon-fed to me from a twilight series wannabe.

    Too bad you cannot rate the merits of people to weigh their opinions properly.

    …No doubt byproducts of the “No child left behind” nightmare. Shame.

    1. Some people here just like to read stories that are creepy without having to go research further into them. I sometimes research into stories, but only if I find them sufficiently creepy to begin with.
      And so what if it’s a graveyard? She could have just written the address in for some reason that’s not related to creepiness. Plus, nothing creepy happened following the finding out of this information.

    2. I know this is a year old, but really HospitalBed?

      There is a very large difference between leaving some of the story to the imagination of the reader, and requiring the reader to make up the entire plot by themselves.

  17. Well I quite enjoyed this! Short yes, but it is one that makes you lust for more. Draws out the imagination. Kudos!!

  18. Oh god. Horrible writing flow; why switch tenses midway? What struck me worse is the sentence “Remember, I am still twelve years of age” — wait, is he 12 when writing or is he looking BACK on his past and writing?

    And the LACK OF PLOT. Ugh. He just gets a book with an address? That’s all?

    How does trash like this get accepted?

  19. Omg, that was so awful that I’m more entertained than annoyed. In a bad way. Wtf was that? This is worse than The Mummified Head story.

  20. that wasn’t creepy at all and you used a thesaurus I don’t know what half the words meant now I have to look them up.

    1. Its not the authors fault you have a small vocabulary. Unless the author is your dad/cousin, in which case, inbreeding is bad, mkay?

      1. It IS the author’s fault if he/she relies on purple prose to sound like a serious author — all it does is make an already anticlimactic story sound super pretentious as well. It doesn’t take a fool to have a small vocabulary; it does take a fool to be easily impressed by big words.

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