Writing project 1, draft 1, part 3

Maxine wasn’t in full control of herself anymore. She spotted a broken stick, grabbed it, and stabbed backwards behind her head. The monster reeled off her back, screeching with pain. She took the only opportunity she had and stumbled forward before breaking back into a sprint.

Ear piercing sounds faded in the distance as Maxine ran out of the forest into her residential neighborhood. I must have lost that thing, she thought to herself. The adrenaline in her faded away and her arm started hurting. There was still a deep, bleeding gash on her arm. She then finally remembered her illness. Was she imagining all of this? Why does it hurt so much? Her body must be changing, her symptoms must be worsening. Convincing herself that nothing about this is real, she headed home.

Maxine walked in to the kitchen, “Hi mom.”

Her mother was preparing dinner, “Oh hi sweetie, how was your-” Maxine’s mother locked eyes with Maxine’s arm. “Oh my god! Maxine! Are you alright?”

What? My arm, it really is hurt, isn’t it? “Oh, yeah….it really hurts.”

Her mother scrambled to wrap up Maxine’s arm. “Good thing it doesn’t look deep enough to go to the hospital. What happened?”

“I guess I scraped a branch when I was running. My hallucinations were really bad today, I got scared.”

“Oh honey, you’ve never ran before. How are you doing now?”


Writing project 1, draft 1, part 2

“Yeah. I just need some air. I can handle it, Harrison. Thank you, though.” 5 more of those monsters were crawling towards her, two of them on either wall of the hallway. Maxine turned around, she was close to the exit. They’re not real, they’re not real, they’re not real, she thought to herself.

The door burst open and Maxine rushed out, slamming the door behind her and sinking to sit against the bottom of the door. Breath in, breath out. Breath in, breath out.

They were next to her. They started crawling up her arms, her legs, her body. She could feel them. Shutting her eyes tight, Maxine waited for the pain. It never comes, but that doesn’t stop her from believing it could. She waited.

No pain. She slowly opened her eyes. One of them crawled across her face. Maxine let out a little sigh of relief. Calming down, she sat there, outside where passengers in cars could see her in the nearby road, monsters crawling all over her, her clothes soaked with crusted blood.

Eventually, when the monsters crawled out of sight, they stopped crawling back into sight. Maxine couldn’t tell when, but the feelings of prickly legs and dripping blood disappeared for each monster. Soon she wasn’t even covered in blood stains.

* * *

“Bye Harrison, see you tomorrow,” Maxine called.

He responded, “See ya!”

Maxine walked out of the building and headed to the forest. It sure is nice living so close to work, she thought to herself, maybe I should just head home on bad days like this. It’s been a long time since Maxine had this much trouble determining what is real and what isn’t, she started beating herself up internally for loosing control of her coping skills, especially at work. She felt so ashamed and afraid for her job security.

Maxine though she saw someone moving behind a tree in the corner of her eye. She quickly glanced and focused on that tree. It was very thin. Not again, she was already confused today.

She started creeping to the tree, “Hello? Is anybody there?”

She head a twig snap in the other direction, and she spun around so fast the she almost lost her footing. She saw it again, a dark silhouette disappear behind another thin tree. Logically she knew it wasn’t real, a tree like that couldn’t conceal anybody.

“Hello?” She said, her voice more shaky and stressed than before. She didn’t know what direction it would come from next, she stood still.

Hearing leaves crunch behind her, she froze. It took another step towards her, then another. A feeling rippled through her. I’m going to die. She burst into a run, slipping on the leaves from the first leap. Her steps were loud, echoing rhythmically throughout the forest, but they were not the only steps. Behind her, steps turned into strides, getting faster and faster. Maxine tried to remember her coping skills, but it was so hard through the heavy breathing and exhaustion.

It gained on her and then pounced. After what seemed like an eternity of silence in that short moment, another new thing happened. It landed on her back and tackled her to the ground. Its claw was digging into her arm, resting at the end of a big gash. It hurt like hell and Maxine was bleeding a lot. Right behind her head was something puffing warm, foul breath, and then a snarly, ear-piercing growl was emitted from this beast.

Writing project 1, draft 1, part 1

Maxine watched as the little man climbed up the table and inspected her. Maxine has seen him before, she knows he poses no threat. She focused on what was actually happening, she listened to her boss’s speech. The man, smaller than a real-world dwarf but with the body shape of a normal man, walked closer this time. He came withing feet of where Maxine was sitting. Then he did something he never did before. He spoke.

“I know you know I can see you, you know.”

Maxine glanced at him, he was looking at her in a way that was extremely convincing that he was real. She mustered up the willpower to look away again and refocus.

Something else caught her eye. Across the table, crawling out from the back of Harrison’s head was a spider-like monster of the same size as his head. When it was in plain sight, it only had 6-no, 5 legs, and it had the head of a person. It’s eyes and jaw were missing, blood heavily dripping everywhere, and it’s upper teeth were long, thick, and sharp. It was making a loud, almost telepathic clicking noise.

As always, nobody in the room saw or heard things like this. But something new struck Maxine’s attention. The little man didn’t either. Usually Maxine’s hallucinations are aware of each other, and they almost always cooperate in whatever way they are trying to torture her. Maxine stood there in shock, and then fear.

“Hey,” Harrison whispered, “Are you okay?”

Maxine snapped out of it for a second, “Oh yeah, yeah.” It was hard not to look back at the creature on his head, especially because she is now having a really hard time determining what is real and what isn’t.

The monster crawled down Harrison’s face. made it’s way to the table. Maxine now faced a terrifying monster slowly creeping its way towards her, and a little man staring at her with smug curiosity.

The anxiety reached a boiling point. Maxine sprang up from her chair, it rolling back to tap the glass when it slowed. She briskly walked to the door, trying to maintain her composure.

When she noticed everyone was looking at her, especially her boss, all she could muster was an, “Excuse me,” before she left the room.

Making her way to the building exit for some air, she just now processed the look on her boss’s face. He knows what goes on, a little bit. He doesn’t care to understand, he judges her, and he holds her responsible for her control over it. Sure, HR stops him from doing anything, for the most part. What a smugly irritable look he had on his face. Everybody else had no clue why Maxine did things like this to boot.

“Maxine!” Harrison was running down the hallway after her. “Are you having trouble seeing things today?”