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Here’s the start of a new WIP–working title “Discovering Gremlins. Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination. A shadow has followed him home. Maybe.

Previous snippet: When the shadow raced by, right out of the edge of his vision as he exited the subway car, he ignored it. He trudged up the steps to his apartment, and this time when he noticed the flicker, it was a black garbage bag stuck on a tree branch. As soon as he locked his door behind him, he started shedding his work clothes, ending up in a t-shirt and boxers when he settled on the sofa a couple minutes later.

Click. On went the tv.

He started up his latest favorite show, a mystery with wacky odd couple investigators, which he was halfway through the second season, and binge-watched until his stomach rumbled unpleasantly, gnawing at his spine.

“Oh, geeze,” he glanced at his phone–11:35. He should have been in bed an hour ago.

He shuffled to the kitchen, and stuffed a frozen dinner in the microwave, yawning and staring off into the distance while the microwave hummed. Something rustled behind him, and the microwave’s happy hum shifted, punctuated with popping noises, and he whirled around to find it on fire.




Seth swore, and yanked the plug on the microwave. He opened the door, which made the fire rise eagerly with the fresh infusion of oxygen, used a metal spatula to deposit the dinner in the sink, then turned on the tap.

A few moments later, he stared glumly at the blackened and soggy brick of still-frozen pasta and meat.

A quick scoop with the spatula landed the mess in the trash, and he had a bowl of cereal instead, before slumping off to bed. Tomorrow would have to be better.


His alarm went off far too early, and he accidentally swiped his phone off the nightstand when he tried to silence it. Groaning, he picked it up, and turned it over to find a spider web of cracks across the screen.

“Great.” He set the phone down with exaggerated care, and shuffled to the kitchen. He had a breakfast sandwich in his hand when he noticed the burn marks and scorched plastic smell of the microwave.

*    *    *

Gremlins have camouflage magic, and a way of making people who catch just a glimpse forget them. This is good for humanity, because they’re powerfully ugly, and react violently to being discovered. But when Seth hits his head and lands on the floor right next to a gremlin, he sees it… and it notices that he’s done so. Things are about to go downhill for Seth.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

24 responses »

  1. Dynamite regarding your new story plus the frightening Gremlin. Seth’s in big trouble!

  2. kayceeyen says:

    Poor Seth sounds like his bad luck is just starting with the gremlins. Great flow.

  3. kayceeyen says:

    Poor Seth sounds like his bad luck is just starting with the gremlins. Great flow, very natural!

  4. Poor Seth – this gremlin clearly has bad things planned for him! I’m enjoying watching the story unfold and the sheer ingeniousness of your technical complications! Great snippet…

  5. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Well, yesterday definitely sounded like gremlins, but this day sounds more like simple bad luck. Poor Seth!

  6. Gremlins are ruining his life! Little monsters. 🙂

  7. Hywela Lyn says:

    Definitely plagued by gremlins, I’d say, poor guy! (Just a thought – perhaps the second sentence could be split into two? Perhaps something like …” He used a metal spatula to deposit the dinner in the sink, then turned on the tap.” It’s a little on the convoluted side otherwse (from the queen of long, convoluted sentences!) 🙂

  8. Gremlins = worse roommate ever. I’m dying to know when we get to see them and what they are planning for poor Seth.

  9. Sounds like someone’s having a great day! Hahaha

  10. It’s a shame the microwave is dead. I bet they are as tough on a gremlin as a blender is. ~evil smile~

    Good snippet!

  11. Alexis Duran says:

    This gremlin seems to have it in for technology. I must have one living in my house! It would explain so much.

  12. Diane Burton says:

    Poor guy. His luck just went from bad to worse. We joke about gremlins, but it sounds like they’re nasty beings.

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