This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a new WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination, despite a shadow following him home. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway car he’s on is delayed more than an hour–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) pushes him into her office and tells him she can fix his gremlin problem–and sends him to buy an expensive sound system, then wait for her before he enters his apartment. Seth goes in alone.

Previous snippet:

Seized with an almost uncontrollable desire to turn around, Seth clenched his eyes shut, and didn’t realize he’d tightened his jaw, too, until his teeth began to ache from the pressure.

The sound came from behind him, again—no, two sounds. One echoed deeper, louder, more of a growl, and farther to the left.

His skin crawled, but he eased up on his jaw without opening his eyes. “Harry– she works in the basement of my building, I think you know her–she said there was a ritual, but I don’t know the words, and… something happened to keep her from telling them to me.”

The noises were definitely closer now.

“I don’t know the words, but I am sorry, and—”

Stars burst across his closed eyelids, and a spike of pain drove through his skull. Then his knees ached, and somehow he’d fallen to them, hard from how they complained, his palms stinging, too from hitting the floor.

He should have waited for Harry, even if it took hours.


The noises had stopped, but he could hear, faintly, the whoosh of something breathing, right behind him. Small, sharp points pressed into his back, digging into his shoulders into two arcs—claws, he realized, as they just broke the skin.

A warning.

He could still hear the breathing, and the beginnings of a growl, and behind him, something else, bigger, moving closer.

He clenched his eyes shut. They wanted him to look at them. Why? He didn’t know, but his gut told him he shouldn’t open his eyes.

Through the spike of panic clogging his throat, he forced out, “I’m sorry,” and truly meant it this time.

The louder gremlin giggled, high-pitched and raspy.

*    *    *

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.

19 responses »

  1. Always posing serious to make readers think and week after week , your snippets keep me on my toes. Thanks, Caitlin

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Hmm. I wonder if Gremlins consider ‘please’ and ‘I’m sorry’ as the magic words.

  3. nancygideon says:

    Is giggled Gremlin for evil chuckle?

  4. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Oh my gosh, that is so scary. I don’t know if I cold resist not looking. I’d try to find a reflection somewhere. But then again, it may be scarier to actually see them. Then again, maybe Harry is playing a good prank on him. Or maybe Harry is a gremlin. You always leave me with so many questions and wanting to read more. 🙂

    • Ooh, making Harry a gremlin would be interesting! I like the way you think.
      He did see a gremlin, once–right at the beginning, which started this problem. They aren’t pretty.

  5. Alexis Duran says:

    A gremlin giggling cannot be good. Hope Seth makes it out of this in one piece.

  6. Carrie-Anne says:

    That’s one terrifying moment!

  7. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    The giggling probably means things will not bode well for him.

  8. Diane Burton says:

    If I’d been Seth, I would’ve wet my pants when those claws touched my back. But then the giggles. Fright then humor? You’re jerking around our emotions.

    You’re not the only one who didn’t sign up this week. I forgot, too.

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