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 WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway is delayed–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) 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, and hears something behind him.

Previous snippet:

This was it. This was how he died.

The heat from the claws digging into his back vanished, and as he knelt there, eyes clamped shut tightly, he heard the faint rustle of something—several somethings moving behind him.

Four, five… he couldn’t tell. Much more than two, which had been terrifying enough.

The door thudded against the wall as someone shoved it open, and a familiar voice shouted something in a language full of liquid syllables.

“Harry,” Seth said, as his frazzled brain provided him with a prosaic piece of information amid the screaming terror of the last few minutes.

“Just stay put, Seth. Keep your eyes closed until I say otherwise,” Harry slid in between the lilting words of that other language.

A rough-edged voice, with an inhumanely deep tone, answered, the burble of sounds still as pretty as a stream, answered, moving away from Seth as it did so.


Harry’s voice responded, and then an almost-silence followed. The soft scratch of claws on the floors, a quiet rubbing sound, an exhaled breath.Seth’s mind latched onto each noise, imagination churning out scenarios for each one.

“Okay, you can stand up now,” Harry said.

He didn’t move, petrified to the spot, a statue curiosity for his landlord.

Hands dug under his arms, lifted, pinched in when he didn’t cooperate. The pain brought him back to himself, mostly, and he stood, eyes still closed.

“You can open your eyes,” she added, moving around, a metallic rattling noise following her footsteps. Curiosity pried open his lids, finally, to see Harry creating a circle around the sound system boxes—screws, computer chips,and twists of wire raining from her hands.

She stepped back to study her efforts, grabbed another handful of pieces from her pockets, and filled in gaps with an intense focus, then nodded.

*    *    *

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.

20 responses »

  1. Always super loaded with excitement.

  2. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    I love this story, and I’m so curious as to why Harry knows so much about Gremlins.

  3. nancygideon says:

    Just rewatched the first Gremlins movie for the first time in decades, Forgot what nasty little beasties they could be. You build on his emotions and fears superbly.

  4. I’m so enthralled by this story!!! Really excellent and I enjoyed today’s new details…great snippet.

  5. Ed Hoornaert says:

    You portrayed his hopelessness very vividly. Does surrounding him with electronics form a barrier against the gremlins?

  6. Alexis Duran says:

    There’s certainly more to Harry than meets the eye. Can’t wait to hear her explanation (if she gives him one).

  7. Now I’m even more curious about Harry. She’s so knowledgeable!

  8. Diane Burton says:

    I’m intrigued by Harry and her knowledge of gremlins. Very well written.

  9. Great to have you back! Great snippet! 😀

  10. I’m intrigued about Harry and how she knows so much about Gremlins.

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