Continuing my housekeeping of old, abandoned ideas – here are some more stories from my SCRAP folder.
For anyone morbidly curious – below are pitches for my horribly conceived tribute to “Books of Blood” by Clive Barker. A few are started and abandoned; others I never got past the outline.
A Legitimate Phenomenon
A female researcher is investigating a man who claims to have supernatural powers. While interviewing him at the University, they begin an experiment with a number of objects of power – a double blind mix of real objects on loan from the anthropology department and random, discarded scraps from the pottery department.
Before he can be exposed as a charlatan, one of the real objects is triggered, imbuing all the items on the table before him with warped powers. The man, now possessed as the avatar of some long forgotten deity of potency and fertility, begins to describe to the enthralled woman how things will change – and how she’ll become his evangelical accomplice.
Notes: inspired by “Book of Blood”. Pulls from the opening “ESP test” in Ghostbusters and “The Golden Man” by Philip K. Dick.
When the Sun Goes Down
A low-rent private investigator finds himself over his head, obsessed with finding out what happened to his ex. A week after she disappeared, the formerly career focused journalist has reemerged as a doting Stepford bimbo – barely recognizable to her former friends and family. He indulges in the newly ‘supportive’ partner, while working off his guilt every night by tracking down what seems to be a conspiracy – a pattern of similar replacements. The husbands and boyfriends are frustratingly content with their new, docile and hyper-sexual partners, making it difficult for the investigator to stay objective and forge deeper into what’s causing this.
In the end – he finds the man responsible for the changes. Rather than stopping him, this controller decides it’s time to ‘retire’ and imbues the protagonist with his abilities – along with the compulsion to keep making ‘good girls. Possessed with a power greater than his mind can comprehend, the protagonist snaps and gleefully accepts his new responsibility.
Notes: inspired by “Midnight Meat Train”. Very directly inspired by The Stepford Wives, specifically the 2004 remake’s tone of gas-lighting and indoctrinating the husband. The antagonist (forebearer of the power) is transparently inspired by Mr. Grey’s self-insert from the anthologies like “Afternoon Well Spent”.
Curses Are a Bitch
A woman carries a Curse, part of a devil’s bargain an ancestor made hundreds of years ago. The Curse (a personified female mix of succubus, vengeance demon and poltergeist) has begun it’s rein of torture on her 20th birthday.
Plausibly unfortunate (and sexual) accidents fail to rattle the victim. This phase culminates when she has to present to class. A corrupted PowerPoint file, a broken bra strap, aggressive air conditioning, and a mix-up with toothpaste and prescription numbing gel to give her a lisp. She ends up looking like a ditzy, turned on bimbo to her teacher and peers.
Frustrated, the Curse starts pushing harder with increasingly implausible tricks and changes – leaning more into blatant porn tropes and overtly sexual situations.
Mid-story, it’s revealed the protagonist is aware of the Curse and has been preparing to outwit her supernatural adversary. Using a loophole in the terms of the Curse’s creation – she knows making the Curse manifest physically will bind it to her as a powerful genie-like slave.
After taking a few Penthouse Letter style encounters in stride, the Curse becomes too involved and turned on by the situations it’s creating – impulsive inserting itself into one of the fantasy/torture scenarios for a threesome. In the moments of passion, the protagonist binds the Curse to her will, netting herself a wicked ‘girlfriend’ who will enable her and manipulate people/reality to whatever perverted scenarios she can imagine.
Notes: inspired by “The Yattering and Jack”. A bit of feedback-loop changes in the vein of “A Little Knowledge” by Chrystal Wynd, with the climax having notes of the accomplice genie from “Family Magic” by Aliiens.
It Takes a Village
A vacationing lesbian couple stumbles on a generations old secret, all female cult – disguised as a quaint, old world village. Their timing coincides with a ritualistic ‘pairing’ with the neighboring town of men. Disturbing the ritual and mixing their own (non-cis, not binary, non hetero) sexual energy into town’s intent, the normally traditional fertility rites become an orgy – freeing the more repressed sexual tension of both communities and drawing in the outsiders as part of the ‘family’.
One partner ‘lags’ a bit to provide some reader POV style reaction and horror, fighting to save them both. While they both eventually lose their old selves to this new, fluid hivemind – it’s a cloyingly positive fate – with the cult embracing more (too!) progressive new outlook, setting its sights on bringing more unsuspecting travelers into the fold.
Notes: inspired by “”In the Hills, the Cities”. Very loose take on the story, pulling more from The Wicker Man and Midsommer. Definitely some ‘Borg’ and “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer overtones, with the new cult wanting to incorporate all spectrum (and perversions, kinks) into the hivemind.