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The Creeper of Dirt Alley – Writing Prompt

Everyone knows to avoid Dirt Alley after dark. 

A couple of years ago they put CCTV up at both ends in the hope that it might deter the incidents. Nothing changed. 

The problem with Dirt Alley is that it isn’t straight, even though it looks that way on a map. You can’t see the opposite end of the alley from either entrance, there is an innocuous bend right in the middle, it bows to the left just enough to create a blind spot, and then it bends back straight again. 

There is never light in that bend, neither the sun nor the street lights can touch it. It is completely shaded by the gnarly overhang of the wilderness on the other side of the old brick wall.

That strange little out-of-place corner simply eats the light around it, leaving nothing but a restless dark space. 

In that little bend is where the dark things live, or so local legend would say. 

The high school children will only go down there in the daytime in groups of three or more on their way home. Not a soul ventures down after dark. 

Layla knew all this, of course, having lived in the neighbourhood her whole life. Never once had she ventured down, even as a child playing truth or dare. 

Still, she found herself making the snap decision one night to take the alley in the hopes that it might deter her stalker. 

She hadn’t noticed him at first, she had clip-clopped out of the train station at a brisk pace hoping to get home and in bed as quickly as she could. 

There weren’t many people around this side of midnight, so when the footsteps behind her were still there after three turns through the housing estates she began to worry. 

She crossed the road, then after five paces crossed back. Her pursuer followed.

A quick glance back set her heart throbbing with terror. A dark figure with a baseball cap completely shadowing his face was storming along behind her, much closer than she had realised. 

Speed squirted into her legs, she hoped her sudden pace would give her an advantage, even just for a minute.

The black maw of Dirt Alley lay ahead and to the right, looking anything but innocent nestled there between two snarly bushes. 

Her decision to turn into the alley was instant and desperate. At that moment, the fear of her pursuer was greater than a lifelong superstition, so she darted in.

The darkness swallowed her instantly, even the temperature dropped a few degrees, not that she noticed as she tore down the alley, her breathing panicked and ragged. 

She hurled herself through the gloom and stopped short just before that unusual bend to risk a look behind. 

Her pursuer was paused at the mouth of the alley. They both knew that he would never catch her unless he followed her down, but how much did he know of the local legends, she wondered?

There was a sound from behind her, a sound that was wet and sharp both at once. The unnatural darkness was pooling around her ankles, she could feel the cold creeping across her flesh. 

Whether by stupidity or bravery, Layla would never know which, her pursuer moved boldly into the alley. 

The question became – which was she more afraid of the blackness of Dirt Alley, or the man chasing her?

With a cry of sheer outrage, she spun on her heel and dove into the bend behind her. Perhaps speed would save her.

For several long seconds, she could see absolutely nothing ahead of her. The darkness consumed everything, thick and veined with the pulse of her terror, it cocooned her.

Then a flash of yellow in the distance, the streetlight at the other end, a beacon of safety.

Layla was jerked to a halt, not by the grip of her pursuer but by the slippery tentacles that were wrapped around her legs and waist. 

She looked down but all she could see were thick ribbons of darkness slung around her body, like animated shadows. 

A hiss from behind her left ear. The wet slip of a tongue along the back of her neck. 

“Take him.” She whispered. “Take him, not me.”

Her heart thudded in her chest, the roar of the silence was thundering through her ears. Please, she thought, please let him still be following me.

Next came the hand, sharp fingernails on her shoulder, and a grunt of elation as her pursuer finally caught up. 

“Mine!” He growled.

“Mine…” came a hiss from everywhere.

“Wha-aaaaaaaaah!”

The hand was whipped from her shoulder at the same time the pressure around her waist abruptly vanished. From behind came the gluttonous wet crunch of bone, and the strangled cry of a man choking on his own blood. 

She didn’t look. 

Instead, she ran. Her shoes beat the ground as she went, using the balls of her feet to propel herself towards the mouth of the alley. 

“Please…” she begged.

More crunching from behind, and a rustling like the sound of a hand digging inside a packet of crisps. 

She burst into the street, panting and crying. She couldn’t resist looking back.

It was dark in the alley. A great shadow set against the blackness rose from its meal, dripping claret, with eyes redder than her pursuers’ remains. 

Layla tore off down the street. She knew better than to ever, ever set foot down Dirt Alley again.

The writing prompt that I used for inspiration can be found below. Do join and link your own work in the comments. I love to read and connect with the writing community ❤️

© Emma Stead

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9 responses to “The Creeper of Dirt Alley – Writing Prompt”

  1. Wow … Emma … this really had me on the edge of my seat! I’m not usually someone who can read fiction, horror or suspense. This had all of these and more. I was totally gripped! I’m glad I didn’t read this too close to bedtime – I would have had nightmares. Strangely enough, at the bottom of my road is an alley quite similar to this. It has a dark bend in the middle so I can’t judge if there is anyone up there when I start at the beginning. I avoid using it after dark, though. Creepy. Perhaps, that’s why this felt so real to me. Excellent writing x 🦢

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! The title I give every week is a prompt rather than a competition. It is about playing with creativity, boosting productivity, and building a community. Your contribution was very good and I am grateful that you took part! Look out for next week’s title and see what you can come up with!

      Like

      • But really, if u have to choose .. what’s it gonna be ? I mean we gotta learn from each other . You appreciate that, right ?zz Plus it can accelerate the motivation level of the peeps .. It’s an excellent initiative , an end objective will put a structure to it. Nonetheless, it’s a humble suggestion.
        Have Fun !

        Like

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