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𝕱𝖊𝖇𝖗𝖚𝖆𝖗𝖞 𝖂𝖗𝖎𝖙𝖊 𝕮𝖑𝖚𝖇 𝖂𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖊𝖗𝖘!

𝕬 𝕸𝖔𝖓𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 𝕸𝖆𝖘𝖍!

By 𝐑𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐧Published 2 months ago • Updated 2 months ago • 6 min read
Top Story - March 2024
ᵢₘₐgₑ gₑₙₑᵣₐₜₑd ᵇʸ ₐᵤₜₕₒᵣ wᵢₜₕ ₐᵢ ₜₒₒₗₛ ₐₜ ₙᵢgₕₜCₐfₑ.ₛₜᵤdᵢₒ

Welcome to Write Club!

My friends, it is time we face the stark reality – that inconvenient little truth. You probably do not need me to tell you this, but we ALL have some serious issues! And man-oh-man do those issues make for some great creations! The Monsters beneath your beds were a delightful mix of funny, adorable, and downright terrifying.

Reading through these amazing creations reinforced what I already knew: I have stumbled upon a goldmine of dynamic talent here at Vocal. You all are truly remarkable!

There were a total of 33 submissions for this Unofficial Challenge. WOW! This collection of stories and poems comes from some of the most creative minds and talented writers not just on Vocal, but anywhere. This is professional quality for certain!

There is something for everyone within these submissions. I truly believe these should be compiled and published. They are honestly that good!

Selecting winners is extremely difficult. I am going to sort these into several categories: (1) Slimes & Rhymes (poems); (2) Casper and Friends (friendly scares); (3) Beastly Haunts (fiction); and (4) Skeletons in Your Closets.

I am awarding $5 for each and every Submission. You all did a bang-up job. I am truly in awe of your talent and creativity. This was more than I could have ever hoped for! Thank you!

(The system got angry at me for too many transactions all at once, so if you have not yet received your Tip, it is coming — as soon as the ‘monster of stripe pay’ shuffles back under the bed!)


Skeletons in Your Closets

Celia in Underland has set the bar high with her Top Story about a lingering ‘monster of guilt’ with her Top Story, “A Thousand Several Tongues”.

Real Poetic also came hard and fast out of the gate with a moving poem about a ‘relationship monster’ who offered an empty promise of love in “Bogeyman”.

Natasha Collazo introduces us to the cuddly ‘monster of addiction’ who needs to be fed in “Pet Sin.”

Stephanie Hoogstad introduces us to a familiar ‘monster of self-doubt’ with her clever bedtime prayer: “Monsters in the Night”.

Donna Fox (HKB) presents an all-too-familiar ‘nagging monster of self-doubt’, that little grammar policeman in her head waking her and urging her to edit her writing. Donna’s story, “Go Away” is an incredibly well-told tale. No need to edit this one.

Hannah Moore introduces a lifetime of preserved memories, a ‘monster of relics past’ lurking beneath her bed with her clever story, “As I Lay me Down to Sleep”.

Mackenzie Davis presents her little beast, Ralph, a ‘monster in therapy’ with a deeply layered short tale titled, “An Exercise in Receiving Kindness”:

John Cox delivers a fantastic Top Story titled, “The Little Dreamer”, about a ‘monster of free will’ and the conflicts that accompany it.

Rebekah Conard is escorted this evening by her ‘critical, nagging weekly monster’ that little voice inside her head, who, with no eyelids, sees and recalls all and is quick to point out every fault, whether real or perceived. Check out “Keeping You Awake”.

K. Stockton (my daughter) has submitted a powerful tale about her ‘lifelong monster’ companion, but, sadly, this monster is still being held captive by the all-too-real ‘monster of Vocal review’! “A Monster Under my Bed” should appear here . . . eventually!

Slimes and Rhymes

Tommy Ballard has written a powerful poem about a ‘monster of obsession and self-doubt’ that has haunted many of us in his poem titled, “Maybe Someday”.

Tommy Ballard has brought another frightening monster to the party with this heartbreaking poem about a sad ‘monster of loss and loneliness’ lurking beneath the bed in “=// nights \\=”.

Randy Baker has provided us with a very vivid description of a furious struggle with that nagging ‘monster of our pasts’ in another brilliant poem, “It Lurks in Shadows”.

Bonnie Bowerman joins the party, with her guest, ‘a shadowy monster of childhood fear’ in this exquisitely written poem that captures the essence of childhood innocence and fear, “The Monster that Lives Under my Bed”.

Anna captures perfectly the fear of the ‘beastly monster beneath the bed’ in her clever Ukiah (reverse Haiku: 7-5-7), “Talk to Me”.

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden gives us a ‘surprise monster’ with a clever twist in her Seusslike poem, “Rougarou in Disguise”.

Poppy offers us a ‘monster of emotional baggage’ in her raw, visceral poem, “Fangs and Claws”.

Mackenzie Davis gives us another deeply philosophical piece to chew on with her incredible poem, “Say it's Goodness”. This one describes a ‘monster of banishment’ and the consequences which follow.

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden gives us another spooky poem with perfect verse and rhyme, a warning of those ‘monsters of the night’ in this clever poem, “Bedtime”.

J gives us “Monsters Made of Sand”, a dark and intense Poe-like tale of a ‘monster beckoning from the depths below’:

Beastly Haunts

Cathy Holmes delivered an instant Top Story with this ingenious creation combining multiple Prompts/Challenges. Meet her ‘nightmarish monster’ calling out from the other side of her bed, in “Postcard From the Grave”.

Novel Allen gives us a glimpse into a frightening ‘monster of night terrors’ stalking her sleep, in “Night Terror”.

Gerard DiLeo introduces us to a trio of monsters in this ghostly Dickens of a tale, but these are not the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future, but rather, the ‘monsters of Cooda, Wooda and Shooda’, in “A Business Carol”.

Donna Fox (HKB)’s imagination takes us on another frightful trip to meet the ‘monster lurking beneath her bed’ in her vivid tale “Can you Imagine?”

Catsidhe delivers another Top Story with a clever and humorous tale about a common ‘monster that even the monsters fear’ with this fun story, “With Sharp Teeth and Claws”.

Matthew Fromm delivers a real punch-to-the-gut story that is expertly crafted to reveal ‘a real monster’ from the pages of history with his must-read short story, “They Came from Below”.

Casper and Friends

Rachel Deeming has invited a ‘guardian of dreams’ to the party with a beautiful story about the lovable monster, “Barstable, the Night Warrior”.

D. J. Reddall has introduced a frightening ‘monster of anger’ to the party. “My Boruta” is a chilling tale of how we feed this hungry monster.

Anna brings a ‘monster of childhood dreams’ to this Monster Mash. “Naive as a Child” is a powerful coming-of-age tale of learning to defeat our fears.

David E. Perry gives us a delightful childhood ‘guardian of dreams’ with an incredibly well-penned tale “Peanut and Tommy”.

Liam Storm is escorted by Greg, a ‘friendly monster reaching out’ in a heartfelt letter in the clever story, “The Monster Under Your Bed?”

Accompanying Anna to the Monster Mash is a ‘monster of childhood innocence in her touching story, “Belly and Maya”:

David E. Perry followed up his earlier tale about “Peanut and Tommy”, with a companion tale about “Hiss and Susan”. Enjoy this ‘Guardian of the Night’.

If I have somehow overlooked an Entry, please let me know!

Write Club Rules!

Writing ExerciseVocalShoutoutPromptsChallenge

About the Creator

𝐑𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐧

˜”*°•.˜”*°• Time is our most valuable asset. Thank you for spending some of your time with me! •°*”˜.•°*”˜

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (31)

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  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsden2 months ago

    This was such a fun prompt, congrats on the top story, it was so well deserved. Thank you for the shout-out and generous example

  • K. Stockton2 months ago

    My story finally got out of auto moderation hell and was published! I know it's a little late thanks to that, but you can find it here: https://vocal.media/psyche/a-monster-under-my-bed

  • Denise E Lindquist2 months ago

    Wow!! Congratulations on a well-deserved top story!🎉🎉🎉

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    I am reading all. I loved John Cox entry. Such a natural talent he is.

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    I didn't participate, but you have done a marvelous job of parenting a small world of creativity here! Thank you for this and congratulations!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • sleepy drafts2 months ago

    Wow!!! What an incredible selection - these really could be put together into a book. I've bookmarked this to come back to and read throughout the week - amazing work to all and huge congratulations to everyone (and yourself!) for such a successful challenge!! 👏🏻💪🏻💓💗💕💗

  • LASZLO SLEZAK2 months ago

    Amazing work. Thanks,

  • Test2 months ago

    Bravo! Your hard work is paying off—keep it up, congratulations!

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    I'm sorry I wasn't able to jump in on this one, but it's left me a great selection of reading material! I'll be jumping into that asap! Thanks for inspiring these, Rob and congratulations, everyone!

  • J2 months ago

    Thank you, R! This prompt was a great opportunity for digging into the subconscious and bringing things up to the surface, and brought a lot of awesome writers to the forefront of awareness as well. Pretty sweet deal. Congratulations, everyone!

  • Wooohooooo congratulations to everyone! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊 Also, I've subscribed to your daughter! Can't wait to read her piece!

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Aw thank you so, so much Rob. For the prompt and the tip.Very much appreciated 🤍

  • Rebekah Conard2 months ago

    And it's only February! The tip is much appreciated, but if you keep it up you're gonna be broke by December. =P Looking forward to the next one!!

  • D. J. Reddall2 months ago

    Many thanks for the provocative prompt and your stunning generosity, granting each of us a reward for our efforts in spite of Stripe's shenanigans! No furious Boruta could be fed under such conditions: I am all gratitude, good sir.

  • Liam Storm2 months ago

    The amount of submissions just goes to show how good the prompt was! An amazing thing you're doing giving a tip to everyone! That means a lot to me as I'm sure it does to everyone else! I personally tried something new because of this challenge and rely enjoyed it, I'm glad you did too 🙌

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    Well, that was a lovely surprise and unwarranted but generous. Thank you. I loved the artwork that you generated - without that, Barstable would not have come to light. Thank you for the challenge and the inspiration.

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Thank you so much for the challenge!😊🫶

  • Natasha Collazo2 months ago

    It was so fun partaking out n this. Prob my fav writing prompt yet 🙃

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Wow, Rob. Thank you so much. You are beyond generous and this was a great challenge.

  • Jay Kantor2 months ago

    Hi Rob - This is Terrific-didn't-know it Existed. We know who the Big Prize is going to, your K~Kid, if not don't bother going home tonight; we get that. It's so cool how you keep creating new wheels. Me, I could never write on demand. If I were a Journalist my 'Breaking News Report' would be a day late. j.in.l.a

  • Catsidhe2 months ago

    Amazing work putting everything together and an amazing prompt! Thank you for your work and your generosity!

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    You are a star, RM. Absolutely mind blowing work went into reading and categorizing the submissions and you went above and beyond in summarizing every single one. I can learn so much from how you run challenges. Bravo! I am so amazed that you’re tipping $5 for every entry, like whatttt?! You’re an inspiration, my friend. Thank you very much.❤️❤️❤️ Now I must read read read.

  • Real Poetic2 months ago

    Congrats to everyone!! And thanks Rob for hosting such an exciting challenge! ❤️

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    Congrats to all the winners and thank you so much RM for running this challenge!! It was so much fun to compete and such a huge honour to win!!! This was so great and I can't wait to see what your next one looks like!!!

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