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𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐂𝐥𝐮𝐛 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐭 (𝐔𝐧𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞)

𝟑. 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐌𝐚𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬!

By 𝐑𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐧Published 3 months ago Updated 2 months ago 11 min read
𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐂𝐥𝐮𝐛 𝐑𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐬! (𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐅𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐂𝐥𝐮𝐛 𝐑𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐬)

“We’re all mad here,” says the Cheshire Cat to Alice. “I’m mad. You’re mad.” “How do you know I’m mad?” dear Alice wants to know. “You must be,” the cat tells her. “Or you wouldn’t have come here.” – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Welcome to Write Club! Each month, I will be hosting an Unofficial Challenge (Prompt). If you have not read the Entries for February’s “Monster Under Your Bed” Challenge, do yourself a favor and take some time to read through those. They are truly FANTASTIC!

This month, we are getting into the Madness of March! Inspired by great stories about madness, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Stephen King’s “The Shining”, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Leo Tolstoy’s “Diary of a Lunatic”, and William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, this month we are exploring March Madness!

Madness is not limited to hallucinations and descent into insanity but includes other aspects of madness, as well. Love Obsession, Anger, and Frenzy are all forms of madness as well. Let us also not forget the Madness of Sports!

No ideas coming to mind? How about a top-ten list? You could present your favorite songs, books or movies dealing with madness.

Have fun with this! As with prior Prompts, you may creatively explore the topic in any genre and format. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

As always, I have provided some AI-generated pictures at the end of this Prompt. Feel free to use any of these as inspiration or for your story’s cover photo.

March Madness Prompt:

  1. Write about “Madness”. Your entry can be about a real or perceived madness. Madness is not limited to hallucinations and descent into insanity but includes other aspects of madness, as well. Love Obsession, Anger, and Frenzy are all forms of madness as well. Let us also not forget the Madness of Sports!
  2. You choose the format and style (make it in the style of a short story, a letter, a diary entry, or write a poem, haiku, or limerick) — you decide the format. (No ideas coming to mind? How about a top-ten list? You could present your favorite songs, books or movies dealing with madness.). I wanna see us push the outer limits of our creative abilities.
  3. The word limit for this Prompt is 3,500 words.
  4. It makes no difference what Community your entry is submitted to.
  5. Post a link to your entry in the comments below by Thursday, March 28, 2024, and I will append it to this story. (If your Entry gets stuck in review, drop a comment below to let me know.)
  6. The top entries will be selected, and I will award each of those Authors a $5 tip.

Have fun, and Welcome to Write Club! 👊

Some ambient music for your writing and reading (by Lucas King) . . .

You are here, so you must be mad! Let the Madness Begin!

John Cox gets the madness started with a horrifying Sci-Fi tale with a clever twist, “The Silent Scream”:

Dharrsheena has provided links to several of her stories that are on point with this theme. This is a theme she truly excels at. I encourage everyone to read these. You know she reads ALL of your work, and I promise, you will be hooked! These come with a warning, however. These are other-worldly DARK!

I will begin with this one because it is one of my very favorites on the subject of madness:

“Disturbia” is, well, disturbing — to say the least. Be careful who you entrust your children to!

While we are on the subject of disturbing . . . check out this masterpiece from Dharrsheena, “Phantasmagoria”, a haunting tale about Postpartum Psychosis:

The next entry from Dharrsheena, “The Russian Sleep Experiment” details how lack of sleep affects the mind. Get your sleep, my friends! This is haunting!

Have you ever been truly mad at the world, even angry at God? Anna gives us that very situation with her Haiku “Dissatisfied”:

And here is a Trilogy of Haikus from Anna delving deeper into this question of madness in “Mad not Sad”:

How about madness on the job? Anna gives us that, as well, with “How I Lost my Job”:

Be careful who you cross. This lesson is distinctly conveyed in Christy Munson’s “The Butcher’s Daughter:

Like a storm brewing on the horizon, so madness stirs. Here, Anna presents “Approaching Chaos”:

Cathy Holmes has cleverly designed this Acrostic Poem, “Madness”, with a hidden message. This is CRAZY good!

And in true March Madness fashion, Cathy gives us our first story about Sports. This one, however, is not about Hoops, but rather takes to the ice. “Blood Pressure and the Good Old Hockey Game”:

Celia in Underland always has a special ability to entrance her audience with her carefully selected words, pacing and imagery. “Nameless” is another gem of a story. WOW!

Denise E. Lindquist shares a powerful poem about a breakthrough and the power of resiliency in “Madness, Crazy, Insane?”

Have you ever had a dream that seemed real? Dharrsheena gives us another fascinating story in “The Infinity Express”, an endless loop of mind-bending dreams:

River Joy paints a pretty frightening picture of the care (or lack thereof) provided for someone going through crisis in her horrifying story, “The Visit”:

We got another fantastic Acrostic poem, this time from Donna Fox, “This is Madness”. This TRULY is MADNESS!

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred gives us an all-too-familiar tale of how the masses are often easily deceived. “The Dancer” is a cautionary tale, for sure:

“Good Boy” is another fascinating tale from the brilliant mind of Christy Munson. Things may not be quite what they seem here . . .

Dharrsheena gives us a real-life glimpse at an artist’s descent into schizophrenia with this biography of Louis Wain, complete with his artistic depictions of cats:

Bonnie Bowerman has given us a nightmarish poem about a mind teetering on the fragile abyss of madness in her vivid tale, “My Madness Is a Room in My Mind”:

David E. Perry gives us “For Whom the Bells Rang”. We accompany a low-level employee on his elevator ride to visit the boss, and each floor represents another level of madness. Step aboard and enjoy the ride! Going up? Ding!

Donna Fox (HKB) presents an all-too-familiar madness, “The Madness of Vocal”! We writers share a special brand of madness, and this story explores that quality brilliantly! Have I mentioned that we are all crazy?

“Your Captain here, with another outstanding story from Matthew Fromm!” Have you ever felt like your life was stuck on repeat and you were living out the same day over and over? Matthew gives us another instant classic with his mind-bending tale about just such a traveler, so please return your seats and trays to their upright positions, buckle up, and prepare for a descent from ten thousand feet to the depths of madness!

Dharrsheena gives us another deeply disturbing true-crime entry with “Lisa Montgomery Cut Open a Pregnant Lady's Belly and Stole Her Baby”. This unthinkable crime is profoundly troubling, but the abuse the killer endured is also heartbreaking. Her home life growing up was like some evil experiment in how to create a monster!

Mack D. Ames delves into the dark regions of vigilante justice madness with his profoundly disturbing story, “Head and Shoulders Above”. These creeps may have had it coming to them, but this is the stuff nightmares are made from! This one is Poe-meets-Dahmer type of madness!

Leslie Writes has written a very relatable poem in “A Murder of Intrusive Thoughts”. Thoughts and words unable to be caged, refusing to be tamed lead us into chaos. They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be placated with drugs or therapy. Once unleashed upon your mind, you must do the bidding of this winged madness!

Randy Baker’s profound and hard-hitting poem “At What Cost” explores the true wages of war. War is uniquely human and distinctly madness. “Axis and allies, bedfellows of depravity.” Well said!

Rachel Deeming convincingly declares, “I’m Not Mad”. Well, mostly convincing. Something has happened, and someone is going to be mad. But she’s not mad! At least not yet! Free your mind of any preconceived thoughts, and read this one out loud.

Catsidhe has written the haunting and lyrical poem, “When I Sleep” (The voices come). I suggest not reading this one at bedtime (as I have done). These tempting voices promise an enduring peace, but at what cost?

Grogu (László) takes us back to his own childhood with a true story about the “Madness of Candy”! That aching desire children have to satisfy a sweet tooth can fuel them to make some pretty risky decisions. László shares one of those experiences with us about his sugar-fueled courage and the lengths he was willing to go to for some free cotton candy!

Have you ever had a story idea pop into your head when you were least prepared for it, such as while you were in bed or in a dream, only to have it just as quickly disappear? Donna Fox (HKB) shares this all-too-relatable phenomenon with us in her story about the madness of “Writer’s Fever”. And yep, this fever might be contagious!

Donna Fox (HKB) shares her recent “Descent into Madness” as she went full Dr. Frankenpoem in a tribute piece to Dr. Pepper! Donna’s masterful storytelling is matched by her brutal honesty and relatability! Donna sums it up perfectly with this line, “I’m an author and I’m not normal!” Nailed it!

Lamar Wiggins gives us an Instant Top Story in Phantom Limb. That anger within each of us fuels a powerful brand of madness, and all of us play right into this infectious evil! The idea of ‘anger’ as a ‘phantom limb’ to our mind is such a dark concept. WOW!

Get ready for some intensity with Anna’s The Curse. How did we get here . . . and where the heck are we?! Take a deep breath and dive in, but this one is not for the faint of heart!

And here is the mind-numbing, heart-thumping sequel, The Curse, Part2! Forget what you think you know, because this nightmarish world is not quite what it seems!

Dana Crandell asks the question that has surfaced in each of our minds: “Where are They?” That Anxiety we all experience as we wait for to see how our works will be perceived is truly madness!

Sometime, there is a disconnect. A barrier in communication! Ever been there? Heather Hubler presents just such an instance with her all-too-real-but-comical dialogue piece, “Misinterpreting”. This one has Heather’s unique voice ingrained in it, for sure.

Dharrsheena tips us over the edge with her Inverse Poem, “Kalopsia”. Kalopsia is defined as “The delusion of things appearing more beautiful than they are.” If you suffer from “kalopsia”, you might ask yourself, are you just a hopeless romantic, or are you delusional (or both)? Be sure to read this one both front to back and back to front.

Heather Hubler’s Acrostic Poem, “Frenzy” is a perfect companion piece to Dharrsheena’s “Kalopsia” poem above. Sometimes, coming to terms with our own poor choices haunts us in a way that pushes us beyond the bounds of madness!

Novel Allen presents “Hell”, in the form of a journey through the dark forest (Hell), drawing inspiration from Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. This is an incredibly intense adaptation!

Rebekah Conard wrote an instant Top Story with her vulnerable piece, “My Skin Hurts”. This is absolutely relatable. I suspect there are many of us on here with obsessive traits like this. “Stop picking!”

Paul Stewart has ventured out to the edge of that cliff of insanity and spoke what many of us were silently thinking: There is creativity in madness, and there is “Madness in Creativity”. How far do we descend into that dark madness for our art, and how long do we stay?

Brenton F gives us a glimpse into what madness really is, with his poem, “Madness Is”. This is a terrifying introduction to a very intimate visitor. Make sure you have a secure grip on reality before venturing into this one!

Paul Stewart offers us a longer piece with his “In the Shadow of the Monolith”. This tale will quickly claw you into its world, but how would you respond to the Monolith? The deep symbolism in this story reveals some unsettling truths about human behavior!

Dharrsheena’s “The Mirror Journey” asks the question we have all wondered, even if not aloud: “Who am I?” For this particular person, however, the image staring back at him is unfamiliar, and that leads him on a long, soul-searching journey on a collision course with a twisted reality!

L.C. Schäfer gives us this gentle reminder that “We’re All Mad Here”! I think this is a powerful truth! I never gave much thought to the facelessness of characters, but this is spot on! We conjure up something from our own minds to conveniently fill in those gaps. “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!” ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Tressa Rose gives us a soul-baring reminder with her powerful piece, “The Truth Hurts”. Whatever you are facing today, please know you do not have to face it alone. Tressa, thank you for sharing your journey!

Mack Ames gives us “Phillips & Sanderson”, a story about high school friends who discover that a prank isn’t always what you think it is. This story reads like a chapter right out of RL Stines’ Goosebumps.

D.K. Shepard’s “Institutionalized” took a much different turn than I had prepared myself for! Brilliant! This poem is brimming with profound symbolism! Take a moment today to thank a TEACHER!

“Wrong Answers Only” (and I like the half solutions, too) by lucyjb explores the dichotomy of numbers and words. Do rules confine you? lucyjb (no caps – because, well, rules) takes us on this journey. Circles? Squares? Triangles? Infinity? Come enjoy the freedom of words in this mad universe of numbers!

Dharrsheena’s poem, “The Chronicles of Red” gives us a glimpse into the madness driving Ruby’s vengefulness. She was so angry, she could only see RED!

Catsidhe gives us a thought-provoking piece, “Today is a New Day”. The question is, what kind of a day is it going to be? It seems fitting that I got to this one on a day marked by the madness of shadows (eclipse). Who decides what societal norms are within the bounds of sanity? What if we are wrong? (I might expect that answer from a person who is mad! lol)

Catsidhe finishes the March Madness set with “Stars”, a poem honoring Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Bells”. This could have been written by Poe himself. Fantastic! (Cat includes some stanzas from Poe for comparison.)

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𝐑𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐧

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Comments (61)

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  • 𝐑𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐧 (Author)2 months ago

    Wow, there are so many fantastic stories here. I will be sorting these out and naming the winners in the coming days. Thanks to all who participated. Well done!

  • Catsidhe3 months ago

    One more last minute submission, this time inspired by Poe: https://vocal.media/poets/stars-yj2xi0coc. It's still 3/28 in my time zone, so hope I'm not too late! :)

  • Catsidhe3 months ago
  • lucyjb3 months ago
  • D.K. Shepard3 months ago

    11th hour inspiration struck! Awesome challenge!! https://vocal.media/poets/institutionalized-bv1k0v4h

  • Mack D. Ames3 months ago

    Psychological play between friends: https://vocal.media/fiction/phillips-and-sanderson

  • Tressa Rose3 months ago

    Can we enter more than one entry? https://vocal.media/poets/the-truth-hurts-pl3v0spd

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    Wrote this before I saw your challenge and Dharsheena pointed me here! I'll edit to link to this today 😁 https://vocal.media/fiction/we-re-all-mad-here-fp1v20nxz

  • Paul Stewart3 months ago

    Well I did it. I am still unsure...but this idea has been bumping around in my head for many weeks. So here you go. https://vocal.media/fiction/in-the-shadow-of-the-monolith

  • Tressa Rose3 months ago

    So glad I saw this! Still have a day! Yay! And I just want to say thank you so much for pledging to me. I've been going through some financial struggles recently because I lost the motor in my car, so I am dead broke till I get paid. And let me just tell you, Waking up this morning to see that pledge in my account made my day, because I was able to get my morning coffee! You are amazing, thank you again ❤️ 💖 💗

  • Brenton F3 months ago

    It wasn't until I scrolled through all your images that I thought I'd give it a crack. Here is my entry https://vocal.media/poets/madness-is

  • Paul Stewart3 months ago

    Actually bloody well did one on time this time. But...also...there is another on the horizon. It's taking a bit longer to knock out the park and make the best version of the thing that's been in my head for like a long time lol. Here is something a bit lighter...maybe? https://vocal.media/poets/madness-in-creativity

  • Rebekah Conard3 months ago

    I'm back again with an extremely last-minute entry. I ended up writing a bit of a vent/reflection on some mental health struggles I'm dealing with. Content warning for descriptions of skin-picking and hair-pulling. This should be the link when it approves: https://vocal.media/psyche/my-skin-hurts

  • Novel Allen3 months ago

    I doubled up on this one. Sentient madness. https://vocal.media/fiction/hell-973v0zud

  • Heather Hubler3 months ago

    Here is my previously published piece that I thought might work...if not, that's ok too :) https://vocal.media/poets/frenzy-zub7061i

  • Heather Hubler3 months ago

    This immediately fell out of my head...not sure what that says about me, but here it is! I have another poem I wrote before that I think fits too. Gotta go find it, lol! Great prompt :) https://vocal.media/fiction/misinterpreting

  • Kendall Defoe 3 months ago

    This works for me! I have to get started... :)

  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    Here's a litle bit of madness I think most of us can relate to: https://vocal.media/poets/where-are-they-ngly0dv1

  • Anna 3 months ago

    Hey! I started writing a story recently, and I think the situation is a kind of madness. Anyway, I have two parts so far, I hope you like it and consider adding it to the list😊 https://vocal.media/horror/the-curse-2o9f0t24 https://vocal.media/horror/the-curse-part-2

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    Hurray! I made it before the deadline! https://vocal.media/fiction/phantom-limb

  • Grogu3 months ago
  • Catsidhe3 months ago

    So, technically I didn't write this specifically for this challenge, but I think it fits, so I'm going to throw it out there: https://vocal.media/poets/when-i-sleep-5ih00p1g. Thanks for keeping the Club going!

  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    This is mine. Hoping to read some of the others later this week. https://vocal.media/fiction/i-m-not-mad

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