You've somehow stumbled upon the page of Dan DeWitt, genre-hopping author of the zombie thriller ORPHEUS, the Norse mythology adventure ODINSONS, and the horror short-story collection UNDERNEATH. There's lots more where those came from, so stick around.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Here's another free short story from "Underneath."

I just hit the 500 follower mark on Twitter, which was a goal I'd set for the weekend. I said that if I reached that goal, I would post another free short story from "Underneath: Short Tales of Horror and the Supernatural." Granted, the whole collection is free on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but still. This is more convenient. 

Here we go.


Terror by Text

I wrote this story while sitting on my deck, having a cigar. When I started it was light out, but dusk crept up without me noticing. This story creeped me out more than any other in the collection, though I'm fully aware that the title sucks.

* * *

ScaresYou: Well, I hope you're ready for this. I'm at the old Windy Meadows Sanitarium. Alone, as I promised. Go to my page to see a stock photo of the exterior. That was taken a long time ago. It's much creepier now.

ScaresYou: The sun just disappeared below the horizon. We have liftoff.

ScaresYou: Oh, and it looks like rain. How perfect is that?

ScaresYou @1HungLow: Good question. The load = 2 bright-ass LED flashlights, headlamp, lantern, cell phone (duh), extra batteries for everything, sandwiches, couple bottles of water, sleeping bag, latest SK book.

ScaresYou @dainbramaged: No gun, but I do have an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on my back. Hea-vy.

ScaresYou: In we go...

ScaresYou: Nice: RT@blockcocker When someone asks if you're a god, you say yes!

ScaresYou: I should warn you that these "Ghostbusters" quotes could go on all night. If you haven't ever seen it, why are you reading me?

ScaresYou: Creaky door...cool. Forgetting about creaky door and letting it slam behind me...not cool.

ScaresYou RT@Robomop: Break out the backup underwear?

ScaresYou: Heh. It'll take more than that to make me shit my pants. Oh, damn...what if I actually have to take a crap tonight? How long before TP biodegrades, anyway?

ScaresYou: Moving on...dust everywhere, enough to leave footprints. So far, mine are the only ones. I see another set, I'm out. :-)

ScaresYou: When these places close, is it mandatory that someone be tasked with overturning gurneys in the hall and leaving a doll somewhere? Because I just saw both. #alternatecareerideas

ScaresYou: Spontaneous doll naming contest, and winner gets signed edition of whatever they want. Go.

ScaresYou: All of the "guest" rooms are open; I'll go to my grave wondering if that's creepier than closed doors or not.

ScaresYou @Darcy411: Yes, that was an absolutely awful choice of words. I have a real gift for that kind of stuff.

ScaresYou: There are bats here. Why wouldn't there be bats? I guess that means a lot less bugs, though. I'm Mr. Positive.

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: u hav the rite to remain in feer

ScaresYou: I love it when my fans get into character. Officer "Corpse" Christie, for those who might have only just discovered my work, was a cop (complete with illiterate killer personality) in one of my earlier novels.

ScaresYou: He had...issues.

ScaresYou: Spontaneous naming contest winner: "Raggedy Sybil." @ccdrummer4life, send your book choice and mailing address.

ScaresYou: Holy crap, I wish I could tell you how fast my heart is racing right now. A damn raccoon just skittered right in front of me.

ScaresYou: "Skitter" is what creatures do in a place like this, by the way. It's a law; I looked it up.

ScaresYou: Also, I just shut that door fast. Starve, you little bastard.

ScaresYou: I just checked, and I got some great video of the raccoon. Oh, I'm taking some video here and there. Check the site in a few days.

ScaresYou: Found base camp. Infirmary 1. They still have beds. I'll be burning my sleeping bag tomorrow, though. Regretting not bringing hand sanitizer. Or a HAZMAT suit.

ScaresYou: Lunch break. I won't bore you with details unless I find the Madonna in my turkey sammich.

ScaresYou: I'm fine. Sorry for the lull. Tryptophan kicked in and I dozed. No Madonna, although my hands were covered in fucking ants when I woke up. #heebiejeebies and #washyourhands.

ScaresYou: Yes, folks, I know the turkey sleepy thing is a myth. I bend truth but make you feel like it's still real; it's what you pay me for. By the way, thanks again for that. It beats actually working.

ScaresYou: And this is how you go from amusing to creepy in no time. Relax, dude. RT@corpsechristie sleep good? u wont sleep agin 4 a long time

ScaresYou: Obviously another aspiring author. :-)

ScaresYou: Into the next circle...just leaving my shit here for now.

ScaresYou: Wow, this place is decrepit. I can hear it falling down around me. I mean that literally. At first I though the cracking sounds were just rain (which has intensified, by the way), then I saw pieces of the wall flake off.

ScaresYou @KarlawithaK: I'm man enough to admit that, yes, I'm a little freaked out. But I've also gotten like fifty more ideas to scare the piss out of you, so that makes it a win/win.

ScaresYou: For the record, I've gained 16 followers since I walked through the door. I also nuked one. You might be able to guess who that was. I have a pretty high tolerance for morbid talk, but even I have my limits.

ScaresYou: No, I won't RT them, you sickos. ;-) Believe me, I'm doing you a favor.

ScaresYou: I'll be honest. A thunderclap got me bad. And I'm now looking at a door labeled "Violent Patients Ward." I volunteered for this?

ScaresYou RT@NovelistJunior: As an aspiring writer, you're my hero for keeping up your spelling and punctuation under duress.

ScaresYou: Several other people have sent similar thoughts. It's automatic for me. It kind of has to be.

ScaresYou: Let me give all of you wannabe-pros a valuable tip. Writers don't "practice." Every damn word you write, Tweet, email, Facebook, text...it's always game time if you want to ever be legit.

ScaresYou: dont eva tlk lik dis, k?

ScaresYou: My wife knows that if I ever send a text to her that isn't capitalized, punctuated, etc. to call the cops, because something's wrong. True story. Ask her.

ScaresYou @CopyCatherine: No, I'm not stalling. As far as you know.

ScaresYou: I've been to multiple haunted sites, been alone in rooms with serial killers, been married twice...and this is by far the most uncomfortable I've ever been.

ScaresYou: Signal's crappy here, so let me know if you're getting these.

ScaresYou: Good to know. Thanks, everyone.

ScaresYou: More pics for the site.

ScaresYou: Bad things happened here, people.

ScaresYou RT@BarryTBarnes: If you feel lonely, you're right next to the converted TB ward. Approx. 10,000 ghosts to keep you company.

ScaresYou: Gee, thanks for that.

ScaresYou: Found something weird here. I know I saw the layout of this place online somewhere. Someone find it and tell me what's between rooms 18 and 20.

ScaresYou: Nothing, my ass. I just went into both of the rooms and there's a big space in between. The room walls are cement, but the wall outside is just plaster. Do I engage in my first B&E?

ScaresYou: Somehow I knew which way that question was going to go. Apparently, all of my readers are felons. Eat your heart out, Dan Brown!

ScaresYou: Fire axe, meet wall. Wall, fire axe. Hey, they're tearing this place down, anyway.

ScaresYou RT@nahtanoj: This is the most awesome thing ever. Better than Geraldo/Capone.

ScaresYou: Not a normal wall. It's almost a foot thick. Had to take a break. But I'm through. You haven't seen darkness until you've seen THIS darkness. Glad I brought all of these lights.

ScaresYou: I thought I lost this guy. RT@corpsechristie: u screwd up

ScaresYou: Okay, now I definitely got rid of him.

ScaresYou RT@domino1212: What's in the room already?!?

ScaresYou: Nothing yet. Can't see a thing. It's a LOT bigger than I thought it would be. The hole looks like it's fifty yards away. No sounds. No echoes when I yell, either. It's cold.

ScaresYou: How can there be wind in here?

ScaresYou: Jesus, this place is vast. The lights aren't hitting anything. They're just getting...swallowed up.

ScaresYou: I tripped over a shoe. A white nurse's shoe! You know what? I'm heading back to the nice, normal part of the haunted hospital. This isn't worth a broken leg or cave-in.

ScaresYou: Yes, of course I'm taking the shoe as a creepy souvenir.

ScaresYou: If I didn't know better, I'd say the wind was following me. I'm that creeped out. Glad to be rid of that room.

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: 2 late

ScaresYou: Okay, I didn't RT that.

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: u dint hav 2 im out now

ScaresYou: What the Hell is going on here? Did one of you hack my account?

ScaresYou @CarmenZ: No, I am definitely not fucking okay! DID ONE OF YOU HACK MY GODDAMN ACCOUNT?!?

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: i did but not n the way u think

ScaresYou: I swear to God, if I find out who's doing this, I'll put you under this place. That's a promise.

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: tuff guy! tuff guys hav the rite to remain in pain

ScaresYou @corpsechristie: Fuck off, you psycho.

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: nice shirt 2 bad its got a big mayo stain on it now

ScaresYou: This prick can see me somehow. I'm outta here.

ScaresYou: Back in the infirmary. My shit's gone. He's here. Someone please call the cops. I'm not getting through. I'M NOT KIDDING. HELP ME.

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: u hav the rite to remain bleedin

ScaresYou: Someone please tell me the cops are on their way!

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: u hav the rite to remain screeming

ScaresYou: I see headlights. Thank you, thank you!

ScaresYou: Had a bad feeling and hid. Hear footsteps.

ScaresYou: Cop at the entryway. Lord, I recognize him. I created him.

ScaresYou: Freaking out. Not hanging around anymore. No place to go but back in. Send help. Please.

ScaresYou: Back at the hidden room. Remember how huge it is. Maybe lose him in here. Don't want to go back in.

ScaresYou: Yelling...gunshot...laughing. Footsteps echoing. Can't figure out where they're coming from.

ScaresYou: No choice. Going in. Room between 18 and 20. REMEMBER THAT.

ScaresYou RT@corpsechristie: u hav the rite to remain in custedy 4evr

ScaresYou RT@jabbathehuffer: You okay, dude?

ScaresYou RT@tammycakes: You there?

ScaresYou RT@tapout247: I'm calling the cops again!

ScaresYou RT@liquorupfront: Damn it, say something!

ScaresYou: im fine thx talk 2 ya l8r


  1. Sufficiently creeped out. The last line gave me chills.

    What an awesome concept for a scary story.

  2. That was really creepy. I loved the tweet concept!

  3. I'm a little late to the party, Dan, but DAMN! Nice work.