The Campaign for Real Fear
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Author:  EmmaJaneDavies [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:56 am ]
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Hi guys,

Thought I'd add mine to the pile here. This is (was) my entry: ... panic.aspx

Author:  gileadslostson [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:07 am ]
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Loved the imagery Emma :D

Author:  Bob Lock [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:15 am ]
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Nice piece of prose there Emma. I tell you what guys, we should see how many of these rejected subs we can get together and publish an antho ourselves!
Working title: 'Rejects' hehe!
Each one I've read so far has been damn good.

Author:  Pete [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:42 am ]
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The Alternative Campaign for Real Fear begins now :twisted:

Author:  Bob Lock [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:02 pm ]
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Hey, I even have a intro for it (lifted from Peanuts)

Thank you for submitting your story to our anthology. To save time we are enclosing two rejection slips: one for this story and one for the next one you send us.

Reminds me of my attempts at getting into Interzone :( *sobs*

Author:  EmmaJaneDavies [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:17 pm ]
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Thanks guys :)

Bob - don't those form letters from Interzone just break your heart?

Author:  Ray [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:19 pm ]
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Sending off my request for one right now - positive mental attitude, right?

Cross your fingers...

Author:  RossWarren [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:56 pm ]
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I too got a rejection from CFRF but I was just happy to get something in before the deadline!

Author:  Mike A [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:50 pm ]
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Nice work folks! I particularly liked Ray's one.

Mine's here (I slightly rewrote 2 paras):

Author:  RossWarren [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:35 pm ]
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Mine's here:

Probably not really scary enough for the guidelines.

Author:  SamStrong [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:32 pm ]
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Here's mine! I didn't get any feedback, but it was a good challenge!

Loving all the others too!

I think my biggest problem is that prose doesn't really scare me. The last time it did was probably when my mum read me The Witches and The Twits for bedtime stories... The Witches had to go on hiatus after the nightmares started. These days... It's just words. I find movies far more visceral.



Author:  davidmcgroarty [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:40 pm ]
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Loving the rejected entries so far - can't wait to read the final selection.

Here's mine.


In the spring, when it rained, the kids would come down from the moor and cluster under the awning outside Gaston and Marie's shop. Gaston would limp towards the door, muttering in French and, before he got as far as half-way, Marie would call him back. "You're old," she'd say, "There are so many of them." And he would stand in the middle of the floor, grumbling all the while, before retreating behind the counter, where his wife sat, reading a novel or darning his socks. Outside, the kids chattered in their bird-like speech, spitting and scuffing their shoes.

Whose kids they were, where they lived and what unearthly, screeching language they used among themselves when they were together, no-one knew. Gaston thought they might be gypsies from the other side of the moor. Marie thought they were local, from broken homes. Sometimes, one of them would cup his hands to his face and peer with his too-close-together eyes over the old furniture in the window and into the shop. Gaston and Marie would look at the floor.

Gaston had fought and killed children their age, in Italy, on the Winter Line. He had been younger himself, though; perhaps stronger, but less wavering, morally and spiritually. Further from judgment. He could no more reconcile himself now to that little soldier than to the creatures that huddled in the street outside the door.

The summer came early and stayed long. The first weeks were dry and fresh. The streets were full. Trade was good. Marie moved her rattan chair outside, into the sun, and greeted the customers on their way in. Gaston, who didn't like the heat, held fort behind the counter. In the evenings, when the shop was quiet, he stepped into the doorway and together they watched the sun descend towards the parched moor. Later, the heat grew heavy. The streets fell quiet. Customers stayed at home. Inside the shop, an electric fan offered Gaston feeble relief. Once or twice in July, Marie heard what might have been thunder, and dragged her chair back into the shop.

On a Monday afternoon in August, the towering black sky at last fell in. First thimble-drops, then thick jets of rain wiped the dust from the street. Gaston laughed, as cool air flooded the shop. Then he heard the howls tumbling down from the moor. The kids. Marie laid her book on the floor by her feet. Gaston limped towards the door, then stopped. They hadn't heard him come in. The kid stood, stooped, just inside the threshold. His hair hung over his eyes and his lips and chin were flecked with sores. Gaston found himself behind the counter again, watching the crooked adolescent idly fingering the merchandise. Now there were two more of them. And now four.

"C-can I help you?" he said. Together, they turned their pale eyes on him, and he realised then that he couldn't help them, any more than they could help him.

Author:  John Forth [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:50 pm ]
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These are all really good. Can't wait to read the winners.

Over on the BFS forum I was wondering if it might be a nice idea to put together a Wordpress blog or something similar and post all the stories that didn't make it in one central area. It'd be a nice little archive for everyone's hard work.

Anyway, here's the one I submitted. In retrospect, it didn't really go anywhere, but I don't think it's too awful.


We Are Now Approaching

'Excuse me.'

Masters stood as the train slowed, expecting the man seated between him and the aisle to stand and give way. He didn't budge; didn't even look up from his clasped hands. Was he praying? Masters cleared his throat. 'Excuse me. This is my stop.'


'Look,' said Masters, 'if you don't move, I'm going to miss my stop. So please-'

'Sit down.' The man's voice was thick as a drain following a storm.

'I don't think you understand-'

'I understand.'

'No. You see, this is my stop, and-'

The man opened his hands to allow Masters to see what he held. Masters saw himself reflected in the curve of the blade. Desperately, he looked around the carriage for help, but he had worked late, and his stop was close to the end of the line; there was no one there.

A frantic beeping signalled the closing of the doors. The train hauled itself forward again. Limbs weak, and shot through with rods of ice, Masters lowered himself back into his seat. As he did so, the other closed his hands.

Masters looked at the man. He was thin, his face elongated by a shaven scalp. His jacket was featureless in the way it would be if a child had drawn it in crayon, his jeans piebald with stains. A drug addict, Masters reckoned, or some care in the community nut. Perhaps he could be reasoned with.

'Listen, I don't have much-' Masters reached for his wallet.

'Not to talk.'

His hand fell away from the pocket.

The conductor hadn't passed through this way yet, but then they didn't always check the tickets on services this late. He wondered whether he would be able to knock the man over and make a break for the driver's booth. But even if he made it that far, would he be able to get in? There was always the emergency brake, but that would leave him stranded with his assailant.

Something vibrated against Masters' chest. His phone. It emitted an angry buzz, which made the man flinch and finally turn to look at Masters.

Masters put his hand over the shivering device. 'It'll be my wife. She'll be worried.'

The man shook his head. 'You won't be speaking to her again.'

It seemed as if the vibration had invaded his entire body. Masters felt himself begin to shake. He turned to the window and peered out at the night, at the map of criss-crossing tracks. There was another train, running almost parallel. As it drifted closer, Masters saw a lone figure peering out of the window. It was a woman, her eyes wide, one palm pressed to the glass. A tall figure with yellow skin stood over her. Distantly, Masters realised that his phone had stopped.

A voice sounded. It came from the man, and simultaneously from the loudspeaker in the carriage. 'In collision, we become immortal,' it said. 'A life entwined in another, the crossing tracks. We are now approaching-'

There were a couple of others that I worked up, but didn't submit, which are on my blog here: ... stories-2/

Author:  whokilledculture [ Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:27 pm ]
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Another rejected submission to the Campaign:


By D. McKee

I never normally do it: put the phone on silent. I’m one of those awful people in the cinema, or the quiet compartment on trains: “Sorry,” I shrug as the ring-tone blares out – the John Williams theme from Indiana Jones – and I hurry myself outside and take the forbidden call.

My sister has always had problems.

We never really talk about it, but I’m pretty sure it all comes back to the child-minder’s husband who touched her when she was five. Mum and dad got us out of there as soon as they found out, and only Lisa was touched, not me. But within two years she was seeing her first therapist – something about bad dreams and having trouble sleeping – and by the time she was eleven she was on anti-depressants. Her first suicide attempt came at sixteen, then it was razor blades a few months later. Somehow it just became part of the fabric of my life: Lisa had these problems, and as her big brother, I was always the first one she turned to for help. It was one of the things that made me fall in love with Katy: she understood how Lisa could be and didn’t mind the constant disturbance. Middle-of-the-night phone-calls about new worries and crises – a boyfriend who broke up with her; the trouble she was having at work – all familiar codes for: I might do something stupid.

On the day Katy and I got married, Lisa told us about the bulimia as she stood shakily for her speech. Katy didn’t mind that the attention was no longer hers, and as the wedding became secondary to this latest family drama, she squeezed my hand softly and asked if I was ok. On our honeymoon, when Lisa called wanting to kill herself because she’d eaten six bags of Doritos, Katy watched and listened, and held me quietly after.

Katy understood.

Katy always understood.

And the past few months I needed that understanding more and more because the bulimia was getting worse; the phone-calls becoming more frequent.

I was tired.

Katy was too.

I just thought we needed a night off.

Thought we deserved it.

It’s hard finding time for important things like intimacy when your little sister is calling you all hours of the night, and I decided I owed my wife at least one uninterrupted evening. I felt dreadful as I did it, but I switched my phone onto silent and then stuck it away in a drawer. We had the best sex we’d had in years, and when we slept, we slept like babies.

The next morning there were sixteen missed calls on my phone.

All of them were from Lisa.

They found her in her car, parked up on Whittlesey Lane. She’d stuck a hose through the window and left the engine on. In her lap was a tub of Ben and Jerry's, some pick ‘n’ mix sweets…and her phone. Her phone which now sits silent, never to disturb us again.

Author:  Lawrence Conquest [ Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:10 am ]
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Some good stuff here - commiserations to all.

As for my own rejected entry, I'm delusional enough to try and get it placed elsewhere before I throw in the towel completely - now that's really scary! 8)

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