You’re shopping at the mall, glasses fogging from your face mask. A fellow customer approaches and asks for help finding a garment in their size. You explain you’re not an employee, but another shopper like them. The customer doesn’t believe you and threatens to tell the manager. The manager also does not believe you.
You have been craving a burrito all day, and when the taco truck finally opens, you’re the first person in line. “This is going to be great,” you think as you unwrap your extra spicy, extra cheesy burrito and sink your teeth into it. Bite after bite, it only gets more satisfying. Right up until the last bite: That’s when some part of the burrito doesn’t give the way it should. You remove the morsel from your mouth and see that wrapped in the folds of the tortilla is a used bandage.
Life is full of little horrors, the macabre and the unexplained. They’re as much a part of the Halloween season as falling leaves pulling sweaters out of storage, and Death Rattle Writers Fest and The Spill want yours for their First Hand Tales live storytelling event.
The concept is simple: On Thursday, Oct. 29, starting at 7 p.m., people with freaky tales will have 5-6 minutes each to tell theirs via Zoom. It’s a chance to get that haunted house, nautical misadventure and/or cryptozoological nightmare off your chest.
The rules are also simple. Storytelling slots are available by $3 donation (@DRWF_Donations via Venmo). Just DM or email Death Rattle with your story pitch to register, along with any considerations you may require (e.g. having your camera off, using a nom de horreur, etc.). Costumes are highly encouraged.
Horror and the unexplained by their very natures break the rules, but the rules of decorum must stand. Organizers insist that stories not contain hate speech of any kind. That includes racism, body-shaming, ableism, classism, anti-LGBTQ sentiment and more. It’s also important to observe the egg timer. Stories may be up to six minutes long. At the five-minute mark, organizers will ping storytellers to let them know that they have one minute left to wrap up their spooky tales.