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Daddy Screams


Daddy screams.
I’m used to it by now, he’s been doing it since I was very little. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to his cries, so loud that my heart jumps in place before I remember. Daddy screams.
When I was younger, about four, I asked Mommy what had happened to Daddy that could make him scream.
“A little after you were born,” She replied, “Daddy was solider. He went away, far far across the world. While he was there some bad guys launched weapons at Daddy’s camp. It made a big explosion, and it hurt a lot of people. Daddy was very scared, but don’t you think he was very brave?” Her explanation was so simple that I had to understand. I wasn’t as satisfied with the answer as I’d hoped I would be, but I didn’t know how else to ask.
I began to understand what being a solider meant. Over the next year I asked more questions, stared at the picture of Daddy in his uniform that Mommy kept on the mantle. I learned not to ask Daddy questions about his trip. The bombing had taken his vision, so I knew when I was close to him he could not see me. Even when I talked to him he did not answer. Mommy said it wasn’t my fault, that Daddy had been very hurt, and no one could understand what happened inside of him. So by day, he was silent.
But at night he screams, he screams for hours on end. I beg him and beg him to stop, but he doesn’t seem to hear me. I always knew he’s scared but I couldn’t understand why. Mommy said he was safe now.
One night I climbed out of bed. I slowly walked across the floor and through the door. It was cold, my feet felt frozen and my nose was quickly chilled. I walked to Daddy and asked him to stop screaming. Immediately, he stopped. I thanked him and walked back into my room, crawled into bed and fell back asleep.
And so every night that’s what I would do.
One night however, Mommy woke up as I was getting out of bed. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was going to ask Daddy to stop screaming.
“Never mind that,” She said, “You get back into bed.”
The next morning I asked her why she wouldn’t let me talk to Daddy.
She looked at me and said “I thought you were sleep walking. Why else would you want to visit Daddy’s grave in the dead of night?”
I turned back to face her. “Daddy screams.”
Credit To – Irish Insanity
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  • derpbutt

    The name won’t come to me right now (I’m exhausted, sorry) but I know that something very similar was posted on the main site recently.

    That said, I did accept another of your stories and I look forward to seeing more from you.

  • The Fox God

    This was a little too predictable. Also some of the wording was awkward and gave me a difficult time reading it in some spots. Lastly, the mother’s lack of understanding what was happening seem a little false. I believe at one point the child asked what happened to daddy to make him scream. I think that would have set off some red flags for the mother that something was not right.

  • Irish Insanity

    Thanks for the feedback

    • The Fox God

      No problem, glad to do it. While the idea is a bit played out it could still be an effective story. You need to do a better job of hiding the fact that the mother doesn’t know the daughter is seeing the father. You just have to find clever ways to cover. Think about the scene in “Sixth Sense” when the little boy walks into the room and the mother is sitting next to Bruce Willis. Due to the way the image is presented and not knowing that BW is dead the audience is left with the only logical conclusion that they were in the middle of a conversation and the boy interrupted them. If you could find a way to do something along those lines I think you would have a better chance of executing the twist you were going for.

  • Katherine C

    I kind of like this one. The refrain throughout works well, I think. It is really similar to a couple of other stories, and as such I think the lack of originality is the main downfall. Initially, I thought it was going to be like “There Might be Some Noise” from the creepy site, and so I was preparing to be terribly confused, but then it went a different direction. Unfortunately, as I said, it was not necessarily an new direction.

    I found the mother’s dialogue somewhat bizarre, even for explaining death to a small child. It was so distant and vague that it made it obvious something else was going on. As The Fox God said, the questions are odd enough that one would think the mother would get more concerned. I also thinks this loses the creepy aspect when the child asks the father to be quiet and he does. It is obvious that the father is not buried alive after all this time, so it means he is at least a rather accommodating spirit. That’s not really scary, it just merely makes me feel sad for the father so obviously in pain. I would look for ways to make it more creepy, and less tragic. Also, try not to telegraph the ending so strongly throughout, as it removes the last real shock the pasta has, weakening the climactic reveal.

    Mechanically and conceptually, I think this one is good. The concept is a bit of an old one, but I think including the refrain and the simple storytelling makes it a bit more interesting to read. The only major mechanical problem I found was the tense change, which appeared intentional to move it from telling about previous questions to current experience, but there are some bumps in there were it fluctuates between tenses, causing confusion. I really like the way you describe things, and how you managed to tell such a story in a simple enough way that it fits a child’s voice. Personally, I really like your style of storytelling, especially for brief stories such as this one. I’d try to find a more original idea, watch dialogue carefully, make sure characters are acting logically (unlike the mother in this story), and use the same talented style to tell that story. Happy writing!