Illustration for article titled Concept Art Writing Prompt: Creepy little girl goes fishing for monsters

Mysterious creatures lurk beneath the waters of this week's concept art writing prompt. As always, we ask that you come up with a flash fiction story inspired by this painting and post it in the comments. So is this girl about to get eaten? Or is she doing the eating?

Illustration for article titled Concept Art Writing Prompt: Creepy little girl goes fishing for monsters

This week's writing prompt artwork is "Go Fish" by Monica Langlois. It appeared in a World of Warcraft trading card game and on the cover of PC Game Russia. Via reddit.


Edit: WOW-players are pointing out that the figure is full-grown gnome, not a little girl. Feel free to use the prompt in whatever way inspires you.

Here's my story. Post yours in the comments:

When Amity's father told her about the monsters in the lake, he thought he was lying. He was hoping to chase his daughter into ballet classes or beauty pageants, so he told her tales of swamp demons with razor-sharp teeth and giant catfish who feasted on the flesh of little girls. But Amity had spent enough recesses dragged across the playground by her pigtails, and a swamp demon struck her as the perfect solution. So each Saturday morning, she trotted down to the cemetery with her bucket and her shovel.

An illness had swept through the schools that started with a fever and ended with your liver turned to jelly, so there were always fresh bodies to dig up. Amity purchased a small hacksaw with her allowance, and grew skilled at slicing off hands and feet. She liked how each hand gave her five little worms to bait her hook, even if feet were a bit messier.

Once she'd refilled the graves, she'd drag her bounty down to the lake shore, force the meat on the hook, and wait. But the only things that ever nibbled upon her offering of human flesh were fish, and not even fish of unusual size. By evening, she'd hurl the chopped up hands and feet into the water, hoping it would attract more monsters to her shore.

Then, one Saturday, Amity went to graveyard as usual, before the sun had a chance to rise. But among the usually quiet rows of headstones, she spotted men shoveling dirt back onto disrupted graves. She dropped to the ground, crawling behind a marble angel for cover, and spied a cart loaded with small bodies. She didn't dare ask the men if she could have the fingers.

After the graverobbers left, Amity tried digging for fresh bodies, but found only earthworms filling the empty graves. So she filled her pail with the squiggly nightcrawlers and plodded down to the lake.

As she sank her wormy hook into the water, Amity sighed. Perhaps she should just catch a few fish for her supper and enroll in Krav Maga the next day. But then she felt a tug on her rod. Amity had caught plenty of fish before, but this felt strange, insistent, more a pull than a heavy bob. Amity started to pad toward the edge of the lake, but before she could look down, an unseen force whipped her rod through the air — and Amity with it.

She barely had time to hold her breath before she was pulled down into the water. It was difficult with the water swirling and thrashing around her, but Amity fought to keep her eyes open. Finally, the currents cleared and she could see the thing at the end of her fishing pole. It was enormous and green, as if constructed from all of the seaweed that had ever accumulated inside this lake, and its mouth was planted firmly around her hook, its massive jaws working on the tiny worm. When it spotted Amity, it opened its yellow eyes as wide as they could go, and let out a panicked roar. The seaweed creature yanked the hook from its mouth and batted a large paw at Amity, hurling her out of the water and back onto land.

Amity sat up just in time to see the creature stomp off across the lake, throwing a tentative glance back her way. Rubbing her head, Amity stared down at her bait bucket and smiled. There were monsters in this lake after all. And what they wanted was worms.

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