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Writings > Short Story > Thriller

Nightmare designer

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Murderess- the story unfolds
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 Tosh flexed his furry arms. His purple coat shone in the glaring light. His big beefy arms hung loosely at his sides. He stared at his sister, Losh.
 Losh raised her green cat-like eyes and looked at Tosh. She grinned and showed her pointy teeth at her youngest brother. She knew Tosh was not feeling good now. It was getting dark and it was pretty well-known in their world that Tosh hates it. Bad news is, for their kind to hate the dark is not really a good thing.
  Tosh was a nightmare-designer. He lived under the bed and he scares the living daylight out of a child. Well' that was what he's supposed to do.
  While scaring kids suits well with his other siblings, Tosh didn't find it appealing. He didn't want to be a spoilsport but he was really sorry for the kids that woke up with a start at night because of nightmares. A 5 year old boy ended up crying all night because Losh gave him a scary nightmare that includes a psychopath as Santa. Another girl kept her family up for about 2 weeks because of Hosh's nightmare, his eldest brother.
  He didn't like what he saw during buddying with his other siblings. And he still hates it now.
  Tosh stood in the hallway looking dejected. His fangs, blood-shot eyes and huge hairy feet looked out of place. His parents were very proud of his outlook because of their profession. Having scary looks means less thinking on nasty nightmares. Those who looks scary didn't need to think too much about scary storylines or researching on scary stories on the Internet. A scary looking nightmare designer can haunt the kids itself.
  Tosh sat on his chair and stared at his computer. Each of them; Losh, Hosh and Tosh had their own offices. They can customise it according to their liking. Basic equipments like computer, Internet connection and cabinets are given for free by the administration. Tosh loved being in the office because he gets to go online and do research. But he never did any work-related research He loved to read stories with happy enndings to make him happy. Happiness gave a warm fuzzy feeling in his heart.
  The clock on Tosh's desk showed 11 pm and he got up instantly. With a very heavy heart, he went to Losh's office and knocked on her door gently. He peered into Losh's gloomu and scary looking office. It was a total opposite of his. Tosh's office was more cheerful and have paintings of children smiling. In fact, everybody's office was different from Tosh's Each office was made to fit the nasty and scary nature of the job.
  'You have no choice, Tosh. Our fore fathers and grandfathers have been nightmare designers for centuries,' his father told Tosh on his first day. He wasn't happy with that answer.
  The other nightmare designers and Tosh clock in at 11 pm. They will each go into a special room whereby each of them will be magically transported into their official working place. This working place might be under the bed, closet, kitchen or any places that children are afraid of. Tosh's was under the bed of a boy named Alistair.
  It amazes Tosh to see his other siblings reactions when he told them Alistair's name, Apparently, it was not nightmare designer's usual practice to learn about the name of the residents or the one they haunt. It wasn't something important and that's why Tosh's siblings looked at him as if extra horns had sprouted from his head.
  Tosh's father was considered to be an important officer in their world. He wasn't happy with Tosh's performance as a nightmare designer. Tosh always fail to scare the kids he were assigned to. Currently, he was given 2 assignments. Based on a nightmare designer's performance, that was pretty bad. Kids are very easy to scare thus each designers was supposed to receive a maximum of 5 assignments per week.
  Tosh sighed. He was not feeling well now. A review is going to be carried out very soon. It is going to be his first year as a nightmare designer and he had a hunch that it was not going to be pretty.
  Lying under the bed, Tosh waited for Alistair patiently. That little boy goes to sleep at 11.15 pm daily. his parents will first read him stories and Tosh loved it when it was the father's turn. He changed his voice with each character in the story that he was reading.
  Alistair's mother was less creative but the stories that she read was special in its own way. It was always about adventures like of a knight's and Peter Pan. Tosh listened to every story and eneded up creating the continuance of the stories in Alistair's dream. It was Tosh's joy to see Alistair smiling in his sleep because Tosh knew Alistair loved the dreams. His dreams.
  When Tosh finished work at approximately 6 am, he went back to his room and plan for the next day. Most of the time, he will do extensive research  on children stories. At other times, he will go to the library and try to get good stories with happy endings to no avail.
  Tosh, like the other nightmare designers, had his own dream journal. The only difference was what he wrote in the journal. Tosh's was filled with happy stories unlike others. It was lucky that the administration didn't require buddies to check on the journals.
  Today, it was the mother's turn to read. Tosh listened inetently and slowly blended his body into the background environement and sat on Alistair's chair. Tosh was transfixed like Alistair. He formed ideas in his head on what to infuse into Alistair's dream. He will make sure Alistair is going to love the dream.
  The review on Tosh was not good; something he had already expected. His father was furious. Krog; Tosh's father, claimed it was such a waste to have Tosh's physique yet a heart similar to a mouse. Tosh's mother; Foir, cried softly besie Krog.
  'I don't know what's wrong with you. I was the best in my year and so was your brother. I had my pay raised thrice in a year and you? Still on probation!' Krog said furiously.
  'It was hard..' Tosh trailed away feebly.
  'Scaring a 3 year old is hard? With your physical? Fangs, horns, bloodshot eyes? And your sister as a buddy? What you mean hard? You are just making excuses.'
  Tosh fixed his eyes onto the floor.
  'What do you want to be Tosh? Do you really have any ambition?' Foir raised her tear-stained face.
  ...2 years later.
  Tosh became a muse. He still sat in closets, under the bed or tables but this time to give inspirations. He no longer scare kids but opened a new department called 'Happy Night Catering Services'. Tosh was the first caterer and he really enjoyed it. Apart from being a caterer, he also became a muse to writers around the world; especially young ones.
  Due to the huge expansion of his department, he choose to become muse most of the time because it gave him a big leeway when he needed to attend to some problems that newbies face. It was challenging and interesting to him.
  He was also having others applying to become muse. Scary looking ones inspires horrid stories and the more gentle looking, inspires milder stories. It depends on the muse though. As they progress, they will be able to tune to their creativity and create better stories for aspiring writers.
  Tosh has finally found his job as a muse. He's scary looking and scary looking muses inspires scary stories. What about you? Have you had any scary stories inside your heads lately?
Previous short story:
Murderess- the story unfolds
Next short story:
Wake Me Up!
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about the writer

Siti Aishah Abdul Aziz

the one who loses her rose-tinted glasses, with the tendency to borrow others thinking caps. 
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