God bless horror.

We live our lives racing from one nightmare to the next.

We fear losing our parents in the grocery store. We fear getting left behind at school. We fear getting laughed at by classmates. We fear not getting laid. We fear unwanted pregnancies. We fear what might happen to the baby.

We fear flunking out. We fear not getting a job. We fear losing a job. We fear getting the boss mad. We fear bankruptcy and poverty and homelessness. And if we escape poverty, wealth still does not free us from fear.

We fear car accidents and plane crashes. We fear rape. We fear blacks, whites, Hispanics. We fear cancer, heart disease, diabetes, AIDS, brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease.

We fear that the Republicans will win the White House. We fear that the Democrats will win the White House. We fear terrorist attacks and gay marriage and kids with guns in schools. We fear Islamofascism, Christofascism, an atheist dictatorship.

We fear dying too soon. We fear lingering too long. We fear outliving our kids. We fear what might happen to our parents.

We fear the future. We fear what's going to come after.

We fear.

And yet... We read horror novels. We spend money to watch horror films. We spend our evenings watching scary TV shows. We play computer games where demons spring out of dark corners. We embrace the terrors brought to us by vampires, zombies, psycho killers, werewolves, ghosts, and interdimensional monstrosities. Are we fools? Are we masochists? Are we crazy?

Yes. We are crazy. It's a planetwide psychosis.

There is, as Clive Barker says, no delight the equal of dread. It is our oldest and purest emotion, and our oldest and greatest challenge. Everyone has to face it every day. And there's something to be said for facing a tremendous fear and surviving it. Of course, in the real world, if we face a great fear, we must risk the possibility that it'll kill us, embarrass us, lose us our job, or do something else unpleasant to us.

But when you face the mad killer in a horror movie, you live to tell the tale. When you face an invasion of vampires in a novel, you beat them by finishing the book. When the zombies tear your face off in a computer game, you can go back to the last time you saved your progress and try again.

With horror fiction, we control the fear, instead of the fear controlling us.

Halloween traditionally sees a horror story Quest here on E2 -- earlier horror quests have included They Hunger For Nodes: An e2 Halloween Scary Story Quest, The Blood is the Life: A Frightful Halloween Quest, Everything Quests: Scary Stories, and I can make you howl. And vice versa. Let's get down to business. Same thing now: write an original scary story or node a story that is in the public domain. If you can't do fiction, give us a factual writeup that is about horror or scary stuff. It can be any length and any topic -- as long as it's scary. You can even node true stories, if you have them, but make sure they're scary -- straight factual writeups won't cut it here.

Your reward? You mean other than upvotes? Other than any chings? Other than the bliss of scaring the pants off innocent readers? kthejoker is co-sponsoring this Quest, and he'll hand out treats of 13 XPs for every writeup you submit for the Quest. There is a limit of ten blessings per noder, but you're welcome to add more than ten writeups. (though I may participate in this Quest, none of my writeups will receive the 13-point blessing; however, I'm insisting that Kyle get the 13 XPs, 'cause his stuff's so damn good)

Be warned: if you cut-and-paste or plagiarize someone else's copyrighted work, your writeup will be deleted, and you'll be assessed a -13 XP penalty.

What's the runtime for the Quest? The entire month of October, plus November 1, server time. Halloween is too damn nifty to limit to just one day a year.

When you write a story for the Quest, just /msg me with the node title and softlink your writeup to this node. I'll include a list of all the Quest participants below.

Let the fear begin.
The Sweet Smell of Death by borgo
Distance on Mars by Yurei
The Maniac's Song by Ereneta
Public sculpture by dannye
The Writer's Block by drownzsurf
Haunting Chikamatsu by Yurei
The Last Concert by drownzsurf
The Murderer's Confession by Ereneta
The Tank by henry flower
thank you Don by artman2003
An Open Letter to the Boogeyman by allseeingeye
The Doctorate by drownzsurf
The Spectre, A Fact by Ereneta
Phineas Gage's Air Conditioner by ncc05
You need trepanation like you need another hole in your head by ncc05
Ghosts can laugh, but they're already dead by Servo5678
Shub-Internet by Jet-Poop
Scoutmaster Bob's Fraternity Story by Major General Panic
The Tanzanian Devil by rootbeer277
Grindyma by DejaMorgana
I am the Monster by henry flower
Who knocks within? by dimview
Heavy Science by drownzsurf
Carving by sid
The shower drowns out the shutter-click. by Rapscallion
Rend not my heart for naming of my Christ by IWhoSawTheFace
A Vacation Too Far by drownzsurf
the dead had risen, and there was nobody to pump gas by anamnesis
I am outside the set of scientifically intelligible events by anamnesis
With the song still in them by Scriblerus
Late one October night by no_one

Faces on the Kitchen Floor: Belmez, Spain, 1971 by Radar
fear by paraclete
Everyone has a 'true ghost story' story by paraclete
The Witching Hour by drkersdeofgry
Gilles de Rais by drkersdeofgry

The Walking Dead by prole
Land of the Dead by prole
Religious Horror Films by bishopred1
The Monster Mash by Shen
Werewolf versus Vampire Women by Timeshredder
The Curse of the Blair Witch by Timeshredder
Happy Halloween by Jeedan

The Quest is at an end for another year. Many thanks to everyone who participated. Your XP rewards should be on the way soon.

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