I did get at least one request to do more of these, so here we go:
Write about someone who is pretending to be someone or something that he is not.
To be honest, I'm sort of sick of pretending to be normal. I don't want to say anything about it. Fact is, these days I'm easily the most normal person in my current circle of friends, and they all know it.
It snuck up on me. The looks of pity or admiration or even just vague recognition as "that guy from the news" faded quickly. There's always a new tragedy, and really the body count wasn't high enough for the networks to care after the first day or so. Fine by me.
The nightmares faded eventually, too. I still get them sometimes, but not like I did initially. Therapy helps. So does having a supportive family; I'm really lucky in that respect. Everyone who needs to know understands, and everyone else doesn't need to know; it's not relevant.
So I was used to being kind of different, and kind of not talking about it.
But it gets old, these days. Letting people think the slushee machine is broken -- again -- when really the restless spirit of my murdered friend is having a bad day. Explaining that my girlfriend has "migraines", and when people realize that they happen pretty close to monthly, hinting that it's due to "lady stuff," because people usually change the subject once "lady stuff" comes up. And my buddy who works at the bar? Well, he work all night, sleeps all day. That's why you only ever see him after dark. That's why he's so pale.
Thing is, they're the ones who came up with the stories. They're used to it. These are their lives -- or afterlives, in some cases.
I'm just a guy who was in the wrong place at... I honestly don't know, in retrospect, if it was the wrong time or the right time. Both, I guess; not like anything else in my life is neatly binary these days.
There's talk now that I might be an honest-to-God medium. I joke that I really should look into it; if nothing else, I'll get a story out of it.
But the truth is, I never wanted to write horror.
The above is fictional, kind of a character study for something else I'm picking at. Some of you may recognize the character. I don't think I have the voice quite right, but the sentiments are dead on. So to speak.