𝚃𝙷𝙴 𝙸𝙽𝚃𝚁𝙾𝙳𝚄𝙲𝚃𝙸𝙾𝙽- 𝚐𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 '𝚎𝚖, 𝚐𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 '𝚎𝚖!

- And, now, the beautiful woman sitting in this chair before me, is our next story- teller, your typical small-town mother of two with a stunning tale to tell that is anything but normal. Give it up... for... Mrs. Rodrossi!

Thank you, Tom. Though, I must admit, 'beautiful' isn't the word I'd use to describe me.

- Nonsense, nonsense! Ooh- here's one more thing about her, folks- she's humble, too!

I'd call it truth-telling, Tom, but, really, your flattery is appreciated.

- It's well-deserved, Mrs. Rodrossi, trust me. You look stunning!


- No, Mrs. Rodrossi, there's no time for you to disagree- it's time for you to tell us- give us the gist, really- about your experience. Give our audience a taste of what you've gone through, just a taste, so that they're dying for us to really rake every terrifying detail of what you've witnessed across the coals.

Well, it's just as you said, Tom. I'm- well, I was- just your run-of-the-mill mom. Y'know, two kids, working husband... and mothers always say that their kids have special- that they've got 'it'- but my kids? They're ordinary. They don't have talents anyone else in their class doesn't have. My youngest- she's in third grade- she's obsessed with debate, and the... the...

- We call them the "turned ones," Mrs. Rodrossi, but if you'd prefer to have me finish up your introductory paragraph...

No, no, I'm- I'm fine. I can handle it.

- See, folks? She's a strong one. I guess it's the mother in her!

Yeah... yeah, well... my oldest was the sporty one, the social one. I knew all her friends, and I knew she was responsible. I knew she was trustworthy. It was why she was able to- well, you know- leave, and I wouldn't ask questions, because I just- I thought-

- Nobody's blaming you, Mrs. Rodrossi. Everyone on this show has been in your shoes.

No, it's not- it's not- I was her mother, Tom. I am her mother. And she's probably in some jelly-tank somewhere, rotting away while her own mother goes on talk shows and gushes-

- Mrs. Rodrossi-

I was- I'm supposed to protect her, Tom! You're supposed to protect your children- it's what you sign up for, it's-

- Mrs. Rodrossi, if you need us to take a moment or two-

I don't need a moment, you Crest-Whitestripped son-of-a-gun! I need my daughter back! I need her here! I need her back!

- Okay, Mrs. Rodrossi, we're going to take a moment. Okay?

Where is she?! WHERE IS SHE?!

𝚂𝚈𝙼𝙿𝚃𝙾𝙼 𝙾𝙽𝙴- 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚢𝚘𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏𝚏𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚢

- Alright, folks, after that short break, we've returned, back and better than ever! Anything you've got to say, Mrs. Rodrossi?

That I'm... I'm sorry. I got emotional, you know? I should've let Tom handle it. I'm- I'm letting him handle it.

- Nobody's blaming you, Mrs. Rodrossi. You're in a safe space. This- all around us, everything we've built- this is a safe space.

Thanks- thanks, Tom.

- It's what I'm paid to do, Mrs. Rodrossi. Now, getting back to her introduction, before the incident, she was your typical mother of two. The turned one was the high-schooler, the sophomore, and what happened to her... ooh, even after sixteen years on this show, it gave me chills! Does that sound right to you, Mrs. Rodrossi?

It gave me a lot more than chills, Tom, but... yeah, you've got it.

- Excellent! Now, Mrs. Rodrossi, who's going to explain the Symptoms? Am I going to be nominated, or are you?

Well... the bossy-mom side of me wants to do it, but... I think I'm going to leave that to you, Tom.

- Ah, a nomination! I won't let you down, Mrs. R.

I'm glad to hear it, Tom.

- The Symptoms, the Symptoms. What are they, you might ask? Well, I'm glad you did, because if you ever want to jump into the pool of the paranormal- or just want to dip your toe in- you'd better have this list in your mind. There's five main Symptoms- but, of course, there can be more- because, in the event of possession or any other demonic visiting, there are, typically, five things that you notice. Five things that aren't right. And, to all of you skeptics out there, keep listening- you might be surprised. It's not all red eyes and strangled voices. Some of it's deeply psychological- really, all of it is, but, at the same time, isn't everything rooted in something in somebody's sick, twisted mind? Because, after sixteen years on this show, let me tell you- everybody's mind is sick and twisted in some way. It's inescapable.

... Wow.

- Hm? Did I wow you with my passionate speech, Mrs. Rodrossi? I do it every time I get nominated- it's part of my recyclable charm.

No, it's just... I've never heard you talk that much. Usually, it's just short bursts of dry wit.

- The less I say, the more they love me- what can I say?

Well, I'd say-

- Oh, but there's no time to ooh and aah over me, Mrs. Rodrossi- it's time for you to talk about the first Symptom!

Ah- it is, isn't it?

- Don't be nervous. I'll ask you questions. You'll answer it. Keep it clinical. Don't tap into that endless well of motherly love- block it up. Stay unnattached.

Thanks, Tom. I- I'll try.

- Alright, then- let's get right into it! Start talking. When did it start? What happened? What was she doing? What were you doing? How the circumstances of her encounter come about? What color top was she wearing that day? We want everything!

W-well- so-

- Oops, too many questions- let's start with... hm. How about the general questions first? What you were doing, what happened, how it came about... what you noticed...

Yes- yes, that's doable. Well, my- my- um- her, she's- she was, I mean- she was the window-shopping-type. She loved to, y'know, walk up and down those thrift-store streets and peer in the windows, and go in and browse, and she did it every weekend with me and Herbert. We'd drive down to Upper Villeton, you know, and we'd-

- Herbert?

My... well, my ex-husband. I filed for divorce- well, we both did, you know, after Moira-

- After the TURNING, Mrs. Rodrossi. After the Turning.

I know, Tom, I- oh, whatever. Me and Herbert and... her... were window-shopping, and she saw this... this furniture store. You'd just look in the window, and you'd see- you'd see, like, huge busts of bulls made out of metal and ants holding brooms made from wire and stone... it was crazy. So, immediately, she was crazy about it.

- Ah... Don't hate me, Mrs. Rodrossi, but... I love those stores.

A lot of people do, Tom. I don't hate them for it.

- Oh, I envy your strength, sometimes... Well, go on! Tell us about what happened inside of the store. Every juicy, creepy, terrifying, disgusting detail.

We went in. It was a big, three-floor thing, with the creakiest stairs you could ever imagine, and it was absolutely packed with stuff. I mean, floor-to-ceiling. I was worried, because she was always clumsy, but she was careful. We browsed around the first floor, bought this dinky little inkstand that Herbert loved, and then... we went to the second floor.

- I sense drama, Mrs. R!

Yes, well... in the left corner, sort of... stuffed away... there was a wall of... vampire stakes, really, really old ones, with dried blood on them and splinters cascading down the frame. It was absolutely gruesome. But, on the wall... there was a cage, sort of.

- A cage?

It was... this fenced-off dip in the wall, and there were people crowding around it, but the sign above it said that it was haunted. It said that there were things inside that were associated with nasty things- sacrifices, murders... we went closer, and I could tell that Moira was enthralled.

- I think I speak for everyone watching when I say, "uh-oh."

No- well, she was... interested. Way too interested. She stood there and she looked at them, and I remember, she was saying something about... how it sent shivers down her spine, and how she loved that. She always had a thing for horrific things- spiders, snakes- but I made up an excuse to get out of there. I'm not lying when I say that spirits- demons, devils- they're real. And they're not something to- to pull out at parties, you know, when the stupid kids get Ouija boards out of their closets and try to contact their dead grandmothers. They're real. They're awful.

- Nobody's going to argue with that, Mrs. Rodrossi. Is that the moment where the first Symptom came into play?

Yes. Yes, it was. Even after we left, she was... talking about it. I tried to caution her against it- y'know, the typical "mom" speech- and she brushed it off, like anyone would. I forgot about it, after that, but-

- I'm gonna have to stop you right there, Mrs. Rodrossi- save it for tomorrow, when we address the next Symptom. Tune in, folks- it's gonna be a wild ride!

𝚂𝚈𝙼𝙿𝚃𝙾𝙼 𝚃𝚆𝙾- 𝚊 𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚌𝚎𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚙𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚘𝚛, 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚘𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚘𝚛 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚖𝚎𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚢 𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗.

- After your long, day-long wait, we're back, with a fresh-and-ready Mrs. Rodrossi, to tell you more of her terrifying tale! Say hello!

Hello. It's great to be back.

- Of course it is- to see me is to love me. Now, as I know you all are on the edge of your seats, we're going to jump right into it. We left off when Mrs. Rodrossi and the Turned were just leaving the place where it all started- that knickknack store- and now, it's onto the second Symptom, that cloud of moroseness that hangs over the Turned after the first Symptom has been set in motion. Don't make us wait, Mrs. R- let's get into it!

Yes. Well... she was moody, afterward. Sort of... pensive. It carried on for a week. It was... odd. She wasn't as energetic in her softball meets- the coach even approached me, asking if she was okay- and she was even more tired-seeming in her basketball games. We approached her, multiple times, me and Herbert, but... she said that she was just drowsy, and that it would go away. Herbert wasn't worried. I made him come. I always made him come.

- I'm guessing that Herbert wasn't the most helpful husband during all of this?

Oh, just this opposite. He said- he still says- that the doctors are crackpots and that this isn't real. He's convinced that this is some huge scam, and that I was in on it from the beginning... he always was a fan of conspiracy theories, but this was on a whole other level. He tried to self-diagnose her, go to a ton of different doctors, called me crazy. Our relationship wasn't good from the start, and this was the last straw for both of us.

- Ouch, Mrs. R. You have my condolences.

They aren't necessary. I'm glad that he isn't waiting backstage, or at home. It's... freeing. He's my third ex-husband- I have terrible taste in men- but I've never felt so happy after they've packed up and moved out. I suppose it was just waiting to happen.

- Well, I'm glad you're free. I'm betting that some men are, too, in the audience- but this isn't a dating show, and we're getting off track! Describe the pallor. We need details.

Somehow I don't think I'll be dating anytime, but the reassurance is nice. And, ooh, where was I?... Oh, yeah. Well, she was... preoccupied. Her schoolwork- well, it's always been A+ after A+, and it was still perfect, but... the teachers left comments at the bottom. Things like, "Her work is amazing, as always, but I've noticed that she seems upset- is she okay?" or "Wonderful word choice and exposition, but we were aiming for a jovial tone, and somehow this essay seems sorrowful. Is everything okay at home?" Herbert didn't care, but I definitely did. I love my daughter.

- And we're glad that you do, Mrs. Rodrossi.

Are those men glad, too?

- Well, I can't imagine they're happy with more competition, but that's not important! Describe what happened- how it happened- when the pallor cleared up. To our in-person viewers- leave your guesses about how this episode will end in the electronic vote-entering machines underneath your seats. The closest person to the truth will receive a fat five-hundred-dollar check in the mail. Look forward to it!

Well, Tom, if you're finished-

- Oh, I am, Mrs. R. I am. Now, go! Tell us! How did her haunted gloomy-glooms clear up?

We went back to the antique place. We went window-shopping, and when she saw that shop, she- well, she-

- Deep breaths, Mrs. R. Deep breaths.

- I know, Tom, it's- it's not important. She saw the place, and she said that she had to use the bathroom, and she was banging through the door before we could stop her. She took fifteen minutes, and when she came out, she was... flushed. She was beaming, too. Her bad mood was just... gone. I was worried.

- Did you do anything with that worry?

- I... brought it up to Herbert. He was my "support person" in that time... yeah, I really know how to pick 'em. He dismissed me, called me crazy, and I dropped it. I believed it. She was spouting something about cramps and how'd they'd cleared up, and I pretty much bullied myself into believing her.

- Mrs. Rodrossi, I don't think I'm the only one wanting to punch your ex-husband right now, but there's no time for vengeance. We'll be back tomorrow, with the third (and possibly the most creepy) Symptom, but, before we cut the cameras, is there anything you'd like to say?

- Stay safe. I know I sound like a Hallmark card, but, really, you should. It's important.

- The audience- and I- wholeheartedly agree, Mrs. Rodrossi. Stay safe, tune in tomorrow, and bring a friend! Trust me, you won't want to be alone. I'm looking forward to the next episode!

July 22, 2021 21:14

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Rayhan Hidayat
19:56 Jul 24, 2021

This is engrossing. I want to know what happens next, and I want to know now! 😡 I appreciate the lengths you took to make the dialogue realistic, which reflected their states of mind. The host was so obnoxious. I wanted to punch him in his perfect teeth. I suppose that’s good character building on your part! The “son of a gun” line was hilarious but I think it would be more impactful if she just said the b-word. She is in a fragile state of mind and probably isn’t in the mood to hold back, after all. Maybe it gets bleeped out. It is a show...


22:36 Jul 24, 2021

down, boy, down- all hosts are obnoxious. all hosts are named tom. next question! ah, yes. the only flaw in my completely child-friendly plan. i miss swearwords sometimes, but my old mother reads these (yes, mom, you're old, don't even try to deny it) and she'd have a heart attack and die if she ever saw anything mildly inappropriate. i love you, mom! the only great writing here will be IF YOU EVER FULFILL MY HOPES AND DREAMS AND POST AGAIN- *hunts for sharpest knife*


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22:14 Jul 22, 2021

Dazzling. Where are we going from here, Mengel? Take me on the rollercoaster, -- I'll buy all of the tickets. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Best line (that I wish I'd written): "I don't need a moment, you Crest-Whitestripped son-of-a-gun!"


22:17 Jul 22, 2021

all show hosts have to be named tom and all useless husbands have to be named herbert. it's why if a guy named herbert is on tinder, my finger's already swipin' left. it's how i've lived this long. ;)


23:18 Jul 22, 2021

Seems like a foolproof method. I applaud your use of the scientific method. Queen Kate for Everything. #HerbertHaters


23:25 Jul 22, 2021

everything is a matriarchy, apparently, and i got this throne because i murdered two servants, one princess, one heir-to-be, and one baby that literally did nothing to me. i deserve some praise. 👑


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Palak Shah
13:20 Aug 08, 2021

This was super awesome and I loved it so much. Well done Kate Could you please read my latest story and share some feedback if possible. Thanks


13:28 Aug 08, 2021

on my way over, right now! :D


Palak Shah
13:31 Aug 08, 2021



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Cuppa Chae
22:01 Jul 23, 2021

OH THIS WAS SUPER INTERESTING! I love how you laid out the story and I really want to know more. I need to know the third symptom 👁👄👁


01:22 Jul 24, 2021

𝚂𝚈𝙼𝙿𝚃𝙾𝙼 𝚃𝙷𝚁𝙴𝙴- 𝚊 𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝, 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚛𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚜𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚎 𝚘𝚛 𝚍𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚍𝚎𝚍𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚘𝚛 𝚖𝚊𝚍𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚋𝚓𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚊𝚞𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 just for you, cuppa! ;)


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Yolanda Wu
02:29 Jul 23, 2021

I really, really liked the structure of this story, and the whole premise. That it's on a game show, and the whole story being the dialogue between the host and the participant, Mrs Rodrossi. I was so hooked on their conversation right from the very beginning (like tell me about the freaky shit, I was like the host, except I don't wanna be like him because I don't like his vibes). Like Deidra pointed out, that 'Crest-Whitestripped son-of-a-gun' line was amazing, I was like oof, you go girl. I'm so intrigued about where this story would go, b...


02:34 Jul 23, 2021

:0 fangirl moment- not me being complimented by my idol- the next one is definitely being dedicated to you and deidra. i'm so ~ h o n o r e d ~ that you followed me. it sounds cringy, but it's true. <3


Yolanda Wu
02:39 Jul 23, 2021

Aww, I thought that with all your sweet comments on my stories it would be rude of me to not come and read your stories, and give you a follow. I'm so honoured to be considered your idol. Keep writing wonderful stories!


02:41 Jul 23, 2021

*looks around frantically* wonderful stories? where? did you post again? ;)


Yolanda Wu
02:47 Jul 23, 2021

Haha, I'm getting an inkling of something I might want to post this week, that is in the same world as my most recent story (most recent being a month ago), but we'll see if I get around to it.


02:52 Jul 23, 2021

fingers crossed, yolanda, fingers crossed-


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