As the author of hundreds of horror novels for kids and young adults, R.L. Stine knows that what goes bump in the dark can be frightening and entertaining. In honor of Halloween, the "Goosebumps" author decided publish his next tale of terror on Twitter.
After all, when your Twitter bio reads "My job: to terrify kids," you might as well prove it online.
This week, the author tweeted chapters of his story "What's in My Sandwich" 140 characters at a time. "For Halloween, I'll be writing a story live on Twitter this evening," Stine tweeted on October 28. "Hope you'll join me."
The following is Stine's short but scary story -- told in a series of 15 consecutive tweets.
People call me a loser, but that's going to change. I was in a little diner downtown and I ordered an egg salad sandwich. I was about to bite down on it when I noticed something moving in the egg salad. Was I imagining it? No.
I saw a hairy, three-fingered claw push a clump of egg out of the way. I saw two round black eyes. A fur-covered face. The creature poked out of the sandwich, sending egg salad tumbling onto the plate. It was the size of a fat beetle.
But it wasn't an insect. It had a furry head and eyes that peered into mine. Before I could react, a second creature poked out. And then a third. My sandwich was infested. My stomach lurched.
"Is everything okay?" the waitress asked.
"Yes. Fine," I said. "Could you wrap this sandwich to go?" Finding hairy things in your sandwich is gross. But I knew this sandwich would make me a winner.
The sandwich would turn my life around. Discovering a new life form had to make me rich. I carried the sandwich home carefully and set it on a table.
I didn't hear my son Willy come home. When I finally saw him, he had egg salad on his face. Yes, he ate the sandwich. If only I could have stopped him. Now the creatures are biting holes in his stomach.
They are biting holes in Willy from the inside, poking their furry heads out of his stomach, chewing his flesh. Okay. A minor setback. But I'm not giving up. Willy is screaming in agony. The poor guy is terrified.
I'm so excited. Where is my camera? Willy is going to make me rich.
Plus, thanks to his rabid fans who started a viral Twitter campaign, his "Fear Street" series was updated with a new book called "Party Games."
For budding horror writers who want to pen their own frightening fiction, Stine offers quite a few tips on his website about how to develop ideas into stories and how to conquer writer's block.