Ross School - Senior Projects 2011


Student: Ricky Schlussel

Mentor: Clare Wolfe

Domain(s): English





Title: Judgment Day


Judgment Day is a series of horror short stories made to be uniquely scary. The stories were all written and created out of my head, thus making the genre fiction. The stories are not for the faint of heart, as some (most) contain gory scenes and obscene language. The stories are not connected to one another, and range from one man’s plane flight going horribly wrong to two kids going pumpkin smashing on Halloween night.  


Short Stories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)






For my senior project, I wrote a series of horror short stories. The genres of all of the stories were fiction, and were created to be uniquely scary, or “fresh” as my mentor put it. Though the stories are not connected to one another, I found myself putting most of my characters in the situation of their world falling apart around them. My original goal was to write around five or six stories. Each story was going to be around ten pages. Though the sixty-page length does seem hefty, the few months given allowed me to spread my work over a long period of time. As time progressed, I realized that my final goal would change. My mentor and I agreed that a few of my stories, though all right in quantity, were not acceptable in terms of quality. Because of this, I ended up writing seven stories, two more than my original expectation. Out of these seven, I ended up choosing my favorite five, discarding two of the seven. My mentor decided that it would be a good idea to have me read Stephen King’s “On Writing” because of these issues in my writing. At first I was reluctant to read the book, but after I started it, I found my writing improving. Stephen King is the master of the very genre I was working on. His writing tips improved my style, phrasing, and mindset. I found myself becoming inspired by quotations from the novel. After reading the quote, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write,” I realized I had developed a new perspective of going about the work of my senior project. It was reading this, and the firm but kind scolding from my mentor, that I developed my strategy for writing stories that don’t have “Unclear Transitions” and “We need to talk…” written all over them. This strategy was a giving a painstakingly large amount of time towards fine-tuning and creating my stories.


Works Consulted


King, Stephen. Night Shift. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978. Print.


Schwartz, Alvin, and Stephen Gammell. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. New York: Lippincott, 1981. Print.


Schwartz, Alvin, and Stephen Gammell. More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. New York: Lippincott, 1984. Print.


King, Stephen. On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000. Print.


The Descent (2005) - IMDb. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 31 Jan. 2011. <>.


Shan, Darren. The Demonata. London: HarperCollins Children's, 2005. Print.


Shan, Darren. Cirque Du Freak. Boston: Little, Brown, 2001. Print.


Nightmare at 20000 Feet. Television.


Outside Consultant


Ms. Cromwell was my outside consultant, and works in the English domain at the Ross School. She edited my first and fourth story.