Don't Trust Sam Writing Prompt


Horror Writing Prompt

Your MC is an amnesiac who makes notes on what’s important to remember in the morning. He/she wakes up to find all the pages torn out of the notebook but one, with the words ‘Don’t trust Sam’ written on it. There is a knock at the door, and someone shouts, ‘Hey, it’s Sam.’  What happens next?

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Author Notes

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“Hey, it’s Sam!”
Alice froze, her fingers gripping at the marble notebook in her lap, the pages moist. ‘Don’t trust Sam’. The words screamed at her from their place in the heading of the paper, scrawled neatly in black ink. ‘Don’t trust Sam’.
Another knock at the door. “Alice? Open up.”
Alice slid from her bed, her gaze locked on the foyer down the hall. She turned to the window that courted her headboard and eased it open. Barefoot and donned in a skimpy tank top and pajama bottoms, Alice stepped out on to the fire escape. It groaned in protest, rattling at the will of the wind.
A knock, loud and insistent. “Alice! You know mom and dad hate when you ignore me!”
Alice paused, her toes pressing into the cold metal of the fire escape’s descending steps. She pushed herself back on to the level of her apartment floor, peering through the window and straight down the hallway to the cherry wood of the entrance, where behind stood Sam, a boy whose name was the only note in “Things to Remember”, by Alice Santana. Sam, who she couldn’t trust. Sam… her brother?
Alice swung herself into her bedroom, padding on to the floor with the slickness of a cat.
Sam pounded on the door, shaking it within the frame. “Open up!”
Alice’s breath stuck in her throat, as the shuddering of the door suggested its resistance against the weight of someone’s body being thrown against it.
Suddenly, the shaking stopped. The door rested soundly in its place, and the air dripped with silence.
A flutter of movement as a small piece of paper was wedged under the door. Alice approached warily, clinging to her notebook, as if it could protect her. She caught a glimpse of matted blonde hair and wild ice eyes as she moved past the hallway mirror and hesitantly plucked the clipping from the floor.
“HORRIFIC SLAUGHTER IN FAMILY HOME”. A black and white picture of wife, husband, and two children accompanied the headline, their smiles haunting the page. Alice ran her thumb over the daughter’s face, the girl’s eyes glinting in their innocence. She stepped back to where the mirror confessed the truth to her in the hallway, and frantically searched the rest of the article.
“‘Homer and Giselle Santana were brutally stabbed 13 times each in an act of hatred,’ says investigators. The loss of blood identified with their son Samuel suggests that he too has been claimed by the killer’s violent rage, though his body is yet to be found. The once loving mother and father seem to be survived by their only daughter, one Alice Santana.”
The newspaper clipping floated to the ground, slipping through Alice’s fingers with the notebook in tow. Alice found herself in the mirror, a lost, dirty wreck. Tears left tracks on her cheeks as they spilled from her eyes. Her brother. Her brother was alive.
Alice flew against the door, her hands already working at the locks. She wondered briefly at the heat wrapping her body in coils before she pulled open the door and took Sam into her arms.
She breathed into his neck, the smell of something bitter and acrid. “Oh Sam,” she sobbed.
He patted her back soothingly. “Oh little sister,” he sympathized, his voice ragged, “I thought you to be smarter than this.”
Alice stiffened in his embrace before pushing away, backing down the hall. She slipped on the fallen notebook and crashed to the ground as gas flooded the room with a green, sickening tint.
Sam, blonde hair falling across the goggles of his protective mask, leaned over and picked up the book. Alice’s vision blurred over his figure studying its content.
“‘Don’t trust Sam'”, he mused. “Well that would’ve been wise, wouldn’t it?”
Sam chuckled lightly, and Alice lost her hold on reality and slipped into darkness.

Anisa Claire




Pages. Pages scattered everywhere. Pages on the counter top, torn to shreds. Pages in the sink, water worn and wrinkled. Pages. They’re fucking everywhere. Manic scribbles, drawings, maps.Pages. They’re all over the bloody apartment and I have no memory of them, but the writing looks familiar. It’s not mine, is it? I would remember writing the words, tearing the sheets, spreading them all over the place. There are pages in the garbage, grocery lists, names with family titles listed beside them, sketches of faces I don’t recognize. What the hell is going on here?

On one page, the words DO NOT TRUST SAM are scratched on so hard they transfer down page after page. Sam. Don’t trust Sam. I swirl the words around, grasping, pleading with myself to remember. Don’t trust Sam. Why? Who is Sam? What could he possibly want with me? A knock at the door reels me in from the chaos.

“Hey, Lydia?”

I freeze, trying not to breathe, to not exist.

“Lydia! Are you in there? It’s me, Sam.”

Sam. Don’t trust Sam. Don’t…

“Lydia. Come on. I know you’re in there. Answer the fucking door already. I need to talk to you.”

Pages. They’re fucking everywhere. In the sink, on the couch, and in my hand. Don’t trust Sam. But Sam is at my door. He’s here. Right now. I don’t really know where I am. The couch is pink. Is that a colour I would pick? I’d like to think not, but there it is, loud and proud. A sticky notes hangs from the arm, the words, again, are clear. DO NOT TRUST SAM.

“Lydia. Seriously. What the fuck are you doing? Answer the fucking door. Now!”

Sam sounds angry. Really angry. But even if I did answer the door, how would I explain all this paper? All these notes clearly state that I should not, apparently under any circumstances, trust Sam. I pretend I’m not there, willing myself to evaporate into thin air. It doesn’t work. Still I sit on the floor of this dreadfully cheerful apartment with fucking paper… everywhere.

“Okay. Fine by me, Lydia. You want to fuck around? I’m the only friend you have left in this fucking world. The only one willing to protect you. So, sure. Go ahead. Don’t answer the fucking door. See if I care. Wither away and rot in there. Soon enough you’ll be begging for me to come back.”

Answering Sam isn’t an option, obviously, but neither is crumpling up all this paper, letting him know I’m in here. He’ll let up. Of course he will. He must have places he needs to be. As I wander through all the various and nonsensical thoughts that pop into my head, I see it. A shiny, purple suitcase. Wide-eyed, I turn to look at the door, as if Sam-the-Lunatic can read my thoughts. Then, slowly, my hands unclench, releasing the crumples of paper in their grasp, and I crawl toward the suitcase. But, shit. It’s locked. Not just locked. Triple locked with key, code, and thumb print activation.

“Lydia! Answer the door. What the fuck?”

Clearly, I’m out of time. With no other choice, I scramble for the bedroom, hoping to find a key. A code. Anything. But when I get there, it’s the same demented scene as the living room. Pages.There are fucking pages on the floor, in the bed, the writing of a mad person. Don’t Trust Sam. It’s everywhere. On the wall, on the carpet, on the drapes. It’s even on the pillow, written in what looks like fuchsia lipstick.

I’m in big trouble.

“Lydia, if you don’t answer the door… I’m going to call him,” he draws out the word as if spoken with plague-sickened tongue. “And trust me, you don’t want me to make that call.”

The best option, as far as I can calculate, is to jump out the window. I don’t know what floor I’m on, but there must be a way out. Drawing the blinds, I realise I’m way higher than I thought I possible. The people on the ground below look no bigger than bugs. The air in my lungs chunk back into my throat and without thinking, I yell, “Just a minute! I need to get dressed.”

“No worries, baby. Did I wake you?” the voice, Sam’s voice, suddenly sounds pleasant.

“You did, but that’s fine. Would you mind grabbing me a coffee? I’d kill for some caffeine right now.”

“Of course. Three sugars? Black?”

“No. Not today. Maybe a latte?”

“Sounds good. I’ll be back in five minutes, okay?”

“Thanks!” I don’t even recognize the voice coming from my own throat. I suppose it’s necessary for survival, instinct or something. When the coast appears clear, I hurriedly gather all of the papers around the various rooms in hopes of covering my tracks. I’ll have to keep Sam out of the bedroom because there’s nothing I can do about the lipstick-covered pillows and walls.

After a hurried, sweaty clean-up, I head to the closet. There’s nothing in there. Hangers. Empty shelves. No clothing. Nothing. How can I escape with no clothes?

“Fuck!” My voice is loud, startling even me. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I don’t know what’s going on.Where am I? Who is Sam? Am I really going to answer the door in a pair of skimpy turquoise underwear and a black tank top? I have to. What choice do I have? Where are the fuck are my pants?

“Babe? I’m back. I have your latte. Let me in.”

He knows me. He even thinks I’m with him in some fashion. The thought sickens me and I can feel the colour of my face changing, my skin grows cold.

“Coming,” I say, not very loudly. Not sure if I want to open the door. Not sure if Sam will hurt me. Not sure of where I am. Taking one last breath, I unlock the door and open it. Standing there, exposed to the world, Sam steps in quickly, shutting the door behind him.

“No time to get dressed, hey?” He says, blonde hair spilling over his thick-rimmed glasses. He doesn’t look all that dangerous.

“Yeah. Not sure where my clothes are. Must have been a rough night.” Sam hands me a steaming paper cup, the latte, I presume.

“Could you hand me that blanket?” I ask, hoping to cover myself.

“What for? You look good!” Sam winks, only now showing the age in his face. He’s got to be mid-forties. How old am I? I don’t even know. He smirks, pulling the blanket from the couch and tosses it at me.

It’s already uncomfortably hot in the apartment, but I cover up anyway, self-conscious of my appearance.

“What do you want, Sam? Why are you here?” I try to play it up, hoping it makes enough sense to him that he’ll react emotionally, giving me a clue.

“What? Last night wasn’t good enough for you?” He smiles again, brown eyes dark like molasses. “I thought you might want to see me again. Was that too much for me to hope for?”

“You seemed pretty desperate for me to open the door… I just thought.”

He cuts me off, standing up. His presence is much bigger than my own, especially from my seated position on the couch. He has to be upwards of six-five. I retract. Who is he? Who is Sam.Then I see it. A tattoo, trailing up his neck, ending in a spiral. Sam. The man who’s been haunting me for years. Sam. Don’t trust him. Don’t trust Sam. My memories crash down around me. Sam. The pages. The suitcase.

“It’s okay, babe.” He leans down, swiping a curl from my face. I hope he doesn’t notice the sweat forming. I lean in, kissing him on the lips. What choice do I have?

“Listen. I need you to make a call. It’s important. Just tell Britney that everything is set and we’ll be there soon.”

“Who’s Britney?” The name doesn’t trigger any memories. Nothing at all, in fact. No feelings, nothing.

“Britney. It doesn’t matter. I just need you to call her and tell her we’re on our way, okay?”

Okay. I’ll call Britney, but I don’t know what her number is. Should I? “I, um, don’t know her number and can’t find it in my contacts.”

Sam laughs. The tattoo ripples on his neck, so do the muscles under his shirt. “No. You don’t have Britney’s number. Here,” he says, passing me a ringing phone.



“Lydia. Oh my god. Get out of there. Now! Dont’ trust him, Lydia. Get out of there!”

“I, um, need some information from you, Britney?”

“Don’t. Trust. Sam.” and then she hangs up the phone.

Sam smirks again, his eyes taunting me. “What’d she say?” his voice is sly.

“Nothing really,” I say, trying to control my tone. “Who is she?”


“She must have been somebody if you wanted me to call her.”

“Come here, babe. I have something for you.”

I lean forward, hoping if I listen to what he says that he’ll leave. Move on. “Yes?” I whisper.

Sam pulls something from his pocket that crinkles as he fiddles with it. “Shhhh.” Sam’s body is on top of mine. I try to push him away, but can’t. There is a needle in his hand now, I feel a prick, and then the world goes dark as he whispers, “See you tomorrow, babe. Same time?”


Pages. Pages scattered everywhere. Pages on the counter top, torn to shreds. Pages in the sink, water worn and wrinkled. Pages. They’re fucking everywhere. Manic scribbles, drawings, maps.Pages. They’re all over the bloody apartment and I have no memory of them, but the writing looks familiar. It’s not mine, is it? I would remember writing the words, tearing the sheets, spreading them all over the place. There are pages in the garbage, grocery lists, names with family titles listed beside them, sketches of faces I don’t recognize. What the hell is going on here?


You know, I was still figuring out how I’d respond to this prompt when I read your brilliant response- and I couldn’t have said it better myself. You catch the mood of suspense so perfectly with the little room you have, and amazingly characterized all three people who appear, even though your narrator had no idea who any of them (including herself) actually are. Leaves me with a ton of questions, wish I could read on! Good work, Anisa, this is a keeper.

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