Master Of Animation, Games & Interactivity
Master Of Animation, Games & Interactivity

Short Story

It was a hot summer night. The sun had just set but the weather was still quite warm. The local carnival was full of people hanging out with their families and friends. Johnny was sitting on the bench across the gate, watching people passing by with a straight face. There were a few cigarette ends lying around the bench, while he finished his last one, one of his legs started shaking uncontrollably. Finally, with a faded ticket grasped in his hand, he stood up and quickly entered the carnival.

It was Johnny’s first time at the carnival, no one had ever taken him here, not even his parents. Seeing all the other kids holding their parents’ hands, jumping and laughing, he felt like he didn’t belong here. Suddenly, a strong smell caught his attention. He turned around and saw a popular hotdog stand, his stomach begins to rumble. He walked over and waited in line, but he didn’t notice it was the line-up for the roller coaster.

He looked around and everyone was eating hotdogs except for him, he swallowed and started sweating. He wanted to get out of there, but being trapped between the moving crowds, he was promptly whisked onto the platform and tightly buckled into the rollercoaster. He started to salivate even more as the ride started, and it was only then when he realised there is a knife in front of him. He got confused and rubbed his eyes, this time there was a silver plate attached to a tiny table, and people on the ride were all eating hotdog, which irritated him even more. His breath got heavier as the roller coaster going all the way to the top. Finally, they entered a dark tunnel, he flew into a rage and began biting and slashing at people. As the roller coaster went down, everyone was screaming and shouting on this ‘thrilling’ ride. A minute later, an empty cart returned with Johnny sitting in the middle. He gently wiped the blood from his hands and stepped off the roller-coaster.


This week we practiced writing narratives by starting with a resolution and working backwards. Our group chose the premise “He washed the blood from his hands and stepped off the roller-coaster”, and I felt like playing with the idea of horror, illusion and mental illness.

In response to the premise, I wrote a very short story of a boy named Johnny, whose negative memories were triggered on a roller coaster ride. In my opinion, what differs a short story from an animation is that instead of presenting a visual scene for the audience, written words allow the reader to use their imagination to picture the story. Thus, instead of reading Johnny’s story, they put themselves in Johnny’s shoes.

After watching Symphony No.42 (Reka Bucsi, 2014) in class, I really like how sounds played an important role in storytelling, so I applied this concept in my writing. In the climax of the whole story, Johnny started slashing the passengers with the knife. This happened right when the roller coaster started declining, and the screams which would normally be out of excitement is instead out of pain. I want to use this sound to show the irony in the story, that no one would suspect the scream coming from the roller coaster.

In my first draft, the story begins with Johnny walking into the carnival. However, I decided to go back further and write a bit about the environment, Johnny’s internal thoughts and back story to give him a proper motive and complete the story.

About This Work

By Yunshu Shu (Maggie)
Email Yunshu Shu (Maggie)
Published On: 16/03/2021








Animated Narratives