Man that's a lot harder than it sounds.
After a few gajillion revisions I came up with:
I can feel tears run back across my temples and cool air caressing my naked skin, but I cannot wipe the tears away, cannot cover up.
“The paralytic should be in full effect by now,” he says over the whine of the buzz-saw.
I cannot scream.
I feel pretty good about it. It may not be particularly original but I think it's pretty scary. When posting it to TerribleMinds, I started perusing the other entries and found myself fascinated by what different folks came up with. Being the super nerdy scientist type that I am, I busted out my Excel spreadsheet and took a tally to see what writers (at least those that like flash fiction challenges) find scary.
NOTE: AS A SCIENCE GEEK I FEEL THE NEED TO...sorry, I'll stop yelling...the need to point out that these "statistics" are super unscientific and relied a great deal on my interpretation of the stories. That being said, please enjoy my nerdyness.
This graph shows the number of stories that fell within a common premise. Not all of the stories are represented here. These are mostly the ones that fell into a category that I could figure out (same for the rest of the graphs). Being eaten was a big one. Of the 19 in that category, 5 involved cannibalism, 2 of those involving infant cannibalism (parents eating babies to be specific). The "Dying or Dead" category involved stories who's MC was dying or already dead without a clear explanation of why. The "Slasher-like" category is a little broad but includes stories that had a knife/chainsaw/etc. wielding killer. The "Child Accident" category included stories where the child of the MC is hurt or killed, usually due to the neglect of the MC/parent. I found these especially disturbing but not particularly...scary (if that makes sense).
Of the stories that had an identifiable "Bad Guy", the antagonist was overwhelmingly human. I guess us writers are far more scared of people than the supernatural. Of the humans, there were 12 true slashers, 4 evil kids, 3 doctors, and one clown. The rest were just "regular" people. "Monsters" were clearly non-human beasts without any defining characteristics. Of the animals, there were 2 cat, insect, and rodent stories and 1 story each for snakes and dogs. I was surprised that there was not a single alien story.
This last graph might just represent me being a jerk. I'm not sure. Basically, these are the people that didn't follow the directions. The "Cheaters" are those stories that tried to cram way more than 3 sentences in by having crazy amounts of semi-colons, commas, and dashes. Cheaters. "Wrong Genre" were those that really didn't have anything to do with horror. These include funny stories that didn't have any scary elements. There were a number of scary stories that were also funny but that's something completely different (and awesome). The "Chuck Love" category included stories who's sole purpose was to brown-nose Mr. Wendig. Have some pride people. The final category included references so obscure that I had to google them in order to have any idea what their story was about. Yikes.
There you have it.