New work in progress: ‘The Retreat’ horror story – synopsis

The Retreat follows our protagonist, Joseph, as he decides to address his writer’s block head-on by moving to a writer’s retreat, a conglomerate of bungalows deep in the woods where artists move to for inspiration. He goes on to meet the groundsman by the name of Steve, a solitary elder man who spends his days drinking and indulging in a variety of drugs.

Joseph also meets a guest by the name of Richard who tells him several stories about the retreat, where multiple writers have ended their lives in tragic circumstances.

Once Joseph’s novel is finished, he spends one final drug-fuelled night at the retreat, which proves eventful: Steve tries to stage Joseph’s suicide. This sets in motion the revelation of the retreat’s real purpose: spiritual guidance in exchange for intellectual theft, followed by death. Joseph manages to escape the drugged-up staged suicide and kills Steve. He goes on to find out the groundsman’s true identity and all the critically-acclaimed work he has published, and is tasked with one final challenge: to reveal the old man’s gruesome reality or to take over as groundsman. 

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