Ex Fabula’s “Fear” StorySlam at Dandy gave everyone the heebie-jeebies! Backed by beautiful, rare antiquities, folks told stories of horror flicks come to life, near death experiences, serendipity and, spookiest of all, losing chess games! *Dun, dun, duuuun!*

Tony Anderson was first to hit the stage, proving that “kids don’t have a monopoly on fear.” For Tony, real fear is getting a phone call from your child’s school saying he hadn’t gotten off the bus. After frantically scouring the neighborhood and route to the school, getting a second call saying your child safely walked themself to school is a real relief.

Tony Anderson

Have you seen the 1971 film The Abominable Dr. Phibes? The second teller, Craig certainly has. On the way home from seeing the film Craig couldn’t quite hold his popcorn and threw up all over his brother. (*adds to watchlist*)

Tom and Libby each experienced a bit of divine timing. Tom wrote an article to honor his late friend, Don. As the powers that be would have it, Tom found himself in an empty baseball stadium where he would reconnect with Don’s son. On the way to the StorySlam that evening, Tom found out that same article would be published.

For Libby, a fun evening boating on the Milwaukee River turned into being run over by a cement barge! Well, almost. Though they missed all the warning lights, Libby and her friends were safely escorted out of the river.

De’Shawn Ewing


The night’s emcee, De’Shawn Ewing, kept the audience in stitches with his fun, unique delivery of UltraShorts. One UltraShort, written anonymously, read “when your daughter lifts the lid on the garbage, freezes, and whispers “don’t wake up the rat.” Too late”. While another said “centipedes.” That’s it. That’s the whole UltraShort. *shutters*

Oh, but the frights didn’t end there. Sharron developed a deeper understanding of fear from visiting Europe and learning about the Holocaust; Sarah Beth had a close encounter with an aggressive driver; Arturo had an even closer encounter with an exorcist; and Kim… poor Kim, had her edges snatched by a cursed wig.

1st time Ex Fabula storyteller and father, Wayne isn’t scared of lions, tigers, or bears. No, Wayne is afraid of losing the chess tournament… again. Studying strategies and learning new moves after a crushing defeat to the toughest opponent he’d ever faced, Wayne worked his fingers to the bone to up his game.

Wayne Hickson

At the next tournament, Wayne soared, snatching pieces like Kim’s edges! But after several calls from his teenage daughter, Wayne had to leave the tournament early. He may have lost the tournament, but he won the audience’s vote for favorite of the night with his hilariously told story. Daddy duties for the win!

This slam was all about “fear,” but I laughed, I gasped, I awed, I felt seen. When the world is raging and it feels like there is little room for joy, being in community, hearing these stories, reminds me that when we stand together, fear doesn’t stand a chance.

Happy spooky season, Ex Fabula Family!