Advice, insights and news
Free 10-day publishing courses
Free publishing webinars
Free EPUB & PDF typesetting tool
Launch your book in style
Assemble a team of pros
A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of bedtime short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.
Coming of Age
People of Color
Teens & Young Adult
We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!
A cold thick fog enveloped the muddy banks of the River Styx, chilling Persephone’s ankles. Demeter pulled Persephone’s coarsely woven robes tightly around her—robes of finely combed linen made from flax soaked in olive oil. When dried in the balmy Grecian sun, Persephone’s clothing smelled of newborn lambs and gentle sunbeams and fresh mown grass, but her dark destination had none of those sensations—nothing to smell, nothing to taste, nothing to feel. Demeter kissed her daughter’s forehead.“I do not want to go back,” ...
I don’t know how long I watched myself sleep that night. My face looked different than it did in the mirror. I can’t say in what way, it just did. I wondered what I was dreaming about. Probably the usual stuff. I didn’t wonder why I was floating a few feet above my own body. Not for a while at least. I can’t say how long. There I was, dreaming, probably about struggling to put on a pair of socks. The socks thing is a surprisingly common motif in my dreams. I never have much trouble putting them on in the waking wor...
Everything was ready for the ritual. The thing about it was that Leaf Cole could not recall how he became a part of it, at least not yet. His only assignment was to go down and take pictures of this small town in Massachusetts for a possible movie. He rented a place from the Slices when he arrived. The Slices included Bryan & Lucy the parents and John the oldest son and two daughters who where away.
Trigger warning: Suicide, mental health
Some mornings the feeling was of old lace, touch it and it falls to dust. On others she saw their little rat tails disappearing under the soffits and couldn’t grab even one to yank it back and see what it was. Most days it felt more like seeing cockroaches zipping away and gone before she was even sure they were there. It had been going on a long time, this disconne...
Facebook Newsfeed by John Passadino
Johnny couldn't keep his eyes closed. The crippling insomnia was back, but he was determined to stay off the benzos. He could not and would not give in to the physical and psychological addiction that tortured him. Waves of anxiety gripped his soul as his noise machine brain churned out message after message of doom.
This time it's for real. Your heart is gonna gi...
(CW - mentions of racism and privilege, as the character comes to terms with an uncomfortable truth about their life)
I know when I’m tired by the feeling in my bones, and my eyes. It feels like my whole body is chafed, irritated and aching all at the same time. I know I need to sleep. It's 3.18 am and I know I will be exhausted tomorrow. But I also know that I need to know everything that everyone is say...
The pure breeds dominated the side of the schoolyard the bleachers were on. On the top of the stack of six long benches, a large Pitbull terrier sat with his buddies. Fat Freddy, a Bassett hound, said to the pit, “Hey Conan, get a loada the new pup? He’s so mutt I’m gonna call him Heinz…hiyuck hiyuck!”
Frenchie La Pooch, a black French Bulldog, elbowed Fat Freddy in his jiggling girth and said, “That...
This is my worst nightmare.
I’m alone, in the middle of an alleyway, way after the sun has clocked out. There’s one street lamp, but it taunts me. “I can just choose not to flicker back on. I can just go out for good, and you won’t even be able to see a foot in front of you.” There’s patches of grass and dirt hugging the brick walls that are at my sides.
Thought: Ahead, or backwards. Your on...
The dream is floating, lazily along the recesses of my brain. It is rolling gently along the banks of my memory. It is fluttering as softly as butterfly wings delicately tapping on the windows of my soul trying to awaken the recollection of it. I am sure that the dream is coming from someplace within the depths of my being.
I try and remember the dream. It is sliding like the m...
Luke shot straight up in his bed. He head and neck were drenched with sweat. He tried to adjust his eyes in the darkness of the room.Mia woke up to his heavy breathing. Luke faced her now."Baby what is it? Another nightmare?""This was the worst nightmare yet."Mia moved closer to his side of the bed. She took his hand .Gave it a gentle squeeze then laid her thick head of curls against her husbands arm. His breathing returned to normal."Baby, its alright. It wasn't real. Do you want to talk about it...
CW: drug dependency, suicideTommy LaFontaine had always dreamt of going to other dimensions. No, he literally always dreamt of going to other worlds, and every time he did, he learned something new.For example, did you know there's a place where books read people? They have libraries instead of homes, and rather than dying they become overdue. The entire world is literal, right off the page... so they find the unpredictability and emotional outbursts of humans, quite entertaining. Their leade...
The first time I saw her I was freshly 16; my birthday is in September, so it was the first week of school and I was completely drained.
I was having some banal dream about being a volunteer at a shelter, but the shelter was full of unicorns or whatever. I don’t remember what task I was doing in this random fantasy, but I remember I saw her on the other side of the yard. She was wearing a blue shirt and h...
I felt a momentary haze, a crowd of people surrounded me, and myself amongst them. I never liked places like these. The confusion and exhaustion it elicited leave me feeling thousands of miles away from people who are physically next to me.
For myself, there is a perpetual feeling of loneliness in large crowds. I’ve never cared for people, not in large crowds at least. I preferred the company of others as...
Freezing drizzle soaked Brenda as she ran from her car to the bakery and fumbled with her keys in the pre-dawn blackness. Once inside she hit the switches and light bounced off the gleaming stainless steel benches and equipment. Another switch and the fan ovens whirred into life, soon drowned out by Brenda singing with Black Sabbath on the radio. Coat off, apron on, unwilling wet hair pushed up under her cap and she was ready to bake.Brenda loved this ...
Once there was a gardener who made a vow to his wife that he would rip up all the wild honeysuckle to make picturesque paths under the grand maples, apples, oaks, and pines. He vowed to clear the garden beds of dandelions, thorny thistle, and rag weed, and replace them with roses, lilies, and irises in every color and variety. The gardener’s wife joined him at the beginning since she enjoyed beautiful things and being o...
Find the perfect editor for your next book
Over 1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them.
Oops, you need an account for that!
Log in with your social account:
Or enter your email: