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A weekly short story contest
Looking for a steady supply of historical fiction 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!
“Love can scorch and soothe, be denied and be delighted in. It can sour; it can blossom. But for everyone, those first electric moments are static and bold. The first touch. A minute caress of a hand in the dark. A wandering gaze that is held a moment too long. Chemistry, my friend, is not always measurable in a beaker.” Professor Green took the proffered glass vial from Hargreaves and suspended it above a low flame. Steam slowly rose in languid, rolling wisps, darking with a vile stench as the thickening liquid bubbled. Within the tube, ...
“What I wouldn’t give to be that happy again,” Monika whispered, listening to the ripples of laughter coming from the staff room as her colleagues began their annual plans for their New Year’s Eve celebrations. Just thinking about it made her want to cry, even though they were on the cusp of a supposedly exciting, new decade. Life in Friedrichshain had been tough for the nineteen-year-old, made tougher still since her father’s escape. Following her mother’s death two years ago, her father had rediscovered his revolutionary ...
You know, there are days, where you wonder? Is there a reason my hair has to be so big and my make up so white? Why can't I wear pants instead of this huge dress with multiple layers? I wonder about it all the time. I get told all the time, "It is just how it is done." Yes, I know I am a woman and in this time I can't change what has been as long as it has been. So, instead I write everything down. History may change but, for me I can change it in my own way. I will tell how I would change things in my everyday life. How, you may think?, ...
The field was long and grassy. It was filled with thick-stemmed dandelions and sunshine marigolds that twinkled like stars in the sky of green. The tree's leaves were defined and vividly green-they were beautiful enough to be in heaven. The little sweetpeas would twirl like distant wedding dresses. There was also a row of tall elegant trees that were always lemon yellow, they grew fine red-tinged flowers on their leaves. But the field was more glorious when the sun flooded the place, the flowers would be crested with pink light and each b...
What felt worse, how normal things used to be, or how terrible they became?I laughed when they came. I did your job, I told them. Laughter was the best medicine, but it wouldn’t cure the gaping hole in their chests, which appeared to be true agony, from where blood oozed like the toothpastes they gave us. Just a little pressure, and it all came rushing out. How could you laugh when you might break at any moment?How could you laugh when you weren't human anymore?
The last light of day was just about gone as Abby walked back to the old farm house she shared with her family. Shabby and in need of repair as it was, the warm glow of light from the Windows was a welcome sight, her family inside and the normal chatter of the days sharing that was so much a part of this family, she could feel the welcome. The contrast to where she had spent her day, to where she spent every day was stark. Never enough heat, or light, never a smile and words so few t...
This galaxy slowly started to intertwine with ours. As the process continued, it started to pick up speed. Stars began to merge together, along with all sizes of asteroids being flung around. And then they came. The Andromedan people. They sought to destroy, and destroy they did. We were already weakened. When they arrived in our system, the man slaughter began. They sent powered people down on Earth, to destroy us. All our armies were destroyed within the hour. I was sixteen when that happened. I remember one man said, "This is the begin...
(The following writing is based on real life events, or at least that’s what I assumed it went like.) Hugh Montgomery frowned. He pushed back his Pince-Nez eye glasses onto his nasal bridge and examined the objects strewn on the examination table. Hugh’s turtleneck felt like it was strangling him, so he loosened it around the neck. The heat from the Kentucky sunshine was blistering and he took out his pager; it was only eleven in the morning...
What is this place!? The room was enormous, but John couldn’t know that by looking at it for it was filled with a deep dusk that defied registration on his senses. His eyes could not penetrate through this … stuff. Neither could listening for echoes be used to discern the largeness of the room because there were not any of those. None of the normal ways of knowing were ready to volunteer any information beyond the bare minimums of perception and any way of pushin...
The Salem Witch Trial Files #34The foggy weather was highly unusual for hanging witches, but it had to be done. John was aware that his wife, May, was unjustly accused, but it was necessary. “John, do you so solemnly swear, on the Holy Bible, that you have seen your wife dabbling in witchcraft?” the priest asked sharply.“I do.”"Can you recount how you found out?" the priest inquired."Yes sir. When we were first married, around 3 years ago, I noticed strange things around the house, things...
Write a story that starts by establishing its setting in a different time period — without explicitly stating what that period is.
I want so...
Babu moshai!That’s what my Baba used to call me. As far as I can reminisce, I was called upon by numerous nicknames, but somehow I always knew those slew of names didn’t have a robust meaning. Babu moshai was meticulous, a two-syllable word that adumbrated a complex Sanskrit phonetic. Baba wasn’t much into the Vedic literature, but his prosaic artistry was unfathomable. Contrarily, Aama loathed the name babu moshai. She was coc...
In 1959, Errol Flynn died of a heart attack, but that’s not the entire truth. I poisoned him, and that was what led to his death.I am now seventy-six years old, and of sound mind and body. If you’re reading this, then I’ve gone to the great beyond, and I give you permission to share this confession with anyone you like. I don’t regret what I did; I only regret that his death was quick and painless.I am beginning to get ahead of myself, but that’s to be expected at my age. I met Errol Flynn in 1958, when I was fifteen years o...
Charity watched the dark clouds on the horizon roll closer. She breathed in the salty air of the ocean and felt the wind running through her hair. She envied her younger sisters, Joy and Hope, safe at home while she was on a ship on the rolling and crashing waves. She had been on the boat ever since her father had promised her hand in marriage to some rich duke in another country that neither of them had ever met. Her father had shipped her off like a package that he was thankful to get rid of. Just the thought of her father and f...
The Spire stood outside the Temple; its sandstone pillar aged by the sun. It had always been there, for longer than anyone could remember. Fikri walked past it as he did every day. He never really gave it much thought. But today he couldn’t help himself. He had woken earlier than usual, startled by a strange dream of stars and doors. Fikri sighed, wondering what to do with the time as he sat on a bench. He sat there for a while, sandals scuffing the red sand of the desert. He glanced at the sundial. He had time. It wasn’t...
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